Ants In Your Pants!

Our next proposal is taking forever. Maybe with a little effort I can get it posted before Christmas!

While we all wait, how about a quick shout-out to The Magic Lantern podcast! It’s the end of the year, so that means that the show’s hosts, Ericca Long and Cole Roulain, have recently put up their latest “Ants In Your Pants” episode where they share their respective top ten first time screenings for the year (plus some honourable mentions). Included on their list are various MMC! favourites like Ruggles of Red Gap (Leo McCarey, 1935), ‘I Know Where I’m Going!’ (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1945), The Lineup (Don Seigel, 1958), and The Hourglass Sanatorium (Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1973). If you haven’t already discovered their wonderful podcast, go take a listen and maybe even buy one of their swell, glow-in-the-dark pins!

And because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (and because I’m incapable of restraint and of not making lists of my own), here are my top 20 first time screenings for 2017 along with my Letterboxd reviews.

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Four Extraordinary Heroes, One Regiment: Basil Rathbone, Ronald Colman, Claude Rains and Herbert Marshall in World War I

PoppySource: Four Extraordinary Heroes, One Regiment: Basil Rathbone, Ronald Colman, Claude Rains and Herbert Marshall in World War I

Here is a wonderful piece on four of everyone’s favourite leading men and their efforts in World War I as members of the London Scottish Regiment.  These accounts are all the more moving for the self-effacing honesty, the admissions of fear, and the heartfelt sadness expressed by these soldiers/actors.

Big thanks to sistercelluloid for this fascinating post.

Vrai Kaiser on Hayao Miyazaki

Source: Vrai Kaiser on Hayao Miyazaki

Such a wonderful quote on the Japanese master that we couldn’t help but share it.

It might make me a bit old and cantankerous to say so, but to me Miyazaki was the achievement of what anime could be. Not his love of planes or rolling green hills and environmental metaphors (for every auteur has themes to which they love returning), but for the sense of honest wonderment and scope. For characters who lived and breathed and whose actions felt real, and whose relationships were always honest. For worlds that were unique and enthralling even when he stepped into the works of others, and for female characters that were dynamic and varied and strong without having to be Strong Female Characters. The man gave me my favorite film, and a language to speak about animation with passion before I knew such a thing was possible. I will miss him dearly as a viewer As an artist, I’ll try to carry his dreams into the future.

Thanks Nitrateglow!

Despair has no wings, A Crystal Maze, Alphaville and Film Studies for Free

Yesterday at Film Studies for Free, Catherine Grant posted “STUDY OF A SINGLE FILM: On Godard’s ALPHAVILLE – Dystopia 50 years on!”  We love dystopias and Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville (1965), and are only too pleased to nerd out on some French New Wave scholarship.  Enjoy Patricia Pisters’ Despair has no wings (2015) and Henrike Lindenberger’s A Crystal Maze (2014) embedded here and the other essays collected at the Film Studies for Free page.

Thanks Catherine!

Who are your neighbors?: 60 years of peeping through the “Rear Window”

Who are your neighbors?: 60 years of peeping through the “Rear Window”.

We should be sharing more of the wonderful work we discover online, and so we’ll start with this excellent review of the actors who play Jeff’s neighbours in Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954).  Performances like these are taken for granted, but Jnpickens at Comet Over Hollywood reveals there are some fascinating facts lurking behind these thankless roles.  It’s absolutely inspired to ask who these actors were and, in a way, reminds me of Robert Ray’s unconventional approach to film study and his surrealist games borne from those minute, unconsidered details glossed over in the classical Hollywood narrative.