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Showing posts from August, 2014

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #219: The Outlaw Josey Wales

Clint Eastwood is one of those actors whose name immediately evokes the image of the mythic American cowboy. Perhaps second only to John Wayne, many of Eastwood’s movies have become classic Westerns, only many of them are quite darker in tone than Wayne’s films. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) is one such film. Featuring Eastwood behind the camera and in top anti-hero form as a gunslinger who sends many men to their graves across the American south after his family is killed during the Civil War. He may not wear a Sheriff’s badge, but once he draws his guns you can’t help but root for him.
Another English-to-Spanish exercise, this was a movie I watched while living in South America in the early 2000s. Possibly HBO or some other movie channel would run old American movies with Spanish subtitles, which is a good way to learn the language when you first move to Chile and which you get used to once you actually learn the language. Either way, it’s a Clint Eastwood movie, and if a Clint Eastw…

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #220: Far From Heaven

The 1950s in America was a very interesting decade culturally speaking. Right after World War II and right before the racial, sexual, and rock’n’roll revolutions began it was a time when on the surface everything seemed fine, but beneath the surface something was brewing. Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven (2002) jumps back to that era through the lens of Douglas Sirk and explores issues that today can be openly discussed, but back then people barely had a name for them.
In order to fully appreciate this movie it really helps if you are familiar with the works of its main inspiration, the films of Douglas Sirk who is best known for his 1950s melodramas. Lucky for me I spent the summer of 2009 at the University of British Columbia where I took a course on Hollywood Cinema from 1930 to 1960 and part of the curriculum was watching Sirk’s 1955 romance All That Heaven Allows starring Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman. (What joy it is to be able to study cinema in a classroom.) As the story was about the…