Categories
Actors Actors of Greatness Film Marlon Brando photography Predators Psychopaths serial killers

The Missouri Breaks {1976}.

This offbeat, rather twisted Western presents the intertwined stories of Tom Logan (Jack Nicholson) and his good-hearted, somewhat hapless rustling gang, and Lee Clayton (Marlon Brando), a so-called “regulator” (hired killer) whose job it is to identify and curtail the activities of Logan, et al. As the film progresses, an ever-increasing sense of dread and disquiet permeate the proceedings, as it becomes clearer all the time that the eccentric Clayton is a ruthless, sadistic sociopath, who relishes his deadly machinations and depraved exploits. The bounty hunter’s bewildering array of accents and disguises also merits mentioning.

Arthur Penn directed this cult masterpiece, and allowed the actors, especially Brando, to find their own way with the characters, including improvising much of the dialogue. Idiosyncratically paced, this oddball absurdist comedy/western thriller deconstructs the genre to beautiful effect, and Marlon Brando’s incomprehensibly stunning performance ultimately defines and lifts the film to the very heights.

Categories
Actors Film photography Predators Psychopaths serial killers videos

Martin Vanger, Two Ways {2009, 2011}.

The serial predator and killer Martin Vanger appears in both the American and Swedish iterations of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. He is equally disquieting in both. Peter Haber portrays Vanger in the 2009 Swedish release, and Stellan SkarsgΓ₯rd does the honors for the 2011 American film. Both performances are brilliant, and chilling. Haber’s portrayal is more earnest and volatile, while SkarsgΓ₯rd is more haughty, detached. Both work perfectly.

Categories
Actors Actors of Greatness cult films Film Film Music photography

The Wicker Man {1973}.

The Wicker Man, an extraordinary, curious, classic cult film, debuted in 1973 and has only gained in popularity since. The movie stars Christopher Lee, Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt, and a host of locals from the small Scottish towns where it was filmed. So many memorable moments. Lee’s playful yet imposing rendering of Lord Summerisle is the sine qua non of this iconic motion picture.

Categories
Actors Directors Film photography videos

Withnail and I {1987}.

The 1987 film Withnail and I, written and directed by Bruce Robinson, and starring Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, and Richard Griffiths, has come to be recognized as one of the great achievements of British film-making. Originally considered a “cult” movie, this poignant and amazingly humorous film is so very memorable. This happened to be Grant’s first film, as well, putting him firmly on the map of such things.

Categories
Actors of Greatness Auteurs Directors Film Film Music Michael Mann photography Psychopaths serial killers Tom Noonan

Manhunter {1986}, Directed by Michael Mann.

This Big Hush: Shriekback.
Coelacanth.

The extraordinary film Manhunter, filmed in 1986, features auteur-like vision by director Michael Mann, and memorable performances by Tom Noonan, Brian Cox, and William Petersen. Based on the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, Manhunter possesses an eerie noir-ness, focuses often on the similarities between hunter and hunted, and resonates powerfully to this day.

Categories
composers Film Film Music Music photography Soundtracks

The Soundtracks, and Film Music.

A select gathering of film composers, and their compositions. Bernard Herrmann, Eric Serra, Daniel Licht, The Handsome Family, David Shire, Carter Burwell, and Ennio Morricone.

Categories
Academy Awards Actors Actors of Greatness Film Music music videos photography Singers vocalists

Twin Towering Talents: Phoenix and Eilish.

Joaquin Phoenix, who won the Oscar for best actor, and Billie Eilish, who performed a subdued, poignant, and haunting version of Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday”, were two of the vastly gifted artists amongst the assemblage at the 2020 Academy Awards ceremony.

Categories
Actors Film Westerns

Liberty Valance.

Categories
Actors Actors of Greatness Film Leslie Howard photography

The Petrified Forest {1936}.

A tour de force by titans of the silver screen: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, and Bette Davis. Mr. Howard insisted that a relatively unknown Bogart be cast for the role of iconic outlaw Duke Mantee; it became the actor’s first big breakthrough. Mantee, a Dillenger-like desperado, sets new elite standards for an obsession with people sitting down. Howard’s character, a down and out man of letters, provides the philosophical dimension. His interactions with the imposing Mantee are some of the greatest exchanges in film history.

Categories
Actors Actors of Greatness David Thewlis Dr Moreau existentialism Film Geniuses Marlon Brando photography

The Island of Dr. Moreau {1996}.

Marlon Brando and David Thewlis engage in a mostly courteous exchange of ideas, and find said ideas to be at loggerheads. Various snouts, hooves, and outrageous spectacles are discussed. From The Island of Dr. Moreau, 1996. Both actors are at the pinnacle of their craft.