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August 01, 2023


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Biff Dorsey

Thank you for this public service! I'm really looking forward to seeing Joy House. No Clement film had made much of an impression on me until I was recently knocked out by Gervaise. Don't get your hopes up too high for Is Paris Burning?, though.


This time I linked to Home Theatre Forum, Glenn. I know you read Robert Harris' opinions there!


Glenn Kenny

Thanks Titch!

Biff: Oh I know “Is Paris Burning?” well and it’s not great! But I’ve a sentimental attachment to it so I’m welcoming the format upgrade.


Oh - and the stunning StudioCanal restoration of Last Year at Marienbad, which came out four years ago, is also upfront "sponsored by CHANEL". And I'll bet you a dollar that Criterion's upcoming 4K UHD of The Trial will credit Chanel too. Either Jeanne Moreau or Romy Schneider must have been wearing pearls and a black cocktail dress in that one, but I can't remember.


"In fairness to Schickel, with whom I had an unpleasant personal interaction once upon a time (and many share my experience)"

I've read that Schickel was too abrasive for even Pauline Kael. But he got along fine with Clint Eastwood!

"this late Friedkin is not only great but it really is an ideal companion piece to the early Friedkin masterpiece The French Connection."

Agree totally. To Live and Die was criminally underrated for years, and was initially dismissed as a Miami Vice rip-off. Time called it "Miami Vile." I wonder if Schickel wrote that.


Not surprised about Schickel. I had to meet him once in a casual setting and I just tried to be polite, greeting him with a brief compliment about his work, and even then he came off like an ass, refusing to make eye contact or even to acknowledge that there was another human being more or less in front of him.


R.I.P. William Friedkin (1935-2023)


For all of Schickel's faults, I'll always be grateful to him for writing/producing the PBS documentary series "The Men Who Made the Movies" (1973). It directed me, a budding 14-year-old cinephile, to a lot of great movies.

The series has come under fire in recent years for not including any female directors, and that's a valid criticism. (Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino were still alive to interview in '73.) But it was a starting point for me.


Friedkin was portrayed as an awful person in "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls," but who knows how accurate that was? Bogdanovich described that book as "Raging Bullshit."

Biskind's depiction of Billy Bob Thornton as a dumb-ass redneck in "Down and Dirty Pictures" went over the line. Biskind is an idiot. I enjoyed hearing him get very angry on a podcast when an interviewer took him to task for some of his claims in his books.

Rand Careaga

Late to the party, but I had to weigh in on Jack Hawkins, an actor I generally admire, grossly miscast in “Land of the Pharaohs.” One critic called his performance “clipped, uptight and as English as a rained-off cricket match.” Still, in spite of, perhaps because of its elements of unintentional hilarity, I’m a fan of the flick.

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