All posts tagged: Classic Film

Representations of Urban Space & Masculinity in “Taxi Driver”

Representations of Urban Space & Masculinity in “Taxi Driver” & the Rise of the American Right-Wing Though Martin Scorsese’s 1976 psychological thriller, Taxi Driver, was released over 40 years ago, one could argue that many layers to the film’s harsh societal critiques are just as relevant in today’s sociopolitical climate. By exploring 1970s New York City through the perspective of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), an intense man whose past we know little about other than that he served in the Vietnam War, Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader allow the audience to see the world through a particularly conservative lens. In the film, Bickle’s taxi cab works as a device that carries him through spaces he may not otherwise occupy. In this vehicle he’s shielded from that which fuels his fear and contempt. He sees, though might not necessarily be seen. He’s a vigilante on the edge of sanity, a sort of messiah figure who strives to clean up the city, though his racist and sexist rational for this metaphoric “clean up” is never stated …

Brown, Kiddo, & Tarantino

OR: Tarantino’s Leading Ladies: Jackie Brown, Beatrix Kiddo, & Women’s Empowerment On-screen Quentin Tarantino’s body of work – from his feature film debut Reservoir Dogs (1992), to his most recent epic The Hateful Eight (2015) – consists of films that are violent, highly stylized, dialogue-driven, oftentimes problematic, and always provocative. Though each film in Tarantino’s oeuvre is quite different from the one that came before it or followed, numerous qualities of his work remain consistent. In each of his films Tarantino celebrates popular culture by commemorating genres that were once relegated to the margins by Hollywood, such as martial arts cinema, Blaxploitation, and spaghetti westerns. While appropriating genres, Tarantino provides his own authorial stamp by writing dialogue-driven scripts which are benefited by episodic structures. A “Tarantino film,” one can almost always be assured, features revenge at the heart of the narrative and creates pleasure through the irreverent combination of humor and violence. And, with each of Tarantino’s films, the appropriateness of his representations of violence, race, gender, and revisionist history, come into question time and …

La Filmothèque: An Online Film Library

I recently discovered La Filmothèque, a web-based public domain film library, and I thought it would be a great resource to share here on Catch-all. As an online film library, La Filmothèque provides easy access to classic films that are available in the public domain. Their library includes M, Man with a Movie Camera, and Un Chien Andalou, just to name a few film history essentials. La Filmothèque curates both well-known and more obscure films in order to create a space where film scholars, students, and fans alike can dive deep into the fun and exciting world of cinema’s past. La Filmothèque aims to expose audience members to films, genres, and directors that they might not have been aware of otherwise. The site categorizes films by genre, decade, country of origin, and director, allowing users to peruse the library however they see fit. The site also features a Film Store, where users can buy classic films recommended by La Filmothèque’s team. I myself am truly excited to be able to use La Filmothèque for my own academic and entertainment purposes, and am looking forward to sharing the site with the students …

“Thelma & Louise” Turns 25

Thelma & Louise (dir. Ridley Scott) premiered on May 24th, 1991, making today the 25th anniversary of the film. At the time of its release it was noted as being a fantastically feminist movie, and it remains completely relevant to this day. Thelma & Louise is a celebration of friendship and sisterhood, which encompasses some of the complexities and complications of being a woman. In honor of the film’s 25th anniversary, below are just a few stills, complete with a shirtless Brad Pitt. 🙂 Enjoy! And if you have a story about your first time seeing Thelma & Louise, please share it in the comment section below!

30 Years of The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club opened on February 15th, 1985, making it 30 years old today. Written, directed, and produced by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, and Ally Sheedy, The Breakfast Club remains one of the greatest high school films of all time. I first saw John Hughes’ classic when I was in high school, either my freshman or sophomore year, and discovering it felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I had something to turn to. High school certainly wasn’t my favorite time; I was neither uncool, nor popular, and in retrospect I understand how difficult those years of self-discovery truly were. The Breakfast Club made it easier. I could see a piece of myself in each character, and it was a relief to know that everything was going to be okay. What were the most important lessons I learned from The Breakfast Club? We’re all human – we’re all misunderstood – and we all just want to be heard.

‘Pulp Fiction’: 20 Facts on the Film’s 20th Anniversary

This is the week of anniversaries! Twenty years ago today, Quentin Tarantino’s most iconic and well-known film was released in theaters. To this day, Pulp Fiction continues to captivate audience members, both young and old. To celebrate, here are twenty facts on the film’s twentieth anniversary: 1. The shot of Vincent shoving the syringe into Mia’s chest was filmed by having John Travolta pull the needle out, then reversing the footage. 2. Whenever Vincent goes to the bathroom, something terrible happens. 3. Quentin Tarantino wrote the part of Jules specifically for Samuel L. Jackson. 4. The passage from the Bible that Jules has memorized was mainly made up by Tarantino and Jackson. 5. The film cost $8.5 million to make – $5 million of which went to the actors’ salaries. 6. Originally, Uma Thurman turned down the role of Mia Wallace, but Tarantino desperately wanted to cast her so he ended up reading her the script over the phone, eventually convincing her to accept the role. 7. “Fuck” is said 265 times. 8. Jules’ car, a 1974 Chevy Nova, is never fully seen, only the interior or parts of …