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December 11, 2010


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As long as we're talking about your business ventures, I guess I'm not too interested in reviews of new things, but something that I would be more inclined to pay for, for as much time as I spend at Chicago Reader/Time Out, is capsule reviews. When I'm buying DVDs of older films or DVRing TCM or a retrospective of someone or another comes to town and I want to know which things I should see, there's very little easily accessible criticism that one can trust - really just the Reader and Time Out, and they have their biases and idiosyncrasies and blind spots that a third database of capsules could help make up for.

The Siren

Thanks for the back-pat, boss!


Belated conrats re: Wide Screen, Glenn.


A real shame the Reader removed the "keyword" search from their capsule database; once I figured out how Kehr or Rosenbaum or Camper or Pat Graham used a certain word, I'd just go through and read every capsule where it popped up. Still do-able via Google, but a bit of a hassle...


Rats -- that should say "congrats."


Yes the oscars are irritating, but the reason they are so irritating is that they are so obviously compromised by money, hype, middlebrow ideology and general parochialism. For many Americans, the Oscars define movie quality, and movie history, especially since many of the best movies of the last two decades have had their theatrical runs confined to a few cities. The media does not do a good job of pointing out the meretriciousness of the exercise, and all of the pressure is on the oscars to choose more popular films.

It would be nice if you, and the Siren and all the other bloggers linked here and the National Society of Film Critics and so on up to 300 critics actually voted on the best movie, actor and actress going back to 1927. If they realized they could chose any movie, how different would their choices be. Going back to, say, 1973, would they go for "The Exoricst" or "American Grafitti"? Would they prefer "Mean Streets" or "Badlands"? Would anyone actually vote for "The Sting"? Or would they go for a foreign film, like actual nominee "Cries and Whispers"? Or would they prefer "The Mother and the Whore" or "The Spirit of the Beehive"? (I would choose "Cries and Whispers" for what's it's worth.)

Pat McFarland

I am looking for the title of a movie I saw as a child. Probably a 1940-1950 film. Took place back East. The movie is about a family man who gets a gold watch for Christmas and is robbed while on a train going to work shortly thereafter. The robber falls off the train and killed and the only thing to identify him is the watch and the family thinks he is dead. In the meantime, the family guy developes amnesia and wonders around for years, I think as a homeless guy. When he finally remembers who he is, he goes up to the house and it is Christmas with lots of snow. He sees thru the window that kids are grown and celebrating Christmas again. He does not knock and tell them he is alive, he simply turns and walks away.
Can you help identify this movie.

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