Monday, August 24, 2009

WOODSTOCK reviewed

My review of Warner Home Video's new Blu-ray disc release of Michael Wadleigh's WOODSTOCK is now posted on the SIGHT AND SOUND website, and appears in the current September 2009 issue -- on newsstands now. (Remember newsstands?) This issue also contains capsule assessments of 50 different filmmakers gathered under the rubric "The Mad, the Bad and the Dangerous," to which I contributed critical summaries of Mario Bava, Ken Russell and Andrzej Zulawski... but you won't find those free online. VW's Kim Newman and Brad Stevens also contributed.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


In case some of you are wondering why I've done so little with this blog since opening it to readers' comments, it's because I too have been seduced into the madness that is Facebook.

For the few among you who haven't visited Facebook to see what it's about, it's a social networking site that permits friends, friends of friends and (let's admit it) total strangers to communicate with their walls of privacy intact. This important detail makes Facebook attractive to certain celebrities who might enjoy interacting with their public as long as it doesn't mean leaking their personal e-mail details.

One of the thrills of my own involvement on Facebook has been the ability to approach and communicate with certain people I like and admire professionally, with whom I might not have had the opportunity otherwise, certainly not on a daily basis. I'm talking about people like Ann Magnuson, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, Illeana Douglas, Edwige Fenech and Tura Satana, and Argento heroines Jessica Harper, Irene Miracle and Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, to name a few.

Equally interesting is the degree to which Facebook shrinks the size of the world to something more manageable and within one's ready grasp, which brings to the surface certain coincidences (even psychic connections) that might otherwise escape your notice. Early in my own Facebook experience, I found myself noticing someone's avatar on a lot of "Mutual Friends" lists; there was something about her photo that spoke to me in a way I didn't understand, but it didn't want to be denied. I wrote to this stranger, an Italian novelist and translator named Cristiana Astori, inviting her to become a friend. She wrote back to say that she was astonished to receive my letter because I and my work had been central in her consciousness for months! She was in the process of completing a novel and, owing to its subject matter, she had been immersing herself in various articles and liner notes I had written, one of the few available sources for information pertaining to her chosen subject. Even the title she had chosen for her novel was a nod to my MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK! Thanks to Facebook, I was able to discover this creative connection on the other side of the globe that would have remained a secret to me otherwise.

Just as important, in fact the truly addictive element in Facebook, is the banter I can now get into with distant friends, people as far-flung as Chile and Poland, and even business associates with whom I can suddenly communicate on a more personal level. As Richard Harland Smith (another convert) aptly described it, "Facebook isn't a party, it's a party line." In fact, many of VW's contributors (Donna, John Charles, Kim Newman, Shane Dallmann, Sam Umland, Eric Somer and others) are also on Facebook, and if you would be interested in befriending us there, I'm sure most of us would gladly add you to our lists. It won't hurt if you mention you're a subscriber. It also wouldn't hurt if you really are. ; - )
I am having a lot of fun over there, but I'm also aware that I could be having similar fun here, now that the comments feature has been activated, and playing (as it were) to a larger audience. Right now my Facebook shenanigans are within the reach of only 420 Facebook friends, and I'm sure not all of them check on me every day. I do intend to come back here more frequently, but the task immediately in front of me is to create some material for VW #151 -- including its own Video WatchBlog column. Be back soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Are You Afraid? Are You Very Afraid?

... of handling your copy of MARIO BAVA - ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, I mean, for fear of damaging its dust jacket? Well, if you are, today's special Dog Days Sale item should interest you. For the first time, we are offering the Bava book's French fold dust jacket on sale separately, for those of you who would like to keep a spare on ice, so to speak, so that when your current dust jacket becomes battered and worn, it can be replaced to look brand new once again! Check the yellow banner on the Video Watchdog website's main page for details!

Monday, August 03, 2009


My review of the HBO series IN TREATMENT is in the current August 2009 issue of SIGHT AND SOUND, and now also available on their website here.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Announcing 'Dog Days!

I'd like to draw your attention to something very special that Donna has cooked up for VIDEO WATCHDOG fans during the month of August. Beginning today, you'll find a yellow banner on the main page of the VIDEO WATCHDOG website announcing our "'Dog Days" sale.

Throughout August, Donna is going to post a different sale every day!

Each sale will last only 24 hours, so you know the savings are bound to be considerable -- and with 31 days in the month, who knows what we'll find to sell! Maybe even some goodies from my private collection!

Don't expect any previews here... you'll have to visit and click every day to find out what's being offered. And since supplies may be limited, the earlier you check, the better!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tim & Donna in the Mystery Box

The latest installment of Robert Jaz's "The Mystery Box" over at the Forces of Geek website interviews Donna and I at length on the occasion of VIDEO WATCHDOG's 20th anniversary and the publication of our 150th issue. There's also an exclusive photo or two, including one of me looking very bummed about the shirt cardboard on which our first issue was printed. We thank Robert for his kind interest and generous attention!