I'm off for Thanksgiving and plan to be back to blogging next week. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your family!
Monday, November 16, 2020
Monday, November 9, 2020
Here's a brief summary of each film from IMDb:
All That Heaven Allows (1955): An upper-class widow falls in love with a much younger, down-to-earth nurseryman, much to the disapproval of her children and criticism of her country club peers.
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974): A lonely widow meets a much younger Arab worker in a bar during a rainstorm. They fall in love, to their own surprise-and to the outright shock of their families, colleagues, and drinking buddies.
Far From Heaven (2002): In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.
All That Heaven Allows focused on socio-economic status and an older woman younger man relationship. I loved how the main character Carrie's detached/clinical social worker daughter couldn't handle the situation. Her WASP son wasn't any better. Ron, the love interest was a novelty to Carrie at first (a nice set of muscles, as her son said), and she was willing to let him go to keep her children's approval (and maybe that precious social status, too). But love conquered that in the end and they became equals who'd live a non-snobbish lifestyle. The doctor character was a voice of reason and support for Carrie, so that was refreshing.
Monday, November 2, 2020
Tomorrow is election day! I'll be glad when it's over and the final count is in. In honor of election day, I'm featuring Citizen Kane on the blog today. This movie is considered to be one of the greatest, if not THE greatest movie ever made! I love the story, the acting and the cinematography.
William Bayer, in his book The Great Movies, says, "Citizen Kane is a version of Faust, the story of a man who gains the world and loses his soul... Orson Welles has said that Citizen Kane is a 'portrait of a public man's private life,' and that may be the best summary of all."
Bayer explains that Citizen Kane is about William Randolph Hearst, not literally, of course, but in the form of a fictionalized fantasy produced with the intention of exploiting public interest in a controversial man... One of the most delightful things about Citizen Kane is the way it uses Hearst against himself. Citizen Kane exploits him the way his papers exploited everyone else. Citizen Kane is yellow journalism. It sacrifices the truth about Hearst for the sensational aspects of his story."
Never seen the movie? Here's some information from Wikipedia:
Citizen Kane is a 1941 American mystery drama film by Orson Welles, its producer, co-author, director and star. The picture was Welles's first feature film. Nominated for Academy Awards in nine categories, it won an Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Welles. Considered by many critics, filmmakers, and fans to be the greatest film of all time... It topped the American Film Institute's 100 Years ... 100 Movies list in 1998, as well as its 2007 update. Citizen Kane is particularly praised for its cinematography, music, and narrative structure, which were innovative for its time.
The quasi-biographical film examines the life and legacy of Charles Foster Kane, played by Welles, a character based in part upon the American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, Chicago tycoons Samuel Insull and Harold McCormick, and aspects of Welles's own life. Upon its release, Hearst prohibited mention of the film in any of his newspapers. Kane's career in the publishing world is born of idealistic social service, but gradually evolves into a ruthless pursuit of power. Narrated principally through flashbacks, the story is told through the research of a newsreel reporter seeking to solve the mystery of the newspaper magnate's dying word: "Rosebud."
Here's the synopsis, courtesy of Wikipedia:
In a mansion in Xanadu, a vast palatial estate in Florida, the elderly Charles Foster Kane is on his deathbed. Holding a snow globe, he utters a word, "Rosebud", and dies; the globe slips from his hand and smashes on the floor. A newsreel obituary tells the life story of Kane, an enormously wealthy newspaper publisher. Kane's death becomes sensational news around the world, and the newsreel's producer tasks reporter Jerry Thompson with discovering the meaning of "Rosebud".
Monday, October 26, 2020
I'm on a roll with creepy movies this month, and one of the scariest is Psycho. The infamous shower scene is one of the most frightening around. After seeing it, many people didn't take a shower for months, or even years!
Psycho was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starred Janet Leigh, who usually played a good girl, but in this film was cast as wayward secretary Marion Crane. In a surprising twist, she's killed off in the first 45 minutes of the film. Her murderer is cross-dressing, psychotic hotel manager Norman Bates played by Anthony Perkins. Where is Marion killed? In the shower, of course. The scene took a week to film and I found some fascinating facts about it at History.com. Take a look at some of them below:
The censors balked at what they perceived as nudity in the shower sequence. Leigh wore moleskin patches to hide sensitive areas, as did her body double, pin-up model and future Playboy cover star Marli Renfro, who took over for more exposed moments. But there also was the opening scene, in which Leigh’s Marion wears only a bra and slip, sharing a hotel room with her divorced lover. The censors wanted that changed, too, but the savvy director tricked them. He sent back a copy of the shower scene that was unchanged, confusing the censors as to whether they had seen something or not. He also invited them to the set where he would reshoot the offending opening scene, but none of the censors showed up.