Lost in the Movies

Here is the work I'm most eager to share, divided into five categories: essays, videos, images, lists, and podcasts. This is a great place to start if you're curious about the variety of my topics and approaches. I also recommend checking out the pages devoted to my conversations with podcast guests, as a podcast guest, and off of podcasts, which are mostly left out of the following collection.

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Exploration of the aesthetic and political implications of Ousmane Sembene's use of black and white in his first feature film

Cinepoem (full cycle)
Six nineteenth-century poems accompanied, illustrated, and counterposed by fragments from a variety of films

Class of 2002
My short film in which five classmates are remembered via photos, home movies, and narration

Quick trip through the entire color spectrum of Vera Chytilova's Czech New Wave romp

The Comedy Countdown - Modern Times
My video essay entry in a comedy countdown, juxtaposing the contending views of Graham Greene, Roland Barthes, and Otis Ferguson with memorable moments from the beloved Chaplin classic they are discussing

directed by Brian De Palma
A video tribute to the dark fusion of sex and violence in the director's cinema, accompanied by Kevin B. Lee's interview with me

I am My Brother's Reaper: A Video Essay on Fists in the Pocket
My first narrated video essay, discussing a fantastic Italian favorite from the sixties

Journey Through Twin Peaks Parts 1 - 4 (+ Part 5)
My most ambitious project, an extensive video series analyzing the narrative of the Twin Peaks TV series & feature film

The Language of Birds
Offbeat tribute to an offbeat film - in my first audiovisual essay collaboration I exchanged "video letters" with Covadonga G. Lahera using clips from Jacques Rivette's Out 1

Learning to Look: Eye Contact in Satyajit Ray's The Big City
One of my most well-received videos, exploring the use of eye contact to advance character, theme, and story in the journey of a young woman from obedient housewife to independent saleswoman

Unusual experiment in which the soundtracks are swapped from two scenes: one from the Indian musical Pyaasa, one from the austere French film Au Hasard Balthazar

Visual comparison of Meshes of the Afternoon with Lynch's late films, in which dream blurs with waking life, characters split into doubles, and the laws of time and space are shattered

Dissection of how the great documentary covers sports, media, Los Angeles, class, abuse, police, and race, as well as a brief comparison with the TV miniseries of the same year

Montage without direct commentary, exploring the evolution of Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina through their seven features together

Side by Side: The Big Chill vs. Return of the Secaucus Seven
Two baby boomer reunion films, only a few years apart, present compellingly different portraits thanks to production context, directorial vision, and the characters' socioeconomic status

Two cult TV shows that couldn't seem more different, yet share a kindred spirit

A non-narrated video essay exploring the treatment of abuse, violence, and the presence of evil in Lynch's first six films and Twin Peaks

32 Days of Movies - "To Become Immortal, and Then, to Die.""Reality Cinema"
Chapters 19 & 31 in video clip 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


A two-part essay, half for the public and half for patrons, reacts to the unusual Greta Gerwig/Christopher Nolan double feature before diving deeply into the broader context of their work and this cultural moment

The Big Picture: The Movies and Me
A memoir, a confession, a manifesto, a declaration of principles...

Boomer Baseball: Field of Dreams & the 60sSixties Reunion: The Big Chill & Return of the Secaucus 7
Two essays on a generation and its cinematic mythology: Field of Dreams seen through a prism of 60s nostalgia, and The Big Chill & Return of the Secaucus 7 examined against the rise of "baby boomer" culture (eventually adapted into video form, this written essay is much more expansive in its scope - half is devoted to an overview of the era and generation)

Cities of the Imagination
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 Orson Welles' debut

A two-part examination of Lynch's entire body of work, including features, shorts, music videos, commercials, and TV shows; the first part covers each film individually with a full review of each feature and capsules on shorter works, while the second part examines the evolution of Lynch's themes, narratives, and styles over the course of his career

