Titus Techera

Titus Techera is the executive director of the American Cinema Foundation.

Posts by Titus Techera

Peter Bogdanovich left behind one last cinematic gem

Peter Bogdanovich has died, America’s only famous chronicler of Old Hollywood, a young friend of Orson Welles and an admirer of John Ford, and a director in his own turn of celebrated dramas like The Last Picture Show (1971), a coming-of-age story about bored kids who don’t like their small town and have only their good looks to recommend them, a Hollywood specialty that won him Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and What’s Up, Doc? Continue Reading...

Elizabeth Holmes is the con artist we were all waiting for

Elizabeth Holmes has been found guilty on four of 11 federal charges of wire fraud and conspiracy, after promising revolutionary blood test technology from her corporation, Theranos. The promised disruption was something people desperately wanted and still want: cheap, quick blood tests, requiring only a finger drop of blood. Continue Reading...

Resolve this New Year to visit Billy Wilder’s The Apartment

Christmas movies tend to be sentimental, to emphasize the struggles that define our society and our souls, but ultimately they are hopeful and even joyful. Humanity triumphs at the end of the story—for evidence, read my series of essays on The Bishop’s Wife, The Shop Around the Corner, Christmas in Connecticut, and Miracle on 34th Street. Continue Reading...

Christmas in Connecticut: the holiday movie that promises you can’t have it all

I continue my series on old Hollywood Christmas movies. After a movie about church as a community, The Bishop’s Wife(1947), and the workplace as a community, The Shop Around the Corner (1940), I turn to a movie about family, the smallest but most natural community: Christmas in Connecticut (1945), starring Barbara Stanwyck, one of the great Hollywood stars, Sydney Greenstreet (the Fat Man from The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca), and Dennis Morgan. Continue Reading...

When bookshops were miraculous, romantic places

I began a series of essays on Christmas movies last week with The Bishop’s Wife (1947), a story about church, the community of the faithful, and spiritual responsibility. This week, I’m writing about a less lofty subject, the community of the workplace and the life of commerce, but a much better movie, The Shop Around the Corner (1940), one of the classics of old Hollywood, directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as shopkeepers who fall in love over Christmas. Continue Reading...

Planes, Trains, and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a distinctively American holiday, unlike Christmas, and yet we have very few popular movies about it. Maybe this is a good thing—it’s a family affair, not necessarily a public spectacle. Continue Reading...

Does Hollywood love beauty more than profit?

Beauty has the power to spellbind everyone—the proof is Canadian director Denis Villeneuve. His last three movies, Dune (2021), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), and Arrival (2016), have earned him a reputation as a visionary and a sensitive director, despite science fiction as his genre, which normally is considered either too sophisticated for the broad audience to follow or too simplistic to be worth attention, instantly forgotten. Continue Reading...