Six Degrees of Film Roundup

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6 Degrees of Film: Summertime & the Return of the Bad-B’s

Summertime…and each year the films that pop up in the “Bad B’ category are always the ones that we very often find to be even more ‘watchable’ than the classics that fill us with the sturm and drang of deep emotional stress. There are times when we remember an awful movie we saw long ago with fondness. It may trigger a memory of an outing with a friend or loved one that makes us want to relive the experience. And we find we don’t really have to function with deep concentration when watching the really bad movies. It may be like doing a mindless chore. You sometimes just want to do something to vacate the mind and realize that not all tasks or stories are meant to make you feel uplifted or transformed. You may just want to ‘let it be’ for a while… That is perhaps why “Plan 9 from Outer Space’ has endured and is shown on small screens and in arthouse settings after all these years! There are some things that make us sit up in awe-much like the audience “Gif’ of the crowd watching “Springtime for Hitler!” for the first time! It’s so bad you really can’t believe it!  Here’s a short trip down memory lane for some of the “A List’ of Bad B’s that we have compiled from years past. Enjoy your trip down memory lane…6 Degrees This is our list of Bad B’s of Summer…   Summertime is here and one of the funniest pastimes for me, as a movie critic, is just reading the synopses of some of the old Beach Movies that people flocked to see during the summer. (I think they flocked to them, or they wouldn’t have made at least seven of these Bad B Beach films!) I recently compiled a short list of the best of the blurbs. Here are a few favorites:   Bad-B’s at the Beach   It’s a Bikini World When a female scientist turns down a playboy’s pass, he poses as his own brother to win her heart. Muscle Beach Party The beach gang goes head-to-head with the bodybuilders at a new gym that’s interfering with their strip on the sand. Gidget A young girl dreams of winning acceptance from a gang of surfers. Gidget Goes Hawaiian: A surfer girl triggers romantic confusion during a Hawaiian vacation. Beach Blanket Bingo:  The surfing gang rescues a beautiful girl from a gang of evil bikers. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini:  When he’s stationed in Tahiti, a sailor hires a witch doctor to keep an eye on his girlfriend.   We all talk of the light and lovable time period when these films were made. Sure, the movies were sexist and made light of violent biker gangs and surfers without jobs or ambition in life. And of course the films exposed the dumbing-down of America.  We concede that the vapid content was overkill, even topping the syrupy sentiment of the hits Doris Day starred in during this era.   There may have been some maturation of the character of Gidget as she progressed through the series of moronic pictures. But, the entire Beach movies culture was enough to produce the counter-culture that came into existence in the late sixties.   The films stand alone as some of the worst series of films ever made. Only some bad-b Japanese movies are in the running to compete with the moronic vapidity on display in this film series. But…if you like Bad-B movies, and I admit to being quite a connoisseur of the art, then some of these films might just make it to the finals.   They are not quite in the league of Plan 9 from Outer Space, but some of the material in these films is noteworthy. And by that I mean, worthy of taking note of how poorly the film was made, edited, written, acted in and directed. I have written about Bad-B’s before, and I’ve resurrected that post for those fans of Bad B. If there are some films that may have slipped under the radar, please write to me at mljtpa@6degreeswriter.com. I’d love to compile a list of reader Bad-B’s for a new top 10 List. The Bad-B Top 10 from Rotten Tomatoes   No 1. The Oscar- 1966 (Rest of list in descending order of terrible!) 10. Showgirls- 1995 9.Battlefield Earth-2000 8. Glen or Glenda-1953 7. Plan 9 from Outer Space-1959 6.Robot Monster- 1953 5. Howling II-1985 4. The Black Gestapo-1975 3. Frankenstein Island-1981 2. Road House- 1989  

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Summer Film News from 6 Degrees of Film

