Cinema

In Praise of the Novelization—Pop Fiction's Least Reputable Genre

In Praise of the Novelization—Pop Fiction's Least Reputable Genre

This month brings us the release of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. No, not the film. That came out in 2019. But now HarperCollins is publishing a novelization, written by Tarantino himself, and based on the earlier film. This particular type of fiction—the bastard offspring

Kevin Mims
Kevin Mims
Books
When Norman Jewison Turned His Camera on the Ultimate Superstar

When Norman Jewison Turned His Camera on the Ultimate Superstar

While some critics would later struggle to find a thematic through-line connecting Norman Jewison’s films, the Canadian director often identified his signature theme as betrayal. His 1973 musical drama Jesus Christ Superstar, adapted from the 1970 concept album of the same name, allowed Jewison to tackle the archetypal betrayal

Ira Wells
Ira Wells
Cinema
Remembering John Ball, the Writer Who Gave Us Virgil Tibbs

Remembering John Ball, the Writer Who Gave Us Virgil Tibbs

Sidney Poitier, who retired from acting 20 years ago, turned in many unforgettable screen performances over a career that spanned the entire second half of the 20th century. But his best known is almost certainly his portrayal of police officer Virgil Tibbs, the protagonist of Norman Jewison’s 1967 film

Kevin Mims
Kevin Mims
Books
'Allen v. Farrow': Intellectually Dishonest Propaganda Meets Emotional Blackmail

'Allen v. Farrow': Intellectually Dishonest Propaganda Meets Emotional Blackmail

Two days before the February 23rd premiere of Allen v. Farrow, the four-part HBO documentary exploring the child sexual abuse allegations against the famed filmmaker, the Los Angeles Times ran a review by television critic Lorraine Ali under a headline proclaiming it “the nail in the coffin of Woody Allen’

Cathy Young
Cathy Young
Cinema
Before 'Groundhog Day': The Time-Loop Novel that Started It All

Before 'Groundhog Day': The Time-Loop Novel that Started It All

On March 4th, the Ringer, a website that covers pop culture, featured an article entitled “We’re in a Time Loop of Time-Loop Movies.” Similar articles have appeared in many other pop-culture venues of late. Suddenly, time-loop stories seem to be everywhere. This month Hulu began streaming director Joe Carnahan’

Kevin Mims
Kevin Mims
Books
Struggling with Pixar’s 'Soul'

Struggling with Pixar’s 'Soul'

In the COVID era, my wife and I are homeschooling our small children. Their endless questions often send me to Google. Why do clouds change color? Where did language come from? Why did our ancestors paint on cave walls? They are not only curious about life after death, but also

Colm O'Shea
Colm O'Shea
Art
Carl Th. Dreyer's 'Day of Wrath' and the Power of the Punished

Carl Th. Dreyer's 'Day of Wrath' and the Power of the Punished

NOTE: This essay contains spoilers. Part of what makes Carl Theodor Dreyer’s greatest films so rewarding is their moral ambivalence. The Danish director’s oeuvre spans several decades, from the 1910s to the 1960s, but it was in his final three feature films, Day of Wrath (1943), Ordet (1955)

Matthew Wardour
Matthew Wardour
Art
Ray Russell's Incubus: A Lost Gem from America's Twentieth Decade

Ray Russell's Incubus: A Lost Gem from America's Twentieth Decade

Hard as it might be to believe, the years that stretched from roughly 1967 through the bicentennial year of 1976 brought even more foment, outrage, unrest, and upheaval to America than the most recent decade has managed. The escalation of the Vietnam War, the student protests against that war, the

Kevin Mims
Kevin Mims
Books