About Mark Tompkins

Mark Tompkins was born in Winterfell, Connecticut and received a B.A. in Communications from Stanford University. He has studied German language and culture in Berlin and Munich. When not exploring the beer halls of Mitteleuropa he lives in Los Angeles.

‘What Our Fathers Did’: An uncomfortably topical documentary about the legacy of Nazism

A dual character study of the sons of two high-ranking Nazi officials, What Our Fathers Did is a fascinating but disquieting coda to the history of 70-odd years ago. But maybe 'coda' is the wrong word, because in 2017 the movie feels weirdly topical. Read more [...]

Today is Record Store Day 2017: Please don’t steal ‘les disques’

In honor of Record Store Day 2017: You can't always get what you want, and you can't make a cool prop out of an MP3. The appearance of the Rolling Stones' 1969 album Let It Bleed in Jacques Rivette's 1971 opus OUT 1 is one more detail adding to the movie's authentic sense of period. Read more [...]

Countdown to ‘Twin Peaks’: David Lynch on the big screen

One way to pass the time until Twin Peaks returns in May: Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre is pairing seven David Lynch features with classics by other directors, in double bills that feel just right. If you don't know these movies already, don't read a thing about them beforehand; just come and let them blow your mind. Read more [...]

The anti-Communist hysteria of ‘My Son John’ (1952): not as dated as you might think

In Leo McCarey's My Son John, Robert Walker plays a Communist spy and traitor lurking in small-town America; watching the movie today, you can’t help noticing how many of the traits that render Walker's character suspect in 1952 would also mark him as not 'a real American' in the eyes of right-wing pundits today. Some things about American life have changed very little in 60 years. Read more [...]

‘The Gleiwitz Case’: The black op that ignited WWII

The best East German movie that I’ve seen, The Gleiwitz Case (1961) depicts the undercover Nazi operation that lit the fuse for World War II, on August 31, 1939. Tracking this blackest of black ops from start to finish, The Gleiwitz Case is like a caper movie from hell. Read more [...]