The Uninvited is a ghost story, but its complex visual style and juggling of tones and genres opens it up to something richer, funnier, and far stranger. My review of the new Criterion edition is up at Cinespect.
René Clair's 1942 fantasy-- featuring Frederic March, Robert Benchley, Susan Hayward, and a dizzily perfect Veronica Lake--is now available on DVD and Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection. I share some thoughts on its darkly atmospheric blend of satire, romance and desperation over at Cinespect.
Landmark survey or tragic white elephant? Mark Cousins' The Story of Film has reached it halfway mark on TCM, following widespread acclaim during its initial release, but its success says as much about current critical frameworks and the taste for riding out to slay already-killed dragons, as it does about the actual quality of the movie. I ponder its bright points, flaws and missed opportunities in a piece at RogerEbert.com.
Gorgeously blocked out in primary colors, featuring a sung-through score by Michel Legrand and centering on the dazzling Catherine Deneuve (in the role that made her a star), Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is both a movie musical par excellence, and a brilliant deconstruction of the mythologies that underlie the form. A restored print begins a week-long run at Film Forum on Oct. 18, and I offer some thoughts on the film at Cinespect.
What do "MTV cops," screwball detectives, New
Orleans restaurant owners and angsty ad execs have in common? They were
were all crucial for carving out the space of the current cable TV
explosion. In response to Alan Sepinwall's and Brett Martin's recent books about
the new "TV revolution," I think about pre-"revolutionary"
television (starring Larry Hagman, Don Johnson, Tim Reid, Cybill Shepherd, and David Caruso's ass, as well as an all-star line-up of writers, directors, and producers) at RogerEbert.com.