Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Something silly

This is me, senior year of high school, receiving an award for being an outstanding American Government student. Though many others stand there, I believe it turned into my own fashion moment. I miss that skirt. And those shoes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seriously, January?

Carey Mulligan on W and Meryl Streep on Vogue. Top two actresses. Top two magazines. I like 2012 already.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Blackmail" (1929)

The first ten minutes of Alfred Hitchcock's  Blackmail begin as a silent, as Scotland Yard catches a criminal. One of these, detective Frank Webber, meets his girlfriend Alice later that night. Their awkward dinner conveys Webber's lack of interest in Alice, so her late night date with another man remains no surprise. However, Alice walks away from this secret date a murderer, and the plot twists from there.

I am a fan of early talkies, and this one is one of the best I have seen. When the film transitioned from silent to talkie, I literally exclaimed, "whoa!" It would have made sense either way. Furthermore, I am fascinated with what a consistent and quality filmmaker Hitchcock always was. His early work maintains the same standards classics like "Psycho," "The Birds," "Rear Window," etc. have that make him legendary today.

And, as always when I review a Hitchcock film, this review ends prematurely because of what I do not want to reveal. It remains worth seeking out.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book: "A Killing in Comics"

New York City, 1948: a birthday party for the publisher of the most popular comic book super heroes of the day, Wonder Guy. 

Guests include savvy ex-striptease artist Maggie Starr, who heads her late husband's newspaper circuit, which includes the comics; her stepson, VP, and occasional private detective Jack Starr; Wonder Guy's original creators, who bear chips on their shoulders for getting cheated out of some of the profits; and Donny Harrelson, the publisher, who weaves drunkenly through the guests --- before he drops dead on the floor.

This opening to Max Allan Collins' novel, A Killing in Comics concludes, and then takes readers, in Jack's point of view, through the classic "who done it," case, with a few twists. These include a film noir moments here (Jack tempting information out of Harrelson's secretary, Honey), and some comic book art there. Terry Beatty, who illustrated the Batman comics, combines his art with Collins' prose. Even adults can get picture books.

The characters remain devious. Jack discovers they each have a motive to kill Donny. Collins' tight and witty prose is, like I mentioned, similar to film noir, and it keeps the tension throughout. It remains filled with short lines of dialogue, sarcasm, use of nicknames like"Jackie," and femme fatales who wear red nail polish and negligees with company. The conclusion spins from an unexpected climax (introduced, of course, with comic book panels), where the killer's identity seems obvious, yet clever.

Collins wrote another graphic novel, Road to Perdition, among others. However, A Killing in Comics marks my introduction to his work. I could not stop this one, and I wanted to pick up something else once I admitted I finished. This book remains unique, in my opinion, and I am hungry for more. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Natalie Wood's Death: Case Re-opened

I feel I should report this rather HUGE classic film news. Natalie Wood who, is one of my favorite actresses, just made headlines! The case of her death has just been re-opened after thirty years. I heard rumors of this happening, but never thought it would become official. Her death has been well-documented, and is a rather complicated story, so Google it if you're not familiar. Here, also, is the article from The New York Times.

Natalie Wood's Death is Being Re-investigated

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Let's Make it Legal (1951)

The opening scene of Let's Make it Legal reveals the old beauties of post-WWII suburbia: white houses, white fences, lawns lined with cars and dotted with rosebushes. Enter Hugh Halsworth (Macdonald Carey), who cares deeply about his own rosebushes. He makes special trips to the home he used to share with his soon-to-be ex-wife Miriam (Claudette Colbert) to tend them, much to her annoyance. Hugh and Miriam will soon see their divorce finalized. While Miriam feels elated, proclaiming several times she does not need a man, Hugh fights his grief. He "won" Miriam in a gamble years before, and considers it his luckiest moment.

Now, enter Hugh's competitor in the gamble and Miriam's old flame, Victor (Zachary Scott). Victor, a wealthy "businessman," spends the film pursuing Miriam, and convinces her to become engaged. To counter this, Hugh flaunts a blonde tart, Joyce, (Marilyn Monroe) in Miriam's face, but she does not convey jealousy.

