Rebelling Against THE OUTLAW

THE OUTLAW (1943; director: Howard Hughes)

As a sordid “sex western”, this hasn’t aged well. Also, there’s not one soul on Earth who praises it for good acting, tight pacing or making a nickel’s worth of sense. Even Jane Russell’s legendary bra for this film, custom designed by hornball Howard Hughes to cantilever Russell’s already-abundant breasts to look like nothing short of two Boeing B-17 bombers stuffed into her dress, wasn’t actually used during shooting (according to Russell). See this in the 21st century and watch one of the cinematic scandals of the 1940s reveal itself as clumsy and quaint, impotent and befogged.

With its shocks worn down to nothing and its gasps turned into yawns, what’s left today is still one strange piece of pulp, nonetheless.
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I Don’t Believe in Ghosts, But I Do Believe in A GHOST STORY

A GHOST STORY (2017; director: David Lowery)

In 2017, we could use a reminder that movies don’t have to be loud enough that your ears ring for three days afterward. Movies don’t all need to shove you onto a rollercoaster that loops through a dozen explosions before it careens into a brick wall. No one needs to overact their way to an Oscar. An entire CGI city doesn’t need to blow up. Musical crescendos don’t need to pound you into cerebral dislocation. We don’t need a cut every three seconds. Movies don’t need to be filled with noise like an amateur radio show that’s terrified of one second of dead air.

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