“10”
Film

“10”

Blake Edwards is a good director. S.O.B. (1981), The Party1 (1968), “10”: these are vain comedies about vain people, fed on freedom and the tit of conspicuous consumption. They know how easy it is to love the city of angels. Also, he likes the pratfall — a lot. Physicality begs for attention; surrealism is nascent. He is good at using … Continue reading

The Movie Brats: Woody Allen
Film

The Movie Brats: Woody Allen

He is as famous as the Brooklyn Bridge: a neurotic nebbish, tied to a clever muse (Diane Keaton, say, or Scarlett Johansson). After some overreaching (the “spare” tragedies of September and Interiors), and some lovely reminiscing (Radio Days), it’s clear to me that Woody wants to be someone else. Ingmar Bergman. Allen strains for tastefulness. Like Mel Brooks, … Continue reading

Last Tango in Paris
Film

Last Tango in Paris

(written in 2004): It’s hard for a 24-year-old to sympathize with the kind of naked lunch you get in Last Tango in Paris. If the film leads to “candor,” my tongue is lagging: I like empty sex. Knowing me/knowing you is not something I (necessarily) want to do. Tango is about a tryst. It is also about … Continue reading

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Film

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Comic books run the movie trade. They are a constant, and everyone’s trying to outdo each other. Van Helsing, Elektra, Constantine… I’m over it. But Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a hoot. Soon, you like the carbon copy. Be it The Strokes doing The Cars doing the Velvets, or Sky Captain doing Indiana Jones doing Buck Rogers — you buy the re-processed rotation … Continue reading

The Movie Brats: Robert Towne
Film

The Movie Brats: Robert Towne

We often think the director is a buck-stopping genius (but you’re only as good as the people you work with). Bob Towne was the first screenwriter to get this kind of star treatment. Shampoo (1975), Chinatown (1974), The Last Detail (1973), even doctored scripts like The Godfather (1972): The guy can write. He fathers dialogue that sticks and burns. It looks easy. And Chinatown is a … Continue reading