Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Sunday, 27 November 2016
If you loved the '66 original, you will get a lot of pleasure out of this too, particularly with Caan and Bujold at their most pleasing, both are very likeable here, and as charistmatic as Trintignant and Aimee in the 1966 film,. Lelouch though seems to be out of fashion now, unlike Demy, Malle, Truffaut or Chabrol... We love Bujold of course in films like De Palma's OBSESSION or the ace thriller COMA.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016
I've sung a lot of songs, I've made some bad rhymes
I've acted out my life on stages
With 10,000 people watching me
But we're alone now and I'm singing this song to you
. . . . .
I love you in a place where there's no space and time
I love you for my life, you are a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you.
Colonel Abrams (1949-2016), aged 67. The Colonel may have been a one hit wonder here, but what a hit. We loved "Trapped" back in 1985, and it charted several times, and remains an imperishable club classic, from that heady decade. He was one of the creators of house music and had several club hits but "Trapped" remained his signature song, sad that despite its success and millions of sales, he was said to be almost destitute and homeless in New York in his final days. RIP indeed.
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Shawn Levy is new to me, but I like his vivid prose and great use of language. He captures it all here, the era of Ponti and De Laurentiis, Loren and Lollo, Fellini and Antonioni ("the anti-Fellini" as Shawn says, but he highly rates the Antonioni films), plus visiting stars like Belinda Lee, the Burtons and all that scandal. Rome is at the centre of it all, with of course all that Italian fashion - those stylish mens' suits, the new scooters and the rise of Italian food.
It was that large stylish men's magazine covering the London high life, and copies fetch a good price now. (I got this and the Vitti and Monroe cover issues reasonably cheap a while ago ...). The photo is by Terence Donovan, as is this 1966 shoot with Joanna Lumley ....
Sergio Leone's directorial debut is rife with scantily clad men whose rippling muscles and abs are fully exposed while they wrestle or undergo torture and bondage. The national pastime in Rhodes must have been doing crunches and lifting weights, because even the mature men have flat tight stomachs and bulging biceps.
Sunday, 20 November 2016
Bruno is dumped by his girlfriend; behind a calm, indifferent expression, his mind plans a cold, sweet vengeance. She, a modern girl, keeps on seeing him once in a while, but has another boyfriend, Pablo. Bruno becomes Pablo's friend, with the idea of eroding the couple, maybe introducing him to another woman. But, along the way, the possibility of a plan B arises, a more effective one, which will put his own sexuality into question.
The initial problem is that the guys are not the usual good-looking stereotypes of gay movies, they both look scruffy, if not scuzzy, to our eyes now – all that hair and beards, but as we get to know them this does not matter and we really being to root for them to discuss their feelings, which happens in that blissful final scene. We liked it a lot. There is no actual sex, we just see the guys on sleepovers getting more familiar with each other, as the girlfriend is still there, seeing them both separately.
Friday, 18 November 2016
LONDON TOWN is a perfectly dreadful British musical from 1946 - trying to copy the Americans who were doing this kind of thing so much better. It stars a comedian Sid Field, who has not aged well at all and looks terribly dated now - give me Arthur Askey any time - with a very young Petula Clark as his daughter, and Kay - just 18 here - is the ingenue, a young showgirl. The film was a huge flop and practically sunk her starting career, the Forties fashions do not suit her at all, but one can see her emerging talent - she went back to being a showgirl, with her sister - but seven years later she got that role that defined her, the trumpet playing model in GENEVIEVE. (She had already done bits in DANCE HALL, IT STARTED IN PARADISE and more).
she went to Hollywood for LES GIRLS (above, with Gene Kelly) taking pal Gladys Cooper's corgi June with her for company (right); THE RELUCTANT DEBUTANTE teamed her with new husband Rex Harrison (and Angela Lansbury and Sandra Dee, below) and is sheer bliss too, she looks sadly frail in ONCE MORE WITH FEELING, her last film, she died of leukemia in Sep 1959, aged 33.
I have been to that nice churchyard in Hampstead, where her stylish headstone is just right. (See previous posts at label). As a stylish comedienne she was compared to Carole Lombard, and was a friend of Dirk Bogarde's, and a favourite of Monica Vitti - see post below. Lots on LES GIRLS at label.
Thursday, 17 November 2016
My first appreciation on Monica back in 2010 is at Monica 1 label, got over 2800 views then. She is still a major European star even if she has been silent for some years .....
The landscape and architecture of that face ... and that distinctive voice and sense of fun.
I came across a piece on her by Alan Stanbrook from 1990:
"There are two Monica Vittis: the husky, effervescent comedienne, which is how she sees herself, and the grave, statuesque beauty gazing into a haunted future which is how director Michelangelo Antonioni saw her. They worked together five times, between L'AVVENTURA in 1959 and THE OBERWALD MYSTERY in 1980. A presence more than an actress, Vitti was moulded into a Bernhardt (and the face of European cinema) when she wanted to be a Betty Hutton or Kay Kendall. Humour has surfaced throughout her career, from CHATEAU EN SUEDE to MODESTY BLAISE.. The first film she directed SECRET SCANDAL (unavailable here) is also a comedy. A thick Roman accent denied her an international career, but, with Antonioni, she had more than that: like Jeanne Moreau, hers became the face of our troubled times."
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
Ethan Edwards is racist towards the Indians and the depiction of them may be problematic for some now, though Ford 'atoned' for that with his CHEYENNE AUTUMN in 1964; the squaw Martin gets married to is despatched rather heartlessly.
They share a tub in this and one can see the chemistry between them. Calhoun was an ex-con who got into the movies, mainly rememered now for his two with Monroe and with Hayward in WITH A SONG IN MY HEART. Madison continued in westerns and dramas - both were filming in Europe by the early Sixties, Calhoun in the rather good COLOSSUS OF RHODES by Sergio Leone, so maybe they were meeting up then too.