Friday, April 29, 2011
you cannot accuse 1985's 'Dance with a Stranger' of not being a love story. although it's not the kind of movie you go to see on valentine's day, there are actually very romantic gestures on the part of rupert everett's 'david.' he even shows up with flowers and chocolate to make amends for his terrible behavior.
rupert everett was stunningly cast as the spoiled and cruel jerk in relentless pursuit of a woman he'd never take home to mother. the film is based on the true story of ruth ellis, the last woman to be hung in england. the final blow does not need to come as a surprise. the reason this movie is so deeply satisfying is due to casting rupert as the one that drove a woman over an edge she dances way to close to for the entire film. the role of ruth ellis went to miranda richardson who gives a performance that cannot be described.
the look of the movie is alabaster, coral, and the blue gaze of miranda's eyes that reflect the inner torment of a heart receiving a blow on a bruise, repeatedly. even though we cannot know if someone were asking for it, we still ask.
this is one of the earliest roles in miranda's 100 credit career. this performance will knock your socks right off, repeatedly.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
happy birthday ann-margret! she turns 70 today. the woman is a legend. she's got 79 screen credits with no sign of stopping. an all round knockout performer, ann-margret has shared great screen moments with jack nicholson, steve mcqueen, elvis, and julie christie. my personal fave (aside from the bedroom fight in 'carnal knowledge') is 'the cinncinnati kid.' ann-margret is simply delicious.
photos: with husband roger smith (they married in 1967!)/entertaining the troops in vietnam
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
i really dig the actor van heflin. he can be so kind and also such a cad. until i watched 'the prowler' i had no idea he could be reprehensible.
i also love the director joseph losey. he gave us 'the servant' and each time i watch it i am absolutely convinced it is the best picture ever made. however, when i am at the dentist (under nitrous oxide) i am positive that my fave film is 'the man who fell to earth' and i will watch it later that day. then i get home and forget about it.
well, soon after i got home from the dentist today i found myself watching 'the prowler' again. i don't understand why this film is not well known as it is considered a genius piece of noirish moviemaking. i also don't understand why it is so highly thought of considering the plausibility factor is off the chart. i could care less about a plot if i adore the acting, but this movie confounds me.
believability aside, it is way fun and heflin plays both a scary monster (bad cop) and a super creep (fake love). evelyn keyes is seriously fantastic as a woman led astray. if you put all the elements in a blender you would have a heck of a smoothie. still, i think the reasons it is going down in cinema history are over my little non-filmmaking head. i figure it has much to do with loving losey.
do i recommend 'the prowler'? big time. but don't watch it alone cause you'll want a witness.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
the hunchback of notre dame had enough sorrow without having his world mirror his image. charles laughton was stunning in the role.
Quasimodo, the bell-ringer: [to one of the stone gargoyles] Why was I not made of stone - like thee?
lovely laughton quote: 'They can't censor the gleam in my eye.'
Saturday, April 23, 2011
in just a few weeks my first novel will be available. i know, pinch me. it has been a wonderfully long process and i feel like i am dropping off my five year old at kindergarten with a push that says, 'go on and make friends now!'
even if i see the entire story in my head, i left much for the reader to imagine. my desire is to express what's in the head not so much what's in the room. perhaps that is one of the reasons i love beautiful movies. creating the right set for the characters to emote within is quite an accomplishment. the visual is yet another arrow that points to the heart of the matter at hand.
my cousin calls my book 'shazar noir.' it was not my goal to write a whodunit. besides, someone always 'does it.' for me the interesting part is understanding a character. the great writer ross macdonald said raymond chandler wrote like a 'slumming angel.' well, raymond and ross 'did it' better than anyone. if 'JANITOR' sends a smile up to whatever heaven they both reside in i will be well gratified.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
except some people.' when bette davis delivered that great line in 'all about eve' you believed her. bette may have been referring to her lover 'bill sampson' but it was the title character 'eve harrington' who really seemed too cold to possess one.
while watching the stunning film 'never let me go' the question was raised as to whether cloned beings had souls. the performances of all three leads (carey mulligan, andrew garfield, and keira knightley) had so much heart that it never crossed my mind to wonder if they, as their headmaster wondered 'had souls at all.'
today, in one of my favorite nyc boutiques, i saw carey mulligan. i told her how much i loved the movie. i also let her know that my favorite performance of all time was wendy hiller as 'eliza doolittle' in the 1938 film 'pygmalion.' i had read carey was going to star in the remake. not only did she confirm that she was filming it next year, but she has seen the film starring wendy. it was gratifying to know wendy hiller's genius would perhaps inspire her.
p.s. carey has dimples for miles and was as gracious as she was pretty.
