Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
i watched 'inside daisy clover' again the other night. natalie's huge chocolate eyes still amaze me. it is nutty that she played a fifteen year old when she was twenty seven. still, she was tiny and those eyes convinced you to suspend disbelief. i love the film. andre previn's music is dark and beautiful. his wife dory wrote the lyrics to the songs i danced to when i watched this film on t.v. in the sixties.
robert redford plays a malcontent and is really good, even a bit scary. christopher plummer is plummy. teeny ruth gordon is magnificent as 'daisy's' mom. the outdoor scenes were filmed where i grew up in santa monica, along the pier where i roamed. blessedly, the carousel is still there.
this isn't exactly the story of my life but there's a chance that when i first saw it i imagined it could be. i sure sang the hell out of 'you're gonna hear from me.'
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
'Raised in and around automobile racing, Jean-Louis Trintignant was the natural choice of film director Claude Lelouch for the starring role of race car driver in his film Un homme et une femme/A Man and A Woman (1966, Claude Lelouch). Trintignant was – and still is - good friends with actress Anouk Aimée. He recommended her to Lelouch for the female lead in the film. Un homme et une femme became an art-house classic, and at the time it was the most successful French film ever screened in the foreign market.'
i adore this guy. brigitte bardot is the famous one from 'and god created woman' but it was the slap she received from her husband (played by jean-louis) that created the loudest echo. he is now making a film with the great (and ageless) isabelle huppert.
photo courtesy of http://filmstarpostcards.blogspot.com/
the grand dame maggie smith is celebrating her birthday today. she was born in 1934. i bet when she was a kid she never imagined that her freckles would not get in the way of her dream of being a film star. she is gloriously great in all she does.
one of her first roles was a smallish part in the hard to find 1964 film 'the pumpkin eater.' she was terrific as 'philpot', the young woman who was sleeping with the husband of dedicated wife and mother anne bancroft. it is a film well worth finding.
recently maggie has lit up the small screen in the immensely popular 'downton abbey', in which her character condescendingly slays anyone in her path.
top photo: with anne bancroft in 'the pumpkin eater'
Saturday, December 24, 2011
seems like some amazing people ended their screen careers with the 'batman' t.v. series. julie newmar was indeed a very unique screen goddess. there was a sweet and humorous side to her persona.
she has 69 credits, the last one being 2010.
this early photograph of her is amazing.
i loved 'harold and maude.' bud cort was really something special. his co-star ruth gordon was still something special. after i saw it i watched 'brewster mccloud' but i really don't remember it! still, stripes rule in any decade.
photo: brewster's leads, bud and shelly duvall
Friday, December 23, 2011
when patti smith sang the words' total abandon' over and over i thought she was singing 'tallulah bankhead.' i did.
if she had i would have understood. tallulah was drop dead gorgeous and so unique. she only has 20 screen credits but her name is legendary. i am most familiar with her 1931 film 'the cheat.' it is a fairly creepy story of a glamourous woman's improper association with a very disturbed guy. tallulah was very graceful and a truly special actress.
her last screen appearance was on the television show 'batman'. seeing as 'batman' is more popular than ever, it now seems a rather grand exit.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Gun Crazy (1950): A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.
poor John Dall. he is so interesting yet he's only known for this terrific film and hitchcock's 'rope.' well, no matter. two classics will suffice. Peggy Cummins is absolute dynamite in this film that will have you thinking, 'don't!' over and over. as i often remind myself, if characters made the wise choice i'd have no favorite movies.
image: peggy, little but lethal.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: Boy, Mr. Lugosi, you must lead such an exciting life! When is your next picture coming out?
Bela Lugosi: I have no next picture.
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: You gotta be joking, a great star like you? You must have dozens of them lined up!
Bela Lugosi: Back in the old days, yes... Now, no one gives two fucks for Bela.
Edward D. Wood, Jr.: But you're a big star!
Bela Lugosi: No more. I haven't worked in four years. This business, this town, it chews you up, then spits you out.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
i have been watching a very long (12 discs) documentary on the history of silent film. interestingly, this fascinating period of cinema lasted only about 15 years. i have preferred the beauty of silent films since discovering them two years ago. i took one night away from this terrifically detailed bbc series (beautifully narrated by james mason) to watch chaplin's masterpiece 'city lights.'
i loved it more than any other time i'd seen it. chaplin is so touching. he refused to film a comedic scene if it did not contain logic. both chaplin and keaton never worked from a script. i could go on and on, i have learned so much from the series. suffice to say, silent films are treasures that spoke an international language. so many of them are deeply worth the experience.
jane turns 65 today. the british born jane had made some films in the sixties before getting together with france's great musical genius/rude boy serge and settling in france. she sings like a little bird and lights up the screen with a fragile awkwardness that is very alluring. her and serge gainsbourg passed their respective genes down to their daughter charlotte. she too sings like a falling leaf and makes memorable film performances.
the coolest thing about jane is her heart. the famous and coveted 'birkin' bag (which is ridiculously pricey) may have been named after her, but she has wisely found a reasonable role for it to play in her life:
I got Hermès to fork out for my charities once I saw the fortune they were making. A certain amount of money every year goes straight to my charity and it will continue to after my death. This year I was able to [use some of that money] to go to Japan for a benefit concert after the earthquake. We use some of the money to feed the poor people who can’t afford to eat in France. I sold one of my Birkin bags for $163,000 to help the Japanese Red Cross. So that rather trivial piece of heavy luggage has done a lot of good in the world.
photos: jane with serge/the english rose/with charlotte
when i brought a copy of patty duke's autobiography up to the counter in a bookstore the guy working smiled and said, 'the dukester!' i nearly fell down laughing.
i always liked patty duke. her t.v. show was great and her turn as 'neely' in 'valley of the dolls' is legendary. she wound up making lots of made for t.v films which could only be better as a result of her being in them. she went through way too much dark times due to depression but lived to write about it. today 'the dukester' turns 65.
images: patty 2011/makin' hits/as 'neely'/young patty/her book was made into a t.v. movie!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
for all of you who are not aware of the mind blowing talent of singer/songwriter laura nyro, here is a link to her song 'eli's comin':
the great actor eli wallach is 96 today! eli was terrific as 'silva', the man who came into the lives of the miserably married 'archie' and 'baby doll' in tennessee williams's brilliant, funny and tender play 'baby doll.'
Baby Doll: Excuse me, Mr. Vacarro, but I wouldn't dream of eatin' a nut that a man had cracked in his mouth.
Silva Vacarro: You've got many refinements.
Baby Doll: Thank you.
image: eli wallach and marilyn monroe shooting 'the misfits'