Saturday Matinee: The Clairvoyant (1935)

Apropos for Derby Day (no, the other one, my American friends) I can recommend the early Gainsborough film starring Claude Rains, Fay Wray and Jane Baxter. Rains and Baxter are music hall performers with a mind reader act very familiar to Nightmare Alley fans. It’s a family tradition and they seem happy on the circuit…

Film Noir Friday: Fallen Angel (1945)

FALLEN ANGEL (1945) Dir Otto Preminger Attempting to capture the magic of Laura the year before, Preminger got Dana Andrews back into a fedora and Joseph LaShelle lensing but no Gene Tierney, alas. Instead we have a ripe Linda Darnell as the bad girl Stella (she shines at night of course) and Alice Faye as…

Scoundrel for a Sunday

THE PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF BEL AMI (1947) I’m a bit mystified how I never got around to this film until recently. I adore George Sanders and no one plays a better scoundrel than he does. Add to that a luminescent Angela Lansbury at her very dewiest beauty and some great women’s roles, and — well,…

#Folklore Thursday: In Search of Voodoo – Roots to Heaven

Belatedly catching up on episodes of Pam Grossman’s Witch Wave podcast, I heard the always fascinating Lilith Dorsey mention this film, available streaming on Az. Award-winning actor Dijmon Hounsou returns to Benin to follow the roots of this often misunderstood and generally maligned magical system and along the way examines how colonialism, racism and Christianity…

Matinee: The Magnificent Dope (1942)

Farran Nehme (@selfstyledsiren) started a wonderful thread of golden recommendations on Twitter the other day, so I bookmarked a few things for when I had a spare moment. This came up first early Sunday morning because it was a the first time I could fit something in (yeah, back on dad duty) because I thought…

Sunday Matinee: The Fake (1953)

Another early morning movie with a noir tinge and an art scam — I’m staying on brand for once! I watched another neo-noir last night but am mulling over whether I want to write about it. Yes, two films in a 24-hour period. Who am I? The key is working around dad’s schedule (also ear…

Saturday Matinee: Back from the Dead (1957)

BACK FROM THE DEAD (1957) You know I can’t help but wonder whether Hitchcock saw this before he made Vertigo the next year, but of course I am too lazy at present to do any research on either film. In any case, if he did yer man also decided ‘But why don’t we focus on…

TAROT IN GRESHAM’S NIGHTMARE ALLEY

[N.B. Written when I first heard that GDT was remaking it] When I showed Nightmare Alley to the students in my noir film course, one came up at the end to complain that the tarot readings were way off. I agreed and encouraged him to pick up Gresham’s novel. I assured him that the author cared a…

Film for a Friday: Derek (2008)

Today in films I can’t believe I’ve not watched before, I watched Derek via my local library Kanopy account which has far more films available than my campus account does. Though it limits me to five a month, the wretched pace at which I have managed to watch films lately means that I have not…

FFF: The Mystic (1925)

THE MYSTIC (1925) Tod Browning’s silent film can be watched on the ‘tube. Sometimes it shows up on MUBI, too. Of course it involves the ‘spook racket’ and grifting, two things I am fascinated by always. The film opens in the familiar ambience of the traveling carnival, where Aileen Pringle plays the titular role of…