News and Commentary – Recent Additions at Mid Century Cinema
We have added a good bit of new content here at MCC, and thought we’d take the opportunity to walk through what is new (and forthcoming) on the site. Over in “Books, Essays and More,” four new publications can be found: Our Cineaste review of Charles Taylor’s book on the “Shadow Cinema” of the 1970s, in which he talks about some of the overlooked gems of the era; a long form review essay of Robert Kolker’s The Extraordinary Image that appeared in the Boston Review and which presented the opportunity to talk at length about the cinema of MCC favorites Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stanley Kubrick; and two (lightly edited) excerpts from Hollywood’s Last Golden Age, regarding The Conversation and The Parallax View, which were featured in Slate as part of their series on conspiracy thrillers.
Over in the Links section we’ve added the calendars of two new theaters to the “Now Playing” list: the Metrograph and the Quad, downtown New York City outfits offering some terrific programing as part of what is a remarkable nationwide revival in revival theaters—an enterprise that fell on very hard times, and indeed almost vanished completely, decades ago with the advent of home video.
Meanwhile, on our main pages, there have been a number of noteworthy additions we’d like to call attention to. The “Fifty Years Ago This Week” section is heating up, on schedule, as the New Hollywood really began to emerge in the second half of 1967—and there are new posts on the early landmark films Bonnie and Clyde and Point Blank. And under “News and Commentary” we’ve recently added profiles of two more major directors, Alfred Hitchcock and Ingmar Bergman, each complete with our handy-dandy, looking-for-an-argument user’s guide to (almost) every one of their films.
Finally, falling under the category of previews of future attractions, a sneak peek at a number of forthcoming publications scheduled to appear in a variety of books and magazines; efforts that will eventually be added to Books, Essays and More. First to appear will be a review of the new Blu-ray edition of Orson Welles’ The Stranger—his effort to show the studios he could bring in a picture on time and under-budget, but which still manages some marvelous Wellesian touches. In another piece we’ll be nursing our inexhaustible Nixon fetish with a long essay on how the New Hollywood reckoned with the Crown Prince of the Silent Majority and what his administration wrought: the expansion of the Vietnam War abroad, Law and Order at home, and the harrowing Watergate saga. (Though oddly, for some reason, the paranoid, ruthless, scheming Nixon seems almost normal these days.)
And we’ve got three book chapters in the works. “A Man's Got to Know His Limitations,” on Clint Eastwood’s cop films from Nixon through Reagan, takes a close look at the Dirty Harry franchise as well as several other Eastwood policers. Regarding Dirty Harry, Pauline Kael wrote that it “is obviously just a genre movie, but this action genre has always had a fascist potential, and it has finally surfaced.” So that should be interesting. The two other forthcoming contributions are more happily New Hollywood, one on Peter Yates, which will provide the opportunity to talk about The Friends of Eddie Coyle; the other, “BBS and the New Hollywood Dream,” will bring it all back home to some of our favorite films and filmmakers. So stay tuned.
The Parallax View