Tag Archives: Rules of the Game

Stormy Night Films

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As I look outside at the grey skies and rain here in Seattle, I thought it would be a great time to revisit Cameron’s 10 Essential Films For a Stormy Night. The list was put together for the September, 2005 issue of Paste magazine. Good timing too as Quadrophenia and The Royal Tenenbaums were recently announced as coming to Criterion Blu-ray in August!

1. Local Hero (Bill Forsythe) – Because of the characters, the things they say to each other and, of course, The Rabbit.

2. Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler) – Myrna Loy just plain rocks, and so does everybody else in the sprawling beautiful epic. In the words of Wyler’s buddy Billy Wilder, “I was crying five minutes into this picture and I did not not know why.”

3. The Apartment (Billy Wilder) – Because it’s perfect.

4. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson) – A complete, compact, bittersweet world. And also, the music. Wes’s use of “Ruby Tuesday” is devastating, and let’s not even get started on the shot of Gwyneth Paltrow exiting that bus to Nico’s “These Days.”

5. Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (Jeff Margolis) – Pryor starts out telling jokes, and then takes a turn. “Let me tell about my year…” Modern personal comedy would never be the same.

6. Live A Little, Love A Little (Norman Taurog) – There’s a good chance that within a few months, Elvis probably didn’t even remember making this movie. He’s a slurring, amphetamined mess…of perfection. Check out the only psychedelic number he ever performed, “Edge of Reality.”

7. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen) – Like The Royal Tenenbaums, it’s a complete world you can’t help but revisit. As addictive as whatever drugs Elvis was on during the above movie, and more.

8. Quadrophenia (Franc Roddam) – Because of Steph. And, of course, Jimmy.

9. Shampoo (Hal Ashby) – A quiet, timeless look at modern man, set to musical perfection…and all the best characters are women.

10. Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir) – The inspiration for Shampoo, and so much more. The gorgeous catastrophy of the human condition and love, on full display. Misunderstood and discounted in its day, this masterpiece is rich and deep and only gets better. I’m tempted to call it the Exile on Main Street of Jean Renoir’s catalog of brilliant work, but it’s deeper and more elegant and even better than that. And the best character is the sad fool played by Renoir himself.

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May 21, 2012

Inquire Within: Inspiration

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Welcome to another edition of Inquire Within… Through your submissions, Cameron will answer your questions in his own words.

Leah Greenwood (Raleigh, NC): The first time I saw it, in the theater while in college, I walked out and decided to change my major.  Almost Famous (and therefore you) are single-handedly responsible for my renewed focus on writing/English/journalism.  What movies changed you? Shaped you?  Winds up in your DVD player every month?

Cameron: Thanks Leah.  I hope you stuck with it — journalism needs you.  It’s still a living, growing and important field… whatever the format, print or blog or online.  Nothing beats the importance of details, and the discipline that comes from checking facts.  Sometimes in the immediacy of online blogging, details sadly go out the window. But truth always still reads like the truth, and if you’re in doubt, the NY Times or The New Yorker and a number of other hallowed
publications are still touchstones for the timeless kind of journalism that will always need a home.

I was changed by a bunch of films and books.  The works of journalists Seymour Hersh and Jonathan Alter are simply great, as are the absolutely gripping Robert Caro books on Lyndon Johnson.  Most recently, Bob Dylan’s reinvention as an author and even a DJ (Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour) are big in my house.  Movie-wise, Carnal Knowledge is a timeless inspiration, along with the movies of Preston Sturges, and Wes Anderson, Jean Renoir especially Rules of the Game, Truffaut’s Day for Night, Stolen Kisses and of course, The 400 Blows.  Spike Lee’s first three films are still amazing, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris is a reminder of a great writing and directing voice still in play… and Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up and 40 Year Old Virgin are aces for combining humor and wild surprise, and always a strong beating heart. And don’t forget Mr. Wilder and Mr. Ashby.

Please send in your questions for Cameron and maybe yours will be part of a future installment of Inquire Within…
Filed under News
Dec 5, 2011

David Crosby: Remember My Name Coming Soon!


  • Almost Famous- Starz
  • E-Town- Amazon,Hulu
  • Fast Times- Cinemax
  • Jerry Maguire- Amazon, Hulu
  • Vanilla Sky- Hulu