Red Hot! How Red Headed Woman Played Hard to Get with the Censors

I made up my mind a long time ago, I’m not gonna spend my whole life on the wrong side of the railroad tracks. Lil (Jean Harlow), Red Headed Woman For some strange reason, in 1932 MGM really wanted to film Red Headed Woman, a trashy exploitation novel (imagine Fifty Shades of Grey for the […]

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The Visual Virtuosity of Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs

The controversy surrounding Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 thriller Straw Dogs comes from a moment in the film that depicts one of the most harrowing rape scenes in cinematic history. Straw Dogs is also one of the most visually inventive, well edited, and stylistically fresh films I’ve ever seen. Peckinpah has an incredible ability to piece a […]

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Cruising Out Of Control: Revisiting William Friedkin’s Cruising

“I implore readers — gay, straight, liberal, radical, atheist, communist, or whatever — to give Friedkin and his production crew a terrible time if you spot them in your neighborhood.” Arthur Bell 1980 saw the release of William Friedkin’s Cruising; which to many was a film that didn’t just cross the line, it spat and […]

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There Ain’t Nothing Like Deborah Kampmeier’s Hounddog

Hounddog is a tragedy of a film. It’s a tragedy, on one level, because it is quite simply an artistic disaster. But mostly it is a tragedy because of the way it uses and abuses its starring actress—the then 12-year-old Dakota Fanning. Brett McCracken for Christianity Today On paper this film sounds like it wouldn’t […]

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Midnight Special: How Midnight Cowboy Changed Cinema Forever

Whatever you hear about Midnight Cowboy is true. Official tagline for Midnight Cowboy Writers’ Note: This article does feature some language which some may find offensive, this language is taken from quotations from interviews with the director and should be placed within historical and social context. This is not language that I am comfortable using […]

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Last Tango in Paris and the Context of Memory

What started with I am Curious Yellow in the late 60s begat 1971’s challenging jamborees such as A Clockwork Orange, WR: Mysteries of the Organism, Ken Russell’s The Devils. 70s auteurs pushed the envelope without remorse – or fear. To experience Last Tango in Paris in the same context in which it first appeared is simply impossible now, but we were ready back then.

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