Category Archives: History

Last Month’s Birthday: Strother Martin

Strother Martin. You may not know the name, but you certainly know the line: What we have here is… failure to communicate. Now think about the fact that Strother–cool name, that–made a very memorable name for himself in the tiniest … Continue reading

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Five Film Favorites: Shakespeare adaptations

During the James River Film Festival, author and film reviewer Peter Schilling Jr. introduced the wonderful The Night of the Hunter.  Schilling discussed not only Charles Laughton’s brilliant film, but the same titled Davis Grubb novel on which it was … Continue reading

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Spanish Language Dracula at the Byrd

The James River Film Festival’s world of wonders continues this afternoon, as guitarist Gary Lucas provides live accompaniment to George Melford’s Dracula, aka “The Spanish Language Dracula“. (Today at 4:00 at the Byrd Theater in Richmond.) What does that mean, … Continue reading

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Five Film Favorites: The Sweet Science of Bruising

Has there ever been a sport better examined by cinema than boxing? The “sweet science of bruising” (as A. J. Liebling put it) pits man against man (or woman against woman, but I’ll be damned if I’m putting that lousy … Continue reading

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The Performance of History: Demain des l’aube

History, as defined by its own disciplinary parameters, would seemingly always exist separate from the acts of performance, production, creation, and invention.  After all, the “looking back” that is required from history’s intellectual demands emphasizes understanding how and why performance, production, creation, and invention … Continue reading

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This Week’s Birthday: Joan Crawford

Ah, Joan Crawford. What does the name mean to you? For a lot of us–too many of us, I think–the name “Joan Crawford” immediately conjures up that hideous mask, the black gown, the screeching “No more wire hangars EVER!” And … Continue reading

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Five Film Favorites: Desert Island Movies

I think it’s safe to assume that cinephiles – and that includes you, Journal reader – have a list of movies they’d take with them to a desert island, if their life ever warranted such an isolating and liberating change. … Continue reading

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Shades Of Grey: The Prowler

You will bow to The Prowler. Written by blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and directed by Joseph Losey, The Prowler is a dark, subversive look at the desire for status and success. Van Heflin’s shady patrolman responds to Evelyn Keyes’ housewife’s … Continue reading

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This Week’s Birthday: Hal Needham

No, Hal Needham was not the best director in the world. In fact, his resume in that field reflects some of the worst garbage imaginable, from the Smokey and the Bandit series to the execrable Cannonball Run movies , the … Continue reading

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Cricket World Cup Recommendation: Lagaan

Since so many of you are probably recovering from the scintillating and rare tie between England and India in the Cricket World Cup (England needed two runs on the last ball but only managed one), I thought that I would … Continue reading

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