Now Playing on TCM: Forbidden Hollywood

When it comes to the movies, sin never goes out of style. And on April 28, it’s back on your TV screen when TCM presents a three-film series looking back at Hollywood’s pre-Code era with three films: Little Caesar (1931), Red-Headed Woman (1932), and Baby Face (1933); all of which Mark A. Vieira covers in his latest book, Forbidden Hollywood: The Pre-Code Era (1930–1934): When Sin Ruled the Movies. Despite the cumbersome title, Vieira’s book is a swift-moving detailed account of Hollywood during the early 1930s, and the 22 films the brought about the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production … Continue reading Now Playing on TCM: Forbidden Hollywood

This week in Film — AVENGERS: ENDGAME

It’s been 11 years since the launch of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), and though Avengers: Endgame is far from the end of Marvel movies, the weekend’s latest release is both a satisfying conclusion to a unique cycle of movies and fascinating cross-section of America. Much like the NFL, Marvel Studios walks a fine line between Conservatives and Liberals and manages to capture both. Cynical commercialism or collective unconscious made cinematic? Time will decide. In the meantime, they certainly are fun to watch. More at Boulder Weekly. A few notes: The quote I open the review with comes from Joseph Campbell’s 1949 comparative literature study The Hero … Continue reading This week in Film — AVENGERS: ENDGAME


Japan, modern day: an emotionally distant father dies. His son, Masato (Takumi Saito), who also lost his mother at an earlier age, decides to close down his father’s, now his, ramen stand, leave his dog with friends, and head off to Singapore. He’s in search of a new cuisine, specifically the recipe for Bak Kut Teh (pork rib soup), which he plans to incorporate with ramen noodles for his restaurant. Of course, that’s not the only reason: his mother was Singaporean, and Masato hopes that by tracing her steps he might come to know her better. As these things go, … Continue reading RAMEN SHOP (RAMEN TEH)


Diane (Mary Kay Place) has a heavy load. Her cousin (Deirdre O’Connell) is dying from cervical cancer, and her son (Jake Lacy) is a junkie. One wants her help, the other doesn’t, but that doesn’t stop Diane. Watching her, you get the sense this is the role Diane has always had, as a mother, as a relative, as a friend, and, possibly, as a wife. It’s a thankless job, but Diane isn’t looking for gratitude. She knows if she doesn’t hold the world together, no one else will. Set in the icy cold winters of Massachusetts, Diane is a character … Continue reading DIANE