Jun 25 2007, 09:56 AM
i just saw the girl in the cafe
last night and i loved
it! my little crush on bill nighy is now firmly cemented. (i also saw crybaby
right after that and hated it. oh johnny, why? oh john waters, why?)
i love hbo/encore/showtime (sometimes. half the time it sucks and there's nothing on). i'm knocking off a lot of movies from my long-ass netflix list that way.
i loved dogville
(i'm one of the few people i know who actually liked it). it took me a while to get into it (and it is loooooooooong), but i liked the concept and the style.
i also like breaking the waves
, very much against my better judgement. everytime i see it i get the distinct feeling that von trier is being a sexist little shit, but i like his filmmaking and his use of sound. actually, i get the "sexist little shit" vibe off almost every movie and interview pertaining to him, which is why i hate admitting that i like him so much.
Jun 25 2007, 01:28 PM
holy girl it is, dolor! i'll tell you when i get it... so, dolor (and syb, cha cha and faerie, and all the other reel lifers) what do you think for our little imaginary noir? what is your vote, b/w or color? what type of noir protaginist? detective/cop, middle class victim, or criminal?
i think i know what you mean, syb. lol perhaps we were looking at/for different things.
in defense of brick, to me was the traditionalist's neo-noir. don't get me wrong, as i said i loved momento too, the time element was a novel idea, in the same way that starting sunset blvd's protaganist doing a voice over (ha!) deat in a pool. but i found brick to be something quite different-- was beautifly hardboiled, following the rules right down the line, less about the experemention or re-invention of noir(like momento's memory shattering a straight forward storytelling, a slight twist on a noir tactic ). i will admit i am a sucker for film or theatre with sculpted, artifical language. this was the slang heavy world of raymond chandler, hammett and those other serie noir writers, who took notes on every slang word they came across. how could i not love it's sometimes mysterious words and phrases? brick was more a by-the-numbers detective yarn-- hitting all those noir sweet spots. made as if the genre had never faded in the early 50's, playfully scaled down for it's highschool mileu. the cops (or bulls) reduced to the vice prinicpal (with the fantastic casting of richard roundtree from the 70's, shaft), and other such touches, like having to seek out the "pin", and his ironic basement HQ or the showgirl/stripper now a drama student. her make-up growing more garish with every scene. perhaps it is simply that of all of hirsh's three noir archetypes, the pure detective is the rarest in noir or neo-noir (the criminal and middle class victim being much more prevalant, and more associated with noir), that makes me love brick so much. even in the original noir cycle there are but a handful where the protagonist is a detective: the big sleep, maltese falcon, kiss me deadly, narrow margin, murder my sweet(aka. farewell, my lovely) a few more. more frequently, they are cops, as in touch of evil, or the naked city etc. but neo-noirs rarely "cover the waterfront." unlike polanski's chinatown, most of the new films feature detective hybrids, like the killer inside me's cop/psychopath or katherine bigelow's badass strange days, noir tropes are reformed and played with, with angela basset being the muscle, ralph finnes is a detective, but out of duress-- more than anything he is the (formerly) smooth criminal. so a film like brick, is all the more rare, and to me, enjoyable. i suppose i can see a bit of the lynchian thing (which, as i have said before, i am not a fan) most with the arm in the water shots. i suppose with the eagles or lucas haas' disability, but, again, these the last two are common noir tropes-- often in noir charecters flaws were literalized-- think edward g robinson in scarlet street wearing an apron, being brow beaten by his girlfriend, or, more recently, nicholson getting his nose cut in chinatown.
but, all of this is just my opinion, of course and worth exactly a hill of beans. i just like the debate, and your opinion is just as valid as mine. and that's what i love about film. even with semiotics, it's still just a matter of interpetation, of what each of us brings to the table-- our own personal tastes, likes and dislikes. but thank you for bringing all these films back to my memory.
this weekend i was happy to find out that there is a noir film festival soon. i am so freaking happy, i'm about to pee myself. it's a traveling version of noir city, that has been doing noir festivals in san francisco for the last 5 years at the castro (which is a beautiful theatre with an organist that plays between shows), that is traveling this way! hooray! there have been occasional films shown up here, but i miss seeing clusters of them, and it totally makes me miss san francisco, since it was there i really fell in love with noir. long long ago, two movies (and still the two movies i've seen more than any other), his girl friday and DOA with with it's luminous toxin had made me prone to love black and white films, a friend, equally obsessed with film, dragged me to the mother of all noir festivals at the ROXY. the roxy...sigh... i think it closed, i think some 15+ years ago... god, i sooooo i miss indy repetory movie theatres. 5 films a day for, i think two weeks! i was drunk on them. they had films that were hard to find back then-- the strange loves of maria ivers, kiss the blood off my hands and carnival of souls. plus some films that are all time favorites, like, in a lonely place, touch of evil, mildred pierce, the killing and the brilliantly fun, gun crazy. then of course there is the film i recommend to everyone curious about noir, sam fuller's naked kiss. any movie that starts out with a bald hooker's wig being pulled off, has got to kick ass, and does it ever.
this film festival has a couple of films i've never seen before as well as some old friends. i can't wait!!!
and how funny... speaking of neo noir, npr's day to day is doing a thing on today's LA with that of blade runner, since today is it's 25th anniversary....linky
next up... derailed, the falcon and the snowman and (!) lady snowblood2: lovesong of vengeance-- the film based on one of my favorite manga, the prequel being a huge influence of tarantino's kill bill and remade into princess blade. and although lady s2 has no such fancy pedigree, i always like movies where women kick ass... which reminds me... i need to see so close with the dreamily cute zhao wei again... one can never get enough of a hong kong women's action movie created around the carpenter's song, (they long to be) close to you...
Jun 25 2007, 02:08 PM
One of my favorite noirs was Detour. I watched it online once and enjoyed it. It starred an actress named Ann Savage who had the tough-chick persona down.
I also liked Gun Crazy and Double Indemnity. Naked Kiss was a great movie, I'm a fan of Samuel Fuller.
Jun 26 2007, 07:16 AM
I think I see where we differ GT: ' i am a sucker for film or theatre with sculpted, artifical language.' For me, stilted language drives me nuts, and not in a good way. It was actually the language I was thinking of in reference to Lynch, as he uses stilted/affected language/delivery too.
In classical film noir of the 40s I'm happy to take the language on board. It seems unnecessarily artifical (albeit in a heavily stylised genre) in neo-noir, however.
It's a shame, because I really wanted to like Brick: the idea of a high school noir sounded great.
This week I'm hoping to see the Piaf biopic La Vie En Rose; I hear it's depressing (gee, you think?) and a little convoluted, narrative-wise, but I'm still looking forward to it.
