Tag Archives: cinema


The only beautiful madness is your own enduring innocence, the first chaos, ever seeking order it will briefly find, always lose. At least make a good movie. If you fall short of epic, flounder in drama, you may have misconstrued genre. Consider film noir, how even the best intentions go horribly awry, how shadow conspires […]

High Sierra

The last heist ends as you knew it would: Roy Earle tumbling from the high sierra. His weeping woman; his crying dog.  But before that, love, for which Palance and Winters are too pretty, too well-fed; even in CinemaScope even in Warnercolor love needs Bogart and Lupino, their small desperation,  the sharp angularity of his […]

Inconvenience practice

You know it’s a good day when your biggest disappointment is not being able to livestream a Roy Rogers movie more than half a century after Trigger was taxidermied. The Trail of Robin Hood — a Christmas-themed 1950 Western in which the cowboy’s stunning Palomino gets star billing  — is apparently too wholesomely chunky to […]

Rack focus

There’s a term in cinema for a technique in which the filmmaker changes the camera’s focus during a shot, drawing the viewer’s attention first to one part of the frame, then to another. Rack focus exploits the human desire for clarity and for certainty;   our eyes go unerringly to what we can most clearly […]

Being Florence

“Some may say that I couldn’t sing, but no one can say that I didn’t sing.”  -Florence Foster Jenkins I recently saw  Florence Foster Jenkins,  a film about the singer one critic labeled “the tone-dumb darling of the tone-deaf.”  Jenkins, who died in 1944, is enjoying a resurgence in popularity due in no small part […]

I thrilled me, or Brundlefly

Whenever fellow WordPress bloggers are kind enough to “like” one of my posts or follow my blog,  I repay the courtesy by visiting theirs.  (I was reared in the American Midwest, where we avoid meaningful conversations but are unfailingly polite.) Some of my visitors are from other countries and, naturally enough, write in other languages. I […]