DougieB

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Everything posted by DougieB

  1. DougieB

    Horst Buchholz: the German James Dean

    The first time I was aware of him, I think, was in Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three (1961). Even though it was set in West Berlin, it was an English language film and his command of the language seemed a little shaky. He was also playing a somewhat stereotypical radical and even though his stridency and urgency matched that of the movie as a whole, it was hard to get a grasp of him as an actor. But in Fanny that same year he came into sharper focus and he did have some of that James Dean quality as a character who had dreams but was being asked to compromise, and was maybe a little irresponsible in dealing with the situation. It seems like a lot of countries had their own "James Dean" and "Marilyn Monroe", but not many measured up to the originals. As for Horst Buchholz, I don't have a good sense of his overall career, but I have a strong memory of him in those two films.
  2. You'll never convince me that "the fangs of sensitivity" is a thing. We all have a lot to lose with political correctness gone amok, but sensitivity is the only thing that can save us at this point.
  3. DougieB

    Darwin Porter/Danforth Prince

    Is there ever any direct attribution to actual sources or is the reader supposed to accept it all on faith? You mentioned that there are extended verbatim conversations which he couldn't have been a party to, so is it more like fan fiction? I'm asking now because when I went to order the new Rock Hudson bio, I saw another by Porter which came out a few years ago. If Porter is someone who can be trusted, I'd be interested in that one too, but I honestly can't tell what this guy is all about, not having actually read anything by him.
  4. DougieB

    Girls Town(1959)

    This is one of the best examples of stunt casting ever. You have the inimitable Mamie Van Doren acting her little heart out (as Silver, one of the best bad-girl names ever), Mel Torme (called "The Velvet Smog" by Judy Garland) as a biker hood, pudding-faced teen idol Paul Anka, smarmy bandleader Ray Anthony, "Father Knows Best" perfect daughter Elinor Donahue, The Platters singing group (who deserved so much better), and nuns, nuns, nuns! It's all in widescreen and teenage rebellion never looked so good.
  5. DougieB

    Boom! (1968) - Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton

    The legendary nuttiness of this movie makes it a must-see. John Waters has called it his favorite film; in the scene in Pink Flamingos where Babs and Cracker break into the Marvel's home (actually Waters' own) to lick all the furniture, the poster for Boom! is featured prominently in the stairwell.
  6. DougieB

    Classic Films with a Gay Twist

    A lot of these are purely fantasy pairings, but this one actually makes intuitive sense in a strange kind of way. Both women had a double-edged appeal; they both could be a good-natured gal pal or an alluring femme fatale and it would indeed be interesting to see them focus their unique talents on each other.
  7. DougieB

    Name a Celebrity - Name a Movie

    with Bobby Troup Bobby Troup was in The Gene Krupa Story with Susan Kohner.
  8. DougieB

    The Prince And The Showgirl

    I caught up with The Prince and the Showgirl from the TCM menu and can totally see what cj was talking about. The first example you see is of the two diplomats looking out the window to watch a carriage pass by on the street. It's actually a somewhat elaborate shot: the background shows the carriage approaching, moving directly in front of the window, and then moving away, so that in the background shot the camera had swiveled by at least 90 degrees. That's matched by a camera movement in the foreground from right to left, with the two men framed in the window. The overall combined effect is of the two men at the window watching the approach and departure of the carriage all in one take, beautifully done. BUT, there's the aforementioned problem of the mismatching foreground and background, very noticeable and very distracting. I think TikiSoo's point that background should fade with distance is correct, but it seems that may work better for black and white than for color. The background in the TPATS sequences was indeed faded, but looked washed-out and unrealistic. It seems that a better way to deal with the problem in a color film would be to adjust the focus, not necessarily the color. I know it's cheeky for us amateurs to be second-guessing a renowned cinematographer, but it's difficult to understand how he could have been happy with the results of that scene after having been so painstaking in matching the camera movement in the foreground and background.
  9. You're way more than fluent but, regardless, we speak with ours minds, not our mouths, and your brain is everywhere in evidence. It's one of the reasons I've lurked on the fringes of this thread, to soak up the camaraderie and overall intelligence of the posters here in Bronxieland. You can all do zingers with the best of them, but there's none of the oneupsmanship you see in the outskirts. Now that we've reached such a dismal low point as a society, it means everything to have a safe space where you feel like you can come in without knocking, grab something from the fridge and flop down in a comfy chair. (But I'll keep my feet off the coffee table, I promise, Bronxie.) The talk goes in all directions, from the sublime to the ridiculous...and the recipes! I'm just so glad you're all here holding down the fort and I fully intend to drop by from time to time.
  10. I'm a sir, but maybe we should leave the "good" part on the table, still to be determined. (Hope Santa's not listening.) But I'm a sir who strays beyond the bounds of what's acceptably masculine in some quarters, hint hint, wink wink. But, in the words of that great American philosopher, Bette Midler: "**** 'em if they can't take a joke." I absolutely meant our Hackmark buds. I also just discovered that Lifetime has their own brand of cinematic drool....There goes my winter. P.S. Just so you know, I self-censored but left the first letter only, which was still too much apparently. Sorry, mods. Santa's never going to get over this.
  11. DougieB

