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“And in the dream I knew that he was goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.” (final lines)

My Top 10

  1. No Country for Old Men
  2. Atonement
  3. There Will Be Blood
  4. Away from Her
  5. Gone Baby Gone
  6. Charlie Wilson’s War
  7. A Mighty Heart
  8. Persepolis
  9. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  10. 3:10 to Yuma

note:  An excellent Top 5 but not nearly as strong Top 10.  It’s worth noting that thanks mostly to Harry Potter and the MCU this is the last year until 2020 where none of my Top 10 are franchise films. (more…)

A Century of Film1940s HISTORY OF FASHION IN FILM collage 500


Film History Through 1949

There’s not much to say here except to point to my original post that covered things through 1929 and the subsequent post that covers film history through to 1939 and the most recent post that covers the 1940s. (more…)

A Century of FilmScreen Shot 2021-01-23 at 2.28.05 PM

Film History

1940-1949

Filmmaking had supposedly peaked in 1939 just as the war arrived to greatly limit (outside of America, film production was massively down) and influence it (in America, War films took the forefront).  After the war concluded, came the two lawsuits that changed the way of films in America.  First came de Havilland vs. Warner Bros. Pictures which altered the notion of what a studio could put in a contract.  Second came United States vs. Paramount Pictures which meant that production studios would have to sell off their theater chains.  The first hastened the end of the way films were made in the Studio Era while the second altered how they were distributed and brought an to the end to the concept of the “majors” as they had been known. (more…)

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 6.21.27 AMThat’s just a reminder that Mark Harris is a funny and smart writer who already wrote one of the single best books about film ever written (Pictures at a Revolution).  He has a new biography of Mike Nichols and even though I rarely buy biographies at all and certainly not new and in hardcover, I will be getting this when it goes on sale on Tuesday.  His Twitter feed is also worth reading and I do that everyday even though I’m not even on Twitter. (more…)

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When it came—thirty cents—he pinned it up in his trailer, brass-headed tack in each corner. Below it he drove a nail and on the nail he hung a wire hanger and the two old shirts suspended from it. He stepped back and looked at the ensemble through a few stinging tears. “Jack, I swear—” he said, though Jack had never asked him to swear anything and was himself not the swearing kind.

My Top 10

  1. Brokeback Mountain
  2. Munich
  3. Pride & Prejudice
  4. The Constant Gardener
  5. The History of Violence
  6. Batman Begins
  7. Downfall
  8. Capote
  9. Proof
  10. King Kong

note:  An excellent Top 5 and Top 10. (more…)

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Miles Raymond: Come on, man. You know. Hemingway, Sexton, Plath, Woolf. You can’t kill yourself before you’re even published! Jack: What about the guy who wrote Confederacy of Dunces? He committed suicide before he was published. Look how famous he is!

My Top 10

  1. Sideways
  2. A Very Long Engagement
  3. Closer
  4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  5. Finding Neverland
  6. Million Dollar Baby
  7. Shrek 2
  8. The Motorcycle Diaries
  9. Baadasssss!
  10. Spider-Man 2

note:  A solid Top 5 but a much weaker second 5.  The rest of the list is down below with none of them among the award nominees that are fully reviewed. (more…)

A Century of Film


Musicalswestdancing


The Genre

There were several genres that didn’t flourish much in the Silent Era but the only genre that literally couldn’t exist before The Jazz Singer was Musicals.  It was always an eventuality, given the popularity on Broadway, that they would arrive on-screen and it’s not a coincidence that after those first few words, Al Jolson started singing. (more…)

My Top 10

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  2. Mystic River
  3. City of God
  4. American Splendor
  5. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  6. Nowhere in Africa
  7. Whale Rider
  8. Big Fish
  9. Bubba Ho-Tep
  10. Matchstick Men

note:  A strong Top 5 but the second 5 is fairly weak.  But it does still have several (weaker) films on my complete list down at the bottom, minus the #13 (Cold Mountain) and #16 (The Secret Lives of Dentists) which are reviewed because of awards. (more…)

A Century of Film

The Golden Globes

I should probably start with the obvious: the Golden Globe Awards are a registered trademark of the HFPA (which is also trademarked).  I don’t have their permission to write any of this (and I don’t need it) and I don’t own any of the photos.  They are also a major part of the film industry, whether anyone likes it or not (and many people don’t for very good reasons).  They have been around for a long time and there is a lot that is odd but also some that is very good about them.  So I’ve compiled a post of various info, trivia and assorted little tidbits about the awards, organized by category. (more…)

A Century of Film


Action Films


The Genre

For a lot of people (and for me when I originally broke things into genres after first starting to track all of my movies back in 1989), this would be considered Action-Adventure.  And if that were the case, there would be a long, complex history going back to the early days of film history and the total numbers would be close to those of Horror or Musicals.  However, that’s not the case.  For me, an Action film centers around the action itself while for the most part Adventure films center around a journey of some sort.  But they crossed paths along the way.  Going forward, by 1959, Action was in dead last as a genre for total films but Adventure was in sixth place.  But, since then, Action is the fourth highest genre and Adventure is among the five lowest.

(more…)