Thursday, January 28, 2010

RIP: JD Salinger & Zelda Rubinstein

J.D. Salinger, the awesome writer who wrote one of the best novels of all time, Catcher in the Rye, has passed away today at the age of 91. I loved following Holden Caulfield through his rebelliousness. Definitely not the book to skip for English class because it's too amazing. I've tried explaining this to those who refused to read it. Wow, have they missed out!

I don't know much about the author, but there is quite a nice article about him in the New York Times for his obituary. Here is the link for it, if you want to read it: J. D. Salinger, Enigmatic Author of ‘The Catcher in the Rye,’ Dies at 91 - Obituary (Obit) -

The little woman, Zelda Rubinstein, who was in the movies: The Poltergeist, Teen Witch, and Sixteen Candles passed away yesterday at the age of 76. She also was the narrator for The Scariest Places on Earth. Being the horror fanatic that I am, this made me very sad. I'll admit that I was a little afraid of her when I was little when I saw The Poltergeist. It was so eery when she said, "Go into the light!!!" I realized she was not scary, but awesome as I got older. She's my favorite character in Teen Witch! Also, I love watching The Scariest Places on Earth! Seriously,  it's the main show that I watch during October, which is my favorite . She was crazy awesome at setting the tone for the haunted places! 

I've posted a little scene from the Poltergeist below. It doesn't give anything away about the film, if you haven't seen it yet. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Audrey Hepburn

Today is the 17th anniversary of Audrey Hepburn, who passed away from cancer on January 20, 1993. She is one of my favorite actresses. I love her style and all the movies that I've seen with her. Sabrina is my favorite film of hers, but it is closely followed by Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Charade, Funny Face, and Wait Until Dark

Not only was Audrey a fantastic actress and fashion icon, but she also was a very kind and giving person. Her involvement with UNICEF is inspirational and I hope that I can be involved in helping that charity someday.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Cary Grant!

I was told that I need to have emergency surgery tomorrow on my jawbone area. Hopefully, it somehow will get rid of the pain I have been experiencing rather than prolonging it or causing more. However, the 18th was still a great day. Why? Well, because I got to watch a Cary Grant movie to celebrate his birthday, of course! I love him! Watched my favorite with him, which is Hitchcock's Notorious.

I'll write more about that film when I'm not so tired. I had a very long day, longer than I anticipated. Work in the morning, school in the afternoon, then rushing to pack and barely making it onto the long Amtrak ride home in an entirely different state. I'll be feeling better soon enough, so I'm happy! 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Horror Movies that Rock: The Innocents

I love horror films, a vast majority of them, too. I love the 80's slashers, classic Hitchcock thrillers, independent horror, and foreign horror films. As of right now, I have a new psychological classic horror obsession: The Innocents (1961) with Deborah Kerr and a bunch of other fantastic actors. The movie is based on Henry James’ “Turn of the Screw.”

In my opinion, this is Deborah Kerr's best film. I've read from other sources that she too felt that it was her best performance. I’m astounded that she wasn’t nominated for her role in this film. In the film, she plays a governess, Miss Giddens, to two orphaned children, Miles and Flora. The story focuses on the story of the death of the governess, Miss. Jessel, who Miss. Giddens replaced. Miss. Giddens learns that Miss. Jessel was in a romantic and frightening relationship with a handsome man, Quint, who lived on the grounds. He died on the grounds before Miss. Jessel's death occurred and was described as a violent and manipulative man.

Apparently, the children were very influenced by both of them and rarely left them alone. Flora would follow Miss. Jessel and Miles would follow after Quint. Quint and Miss. Jessel allowed the two to follow them around closely, which others explained as being inappropriate. Miles and Flora saw things that children are not meant to be exposed to at their age, such as violence and extreme sexual passion between a man and a woman.

Miss. Giddens is a very sexually repressed woman. She becomes obsessed with the relationship between Quint and Miss. Jessel. She also begins to see the ghosts of both of these people. Quint is portrayed as very evil and manipulative, even as a ghost. Miss. Giddens begins to fear for the safety of the children. She believes that the spirits of Quint and Miss. Jessel are attempting to possess them, so that they can use the children’s bodies in order to continue their love affair.

What makes the film so creepy is the back-story in the film, the oddly heightened maturity of the children, and the apparitions of the ghosts. Throughout the film, it is hard to determine whether or not the ghosts actually existed or if Miss. Giddens was going insane due to being oddly intrigued by a love affair between a man and a woman she never met.

Truman Capote was one of the screenwriters of this film, which I find awesome. Capote was a fantastic writer. He became even more impressive as a writer, in my opinion, after seeing this film. Fantastic at writing horror! His screenwriting partner was William Archibald, who I don’t know much about, other than he wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s, I Confess.

Another impressive part of this film is the young boy who plays Miles, Martin Stephens. Martin Stephens was an English child actor. He mainly starred in horror films and the other film that he is in that may be familiar to some of you is Village of the Damned (1960). He should have been nominated for an Oscar for his performance in The Innocents. You can get a taste of his performance by watching a clip where he recites a poem, which is one of my favorite scenes in the film. I wish that I had his contact information to tell him how awesome he was as a kid. I wonder if he misses acting now? 

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Post

Happy New Year! Life has been extremely busy for the past few weeks. It was nice seeing a lot of family and watching some great holiday classics. I must say, I think I have a little bit of an obsession with It's a Wonderful Life. I cannot even recall how many times I ended up watching it! I was lucky enough to go to a theatre to watch it on the big screen. It's a holiday tradition at the theatre I went to and people sure get into it! There was a lot of Christmas carol singing before the movie commenced. Santa Claus was the leader of the singing, of course. Once the movie started, I was very excited. People cheered once George Bailey came on the screen, hissed when Potter appeared, and rang bells for Clarence. What a joyful time all of us had!

I celebrated New Year's Eve with both my family and friends. My parents go to bed early, so I went out with my friend's to celebrate around 11. Had quite a good time and ran into some kids that I grew up with. What movie did I decide to watch when I got back to my house in 2010? Billy Wilder's film, The Apartment, starring the fabulously talented Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine.

I absolutely adore this film and it is actually the film that got me interested in Classic Films in the first place. I fell in love with Jack Lemmon right away because of how adorable C.C. Baxter was when he was trying to gain the affection of Shirley MacLaine's character, Fran Kubelik. Also, the script for the film, which was written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, is spectacular. Those two together are comedic geniuses. I cannot think of a screenwriting duo that I love more than them. If you have not yet seen this film, I highly recommend giving it a watch. You shouldn't be disappointed.

"Shut up and deal."