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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Mikey and Nicky (1976) and the Difficulties of True Friendship

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The Criterion Collection’s selection of films on Hulu Plus is a boon for any cinephile, and compared to Netflix offers a superior collection of classic and foreign films available to watch instantly. Not every Criterion title is available, but many are— including hundreds of titles Criterion has not released on disc at all. Included in the latter group is Elaine May’s 1976 film Mikey and Nicky, a film that follows two Jewish gangsters played by Peter Falk and John Cassavetes around New York in the course of one night. It’s a film that deserves recognition as a key work of American cinema of the 1970s, right beside other canonical urban crime dramas like Mean Streets (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and other portraits of frustrated men struggling to adjust to a post-Vietnam world in which the American dream has been exposed as hollow and corrupt, where their preferred way of living isn’t enough to account for the vast changes in the world around them.

Read the rest at In Review Online.

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Recently on Letterboxd

I’ve caught up with a number of 2013 releases on Letterboxd:

The Lone Ranger (3/5)

Frances Ha (4/5)

Inside Llewyn Davis (4.5/5)

Captain Phillips (2/5)

Other goods ones that I saw (though without much in the way of commentary on my part): Drug War (4/5) and The Wolf of Wall Street (4/5).

Finally, I re-watched The Master (5/5) after the news came in of Hoffman’s death. I still think it’s his greatest performance, in a career full of great ones.

Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets

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Over at In Review Online, I’ve written about Peter Bogdanovich’s first feature film, Targets:

“All the good movies have been made,” laments Sammy Michaels, a young but creatively frustrated filmmaker played by Peter Bogdanovich in his own writing and directing debut Targets. He’s trying to convince classic horror-film star Byron Orlok (Boris Karloff, essentially playing himself) not to retire early, but is distracted by Orlok’s performance in Howard Hawks’s The Criminal Code (1931) on television. It is probably the most meta scene in a very meta-movie, one riddled with anxieties about the place and purpose of the cinema in an era that seemed to be moving past a need for its distractions and pleasures.

Read the whole thing here.