Archive for May 25th, 2018

Starting Monday, May 28th Wonders in the Dark will be hosting a 12 day Allan Fish Online Film Festival (Allan Fish OFF 2018). The rules are simple; each day will see a new chairman host the festivities and select a film that is available to be watched by anyone, online for free from a popular streaming site (youtube, vimeo, dailymotion, etc.). The host for that day will decide how the film they chose will be presented; an essay, a sparse teaser introduction, or ‘other’ (the creativity seen on the blogosphere for film commentary knows no bounds as we all know). Thus, conceivably the film festival could be nearly real; people anywhere on the globe watching the same film, at roundabout the same time. It’s named in honor of our dear friend and film scholar Allan Fish, whose birthday was May 28th, and will be an annual event, with this years being the second one. He found so many of his treasured Obscuro’s doing just what we’re setting out to do with this Festival, so it seemed the most fitting way to remember him. 


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by Adam Ferenz

A simple premise, this. In the first half of an episode, the police investigate a crime and in the second, the courts sort out the mess. In Dick Wolf’s legendary series, which is currently tied with Gunsmoke as the longest running dramatic series in US primetime history-it will be equaled by the spinoff, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit-this is a formula that held up, as did the idea of “ripping the stories from the headlines” and frequently rotating the cast. Lawyers and police come and go, and New York City is always there, a backdrop that is never quite a character but certainly felt.

The cast is likely what most people will remember, aside from the formula. Audiences will think of Sam Waterston as Jack McCoy, or Steven Hill as his boss at the DA’s office. They will think of Jerry Orbach, as Detective Lennie Briscoe, and maybe also Chris Noth as Mike Logan, Benjamin Bratt as Rey Curtis and Jesse L. Martin as Ed Green. They might recall S.Epatha Merkerson as Lt. Anita Van Buren. These are just a few of the-longer tenured-faces to pass through the halls of justice on NBC’s venerable offering.

The show could be prone to gimmicks-stunt casting, crossovers, though the ones with Homicide: Life on the Street worked-and, prior to a late run creative rebirth, recycling stories and beats. That last cast, with Merkerson still there as Van Buren, Waterson now in the big chair at the DA’s office, aided by Linus Roache and Alana De Le Garza’s Michael Cutter and Connie Rubirosa, helped the show regain the luster lost during a good half decade in the wilderness. They were joined by Anthony Anderson’s Kevin Bernard and Jeremy Sisto’s Cyrus Lupo. It was good to see the series close out the final three years without any turnover, and to regain a creative high it had not achieved in over a decade. Alas, it was not enough to save the series and, once it tied Gunsmoke as the longest lived US dramatic series in primetime, NBC pulled the plug. (more…)

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