This summer film season, we are featuring fourteen movies that are opening in the summer of ’24. Starting in June, the films are just one piece of the recommended viewing for those of us who love movies. Not only does Turner Classic feature an array of different genres and even some modern feature films to choose from, but the streaming platform also gives movie buffs a chance to decide how to watch a film at any given time. Of course, there are good and bad features for this chapter in the history of the movies. There is always something to be said for a chance to sit in a darkened movie theater and experience a new feature film with the sound and the feeling and the accompaniments-even the popcorn buckets!-that go with the ‘movie-going experience.’ But those days are changing rapidly so we know we have to adapt and learn to look at the good and the bad that comes with the streaming platforms and small-screen debuts of major motion pictures! Here is a look at some of the films that are showing in theatres this summer. And after that, a short overview of the Turner Classic films, as well as a look at some films showing this summer in our local arthouse network at Tampa Theatre. Enjoy your summer, film fans and see you @ the movies! (Don’t forget to check out 6 Degrees of Film on Facebook each week as we go through the latest in the world of film in our magazines; 6 Degrees of FIlm @the Movies AND Friday Flix!) The Summer Movie Lineup for the Summer of ’24! Here’s the list of 14 films we’ve picked out that are debuting this summer JUNE FILMS Hit Man is out June 7th This is an action adventure flick starring Glenn Powell. We have reviews featured this week in 6 Degrees @the Movies. This film was relatively well-received by critics. June 7 The Watchers Horror movie from M Night Shymalan’s daughter. This film is also reviewed in 6 Degrees @the Movies this week… And this movie has also received some decent reviews for lovers of the horror genre, and particularly lovers of films by M Night Shymalan! June 14  Pixar’s Inside Out 2 Some new ‘emotions’ on display in this follow-up to Pixar’s hit film. Tuesday with Julia Louis Dreyfuss Dramedy about mother-played by Julia Louis Dreyfuss– of terminally ill young woman who comes to terms with everything with some help from an unlikely source-a ‘shape-shifting parrot!” June 21 The Bikeriders Tom Hardy stars as the leader of a Chicago Bike gang in late 1960’s; loosely based on real-life story of a Chicago bike gang… June 28 Daddio This film features Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson as two people in a cab who find serious connections on the way home from JFK Airport Horizon Chapter 1 This Kevin Costner directed Western is sub-titled “An American Saga’ with a variety of stories in the Old West from different viewpoints and perspectives. A Quiet Place: Day One The prequel to the hit film A Quiet Place.   Coming in JULY to the Movies   July 3rd Beverly Hills Cop Eddie Murphy returns as Axel Foley Joseph Gordon Levitt and Kevin Bacon are along for the ride July 12 Fly me to the Moon Rom-com set in late 60’s at NASA with Scarlett Johansson as PR person and Channing Tatum as reluctant astronaut for the PR ride… Deadpool & Wolverine   July 26 Hugh Jackman returns as Wolverine for this superhero/anti-hero outing with Ryan Reynolds.   The AUGUST Line-up   August 14 Daughters A hit at Sundance Film Festival in 2024, this is a documentary of a father-daughter dance held annually at a Washington DC Prison…. August 16 Alien Romulus A return to the Aliens franchise….   August 23 The Supremes at Earl’s All you can Eat Adapted from a novel about the lives of three young women over the years   The Arthouse films Summer Film Series…   What’s coming to the Arthouse: Tampa Theatre At Tampa Theatre this year, there is an array of films ranging from Westerns to fantasy to classics from the Golden Age. I would personally recommend seeing the following films if you have never seen them at the movie theater: Casablanca Butch Cassidy The Godfather Part II The Wizard of Oz I also saw Apollo 13 at the movies, and this is a great film so it’s worth seeing if you have never experienced it in the theater. Chinatown is a complicated film that actually might also be worth seeing on the ‘small-screen’ streaming for the first time. This is simply because the visuals, though impressive enough, really pale in comparison with the depth of the overall plot and performance from Nicholson. Notorious is a beautiful black and white masterpiece from Hitchcock. All Hitchcock films are worth seeing at the movie theater. This is one that stands out for me in the Pantheon of great Hitchcock classics. And the actors are so beautiful together, and the dialogue is riveting enough that this film can hold your attention both in the theater and on any small screen viewing platform. It’s worth seeing twice! On Turner Classic Movies in June Talking about the Classics…. American in Paris Wings of Desire On Dangerous Ground/ Laura: Film Noir Many Rivers to Cross Spirit of St Louis Lincoln The Longest Day To Have & Have Not/ Casablanca…. This month on Turner Classic, there are some notable film noirs. It’s no secret that I have a great love for the entire Film Noir genre, and “Laura’ is probably my favorite of the entire group. I also love “On Dangerous Ground’ as I’m particularly fond of Robert Ryan, who stars with Ida Lupino in this stand-out Noir classic. In our “Pioneers of Film’ series, the women who are strong and paved the way for others includes Lauren Bacall, who stars with Bogey in “To Have & Have Not,’ this month, and

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6 Degrees of Film: 2001: A Space Odyssey-Then & Now

