Wednesday, August 24, 2016
What are your favorite biopics? What movie got it right?
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
|Hepburn and Holden|
You know the plot so I won't go over it. I enjoyed this film immensely and even Phil had to admit it had "something." Certainly vastly superior to the remake with Harrison Ford.
Footnote: During production of the film, Hepburn and Holden (who plays Bogart's playboy brother) entered into a brief, but passionate and much-publicized love affair.Also Bogart wanted Bacall to do the part and was angry during the entire shoot. Thirdly, Wilder wanted Cary Grant for the role, who turned it down. So lots of behind the scenes angst.
Monday, August 22, 2016
As you might expect, there are a ton of waitresses in film and on TV. Always memorable was the one in FIVE EASY PIECES.In HELL AND HIGH WATER, there are two great ones. On Broadway right now, there is a musical based on the Keri Russell film WAITRESS. MILDRED PIERCE, of course, started as a waitress. I remember male waiters on FRIENDS and FRASIER. But the women seem more memorable.
Who is your favorite waitress? On the screen that is.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Fool's Gold, Dolores Hitchens
This was one of the books I read in anticipation of a panel in New Orleans. I think it is probably fairly indicative of the type of book found on spinner racks in the forties and fifties. The three main characters are all in school learning a trade. The girl (Karen), leaks the fact, that a man who rents a room in the house where she lives has a big stash of money in his room. One of her friends (Skip) immediately begins planning a theft and his friend, under his influence, agrees to help him. The girl is too gob-smacked over the boy to not go along with this.
Skip is too dumb not to tip his hand to bigger players and loses control of the job. The writing was good enough but I didn't quite believe that any of these kids, that sat behind desks at school in the daytime, and who largely came from decent families, would fall into this so easily. I am thinking this is just not my type of story. But it may be yours. Hitchens wrote many novels and the second I read I liked a lot more.
Sergio Angelini, THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL, John LeCarre
Les Blatt, MALICE IN WONDERLAND, Nicholas Blake
Brian Busby, GAMBLING WITH FIRE, David Montrose
Bill Crider, THE GOBLIN RESERVATION, Clifford Simak
Martin Edwards, THE SEAT OF THE SCORNFUL, John Dickson Carr
Curt Evans, ACEDIA, THE NOONDAY DEVIL Ursula Curtiss
Richard Horton, THE REBELLIOUS STARS, Isaac Asimov, AN EARTH GONE MAD, Roger Dee
Jerry House, THE BRASS RING, Lewis Padgett
George Kelley, THE BEST OF AMAZING STORIES
Margot Kinberg, THE DINNER, Herman Koch
Kate Laity, THE DAIN CURSE, Dashiell Hammett
B.V. Lawson, SHE SHALL HAVE MURDER, Delano Ames
Steve Lewis, THE JEWELS THAT GOT AWAY, Gary Matterom
Todd Mason, FANTASTIC STORIES, 1971; Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1971
J.F. Norris, THE WOMAN ON THE ROOF, Helen Nielsen
Mathew Paust, THE DISCOMFORT ZONE, Jonathan Frantzen
James Reasoner, THE CASE OF THE HESITANT HOSTESS, Erle Stanley Gardner
Richard Robinson, THE VIRGIN IN THE ICE, Ellis Peters
Gerard Saylor, U.S. WORLD WAR II AMPHIBIOUS TACTICS, Gordon Rottman
Kevin TIpple, THE END OF EVERYTHING, Megan Abbott
TomCat, THE JUDAS CAT, Dorothy Salisbury Davis; WINDS OF EVIL, Arthur Upfield
TracyK, Forgotten Books Not Yet Read
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
What is the last movie that really made you laugh?
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Well, certainly not forgotten. But I hadn't seen it in 30 years and I was again swept away what must surely be one of the greatest films of the genre. Beautifully cast with Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, and Judith Anderson, Preminger brought a magic touch to it. Such good dialogue and so little fat in it. Great theme song by Raksin with help from Ravel. It couldn't be better.
A little info about the painting here.
And this from THE ART OF THE FILM-LAURA.
This portrait is truly stunning. But there's more to the story of it. The movie is based on the book by Vera Caspary, published in 1942. The description of the portrait in the book is significantly different than this portrait. Notably, the description reads, in part, "Jacoby had caught the fluid sense of restlessness in her body, perched on the arm of a chair, a pair of yellow gloves in one hand, a green hunter's hat in the other." The difference is significant because the book version of the story paints (if you'll pardon the pun) quite a different picture of the three main characters: Lydecker, McPherson and Laura. In the film, Laura is all feminine elegance (as she is portrayed in the portrait) and McPherson is all masculine bravado. But the book (written by a woman, mind you) emphasized that Laura was a "modern woman" which was code at that time for a woman who lived with the freedoms of a man. And while the movie alludes to McPherson's leg injury, the book tells us that he spent a year in the hospital recuperating and that during that time, he read many books and became more cultured and sensitive, as a result. This book is about two people stepping out of their assigned gender roles and being intrigued by each other as a like-minded, fully evolved human. Part of McPherson's fascination with the portrait (one might assume from context) is that it was NOT traditionally feminine or elegant. Laura has gloves and a hunter's hat, meaning she is ready for sport, not an evening on the town. She is active, athletic. And it is significant that she (and the artist) chose to portray her in this way and NOT in elegant evening wear. So, beautiful as this portrait may be, it is an example of Hollywood watering down an interesting, complex and progressive story into tired old gender cliches. Read the book. It's way more inter