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Sunset Gun
Los Angeles
Playboy, Los Angeles Review of Books, Criterion and more.
Recent Activity
Barbara Payton was gracious enough to let Leo Guild into her apartment. That’s one way of looking at this sleazy/sad alliance, a union of two hustlers making a fast buck, pushing forward in spite of their scummy shambling lives and, in the end, perpetually losing. But as Guild reported later, Payton, though polite on the phone, was in person, gross: “pig fat” as he indelicately... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2016 at Sunset Gun
“We were beginning to feel that the Continental had a soul, memories of the past and feelings about where we were going and what we were doing.” – Neil Young When I was nine-years old, my mother rambled around in an old pine green Dodge station wagon. It was a big honkin’ thing, it seemed so out-dated, the back-end smashed, the seats an obnoxious green... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2016 at Sunset Gun
I went to the doctor, guess what he told me, guess what he told me. He said, girl you better try to have fun no matter what you do. But he's a fool. Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2016 at Sunset Gun
You can still see the terrific episode, the "TruInside" story of The Jerk, showing online. The show covers the history, absurdist innovations and legacy of the Carl Reiner-directed, Steve Martin-starring comedy classic. I'm in this, discussing the film, along with Carl Reiner, Jackie Mason, Renn Woods, Carl Gottlieb, Michael Elias, Matt Zoller Seitz, Mark Harris, Judd Apatow, Peter Farrelly, Maya Rudolph, M. Emmet Walsh and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2016 at Sunset Gun
Who cares about Easter tomorrow? It's all about today. Today, Sterling Hayden, one of the greatest actors and screen presences in the history of cinema, would have turned 100-years old. Not surprisingly, I've compared Hayden to Jesus Christ. "Hayden is so Hayden you feel like you’re watching, not just an icon, but some kind of loser Jesus Christ. As if Kubrick’s idol Weegee were God... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2016 at Sunset Gun
Briefly, on Cul-de-sac. 50 years ago. Roman Polanski emerged from the womb understanding the art of filmmaking. Or, perhaps, understanding the art of wombs -- diseased, depraved, disordered and of course, provocative wombs. Cruelty, violence, twisted sexuality, madness, absurdity -- many of Polanski's hallmark obsessions -- are almost always confined to one space. The director loves nothing more than trapping his characters in devil-worshiping apartment... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2016 at Sunset Gun
Bring on Sacheen Littlefeather. I like Oscars that go a little crazy. Disruptive. Weird. And not in those golly-gee speeches where someone reacts with such feigned shock that he or she giddily exhibits an actorly, cute-as-a-button manic depressive episode, stuttering out names that reveal how kooky, sweet, humbled and... we got it. Though speeches like that can be charming, if you're going to go there,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2016 at Sunset Gun
Bette Davis defines Oscar. After all, wasn't it the divine Ms. Davis who coined the Academy's golden boy as "Oscar?" The story goes that the little man's rear-end reminded the actress of her then husband, Oscar, and clever Bette anointed it so. Whether or not this story is true (and it's more than likely, not) it doesn't matter to me. Bette named the Oscar. Fact.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2016 at Sunset Gun
David Lynch to Angelo Badalamenti: "We’re in a dark woods. There’s a soft wind blowing through some sycamore trees and the moon’s out, and animal sounds in the background, and you can hear the hoot of an owl, and [again] you’re in the dark woods... just get me into that beautiful darkness with the soft wind... From behind a tree in the back of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2016 at Sunset Gun
The newest issue of the beautiful art and fashion magazine, MONROWE Magazine has published a lovely six-page spread of 18 of my photographs from Paris, shot at the Centre Pompidou, during the filming of what would become the feature film, The Forbidden Room, directed by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson. Some of these moments are found swirling in the picture, others will appear online, all... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2016 at Sunset Gun
It's the 40th anniversary of Taxi Driver. Here's a repost of my piece, from 2011, when I saw its new restoration in Berlin. "All my life needed was a sense of someplace to go. I don't believe that one should devote his life to morbid self-attention, I believe that one should become a person like other people." Last night in Berlin was the world premiere... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2016 at Sunset Gun
The new Sight & Sound features my ten-page interview with its February cover star, Quentin Tarantino, and they have graciously allowed me to excerpt a portion of the extensive Q&A here. This is a nice chunk of it, but there's so much more in the magazine, from getting to know his characters, to the Roadshow appeal of The Hateful Eight and themes in the movie,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2016 at Sunset Gun
Pick up the February edition of Sight & Sound and read my ten page interview with its cover star, Quentin Tarantino. We get into it: The Hateful Eight, old TV westerns ("The Virginian" especially), movie violence, police brutality, Snoop Dogg's resemblance to Lee Van Cleef and a whole helluva lot more. Quentin gives good interview. From Sight & Sound: "As The Hateful Eight hits UK... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2016 at Sunset Gun
Here's my most memorable ten movies of 2015. Please indulge me as I ramble a bit, quote Werner Herzog extensively and bring up a movie that I saw last year, but was released in some cities this year, and one that I can't seem to stop watching. If you know me, you know which one. These are not in order. Except for the first film...... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2015 at Sunset Gun
Shane Black makes a good cup of coffee. It’s December 21st, 2015, the holiday season, a perfect time to meet Shane Black. I’m watching Black work his coffee maker in his kitchen. He finds me cream. I find it disarmingly sweet, charming that we’re in his enormous, beautiful 1920's-era mansion, and he’s making me coffee. He’s wearing socks, no shoes. His two handsome dogs are... Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2015 at Sunset Gun
An excerpt from my longer piece at the Daily Beast, on the oddity, allure and brilliance of Patricia Highsmith: The critically acclaimed film "Carol," based on one of her books, has helped introduce a new generation to this most puzzling, contradictory, but indispensable novelist. Patricia Highsmith disliked food. Or, rather, she had a deeply problematic relationship with food that produced fascinating, unsettling musings, vividly intertwined... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2015 at Sunset Gun
By the Sea Angelina Jolie doesn’t care if you like her. But it’s not out of snobbery, some kind of looking down on the little people; she’s too focused, too mysterious, too fascinatingly complicated for that. It’s from a yearning to express herself, to say something about her experience, about being a movie star, about marriage, about women, about the oddity that is she (or,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2015 at Sunset Gun
I was honored to present and discuss Something Wild (1961) on TCM in 2010 and both Something Wild and The Strange One (1957) with director Jack Garfein at the Telluride Film Festival in 2012 (read my piece here). If you haven’t seen these two powerful pictures, don’t miss them tonight on TCM at 5 & 7 PST with, and this is exciting, Jack there to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2015 at Sunset Gun
I wrote a defense of femme fatales in the the Fall 2015 issue of the Film Noir Foundation's magazine, Noir City and it's now available, with contributors Meagan Abbott, Ben Terrall, Krista Faust, Renee Patrick, Rose McGowan and more inside. Make a donation and read it all here. Here's an excerpt from my much longer piece. Taking on the topic of the femme fatale, and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2015 at Sunset Gun
The Fall 2015 issue of Filmmaker Magazine is out and the cover features my interview with director Todd Haynes. We discuss his newest picture, Carol, Patricia Highsmith, Karen Carpenter and more. Here's an excerpt from the interview. To read the rest, buy the newest issue of Filmmaker or subscribe to their premium content. “Persistently, I have the vision of a house in the country with... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2015 at Sunset Gun
"The sadness of our existence should not leave us blunted, on the contrary -- how to remain thin-skinned, vulnerable and stay alive?" -- Montgomery Clift Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2015 at Sunset Gun
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