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Archive for May 18th, 2014

by Sam Juliano

Ghost is a trap for snobs.  A big 1990 Hollywood release with marketable stars normally starts off with a strike against it, and the supernatural premise of featuring a man being murdered, returning as a ghost, and then watching invisibly over his lover was certain to have some critics out impersonating ghostbusters.  And despite a majority of favorable notices, there remains to this day some who deride this popular comic fantasy with John Simon-styled venom, dismissing it as trite, sophomoric, and cloyingly sentimental.  But square can be beautiful too, and Ghost has gloriously survived the lambasting from the intelligentsia to stand today as a romantic favorite among audiences who largely find bliss in all shapes and varieties in re-visitations.   The film was the second biggest grosser worldwide in its release year, trailing only Home Alone.

Featuring three popular actors who in this film give their very best performances (to be sure Swayze is not much of an actor at any rate), Ghost,  directed by cinematic laughmeister extraordinaire Jerry Zucker is reliant on its eccentric fabric to overcome what some believe is a ghost story that for all its built in deceits is still exceedingly difficult to believe.  The film alternates between the somber and broadly comic, yet the entire enterprise is held together by the emotional glue of romance that would even go as far as to have the lovers make pottery while engaging in a steamy make-out.   The early scenes of the film are idyllic and amorous, chronicling the young couple’s move into a Big Apple apartment, though the film’s deftly measured screenplay (sure there is some hokey dialogue, but it comes with the turf) by Bruce Joel Rudin issues some dire warnings that include the hoisting of an angel into a window, Molly’s wish to see a performance of Macbeth, and a news flash of an airplane crash.   (more…)

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Powerful Moroccan film “Horses of God”, about Islamic extremism showing at Film Forum

by Sam Juliano

May weather has taken hold, as some in our midst have been pondering vacation options.  Our good friend Laurie Buchanan has settled in her new Pacific northwest paradise in Idaho, while three of our other esteemed kindred spirits are presently in Europe immersing themselves in all the cultural and sensory locations that many of us see only in our dreams.  Pat Perry has been in Germany the past ten days or so, and even reported she saw the new Godzilla over the weekend.  Tony d’Ambra’s spectacular European trip has recently included a stop in Paris, where he and his wife have experienced the Lourve, the Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triumph as well as other renowned sites, while artist extraordinaire Terrill Welch and her husband David have been all over Italy, offering up magnificent photos of her forays into Florence, Venice and other beautiful places in one of the continent’s most favored cultural meccas.

The romantic countdown begins today with the posting of the Number 101 choice, and will continue every Monday through Friday until the Number 1 essay is unveiled on Monday, October 6.  As always it is hoped that the comment sections will add to the celebration, but even if comments are limited, the presentation will still provide a stellar reference archives for the future.  Thanks to all the writers who have worked so hard to get this project off the ground. (more…)

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