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Sunset Gun
Los Angeles
Playboy, Los Angeles Review of Books, Criterion and more.
Recent Activity
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My New Beverly essay on Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, Barry Lyndon, starting tonight in beautiful 35mm at the New Beverly. “I want to leave, to go somewhere where I should be really in my place, where I would fit in . . . but my place is nowhere; I am unwanted.” — Jean-Paul Sartre, “Nausea” “Fate had determined that he should leave none of his race... Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at Sunset Gun
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Showing tonight at the New Beverly. John Casavetes' sublime, underrated "Too Late Blues." “I am trying to show the inability of people to recognize that society is ridiculous. Hardly anyone obeys the mores, but they respect them. If they are exposed breaking the mores their lives can collapse. Our hero is not a coward, but in covering up this failure he destroys everything else that... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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An excerpt from my piece on John Cassavetes making Machine Gun McCain magnificent. Playing tonight at the New Beverly. Read the entire piece here. The way John Cassavetes seduces Britt Ekland in Giuliano Montaldo’s Machine Gun McCain is a three-minute Master Class in multi-faceted acting – multi-faceted acting in a potentially stupid scene. Cassavetes plays Hank McCain, a tough, mysterious bank robber newly released from... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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Here's an excerpt from my piece John Cassavetes' romantic, poignant, emotionally volatile and movie-drenched, "Minnie and Moskowitz," playing this Saturday at the New Beverly. Read the entire piece here. And don't miss it at on the big screen in beautiful 35 MM at the New Beverly, Nov. 19 at midnight. “I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show. A fantasy world of celluloid... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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From my interview published at The New Beverly Theater. Actress, icon, mother and integral collaborator with husband John Cassavetes on some of the most important American films ever made, Gena Rowlands has been a guiding light in independent cinema for more than 50 years. I talked with the four-time Emmy, two-time Golden Globe and honorary Oscar winner ahead of November’s John Cassavetes Film Festival at... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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My piece for The New Beverly on Hal Ashby's masterpiece, Shampoo -- its portentous, melancholic power, perfectly programmed on Election Day at The New Beverly. “I go into that shop and they’re so great-looking. I do their hair. They feel and smell great. I’d be on the street at a stoplight, or go into an elevator. There’s a beautiful girl. I don’t know. That’s it.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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I interviewed Jessica Chastain for the cover of the great, historic French fashion magazine L'OFFICIEL and she really is a star apart. Chastain is so multi-faceted, so interesting, so unique that, after talking with her, one feels a little breathless. Not only is the actress an intelligent force, moving audiences with, among other pictures, Terrence Malick’s "The Tree of Life" and Kathryn Bigelow’s "Zero Dark... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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My piece for The New Beverly on Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown and the power of Pam Grier. Don't miss it at on the big screen in QT's personal, beautiful 35 MM print at the New Beverly tonight! “I was saving every dime and I was so crazy and heartbroken thanks to a third attack on my life, which nearly killed me. It’s not in [the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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FilmStruck has launched! I'm excited to say I'm hosting four of their fantastic series of directors and movies I revere, and one I know quite well. The series are: Bibi & Ingmar, Directed by Wong Kar-wai, Early Kubrick and Directed by Guy Maddin (where I remove my critic hat and Guy provides new, fascinating insight here as well). It's a wonderful array and a sample... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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Here's an excerpt from my piece for The New Beverly on Lee Frost's Dixie Dynamite and missing Warren Oates... Read the entire piece here. And don't miss it at on the big screen in beautiful 35 MM at the New Beverly tonight! When Warren Oates leaves a certain kind of movie, you notice. You miss him. You feel a sense of longing, the way you... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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Here's an excerpt from my piece on Roman Polanski's classic Rosemary's Baby, a movie not just about the horrors of devil worshipping neighbors and doctors, but the horrors of people (men) constantly talking at you. This is something I've discussed before, back in 2009 (with much controversy with Repulsion) and in a video essay in 2010, in regard to Polanski heroines, and that Rosemary is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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Check out an excerpt from my debut piece for the iconic, movie-lover utopia, The New Beverly Cinema, the only revival house in Los Angeles that projects exclusively on film (no digital). Here, I tackle Rouben Mamoulian’s innovative pre-code masterpiece, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring a brilliant Fredric March. Do not miss this one, playing Oct. 19 & 20. Rouben Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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"I am a product of violence myself. By the age of 15 I'd been through Auschwitz and Belsen and my family destroyed... Without motivation, without warning. One's whole life is literally changed by making oneself cope with violence. The force cannot destroy the sensitive... Tennessee Williams believes that violence destroys sensitivity but I don't believe this -- we go on, the life force goes on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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Criterion has just released a splendid, extra-packed edition of Mark Robson's infamous adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's "Valley of the Dolls," a movie I love, and a movie I imbibe in myriad ways -- drug fueled dream, tough-talking-hard-living real, hilarious, gorgeous, feminist, pill-popping romantic (so many beautiful pills), junkie horror story, showbiz melodrama, sleaze, surrealism, camp, odd, unhinged behaviour that’s even weirder than it knows and,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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The October edition of Sight & Sound is out and I've written an essay on something near and dear to me -- the road, cars, and especially women on the road. Pick up the magazine on newsstands, soon. Here's an excerpt: At Tom Neal asks, wryly, in Detour: “What kind of dames thumb rides? Sunday school teachers?” The answer? Or, what should be the answer?... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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I'm thrilled (and haunted) to have contributed to this beautiful book on David Lynch and music, Beyond The Beyond: Music From the Films of David Lynch, out now, with the hands on involvement of Lynch himself. I wrote the chapter on the music of "Twin Peaks," entitled "The Extended Refrain," an undertaking that stayed with me longer than I could have imagined. Images of Laura... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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Today is Fredric March's birthday. To celebrate, I'm reposting an excerpt from my 2011 Criterion essay on one of his best pictures, Ernst Lubitsch's sublime, soulful and very, very sexy Pre-Code masterpiece, Design For Living. Ernst Lubitsch’s Design for Living (1933) is what sexy should be—delightful, romantic, agonizing ecstasy. And it’s not just sexy but also revolutionary, daring, sweet, sour, cynical, carefree, poignant, and so... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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The BBC asked me to contribute my top ten list of the 21st Century's greatest films. It wasn't easy. These lists never are. But lists aren't definitive, obviously -- they work best to stir up discussion and debate. And internal debate as well (I wanted a few ties. One more Paul Thomas Anderson, one more Lars von Trier, one for Quentin Tarantino and the glorious... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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“Daughter of God, weaver of wiles,” Marilyn Monroe, like Sappho’s Aphrodite, will never die. It has been 50 years since she gasped her final breath on that lonely mattress with no bed frame—her beautiful nude body just there, collapsed and unrestricted, that body all men (and women) yearned to cradle, ravage or revere. There she was, Marilyn: her hand clutching the telephone that kept her... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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Read my piece on two terrific, newly restored noirs with two powerful actresses leading the show (Ann Sheridan and Lizabeth Scott) -- "Woman on the Run and "Too Late for Tears" -- in the July issue of Sight & Sound. Find the movies at Flicker Alley (I'm also part of the two documentaries about the two pictures). Here's a excerpt. Read the entire piece in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time." --Albert Camus One of the most arresting images I’ve ever seen of Marilyn Monroe came not from a movie or newsreel footage or one of her many photographs. It came from a blanket. Driving through Death... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2016 at Sunset Gun
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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
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“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
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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
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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