Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965)

Does anyone know where I can find some more sci-fi noir films? Alphaville is incredible! It reminded me a bit of the novels Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and 1984 by George Orwell with a dash of a detective novel or film. If you like any of those novels or films, then you will probably love Alphaville.

Alphaville is about Lemmy Caution, an American private-eye, and his visit to Alphaville, a futuristic city located on another planet. Upon his arrival, he meets a woman, Natacha, and pretends to be a journalist in order to try to arrange an interview with her father, Professor Von Braun, who the ruler of the city. Von Braun is an evil scientist who forbids anyone in the city to be self-expressive or show any emotion. The punishment for doing any of these actions is death. Will Lemmy be able to stop Von Braun from corrupting the entire civilization of Alphaville into following his insane dehumanizing laws or will he end up like the others? Watch to find out.

Alphaville is a clever and entertaining film. I didn't particularly like the computer voice of Alpha 60. It reminded me of someone trying to hold their breath and talk at the same time through their throat. It's a gross sound! I think that the voice was made to sound like this because the audience is meant to dislike it.  I love Godard's imagination and I think it really comes alive in this film. The characters are interesting, the world is bizarre, and there is some humor mixed in with the strangeness.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Birthday: Ingrid Bergman

Happy Birthday to one of the best actresses ever, the fabulous Ingrid Bergman! I love Ingrid! She was fantastic in every film that she was in. I honestly can't think of one where she hasn't been awesome.

What I like most about Ingrid is that she always fully put herself into her roles. By doing so, she made her characters seem real and full of life. Any emotion that Ingrid's characters are feeling, whether it's happiness, sadness, anger, or fear,  you too will be feeling that emotion. It's no wonder that she won 3 Oscars!

Today is also a sad day for Ingrid Bergman fans. Ingrid passed away on August 29, 1982, which was her 67th birthday. However, I don't think she'd want us to feel sad that she died on her birthday. She'd want us to celebrate her life and enjoy her movies! I don't understand why TCM doesn't declare August 29 as Ingrid Bergman Day, they really should. August 29 is Ingrid Bergman Day for all of her fans.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

This Sporting Life (1963)

Richard Harris was a fantastic actor! I'll admit it, I didn't know anything about him until I saw the first Harry Potter film back in 2001. He was the perfect Dumbledore! Richard Harris was awesome even before he was Dumbledore and I have proof! You must see him in This Sporting Life.

This Sporting Life is a film about a coal miner who becomes a successful professional rugby player. However, this success doesn't do much to improve his social standing in the society that he lives in. He tries to deal with the constant battles in his life the best that he can, but becomes severely depressed and violent when his attempts to seduce his widowed landlady are shot down.

I recommend watching this film due to the fantastic acting that is displayed in it. The performances from both Harris and Rachel Roberts are so powerful that I'm surprised that they both didn't win the Academy Award for Best Actor and Best Actress in 1964. The film is gritty and depressing, so I wouldn't recommend watching it if you're having a rough day. However, if you're in the mood for something dramatic that will make you think a bit, then be sure to watch this film!

Blood for Dracula (1974)

I'm always watching strange movies, but I think Blood for Dracula (Andy Warhol's Dracula) may take the cake as the strangest film that I've watched so far this year. It made me laugh a lot. A lot of scenes played out like a weird soap opera, which made me wonder why I was watching it, yet I kept watching. Udo Kier is hysterical and awesome as Count Dracula!

Count Dracula is in need of some virgin (pronounced 'wirgin' in the film) blood. If he doesn't receive it soon, then he will surely die. His assistant convinces him that in order to find some virgin blood fast; the two must pack up Count's coffin and quickly move to Italy. He thinks Italy will be full of virgins due to how religious the families are there. However, once Count is there, he finds that it's much more difficult to find a virgin bride than he thought it would be. 

This film is very campy, weird, and awesomely terrible. It's not meant to be taken seriously at all. It's absolutely ridiculous. I think it's safe to say that this film will offend some people, which is why I would recommend approaching this film with caution. The acting is poor, but I think that's what makes the film worth watching because it's so funny. There's also quite a bit of nudity in this film, so if you're offended by nudity, I'm 100% positive that this film will offend you. Also, if you are disgusted by fake blood, this may bother you. I, however, thought that the parts with the fake blood were pretty hilarious. If you're looking for a non-scary, crappy cult film, then look no further than Blood for Dracula. You'll love it. You'll also love it if you are looking for some male eye-candy; Joe Dallesandro is yummy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

I'm always in the mood for a film that's going to scare me. The Most Dangerous Game didn't scare me, exactly. However, I think that if I had watched this in 1932, then it probably would have succeeded in scaring me.