*Note: This was originally published in August of 2023 but was one of the blog postings that was lost from 6 Degrees website! Re-posted in May of 2024…   2001: Then & Now: Thoughts on seeing the classic film on the Big Screen   One of the topics that continues to arise in recent years is the constant push/pull of streaming movies vs the box office films that still draw movie goers in. And recently, the experience of sitting in a theatre to watch the classic ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ on the big screen brought that ongoing argument to mind.   It is one of the reasons that a film is set apart in our minds when we remember the special moments of our lives that can be traced back to the experiences we shared while watching films or in going to the movies. It is where we met our friends, our loved ones, and at times how we were able to escape and to simply relax and unwind.   That is why the experience of going to the movies should be one where we can take a moment and discover the films that stand out and then make a personal list of those movies that you would love to experience as they were meant to be seen-on the big screen!   2001 & the Star Wars Connections… Reading the wonderful book about the making of the film , (“The Making of 2001: A Space Odyssey”), also helped to make the experience memorable. So many little details pop out. I had known that 2001 was really an inspiration for Star Wars and the special effects revolution that occurred at Industrial Light & Magic and at LucasFilms only became possible long after this film had been made. Here is the excerpt from my book, ‘6 Degrees of Film” that credits 2001 as the inspiration for “Star Wars.”   There was an opening for a big turnaround movie. One appeared in 2001: A Space Odyssey. At 2001’s release in 1969, Stanley Kubrick’s innovations were the cutting edge in technological advancement in films. But Kubrick’s innovations did not translate into other copy-cat films, and Kubrick remained something of a lone-wolf figure. For one thing, the film was made in England and was too big and too expensive to emulate. The film failed to revive the waning special-effects industry in Hollywood. But it did inspire a generation of young filmmakers who saw that it could be done.   George Lucas was one who acted on that inspiration. He said, “Almost from the moment film was invented, there was this idea that you could play tricks, make an audience believe they were seeing things that really weren’t there. But this was completely lost by the 1960s.”  Lucas labored for two years on his Star Wars script. …”   2001: The Details of the Film that stand out   So many details of the film stood out when reading about the making and then being able to see them up close and personal how it was realized on the silver screen. Here’s a few notable stand-outs:   The Monolith: One is the reason the monolith was BLACK and shaped as it was….became a question of praciticality for what Kubrick had envisioned The science portion was extremely engrossing in that those who were experts in the field …found things in the film that…even the NASA Astronauts were joking about the Black Monolith!   The question of HAL being IBM numbers secretly scrambled or some such nonsense was addressed by Arthur Clarke (Who seemed annoyed at having to explain this detail again!) HAL stood for Heuristically Adopted Algorithmic Computer for HAL…   The ending that has been so controversial; a huge sci-fi set was drawn up and they just in the end decided to use French Furniture; and yes, they are meant to be placed in some type of hotel-like setting where humans are on display….for the Alien race which we don’t ever really see….but instead we just imagine…For some reason the ending for me, is reminiscent more of The Shining, where we just fade out to this frozen shot….in Kubrick-ian style!   The connections with “Dr Strangelove,’ Kubrick’s previous film had been a big box-office success. Some of the revelations revealed that even then he was obsessed with an alien sub-plot to add!  Kubrick had wanted to add a post-film scene (in Strangelove) of the film depicted as a documentary shown to aliens about a “quaint comedy’ that somehow shows the Ancient History of Failed Civilizations…. It had already been well documented that he thought Strangelove should be a comedy instead of a straight up film about the possible fail-safe conditions that would lead to nuclear annihilation!   An interesting tidbit reveals that Carl Sagan also talked to Kubrick about the film. Sagan was not seen in a flattering light by Kubrick or in the book! Kubrick had a director’s addition of a documentary with some scientific experts who had talked about aliens and the science involved in traveling to other planets.   The Unique Collaboration between Kubrick & Clarke   The collaboration between Kubrick & Clarke was one of the most fascinating sub-plots of the book. Their dialogue & brainstorming sessions went along for years prior to the actual start of the film production (I can see another movie in this meeting of minds!)… and the book depicted the different ways the teamwork made the film better & stronger in the end. There was also the idea that-like the classic film, Casablanca-they would go in each day after filming had begun and fly by the seat of their pants!  Just letting inspiration take them to a new place-and then try to invent or create or come up with something even better than what they had planned. It was also reminiscent of the ongoing collaboration of the Apple Team that Steve Jobs assembled in creating the IPhone! It was more than just one man-but it did

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6 Degrees of Film News: March @the Movies!

