‘CQ’ – Groovy moviemaking in the sixties on Amazon Prime

There’s a real love of 1960s movie lore in CQ (2002), the feature film debut of Roman Coppola (son of Francis Ford, brother of Sofia, creative assistant to both). Jeremy Davies is the American in Paris hero, an aspiring director in the funky days of 1969. By days he edits a pop-art sci-fi spy adventure […]

‘Hollywood Boulevard’ – The glamorous world of B-movies on Amazon Prime

Joe Dante and Allan Arkush graduated from the trailer department of Roger Corman’s New World Pictures with their feature film debut Hollywood Boulevard (1976), an affectionate tribute to (what else?) the kinds of exploitation movies that Corman was churning out. New World starlet Candice Rialson is surprisingly funny as the Midwest blonde with dreams of […]

Ian McKellen is plays cult director James Whale in Bill Condon's Oscar-winning 'Gods and Monsters.'

‘Gods and Monsters’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Gods and Monsters (1998), Bill Condon’s first collaboration with Ian McKellen (the star of his Sherlock Holmes-in-retirement drama Mr. Holmes), is also a speculation on the final days of an aging artist whose failing memory haunts him. This one happens to be a real-life figure: James Whale, the debonair, openly gay British director who came […]

Constance Bennett and Lowell Sherman in the original pre-code 'Star is Born' from George Cukor

‘What Price Hollywood?’ – the pre-code ‘A Star is Born’ on The Criterion Channel

What Price Hollywood? (1932) is one of the wittiest and most interesting Hollywood movies about Hollywood culture ever made. It’s a shame it’s not better known. This pre-code comedy stars Constance Bennett as an aspiring actress waiting tables at The Brown Derby who gets her big break when a drunken film director (Lowell Sherman) invites […]

French filmmaker and film historian Bertrand Tavernier is your tour guide in this personal documentary

Bertrand Tavernier presents ‘My Journey Through French Cinema’ on Kanopy

Bertrand Tavernier is both an essential French filmmaker and a dedicated film historian. His epic (over three hours long) documentary My Journey Through French Cinema (France, 2016) combines the two professional callings in a decidedly personal look at the cinema that shaped and excited him as both a cinephile and a filmmaker. Forget the familiar […]

William Shatner in the film director Robert Meyer Burnett and co-writer Mark A. Altman

‘Free Enterprise’ – It’s a geek world on Amazon Prime Video

Free Enterprise (1999) is in some ways yet another Gen-X Peter Pan story of young adults living their lives through pop culture references while avoiding real world responsibility, but director Robert Meyer Burnett and co-writer Mark A. Altman definitely know their world of movie and media saturated SF geeks with dreams of making it in […]

Harold and Lillian Michelson in the documentary by Daniel Raim

‘Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story’ on Netflix

Harold and Lillian Michelson were Hollywood’s best-kept secret for decades. Harold Michelson, who passed away in 2007, was an art director and storyboard artist on some of the greatest films ever made. Lillian Michelson ran a Hollywood research library that was an essential resource for hundreds of productions. Their work was strictly behind the scenes […]

A documentary on the life and career of American filmmaker Sidney Lumet.

‘By Sidney Lumet’ – Celebrating New York’s filmmaker on Amazon Prime Video

Sidney Lumet was one of the great American filmmakers. He earned his first of four best director Oscar nominations for his feature debut, 12 Angry Men (1957), and directed such American classics as The Pawnbroker (1964), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and Network (1976) in a career that spanned more than 50 years of […]

László Kovács and Vilmos Zsigmond in the documentary by James Chressanthis

‘No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos’ on Amazon Prime

No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos (2012) profiles friends and fellow cinematographers László Kovács and Vilmos Zsigmond, who fled Hungary in 1956 and worked their way from exploitation films to shooting some of the defining American films of the seventies and eighties. Beginning with Easy Rider (photographed by Kovács), they helped redefine the way movies […]