photos: carey/leslie howard with wendy hiller in 'pygmalion'
i absolutely adore the actress victoria hamilton. i discovered her in 'lark rise to candleford', a series that is deeply re-watchable, and now i search for whatever dvd's are out there. one of the really good dramatizations based on the real life love story of queen victoria and her husband albert was made in 2001 and stars hamilton as the queen.
she became a queen at 18! her mother was a shrew! she married a very cool guy from germany! they had a lot of children...
hamilton is superb (i don't think she can be less) and the actor who plays albert is very handsome in a darker colin firth sort of way. guess why? it's colin kid brother.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
i found this photo of actress carol white on a cool blog today. i was so happy to see it. she was one of the most natural actresses to ever come out of england. she was called 'the Battersea Bardot' and starred opposite some of the greats such as alan bates, terrence stamp, and the divine dirk bogarde.
her personal life seemed very sad.
look at judy garland! the brave at heart can look further. i just watched this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlNmNLelLxM&NR=1
at the end, when you hear the guy say, "fine" you know he is thinking otherwise. still, to see judy in this clip of a 1966 rehearsal is very special. the woman may have been a shadow of her former singing self but she was epic in her tiny body. dressed head to toe in what michael jackson will become know for. judy was a truly magnificent example of the indomitable spirit that does what it has to. at the time of this clip the woman was broke, in every way. still, she is more real than nearly any performer.
it's her party and she'll cry if she wants to. not that making horror films is anything to cry about. when julie christie's character in the brilliant movie 'darling' played the title role in a horror film she thought it was great fun!
still, it is sort of tragic that the impossibly gifted and gorgeous young woman who played juliet in the exquisite zeffirelli film, 'romeo and juliet' has this as one of her most known screen credits:
In 1990, Hussey played Norma Bates, the mother of Norman Bates in Psycho IV: The Beginning, a TV prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
photos: olivia as 'madre teresa' points to her past.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
'There were two other things I remember about Greta's conversation. At one point she admired a small, inexpensive bracelet that Frank had given me and said, rather sadly, “You know, I love jewelery, and yet men have never given any to me. I don´t know why.” And she admitted that the only man she´d ever really loved was John Gilbert, her romantic costar, but that he´d “let me down” by having a surreptitious affair (is there any other kind?) with a little extra during their last film together. She had never forgiven him.'-from ava gardner's autobiography
my illusions are not shattered as i never had any regarding john gilbert. how could i once i'd seen garbo act opposite nils asther?
there is a pretty amazing photographer in the world of fashion named tim walker. his images are excessive to say the least. i am sure he would appreciate all the balloons in this scene from 'a place in the sun.'
the story of lovers from different backgrounds is beautifully acted by elizabeth taylor and montgomery clift. it is possible that montgomery is the only actor who doesn't have to do a thing but breathe while on camera. he is innately fascinating. director george stevens lingered on him to the point of almost looking at your watch. still, it worked.
impossible love is so sad.
photos from top: montgomery and elizabeth/the slow dance in 'a place in the sun'/tim walkers visionary take on styling
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Waiter: I think perhaps Mr. Newton has had enough, don't you?
Nathan Bryce: I think... perhaps... you're right. '- from 'the man who fell to earth.'
tender to the last drop.
photo: director nic roeg offering his shoulder to his star, david bowie
Friday, April 8, 2011
but which picture? you have only two choices. you can look like no. 8 or no. 12.
'Actress Collin Wilcox Paxton is perhaps best known for her role in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, in which she played Mayella Violet Ewell, who falsely accuses Tom Robinson (Brock Peters) of raping her. Her best-known television appearance may have been The Twilight Zone episode "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" in 1964.' - wiki
this episode of 'the twilight zone' is awesome. it takes place way in the future, somewhere around the year 2000. 'transformations' are commonplace. i mean, who wouldn't want to look like suzy parker? her daughter, that's who.
it is a treat to see the actress who played the wicked and ignorant mayella in 'to kill a mockingbird' in a role that is sympathetic. very sympathetic.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
somebody please remake this. the title implies that this movie is light hearted. well, even if cary breezes his way through the excellent dialogue of 'people will talk' with his undeniable charm, it is a good story with plenty of weight. i wonder if people ever do a remake and not touch the script. this writing is just so dang good. after all, this is the writer who gave us 'all about eve.'
People Will Talk (1951)
110 min - Drama | Romance - 29 August 1951 (USA)
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Writers: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Cary Grant, Jeanne Crain
jeanne crain almost teeters right over the edge into the 'too beautiful' category, but she is super in this. by the time it is over you will spend all your birthday wishes wishing every man was like cary grant is here. i suppose one could say that about any of his movies.
the movie is free this month on hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/226340/people-will-talk
'Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo is a 1981 film that portrays the drug scene in West Berlin in the 1970s, following tape recordings of Christiane F.'
plenty of us went to see this because bowie's music was in it. this film is based on a true story. the lead was perfectly played by Natja Brunckhorst who continues to make films.