Showing posts with label Out of the Past - Into the Now. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Out of the Past - Into the Now. Show all posts

Friday, April 15, 2011

Out of the Past - Into the Now ~ Charlie Chaplin Honored by Google

Did you see Google today? They created an original video, an homage to Charlie Chaplin for his 122nd birthday. It's pretty awesome. The only point of this post is that I don't want this to be forgotten so I want to commemorate Google's homage by dedicating a post to it. Although so many of us classic film enthusiasts feel like evangelists for a lost art, old movies still have a significant influence on contemporary culture. And that's a very good thing indeed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Out of the Past - Into the Now ~ Jeff Bailey is a Baseball Player

You know you are a die-hard classic film fan, when movie references follow you around in real life. Carlos and I went to a Pawtucket Red Sox game on Sunday and their Left Fielder just happened to be named Jeff Bailey. Out of the Past (1947) anyone?!

Things have been hectic lately, hope to return to real blogging soon.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

People En Español ~ Latinos Channeling Classic Film Stars

What seems like absolute perfect timing for TCM's Latino Images in Film, People En Español magazine came out with their annual issue Los 50 Mas Bellos de 2009 (50 Most Beautiful of 2009). In the current issue, the feature a handful of Hispanic celebrities dressed as classic film stars in their iconic roles. This kind of reinvisioning the past with contemporary stars is not new, in fact Vanity Fair does this all of the time (see my previous post about last year's March-Hitchcock issue). However, I was surprised to see People En Español participate. Pleasantly surprised. They are loose interpretations by all means but I'm glad they at least exist! Please make sure you check out the website or pick up a copy of the magazine. However, just to warn you that it really is in en Español!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Out of the Past, Into the Now ~ Retro-Ware

I try to dress like I'm in a classic film. That is, as much as I can in our contemporary culture. I usually go clothes shopping with an actress, actor or film in mind. Sometimes it's just a concept and other times I have something very specific in mind. I don't always succeed in my ventures but when I do, it's quite rewarding.

I thought I'd share some parts of my classic film wardrobe. These are prize pieces in my closet and I try to wear them when I can. Fall and Winter are prime time as I can go crazy with layers and accessories. One day I hope to further expand my wardrobe and maybe make some pieces of my own.

This is what I fondly refer to as my Robert Mitchum trenchcoat. I bought it at a Banana Republic outlet a few years ago and it's by far my favorite coat! Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past (1947) was my inspiration during the purchase. This coat has become a staple of my wardrobe especially during the Fall months and I always get lots of compliments when I wear it.

If I pair my Robert Mitchum trenchcoat with this hat I feel like a real gumshoe. Got a mystery I can solve? This is either my Dick Powell or my Fred MacMurray hat. Depends on the day.

This is my Kim Novak dress. It was a purely conceptual idea. I had Strangers When We Meet (1960) in mind when I bought it at an H&M. Novak wore a lot of grey and red in that film (along with white and black). This dress had a black belt but I swapped it out for a red one. I wore this to my graduation and to go see Mickey Rooney (see previous post)!

Remember this? This is my Norma Shearer outfit that I wore to my friend Kevin's 30th birthday party (that's him on the left as James Dean). That whole outfit was based on a very specific one Norma wore in The Divorcee (1930) (see the comparison in my previous post). I call that my Norma Shearer skirt. Its from United Colors of Benneton and was in Glamour magazine. Believe it or not, they had modeled an outfit based on Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954). Score! I was going to call it my Grace Kelly skirt but Norma Shearer won me over.

And finally, my Bette Davis hat. This reminds me of those cloche hats from the 1920s and 1930s. Something Blonde Bette Davis would wear. I had Three on a Match (1932) in mind when I bought this at a DSW Warehouse. You can't really see it but it has a rhinestone buckle!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Out of the Past, Into the Now ~ A Mitchum Man

I just couldn't help myself. Going through the Sunday circular I found an advertisement and a coupon for Mitchum deodorant. Their ad campaign slogan tells their future customers that they are "Mitchum Men" which means they are macho, they are no-fuss and low-maintenance and they are tough! Just like Robert Mitchum! I have never heard of Mitchum deodorant, but turns out I'm one of very few who haven't. Mitchum deodorant has been around since 1959 and is part of the larger company, Revlon. I did some research thinking that maybe this product was originally endorsed by Robert Mitchum product. Or a family member or one of his kids may have started the line and used the name. But alas! It has no connection to the sad-eyed actor except for the ethereal one of Robert Mitchum being the quintessential man's man, the target group for the deodorant.

