Archive for the ‘film’ category
I’m stepping out, my dear, to breathe an atmosphere that simply wreaks of class. – Fred Astaire, Top Hat
A strange phenomenon occurs in Hollywood each spring. For just four days in April, this seedy old three-ring circus of a town transforms itself into a fleeting, gossamer shadow of its former celluloid self. Even the freakish ‘characters’ and scantily clad teenagers that proliferate the Boulevard have no power over the TCM Classic Film Festival’s thrillingly tangible time trip. L.A.’s swankiest pool is accentuated by a jazz quartet; elegantly dressed guys and dolls raise bubbly in celebration; old friends embrace, new friends shake hands, and all of them share the story of their personal journey to Hollywood for this: the annual celebration of all things classic.
Vanity Fair coined it as “Comic-Con for the Martini Set.” And … it’s true. Read more ►
Classic film fans have, over the past several years, embraced an emerging, and vibrant, niche community. This is highly evident right here in the blogosphere where, if I do say so myself, the very finest blogs on the interwebs are those manned by classic film fans (Shameless plug for Hollywood Revue, Backyard Fence, Out of the Past, True Classics, MovieStar Makeover, Sales on Film, Filmoria, and so many many many more amaaaaazing blogs — all of these and many more will rock your black and white world.) But the unsurpassed leader of this long-surpressed niche, is the cable network Turner Classic Movies.
It doesn’t seem possible that 72 years ago, one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century was born. It was on a night the Nazi’s bombed Merseyside, and his Aunt risked the danger to run across town to be with her sister at the Green Street Hospital. (Her steely fearlessness would influence John in so many ways.)
There is something almost prophetic in the fact that his turbulent, angst-filled life began on such a night; things were never going to be normal for John Lennon.
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So. Chances are you’re here, reading these words, because you have some sort of affinity for classic films. Black, white, color, VistaVision, CinemaScope, 35mm, 70mm, cinerama and even smell-o-vision. And as a fan of celluloid cinema (something facing extinction with the onslaught of the now commonplace DCP and the possibly soon-to-be commonplace 48 FPS) you are probably familiar with the work of director Chuck Workman, even if you don’t know his name. In 1986, Workman created a short film entitled Precious Images, commissioned to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Director’s Guild of America. The film won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short in 1987, where it was screened during the Oscar ceremony. Classic film-lovers, however, possibly know it better for its second incarnation: 100 Years at the Movies. Read more ►
Strictly entre nous: I’m not a fan of MacDonald. I am a fan of opera, thank you very much indeed (I begged–and won–for my parents to take me to see Le Nozze di Figaro
at the LA Opera at age 16) but I’d much rather listen to Irene Dunne’s falsetto’s than the fluttery MacDonald’s. (MacDonald’s voice is superior, but Dunne’s has personality.) MacDonald, however, is the leading lady in the 1936 melodrama San Francisco, alongside Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy (big fans of both, for the record), and she delivers a solid performance. But that is not the point of this post. The point here is that San Francisco features a very famous disaster sequence that I have long admired, and have decided take a closer look at it here. Read more ►