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Jul 10, 2020

Paramount, 1933 (or so): a Charles Laughton and Karl Struss double feature. We start with Cecil B. DeMille's The Sign of the Cross, pitting piety against perversion. Fredric March in a mini skirt, Claudette Colbert in a milk bath, Laughton as a ditzy Nero, and a bunch of Christians bedecked with arrows. But are...


Jul 3, 2020

We get to the first Ozu in our Setsuko Hara Acteurist Oeuvre-view at last, but first we look at Tadashi Ima's two-parter, Blue Mountain Range/Aoi sanmyaku (1949), a surprisingly fun movie that leads us to discuss Allied Occupation liberal propaganda, dating as a recent invention, why all men will want to have sex with...


Jun 26, 2020

In this week's edition of The Studios Year-by-Year, it's Universal 1932, and we have two horror movies with wildly divergent styles. First, it's Robert Florey's Murders in the Rue Morgue, perhaps the sickest and most sadistic of the 30s Universal horror classics (surpassing even The Black Cat) and a probable influence...


Jun 19, 2020

For June's Special Subject, we look at three films by Bengali filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak about the aftermath of the Partition of India: Meghe Dhaka Tara/The Cloud-Capped Star (1960), Komal Gandhar/E-flat (1961), and Subarnarekha/Golden Lining (1962). Refugee life, classism, intersectional analysis, melodrama, the confusion...


Jun 12, 2020

RKO, 1932: Selznick has come in as production chief and fired everyone but Pando S. Berman. We look at the result of this new regime in the form of two La Cava-helmed pictures. First, the white elephant, Symphony of Six Million, based on a short story by Fannie Hurst, shows us how RKO does the Lower East Side. Then,...