I went to Mitchum's website and after I had some fun with their armpit orchestra, I discovered they also have a line called "Mitchum for women". Now if I buy this deodorant and wear it, I fully expect to see Mitchum lookalikes falling at my feet. That's realistic right?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Out of the Past, Into the Now ~ Amy Adams as Rita Hayworth

I really like Amy Adams. Especially after I saw the film Miss Pettigrew Lives for Day (2008), which just happens to be the theme of my new blog header. I like Amy Adams even more now with the November issue of Vanity Fair. She channels Rita Hayworth from Gilda (1946) in the photographs accompanying an article about her. They are stunning. Makes me want to break out and sing "Put the Blame on Mame". The video posted on Vanity Fair's website shows the photo session and the different Rita Hayworth-esque poses she did in the black dress and black gloves. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Out of the Past, Into the Now ~ Deuil

Je suis dans le deuil

I am in mourning for the Back to Basics - Christina Aguilera. Christina Aguilera reinvents herself with each new album, as many pop stars are prone to do. It keeps their fans from getting bored and allows the musician to experiment with a new and different style. It also brands their album with an image that is intrinsically tied into the music. So when I saw the glamorous old Hollywood style of the Back to Basics album I was full of glee. I knew that this was an Aguilera I could identify with and I was so proud of her of bringing some sense of the past to her fans. I even posted (sort of) here about it!

First there was Ain't No Other Man, which captured the noir essence of a '40s night club. Then there was Hurt, an homage to the bohemian-gypsy style of the turn of the 20th century. Finally, there was Candyman, a hyper-sexualized delight that was a throwback to the youths of WWII. This was only the visuals for the music videos, the music itself was astounding on a whole other level. I loved it all, ate it up and couldn't get enough.

I knew full well that this was only a phase and that it wouldn't continue past the life of the album. This was confirmed at the recent VMA's where she performed decked out in a new futuristic style which told me the Back to Basics - Aguilera is gone. ::sigh:: I will miss her.

At least I have Katy Perry to keep me company...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Out of the Past, Into the Now: The Women (1939) or is it (2008)?

The Sunday New York Times featured an article discussing the newest incarnation of the famous Clare Booth Luce play The Women. Nothing, since the George Cukor film that so many of us love and hold dear to our hearts, has been able to capture the magic of that theatrical all-women spectacle. There have been some really bad remakes like The Opposite Sex (1956), which in my opinion was the opposite of good (its got men, people!!!). And there have been some good remakes, like the televised Broadway play that featured Cynthia Nixon, of Sex and the City fame, in the title role.

It's been a long process to get the newest remake underway and in theatres. But can it hold up? Can Eva Mendes capture the cutting wit and ruthlessness of Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford in the original) when she says "there is a word for you ladies, but it isn't used in society... outside of a kennel". We'll just have to wait and see. The new film, features "little-girl-voiced blonde" Meg Ryan (in contrast to the "mellifluent brunet" Norma Shearer) and hits theatres on September 12th, with TCM fast on its heels, showing the original version on September 15th. In the meantime, check out the NYT article online as well as their chart comparing and contrasting the 1939 version to the 2008 one. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Emergency Alert! Watch Mad Men Immediately!

If you have yet to watch Mad Men the AMC original drama, go out and watch it. NOW! It's amazingly good. I was skeptical myself until I watched the first episode and got sucked in. It takes place in the 1960's during America's hey-day of Advertising. "Mad Men" refers to the men who worked in advertising on Madison Avenue in New York City. The period detail is exquisite and they bring in a lot of cultural and technological references. It's also a lot of sex, booze and tobacco but all the characters are interesting and their individual stories along with the relationships with each other makes for amazing TV. This is exactly what we need right now in what's proven to be a very tough economic climate. During the Depression, people flocked to the cinemas to watch others live the glamorous life on screen so they could live vicariously through them. Although I think today's contemporary audiences don't necessarily need to watch other contemporaries rejoice in their wealth, we do however want to escape to another time and place where things were very different. Either a time we lived in or a time our parents lived through. I'm a firm believer in understanding the present by understanding the past. But also take this show with a grain of salt. It's an exaggeration as TV shows tend to be.

So watch it please. Season 1's DVD is available now. I just ordered mine and am anxious to receive it in the mail.

I'll be keeping an eye out for classic film references made in the show. So far I have two. As I see them I'll point them out.

The Apartment (1960) ~ First Season. I think it's part of the foundation of the story as it also deals with affairs between men and women in an office setting. A character sees this in the theater and is affected by how Shirley MacLaine's character tries to commit suicide.

