There’s a certain kind of country town that’s just inherently creepy. It’s the kind of place so cut off from the world that strange rules and beliefs can form and grow, safe from society’s critical gaze. In 1973’s The Wicker Man these small-town beliefs manifest in a climax so brutal and bizarre that its image… Continue reading Death & Rebirth in The Wicker Man
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
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
It takes a unique kind of confidence to take millions of someone else’s dollars to make a movie. To possess that confidence because you’ve made a hit album seems almost heroically misguided. It’s like thinking you can fly a commercial plane because you’re an experienced formula one racer. Giving the GDP of a small country to a… Continue reading Musicians Behind the Camera