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Christopher Forsley

Film Critic

San Francisco

Christopher Forsley

"I regard criticism as an art. . . If you think it is so easy to be a critic, so difficult to be a poet or a painter or film experimenter, may I suggest you try both? You may discover why there are so few critics, so many poets"
~ Pauline Kael, aired on KPFA in 1963.

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Donald Rumsfeld Becomes Donald the Duck in 'Ricky Rouse Has a Gun'

Written by Jorg Tittel and illustrated by John Aggs, Ricky Rouse Has a Gun appears to be, as the cover claims, a “Chinese original”. The graphic novel’s title, along with the names of its creators, are spelled out in Chinese characters, and its cover art is reminiscent of a communist propaganda poster from the Maoist regime.
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Stanley Kubrick Wanted a Taste of Terry Southern’s Lamb-Pit

I love fucking Terry Southern. That came out wrong. I never fucked the writer, at least not proper fucked. But I have been fucking him intellectually, off and on, for a few decades now. By that I mean I’ve read his literary work: Flash and Filigree, Candy, The Magic Christian, and Blue Movie, on several occasions, going deeper each time.
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The Writing in Frank Jacobs' MAD's Greatest Writers is MAD to the Max

I bet you know of MAD Magazine, but I doubt you know of many of its contributors. If you do know of one, it’s probably founder Harvey Kurtzman. If you know of more than one, it’s probably one or more of the magazine’s early artists who worked under Kurtzman and have since reached iconic status among comic aficionados — artists such as Jack Davis, Wally Wood, and Basil Wolverton.
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'It’s the Pictures That Got Small' Tells of Hollywood's Golden Age Like Only a Diary Can

Titled after an iconic line from an iconic movie, It’s the Pictures That Got Small (2015) chronicles the Golden Age of Hollywood with the intimacy and honesty that only a diary can offer. This particular diary belongs to Charles Brackett, the screenwriter best known as the writing partner of legendary director Billy Wilder.
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'Run Like Crazy Run Like Hell' Is Outstanding -- Just Don't Call It a Graphic Novel

Most of the classic comics penned by the legendary Alan Moore have been republished in fancy hard-cover graphic novel editions. These include V for Vendetta (1982-1985), Swamp Thing (1984-1987), Watchmen (1986-1987), Batman: The Killing Joke (1988), From Hell (1989-1996), and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999-ongoing).
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'World Film Locations: Athens' Is Equal Parts Film Scholarship and Travel Guide

The World Film Locations series, published by Intellect Books, is a true treasure for film buffs and world travelers alike. Like the medium of film itself, each of these books takes a visual approach to their content. Every page is packed with illustrations, city maps, or location photographs, and the carefully chosen movie stills from an elastic mix of films are accompanied by brief but insightful texts.
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A Calm Surface, an Inner Rawness: 'World Film Locations: Florence'

The World Film Locations series, published by Intellect Books, is a true treasure for scholars, film buffs, and world travelers alike. Like the medium of film itself, each of these books takes a visual approach to their content. Every page is packed with illustrations, city maps, or location photographs, and the carefully chosen movie stills from an elastic mix of films are accompanied by brief but insightful texts.
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Reading 'The Hospital Suite' Is Like Watching a Play Adapted from the Dairies of a Dying Man

Chronicling John Porcellino’s ongoing physical and mental ailments, The Hospital Suite is the cartoonist’s most ambitious work to date. Known for his long-running, self-published King-Cat Comics, Porcellino’s style is of the minimalist, autobiographical variety that has come to dominate alternative comics for the last three decades.
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Dear Depressive – The Sunday Review

In 2011 I was writing an essay for PANK in response to the “Adrien Brody” short story scandal when, during my research that involved jacking-off to nude photos of its author, Marie Calloway, I discovered a Jimmy Chen spoof over at HTMLGIANT called “Adrien Brody By Roman Polanski.”. It was very, very funny.
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4.25″ x 6″ – The Sunday Review

Michael Kimball Writes Your Life (on a postcard), Michael Kimball, Mud Luscious Press, 2013. Because Mud Luscious Press has, “in equal parts failure, defeat, and sadness,” closed, and because Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard) was its latest and last release, I anticipated a book so bad that it turned J.A.
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Mediated Frenzy – The Sunday Review

Evelyn Waugh was the funniest female satirist of the 20th century, and Scoop was her funniest novel. Regrettably, I’m keeping the haze moist with a lie: Evelyn Waugh wasn’t a female satirist, and even if he was he would not have been the funniest of the 20th century. None of Waugh’s sixteen novels are funny, and Scoop is no exception.
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I Would Have Obeyed Those Gods, Became a Dunce, and Joined the Confederacy

I read John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces last month. But it was too late. My life was damaged beyond repair. If I had read it ten years ago as a high school student, I would have a career, a mortgage, and a retirement plan right now. I would have known that "With the breakdown of the Medieval system, the gods of Chaos, Lunacy, and Bad Taste gained ascendancy."
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About

Christopher Forsley

Christopher Forsley was born in Massachusetts, raised in Arizona, and is living in California. Contact him at ChristopherForsley@gmail.com with freelance assignments or other job offers. He also accepts ghostwriting gigs when the money is right.

Besides criticism and the occasional piece of humor, he writes comic books and strips. His brother and collaborator, Cameron Forsley, illustrates these along with many of the essays and reviews found above. They share a website at www.The ForsleyBrothers.com