Then there's the Miriam's live-in couple: the daughter, the son-in-law (Robert Wagner), and their newborn baby. The daughter refuses to grow up, as she asks Miriam to take care of the baby and keep house for her. While I admire how Wagner's character constantly calls her out for this while keeping so darn handsome, it remains an annoying subplot in this otherwise cute film.

And it boasts cuteness. I could not get over the happy ending. Claudette always gives a good performance, as does Marilyn (even though I always find it odd watching her early films where she plays smaller roles), but Macdonald Carey stole my heart. What a romantic.

At only an hour and sixteen minutes, Let's Make It Legal may not provide layers of depth, but I am always down for alternate retro worlds where nothing but the best persists. Wunderbar!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beautiful Elizabeth Taylor

To make up for how lame I thought Blue Valentine was, I thought I would post this Elizabeth Taylor tribute I found via YouTube. She is, after all, the epitome of Classic Hollywood Glamour, in my opinion.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The dealio

Hey readers!

Well, if there are any readers anymore, ha! I feel awful I do not update anymore. I work over 40, sometimes 50 hours a week, and I am still adjusting to living in such a different city. When I have free time, there just seems to be so many other things to do besides blog (like, negotiate how much time I have to buy groceries).

But, anyway, Waterloo Bridge, and Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice are awesome, and is anyone else as excited for The Artist and My Week with Marilyn as I am?

Hopefully I will blog more in the future, and read all of your blogs again :-)


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Date with Judy (1948)

A Date with Judy is a fun, late 40's MGM musical starring Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Powell, among others. The trials of Judy, played by Powell, and her friend, played by Taylor, first came alive through radio programming, according to Imdb. I also stumbled upon an original broadcast via You Tube. It's adorbs! I need more radio stories and girly drama in my life. I also need a boyfriend named Oogie who I call "cad" and who calls me "pearl." Then we can see the "new Tyrone Power picture" together, yadaydayada. 

The film version most likely did its predecessor justice. The music and surprise technicolor (I missed the whole "MGM musical" aspect when I stuck it in my NetFlix queue) aside, I found a small detail delightful:

Carmen Miranda's shoes.

Seriously. They're sick. Wonderbar. You can see them in the trailer below around the two minute mark. Strappy platforms galore! 

Monday, October 10, 2011


I am probably a late viewer, but I totally love both of these! Fashion should always be fun.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Blonde (2001)

While pursuing my English undergraduate degree, I read Joyce Carol Oates' short story "Three Girls." The idea of spotting Marilyn Monroe perusing a used bookstore, clad in menswear, enchanted me. I never forgot the story, and respected Oates' interpretation of a generally oversimplified woman. This oversimplification became more clear to me after I read Marilyn's autobiography, and the much-publisized Fragments earlier this year. Like "Three Girls," these books transformed Marilyn from the "sex-symbol," and the "cute blonde," to someone I wanted to have coffee and discuss Michael Chekhov with. Or we could explicate poetry. I don't know. I just wanted inside her brain. This remains one reason "Three Girls" still counts as my favorite short story.

However, Oates did not leave Marilyn there. She also wrote a novel, Blonde, which I have not read. It seems to further chronicle Oates' interpretation of Marilyn. While not a biography, I have read it attempts to "get inside" Norma Jean Baker, even as she continues the transformation into Marilyn Monroe.  This novel also became a miniseries in 2001, starring Poppy Montgomery as Norma Jean Baker, Patricia Richardson as her mother, Ann-Margret, and Patrick Dempsey. I do not know if many would consider it an "excellent" film, but I appreciate it.

The film begins with a blonde woman in a red dress sprawled across an empty beach, the waves lapping against her. Viewers learn later she is, in fact, "washed up" at this point. But just at that moment, the contrast of her peroxide hair against the dull sand colors caught my attention. She seems so beautiful and out of place. I love visuals like this.

