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Glenn Kenny
Brooklyn
Film writer, formerly of Premiere magazine and .com. Reach me at glennkenny@mac.com.
Recent Activity
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In a week and a day, my book for Cahiers du Cinema/Phaidon, Robert De Niro: Anatomy Of An Actor, sees publication. It is only right and fitting, I am told, to use this blog, which is my own, as a vehicle for its promotion. And so. Two events celebrating the book are happening next week. The first is its official launch party, on Monday, July 28, at my favorite local bookstore Book Court, on 163... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Some Came Running
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With Lawrence Montaigne, Gordon Jackson, and David MacCallum in The Great Escape, John Sturges, 1963. Garner's screen work gently rebuffs hard analysis. It isn't that what he did lacked complexity or sophistication. But he had a way of relaxing into whatever character he was playing that only made you want to be by the character's side, rather than "understand" the character. Strain, either visible or subtextual, was not part of his performing vocabulary. This could... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Some Came Running
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Channing Pollock is, I think, pretty great in Georges Franju's Judex. In the segments in which he appears unmasked, he's got a stolid near-blank affect that is, I think, entirely apropos to the unusual revised conception Franju applied to the character—a somewhat puritanical, stiff avenger, and hardly an omnipotent hero. Pollock's mien is often attributed to the fact that he was, indeed, a stage magician and not an actor. But an effective performance is an... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Some Came Running
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I was saddened, like so many music lovers, to hear last week of the death of the very great bassist and composer Charlie Haden. He was one of my favorite musicians and a person I considered not just an artistic giant but a moral hero. (I met him once and had a brief chat with him, at the Village Vanguard after a Liberation Music Orchestra gig in the '90s; he was quiet, and gentle, and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at Some Came Running
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Maybe this should be headed "Movies You Ought To Contemplate Seeing Once You Find Out Boyhood Is Sold Out." One such picture is Land Ho!, starring the above-seen Earl Lynn Nelson and Paul Eenhorn. Good times in Iceland. Another worthwhile, albeit extremely understated, movies is The Empty Hours. Under no circumstances except those of extreme perversity, though, ought you subject yourself to Rage, a Nicolas Cage starrer devoid of even devoidness. All reviews are for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at Some Came Running
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So I've been sprucing up my CV and seeking other kinds of work and avenues for work. "You should pitch more interviews and profiles," is something I've heard, and I agree, but I'm kind of cut off from the world of actually getting access, which is something I have to work on. In my diggings I remembered this profile of Bjork, from the October 2000 U.S. edition of Premiere, a story that prevented me from... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Some Came Running
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Hey, a fella can change his mind, right? Lest my juxtaposition be misinterpreted, lemme say I'm psyched that Smith is psyched. I'm mostly acting on a self-interest that will become crystal clear in a moment. "I [...] could no longer be considered a die-hard fan. While I still had mountains of respect for what Lucas had created, and enough affection for what I felt were just some old movies that meant a lot for me... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2014 at Some Came Running
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In the first hour or so of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 1970 Beware of a Holy Whore (original German title: see poster) the characters, youngish (mostly) film crew members, loll about in the lobby of a Spanish resort hotel, drinking heavily and playing the jukebox, and most of what they play is Leonard Cohen. As I write in a new post at the Criterion Collection's Current blog, these "drunken, despairing, love-starved children of the counterculture aren’t... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2014 at Some Came Running
Around this time six years ago, I left a comment on the blog of the writer Emily Gould that, as I’m looking at it now, is pretty grotesque in its self-importance. It read: “Um, not to put too fine a point on it — and believe me, I know this is going to sound ‘mean,’ but there’s just no way around it — but could you do the rest of humanity the favor of, like,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at Some Came Running
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This week at RogerEbert.com, I review Transformers: Age Of Extinction and The Pleasures Of Being Out Of Step: Notes On The Life Of Nat Hentoff. Guess which movie the above still image is from. Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2014 at Some Came Running
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In Baby Doll, directed by Elia Kazan, 1958 In The Lineup, directed by Don Siegel, 1958 Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2014 at Some Came Running
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I've been pretty busy pursuing other projects and thus didn't have the temporal opportunities to see all that many of the movies screening at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Cinemafest, but those pictures I have seen, four in all so far, have been very good to extraordinary. Three of them have already screened at the fest, the fourth will be there on Thursday. Richard Linklater's Boyhood, the opening night picture, is one I imagine you've... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2014 at Some Came Running
Over at RogerEbert.com, I muse, darkly, on the ostensible subject of "Art, Freedom, and the Bechdel Test." It's the sort of thing I would normally put up here, but as my editors there have told me that they're eager to let me fly my freak flag in their yard, I figured I'd take 'em up on it. Enjoy, and comment there, or here. Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2014 at Some Came Running