Hello Film Fans! I’ve missed writing to all of you but these past few months have been disruptive – to say the least! A glitch in my website hosting change-over meant that I had lost about a year’s worth of the old posts…So in the meanwhile, as we’ve been celebrating the 10 year anniversary of 6 Degrees of Film, it seemed like a good time to just tweak the newsletter style and copy a bit! One of the things that has been most interesting of late, in respect to the film posts, has been the idea of just adding a list from the “Friday Flix’ site based on the latest questions posed from current posts on film and on the history of film. So to kick off our new ‘revamped’ version of the 6 Degrees of Film news monthly, here’s an offer from the recent posts that we have compiled to give you some “Film Food for Thought!”😊 …BTW…Our posts are also edited from the weekly Facebook entries in 6 Degrees of Film online…Visit us sometime! And of course…See you at the movies!-ML Some Food for Thought from Friday Flix     Is it true that young people don’t know “Movie Stars’ anymore?   Here is another double-edged sword to grapple with. Films are not driven in this era merely on the strength of an actor’s ‘Star Power’ or ability to draw in an audience. A few with lasting appeal can do this, but nothing to the extent this sold films to the audience in times past. But perhaps that is a good thing. The appeal of “Indies’ has risen. And the new breed of writers and story-tellers has eclipsed many of the script writers of the past using stale and formulaic script ideas. The screenwriters of today cannot simply churn out the same tired stories; & they can’t use the same old cookie-cutter assembly line formulas as the films made fifty years ago. It’s true that the comic-book genre has created an entire sub-series of less than stellar films that focused on ‘origin’ stories and formulaic plotlines. And as discussed, these have often failed to ignite a spark with audiences. The idea of selling a film just because someone is a ‘big movie star’ or the film preceding it was a blockbuster hit just doesn’t apply in today’s Hollywood.   How did Marvel Lose its Way?   There is a lot of talk these days about how Marvel has doomed Hollywood. The “Superhero Fatigue’ effect in our culture is now a ‘thing’ discussed by critics. But there are still a lot of films planned for release by the studios. There has been a huge glut of these types of films on the market since the heady days for Marvel when everyone was waiting for the next big adventure to drop. But there is always a day after. That occurs when the story has been told and then retold. The origin stories at times seem forced or at least not ‘fresh’ for the viewer. The keys to films that go beyond just “Ordinary!” And even the fantastic fight finales seem forced and contrived. That is when you need to turn around and take a long look at what the driving force is for these types of films. Audiences love adventure films. Action movies are always popular with the general public. But good storytelling and great actors are the keys which make the films go beyond the ordinary. Robert Downey Jr was a huge piece of the puzzle that helped bring humor to the Marvel series. Scarlett Johansson gave ‘heft’ to the films along with star power. And Benedict Cumberbatch was arguably the best actor in the bunch. So there was that. And when some of these characters were killed off, there was room to grow but also spaces to fail. And in some accounts, that is what has happened. Though never a huge fan of these ‘comic-book genre’ films, I’ve always maintained that there can be great storytelling and writing that emerges from the simplest and most banal of story lines. We know that William Shakespeare took the tried- and-true elements of theater ‘oldies but goodies’ in his day and turned many of them into classics for the ages. And this proves it can be done. And yes, it does take hard work, imagination and a touch of creative genius to rework the old and stale plots before us. But in theater and in film, miracles do occur! What actor did John Wayne diss by saying he was “Too stupid to do anything but Act?!” (Answer =Clark Gable)   The hilarious truth surrounding John Wayne is there are countless stories -documented on sites like “Far Out’ magazine, where Wayne is dissing numerous people and complaining constantly about various things he didn’t like about films in his later years. Clint Eastwood can attest to some of that backlash, as it centered around Wayne’s vigorous insistence that ‘good guys’ would never shoot anyone the way Clint did! And there are many actors, and genres, he did not approve of.  He seemed to feel the Old Hollywood ways were being left by the wayside. John Wayne didn’t do “PC!” What Wayne never took into account in his disapproval were things like political correctness or the feelings of women or minorities. In short, he disapproved of anything that stood in the way of the pictures he felt depicted life the way Wayne wanted it to be! And that included the Vietnam War pictures, as well as the Old West and all its gritty reality. There were essays that were written in Wayne’s heyday which condemned the type of “John Wayne’ ethos where America and its might always prevailed. And this was, to some, the notion that would lead young, idealistic men to their death. Especially during the era of Vietnam! John Wayne & Robert Ryan Wayne was a staunch right-winger, who had a very definite view of the way things should be. But

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6 Degrees of Film: July Round-up at the Movies

Do you love movies as much as I do? If you do, then 6 Degrees of Film would like to invite you to sign up for our monthly film roundup and weekly news bulletins that feature the best articles and reviews from top film sites. When you sign up, you are eligible for notifications of special screenings as well as beautiful graphic images that we send periodically culled from the 6 Degrees of Film pages. We recently re-tooled our Facebook page, which promotes many of the classic films of the Golden Age of Film and links they share with modern films of the 21st Century. Linking up films of the past with films of the 21st Century is part of our mission here at 6 Degrees. We are always looking for connections, and each week we highlight top articles and news of current films to present to you in the online magazine, 6 Degrees of Film @ the Movies.  The Best at Turner Classic in July   This month, TCM has several films that connect with current movies in theaters. Elvis is the new Baz Luhrman rock bio that features Tom Hanks as Col Tom Parker. In the pantheon of Elvis films, ..Viva Las Vegas is one of his best and it is on TCM this month. For those who love strong women, one of the best performances from one of the strongest women performers of all time-Katherine Hepburn-is found in “The Lion in Winter” which is also being shown this month on TCM.   Armchair Film Fest Another 6 Degrees of Film favorite activity is the “Armchair Film Fest!” If you love films and don’t always have time to watch them now, you can record them for a weekend film fest to watch these classics at your leisure! A Rock Musical and a documentaryThe newly-famous Beatles star in and sing some of their early hits in the highly acclaimed black & white film, A Hard Day’s Night.  Bob Dylan is also filmed in black & white in this famous documentary look at his life in the sixties: Don’t Look Back. Steve McQueen Film Fest Steve McQueen has often been characterized as “The King of Cool.” And in these two films, which were both remade (and neither were nearly as good as the original), McQueen is seen in his heyday in Hollywood in The Thomas Crown Affair with Faye Dunaway & The Getaway with Ali McGraw. Stanley Kubrick Film Fest with Dr Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Two of Kubrick’s most celebrated films are shown, and both are relevant for different reasons! Sadly, Strangelove can be connected with the current unrest in our political scene.  Who might have thought we would be saying that about a film script that was thought to be so absurd, that Stanley Kubrick said it could only be filmed as a comedy? As for 2001, much has also come true in terms of the many scientific breakthroughs that were foreshadowed in the film.  But 2001: A Space Odyssey had such an enigmatic and controversial ending, no one quite understood it at the time! We recommend this fascinating interview with the late director, Stanley Kubrick,  about the thinking behind the images and meaning of what ended up in the movie. Recommended reading in Friday Flix! The Bad B’s of Summer   Bikini Beach is just one entry in the long list of hilariously bad films that can make it to anyone’s ‘best of the bad B’s list….We are always looking for new entries, so if you have a nominee to add, please contact us or go to the FB page at 6 Degrees and leave us your thoughts! )It’s a very ‘fluid’ category)😊  And compare your list with ours that is always being updated in “The Bad B’s of Summer” Category. From 6 Degrees: Summer Film News The list of films that premiere in July & August : Minions: The Rise of Gru  on July 1 Steve Carell is the voice of 12 year old Gru in this origin story set back in the seventies. Gru joins a gang of criminal masterminds, the Vicious 6. Whey they fire their leader, Gru ‘interviews’ to become the newest member of the team. Thor: Love & Thunder on July 8 This is a superhero film based on Marvel Comic’s Thor. Thor is called out of early retirement to face Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale. Where the Crawdads Sing on July 15 From the best selling 2018 novel by Delia Owens,  this is about a woman who was abandoned by her family and forced to live alone, fending for herself out in the woods. She becomes a suspect in the murder of a man she had been in love with. Nope on July 22 This is Jordan Peele’s Sci-Fi Horror film return that tells the story of sibling horse trainers who come into contact with a mysterious force lurking on their California ranch. Bullet Train on July 29 Brad Pitt stars in this  thriller based on a 2010 novel “Maria Beetle”  It’s about five assassins who are on a bullet train from Tokyo who find that all of their assignments are inter-connected. In August   Secret Headquarters on August 5 Owen Wilson stars in this film about a hidden lair under a kid’s home that seems to belong to a superhero. After sharing the secret with some friends, the boy starts to think that his estranged father just might have a secret double life! Beast on Aug 19 Idris Elba stars in this thriller about man visiting a game reserve in South Africa with his daughters, where they subsequently become prey to a dangerous lion stalking them! Three Thousand Years of Longing on August 31 George Miller directs and once again, Idris Elba stars in this epic romantic fantasy about a woman who finds a djinn, and is offered three wishes in exchange for his freedom. Children’s Films    Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank on July 15 This animated tale is about a dog named Hank who is trained

