The Art of Motion Picture Sound Design, Pt. 1

And now for something a little less “conflicted” and a little more “snob”… With the exception of a couple of experimental shorts using a process called “Phono-Cinéma-Théâtre” presented at the 1900 … Continue Reading…

Conflicted Film Snob Sept/Oct/Nov Mailbag!

When one creates a blog this accessible, this entertaining, this literate, one must accept that, in due course, an incredible amount of electronic fan mail likely will pass over the … Continue Reading…

RIP Ruth Rendell

British author Ruth Rendell died this May, at age 85, a few months after suffering a debilitating stroke. Rendell, one of literature’s formost practitioners of thrillers and psychological murder mysteries, was not particularly … Continue Reading…

A Cautionary Tale of A/V Obsolescence

Every hear of The Criterion Collection? No? Well, it’s the company I hold responsible for my crack-like addiction to the latest and greatest home video formats of the last 20 years. … Continue Reading…

B-Movie Cult Classics Unearthed Watching Late-Night HBO in College (pt. 1)

Two recent untimely deaths–those of 43-year-old actress Amanda Peterson and 61-year-old ex-pro-grappler/actor Roddy Piper (the former not entirely unexpected, the latter of natural causes)–got me thinking about the movies that made them famous*, … Continue Reading…

The Art of the Reveal: “War of the Worlds” Edition

Back in 2004, director Steven Spielberg decided the time was ripe to remake the granddaddy of all hostile alien narratives, H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, the 1898 serialized novel telling the … Continue Reading…

Great Endings (Pt. 1)

As with any narrative art form, crafting a satisfying ending to movie is a tricky proposition. Even the strongest works can fall victim to a last few minutes that don’t quite follow … Continue Reading…

Chicago Tribune’s Oscar Quiz

Time to turn in my conflicted film snob credentials. Just took Mark Caro’s 2015 Test Your Oscar Knowledge quiz and bombed it to the tune of 3/20 or 15%. Can … Continue Reading…