On a Sunday last May, while Minneapolis burned, my Yankee sweetheart and I indulged in a double helping of nostalgia. The engine that propelled us along this journey down memory lane was Blast from the Past, an American romantic comedy, now a little more than twenty years old, that celebrated the morals, manners, and milieux of an even earlier time and place, the America sacrificed on the altar of equality of opportunity in the annus mirabilis of 1965. (more…)
Christian Petzold’s Undine, set in contemporary Berlin, begins with Undine Wibeau (Paula Beer) having coffee with Johannes, her boyfriend. It’s not going well. She has deep, penetrating eyes and red hair that looks ready to blaze. She says to him: “You said you loved me. Forever. If you leave me, I’ll have to kill you. You know that.”
We’ve all had girlfriends like that, haven’t we? (more…)
The Evolution of the Anti-War Film, Part Three: The Big Parade
You can watch The Big Parade in its entirety here.
Released in 1925, The Big Parade would go on to become the 2nd largest-grossing film of the entire silent film era. Only Birth of a Nation made more money. The Big Parade was so popular that it played in some theaters continuously for a year and at the Astor Theater in New York for two years. (more…)
Twentieth Century Studios is threatening to release a remake of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile (1937). And if Kenneth Branaugh’s previous outing as the Hercule Poirot character in 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express was anything to go by, best to avoid it. (more…)
Known mostly as a novelist, memoirist, and historian, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had actually completed four plays before his first novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, was published in 1962. He composed his first two, Victory Celebrations and Prisoners, while a zek in the Soviet Gulag (more…)
Why does Scruton not examine the role of Melot in Death-Devoted Heart more closely?
Tristan und Isolde echoes themes from Romeo and Juliet and Othello, so it is unlikely that Wagner did not have both plays in mind when he composed his opera. The Othello theme is especially clear in the regrets expressed by King Marke that he could not clearly see, just as Othello could not clearly see. Melot, like Iago, faces death if he cannot make good the claim of adultery; (more…)
Roger Scruton’s Death-Devoted Heart Part One: The Personal
Sir Roger Scruton, who died of cancer on January 12th, 2020 at the age of seventy-five, wrote more than fifty books, was the editor of the conservative publication The Salisbury Review, and in his final years was briefly chairman — dismissed and subsequently reinstated — of the Conservative Government’s “Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.”
I once met Roger Scruton. He invited me to his flat in London in 1982 where I remember enjoying his excellent wine. (more…)
Tanner Elle Schneider, better known by her stage name Elle King, is an up-and-coming musician in the genre of American roots music. Her specific style has several influences, the confluence of which arrives at a triple point between rock, country, and blues. The overall effect often is a bit hypnotic. Her singing voice is even more unique, compelling, and slightly reminiscent of Janis Joplin. (more…)
Valentine’s Day Special: Alessandra Mussolini’s Amore
It’s February 14th, and love is in the air. What better way to soundtrack today’s romantic escapades than with Alessandra Mussolini — the granddaughter of Il Duce himself — and her sultry, Japanese-released city-pop record, Amore?
Released in 1982 exclusively for the Japanese market, (more…)