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Archive for August 24th, 2020

by Sam Juliano

September is right around the corner.  The uncertainty with school openings seems headed for an “at the wire” edict.  In the meantime politics continues to dominate the daily new cycle and is captivating all Americans, most of whom are not compromising their feelings.  The Democratic National Convention was a most inspiring affair.  Jim Clark published a masterful essay on Ingmar Bergman’s 1969 The Rite this past week, and J.D. Lafrance chimed in with a fantastic essay of his own on Wong Kar-Wai’s classic Fallen Angels.

As promised I will now post my Rod Serling’s Night Gallery reviews that so far have appeared on Facebook, but obviously I have plenty more to go:

Top 27 Rod Serling’s ‘Night Gallery’ segments (presented in reverse numerical order)

Countdown Segment Number 22 “A Fear of Spiders” (Season 2) 21:48

A Kafkaesque tale of acute arachnophobia featuring excellent performances, “A Fear of Spiders” is a sometimes chilling, black comedy extraordinaire where the main protagonist, a cruel and arrogant narcissist receives a just comeuppance from a hairy arachnid who craves human flesh. Night Gallery’s quintessential snob (though William Sharsted from “Camera Obscura” is a very close second) Justin Walters is a prissy sadist who relishes berating all human contact with heartless bravado, and he seems to reserve the worst repudiation he can summon us for his upstairs neighbor, a pushy librarian named Elizabeth Croft whom he took out for dinner a few times for selfish reasons. Written with an acerbic edge by Rod Serling from a short story “The Spider” by Elizabeth Walker, this theatrically negotiated segment was fabulously directed by John Astin, but is perhaps more famous for who didn’t direct it after a zero hour exit by Steven Spielberg, who at that time was adverse to the grind of network television. Spielberg of course did helm the pilot segment “Eyes” starring Joan Crawford. (more…)

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