ONE MORE DELAY

Rick’s Flicks asks you to accept one more apology.  Hardware problems beyond our control delay the promised post until June 30.  Please hold your breath until then, and return.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Rick

 

PAST AND FUTURE GHOSTS

RECOMMENDED READING

An important article for film buffs:  Nick Bilton, “That’s All Folks!” in Collector’s 23rd Annual Special Edition, 2017 of Vanity Fair.  Beginning on p.140.  This is a meaningful article for anyone interested in the past and/or the future of Hollywood moviemaking or interested in any aspect of film.

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MOVIES ARE EVERYWHERE

…and especially in good books.

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“Eliot Ness?  You mean like Robert Stack?”
“So it’s not like the movies?”   –   “Is anything?”

That first quotation from Casey Daniels’ paranormal mystery Graveyard Shift has to do with television, but  quotable cinematic goodies dot the pages throughout the latest comic but scary and suspenseful adventures of sleuth Pepper Martin.

“Crawling inside the house was another story.  /  I got in, and not gracefully, and found myself in a back room that was obviously used as a sort of den.  My flashlight app revealed a flat-screen TV in one corner,a couch across from it, and movie posters on the walls:  Road to Perdition, Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco. /   I pictured Dean in there watching hour after hour of endless gangster movies, feeding his obsession day and night.”

Another entry:  “With the door fully open and Caleb standing back, I toed the doorway, totally stunned and feeling like Dorothy must have when she plunked down into a Technicolor Oz.”

Yet another entry and the finest of all:  “…I knew something was up as soon as my knuckles hit the front door.  /  It swung open. / I might not have a big brain, but I’m nobody’s fool and I’d seen plenty of horror movies.  /  I knew this was not a good sign, but just like all those heroines in all those horror movies, I went in, anyway.”  (Hear!  Hear!)

Graveyard Shift by Casey Daniels.  Great Britain and USA, Severn House, 2017

NEXT FRIDAY POST May 19

Until then,
See you at the movies,
Rick

 

FURTHER LOSSES FOR CINEMA

TWO GIANTS LEAVE US AT AGE 84

Robert Osborne, whom I always thought of as the only man in the world who loved movies as much as I do, has died at age 84.  He was once described as a lightweight by a critic I had until then respected.  Robert Osborne was anything but.  He wrote popular history of popular movies, but his knowledge was encyclopedic.  His range  included all eras, all countries and all kinds of film.  His on-air one-paragraph description of the works of French master Robert Bresson was as profound and inclusive as some full-length books.

Thank you for it all, Mr. Osborne, and rest in peace.

Richard Schickel was for many years one of the profoundest of our film analysts.  He specialized in Hollywood directors and stars but had a vast knowledge of all film history.  His PBS series, The Men Who Made the Movies, was an early highlight in his long and productive critical life.

Schickel wrote the single best paragraph ever composed about the work of Judy Garland:  “In general, great performances, especially on film, seem to result from an inner tension, the tension created by raw energy and the performer’s control of that energy.  At her finest, Miss Garland, especially in her maturity, seems always about to be destroyed by her own inner forces.  It puts a quiver of passion in her voice and a chill in the listener’s spine.  At every moment of a Garland performance you feel that you stand with the star on the brink of disaster, and a hundred times a night she saves herself  —  and her sympathetic admirers  —  from the abyss.”  (The Stars.  Dial, 1962.)

NEXT FRIDAY POST April 7
Until then,
Get up and go out to the movies,
See you there,
Rick

WORDS ON SCREEN

RECOMMENDED READING

 

The February 6 issue of Time contains a seven-page article on current moviemaking in China by Hannah Beech, “Hollywood East; a movie-crazy China is remaking the global industry in its image.”  From a heading within the article:  “In 2015 an average of 22 new movie screens opened in China  —  each day.”  This is a lively essay with intriguing examples of the Chinese market influencing scripts of some specific American films.  Time, vol. 189, no. 4; 2/6/17.

In the February 20 issue of Time Stephanie Zacharek wrote a perceptive essay about cinematography, particularly the photography in the films of Martin Scorsese, and especially that in the current Silence.  At one point she writes:  “No matter how carefully a shot is planned in advance, there is probably only one reliable truth in filmmaking:  depending on the choices and compromises a filmmaker has to make on any given day, the movie will become its own creation.  Improvisation is essential to filmmaking and to cinematography in particular.  Some of the most astonishing cinematic effects result from the Encyclopedia Brown-style problem solving, or from simply seeing the accidental artistry in a mistake.”  (Silence was photographed by Rodrigo Prieto.)   Time, vol. 189, no.6; 2/20/27.  Don’t miss it.

NEXT FRIDAY POST March 10

Until then,
See you AT the movies,
Rick