Montgomery fills the image. I find it scary how much she looks and talks like Marilyn. This film excludes scenes of her blown-up skirt during The Seven Year Itch, and instead shows her seeking affection from various characters: her mother (Richardson was also great), Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, and Patrick Dempsey's bizarre, friend-like, character. I like these tender moments. I like seeing Marilyn in a cardigan, black pants, and ballet flats. I like her desperation for motherhood.

Just ... like, and love.

Blonde makes me more curious about My Week with Marilyn, which will release soon. Michelle Williams will probably give a decent performance, but now, I almost do not want a more biographical approach.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Danish, Diamonds, Holly, and Cat

"If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany's, well, I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!"

One of my favorite movies, Breakfast at Tiffany's, turns 50 years old today. I found out via this NPR article, which, sadly, does not do the film justice, in my opinion. I feel the author oversimplified the film, but whatev. I always found it a wonderful look at how love and relationships develop, among other qualities. Not to mention Holly Golightly remains such a complex (and fabulous) character.

I will give the author credit, though. That girl who hangs the poster above her bed? It was TOTALLY me! Oh hell, it is still me. The poster lives above my dining room table now.

It also has one of the best endings, as well. I cry every time.

I apologize for the short post. Honestly, after writing two college papers, a short story reference, and several film and book reviews, and several more blog posts on the subject, I am not sure what else to write about Breakfast at Tiffany's --- the book or movie. I feel I exhausted it. Fabulous thing, though. I am happy it exists.

I mean, could I have gotten these babies without Holly's influence? I love that woman. She did everything first.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


This isn't movie-related either, but I felt I had to post about Melanie. Have you ever found an artist you feel just gets you? That's how I feel when I listen to her music.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Minneapolis Recap

Instead of a movie post, I thought I would share some photos of my apartment and other objects I have liked in Minneapolis so far. Some of them relate to movies ;-D I apologize a couple are not great. I snapped them super fast!

The "Italian Cinema" wall in my place. Posters like La Strada, La Dolce Vita, and others hang here. I clipped them from a 2005 calendar I bought in Napa Valley, and never used.

A fountain in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Being there reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.

 My chair-crush, also in my place.

Vanilla latte from Spyhouse Coffee. This place reminds me of The Flying M, a trendy Boise coffee shop. 

A copy of an out-of-print screenplay F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote. Has anyone seen the picture? I thought the screenplay was melodrama all over, but I am still interested in the final product.

A cute orange vase!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I'm going to dance, dance, dance, dance, dance!

From about ages three to seventeen, I was a very serious ballet dancer. I wanted to be a professional ballerina, and danced for about forty hours a week throughout my teens. However, dance in that atmosphere creates criticism and pressure. I quit because it was too much, and have stayed away since.

However, since I moved to Minneapolis, I joined the YWCA, and have enjoyed most of my membership so far through dance classes. I cannot say what exactly drew me back into it. I guess I feel since I moved about 2000 miles from my previous home, I am already out of my comfort zone. Why not give it another shot? Well, my passion burns strong. I LOVE my classes. They are fun, great exercise, and pressure-free. One thing I always remained anxious of was when the instructor walked up to me, and corrected or criticized my dancing. Here, the instructor takes the class with us, and I do everything to my own standards and comfort. It makes the experience for me. I am even trying a new-to-me kind, Zumba, tomorrow evening. 

All this dancing reminds me of my favorite dance movie, Flashdance. It's a GREAT movie, if you have not seen it yet. It features a predictable love story, but the choreography, costumes, and music always bring me right to a 1980s dance studio. 

And yes, I have invested in some dancer-ish clothes from American Apparel. Now that I dance again, I have no problem looking like Jennifer Beals. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" (1963)

I teased in the last post I would elaborate on why I kinda adore Sophia Loren right now. I watched the Italian film "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" last weekend, and I found it perfect. It was funny, romantic, stylish, and so ... Italian.

