Carmen Argenziano

  • Fred Walton – When a Stranger Calls (1979)

    1971-1980Fred WaltonHorrorThrillerUSA
    When a Stranger Calls (1979)
    When a Stranger Calls (1979)

    A terrified young baby-sitter… an incessantly ringing phone… and whispered threats set the stage for one of the most suspenseful chillers ever filmed. Carol Kane stars as the baby-sitter who is tormented by a series of ominous phone calls until a compulsive cop (Charles Durning) is brought on the scene to apprehend the psychotic killer. Seven years later, however, the nightmare begins again when the madman return to mercilessly haunt Kane, now a wife and mother. No longer a naïve girl – though still terrified, but prepared – she moves boldly to thwart the maniac’s attack in scenes that culminate in a nerve-shattering conclusion…Read More »

  • John Landis – Into the Night (1985)

    1981-1990ActionComedyJohn LandisUSA

    Grant Nebel wrote:
    Melancholic Screwball

    Into the Night resembles a lot of other films of its time: the Los Angeles version of Scorsese’s After Hours or what Miracle Mile would have been if that thing (you know the thing I mean) hadn’t happened. Moving forward, it’s Collateral with one character gender-switched and actually more gunplay, but its most interesting cinematic relative is Eyes Wide Shut. Let’s call it a second cousin: both films are about a man’s two-night journey after he realizes his wife’s infidelity (imagined in Eyes, real here) and more importantly, both take place in a city that’s not quite real. Kubrick created his own hallucination of New York for his film, but director John Landis and writer Ron Koslow had the advantage of making Into the Night in L. A., a city that’s always already part fiction.Read More »

  • Peter Watkins – Punishment Park (1971)

    1971-1980DramaPeter WatkinsPoliticsUSA


    A key film in the unimpeachable cry-in-the-wilderness corpus of Peter Watkins—a major filmography long marginalized and only now being prepped and released on any form of video— Punishment Park (1971) is an act of howling political righteousness, a dystopian critique intended for the peace-movement years but possibly even more relevant today. The premise is so simple it leaves singe marks: Watkins begins with the very real McCarran Act (just as he had based The War Game on Britain’s own nuclear-warfare cost analysis and contingency plans), which grants Ashcroftian summary-judgment powers to the president in times of potential “insurrection.” The Nixon-‘Nam years were those times, and so the film follows two groups of arrested protesters as they’re led to the Western desert, interrogated by a tribunal and then sent running, with national guardsmen and riot police following on the hunt.Read More »

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