Archive for D Cairns

I Confess

Posted in FILM with tags , , , on April 4, 2012 by dcairns

In a new post at The Chiseler, I talk about PENSIVE CRACKLE, its origins and purpose no longer a total mystery.

The Grady in Question

Posted in FILM, literature with tags , , , , , on March 11, 2008 by dcairns

I now have my copy of the 2008 Film Issue of The Believer magazine. Where’s yours?

Butterball rally

“…any era like the ’30s (go ahead, NAME ONE) must balance its tricksters and vamps with a victim class, a clown army of chumps awaiting fleecing, but a populace drunk on Groucho could never be satisfied with any ordinary dope, the kind born every minute. They demanded, and rightly, that Hollywood must and should provide unique and startling specimens of homo sap, from Guy Kibbee (obese rodent, shaved and perspiring) to Billy Gilbert (bursting chimp, eyes like frightened marbles jammed in a heap of dough). And so, to add to the wondrous variety, a mild butterball was born, and they called it Grady Sutton.”

That’s as much as I dare quote from the article within by immortal bard B. Kite and myself (“Yeggs, Grifters and Patsies: A ’30s film Bestiary”). Re-reading it, I was pleased at how well our styles merged, so for those curious about such things, I will just say that B.K. authored the opening section on glib flimflam artist Lee Tracy (worth the cover price alone).

Other attractions include Werner Herzog shooting the breeze with Errol Morris, Nick Hornby on Todd Haynes, Todd Haynes on himself, a look at the late Leonard Schrader’s secret and shameful lobby card collection, and an article by Michael Atkinson whose very title should set all film-dotards a-tremble with the Eight Forms of Sensory Arousal: “Anna Karina and the American Night.”

Plus free DVD of a hairy man raving.

Thugs With Ugly Mugs

Posted in Comics, FILM, literature with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2008 by dcairns

don't you believe it

Set your thrillometers to overload as I prepare to move amongst you in printed form!

The new film issue of The Believer, out v. soon, features concerted verbiage by myself and the immortal man-myth B. Kite, in a little set of blurbs dealing with the HOT TOPIC of 1930s character actors. Those of you of an American disposition, geographically speaking, should have little trouble laying your fervid fingers upon it. 

The “article”, as I understand these things are called when applied to paper, is copiously illustrated by underground cartoon hero Seth, but even more thrillinger than that, the front cover is by demigod Charles Burns and he’s chosen to feature one of the thesps I worded about, the estimable Eugene Pallette (fat guy, lower right).

“…With the body of a warehouse and a basso-profundo voice which seemed to emerge, with loud echo, from somewhere beneath the floor he stood on, Pallette was often typed as wealthy capitalists, but his weight was seldom explicitly referred to. What we got instead was the perpetual umbrage machine, the tetchiness of a man who knows for certain that his waistline is about to be mentioned or at least thought about…”

Now buy a copy and READ ON.

thundering umbrage