    Name a Celebrity - Name a Movie

    Elvis Presley was in Jailhouse Rock with Judy Tyler.
  12. DougieB

    The Prince And The Showgirl

    And that was Jack Cardiff, one of the great cinematographers. I wasn't aware there had been a new restoration, so I'll watch if it's broadcast again. HD is a blessing for movie lovers, but also kind of a curse for the filmmakers of old whose shortcomings and shortcuts are brought into sharper relief. In this case, it's not like using grainy stock footage of wildebeests for a Tarzan movie; it would have been Cardiff's own footage used for backgrounds so you'd think more attention would have been paid to integrating it.
  13. Being articulate is so hard, kids. SansFin is lucky to have it be without end, as shown in that thoughtfully considered analysis. The most I usually manage is the occasional snappy comeback. I usually have to shut down by 2 P.M. now that I'm in my "mellow" years. Also, I try to do alternate days only. Now I'm off to see what my buds in Vancouver are up to...
  14. DougieB

    A Very English Scandal

    BBC America showed London Spy so I was hoping it would do the same for A Very English Scandal. I still check periodically, so maybe it will still show up.
  15. Both are great choices. Miyazaki is one of the best modern fantasists (or fabulists or whatever). The innocence you mentioned sets him apart from Tim Burton, who tends to veer to "the Dark Side". Miyazaki's worlds are ones you can inhabit without fear. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is a genius concept, and it wasn't Stoppard's only one in his long career. Anyone who can find room for himself inside the realm of Shakespeare is my kind of playwright.
  16. Thanks for the heads-up and the link. I liked reading that Jane herself assessed the problem as being that she wanted to do it fairly seriously and the director wanted to punch up the comedy, which seems pretty astute of her. Jane had a head on her shoulders (as well as the other assets mentioned above) and could freely admit to having done some stinkers, which I really liked about her. She's very near the top of my personal pantheon of favorites and I'll watch her in anything, even this. She was right that one of the major problems with the movie was that of tone. I was excited when I read the mention of Run for the Sun (1956) as being one of the films her production company had done because I'd never even heard of it. Could it be there was a Jane Russell movie I didn't know about after all these years? Turns out no; it was a Russ-Field production, but no Jane. I loved her delivery. She could put an ironic spin on dialogue like the best of them. She played feminine women who insisted on a man's perogatives, which I think made her a very "modern" actress before the time of feminism.
  17. For someone with such a distinguished lineage, his tentacles are wandering unconscionably.
  18. DougieB

    " Love, Simon" (2018)

    No, not to epic proportions, though I think you're right that it's a kind of gay parable. Much of it is friend-on-friend moments which have the ring of truth to them. But the thing about that age, and I can pretty clearly recall myself back then, is that things which rock your life like that do seem epic. I think it's because we haven't lived long enough at that age that we're knocked for a loop by things which are unanticipated and which go against the grain. I was closeted until college, and even beyond that in some cases, and in high school I equated the possibility of discovery to personal humiliation just as Simon did. As I said in my first post, it was dismaying to see that dynamic still in action for at least some people of that age in the present day. My first response was to question the authenticity of Simon's experience in these more "enlightened" times, but I'm realizing after some thought that we only have to look to The Trevor Project and the It Gets Better movement to know that kids still suffer in solitude and are desperate for guidance and understanding, to the point where lives are lost. Simon may not be the most eloquent statement on the subject, but the fact that it made it to neighborhood theaters and the cultural mainstream seems to signify that it's reaching, and maybe helping to create, an audience.
  19. I watched Mr. S too. Hackmark needs a Punishment Poll. Bye Bye, Lacey Chabert! (And Beau Bridges, in your honor).
  20. DougieB

    " Love, Simon" (2018)

