My Favorite Film of 2022: The Breaking Point (1950)

| March 10th, 2023

The Academy Awards are this Sunday, and normally I would be publishing a lengthy piece on my favorite films of the year at the end of the week. (With Maciej publishing the day before.) But this year, quite frankly, I forgot. And I could also make the argument I did not love any films released in 2022, though I’ll mention two below, that I’m excited to revisit.

Having returned to the academic world of Cinema Studies, the discipline in which I received my BA 18 years ago, I found myself in a constant process of cinematic discovery, beginning with my preparations last summer. So today I am sharing my favorite of those discoveries, a film I consider landmark, the Michael Curtiz/John Garfield collaboration, The Breaking Point.

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Saloons & Cinema from Porter to Prohibition: Report on Research

| October 4th, 2022

The research on this project began on something of a whim. While looking at the Charles Musser documentary Beyond the Nickelodeon (for this course), I was struck by two pieces of information I had not previously known. First, that saloons were utilized as early exhibition spaces at the turn of the century, specifically in the lower class and immigrant neighborhoods of New York City. Second, that Edwin S. Porter actually made films satirizing prominent figures in the temperance movement, most notably Carrie Nation in Kansas Saloon Smashers (1901).

I grew up in barrooms and have been lucky enough to travel the world and visit some of the oldest bars, taverns, saloons, inns, public houses, and cafes in existence. It has gone beyond a hobby. It is a passion, and on this very blog I published a list of my 100 favorite such establishments, open or closed. The notion of my two life passions, saloons and the cinema, having a “special relationship”, was exciting. It sent me on this research journey.

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