whistlingypsy

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  1. whistlingypsy

    Hedda Hopper Film Festival on TCM

    I find this not so much troubling as implausible: despite being the subject of profiles in fan and movie magazines, that’s her with son William from a 1923 issue of Motion Picture Magazine, there is no such thing as A Hedda Hopper Film. She appeared in silent films, such as Don Juan (1926) with John Barrymore and Children Of Divorce (1927) with Gary Cooper and Clara Bow, none of which, I suspect, will be included among those screened. She often appeared as part of an ensemble cast, such as in Let Us Be Gay (1930) and Midnight (1939), with other top billed actors and actresses. In Doughnuts And Society (1936), however, she received fifth billing, after Louise Fazenda and Ann Rutherford.
  2. I have had something of a love-hate relationship with the films of Woody Allen over the years, which has more recently mellowed into a can't wait to see what he does next sensibility. I agree with Emily that his choice of music/songs for the soundtrack is one element I loved from the beginning. I prefer his nostalgic visions of the past, and his early work reflects his developing style as a filmmaker, but his tendency to revisit certain subjects can produce mixed results. I recently caught Irrational Man (2015) and found it interesting, but a weak attempt to duplicate his Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), which is far superior. Radio Days (1987); Midnight In Paris (2011); Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989); Sweet and Lowdown (1999); What's New Pussycat (1965), his screenplay/his acting/he did not direct
  3. whistlingypsy

    Very Strange Movies

    Filmie, that's hilarious; this could be the new standard, replace the tomatoes with numbers of asthma attacks a film induces. The scene of the floating head singing Brazil in the opening of the film reminds me of Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985), or any film by the director. Derek Jarman's films also tend to be on the surreal end of the spectrum; Tilda Swinton as Lady Ottoline Morrell in Wittgenstein (1993) is classic Jarman.
  4. whistlingypsy

    Very Strange Movies

    In the immortal words of Monty Python, and now for something completely different: films that range from a bit weird, to artsy, to bad to a touch odd. The Color Of Pomegranates (1968): directed by Sergei Parajanov, this visually fascinating film explores obscure (to me) references to Armenian culture and history. The Ballad Of Tam Lin (1970): Roddy McDowall directed this film based on the Scottish legend, starring Ava Gardner, with Joanna Lumely in a bit part, the soundtrack captures the brief popularity of British Folk Music featuring the music of The Pentangle. Peau d'âne (1971): a musical directed by Jacques Demy, starring Catherine Deneuve as a young princess who escapes her father’s, Jean Marais, demands to marry him, by adopting the hide of a donkey. Le Orme (1974): directed by Luigi Bazzoni and referred to as giallo, the plot explores subjects not usually found in the genre, and without the requisite violence, but stands up to repeated viewing. Uncle Boonmee: Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010): directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul this visually stunning film explores obscure (again to me) references to Thai culture and history.
  5. whistlingypsy

    Great One-Liners

    I'm so mad I could bite myself! ~ Roscoe Ates as Peter Higgins to Polly Moran as Ivy Higgins in Politics (1931):
  6. whistlingypsy

    Lookalikes?

    EricJ, I remember a similar comparison, in the late 1990s, for some magazine or other no longer in publication. The comparison was between Dermot Mulroney and Dylan McDermott. The rationale being similar names make it impossible to tell one from the other, ignoring the fact they share only a passing resemblance, one based mostly on hair color.
  7. whistlingypsy

    Dressing at Cross Purposes

    Funny thing, Dargo, Candy Darling has more natural glamour than, say, Jayne Mansfield or Marilyn Monroe late in their respective careers.
  8. whistlingypsy

    Great One-Liners

    Mr. Snow: You would think a woman with nine children would have more common sense. Mrs. Snow: If I had more common sense, I wouldn't have nine children. ~ Mr. Snow to Mrs. Snow in Carousel (1956):
  9. whistlingypsy