Butterfield 8 (1960) ~ Second Season. Conversation about how an old friend became a call girl and the comment was that that is very Butterfield 8.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Out of the Past - Into the Now: Misfit Mustangs

The relationship between humans and mustangs has always been a volatile one. Their size and their strength coupled with their wildness has made this species a threat to humans. The ways humans have treated mustangs over the years can be categorized in two ways. One approach has been to wrangle and hunt mustangs to either prove our strength as predators or to reduce their threat to us and our farmland. Another has been to see the mustang as a symbol of freedom and to sympathize and try to protect what has been a dying species.

The Sunday New York Times had an article about the debate on euthanizing select mustangs. The idea is to thin a captive herd which has been growing rapidly and is now at around 30,000.

I'm not forming an opinion or asking for one, whatever your thoughts are on the matter are strictly your concern. However, I do think this is an excellent example of how classic films can still speak to contemporary audiences. The Misfits (1961) explored the topic of the human relationship with wild mustangs. Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach are cowboys who make their living off of rodeos and hunting wild mustang. Marilyn Monroe plays a divorcee who is lured into the cowboy lifestyle, but is appalled by the killing of the mustangs. The most poignant scene is Clark Gable's final performance where he wrangles a mustang. Its difficult to watch as the physicality of it was most likely a factor in Gable's death just days later. This film was also Monroe's last and watching her break down in tears and hysterics has always been difficult for me to see as well. The film not only has amazing performances by all the principal actors but also a poignant dramatic story that has some relevance to audiences today.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Out of the Past, Into the Now ~ M




A Graphic Novel based on the film by Fritz Lang
Illustrated by Jon J Muth
192 Pages

I went to my local Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, doing market research for my magazine project, and I was sidetracked by the pretty table with various new titles. All of a sudden, as I'm browsing the array of covers, I spot a big "M". My jaw dropped as I picked up a graphic novel illustrated by Jon J Muth based on the Fritz Lang film M (1931). I had to put the book down and turn away otherwise I would have immediately spent money I don't have to purchase it! I blanked on it for the rest of the day, until the following morning the shock returned and I texted my friend Kevin about it. Once I got to work, I ambushed my other friend Frank about it too. Anyone I know who would appreciate this revolutionary new book had to know. Frank pointed out that the book comes with a DVD of the film! Ahhh!!!! Must... get... book... NOW! I put it on my wishlist and as soon as I come into a few more dollars I'm buying it. I had recently saw the film and was very impressed by Peter Lorre's performance and the political view of the clashing of different classes and the abuse and distrust of authority. The only thing I was put off by was the amount of smoking (some actors disappeared through clouds of cigarette smoke). I can't wait to get this book and see how a modern illustrator reinterprets this story!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Out of the Past - Into the Now ~ Vanity Fair's Tribute to Hitchcock

I came out of my hiatus just to tell you to watch the newstands for the March 2008 Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair. It features a photo spread in tribute to the great Alfred Hitchcock! Yay! I saw a bit about it on TV. Basically they take well known contemporary actors and dress them up in scenes from different Hitchcock films. I am hungrily searching for a copy as I don't have one yet.

Here is what is in the issue...

Seth Rogan - As Cary Grant in North by Northwest
Renee Zelwegger - As Kim Novak in Vertigo
Scarlett Johansson - As Grace Kelly in Rear Window
Javier Bardem - As James Stewart in Rear Window
Naomi Watts - As Tippi Hedren in Marnie
Charlize Theron - As Grace Kelly in Dial M for Murder
Keira Knightley - As Joan Fontaine in Rebecca
James McAvoy - As Robert Walker in Strangers on a Train
Emile Hirsch - As Farley Granger in Strangers on a Train
Jodi Foster - As Tippi Hedren in The Birds
Marion Cotillard - As Janet Leigh in Psycho
Gwenyth Paltrow- As Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief
Robert Downey Jr. - As Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief

Life Boat
- Tang Wei; Josh Brolin; Casey Affleck; Eva Marie Saint; Ben Foster; Omar Metwally; Julie Christie

I almost hyper-ventilated when I saw the bit on TV. I need to buy a copy or two!!! Go out and get one, especially if you are a hardcore Hitchcock fan like myself! Check it out!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Out of the Past, Into the Now: Metropolis (1927)

I thought I'd start yet another new mini-series on this blog in which I point out references in our present culture (pop culture, literature, etc.) to classic films. I see them all over the place and I think it might be a fun new venture to list them here. Here is my first entry.

Metropolis (1927) anyone?

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