Jun 26 2007, 09:45 AM
yeah, syb.... and you are soooooo not the only one.
one of my best friends can't stand stilted language, she absolutely could not abide anything that did not sound "normal" and could not abide the gilmore girls, or anything of the sort. but i can't get enough of it. most of my favorite playwrights like david mamet (all though he's a sexist ass) and christopher durang, have very strange phrasologies, and use language strangely, and sound very unnatural coming out of the mouth. (infact i blame the theatre for this problem. unfortuately i've found no cure). i would also add that stilted language is much different than wooden acting. that drives me up the wall (see the first few films of atom agoyan) as well. but if the language sounds odd, affected, well that's just dandy! that's one of the reasons i fell hard for whit stillman and hal hartley's films. as they got more naturalistic i lost interest. it's sad. i've found very few people who feel the same way as i do about it... sniff.... but that would explain why you don't like brick, to be sure.
if there are any busties out there who also like sculpted language, let me console you, poor dears. you are not alone. and a few movies you can check out, early hal hartley: trust, the unbelievable truth, wilt stillman: metropolitan, barcelona, david mamet: house of games (not recommended stilted language and wooden acting can be deadly), things change (very sweet and co written with shel silverstein) *homicide* (which is a wicked, wicked, wicked neo-noir).
and one caviat to stilted language--- it still isn't enough to make me like lynch. really. i loathe the man.
anna k, detour and double indemnity are both fantastic. i really love babs stanwick's lines in that movie. she's such a smart ass. but, and this is a personal thing, i can't stand how she over draws her lipstick in that movie to make her lips look bigger.
speaking of detours, i saw derailed. meh. entirely too predictable. as soon as jennifer aniston got to her 3rd line, (about 10 minutes in), i knew the rest of the movie. the con, the plot, etc. a few of the tiny details were slightly altered, but bad, dumb very predictable movie.
i found a documentary on a dolores del rio, unfortuantely the whole thing was in spanish, which broke my heart-- years ago i came across some photo stills of a couple of mexican films that were best described as "spanish noir" visually. it turned out that there was a mexican who worked under greg toland*-- then went back to mexico and lensed a couple of films.... sadly i forgot the man's name and the films' names. i was hoping that i would be able to find the films, but no dice.
the lovely ms del rio:
*gregg toland was the cinematographer on films like citizen kane, the outlaw, grapes of wrath, the charsciaro masterpiece, wuthering heights, and a personal favorite, the hands of orloc aka mad love (cos it has peter lorre) the slang heavy screwball comedy, ball of fire.
Jun 26 2007, 10:18 AM
I saw Trust several years ago, and was shocked by how good it was. It was just sad and romantic and beautiful. I saw it around 2001, back when I worked at this artsy movie house in Long Island and could get videos from their library. The founders are close with Hal Hartley, being a local successful filmmaker, and he would come in whenever he had a new film to premiere. I was pissed when I heard that Adrienne Shelley was murdered, even though she hadn't been known since her breakthrough role in 1991. I wish she could've been alive to see her film Waitress get mainstream attention. I also liked Martin Donovan's hangdog appeal.
I liked House of Games a lot, mostly due to Joe Mantegna's charisma and slick attitude. I still think of Fat Tony from The Simpsons when I hear his voice. Glengarry Glen Ross had a few good moments (Alec Baldwin's speech, Al Pacino in the restaurant, Kevin Spacey double-crossing Jack Lemmon), but the cursing and yelling got on my nerves.
I liked Barbara Stanwyck a lot in Baby Face, I watched it a couple of times and was absorbed by her. I also used to have a crush on 1940s-era Hume Cronyn.
girltrouble, I love reading your posts in here. You know so much about film, it reminds me of when I worked at the theater and took out lots of films from their video library.
Jun 26 2007, 11:12 AM
I'm currently on a silent movie kick. Just saw "It"... Clara Bow is a charmer! She's a cupcake! And I saw "Picadilly" before that. Now I'm watching a double-feature with "The Show Off" (Luoise Brooks) and "The PLastic Age" (Clara Bow).
I just got "Notes on a Scandal" and am psyched! I adore Miss Judy!
Jun 26 2007, 11:22 AM
I loved watching silent films in high school. Lillian Gish and Buster Keaton were the best actors, IMO, but I liked Clara Bow's cuteness and Harold Lloyd's geekiness. I liked Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush and City Lights as well. Metropolis is a masterpiece, I can watch it both with the orchestral score or Giorgio Moroder's 80's synthed-out score.
Jun 26 2007, 02:03 PM
thank you annak! you're sweet!
i have to admit, silent movies are my achilies heel. i haven't seen very many of them although, i have loved the harold lloyd i've seen. that is one crazy mf! but funny. seen a few chaplin...but i need to see city lights, seen metropolis, i love looking at stills. beautiful production design. i love lang films tho'. m is a favorite. it's that german expressionism... so beautiful. clara bow is wonderful, but can anyone resist louise brooks? she just shimmers on film...
and notes on a scandle is a great ride... it just turns the screws....
sigh... i just wrote a long long post about david mamet's films, and joe m and the puter ate it... sigh... maybe later...
Jun 26 2007, 03:12 PM
Oh, I am loving this thread lately.
Girltrouble-who-has-never-been-any-trouble-just-delight, I wish I had warned you about Derailed. Film left an ugly, sexist taste in my mouth for a long time after I'd seen it, and I hated it's whole sleaze packaged with hot actors smarminess. I'd happily watch anything made by Lynch to eliminate any of its traces.
My ideal Noir: would feature the soft, pastel-y colours (like Almodovar's Women on the Verge movie), coupled with period clothing (really, Chinatown's visual draw for me was as much in the costumes as it was in the story). Codified language has the same kind of distancing/drawing in effect that history does--hence the fascination with the period details (I actually found the attention being paid to the whole history of California's desalination/irrigation schemes fascinating). And I have one of those inexplicable attractions to John Huston that I've still not outgrown, even though he played evil incarnate in that film. I seem to fall for the old farts. Hm. I have a hard time identifying with the cop/detective protagonist, and I don't know why the "victim" has to be middle class. But I'd prefer the latter to the former.
Anyone remember that Denzel Washington film called Devil with the Blue Dress on? With Jennifer Beals?
Jun 26 2007, 03:31 PM
shit! shit! shit! excuse my language--- chacha, bless you, you sweet won'erful amazon!
devil with the blue dress is by far the best neo-noir ever (ok it's right up there with chinatown). it's based on a walter mosley book, and directed by carl franklin (who is always concerned with race and noir-- his earlier film, one false move, was A-mazing!) speaking of pure detective noir films, oh my god! so freaking, ever lovin' good!!!!! if there is a successor to the neo-noir throne, devil is it. it's just brilliant. just brilliant. oh! and mouse-- how can you forget mouse-- this was the first movie for don cheadle-- and even opposite denzel, he steals the picture. he's a riot.
an interesting, but flawed noir film with pastelly colors: soderberg's the underneath. (but then out of sight was pretty fing amazing, imho)...
Jun 26 2007, 08:55 PM
I really like Luc Besson-produced/directed action movies. I just re-watched Kiss of the Dragon on TV, and I enjoy the Paris background, Tcheky Karo being a villain, Jet Li's action style, and the gritty looks of Paris. I also like Unleashed and The Transporter, and how Little Italy in The Professional looked like a Parisian neighborhood. These movies are full of action and cool backgrounds and are eye candy for me, like I get absorbed in the worlds. I even did a high school film class project on Besson several years ago, highlighting La Femme Nikita and [i]The Professional[/i, finding a connection by finding out that Besson liked Jean Reno's hitman character in the first movie and centered the second one around him.
Jun 26 2007, 10:16 PM
i like fucked-up, dark (plot-wise) noirs that are exploding with color and are just in-your-face. but i can't think of one off the top of my head at the moment!
i don't care too much for detective noirs, though i will watch them and have ended up being blown away by a few.
oooooooooooooooooooh, derailed. i can't even go there. that was a waste of two hours of my life, man.
oooh, chacha...i love period clothing, too!
i just bought notes on a scandal a few days ago. i LOVE when charlotte goes all psycho and runs outside with her smeared red lipstick, screaming "Here I aaaaaaaaaaaaaam! Here I aaaaaaaaaaaaam!" It's the best!
i really do just need to buy the original planet of the apes already. you have no idea how often i quote that movie. it's the shit! i will always stop everything i'm doing to watch it when it's on tv. chuck heston is such an overactor. it's awesome.
anna, have you seen stella maris (1918) with mary pickford? i like that one. they keep showing reefer madness (1936) on starz or something, so i need to see it before it goes away. and although it's not silent, i also love tod browning's freaks (1932)!
