Monthly Archives: May 2012

Link Dump: #69

This is our 69th Link Dump, so we have an appropriately suggestive kitty picture to go with it. Like seriously, that’s pretty much pornographic. Ohhh, Anthony Perkins… anyway, here are some links:

And to match that oh-so-sexual kitty picture, here are some bizarre search terms, presented without comment: “woman fuc woman pussy bool”; “she wanted to protect her pussy”; “nude glamor sedai **”; and the Hemingwayesque short-story-in-a-sentence-fragment “fucked on halloween with my slut costume still on.” Bravo, searchers.

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Lists of Fury

Joel Bocko of The Dancing Image recently asked, “What are 100 (of Your) Favorite Movies?” As soon as I read the question, I knew I had to answer. I’m a list junkie: I love reading, collecting, and composing ’em. I just can’t get enough lists. And, with Sight & Sound’s seventh “greatest films” poll being released in September, there’s been a lot of “list” talk in the air. Roger Ebert wrote about his contribution to the new S&S poll; Criticwire’s Matt Singer asked critics to replace a film in S&S’s top 10; and Film School Rejects’ Cole Abaius announced a 10-best list “according to the Internet.” So lately I’ve been pondering the politics of listmaking… (If you just want to see my 100 movies, skip the next few paragraphs.) Continue reading

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Obscure-ish Movies of the 1950s

Last month, I wrote up a list of “Obscure-ish Movies of the 1940s,” inspired by Catherine of Cinema Enthusiast and her decade-by-decade viewing schedule. Now she’s moving on to the ’50s, and so am I! Below are 50 more obscure-ish movie recommendations. (I say “obscure-ish,” mind you, because obscurity is so relative.) And so you know, this list was almost dominated by Samuel Fuller, Anthony Mann, and Nicholas Ray, so you can really just pretend that the entirety of their ’50s outputs are there.

1950

  • Caged
  • The Furies
  • Panic in the Streets
  • The Sound of Fury
  • Young Man with a Horn

1951

  • His Kind of Woman
  • The Man from Planet X
  • The Man in the White Suit
  • The River
  • The Tales of Hoffman

1952

  • The Marrying Kind
  • On Dangerous Ground
  • Scandal Sheet
  • The Sniper
  • Sudden Fear

1953

1954

  • Animal Farm
  • Hobson’s Choice
  • The Naked Jungle
  • Salt of the Earth
  • Touchez pas au grisbi

1955

  • The Big Combo
  • Cast a Dark Shadow
  • I Live in Fear
  • The Phenix City Story
  • La Pointe Courte

1956

  • Seven Men from Now
  • Street of Shame
  • Tea and Sympathy
  • While the City Sleeps
  • The Wrong Man

1957

  • A Face in the Crowd
  • Forty Guns
  • The Invisible Boy
  • Tokyo Twilight
  • 20 Million Miles to Earth

1958

  • Bell, Book and Candle
  • The Defiant Ones
  • The Horse’s Mouth
  • Man of the West
  • Murder by Contract

1959

  • A Bucket of Blood
  • Night of the Ghouls
  • Room at the Top
  • Santa Claus
  • The Tingler

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Link Dump: #68

Oh my god, it’s Peter Lorre with two kitties on him! That’s just like the cutest thing ever. Pussy Goes Grrr’s been fairly quiet this past week, but lots of goodies soon to come: some list-tastic posts, some reviews, and of course the Queer Film Blogathon on the horizon. But for now, a few links:

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Link Dump: #67

This week’s kitty is from Scary Movie 2, and it’s a lot less benign than most. I mean, it’s been beating the shit out of Anna Faris, and now it’s giving her the finger! Bad kitty! But still, it’s a kitty. Anyway, here’s a bunch of cool links…

We just have one particularly over-the-top search term this week: “violence horror pussy bloody operation.” That says it all, really.

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Body and Soul

Ah, The Exorcist (1973). That Most Iconic of Horror Movies. That onslaught of sacrilege, holy water, and pea soup vomit (or so pop culture would have you believe). It’s this week’s pick for The Film Experience’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” series, and you know what? Beyond being a repository of gory iconography, it’s a seriously good-looking movie. William Friedkin and Owen Roizman—the latter of whom also lensed ’70s classics like The Stepford Wives and Network—shoot it mostly as a domestic drama, where drab colors and cozy furnishings belie the growing evil. As the exorcism nears, though, they employ some stark chiaroscuro.

That’s when we get the famous shot above, one of my favorites, with Father Merrin going up to the MacNeils’ house. Borrowing, I think, from The Night of the Hunter’s expressionism, it’s a tantalizing prelude to the film’s expulsive climax; it charts just how far this urban homestead has descended into gothic madness. Merrin’s silhouette suggests a man of mystery, a man burdened by unpleasant knowledge who remains (judging by that toolkit) an absolute professional. He’ll be shaken up soon, th0ugh, thanks to one very special girl.

Together, these constitute my favorite image in The Exorcist. (To avoid cheating, though, I’ll name the lower-right shot as “best.”) They showcase Linda Blair’s decidedly normal-girl visage as it transforms, through the addition of scars and contact lenses, into that of a demon incarnate. But it’s not just makeup and Mercedes McCambridge’s voice that enact this metamorphosis. Blair’s whole demeanor changes: without losing the audience’s eye contact, she goes from victim to agent of terror, and her attitude shifts from bed-ridden supplication to caustic resentment.

Her camera-directed gaze establishes a visual continuity between the before and after, and in both phases, it’s haunting. It implicates us in both her suffering and her demon-induced rage. I find that hospital-bound before picture the most disturbing, though. Pazuzu’s condescension is one thing, but Blair’s pallor and confusion are hard to stomach. She just looks like a sick little girl who’d much rather be drawing or playing than smothered under layers of medical equipment. And as she catches our eyes, she seems to be asking—calmly, patiently, with good humor—“Why me?”

All that vomit and blood would be meaningless without this sick little girl. Her pain is what makes The Exorcist is so scary.

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Announcing: The Queer Film Blogathon 2012

I know we just wrapped up the Short Animation Blogathon, but time and tide wait for no blogger. So it’s time for another special announcement: we’ll be co-hosting the second Queer Film Blogathon from June 18-22, 2012 alongside the wonderful Caroline of Garbo Laughs!

As Caroline puts it, the purpose of this blogathon is to celebrate “lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or otherwise non-heterosexual, non-gender-binary depictions or personages in film!” So cut loose, enjoy yourself, and write about whatever you like, so long as it falls under that very broad umbrella. (You don’t need to declare your topic ahead of time; any overlaps between contributions are fine.) Once this party gets underway in a month and a half, all submitted posts will be linked to both here and at Garbo Laughs. Twice the linkage! Twice the queer fun!

And to make this blogathon even better, we’ll be holding a raffle at each site, probably for books about LGBT cinema. (Prizes and rules TBA.) So, wanna join in? Then please RSVP in the comments either here or on Caroline’s announcement, and we’ll add you to the list of participants below. Finally, she also whipped up a series of beautiful banners to publicize the blogathon:

Participating Sites:

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