Tuesday, May 31, 2011

a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh

i am having a beautiful time in sweden. we are now staying with friends in stockholm in their large and loving apartment full of more books than any home i have been in. my host, ann, loves the writer sarah waters and suggested i read 'fingersmith.' i was familiar with the story from watching the british film which i absolutely love.
i have posted about this film before. now that i am reading the book i thought i'd slip in another posting to remind you of the terrific performances of everyone in it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

oooh. it's the bat. man.

the best thing about ANY film with cillian murphy in the cast is cillian murphy. happy birthday, pal's fave actor!


francoise dorleac

foreign correspondent

i am off to sweden today! in celebration i thought i would mention one of the most famous films to come out of the distant beautiful country.
i will be doing a concert in the city of malmo. joining me will be two swedish friends from the 80's band 'pink champagne.' one of them went on to make another group, 'curious yellow.'

off i go into the land of garbo...

image from 'I Am Curious (Yellow') (1967)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

amanda hale

i had never heard of this actress before. she is deeply moving in the bbc drama 'the crimson petal and the white.' i want to write her a fan letter!

photos: amanda/performing in a tennessee williams play

blood orange

'Adapted from Michel Faber‘s international best-seller novel, The Crimson Petal and the White is set in Victorian England and tells us the story of Sugar (Romola Garai), a young, intelligent and shrewd prostitute who strives for a better life away from Mrs. Castaway’s (Gillian Anderson) brothel.'

i think 'blood orange' would be a better title! everyone in this terrifically acted bbc drama looks like they need a shot of o.j. i don't mind how pale and wan the characters appear as the art direction is beautiful. romola has the hugest pupils ever and the camera just adores coming close up on her. i'm not sure if i want to tackle an 800 page novel but the book reviews far outshine the write ups for the television series.

that said, if you don't mind quite a bit of unpleasantness mixed in with stunning performances, this may appeal to you. you'd think i was born in england the way i constantly rave about british acting.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

pre-'clockwork orange'


Saturday, May 21, 2011


here's looking at you, kim

here they are. the two that never should have met. even if the film 'vertigo' has odd moments to spare, i do believe james stewart gave his all. kim novak is deeply compelling as both versions of the character who pushes james as close to the edge as he needs to get to be free of.....

i ain't gonna spoil it cause even with its datedness, the movie's really fun.

you make me dizzy miss novak

Vertigo (1958) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Starring James Stewart, Kim Novak

whenever you think there's nothing fun to watch just go through the alphabet and stop at 'h.' hitchcock is nothing if not fun. there are a couple of key elements to 'vertigo' that would make it onto my list of movies i don't watch. unlike 'strangers on a train' which stars both farley granger AND robert walker, 'vertigo' stars james stewart. i admit it! i don't love jimmy! but as my krsna cousin reminds me from time to time, earth is not where perfection resides.

i also have never had a feeling for the bay area. for me, san francisco is where crazy stuff happens. plus, i love to walk and who wants to even think about all that uphill walking. but, the lesser enticements are seriously overpowered by the delight of the film. kim novak, well, forget about it. she is terrific. the colors of whatever process they used back in the day are very cool. s.f. was indeed the right place to set a story about a man who fears heights.

the music is very emotional and serves to entertain during those moments when you just wish stewart would untuck his shirt or something.

photos: balloons over frisco/playful young jimmy unaware of just how unbalanced he is gonna feel once he starts working with hitchcock.

great poster

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

seriously adorable

Beggars of Life (1928)
Directed by William A. Wellman. Starring Wallace Beery, Louise Brooks, Richard Arlen

lulu in hollywood

blowing one's own horn is not a crime. louise brooks thought well of herself and even if only a couple of her films have lasted in the collective consciousness of movie lovers, her image alone is iconic.
my favorite louise fact is that she 'wanted' the happily married leslie howard. if nothing else, the woman had taste for miles.

from wiki: Soon after the film Beggars Of Life was made, Brooks, who loathed the Hollywood "scene", refused to stay on at Paramount after being denied a promised raise, and left for Europe to make films for G. W. Pabst, the prominent German Expressionist director.

it was this move to europe that led to the great roles that cemented her in our hearts.

