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Sunset Gun
Los Angeles
Playboy, Los Angeles Review of Books, Criterion and more.
Recent Activity
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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 4 days ago at Sunset Gun
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WARNING – THIS PIECE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE YET, AND YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT SPOILERS, PLEASE READ THIS ESSAY AFTER VIEWING. “And the seasons they go round and round. And the painted ponies go up and down. We’re captive on the carousel of time. We can’t return, we can only look behind from where we came. And go round and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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Hours are like diamonds, don't let them waste Time waits for no one; no favors has he Time waits for no one, and he won't wait for me – The Rolling Stones Time. Once you hit the teen mark in life – what a beautiful horrible time that is. Dreamy and crazy and banal and violent – in action or in mind – melodramatic and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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Out now! The Newest Sight & Sound with my interview with Quentin Tarantino. Quentin and I dig into a lot. You do not know just how thrilled I was about our Ralph Meeker discussion and DiCaprio’s discovery of him, among other things... "Across an effusive nine-page interview with Kim Morgan, Tarantino unpacks the alternative history he invented for his star creation, shares the deep-Hollywood tales... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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Excited to announce this film series -- starting tonight! In anticipation of Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood, Quentin curated ten films from the Columbia Pictures library -- the dates ranging from 1958-1970. Ten films that influenced his masterful movie. I've joined Quentin to dig in and discuss these fascinating movies (our conversations all shot at the fabulous New Beverly Theater) so... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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Farewell to a goddamn original, baby. Rip Torn, whose career lasted from the 1950s and into the 2000's has left us and there are many roles I want to write about -- Payday, Maidstone, Sweet Bird of Youth, Coming Apart, Cross Creek, The Man Who Fell to Earth... and so much more, but here's one I love of early Rip Torn -- on the early... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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Out today! Ed Brubaker's newest Criminal in which I write about Norman Foster's atmospheric, gorgeous & moving "Woman on the Run" starring Ann Sheridan in one of her greatest performances. Order here. From my piece: "Ann Sheridan (the “Oomph girl!” – a moniker she detested. She once said: “Oomph" is what a fat man says when he leans over to tie his shoelace in a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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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 Valley on a long road trip, I stopped in a tiny town for gas and a cold drink. Few seemed to live in this town: it served as a pit stop,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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“Rock ‘n’ roll is an attitude: it’s not a musical form of a strict sort. It’s a way of doing things, of approaching things. Writing can be rock ‘n’ roll, or a movie can be rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a way of living your life.” – Lester Bangs “I thought of it as being a kind of attack… Attacking the audience. I remember talking about... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at Sunset Gun
The baby blonde. That symbol of purity, beauty and goodness. In 1950’s America who wouldn’t want to have a lovely, flaxen haired child to adore and spoil? Who wouldn't now? But by 1956, two important films emerged -- showing the underbelly of these perfect specimens. The more esteemed, and notorious (it was condemned by the Legion of Decency) was Elia Kazan’s Baby Doll, in which... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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"You want to forget us. But you can't do it because I'm not the only one. There's thousands just like me, and there's more hitting the road every day... " In Ed Brubaker's newest Criminal I write about William Wellman's depression-era pre-code, the tough and sensitive and beautiful, Wild Boys of the Road. Pick it up or order it, this Wed, April 24. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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Here's my New Beverly piece John Cassavetes' romantic, poignant, emotionally volatile and movie-drenched, "Minnie and Moskowitz -- one of my favorite Seymour Cassel pictures. May the great man Rest in Peace. “I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show. A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes. Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain and celluloid heroes never really die.” – The Kinks,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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Out now in Ed Brubaker's Criminal number three... I dig into Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money -- a strangely under-discussed Scorsese featuring a wonderfully weird Tom Cruise before he was doing wonderfully weird and Paul Newman in all of his wizened movie star glory. This is like a samurai movie with pool cues for swords... it's also something of a vampire story ... I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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“Back in the 40s this town was crawling with dollies like you. Good looking cokeheads trying their damndest to act tough as hell. I got news for you: they did it better back then. This town doesn’t change. The just push the names around.” “Jeez, Charles, he doesn’t look so hot to me.” So says Lily Tomlin’s new agey Margo when she first spies Art... