Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The TV

All That Heaven Allows (1955)
dir. Douglas Sirk

Mad Men "The Arrangements" (2009)
dir. Michael Uppendahl

This is such a slick reference, one of the nicest yet on Mad Men. It immediately put me on edge, tipping its hand to the nasty fight that was to come.
See Battleship.

It's the sequel to Independence Day we never knew we needed.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Bad Night

Mad Men "The Wheel" (2007)
dir. Matthew Weiner

Mad Men "A Night to Remember" (2008)
dir. Lesli Linka Glatter

The Title Pose

Mad Men (2007)
Matthew Weiner

Mad Men "Maidenform" (2008)
dir. Phil Abraham

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby (1926) (trailer)
dir. Herbert Brenon

The Great Gatsby (2012) (trailer)
dir. Baz Luhrmann

Check out the two bookending versions of this tale - the pre-Crash, pre-Depression Jazz-era version, and the post-Bubble post-Recession Now-era version. I love the different takes on the parties, both decadent as hell but in totally different scales. Neither the 1949 Alan Ladd version nor the '74 Redford version have the passion of these two trailers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Killer and the Child

Fright (1971)
dir. Peter Collinson

Tales from the Crypt "And All Through the House" (1988)
dir. Robert Zemeckis

The Chain Poster

Rejected Schindler's List poster (1993)
Saul Bass

Django Unchainged (2012)
dir. Quentin Tarantino

from Kite Flub

The Standoff

Rancho Notorious (1952)
dir. Fritz Lang

The Most Dangerous Man Alive (1960)
dir. Allan Dwan

The Victim

Rancho Notorious (1952)
dir. Fritz Lang

Valerie (1957)
dir. Gerd Oswald

The Night Visit

The Devil Bat (1940)
dir. Jean Yarbrough

The Curse of the Cat People (1944)
dir. Gunther von Fritsch & Robert Wise

The Doorway (2)

The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933)
dir. James Whale

The Wings of Eagles (1957)
dir. John Ford

Monday, May 21, 2012

The White Space

The Fat Man (1951)
dir. William Castle

The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)
dir. Edgar G. Ulmer

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Foreshadowing (11)

King Kong (1933)
dir. Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack

"It's like a horrible dream. It's like being back on the island again." - Ann Darrow, King Kong

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Submission Guidelines

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you've seen more than one movie. And if in the course of your movie watching, you happen to see two (or more!) images that look alike to you, let me know. Here's how!

Send an email to including:

- The names of the films.
- Pictures of the shots themselves (descriptions of them are okay too, but then you're depending on my DVD collection or, god forbid, Youtube clips). Publicity pictures are fine, but frames from the films themselves are much preferred.
- The name with which you want to be credited.

Then if they work for me, I'll post them and include in the labels a tag with your name so you can keep track of what you've submitted. For example, here's the contributions from my boy Sheldrake over at Can't Stop the Movies.

My one stipulation is that I'm not much interested in parodies unless they're particularly subtle or clever. Now get screencapping, and get sending to

The Light Through the Title

Dr. Cyclops (1940)
dir. Ernest B. Shoedsack

The Thing from Another World (1951)
dir. Christian Nyby & Howard Hawks

The Plane

Casablanca (1942)
dir. Michael Curtiz

Die Farbe (2010)
dir. Huan Vu

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Job Description

"You're the butler, aren't you? Well, buttle!"
My Son, the Hero (1943)
written by Doris Malloy & Sam Newfield

"I'm merely a humble butler." 
"What exactly do you do?" 
"I buttle, sir."
Clue (1985)
written by John Landis & Jonathan Lynn

Proposed Film Festival #2

The World, the Flesh, and the Devil (1959, Ranald MacDougall)
Flesh and the Devil (1926, Clarence Brown)
The Devil, Probably (1977, Robert Bresson)

The Attack on the Door

The Shining (1980)
dir. Stanley Kubrick

Jumanji (1995)
dir. Joe Johnston

from X-Ray Pecs

The Soldier

Apocalypse Now (1979)
dir. Francis Ford Coppola

Predator (1987)
dir. John McTiernan

from DrPuppykicker

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Meals

A wine shop was open and I went in for some coffee. It smelled of early morning, of swept dust, spoons in coffee-glasses and the wet circles left by wine-glasses.
A Farewell to Arms (1929)
Ernest Hemingway

Life is weather. Life is meals. Lunches on a blue-checked cloth on which salt has spilled. The smell of tobacco. Brie, yellow apples, wood-handled knives.
Light Years (1975)
James Salter

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Road Warrior: Dust and Debris

With the exception of Blade Runner (which it predates by a year), is any film universe so deeply polluted as The Road Warrior? The film's script opens with the phrase "Flurries of dust and sand" - a central image which never leaves us:

We move in dust, each step or tire spin kicking up a new swirl. We cannot help but produce it - the land itself is disrupted by our very presence. With the dust comes the debris. Each major action in the film leaves behind a plume of dust and a wake of debris which overwhelms the senses and occasionally the lens:

What is this debris? Junk, mostly. Crushed plastic, unwieldy yards of fabric, deformed metal, broken glass. Wherever we go, we travel in a flurry of this junk:

All manners of stuff swirls around us like Pig Pen, like the debris clouds in The Stars My Destination, like all humanity is nothing more than an avatar of the Great Pacific Garbage Heap.

In school you learn to categorize dramatic conflict as man against man or man against nature. Here we have both, but they intersect at a common front: man against his possessions. In the end, I know of no other movie which explores just how much crap we accumulate. We're slaves to it, huddled in a besieged compound because we need to suck out of the earth more goo nobody in their right mind would want to be around:

Our hero Pappagallo warns of going "out there with the garbage," meaning-but-not-really Lord Humongous's gang. But there's garbage inside, too. There's garbage as far as the eye can see. We're practically drowning in clutter and filth and there's remarkably little we can do about it:

Tires in particular are everywhere in this film, engulfing us:

Even exploding out of the earth like geysers:

And tires are a perfect symbol for the debris trap in this film - huge, ungainly and unsightly against the earth. I get tired just looking at them, thinking about how much of that desert heat they've absorbed. Yet they are totally and non-negotiably essential for our continued life on this earth. Just like Max's squeaky leg brace or the suffocating hockey mask which presumably protects Lord Humongous's face from the ravages of the desert air:

All of our stuff, the stuff we kill over, the stuff which literally buries us alive:

It's all insurance against nature, which desecrates us at every opportunity:

So we hide from the sun and the dust in our hot, cramped little hovels just suffocated with stuff:

Because what the hell else can we do?

And where are we at the film's end? We've left a debris trail of a few dozen vehicles cluttering the highway. Our precious tanker? A big piece of junk filled with dust, just as it was in the beginning.:

And we drive off, throwing more dust into the air, and we stay put, another rusty piece of debris on the side of the road:

Awash in pollution, just like the fallen society we're warned of at the film's beginning. Out there with the garbage.