Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953)

It's a week after Bastille Day and we're having a heatwave. What better reasons to watch Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953)? Jacques Tati's delightful satire of vacationing at the French seashore is nearly silent, making it ideal for those who don't like subtitles. The dearth of dialog is more than compensated for by the music, Tati's […]

Arrested Development (2003-2006, 2013)

A string of elaborate set-ups to clever but odd punchlines in sitcom format. Fantastic. Tags: 2000s, comedy, commentary, essay, television

I Married A Witch (1942)

I Married A Witch is Rene Clair's perfect little comedy confection of a movie. Veronica Lake is at her peak, just slightly drawing attention from the great Fredric March and Cecil Kellaway. Susan Hayward also leaves an impression in an early supporting role. Robert Benchley gives a reliably fine performance. Lake is a long-dormant 17th […]

Holiday Movies

It’s the season for parties, decorations, fireside relaxation, and holiday movies. Many holiday movies. Too many holiday movies. Old holiday movies. New holiday movies. Some classics and some dreck. I’ll focus on the classics–at least, the better. We’ve all seen It’s A Wonderful Life (1945). If you haven’t, you must. It’s not just a Christmas […]

Hobson’s Choice (1954)

The later career of David Lean–typified by monumental epics like Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago–is of little interest to me. Instead, I’m a great fan of Lean’s earlier gems. Brief Encounter is one of my very favorite movies by any director and I’ve always been fond of Summertime and Blithe Spirit. Hobson’s Choice, another […]

John Hughes, 1950-2009

One of the people who made the 1980s such a great decade (at least for me) passed away suddenly on August 6. This loss is tragic, but we actually lost Hughes cinematically more than two decades ago. Beginning with National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) (which he wrote), John Hughes wrote, directed, or produced some of the […]