Daily Archives: January 1, 2022

MIDNIGHT COWBOY

Written for the Il Cinema Ritrovato catalogue for June 2018, although they wound up not using this entry because the film got canceled. — J.R.

MC-Voight

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An expert piece of machinery highlighting two gifted actors — Jon Voight in his screen debut and Dustin Hoffman in the immediate aftermath of The Graduate, playing an antithetical role as a crippled street rodent named “Ratso” — Midnight Cowboy actually looks better to me now than it did in 1969. Even back then, I was impressed by the jubilant energy of the film’s opening: our introduction to Voight’s Joe Buck, the title hero, to the strains of Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin’” was every bit as galvanizing as our first look at John Travolta’s Tony Manero would be eight years later in Saturday Night Fever, strutting to his own music. And much of what followed, after this Texan dishwasher boarded a bus for New York with dreams of becoming a first-class gigolo, impressed me with its deft storytelling and its eye for flavorsome detail.  But English director John Schlesinger, in spite of his skill with actors, was designated as a bad object by Anglo-American auteurists such as myself —  crassly derivative of the French New Wave in his flashy effects and a tireless trend-monger. Read more

The Naked Spur

From the Chicago Reader (November 1, 1989). — J.R.

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An uncharacteristically nasty James Stewart plays an obsessive bounty hunter with Robert Ryan in tow in one of the very best Anthony Mann westerns — which means one of the very best westerns, period. This 1953 film has Janet Leigh in jeans, beautiful location shooting (and Technicolor cinematography) in the Rockies, and some of the most intense psychological warfare to be found in Mann’s angular and anguished oeuvre. With Ralph Meeker, Millard Mitchell, and a top-notch script by Sam Rolfe and Harold Jack Bloom. 91 min. (JR)

the-naked-spur Read more

A Master Index To This Site (as of October 1, 2012)

Trevor Vartanoff, one of the frequenters of this web site, has just come up with an invaluable gift to me and to others — an alphabetical master index of all (or almost all) the postings here, complete with links. “I found it useful,” Trevor just wrote me, “maybe you or readers will too.” — J.R.

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Featured Texts:

*Corpus Callosum

*CORPUS CALLOSUM

12 Monkeys

12 and Holding

15th Annual Festival of Illinois Film and Video

2 Oxford Companion Entries (Albert Brooks and découpage)

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her

2001: A Space Odyssey

2046

20th International Tournee of Animation

29th Chicago International Film Festival: Mired in the Present

4 Little Girls

4

60s Wisdom

7 Women

8 1/2

8 Mile

84 Charlie Mopic

9 1/2 Weeks with Van Gogh

A Bankable Feast [BABETTE’S FEAST]

A Beauty and a Beast

A Bluffer’s Guide to Bela Tarr

A Breakthrough And A Throwback

A Brief History of Time

A Brighter Summer Day

A Bronx Tale

A Christmas Commodity: SCROOGED

A Cinema of Uncertainty

A Constant Forge

A Couple of Kooks [MY BEST FIEND]

A Cut Above [HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER]

A Depth in the Family [A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE]

A Dialogue about Abbas Kiarostami’s SHIRIN

A Different Kind of Swinger [GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE]

A Different Kind of Thrill (Richet’s ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13)

A Dry White Season

A Family Thing

A Far Off Place

A Few Eruptions in the House of Lava

A Few Things Well [A LITTLE STIFF]

A Film of the Future

A Fish Called Wanda

A Force Unto Himself [on Hou Hsiao-hsien]

A Great Day in Harlem

A History of Violence

A Home of Our Own

À la recherche de Luc Moullet: 25 Propositions

A Little Transcendence Goes a Long Way

A Lucky Day

A Major Talent [on SWEETIE]

A Man Escaped

A Midnight Clear

A Moment of Innocence

A New Leaf

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

A Page of Madness

A Perfect World

A Perversion of the Past

A Place Called Chiapas

A Place in the Pantheon: Films by Bela Tarr

A Place in the World

A Price Above Rubies

A Prophet in His Own Country [Jon Jost retrospective]

A Quirky Cowboy Classic [on THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA]

A Radical Idea [HALF NELSON & THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED]

A Road Not Taken (The Films of Harun Farocki)

A Room With No View [ORPHANS]

A Russian in Hollywood [SHY PEOPLE]

A Scanner Darkly

A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love

A Single Girl

A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries

A Stylist Hits His Stride (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND)

A Tale of Love

A Tale of Winter

A Tale of the Wind

A Tale of the Wind

A Thousand Words

A Time of Love

A Time to Lie (CROSS MY HEART)

A Time to Live and a Time to Die

A Touch of Class [GOSFORD PARK]

A Woman’s Tale

A World Apart

A Year at the Movies

A Zed and Two Noughts

A.I. Read more