Archive for October, 2009

A Scary Time

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by dcairns

Part 1 —

And part 2 —

A movie so obscure it doesn’t appear on the IMDb, A SCARY TIME is “experimental filmmaker” Shirley Clarke’s project for UNICEF, made under the encouragement of Thorold Dickinson, and featuring Fraser Pennebaker, who as you might guess is the son of the shaggy D.A.

Commentary is by Robert Hughes.

Saw this two summers ago at the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s Clarke retrospective, and was rather impressed. (Sorry this rip isn’t better quality, not my doing.) It may be work for hire, but it has heart, and Clarke’s trademark lopsided way of doing things comes through — it’s a real independent. The strategy of shuttling between entertainment and worthy message (genuinely worthy, mind you) is common to a lot of charity stuff, and is usually done a lot less skillfully/intelligently than this, but I still kind of resent it. But probably just because I’ve seen it done badly so often. This piece is interesting, especially for the collage effect of the non-sync sound used.

Some strange –

Posted in FILM with tags , , on October 31, 2009 by dcairns


– WordPress glitch has cause THE HAUNTING to appear down there –

– a few days back. Link.

Do not be alarmed! Please read and comment as usual. I want to hear about your supernatural experiences and anthropological insights etc.


Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on October 30, 2009 by dcairns


Excitement by mail, in spite of strikes by postal workers who might fairly be characterized as “disgruntled,” I received a handsome package across my threshold today, the new Eureka! Masters of Cinema box set of Fritz Lang’s MABUSE trilogy. I had not ordered said item — this was a free gift in recognition of my having contributed a tiny piece of writing to the booklet accompanying THE THOUSAND EYES OF DR MABUSE, the widely-derided yet oddly excellent third film in the series.

My subject — Fritz Lang’s wooden monkey, Peter — is perhaps an unconventional one, but hey, to quote  Charles Nelson Reilly, “It’s that kind of show.”

You can look forward to more appearances by myself within the glossy folders of your future purchases, all part of my ongoing plan to live in a big house, wear expensive jewels, and eat regularly.

Contribute to my financial wellbeing by following the link below and making your puchase (of MABUSE or anything else) —

The Complete Fritz Lang Mabuse Box Set [DVD] [1922]

Big thankyous to MoC and the divine Craig Keller.