Jun 26 2007, 11:44 PM
i'll get around to posting about mamet's films there are some pretty fucked up dark films in there... like...
> american buffalo and the water machine-- neither directed by mamet, but using his plays as the script. super dark, wickedly so, and with stellar casts, american buffalo stars dustin hoffman, and water machine stars joe montange, william h macy, and john mahoney (best known as frasier's dad, but who is infact an amazing stage actor-- if you can find him in the house of blue leaves by john guare, do it's hilarious absurdist theatre, much like christopher durang).
and again, homicide. dark (jewish?) noir, and you'll never figure out the key to the puzzle just go along for the ride...so good.
the spanish prisoner is based on a famous con (as was house of games), but is good even if you know the con.
mamet films i did not like: olianna, state and main, and the boring, paint by numbers noir, the heist.
faerie, you feel about planet of the apes how i feel about logan's run. i simply cannot resist it...
anna-- besson is so fun! i adore the transporter, la femme nikita, 5th element.... have you seen the big blue? its besson, with jean reno (the first movie they worked together in) and some super yummy french dude(if memory serves). interesting film...
Jun 27 2007, 01:41 AM
David Mamet directed adaptations of his plays? I did not know that. I'm a great fan of his plays, especially Oleanna and Boston Marriage.
I think I'm going to watch Brick this weekend after girltrouble's rave reviews. I think it was sidecar way back in the archives who likened it to Veronica Mars so I am sure I'll love it; it saddened me when VM lost it's noir edge from the first and second season, even from the pilot.
I'm also going to try and see Shrek the Third and Zodiac this weekend.
Jun 27 2007, 02:57 AM
hi bunny bunny!!!
if i'm not mistaken, oleanna is the only one of his plays that he's directed on film. the others were directed by other people. a few movies written by mamet (but not directed by him): ronin (awesome), wag the dog (ditto), about last night (or sexual perversity in chicago, and it's bad...), the untouchables (meh), postman always rings twice (new nicholson version-- haven't seen it), hanibal (haven't seen it), glengary (great), hoffa, (not seen) the edge, (ok), vanya on 42nd (translation of uncle vanya, screenplay was by andre gregory (which is different than the play)but what a great movie-- best version of chekov imho).
since you like the mamet, check out the unit-- it's the tv show that he co-created with shawn ryan (the sheild), it's not noir, but it is certainly not the patriotic flag waving, pro military shill i was expecting... the people in the unit get screwed over by the gov't quite frequently. it's very interesting, and quite good. he's written a few of the episodes, although i'm not sure how many.
(i like the mamet too, but my advise is stay away from his books. imho he's a gun totin'. cigar smokin' , macho creep, but then, maybe he just really digs on being a man......or he's compensating. he does write a helluva story tho.)
...oh, and water/buffalo are super highly recommended.
i am so super flattered lil' bunny b! but do take into account syb's critisism of brick too. i think it is quite valid, although i hope you enjoy it as much as i did.
tell me how zodiac is. i've wanted to see it for some time i love david finch(er?)
i always admired veronica mars, although, i never got around to watching it, because i thought one line i heard was so smart: "what do you think this is, sweet valley high?"
*pouts* where is my dolor? i need my fix...
Jun 27 2007, 06:30 AM
Hi there sweet Troubled yet Holy Girl,
I be here.... but your Minxy-fem Dolor is still rearranged by the inescapable sobriety of my Prague sojourn... Now I'm more the looming Dom eminence in that image you see here (with fem side-kick) rather than hidden pathos of dolor in her doldrums of my personal pic... Prior query of "how would you like your Noir today?" has been replaced by how would you like your Dolor...?
I'm really not keen on my own too sober know-it-all mode in this Lounge... and I LOVE your un-sober chatty knowingness.
And when I'm not sober, then I pass into sweaty mindlessness. It's over 90 degrees and very humid so your D-Gal has succumbed to tropical languor, is padding around the house naked or semi-naked with a mind in neutral. It's early morn, so right now I'm semi together.
I've been watching this doc about Soy Cuba, and will be yakking on shortly about how odd & wonderful it is, why you must watch it. For another view into the Latin (and the erotic!) after Holy Girl...
Meanwhile, the deal with Bahia is that is was first recorded by Carmen Miranda (!) as "Na Baixa do Sapateiro" in 1938. Like "Brazil"-- which I think was made famous by Disney's "Saludos Amigos" before it turned up in the Gang's all Here also sung by CM-- it was composed by Ary Borroso.
OK, that's my last gasp of knowingness... I'm off to tropical oblivion.
Jun 27 2007, 06:44 AM
Getting back to the puzzle of neo-noire,
a worthy & not-so-well know instance is "Hit Me" (1998). Following is my review at Netflix which I put up because the other reviews didn't note just how very "neo" it is: how cranked-up in regard to acting, setting, music, & camera work.
As an instance of neo-noire, Hit Me is more neo- than noire. The Jim Thompson plot is noire, but there is much melodrama, sentiment, humor, and farce on top. It an odd amalgamation, more odd than most of the reviews indicate-- but worked better than I anticipated. (Not just another Tarantino wanna-be.) The hero assumes extreme levels of agitation, pathos and confusion, possibly to the point of over-acting. But I'm sure that's what they were after. Much work went into this low-budget movie. The re-created hotel is in enjoyable bad taste. Aggressive and potentially distracting camera work. A very upfront and extensive score-- the music might be the single best thing in "Hit Me." The commentary by the director is useful and instructive.
Jun 27 2007, 07:14 AM
I loved Notes on a Scandal. Those two actresses are the shit.
Has anyone seen Infamous? I was hoping it would be different that Capote, but it was pretty much the same. I thought perhaps it told a different aspect of the story, but it didn't. I don't understand why two almost identical movies were made around the same time. I did like the actor in Infamous better than Phillip S. Hoffman though. He just played a better Capote.
Jun 27 2007, 10:59 AM
QUOTE(anna k @ Jun 26 2007, 04:35 PM)
II liked Barbara Stanwyck a lot in Baby Face, I watched it a couple of times and was absorbed by her. I also used to have a crush on 1940s-era Hume Cronyn.
Indeed. Just wanted to but in to say I adore Barbara Stanwyck…I think she is one of the most underappreciated actors of the era especially since she worked so obsessively hard for many years and none of her co-workers, from what I have read, ever really had anything bad to say about her. Whether she had a lavender wedding with Robert Taylor and may have been far more intuitive then cerebral then the method generation, I think she was such a natural in everything she worked in barring the Cattle Queens and other westerns although I enjoyed the Furies.
I believe she epitomizes what a femme fatale is supposed to be, especially in her roll in Double Indemnity….she is not heartbreakingly beautiful, but she is charismatic and manipulative…a female sociopath that knows how to use veils of deceit to obtain power and control. Excellent in the Strange Love of Martha Ivers as well. Other noir roles I liked were she shines despite the Marilyn Monroe effect were Clash by Night and Crime of Passion.
She has marvelous comedic timing as well as can be seen in Lady Eve, Ball of Fire, and Lady of Burlesque.
Hume Cronyn was awesome. He was totally riveting in The Postman Always Rings Twice and practically carted the movie away from John Garfield and boring Lana Turner, playing that smarmy, slick, absolutely amoral defense attorney with nerve and savvy. I wanted to see much more of him.
Ok, butting out.
