As most readers of this blog know, I am a big fan of filmmaker Frank Capra. Not only was he an excellent writer and director, but he was a good man.
I have recently been watching his famed Why We Fight films. He made these with the Signal Corps in WWII; they were considered so good that instead of being shown only to the troops as originally intended, Roosevelt insisted that they be shown in American theaters, as well.
The films are good. They are propagandistic, but they do intend to unite proper emotion to proper action, and are very well done (heck, I was tearing up over France at the end of one film).
Ironically, when I got the films through Netflix, the movie advertised on the inside of the envelope was "No End in Sight; The American Occupation of Iraq." In theatres this fall.
Who will stand up now and remind us why we are fighting? Who will remind us what is worth dying for? Who will remind us of the price of freedom?
So I went out with Liz last night. We ended up going along Birch St. and had dinner at Fresca's, then wandered around for a while before catching the 9:40 showing of Transformers. The movie was really fun, especially with Liz geeking out every few minutes beside me (much more enjoyable to see movies with a fan!) (granted, I did my own geeking out when Tom Lenk appeared on screen for a few minutes...Too bad he didn't have a bigger part! And too bad Danny Strong wasn't there as well) And that was a LOT of fun...but I got to sleep at 1...got up at 7...Need a nap......zzz........
I love classic movies. Two of my all-time favorite actors are Jimmy Stewart and Audrey Hepburn (classy, both of them). And now, thanks to Netflix, my access to classic films is exponentially increased. Most video stores around here don't have Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, but I go onto Netflix, and not only get the movie I want, but recommendations about similar movies that I might be interested in. I can get recommendations by genre, director, or actor (yay, Vincent Price movies! not enough of them, but still..)
Recently seen classics:
Gaslight (the 1944? version, with Ingrid Bergman): Definately worthy of its reputation as a classic. Creepy, interesting, and holy smokes can Bergman act.
The Blob: Campy, weird, and starring Steve McQueen. Doesn't get better than that. Except that the theme music will get stuck in your head very very quickly.
The Day the Earth Stood Still: Again, a classic. Interesting, well-acted (remembering that the 1950's preferred a different acting style), if perhaps a little formulaic. But still, quite good.
Dial M for Murder: Classic Hitchcock. The viewer knows what happened, and who tried to have the ingenue killed, but we all wonder how in the world the detective will piece it all together.
Laura: Very weird movie, this one. But Gene Tierny is quite possibly the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, and plays her part well.
The Manchurian Candidate: Ok, so it's been a few years since I've seen this one. But this is completely deserving of its stature as a classic thriller. Very creepy film, particularly the scenes near the beginning when the men think they are in a garden club meeting.
All the President's Men: Good film. They manage to keep the tension high, even though it's just a story about a newspaper story! Excellently done.
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town: I never understood why Gary Cooper was supposed to be so good-looking, until I saw this movie. A Capra classic! Especially the "pixellated" scene.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Another Capra classic. While the movie may seem naive by today's standards, Capra's instinct, that goodness and honesty will ultimately triumph over corruption, is dead-on.
Rope: Another classic by Htichcock. This one is a bit more cerebral, but very worth watching. Two students murder a classmate, simply to prove that they can, and hide his body in their apartment while they throw a dinner party for his parents and fiancee. Their former teacher, played by Jimmy Stewart, is also present; he realizes that his classroom talk about nihilism and being above morality has inspired these two to committ their crime. Excellent film.
Creature From the Black Lagoon: Interesting, but not great. Probably was better in the original 3-D, but still interesting. The underwater shots are great.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers: fun, but with plot holes you can put your fist through. Great performance from Kevin McCarthy.
The Motte family (Tim, Rachel, and Lucy) came over for dinner yesterday. Lucy was a little over-excited, but had fun, so that was good. It was SO NICE to have a place that I can invite people to! And so wonderful to have friends to invite over!
I am an awkward, stubborn, slightly insane woman who would rather talk Plato than Prada, rather watch Frank Capra than Carrie Bradshaw, and rather listen to Norse myths sung in Icelandic than anything currently on the radio. Yeah. Told you I was weird.