Archive for the ‘film’ category

Roman Polanksi at 80: A Retrospective

This month marks the 80th birthday of Roman Polanski: a man who remains one of the most controversial figures in popular culture, and one of the most brilliant filmmakers of all time. To coincide with the auteur’s birthday, James Greenberg  (The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Magazine, DGA Quarterly), has published a lavish, beautifully illustrated coffee-table book,  Roman Polanski: A Retrospective, that tackles one of the most famous–and infamous–directors in film history.
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Shirley? You Jest.

This post is in conjunction with the “Funny Ladies Blogathon,” hosted this weekend at Movies Silently. Head on over to the blogathon page to check out the many, many wonderful tributes to greatest funny gals of all time.

Surely there were plenty of funny ladies I loved before Shirley. Growing up, I Love Lucy was a daily ritual, just as The Carol Burnett Show was a sacred rite. And on primetime TV, well, the very best comedies all starred women: we had our pick of powerhouses like Murphy Brown and Roseanne. But, those were all TV shows. When it came to the movies, all of my favorite funny people were the fellas. At 12 I’d already discovered Chaplin and Keaton, The Marx Brothers and Danny Kaye, and I adored all of them. Of course, there are countless screen comediennes, but in this girl’s life, the one who came first and knocked me square over the head was Shirley MacLaine.

Of course, she’s really not exactly famous for being a straight up ‘comedienne.’ She’s the Oscar-winning actress from Terms of Endearment and countless other roles that have, rightly, won her a spot as one of cinema’s most accomplished dramatic actresses. And yet, even in those ‘serious’ roles, MacLaine’s uniquely wry, cutting wit punctuates even her most emotional performances. We laugh with MacLaine, even if it’s to hold back a tear. Read more ►

Growing Up Scarlett

True Classics, one the most loved classic film destinations in existence, has dedicated the month of June to a “Movie Memories” blogathon. I am thrilled to be able to participate in this wonderful event, the aim of which is to get classic film lovers share their favorite classic film memories. My memory is, admittedly, dysfunctional, but it comes from the heart and I hope that it does justice to True Classics webmistress Brandie– a woman who, by the way, is one of the most inspirational people I have the pleasure of being acquainted with.

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The Glamour of Grit: Classic Style in New Hollywood

This post is in conjunction with the Hollywood Revue’s 2nd Annual Film in Fashion Blogathon! Angela, the lady of the manor, has rounded up a splendid roster of participating blogs and the Pictorial is honored to be counted among them! Head on over to the Hollywood Revue and check out all of the submissions!

By the late 1960s and early 1970s, that once radiant glow of Hollywood had dulled; the grand dream machine was a Miss Haversham of its former glory. Rot had set in on the studio system and was in a state of complete disrepair. The stars that once lit the celluloid galaxy had, if not fallen, were slowly dying off. Old Hollywood had hemorrhaged from the inside and its death blow was dealt in 1967, when a film about two notorious Depression-era bank robbers challenged the very notion of filmmaking and ushered in a new approach to making movies. From 1967 until around 1975, there was a revolution in the film industry that has come to be known as “New Hollywood”. New Hollywood cinema brought radical new sensibilities to filmmaking, blazing a trail to create the framework of the film industry that we know today. The studio system that had manufactured Hollywood glamour for decades had decayed to the point of collapse and the fresh, adventurous young mavericks– Arthur Penn, Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin– were pushing boundaries, challenging morality and not giving a damn.

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I (Really) Wanna Hold Your Hand

OK. Hear me out here. I’ve got a bazillion of favorite movies, OK? But you all have lives, and I can’t sustain readership probably much longer than it takes to read to the end of this paragraph. So. In selecting the film that I f***ing love, I decided upon a scientific process: I went through my DVD collection and selected the DVD with the most scratches, stains and other war-wounds evident of abusive viewing. And the clear winner here is Robert Zemeckis’ directorial debut, the 1978 screwball comedy I Wanna Hold Your Hand. I mean, god forbid anyone should ever do a forensic analysis on this DVD cover. I’m pretty sure there’s a wine stain, chocolate smudge and … hmm … maybe soy sauce from a chinese takeout ages ago? Whatever, it’s gross, and I’m ashamed.

But the movie inside this battered fortress, is Top 40 Solid Gold.

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