Saturday, February 26, 2011

poetic face

Working with Heath was one of the purest joys of my life. He brought to the role of Ennis more than any of us could have imagined - a thirst for life, for love, and for truth, and a vulnerability that made everyone who knew him love him. -Ang Lee

Friday, February 25, 2011

the ones that got away

As early as the 50's, Orson Welles wanted to produce a film about Blixen's best selling novel, 'out of africa' starring Garbo. that could have been really good.

garbo declined playing norma desmond in 'sunset boulevard' and dropped out of the making of 'my cousin rachel.' well, gloria swanson owned the role as the aging film star on the lonely climb down the stairs in 'sunset boulevard' and olivia de havilland was lovely as the misunderstood relative in 'my cousin rachel.' one role garbo wished to play was dorian gray.

i am not greedy when it comes to garbo though it would be swell to see the films that have never been released.

and smile they did

"Smile" is a song based on an instrumental theme used in the soundtrack for the 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times. Chaplin composed the music, while John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954.

the song has become a popular standard since its original use in Chaplin's film.

makin' movies

ella purnell played the younger version of the keira knightley character in 'never let me go.' keira has a stamp of pedigree about her, even if she swears like a sailor offscreen. ella not only bears a resemblance to her but also has the shiny hauteur about her that dismisses any notion of down to earth, no matter how opposed to her actual self that is.

image: dailies! (making 'never let me go')

activity level

the only girlfriend in 'the social network' added much fun/crazy to the movie. as the film is about young people, it is surprising to see that actress brenda song already has 45 screen credits! look at andrew garfield's face. not amused. his reaction was somewhat more demonstrative when he comes out of the bathroom only to find that she set fire to the present he brought her.

p.s. brenda's got a black belt in Tae Kwon Do so if she sets fire to something you gave her, be zen about it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

let there be cinema

The first public exhibition of projected motion pictures in the United States was at Koster and Bial's Music Hall on 34th Street in New York City on April 23, 1896.

images: koster and bial's (now the site of macy's)/unknown

carey on

i have just seen two films starring carey mulligan. what a winner she is. i enjoyed 'an education' but it was 'never let me go' which i will never forget. much more on that movie to come. i am still processing it's beauty and meaning, grateful to hear it's echo reverberating in my mind.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


brando and chaplin. great minds think alike, even if only while having a tete a tete at an affair. in 1967 charlie chaplin directed marlon and sophia loren in the film 'A Countess from Hong Kong.' the film is surely odd but watching brando be funny is fun.


Monday, February 21, 2011

bruno on right

please don't wake me

the antidote for whatever ails the soul? divine intervention! we all know that ava gardner is stunning and has the ability to play nasty. what a treat it is to see her cast off any shred of malice and slip into something more comfortable such as a curtain.

robert walker will forever be loved for his portrayal of 'bruno' (the greatest psycho tuna of all) in hitchcock's 'stranger on a train.' double your surprise and find ava as tinkerbelle and robert both naive and bewildered as a man who falls for a statue that has come to life. fantasies are rarely as innocent as this one. 1948's 'one touch of venus' is a charm.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

more to love

new garbo film on the way.

'the kiss.'

la winslet

fakin' it

remember when 'martha' calls out "party! party!" in 'who's afraid of virginia woolf'? well, this is one of those parties.

watching 'revolutionary road' made me wonder what leo and kate were feeling when it came time to promote the movie. then again, 'what goes wrong' is not a new subject. dismal outcome aside, they both seemed genuine in their performances and i feel sure that is what they were promoting.

there are definitely highlights in this movie that is not so much a retelling of virginia woolf as a little bit of an homage. if you loved watching burton and taylor hanging on my a bare thread you will recognize moments from that film here. interestingly, the actor who played the neighbor in this movie also once played the george segal role in 'who's afraid of v.w.' on stage. his name is david harbour and he was so special in this sad slice of surburbia that we can thank him for the few sparks of tenderness this movie offers.

what can be done when everything 'he' says bruises and everything 'she' says baffles? 'act' like it's all okay.

photo: unknown/'the wheelers' in the false bliss of an impossible dream/hanging out while making the film.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

hooray for hollywood

trinity! clark gable, carole lombard, and tyrone power. kicks just keep getting harder to find.

Friday, February 18, 2011

forever young

simone signoret

la binoche

"I knew I had become a star when I shook hands with Simone Signoret at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival. She died four months later".- juliette binoche

this actress is like spring water. the first time i saw her in a film i ran to the theatre to get there on time. i was in paris and the movie was 'rendez-vous.' i just had a feeling i would love it. i have never seen 'the english patient' which is the one that put her on the map in such a big way. someday.

she has 47 screen credits and she is making films left and right, always with interesting directors from all over the world. she recently won top honors at cannes which is like waking up to lotus blossoms in your backyard. the french call her 'la binoche.'

there's always a first time

recently ali mcgraw made her stage debut.

what's it all about, ali?

what make a legend most? surely not always a list of film credits a mile long. ali mcgraw has a total of 15 screen credits. i know, it seems hard to believe as she has been gloriously adored for all these years. here is her slice of film legacy:

1972 The Getaway
1970 Love Story
1969 Goodbye, Columbus

i doubt anyone is complaining. the rest of her appearances have been in forgotten films or t.v. shows. better to leave behind a few gems. movies aside, ali was the dark and silky half of one of the most legendary couples. her and steve mcqueen broke more hearts than their own. opposites attract and motorcyles and yoga have far more in common than one might think. focus.

the unthawing of ms. stone

sharon stone has 75 screen credits. that is a very impressive amount of work for someone who is remembered for one particular scene. legs aside, when i first saw her in a movie, it was the comedy 'irreconcilable differences' and i thought sharon was very funny as the starlet remaking 'gone with the wind' with a soon to be very down and out filmmaker played by ryan o'neal.

her gorgeous features that were framed by long brown hair soon made a reappearance after plunging deep into the pool once owned by kim novak. it was a success and sharon stone has long been considered beautiful. however, before her transformation her beauty was truly surprising. the cost of calculation.

photos: mid-eighties messy/kim and hitchcock

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

wendy hiller, i adore you

socks and sandals forever.

by way of illustration

the poetry of people

french filmmaker robert bresson had a very clear vision. he carefully cast the roles and rehearsed the actors till they slipped free from all pretense to be anything other than the voice and movement required to tell the story. my first viewing of a bresson film has left me marveling at his simplicity which is very powerful. not many films have me shaking my head.

golden holden

look at that tall drink of water. gosh, william holden was such a doll.

image: California State Athletic Commission referee Abe Roth spars with Barbara Stanwyck, amusing her Golden Boy co-star William Holden.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

groovin' up slowly

george harrison has 77 soundtrack credits. he also produced many cool films including two that starred the wonderful actor bob hoskins. george had such legible handwriting!

one way out

photo: ART SHAY

we can work it out

kim novak and frank sinatra/from 'pal joey'/from 'the man with the golden arm'/with director otto preminger

novak attack

the truly enchanting kim novak has not made an appearance onscreen for 21 years. of her 33 film credits she is surely most known for the movie 'vertigo.' it is a knockout movie and she was terrific in it.

there is an unusual quality to her acting, as if she is a bit unsure and not fully grounded, simply passing through. it matters not as she leaves a very strong impression. my fave kim performance is opposite sinatra in 'the man with the golden arm.' for a woman who could so easily be cast in a goddess role, she is very moving as a kind soul who works a regular job, lives in a tiny apartment, and is in love with an addict.

lovely poster

terrific cast.