The Most Dangerous Game is based on a short-story of the same title written by Richard Connell. It is about a deranged man who is obsessed with hunting. He loves the game of the hunt and gets a huge thrill out of being faced against a challenge. In order to face another big challenge, he decides to arrange for an attack on a ship near an island that he lives on. By doing this, he hopes that some of the shipwrecked passengers will swim up and wander around the island. That way, he'll be able to indulge in some human hunting...

What a weird movie this is! I'll admit it, I knew basically nothing about this film when I started watching it. At first, I was thinking it was a war film. I guess I was kind of right, but not entirely. I like how they would light the villain's face. They'd light it so that at some points, the man looked like the devil. The lighting extenuated his eyebrows to make them look even pointier and his eyes to look even more menacing! I liked the film, it's short, it's strange, it's worth watching.

Happy Birthday: River Phoenix

River Phoenix was one of the best actors ever to grace the silver-screen and this planet. It's too bad that he was taken away from us so soon. I loved River's music and his love for animals as well; he was a spokesman for PETA. River gave himself to his film roles, which is why they are so amazing. Stand By Me (1986) and My Own Private Idaho (1991) are two that you need to check out and in that order. My Own Private Idaho requires more than one viewing to fully appreciate. Happy Birthday, Rio!

River's band Aleka's Attic singing Too Many Colors. Fantastic song.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mala Noche (1986)

Mala Noche seems like it's Gus Van Sant's test run for My Own Private Idaho. However, My Own Private Idaho is much more well-developed and interesting than Mala Noche.

Mala Noche is a film about a man, Walt, who is obsessed with a young illegal Mexican immigrant named Johnny. Walt thinks Johnny is the most gorgeous and amazing guy he's ever seen. He lusts after him and hopes that Johnny will reciprocate his feelings. However, Johnny doesn't speak any English and finds Walt to be extremely boring and completely undesirable.

I didn't think Mala Noche was all that great of a film. It starts off being interesting, but then it goes no where. While watching the film, I found Walt became progressively more irritating and invasive; I felt bad for Johnny. I also felt bad for Walt because he just was not catching on to the fact that Johnny wanted absolutely nothing to do with him. Johnny is annoying as well; if you don't like Walt, then fine, just don't hang out with him or lead him on. Come on now.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is one weird movie. Of course, I expected this, but still, it is extremely strange. I was entertained the entire time while I was watching it. It made me laugh quite a bit too. I have never read the book that it's based on, but I've heard it's definitely worth reading.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's wild drug induced adventures across Western America with his psychotic lawyer. The two experience a lot of strange and frightening hallucinations.

I liked this film quite a bit because it was humorous and strange. Johnny Depp is a very quirky character and gives a fantastic performance. Benicio Del Toro is creepy and funny and is great in the film as well. The colors and lighting used in this film make a lot of the scenes look incredible. The puppet like things in the film are pretty terrible looking, but I think that was done on purpose due to the subject matter the film is focusing on. If you don't mind using your imagination while watching a film, then be sure to check out Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ansiktet: The Magician (1958)

Ingmar Bergman made so many spectacular films, it's amazing. I watched The Magician recently and it's fantastic. The characters are interesting. The acting is fabulous as well, especially from the brilliant Max von Sydow. Is there any movie where Max isn't absolutely incredible? I highly doubt it.

The Magician is a film about Emanuel Vogler and his traveling 'Magnetic Health Theater.' There are reports of a variety of supernatural disturbances related to their performances, so the leading townspeople in the town that they are traveling have requested to see their show before allowing them to show it to the public. The townspeople, particularly Dr. Vergerus, is skeptical of Volger and his crew and intends on exposing them as charlatans. However, something occurs and it seems that Dr. Vergerus is in for quite a shock. 

This film is definitely worth watching. Not only for Max von Sydow's stellar performance, but also for some comical scenes, other well-acted performances, and spectacular scenes of illusion versus reality. I just can't get enough of Ingmar Bergman lately! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie is a fantastic film. It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode mixed with a surreal element of dreams. It is also very witty and humorous. This is the first film directed by Luis Buñuel that I have watched and I'm looking forward to watching more of his films in the future. 

Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie is a film that follows a pointless, but humorous plot. It focuses on a group of friends who are trying to have a nice dinner and evening together, however, every single time they get together, something goes awry. The friends, as well as random and unexpected guests, all have dreams and or dreams with in dreams that are related to these dining experiences. 

