Damn, Adrienne Barbeau tops our poll again! How does she do it year after year? Happy New Year, everybody!
Damn, Adrienne Barbeau tops our poll again! How does she do it year after year? Happy New Year, everybody!
First off, let’s get one thing straight — it was my idea, not the dame’s, okay?
Salome at BNoirDetour is adamant about providing Live Tweet movies on Twitter.com at no charge to her audience. But how could I present a hilarious film noir parody on #SatMat — even if it’s a movie that can only be rented — without getting the BNoirDetour stamp of co-approval?
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid stars Steve Martin (who co-wrote the movie with director Carl Reiner) as Rigby Reardon, a low-level private eye who might or might not be getting the wool pulled over his eyes by a fulsome femme fatale (the undeniably curvy Rachel Ward). Other than that, about the only thing you need to know about the movie is that, through the miracle of special effects, Martin nonchalantly acts alongside 1940’s versions of noir stars including Cary Grant, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and too many others to mention.
Even if you’re not thoroughly versed in the elements of noir, Martin’s early-career wackiness is enough to carry you for the movie. His mini-ballet on skinned knees, or his mouthing along to the movie’s scorchy score (by another noir veteran, Miklos Rozsa), are just a couple of the movie’s comedy highlights.
So please join us this Saturday at 4:30 p.m. EST at Twitter.com, and use the hashtag #SatMat to follow along and comment on the movie. You’ll need to pay a rental fee to YouTube ($2.99) or Amazon.com ($3.99) to watch the movie, but it’s a small price to pay for big laughs, so cough up the dough, ya mug!
Yesterday, Virginie at the blog The Wonderful World of Cinema nominated me for a Liebster Award. I hesitated to respond to it, as I have already received three such awards and have probably bored most of you to death with my Liebster talk. But you know what? It’s Christmas Eve, so this is my holiday gift to myself. (Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginie!)
However, I’m going to play a little fast and loose with this particular Liebster Award. The official Liebster rules are that each nominee is expected to:
Well, to be frank, it’s been my experience that most of the bloggers whom I nominate do not respond to my nomination. So I’ll keep it real this time. I hereby nominate any blogger who would like to respond to this. For my 11 questions, I give you a choice. Either create and answer 11 questions about yourself (keep it clean!), or list your top favorite 11 movies of all time. (If you actually do this, please do link back to this blog and share them with me — I’d love to read your response.)
Also, I’ve already shared 33 facts about myself. I can’t think of anything else interesting about me, and I don’t think anyone else is that interested either. If you have suggestions, send them to me and I’ll be glad to respond to them.
As for the other Liebster obligations, here are Virginie’s questions and my answers.
1- If you had to “promote” a not too well known classic film, what will be your choice?
Cinema Paradiso. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film of 1988, and yet my wife and I hadn’t really heard of it until my sister-in-law recommended it to us a couple of years after it came out. I suspect it still, unfairly, suffers the same fate. I recently wrote about it here on my blog.
2- You are participating in the making of a film. What’s your job?
I’ve always thought I wanted to be an editor. Of course, a movie is nothing without writing, directing, and acting, but I’ve always thought the editing makes it all work. For confirmation of this theory, read the book When the Shooting Stops…The Cutting Begins, by Woody Allen’s early and long-time editor Ralph Rosenblum.
3- Do you share your birthday with one of your favourite movie stars? If yes, who?
About the only notable is Jack Klugman, whom I thoroughly enjoyed in TV’s “The Odd Couple” and 12 Angry Men.
4- What is your favourite movie score?
This is a cheat, but the one I’ve certainly listened to the most often is The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. After that, I refer you to my Christmas list of favorite scores.
5- How many films per week do you usually watch?
I’ll be honest with you. I hardly ever see any new movies. The last movie I saw in a theater was 2013’s The World’s End. The modern-day movie experience has gotten too overblown for me. Most of the movies I watch these days are oldies on TCM or campy stuff via Live Tweets on Twitter.com.
6- What do you think is the most CREATIVE movie ever made and why?
I hate “most” categories because why must I choose one great star out of all the gems in the galaxy? That said, for me, “creative” means a movie that makes me bolt up in my seat because I can’t wait to see what happens next. Movies that have done that to me include Citizen Kane, Yellow Submarine, Godfather II, and Steve Martin’s L.A. Story.
7- Do you have a child named after a certain movie star or movie character? Or are you planning this for your future kid (if you plan to have one, or many!).
Sorry, my children are named Aline (after her maternal grandmother) and David. My wife had actually considered giving my son the middle name of “Kane” after the above-mentioned movie, but she got over it.
8- How much do classic films influence your everyday life?