Jun 27 2007, 11:22 AM
dear, dear docent dolor!
do you know my delictable deer, how much i have missed doting on your delerious droll drunk drollery?
hee hee! i know you are complaining, but, all the same you seem to be enjoying yourself all the same. and i do so love your descriptions, your dramatis personae-- even if it is just you. in my head you are in some dandy luxurious 40's outfit (with reduced shoulders, natch), and a huge brimmed hat. perhaps it is because of our filmic connection, or how your words act with such diarthrosis...if i had my drothers....i'd drape myself droopily and read your writing all day, my head spinning like a dreidel... your posts always feel like they are taken some how from one of the charecters in one of those catty women's comedies like the women. smart, funny, and intoxicating. i always feel like the little girl sitting at the edge of the bed, head held up by the heels of my hands listening to a wonderful little story. how do i like my dolor? an easy question silly, i just like my dolor! any way she is...
as for my knowingness, that sounds doubtful, or more accurately dubious. how could i have forgetten devil with the blue dress when talking about noir? *kicks herself again* no, i am feeling like i am suffering some sort of charlyesque, flowers for algernon dotage coming on. i find myself looking askance at the word "is" thinking it does not look as if i spelled it correctly. i seem to have forgotten how to spell pretty much everything. hmph. i'll not care. that will fix my head for misbehaving so! next week, of course, i will be wearing diapers, since, by then i will have forgotten not just where the bathroom is, how to use it, and wondering how the hell i got boy's plumbing in my pants. i tell you, i am steering towards a world of trouble. on the upside this could mean i will get to see a whole bunch of movies i've seen before thinking i never got around to them. (ooch! let's hope i don't watch derailed for a second time...sigh... there is always a downside, isn't there?)
but speaking of noir, how is it that you have managed to find a jim thompson movie that i haven't even heard of?!? granted i have slacked in my want to see all of the films based on his books-- the grifters, with it's horrible hair ruined that for me. have you seen after dark my sweet, my sweet?
i do like it, probably for jason patric, i have always loved his movies, particularlly the obscure war drama, the beast, which has my favorite chase scene in it (i say this, tounge-firmly-planted-in-cheek. the beast is about a battle between two tanks-- the whole thing is essentually a low speed chase between tanks---wtf!?-- it's extremely good, but it's not hard to figure why audiences didn't flock to it. i remember seeing it the day it came out, recommending it to all my friends, and finding that it had left the theatre two days after it opened.)
but we were talking about jim thompson and his strange strain of noir. i love after dark for it's being a bright desert noir, but the movie i've wanted to see for the longest is the kill off. i just love the title, (one more reason to love after dark too). the other movie i've seen-- and this gets back to that memory problem is the getaway. i know for a fact that i have seen both the new and the old versions twice, yet, my brain tells me i haven't. i can't seem to remember much other than a deer. weird.
i have to, when given the opportunity, talk about the killing. thompson only did additional dialog, but that is one of the charms of the movie, and honestly, even back then, kubrick's icy movie making is enough to make the movie a snoozer, it's thompson's dialog that makes the movie. yes i know, the killing is usually talked about for it's fractured narative (being the main source of the time flipping done in tarentino's pulp fiction), but kubrick can make any interchange between two human beings boring (eyes wide shut, anyone? or do we blame the beard and beardees tom and nichole? nah, i blame kubrick. (and tom)). the other charm is the cast. one fella looks like tor johnson (the big bald guy from ed wood's plan nine from outerspace), sterling hayden, marie windsor is great as the gf who wears the pants, but the best is....elisha cook jr. i giggle saying this because most people say, who? but back when me and my friends were really obsessed with noir films, mr cook-- jr-- was the seal of aproval. he was just a charecter actor, but you could count on him as being a fantastic lackey, stooley, stooge, mark, or milquetoast. of course he ended up acting thru the 80's so you'd be watching a rerun of the bionic woman and you'd see him. he's everywhere-- blackula, star trek, really, i'd bet you've seen him. you have to see his imdb credits-- it's ridiculous! here:
imdb linky: elisha cook jr.
so what is this soy cuba doc? i am so curious about cuba-- every time i see pix they are covered with dalapidated buildings and peeling paint-- two things i adore. (honestly, when i visited LA, people asked if i liked it, i said i loved it, vegas tears down it's old buildings, LA just ignores them. that's the way it should be. plus there is lots of old signage, another thing i love)....and speaking things i love, DOLOR! the history of bahia is wonderful. it's the sort of thing that makes me feel like a dog wagging it's tail in anticipation of a treat! i couldn't be happier!
i am so jealous of your travels. i have only gone to canada, so to hear of prague.... perhaps if i stop buying movie tickets...*shakes herself and comes to her senses* like that's gonna happen. sigh i do need to start reviewing movies again. nothing like seeing them for free....thing is you actually have to write, and i hate writing... (there's always a downside, isn't there?)
and yemaya, don't but out, but in! i think you are one of the few people whose seen ball of fire (which i adore) and i agree babs stanwyck is fantastic. and i would second your views on the movies youve lisited. this isn't a closed conversation, we're just talking about movies 's all, and everybody's input is welcome!
Jun 27 2007, 12:48 PM
David Mamet wrote Ronin? I did not know that. My dad really likes that movie, he likes Robert DeNiro and the Parisian crime background. I remember him watching The Professional when it came out on video and me listening in the next room, being into the dialogue between the old hit man and the streetwise little girl. He raved about it to his friends, liking the father-daughter feel to it, ignoring the sexual feelings of the girl towards the man (my dad gets uncomfortable with sex in movies).
I've heard of The Big Blue, but wasn't very interested in the plotline.
I like The Last Seduction as a noir, it has a great ending and Linda Fiorentino shines in it.
My dad and I were watching a good little movie with Ray Liotta and Gloria Reuben from E.R. I don't know the title, but it was an interesting little movie. I liked their chemistry.
I liked how in Baby Face Barbara was manipulative and conniving and slept her way to the top, yet was sympathetic for being a hardscrabble woman with an abusive father and used sex and street smarts to get to the top. I hated the ending, it felt like a punishment, but it was a mature movie that came out in pre-code Hollywood before William Hays shut everything sex and violence out of the picture. There's also one called Three on a Match, featuring Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart in small roles, about three schoolgirls who grow up in different directions (one goes to reform school, one marries well, and one is a stenographer). The one who marries well gets involved with an old gangster boyfriend and gets into coke, losing custody of her child and basically being a coked-out whore in a gangster's house, slumped over. Coke is never said, but implied (Bogie rubs his nose as a mention to her). It's a great little movie.
Damn right, Hume Cronyn did steal The Postman from the stars near the end of the movie, I was mesmerized by him. I also liked his scenes with the father in Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt where the two are talking about the best way to cover up a murder or something. That was my favorite Hitchcock movie, and it was creepier how the uncle (whose niece was named after him) seemed like he both wanted to kill his niece and fuck her too.
Jun 27 2007, 12:48 PM
Barbara Stanwyck blew me away in Stella Dallas
. It's a melodrama, a complete tearjerker... I posted more but don't want to spoil it if anyone's curious to see it. If you like Sirk's films you might like it. Stanwyck's role is a big contrast to hers in Double Indemnity
Speaking (still!) of neo-noir, thanks for reminding me about The Grifters
GT! I loved it, Angelica Huston's terrifying hair (and face) notwithstanding; her performance was stunning. John Cusack is great in it as well. It was directed by Stephen Frears
who made some of my favourite films, including Dangerous Liaisons
--he's super versatile but usually treats each genre he tackles with integrity. His most recent, The Queen
, was a subtly nasty swipe at Tony Blair at his peak.
I like the film buff turn of the thread too... although it's providing me with yet another procrastination avenue now!
