Author: Kate Fitzpatrick

June 17, 2016 / / Main Slate

By Christian Whitworth

In effect of personal transformation, in search of both spiritual and concrete self-actualization, nineteenth-century soldier Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford) embarks upon a lonesome venture into the Rocky Mountains. While at first his drive outweighs his ability, his persistence against such archetypal threats (starvation, cold weather, solitude, and an accentuated threat of Native American “savages”) garners his esteemed reputation. Here, wilderness survival gives way to mythmaking. His position between the local Native American tribes and urban pressures gives witness to a series of both horrific and fulfilling incidents. These are the adversities that make JEREMIAH JOHNSON (1972) a cult classic.

June 6, 2016 / / Main Slate

By Valeriy Kolyadych

Harry Fabian is a scumbag. He’s a two-bit, no-good hustler, stepping and stumbling over everyone in his ongoing fight for a slice of the proverbial pie. In one of the early scenes of Jules Dassin’s 1950 classic, NIGHT AND THE CITY, Harry is combing through his girlfriend’s apartment, looking for money to put towards gambling or scheming. She comes in midway, and he sheepishly says he was looking for the cigarettes. She doesn’t buy it, and neither does anyone else. When we meet him, he’s the town laughingstock, a tired racehorse whose tricks are well known to everyone around him.

March 11, 2016 / / Main Slate

By Becky Gilling

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944) was the first film to throw together the now legendary on and off screen couple, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Their chemistry is immediately apparent on screen, full of clever jabs, inside jokes, Bacall’s sultry, taunting eyes, and Bogart’s amused half smile. From moment to moment it is a cat and mouse game between them, though you never know for sure who is the cat and who is the mouse. While the plot of the film falls a bit short and feels like a noir version of a CASABLANCA (1943) remake, Bogart and Bacall’s on screen spark ultimately makes this a great film. It’s like watching two kids with a chemistry set: each adding elements that may cause an explosion, and each watching the other to see who will flinch first. Bogart and Bacall are so great in this film just being the Bogart and Bacall we love, that the jumbled plot about the French resistance feels secondary, and separate from their romance.

February 11, 2016 / / Special Pages
November 23, 2015 / / Main Slate

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By John C. Barlow

Two silhouettes light up a cigarette, with their respective names “Humphrey Bogart” (playing Philip Marlowe) and “Lauren Bacall” (playing Vivian Rutledge) smoldering over them. After the figures inhale one puff, the camera dives down to an ashtray. The silhouettes’ hands briefly slip into the light to line up their cigarettes. Their fresh smoke comes off at the tips of them like miniature chimneys, while the credits continue scrolling.

November 12, 2015 / / Main Slate

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By Deirdre Crimmins

Certain films have an aura. These are the films people talk about, though few people have actually seen them. There is a myth, a legend, surrounding their production or distribution that makes the film’s presence in cinematic history much greater than the sum of its parts.

November 6, 2015 / / Main Slate

danny fields

By Chelsea Spear

What precipitated punk rock? Frustration with pop music’s drift from relevance and sonic innovation to prog-rock bloat, Golden AM complacency, and disco; the unresolved paranoia coursing through America after Watergate; a sharp economic downturn that disproportionately affected New York City at the tail end of the 1970s. All these things point towards a need for a new subgenre with a pared-down aesthetic that gave voice to the fears and fatalism of the direction the culture had taken. In short, the New York Times’ argument that “without Danny Fields, punk rock wouldn’t have happened” seems a little overblown. However, a quick glimpse at Fields’s CV – which includes signing Iggy Pop and the MC5, editing the notorious teen magazine Datebook, and managing the Ramones – suggests that punk may have been a flash in the pan without his enthusiastic support.

October 28, 2015 / / Special Pages
October 26, 2015 / / Special Pages
October 15, 2015 / / Main Slate

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By Brad Avery

Your mind is all you are. Your thoughts, memories, and feelings are what make up the entirety of your identity and being. “You” are a seemingly infinite number of neurons and electrons rapidly firing nonstop throughout the entirety of your life until one day it will shut down and cease all function. Then “you” will be gone.

If our thoughts and memories and feelings are what “we” are, then without them we will collapse, or perhaps disintegrate. This is what happens to Bill, the hapless protagonist of Don Hertzfeldt’s animated masterpiece IT’S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY.