My first introduction to Sherlock Holmes came from my oldest brother, who became somewhat of a fanatic for a time, reading (and rereading) the fifty-six short stories and four novels. Me, I was more likely to watch any of the numerous movie adaptations that have been made over the years, and make no mistake, there have been many.
Time travel, as a narrative device in fiction, opens up so many incredible storytelling possibilities. Granted, I barely believe in it as an actual real world possibility, but it sure is fun to ruminate on periodically. In fact, some of my favorite movies of all time include time travel as an element.
In 1984, one of the last things that I thought would ever happen was for former body-builder Arnold Schwarzenegger to star in great movie. So convinced was I that it would never happen, that when it actually did, I almost didn't bother seeing it. The movie, of course, was The Terminator, which was also the first of many successes for filmmaker James Cameron.
Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly always dominate any conversation regarding the screen's greatest dancer, yet there were a number of notable female dancers who were also mega-talented. It's time to re-open that conversation!
Shirley Temple was the number one ranked box office attraction for four straight years in the mid-to-late thirties.The little girl with big talent died this past February at age 85. She was successful in two careers (film, of course, and diplomacy), but seemingly little was made of her passing.
Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick “Fritz” Loewe were a highly successful mid-twentieth century songwriting team that wrote lovely, romantic musicals for Broadway and Hollywood. Among their best-known shows are Paint Your Wagon, Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, Gigi, and Camelot.
In recent years, spy shows have been a staple of series television. That followed a long period of their near absence. The last era to feature a major concentration of spy series was the sixties, though many of those shows have never completely gone away!
One of the most popular action series of recent years was 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland. What set the Fox show apart from other programs was that the action took place in real time, that is, the events shown onscreen represented the same amount of time that it took to watch them. Real time is an interesting narrative strategy. It hasn't been used a lot in TV or film, but several great TV episodes and movies have employed the device expertly.
Richard Linklater helped carve out a place for himself as a writer-director of indie films in the nineties. He has flirted with Hollywood on occasion since then, but his best work continues to be the modestly-budgeted movies he makes that push the conventional boundaries of filmmaking.
In the past fifteen years, South Korea's domestic film industry has had a renaissance, emerging as a producer of quality cinema whose best films once again outperform megabudget foreign releases from Hollywood and elsewhere. In the process, South Korean movies have gained an international audience, as well.