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

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

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

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

iPhones Will Also Be Sex Vibrators: An Ode to Little Freaks

|Finn Odum| 0. The Fool. I’ve always had a thing for weird little freaks. They’re exactly what they sound like: people whose behavior is absurd or unsettling. They have complicated relationships with subjects like sex, drugs, and religion. They can be repressed or unhinged… Continue reading

Apocalypse Now Is My Cinema Addiction: Lessons In Physiological Film Experience and Coppola’s Choreography of Death  

|Casey Jarrin| Every morning in tenth grade, I’d press PLAY on my Panasonic VCR, the opening sequence of Apocalypse Now cued up and ready to explode into orange-red-pink pyrotechnics of helicopter-war-as-cinema-painting, soundtracked by Jim Morrison’s… Continue reading

Never Get Out of the Boat

A man rises from a bog, his face covered in mud and substances this editor cannot determine.

|Lucas Hardwick| High school…shit; I was still only in high school. Every day I thought I was gonna wake up and that book report would be done. I’d wake up and there’d be nothing written, and not much read. I hardly said a word to my sophomore English teacher until I said… Continue reading

Taking Silly Seriously: The 90s Niche of Jean-Claude Van Damme in Sheldon Lettich’s Double Impact

A close-up of Jean-Claude Van Damme as Alex, scruffy and serious with a toothpick in his mouth against a blurred background.

|Chris Polley| Nine years ago, as is the American way, a viral car commercial brought us all together. Advertising Volvo’s state-of-the-art dynamic steering, it showed a chiseled man in his 50s atop two large trucks, his stance wide and firm, with one foot planted on each of the behemoths’… Continue reading

Quenched by Camp: Bandits vs Samurai Squadron is a Bloody Treat

Pop illustration of Tatsuya Nakadai as Kumokiri Nizaemon in black robes with bloody katana on a yellow background. Japanese characters behind Tatsuya in red read: Bandits vs Samurai Squadron. Illustration by author Jake Rudegeair.

|Jake Rudegeair| A lot has been written about camp, especially when it comes to film. It’s one of those delicious words that we all seem to understand, but gets so warped by bumps and nodules of meaning that its definition keeps changing. Maybe it’s like that old subjective definition… Continue reading