Jun 27 2007, 02:14 PM
syb, dreamboat? are you trying to work your way into my heart? i love when people disagree with me about movies! lol! but i agree with you in a love of dangerous liaisons, although, you do know there are several versions of that book don't you? there is of course, milos forman's valmont, which came out at roughly the same time, and is good, although different in tone, the gawdawful cruel intentions (ryan philippe is quite possibly the most wooden actor since charlie mccarthy), rodger "barbarella" vadim's rather forgettable dangerous liaisons version from the sixties, and the visually dazzling, amazingly detailed, sumptuous south korean period piece, untold scandal, which while a bit cold, is so, so, so beautifly done as to be forgivable.
and anna, that is what i liked about shadow of a doubt too... you never quite knew what is problem was... ugh sooper creepy.... i felt like faye dunaway in chinatown... he wants to fuck her*slap* he wants to kill her*slap*he wants to fuck her*slap* he wants to kill her...
and i have an odd question for the reel lifers, for those who have seen it, would you consider scorscese's after hours a noir, or just a black comedy?
and who is your favorite femme fatale (in the loosest sense)?
Jun 27 2007, 08:14 PM
> and who is your favorite femme fatale....?
Stanwyck in Double Indemnity is the most fatale that can think of. Who is more calculating? I can't think of any. (Until we come to our own time: the Last Seduction.) Stanwyck is also something to look at (and quite lovely in other movies, like that Preston Sturges comedy where she's making a fool of Henry Fonda), but not attractive here, not to me. Those goofy bangs!
So, for a combination of femme beauty and fatality I'd nominate voluptuous Joan Bennett in the two Lang movies: Scarlet Street and Woman in the Window.
Very notable that Bennett was favored by the great emigre directors, also by Renoir and Ophuls.
Just as the amazing Robert Ryan was selected by Lang, Ophuls (Caught), and one other I think, because of his ability to project this extraordinary tortured masculinity. A kind of European inwardness, a sense of an troubled interior, that more bland US actors coudn't offer. Nicholas Ray was picking up on this, at the same time.
Jun 28 2007, 06:47 AM
Gosh Girl Trouble,
You are such a gushy sweet-heart... and I love it! Your shy Dolor is not used to being indulged this way... but I turn to it, tropistically. "Gee whiz...."
-- to quote breathless Carla Thomas. (Her first single, I think. Just saw her do it again in the Documentary "Only the Strong Survive," by Pennebaker. Not great, but has some good out of the ordinary bits: Anne Peebles, William Bell.)
> in my head you are in some dandy luxurious 40's outfit (with reduced shoulders, natch),
No hat, but I was wearing my dandy Italian blue silk suit (and had just had the shoulders unstuffed) in Prague, while engaged in all this august business at The Dept of Foreign Affairs (and I could use one!) of the Czech Republic and at the US Embassy that same day. Found in a Goodwill, and it fit perfectly-- except for those puffy shoulders. Quel bargain.
OK, I need to focus on our designated topic:
Jason Patrick... is just great in After Dark, My sweet. I agree. Because he's functioning under duress, like the Hero in Memento, his mind is no longer working correctly, it's such a struggle for him to deal with all these people scheming around him. So a very affecting movie, you really feel for him. Also the ending is intense, and romantic, heroic.
So, yeah, I've seen the Beast (Kevin Reynolds' best?-- which may not be saying that much), and saw Ball of Fire, twice. A version of Snow White and the seven dwarfs, as you may already have know. You charming know-it-all, you. Gary Cooper as a bookish nerd...
And yes The Kill Off is right up there at the top of my list of Wanna-See-but-not-available. [Along with Losey's "These are the Damned" and Reed's "Outcast of the Islands." Brit esoterica.]
Of course, such wishes do come true: I'm so happy to now have just seen my first Naruse, "When A woman Ascends the Stairs" (Criterion, yesterday eve), and (most of all) to now own have the Criterion version of El Espiritu de la Colmena.
While "After Hours" is nocturnal and confused, and features a sexy gal (Rosanna Arquette) whom our hero cannot figure out, it's not noire cause it doesn't have the thrust of a noir plot: the scheme, the multiple schemes. Instead, it's episodic, a picaresque comedy.
T-Gal (and all other bona fide film nuts) do you have the "Time Out Film Guide"? It's an essential resource. The reviews are sharp, has that Brit super competent journalism aspect to it, and most import, since it comes out of the UK its has TONS of international stufft, and esp. a TON of Orientalia for when clever T-Gal is cruising that inscrutable side of the forest.
I must now return to... the merely quotidian.
-- not an adequate reply, there are so many tangents here, yikes,
Jun 28 2007, 10:05 AM
how can i resist being starry eyed about you, dolsome, when you do things like coo carla thomas songs in my ear, and talk of my favorite semi-obsure films?
or perhaps they are not all that obscure, you just have to be of a certain age...? i don't think i know all that many films, i just remember so many of them when they came out...
and of course i think your take on after hours is a very good one, although i do love griffin dunn's seduction to this night time manhattan he's never seen, and the abuse he suffers for his attraction to rosanna arquette. but then, i am a bit of a cinematic sadist. i like to watch film charecters suffer. the cast, of course, is just fantastic. i think this was the first i paid attention to linda fiorentino.
since anna k brought her up, i was thinking of other movies she's in, one of which is alan rudolph's the moderns. rudolph has always been hit or miss for me, but as with most directors, there is an undertow towards either the first movie of theirs you saw, or the one you think is their best. the movie rudolph reminds me of, is the first i saw, and i think his best, choose me. with the strangely exotic elf, genevieve bujold.
but... we were on the topic of noir, and like a noir it has taken ahold of this thread and won't let go! but we were back to noir and rudolph, which leads me to my weakness for rudolph's mortal thoughts. with it's super pop cast of bruce willis and demi moore. there is something really enjoyable, in that same way i'm sure noir was in it's day. pulpy, fun, with it's loopy angles and funny optical effects. so different from another noir that came out around the same time, flesh and bone, which introduced the scourge known as 'gwenneth' to the world...ugh. but then, i have no idea why i was watching that movie. i loathe meg ryan too, and i think i was suprized at how she didn't do her usual cutesy schtick...
going back a bit, but staying on rudolph, i must surrender to a different dorothy, having to admit i loved jennifer jason leigh's performance in dorothy parker and the vicious circle. yes, it's affected, but i like that sort of thing... and it reminds me of hudsucker...
ah well, i've finally gotten around to seeing ozon's swimming pool... ttyl, dolor!
Jun 28 2007, 10:19 AM
I was thinking about Mystery Train last night, and how much I enjoyed Night on Earth, Jim Jarmusch's film about taxicab encounters around the world. I liked the segments, except for the Rome one with Roberto Begnini (he was too Robin Williams for me, just manic and obnoxious). It's like when I watch movies I really like I absorb parts of the movie into my head and my personality. Like the blind woman played by Beatrice Dalle in the Paris segment. She's kind of standoffish towards the cab driver, and when she mentions going to the movies, he's incredulous that she goes, because she's blind. She snaps back, "I feel the movie." She also says that she has better sex than he ever would.
Linda was great in The Last Seduction, but that seems to be her shining part. I've seen her in other movies where her monotone voice was annoying to listen to, and she seemed dead, like this movie with Wesley Snipes where he secretly attaches a bomb to her and keeps her on the phone, kind of like Phone Booth with the same "If you hang up, I'll kill you" intimidation.
I saw Jennifer Jason Leigh being interviewed at the New School in NYC two years ago. She was funny and cool, but had a bit of a wall around her when she answered questions from the audience, like someone wondering about the abuse scenes in Bastard out of Carolina and she'd say didactly, "It was all choreographed." Her wall came down when an old man said he loved her singing voice in Georgia and had the soundtrack, and she thanked him sweetly, really touched. She would say something like, "Oh, I still like to believe I'm an ingenue," even though she was 43. I just thought she was very cool and unique.
