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Sunset Gun
Los Angeles
Playboy, Los Angeles Review of Books, Criterion and more.
Recent Activity
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Out now! My next essay for Ed Brubaker's Kill Or Be Killed: Joseph Losey's underseen, and that overused term (but in this case, apt), underrated "M." Order here. Here's a preview: The opening shot of Joseph Losey’s M finds our murderous leading man, a tortured creature who will end the picture dragged, desperately dragged and in a heap, down on the ground – ascending. It’s... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Sunset Gun
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From my piece for the New Beverly. Even a man who is pure in heart, and says his prayers by night; May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright. Lon Chaney Jr. does not look like the son of Claude Rains. Not only does he not look like Rains physically, with his tall stature and everyman awkwardness, but with... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Sunset Gun
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Ed Brubaker's newest Kill Or Be Killed is still out. I wrote a piece digging into Joseph Cates' strangely beautiful, disturbing, "Who Killed Teddy Bear?" featuring a brilliant, daring Sal Mineo. Pick it up or order here: https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/kill-or-be-killed-12 “I played a telephone freak, and we were having this hassle with the censors. In some of the shots while I was on the phone they wanted... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece published at The New Beverly Helen: I don’t like to wake up alone. Bobby: I don’t want you to. But it happens sometimes. The smallest thing can change a life forever. In the case of Jerry Schatzberg’s The Panic in Needle Park, it’s a scarf. A thoughtful moment in which one stranger gives a shit about another, and just for a mere... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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RIP, Hugh Hefner. I was so glad to honor the woman of Playboy's first cover 50 years later with this cover story on Marilyn Monroe, and to write about her beyond her beauty (beyond those PB pics that she did not take for PB) , and about her power as an artist in her own right. Marilyn was not ashamed of nudity, sexuality and showing... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Baby they were born to kill ... My essay on Robert Wise's "Born to Kill" starring Lawrence Tierney & Claire Trevor as supreme equals: two fiendish, ferocious creatures. Read it in Ed Brubaker's newest Kill or Be Killed -- out now! Order here: Here's a preview: Between man, woman and movies, you can discover fair practice, of course, but can you find it with such... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Originally published at the New Beverly One of the most memorable moments during filming had nothing to do with the movie, but it also had everything to do with the movie. There was a rumor that President Nixon was going to resign. [On that night] we stopped filming. We were onstage at the auditorium and we wheeled in a TV. Everyone watched it and there... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Pick it up! Issue #10 of Ed Brubaker's Kill Or Be Killed is out. In this one, I ponder Ralph Meeker and Ralph Meeker in Big House, U.S.A. (with art by Jacob Phillips). Here's a preview... You don’t want to run into Ralph Meeker in the woods. Not if you’re a kid. Not if you have asthma. Not if you’re rich. Now, that’s a real... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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An excerpt from my essay on the great Martin Landau for Sight & Sound Magazine... There are actors who have beautiful eyes, dramatic eyes, fantastically soulful eyes, and then there are actors who have eyes that burn with such multifarious fires that you somehow both know exactly what those eyes are saying and yet have no idea. Eyes that reveal and eyes that hold secrets.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece published at the New Beverly. Please note that this article may contain spoilers. “I found him in the woods. Miss Harriet had given me permission to hunt for mushrooms as long as I promised not to go beyond the old Indian trail, which is just before the woods begin to slope down to the creek. Well all that land belongs to the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece published at the New Beverly “There is a very beautiful story named World on a Wire. It talks about a world where you can create projections of people with a computer. And this brings about the question to what degree we are all merely projections, because according to this thought model; the projections are equal to reality. Maybe another, larger body has... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From a letter Thomas Pynchon wrote to his former Cornell friend and roommate, writer Jules Siegel, in the early 1960s -- Siegel published a portion of the letter in a 1965 issue of Cavalier magazine. He wrote that, "Pynchon, hiding out from the world in Mexico City, wrote on blue-line graph paper to a suicidal writer friend": "When Marilyn Monroe got out of the game,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece published at the New Beverly Near the end of Paul Schrader’s Hardcore, an incandescently angry George C. Scott busts through thin, pasteboard walls with such focus and furious dedication that it looks like the kind of perverse, surrealistic nightmare that a wrathful Christian would have. It’s also strangely beautiful. He’s in the House of Bondage and Scott’s Calvinist Jake Van Dorn is... