Archive for the ‘vintage’ category

Animated GIFs meet Classic Flicks

As a highly skilled, professional procrastinator, I am always on the look out for new ways to waste valuable time. And, like a good friend, do my best to share the love.

Truth is, had things like animated gifs been around when I was in High School I might never have graduated. (and I mean their current incarnation, not those bouncing smiley-faces embedded in Midi Loops…Lord love you if you know what a Midi Loop is…) The art of gif-ing (that’s Gif and in Jif) is best enjoyed on Tumblr, and since I know many might have an aversion to Tumblr,  (to be fair–it’s like a petrie dish out there) And the prettiest ones in the game–in my highly biased opinion–are often saucy, and always pretty-to-look-at, classic film Gifs.
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Sound and Vision: Charlie Chaplin and the Sound of Silence

First things first: this post is in conjunction with the Park Circus Charlie Chaplin Blogathon … for which I am shamefully late. The blogathon wrapped two days ago, but I absolutely HAD to contribute. Park Circus does amazing work: a UK-based organization dedicated to bringing classic films back to their home on the big screen. Not being a part of their Chaplin blogathon would be unforgivable!

So. That being said…

I thought it would be fun to explore Chaplin’s fascinating love/hate relationship with a little thing called … sound. Chaplin may have been the one filmmaker to hold out the longest against sound, but he also happened to be one of the earliest filmmakers to embrace it. A fitting contradiction given Chaplin was a man of so many contradictions. Read more ►

Film Fashion Frenzy: Cinema Fashion Shops of the 1930s

This post is in conjunction with today’s Fashion in Film Blogathon behing hosted by the lovely Angela at The Hollywood Revue!

Scene: Main Street, USA. 1937. Boy and girl at the local theatre watching the new Carole Lombard comedy Nothing Sacred. Lots of laughter, lots of coddling. The sight of Lombard in a voluminous yet slinky black dress catches both of their attentions. The Boy: “My god,” he thinks, “look at those [insert female euphemism of choice].”  The Girl:  My god,” she thinks, “look at that dress!”

She wants it.

She needs it.

She is instantly convinced that owning it will make her fella think her [euphemisms] are every bit as noteworthy as Lombard’s.

And Hollywood, that eager opportunist, was ready to oblige.

Enter, stage left, a start-up by New York entrepreneur Bernard Waldman called Cinema Shops– a nationwide chain of retail outlets dedicated to bringing big-screen fashion to small town shops. Read more ►

Pre-Code Gams and Dams(els).

Legs.

Gams.

A whole lotta tomato.

Pick your hyperbole, the fact is that 1930s cinema were full of that most suggestive of appendages in a way never quite paralleled since.

Sure, they’re still everywhere because they’re still sexy. They’ve always been sexy– ever since skirts first hiked heavenward in the late 20s straight through to today. But never quite this sexy. Perhaps for the fact that the definition of “sexy” is dependent upon the word “suggestive.” Today, sex on film is hardly suggestive. It is blatant, forthright, overpowering, and leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination.

These shots? They leave everything to the imagination.

Wherein the real power lies… Read more ►

Hollywood at Home: 1950 to 1965

“Hollywood at Home provides a unique behind-the-scenes look at the crossroads between the last real glamour years and the TV decade. It is a remarkable portrait of mid-century America.”

So reads the back cover of Hollywood at Home: A Family Album (1950 – 1965), a slight yet strong volume from Sid Avery’s lens and Richard Schickel’s pen.

And it’s quite true.

As film historian and cinema omnivore Richard Schickel writes in the introduction:

“In Sid Avery’s portraits of Hollywood in the 1950s, its citizens mime normalcy. They diaper a baby, fry an egg, play charades, wash their cars. Beloved screen veterans… the serenity and seemliness with which all of them face the camera in this, the entertainment industry’s most chaotic moment since the advent of sound, strikes the social historian– not to mention the movie critic– with a strange and occasionally poignant force.

Some variant on this question keeps recurring as one turns these pages: Why are these people smiling?”

And then: “Like these favored show folk, the rest of us ordinary citizens of the American 1950s were busy miming normalcy too. It was expected of us. A depression had been survived, a war had been fought, and now everything was supposed to be all right. … Get married. Have 2.3 children. Buy a house in the suburbs. Go to church. Send the kids to college. Die quietly. … But there was something abnormal about fifties normalcy. …

“As with all fictions, one was free not to by it. But the mass media did buy it and sell it. And we, the great audience, bought it from the movies and the magazines and the broadcasters. We also did our best to resell it, to our sometimes dubious selves, and then to each other.

The pictures in this book were made as part of that process. They represented Hollywood as it wanted to see itself and to be seen by outsiders: securely functioning and apparently contducting business as usual.”

Far be it from me to expound upon Schickel’s words, so I leave you with them… and Avery’s sumptuously subliminal shots.

Bogart and Bacall

Ernie Borgnine as Chef

 

Paul and Jo, laughing at home.

 

Paul Newman cooks as Joanne Woodward snooks w/ their puppy

 

Shelley Winters with hubba hubby Vittorio Gassman

 

Rock Hudson (in apron) serving up a mean BBQ to his guests…

 

And….. ROCK.

 

Debbie Reynolds– the ultimate working mum with kiddies Todd and Carrie. (1960)

 

Ohhhh Brando. You’d be SO nice to come home too…!

 

Audrey Hepburn and hubby Mel Ferrer

 

Dean Martin at home with the wifey and kiddies. Too cute.

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Brando. ‘Nuff said.