Favorite films

  • Written on the Wind
  • Black Is … Black Ain’t
  • The Unknown Man of Shandigor
  • Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives

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  • Space Is the Place

    ★★★★

  • Sudan

    ★★

  • Reform School Girls

    ★★★½

  • Gold Diggers of 1935

    ★★★

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  • Jupiter's Darling

    Jupiter's Darling

    ★★★★½

    See, this, THIS, is why I plumb the moldy depths of the studio system, enduring tedious obscurities in the relentless pursuit of the truly baffling. Who in Hollywood thought that the perfect vehicle for Esther Williams was a sword & sandals musical comedy? Where Gower and Marge Champion dance with elephants because, well, Hannibal? Where Howard Keel’s frankly impressive thighs are displayed so extensively and lovingly that they deserve their own credit?

    Williams is committed, at least, probably just thrilled to…

  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

    Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

    ★★★★

    Listen, I can appreciate Godzilla as a metaphor for the horrors of the nuclear age and still be delighted by Rodan laughing at him while Mothra is spraying him with webbing. These two things are not mutually exclusive.

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  • Space Is the Place

    Space Is the Place

    ★★★★

    I appreciate that Sun Ra’s performance makes it clear that he’s serious about what he is saying, he isn’t taking this film too seriously. I also like that the film takes the trappings of Blaxploitation, shuffles them like the tarot deck they keep passing back and forth, and pull them out, seemingly at random. It straddles a line between popular entertainment, avant-garde, and polemic, and every time I thought I had a handle on it, I was just grasping air.

  • Sudan

    Sudan

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The most exciting thing about this is that Maria Montez ends up with Turhan Bey instead of Jon Hall. (I’m guessing that might have had something to do with Hall getting his face slashed up by Tommy Dorsey’s mobster neighbor in the battle of the balcony.) There are a lot of chases on horseback shot from the next dune over, which does very little to ramp up the excitement. This feels very much like everyone involved is tired of this particular genre, and want to move on to bigger and better things, which, sadly, most of them did not do.

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  • Gold Diggers of 1935

    Gold Diggers of 1935

    ★★★

    I wasn’t paying attention the way I should have been, because I was trying to watch it so I could return it to the library. There was a lot going on, and while it was filmed more sophisticatedly than 1933, it suffered for not having Joan Blondell or Ginger Rogers among the ingenues, who became difficult to distinguish after a while. But Alice Brady was doing the absolute most, and while occasionally irritating I was kind of there for it.

  • Man's Favorite Sport?

    Man's Favorite Sport?

    ★★★½

    A movie where Rock Hudson has a secret and Paula Prentiss has a girlfriend.