Film Review: Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster

Nonfiction Creature Feature: He’s Alive!   You don’t have to be a horror fan to enjoy Thomas Hamilton’s documentary Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster (I’m not and I did). The 90-minute nonfiction biopic has all of the conventional hallmarks of a well-made movie history doc. Of course, there are copious clips ranging from Karloff’s classics, including in the role the British actor was best known for, as Frankenstein’s monster in Continue Reading...

Film Review: Cousins

New Zealand Maori Movie About Family Separation and Land Rights Hard on the heels of recent reports revealing the shocking existence of 1,000-plus unmarked graves of First Nations children at church-run schools in Canada (see: Canada: 751 unmarked graves found at residential school - BBC News), the new movie Cousins – written, directed and starring Maori females – deals with the trauma of family separation of New Zealand’s indigenous Continue Reading...

Film Review: Apocalypse ’45

Armageddon Then: Candid Doc Brings the War in the Pacific Home Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 feature Apocalypse Now depicted war crimes committed by U.S. troops against Vietnamese people: An unforgettable, operatic, bone chilling chopper air raid attacking a Viet Cong village set to Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” so a surfer whose name is initialed “LBJ” can ride the gnarly waves there (Ride of the Valkyries - Apocalypse Now (3/8) Movie CLIP Continue Reading...

Film Review: M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity

A Method to M.C.’s Madness: Expressing Endlessness Robin Lutz’s visually compelling, inventive M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity strikes just the right note of whimsy in exploring the graphic art of a talent known for his sense of the whimsical. Just as his compatriots Bosch, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh, created new ways of seeing with, respectively, surrealistic symbolism, chiaroscuro, photorealist style and Post-Impressionism, the Dutch Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Paul R. Williams Story

The Jackie Robinson of Architecture Undaunted, the pandemic can’t stop the Pan African Film Festival and in that immortal show biz tradition, the show must go on! Albeit virtually, as this year in order to stay cinematically safe, America’s largest and best yearly Black-themed filmfest since 1992 is moving online and starting later than usual, kicking off on the last day of Black History Month. 2021’s 29th annual Pan African Virtual Film + Continue Reading...

Film Review: Back of the Moon

An Apartheid Era South African Film Noir-ish Movie Undaunted, the pandemic can’t stop the Pan African Film Festival and in that immortal show biz tradition, the show must go on! Albeit virtually, as this year in order to stay cinematically safe, America’s largest and best yearly Black-themed filmfest since 1992 is moving online and starting later than usual, kicking off on the last day of Black History Month. 2021’s 29th annual Pan African Continue Reading...

Film Review: Donbass

The “People’s Republic of Donetsk” and More in the Wild, Wild East I’ve been a movie fan since childhood and by the time I got to Manhattan’s Hunter College, I’d already seen countless pictures. Majoring in cinema there I devoured copious amounts of cinematic offerings, and then as a professional critic and film historian I’ve gone on to watch an incalculable number of movies. I mention this because there are scenes in ​writer/ director Sergei Continue Reading...

Film Review: My Psychedelic Love Story

Flashback: Timothy Leary’s Trip Down Movie Memory Lane The 34th annual AFI Fest is arguably Los Angeles’ biggest and best film festival and this year it is taking place virtually through October 22 (see: https://fest.afi.com/). The closing world premiere of the American Film Institute’s yearly fete is the Showtime documentary My Psychedelic Love Story, wherein Timothy Leary - the High Priest of LSD – meets Errol Morris, the High Priest of Continue Reading...