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6 Degrees Film Roundup for June: Judy Garland at 100!

The best of…The “best of” films are sometimes hard to find! Because people have different tastes and some bad “B” movies are the ones you really might be in the mood for some nights. I had a friend who worked in the old movie rental stores, and people would come in looking for something different. They would complain when she recommended films to people that were just not right for them. And that seems to be the way of it. Everyone has different tastes and standards, and it’s hard to find something to agree on with “Family Film Night!” That’s why you end up watching documentaries like “Call of the Wild.” What may be hilariously funny to you can leave others cold. And it’s the same with film reviews. I’ve seen people complain about bad reviews that just loved the films that I or others have panned. It’s a subjective thing-the subject of movies and especially “Best of!” Judy Garland at 100   For films of Judy Garland, the most beloved is one of my personal favorites. The Wizard of Oz has so much in the way of talent and beauty and it is a very family-friendly film. And yet, the fantasy takes you to places that Lord of the Rings lovers would agree are timeless. The realm of Oz is a fictional land of fantasy that really represents so much that is ‘the best’ of Hollywood. The Wizard of Oz captures the essence of what Hollywood can be at its heights. And it was made in a year that has come to be considered the ‘height’ of the Golden age of film. The year 1939 saw so many great films made, that stacks of books have been written about it. That was how Judy Garland came to be first seen, and then univerally beloved on celluloid. Some recommendations for her best performances include Wizard of  Oz as well as Meet me in St Louis and In the Good Old Summertime. The Harvey Girls is one of the #MeToo films for women who can see what women were depicted on screen in a favorable light during the Golden Age of Film. They were not always simply objects and there were so many great performances from strong female leads that it is important to highlight them. Some of Judy Garland’s later performances showed a complete metamorphosis of her character and physical appearance that it is almost startling. Judgment at Nuremberg is one of the darker appearances, but Montgomery Clift is even more pronounced in his character. TCM Highlights   For lovers of film noir, two favorites that have been shown frequently of late are Laura with Gene Tierney and The Big Sleep with Bogart and Bacall.  And those who can take a dose of dark humor, Kubrick’s classic Dr Strangelove is shown (with scenes that are unfortunately almost too real for these dark political times!) The Armchair Film Fest This month, those who love summer films may also enjoy some of the Bad B’s. Forbidden Planet is a sci-fi classic that is campy, but not really in the same category as the formulaic bad movies that make the grade! Plan 9 from Outer Space is a must-see, as well as the Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. There is also one called The Wild, Wild Planet which looks as if it fits the bill and checks every box for Bad B! Later this month, Mel Gibson fans can see a film fest that includes the original Mad Max (which also fits into the Bad B category with its dubbed dialogue for Mel making it completely campy!) Also, Mrs Soffel, (with a real-life sad version of this film recently seen in the news, as Soffel is also based on a true story of a woman seduced into helping a convict escape from prison.) The Year of Living Dangerously is one of director Peter Weir’s best, and also foreshadows the darker elements of Mel Gibson’s true character in this story. And on the subject of ‘bad boys,’  James Dean is seen on TCM in two of his big hits made during his short life. Rebel without a cause and Giant are both very good films. And I’ve often speculated about where the rebel character would have taken him in his film career. The James Dean Legacy in Film is a chapter in my book, 6  Degrees of Film, with the theory that Paul Newman and Steve McQueen  ended up taking over the mantle of Rebel that was Dean’s Legacy. They were the stars in the roles he would have been offered as the dark and mixed-up youth becomes the troubled young man and finally a haunted and despairing loner in later life. Friday Flix Recommends… Our online magazine, Friday Flix, highlights some of the revisionist westerns, including one of my all-time favorites, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. There’s a piece on some of Judy Garland’s ‘best films’ (See above!) And a beginner’s guide to American Film Noir. That is a new way to cover noir, (Noir means dark in French!) Noir is noir, and that can be American or French or any other combination of the above. In 6 Degrees of Film, there’s a chapter on the rise of Film Noir. It was a movement that gave a voice to many returning from war who were looking for meaning. And it also catapulted stars such as Humphrey Bogart to fame. That’s all for now film friends. Don’t forget to follow us each week at the newly re-vamped 6 Degrees of Film Facebook page! And sign up for the newsletter to receive updates and downloads from 6 Degrees of Film. Until next time, have a great summer vacation and see you at the movies!

