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Everything posted by rayban

  1. "Duchess of Idaho" -Robert Z. Leonard - 1950 - starring Esther Williams and Van Johnson and Paula Raymomd and John Lund - this is one of those Esther Williams flicks that seem thoroughly inconsequential - and yet it is done with such verve ands style - that you wouldn't miss a mnute of it -
  2. It's artifical, theatrical - and gorgeous.
  3. I have to confess -I love this film.
  4. "The Shining Hour" - Frank Borzage - 1938 - starring Joan Crawford, Robert Young, Margaret Sullivan, Melvyn Douglas, etc. essentially, this film is a soap-opera - but the director doesn't embrace the genre's conventions - instead, he turns it into a somber romantic melodrama - I don't want to reveal the plot's details - but the love lives of the characters, meant to go one way, quite sudddenly, go another way - there's a lot of suffering - mentally, emotionally, domestically - and there's a wicked witch in the middle of it all - the film has two unforgettable sequences - the burning of the main couple's newly-built home - by - you won't believe it - and the attempted rape of Crawford's character - by - you won't believe it - in the end, well, you might not believe it, either - the distinguished cast does have a ball, though - Crawford's character is the best - she's been around the block, at least twice -
  5. "Susan and God" - George Cukor - 1940 - starring Joan Crawford and Fredric March - according to the credits, the screenplay by Anita Loos is based on the celebrated play by Rachel Crothers - if this play was the state of the American theatre at the time, the theatre must have been in dire straits - as for the film, Susan (Crawford), a wealthy nitwit, returns home from Europe with a new understanding of God - it involves being brutally honest about other people, and telling them to shape up or ship out - how anyone could interpret this as anything other than embracing one's darkest impulses is beyond me - Susan sees it as a harmonious relationship with God - meanwhile her own life is falling apart - she is estranged from her husband, a drunk and her daugher, a lonely wallflower - she tries to embrace her advice and make amends - but her view of herself as God's messenger gets in the way - but somehow she is granted God's grace - and is re-united with the only people who will make her life meaningful - Crawford, who is the most deluded of women, gives a knockout performance - it could not have been easy -
  6. rayban

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    Robert Fuller was probably a closeted homosexual.
  7. Michelangelo Antonioni does inspire a lot of negative criticism. A lot of it is due to his indifference to narrative-driven cinema. A lot of it is due to his bleak view of humanity. And, then, of course, a lot of people did not like Monica Vitti. I am so glad that you can appreciate "Zabriskie Point". Among his major films, I find the trilogy most impressive.
  8. I did, Antonioni is - divisive.
  9. I guess so. There's no point in arguing. Either you love it or you hate it .
  10. "Red Desert" - Michelangelo Antonioni - 1965 - starring Monica Vitti, Richard Harris , Carlo Chionetti, Valerio Bartoleschi - it was Antonioni's first film in color - and it is a visually dazzling canvas - a young married woman is falling apart in an industrial environment that seems both alien and threatening - her husband is not exactly sympathetic - his friend tries to reach her with little success - her son is seeming to mimic his mother's condition - the atmosphere is oppressive - she just can't seem to function - neither can her son - the visual and sound and color design of this film is staggering - it's oppressive - and there is no escape - it is one of the screen's most prestigious achievements - and perhaps Antonioni's greatest film - and a great companion piece to "Zabriskie Point" -
  11. His illness - feigned or otherwise - is probably a response to his mother's unstable condition.
  12. Valerio Bartoleschi in Michelangelo Antonioni's "Red Desert" -
  13. I can't imagine Dirk Bogarde as a hood.
  14. Sorry, I didn't quite finiish up my review. It got away from me. Rod Taylor is very good, too.
  15. "Fate Is The Hunter" - Ralph Nelson - 1964 - starring Glenn Ford, Nancy Kwan, Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette.,etc. Strange movie - a plane crash, almost everyone is killed, the pilot is suspected of being drunk - his good friend tries to salvage his reputation and prove that he wasn't drunk - he does, but this portion takes up most of the movie - it plays somewhat like a whodunit - okay, so what happened - by re-enacting the tragedy, the good friend proves that it was a spilled coffee cup - which sort-circuited the wiring of the engines - it plays out very weakly - especially in this day and age - where this ending would probably be laughed at - still, the film is both well-directed and well-acted - and there's an unbilled appearance by Dorothy Malone - I think that the problem with the film - is that you just know that the pilot wasn't drunk - that somethng more dire was up - but a spilled coffee cup? -
  16. That the filmmakers could have gotten this film out of Marcel Proust's famous masterpiece is a miracle. It is an exquisite film. From what I've read over the years, Jeremy Irons didn't like to become involved in commercial properties. He is an extraordinary actor. I saw him on-stage in "The Real Thing" and his stage presence was magnetic. The film does have a very strong cast. What's your take on the ending - did Charles Swann get a life that he wasn't exxpecting? (My review is on page 785.)
  17. rayban

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    I would like to have seen the fashion show.
  18. Quite an impressive line-up for the night.
  19. "Swann In Love" - Volker Schlondorff - 1984 - starring Jeremy Irons, Ornella Muti and Alain Delon - exquisitely realized portrait of an upper-class gentleman, Charles Swann, who becomes obsessed with a courtesan with a very dubious sexual history, Odette - it is very freely adapted from Marcel Proust's first novel - Charles confides a great deal in his homosexual best friend, Baron de Charlus - the obsession is quite real and totally consuming - the filmmakers make you feel the weight of such an obsession - it practically immobilizes you - and drives you to ridiculous extremes - in the end, Charles Swann gets something he wasn't expecting - marriage, a child and a totally conventional life - there's a highly charged sex scene that's one-of-a-kind, I'd say - it's mostly a lot of whorehouse gossip - a film this exquisite and rarefied - could not have been an easy accomplishment - (obsessions, straight and gay)
  20. Vittorio Gassman did get around.
  21. An overlooked film, definitely, perhaps, in time, it will gain a more substantial reputation.
  22. rayban

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    I will miss James Norton.
  23. "Ice Follies of 1939" cannot be missed. James Stewart, Lew Ayres and Joan Crawford - on skates?
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