Cinematically-Influenced Ear Worms for Your Friday Afternoon


Yesterday, as I sailed blithely along to the harmonious strains of the complete cello concerti of Luigi Boccherini, a Peter Weir film broke out. …I love it when that happens. The piece in question is the Passa Calle from LB’s “La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid.” And here it is: I recommend the entire [Read More...]

A Quasi-Conversation with Sir Ian McKellen


Ian McKellen is one of those folks to whom I would happily listen as he read the proverbial phone book. My first brush with His Lordship remains one of my favorite cinematic portrayals — Chauvelin from The Scarlett Pimpernel (1982) — and his voice is an enormous factor in that role; indeed, in any of [Read More...]

Taking Old-Time Baseball Literally


On a day when our own beloved Tom McDonald highlights (and then waxes most interestingly upon) yesterday’s borderline unbelievable historical discovery, I’ve got my own little historical tidbit to share: They found an old baseball. Really, really old. During the War Between the States, the game was played on the battlefields and even in wartime prison camps. Baseball was, after all, portable, and [Read More...]

Righting One of Oscar’s Greatest Wrongs


Thanks to the Variety series on this year’s Oscar-nominated cinematographers, I am reminded of one of my cinematic life’s most painful, inexplicable truths: Roger Deakins has never won an Oscar. As someone who has seen none of the 2012 films in question, I can’t speak to Deakins’ worthiness in this particular contest. Where I to find [Read More...]

Living More With a Whole Lot Less


While browsing through Vimeo’s “Staff Picks” a few days ago, I happened across the following highly improbable phrase, instantly deserving of inclusion in my “Humans Are Endlessly Interesting” file (which seems perpetually filled to bursting): Richard is the fascinating story of a travelling piano tuner who chooses to live outdoors. I’ve always loved piano tuners. [Read More...]

No Commentary Necessary — “Paperman” Edition (UPDATED)


If there was ever a more appropriate invocation of the “No Commentary” heading, I have yet to see it. (Also, full-screen HD is so strongly suggested for this one as to be almost mandatory.) Introducing a groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques, first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation [Read More...]

Learning to Live with My Brahms Ambivalence


They say admitting you have a problem is the first step, so I’m coming clean: I’m ambivalent on the matter of Brahms. I enjoy some of his music a great deal — his First Symphony is a favorite, in no small part because its finale was the first piece of music I single-handedly identified on [Read More...]

“Liberty Valance” and the Obligations of Progress


This past weekend, I had the pleasure of watching and then discussing John Ford’s inestimable The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with a group of college students. By the end of the evening, the film had further cemented its position as My Favorite Ford not simply because of its technical and cinematic excellence — has [Read More...]

Andras Schiff’s Lifelong Marriage to J.S. Bach

András Schiff.

“Every day of my life, I start with playing Bach, usually for about an hour, sometimes even before breakfast! It’s like taking care of your inner hygiene. There is something very pure about it.” As a lifelong Bachophile. I’ve loved Glenn Gould for about as long as I can remember. (Will we ever see the Crazy [Read More...]

Drew Struzan Returns to the Star Wars Universe


I’m slightly behind the curve here — the speed at which “Star Wars” rumors fly ’round the Internet these days would make Doohan drool — but this little one from Fanhattan’s otherwise “Being Human”-themed interview with Drew Struzan is worth the effort. Who is Struzan, you ask? The artistic mastermind behind the spectacular “Star Wars” [Read More...]