Now Showing on The Greene Screene: Parents (1989)

We can and do all disagree on what movies are good and bad, which is besides the point. The only definition of “what a good movie is” that matters to me is this:

A good movie is one that inspires me to create.

Which means Parents damn well qualifies, because I haven’t been able to get this bizarre film about a kid learning that his parents are cannibals out of my head. Its considerable powers have been curdling my brain into rancid, pink meat.

Directed by Bob Balaban (AKA one of those indelible character actors you’d immediately recognize when you…

Now Showing on The Greene Screene: Phenomena (1985)

Apparently, just past the halfway mark to Halloween, my wife and I find ourselves in a giallo groove, and it’s glorious.

Italian maestro Dario Argento is best known for his Animal Trilogy (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Cat o’ Nine Tails, Four Flies on Grey Velvet) and Three Mothers trilogy (Suspiria, Inferno, Mother of Tears), but some of my favorites of his are standalone features, which is where PHENOMENA fits in.

The film stars Jennifer Connelly a year before Labyrinth, as Jennifer, a teenager sent by her famous filmmaker father to the Richard Wagner Academy for Girls in…

Now Showing on The Greene Screene: A Bay of Blood (1971)

My introduction to the Italian horror subgenre of giallo came several years ago when I scored a press pass to a Goblin concert at The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Well, okay, I had seen Dario Argento’s seminal film Suspiria and Berberian Sound Studio, the British ode to the ingenious sound designers of the era, but I didn’t appreciate it yet.

After Eli Roth tried to oust me from my seat to make room for one of his friends, Goblin took the stage and trounced all my preconceived notions about horror and film scores, as the current manifestation of the Italian…

Now Showing on The Greene Screene: Pretend It’s a City (2020)

Even before Covid, my wife and I wondered after relocation. We’re uncertain we want our lives to be tethered to Los Angeles, to be at the whims of the annual forest fires, our future children thrust into the gristle of Hollywood’s ever-enticing mill.

We’ve planned a cross country road trip next month to investigate possible alternatives because even our honeymoon needs to have an underlying purpose beyond simple connection.

New York isn’t an alternative. I loathe the myth perpetuated by Hollywood that LA and New York are the only cities in which people live or even exist. …

Now Showing on The Greene Screene: Barbarella (1968)

“It’s all fucking cool. Everything’s perfect.” — my wife

If you don’t take my wife’s word for it, allow me to extoll the many virtues of Jane Fonda’s Barbarella, a not-quite-feminist-but-way-more-progressive-than-you’d-think delight full of unforgettable dialogue and bewilderingly hairy, shiny and sexy Paco Rabane costumes sure to cause magnetic disturbances across the galaxy.

Yes, Jane Fonda somehow makes a skunk costume and all manner of furry fantasies super hot. But she’s also a badass astronaut from Earth [contrasting the male-dominated space race of the time] sent to a distant planet “living in a primitive state of neurotic irresponsibility” to recover…

Now Showing: Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Years ago, early in our relationship, when there was love but far less certainty, Lili and I were on our way to meet a couple friends for a hike.

It was early, the day was full of promise, but also foreboding, because it was too early and we’re both anxious people in even the safest of social situations.

Then the song “Good Morning,” sung by Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor, blossomed out of the radio, promising that sunbeams will soon smile through, injecting life into our veins.

Until Lili side-swiped her car into the curb when parking. And…

Now Showing on The Greene Screene: Ted Lasso

“Be curious, not judgmental.” — Ted Lasso c/o Walt Whitman

My first experience with Ted Lasso was its trailers… and I hated them. I had no interest in watching a show about a bumbling white American male coming to Europe to coach a soccer team. To me, it was representative of the inevitable failure of Apple TV+, a streaming app that couldn’t be bothered to come up with a unique name (apparently our future will be dominated by Pluses, Maxes and Primes).

Then Ted Lasso came out and I kept hearing glowing raves about it. My artsy friends, my sporty…

Now Showing on The Greene Screene: Nomadland (2020)

Great pieces of art not only open your eyes to parts of the world you’re ignorant of, but enlighten you on your own perspective of it.

Over the past year and a half, we’ve all felt lonely and isolated in our homes, complaining about toilet paper and not being able to drink in public. But there are giant swaths of the population who have been living in isolation throughout this country for years, for decades, for ever, refugees from an unforgiving capitalist system that doesn’t need or want them. “Them” being the operative word — these people aren’t like us.

Now Showing on The Greene Screene: Tammy and the T-Rex (1994)

We all grew up believing that Jurassic Park was the best dinosaur movie of all time. But, as becomes abundantly clear when weighing their merits in this titanic testicular stand-off, it’s not even the best dinosaur film of the early 90s. That honor goes to Tammy and the T-Rex, one of cinema’s greatest treasures.

There’s not a wasted frame in Stewart Raffill’s gleeful Frankenstein cocktail of a flick, replete with a mesozoic twist and robot garnish. When we see the wheels under the T-Rex in the reflection of a car, it’s dripping with auteurist intent. When we see Denise Richards…

Now Showing on The Greene Screene: It’s Alive (1972)

“Another’s been born in Seattle.”

Most evil baby movies merely focus on the carnage wrought by monstrous infants upon our unsuspecting world. Very few of them consider who created these babies, who brought this evil into the world, and who might bear some responsibility.

Ostensibly, Larry Cohen’s It’s Alive is about the horror of parenting and bringing a child into this scary world. But, really, it’s about what happens when a husband and wife are no longer connecting, are no longer in love, yet continue to produce children, and the real cost our world pays for such a grievous mistake.

Andrew Greene

A writer when his cat allows, located in beautiful downtown Burbank, CA.

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