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With the Ghouls in Lawrence, Kansas

Guest writer Bill Shaffer takes us back to Lawrence Kansas in 1989, for a cast and crew re-premiere of Carnival of Souls. By Bill Shaffer Note from Glenn Erickson: I think I first crossed emails with Bill Shaffer around 1998, when I was still the editor for MGM Home Video and just beginning to write MGM Video Savant. Bill sent along info that helped me convince the MGM restorers to include a flashback at the end of Duck You Sucker. Although I didn't find out until much later, Bill was a producer at the PBS station Ktwu in Topeka, Kansas, and had actually interviewed Eli Wallach once about The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Bill became a major source for info and connections when it came time to do the extras for the MGM releases of the Sergio Leone movie; all just to help out. I think the fact that
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Inserts

The director-centric 1970s were a time for pushing the boundaries of 'acceptable' film content, but John Byrum's witty and profane period piece about a Hollywood porn director was a step too far. Richard Dreyfuss leads a cast of utterly fearless actors in a witty and intelligent dissection of movieland decadence. Inserts Region A Blu-ray Twilight Time 1975 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 115 min. / Street Date June 14, 2016 / (Nc-17) / Available from Twilight Time Movies Store29.95 Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Jessica Harper, Veronica Cartwright, Bob Hoskins, Stephen Davies. Cinematography Denys N. Coop Art Direction John Clark Costumes Shirley Russell Produced by Davina Belling, Clive Parsons Written and Directed by John Byrum

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

At least in Los Angeles, the theatrical showings of John Byrum's remarkable Inserts came and went (cough) so fast that nobody had time to be outraged. The reviews made it sound like sordid trash that could only attract men in plastic raincoats.
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Will Women's Right to Vote Signal the End of the Family?: Socially Conscious Rarities

Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? Directed by and featuring the now all but forgotten Willis Robards, Mothers of Men – about women suffrage and political power – was a fast-paced, 64-minute buried treasure screened at the 2016 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 2–5. I thoroughly enjoyed being taken back in time by this 1917 socially conscious drama that dares to ask the question: “What will happen to the nation if all women have the right to vote?” One newspaper editor insists that women suffrage would mean the destruction of The Family. Women, after all, just did not have the capacity for making objective decisions due to their emotional composition. It
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Remembering the Light Lubitsch Touch in Our Age of In Your Face Moviemaking

Ernst Lubitsch: The movies' lost 'Touch.' Ernst Lubitsch movies on TCM: Classics of a bygone era Ernst Lubitsch and William Cameron Menzies were Turner Classic Movies' “stars” on Jan. 28, '16. (This is a fully revised and expanded version of a post published on that day.) Lubitsch had the morning/afternoon, with seven films; Menzies had the evening/night, also with seven features. (TCM's Ernst Lubitsch schedule can be found further below.) The forgotten 'Touch' As a sign of the times, Ernst Lubitsch is hardly ever mentioned whenever “connoisseurs” (between quotes) discuss Hollywood movies of the studio era. But why? Well, probably because The Lubitsch Touch is considered passé at a time when the sledgehammer approach to filmmaking is deemed “fresh,” “innovative,” “cool,” and “daring” – as if a crass lack of subtlety in storytelling were anything new. Minus the multimillion-dollar budgets, the explicit violence and gore, and the overbearing smugness passing for hipness,
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One of the Most Breathtaking Silent Movies (or Movies, Period) Ever Made: The Best of '21

One of the Most Amazing Silent Movies (or Movies of Any Era, Period) Ever Made Tops the List of Best of Movies Released in 1921 Rex Ingram’s The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Metro Pictures' film version of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez’s epic novel -- from a scenario by the immensely powerful writer-producer June Mathis -- catapulted Mathis’ protégé, the until then little known Rudolph Valentino (photo, left), to worldwide superstardom, as The Four Horsemen became one of the biggest box-office hits of the silent era. Ingram’s wife, the invariably excellent Alice Terry (right, dark-haired in real life; a light-haired in her many movies), played Valentino's love interest. Ninety-two years after its initial launch, the Four Horsemen remains a monumental achievement. Released by MGM, Vincente Minnelli's 1962 remake of this Metro Pictures production featured an all-star cast: Glenn Ford, Ingrid Thulin (dubbed by Angela Lansbury), Charles Boyer, Lee J. Cobb,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Top Movies of the Teens

