Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Double bills for snowy afternoons: 2

2 Swinging London films from 1968:

SEBASTIAN, directed by David Greene and produced by Michael Powell - how did I miss this 1968 oddity? as I like all the main players: Dirk Bogarde, Susannah York, Lilli Palmer. Fascinating to see now its obsession with those new office blocks of the 60s and its world of codes and code-breaking with all those dolly birds as staff. Alcoholic fading star Janet Munro has a role as an alcoholic fading star, Susannah drives around in a jeep and there is a terrific score by Jerry Goldsmith. One wonders if Dirk and Lilli had interesting conversations about his late pal Kay Kendall who caused the breakup of Lilli and Rex Harrison's marriage and whom Rex married in 1957, before she died in 1959.

OTLEY - much more jolly, in the SMASHING TIME mould (another '68 treat from Swinging London) is this comedy thriller by hit comedy writers Ian le Frenais and Dick Clement (who also directed) it stars Tom Courtenay as the halpess drifter who of course gets mistaken for a spy and gets into lots of sticky situations, not least at Notting Hill Gate underground station late at night! Romy Schneider is wasted as the mystery lady who pops in and out but there is a good supporting cast, James Villiers does another sneering villain, and there is a nice Antonioni joke at an intellectual party. Good to see those locations I used to know back then: Portobello Market and Notting Hill Gate.

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