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Everything posted by rayban

  1. rayban

    Golden age: Roll call

    John Cassavetes was perfect casting in "Rosemary's Baby". His directing credits with and without his wife were all notable for their obsession with truthfulness. I saw John Cassavetes and Gina Rowlands on the street twice in New York City. They made a very striking couple.
  2. rayban


    I love the films of Pedro Almodovar. He is so often over-the-top. And that quality is his great charm. I am crazy about "Law Of Desire" (1987), "Bad Education" (2004) and "Volver" (2006). "Bad Education" - a film so dense that it's spellbinding.
  3. rayban

    Stranger by the Lake (2014)

    The Quad Cinemas introduced me to a lot of gay foreign films. So I will always be grateful to the Quad Cinemas. One of the most impressive was from The Czech Republic - "The Country Teacher" by Bohdan Slama. The film was about a secretly gay teacher, Petr (Pavel Leska) who decided to leave the gay life of Prague and retire to the country and teach at a rural school. He is housed near the school with an older woman, who's had a difficult marital history, and mistakes Petr's interest in her as possibly sexual interest. But Petr is actually drawn to her 17 year-old son, Lada (Ladislav Sedivy) who isn't doing well at school. Petr decides to tutor Lada - and, under Petr's tutorlege, Lada blooms academically. But Petr is so in love with Lada and finally makes his move. The consequences are interesting, to say the least. It's a tender, brave film that sees its' characters as human beings first - not just people who are painted in black or white. Petr wishes that he weren't falling in love - with a boy - but, sadly, he is and can't help himself.
  4. rayban

    silent film crushes

    I was very attracted to Edward Nugent, who played Freddie, a friend of Joan Crawford's (Diana) in one of her early silent films, "Our Dancing Daughters".
  5. rayban


    Pasolini's film did win the Grand Prix at the Venice Film Festival. But it was also passionately denounced by Pope Paul VI. It was then banned as obscene in Italy. Pasolini was also arrested. But, in a celebrated trial, he was finally acquitted of all charges. It is a film that is open to so many interpretations. The character of the daughter in the family remains quite a mystery, because she seems to be the only one who is not healed. Unless Pasolini is saying that it would be better for her if she had not existed.
  6. rayban

    "Gun Crazy" (1950)

    Peggy Cummins is really terrific in "Gun Crazy". She was also very good in "Moss Rose" with Victor Mature. She was very good at playing young ladies who were far from perfect. Her Hollywood career was short-lived. She went back home to England. And she stayed there happily, I believe.
  7. rayban

    Handcarved Coffins

    I always thought that the first story (a novella, really), "The Last Of Mr. Norris", from Christopher Isherwood's "The Berlin Stories" would have made a first-rate film. Some of this material found its' way into "Christopher and His Kind", both the autobiographical book and the much later TV film version. The story explores a young writer (Christopher Isherwood, using the name William Bradshaw) who travels to Berlin with an older stranger, Arthur Norris, and tries to unravel the mystery of this fascinating, intriguing man. Of course, the section of "The Berlin Stories" that was titled "Sally Bowles" has been turned into a play, a stage musical and a movie musical under the titles, respectively, of "I Am A Camera" and "Cabaret". But nobody seems to have seen the movie potential of "The Last Of Mr. Norris".
  8. rayban


    Pier Paolo Pasolini's first choice for the beautiful young man in "Teorema" was Lee Van Cleef. I just don't see this choice, but, obviously, Pasolini did see it. Reportedly, Pasolini liked rough sex. But the young man in the film is anything but rough.
  9. rayban

    Hallmark Channel & Columbo

    On so many of these classic TV stations, there are so many commercials that are force-fed through each and every program that it sometimes seems to be that the content is edited, too. This approach is especially egregious on the "Matlock" re-runs.
  10. rayban

    BEST Foreign Language Film Ever Made.

