Ray Olson

Ray Olson writes from St. Paul, Minnesota.

Latest by Ray Olson in Chronicles

Results: 20 Articles found.
  • Cathedral of the World
    July 2015

    Cathedral of the World

    I first encountered the poetry of B.H. Fairchild when I chose to review Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest (2003).

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  • January 9, 2015

    More On Noir and Two Additional Silents You Should See

    One responder to my previous post, “Notes on noir”, asked why so many movies are called film noir when, by my lights, they’re not. The simple, somewhat cheeky answer is “brand creep”: film noir is a bankable label for a crime movie, so it’s come to be liberally applied.

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  • November 20, 2014

    Notes on Noir

    I’m watching lot of film noir lately, from the 1940s (the style persisted through the 1950s, so there’s much more to be seen), and wondering about noir in general. What is “pure” film noir? Why is film noir so enduringly popular?

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  • September 5, 2014

    Fritz Lang’s Liliom: Less Catholic, still Christian?

    On February 7, 2011, Art Livingston posted to this blog a discussion of the early Hollywood talkie, Liliom (1930), based on the play of the same name by the popular and prolific early-twentieth-century Hungarian dramatist, Ferenc Molnár.

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  • August 6, 2014

    Why you should see the silents, part II

    It’s all very well to say, as I do, that you should see the silents because in them you will see every development in film style—except synchronized sound—freshly created and, in most cases, as artfully exploited as they ever have been. But the proof is in the viewing.

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  • July 22, 2014

    Why you should see the silents, part I

    Silent movies are to movies in toto as classical Greek and Roman drama is to all of European drama.

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  • June 16, 2014

    The Big Change

    Because the movies are a by-product of modern technology, it’s understandable that significant changes in the medium are presumed to be technological. Sound, color, and digital recording are the usual suspects for having caused cataclysmic upheaval.

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  • April 24, 2014

    Kurosawa begins

    Whenever the president of the Rockford Institute and I chat about movies, the conversation always runs into the brick wall of the Japanese cinema.

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  • March 28, 2014

    Love stories for guys

    I’d long wanted to see more Raoul Walsh movies. Renowned as an action specialist and he-man director without peer, Walsh made every kind of adventure film—war, western, swashbuckler, gangster, fantasy (the Douglas Fairbanks Thief of Baghdad), naval, bandit (Carmen twice!), even biblical—during his 51-year career.

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  • March 7, 2014

    With DVD and Remote in Deepest Filmland

    Remember Nick and Nora Charles, the movies’ Thin Man and wife? Of course, you do.

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  • A Sticker in Kentucky
    May 2013

    A Sticker in Kentucky

    Last year’s lecturer was the poet, novelist, cultural critic, and farmer Wendell Berry. Those Chronicles readers who are acquainted with him and his work will not be surprised that “It All Turns on Affection” is concerned with family farming.

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  • What Was Not Lost
    January 2013

    What Was Not Lost

    The name of this book’s subject doesn’t appear in the text proper until page 14, and then as that of an adult attending the opening in London’s Bloomsbury of the Poetry Bookshop on January 8, 1913.

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  • The Lady is Good
    June 2012

    The Lady is Good

    Miss Buckley is telling stories, practicing the art of the raconteur—moreover, to mixed company, which is altogether fitting for her subjects.

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  • To the End of the World
    May 2012

    To the End of the World

    Robert Hugh’s work hasn’t fared as well. His transgressiveness, as a postmodernist might call it, lay in proceeding from the Anglican priesthood into the Catholic Church.

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  • The Fellowship of Joking
    April 2012

    The Fellowship of Joking

    “The key question to ask,” Christie Davies claims, “is why this particular set of jokes is in circulation at this particular time in this particular society rather than some other possible set.”

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  • Anglo-Saxon Reality
    August 2011

    Anglo-Saxon Reality

    Some poems in Celtic languages are older, but the earliest sizable body of vernacular literature in Europe is the Old English, dating, by liberal estimation, from the seventh century to the twelfth.

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  • Thunderbolt Kid
    July 2011

    Thunderbolt Kid

    Bill Bryson’s most salient quality is his humor, which ranges from sarcasm to wordplay but doesn’t seem to traffic much in zippy one-liners, else Richert might cite a few of them.

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  • Kings Row Revisited
    June 2011

    Kings Row Revisited

    I preferred Reagan when he was openly pursuing the actor’s trade, especially in Kings Row, which, from age 10 to 14, I tried to watch every time it was the Friday or Saturday late movie on one or another Twin Cities TV channel.

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  • A Southern Foison
    May 2011

    A Southern Foison

    In the Introduction to the first of these two volumes, Clyde Wilson allows, after a few paragraphs of justified complaint against the wholesale academic and political assault on Southern identity as well as Southern culture, that it was not always thus.

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  • The One and Indispensable
    April 2011

    The One and Indispensable

    When Bill C. Malone’s Country Music, U.S.A. first appeared in 1968, it was obviously the most careful, well-researched, judicious, and accessible book on any kind of American popular music, including jazz, that had been published up to that time.

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Results: 20 Articles found.



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