Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random Note: Film Junky

Yes, I know that I have been on a movie kick of late. Sorry to those of you who would rather I pontificate on the state of my relationships or the lack/melodrama of said relationships by picking them apart, revealing every nuanced interaction. Or to those of you who want me to talk about the latest book that has left a gaping wound in my still-beating heart (that one is coming), but for some reason, I have been fascinated by film of late.. I think it was showing off the wish list section of the TiVo to B (I have a lot of old school screen stars in my list) or maybe watching Easter Parade (which I should own, but don't). TCM has been my TV channel of choice for the past week.

Today, I was given a second gift. My google reader is constantly filled with stuff I want to read but haven't gotten around to, and usually I end up deleting off a few. This title of this post from Slate seemed odd, and though I nearly deleted it, I decided to click. Thank Goodness I did. It is a classic movie lovers dream.

Though I am poor as a church mouse, there is no doubt that for $19.95, I will probably write up a list of my favorites, and start to decide what I can cut out in order to have a few of the movies on the list--that movie I have always wanted because I saw it at 3:00 am on TCM and adored it; but have never seen it again. I cannot wait. I hope more studios will make my dreams come true the same way. If you love movies--classic film--then you won't be able to stop yourself from smiling at this golden chance to love Hollywood in black, white, color, silent, sound, or stereoscope. I'm nearly giddy with the notion.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Movie of the Week: What a Way to Go!

This kooky gem stars a gorgeous Shirley MacLaine and a ton of top Hollywood men. What I wouldn't have given to play opposite all of these, knowing that they were all going to woo me! Wow. It had to be extremely intimidating. . .

A young Shirley is charmed by Dick Van Dyke, Paul Newman (lucky, lucky girl--so jealous), Robert Mitchum, Gene Kelley, and Dean Martin (with a fun appearance by Robert Cummings as her therapist). She is a sweet, simple girl in search of a good, simple life. Sadly, it seems she is cursed to bring amazing financial luck to all she falls in love with, but that only makes them spend less time with her. . . I love how each part of her life is turned into a movie:

Black & White Silent Film (Almost Chaplinesque)

Dark, Brooding French Film (Complete with Subtitles)

Crazy, Posh Fashion Film (with so many extravagant costume changes)

MGM Musical Extravaganza! (You can't have Gene not dance!)

And finally, a bit more down on the farm. . . .

It is extremely odd, yet oh so lovely. Do not be surprised if it feels a little trippy. But you can't help but root for sweet, little Louisa May Hopper Flint Anderson Benson Crawley. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Feet on Fire: An Ann Miller retrospective

Ann Miller's birthday was on Sunday. You can read her bio here, but her on-screen partners will tell you a lot. She danced with Gene Kelley, Fred Astaire, and Bob Fosse (among others) and shared the screen with Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and so many more. Making a total of 47 appearances on the screen (TV and Movie), she never failed to impress. Sadly, she never got to be a leading lady, but usually played the second female lead in most of her shows. Below are some of my favorite movies she danced through. Funny enough, in many of her musicals, her moments are steal the show (for me at least). . . possibly because her numbers are saucier than the lead's goody-two-shoes numbers.

  • Stage Door - She's only a bit player, but I had to include this movie as it is one of my favorites. Yes, that is Miss Ginger Rogers she is rehearsing with.

  • On the Town - With Gene Kelley and Frank Sinatra (I adore the fact that she is looking for a Neanderthal Man, and I think my cousin adored the fact that she was an "Anthropologist").

  • Small Town Girl - Love this because it stars Jane Powell in a Deanna Durbin remake--why not take a bunch of old movies and remake them with a younger girl? No one will notice. Whatever. I still will always love Jane for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
  • Kiss Me Kate - Kiss Me Kate is my favorite Ann Miller movie (and hers). Though starring Jane Powell's costars from Seven Brides (Howard Keel & Tommy Rall--Frankincense), Annie tends to steal a few scenes (and how great is it that her name is Lois Lane?). Here are my favorites . It doesn't hurt that all the music is by Cole Porter either. . .

    Tom, Dick, or Harry, Too Darn Hot, and Brush Up Your Shakespeare (which doesn't actually show Ann, but I love it) are featured in a few tiny clips during this Ann-narrated piece on Kiss Me Kate.

  • Why Can't You Behave

  • True to You in My Fashion

By now I know that C is rolling his eyes and saying something like, "Of course you like these!" somewhat exasperatedly as I'm usually a sucker for the songs where the guy has to get the girl to commit, rather than the other way around. Anyway, Happy Late Birthday, Annie. You are missed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Movie of the Week: Easter Parade

I adore Fred Astaire movies. I love Judy Garland. Put them both together, and you get this week's Movie of the Week. The sumptuous hats! The gorgeous dancing! The catchy Irving Berlin tunes! I adore the supporting players--the ever-feisty, fastest-tapper-around, Ann Miller; the gorgeous, totally-had-a-crush-on-him-for-years Peter Lawford; and the bumblingly amusing (one of Ann's costars in On the Town with Gene Kelley) Jules Munshin.

I've been longing for an amazing Easter bonnet now for the past few years (partially due to this movie, and partially due to a cross between the Ascot Races scene in My Fair Lady and the Ribbons Down My Back scene in Hello Dolly). Sadly, finding a hat shop is a little difficult these days. The closest google got me was near DC. So sad.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter, and enjoy some Fred & Judy. . .

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nothin' could be finer. . .

Go Carolina! Congrats to the Tar Heels on their fifth National Championship!
Here is Franklin St. from last night:

Franklin Street: The Celebration from The Daily Tar Heel on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Movie of the Week: Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm is a movie I can watch over and over again. Kate Beckinsdale shines as Flora Poste (or Robert Poste's child depending on who you are), weaving together and "fixing" a beautiful cast of characters (and more than solid actors) in this made for TV movie. Eileen Atkins, Rufus Sewell, Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry, a young Rupert Penry-Jones (of MI-5/Spooks fame), and Joanna Lumley (of AbFab fame) round out the cast.

The story itself is massively quirky and very British, but if you aren't drawn in by the odd introductions to Flora's country relatives, then the minute Ian McKellen (As Amos Starkadder) says, "Seth, drain the well. There's a neighbor missing," you will start giggling. There are so many moments that I adore.
  • The letters from the relatives.
  • The moment she hears about Seth & Reuben.
  • Going to watch Amos preach to the Quivering Brethren.
  • "Bull's out."
  • Elfine in London & Seth at the party
  • The moment the Gone With The Wind theme song starts to play.
  • "I'd take her, too, but she's gloomy."
  • My Mybug trying to declare his love and all of his other odious declarations.
  • Going to talk to Great Aunt Ada.
  • Flora realizing she may just not be a novelist.
If you want an odd night at the movies, or a perfectly quirky laugh (there is so much to catch, you sometimes have to watch it more than once), grab a copy or borrow mine. You won't regret it. The intro if you are interested.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chomping at the bit. . .

I get my wisdom teeth out tomorrow. I will admit I am a little nervous. Not really due to surgery, but mostly due to a reoccurring nightmare I have had for years where my teeth fall out. It completely freaks me out.

The other reason is a distinct possibility that I may lose wisdom--like I need to let any of that go. The etymology of wisdom teeth is very intriguing. So I could lose wisdom or judgement--perfect. At least I'll have an excuse to catch up on my sleep, and to take good drugs. It also means B has to be nice to me, and I can eat all the ice cream, pudding, and mashed potatoes I want. Yep, already losing wisdom and judgement.

Site Meter