Lost in the Movies: Explore The Dancing Image - TOP POSTS

Explore The Dancing Image - TOP POSTS

This is a collection of my strongest work. It will top the blog as I take a break from the site. (If you want to see an updated version featuring a few more highlights from 2012, visit the "Top Posts" page.)
Welcome (or welcome back) to The Dancing Image. There are several ways to explore the site, beginning with the video clip series "32 Days of Movies." With selections from my collection, I created a tour through a century of cinema, from The Cameraman's Revenge (1912) to Antichrist (2009). Click on this icon to browse the films included, or visit the video gallery to peruse chapters.

As for the rest of the site, I can point you to the movie timeline for a chronological overview of all films covered on The Dancing Image, or the directory for an alphabetical archive of all my reviews and other miscellaneous pieces. You can also visit the picture gallery to scroll through great images from the past three years; click on any picture to visit the post in question. My annual blogger round-ups offer a wider view of the blogosphere, starting with the 2011 tribute. Finally, though it's linked below as well, I'll point you to one of my last posts of the year in case you missed it: a list of 100 of my favorite movies.


This post's primary purpose is to highlight some of my work, whether prose essays, image-only visual tributes, or even the occasional video piece. Before each description I've specified which of five categories a piece falls into ("Essay" - "Video" - "Mixed Media" - "Image" - "List"). This way, if you prefer certain approaches over others, you can pick and choose what to look at. Though I hope you'll check them all out eventually.

They advise saving the best for last but as a wise man once said, I subscribe to the law of contrary public opinion...


32 Days of Movies - "To Become Immortal, and Then, to Die."    "Reality Cinema"
Chapters 19 & 31 in video series - one closes off the 60s epoch with a bang (including a lightning fast montage featuring 60 years of cinema in 40 seconds) and the other scans the 00s, with its mixture of documentary and impressionism

One hundred films I love, with a picture and brief capsule for each

 Astaire and Rogers
Video clips of every single Fred & Ginger dance number

Boomer Baseball: Field of Dreams & the 60s
Field of Dreams seen through a prism of 60s nostalgia and boomer mythology

Cities of the Imagination
mixed media
A prose/image reflection on city dreams, using Carl Jung, the Chinese film The World, Michel Gondry's music videos, and my own memories

Citizen Kane
An analysis of how each narrator subtly shifts the tone and style, both cinematic and narrative, in this celebrated masterpiece

Civilisation in Pictures
Great works of Western art, in visual tribute to the wonderful British TV series

The Corruption of Michael Corleone
The descent of a character into darkness and evil, told using only images from the Godfather films

directed by Brian De Palma
A video tribute to the dark fusion of sex and violence in the director's cinema
(this is the one piece I am proudest of)

The Director's Chair
32 favorite directors, represented by evocative title cards & clips from their work

A dirty dozen
An imaginary lineup of double features, arranged thematically into six categories: 'Their Town,' 'Secret Societies,' 'She Did It Her Way,' 'Rising to the Top,' By Airplane or Submarine,' and 'Movement, Music, and Montage'

The Fall and Redemption of Anakin Skywalker
An image-only representation of Darth Vader's trip to the dark side

Flight of the Red Balloon
A review of the French film, exploring its relationship to the earlier Red Balloon and the French New Wave, which kicked off my 'Best of the 21st Century?' series

The Great Movies
mixed media
A tribute to one of my favorite movie books, an obscure, out-of-print coffee table tome discovered in childhood and relished ever since; includes many scanned images from the book itself

Hooray for (Hating) Hollywood: Sunset Boulevard
A review of Sunset Boulevard which concludes my series on early 50s films dishing the dirt on the film industry

In the Beginning...
Nine great 'opening' images from movies - meaning these are the very first visuals we see onscreen; this post also kicked off an active and lively 'picture gallery' meme, and the other entries are listed at the bottom

A re-examination of the holiday classic in light of its psychological darkness, political implications, and historical resonance

Just because you are a character, doesn't mean you have character... Part 1  Part 2
Two posts, taken together comprising 100 favorite characters in film history, from Nosferatu to Kong to Mrs. Robinson to  E.T. to the Dude

Lawrence of Arabia
An essay on one of my favorite films, celebrating its expression of personal psychology through epic landscapes

