Music Video Of The Day: Dear Prudence, covered by Siouxsie and The Banshees (1983, dir by Tim Pope)

Happy birthday, Erin Nicole!

To be honest, the main reason that I picked this for today’s music video of the day is because Erin and I both love this song and it’s one that we’ve both listened to several times of the past few months.  (When you’re basically stuck inside for the majority of the year, you really do come to appreciate good music.)  Add to that, this song always makes me think of my sister, even if she isn’t listening to it with me.  The sun is beautiful and so is she. As I always say, one of the best things about being involved with TSL is that I get to work with my sister.   She’s always been there for me.  She’s always put up with me, even when I was at my worse.  I don’t know where I’d be without her.

This, of course, is a cover of a Beatles song.  If you think you spotted The Cure’s Robert Smith in this video, you are correct.  At the time this song was recorded (and this video made), Robert Smith was temporarily a member of the band.  This video was filmed in Venice, which is a wonderful city that I hope I get to once again visit with everyone who I care about.


4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Boris Karloff Edition

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, TSL pays tribute to the one and only Boris Karloff, born on this day in 1887 in London.

It’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Boris Karloff Films

Five Star Final (1931, dir by Mervyn LeRoy)

House of Frankenstein (1944, dir by Erle C. Kenton)

Black Sabbath (1963, dir by Mario Bava)

Targets (1968, dir by Peter Bogdanovich)


Lisa’s Week In Review: 11/16/20 — 11/22/20

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!

Here’s what I watched, read, and listened to this week:

Films I Watched:

  1. After (2019)
  2. The Atomic Brain (1964)
  3. Birthmother’s Betrayal (2020)
  4. Book of Monsters (2019)
  5. Code of Silence (1985)
  6. Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
  7. Mangrove (2020)
  8. People Like Us (1990)
  9. Starcrash (1978)
  10. Valley of the Dolls (1967)
  11. Zandalee (1991)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. 60 Days In
  2. A Teacher
  3. The Amazing Race 32
  4. B Postitive
  5. The Bachelorette
  6. Bar Rescue
  7. Big Sky
  8. The Brady Bunch
  9. Cheers
  10. Coronation Street
  11. The Crown
  12. Court Cam
  13. Dancing With The Stars
  14. The Dick Van Dyke Shw
  15. The Drew Barrymore Show
  16. Dr. Phil
  17. Fear the Walking Dead
  18. Ghost Whisperer
  19. Happy Days
  20. M*A*S*H
  21. Newhart
  22. The Office
  23. The Powers of Matthew Star
  24. Saved By The Bell: The College Years
  25. The Simpsons
  26. Supernatural
  27. Twilight Zone
  28. The Undoing
  29. The Voice
  30. The Walking Dead: World Beyond
  31. WKRP In Cincinnati

Books I Read:

  1. Dolls!  Dolls!  Dolls! (2020) by Stephen Rebello

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Big Data
  2. Blanck Mass
  3. Britney Spears
  4. The Chemical Brothers
  5. Courtney Barnett
  6. Dean Martin
  7. Dua Lipa
  8. Jakalope
  9. Joan Jett
  10. Lara Snow
  11. Lindsey Stirling
  12. Madness
  13. Phantom Planet
  14. The Pretty Reckless
  15. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
  16. Purity Ring
  17. Saint Motel
  18. Taylor Swift
  19. Tony Bennett

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin profiled Freeman Elliott and shared: The Girl in the Black Chemise, She Had What It Takes, Come Be My Slave, Fully Dressed And In His Right Mind, Backwoods Teaser, Bed of an Empress, and Lily in Her Coffin!
  2. Jeff shared music videos from The Smithereens, The Smithereens again, Madness, Blotto, and Madness again!   He reviewed The Dead Don’t Dream, Fury At Gunsight Pass, Experiment Alcatraz, Jack MacCall Desperado, City Limits, Man From Del Rio, and Draw!
  3. I shared music videos from Courtney Barnett and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets!  I reviewed Mangrove!  I paid tribute to Martin Scorsese and shared a scene from Goodfellas!
  4. Ryan reviewed Honeymoon in the Afterlife, Haxan Lane, Fist Raid, and Shov Shov!

More From Us:

  1. For Reality TV Chat Blog, I reviewed The Amazing Race!
  2. Ryan has a patreon!  Consider subscribing!
  3. On my music site, I shared songs from Saint Motel, Jakalope, Big Data, Purity Ring, Phantom Planet, Joan Jett, and The Pretty Reckless!
  4. On her photography site, Erin shared: Forever Happy, Side of Abandoned House, All That Was Left Behind, A Place To Think, Butterfly, The Alley When It Rains, and Campus!

Click here to see what I did last week!

