Tag Archives: Tom Keene

Edward D. Wood Jr. – Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

Plan 9 From Outer Space has been unjustly deemed the worst movie of all time. It’s true that cardboard gravestones are knocked over, that scenes change from day to night at a moment’s notice, and that half of Bela Lugosi’s scenes are shot with a taller stand-in who has trouble keeping his vampire’s cape on his shoulders. But technical gaffes like these are shared by a number of low-budget sci-fi films with plots that equal the absurdity of this epic’s tale of extraterrestrial grave robbers. Read More »

King Vidor – Our Daily Bread (1934)

“Back to the land!” To escape the massive urban unemployment of the Depression, John Sims and his wife Mary take President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s exhortation to heart and take over an uncle’s run-down farm. But it soon becomes clear that the two city-dwellers have taken on more than they can handle. When a landless farmer pitches in, John decides to gather more unemployed into the collective. Soon the arcadian farm is filled with tradesmen, farmers, and their families. Together, they fend off foreclosure and speculators. Until a drought threatens to destroy the harvest … King Vidor made one of the first films of the New Deal era with the intention of contrasting the glamour of Hollywood with the harsh realities of American life. In reference to real institutions such as Texas’ Woodlake Community, he created a conservative social utopia in the form of a collective based on faith and a barter economy. Denounced sometimes as communist, sometimes as fascist, Our Daily Bread glorifies, above all, the American work ethic. In the lyrical tradition of poet Walt Whitman, Vidor celebrates the power of the human body, on full display in the rhythmic choreography of the final scenes. Read More »