Jul 27, 2008

Frame of Mind 15

directed by Arthur Penn
cinematography by Bruce Surtees

Jul 26, 2008

If Michael Bay Remade TAXI DRIVER ...

... it would star Shia LeBeouf as Travis Bickle.

Take place during extremely sunny daylight.

Have a scene where his taxi is pursued by a helicopter silhouetted against a setting sun.

His taxi would have the capability of transforming into a friendly robot who helps him fight crime.

Shia would cry.

Have a scene wherein Travis looks incredulous when the taxi/robot speaks to him for the first time and he replies,
"Ar-are you ... talking ... to ... ME!!??"

Toe Tapper

AMERICAN TEEN was one of the more critically acclaimed documentaries at this year's Sundance Film Festival. It is being highly anticipated this Summer for general release. I am looking forward to it and will, hopefully, see it ... in the mean time, I became aware of some of the music from the film's soundtrack and one bit of pop pleasure is this number done by Black Kids and it is entitled I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You. It's beat and infectious lyrics engaged me immediately. One of the great pleasures in life is stumbling across musical magic that casts a mysterious spell of elation on some part of your soul. It's inexplicable, but it's a mystery best left unsolved.

Jul 19, 2008

Frame of Mind 14

directed by Woody Allen
cinematography by Gordon Willis

Jul 9, 2008

Frame of Mind 13

F IS FOR FAKE (1974)
directed by Orson Welles
cinematography by Francois Reichenbach

Jul 3, 2008

Lincoln Center Tribute to William Holden

From July 2 until July 15, the Walter Reade Theater at New York's Lincoln Center will run a film tribute to actor film tribute to actor William Holden. The roster of films is impressive and rightly displays the essence of an actor who, though an eventual Best Actor Oscar winner, I believe, was considered as a second tier leading man during most of his career. But, Holden was a magnificent actor who, though very attractive as a younger man in a matinee idol sense, showed layers of emotion not found in most male film stars of his generation. He was not afraid to show the psychological underpinnings of the men he portrayed. Whether he was the hungry screenwriter using a dangerous demented silent screen star to his advantage, a cynical prisoner of war, a western outlaw whose glory days were over, or an aged bitter television executive, Holden was always ready to show the weakness and pain in these men ... never afraid to show the scars that most good-looking male stars would cringe from exposing on screen. You could always see the sadness and the loss of faith ... the readiness to challenge authority. He was great when he got angry. I can't think of another American actor that could spit out an angry tirade with an almost non-inhaling vocalization like Holden.

I encountered him in most of his older roles, while I was growing up. I saw him in westerns and war films and he starred in several Billy Wilder gems in his younger and older days. He even was believable as a man of intellect with horn-rimmed glasses in Born Yesterday and The Towering Inferno. He always impressed me with his presence. In fact, for some reason, I loved films about older men trying to cope with changing times ... their melancholy and anger and his acting lit the fuse of that interest. He was one of the actors that went with the times and aged like a fine bottled Scotch in his roles. And it is best to describe him as a bottle of Scotch; irascible, hard-hitting, yet ready to provide comfort and a feeling of safety like a shot after a hard day of being toyed with Life. He was not a fine bottle of wine. It's strange I use that alcohol metaphor, it was known he was an alcoholic and, sadly, died due to an accidental fall due to his drinking.

I notice two westerns and a war film of his are not in this roster. One is The Revengers and the other Blake Edwards' The Wild Rovers. The war film being The Devil's Brigade. All these films, actually quite mediocre, impressed me as a young lad. He was so impressive in the roles. He was grizzled, sad, scary, heroic, bitter, but you knew you could depend on him like a Father figure.

I want to see these films again. And the film tribute described on this YouTube presentation from the Film Society at Lincoln Center makes me want to scratch this cinematic itch.