Way too much. Frequently, my wife and I will be discussing some random situation, and I’ll always end up tying in some movie or pop-culture reference. My wife thinks movies have given people mistaken impressions about life (romance, relationships, etc.). I only wish that people had soaked up the smart parts of movies. Imagine if everyone spoke as intelligently or wittily as they do in a Preston Sturges movie or The Big Sleep.
9- What are you planning to do to honour Olivia de Havilland’s on her centennial next July? 😉
Nothing in particular — not a big fan. Let the brickbats begin.
10- What do you enjoy the most about blogging?
Here’s my answer to this question from my second Liebster Award response: I really like the cameraderie and the sense of community. I’ve met so many like-minded bloggers whose work is fun to read and who appreciate the kind of opinions that used to get me sneered at when I’d try to share them back in high school.
11- Do you have any advice or suggestions for future bloggers?
It’s the same advice I have about anything creative: As long as you’re not hurting anybody, do what you want, and don’t let anyone discourage you. If you’re doing it from the heart, you’ll be surprised at how many hardcore fans you get.
Let me end by wishing happy holidays and a blessed new year to Virginie, all of my fellow bloggers, and my readers and subscribers! Keep on soaking in all the great things the world has to offer!
This holiday season, Salome at BNoirDetour has bestowed upon me the gift of guest-hosting (for which many thanks, Salome)! The only proper response is to gift you with one of the classic films-noir, 1947’s Kiss of Death.
Victor Mature plays Nick Bianco, an imprisoned gang leader who starts spouting names to get out of prison when he finds out that his nuclear family in the “outside world” is falling apart. Unfortunately, one of the names provided by Nick is that of Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark in a hair-raising film debut). Udo does not take lightly to being double-crossed, as evidenced in a famous scene where he confronts a wheelchair-bound mother of a gang member. (No spoiler here — just hold onto something and watch.)
It’s an alternately touching and sizzling movie worthy of the BNoirDetour imprimatur, and it will be Live Tweeted at the usual time, Sunday at 9 p.m. EST. All I ask is that you “follow” me on Twitter at @MovieMovieBlogB on Sunday evening so that I can respond to your comments; you can always “unfollow” me after the Live Tweet. Happy holidays, and enjoy the movie!
For this blogathon, at least, Santa’s work is done. So let’s be sure to give credit where credit is due as we present
We definitely finished our movie-gifting blogathon in style! If you happened to miss the entries, click on the individual blog names to link to them, and click on “Day 1” or “Day 2” to read entries from those days of the blogathon.
To his favorite Anglophile rock-music fan, A Shroud of Thoughts presents Yellow Submarine, the animated film with soundtrack by and “starring” The Beatles.
Moon in Gemini presents Ratatouille, a Pixar cartoon with themes of food and cooking, to her late father, a self-styled chef.
And Silent-ology decided that the best Christmas gift for a silent-film lover would be Three’s a Crowd, Harry Langdon’s directing debut, in which the legendary silent comic takes a deserted wife and baby into his humble home during the holiday season.
First, I want to thank my blog’s readers who have checked back over the weekend to enjoy the full fruits of this blogathon.
Most of all, I want to thank the bloggers who took the time and effort to provide such fascinating and often touching entries to this blogathon. You provided me and my readers with holiday gifts that, as the great Dr. Seuss put it, can’t be bought in a store. I’m so grateful for your heartfelt entries!
To everyone, happy holidays and best wishes for a prosperous new year!
On the second day of our blogathon, our true bloggers kept giving to us! See what we mean in our
Our blogathon entrants continue to amaze and delight as they share their accounts of their most special movies and the people to whom they would “gift” them. (If you’ve missed reading any of the entries, click on Day 2’s blog names to link to their entries, or click on “Day 1” to link to the entries for the first day of our blogathon.)
Thoughts All Sorts shares the adventure of The Last of the Mohicans with his spirited daughter.
And Old Hollywood Films gives the world’s most passionate cinephiles the ultimate Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.
Keep checking back with us through the end of this weekend, as we still have one more day in our blogathon and plenty of entries to come. This is one holiday blogathon that truly has legs!
The cinematic presents are already piling up under the tree! Join us as we rattle the boxes and examine bloggers’ film choices in the
The theme of this blogathon is special movies being gifted to special people, and our bloggers would do Santa proud! (If you have missed reading any of the blogathon entries, click on the individual blog names below to link to their entries.)
B Noir Detour wishes the modern-day film noir Bound upon the late, great noir actress Barbara Stanwyck.
Serendipitous Anachronisms thanks her blog’s readers by gifting them with the French romantic comedy Amélie – The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain.