Music Video of the Day: Everybody Here Hates You by Courtney Barnett (2020, dir by Danny Cohen)

Oh hell yeah!  That’s more of a reaction to the sound of the song than to the song’s message, which is kind of depressing.

Seriously, we all know the feeling, right?  Judging from this video, Courtney is actually inside of someone’s brain and reminding them that everybody here hates them.  Everyone has felt that way at some point in their life.  Of course, to be honest, I’d rather be disliked than unknown or ignored.  Of course, I’d rather be loved than disliked.  I want people to be scared of how much they love me.

Anyway, this is a good song and a good video and it’ll get stuck in your head and you’ll hear it every time you start to feel insecure about something.


Film Review: Small Axe: Mangrove (dir by Steve McQueen)

Say whatever else you might want to say about 2020 as a cinematic year, at least it’s giving us five new films from Steve McQueen.

This British director is one of the most consistently interesting filmmakers working today and anytime we get new work for him, it’s a cause for celebration.  His latest project is Small Axe, an anthology of five feature-length films that examines the real-life history of London’s West Indian community.  In the UK, the film are premiering on the BBC while, here in the States, they’ll be premiering on Prime.  Through mid-December, we’ll be getting a new Steve McQueen film every week.

The first of these films is Mangrove.  The film opens in the late 60s, with activist Frank Crichlow (Shaun Parkes) opening a restaurant in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood.  The restaurant is called The Mangrove and it quickly becomes a base for the community.  It also becomes a target for the Metropolitan Police.  PC Pulley (Sam Spruell) claims that the Frank has a history of tolerating petty crime and that the Mangrove is probably just a front for some nefarious operation.  Of course, what quickly becomes obvious is that Pulley’s main problem with the Mangrove is that its owner is black and so are the majority of its customers.  Pulley is an unrepentant racist, the type of man who sits in his patrol car and complains that the military hasn’t been called in to enforce the law in the neighborhood.  (As obsessed as he is with the military, Pulley also says, with some pride, that he’s never actually served in the army.)  When a new rookie shows up, Pulley informs him that his priority for the night is to arrest the first black person that he sees.

Every chance that he gets, Pulley raids the Mangrove.  When Frank complains, he loses his liquor license.  When the members of the community stage a peaceful protest (“Hands Off The Mangrove!” goes one chant), Frank and eight others are arrested and charged with inciting a riot and affray, charges that could lead to all of them spending several years in prison.  (Affray is the legal term for “disturbing the peace.”)  Among those arrested, along with Frank, are activist Darcus Howe (Malachi Kirby) and British Black Panther leader Altheia Jones-LeCointe (Letitita Wright).  Both Darcus and Altheia insist on acting as their own counsel during the trial, giving them the chance to cross-examine the police and to also take their case directly to the jury.

Though Mangrove is a courtroom drama, the trial doesn’t being until almost an hour into the film’s running time.  Wisely, McQueen instead spends the first sixty minutes of the film introducing us to the neighborhood surrounding the Mangrove and also allowing us to get to know the people who not only work there but also the ones who eat there.  The film shows how, for a community of outsiders, the Mangrove became more than just a restaurant.  It became a center for the entire neighborhood, a place where the members of the London’s West Indian community could safely gather.  For someone like Pulley, the Mangrove was a symbol of everything that he couldn’t control and therefore, it had to be destroyed and its owners had to be humiliated.  As well-handled as the courtroom scenes are, they would be considerably less effective if the film hadn’t shown us why it was felt that the Mangrove was something worth fighting for.  When the Mangrove Nine go on trail, they’re not just nine people who have been unjustly accused.  Instead, they represent an entire community that refuses to continue to bow down to their oppressors.

It’s an often effective film, one that is all the more powerful for being based on a true story.  Much as he did with Shame, Steve McQueen makes effective use of the harsh and rather cold urban landscape that his characters inhabit. One needs only watch Frank walk down a dreary London street to understand why the Mangrove was so important to the community.  As presented by McQueen, the Mangrove provides not only an escape from the harshness of the world but also a safe place to discuss how to make that world maybe a little bit less harsh for future generations.  McQueen is brave enough to allow his camera to keep running, even beyond the point that most directors would have said “Cut.”  McQueen shows us Frank yelling after being brutally pushed into a prison cell, as any director would.  However, McQueen doesn’t cut away once Frank falls silent.  Instead, his camera remains on Frank, making us feel his isolation and his feeling of hopelessness.  It takes just a minute to go from the exhilaration of hearing Frank curse out his jailers to the horror of realizing that Frank is basically at their mercy.