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6 Degrees Round Up: Summer Films of 2022

For this month’s edition of 6 Degrees Round Up, we feature a look at the Summer Films of 2022. And also, we are offering a new download for all of our Film News followers!  6 Degrees of Film: The future of Film in the Global Village is celebrating its ten-year anniversary soon! And to celebrate, some of the best excerpts of the book are available as downloads for friends to enjoy. Star Wars Timeline! The Star Wars Addendum is available to all in honor of Star Wars Day this May! Click here to sign up for our Round-up and to download your Star Wars timeline. Some of the other things on our radar this month include the hunt for the new James Bond. Here is an article from 6 Degrees that talks about the very unlikely personality that shaped author Ian Fleming’s view of James Bond in the flesh! Friday Flix is filled with some of the latest articles that give us a glimpse into some of the behind-the-scenes discussions that shape some of the greatest films ever brought to the screen. Openculture.com shares some of the conversations and letters between Stanley Kubrick & Arthur C Clarke that begat the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Cannes Film Festival has wrapped up, and Far Out Magazine features a look at 15 of the greatest films that ever won the prized Palme d’Or award. And there is a look at the year 1982, which, much like the year 1939, has proven to be a pivotal one for creating classic films. Summer Film News Here are some of the most-anticipated films to debut this summer of 2022 Downton Abbey: A New Era on May 20 This is a continuation of the hit PBS series and has the added boon of returning Dame Maggie Smith for another round of playing the aristocratic matriarch of the family, complete with pithy put-downs! In June   Jurassic World: Dominion on June 10 Another return of an Old Faithful series where dinosaurs are now roaming the earth…. this film features some of the original cast returning: Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum! Lightyear on June 17 Buzz Lightyear is an astronaut, but not the exact same one we know from Toy Story! This one is an origin story of sorts from Pixar.  Buzz is going on an ‘intergalactic adventure’ with a group of recruits plus his robot companion. Elvis  on June 24 The Baz Luhrman directed Biopic has received good ‘buzz’ from early reviews. It details Elvis’s rise to fame in the fifties through the lens of his relationship with his music mentor and manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who is played by Tom Hanks! In July   Minions: The Rise of Gru  on July 1 Steve Carell is the voice of 12 year old Gru in this origin story set back in the seventies. Gru joins a gang of criminal masterminds, the Vicious 6. Whey they fire their leader, Gru ‘interviews’ to become the newest member of the team.   Thor: Love & Thunder on July 8 This is a superhero film based on Marvel Comic’s Thor. Thor is called out of early retirement to face Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale. Where the Crawdads Sing on July 15 From the best selling 2018 novel by Delia Owens,  this is about a woman who was abandoned by her family and forced to live alone, fending for herself out in the woods. She becomes a suspect in the murder of a man she had been in love with. Nope on July 22 This is Jordan Peele’s Sci-Fi Horror film return that tells the story of sibling horse trainers who come into contact with a mysterious force lurking on their California ranch. Bullet Train on July 29 Brad Pitt stars in this  thriller based on a 2010 novel “Maria Beetle”  It’s about five assassins who are on a bullet train from Tokyo who find that all of their assignments are inter-connected. In August Secret Headquarters on August 5 Owen Wilson stars in this film about a hidden lair under a kid’s home that seems to belong to a superhero. After sharing the secret with some friends, the boy starts to think that his estranged father just might have a secret double life! Beast on Aug 19 Idris Elba stars in this thriller about man visiting a game reserve in South Africa with his daughters, where they subsequently become prey to a dangerous lion stalking them! Three Thousand Years of Longing on August 31 George Miller directs and once again, Idris Elba stars in this epic romantic fantasy about a woman who finds a djinn, and is offered three wishes in exchange for his freedom. Children’s Films    Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank on July 15 This animated tale is about a dog named Hank who is trained to be a samurai by his cat mentor, Jimbo (Voice of Samuel L Jackson). The plot, loosely derived from Mel Brooks’ 1974 hit comedy Blazing Saddles,  revolves around a villainous cat named Ika Chu who wants to destroy their village! DC League of Super Pets on July 29 This 3D-animated film is about Superman’s Dog Krypto. When the Justice League is kidnapped, Krypto is exposed to Kryptonite and stripped of his powers. Now, he must teach another dog, plus a pig, a squirrel and a turtle how to save the day! That’s all for this edition! Please join us each week on 6 Degrees of Film @the Movies as we look at the latest news from the world of film. We work hard to present historical facts and fascinating peaks from behind the scenes of the Golden Age of Film each week. Friday Flix is our magazine that is created exclusively for film fans to find out more from directors, actors and writers who helped create the artistic and graphic worlds we love to visit and explore in film. Till next time, have a wonderful Memorial Day

