Jun 20, 2008

Frame of Mind 12

directed by Theodore J. Flicker
cinematography by William A. Fraker

Jun 17, 2008

Cyd Charisse (1921-2008)

One of the most limber dancers of the MGM musicals passed away today at age 87. Here she is in one of my favorite fantasy dance numbers from the film THE BAND WAGON. Her dancing partner is Fred Astaire. The number is Dancing in the Dark.

Jun 14, 2008

Beautiful Looking Car at Bargain Basement Price

I recently purchased some films that have a singular relation to each other ... driving, automobiles and the open road. They vary in genre, but they all have this singular theme. I hope to have an odd type of drive-in road movie festival this Summer and watch as many as I can ... and, recently, I saw some scenes from a bizarre Summer B-Horror film from 1977 entitled THE CAR! It is like JAWS on wheels. Some evil entity is driving this big tank-like limo and terrorizing a small town in the mid-west or somewhere . It's nutty, but the clips were beautiful to look at. Observe this one shot of a country road. I believe, in the distance, you can see the cloud of dust signaling the approach of THE CAR!!

The film was directed by Elliot Silverstein; the same man who directed Lee Marvin to an Oscar win in Cat Ballou. Amazing. And the beautiful sky and gleam of THE CAR's Satan black exterior was photographed by Gerald Hirschfeld. And look at this shot (below) of the film's hero and star James Brolin. If you didn't know it, you'd think it was his son Josh. Looks like he's about to investigate the driver of ... THE CAR! Boy, there is nothing like these Summer thrill rides that were tossed into theatres and drive-ins in those hot months. Pure junk that made you smile and forget every damn thing that plagued you ... especially if you were a teenager ... or younger.

I'm certainly looking forward to watching THE CAR this Summer. It's the open road for me ... filled with criminals, motor cycle cops, men in search of Mexican heads, existential pursuits with people with no real names, kidnappers, and demonic automobiles ... oh, and vacationers beset by Devil worshippers. Feel free to join me.

Jun 12, 2008

Different Way to See

The Criterion Collection, a superior dvd production company, not only sells films under their banner, but, also, other items such as caps, shirts, mugs and posters. A new poster, they have alerted subscribers of their newsletter regarding, is of the Jean-Luc Godard film Vivre Sa Vie (My Life to Live). Here is what it looks like:

It is stark and beautiful, much like the film. It is an important film to me ... it literally changed the way I look at movies. I saw it on one of my annual New Year's Eve Movie Marathons. A friend insisted I see it and threw it in the dvd player. We watched it on a projection tv in a dim large family room eating pizza and drinking red wine after watching Noi, an Icelandic film. It captivated me from the first frames of dialogue wherein the star and a co-star talked to each other at a bar with their backs to the camera for about 10 minutes, I think. Totally original. That opening would never be attempted in the conventional Hollywood picture. I had never seen a Godard film before ... and it started the cascade of a New Wave waterfall that I gladly plunged into headfirst.

Jun 4, 2008

The Raftman's Razor (2004)

This was found through my wanderings on the internet.
A short film by Keith Bearden.
It is a wonderful little movie about ...
well, think about what it means to you.
All I know is that it evokes memories from my youth
and reflects, a bit, my musings on life.

Jun 3, 2008

Frame of Mind 11

directed by Richard Attenborough
cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth