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March 29, 2017

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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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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

Cover of the BFI's new book on The General

General Tendencies

Posted July 31, 2016 by D. K. Holm

The General (1915) is one of the greatest American films ever made, but do we really understand it? Buster Keaton made the comedy during a rash of historically set silent films, and being a Hollywood film about the Civil War, takes the perspective of the South, as have Birth of a Nation, Gone with the… More

The cover of Criterion's Blu-Ray of Howard Hawks's Only Angels Have Wings

Delivering the Male

Posted April 12, 2016 by D. K. Holm

Recently, many writers and film commentators have come to see 1939 as Hollywood’s most magical year. Among the obvious titles are Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, but there were also Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Hound of the Baskervilles (which helped introduce… More

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Favorite Movies of 2015: D. K. Holm

Posted January 10, 2016 by D. K. Holm

For those who are curious, here is one reviewers list of favorite films for last year. The full discussion will occur in our next podcast, No. 171. The short version of the theory behind this list is that they are all personal favorites, and comprise films that I will continue to re-see ad infinitum. Domestic… More

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