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece for the New Beverly. Out of sight in the night out of sight in the day Lookin’ back on the track gonna do it my way Lookin’ back Lookin’ for some happiness But there is only loneliness to find Jump to the left, turn to the right Lookin’ upstairs, lookin’ behind He’s committed? In Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Orange rifles through... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Originally published at the New Beverly “I wish I was someone else. Then I could stay with you here, forever.” Radiation poisoning. That’s what Blonde Venus’s Herbert Marshall catches while submerged in work, hunched over beakers and microscopes and boiling cauldrons of early 1930s chemicals, toiling to manage a respectable middle class to poor life six years after he contracted that other near-incurable illness: love.... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Mikey: You call me "The Echo." And you tell everybody that I have to say everything twice because I got a tunnel in my head. The second time is the echo. Nicky: Mikey, everybody says everything. I mean, what's the difference? I was kidding. Don't you ever kid? Mikey: You make me out a joke to Resnick. Just like you made me out a joke... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Jonathan Demme has passed away. To honor his life and his musical, deeply humanistic films, in love with the odd and the beautiful, and the oddly beautiful, the art of everyday people who aren't so everyday, and the depth and complications of love -- I'm posting my New Beverly piece on one of the great films of the 1980's -- Something Wild. Rest in peace,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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"The risk is high but so is the profit. I wasn’t born this way. I trained myself. I eliminate personal feeling. I feel hot. I feel cold. I get sleepy and I get hungry.” -- Claude (Vince Edwards) My next piece for Ed Brubaker's issue 8 of "Kill Or Be Killed" with art by the great Sean Phillips: Irving Lerner's spare masterpiece, Murder By Contract... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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The April Sight & Sound is out -- I interview the brilliant Anna Biller -- discussing her varied influences (Dreyer, Demy, Losey, Fassbinder, Hitchcock, John Stahl's Leave Her to Heaven and John Brahm's The Locket) as well as Biller's unique style and complex, intriguing ideas about ... many things. See The Love Witch. And pick up this issue. Here's a small excerpt: Kim Morgan: Writers... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my essay at the New Beverly. I wrote stories from the time I was a little girl, but I didn’t want to be a writer. I wanted to be an actress. I didn’t realize then that it’s the same impulse. It’s make-believe. It’s performance. The only difference being that a writer can do it all alone. I was struck a few years ago when... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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The day after Prince died, I happened to catch a moving screening of Jeremy Saulnier’s punk-band horror thriller Green Room (2015) in the ArcLight cinema in Hollywood. If you’ve not seen it, one of the film’s threads is that perennial test of musical fandom – which one musician or musical group would you keep with you on a desert island? To begin, the film’s various... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece that ran at the New Beverly Memories of adolescence can come to you in a multitude of ways. Some thoughts are often so hazy, and in many of us, so strange, that even happy reminiscences take on a peculiar sensation of both centered familiarity (we are all still who we are), our teenage years directly in our body and in our being,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Farewell, King Milo de Venus was a beautiful lass She had the world in the palm of her hand But she lost both her arms in a wrestling match To get a brown eyed handsome man She fought and won herself a brown eyed handsome man. Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Out now! My essay in the newest Ed Brubaker "Kill Or Be Killed" # 7 all about Noel Black's Pretty Poison starring Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins. Art by the great Sean Phillips. Order here. Here's the first paragraph: Those little eyes So helpless and appealing One day will flash and send you Crashing through the ceiling -- Maurice Chevalier (Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece written for the New Beverly. “David set it up . . . There are eighteen different places in that film, if you look at it, where he could have stopped the whole thing. He didn’t. He let it go on . . . As so often in life, we let things happen to us because we want it to . . .... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2017 at Sunset Gun