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/).

Reaping the Whirlwind

Reactionaries howl in outrage at Kathy Griffin’s photo of the comedienne holding a faux severed, bloody head of the president and against Shakespeare in the Park’s modern dress version of Julius Caesar, wherein the assassinated emperor is a Trump look-alike.  Of course, these condemnations of exercises in free expression are spewed by the same cry babies waging holy war against whatever they perceive as “political correctness.”  Trump and his Continue Reading...

Film Review: Afterimage

Lust for Art: Artists Versus Apparatchiks Filmmaker Andrzej Wajda was to Poland what Sergei Eisenstein was to the USSR - and, arguably, what Carl Yastrzemski was to the Boston Red Sox.  Along with Roman Polanski’s early work, Wajda’s famed 1950s World War II-era trilogy about Polish partisans battling the Nazis - A Generation, Kanal, Ashes and Diamonds - put Poland on the world cinema map.  He won an Honorary Oscar in 2000 and died last Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Constitution

SEEFest 2017: Cross-Dressing, Cruelty to Critters and Constitutional Rights in Croatia The 12th annual South East European Film Festival kicked off with a gala screening at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills of writer/director Rajko Grlić’s The Constitution, a stellar must-see movie full of humor and humanity that set the tone for this filmfest.  I say that because sometimes cinefiles “suffer” through specialty cinema (especially those Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Great Wall

Not So Great: Oh! How the Mighty Have Fallen Aside from some stunning cinematography, special effects and scenery, this U.S.-China co-production lensed, according to IMDB.com, on location in Qinqdao and New Zealand (!) is more about cashing in on the growing international audience of the PRC and USA.  The use of Real 3D and IMAX 3D is what The Great Wall is really all about - not a story or, heavens’ forbid, character development - although to Continue Reading...

Film Review: Do Not Resist

The Post-9/11 Iron Heel of the State The chillingly named Do Not Resist, which won the Tribecca Film Festival’s Best Documentary Feature award, opens with a tense demonstration shot at Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 only 10 days after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an African American youth not carrying any weapons.  The footage shows heavily armed, helmeted officers with body armor, shields and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Salesman

Life of a Salesman: Is This the Enemy? Asghar Farhadi may be to Iran’s screen what Arthur Miller was to the American stage.  His 2011 A Separation, a searing account of an Iranian couple’s divorce, won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.  A Separation’s script also scored Farhadi a nomination for the Best Writing, Original Screenplay Academy Award.  Now, the writer/director’s newest feature, The Salesman, is again in Continue Reading...

Film Review: Collateral Beauty

Framing Philosophy: Good Grief! With its theme of inconsolable grief and how to cope with it, director David Frankel’s (Marley & Me, The Devil Wears Prada) Collateral Beauty has the kind of story one usually experiences in low budget indies by filmmakers such as Jim Jarmusch.  But this is a New Line Cinema, Village Roadshow Pictures, et al, feature being distributed by Warner Bros. with an A-list cast, written by Allan Loeb (the Continue Reading...

Trump – and Trouble – in Paradise

Ventures in Paradise Much has been made about how the Republican contender for the White House frequently changes positions and the way Trump on the stump is vague about policies.  What is one to make of The Donald-who-would-be-president  Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston’s new book, The Making of Donald Trump (Melville House Publishing), sheds light on how the real estate baron/reality TV star really operates.  In an interview, the Continue Reading...