Jun 29 2007, 02:40 AM
babs is a good choice for femme fatale, but my vote has to go to the devistatingly sexy rita hayworth in gilda. she's just the first person who comes to mind, and it's impossible not to be seduced into her gravitational pull. sadly she fell prey to monroe's disease, where men fell in love with her screen persona and married her thinking that was her.
real life femme fatale would have to be ava gardner. that lady loved hard, and would drop a guy at the drop of the hat.
next poll (and for those who haven't voted, feel free to catch up or ask your own question) favorite noir, i.e. must be before 1957. need not be the most noirish noir, but your favorite and why?
my vote is the one that is not very noir-noir, in a lonely place. it's bleak. lovers gloria graham and humphrey bogart are doomed to love each other eternally, but doomed to have a destroyed romance. i could pick so many others, sunset blvd, the afore mentioned gilda for it's great dialog and chemestry, touch of evil for its visual baroque beauty, double indemnity for it's very noirish web, but in a lonely place has always had a place in my heart that no other noir can replace. i just love every second of that movie.
so after noir... then what? hee hee! i love you guys!!!!
i've given up on jarmush. i've tried to see several of his films and they are completely lost on me. i'm kind of amazed i like the occasional alex cox film too. a lot of those alt directors that came out at the same time leave me cold. i'm not a big fan of wim wenders either. wonder why that is....hmmmm
i know what you mean, about linda, anna. great in after hours dogma, the last seduction, but sometimes she's forgetable, although she has that weird smolder, like ellen barkin.
speaking of besson, have you seen bette blue, anna?
where are the others? cha cha? syb? faerie? yamaya? bunny?
Jun 29 2007, 03:55 AM
Here I am...thinking about that movie Betty Blue.
I thought Beatrice Dalle's appearance in Night On Earth was a great segment--especially because she was blind (like Betty made herself become!) and also because her character went to the movies to "feel" them. I don't know about you, but Betty Blue was definately the kind of film you "feel".
I'm waiting for Saturday night's broadcast of The Bad Seed, something I've never seen before but suspect is a kind of noir film about a not so innocent little girl.
Is it me, or does every film have to have a not-so-innocent girl?
Or is it just Noir, and Hitchcock?
Jun 29 2007, 01:38 PM
I just saw Sicko. One part actually made me cry.
There were moments where I could see Moore was being reaaaaaally manipulative, especially concerning his own charitable "goodwill" toward the end, but for the most part I think he did an excellent job.
Jun 30 2007, 08:08 AM
There was not much happening at my house last night so I actually watched a movie on TV (edited to the extreme, I think) and gave it a few second thoughts.
It was a noir, all right: The Talented Mr. Ripley. In a lot of ways, a fantastic film that made my skin crawl from the beginning to the end (a good thing, in context!!). On the other hand, I'm troubled by the fact that this was yet another "crazy = gay" coded film. And yet it made me question that too.
Jun 30 2007, 08:25 AM
Now replying very belatedly to yours of June 18:
"I watched Volver again this past weekend, as my husband hadn't seen it yet....and it just blew me away the second time I saw it, for reasons which may not have much to do with the film.
Dolor! I am so glad you can post from Prague: I'm giving Proust, Williams, Sirk, Raynes, and Fassbinder a lot of thought because of you. I'm going to suggest one thing, though, about the couching of homosexual desire in a feminine disguise: maybe all of these men were making some critical observations about some easily accepted but disastrous notions about gender as a concept, (no matter how "open" and advanced a society claims to be). If you've ever seen Rayne's film "Safe", maybe the idea is better illustrated there."
I haven't seen "Safe" (that's Haynes, not Rayne's, right?) so I don't know what you're alluding to. If you'd care to say more about "critical observations about some easily accepted but disastrous notions about gender as a concept" I'm all ears.
In regard to Volver, and my topic about "couching of homosexual desire in a feminine disguise," I take it that with Volver (and in general with his latter-day movies) as Almodovar moves from the earlier hysterical preposterous hyper-melodramatic "What have I done to deserve this!?" (which is my own preferred cry of existential anguish...) films to something which is closer to a "woman's movie," and that there is less gay projection, and more observing & appreciating women as they are, within the lives that they are living...
Along these lines, I've just been watching Naruse's When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, which has just now become available here, thanks to Criterion. Naruse is famous in the pantheon of great Japanese directors for his sustained focus on the struggle of being a woman, inside and outside of marriage. (This movie lies outside.) Naruse's own life was very difficult, and impoverished (again, this singles him out in the pantheon)... and this allows him to shift to the a sober consideration of difficulty of the woman's situation-- esp. in regard to money, her dependence upon Men's money, one way or another. But here it seems like the transposition works, that he really is able to focus on (to repeat) observing & appreciating women as they are, within the lives that they are living... If you're in Netflix, I do recommend it, and Ritchie's commentary is excellent.
PS Hey Darling T-Gal,
So what do you think of foxy Joan Bennett? Masochism is not my thang, but I certainly see why she brings it out of poor Edward G. Robinson. G stands for "grovel," you dig?
I came upon Rita's iconic sexiness in Gilda at the same time that I found her dancing up a storm in "You were never lovelier." Wow! In Gilda at the end one feels a bit ripped-off when her thrilling naughtiness is wiped clean, there's all this strenuous truth-telling to make her out to be innocent, and deserving. Yawn...
Whereas in "Lady from Shanghai' (shades of Maggie C!) in the context of their collapsing marriage, Welles casts her as more truly diabolical. So that... she... eserves to die... in the last shoot out in the maze of mirrors. Both Orson and Rita are such cinematic concoctions that it seems fitting for them to go down together in this blasting away of the mirrors-- as if one could arrive at... the truth. "Not Bloody likely!"
"You play the black.... and the red comes up."
Hoping to skip of to Quebec for a few days. I'm coming up on the one year anniversary of my last crack-up. "Zut alors!" So you know your Dolor: Laughing to Keep from Crying. "Toujours gaie, ha ha!" as Mehitabel says to Archie.
Jun 30 2007, 08:53 AM
> Any thoughts?
Tho I can't recall how much turns up in the movie(s). Patrician Highsmith (author of the original) was gay, and you find clear elements of male gay misogyny in the novel. There's one funny scene where Ripley is spying through a window upon his target (can't recall his name) who is being embraced by his eager sexy girlfriend... and Ripley is so repulsed and positively indignant over the size of her derrière-- which is probably in truth nothing out of the ordinary, just a lovely full female derriere instead of Ripley's own trim (> think of beautiful Alain Delon in first the movie version: Purple Noon) male rear-end.
Jun 30 2007, 09:22 AM
GT, I'm going to be boring here and utterly agree that Rita Hayworth is the queen bee of femmes fatales. Second would be Louise Brooks... only because she looked too childlike to wreak the necessary havoc of a femme fatale. More recently, Linda Fiorentino, as noted, but only in Last Seduction, and Kathleen Turner (and her voice) in Body Heat.
I really liked The Talented Mr Ripley, although I agree it's repeatedly misogynistic. But then, it was directed mainly at Gwyneth's character which was fine with me as she drives me nuts. I thought the cast were otherwise generally superb though; it was the first thing I saw Matt Damon in that persuaded me he could act. Philip Seymour Hoffman is poisonous in it. I like Patricia Highsmith although she's arguably a misathropist.
