Archive for the ‘movies’ category

“Potato Salad!” And A Million Other Reasons I Love Danny Kaye

Confession time: When I was 12-years-old I was head over heels in love with Danny Kaye.

I had two VHS tapes chock full of his films, labeled in childish scrawl; sacred possessions that no one in the house save for me was allowed to touch. It happened over a long-ago Thanksgiving when the American Movie Classics channel (back when it really was the American Movie Classics channel) aired a festival of Kaye’s films … and everything else in my life stopped. I was already in love with old movies, courtesy Charlie Chaplin, but I think it was Kaye’s films that really solidified my obsessive personality when it came to the world of yesteryear. I immersed myself into his eye-popping, Technicolor dream world all day, every day– and I do mean all day. I wanted to be as beautiful as his best gal Virginia Mayo; I wanted my life to erupt into sparkling production numbers at a moment’s notice alongside Vera-Ellen; and I wanted a fella as sweet and honest and hilarious as Kaye. (I’ve obviously given up on the first two, but am still holding out for the latter…) Read more ►

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 ►

The Kitty Corner: An Interview with Brandie Ashe of True Classics

The Kitty Packard Pictorial is pleased as punch to introduce the Kitty Corner, a new series spotlighting some of the very best film blogs on the web, and the masterminds behind them. We kick things off with Brandie Ashe, webmistress of the much loved True Classics. A professional writer, Brandie has been blogging since 2009 and shares with us the story behind her blog, her love of classic films, and how the classic film community has changed her life.

The Kitty Packard Pictorial: Brandie, your website, True Classics, has come to be known among your readers as one of the foremost online destinations for truly fine reflection on classic film. Keeping that up month after month must be a true labor of love: tell us a bit about how the idea of True Classics was born.

Brandie Ashe: I have to admit that True Classics was my little brainstorm–and a pretty badly-timed one at that. Back in 2009, my friend Carrie and I were both in graduate school: she was getting her Master’s in social work, and I was pursuing an MA in English. We were in Georgia–I was in Milledgeville, and she in Athens. Since we were only about an hour apart, we spent a lot of weekends hanging out together, usually at her place, because she had Turner Classic Movies and I, sadly, did not. We spent many a weekend watching classic movies, and one day we caught a strange little musical on TCM called Cinderella Jones (1946). This film was so full of genuine ‘what-the-fuckery’ that we both felt the need to share our feelings about it. But how to do that? So I thought, ‘Hey, let’s start a classic film blog!’ And Carrie, bless her heart, decided to go along with my crazy scheme. Seriously, what were we thinking? We’re both in grad school and time is a premium, but we want to start yet another project? We were insane. Read more ►

Roll Credits: A Hard Day’s Night

This is the second installment of the Pictorial’s series “Roll Credits,” profiling some of the greatest title sequences in film history.

Richard Lester’s 1964 rock and roll musical, A Hard Day’s Night, has long been heralded as the movie that invented the music video. And while we could spend an entire post debating that, the fact remains, A Hard Day’s Night exemplifies the non-linear, creative sequences that would soon inform the grammar of music videos. A truly groundbreaking piece of filmmaking, Lester keeps the viewer surprised from the very first frames of the film: The Beatles shoot towards the camera like a charging locomotive– along with the crashing opening guitar chords of the theme song– and never slow down once. 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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