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…

Review: The Witch of Kings Cross

THE WITCH OF KINGS CROSS Writer/Director: Sonia Bible The story of Rosaleen Norton is not very well known outside Australia, even among the pagan world. I was lucky that a friend who was a huge fan introduced me to her art in the 90s. Powerful stuff, it is, too. With occult, spiritualist, and surreal art…

Silly Saturday: Princess Charming (1934)

‘What is that?’ ‘That is the revolution, your highness.’ ‘Much too early! So inconsiderate.’ Here’s a peek inside the ping-pong balls that crash about in my brain: yesterday Mr B posted his Film for a Friday Get Cracking, a fine George Formby offering — I assume! You see I started watching it, thinking I could…

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…