    It's very much a part of the social media era in which mystery and innuendo seem to flourish. Simon opens up to someone anonymously and inevitably becomes curious about this person's real life identity. Simon is outed when someone accidentally sees his postings and takes screen shots, which are used to blackmail Simon into betraying one, then others, of his friends. When it all finally goes public, his online friend disconnects from Simon since he's become "toxic". There's irony in the fact that someone who inspired Simon abandoned him, but then is ultimately inspired by Simon in return. So it doesn't lose all the grit. Neither is it excessively cutesy, though the 100% supportive parents lean in that direction. It's a fairly honest attempt to sketch a character at a crossroads in his life who comes under public scrutiny before he's really ready. The blackmail idea is maybe a gimmicky way to do it, but it does show the compromises gay people have to consider, whether they act on them or not.
  21. You may have hit on something. The carried-off-by-an-ape plot is one they haven't gotten to yet, especially robotic outer space ones. Copyright it now! Loved your thoughts and prayers for the poor sweltering actors and I see you have a sharp eye for the identical potted "autumnal" shrubs with the same twisty trunks which they cart from location to location (and from movie to movie) on a flatbed truck. There are the inevitable cherished family "heirlooms" which the prop department obviously picked up for a song from the clearance rack at Pier 1. My favorite is when they cover up a pile of who-knows-what to make a snow drift and you can see the wrinkles in the cloth. I never quite understood that one of the consequences of being a movie lover would be that I would resort to this stuff, but it beats reality any day. It's a comfort to know that somewhere across the globe someone else is chuckling too. And have a great Christmas for real!
  22. DougieB

    " Love, Simon" (2018)

    Of course. I understand that this is just one film, but unfortunately it becomes ripe for comment when there are so few others. The initial comments I'd heard about the movie when it was released led me to believe it maybe didn't rely on tropes and, even though I understood there wouldn't be a documentary thoroughness in exploring its subject, I hoped it would be satisfyingly realistic. In large part it was. The character was seen in a variety of contexts: homelife, school, extra-curricular, and non-school-related activities with his friends. His friends were bright and charming, which made the corrosive secrecy involved in his sexual identity particularly frustrating because, as I mentioned, it had uncomfortable echoes of my own youth 50+ years ago. I've heard stories from young gay voices which have made me hope that the overall environment in our schools had shifted in a more positive direction, but this movie made me doubt that and now I'm more unclear than ever. In any case, it's important that (particularly young) movie audiences understand that the struggle is real and that they (we) all have a part in it.
  23. DougieB

    " Love, Simon" (2018)

    I finally caught up with it on HBO too and also liked it, with reservations. For one thing, I went to high school in the early 1960's, and it was disheartening to see how familiar it all looked after more than fifty years of "progress". We know from Kinsey and others that a good percentage of those kids in that high school must be gay but there's still that wall of mystery around it all. There's closeted Simon, there's the school "f*ag" who takes the heat for everybody else and there's one other "mystery" gay....It made me want to scream out of frustration if this is where we still are. I agree that Martin's "redemption" seemed too easy, and it even seemed that Simon's may have been too easy as well, since he really sold out his friends and straight-up lied to and manipulated them to protect himself. And what about kids who don't have "cool" parents? What if the person Simon had poured his heart out to anonymously had turned out not to be "cute"? I agree that it's a landmark film in its way, but, in spite of the somewhat tortured path Simon has to take, the over-all "feel good" vibe (John Hughes was mentioned earlier.) seems to obscure potential collateral damage which could be just as educational to look at. There are so few films like this still that it's probably inevitable that we'd want them to be more than they are, so I hope I haven't sounded immune to the movie's charm. But I hope young people who like this film will give their attention to other, more profound, films about the difficulties of gay life.
  24. I know I'm not one of your buds, but I enjoy this thread. I loved your take on the Hallmark movies. They're mind-numbingly perfect for these trying times. I got sucked in last year and truly marvel at the endless variations on one or two threadbare plotlines which they're able to spin out time after time. I especially like (Is that the word?) the ones where the city girl goes home and gets caught up in the tulip festival, the pumpkin festival, the apple festival, the winter festival, etc. etc. I swear I'm going to write one before I die. How hard could it be? After two or three of them, they've totally spelled out the formula. My favorite subgenre is the American finding out her boyfriend is a European royal and getting all befuddled by palace protocol, etc. I keep thinking there couldn't be any more names left to call fictional monarchies, but they keep coming up with new ones. Anyone who features Brussel sprouts at a holiday meal is A-OK with me. Also a fan.
  25. DougieB

    Fosse/Verdon

    And Lin-Manuel Miranda is on the production team. I have hopes for this project because of all the theater talent involved. Hollywood has a very checkered history when dealing with the subject of New York theater, but it sounds as if this is in the hands of people who may better understand what they're dealing with. Fosse was also a major player in films as a director, but from the title I'm assuming it will deal more with his early theater and film days. I'm really looking forward to this.

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