Category Archives: Movies

“I have an idea that the Irish possess a built-in don’t-give-a-damn that helps them through all the stress.” — James Cagney

It’s his birthday today. One of my favorite actors. From Who the Hell’s in It: Conversations with Hollywood’s Legendary Actors, by Peter Bogdanovich: He was different from most of the great stars of the golden age in that he often … Continue reading

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“I’m not saying I’m trying to create some revolutionary style, but each film has its own language – the movie tells you how it wants to be told.” — Apichatpong Weerasethakul

It’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s birthday today. This Thai director is doing some of the most challenging, provocative, and hard-to-classify work in contemporary cinema. He’s only 50 years old, and has already directed 9 films (and two more in the process as … Continue reading

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“Reality is diabolical.” — Ingmar Bergman

Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Ingmar Bergman It’s Ingmar Bergman’s birthday today. I saw Persona in college – while studying acting – and was so intimidated by it I thought, “Okay. I can’t ever watch this again.” I needed courage to … Continue reading

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“He’s one of those actors who knows that his face IS the story.” – Sam Shepard on Harry Dean Stanton

It’s Harry Dean Stanton’s birthday today. I’m pretty sure my introduction to Harry Dean Stanton – whose birthday it is today – was as Molly Ringwald’s sad dad in Pretty in Pink (he made a huge impression on me). It … Continue reading

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Review: National Anthem (2024)

I really liked Luke Gilford’s feature film directorial debut, National Anthem, about queer rodeo riders, a sub-culture he already documented in his photography book of the same name. It’s beautiful. I reviewed for Ebert.

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“I think there is a little of Beckett in everything I have done.” — Monte Hellman

Today is the birthday of the one-of-a-kind American-B-movie-but-also-French-existentialist film director Monte Hellman, who died last year. For a really good roundup-overview of this iconoclastic American director, check out David Hudson’s “Monte Hellman’s Sly Humor and Existential Dread” over on Criterion … Continue reading

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“Nothing can prevent me from making films.” — Jafar Panahi

It’s his birthday today. Jafar Panahi should need no introduction, but just in case… Jafar Panahi is an Iranian director with an international reputation, and a daunting list of films, many of which were made under terrible conditions (The White … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Thomas Mitchell

Interesting that Thomas Mitchell and Bruce McGill were born on the same day (scroll down). I said in the piece about Bruce McGill that McGill is in “the Thomas Mitchell tradition” and the “Thomas Mitchell tradition” is quickly vanishing from … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Bruce McGill

Bruce McGill is one of those actors who would have fit in perfectly with the old studio system: a first-rate support player, a guy who can do anything: drama, comedy, farce, who can fit into any context. He’s in the … Continue reading

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“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” — Sylvester Stallone

Old-timers here will remember the Rocky phase that took over for a while. Of course the movies weren’t new to me. As a matter of fact, I know the first movie by heart, practically shot for shot, and there was … Continue reading

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