Laughing Matters: Martin Scorsese in “The Muse”

Sometimes comedy illuminates hard truths with a pointed urgency that other means can’t quite achieve. Sometimes comedy is just funny. This series of posts is mostly about the former instances, but the latter is valuable, too. This will be two straight weeks with a clip from an Albert Brooks movie in the space. That seems fine to me. As we traipse into the annual part of the film calendar overstuffed with fare that is desperately seeking Oscar, there are little flares of especially intriguing news here and there. For example, after months of speculation as to whether or not Martin … Continue reading Laughing Matters: Martin Scorsese in “The Muse”

From the Archive: Goodfellas

Since I invoked Goodfellas as a comparison point for excellence in writing about my clear choice for the best film of 2014, it seems appropriately to reach back to when I wrote about Martin Scorsese’s masterful film for the edition of 90FM’s The Reel Thing that looked back at the top cinematic efforts of 1990. This was my first chance to write about the film (my cohort on the show drew Goodfellas when we originally reviewed it), but it wouldn’t be the last. Though I keep trying, I suspect I’ll never fully do it justice. This is a mediocre piece of … Continue reading From the Archive: Goodfellas

Donahue, Hitchcock, Lang, Scorsese and Tedeschi, West

The Sacrament (Ti West, 2014). Following a couple elegant, artful horror features, West finally goes where all modern directors with a propensity to scare must. The Sacrament is a “found footage” that relies on the conceit of a couple Vice News reporters who tag along when a fashion photographer acquaintance goes looking for his sister, who has become a resident with a cult-like commune that has recently relocated to a remote area in South America. The plot draws heavily on the 1978 Jonestown Massacre, right down to the notorious beverage of choice when it comes time to draw the experiment … Continue reading Donahue, Hitchcock, Lang, Scorsese and Tedeschi, West

Jason, Milestone, Minnelli, Scorsese, Shelton

Humpday (Lynn Shelton, 2009). While I don’t always give the background on my viewing choices, I will note that this finally made its way from out queue to our screen in preparation for watching Lynn Shelton’s excellent follow-up. I’m mostly sharing that to give myself a public chastisement. Humpday is pretty terrific, providing a surprisingly plausible narrative progression to an utterly implausible scenario. Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard play old college buddies whose reunion after several years apart winds up involving an odd pledge to make a man-on-man pornographic film together, in direct opposition to their heterosexual tendencies, for Seattle’s … Continue reading Jason, Milestone, Minnelli, Scorsese, Shelton