October Horrorshow: The Changeling

John Russell (George C. Scott) just had the worst day of his life. While on a winter vacation in upstate New York, he watched his wife and child get run down in the street by an out of control dump truck. A few months go by, and John, a composer of classical music, decides it is time to begin his life again, and takes a job teaching at his alma mater. The new job is across the country in Seattle, and John needs to find a new place to live. At the suggestion of a friend, John locates a house through the local historical society. It’s quite the place. Victorian, high ceilings — it even has a music room. Any house or apartment with a music room resides firmly in the 1%. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Changeling”

The Empty Balcony: Cross of Iron

Cross of Iron, Sam Peckinpah’s entry into the World War II genre from 1977, is a study in two-dimensional characterizations. Well-written, well-acted, and well-directed, this perfect storm of effort on the part of all involved results in a bloody violent film whose characters barrel their way through without nuance, relying on the audience to fill in the blanks. How successful the film is, therefore, depends on a viewer’s understanding of war, or what they think they understand. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Cross of Iron”