Everybody's favorite movie decade: Which ones are the best movies released in the 20th century's second decade? Best Film (Pictured above) Broken Blossoms: Barthelmess and Gish star as ill-fated lovers in D.W. Griffith’s romantic melodrama featuring interethnic love. Check These Out (Pictured below) Cabiria: is considered one of the major landmarks in motion picture history, having inspired the scope and visual grandeur of D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance. Also of note, Pastrone's epic of ancient Rome introduced Maciste, a bulky hero who would be featured in countless movies in the ensuing decades. Best Actor (Pictured below) In the tragic The Italian, George Beban plays an Italian immigrant recently arrived in the United States (Click below for film review). Unfortunately, his American dream quickly becomes a horrendous nightmare of poverty and despair. Best Actress (Pictured below) The movies' super-vamp Theda Bara in A Fool There Was: A little
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis Presley, Heath Ledger: What If They Lived?

Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight Written by Online Film Critics Society members Phil Hall and Rory Leighton Aronsky, What If They Lived? (BearManor Media, 2011) takes a look at the lives and oeuvre of celebrities whose film careers were prematurely curtailed by death. As befitting their book's title, Hall and Aronsky then wonder, "What if they lived?" Encompassing the early days of cinema all the way to the early 21st century, What If They Lived? features an eclectic mix of film talent gone much too soon. Those include Rudolph Valentino, Jean Harlow, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Dandridge, Lon Chaney, Bruce Lee, John Belushi, River Phoenix, Mabel Normand, Carole Lombard, John Gilbert, Will Rogers, Robert Walker, Chris Farley, Natasha Richardson, and Heath Ledger, in addition to mostly forgotten luminaries such as early D. W. Griffith leading man Robert Harron, silent-era superstar Wallace Reid, Evelyn Preer, Carole Landis, Laird Cregar, Robert Francis,
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Is Todd Bridges right?

In my posting yesterday regarding Todd Bridges’ interview on The Today Show for his new autobiography, Killing Willis, he stated towards the end of the second part of the interview that he blames some of the failure to really restart a major acting career to racism; that despite the fact that he’s been clean and sober and has stayed out of trouble with the law for over 16 years, he’s still labeled as a drug addict and unreliable by the powers-that-be in Hollywood, while other white actors who have had their own share on drug problems, spent time in prison and wild behavior such as Robert Downey Jr and Drew Barrymore have kept working and have now are even bigger stars than they were years ago.

Granted to say one would immediately come to that same conclusion too. Why has Bridges struggled while others have done well? Is it
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"The Guatemalan Handshake," "Hypocrites"

  • IFC
By Michael Atkinson

Todd Rohal's "The Guatemalan Handshake" is one of the most inventive, most poetic, most disarmingly authentic indies of the last few years . so, of course, you've never had a chance to see it. It's a movie that seems to have dropped out of the sky, inexplicably, like a satellite fragment landing on Main Street. Naturally, it's not a project constructed around a traditional idea of storytelling propulsion . Rohal has whipped his world from the weedy ground up into a fiery, relentless storm of quirk, but he's original enough in his cataract of details to keep us in a constant state of enchanted disorientation. Why was "Napoleon Dynamite," with its relatively stereotypical uber-misfit, a hit, while this 2006 daydream foundered out of sight?

Set in some Forgottentown, Pennsylvania, "The Guatemalan Handshake" encounters characters undramatically, and its narrative gradually coalesces around them: Donald the triangular-electric-car-driving nebbish (Will Oldham); his
See full article at IFC »

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