In “Some Like It Hot”, the joke is masculinity

As the Criterion Collection reissues a 4K restoration of the classic film on Blu-ray, Ben Rylan considers the underlying sexual politics that have kept the film relevant.

In March, 1959, what would become one of the most beloved comedies of all time quietly arrived at the newly refurbished Loew’s State Theatre in New York. “Some Like it Hot”, wrote the New York Times’ A.H. Weiler, is an overlong, occasionally labored but often outrageously funny series of variations on an ancient gag.

That ancient gag is drag. And, given the film was released nearly 60 years ago, it’s astonishing to consider just how well its play on gender stereotypes has aged. Continue reading “In “Some Like It Hot”, the joke is masculinity”

“Suspiria” and the horror of being disbelieved

With a splash of high concept art, director Luca Guadagnino updates this Italian horror classic in spectacular style, writes Ben Rylan.

In 1977, Italian filmmaker Dario Argento launched a 98 minute long kaleidoscopic art-horror trip upon unsuspecting cinemagoers. “Suspiria” was quite unlike the genre counterparts of its time: Brian De Palma’s “Carrie” (1976), William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist” (1973), or Richard Donner’s “The Omen” (1976). Among the many differences: while those films all had their roots planted firmly in “our world”, Argento’s film transported its viewers to a place confusingly colourful yet oddly terrifying. Officially, it’s the German city of Freiburg, but the visual cues tell us we’re “somewhere else”. Continue reading ““Suspiria” and the horror of being disbelieved”