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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I forgot to mention ... my piece on Michael Curtiz's Angels with Dirty Faces in the Feb. 13 edition of Criminal. Artwork by the great Sean Phillips. “The character I played in the picture, Rocky Sullivan, was in part modeled on a fella I used to see when I was a kid. He was a hophead and a pimp, with four girls in his string.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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My full piece from Ed Brubaker's Kill Or Be Killed “When an actor doesn't face a conflict, he loses confidence in himself. I always want to have a struggle because I believe it will help me accomplish more.” – John Garfield Nick Robbey is trapped. Everywhere. No matter what. The man can’t even escape this claustrophobic life he trudges through while sleeping. Sleep – a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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10, no, 12 movies... Before January is over -- because past January 2019 seems too far away from 2018 and it's not officially 2019 until February (to me anyway) or to when I remember to stop writing 2018 on everything -- my favorite movies of 2018 so far (not necessarily in order). I haven't seen everything, so more could, or will be added... Roma (Alfonso... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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From my New Beverly interview with the great Elliott Gould: Talking with Elliott Gould is a unique, enriching experience. He philosophizes, he riffs, he free-associates in an erudite, non-linear way that recalls jazz. Jazz – which is how he describes the movie we’re talking about Robert Altman’s masterpiece, The Long Goodbye, in which he unforgettably stars at Philip Marlowe. I met with Gould recently in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2019 at Sunset Gun
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There’s got to be a morning after If we can hold on through the night We have a chance to find the sunshine Let’s keep on looking for the light It’s New Year’s Eve on the SS Poseidon. And New Year’s Eve is often horrible. I’m sorry, I’m sure there are many who love New Year’s Eve and that is a wonderful thing, but good... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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“On The Cobweb, I’d arrive on the set and there he’d [Vincente Minnelli] be up on the boom, zooming up to the drapes, and I thought to myself, ‘He’s really in heaven now.’ The bloody drapes. It was all about the goddamned drapes in The Cobweb.” – Lauren Bacall The drapes. The drapes in the library of the high-end private psychiatric clinic. Those dreary old... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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“I was a lesbian owner of a disco who fell in love with Juliet Prowse and got strangled on Ninety-third Street and East End Avenue with a silk stocking by Sal Mineo. Jesus, who’s not going to play that part?” – Elaine Stritch Joseph Cates’ Who Killed Teddy Bear is a movie that lives in its own kind of sickly stunning, neon-blinking 1965 New York... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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The New Beverly has re-opened this December. The first movie they played? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a favorite, and one I was pleased to write about for the theater. Here's my piece. Welcome back, New Beverly! Christmas came early. "Every studio but one rejected it…The studio head said, ‘Well, I’ll buy it if they don’t go to South America.’ I said, ‘But they... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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I’ve returned to the world of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips with their fantastic "Criminal" -- running monthly, starting January 2019. My essay for this issue is on Joel and Ethan Coen's Blood Simple -- look for it! Blood Simple is a lonely movie. The movie sweats, cries and bleeds loneliness. The road the two lovers, Ray (John Getz) and Abby (Frances McDormand) drive down... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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“Shelley did it superbly, with perhaps the thought of her own daughter contributing to the sense of loss and horror she conveyed as the girl’s mummified body crumbles in her hands.” – Curtis Harrington Auntie Roo is a sad woman. And Christmas would be dismal without the children. Not her children, but the children, the orphans. So, the children must visit. And Auntie Roo must... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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June: “Why did you go to see that girl in the diner?” Eric: “What girl?” There’s a sickness hanging over Otto Preminger’s Fallen Angel that clings to every location, every set, every fluid camera move, and every off, but very human expression on the actor’s often haunted faces. And it's all heightened by the attraction to one woman -- Stella. Oh, Stella (Linda Darnell), the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2018 at Sunset Gun