Monday, April 30, 2012

Not Your Average Classic Film Blogger Link Roundup

Someone on Twitter said that Classic Film Bloggers all write about the same things with different views and that we are pretty much beating a dead horse. I have to disagree with that statement. I think the Classic Film blogging community is very varied and there are so many different films in many different genres (and decades!) that we all end up writing very different blogs. And while we all might talk about watching Casablanca (1942) on the big screen, we also talk about films perhaps others have overlooked share unique experiences and explore themes in many different ways.

After I saw those tweets, I asked classic film bloggers on Twitter to send me a link to what they thought was their most unique or unusual post. Which of their posts stands out from the rest. I got some great feedback!

Cliff from Immortal Ephemera shared his post "Interpreting and Understanding Edward G. Robinson on Collecting" - Did you know that Edward G. Robinson was a obsessive collector? He would sometimes do movies just so he could use the money to buy fine art and other valuables! Cliff does a great job describing Robinson's history of and approach to "collecting".

Rich from Wide Screen World shared his post "The Wizard of Oz (Pink Floyd Version)" - He talks about his experience watching The Wizard of Oz (1939) synced with Pink Floyd's album Dark Side of the Moon. Trippy!

Angela from Hollywood Revue shared her post "My Local Joan Crawford Connection" - Thanks to the book Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford, Angela discovers that the star got her start as a chorus girl at a theater Angela had passed by many times (unfortunately it no longer exists). Pretty great discovery!

Kate from Silents & Talkies shares her post "Is that mustache really necessary?" - Fans of Silents & Talkies will fondly remember this hilarious gallery of classic film actors sporting some questionable mustaches.

Laura from Laura's Miscellaneous Musings shares her post "Reading the Movies, Part 1 (or Growing Up with the Movies)" - Laura's had a love of movies since she was very young and shares some of her early experiences (including meeting some stars and filmmakers!) as well as some of the film related books she's acquired over the years. I'm jealous she got to watch movies in the same theater with Mel Torme!

Terry from A Shroud of Thoughts shares his post "Mama Told Me Not to Come: The Sixties Party Scene on Film" - Parties can be seen in movies from any decade, but a Sixties party is something really special. Terry explains why in this very informative post.

Bobby from Bobby Rivers TV shares his post "Black Folks in Bedford Falls" -  Bobby discusses the Black characters and extras in It's a Wonderful Life (1946). He also points out that there are Black folks in Bedford Falls but absolutely none in Pottersville! Very interesting. Next time I watch this movie, I'll have Bobby's insightful post in mind.

Andreas from Pussy Goes Grr shared her post "Gentlemen Prefer Rocky" - Andreas compares the "Ain't There Anyone Here for Love?" sequence performed by Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) to the "I Can Make You a Man" sequence performed by Tim Curry in Rocky Horror Picture Show. Wow!

Brandie from True Classics shared her post "Personality Soup a la Movie Characters" - Brandie creates a Personality Soup recipe in which all the ingredients are bits of different characters from classic movies.

Letícia from Crítica Retrô shared her post "Halloween & coisas assustadoras do cinema clássico (na minha opinião)" which translates into English from Portuguese "Halloween and other scary stuff from classic cinema (in my opinion)". This is a great post and I love the Gregory Peck anecdote she shares at the beginning. For those of you not fluent in Portuguese, she has a handy dandy Translate widget.

What's my most unique post? I would have to say it's "If Jeff Bailey from Out of the Past (1947) were on" in which I create an online dating profile for Robert Mitchum's character. I followed it up with a "If Eddie Felson from The Hustler (1961) were on".

If you have a unique classic film related blog post to share, let me know!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Warner Archive Wednesday ~ Death of a Soundrel (1956)

"Business is the art of getting something for nothing" - Clementi Sabourin (George Sanders)

Death of a Scoundrel (1956) is a wonderful B movie directed by Charles Martin and starring my beloved George Sanders. Sanders, known for playing rapscallions and cads very well, was a perfect fit to play the title role of Clementi Sabourin. Clementi (Sanders) is a Czech refugee who has escaped to America, which he sees as a land of milk and honey. And rightly so because with a lot of machination and scheming, Clementi goes from rags to riches in a very short period of time.

The beginning of the film shows Clementi dead and sprawled on a bed in his mansion. As the film progresses we learn about the events that led to his untimely (or one could argue very timely) demise. Death of a Scoundrel is definitely a family affair. Sanders' then wife Zsa Zsa Gabor plays Mrs. Ryan, a wealthy widow who does some insider trading with the stock savvy Clementi. Their relationship is a strange mixture of business and pleasure. Sanders' real life brother Tom Conway plays a very small role as his on screen Gerry Monte/Sabourin. Both stars are past their prime but the years have really done a toll to poor Tom Conway's features. He looks so sad and lost and you can't help but feel sympathy for both the character and what his brother does to him as well as the actor himself.

Also in the film is Yvonne De Carlo, an actress I was not familiar with but was happy to watch on screen. As the film progresses, her character Bridget Kelly goes from a poor pick-pocket to a glamorous business woman. Bridget is the most interesting of all the characters as you see her develop whereas a lot of the other characters stay as they are.

One could say that Clementi (Sanders) was the original Gordon Gekko (Wall Street). He's motivated solely by greed. Clementi is a businessman, schemer, womanizer, gambler, risk taker, manipulator, in other words, he's a shark. George Sanders will make you an offer you cannot refuse.

Mrs. Ryan (Gabor): Money is not Everything
Clementi (Sanders): But it's the closest thing to it.

Often times, overly dramatic acting comically competes with a movie's plot line. In this instance, the dramatics were as fun to watch as the story itself. Both Carlos and I immensely enjoyed this film and I would recommend it to those who enjoy watching schemers play.

Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. Movies selected are rented from Classicflix or purchased from Warner Archive, Classicflix or TCM.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rear Window (1954) Timelapse

Rear Window Timelapse from Jeff Desom on Vimeo.

EDIT: The video was taken down. If I see a new version up online I'll replace this one. Otherwise, I'll delete this post after a few weeks.

This is an interesting video. Not really sure what it's trying to accomplish but very cool nonetheless. It takes shots from the vantage point of the "rear window" from the film and puts them all together. It must have taken hours upon hours to piece together! What do you think?

Side Note: I've been a bit out of the loop lately in terms of blogging and social media. I've been having numerous health problems and lately, it's been difficult for me to find a new-to-me film that I enjoy. I might start revisiting favorites on a more regular basis. Also, all this talk about people watching TCM, going to film festivals, meeting all sorts of cool film people, having time to watch loads of movies, writing wonderful classic film posts, has got me really depressed. It makes me feel like less of a legitimate classic film fan and I've lost a lot of that joy that movies used to give me. I have numerous ideas for posts I want to write but I've lately lost the will to write them. I've taken a step back so that my feelings of envy can subside and I can continue to be supportive of others as well as get back some of that classic film joy that's been missing in my life. I hope to be back on the blogging bandwagon soon enough!

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