Category Archives: Cinema

Movie Review: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

After the promised autonomy of the Hollywood film system had lured director Alfred Hitchcock away from Great Britain, he remade The Man Who Knew Too Much, a film he had made in his motherland in 1934. I have not seen the original British version, so I cannot compare the two films, but the later version stands among the paragons of Hitchcock’s style. The film, starring Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day, contains several elements characteristic of Hitchcock’s work: long takes, well-wrought sets, and a serpentine plot replete with foreigners and false leads. Continue reading Movie Review: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Catching Up with the Kids from Spellbound

Yesterday, I watched Spellbound, the 2002 documentary that highlights eight children from the 1999 Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee. The children were all very bright students, albeit each one had his or her own set of trials to overcome. Continue reading Catching Up with the Kids from Spellbound

Flags of Our Fathers and the Propaganda of Heroism

What makes a hero? Is it dying in the name of your country, or is it inspiring hope in the hearts of the civilians for whom you’re supposedly fighting? In what ways are soldiers sacrificed to serve the greater good? In the 2006 film Flags of Our Fathers, director Clint Eastwood attempts to answer to these questions in his exploration of the mythos behind the soldiers of the Marine Corps War Memorial. In so doing, he shows how the United States ran its own war propaganda campaigns during the 1940s and how relative a term as lofty as “hero” truly is. Continue reading Flags of Our Fathers and the Propaganda of Heroism