Portland, the City in Cinema: See the City of Roses as it Appears in 20 Different Films

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Last year, I posted about The City in Cinema, my series of video essays exploring cities as revealed and re-imagined by the films set in them — or rather, at that time, about one city in particular: Los Angeles, birthplace of Hollywood cinema and endlessly fascinating urban phenomenon in its own right.


Terry Gilliam on the Difference Between Kubrick & Spielberg: Kubrick Makes You Think, Spielberg Wraps Everything Up with Neat Little Bows

≡ Category: Film |8 Comments

Fitting, I suppose, that the only creative meeting of the minds between two of the twentieth century’s best-known film directors took place on a project about the problem of nonhuman intelligence and the dangerous excesses of human ingenuity.


William S. Burroughs Reads His Sarcastic “Thanksgiving Prayer” in a 1988 Film By Gus Van Sant

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Having moved to Korea a couple weeks ago, I won’t have the chance to partake this year in the beloved institution of American culture known as Thanksgiving. (Korea has its own Thanksgiving, but it happened two months ago.


Buster Keaton: The Wonderful Gags of the Founding Father of Visual Comedy

≡ Category: Film |1 Comment

Tony Zhou’s video essay series, Every Frame a Painting, returns with “Buster Keaton: The Art of the Gag.” Although his series never disappoints, this particular installment may be one of Tony’s best, taking you inside the comedic gags of Buster Keaton, a founding father of visual comedy.


Travel Back in Time and See Picasso Make Abstract Art

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Pablo Picasso, as you may know, produced a fair few memorable works in his long lifetime. He also came up with a number of quotable quotes.


Rita Hayworth, 1940s Hollywood Icon, Dances Disco to the Tune of The Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive: A Mashup

≡ Category: Dance, Film, Music |4 Comments


Disco’s been dead for decades, yet disco bashing never seems to go out of style. The sleazy fashions, the soulless music, the lumpenproletariat streaming ‘cross bridge and tunnel to shake their sweaty, polyester-clad booties like cut rate Travoltas… it’s over, and yet it isn’t.


The First Feminist Film, Germaine Dulac’s The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922)

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Yesterday we featured The Seashell and the Clergyman, the first surrealist film, directed by Germaine Dulac in 1928. Given Dulac’s gender, for those playing the cinema history home game, it also counts as the first surrealist film directed by a woman.


The First Surrealist Film The Seashell and the Clergyman, Brought to You By Germaine Dulac & Antonin Artaud (1928)

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When the subject of early surrealist film arises, most of us think of Salvador Dalí and Buñuel’s Un Chien Andalou, and not without good cause: even 86 years after its release, its nightmare images of piano-dragging and eyeball-slicing still lurk in our collective cinematic consciousness.


Hear 2.5-Hours of Great Jazz Songs Featured in Woody Allen Films: Sidney Bechet in Midnight in Paris, Louis Armstrong in Stardust Memories & More

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It takes no great research pains to find out that Woody Allen loves jazz. He scores most of his movies with the music, never failing to include it at least under their signature simple black-and-white opening titles.


NASCAR Meets the Paranormal in Terry Gilliam’s Short Film, The Legend of Hallowdega

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I think we here at Open Culture can freely own up to a deficiency in our content: despite its outsized presence in American culture, we’ve really neglected to post much about NASCAR.


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