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It is possibly indicative of the insularity of the world inhabited by filmmaker Mike Myers and the interview subjects of his non-fiction feature (you can't, or shouldn't, really call it a documentary) Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon) that the t-shirt worn by Mr. Gordon during his '70s heyday is referenced as if it's kind of charming. We can make an excuse for the Funkadelic song because it's a piece of sociological observation as well... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at Some Came Running
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On July 28, Phaidon will release two new books in its Cahiers du Cinema "Anatomy of an Actor" series, one of which is my own study of Robert De Niro. The other is Amy Nicholson's look at the work of Tom Cruise, an intriguing excerpt or offshoot of which appears here. I suppose a good number of readers out there are familiar with the series, which examines careers of contemporary actors via detailed essays on... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at Some Came Running
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From End of the Road, Aram Avakian, 1970. The actors are Stacy Keach and James Earl Jones. What the hell, here's the third one, which also featured in the Vanity Fair Hollywood memorial of Willis that I penned. End of the Road is a fascinating motion picture, not just because it was cinematographer Willis' debut feature. John Barth, the author of the 1958 novel on which it is based, dislikes the movie expansively. Being a... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2014 at Some Came Running
A little background: I've alluded to my band, Artificial Intelligence, on this blog before, most expansively here; in the wake of the engagement described in the linked post, the personnel determined that, as they say in the movie, it would be fun to either make a record or play out again, or both. Three years and change after that, we made a record. The aforementioned personnel are: Daniel Burwasser, drums; Ron Goldberg, keyboards and samples;... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2014 at Some Came Running
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Don't get too excited. The Protector 2, from which the above still is derived, and which I review at RogerEbert.com, is pretty bad. And Rhatha Phongam doesn't figure in it as prominently as she might. Phongam was last "widely" seen in these parts in Only God Forgives, so she's due for a karmic break soon, I'd reckon. Also in my reviewing sights this week are two films of worthy ambition that don't quite get to... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at Some Came Running
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Virginia Leith in Violent Saturday, Richard Fleischer, 1955. I got so terribly excited by the new Eureka! blu-ray disc of this ineffable thriller that I just had to post a screen cap of it, and I've always loved this particular shot from the POV of peeper Tommy Noonan. I got so excited that I forgot that I wrote at length about Noonan and this film a couple of years back. Which musings may provide some... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2014 at Some Came Running
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Robert Montgomery in They Were Expendable, John Ford, 1945. Writing of the movie's lukewarm critical and box office reception in his indispensible new book Five Came Back, Mark Harris observes, "For Ford, an honorable defeat was, in a way, the apt coda to a journey through the war that had begun with a prescient commitment to service more than a year before Pearl Harbor and had ended with a drunken collapse on the coast of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2014 at Some Came Running
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This account contains some plot details, although I've tried to portray those details, and their import, as obliquely as possible. I wouldn't call them "spoilers" but you never can tell these days. Be warned. Critics have been calling Jonathan Glazer's Under The Skin "mysterious," "mesmerizing," "elusive," and "hypnotic," and it is arguably all of those things. It is also at times terrifying, at other times deliberately ennervating (I think), and finally harrowing. One of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at Some Came Running
Around the time I was putting up the first part of My Life In Pornography at Thought Catalog, I heard about the work of photographer Barbara Nitke, who was shooting stills on New-York-based adult film sets just a few years after I was production assistant on A Girl's Best Friend. Obviously I needed to look into this. I did, and I got Barbara's book, American Ecstasy, and I interviewed Barbara for Nerve. The not-safe-for-work article... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at Some Came Running
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At left: Lithograph of the cover art for Acid Eaters, The Ramones, 1993, signed by the members of the group at the time. A couple of weeks ago I was discussing the state of my media collection with my wife, and how the ever-mounting stacks of stuff in certain areas of our apartment were making her feel kind of claustrophobic. The upshot of the exchange was that I needed to do not just some rearranging... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at Some Came Running
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As I may have mentioned somewhere, or as you may have been able to infer somehow through my writing, as a teenager I was a fairly religious reader of the rock and roll magazine Creem. By religious I mean that I would read each issue cover to cover at least twice each month. Even the column by the British critic and sociologist Simon Frith, whose work I considered relatively dry—Creem was, you may recall, the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Some Came Running
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No blues: Charlotte Rampling in Lumet's The Verdict, 1982 Q: You've talked about the irony of how some critics referred to Prince of the City as "realistic" whereas you deliberately made it in a more expressive style—in terms of the lenses you used, forced perspectives, making certain objects prominent in the frame. It's almost as if you did your job too well, because the viewer does get caught up in the emotional reality of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Some Came Running