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6 Degrees Film Round-up for April

This April, 6 Degrees is focusing on the great films that are found on the small screen. Our big screen blockbusters have often been eclipsed by the amount of content that has been available to everyone through streaming and all the online services. Even the Oscar winner CODA made history (which was overshadowed by ‘the slap!,’ by being released through a streaming platform and not a traditional studio. Another big event was the Best Director Oscar going to a woman for the third time! There is change afoot, but it is always a bit slow… Turner Classic features Strong Women on Film   There are always great movies with strong female leads on Turner Classic. This month, my favorite picks are Ninotchka, The Harvey Girls, The Philadelphia Story and Rachel & the Stranger. The Harvey Girls and Rachel & the Stranger deal with the real-life background stories of women who were true pioneers. The Harvey Girls were women who had the courage to move out west and try to bring ‘civilization’ to the rough and tumble world that existed past the Mississippi River! And Rachel & the Stranger dealt with the reality that occurred when your spouse died. It meant that the need to replace a strong worker was real, and it came before love or romance or anything else when you were out on a farm on the lone prairie! The Philadelphia Story is beloved for the scene where Cary Grant thinks better of assaulting his ex-wife and instead pushes her down. This is one of those controversial moments in old films. because it would be considered an acceptance of violent acts against women in modern times. In this case, it somehow fits the storyline and also tells us that there are and were characters such as Katherine Hepburn, who could fight back with words as well as deeds to make the men appear small! And Ninotchka is well-known from the Golden Age of Hollywood for the great publicity line, “Garbo Laughs!” This was a rarity in Garbo’s career, as she didn’t appear in many comedies.   Books on Film   For National Library Week, we have tried to highlight the many great books that have been written about film. Some are listed on the website and each Friday, in 6 Degrees of Film at the Movies, we feature the best recommended blogs as well as books and reviews on film. This week, we have recommended some books I love including “Film Noir” -edited by Alain Silver & Elizabeth Ward. There’s a great pictorial guide from Life Magazine-“Life goes to the Movies.”  And “The Story of Film” is a short history of film by Mark Cousins. There’s one with all sorts of great stories from films Golden Age called “The Great Movie Stars” from David Shipman. Another reference volume I love is “The Movies,” from Griffith & Mayer. Another good read for writers is “Writers in Hollywood” by Ian Hamilton.  And one of the more recent books that I really like is from Alicia Malone: “Girls on Film: Lessons from a Life of Watching Women in Movies.”  And finally, of course you can take a short walk through the history of film with my own “6 Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village. ”  We are celebrating our ninth year in publication with a new Ebook Addendum out soon! From the Friday Flix Files   Finally, on the topic of resources for film, there is our Friday Flix magazine.  Friday Flix has a mix of articles on the Golden Age of film as well as news about the latest adventures in Hollywood (Yes, the ‘slap’ is there as well!) Some of the latest not-to-miss topics include: Life Changing Movies: The Atlantic delves into the question of what elements can make a movie life changing; And from my book, I have a post about films that did affect my life. Some films can definitely be life-changing… Coen Brothers: The unique film-making qualities that comprise the films made by the Coen Brothers are the reason that their films have been so successful. In this piece, there are ten tips that make their films stand out from the rest… Critics Choice: One of the unique tidbits that we found out this past week concerned the invention of the “Two thumbs up” sign for a movie’s success or failure. Siskel & Ebert were the great film critics out of Chicago who dominated the film review industry for years. Ebert’s widow, Chaz, has put together a special article that lists some of the reasons that Roger Ebert was one of the great film critics of all time. 50 Years of The Godfather: Friday Flix features several articles celebrating the fifty years since one of America’s most beloved films made its debut. Some facts about the making, some behind-the-scenes look from the cast members and some thoughtful pieces that try to pinpoint why this film has made such a powerful impact upon the psyche of our lives and times. How Star Wars changed the Film Industry   And finally, Cine-vue.com has a piece that marks the definitive ways in which Star Wars has impacted and changed the film industry since its 1975 debut. That is also one of the sections that is covered in my book, “6 Degrees of Film.” Here is a short excerpt: “…Peter Bogdanovich said, “There’s a general juvenilization of movies that’s happened over the last ten years that’s pretty scary. The other day, somebody read a script that I was working on and said, ‘Oh, I get it: This is an adult comedy.’ I said, ‘What do you mean—that it’s a comedy FOR adults?  He said, ‘No, no, no, it’s a comedy ABOUT adults.’ Most of the comedies, the rest of the comedies, are about kids. I think a lot of things have gone wrong. Movies are far less complex in their structure and in their execution than they’ve ever been.” In their defense, let’s remember Spielberg

