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Today in Movie History: March 21

It’s a quiet day today, but there’s a little gem worth mentioning, especially for sci-fi fans. Jodorowsky’s Dune is a fascinating documentary covering Chilean filmmaker Alajandro Jodorowsky — one of cinema’s most bizarre and striking visionaries — who attempted to assemble a version of the celebrated Frank Hebert classic Dune several years before David Lynch. It provides a hypnotic look not …

Basic Instinct

Today in Movie History: March 20

Two very different crime movies opened today, starting with the original Pink Panther, an agreeable farce that spawned a similarly agreeable franchise. They existed primarily as a showcase for Peter Sellers’ comedic talents, which is interesting considering that Sellers’ bumbling Inspector Clouseau was a secondary character in the original film (and less of a buffoon to boot). But, in typical Sellers …

Breathless-review

Today in Movie History: March 17

You’d think that St. Patrick’s Day would invite a flood of Irish-themed movies into cinemas but no. The Quiet Man opened in August, Michael Collins in September, Darby O’Gill and the Little People in June… even Leprechaun dropped the ball on this one. Instead, we get Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard’s seminal masterpiece of the French New Wave: incredible, but decidedly not …

memento

Today in Movie History: March 16

Before Christopher Nolan reinvented Batman and joined the ranks of cinema’s elite filmmakers, he stunned us all with Memento, a unique and confident effort that set the stage for things to come. Guy Pearce gave one of the best performances of his career and the film’s deceptively assured “reverse narrative” has never quite been matched. Memento opened today in 2001. The Absent Minded …

Silent

Today in Movie History: March 10

For those of you afraid that the Earth will soon become a blasted hellscape and want to take steps to preserve all plant life for future generations, Douglas Trumbull made a really good guidebook for you. It was called Silent Running and it opened today in 1972. There is something about sticking an outlaw on a train, and while 3:10 …

4 Weddings

Today in Movie History: March 9

We’ll start with the bomb: one of the most undeserved financial disasters in recent years. Created by an indifferent marketing campaign that didn’t know what the hell to do with it and undone by a budget that needed the right kind of promotion to recoup, John Carter initially sank like a stone at the box office but has since undergone a …

the-birdcage

Today in Movie History: March 8

It was easy to overlook The Birdcage when it was released twenty years ago today . Based on the French film La Cage aux Folles, it did well at the box office, but felt at the time like more Robin Williams slapstick: soaking up Hollywood’s newfound tolerance for homosexuals and repeating trite observations about tolerance and understanding. In retrospect, however, it looks like a …