Spontaneous Whimsy shares An Affair to Remember with her husband in memory of her grandmother, recounting the surprising parallels between her own life and those of the movie’s characters.
And lastly, yours truly shares with that lucky soul, the first-time moviegoer, the valentine to movies known as Cinema Paradiso.
Our nifty gifting blogathon still has two days to go, so keep checking back for more entries. You never know what surprises are in store!
Not everybody is geeking out over Star Wars. However, I’ve been nuts about these guys since I was 10.
That’s #MyStarWars. What’s yours?
The following is my entry in my A Movie Gift to You Blogathon, being hosted at this blog from Dec. 18-20,2015. Click on the above image, and read bloggers’ entries about special movies that they would “gift” to some very specific and deserving persons!
Ah, to be you, the lucky person who has never before seen a motion picture. You’re about to experience a new world of sensation. You’ll be amazed at how easily you get caught up in stories of people you don’t know, flickering anonymously on a big screen. And yet, if those stories are told well, you’ll relate to them as intuitively as if a good friend or relative was sitting next to you and telling the entire thing.
For your very first movie to view, it’s only appropriate that you watch a movie whose topic is the power of movies. Many such movies have been made since the beginning of cinema itself. But for your special gift, I choose the Italian-French co-production Cinema Paradiso, because for me, it’s a movie that’s a compendium of all the reasons why I love movies.
The story concerns Salvatore, a young boy in the small town of Giancaldo in post-World War II Italy. Salvatore’s father was killed in the war, leaving his mother without her bearings to raise Salvatore and his younger sister. So Salvatore gets lost in the rotating roster of movies being shown at the theater from which the movie gets its title. This causes Salvatore to strike up a friendship with Alfredo (a winning performance by Phillipe Noiret), the theater’s projectionist, who refers to Salvatore affectionately as “Toto,” takes Toto under his wing, and shows him how to be a projectionist.
The movie beautifully details the different effect that films have on different viewers. Toto, of course, is starry-eyed and loves them. Alfredo lives a hermetic life in the projectionist’s booth and says that he often finds himself talking back to the on-screen actors for no good reason. But the most affected local citizen is the town’s priest, who also serves as the local movie censor. Alfredo dutifully sneak-previews every new movie for the priest, and when the movie comes to an offensive passage — good heavens, a kiss! — the priest rings a bell, signalling Alfredo that the offending shot must be edited from the movie prior to public viewing. (You can imagine the effect that such editing has on the local citizenry.)
I haven’t yet mentioned the actor who plays Toto. That’s because there are actually three of them, and each in his own way is excellent. Salvatore Cascio plays the youngest version of Toto, and charmingly so — you couldn’t ask for a more affectation-free performance. As Toto the teenager, Marco Leonardi captures the operatic passion you’d expect of an Italian boy coming of age; when Toto falls for a local girl, it is only the greatest love ever seen in Giancaldo. Finally, there is the successful but world-weary Salvatore, captured nicely by Jacques Perrin.
This movie has a lot to say about film as a societal shaping force, but it does so without hitting you over the head with it. At one point, Alfredo declares, “Life isn’t like the movies.” Yet whenever Alfredo offers a sage-sounding piece of advice to Toto, it turns out to be a quote from some old movie Alfredo has seen. The movie also offers bittersweet commentary about the transitory nature of life, showing as it does three stages in the life of a movie-struck kid.
Yet, as Cinema Paradiso’s touching finale acknowledges, the best moments in cinema will always remain in our hearts, no matter how old we or those movies are. And among those cherished moments in cinema, I would include Cinema Paradiso itself.
Getting you in the mood (we hope) for Christmas a week from now, we proudly present the A Movie Gift to You Blogathon. For the next three days, bloggers take careful consideration of movies they would bestow upon worthy people as though they were cinematic gold, frankincense, and/or myrrh. Join us as we give special flicks in spirit to our fellow movie buffs!
If you are one of the blogathon entrants, please list your blog name and the URL of your blog entry in the “Comments” below, and we will link to your blog as soon as possible. Everyone else, keep watching this space through the end of Sun., Dec. 20, as the entries keep coming in. We will also provide round-ups of the day’s entries at the end of each day of the blogathon!
Here are the blogs and the movies they have chosen to “gift”:
Movie Movie Blog Blog – Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Thoughts All Sorts – The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
B Noir Detour – Bound (1996)
A Shroud of Thoughts – Yellow Submarine (1968)
Serendipitous Anachronisms – Amelie (2001)
Moon in Gemini – Ratatouille (2007)
Old Hollywood Films – It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Spontaneous Whimsy – An Affair to Remember (1957)
Silent-ology – Harry Langdon’s Three’s a Crowd (1927)
Enjoy the blogathon!
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