Table and Teaser
Review October stories and preview November articles
Halloween’s this week, which affords an opportunity to differentiate between the horror movie and what I call the scary movie (movies being an Autonomia topic). Today’s horror films tend to shock the audience with grisly pictures and emphasis on sense perception; the scary movie generally sets the premise which can play upon one’s fear. For several reasons, I prefer a scary to a horror movie. Recently, I was invited to watch The Exorcist: Believer, a middling (and neither especially scary nor gory) sequel, and director Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice, a scary mystery which I absolutely enjoyed.
Mr. Branagh’s newest movie, “loosely based” on Agatha Christie’s novel Hallowe'en Party, is dark and frightening. Michael Green’s script is insightful. The newest in Branagh’s series of Christie adaptations is the best I’ve seen. Kenneth Branagh also directed one of the best recent movies—I know it’s not saying much—with Belfast.
In October, Autonomia’s closest to a showcased scary movie is Ghost Story co-starring Fred Astaire and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. The 1981 movie, also based on a book, is Mr. Astaire’s and Mr. Fairbanks’s final film. Mine’s a short review of an intriguing fable.
Other articles include an exhaustive evaluation of the complete eight-year CBS comedy which dominated the Sixties and rarely gets its due. This includes a full examination of my favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show, which launched the career of actor and movie director Ron Howard. Similarly, a supporting role on a TV comedy started the career of a talented actor named Kelsey Grammer, who’s returning to the role that made him famous in Frasier, a revival of the NBC program airing on a streaming channel. Read my review of the first five episodes.
The actor portraying Frasier’s nephew recently co-starred in a new stage play, which I also reviewed. I recently attended a short film’s screening with the screenwriter and director at a talent agency—the frank subject matter is a woman’s quest for abortion. Adoption’s the plot-theme of Arthur 2: On the Rocks, the sequel to Arthur, Liza Minnelli’s 1981 hit movie starring Dudley Moore. It’s a lovely Christmastime-themed tonic with an early performance by Kathy Bates. This is part of my revolving movie star series—featuring films with or by Liza, Stallone and Eastwood—showcasing older artists of ability while they’re alive.
The living are foremost on my mind amid today’s wars. I’m re-reading Ayn Rand’s first novel, We the Living, and I titled October’s birthday greeting for Ayn Rand’s heir, Leonard Peikoff, published on his 90th birthday, Just Deserts: A Philosopher for the Living. I may write a book review—it’d be my first published review of Ayn Rand’s fiction—and, of course, I’m enthused about anything involving Dr. Peikoff, who’s always doing, saying and writing something vital, thought-provoking and fabulous. With today’s news of mass death, war and destruction—in Maine and in Israel as well as in Ukraine—it’s more important than ever to look for clues and think about what causes fear, horror and fright. Without dodging controversy or difficulty, I present Autonomia as an aid as you think and live free and enjoy the moment. Have at it.
Table of contents
October contents include:
Arthur 2: On the Rocks reviewed (Liza Minnelli Movies)
These are the November and other future articles in progress:
A new review in the Liza Minnelli Movies series of her movie with Burt Reynolds
The fourth in my 30 Years in the Press series
Centennials: Time magazine, Simon & Schuster, Warner Bros.
New book, TV and movie reviews
Article focusing on Iran’s 1979 embassy siege and attack on America
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