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Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)
Don’t mention the war!
Filmmaker(s): Richard Donner

Owner Basil Fawlty, his wife Sybil, a chambermaid Polly, and Spanish waiter Manuel attempt to run their hotel amidst farcical situations and an array of demanding guests.

Silly Walk Recently I have been trying to better understand humour. So because I am old enough to be able to, I have been thinking about Monty Python and in particular which of the Pythonistas mattered more to me. I was lucky enough to find a...

Published February 24, 2024
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Don’t Look Now (1973)
Pass the warning.
Filmmaker(s): Nicolas Roeg

While grieving a terrible loss, a married couple meet two mysterious sisters, one of whom gives them a message sent from the afterlife.

Red Riding Hood Restoration I just saw ‘Black Swan,‘ one of the most successful cinematic seductions of the inner worlds of madness. It prompted me to go to this rather than ‘Red Shoes‘ or ‘Nostalghia.‘ What makes this film — indeed this filmmaker — valuable is the...

Published February 23, 2024
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Be Glad… (1970)
Filmmaker(s): Peter Neal

Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending is the eighth album by the Incredible String Band, featuring Mike Heron, Robin Williamson, Licorice McKechnie and Rose Simpson. It is the soundtrack for a film of the same name, and was released on Island Records in March 1971, failing to chart in either the UK or US. It would be the first album from the band on the Island label and the last to feature Joe Boyd as the producer.

Woven Tongues I encountered one of those popular psychology ideas recently, the one that says that the music that was on the radio when you were 13 determines your taste in music. I supposed it could be true. I have a deeply sculpted life in cinema but...

Published February 10, 2024
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Soylent Green (1973)
It's the year 2022. People are still the same. They'll do anything to get what they need. And they need Soylent Green.
Filmmaker(s): Richard Fleischer

In the year 2022, overcrowding, pollution, and resource depletion have reduced society’s leaders to finding food for the teeming masses. The answer is Soylent Green.

Empty Calories I remember thinking this was vacuous when it was new. Seeing it now, it seems to have lost even more value. Many films work in spite of bad writing, poor acting and casual production values, but not this one because — I surmise —...

Published February 9, 2024
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Murder by Decree (1979)
The Jack the Ripper Murders. Sherlock Holmes lifts the veil of secrecy, corruption and terror at the heart of the throne of England itself. Clue by clue... Murder by murder...
Filmmaker(s): Bob Clark

Sherlock Holmes is drawn into the case of Jack the Ripper who is killing prostitutes in London's East End. Assisted by Dr. Watson, and using information provided by a renowned psychic, Robert Lees, Holmes finds that the murders may have its roots in a Royal indiscretion and that a cover-up is being managed by politicians at the highest level, all of whom happen to be Masons.

Environmental Agency The detective film is an essential component in how movies work. I‘m trying to abstract the components that work, what doesn‘t and why. And that is taking me through many detective films, and every Holmes film is a must. Putting Holmes in perspective: he...

Published February 4, 2024
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The Big Feast (1973)
An experience that hammers your sensibilities.
Filmmaker(s): Marco Ferreri

Four friends gather at a villa with the intention of eating themselves to death.

Sit, Eat This is a sort of adventure in shocking an audience. It failed with me because I’ve been exposed to so many more incisive things. But I like the way it is put together. It is a sort of “Love’s Labors Lost” meets “8 1/2 Women.”...

Published January 30, 2024
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The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972)
The killer slices without mercy!
Filmmaker(s): Giuliano Carnimeo

A high-rise apartment populated by models, nightclub dancers and call girls becomes the focus of a mysterious serial killer. When a young model named Jennifer and her friend Marilyn move into one of the victims' former apartments, Jennifer becomes the next target and the pair try to identify the killer.

The Stamps When I’m blue, the movies I look for aren’t comedies. Film comedies work too hard, follow too many script formulas and when I am blue it is because I have worked to hard following similar internal scripts. What I need and what you might like...

Published January 23, 2024
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
We are not alone.
Filmmaker(s): Steven Spielberg

After an encounter with UFOs, an electricity linesman feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen.

The Third Narrative I give Spielberg little credit, even claim that he has taken us several steps backward in how we use our visual imagination. And for that he deserves distain. But he was not always excessively vulgar, visually lowbrow. Before ‘ET,' he did some strongly...

Published January 22, 2024
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Performance (1970)
See them all in a film about fantasy. And reality. Vice. And versa.

In underworld terms, Chas Devlin is a 'performer,' a gangster with a talent for violence and intimidation. Turner is a reclusive rock superstar. When Chas and Turner meet, their worlds collide—and the impact is both exotic and explosive.

Yoko Koko In retrospect, we completely ignore key tipping points, because they become accepted horizons behind us. Only if you are there, or have an insightful observer can you even capture the notion that something radical is going on. An extra bite of toast here, a...

Published January 21, 2024
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Black Velvet (1976)
A NEW EXPERIENCE IN SENSUALITY. No one is ever the same after ...
Filmmaker(s): Bitto Albertini

Internationally-renowned photographer Mae Jordan, professionally known as 'Emanuelle', is hired by a wealthy British expat to go to Nairobi to shoot the ruins and wildlife. While there, she explores sexual situations with her hosts and their friends.

Math Porn This is a pretty interesting twist on the by then settled formula. The Emanuelle formula is: lots of nudity, with the women being trim, suggesting innocence. shot as softcore with two or three hardcore inserts, so that multiple versions can be marketed. the women are portrayed as in...

Published January 19, 2024
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