He’s Got Something Going On: David Proval on Mean Streets, and Acting for Martin Scorsese | MZS

Proval came to screening of “Mean Streets” at the Texas Theatre in Dallas April 20. I interviewed him after the show about his experiences making the film, his collaboration with Scorsese and costars Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel, and his reaction to watching it again on a big screen, for the first time in a long … Read more

It’s OK For Movies to Just End | MZS

All of the great directors know how to get out of the story once it’s over. You can argue about the advisability of the running times of certain films by Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, Akira Kurosawa, or Sergio Leone, but rarely about their choice of when and how to end things. Think of “The Good, … Read more

Why Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Remains Unforgettable | MZS

Gondry’s style creates an analogy for what happens when a person’s memories begin to disintegrate or disappear, in the all-over, “global” sense (Alzheimer’s), as well as for the fleeting universal experience of struggling to remember a name, or some aspect of a dream. and somehow managing to grasp a sliver of it, only to see … Read more

The Scene That Clint Eastwood Cut to Make Unforgiven a Classic | MZS

Essentially, Clint Eastwood’s character, William Munny, goes through the standard Clint Eastwood hero arc of getting beaten within an inch of his life (in some movies, he’s actually killed and rises from the dead), then coming back to righteously murder a bunch of people. But over time, I grew to appreciate and even appreciate the elliptical nature of … Read more

The Estate of George Carlin Destroys AI George Carlin in Victory for Copyright Protection (and Basic Decency) | MZS

Recent legal decisions in copyright suits against AI software-makers have already begun to chip away at tech’s insistence (which is laughable on its face) that there is no substantive difference between an aspiring art student studying a book of Rembrandt paintings in order to paint in the style of Rembrandt and a soulless digital machine imbibing and digesting millions of works … Read more

A Man Goes to the Movies: An Appreciation of Roger Ebert’s Top 10 Lists | MZS

Roger’s very first Top 10 list for The Chicago Sun-Times, his home outlet for decades, listed a lot of movies that were probably common sights on other people’s lists, including “The Graduate,” “Blowup,” “Ulysses,” “A Man for All Seasons,” and the eventual Oscar winner “In the Heat of the Night.” It also included “Bonnie and … Read more

On Luca, Tenet, The Invisible Man and Other Films from the Early Pandemic Era that Deserve More Big-Screen Time | MZS

And what about the horror thriller “The Invisible Man,” one of the most mercilessly tense films I’ve seen in the past decade? It got released right before lockdown and made $144 million globally, a staggering haul for a medium-budgeted genre picture whose biggest star was Elisabeth Moss. Who knows what it would’ve made if it had … Read more

The Unloved, Part 124: Play Dirty | MZS

André de Toth fled Hungary before the second world war and relocated to the US where he made westerns and films noir attacking American complacency in its everyday iterations, a more sly, less expressionistic Fritz Lang, who allowed his audience to put together puzzle pieces and see the picture of corruption ourselves (to quote Martin Scorsese, his most … Read more

The Joy of Watching the Greats Continue to Be Great Well Into Their 80s and 90s | MZS

I didn’t care for the recent reboot of “The Exorcist” and didn’t like what they did with the legacy character of Chris McNeil, poor little Regan McNeil’s mother from the original 1973 film, but I loved seeing Burstyn, now 91, seizing the movie by the throat for the brief time she was onscreen. Ian McShane, beloved from … Read more