February 20 2017 Drama Movies Newsletter
"But movies aren’t really movies anymore. They came to their power in a sunny
and optimistic place—California before the smog and the freeways and its prevailing post-modernist anomie. They offered, at their height, a very attractive vision of an imperfect but perfectible America, full of can-do guys and gals. They do not largely function in that way any more. They are largely a medium of improbable adventures set in worlds that bear no relationship to American reality. They are aimed primarily at adolescents and special effects addicts. Obviously a critic—a very endangered species in a nation that wants indulgence more than a criticism that questions its fatuity—is obliged to seek out and encourage anything that offers nuance. I continue to do that—not knowing any better—but I also know that the movies I generally like best are aimed at niche markets, elite markets." Film critic/writer/documentary filmmaker Richard Schickel
Richard Schickel, "Time" magazine film critic from 1965-2010, died on Saturday, February 19th. Schickel wrote and directed television documentaries on filmmakers like Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg. He also published biographies of directors Elia Kazan and D.W. Griffith.
In addition, Schickel was a perceptive cultural critic who studied the phenomenon of celebrity and the effect it has on American society. In 1974, "His Picture in the Papers: A Speculation on Celebrity in America Based on the Life of Douglas Fairbanks, Sr." was published. He returned to the issue in 1985 with "Intimate Strangers: The Culture of Celebrity", reissued in 2000 with a new afterword. In a prescient interview with Jennifer L. Geddes, Schickel predicted the election of a celebrity like Donald Trump and decried the degradation of ideas and the instant celebrity cult fostered by the internet. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, Schickel was one of America's most thoughtful film critics. He will be missed.
Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.
Border Incident Film Review
A surprisingly contemporary crime drama produced in 1949, "Border Incident" stars Ricardo Montalban as a Mexican police agent who goes undercover to capture the murderers of Mexicans working in the California agricultural industry.
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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor
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