Hollywood Gothic, Part I: My Cousin Rachel (1952)

Don't drink the tea, Philip! It's worse than gas!

The latest release from Twilight Time, My Cousin Rachel [M] (1952), is a gothic drama I’ve never heard of – which is theoretically impossible for me, because I grew up watching a ridiculous amount of classic films on TVOntario, courtesy of the late Elwy Yost, and among the myriad studios whose vintage works were played and replaced on Canada’s premiere public broadcasting station, I loved Fox the most.

Eros V: Farewells & What-the-Hells

'Was ist dir bedansk in mittem badtraum? Kanst moor privaatskum lassen bittet?'

In the fifth of this ongoing series on cinematic naughty-naughties, we (I) examine a pair of very odd erotic films with spastic editing – a strange coincidence, or perhaps the result of newbie directors trying to figure out something called Narrative Structure.

Screenwriter William Rose: Part I

Sometimes DVD labels play off each other’s release schedules and time like-minded titles to ride the wave of bigger ones, but I’d like to believe the release of three classic films penned by William Rose from three separate companies was pure coincidence – and a nice one to boot.

American Porn Tales I: Meet Monica Velour

Sorry for the big time gap, but the past week's been rather nutty. I've several review clusters coming up this weekend, which will make up for the dearth of blather at KQEK.com. (Intelligent and provocative blather, I might add.)

On to this week's update, which I've dubbed 'American Porn Tales' because it's an American filmmaker exploring issues of morality within the conservative realm of U.S. film, in terms of what the MPAA prefers gets made for general consumption (no 'NC-17, please'), the studios (frankness & wrongness is too tough to advertise), and advertisers (although one suspects that with physical mags and papers hungry for ad revenue, the aversion towards carrying ads for NC-17 films has weakened).

Eros IV: Tinto Brass in HD

Although released last year on DVD, Monamour [M] (2006) makes its Blu-ray debut, joined by Kick the Cock (2009), the short film directed by Brass, starring (and written by) model Angelita Franco.

Brass’ work in the short film format goes back to his first film, the rarely-seen Spatiodynamisme (1958), made for the Cinematheque Francaise, with Henri Langlois credited as producer, and one could technically include his segments in the anthology My Wife / La mia signora (1964), and I Miss Sonia Henie (1971), but Kick the Cock is probably the first time he’s returned to the genre, albeit in a blatantly softcore genre with simulated ‘relief’ moments performed by none other than himself and a robust phallus with plenty of spouting ‘canon fodder.’

The Demo Man Prophecy, and Speculators Beware

In a move that seems eerily evocative of Demolition Man [M] (wait – I’m getting there), the CBC reported this evening that McDonald’s Canada will spend quite a mint overhauling the interior & exterior of its stores to present a more adult-friendly (read: upscale) version of its fast food offerings, goosed with ‘exotic’ coffees.

Richard who?

Assassins is the last of four films starring Sylvester Stallone, released on Blu-ray by Warner Home Video, and while the series' focus is inevitably on the mumbling star (if not the increasing size of his pulsing temple veins, which grew to dangerous proportions between 1986-1995), each film also presents an opportunity to examine the work of four directors whose careers took decided different turns.

Blockbuster Canada – A Cautionary Tale of Greed, Indolence, & Stupidity

"Uh-oh. Not again."

In a move that surpised no one, Blockbuster Canada is shutting down the roughly 250 stores left after a prior 140 stores were shuttered across Canada back in May. The bulk of the closures occurred in Ontario, bringing the total employees to hit the unemployment line this fall to around 5000 - a significant amount considering the chain had established itself in central city, suburban,  and town locations, and became for many their neighbourhood video store.
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