    Trying to appreciate Jean-Luc Godard has always been a problem for me. And, it's only been in recent years, that I have been able to appreciate the early ones, especially "Pierrot Le Fou". I was always able to appreciate Michelangelo Antonioni. His films were anti-narrative - and his people were so overwhelmed by the pain of living.
  11. rayban

    Satyajit Ray

    I would like to recommend "The Apu Trilogy". The very first film, "Pather Panchali" affected me very deeply when I first saw it with little knowledge of what it was.
  12. rayban

    Bergman’s Trilogy

    The Bergman Trilogy is such a great piece of work. I was most affected by the heroine's plight in "Through A Glass Darkly". But "the bleakness" of the trilogy is just so impressive.
  13. rayban

    BEST Foreign Language Film Ever Made.

    Very interestingl iist, Jlewis, what do you think of Robert Bresson's "Mouchette" and Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Teorema"?
  14. rayban

    Alain Delon

    One of the greatest couplings in cinema history - Monica Vitti and Alain Delon in "Eclipse" -
  15. rayban

    BEST Foreign Language Film Ever Made.

    I have always had high regard for the Michelangelo Antonioni trilogy - "L'Avventura", "Eclipse" and "La Notte". Today, watching them, I sometimes think that they are a bit much - especially "La Notte" - but the directorial vision is so strong that the films still remain captivating.
  16. For me, it would be Stanley Donen's "Funny Face" with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. I have never gotten over the overall beauty of this truly inspired musical. Somehow, creating a fictional approach to the life of photographer Richard Avedon was the perfect accompaniment to the spirit and energy of a musical. And Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn, who were far apart in age, became somehow "the perfect couple".
  17. The dance dynamic of Astaire and Rogers is so important to the emotional development of the various storylines.
  18. rayban

    Golden age: Roll call

    I loved Elsa Lanchester as a maid in MGM's "The Secret Garden" and as a not-so-nice landlady in MGM's "Mystery Street".
  19. rayban

    Male Beauty In The Movies

    TROY DONAHUE - At his best, in films like "A Summer Place", "Parrish" and "Rome Adventure", he was like a golden light that you wanted to be a part of - but he wanted to be taken seriously as an actor, and "My Blood Runs Cold" put an end to the movie star phase of his acting career - he also battled drug and alcohol addiction, and you can see it in films like "Palm Springs Weekend" - but perhaps if Warner Bros. hadn't overworked him in both a TV series and movies - HE WOULD'VE LASTED LONGER AS A MOVIE STAR.
  20. "Top Hat" is my favorite Astaire/Rogers musical.
  21. rayban

    Who's watching FRENCHMAN'S CREEK on TCM?

    Since 20th Century Fox spent so much money on the production and it was based on a popular book by Daphne du Maurier, they were probably hoping for another "Rebecca". Both heroines are "beleaguered", to say the least, but they openly invite their fates - Rebecca by marrying Max de Winter and Joan Fontaine's character by giving herself to the pirate.
  22. rayban

    Who's watching FRENCHMAN'S CREEK on TCM?

    James Agee called "Frenchman's Creek" a "**** fantasy".
  23. rayban


    There was a great deal of Buster Crabbe's nearly unclothed bod in the "Tarzan" serial that he made in the early 30's. That serial has survived, I believe, only as a feature-length version. But archivists, I hear, are still looking.
  24. rayban

    Legion of Decency

    The Legion of Decency condemnation of "Baby Doll" was an important factor in its' enormous box-office success. I really did want to see "Baby Doll" - then I saw that it was CONDEMNED - but I went to see it anyway. I did feel guilty for this "sin" - and I was knocked out by what I saw. Years later, I was actually able to see "Stromboli", which was so vehemently condemned. But, for Ingrid Bergman's personal life, I think, not for the Rossellini film itself. The film is an atrocity - and should've been sold to Catholics as the "wages of sin".
  25. rayban

    London Spy: New gay-themed BBC series

    I missed last week's episode so I am at a disadvantage. But the overall grimness really bothered me.

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