Waking up in CLOSE-UP

|Jesse Lawson| For those of us caught slumbering in the cinema, Abbas Kiarostami once offered a vindication. Interviewed at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997, he expressed his distaste for those films that “hold viewers hostage” or attempt to “disturb” them. “I prefer the films that put the audience to...

(Not Coming) Out Out

|Jesse Lawson| I ended up with the wrong Gremlins poster on a trip to Spencer Gifts one Saturday in the mid-1980s, when I was eight or nine years old. It may have been mislabeled; I may have misread the label. I had wanted a reproduction of the film’s meta promotional poster,...

PARIS, TEXAS: Wim Wenders’s American Myth

|Greg Hunter| Paris, Texas begins with Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton) in a kind of walking catatonia. He has spent years away from his family––most of them on foot, for all viewers know––and only reconnects with his brother Walt (Dean Stockwell) after collapsing in a small West Texas town. Despite...
Waking up in CLOSE-UP

Waking up in CLOSE-UP

|Jesse Lawson| For those of us caught slumbering in the cinema, Abbas Kiarostami once offered a vindication. Interviewed at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997, he expressed his distaste for those films that “hold viewers hostage” or attempt to “disturb” them. “I prefer the films that put the audience to...
(Not Coming) Out Out

(Not Coming) Out Out

|Jesse Lawson| I ended up with the wrong Gremlins poster on a trip to Spencer Gifts one Saturday in the mid-1980s, when I was eight or nine years old. It may have been mislabeled; I may have misread the label. I had wanted a reproduction of the film’s meta promotional poster,...
PARIS, TEXAS: Wim Wenders’s American Myth

PARIS, TEXAS: Wim Wenders’s American Myth

|Greg Hunter| Paris, Texas begins with Travis Henderson (Harry Dean Stanton) in a kind of walking catatonia. He has spent years away from his family––most of them on foot, for all viewers know––and only reconnects with his brother Walt (Dean Stockwell) after collapsing in a small West Texas town. Despite...
Black Christmas: The Godfather of Slasher Genre

Black Christmas: The Godfather of Slasher Genre

|Finn Odum| John Carpenter’s Halloween is a cornerstone of the slasher genre. It’s one of the most influential and well known horror franchises, inspiring countless sequels and knock-offs. It’s everywhere in horror culture: The hockey-mask wearing Jason of Friday the 13th is based on Michael Meyers. Halloween appears in Wes...
Santa Slays: Tracing the History of Christmas Horror

Santa Slays: Tracing the History of Christmas Horror

|Finn Odum| See Finn Odum’s post on Silent Night, Deadly Night here.
He Sees You When You’re Sleeping

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping

|Finn Odum| Santa Claus is an American Christmas staple. As soon as Halloween passes, department stores pull out red and green decorations and radio stations start playing Christmas carols. TV networks air every Christmas movie imaginable, including a wide variety of Santa Claus origin stories and adventures. To the dismay...
BUFFALO ‘66: Desperate times call for magical style

BUFFALO ‘66: Desperate times call for magical style

|Ann Romine| Five minutes into Buffalo ‘66, Billy Brown needs to find a bathroom. To remedy this situation, he decides to return to the prison from which he was just released, a move that immediately characterizes the film’s protagonist as a lost soul.  On a winter day in Buffalo, New...
Why Charles Burnett Turned His Back On Blaxploitation: An Interview with the Filmmaker

Why Charles Burnett Turned His Back On Blaxploitation: An Interview with the Filmmaker

|Todd Melby| Working freelance doesn’t pay much, but it does afford one time. A couple of years ago, I used my ample time to create a film podcast. I titled it The Drunk Projectionist. The name sounds cool, but when it comes to movies, I’m quite sober. My movie pod hustle...
“It’s Lonely Being a Cannibal” – RAVENOUS is a Forgotten Gem

“It’s Lonely Being a Cannibal” – RAVENOUS is a Forgotten Gem

|Betsy Midnight| Flash yourself back to 1999: the shiny Clinton years had fully dissolved into scandal, boy bands couldn’t be stopped, The Matrix came out, and everyone started wearing pleather trench coats with their platform flip-flops. Into this kooky transitional period in American culture, Ravenous––a surprisingly artsy, horror Western––poofed into...
A Geographer’s Guide to the Hills

A Geographer’s Guide to the Hills

|Finn Odum| Movies are nothing without their environments. A location can dictate a film’s context, its characters’ values, and the movie’s tone. As a geographer, I’m trained to see the world in terms of place. I ask questions such as, how do people come together and interact in this space?...
Halloweenish: A Trylon Cinema Crossword Puzzle

Halloweenish: A Trylon Cinema Crossword Puzzle

|Celia Mattison| A .pdf of the puzzle is available here for easy printing. If you’re looking for answers, you can find them here. Edited by Shivaun Watchorn Check out our October lineup of “Halloweenish” films on the Trylon’s website.
Get Ready for BRAIN DAMAGE

Get Ready for BRAIN DAMAGE

|Betsy Midnight| In a memorable Brain Damage scene, a junkyard security guard, quietly and unseen, observes a nice young man in ecstasy, so transported by the mind-blowing, euphoria-inducing spectacle of a dirty pile of smashed-up cars that he can’t help but proclaim his rapture to the stars. The look on...