It reminded me a bit of "Paris, Je T'aime," or "New York, I love You," because it contained three mini story lines. Only here, the cast remained consistent as the movie covered three different women (played by Sophia), and their men. Marcello Mastroianni (known for "8 1/2," "La Dolce Vita," "Marriage, Italian Style," among others) plays the the main male roles. The first story follows a woman who avoids jail time by continually having children, the second shows a neglected businessman's wife and her affair with an artist, and the third (also my favorite), develops Sophia's character as a prostitute who befriends her neighbor, a seminary student.

Throughout, Sophia and Mastroianni keep chemistry on screen. I believed they were a couple in each story. They were funny, romantic, feisty, and sexy. In one story, their altercation almost made me cry, and in another, Sophia's striptease for Mastroianni's character left me cracking up. They made me excited to watch them. I wanted to see how their characters fit, and how they ended together. Sophia, of course, gave three notable performances. If anyone had screen presence, she did. She conveyed every emotion I can think of in this movie, and slid easily into each character.

Not to mention, she rocked some fabulous fashion! She looked amazing in the peasant dresses, fur coats, and bustiers her characters required.

Here is a great scene!

And, the trailer:

I suggest you watch this, if you get a chance! It's a wonderful weekend movie.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bella, Sophia Loren Style

I kind of adore her right now. Stay tuned. There will be more about this later!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"The Show Off" (1926) and "The Plastic Age" (1925)

It is hard for me to dislike flapper movies. Even when I do not care for the plots, or pay attention because I just came off a great work week, I always check off five-star NetFlix reviews. This became the case with "The Show Off" with Lois Wilson and Louise Brooks, and "The Plastic Age" with Clara Bow, Gilbert Roland, and, get this, Carole Lombard and Clark Gable in small roles.

In "The Show Off," Louise Brooks supposedly plays a supporting role, but that remains difficult to determine. Her look is iconic, and she exudes such presence, I found myself wishing her onscreen when she was not. The story of a deceitful in-law kept me engaged enough, but Louise proved competitive. And she won.

Not that Lois Wilson did not flapper it up :-)

"The Plastic Age," on the other hand, presents a fun college story about a freshman who unsuccessfully tries to balance his academic life, his football career, and his relationship with the popular girl, played by Clara. They break up, and drama, drama, drama. I like Clara in anything. End of story!

I mean, cute, right?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The September issue

Nope, not the documentary, which I am sad that I still have not seen. One of my favorite things ever is Vogue's September issue. It always features pages and pages of beautiful, new editorials, and usually puts someone a little unexpected on the cover. In my opinion, it outdid itself this year. I could not believe how beautiful the cover alone looked when I pulled it out of my mailbox.

I never thought I would say this, but I sort of wish I was Kate Moss --- at least, in this photo. If she does not rock fairy tale princess here, then I don't know anything! I am excited to read the story about her as well. I feel like she gets a lot of coverage in the U.K., but we do not hear much about her in the U.S. I have always liked her as a model. 

Another fabulous aspect, this will take me ALL fall to read!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Life of Emile Zola (1937)

Do not be fooled by this dashing cover art of Paul Muni in the The Life of Emile Zola. Much to my personal disappointment, he dons the "beard and glasses" ensem in the biopic about the famous French writer and his involvement in a trial underscored by anti-semetism. Still, I have come to the conclusion I can watch Paul in any film, and in any form. He could wear a carrot costume and sing "Old MacDonald," and I would find it wonderful.

Still, allow me a moment to oogle at this screen cap from Scarface.

Back to topic, he gives a fantastic performance in this. It makes me so sad he remains so underrated today. The Life of Emile Zola remains a serious film, but Paul inserts all these little quirks that make it more light-hearted. It comes together in one of "those" film-y courtroom speeches toward the end where I became so mesmerized I forgot where I was for a second. He also speaks with his voice I find smooth as butter ...

