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June 22, 2017

On The Aisle is a film review panel discussion featuring Ed Goldberg and a collection of Portland’s best film critics.

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Latest Blog Posts

Murray Pomerance on Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much

The Consequences of Knowing A Lot: Recent Hitchcock Books, No. 1

Posted April 17, 2017 by D. K. Holm

There is a curious moment in the middle of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much that has gone without much comment, or at least I haven’t seen any. Ben McKenna is searching London for the kidnappers of his son, Hank. His clue is the name “Ambrose Chapell,” who turns out to be a… More

The cover for Jon Lewis's new book

Hard-Hearted Hollywood

Posted April 14, 2017 by D. K. Holm

There have always been two Hollywoods. There is the burnished image of the place and people promoted by studio publicity machines via movie magazines and the media, a world of hardworking artisans cultivating their craft and family simultaneously. Then there is the brutal underside, real versus “real.” This is the Hollywood of disguised unwed pregnancies, of lethal… More

The Blu-Ray box for Blowup

Frames of Blowup

Posted March 28, 2017 by D. K. Holm

There are so many ways to begin an essay on Blowup. For example, the writer could note that there is often a moment in a Michelangelo Antonioni film in which the main character breaks out in some kind of joyous dance. In L’Avventura it’s when Monica Vitti swirls around a bedroom. In L’Eclisse, when Vitti dons… More

Criterion's edition of the important Mexican film Canoa


Posted March 14, 2017 by D. K. Holm

If I had watched Canoa when it first appeared in 1976, I would probably have resisted it due to its rough edges. The film has a grainy, hand-held appearance that suggests a low budget, and sometimes the lighting for interior shots is over-bright like a bad drive-in movie. In addition, some of the characters speak… More

Mildred Pierce DVD Box Cover

The Case of Mildred Pierce

Posted February 18, 2017 by D. K. Holm

If the old saw is true – that there are no bad films noirs, or to translate it, every film noir has something interesting about it – then Mildred Pierce is a weird nexus of a lot of issues that cling to the genre (if it is a genre, which is just one of those… More

PIFF 40 logo

PIFF 2017, Part One

Posted February 15, 2017 by D. K. Holm

That annual cinematic onslaught called the Portland International Film Festival is upon us, and though no reviewer asks for pity, nor is anyone likely to grant it, at over 160 features and short films, it’s an awful lot to cover. Every year I vow that I am going to give top coverage, and every year… More

Link to an article on Audio Commentary Tracks

Posted February 9, 2017 by D. K. Holm

One of the great features of DVDs were the audio commentary tracks in which stars, scholars, or others would walk the viewer through the film. This week, I’ve got an article on the decline of the audio commentary track posted at Crooked Scoreboard, which should provide some options for educational listening.

Crooked Scoreboard on why movies are still better than TV

On the Aisle Update

Posted January 21, 2017 by D. K. Holm

No oodcast again this week, due to weather and flu. But everyone is feeling better, and there will be a program posted next Friday, the annual best-worst list, and some Reel Music picks. Until then, here is a link to D. K. Holm on why movies are still better than television. Feel free to  leave a… More

McCabe and Mrs. Miller DVD box art

The Real Player

Posted October 11, 2016 by D. K. Holm

What a strange idea of a western. Yet perhaps not too strange. Instead of the old west, McCabe and Mrs. Miller is set in a remote mountainous mining encampment. Instead of the desert, it takes place in the snow (but then, so does the Sergio Corbucci’s spaghetti western from 1968, The Great Silence). It has… More

The Rhapsodes by David Bordwell, on '40s movie reviewers

Rhapsody in Dew

Posted August 1, 2016 by D. K. Holm

David Bordwell has long been one of the most important film historians, and his interests have ranged over numerous cinematic topics (film theory, cognition in film-viewing) and genres (from Carl Dreyer to King Hu). His frequently updated film textbooks, written with Kristen Thompson, are key documents for any film student, young or old, and his… More

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