A review digging into the visceral experience of watching this iconic anime, followed by a two-part conversation analyzing the story, style, and characters

My series quickly reviewing a hundred favorite films concludes with a longer-than-usual piece on Jean-Luc Godard's mid-sixties masterpiece; another highlight is my entry on an Iranian documentary about a leper colony

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

There are many prisms through which to view Fire Walk With Me; the first piece explores its place in a broader cinematic context and the other work of its creator, while the second traces its impact on the third season of the series after twenty-five years

The Great Movies
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

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

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

Lucasfilm Lost
Requiem for one of Hollywood's last private empires, flawed but personal, in the wake of its sale to Disney

In my longest viewing diary, four episodes particularly stand out: a first season crisis that illuminates the class aspects of Don Draper's identity; a tight mid-series thriller exploring themes of violence and misogyny through a tabloid/fairy tale lens; a climactic multi-character study evoking King Kong, Star Wars, Twin Peaks, and much more; and, especially, the rich finale which allows me to deep-dive on the shape of the series and the eras that inspired and produced it

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

Round-ups of documentaries of Olympics include - in these three collections - the bittersweet determination of post-9/11 Salt Lake City '02; the narration-less aesthetic immersion of Barcelona '92; the sprawling biographical focus of Los Angeles '84; the eclectic cinematic experimentation of Moscow '80; the movie star-hosted thrill ride of Innsbruck '76; the multi-director innovation and historical tragedy of Munich '72; the restless, moody style of Grenoble '68; the giddy multi-season Technicolor of St. Moritz and London '48; and above all, in my most extensive and contemplative piece for the series, the hypnotic, unsettling vision of Olympia in Berlin '36

Secret Histories Return to Twin Peaks: Mark Frost and the Spatiotemporal Expansion of Season 3
Exploring connections between Mark Frost's 2016 novel and the Showtime series he co-wrote: geographical sprawl, historical context, achronological storytelling, and the thematic importance of aging

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

Spade & Marlowe, Private Eyes
Comparing and contrasting the two iconic detectives and their creators, on page and screen

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

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

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

Overview and analysis of three seasons of Twin Peaks in a single long essay

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With MeDiscussing Fire Walk With Me: Twin Peaks is Dead, Long Live Laura Palmer! & Back Door to the Black Lodge
After watching this movie (the prequel to the TV series), I was impressed, upset, and uneasy with what I'd seen, and I wrote the first review; nearly six years later, I re-visited the film and its legacy in a 4-part conversation with Tony Dayoub

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

My most lucid reflection on Twin Peaks' climactic episode, in which the investigation is wrapped up in a compelling, dissatisfying manner

My reaction to the two-part finale of Twin Peaks' third season, written the night it aired

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 'Counting Down the Zeroes'

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

Who's Killing the Movies - and Who Cares?
My enthusiastic response to David Denby's "crisis in the cinema" piece, not only affirming his despair but suggesting what the way forward will look like

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'


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

A visual tribute to the stars of Twin Peaks

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

Anticipation, revelation, wonder, doom, and escape in four of Steven Spielberg's creature features

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

Fists in the Pocket: Shaking the FoundationsLovely Paola
Two visual tributes to the Italian classic's vivid beauty (not least its leading lady)

Four Worlds in Pinocchio
An exploration of all the nooks and crannies of four proto-Disneylands in Walt Disney's second animated feature: the shop, the town, the sea, and of course Pleasure Island

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

Explores the "Night and Day" number through Arlene Croce's prose & images from the film

Paper vs. Plastic
A visual tribute to old and new technologies in The Social Network

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

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

A shot-by-shot breakdown of Asuka's meltdown in Neon Genesis Evangelion episode 22: "Don't Be."


