WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HELEN was one of several films to emerge in the wake of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, capitalizing on the profitable hagsploitation boom. It is also the only one to directly tackle the same material upon which BABY JANE was built: namely, Hollywood and its illusory charm. Other contemporary genre installments […]Read more "Identity, Illusion, & Industry: Exploring Hollywood Through Hagsploitation"
PREFACE: This is now the second installment in what will be a continuing series that takes an informal, desultory approach by providing cinematic vignettes that offer additional depth and insight to observations of mine. I currently have some longer pieces in the works, so I sincerely hope that you enjoy this little piece in the […]Read more "On Feminism, Francis, and Fiction: Bite-sized Food For Thought"
Introduction It’s a common theme in Kay Francis movies to see her enter a loveless marriage or platonic partnership. The motivations differ vastly, and run the gamut from pity and obligation to maximizing advantageous opportunity in favor of personal gain. Of course, the latter is the most fun, as it provides the viewer a glimpse […]Read more "Appearance & Deceit: The Veiled Queerness of STOLEN HOLIDAY"
Introduction — It’s remarkably easy to overlook WHERE LOVE HAS GONE, particularly when sized up against the formidable filmographies of Bette Davis and Susan Hayward. The film was critically panned upon its 1964 release and fared poorly at the box office. It is impossible to take it seriously on account of the unintentional campiness that […]Read more "Where Love Has Gone: A Mid-Century Hollywood Zeitgeist"
Forenote: I first approached this piece with the intent to further explore the fascinating conflation of career and character specific to Bette Davis, with Katharine Hepburn serving to highlight, contrast, and offer perspective. I would not have been able to complete this piece without the help of my dear friend and esteemed Katharine Hepburn researcher […]Read more "On Acting & Being: Davis, Hepburn, & Persona"
In contemporary English, a circus is defined as a traveling company of acrobats, clowns, and other entertainers which gives performances, typically in a large tent, in a series of different places. Its true semantic origins date back to Ancient Rome, where it was defined as “a rounded or oblong arena lined with tiers of seats, […]Read more "The Circus of Cinema: A Case Study of Hagsploitation"
Preface: I’m very excited to share what will be the first of many collaborations between myself and Francesca, a cherished friend of mine and fellow cineaste. Her wit and insight are invaluable assets that helped to bolster this piece. Thank you, Fran — you can find her work here! On the surface, LADIES’ MAN appears […]Read more "Latent Lesbianism in LADIES’ MAN"
While rightfully remembered for her immortalizing portrayal of Margo Channing in ALL ABOUT EVE, such an association often — though not on purpose — creates a specific subjective construct that reduces the career and personality of Bette Davis to a few select bullet points. Within this box lies the dissolved essence of a powerful and […]Read more "Bette Davis & The Queer Protagonist"
Vera Kowalska has nothing left but her voice — and yet, it is her purposeful silence that speaks deafening volumes. The statement seems cryptic, if not irrelevant: what great importance could a string of anecdotes woven by a neurotic cabaret woman hold, when she is already found to be guilty of her crime? At a […]Read more "The Power of Voice, Even In Silence: Kay Francis and CONFESSION"
I vehemently maintain that the most brilliant discoveries are often stumbled upon without rhyme, reason, or warning. It’s why I strictly adhere to the tenets of keeping an open mind, despite being set in my ways: for as much as I’d love to rewatch that Bette Davis film again, I should expand my repertoire and […]Read more "REVIEW: THE WICKHAM WAY — A Phenomenal Ode to the Concurrent Strength & Fragility of the Human Experience"