Abraham Lincoln

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Classic Logo Design, Avant Garde Color Guard, and Noir Rarities

July 25th, 2023 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.


By Design: The Joe Caroff Story (Film, US, Mark Cerutti, 2022) Arts profile documentary sits down the legendary graphic designer responsible for the West Side Story poster, the 007 logo and the Last Temptation of Christ title treatment among many others to learn the thought processes behind their creation.—RDL

Contemporary Color (Film, US, Bill Ross IV & Turner Ross, 2016) Ten high school color guard squads stage an arena performance with the music stars, including St. Vincent, Ad Rock, Nelly Furtado, and organizer David Byrne, who have composed songs for them. Vibrant documentary paean to the affirming joys of joint creative work under pressure.—RDL

Cry of the City (Film, US, Robert Siodmak, 1948) Wounded cop killer Martin Rome (Richard Conte) attempts to evade detective Candella (Victor Mature) and venal lawyer Niles (Berry Kroeger) to escape with (some) loot and his girl. Taut script provides magnificent character beats for not just ultra-weasel Kroeger but Shelley Winters, Kathleen Howard, and the wonderfully menacing Hope Emerson. A best-of-breed Siodmak B noir. –KH


Kingdom (Film, Japan, 2019) Brash slave intent on rising to fame as a general (Kento Yamazaki) aids the deposed Qin king (Ryô Yoshizawa) as he allies with a hill barbarian army to reclaim his throne. Sometimes on-the-nose but ultimately rousing Warring States epic with a mythic manga sensibility. To clear up or intensify any confusion, yes, it depicts Chinese history but features a Japanese cast speaking Japanese.—RDL

Pitch Black (Film, US, David Twohy, 2000) The determined pilot (Radha Mitchell) of a crashed spaceship reluctantly teams with a prison-bound murderer (Vin Diesel) to protect passengers from the planet’s darkness-dwelling apex predators. Solid exercise in SF problem-solving held back by clumsily executed or insufficiently examined elements.—RDL

Raw Deal (Film, US, Anthony Mann, 1948) Escaped heister Joe Sullivan (Dennis O’Keefe) and his partner Pat (Claire Trevor) kidnap Joe-besotted paralegal Ann (Marsha Hunt) to get past the dragnet. John Alton’s paradigmatic noir cinematography, and wonderfully monstrous villain Raymond Burr, are the real standouts in a pulp wallow where Mann visibly (but sporadically) finds his feet as a director of cruelty and fate. –KH

What Have You Done To Solange? (Film, Italy/Germany, Massimo Dallamano, 1972) Philandering teacher Enrico (Fabio Testi) finds himself embroiled as a serial killer murders girls at his school. Exploitative and misogynistic even by giallo standards, it nonetheless features strong mystery plotting and pacing, an ominous Morricone score, and confident if not brilliant camera work. To clear up or intensify any confusion, yes, it depicts an English school but features an Italian cast speaking dubbed English. –KH

Comments are closed.

Film Cannister
Cartoon Rocket
Flying Clock
Film Cannister