Born To Be Bad (1950, Nicholas Ray)

For Nicholas Ray love (or ‘love’) is corrosive. It is unstable and moves with the waves and currents of societal corruption and sickness. Born to Be Bad, despite what Dave Kehr persuasively argued, is not a major work, not a masterpiece and not a particularly important signal in Ray’s career. It sits comfortably somewhere in … Continue reading Born To Be Bad (1950, Nicholas Ray)

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The Big Sky (1952, Howard Hawks)

Is this the most underrated of Howard Hawks’ films? It is, without a doubt, a masterpiece although it is a film rarely accorded with that distinction (except by the critics, such as Jonathan Rosenbaum, who are less fazed by the monolithic canon-complacency of industry-derived or AFI-approved film criticism) and it continues (as far as I’m … Continue reading The Big Sky (1952, Howard Hawks)

The Phantom Light (1935, Michael Powell)

Is the battle for the recognition of the pre-Grindhouse “quota quickies” and B-cinema over? One would think so considering the posthumous (and richly deserved) attention paid by critics, film-makers and archivists to the works of directors such as Joseph H Lewis, Edgar G Ulmer, Jacques Tourneur, Samuel Fuller and the subsequent efforts from the Corman … Continue reading The Phantom Light (1935, Michael Powell)

Pialat in Turkey

Bosphore (1964) Byzance (1964) La Corne d'Or (1964) Istanbul (1964) Maitre Galip (1964) Pehlivan (1964) On assignment Maurice Pialat and cameraman/cinematographer Willy Kurant go to Turkey, in disguise as the Lumiere brothers (less than a decade after Louis died), and send back a series of actualities, six in total. The opening trio work more in … Continue reading Pialat in Turkey