Author Archives: Aaron

Video Essay: “Pray for Mama”

“Pray for Mama”: Circumvented Trauma in Paper Moon Paper Moon (The Directors Company/Paramount 1973) is a lovely little film. Set in the Depression-era Midwest, it features charming performances by Ryan O’Neal, Madeline Khan, John Hillerman, and nine-year-old Tatum O’Neal (Ryan’s … Continue reading

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Video Essay: Polly Platt – Authorship by Design

As I’ve discussed in detail in earlier blog posts, Polly Platt was a key Hollywood figure for decades. She’s mainly remembered for her production design on a variety of films, in both credited and uncredited roles, between 1968-1987. But she … Continue reading

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Teaching Film Studies after Weinstein

This is my take on the recent disclosures about Harvey Weinstein. It is not meant to replace or supersede or in any way silence the many more heartfelt, eloquent, painful takes that others – mainly women – have been offering. … Continue reading

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Remembering Tom Petty

“Rock & roll songs are just cheap shit – nothing deeper than that.” – Tom Petty As anybody reading this knows by now, Tom Petty died this week, on Monday, October 2. I’ve been a pretty big fan of Petty’s … Continue reading

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Call For Papers

    Women and New Hollywood Maynooth University, Ireland 29-30 May 2018 Recent decades have witnessed no shortage of critical or academic writing on the industrial upheaval and creative innovations of New Hollywood (1967-80). But as scholarship has shaped the … Continue reading

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Searching for Polly in the Bodanovich Papers: Reflections

In July of this summer I spent two weeks at the Peter Bogdanovich collection at the Lilly Library at Indiana University. I went searching for material – particularly production-related material – on Polly Platt, who was married to Bogdanovich for … Continue reading

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Video Essay: Pretty Baby: Faces

Pretty Baby (Paramount 1978) is a pretty drastic film. It’s beautifully shot, tragic, and incredibly difficult to watch because of its treatment of childhood sexuality. Part of what makes it work (if it does), is its total fascination with the … Continue reading

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Searching for Polly in the Bogdanovich Archives: Week One

I’ve reached the halfway point of a two-week stint at the Peter Bogdanovich archives at Indiana University in Bloomington. I’m going to save the “big conclusions” for after the trip is complete because I still have a lot of material … Continue reading

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Video Essay: Hal Ashby and the Long Shot

I’d been contemplating an audio-video essay on Hal Ashby and the long shot for ages. It should have been easy. I write about it in a section of my book, and I had ripped the clips I wanted to use … Continue reading

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The Other Side of the Director:
Polly Platt and Orson Welles’s Last Movie

Recent film and media news has been filled with excitement at the announcement that Netflix has acquired the rights to Orson Welles’s final, unfinished film project, The Other Side of the Wind. And rightly so! Wind was a labor of … Continue reading

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