Art...on the March! (a visual mixtape)
Ninety great works of art from 1305 to 1998

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

Blog 10
In tribute to the blogosphere, a greatest-hits sampler of fellow blogger's work from 2010 (chosen by them), illustrated throughout with pictures and even the occasional video

A Century of WondersCinema in Pictures...Odyssey of Images
Three lavish visual lineups, featuring screen-caps from hundreds of classic film; each also serves as directory to a series: respectively, Allan Fish's decades countdowns, my own film clip collection, and Mark Cousins' documentary series The Story of Film

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'

Organizing a decade's worth of material into illustrated chronological chapters, describing each era in my site's history

Gone Fishin': A collection of commentary on Twin Peaks
Quotes from news and magazine articles, scholarly essays, blog posts, and other literature (as well as audiovisual media) on Twin Peaks, stretching from 1989 to the present.

Island of Lost Pictures
A massive image dump, collecting all the striking screen-caps and stills I'd uploaded but never posted (previously), this also doubles as backward-moving, entirely visual alternate history of my early blog, its interests, and its approaches

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

90 Years of Cinema: my "alternate Oscars", 1923 - 2012100 of My Favorite Movies
Two explorations of my personal canon: a list of favorites complete with pictures and brief capsules & a massive illustrated lineup of year-by-year picks for film, actor, director, and other miscellaneous categories

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
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 smorgasbord of screen-caps, stills, and posters from unavailable films, in tribute to the 'Film Restoration' blogathon

Seven American Generations: zoomers, millennials, X, boomers, silent, greatest, and lost
An illustrated guide to the living American generations (excluding those born after 2013) and the unique periods of the past century they experienced at different ages

Sheryl Lee: illustrated filmography
Most of the actress' film or TV appearances, accompanied by an image from each

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

Top 30 "Hidden" Characters of TWIN PEAKS
My favorite characters who only speak in one or two scenes of the old Twin Peaks - or who never speak at all

Two massive collections: a complete visual diary of everything I watched digitally between Feb. 12, 2013 and Feb. 12, 2014, with screen-captured images and captions, plus a collection of 500 extra pictures


Finishing Mad Men (LOST IN THE MOVIES bonus)
As soon as I finished watching and writing about the series, I recorded my reactions to its full sweep

LOST IN TWIN PEAKS #31: Fire Walk With Me (the film & The Missing Pieces) podcasts & illustrated companion
A massive, sprawling, fourteen-episode, sixteen-hour exploration of the Twin Peaks prequel film highlighted by the "Fire Walk With Me Mysteries" episode focused on the meaning behind Laura Palmer's murder

Comparing two of Lynch's most revered works - structurally, stylistically, and thematically - by myself as well as my listeners

My longest comparison between Twin Peaks and a feature film explores the impact of tragedy in a close-knit community and trauma stemming from familial abuse (the Patreon episode also includes a discussion of the book from which the movie is adapted)

To celebrate the anniversary of the site, a tribute to its history, a list of some of my works, and a preview of upcoming projects (includes illustrated video segments)

An in-depth exploration of one of Twin Peaks' seminal influences finds connections to the Hitchcock classic across all three seasons and the film

(Public & Patreon)

These sections have since gone Public: Before MidnightBoyhood

My most massive monthly podcast up to this point encompasses the bloody climaxes of four recent releases, a feature film each by a dozen contributors to Twin Peaks, and a survey of the political landscape leading up to the 2020 presidential election among many other subjects - ten hours of material divided over five full-length chapters plus another five bonus mini-episodes

Patreon: belated February 2021 LOST IN THE MOVIES #76 - Twin Peaks Cinema: Kings Row / Political Reflections: Pandemic, Protest, Election, Insurrection & The Future (+ Us, Brideshead Revisited, documentaries on the Roosevelts, Reagan, and Lee Atwater, podcast recommendations, listener feedback, Twin Peaks Reflections: Nicky, Dougie, Hide-Out Wallie's, Timber Falls Motel, Milford family/The Secret History & more)
The turmoil of 2020 - and earlier historical flashpoints - finds expression in film capsules, podcast recommendations, archive readings, feedback from listeners, and explicit reflections on the past year (in my longest political discussion thus far)...even the small-town-with-dark-secrets Hollywood classic, which I compare to Twin Peaks, stars a future U.S. president