Speaking of performances, Joseph Schildkraut gives another good one as an officer wrongly court martialed for disclosing military secrets. He snagged an Oscar and all. And, Paul? Just a nom, but who wins them all? At least he does not have to worry about my heart.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A New Kind of Love (1963)

Paris and fashion blend again in A New Kind of Love, a romantic comedy starring the best Hollywood couple ever, in my opinion, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. But back to the fashion for the moment. It IS seriously amazing here. Of course, the opening credits list Edith Head, Lanvin, Christian Dior, and Frank Sinatra singing, so I expected nothing less. From the full-skirted, feather couture ensems walking Parisian catwalks, to Joanne's menswear inspired blouses and trousers (and one or two pencils stuck randomly in her hair) this movie treats what women wear as consciously created works of art.

These fashions circle what I see as a typical Paul/Joanne storyline: She plays the intelligent career woman who at first ignores his charming advances, but then viewers discover she loved him all along. More specifically, Joanne plays Sam, a tomboy who "steals" high fashion designs for the mass production of more affordable, department store versions. For this reason, she travels to Paris with two co-workers, and meets columnist-in-exile (for sleeping with the boss's wife), Steve. The two begin awkwardly---Steve mistakes Sam for a man.

Inspired by the Paris fashion, a dance with Maurice Chevalier (don't ask) and embarrassment over her single-dom, Sam invents a more feminine, fashionable version of herself. Steve then spots her again, mistakes her for a famous call-girl, and interviews her several times for column inspiration. Though Sam fails to extend the act, and Steve dislikes her for that, I think no shock will come from my assurance that everything works out for them in the end.

I find this movie fun, despite its lack of an original plot. Paul and Joanne convey so much chemistry and comic timing. Also, Thelma Ritter, Eva Gabor, and George Tobias head a charming supporting cast. However, I think the movie's best point remains its use of fashion. I rarely see one that uses fashion so intentionally for both entertainment and insights. For instance, a split-screen of Sam observing a fashion show, while Steve indulges in burlesque acts, with models and dancers wearing similar ensems, seems so clever to me. As someone who already loves fashion, it made me appreciate it, and its possibilities, even more.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

 Midnight Cowboy remains one of those films I have meant to watch for ages. It earned an "X" rating when first released, and received much acclaim. Putting its reputation aside, I found it sad, but very "New York," and "1960s." 

When Texas cowboy and self-proclaimed "hustler" Joe Buck (Jon Voight) moves to New York City, he befriends crippled conman, Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman). They make classic pair. Buck remains optimistic and naive, trailing alongside the more streetwise Rizzo. While Rizzo sports cheap, flashy suits, Buck continues to don his cowboy ensemble. Yet, despite their differences, Buck learns from Rizzo. For instance, he imitates Rizzo as he slams on passing car hoods and shouts, "I'm walking here!" Something in him wants escape his background. Flashbacks reveal Buck comes from a darker past than he conveys, but nothing certain surfaces. Instead, he continues to develop. With Rizzo as liason, he sleeps with wealthy women for money, but never loses his charm.

I mentioned I find this film represents the 1960s and New York. Having not lived through the era, I can only assert the film captures how I see 1960s New York in my imagination. The gray, gritty streets, and broken-down buildings filled with drugs and sexual decadence spells the place and time. An extended party scene seems psychedelic, yet realistic to me, and selected documentary style-shooting (cameraman focusing on a couple and asking, "Why are you here?") extends its validity.

When Midnight Cowboy ended, I felt sad, and full of questions. The film ends tragically, and I felt I still had much to learn about these characters. However, I am grateful to have followed them through this footage.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Hi everyone! Well, my move to Minneapolis was tiring, but went about as smooth as moving can go. I JUST got my Internet back yesterday (so much fun to get on NetFlix again!), and I am just checking out all the blog posts I missed over the last week. So, you may get a few comments from me at once over the next few days :-)

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a little of my studio here. It is still a work in progress, but I think it's starting to look cute.

The sun's a little bright in the second one, but you get the idea! Well, today I am off to explore the dozen or so vintage stores and coffee shops in my neighborhood, so I'll try to post more later.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Until next time ...

