Besides Stephen King, the name in literature most synonymous with the macabre and horror genre would have to be Edgar Allan Poe. And like King, Poe’s work has been siphoned for decades to fuel film adaptations, mostly in the 1960s by Roger Corman starring Vincent Price.
The latest adaptation from this notorious master of the grotesque is Stonehearst Asylum, directed by Brad Anderson. It boasts a notable cast, including Oscar winners Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine and a rich choice of source material in Poe’s story, “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.” If you are at all familiar with that story, then much of the film’s conceit will already be known to you, but since that story doesn’t involve a pendulum, a heart, or a raven, I’ll assume you haven’t read it.
They used to tell me something about spiders when I was a kid—something they still say, actually: “They’re more afraid of you than you are of them.” I never believed that for a second. Sure, I was a giant in their world, but they had the ability to hide and the speed and the fangs. They were venomous.
Something else “they” used to tell me growing up—whoever “they” happened to be—was not to be my own worst enemy in life. They meant, of course, that people have a tendency to sabotage the good things in their life, whether they do so intentionally or not. This idea is explored in both literal and metaphorical ways in Enemy, last year’s film by Denis Villeneuve starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
I’ve seen films that inspired me, challenged me, provoked me, entertained me, amused me, and bored me. All of these effects, except perhaps the last one, can specifically be intended by the filmmaker and I believe that a fully formed criticism should at least attempt to consider such intentions when evaluating whether or not the film works.
I was in my high school English class when I first learned about poetry from John Keating. I was working my first job at a video rental store when I witnessed Sean Maguire put Will Hunting on the right path in life. I was eleven years old when I first heard the Genie say, “You ain’t never had a friend like me!”
These names are just characters, like countless others in the world of fiction and film. But these particular names, along with so many others like Patch Adams, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Mork from Ork (nanu, nanu) were brought to life by the incomparable Robin Williams.
In this episode, Tyler is joined by Reed Lackey to discuss Robert Duvall’s The Apostle.
St. Francis is attributed with saying, “Preach the gospel always, and if necessary, use words.” Taking this maxim to a literal conclusion is a new film by Sharon Wilharm called The Good Book, which professes to be the world’s first evangelical silent feature film.
Rarely have I rooted for a film to be effective as much as I did for Jacob Kindberg’s Sing Over Me, an intimate portrait of Christian singer/songwriter Dennis Jernigen and his lifelong struggle with homosexuality. Aware of the controversy of the subject, I was excited for a film that would address the issue from within the heart of the struggle, hopefully providing unflinching honesty, unique insight, and brave message of hope.
What do you get when you cross a plane crash, polar bears, a monster made of black smoke, a moving island, an ancient statue, time-travel, an age-old battle of good versus evil and about 50 castaways with pasts as diverse as their ethnicities? You get a whole mess of questions, that’s what. You also get some of the most compelling, emotional and inspiring television in history.
It’s been 10 years since Lost first premiered on ABC, and binge watching was officially created. Fans were obsessed with the literary references, scientific theories, and endless clues to the shows seemingly countless mysteries. Fans were so obsessed that it isn’t uncommon to hear of red-eyed, bobble-headed insomniacs pressing on until 3 AM despite extreme weariness in order to fit in just one more episode.
We start with two dead men. One of them is still breathing, speaking, and growling humbugs at everything joyful and hopeful in the world. The other is as dead as… well, as a doornail. But both of them are quite dead indeed. And as Charles Dickens wisely instructed us on the very first page of A Christmas Carol, “This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.”