SVS: “Lilies of the Field”


I’m still Easter-ing, because it’s still Easter. So I wanted to come up with an Easter-y film for recommending this Easter Friday. (Also, yes. I’m done turning “Easter” into less liturgically appropriate parts of speech. Stickler.) There aren’t actually that many, come to think of it. Especially if you exclude things like Hop and Yogi [Read More...]

SVS: “Ostrov”


It’s Good Friday. A potentially-awkward day to be recommending a movie, yes. Especially because I’m planning to go film-free today, myself — as, I’m sure, are many of you. But it’s also a day with a surprising number of options. And a day when I can honestly say that I’ve benefited from a bit of [Read More...]

SVS: “The Conversation”


Monday marked the 40th Anniversary of what I have long considered Francis Ford Coppola’s best film (“to date,” Joseph says hopefully). A film which I now happily share with y’all: The Conversation is currently available from NETFLIX INSTANT. I realize that’s a bit of a controversial claim, given that the legendary Godfathers feature prominently in his filmography. But I can’t [Read More...]

SVS: “Mud”


One of my favorite films from last year is now available on both NETFLIX INSTANT and AMAZON PRIME: Mud, from Jeff Nichols. It’s a hard film for me to describe, really. Somehow, it retains a distinctive personality despite an abundance of obvious predecessors and influences. Imagine Huck Finn meets Flannery O’Connor, with a dash of Faulkner, a [Read More...]

This Year’s Nominated Documentaries Are ALL on Netflix


I love documentaries. Always have. Yet one of the much/most-lamented facts of my early cinematic education was that it was astonishingly hard to get my hands on them. With the Streaming Revolution, that’s all changed. Yet the forced documentary frugality of those early years makes it hard for me to grasp that fact, even now. [Read More...]

SVS: “Strictly Ballroom”


Baz Lurhmann’s crazy. Seriously. The guy’s insane. For years, I’ve struggled with his films. But not because he’s crazy. I struggle with them because he’s not quite crazy enough. Or at least he’s not whole-heartedly crazy. Not uncompromisingly crazy. He’s always holding a little something back. Wow, you know who sounds crazy now? Me. Luhrmann [Read More...]

SVS: “The Hunt for Red October”


It’s been a really tough week. My head’s spinning, and we’re all feeling pretty numb. So I’m stepping away from the Tarkovsky for a bit, and heading straight for something “mindless.” Though I don’t necessarily mean that as a criticism. In fact, it’s downright therapeutic, at times. As is so often the case when I [Read More...]

SVS: “Charade”


Today’s suggestion is a specific manifestation of one of Susanka’s Most Sacrosanct Suggestion Axioms. The universal principle I’m invoking? Cary Grant’s films are to be viewed as frequently and with as much enjoyment as humanly possible. The particular manifestation of that principle for today? Charade, currently available on NETFLIX INSTANT, HULU PLUS, and YOUTUBE($). Cary Grant [Read More...]

Remembering the Sound of Hal Douglas


Hal Douglas passed away last week. Who, you ask? Hal Douglas. Yes, you know him. Or at least you know what he sounded like. From his NY Times obituary: Mr. Douglas was known for a generation in the voice-over industry as one of the top two or three go-to talents, along with Don LaFontaine, the most prolific, [Read More...]

The Stunning Images of Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”


A few days ago, a friend and I watched Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker for the first time. As I’ve remarked in the past, I love Tarkovsky. I find him brutally, brutally difficult — almost hopelessly obscure, undeniably challenging, deeply metaphysical. And Stalker is certainly no exception. I have thousands of ideas about what it means, and exactly [Read More...]