by Sam Juliano
Local fireworks events and some glorious weather defined July 4, 2015 in the New York City area, but reports across the country happily conveyed much the same. Here is Fairview, New Jersey it is business as usual with administrators on duty through much of the hot season, and the creative writing/literature enrichment program that I teach is running through August 7.
The Childhood/Adolescent Films Countdown at the site is moving along quite nicely with two full weeks of entries complete. The project will continue into October. Both page view and comment totals are solid, as as was the case with our past multi-writer genre pollings (musicals, comedies, westerns and romances) the quality of the writing is consistently first-rate. J. D. Lafrance, Jamie Uhler, Patricia Perry and Allan Fish wrote magnificent essays this past week. Mr. Uhler’s staggering piece on the harrowing 1985 Russian war film Come and See ran over 4,000 words. Lucille and I enjoyed a comparatively relaxing week after the previous madness associated with end-of-the-year milestones and heavy June bookings (just kidding of course, I truly loved every minute!), though we still managed a few outings over the weekend.
Surprise! After a very long absence, I have brought back site links this week, though the future of this long-abandoned practice will strictly be week to week, contingent on available time.
On the theatrical movie front I watched Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali for the second time in three weeks at the Film Forum as a result of a close friend wanting to see the stunning 4K restoration for the first time. Lucille and I also saw two new releases with various members of our brood (my daughter Melanie is a huge Amy Winehouse fan, and urged a viewing of the documentary about her sadly brief life as a titanic jazz singer in the UK). I also re-watched several blu-rays at home including Arrow’s terrific spaghetti western Day of Wrath, and the Roger Corman horror film The Tomb of Ligeia. Watching the rousing holiday musical 1776 again on a 4K restoration was utter joy! We saw:
Amy **** (Saturday night) Sunshine Landmark Cinemas
Inside Out **** (Sunday) Starplex Cinemas
The documentary AMY, about the tragic life of British/Jewish jazz singer Amy Winehouse traced her rise to prominence, and her fall to drug and alcohol dependence. The musical sequences were wholly exhilarating, but her demise was chronicled with excruciating sadness. For the most part a powerful, resonating ride. Winehouse died a few years ago at age 27, and her output basically comprised two albums. As to the new Pixar animated INSIDE OUT the reviews are so spectacular that you must wonder if some think Orson Welles directed it (45-0-0 at MC with 27 ‘100’s’). To be sure it is creative and marvelously crafted, but for me it would still place behind Wall-E and Up in the studio’s pantheon.
Here are 22 fabulous links to the sites of some of our talented friends and fellow bloggers:
At Noirish our great friend the esteemed prolific author John Grant has posted a fantastic essay on the little-seen 1954 Rank studios feature Double Exposure: https://noirencyclopedia.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/double-exposure-1954/
At Overlook’s Corridor, the cinematic storm trooper Jaimie Grijalba used soccer as a metaphor to examines films from Chile and Australia. His heady analysis is a film lover’s bliss: https://overlookhotelfilm.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/final-cup-america-2015-la-teta-asustada-2009-vs-cronica-de-un-nino-solo-1965/
Over at Twenty Four Frames our ever-resilient friend, the great writer, photographer and animal lover John Greco takes a look at the movies one will favor over the 4th of July holiday, led by that action-adventure classic Jaws: https://twentyfourframes.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/a-jaws-4th-of-july/
At Tuesdays with Laurie, our remarkable friend and jack of all trades raises the bar again with her exhilarating open aire experience in the post “En Plein Air”: http://tuesdayswithlaurie.com/2015/06/30/en-plein-air/
Over at Attractive Variance Jamie Uhler offers us an authoritative musical capsule piece titled “Six Days of Bass”: https://attractivevariance.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/six-days-of-bass/
At Movie Classics, Judy Geater is still leading up wither her fabulous piece on Del Lord’s 1936 “Trapped by Television”:https://movieclassics.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/trapped-by-television-del-lord-1936/
Our longtime friend the film maker and movie lover extraordinaire Jeffrey Goodman has recently been exploring Ozu at his blogsite The Last Lullaby. His latest superlative capsule review is on “The Straightforward Boy” (1929): http://cahierspositif.blogspot.com/2015/05/a-straightforward-boy-1929.html
Ever exploring new angles the resilient Tony d’Ambra has posted a brilliant piece on “Noir Beat: The Finnish Connection” at FilmsNoir.net: http://filmsnoir.net/film_noir/noir-beat-the-finnish-connection.html/
Over at Patricia’s Wisdom, the terrific book reviewer and friend Patricia Hamilton explores Carol Downing’s “Singing Beyond Sorrow”: http://patriciaswisdom.com/2015/06/singing-beyond-sorrow-a-year-of-grief-gratitude-and-grace-carole-marie-downing/
At Scribbles and Ramblings Sachin Gandhi speaks glowingly of the Childhood/Adolescent Countdown and offers up his own superlative list – one that was submitted for tabulation: http://likhna.blogspot.com/2015/07/top-childhood-films.html
At It Rains….You Get Wet Robert Tower has posted a fascinating feature on 2015 ‘Bests’: http://le0pard13.com/2015/07/03/summers-here-year-of-bests-2015/
J. D. Lafrance offers up a splendid essay on 2000’s “Lost Souls” at Radiator Heaven: http://rheaven.blogspot.com/2015/07/lost-souls.html
Shubhajit Lahiri has penned a brilliant capsule on Roy Anderson’s terrific “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch reflecting on Existence” at Cinemascope: http://cliched-monologues.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-pigeon-sat-on-branch-reflecting-on.html
Marilyn Ferdinand’s excellent essay on “Near Death” was recently posted at Ferdy-on-Films: http://www.ferdyonfilms.com/2015/near-death-1989/25068/
At Lost in the Movies our longtime friend Joel Bocko is leading up with a banner piece on “Neon Genesis Evangelion: Episode 8: Asuka Strikes”: http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2015/07/neon-genesis-evangelion-episode-8-asuka.html
At Mondo 70 the remarkably resilient and talented Samuel Wilson has penned a splendid piece on 1956’s “The Great Locomotive Chase”: http://mondo70.blogspot.com/2015/07/dvr-diary-great-locomotive-chase-1956.html
Terrill Welch’s incomparably beautiful Creative Potager blogsite offers up all kinds of nature-inspired sublimity, as can be seen and felt in her latest post: http://creativepotager.com/2015/06/29/a-seascape-as-a-place-to-be-on-saturna-island/
At Filmicability Dean Treadway’s latest post is a superlative examination of the famous film year 1939: http://filmicability.blogspot.com/2015/06/1939-year-in-review.html
At Vermillion and One Nights Murderous Ink has posted a unique and fascinating piece on “Bing Crosby and Art of Recording”: http://vermillionandonenights.blogspot.com/2015/06/bing-crosby-and-art-of-recording.html
David Schleicher showcases some of the places he’s been to in 2014 at The Schleicher Spin, and to be sure it is magnificence incarnate: http://theschleicherspin.com/2015/06/28/random-places-i-have-been-in-2014/
Weeping Sam offers up a simply magnificent piece on the somber historical event “Juneteenth” at The Listening Ear”: http://listeningear.blogspot.com/2015/06/juneteenth.html
Aaron West has published a terrific review of Paulo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty” at Criterion Blues: http://criterionblues.com/2015/07/05/the-great-beauty-2013-paolo-sorrentino/
At The Reluctant Blogger the photographer Jeff Stroud still leads up with his marvelous reflective piece “Suddenly”: https://jeffstroud.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/suddenly/