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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Nicholson’

In Memory of Mike Nichols (1931-2014)

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Mike Nichols became one of my favorite filmmakers right around the time I started college. I’d always loved several of his movies before then — The BirdcageRegarding Henry and Wolf were childhood favorites of mine — but Nichols’ work really took on new meaning for me later on. The impetus was — brace for a cliche — The Graduate. I’d hate myself for writing it if it wasn’t so goddamn true.

It doesn’t get much more trite than a college freshman relating to The Graduate, but that’s the story. I’d actually seen the movie several years earlier, easily pre-high school, so it’s not like I wasn’t familiar with it or its cultural impact. My first round with The Graduate all those years back just wasn’t anything special. I liked it. I found it funny and I thought Anne Bancroft’s performance was amazing, but that’s about where it stopped. My re-watch, however, was a different story. I watched as a young (but not THAT young) Dustin Hoffman as Ben Braddock moved his way uncomfortably through a party at his parents’ house, fielding empty questions about his future from people who don’t particularly care. They all think they have answers for the young man, of course (“plastics” is obviously the most memorable and hilarious). I think that Read more…

My 13 Favorite Horror Films: Unabridged

April 22, 2012 9 comments

Thank you for all of the kind feedback on the first half of my 13 Favorite Horror Films list. Now, here’s the complete countdown:

I think I’ve been asked, “Do you like horror movies?” more than any other film-centric question. People LOVE horror films of all kinds, but I’ve always felt somewhat out of the loop because I’ve never responded much to them. So when people would ask if I like horror, I generally responded by saying I just like good movies, some of which end up being horrific by genre; meanwhile, all I could think is how much I hate things like Final DestinationI Know What You Did Last Summer, or the Leprechaun films. Torture porn like the Saw or Hostel franchises don’t do much for me either. This overall judgmental attitude was wrong, however, because the term “horror” evoked the wrong feeling in me. I shouldn’t have thought of bad acting, hokey music, and goofy violence when thinking of horror. Just like anything else, there’s good and there’s bad, so I started to focus on what makes a great scary movie rather than what makes a bad one.

Maybe it’s years of systematic desensitization or maybe I’m a born sociopath, but I don’t frighten too easily anymore. Even if a loud burst of music cues while a mirror breaks onscreen, that brief moment of surprise doesn’t leave me feeling scared. I need Read more…

Stanley Kubrick’s Film Treasures Are Coming to L.A.

I received some tremendous news in the mail the other day from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Starting October 28th (earlier for members like myself), the museum will unveil a retrospective of the work from genius director Stanley Kubrick. It’s events like this one that make me glad I live in LA.

From the description on the LACMA website, “Stanley Kubrick is the first large-scale retrospective of the filmmaker’s work in the United States. Developed in collaboration with the Kubrick Estate and the Deutsches Filmmuseum, the exhibition provides access to Kubrick’s extraordinary vision and working methods. Early photographs made for Look magazine in the 1940s suggest an obsession with historical research and visual detail, which characterize Kubrick’s groundbreaking directorial achievements of the 1960s through the 1990s. Each of Kubrick’s main film projects is examined in detail through archival material, costumes, set models, and props. The exhibition also Read more…