Jun 30 2007, 05:52 PM
In my mind, misogyny and homophobia are the same thing (or, more accurately, I should say that homophobia is really an extension of your standard misogyny). And, absolutely, homosexual men and women have to deal with their own homophobia all the time: I think that was beautifully illustrated in The Talented Mr. Ripley, as the Damon, Law, and Hoffman characters display quite a great deal of homoeroticism and homophobia at the same time. The bathtub chess scene, for example, is a terrifically loaded with homoerotic tension--the Law character is reveling in and repulsed at the same time by the fact that he knows Ripley wants him; and it's clear he's entertaining the idea of wanting Ripley right back. It isn't until the desire is spoken aloud that the homophobia rears itself--almost like Greenleaf was okay with the idea as long as he made the move, but was completely turned off by the idea if Ripley were to be the aggressor instead.
This is one big reason why I can't accept the film's "surface" fixture--that old Hollywood code that ensured all homosexual characters are shown to be pathologically deviant at all times (which would account for Ripley's infinite skill in killing and evading justice) and that they have to "do themselves in" with their sickness. There is something so compelling about Ripley's character, with all his disturbing faults, which forces your identification with him (so much so that part of the film's creepiness comes from the fact that you end up scouring your own dark corners as you watch him grapple with his). It's unusual that you're so skillfully manipulated into aligning yourself with Ripley, into seeing things as he does (even to the point where you'd loathe for him to be caught).
I didn't know that Highsmith was gay--I didn't know anything about Highsmith at all until I read the credits in the film; but that makes my reticence about the "coded" fixture even more pronounced. I actually think the film's even more ingenious because of that. Then, the film's soundtrack (Tu voi far "L'Americano!", ma sei nat'in Napoli! and Chet Baker and Charlie Parker and Eugene Onegin's very relevant opera...) period clothing, and period Italy, made it even more disturbing and wonderful. Really well done.
(Quick aside here: it's really bothering me that I can't remember the Sofia Loren film where she sang Tu Voi Far L'Americano/Whiskey, Soda, Rock n' Roll...I think Carey Grant was in that film with her, or Clark Gable. Anyone know it?)
Dolorissima--I explained in a later post about how my advancing old age is forcing me to confuse Todd Haynes with Claude Raines....so sorry about that! But what I meant by "critical observations about some easily accepted but disastrous notions about gender as a concept, (no matter how "open" and advanced a society claims to be)" was that Haynes and Proust and Almodovar et al are being critical about the way society defines and classifies "gender"--and how those classifications restrict their expression just because they exist. I think they "couch" their identities in female characters because the classification for "male" gender simply disallows any space for the expression of their experience, which fits in far more easily in the rigid classification for the "female" gender concept. The "notions about gender" are disastrous not just to individual people but also to narrative! It's like, "you can't tell that story as a man's story", because it won't be heard. Lots of feminists who deconstruct linguistics and literary narrative have actually pointed out the same restrictions with gender...one that comes to my mind right away is the writer Gail Scott's "novel" Heroine, where she explores the meaning of the role/device/heroine (gender is implicitly female) in a narrative and finds it to be impossibly restrictive (heroines, by definition, are only devices which serve to bring about character development in the hero: they do not develop or progress on their own, they don't "act" as characters at all!).
Did that make it any clearer? No?
Anyway, in Haynes' "Safe", Marianne Moore plays a woman who learns, incrementally, that something in the environment around her is making it impossible for her to "live" within it. Eventually, she learns that everything in the world around her makes life dangerous--she slowly becomes sensitive and allergic to one thing after another...and is finally forced into what looks like a space suit, in a "clean" compound, where other hyper-sensitives like her can "live" without the constant threat to life the world poses. The compound, of course, is run by a kind of New Age-y cult (just the way I've always imagined a NewAge prison tobe) who encourage her to think of herself as "safe" there. All her food is restricted, the air she breathes is altered, contact with people and things is severely limited...exposure to media of any kind is restricted...and there's no telling whether or not she'll remain "safe".
A very clear depiction of complete restriction and confinement, and constant threat of real physical harm.
Alain Delon and Purple Noon....I should hunt that one out. Alain Delon was incredibly good looking, which should make his version of the Ripley character that much more creepy.
Jun 30 2007, 10:52 PM
i do think you'd like safe dolor, cha cha is on target in her assesment, but what's great about it too (other than the amazing framing in the film) is the ambiguity haynes weaves thru everything in the film.
new question: is there a movie that you thought you'd hate, that would be garbage, but turned out to be poop, but ended up being brilliant? what movie(s) you are amazed you recommend?
Jul 1 2007, 04:51 AM
> Or Hitchcock (was he gay? How could he not be?), who lived in a time when practically the whole gamut of sexuality was considered pathological.
Getting back to Hitchcock: I've never thought of him as gay. Hitchcock is very keen on the hidden nature of the erotic. He talks about British women with great approval: Frumpy on the outside, hot on this inside. (My paraphrase, of course.) Or, frumpy in public, hot in private. (Was his wife this way? They worked together closely, and she certainly fit the bill as far as as frumpy goes.)
This stratified (sorry about his word, but I can't think of another one) approach to women was transposed to American blonde ice maidens: Kim Novak, Tipi Hendron, Grace Kelly, et al who he would like to muss up, get them hot and bothered, by fear, sometime by the erotic. Get past their chilly composed exterior, and expose them is women of fear, vulnerability and passion.
There may be an element of sadism /aggression here, in his desire to muss up the ice maidens.
My favorite Hitchcock lady is Ingrid Berman in Notorious. This is Ingrid looking luscious and sexy in her polka dot dress. I can't think of another movie where she is more yummy. Cary G. is the her man and they make a wonderful couple. Claude Raines is also in it.
Jul 1 2007, 05:09 AM
Anna K said: "I liked how in Baby Face Barbara was manipulative and conniving and slept her way to the top, yet was sympathetic for being a hardscrabble woman with an abusive father and used sex and street smarts to get to the top. I hated the ending, it felt like a punishment, but it was a mature movie that came out in pre-code Hollywood before William Hays shut everything sex and violence out of the picture."
Baby face was amazing, the most remarkable pre-Hayes movie I've seen.
But if you saw her being punished at then end, then that must have been the post-Hayes version. In the pre-Hayes version (the DVD I received had both, and I never watched the post-H edition) that I saw she ends up with a trifecta of success, off in Paris:
Surrounded by hordes of admiring men, at the races.
Super wealthy doddering old sugar-daddy husband, who spoils her silly.
Handsome young chauffeur-lover, play by handsome young Charles Boyer. The very last scene is when the camera pans to Boyer, so then you see she's been able to keep him with her (after the ruin of her prior marriage when they were caught in flagrante), and that her sex life is thriving. Yay!
Baby Face has climbed the ladder from that grim factory town where the movie began to the tippy top of conquering Paris. She has it all.
Jul 1 2007, 08:08 AM
well, someone has pulled my chatty-cathy string this sunday morn, while all the other busties are sleeping late (after a night of wild passion) or else off in church, confessing...
In a Lonely Place is extraordinary. The most bleak movie of its decade? The title says it all. But is it still noir? THe element of the doomed romance, which is common in Noir, here takes over the stage, displacing the noir thriller that you might suppose when it begins. (I hope you aren't getting annoyed with my focus on classification.)
Another superior noir of the era: Out of the Past.
Another superior day-light (mostly) color neo-noir: Boorman's Point Blank, with Lee Marvin as the juggernaut of revenge. (Meanwhile everyone's saying to him... "I thought you were dead..." Now, Is he??)
Which then points to Get Carter. And I think there was a blaxploitation version of Point Blank, as well.
Jul 1 2007, 09:56 AM
Jul 1 2007, 09:57 AM
sluglike internet connection which is forever timing out...
sorry for multiple posts
Jul 1 2007, 10:00 AM
Ooh, I agree, Dolor. Ingrid Bergman in Notorious is quite a good favourite to have.
