Moulin-Rouge1_610_407shar_s_c1

Today in Movie History: June 1

Though it didn’t foster a full-bore revival of the Hollywood musical, Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! succeeded in updating the baggy old genre for an entirely new generation. Luhrmann’s trademark attention span deficit and the expert addition of modern pop songs into the mix turned an exercise in empty style into a beloved modern classic, and while I struggle with the film’s abrupt …

escissorhand-64793

Today in Movie History: December 7

People were still trying to figure out Tim Burton in the winter of 1990. Having directed an unexpected hit with Beetlejuice and then taken the world by storm with Batman, everyone wondered whether he was for real, or if he was just some quirky hiccup. He responded with Edward Scissorhands, a modern fairy-tale that cemented his distinctive style, evinced a gentle shift away from …

fantastic-planet1

Today in Movie History: December 6

It was a reasonably good day for science fiction today, starting with Rene Laloux’s Fantastic Planet, a strange, surreal and quite wonderful foray into pure imagination. It depicts a distant world where humans are hunted or kept as pets by a race of advanced giants, and what happens when one little guy decides to disrupt the status quo. It remains a …

ben-hur-image

Today in Movie History: November 18

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing,” Walt Disney famously said. “That it was all started by a mouse.” His little buddy Mickey got his start in the motion picture business today in 1928 with the release of Steamboat Willie. 87 years later, the little guy shows no signs …