Monday, May 31, 2010
109 screen credits! i had no idea he made so many movies. i adore him. not many can rock a pair of white jeans and as the photographer in 'blowup' he did just that and much more. that role cemented him in my mind as one of the most alluring guys ever.
somewhere in mid career he was the voice of a wizard in love with a swan princess in an animated film made in japan. maybe it was not such a stretch after all.
photos: literally swan lake/hemmings with jane birkin
'the beast from 20,000 fathoms' was one of the first films to feature a dinosaur. released in 1953, it was a hit (Budget $210,000 Gross revenue $5,000,000) and led to countless more films about beasts hoping take a bite out of the big apple or some small town. when i drive over the george washington bridge into nyc i often experience one of those unexplainable moments when i think i just may see something like that take place. i don't know if i fear it or desire it.
there is a very moving scene in 'alfie' where michael caine is outraged that one of his conquests actually keeps a diary:
Alfie: You're not entitled to secret thoughts!
Annie: Everyone's entitled to secret thoughts!
tiny as jane asher was/is she fought back and made tracks shortly after.
quite a while before she became wanton incarnate as 'patsy' in the wildly popular british t.v. show 'absolutely fabulous', joanna lumley had followed in diana rigg's footsteps and starred in 'the new avengers' series. the woman is absolutely beautiful no matter how kooky the role. she has been working steadily for decades and her power to seduce and educate remains strong.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
when i watch wendy hiller i am truly uplifted. no matter what role she is playing i feel i am becoming a better person simply by letting her into my consciousness. in 'pygmalion' her position was a tough one, as playing opposite leslie howard requires buckets of charm just to not get lost in his glow. she reigns supreme as 'eliza doolittle' and i pity all the actresses who take on that role. trust me, the film is absolute perfection.
wendy won an oscar for 'separate tables.' though i cannot do anything about the small amount of film work that is available, it matters not. anything i watch of hers somehow feels like the first time.
patrick was an earl. his pedigree must have given him carte blanche to many people and events. his images have a slight feeling of 'i happened to be there' which is just lovely.
from top: susannah york/ian mckellen/chaplin and brando/oliver reed/dirk bogarde
Saturday, May 29, 2010
"I have never seen it," explained Sir Michael of his outing in Jaws IV: the Revenge. "However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."
'Actors like me don't retire. We just fade away, like old soldiers.'
great interview with michael caine: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1172669/Im-grandaddy-Michael-Caine-family-fidelity--baby-boy-whos-changed-life.html#ixzz0pL3ntYyy
photo: one of his homes
Friday, May 28, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
i have to see this again. a very interesting fact about 'clockwork orange' is that even though the film is a masterwork of great proportions, the novel it is based on is very slight. i am talking back pocket slight. it is a brilliant, wicked, and delicious read.
Monday, May 24, 2010
ready for a character without one shred of decency? bette davis played her role in 'of human bondage' like her life depended on it. she did not receive an oscar but she won the gold statue the following year for a film i only ever watched once though i have watched 'of human bondage' countless times. leslie howard co-stars as a man in love beyond reason in this movie that overflows with talent, not the least of which is somerset maugham, the novelist whose book the film is based on.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
'Chaplin and Buster Keaton had an interesting relationship. Long considered rivals but always having avoided commenting about each other in the press, Chaplin hired Keaton for a part in "Limelight" (1952). Keaton, who was flat broke at the time, went into a career decline after having been signed by MGM in 1928, as the studio would not let him improvise in any of his films nor allow him any writing or directorial input, and he was eventually reduced to writing gags - often uncredited - for other comedians' films. Chaplin, at this point, felt sorry for Keaton due to his hard luck, but Keaton recognized that, despite Charlie's better fortune and far greater wealth, Chaplin was (strangely) the more depressed of the two. In one scene in "Limelight," Chaplin's character was dying. While the camera was fading away, Keaton was muttering to Chaplin without moving his lips, "That's it, good, wait, don't move, wait, good, we're through." In his autobiography Keaton called Chaplin "the greatest silent comedian of all time."'
illustration by damian blake
i believe the pronunciation is close to 'zooshun.' when i watched 'souzhou river' i could not believe how stunning it was. every detail blew my mind. one of the stars was this petite person. like vanessa paradis in france, she is royalty in her home country of china.
zhou xun is both actress and singer and a serious environmentalist who has an alliance with the united nations. maybe she can get the ball rolling on actresses wearing gowns more than once. cut em up and refashion them!
that's a face. as 'paul' in the new lennon bio pic 'nowhere boy', this actor looks impossibly young. it is lovely to be reminded of the fact that the beatles were once kids who had to learn how to go from c to d on a guitar.
thomas sangster, who plays mccartney, plays guitar, but had to learn to play left-handed for the film. that ain't easy.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
i just watched Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. whoa. beauty by the buckets in the shape of sound and sight. they released their record 'obscured by clouds' that same year. the magic number in music was surely 1972. look at these titles that hit the records stores that year:
exile on main street
procal harum live
the rise and fall of ziggy stardust and the spiders from mars
concert for bangladesh
all the young dudes
the kink kronicles
i'm still in love with you AND let's stay together
greetings from l.a.
dang. plus, those are just my personal faves.
Friday, May 21, 2010
two of my fave cary grant films are 'the philadelphia story' with katherine hepburn and 'that touch of mink' with doris day. hitchcock loved him cause all he had to do was put him in front of the camera. well, he surely does make it look that easy. there is something so relaxing about the cary grant experience. i think it just may be his confidence.
guess who was gorgeous? that's right! sandra dee never really got the chance to grow up on the big screen. her film heyday was the late fifties/early sixties and by the seventies she was doing television. in 1972 she did lots of t.v. and then just sporadic appearances up till the mid nineties.
photo: from rod serling's 'night gallery' (1972)
while watching the short two part documentary on judy garland i kept taking photos. the woman was just so.... interesting. from her first steps up till her last concerts, judy's life was a non stop roller coaster ride. she was most forthright in her claim that her mother was the one who first strapped her into said roller coaster. as the stones once sang, 'sad sad sad.' judy was truly the great performer of her time. everyone seemed to love her but as will happen to some, love is never enough.
i read the biography 'get happy.' i thought the title was pretty great, considering. it was a terrific book that is about to be a film. anne hathaway, who looks so much like liza, will play judy.