Remaking Breathless: A Bizarre Choice, Starring Richard Gere

Still from the opening scene of the remake of Breathless. The blue flowing title is superimposed over Richard Gere.

|Jake Rudegeair| Ever seen First Knight (1995)? I didn’t think so. It was my first tangle with Gere as the famous Sir Lancelot of legend. I was ten and even then I wasn’t buying it. He’s an invincible swordsman and a treasonous Don Juan? I was put off by the cool-guy affect, anachronistic… Continue reading

Lost in the Dream

A woman in a green dress, played by actress Tang Wei, sits in a dark room and holds a lit cigarette, smoke billowing from its end, while a hand extends just out of frame with a lighter.

|Natalie Marlin| When we dream, unconscious shapes fill in the blanks. Vague visages that recall someone we know, or perhaps the half-formed images of blurry memories—those specters of past days, buried, submerged, just waiting for free association to emerge—fill what is otherwise vacant. In my dreams… Continue reading

An Insolent Heart Hath Damned Thee: Original Sin at Miller’s Crossing

John Turturro as Bernie Bernbaum, a light-skinned, ark hair man in a dark suit and light shirt sitting in an ornamental armchair in a large room. Bernie is smiling at his conversation partner, who is not depicted in the shot

|Kevin Obsatz| I have a confession to make. I don’t know that I’ve ever “liked” a Coen Brothers movie on the first viewing. Possibly Raising Arizona—but I was probably only half paying attention to that one, as an eight or nine-year-old, on VHS. I doubt my parents would… Continue reading

Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Hat

Theatrical poster of Coen Brothers’ film “Miller’s Crossing.”

|Lucas Hardwick| I’m a bald guy, so when the temperatures drop and there’s a perpetual nip in the air, I often find the top of my head gets a little uncomfortably cool. While confined to the contentment of my own home, where the dress code is free of the hassle of coordination and everyone is at liberty… Continue reading

Paranoia, Failure, and Female Representation: Brian De Palma’s Blow Out

Jack, a young light-skinned man with dark hair, and Sally, a young woman with blonde curly hair, are standing on a train starting platform facing each other, with side characters and trains in the background.

|Penny Folger| “There was no bigger disaster than Blow Out,” reminisces director Brian De Palma on the reception his film received when it was originally released in 1981. It’s a film that, 43 years later, is held in much higher esteem, even cited by Quentin Tarantino as… Continue reading

Do You Hear What I Hear?: The Salacious Self-Flagellation of Brian De Palma’s Blow Out

Medium close-up of a ponderous John Travolta (as soundman Jack Terry) in a maroon collared shirt leaning over with a cigarette in his right hand in the foreground, thumb pressed against the forehead. In the background are film reels and various editing equipment.

|Chris Polley| A man takes a photograph, inspiring another to write a story, inspiring another to make a film, inspiring another to…make another film. This is how it works now, losing the magic and mystery of folktales passed down generation upon generation via oral storytelling but gaining the benefits of … Continue reading

Dearest Chinatown: The Intensity of Faye Dunaway

Faye Dunaway in character as Evelyn Mulwray in Chinatown. Evelyn is a light-skinned woman with curly chin-long hair and thin eyebrows. She looks into the distance unimpressed, wearing a grey dress suit and hat.

|John Blair| At 6:14 am on February 27, 2006, Faye Dunaway called the producer of a documentary on her life. When the call went to voicemail, Dunaway started immediately on a breathless two-minute monologue, touching on everything from her personal relationships to her disappointment in how her current films were sold… Continue reading

Infinite Jake

Poster for Chinatown, showing a feminine face emerging from an ornamental cloud of smoke coming from a man's cigar. The letters "Chinatown" are prominently features in red against a pale yellow background at the bottom of the image

|Abbie Phelps| Los Angeles, California, 1922. Evelyn Cross is fifteen years old. Noah Cross, her father, has yet to recover from the death of his wife. In her absence, his grief has come close to consuming him. Evelyn, his daughter, makes his meals and lays his clothes out for him in the morning…. Continue reading

Branded to Kill: The Graceful Aging of Disarray 

A black and white image of an adult man with dark hair wearing sunglasses

|Yuval Klein| With action, slapstick, deadpan machismo, a jazzy soundtrack, and avant-garde edits, the tone of Branded to Kill is set in an extensive and superbly shot shootout scene, in which our protagonist, a “highly ranked” assassin named Gorô, is ambushed. With him, an anxious and formerly ranked acquaintance… Continue reading

Meet Sydney: On Paul Thomas Anderson’s Hard Eight (1996)

Philip Baker Hall with cigarette dangling from his mouth

|MH Rowe| Some films are short stories; others are novels. The difference is not a question of length or running time, for even a novel can have the soul of a short story, while a short story can be a novel in miniature. A novel must possess, as an essential characteristic… Continue reading