words of wisdom

the great messenger of vedic culture, srila prabhupada says that the cruelest act is to offer kindness and protection to a kitten and then cut its throat. i know that sounds very harsh but trust is a very fragile yet deep need. hare krsna is called the religion of food! it honors all of life and is the only vegetarian religion.

now, back to movies! walken is one beloved actor. he is capable of walking that fine line between sanity and the other thing so well. just to see this kitten in his hands sends fear down my spine. the good news is he is most likely a sweetheart of a guy.

photo: Nigel Parry

Sunday, May 15, 2011

cute squared

Myrna Loy in the film that made her famous, 1934′s The Thin Man. Loyal fans later formed “Men Must Marry Myrna” clubs.

chances are there were plenty of babies named myrna back in her heyday. our myrna played some real bad gals before the world fell in love with her snappy and chic 'nora.'

Friday, May 13, 2011

we three

Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis visited by Montgomery Clift on the set of Some Like It Hot (1959)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

royal fredding

i am not nuts on musicals but if i were to sit down and watch a fred astaire film i am sure it would be amazing. when one of his recordings come on the radio i never turn it off!

“I just put my feet in the air and move them around.”- astaire was clearly modest.

hitchcockian nightmare

france, date unknown.

Monday, May 9, 2011

time out

jean-paul belmondo drinking in the beauty of ursula andress

days of grapes and roses

Sunday, May 8, 2011


first i fell in love with his name and then the rest followed. i love cocteau's films, books, art, and looks. jean cocteau had the most beautiful hands.

he was a major inspiration for my band 'slow children.' it was my partner (the bust) who gave me a copy of the screenplay 'blood of a poet.' this photo of cocteau is on the set of that film.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

the remake

clark gable and grace kelly in 'mogambo'

his own man

what's more beautiful than grace kelly and ava gardner combined? a young clark gable, that's what. while watching the 1932 film, 'red dust' i was experiencing deja vu by the second scene. this is because i am familiar with 'mogambo' (the 1953 film starring gable, kelly and gardner) so i kinda knew what was gonna happen. still, when you throw jean harlow into the mix everything gets upset in the best possible ways.
the plot stayed the same. whereas grace was made to be seen in color (in 'mogambo' she truly looks like a animated photo by paul outerbridge), jean glows in monochrome. in the earlier version it was the brunette who tempted gable's fate, played by one of my favorite actresses, mary astor. as much as i love to watch ava gardner, it is harlow as the patient loner out to win this man that i will remember best when thinking of this story of people battling with their emotions as the sap slowly drips from the trees on the rubber plantation in the jungle that is home to both wild animals and wild hearts.
if you only know gable from 'the misfits' or 'gone with the wind', well, you can't stop there. in his heyday he was considered the king of hollywood. watch this, or any of the pre code films he made, and you will see why women adored him and men wanted to be like him. the man personified virility, weakness be damned. you will understand why harlow's character wanted nothing more from life than to sit in his lap.

photos: gable and harlow/gable and astor

Friday, May 6, 2011

one shot

Photograph by Stanley Kubrick.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

hardest working man in show business

thrill of the chase

discrepancy! i read on the movie data base that actor neil hamilton had 163 screen credits. that's impressive enough but look what came up on wikipedia:

'He made 268 films, both sound and silent, and played opposite such stars as Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Constance Bennett, Ann Sothern and Jean Arthur.'

1931's 'when strangers kiss' stars norma shearer and robert montgomery. as adorable as montgomery always is, it is neil hamilton who owns norma's heart. in truth he has a really good role as a writer who travels the world without ever knowing when he'll be back. it is easy to deduct that montgomery will do his best to win norma while she's been left behind.

this movie is one of the better less known of shearer's career. it covers love, marriage, and love outside of marriage in ways that the code surely cracked down on in time. even though the entire cast is super, the real star of the vehicle is norma shearer's impossibly shiny laugh. all the gorgeous costumes are by the genius adrian.

order of the day

Writing is a kind of performing art, and I can't sit down to write unless I'm dressed. I don't mean dressed in a suit, but dressed well and comfortably and I have to be shaved and bathed. -Peter O'Toole

me too! (though i don't shave)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

team andrew

andrew garfield may have introduced himself to me via 'the social network' but it was 'never let me go' that cemented my allegiance. 20 screen credits into what promises to be a brilliant career, this guy is almost too darling for words.