CineSavant Column

Saturday June 24, 2023



Readers have been sending in odd links in the billion-bubble wake of our review of Robot Monster. This short film, a fragment really, is by Matthew Muhl. It’s insubstantial but amusing, and I liked its tone: Man or Ro-Man, The Phil Tucker Story.

It looks like it might have been a teaser for a longer project?  I liked the simplicity and clarity of the ‘curtain’ shot above, even if that red curtain looks like an off-the-shelf graphic.



I’ve been hearing about The Primevals for a full 45 years, as a close friend of its original co-writer and its original editor. I was also somewhat of a hanger-on during its first production effort — way back when 1941 was being shot. Set aside long ago, and then taken up as a labor of love by a couple of dedicated stop-motion animator-filmmakers, the Charles Band production The Primevals looks to have found a final form.

I’ve seen bits of footage for it, piecemeal, over several decades. Someone did a great job on this festival promo, just up on the web a few days ago. Seeing actors Juliet Mills and Robert Cornthwaite is certainly refreshing, as is the fun of genuine old-school stop-motion animation. Original director David Allen has been gone over twenty years; even back then he was referring to stop-motion as a Lost Art.

It looks pretty good. This link should land you into the middle of a Full Moon promo reel, to the new The Primevals Video Promo.



Here’s a ‘best of’ list that’s actually worth reading. It is compiled, with interesting comments, by critic J. Hoberman, for The New Republic”  The 100 Most Significant Political Films of All Time distills a century of political film into 100 powerful titles.

CineSavant normally shrinks from list-making . . . I can’t even assemble a list of my own favorites. I also reject knee-jerk criticism that denigrates something like Costa-Gavras’ “Z” because it puts Message ahead of Art. So many titles here are driven to Speak Truth to Power. The many brilliant entries are some of the best films ever . . . with a message. Mr. Hoberman’s assessment of ‘significant’ has always been a rewarding read. He knows how to say a lot in two sentences, and his comments are never heavy-handed.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson