Historian by trade, currently a researcher for IATSE Local 600. You can follow all my writing here.
Not a Lubitsch film, but I joined Devan Scott on his podcast "How Would Lubitsch Do It?" to give a breakdown of every Hollywood studio from the 1920s through the 1940s. We discussed the influenza pandemic and how it consolidated distribution and exhibition, the role of the government in creating Hollywood's global brand, and the role anti-Semitism played in shaping the censorship boards. Plus, Devan couldn't help but ask about Jewel Robbery, a film I recommended him once and what remains I think perhaps the most essential film of Hollywood Pre-Code. Check our our talk here!
No, I did not watch The Gray Man. This is an announcement: I've started a Substack. As spaces like Facebook and Twitter have become less operable, I'm trying to center a space where curious readers might follow my writing on film, labor, industry, history, and perhaps some baseball and food posts. And all posts will be free.
My first piece is on Netflix; specially, the DVD side of Netflix that has finally been killed. I argue that it's no different…
A green Sprite bottle, given almost a mythical introduction in a frenetic monologue, slips out of the hand of a character and roles into a puddle of water. The camera, finally imparted from its intense close-ups to a God's eye long shot, lingers just for a second as it rolls into a puddle where it could be misconceived as trash. An object of everyday life that has been signified with narrative agency (A MacGuffin up there with the Arc of…
I could talk about how this film's structure finally achieves the blissful melancholy that has been at the heart of all of Wes Anderson's films. I could talk about the precision of his framing and tracking shots, and how often he finds visual comedy through a perfect edit, or the slight entrance of new material into the frame. I could talk about how depressing the film is, the hints of both a traumatizing past, and that in a way, Sam…