I absolutely love Seinfeld and I love anything that reminds me of the show. I'd love to watch this film again because it made me laugh so much. I could also imagine myself being involved with some of the dining experiences in real life. Especially when the random, unexpected guests come to interrupt the dinner and end up telling some strange story about their life. I'm always meeting people who decide to tell me something terrible about their life, a secret, or something extremely strange. I am an understanding person and it must show because of the confessions random people have told me. I suppose that's a nice quality to have, but wow, I've heard some crazy confessions in my life so far. I like hearing them though, they're pretty interesting! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

Oh, how I love a witty black comedy. Unfaithfully Yours is very funny. Unless, of course, you don't like dark comedies. If you do like them, then you must watch this film as soon as possible!

Unfaithfully Yours is about a man who is convinced that his wife is having an affair with a man younger than himself. While he is conducting his orchestra, he imagines several scenarios about how he might deal with the affair. Once the symphony is over, he ends up trying out one of his fantasies. However, it doesn't work out as he imagined it to.

I can't get over how funny this movie was. I just randomly decided to watch this earlier and I'm glad that I did. It does seem to feel a bit slow as the film gets near the end, but the beginning and middle are fantastic. This is my second favorite film with Rex Harrison now. My first favorite is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947). Rex sure was a funny guy!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

L'eclisse (1962)

I recently watched L'eclisse. It wasn't until after I watched it that I realized that it's the last part of the unofficial "Incommunicability Trilogy" developed by Michelangelo Antonioni. The other two parts of this trilogy include L'avventura (1960) and La notte (1961).

L'eclisse is a film about relationships and how they can go from fantastic to absolutely awful at any moment. After a terrible night with her soon to be husband, Vittoria breaks off her engagement to him. The next day, she goes downtown to visit her mother who is obsessed with the stock market. On the day that the stock market crashes, Vittoria meets a handsome man, Piero, who is a stock broker. The two start seeing each other, but it is evident that their love affair may not last long due to Piero's materialistic lifestyle.

I love the use of architecture in this film. It is used to symbolize the relationship between Vittoria and Piero as it progresses throughout the film.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Happy Birthday: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

I'm so excited that it's Alfred Hitchcock's birthday today because it's going to rain and thunderstorm for the rest of the day and night. I walked in a downpour today. I had to sprint through some of it because it was raining so hard. I love doing that! Also, this weather is the best for Hitchcock movies!

I won't be able to watch a lot of Hitchcock movies tonight though. I was up bright and early this morning to help out at an Expo. It was actually kind of fun! However, tomorrow, I will be getting up at 5:30 AM to help out again. I don't drink coffee very often, but I think that the caffeine may be necessary tomorrow morning. I can stay awake until 5:30 AM no problem, but waking up at that time is a different story. Once I'm up though, I'm up. Not much of a nap taker. I'm sure I'll end up having fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

All That Heaven Allows (1955)

I watched my second Douglas Sirk film and I liked it much more than the first one I watched. Written on the Wind (1956) was a little too over-the-top for me in the melodrama department. All That Heaven Allows is melodramatic, but not to the point where it bothers me. The melodrama was necessary because it was a tragedy and a romance all wrapped into one!

All That Heaven Allows is about an upper-class widowed woman, Cary Scott, who after being lonely and sad since her husband's death, ends up falling in love with a younger, handsome, and very kind, Ron Kirby, who happens to trim and grow trees for a living. The romance between the two is very sweet, but in the eyes of her shallow, country club going peers, the romance should not be allowed to exist because Ron is younger and not as wealthy as Cary's deceased husband. Even her own son and daughter are against the union between Cary and Ron and both let her know that they don't want her to marry him. Will she sacrifice her love and happiness with Ron in order to please her children and friends or will she marry the man she loves? Watch to find out.

I was very drawn in by the romance in this film. I found Cary's so-called friends to be completely disgusting people. I mean, come on! The poor woman is finally happy again and with someone who truly loves her back! They should have all been extremely happy for her instead of gossiping, belittling, and starting rumors about her, as well as Ron! Her kids were even worse than her friends. Both of them acted like selfish little idiots! I love that Ron doesn't care what anyone else thinks about his romance with Cary. He only cares about Cary's happiness.

An Award!

Monty from All Good Things has nominated me for The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award! How nice is that?! Here is a link to Monty's fabulous blog: All Good Things.

These are the rules of the award:

1) Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2) Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3) Pass the award to 12 of your blogging buddies.
4) Notify the recipients.

Here are 7 random facts about me:

1. I love animals! Elephants, cats, dogs, monkeys, dolphins, red pandas, you name it, I probably love it.

2. I feel bad when I kill spiders, so I tend to put them in a little box and release them back outside. I also will name the spider. Past spider names have been Victario and Lady Lavender. Why I do this, I'm not quite sure, I'm just weird.

