Mah Nà Mah Nà: Italian Cinema, 1965-1976

Need a pick-me-up in the middle of the week? Whether you’re listening on Wednesday (the day I’m posting this) or not, welcome to this collection of sonic uplift! I’ve named it after the song you almost certainly know: Piero Umiliani’s “Mah Nà Mah Nà,” made famous in various versions performed by Jim Henson’s Muppets. On…

Seuss on Film

As a famous author whose life spanned the twentieth century, Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) should have been often in newsreels and on TV, right? From time to time, he does appear on camera — but less often than we might expect. In celebration of what would have been his 112th birthday, here’s a brief (but far from complete)…

Notes on Selma (the film)

As you’ve likely heard already, Selma is a powerful film. See it. I cried a fair bit. The violence is palpable. Gunshots, people being gassed, the soggy crunch as truncheon strikes human beings, the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson. The visceral brutality of the whites in power. Watching the film, I kept thinking Ferguson, Ferguson, FERGUSON! And all Ferguson has…

The Best Holiday Film You’ve Never Seen: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

Everyone knows It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), A Christmas Story (1983), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), and the many versions of A Christmas Carol (1938, 1971, 1984).  But far too few people have seen The Bishop’s Wife (1947).  Sometimes, when I mention the title, people will say, “Oh, the Denzel Washington movie?”  That picture — The…

Animated Books

Just discovered this short film by Sean Ohlenkamp and Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp: “Organizing the Bookcase.”  Charming, brief, with a delightful sense of humor, and… lots of books!  (Make sure you stay for the credits!) Hat tip to Bookshelf Porn, which I found via Betsy Bird’s Fuse #8. Update, 5 Sept. 2011: YouTube video had moved…

Oh, the Thinks That He Thought! Some of Seuss’s lesser-known works

Born 107 years ago today in Springfield Mass., Theodor Seuss Geisel had an extraordinarily prolific career.  Most people know him for the 44 books he wrote and illustrated under the name “Dr. Seuss.”  But that’s only part of his career.  He wrote another 13 books under the name “Theo. LeSieg,” one book as “Rosetta Stone,”…

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T: Soundtrack Extravaganza

Film Score Monthly’s newly released 3-CD original motion picture soundtrack to The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953) is a must for fans of Dr. Seuss, composer Frederick Hollander, or the film itself.  The rest of you might want to see the cult classic before purchasing.  And, for the record, if you’ve any interest in…

Safety Last

When I was about 9 years old, watching television one weekend afternoon, I saw a black-and-white film of a bespectacled man climbing the side of a building.  He ascends a floor, narrowly misses falling, is about to enter the building through the window — then, another man emerges, with a policeman in pursuit, and tells…