    Dressing at Cross Purposes

    The image of Jack Benny in drag, for his role in Charley’s Aunt (1951), reminds me that many of silent film’s biggest comedians often found themselves in predicaments requiring slightly more feminine attire. Roscoe “Fatty" Arbuckle dressed in women's clothing in many scenarios, and as much as I love Buster, frills and lace was probably not his best look. Charlie Chaplin dressed as a woman in a Keystone Comedy, but never after leaving the studio, however, his brother Syd had a role in Charley’s Aunt (1925), which required him to pass as a woman throughout most of the film. I chose this film because, one, it is slightly more obscure than some, and two, can you imagine a homelier pair of ladies than this duo. The image is from the film Ski Party (1965) and if I indulge in a bit of bad punning, could be called Bosom Buddies meets Some Like It Cold (with a serious case of HELP! (1965) envy). The beach blanket bingo set travels to a ski resort, for a bit of distraction, where Frankie Avalon and Dwayne Hickman find themselves trying to pass as co-eds with five o’clock shadow. Eddie Izzard is an actor and comedian who takes his sartorial cues from the women’s line, and appears in feminine attire both onstage and in his personal life. He can be seen as Charlie Chaplin in The Cat’s Meow (2001) and as a soldier passing for a woman in the World War II themed film All The Queen’s Men (2001), which, although I haven’t seen this one, seems more plausible in theory than in execution. My choice for loveliest lady presented by an actor would have to been Cillian Murphy. He is, without question, a beautiful man, which makes it easier to believe him as a beautiful woman. He has adopted feminine attire in two films, Breakfast On Pluto (2002) and Peacock (2010) and, well, the photograph speaks for itself.
  10. whistlingypsy

    Movies Made for Television

    SansFin, I saw this recently based on your comments in Cave Girl's thread about magical films/magic in films. My knowledge of Russian cinema is extremely limited, and I really enjoyed discovering this film. The subversive humor came as a wonderful surprise, a bit of Month Python meets Peter Sellers. I understood the significance of some of the references, and I'm sure many more were over my head. I want to thank you for bringing this film to my/our attention.
  11. whistlingypsy

    Queen Marie

    Dr. Ed, I couldn't agree with you more; I'm enjoying watching some old favorites featuring Marie Dressler. I find it a bit sad that when discussing her films, the focus is on another actress, such as Garbo, but her turn as SOTM gives her time in the spotlight. My favorite sound picture is Let Us Be Gay (1930), which, although a showcase for Norma Shearer, allows Marie to shine in a role tailor made for her humor and talent.
  12. whistlingypsy

    Distaff Half Psychopaths

    Speaking of Crawford and McCambridge, two additional roles, from two separate films, come to mind. Joan Crawford plays a woman who becomes increasingly unstable in Possessed (1947), but with extenuating circumstances. If we accept the notion of the femme fatale in film noir, this film is proof of the homme fatal. Van Heflin takes far too much pleasure in causing Joanie's fall from grace. Mercedes McCambridge's character in Lightning Strikes Twice (1951) is a bit problematic: if you have seen the film, you will know why this is the case. If you have not seen the film, which is worth seeing at least once, then there is the question of spoilers. Her character isn't full on whack-a-doodle, but I'll just say that she isn't all she seems. I can think of another young lady who would vehemently demonstrate her displeasure if she were not included in this illustrious group: Miss Veda Pierce, a predatory female who mercilessly drove her mother ‘round the twist. Let's not forget the female half of one of the most infamous crime couples of the early 20th century. If Clyde Barrow was something of a criminal mastermind, then Bonnie Parker certainly bears half the responsibility (or was this a case of, "if she had known then what she later couldn't deny?").
  13. whistlingypsy

    Movies Made for Television

    Two films come to mind: Maybe I'll Come Home In The Spring (1971) and The Execution of Private Slovik (1974), both of which I saw on television, either cable or PBS. The first film stars Sally Fields and has a somewhat heavy-handed anti-drug message. I thought, at the time, the film gave SF a chance to break free of her Gidget persona, but can't say if it would hold up after the passage of so many years. The second film stars Martin Sheen in the title role, a role that first introduced me to the actor. The intense subject matter is handled with sensitivity, and I still recall how it made a profound impression on my young mind.
  14. whistlingypsy

    How to search for Silent Comedies (all) on TCM schedule?

    Hi Jeff, nice to hear from another fan of the glorious world of silent films. I suspect you won't have reason to check back for and answer, as the silent film forum doesn't have the same level of traffic as in the past. The answer to your question is, unfortunately, the website doesn't support the search capabilities you and many of us would hope for, allowing us to focus on silent films. For the present, the best means of uncovering a film that might be new to you is, as you said, searching the schedule a week or so in advance. Best wishes and hoping all your silent dreams come true.
  15. whistlingypsy

    Don't Say I Didn't Warn You!

    I had marked this on my calendar, and I was looking forward to Annette and Michael's intro and outro to the film. I suspect both will dazzle us with their pithy insights, but I hope you don't mind if I gush all the same. This is my favorite version of Strindberg's play, as I struggle with the 1999 film version starring Saffron Burrows and the 1987 play starring Janet McTeer. I realize the play depends on the claustrophobic nature of the stage-bound action to heighten the sense of panic in the lead character. However, the director's willingness to open the narrative to exterior filming makes, for me, a sharper contrast between nature's seductive beauty and the "cruel madness of love" (thanks Alfred Lord). The cinematography is stunning, often producing a landscape capable of making one believe in magic, and watching a young Max von Sydow is simply one more flower in this midsummer's night garland.

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