Tag Archives: Preston Sturges

The Movie Weekend That Was

After a very long week, I looked forward to a solid movie-watching weekend. I didn’t get in as many as I would have liked, but I still managed to see a decent handful. Even without a trip to see Lincoln like I had expected, I squeezed in six films. This is the movie weekend that was. Continue reading

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The AFI 100 Laughs Experience

As regular readers of this site know, I’ve made it my goal to watch the entire AFI 100 Years, 100 Laughs list in 2012. When I started the process, I had already seen 57 films, leaving me with 43 to watch. It’s more or less consumed my movie-watching this year, and with good reason. It’s been an enlightening experience. Admittedly, I’m putting the cart before the horse here a little bit. I still have three more to go before I can cross everything off the list. That said, I’ve enjoyed the 40 that I’ve seen enough that I wanted to share some observations. Continue reading

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Re-Watchterpiece Theater: Barton Fink (1991)

Re-Watchterpiece Theater is a series that explores the organic way that attitudes about films change after you watch them a second time, a third time, or more, further down the line than the original viewing. Webster University here in St. Louis has a film series that includes something that they call “Strange Brew”. They draw all of the curtains in the tasting room at the Schlafly Brewery’s Maplewood location, The Bottleworks, and they show non-new release films on a big screen. Typically, they fall on the cult side of things. Viewers can enjoy the Bottleworks’ menu and their incredible beers, all while taking in a great film. Last week, their selection was the tremendous 1991 film from the Coen brothers, Barton Fink. It’s a film that I’ve grown to love through the years but my appreciation for it keeps growing. Here’s my experience with the re-watch. Spoilers follow.  Continue reading

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Miraculous Comedy: Preston Sturges and The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)

One of my goals for 2012 is to check off everything on the AFI 100 Years, 100 Laughs list. One of the side benefits is that there are several films on the list by directors with whom I’m still familiarizing myself. Preston Sturges is one such director. There are still a handful of Sturges films that I haven’t seen. Thanks to the 100 Laughs list, I recently had an excuse to take a gander at Sturges’ 1944 gem, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek. I’d heard that it was a bit brazen, but didn’t know how much until I’d finally seen the film. How brazen was it? Tremendously so, and I’ve fallen in love with the movie. Continue reading

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The Second Annual TDYLFie Awards

It's a major award!

The end of the year is just around the corner, which means it’s time for a bunch of lazy journalists to do their year-end best and worst lists of 2011. But why should they have all the fun? I’m lazy too. And I already established an award for this last year–the TDYLFie. I’m going to capitalize on that laziness for an easy article. But first, let’s establish some scope. I don’t see nearly enough new releases to make any sort of reasonable “Best/Worst of 2011” list. Thus, this list will be comprised of movies that I’ve seen in 2011, which will run the gamut from era to era, genre to genre, and on and on. In reality, this is more of a list about my own experience watching movies in 2011 than it is about anything that was released in 2011. Moreover–and this is a serious problem that I plan on rectifying in 2012–I don’t have a thorough means of keeping track of what I’ve seen. I can see what I’ve received and rated from Netflix and Facets in 2011, and the rest of this is based on memory of what I’ve actually seen. There’s a very real chance that I’ll miss something. Whadayagonnado? Without further delay, here is the awards program for the 2nd Annual TDYLFies. Continue reading

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Iron Director: Billy Wilder vs. Preston Sturges

I’m going back in time to my first entry in the Iron Director series, borrowing the same theme. My first entry was about two directors who I’d become obsessed with in 2010–François Truffaut and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. This entry will focus on two more directors I’ve developed an obsession about over the last 18 months–Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges. When you’re a hardcore film nerd, you spend too much of your time trying to spackle in the cracks in your film knowledge. Hollywood’s 1940s and 1950s heyday was certainly a crack for me until somewhat recently. As such, I’ve started slowly tackling various actors and directors from the era. Wilder and Sturges have emerged as directors whose style resonates with me–both comic, both deep, both mastering the dramedy in ways that few (if any) directors have done since. Which one is better?

First, let’s take a quick look at which films I’ve seen from Wilder and Sturges and how I’ve rated them. Note that all films are rated on Netflix’s five star system. Here’s an infographic: Continue reading

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