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Japanese Movie Poster: ‘Chinatown’, 1974

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Chinatown 

USA, 1974
Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

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[VIDEO] Rare Behind-the-Scenes Footage of Jack Nicholson Preparing for the Famous Axe Scene in ‘The Shining’ 


[PHOTO] Eastwood, Nicholson, Walken, Murray

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Happy 79th Birthday to Jack Nicholson

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Six Frames of Jack


Movie Mash-Up: Why So Serious?


Movie Poster: ‘The Shining’, 1980

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[VIDEO] Cat Doing a Fairly Decent Impression of Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’

 


[PHOTO] Faye Dunaway in ‘Chinatown’

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Source: Seattle Mystery Bookshop


Movies: Hey, Man, Dig the Crazy Hippie Flicks ‘The Wild Angels’ and ‘Psych-Out’

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Classic Hippie Exploitation Movies on Blu Ray and DVD

J. Hoberman writes: American International Pictures, the studio that pioneered the low-budget drive-in fare of the 1950s, specialized in two genres: horror films and youth pictures. Often, the two modes were conflated. In 1957, AIP unleashed “I Was a Teenage Werewolf”; in 1966, the studio brought forth “The Wild Angels.”

 “We want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the Man…and we want to get loaded!”

Out on Blu-ray and DVD in a fine digital transfer, “The Wild Angels” may not have been the first movie in which a character exclaimed “Out of sight, man!” but, released three summers before “Easy Rider,” and introducing much of the same iconography, this “brutal little picture,” as the New York Times critic Bosley Crowther characterized it, made the hippie youth film possible — and also transformed Henry Fonda’s 26-year-old son, Peter, into Hollywood’s personification of the generation gap.

“’The Wild Angels’ was hugely profitable and received with appropriate alarm, particularly after being selected to open the 1966 Venice Film Festival.”

Exuberantly directed by AIP’s mainstay, Roger Corman, and propelled by a twangy surf-music score (credited to California’s future lieutenant governor, Mike Curb of the singing group the Mike Curb Congregation), “The Wild Angels” traffics in speed, drugs and nihilism. Mr. Fonda stars as the diffident leader of a biker gang, a character he has said he named Heavenly Blues after an allegedly psychedelic strain of morning-glory seeds. Swastikas abound, beginning with the logo for the movie’s title in the opening credits, which transforms a capital T into a version of the crooked cross.

Jack Nicholson, foreground, in American International Pictures’ “Psych-Out” (1968). Credit Olive Films

Jack Nicholson, foreground, in American International Pictures’ “Psych-Out” (1968). Credit Olive Films

Heavenly Blues’ love interest is played by Nancy Sinatra. Her hair frosted and teased and her part underwritten, she is required to adore Mr. Fonda, although this devotion seems tinged with disdain. Ms. Sinatra had a No. 1 single earlier that year with “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ ” — a proto-punk anthem far tougher than her co-star’s petulant posturing. (Would that the Scopitone film made to promote the song were included as an extra with the disc!) Michael J. Pollard, a year away from his career peak as a sidekick in “Bonnie and Clyde,” plays the gang’s resident beatnik, but the movie belongs to Bruce Dern.

“’The Wild Angels’ traffics in speed, drugs and nihilism. Mr. Fonda stars as the diffident leader of a biker gang, a character he has said he named Heavenly Blues after an allegedly psychedelic strain of morning-glory seeds.”

Cast opposite his wife at the time, Diane Ladd, as the wild man the gang calls the Loser, Mr. Dern has a fabulous death scene. His last request is a hit of weed, and his funeral — over which, having been liberated from its coffin, his corpse presides — provides the movie’s most outrageous scene. “We want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the Man,” Heavenly Blues proclaims, “and we want to get loaded!” thus signaling his fellow Angels to trash the church, beat up the preacher and stage an orgy in which the Loser’s grieving widow is raped behind the altar.

[Read the full text here, at NYTimes.com]

The Wild Angels” was hugely profitable and received with appropriate alarm, particularly after being selected to open the 1966 Venice Film Festival. This disgrace “caused a few diplomats to mop their brows,” Crowther wrote, calling the event “an embarrassment.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Classic Scene from ‘Chinatown’: ‘I Goddamn Near Lost My Nose, and I Like it. I Like Breathing Through it’ (1974) HD


Movie Quote of the Night: ‘The Departed’ 2006

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Frank Costello – The Departed


Mess-O-Rama: Benghazi, Obamacare and the Absence of Accountability

“I think of a Conservative, and I take away reason, and accountability”

Ruth Marcus  writes:  In the narrative of every political scandal comes the accountability moment. New facts slow to a trickle, and the next, insistent demand becomes: Who is being held accountable? This is often a dumb question, asked for lack of a more fruitful topic and fueled by partisans more interested in point-scoring than in problem-fixing.The better question is: What is the goal of accountability? A showy, timed-for-the-evening-news firing to demonstrate action and quiet the baying hounds? Or a change in personnel that will help clean up the mess at hand or send a cautionary message to deter future messes?

Consider the recent mess-o-rama. The botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate report that deemed the attack in Benghazi, Libya, preventable and raised questions about accountability, or lack thereof. The mounting problems of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

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I Spent Two Hours Talking With NSA Senior Officials. Here’s What Has Them Hoppin’ Mad

NSA headquarters. Image: Wikimedia Commons

They Really Hate Snowden. Really. Hate Hate Hate Him.   NSA headquarters. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Steven Levy writes:  My expectations were low when I asked the National Security Agency to cooperate with my story on the impact of Edward Snowden’s leaks on the tech industry. During the 1990s, I had been working on a book, Crypto, which dove deep into cryptography policy, and it took me years — years! — to get an interview with an employee crucial to my narrative. I couldn’t quote him, but he provided invaluable background on the Clipper Chip, an ill-fated NSA encryption runaround that purported to strike a balance between protecting personal privacy and maintaining national security.

my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

“…my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide…”

Oh, and I was not permitted to interview my Crypto source at the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. I was crushed; I had grown obsessed with the vaunted triple fence surrounding the restricted area and had climactic hopes that I’d get inside. Instead, the meet occurred just outside the headquarters’ heavily guarded perimeter, at the National Cryptologic Museum. (I did buy a cool NSA umbrella in the gift shop.)

This time around, the NSA’s initial comeback was discouraging. The public relations person suggested that perhaps some unidentified officials could provide written responses to a few questions I submitted. A bit later, an agency rep indicated there was the possibility of a phone conversation. But then, rather suddenly, I was asked if I would be interested in an actual visit to meet with a few key officials. And could I do it… later that week?

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