Ed Rampell

Film historian and critic Ed Rampell was named after CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow because of his TV exposes of Senator Joe McCarthy. Rampell majored in Cinema at Manhattan’s Hunter College. After graduating, Rampell lived in Tahiti, Samoa, Hawaii, and Micronesia, where he reported on the nuclear free and independent Pacific movement for “20/20,” Reuters, AP, Radio Australia, Newsweek, etc. He went on to co-write “The Finger” column for New Times L.A. and has written for many other publications, including Variety, Mother Jones, The Nation, Islands, L.A. Times, L.A. Daily News, Written By, The Progressive, The Guardian, The Financial Times, AlterNet, amongst others. Rampell appears in the 2005 Australian documentary “Hula Girls, Imagining Paradise.” He co-authored two books on Pacific Island politics, as well as two film histories: “Made In Paradise, Hollywood’s Films of Hawaii and the South Seas” and “Pearl Harbor in the Movies.” Rampell is the sole author of “Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States.” He is a co-founder of the James Agee Cinema Circle and one of L.A.’s most prolific film/theatre/opera reviewers. Rampell is also the author of "The Hawaii Movie and Television Book", published by Honolulu's Mutual Publishing, drops Nov. 25 (see: http://hawaiimtvbook.weebly.com/).

Film Review: The Hunt

The Day of the Hunters: Must We Burn Blumhouse? On August 9, 2019 the commander-in-tweet attacked “Liberal Hollywood” for having “great Anger and Hate! …The movie coming out [which] is made in order to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence and then try to blame others." The movie in question was The Hunt and the day following Trump’s Twitter tantrum Universal Pictures pulled the Blumhouse Production from its scheduled Continue Reading...

Playing It Safe: So Far, MSNBC’s The Reid Out is the Same Old, Same Old

So far, MSNBC’s “new” program presented by Joy Reid is arguably to the public discourse what the 1950’s The Donna Reed Show was to housewifery: nice, middle of the road, safe, conventional television. Of course, one was a TV sitcom and the other is a news-oriented program, but the main difference between the two eponymous performers is in form, not content. While Reed was lily white, Reid is Black, and as such at this time of urban uprisings she Continue Reading...

Black Moviegoers Matter: Must Gone with the Wind Be Gone?

In 1953 author Simone de Beauvoir asked Must We Burn De Sade? regarding the French Marquis and his sadomasochistic books. Today, as the twin plagues of Covid-19 and police brutality disproportionately ravage African Americans, we’re likewise asking: Must Gone with the Wind be gone? On June 10 - the birthday of Hattie McDaniel, who won one of the 1939 epic’s eight Oscars, including Best Picture - HBO Max blew GWTW off the streaming service’s Continue Reading...

Film Review: On the Record

The cleverly named On the Record threatens to dethrone the so-called “King of Hip-Hop.” The 97-minute documentary may be to music mogul Russell Simmons what the #MeToo movement and Ronan Farrow’s reportage have been to that other entertainment industry icon, Harvey Weinstein. But unlike the exposes of the disgraced movie producer, Record delves into matters of race, as well as of sex and gender. Record’s protagonist is Drew Dixon, daughter of Continue Reading...

Film Review: Enemy Lines

The Kaminski Method: Tight, Taut WWII Actioner As people grapple with a planetary pandemic an exciting new movie is premiering just in time to commemorate the 75th anniversary of what marked the end of a much of our last global conflagration. Enemy Lines is available to rent or own on April 24 shortly before the platinum jubilee of Victory in Europe or V-E Day, May 8, 1945, which signified the Allied victory over Hitler and Mussolini. Swedish Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Hunt

The Day of the Hunters: Must We Burn Blumhouse? On August 9, 2019 the commander-in-tweet attacked “Liberal Hollywood” for having “great Anger and Hate! …The movie coming out [which] is made in order to inflame and cause chaos. They create their own violence and then try to blame others." The movie in question was The Hunt and the day following Trump’s Twitter tantrum Universal Pictures pulled the Blumhouse Production from its scheduled Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Whistlers

La Gomera’s Goombahs: Film Noir, Romanian Style Writer/director Corneliu Porumboiu’s slyly stylish The Whistlers is one of those productions film buffs relish largely because of their cinematic references. In one scene characters appear in a theater where John Ford’s 1956 classic The Searchers is being screened. But while the 97-minute-long Whistlers’ Romanian characters may very well be searching for something (and/ or someone), the celluloid Continue Reading...

Film Review: Harriet

All-Aboard the Freedom Train: A Real Life African American Action Hero The stand-up-and-cheer biopic Harriet about legendary freedom fighter Harriet Tubman (British-born actress/singer Cynthia Erivo, who won the Best Leading Actress in a Musical Tony Award for The Color Purple in 2016) is arguably the most progressive feature film of the year. In a straight forward, conventional manner co-writer/director Kasi Lemmons (1997’s Eve’s Bayou) Continue Reading...