Things will be a little quite here for the next week or so. I am moving to Minneapolis tomorrow, and I probably won't have much time to blog. So, until next time! I hope you all will continue to have shiny summers!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy birthday, Natalie Wood!

Please check out the new "Marlon on a Wednesday" post below, as he is looking particularly dashing on a boat there, but I also have to put together a birthday post for one of my favorite actresses, Natalie Wood! She is definitely worth celebrating for her style, charm, and of course, talent. Here are clips from some of my favorite movies:

Sex and the Single Girl with Tony Curis

Splendor in the Grass with Warren Beatty

Finally, perhaps my favorite of all, Love With the Proper Stranger with Steve McQueen

Marlon on a Wednesday: I'm on a boat!

Some vintage footage I found via YouTube I like:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kazan, DeNiro, dared "The Last Tycoon"

I am afraid this is going to be a nerdy post.

As many of you know, I am a big F. Scott Fitzgerald fan, and have read and researched his works and life for several years. However, this summer, it has all turned a bit obsessive. Maybe it was Alison Pill's surprisingly good performance as Zelda Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris (seriously, Woody should take a risk and do a "spin-off biopic" with Alison and someone dreamy as Scott), or perhaps I became too involved reading Zelda by Nancy Mitford back-to-back with Tender is the Night. Either way, my interest has reached a peak, and I want anything I can get.

Even my NetFlix queue. Honestly, I dislike every film I have seen based on Scott's works. For example, I thought the Elizabeth Taylor/Van Johnson film, The Last Time I Saw Paris missed the point of the original story, "Babylon Revisited." I also did not like the recent The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett for pretty much the same reasons.The script seemed so intent on beefing up Scott's original story, that the whole experience felt tedious and overdone. At least, that is my opinion. I know a lot of critics and and viewers felt differently.

I have not even seen the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby, and the footage I have seen from Tender is the Night looks equally disappointing. Time to give up, right?

But ... I recently saw this scene from the film version of Scott's final novel, The Last Tycoon. I am surprised to admit it looks good. Really good. The Last Tycoon always seemed sad, and easily avoidable to me since Scott passed away in the middle of writing it. However, with Elia Kazan directing, and Robert DeNiro playing scenes like this ... I do not think I will avoid it much longer.

The film also stars many other actors I respect: Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Donald Pleasence, Dana Andrews, Jeanne Moreau, and Jack Nicholson. Basically, I want to see this. Immediately.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hey dolls

Well, I thought I rented a studio apartment for one in Minneapolis, but I found three lovely ladies to room with at the last minute!

The end two are 1990s reproductions of vintage Barbies, (I thought they were SO much prettier than the modern ones) but the center one is actually an original "Midge." The first owner, my mom, handed her down to me almost twenty years ago! I may have been a little young at the time to have such a special gift, because I think I destroyed her original outfits. She's wearing one I designed and made at some point during my childhood. 

Isn't she lovely? And apparently, Mattel created an entire life story for her! Read about it, here. I think that is pretty funny. I used to just made up my own stories for her.

I am decorating my place with a few other vintage icons, so I decided to pack all three to see if I could fit them somewhere. I admit, I still get really excited about Barbie dolls. I credit my appreciation for fashion and clothes to the many hours I spent playing with them back in the day. Not to mention, I find this beyond flattering:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Camera Phone

Local fashion show from last weekend, and some other things, randomly captured. Have a wonderful Friday!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Marlon on a Wednesday: Jazzy Paris

This isn't completely Marlon-focused. I love the score Gato Barbieri composed for Last Tango in Paris, and had to embed a bit here. When I first watched/listened to this via YouTube, I actually did not recognize the music. While I am sure the beginning sixty seconds or so do not make a splash in the film, once the sax kicks in, I feel all too familiar. It's like I am walking the Parisian streets with Marlon and Maria Schneider again (nerdy fantasy).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Transported, courtesy "Easy Virtue" (1928)

I watched Easy Virtue last night, a silent film directed by Alfred Hitchcock! I had never seen any of his silents. Honestly, I did not think it was a very good movie. The plot centered around a divorced woman, Larita, who escapes her scandalous past by traveling to the Riviera. There, She falls in love with a man, John, and marries him. However, when John takes her home to his family, his overbearing mother distrusts Larita, terrorizes her, and turns John against her. It sounds good enough, but for some reason it was not my cuppa. Despite this, in true Hitchcock style, lovely moments of costumes and scenery abounded.

