Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
it is so nice to see an image of garbo looking relaxed. her emotional life onscreen is sublime but most often she is mentally wringing her hands. from the little i know of her life offscreen, which includes images of her smoking and walking the upper east side of manhattan, it did not seem particularly peaceful.
that being said, when garbo laughs it is as though the world hasn't a care.
the beautiful and brave ian mckellen. i know he is making huge films but i am most familiar with his moving portrayal in 'Gods and Monsters' (1998) as 'frankenstein' director James Whale. his skit for the ricky gervais show is hands down hilarious and can be seen on youtube right this very minute. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqU5-2o-9cM
“The silent pictures were the purest form of cinema; the only thing they lacked was the sound of people talking and the noises. But this slight imperfection did not warrant the major changes that sound brought in…In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema: they are mostly what I call ‘photographs of people talking.’ When we tell a story in cinema, we should resort to dialogue only when it’s impossible to do otherwise.
-Alfred Hitchcock, excerpted from Francois Truffaut’s & Helen G. Scott’s Hitchcock (1967)
image: francois truffaut/Jean-Pierre Léaud and Jacqueline Bisset being directed by Truffaut in 'day for night.' critic Roger Ebert described it as the best film ever made about the movies.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
that touch of sunscreen. cary and doris day on the set of 'that touch of mink.' this is a delightful movie chock full of chemistry between a perpetually breathless working girl, played by doris, and cary grant's suave successful businessman. both are tops at their respective game.
barbara bates has over thirty screen credits, but it is her turn as the student who sneaks into eve harrington's room at the end of 'all about eve' that has cemented her place in film history.
ms. bates was perfectly cast, as was everyone else in this biting, revealing, and acted to the hilt classic.
louise brooks made films for a mere 13 ears but she is a true icon. one of the reasons i relate to her is that she had a serious crush on leslie howard. (sorry girls, he's married)
Beggars of Life (1928) is one of her most known movies. louise had style for miles and even though she was meant to look like a hobo, these garments are very chic. tab collar!
Friday, September 24, 2010
i cannot know if chaplin pulled a 'robert johnson' (pact with beelzebub) to insure that he would be able to successfully tickle the funny bone of everyone whose attention he commanded, but i would not be surprised. daytime, nighttime, anytime you want, charlie will get you on the road to a fresh perspective full of laughter.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
garbo may have preferred to play opposite john gilbert but he was not the only one who was awarded the privilege. they surely had gorgeous chemistry and 'flesh and the devil' is a stunning film. however, when it comes down to pure drama, actor conrad nagel sweeps me off my feet. his silent expressions of love are tenderly heartfelt and when his disillusion spirals into pure agony, it is painful.
however, once i saw 'the single standard', co-starring nils asther, the contest was over.
photos: garbo with conrad nagel
'home? i have no home...'-bela in 'ed wood'
“When I am given a new role in a horror film, I have a character to create just as much as if I were playing a straight part. Whether one thinks of films like Dracula as ‘hokum’ or not does not alter the fact; the horror actor must believe in his part. The player who portrays a film monster with his tongue in his cheek is doomed to fail.
photo: Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931, dir. Tod Browning)
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
filmmaker jean cocteau knew a thing or two about beauty and poetry of motion. his films are unique, pure, and monochrome. although this photo of italian actress anna magnani looks like it might be taken from her performance in cocteau's play, 'the human voice', it is from the incredible film 'mama roma.' not only did these two people have great artistic gifts, they both had such beautiful hands.
painting by Rogier van der Weyden
“Today, for the good of my own health and because I love my family more than anything, I am checking myself into a rehabilitation center to help me in my battle with alcoholism and its unhealthy interaction with pain medications I have been prescribed for many years."-john garfield
his life was short, sweet, tough, and hopefully complete. john garfield was kind enough to offer these words.
she is 13 years old and has over 30 screen credits with a handful of films lined up. chloe moretz is a heady concoction of young /old that is just a tiny bit reminiscent of scarlett johnasson in 'manny and lo.' look where that took scarjo.
“I have learned never to judge any of the characters that I portray. Sometimes that is difficult to do because as a human being we tend to make judgements when we find out information about people and situations. In order to bring a character to life, though, I find that I cannot judge her or I won’t be true to her.”-chloe moretz
Sunday, September 19, 2010
even though actresses brigitte bardot and cathy o'donnell resembled one another in their early years, their respective careers turned out so differently.
brigitte became the sex kitten who romped her way through french comedies and pouted her way through dramas. 'american as apple pie' cathy maintained her wholesome quality which was a lovely compass in the several noir films she made.
'Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.'-Albert Einstein
this driver and the pretty girl may have never met in real life but director nicolas roeg found a way for them to meet on screen in his film 'insignificance.'
considering elizabeth taylor looked like a tiny adult at age 6, it is easy to forget just how young she was in 'a place in the sun.'
images: elizabeth and co-star montgomery clift/dress designer Edith Head’s sketch for Elizabeth Taylor’s iconic dress in A Place In The Sun.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
'I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the make-up made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked onto the stage he was fully born.'- chaplin's discovery of 'the tramp.'
photo: absolutely delightful scene with Charlie Chaplin and Merna Kennedy
Friday, September 17, 2010
actress betsy drake was the third of cary grant's five wives. the fact that his marriages continually failed was of serious concern to him and it was betsy who encouraged cary to seek therapy which involved taking lsd under supervision. the fact that this tirelessly wholesome and charming actor dropped acid is well known. what i found out, while watching a special feature included with the film 'an affair to remember', is that he took it about 100 times. dang.
photos: 'sure doctor, five o'clock tomorrow!/'wow! i REALLY LOVE the sun and i am REALLY TAN. don't fret, you are tan within!'
actress julianne moore can walk through just about any door and be well received. i am sure she is careful in her choices of which films to accept so why ever does she not apply this savvy to the advertising campaigns she graces? this homage to a great work of art is miles classier than the merchandise she lends her body to.
images: 2008, Julianne Moore by Michael Thompson- The Grand Odalisque/1814, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres- The Grand Odalisque
i figure lindsay lohan will never quite live down how much people loved her early movies. no matter how far she falls in her personal life, she arouses sympathy. she stands perched like venus on a shell, hidden in some dark seascape as her public attentively waits for the fog to lift.