This section has since gone Public: Kings Row

Patreon: belated November 2022 LOST IN THE MOVIES #97 coming this week: The 00s in November (& beyond) + 60s bonus & Concluding the 90s & 70s... Godard's Weekend & Southland Tales w/ guest Andrew Cook (w/ his feedback & my capsule on 300, more capsules on Bonnie & Clyde, The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, The Swimmer, Dr. Strangelove, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Zodiac, A History of Violence, Brokeback Mountain, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Darjeeling Limited, The Dark Knight, Gangs of New York, 500 Days of Summer, The Ring, Donnie Darko, The Box, Dog Day Afternoon, The Muppet Movie, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Witches, Heat, The Blair Witch Project, Edward Scissorhands, Election, Groundhog Day, Total Recall, Dick Tracy, archive readings of my reflections on the 00s decade, To Kill a Mockingbird, Breathless & much, much more including feedback/media/work updates)
My decade project exploring different eras of cinema peaks by covering two apocalyptic experiments from the zeroes and the sixties, along with capsules from those periods as well as the nineties

These sections have since gone Public: Southland Tales w/ Donnie Darko & The Box

Patreon: belated January 2023 LOST IN THE MOVIES #99: The 10s in January (& beyond) + 50s bonus & Concluding the 00s & 60s... Under the Skin & All That Heaven Allows (capsules on Jailhouse Rock, Sweet Smell of Success, Shane, From Here to Eternity, Bell, Book, and Candle, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Manchurian Candidate, The Departed, Mystic River, The Descent, Saw, Idiocracy, Anchorman, Zoolander, Fahrenheit 9/11, Fahrenheit 11/9, American Sniper, The Big Short, Fruitvale Station, Snowden, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, The Great Gatsby, Uncut Gems, Straight Outta Compton, The Witch, 13th, Gravity, Hereditary, It Follows, The Phantom Thread, Looper, Knives Out, Birdman, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Bridesmaids, The Love Witch, Joy, Personal Shopper, Mother!, Carol, Baby Driver, John Wick, Disney cartoon shorts, archive readings of The Force Awakens, Some Came Running, Kiss Me Deadly, Funny Face + feedback/media/work updates including A Goofy Movie & much, much more)
The decade project reaches its widest span, from the fifties to the teens, anchored by films about lonely women seeking connection (one a repressed housewife, the other a predatory alien) plus many capsules from the recently passed era of cinema and a final offering of non-film sections as my patron podcast approaches its conclusion

This sections have since gone Public: Under the Skin


FINAL Lost in the Movies Patreon podcast • Episode 100 - Concluding the 10s & Reaching the 20s w/ 12 Films in Focus: The Tree of Life as Twin Peaks Cinema, The Lighthouse w/ guest Riley MacDonald, The Fabelmans, Avatar: The Way of Water, Moonlight, The Master, The Act of Killing, Amour, The Florida Project, The Turin Horse, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Toni Erdmann, 40s/30s/silent archive readings of Kiss of Death, Bambi, The Magnificent Ambersons, Three Comrades, The Mind Reader, The Battleship Potemkin, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Be Kind Rewind, Landmarks of Early Film + feedback & more
Finishing my decades project, feedback and archive readings, "Twin Peaks Cinema" approach, and five-year patron podcast project with the longest episode yet including a dozen contemporary classics leading up two major 2022 films as lenses on the future, present, and past of cinema

Patreon update #36: Twin Peaks season 3 rewatch - Parts 17 & 18
Wrapping up my Return rewatch by talking about the finale for nearly three hours
(will be released as a public podcast in late 2023 or early 2024)

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