Isn't this hat divine?? I never use that word to describe anything, so it must be!

By the way, this silent inspired the Easy Virtue remake a couple years ago with Jessica Biel. Or at least, that is what I assume. Their IMDB plot descriptions seem quite similar. 


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Black, White, Striped

I feel like such a tease posting black and white photos of a dress I have never taken blog photos of before. For the record, it is black and navy-striped. Still, I kind of like these photos, even if I do not think they do this dress complete justice. They are like looking at the old-filmy screen cap versions of me.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Marlon on a Wednesday: The Inventor

Did anyone else catch this NPR story over the weekend? I really kind of freaked out when I saw it. Even though the drum tuning invention is not "new" news to me, Marlon's drumming has always been one of my favorite things about him, and it is SO nice to read something positive about him.

Check it out:

Marlon Brando's Lost Musical Innovation

The article also features a video of Marlon playing the drums during an Edward R. Murrow interview.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I took this photo walking around St. Paul a couple months ago. One aspect of the Twin Cities I am really looking forward to once I move there (in just three weeks!) is its gigantic selection of old movie theaters. They are still beautiful, as I imagine they were in the 1920s, and seem to be everywhere, like Starbucks. I am already pondering which one I may visit first, and what movie I may see!

By the way, and completely unrelated to this post, I had to give myself a pat on the back for some awesome timing with yesterday's Rebel Without a Cause post. It's going to be on TCM ... right now, pretty much. If you have TCM, and have not seen it yet, or want to watch it again, I recommend it. It's a lot of fun. 

Also on the TCM line-up today is City Lights with Charlie Chaplin and Pygmalion with Leslie Howard. Needless to say, I abandoned my boring plans, exchanged my slightly uncomfortable dress for PJs, and brewed some Earl Grey tea. Whatever, it's Saturday!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Transported, courtesy Natalie, Jimmy, and Rebel Without a Cause

I feel I have been blogging about Natalie Wood a lot lately, but in my opinion, there can never be enough love for her. So, here I go again! This is a fantastic interview from the 1970s where Natalie discusses James Dean and Rebel Without a Cause. It's funny I love this because few films have disappointed me as much as Rebel. The first time I watched it years ago, I prepared myself for something "deep" and "brilliant," but instead thought the film melodramatic and over-acted, especially on Jimmy's part. However, after a few more viewings, I am less critical (it is difficult to resent Sal Mineo's character), and even respect Jimmy's acting more. Thank you, Giant.

Anyway, as Natalie says in the interview, she and Jimmy developed a close friendship, and she seemed to admire him quite a bit. It's interesting to listen to her speak about Jimmy's cultural significance because she was so, well, "Hollywood," compared to him, and definitely exhibited a different style.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Driving in cars

A friend asked me this Formspring question ages ago, and I am finally catching up to her:

What is your favorite past-time? What past experiences do you have good memories from?

One aspect of myself I take a lot of pride in is my acceptance of "alone time." Popularity has always been a foreign concept to me. I never experienced it in school, and with the exception of a brief college period, I quit longing for it years ago. As a result, I love spending time with family and friends. However, it also does not scare me to entertain myself. 

Right after I got my license in high school, my solo recreation consisted mostly of taking long drives. I would spend an hour, sometimes several, just driving through nearby towns and countryside, with a Pretty Girls Make Graves album, or the American Graffiti soundtrack playing. I loved it. I explored the place I grew up in, and I also took time to reflect on my life, and where I wanted to go. Furthermore,  I found odd little places I felt no one else knew about. 