Let Them All In... Let the Right One In Book/Movie/Remake
History of all the different versions of Let the Right One In, a film about a teenage girl vampire and her strange friendship with a lonely little boy

The Magnificent Ambersons
Observations on a massacred masterpiece, and how the studio's cuts actually reflect the very theme of the movie: the descent from elegance into the mundane

The Musical Countdown - 42nd Street • The Gay Divorcee
video • mixed media
Two offbeat entries in a musical countdown: 42nd Street leads with a 5-minute video examining the narrative & stylistic sweep of the Busby Berkeley classic, while The Gay Divorcee explores the "Night and Day" number through Arlene Croce's prose & images from the film

Reading the Movies
My ten favorite movie books, with the stories behind each one, fifteen runners-up, and an invitation for other bloggers to participate (they did)

Remembering the Movies, Dec. 3 - 9
mixed media
Probably the most interesting entry in my movie-history series, this covers a Siskel & Ebert conversation on Edward Scissorhands, two classic cartoons from Warners and Disney, my capsule on Flash Gordon, memories of films seen when I was 7 and 17, and extracts from a contentious debate between Pauline Kael and the Maysles Brothers on the truth of Gimme Shelter.

The Restoration: Glimpses of the Past - and Future?
A smorgasboard of screen-caps, stills, and posters from unavailable films, in tribute to the 'Film Restoration' blogathon

Shaking the Foundations
Enticing images from the fantastic Italian film Fists in the Pocket, a sixties touchstone about the ultimate dysfunctional family; the visual tribute concludes with one of my all-time favorite quotations, a profound statement on the film and its times

Shine on You Crazy Diamonds...
20 headshots of my 20 favorite actresses

The Singer Not the Song
Beautiful images captured from 'The Nightingale,' based on a Japanese fable, aired for Shelley Duvall's 1980s TV series 'Faerie Tale Theatre,' starring Mick Jagger

The Social Network
mixed media
Musings on The Social Network, presented in the form of a Facebook page

Summer Hours (Best of the 21st Century?)
Review of the French film about a family letting go of their country home - maybe my strongest piece for the 'Best of the 21st Century?' series

The Sunday Matinee - Before the Revolution
Bertolucci's hard-to-find classic, about a romantic young man who struggles with his Marxist beliefs and sleeps with his aunt, gets the 'Sunday Matinee' treatment, as part of my series on 60s New Wave cinema

Syndromes and a Century
Images of city and country, green and white, warm and cold, from great Thai film

They Once Were Coming Attractions... (memories of my movie past, 1988 - 1998)
Sheer nostalgia for my generation (born circa 1983), a lineup of movie posters from everything I saw in theaters between ages 4 - 15

This Sporting Life, Billy Liar, and the British New Wave
Historical overview of British 'kitchen sink' films of the 1960s, focusing on two films which came out in 1963, representing a profound shift in the movement

Top of the World
A visual tribute to Rocky's triumphant morning run

Triumph of the Will
Reflections on Leni Riefenstahl's powerful and disturbing Nazi propaganda doc

Twin Peaks: Lonely Souls • Beyond Life and Death
Write-ups on two climactic 'Twin Peaks' episodes (the revelation of the killer, and the finale), entries in my series on the TV show

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
After watching this movie (the prequel to the TV series), I was impressed, upset, and uneasy with what I'd seen, and I wrote this review

Two Things We Know About Pictures
mixed media
Impressionistic tribute to Pierrot le fou, using Godard's famous quote and images captured from the film

Waiting for the 25th Hour
Seven years after the movie came out (and at the exact time the main character would be getting out of prison) I revisit Spike Lee's 25th Hour, one of the few films to deal directly with 9/11, for the 'Counting Down the Zeroes' series

The Way We Weren't: Art Under Bush
Polemical response to Newsweek's shallow 'Art in the Bush Era' piece, reflecting on culture and politics of the 00s - this one came straight from the gut

The Wind in the Willows - Dulce Domum • Toad Hall
Observations on Kenneth Grahame's classic book accompanied with images from film adaptations: 'Toad Hall' explores the setting in light of British social history; 'Dulce Domum' relates Grahame's personal biography to the book's theme of 'home'

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