It is July 12, and my summer vacation is flying by. As I gear up for one more month of joy, freedom, relaxation, I have been reading up a storm, something that is hard to do when I’m teaching and directing. But just in case you’re imagining me to be a one-note fella, I wanted … Continue reading KEEPING UP WITH POPULAR CULTURE
So much has been written about my favorite filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock – more than any other director, living or dead – that I would be hard-pressed to come up with any original thoughts about his life or work. That's because the French, including fellow auteur Francois Truffaut, elevated Hitchcock’s oeuvre from “mere” entertainment to art. … Continue reading THE EYES HAVE IT: Christie and Hitchcock and the Point of View
Personal tragedy or publicity stunt? This is the question that has run circles around Agatha Christie’s fans since December 3, 1926, when Christie disappeared from her home after a fight with her husband, Archie. He had informed her that he wanted a divorce in order to marry his mistress, Nancy Neele, and when Agatha refused, … Continue reading THOSE ELEVEN DAYS
The latest BBC rendition of an Agatha Christie classic , 1936’s The ABC Murders, has just dropped onto Amazon Prime. Now we forward-thinking Americans can add our two cents to the European reaction over Sarah Phelps’ treatment of the Mistress of Mystery. (I believe the words “Burn the witch and her laptop!” have been uttered in … Continue reading GAD = GORY AND DARK: Sarah Phelps Takes On the Establishment
This year marks the first in a very long time that I did not show Rosemary’s Baby to my film class on Halloween. If you know the film you probably consider this a good idea: what is the man thinking to show a bunch of 14-year-olds a movie about a young wife who gets raped by Satan … Continue reading HOLIDAYS WITH IRA
You can tell summer vacation is going well when it races by. I’ve been busy! I’ve been playing a LOT of bridge. I wish I was getting better faster . . . but I do have to mention that I came in second a week ago in the 99er’s division at a local tournament. (Gimme a … Continue reading A MESSAGE TO MICHAEL (ON A TWO-TOON DAY)
Almost exactly a year ago, I reported to you that I had enrolled in an evening course on Scandinavian crime fiction at Stanford University. If you follow my exploits with any regularity, you all know how that turned out! (above) The mood evoked when reading a Scandinavian crime novel. My professor was an extremely affable … Continue reading GETTING CLOSER TO THE DREAM!