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6 Degrees of Film: January Round-up

Greeting Film Fans & Happy New Year to all! This is always an exciting time of year for those of us who love movies. The awards season begins in earnest, and soon the Academy Awards will announce the nominees for the Best Picture, Best Actor & Actress, from the past year, 2021. We have had a lot of lists of “Best of” which I have often derided as they sometime encompass a lot of the least of the ‘best’ simply to be able to announce the list! But there have been a lot of interesting films that have been made in the past year. As usual, the comic-book genre and the remakes are leading the pack in Hollywood with some of the ‘same old, same old’ schtick. But often, you will find a trailblazer embedded in there, such as Jane Campion’s Year of the Dog and the Licorice Pizza film with a different type of appeal. And so we are starting the countdown here with all the best of the best (lists, not movies!), from 2021. The “Best of” Lists of movies from 2021   Drive My Car appears on most of the top critics lists of films from last year. This film from Japan is about a widowed actor who confesses to his young female chauffeur that his late wife had been unfaithful. Annette proves to be an annoying favorite of critics. Adam Driver is a talented actor who plays a sociopathic stand-up in this film that really defies genres. Described as ‘part rock-opera, part celebrity satire…” this one is a head-scratcher in appeal at times The Power of the Dog is from director Jane Campion. Benedict Cumberbatch is one of our finest actors working, and he stars as a malicious brother who torments his new sister in-law within the confines of the ranch the two brothers own in Montana. Benedetta, from director Paul Verhoeven, is about a nun, Sister Benedetta, who lives in Italy during the 17th In the words of Film Comment, “Paul Verhoeven delves into the power of spectacle & the spectacle of power, affirming his place as one of cinema’s greatest social critics” The film deals with a lesbian relationship between Benedetta and another young nun, and yet it manages to go beyond the predictable and exploitative nature of the subject at hand. The Velvet Underground was an exploration of art in the era of Andy Warhol to see and experience personally the ideas…” to feel like you were discovering the music, and the ideas that were circulating and swapping form artists to artists during this time, yourself.” Licorice Pizza is the film from director Paul Thomas Anderson, a coming of age movie that is so named from the memories that Anderson had of a small shop named “Licorice Pizza’ in his California home town. The Card Counter is from director Paul Schrader and stars Oscar Isaac as a professional gambler who also happens to be one of the men who tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Titane also makes the list, and this one is another ‘head-scratcher’ of sorts when people hear the part about a woman having sex with a car! A Cannes  “cause-celebre” break-out film, this film is described by Film Comment as a ‘wild, wild ride.’ Looking ahead…The Films of 2022   The Batman A long anticipated look at Robert Pattinson’s take on the title character. Paul Dano will appear as The Riddler in this outing of the caped avenger (Superman is the crusader, right?) Thor: Love & Thunder Chris Hemsworth will return as Thor and Christian Bale will play Gorr, the God Butcher in this outing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Just when you think you’ve had enough of all the comic book tropes, here is one that I would not miss. Benedict Cumberbatch is one of my favorite actors, and he is also someone who makes the never-ending twists and turns of the Multiverse of Madness sound like an interesting adventure, as opposed to a maddening muddle!  (And now for something completely different…movies that aren’t about comic book heroes!) Downton Abbey: A New Era premieres March 18 Maggie Smith returns to move the action to her newly acquired villa in the South of France The Northman opens April 22 Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe and a huge cast of stars appear in this Viking epic which is billed as a ‘brutal revenge thriller.’ 65 opens in April The multi-talented Adam Driver stars in this sci-fi thriller about an astronaut who crash lands on a mysterious planet, only to find he’s not alone… Recommended on the small screen: TCM in January On Turner Classic Movies, there’s a top ten list of favorite films to screen and record for the Armchair Film Fest! Lawrence of Arabia Sons of the Desert You can’t take it with you Picnic at Hanging Rock Dr Strangelove Mad Max (the original) The Verdict Red River Mr Blandings Builds his Dream House Burden of Dreams 6 Degrees of Film @ the Movies And finally this week, our 6 Degrees magazine is featuring reviews of  The Tragedy of Macbeth with Denzel Washington, and Molly Haskell’s review of The Power of the Dog on Film Comment.com. Film Comment also has a thoughtful piece on the state of movies today in “Who Cares about Cinema?” And there’s a look at two Hollywood passages. The great actor Sidney Poitier is profiled on rogerebert.com, as well as the influential director and actor Peter Bogdanovich. The new movies, The Lost Daughter, directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal in her debut film. And  The Tender Bar, which is another coming-of-age tale. There’s a fun article on “The Night Stalker” the Darren McGavin cult TV classic, a preview of the Sundance Film Festival films, and a listing of the 25 films added to the National Film Registry, including Return of the Jedi. And to wrap it up, there’s a great piece from Cine-vue.com called “How Star Wars changed the film industry.” It is worth the read,

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