Hail Hicks

billhicks
Bill Hicks is probably the greatest comedian of Generation X. The only competition for that title might be Chris Rock, and both of them are automatic candidates for any top ten list of all-time-best stand-ups. Yesterday we marked the 23rd anniversary of Hicks’ death from pancreatic cancer on February 26, 1994.…

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GoNY 15

gangsny
When Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York debuted in 2002, I didn’t go to see it right away, and when I finally did I remember feeling like it seemed sort of silly, and that Cameron Diaz was terrible. Diaz is still a weak link for me, but a recent article on Medium got me interested in watching the film…

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Goodbar, Great Film

Looking-for-Mr-Goodbar-1977
Continuing our look back at 1977′s amazing year of movies I was able to find Looking for Mr. Goodbar online last night. This flick features Diane Keaton — the quintessential 1970′s actress? — and a slew of budding stars including Richard Gere, Tom Berenger, Brian Dennehy, and Levar Burton. It…

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Ra-Ra-Rafelson

monkees
Bob Rafelson directed some of the best films during the most important period in movies: flicks like Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens guarantee the director’s inclusion among the best of the New Hollywood auteurs, and his experimental send-up of The Monkees, Head, makes him a mad genius for the…

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Black Spy Story

Black Spies
I love a tense spy story, and there’s always another take on the genre in the next book on the shelf or the next film on the screen. Of course, many of these books and films are based on real life heroes whose spycraft outed enemy spies, uncovered covert plans or even “eliminated” human targets.…

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Shepard’s Heaven

SamShepard
I’ve been on a bit of a Sam Shepard jag lately, probably because I’ve been thinking a lot about what distinguishes the experience of theater from other performance arts or even movies and television. Here’s a great little interview I found featuring an unusually open and generous Shepard talking…

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Desperate Waters

DesperateWaters
Another post celebrating the movies of 1977, here’s John Waters’ Desperate Living — an experimental fairy tale that according to Rotten Tomatoes features Waters’ penchant for “nauseating set-pieces, such as a transsexual lesbian having her new penis cut off with scissors and fed to a…

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Flynt V Falwell

FlyntFalwell
Looking back three decades to 1987, this is the perfect time to remember that Supreme Court case that saw televangelist conman Jerry Falwell clashing with that sleaze slinging champion of the First Amendment, Larry Flynt. This case wasn’t really about obscenity, it was about libel laws, and the protections…

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Suspiria 40

suspiria
If you look up “movies released in 1977″ on Google, you’ll probably be just as amazed as I was at the amazing run of films that flickered to life on the screen 40 years ago. I’ve already been posting up about a few of them, and here’s another one: Dario Argento’s best-known film,…

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Brown Eyed Breakthrough

van
This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Van Morrison’s breakthrough solo hit, “Brown Eyed Girl.” Nowadays the song’s ubiquity and relative lightness have diminished its power in comparison to the rest of Morrison’s imposing catalog. But “Brown Eyed Girl” offers…

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