Back to the Future: Michael Roemer’s Nothing but a Man

Ivan Dixon as Duff, a young Black man with short hair and a mustache, is sitting with his arms up behind his head, smiling at Abbey Lincoln playin Josie, a Black woman with a patterned scarf around her hair, who reciprocates his smiling glance.

|Nazeeh Alghazawneh| The idea of someone “being ahead of their time,” whether it be an artist, an author, an activist etc., is kind of paradoxical. The phrase implies that broad social, philosophical or political landscapes will change inevitably, develop autonomously, independently of… Continue reading

I Feel You, Man: Ridley Scott’s The Duellists

Harvey Keitel as Feraud standing on a cliff overlooking a river and fields

|MH Rowe| Of course we’re supposed to condescend to the idea of a duel. To imagine two people—two men—agreeing to mortal combat with guns or swords over a breach of honor strikes the contemporary and perhaps cynical observer as so fussily absurd, so absurdly dramatic, and so male, that we… Continue reading

Harvey, the Haughty Hussar

Feraud (Harvey Keitel), a light-skinned, brown-haired man with a mustache and two skinny hair braids, is sitting down with a person on his right whose face is obscured by Feraud's hand. He is wearing a white shirt with a thick black collar, and looking slightly off-camera.

|Alex Kies| In 1977, two years after Stanley Kubrick released Barry Lyndon, Ridley Scott made his filmmaking debut with The Duelists, his own artfully shot Napoleonic epic about the inner lives of petty European men played by incongruously cast Americans. Last year, Scott made… Continue reading

A Whine and a Whimper: The Death of Law Enforcement’s Lionization in James Mangold’s Cop Land

|Chris Polley| There’s a certain built-in legacy in the alliterative phrase “corrupt cop” that belies its own linguistic paradox (or, perhaps, even its redundancy). The rogue detective, the rule-breaking sheriff, and the trigger-happy officer: even before modern American history… Continue reading

The Museum of Home Video’s Ring, Ring: a Doorbell Cam Fantasia is Coming to Town! Some Context on Bret Berg’s MOHV from a Fellow Los Angeleno Who Witnessed its Inception

A blurry black and white image by a door camera, showing a person dressed as a scary clown, holding three balloons, standing in someone's doorway, facing the camera.

|Penny Folger| The Museum of Home Video is an online streaming show that took flight during the pandemic and seems to have created an empire. Started by Los Angeleno film programmer/distributor Brett Berg, it takes place at at 7:30 pm PST most Tuesday evenings. Since its inception in July… Continue reading

Why Black Narcissus is a Haunted House Movie

Nuns sit for dinner at a cross-shaped table.

|Sophie Durbin| In the typical haunted house movie, the protagonist and their loved ones move into a house and stay put despite the fact that it has a million red flags (creepy caretaker, suspicious sounds at night, blood oozing from the elevators…). By the time the entire social order of the film collapses… Continue reading

Bad Lieutenant: Make Perfect My Imperfections

Harvey Keitel as Bad Leutenant is lurking through a barely open door

|Michael Wellvang| By the mid-1980s, public perception of films “rated X” had shifted radically. First introduced in 1968 by the Motion Picture Association of America, the rating simply stated a patron should be at least sixteen to watch a particular movie. Now it just meant smut. So the MPAA… Continue reading

Your Forgiveness Will Leave Blood in its Wake

The Lieutenant stands in a desecrated church. The word "fuck" is scrawled on an altar behind him. To his right, the Virgin Mary has been knocked over.

|Finn Odum| Last November, I learned that the guy who made the completely mid Body Snatchers and King of New York is the same guy who made Bad Lieutenant. This knowledge came to me against my will, as I was quite content not knowing anything else about… Continue reading

Make It So: A Journey in Overthinking ‘A Matter of Life and Death’

Peter Carter and Conductor 71 sit on a giant staircase ascending to Heaven.

|Lucas Hardwick| Star Trek: The Next Generation ended its seventh and final season in May of 1994. The Emmy Award-winning series ran for 178 episodes and was one of, if not the most successful first-run syndication television show of all time. Thanks to its nightly 9 p.m. time slot… Continue reading