Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Easy Rider


They say that Captain America (AKA Wyatt, Peter Fonda) was based somehow on Roger McGuinn and Billy (Dennis Hopper) was based on our friend David Crosby, both from the original Byrds group. I can see that Croz at that time and Hopper had a certain resemblance. They also say that Wyatt was a play on Wyatt Earp, and Billy was William Bonney, AKA Billy the Kid. They say (and I believe) that ... Read more »

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood


A nice little chronicle of that magic moment, from the late ’60s to the late ’70s, between the collapse of the old studio system and the rise of the new order, when everybody was able to try just about anything. The ’60s were littered with mega-flops, studios were on the brink of bankruptcy, back lots were sold off and re-developed, sound stages gathered dust. Then the ... Read more »

Easy Virtue


There’s very little of the Hitchcock we know in this movie, it’s another of those that would be entirely forgotten if it hadn’t been made by him. A married woman is having her portrait painted. Her jealous, abusive husband arrives as the artist is trying to seduce her. Though she had nothing to do with it, he brings suit for divorce on the grounds of adultery. And it is tried in open ... Read more »

Easy Virtue


It’s Noel Coward, so you know there will be witty lines, and you can be pretty sure it will deal with the British upper classes. (Though he did a really ripping job dealing with ordinary Brits in his excellent wartime movie, In Which We Serve. Writer, co-director—with David Lean—and star!)

This one is not a lot of fun, for me, anyway. I have a ... Read more »

Eat Drink Man Woman

(Taiwan, 1994)

This is a literally delicious movie. Don’t watch it, as I did, just after you’ve eaten a can of beefaroni. Don’t watch it when you’re hungry, either. In fact, when is a good time to watch it? Maybe after a Thanksgiving feast. It’s about an aging Chinese master chef and his three grown daughters who still live at home, and it is full of wonderful food. I wanted to taste it all. The story ... Read more »

Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words


I could probably come up with the names of several dozen artists who have hugely influenced popular music (which I define as anything outside of classical), going all the way back to Scott Joplin. But there are only a handful who have been flat-out experimental, and most of them were strictly in jazz, cats like Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. Other than those, ... Read more »

Echo Park


If you’ve read my epic account of our walk on Sunset Boulevard, you’ll know that Echo Park is one of our favorite neighborhoods. It’s an old place, for LA. It was the original center of the film industry; Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studio was there when the neighborhood was called Edendale. In the ’30s it was known as Red Hill because it was full of political ... Read more »

Ed Wood


Probably my favorite Tim Burton movie. It’s clearly a labor of love, about the weirdest guy who ever directed in Hollywood, and until Mark Borchardt came along (see American Movie), the worst filmmaker ever to actually get a film distributed.

Ed Wood


Tim Burton is an uneven director, in my opinion. I’ve liked about half of his movies, the other half, not so much. This is one of the good ones. It’s a surprisingly affectionate portrait of possibly the worst director ever to shout “Action” who ever worked in Hollywood. (My personal favorite bad director is the great Doris Wishman, who helmed Nude on the Moon and ... Read more »

Eddie the Eagle

(UK, USA, Germany, 2016)

If you are as old as me, you will probably remember Michael “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards. It was 1988 and I was in Toronto for the making of Millennium. Out there on the prairie, in Calgary, the Winter Olympics were happening. I am an Olympics junkie, and watched as much of them as I could. Eddie was an unlikely star. Great Britain had not had a ski jumper since ... Read more »