A Walk Among the Tombstones

Thrillers Reviewed: ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ and ‘Septimo’

I really like Scott Frank. The writer of such sharp screenplays as Get Shorty (1995), Dead Again (1991), and Minority Report (2002), Frank has worked steadily in recent years on some popular movies, but has sadly not written anything I have been interested in for a long time now. And I really like Liam Neeson.…

By Jonathan Eig
Dystopian District 9

20 Great Dystopian Movies: The Shadow of Perfection

You can’t write an article on dystopian movies without mentioning utopian ideals. Many volumes have been written on the human impulse to construct and/or invest in utopian visions – visions that can be either celestial or corporeal in nature. And there’s a good reason for this – life is a combination of pain and joy, and…

By James Curnow
racism the birth of a nation

A Tale of Two Racisms: ‘Jud Süß’ and Stepin Fetchit

If YouTube had never existed, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance to see Jud Süß (1940) and the Stepin Fetchit short film Slow Poke (1932). Thankfully, I did, and I’m very grateful. I think everyone should see these movies – with good reason. They’re some of the most offensive pictures ever created, and they’re…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Calvary John Michael McDonagh

John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary: The Mystery of Faith and Forgiveness

“I am going to kill you, Father, because you are innocent.” That line, delivered by an anonymous and unseen penitent in the opening scene of John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary, dominates all that follows. And yet, the actual plot of McDonagh’s second feature pays little mind to the threat and all it entails. And because of…

By Jonathan Eig
Steven Knight Eastern Promises

Steven Knight: The Screenwriter as Auteur?

Regular readers of Curnblog no doubt recall fondly the slugfest Simon Butler and I engaged in a while back about the validity of the auteur theory. I don’t think we changed anyone’s minds, but hopefully it provided some reasonable debate. As an opponent of the theory that unquestioningly elevates directors above everyone else in every…

By Jonathan Eig

Blurred Images: Nudity, ‘Dating Naked’ and the Need for More Censorship

Which is worse: racism or treating a woman as a sex object? I pondered this question recently after catching a snippet of Dating Naked (2014-present) — the ridiculous new show on VH1 featuring would-be romantic partners appearing au naturel — on TV. This silly program dares to blur any offending genitalia or breasts out, so…

By Simon Hardy Butler