Book Review and Interview: Hitchcock’s California

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Photographer Robert Jones, along with film writer Dan Auiler (author of Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic), and photographer Aimee Sinclair have compiled a stunning new book called Hitchcock’s California: Vista Visions from the Camera Eye. Years in the making, the book includes an informative and fascinating introduction by actor Bruce Dern and an afterward by Dorothy Herrmann, daughter of the late composer Bernard Herrmann. One of the highlights of the Dern introduction is when the actor writes about an absorbing short conversation that happened after he introduced Hitchcock to fellow film director, John Frankenheimer. For me, that short exchange that ensued is worth the admission.

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Maine, Money, Murder, and Mayhem

blow-the-man-down-BLOWTHEMANDOWN_JEONG_PARK_1_rgbMaine is one of my favorite states. My wife and I have visited there frequently: Bar Harbor, Boothbay Harbor, Portland, Kennebunk, Belfast, Eastport, and many other spots. It’s a state that is visually wide open and very much New England. I fell in love with New England about the same time I fell in love with my wife, she’s originally from Massachusetts. Over the years, every state that makes up New England, but the two we continue to return and visit are Vermont and Maine. Continue reading

New Interview!

I am interviewed by Rick Armstrong of the Classic Film and TV Cafe. You can read the interview here!  The Late Show and Other Tales of Celluloid Malice is available at Amazon as both an eBook and Paperback.The Late Show IMG_4005

Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

good-night-and-good-luck-part-1“No government ought to be without censors; and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defense. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth, either in religion, law, or politics.”  – The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 24: 1 June-31 December 1792.

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Favorite Comedies of the 60’s

If you expecting to find at least one of those Doris Day comedies to pop up on this list, well sorry but Ms. Day, with or without Rock Hudson, will be found nowhere on site. I am not an admirer, or fan. Day does have a nice comedic touch and some of her comedies are pleasant (Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back), but her virginal, sugary, spunky self, I just find annoying. Like Mary Tyler Moore’s  Lou Grant once said, “I hate spunk.”  I don’t mean to turn this into a tirade against Ms. Day, but in the 1960’s, the times, they were a changin.’ and films like With Six You Get Eggroll did not cut it. Anyway, here is my list for the decade that helped defined me.

As you will see most of the films here except for a few are from the later part of the decade. You can check out the previous entries in this series by clicking on the link here. Continue reading

Shattered Glass (2003)

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Besides wanting to be a cowboy when I was young, I wanted to be a newspaper reporter. At first, a sports writer, then I somewhere along the line wanted to review movies (no surprise there!), and from there it evolved into a news reporter and journalist. In films, the newsroom always looked fascinating to me. Hustling to get the story, beating the deadline, and competitors, the speedy typing, the editor making changes and finally seeing your story in print with your byline on top. That dream faded away like many others, but my love of films with journalistic themes remained. In cinema, many great movies have been made about journalism. Sam Fuller’s Park Row is one of the best, as is Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole. There are plenty of others including All the President’s Men, Spotlight, His Girl Friday, Sweet Smell of Success, Zodiac, Absence of Malice, Deadline U.S.A., Citizen Kane, and State of Play.    There are plenty more that could be added to this list. Some of these films reflect journalism in a good light, sometimes even heroic ways  (Park Row, All The President’s Men, Spotlight, State of Play) while others hold up a mirror to the darker opportunistic side of journalism (Ace in the Hole, Sweet Smell of Success).   Continue reading

Over-Exposed (1956)

Over4As a photographer, I found this film more interesting than it arguably deserves to be. The photography studio, the darkroom, the Rolleiflex camera that Lila Crane’s mentor gives her as a gift is all nicely detailed. As part Columbia’s Bad Girls of Film Noir, the film’s inclusion in volume two is questionable. The first thing to point out this is not a film noir.  Columbia’s long arm of credibility was at work including this in the box set. And compared to Night Editor, another film in the package that stars Janis Carter as one of the most evil femme fatale’s to ever grace the screen, making Lila Crane look like miss goody two shoes. Continue reading