Before we watched the movie, I took some pictures of Kevin's place. He's got extensive collections of DVDs, books on movies as well as movie poster artwork. Here are some highlights:
Here is Kevin's main bookcase for his DVDs. Notice the painting on top? It's a commission painting done by the ultra-talented Kate Gabrielle of James Dean in Giant (1954). Kevin's always given me very thoughtful gifts, so for his last birthday I thought I'd do something special for him.
This is part of his collection of DVD boxed sets.
When Kevin was debating what movie to show, he considered Fellini's Nights of Cabiria (1957). He has a poster of the film in his living room.
Two of Kevin's favorite directors.
Here are some more movie posters (Italian). When you walk through Kevin's condo, there is no doubt that the person who lives there is a true film buff!
After much debate as to what to show during the movie night, Kevin ultimately decided on Born to Kill (1947). He introduced it to us as a film noir, that is as dramatic as it is darkly humorous. I met Kevin a couple years ago when I was a student in his film noir class, so for him to show a film in this genre for his first official movie night was a special treat for me.
I hadn't seen Born to Kill before so I was looking forward to watching a film new to me.
Or so I thought.
Born to Kill (1947) stars Claire Trevor and Lawrence Tierney. Trevor is a divorcee who witnesses the aftermath of a murder committed by Tierney. She is both terrified and entranced with Tierney, tapping into her own murderous and evil tendencies. Trevor is engaged to a rich man in order to gain her own financial freedom from her rich foster-sister, Audrey Long. Tierney punishes Trevor by marrying Long and using her for his own selfish purposes.
As I was watching the film, certain things seemed awfully familiar. Then when I saw actress Isabell Jewell, who plays Laury Palmer, I had a vision of her lying, prostrate on the floor, dead, the camera focusing on her shoes. At one point, I wanted to point at the television and proclaim "She gets murdered! I remember her shoes!". Alas, I held my tongue so as to not ruin the movie for anyone. It's not much of a spoiler, considering most of the story is based on the investigation of her murder, but it would have been rude otherwise. When the image I had in mind popped up on the screen, I knew that indeed I had seen this film.
Isn't it amazing that one can watch a film, forget all about it with the exception of one solitary image? That seems to happen to me a lot.
Some topics of conversation from pre-show and post-show bonding.
1) Lawrence Tierney was an intimidating man. Onscreen and off.
2) Lawrence Tierney once played Elaine's dad on Seinfeld.
3) In the late 1940s, folks were fascinated by evil women. This explains why so many films during this era showcased femme fatales.
4) Costume Designer Edward Stevenson had a penchant for strange hats and head-dresses as well assymetrical clothing.
5) Engagements were unusually short in those days.
6) The popcorn that Lisa brought in from Trader Joe's was absolutely delicious!
Thanks again to Kevin for such a great movie night! I'm looking forward to his next one.