Sunday, January 20, 2008

"What number is it, Chip?" ... "7A"

Folksinger John Stewart, formerly of the Kingston Trio, is dead. He's best known for this very fine song:

You can find Stewart's own version here.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Beware of "perilous stunts" and "fancy alcoholic drinks".

Today I became Jack Valenti's Worst Nightmare. I took a group of pre-teenagers to an R-rated movie (Sweeney Todd, which is, by the way, just as good the second time around).

Meanwhile, for those of you who think the MPAA isn't tough enough, The Guardian offers this helpful selection of highlights from various " parental guidance" websites..

The 666 Trio

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"When there's no more room in Hell..."

The esteemed Robin Wood, whose writings on horror films in the 1970s remain the definitive critical work on that genre, has written a brief but typically incisive look at Diary of the Dead, the fifth installment in George Romero's trilogy-that-grew for the latest issue of Film Comment. I haven't seen the film, which was generally well received on the festival circuit last year, so I'll let Wood's analysis speak for itself.
The film is due to open in the U.S. on February 15th.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Outwitting the Curse of GMRX

A very good common-sense piece by A. O. Scott in the NYT about why people need to learn how to ignore the ratings.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The sun never sets: George Macdonald Fraser (1926-2008)

George Macdonald Fraser, whose twelve volumes of "The Flashman Papers" are among the most entertaining works of fiction of the last forty years, has died. In addition to creating (or rather, reshaping from a minor literary role in the Victorian classic "Tom Brown's Schooldays") the rascally Harry Flashman, Fraser wrote the screenplays for Richard Lester's "Three Musketeers" films.
Information on Fraser's life can be found here, plus a sample of his work here.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A cautionary tale...

Did you ever notice how the cautionary mental hygiene films and the exploitation films of the 1960s have in common?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Can we make a quick edit?

Spent the New Year's Eve/Day catching up with two movies, one of which definitely earns a slot on a revised Best of 2007 list. The other was Juno, which is destined to fill the slot in your life left empty by this.
But Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is something else altogether, a gruesome and witty horror film that just happens to be a musical. But not just any musical. Go see it.