Train to Busan - cool movies

The Hip Six: The Coolest Films of 2016

“He’s the exact opposite of everything I really hate. In a way he’s such a clueless dork that he’s almost cool.” “That guy is many things but he definitely isn’t “cool.” And so goes the argument between Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) over the merits of Seymour (Steve Buscemi) in Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost…

By Jonathan Eig

The Westerns of Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott: A Film Primer

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I am a latecomer to the six Westerns that make-up the collaboration between Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott. (There is a seventh, but I’ll do them the courtesy of pretending it doesn’t exist). These six films, released over the course of just five years between 1956 and 1960, mark…

By James Curnow
Django Spaghetti Westerns

Ten Great Spaghetti Westerns NOT directed by Sergio Leone

For most people, the term Spaghetti Western applies almost solely to the films of Sergio Leone, particularly those starring Clint Eastwood. But the reality is that close to 600 Westerns were produced in Europe between 1960 and 1980, and during it’s peak, Italy was churning out more than 40 Spaghetti Westerns a year. Of course,…

By James Curnow
Blade Runner

From Tragicomedy to Cyber-Punk: 6 Movie Mash-Ups

In the beginning there was tragedy and there was comedy. If the mask was smiling, you were in for a riotous night of theatre. If it wore a frown, well, then the gods were angry and you could be sure the poor humans in the play would suffer. For thousands of years, there was tragedy…

By Jonathan Eig
American Sniper

American Sniper: Chris Kyle, Clint Eastwood, American Manhood

American Sniper, an account of the life and times of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the most lethal sniper in American history, bears the classic marks of a Clint Eastwood film. Eastwood’s career, intentionally or unintentionally, has always been deeply entangled with ideas of masculinity – ideas which cumulatively seem to suggest an overarching vision of…

By James Curnow
Clint Eastwood Unforgiven

Clint Eastwood and the Western: A Film Primer

There are few figures quite as representative of American ideals of masculinity as Clint Eastwood. Since starring in Sergio Leone’s genre-perforating Western classic, A Fistful of Dollars (1964), Eastwood’s career has largely been about the representation – and later the deconstruction – of what it means to be a man.  This was, initially, a trajectory set…

By James Curnow

Django Unchained: New Trailer

Anybody else excited? Tarantino occasionally takes hits over his cinema of referential overload, but I stand behind the man 100%. The most common arguments see people claiming his work is closer to plagiarism than homage, but the reality is that his reassembled visions are closer to acts of genre worship than anything else. They also…

By James Curnow