3. I love haunted houses! In fact, I'm already getting excited for October to come so that I can go to one! The scarier the better!

4. I have my Bachelor's degree in Finance and a minor in Digital Cinema. Kind of a strange combination, but I have many interests and I like both working with numbers and being creative.

5. I love to draw! I took an animation course as part of my Digital Cinema minor. Below is a video of the animated cat I made. Winston!!! I also made a short claymation for my final, it's about two aliens, Bigsley and Brain, who meet each other for the first time.

6. I am awful at riding a bike, but I am able to rollerblade, wakeboard, and ski quite well. How this is possible is beyond me. I haven't ridden a bike since I was about 10 years old, after I accidently ran over and knocked down a family while I was trying to control my bike.

7. I love to play word games, especially Scrabble and Words With Friends.

12 Blogs I'm Nominating, although I'd like to nominate you all, if possible!:

1. Filmic Light: A Snow White Sanctum: All things Snow White, it's awesome.
2. The Entertainment Junkie: If it's entertaining, this guy knows about it.
3. Via Margutta 51: We seem to like a lot of the same movies, celebrities, and classic shows!
4. Motion Picture Gems: Tom was very welcoming to me when I first started blogging and he's got a great blog.
5. I Shoot the Pictures: I love his reviews.
6. Noir and Chick Flicks: I love the Pawsome Pictures!
7. Roman Holiday: She always finds such lovely pictures.
8. All Good Things: I think I'm allowed to nominate you, even if you nominated me first.
9. Blonde Episodes: Fashion and more. She's even written a mystery novel! How cool is that?
10. And...Scene!: Great classic film blog.
11. And Then They Start to Sparkle: Classic films with some fun random posts mixed in!
12. Paideia: One of my newest followers!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

My Own Private Idaho is an extremely bizarre film. I remember watching this film when I was younger and I didn't like it much. I think I didn't understand Gus Van Sant's imagery and the story line dealt with difficult situations. I liked the film a lot more this time around, although I do still feel it's a difficult film to watch.

My Own Private Idaho follows the lives of two male hustlers and best friends, Mike and Scott. Both live on the streets and sell themselves to both men and women. Mike's life has been much different than Scott's. He was abandoned as a child and is obsessed with finding his mother again. He also suffers from narcolepsy and suffers from narcoleptic attacks on a regular basis. Scott, on the other hand, comes from a well-to-do family, and one day he will inherit a lot of money. Together, Mike and Scott set out on an adventure in order to find Mike's mother and other answers to life. One finds what he is looking for and the other continues to live the life of a homeless hustler.

I cannot get over how incredible River Phoenix was as an actor. His performance is what makes My Own Private Idaho worth watching. He seemed to have truly felt the emotions that Mike would have been facing. Keanu isn't too bad in this film either, except for when he was reciting Shakespearean style quotes, but I don't think that's his fault, it's the script's fault. I like Gus Van Sant's filming style/vision that is shown in this film. The scenery is beautiful throughout most of the film, especially when they are out on the road. I think this film is worth watching, but may require more than one viewing in order to recognize the beauty of it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Oh, how I love crime films and film noir! I finally had time to finish watching Jules Dassin's Du rififi chez les hommes also known as Rififi (1955). It's fantastic and I definitely recommend it to others who love suspense and crime films. 

Rififi takes place in Paris, France. It's about four men who plan out a fantastic jewel heist, doing plenty of research to ensure that they will be successful at stealing the goods. After the four commit what seems to be the perfect crime, one of the men foolishly gives his mistress one of the stolen and extremely valuable jewels. This mistress happens to work as a singer for a mob that the men are not on good terms with. What will happen once his mob notices this jewel? Watch the film to find out!

When I was watching this film, I kept being reminded of Ocean's Eleven (1960 & 2001) during the majority of the first half of the movie. By the end of the film, the two were not as similar, but I definitely think that Rififi must have influenced both versions of Ocean's. There is much more character development in Rififi though, as well as more suspense and twists in the plot. The best part of the film occurs during the jewel heist and the ending portion of the film. Brilliant film! 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday: Lucille Ball

I have been a fan of Lucille Ball since I was about 3 or 4 years old. My grandma and I used to watch re-runs of 'I Love Lucy' whenever I went to visit her, which was quite often. TCM showed 14 films that Lucy starred in. Today, I was only able to watch some of the 'I Love Lucy' marathon playing on the Hallmark channel. It is definitely one of the best shows in television history and without the genius of Lucy and her collaboration with Desi Arnaz, it never would have existed. Happy 100th, Lucy!