Essentials: The Godfather and the Godfather Part II

There is little to be written about the first and second Godfather movies that hasn't been written before. They are the most popular movies in American culture, having revolutionized a Hollywood system that was dying off in the early 1970s and presenting a unique picture of not only mob life, but a story of America... Continue Reading →

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Essentials: Vertigo

Upon release, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) was deemed a commercial and critical failure. It was not as dramatic as Rear Window (1954) nor as surrealist as Spellbound (1945). It took years before it achieved its status as a masterpiece, but is now considered Hitchcock's greatest work and one of the best films ever made. After... Continue Reading →

Movie Essentials: Lawrence of Arabia

"They won't come for Damascus," Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) proclaims near the film's climax. "They'll come for me." T. E. Lawrence's exploits in the Arabian desert during World War 1 as the British fought the Turkish empire are now the stuff of mythos. Director David Lean's film Lawrence of Arabia (1962) is both epic and yet... Continue Reading →

Essentials: Persona

Ingmar Bergman has always been cinema's great existentialist. His work delves into musings about life and death and love and sex and the mystery surrounding all of it. Watching one of his films is equivalent almost to a church confessional, as if he is whispering to us all his deepest thoughts. Filmed during the height... Continue Reading →

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