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Sunset Gun
Los Angeles
Playboy, Los Angeles Review of Books, Criterion and more.
Recent Activity
Here's a nice write-up from Gary Tooze for the Kino Lorber release of Busting with a much appreciated shout-out regarding my commentary with Elliott Gould: "There are some good extras including a feature-length audio commentary by director Peter Hyams - which has some revealing moments - but I really enjoyed the 3/4 of an hour select scene audio commentary with Elliott Gould and film critic... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2015 at Sunset Gun
New Sight & Sound! I was honored to contribute to this group and grouping of 100 films directed by women with so many esteemed writers, filmmakers, actors and artists. My short pieces include Merrily We Go to Hell (1932) by Dorothy Arzner, my favorite and I think, the best Arzner picture. And Elaine May's Mikey and Nicky (1976) that though adored by some is still,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2015 at Sunset Gun
A repost of Marnie Edgar's sex magic satchels. Please excuse the on-purpose excessive alliteration. "Marnie" will show next Sunday, Sept. 13, at the Arclight Hollywood. When Madonna's "Sex" was released, actor Udo Kier, who was featured prominently in many of the book's best pictures, was asked about Ms. Ciccone. What she was like? But more specifically, since Kier had ample chance to see, What was... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2015 at Sunset Gun
Talking with John Waters: Endlessly funny, erudite, charming and so well-read, just try to keep up (he reads two books a week). So I was thrilled to interview him for Sight & Sound's September issue. I won't publish the entire, long and entertaining interview here, this is just a teaser. You'll need to go out and buy the magazine, beautifully laid -- out to get... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2015 at Sunset Gun
The September cover of Sight & Sound features my interview with national treasure John Waters. The BFI is doing a series on Waters, showing every single one of his films and Waters programmed ten of his favorite British films for the series as well. Yes, Joseph Losey’s gloriously insane Boom! will be screened, and we talk about it. We also talk nuns, Pasolini, Diane Arbus,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2015 at Sunset Gun
Carol Reed's The Third Man was re-released this month at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles and all over the country with varied dates. It's left the Nuart so hopefully you saw it as it was meant to be seen, on the big screen, in its first major restoration. But for New Yorkers, you can still take in Reed's masterpiece at the Film Forum running... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2015 at Sunset Gun
This was not easy. The ten greatest American films of all time? I can't pick a mere ten! So when the BBC asked me, among 61 other film writers from around the world, to contribute to their 100 Greatest American Films list, I said yes, knowing I'd be second-guessing every damn decision. I wrote my first list with both thought and gut instinct. I looked... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at Sunset Gun
"Baby do you know what you did today? Baby do you know what you took away? You took the blue out of the sky, my whole life changed when you said goodbye. And I keep crying, crying... Oh, baby Oh, baby... I wish I never saw the sunshine. I wish I never saw the sunshine. And if I never saw the sunshine, baby. Then maybe,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at Sunset Gun
A heartbreaking and, in passages, beautifully written letter Marilyn Monroe wrote to her psychiatrist, Dr. Greenson, from a psychiatric ward. *Wandering through time and titans, the letter was written in March, 1961 and read to me in February, 2015 by John Ashbery (more about that at the end of this entry). That was quite something, something I'll never forget. March 1, 1961 Just now when... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2015 at Sunset Gun
From my piece in the May issue of Sight & Sound, out on stands now, the ending of Stanley Kubrick's the Killing. Nicely edited for space (yes, I went over word count) my editor kindly allowed me to publish my longer essay here. Should we start with the final shot? Or the very near final shot? The one with the iconic line? No, let’s start... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at Sunset Gun
March is almost over. And I've lost my claw mojo. I always win this thing. Always. I know they're rigged but I'm lucky I guess. March was was a crazy month. I'll blame March. But some good things are coming up. A piece in Sight & Sound about the end of Stanley Kubrick's The Killing, some musings (finally) on Inherent Vice at LARB for the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2015 at Sunset Gun
Before I forget... please pick up the February edition of Sight & Sound on stands now where you can read my essay on Russell Rouse's "Wicked Woman." Here, my piece, from their "Lost and Found" column: "Overlooked films currently unavailable on UK DVD or Blu-Ray." The movie is not on DVD in the US either... There's something especially mesmerizing about watching Beverly Michaels slump her... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2015 at Sunset Gun