For the most part, the actors make a strong impression, with the only false note coming from Rochenda Sandall, who plays Darcus’s partner and often seems to be performing in a different movie from everyone else.  Malachi Kirby and Shaun Parkes have several strong moments as Darcus and Frank while Sam Spruell plays Pulley as being an all-too familiar monster.  That said, the film is pretty much stolen by Letitia Wright, who brings both fury and wit to the role of Altheia.  Whether she’s exposing the Crown’s medical examiner as a fraud or angrily reprimanding a defendant who is considering pleading guilty, Letitia Wright dominates every scene in which she appears.

Is Mangrove eligible for the Oscars?  Under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t be.  But, with the rule changes and the fact that Mangrove was not only selected to compete at Cannes (before Cannes was cancelled, of course) but that it also opened the BFI London Film Festival, I think a case can be made for considering Mangrove to be a feature film as opposed to being a television movie.  This is a strange year so who knows?  Personally, I think Mangrove deserves to be considered.  If it’s not nominated for any Oscars, it’ll definitely be nominated for the Emmys.  That’ll be determined in the future.  For now, it can be viewed on Prime.

26 Shots From 26 Films: Special Martin Scorsese Edition

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, the TSL wishes a happy birthday to one of the greatest director working today, the one and only Martin Scorsese!  And that means that it’s time for….

26 Shots From 26 Martin Scorsese Films

(That’s right.  We usually do 4.  Scorsese gets 26.  He deserves a hundred.)

Who’s That Knocking On My Door (1967, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Boxcar Bertha (1972, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Mean Streets (1973, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Taxi Driver (1976, dir by Martin Scorsese)

New York New York (1977, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Last Waltz (1978, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Raging Bull (1980, dir by Martin Scorsese)

King of Comedy (1982, dir by Martin Scorsese)

After Hours (1985, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Color of Money (1986, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Goodfellas (1990, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Cape Fear (1991, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Age of Innocence (1993, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Casino (1995, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Kundun (1997, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Bringing out the Dead (1999, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Gangs of New York (2002, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Aviator (2004, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Departed (2006, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Shutter Island (2010, directed by Martin Scorsese)

Hugo (2011, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Silence (2016, dir by Martin Scorsese)

The Irishman (2019, dir by Martin Scorsese)

Lisa’s Week In Review: 11/9/20 — 11/15/20

I’m another year older and the Shattered Lens is still recovering from October.  Here’s what I did last week:

Films I Watched:

  1. Countess Dracula (1972)
  2. Death in Small Doses (1957)
  3. Fatal Affair (2020)
  4. The Hunt (2020)
  5. The King of Staten Island (2020)
  6. The Mysterious Mr. Nicholson (1947)
  7. No Man’s Woman (1955)
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
  9. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)
  10. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)
  11. The Twilight Saga: Elicpse (2010)
  12. The Walking Target (1960)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. The Amazing Race 32
  2. The Bachelorette
  3. Dancing With The Stars
  4. Parking Wars
  5. The People’s Choice Awards
  6. The Undoing
  7. The Voice

Books I Read:

  1. Prime Minister to President (2020) by A.C. Dickens

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Big Data
  2. Brijean
  3. Britney Spears
  4. The Chemical Brothers
  5. Coldplay
  6. Curved Air
  7. Django Django
  8. Evanescence
  9. Icona Pop
  10. Julie Andrews
  11. Lindsey Stirlng
  12. Muse
  13. Phantogram
  14. Pokey LaFarge
  15. Saint Motel
  16. Soccer Mommy
  17. Taylor Swift
  18. Til Tuesday
  19. The Who

Awards Season Links:

  1. The Gotham Nominations
  2. The People’s Choice Awards

Links From The Site:

  1. I shared music videos from Soccer Mommy, Django Django, Lindsey Stirling, Brijean, Saint Motel, and Coldplay!  I reviewed No Man’s Woman, The Mysterious Mr. Nicholson, Death In Small Doses, and The Walking Target!
  2. Doc shared a music video from The Simpsons!
  3. Erin profiled John Fernie and shared: The Case of the Radioactive Redhead, Kneel to the Rising Sun, Hillbilly Feuding and Loving, The Trailer Park Girls, Let’s Go Home, Lure For Love, and Girl in the Red Dress!
  4. Jeff reviewed The Long Rope and Red Heat!
  5. Ryan reviewed Ghouls, No Romance in Hell, Post Apocalypto, and Kids With Guns!

More From Us:

  1. For Reality TV Chat Blog, I wrote about the latest episode of The Amazing Race!
  2. Ryan has a patreon!  You should subscribe!
  3. On my music site, I shared songs from Icona Pop, Curved Air, Adi Ulmansky, Pokey LaFarge, Evanescence, Django Django, and Til Tuesday!
  4. On her photography site, Erin shared: Who Lives There, General Store, Carrying the Flag, Abandoned, Grey Park Day, Creek, and Lone Duck!

Want to see what was accomplished last week?  Click here!