Film for a Friday: The Sorrows of Satan

Thanks to Angela (check out her fab writing at the Cultural Gutter), I was introduced to this interesting novel by the famous-but-largely-erased author Marie Corelli. The Sorrows of Satan was a sensation upon its release and a scandalous bestseller, so it’s typical that it has been overlooked despite its broadly appealing topic — Faustian bargains…

Film for a Friday: The Scoundrel (1935)

Yes, the end of grading is in sight! Here’s an entertainment for you that manages to be both tart and sweet — or possibly leaning over into sappy a bit by the end. However, the script by Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur positively sings at its best — especially since the best of those lines…

Screwball: It’s Love I’m After

Yesterday I listened to the Cinema Junkie episode on screwball comedies with CineBeth and the Nitrate Diva. I was delighted to learn about films I didn’t even know in addition to some old favourites. Screwball comedy is just the thing for these stressful and worrying times: after all they were born in a time of…

Live Tweet Transcript: Sword of the Valiant

Inspired by the forthcoming A24 film of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which actually looks fantastic, Carol and Angela, renowned of the Cultural Gutter (and other famous deeds of valour) and me had a cracking good time live tweeting a viewing of the incredibly terrible Sword of the Valiant, much of which I had forgotten since…

It’s a Bear

In the midst of a delightful discussion about Midsommar on pal Carol’s FB wall, a few memories have bubbled up. One of them is the gas station we always stopped at on the drive up to our cabin in Kaleva. It was a long drive and we knew every turn of it. I always knew my…

Film for a Friday: The Magician (1926)

It’s been so long since I read Maugham’s novel, but I recall enjoying it — far more than Aleister Crowley did, who accused the author of plagiarism as that was easier than accusing him of satire. Anyway, then he’d have had to go after M. R. James, John Buchan, Dennis Wheatley and Dion Fortune as…

Film for a Friday: Dragonwyck

I think I have the Cultural Gutter to thank for finally getting to watch this film. It ought not to have been a hard sell: Vincent Price! Gene Tierney! And it takes place in the very region I live in the NY half of my year. Based on the Anya Seton novel, ‘It is a…

See It: The Shape of Water

Many thanks to Peg for the chance to see this ahead of release. We were both saying that it will be great to see it again on a big screen. It’s del Toro, so of course it’s just a lovely lovely film on the visual level: the greens and the reds! Breathtaking. The cast of…

Ken Russell: Perspectives, Reception & Legacy

I was fortunate to attend this ground-breaking conference and experience all its delights. Here are a few pictures (the rest on Facebook). Host Matt Melia is looking into publishing the proceedings, so I’ll certainly let you know when that happens. There was a really high ratio of excellence, as might be expected with many people…

Film for a Friday: Woman Who Came Back

Yes, it is written like that in the title card: no article on Woman. Low budget offering from Western Television, Woman Who Came Back (1945) offers a tale of the past invading the present in the form of a witch burned at the stake who wants revenge. In New England — where of course no one was…