In 2016 it seems almost antiquated to refer to a piece of fiction as dangerous. Words like “shocking” or “disturbing” have become so overused that they’re now only good for adorning horror movie posters. But there are still films like Salo or The 120 Days of Sodom that retain an aura of real power, a fear that… Continue reading The Contaigous Evil of Salo
If you’ve visited the Astor recently you might have seen a promotional short that we’ve become particularly enamoured with. It’s an original 1940 trailer for The Grapes of Wrath and it’s a bizarre Frankenstein of stylistic elements: old-fashioned news bulletin, corporate advertisement and (lastly) traditional movie trailer. A bellowing, transatlantic voice talks about the national fervour for… Continue reading From Novel to Screen
NOTE: This article contains a mild spoiler for Me, Earl and the Dying Girl and a major spoiler for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back “The audience knows the truth…the world is simple. It’s miserable, solid all the way through. But if you could fool them, even for a second, you make them wonder and… Continue reading The Magic of the Twist
The director/actor relationship is in many respects like any other relationship. It can be rewarding, fraught, competitive and combative, sometimes all at once. The major difference is that in the director/actor relationship, the product of their specific chemistry is up on the screen for all to see. In honor of our upcoming Joy/Mistress America double… Continue reading Creative Chemistry
The American West is an imaginary landscape, a shared myth that communicates ideas about reality rather than the reality itself. In recent years the wild west has shifted from the realm of history to that of myth, a foundation upon which we tell stories about ourselves and our so-called civilization. The Revisionist Western exists as… Continue reading Revisiting the West
There is a certain kind of person who loves the minutia of mechanical processes. Whether they are car lovers or guitar collectors, these people love to learn and reiterate jargon, issue dates and the names of long bankrupt companies that mean nothing to the layperson. Then there is the kind of person who just wants… Continue reading What is The Hateful Eight Roadshow?
Quentin Tarantino is fluent in various cinematic languages, to the point that he’s liable to switch dialect not just sentence to sentence, but word to word. The heist film, Blaxploitation cinema, the kung fu epic; his films duck and weave in and out of all of these. But it seems like he thinks in the… Continue reading Tarantino’s Wild West