Author: Stephen Mayne

March 22, 2017 / / Main Slate Archive

That Blade Runner has appeared in multiple forms since its release in 1982 is no secret. In fact, it’s become part of the legend. Picking apart the differences and discerning new meanings has kept people occupied for years and spawned a misleading debate that obsesses over the wrong things.

In particular, the perennial Rick Deckard question tends to dominate. Is Harrison Ford’s replicant-hunting police officer – a Blade Runner as they are more commonly known – one of the very creations he dedicates his life to destroying? It’s certainly an intriguing idea and, thanks to the ambiguity clouding so much of Blade Runner, one that has sparked furious argument for decades. It’s also a little beside the point.

December 20, 2016 / / Main Slate Archive

It’s hard to imagine Kirk Douglas at 100, mostly because it feels like he exists outside the normal passing of time. He’s less of a walking man but more of an image captured forever on celluloid in the likes of Spartacus, Paths of Glory and Ace in the Hole. What makes him special is a unique blend of Technicolor heroism, dazzling charisma and more than a hint of darkness. He wraps himself in the latter two qualities for The Bad and the Beautiful, a heady mix of hagiography and cynicism that revels in the only subject Hollywood truly cares for: itself.

July 29, 2016 / / Main Slate Archive

Animation remains a much loved and often maligned form of filmmaking. While everyone looks back fondly on childhood favorites, the perception that animation is for kids alone has proven a hard one to shake. That it’s often treated as a genre rather than form of film is a key part of this problem. Cartoons are for kids, adults watch something else, and that’s often how it remains on cinema screens.

To suggest IN A LONELY PLACE is a film about a murder is akin to calling PYSCHO a story about a shower. Sure, both feature prominently, but that’s hardly the point. There’s far more going on in this murky exploration of a paranoid, pandering Hollywood, and two damaged people struggling to find something to cling to before they’re both swept away.