I also agree there's an element of "punishment" behind Hitchcock's fascination with Ice Queens. They're all guilty about something--and he gets us to want to see them pay for their pasts. I don't get the sense that his male protagonists are subject to the same kind of judgement--though they're certainly loaded with their own personal failings, and they're certainly just as guilty! guilty! guilty! about something. I mean, Cary Grant's numerous characters in Hitchcock films always have a questionable past--and they're capable of criminality...but he's always made out to be charming and endearing, even when he's making his heroines feel like dirt for what they had to do (I just love that little scene in North by Northwest where he's convicted, sentenced, and fined for driving under the influence and having seven parking tickets, but is still bent on protesting his innocence--to which his mother calmly responds, "Just pay the two dollars, Roger!"
It's always a great study in sexism, watching his movies.
Jul 1 2007, 03:16 PM
mph. i wish i could participate in my usual manner, but all of your talk about traveling dolorious, has given me the wanderlust so i am going to the nearest exotic locale available to me: portland.
ah, dreamy portland, land of 1000 overpasses and cement bridges. that dreamy enclave of working class artists, and great resturants... and i am being delinquent in not just packing but also reading posts completely, so do forgive me, i wish i could be more engaged since this thread (and it's population) bring me so much joy.....
as for in a lonely place, dolesome, it does seem an odd if not barely noir film, but i found it not by being a bogart devotee (which is how i found the loopy john huston pic, beat the devil, but by devouring every noir book i could find, and each one seemed to point to lonely place. so it is cemented in my mind as such.... and before i forget, out of the past is quite wonderful.
i will start with odd recommendations:abel fererra's body snatchers. i love body snatchers movies as a general rule (could it be my body horror issues cropping up again?), with films like the faculty, but i am not a fan of fererra, so i find it so funny that i would adore his body snatchers so much! i think it is the cinematography and production design/misenscene along with the performances. let me talk about the perfomaces first, meg tilly in the role she was born to play (which is a hilarious thing to say since usually she comes across only slightly more aware that her sister's breathy bimbo persona), but here she really is not just good but creepy, and when she delivers the lines that define not just this movie, but all real horror/zombie movies, something to the effect of, where are you gonna go? there's nowhere to go. it is simply chilling. then there is forrest whitaker, as the one person who seems to actually grasp the gravity of the situation, a four star general who is reduced to a pill popping freak afraid of sleeping lest they take him too. and did i mention this version takes place on a military base? what better place to hide mindless drones, which brings us to the way the film is shot-- faces are obscured by lighting, tubes and pipes and tree branches are transformed into tentacles.... i love this movie...and it's my oddest recomendation...
well, i might not be able to get to a puter for the next couple of days... but i can't wait to read what y'all are posting while i'm gone...
Jul 2 2007, 07:52 AM
So, Brick: I really liked it. I can totally see syb's point and understand why some people wouldn't like it (I watched it alone as knew the boy wouldn't enjoy it) as it comes across as pretentious but I found it to be part of its charm in a completely self-mocking "look, I'm high school noir" way. How Gordon-Levitt has moved on from his Third Rock days and I found the actress who played the femme fatale Laura (she was in Heroes for a bit) compelling.
Zodiac no longer on, although it was last week, so that's one for dvd; Shrek the Third was cute but not as funny as the other two; we watched Syriana last night and I'm still undecided whether I liked it or not and tonight we're watching The Last Kiss.
I had no idea that Mamet was involved with those films; Ronin is a favourite with the boy and his father.
Jul 2 2007, 12:11 PM
i finally saw mulholland drive, and i absolutely positively hated it! i ended up falling asleep like 10 minutes before it ended, right as the little "twist" was starting to unravel. god it was torture. when i re-watched the ending the next day i was pissed. naomi does a great job of acting, but in general i thought the lynch's attempts to recapture the feel and moods of sunset boulevard and citizen kane were just...second rate. and the rest of the acting in general was either stilted or forced. i know part of it is lynch's doing, but christ. there were points where the brown-haired chick seemed like a cyborg.
as for my other recent viewings (i've been watching a lot):
serpico: really liked it. i'm glad i finally saw it.
the weather man: i'm embarassed to say i got teary. that was michael caine's doing. i don't even know what compelled me to watch it in the first place because i can't stand nicholas cage, but i did enjoy it.
shortbus: absolutely loved it. love love love. it's by the same guy that made hedwig. i don't know if i've ever seen so many penises in my life (with the exception of godawful caligula), but it's a movie about sex, so whatdya expect? it was funny and tender and heartbreaking, and highly entertaining.
the piano teacher (french film by michael haneke): adored it. i had no idea what to expect going in, but (in white): when she revealed her sexual desires i was like whaaaa???, and then how it got so horribly misconstrued and abused was just so heartbreaking! i wasn't sure how i felt about the ending, but i've since decided it's quite fitting. i'm mad at how the reviewers on netflix are treating her character. "sick and twisted woman" my ass. i'm glad i didn't really know much about the plot going in to it. it just made it that much more shocking, and the acting was superb.
Jul 2 2007, 12:44 PM
Faerie-I really want to see Shortbus! I've got it on my list.
This weekend, we watched The Good Shepherd. Well, I watched about an hour of it. I was too tired, had to go to bed. Not really inclined to finish it though. That's been the case w/ several movies I've watched lately. Not sure why. I should make a resolution to definitely finish the next one I get. Need to start them earlier in the night, probably too.
Jul 2 2007, 01:11 PM
I loved Shortbus as well. I saw it at the local film festival and I think just about everyone there enjoyed the movie.
I rented two movies last week Running With Scissors and Deliver Us From Evil.
Running With Scissors was...well, kind of boring. It was one of those movies that practically relies more on having a great soundtrack than actually having a story. I was kind of disappointed because it was directed by Ryan Murphy of Nip/Tuck and Popular fame. But really, if you want a good story then just read the book. I actually found myself looking at the DVD player to see how much time had passed!
Deliver Us From Evil on the other hand was incredibly powerful and moving. It's all about the various victims of a Catholic priest, Oliver O Grady. I think it's the first movie that has ever made me cry and at the same time feel so angry about the way the Catholic church works.
Jul 3 2007, 05:09 AM
I haven't seen Short Bus yet--but it's been on my "grab it if it's in" list whenever I'm at the the video store or library. It caused so much controversy because one of its stars is a very well known media personality on the CBC here, and I guess people expected she'd be fired for filming scandalous live sex scenes.
The puzzling problem of Nicholas Cage: I (completely emotional reaction here) loved The Weatherman. I loved Michael Caine in it, I loved the portrayal of all the "fathers" in that film. Just watching Nicholas Cage's character as he deals with the "nickname" his daughter's given at school--then watching how she handles it, and just being amazed at her strength--the guy can act, let's face it (and I can't remember seeing anything so "real", in terms of the development of a male character, in any film). I wish he would choose more of these well written and obviously challenging roles more often (and also stop being so foolish in dating children and doing any dreck that involves Elvis and Motorcycles).
This weekend we saw The Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. And I'm not sure I liked it, though the performances were very good.
And also, Bride and Prejudice (I am a closet Bollywood/heck any musical fan).
Jul 3 2007, 11:43 AM
chacha, I assume you're referring to Sook Yin Lee. I thought that she actually was temporarily let go or something but then they took her back?
If I had my choice of anyone from CBC being in Shortbus
I would have to choose George Stroumboulopoulos. Just mentioning. Bride and Prejudice
was okay, but I personally didn't like it that much. I don't know if it's because I'm used to watching regular Bollywood movies or what, but it just didn't do it for me.