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Sunset Gun
Los Angeles
Playboy, Los Angeles Review of Books, Criterion and more.
Recent Activity
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Originally published at The New Beverly “He rushed out and rented a white convertible, and he’d drive around L.A. He’d call and say, ‘It’s a dream here!’” – Agnès Varda on her husband Jacques Demy in Los Angeles In Jacques Demy’s Model Shop, George Matthews (Gary Lockwood), a 26-year-old unemployed architect, drives. It’s 1968 in Los Angeles (1969 when the movie was released), and he... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2020 at Sunset Gun
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"She was a nonconformist too . . . a believer in her own intuition. Intuition, that’s what Joan’s voices were. She never killed anybody. She just wanted everybody to go home and mind their own business.” -- Jean Arthur on Joan of Arc Up now! My Criterion essay on one of my favorite actresses -- the complex, charming, beautiful, funny, serious and seriously smart iconoclastic,... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2020 at Sunset Gun
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Originally published at The New Beverly Suddenly is a sleepy little 1950s town that’s a stand-in for any kind of sleepy little 1950s town in the U.S.A. Not much happens in Suddenly, to the point where residents seem a little bored with life, enough to feel either half-awake or, combustible. Like any town populated with humans, there’s an underlying threat – often from within themselves:... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2020 at Sunset Gun
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“I did not want an actress the audience loved. They would hate me for making her Mrs. Craig. Rosalind Russell was a bit player at M-G-M, brilliant, clipped, and unknown to movie audiences. She was what I wanted.” – Dorothy Arzner (in a 1974 interview with Karyn Kay and Gerald Peary) Harriet Craig’s vase. It’s such an obvious object, both literally and symbolically in Dorothy... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2020 at Sunset Gun
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“So enough of films. This was prompted by my excitement about ‘XYZ’ [that it] will be a ‘big one’ for E [Elizabeth Taylor]. By talk of distinction and by talk of Oscars. I know she is brilliant in the film and I know the film is good but I thought almost as highly of ‘Boom!’ and that went BOOM.” – Richard Burton, ‘The Richard Burton... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2020 at Sunset Gun
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Out now. Ed Brubaker's CRIMINAL #12 -- I write about Jacques Tourneur's masterful Nightfall starring Aldo Ray, Brian Keith, Anne Bancroft & Rudy Bond. This is one of my favorite illustrations by Sean Phillips. Check it out here. Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at Sunset Gun
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Currently listening. Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2020 at Sunset Gun
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Coming soon, Dec. 25 -- Ed Brubaker's CRIMINAL # 11 featuring my essay on Richard Fleischer's incredible Violent Saturday. Happy Violent Saturday Christmas! Order here: A snippet from my piece: As this film shows, being a lot of things is, as Shelley said, normal and human. The picture is both wonderfully melodramatic in the very best way and powerfully down and dirty violent – bizarre,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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Look for Ed Brubaker's newest CRIMINAL in which I write about Felix E. Feist's The Threat starring the great Charles McGraw, who, as Red is so intense, so naturally frightening that everyone around him look like mice circling an enormous cat – one who will casually swipe his paw and lay any one of them flat -- and easily dead. As enormous cats do. You'll... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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From my New Beverly & Sight & Sound interview: In Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, we are watching Los Angeles: a Los Angeles of 1969 that actually happened, a Los Angeles of 1969 that could have happened, and a mythical Los Angeles – a vision of the city and of Hollywood that we might dream about, or a part of our memory... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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Out now! My piece in Ed Brubaker's latest Criminal. I dig into Phil Karlson's fantastic Gunman's Wal(1958). A sample of my piece: Phil Karlson, who directed some superb tough-as-nails noirs (99 River Street, Kansas City Confidential and The Phenix City Story) – working from writers Hardman and Nugent – seems to wonder – why in hell do these people have to be so violent? Does... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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How quickly the veneer of childhood innocence, of safety, can be shattered. The look of uncertainty and sadness on Mrs. Forbes’ face as she walks through an empty schoolroom, picking up the tiny chairs, organizing the miniature pots and pans on the play stove, placing a tiny man and woman together, staring out the window adorned with paper children, is so beautifully realized, so mysterious,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2019 at Sunset Gun