The Forbidden Room. Here's on-set pictures I took just about three years ago in Paris while working on what would become Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room (co-directed by Evan Johnson) soon to be seen at Sundance and Berlin. These pictures are from the project, then called Spiritismes, shot at the Centre Pompidou, which I wrote about here and here. For me, it all started in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at Sunset Gun
I finally made it to the Oregon Coast before the year ends, right before returning home to Los Angeles. It may look sunny here, and it is, but it's cold. I yearned for the chilly beach of my PNW childhood. And, since Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice was my favorite movie of the year (I will write more on that later), here's Neil Young (who... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2014 at Sunset Gun
From my expansive three-part interview with Elliott Gould, George Segal and Joseph Walsh at the Los Angeles Review of Books. Here is all of it, in one post. Take a break, and read on... WE’VE ALL AGREED to meet at Canter’s Deli. George Segal, Joseph Walsh, and Elliott Gould. It’s mid-September, one of those absurdly hot Los Angeles days, and I’m there early, cooling off... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at Sunset Gun
Criterion's two-disc edition of Monte Hellman's experimental, beautiful, seminal westerns, Ride in the Whirlwind and The Shooting is out today. I wrote and narrated the visually rich video essay about Warren Oates as an extra on the disc -- an ode to Oates and specifically his work with Hellman. Here's my extended written piece on Mr. Oates (from the video essay) to accompany the release.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at Sunset Gun
Early in my writing career when I was a film critic for the Oregonian I interviewed William Friedkin while he was making The Hunted in our city of bridges and frequent gloom. It was a beautiful spring day in Portland, nice for Portlanders, not so nice for Friedkin. For his new, moody movie he was promised rainy, overcast weather. He said to me, bemused: "As... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2014 at Sunset Gun
We’re driving around Palm Springs and Udo Kier is asking me to check on his ball. Has it arrived? I’m not certain what he’s talking about. A ball has not been mentioned yet today, but as we slowly creep past his block, I check for a ball as if this is the most normal thing to do. “It’s enormous, you can’t miss it,” Udo tells... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2014 at Sunset Gun
Sublime moments in cinema: Lightnin' Hopkins & these little girls dancing. From Les Blank's documentary, The Blue According to Lightin' Hopkins. Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2014 at Sunset Gun
Today Brigitte Bardot turns 80-years old. To celebrate, I've dipped into my archives and voilà! Bardot as Don Juan. Happy Birthday Brigitte Bardot. In 1973, French director and provocateur Roger Vadim said "The Don Juan of our day is a woman -- Brigitte Bardot in real life." Vadim was addressing his past muse, indeed one of the very reasons he became famous, as one of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2014 at Sunset Gun
BY TODD MCCARTHY Former Telluride tributee Guy Maddin, creator of fantastical film including The Saddest Music in the World, Careful and Twilight of the Ice Nymphs, and film noir specialist Kim Morgan ("one of the best writers on the Internet," according to Roger Ebert) met and married four years ago. They are Telluride's first Guest Director Duo. TODD MCCARTHY: You are the first couple to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Sunset Gun
The title is deceptive because, really, Beverly Michaels isn’t wicked, she’s just sick of it all. That whole bit about being a woman in this life, unmarried, down on your luck and, oh, sure, gorgeous, but how far will that lead you? And how you’ve heard and seen it all. The thrill or disgust of a cat call (depending on the day, or the man),... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2014 at Sunset Gun
"I was friends with Steven Spielberg, and Steven and I were going to do California Split. I worked in Steven's home for about eight months. MGM said yes, and suddenly everything changed. Jim Aubrey, head of the studio, was the smiling cobra -- and the snake struck. He said, 'I want it changed. I don't want what's going on here. I want a straight movie.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2014 at Sunset Gun
How to remake one of Fritz Lang's greatest pictures? Joseph Losey found a way. But many, including Lang, did not embrace Losey's vision. I had longed to see this film for years in an at least semi-decent print. I could never find anything but the murkiest of copies but I managed to track down a muddy, barely watchable version and I took it in --... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at Sunset Gun
The plane leaves this morning and I'm excited, nervous, prepared and ready for anything. I also have a cold. Out! Devil Cold! The Telluride Film Festival begins Friday, and I, along with Guy Maddin have been chosen at Guest Directors of this year's festival. We programmed six films -- no easy task. We've been sworn to secrecy but the cat's out of the bag today... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at Sunset Gun