Now I would never take drives like that. Being more eco-conscious, I am too afraid of feeling guilty. I miss them.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"I've been searching my soul tonight ..."

I do not watch a lot of TV, but one show I have fallen in love with over the past year is Ally McBeal. After I watched every episode of Sex and the City at least a dozen times, I decided I needed a new "girly show" to indulge in. Ally seemed like a natural choice. I remember my mom and my sister watched it when it aired in the '90s, but it seemed too "grown up" for me at the time. Now, I appreciate its quirky, hilarious, and often touching story lines.

Plus, I love the music Vonda Shepard contributes. "Searching My Soul" has become a real guiltless pleasure :-)

Oh, and this is hilarious:


Friday, June 24, 2011

Transported, courtesy Scott and Zelda ...

I saw Midnight in Paris last night. It's a lovely film, especially for a semi-Francophile and 1920s-lover like myself. I was surprised how big a role F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald played. I am fascinated by this couple, despite their sad story, and have researched them for years. One of Zelda's biographies has been sitting on my shelf for a few months, and next week I will finally get around to reading it. In the meantime, here is a fun video of her and Scott.

By the way, Paris is my favorite place I've never been to. After watching this movie, I decided if I ever visit, I need to find a flea market and go record-hunting.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My sentiments, exactly, Marilyn!

Today the temperature will reach 94 degrees in Boise. I know some places have probably seen much more intense temperatures, but this is the hottest day of the year so far for us! I imagine I will spend most of today like Marilyn Monroe's character in The Seven Year Itch, who spends a great deal of the film figuring out how to keep cool in a sweltering summer apartment with no air conditioning.

I see myself downing a few glasses of frosty, frosty, iced tea this afternoon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) and The Woman in the Window (1944)

I was hungry for some film noir last week, so I watched two new-two-me, Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Woman in the Window. I will keep these descriptions brief, and avoid details as I think the surprise element is important in films like these. I recommend both.

In Where the Sidewalk Ends, Detective Mark Dixon (Dana Andrews) wants so much to escape his criminal father's legacy, he goes to elaborate measures to cover up the accidental death of a murder suspect, to which he plays a part. This cover-up leads to more flawed suspects and investigations, along with Dixon's burgeoning relationship with the deceased suspect's wife, played by Gene Tierney. External and internal struggles abound as Dixon decides how to handle his mistake.

Otto Preminger directed Where the Sidewalk Ends, and after seeing several of his films, this one also kept me interested. His works I previously viewed, Laura, Bunny Lake is Missing, Angel Face, and River of No Return, contained suspense and complex characters. Dixon and his plight certainly parallel these. Juxtaposed with Andrews and Tierney's chemistry, it all became poetry disguised as a cop movie to me. Of course, I also liked Andrews and Tierney together in Laura, so I am not surprised they deliver another top-notch film together.

I then watched The Woman in the Window, and surprisingly loved the similarities between the two films. A man and woman (Edward G. Robinson and Joan Bennett) brought together by an accidental murder, and subsequent cover-up, also dominates this one. Robinson plays Richard Wanley, a professor whose family leaves on vacation. While downtown with some drinking buddies, he spots an intriguing-to-him portrait of a woman displayed in a window. After a few drinks, he meets the woman, Alice Reed (Bennett), she invites him to her apartment, and a brawl between Richard and the woman's lover ensues when the lover sees Richard there. In self-defense, Richard stabs the lover, and kills him. Panicked, Richard and Alice dispose the body, and try cover their tracks as the investigation ensues.

Fritz Lang, who directed the exquisite films M and Metropolis succeeds again in my view. While The Woman in the Window is much more fast-paced than M, it is still smartly played out, with an unexpected twist at the end. Also, I love the film's details. Richard's first sighting of Alice as a reflection in the window beside her portrait seemed original, and a little eerie to me.

Like any classic film lover, this genre intrigues me, but I do not often view movies like this back-to-back. It was a fun experience. Do you like film noir? Which ones are your favorite?