Archive for the ‘Films’ Category

Service of the Comfort of Vintage

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

La la Land movie poster

Whatever “vintage” means to you—if you’re 20, 1980s films, fashion and décor might describe it while if you’re 50, it could be all things 1950. For some there’s comfort and perhaps a soothing visual to live with a grandparent’s furnishings; for others, reminiscences shared with an uncle while watching Audrey Hepburn on Turner Classic Movies brings smiles.

I thought of this after seeing “La La Land,” a movie I enjoyed. The writer/director Damien Chazelle is 31 yet he picked the 1940s/1950s romantic musical genre for the setting of his story. He added zero pyrotechnics, violence or gore and none were missed. The film set a record at the Golden Globe Awards winning seven including recognition for best motion picture—musical or comedy—performance by an actor and actress, director, screenplay, original score and original song.

Elle.com ran a article about what’s in or out in fashion. Nikkitight jeans Ogunnaike reported we should “anticipate a shift toward contrast denim styles in vintage silhouettes.” [This look is in contrast to skin- tight jeans popular today.]

I’d saved a December, 2016 section of The Wall Street Journal‘s “Off Duty,” because of its cover story, “Presents with a Past,” that featured 50 nostalgic gifts “whose origins date back decades and beyond.” The subhead continued that the gifts will “conjure a simpler time when the holidays were lower-voltage, but just as bright.”

Sidney Garber bracelet

Sidney Garber bracelet

Speaking of voltage, most of the suggestions would burn a hole in most wallets. There was a gold bracelet by Sidney Garber reminiscent of flexible metal coils first popular in the 1930s for $12,200; a 3-day slumber party at a historic English country estate @ $15,600/night for 16; Prada’s jewel encrusted mules for $1,150; a $685 pair of retro headphones; a mink stole for $5,500 and a chauffer to drive you from Paris to Versailles in a period Citroen starting at $370.

I don’t spend that kind of money for the loved ones on my list. The Wall Street Journal editors chose a few things under $100 too. There was a box of Turkish delight [$35]; a rubber band-propelled toy car [$25]; an apron [$47]; a ‘70s popular fondue pot [$95]; traditional Belgian speculoos cookies [$20]; a Mickey Mouse wall clock featuring a 1930s style rodent [$65], and an Italian knit necktie [[$90].

The J. Peterman Company catalog seems to be going strong with its focus on vintage-inspired men and women’s fashion.

Have you noticed vintage influences creeping back more now than in recent years? Do you welcome them or consider them old fashioned and therefore not worthy of your attention? Do you think that in turbulent times people look back to what they recall or think may have been a calmer period?

 Belgian Speculoos cookies

Service of Fear

Monday, October 31st, 2016

The Shining

It’s Halloween today. I decided that nobody is interested to know about everything that scares me nor would they want to address what scares them—we’ve got too many important things to be nervous about relating to the impending elections.

So I decided to lean on the “treats” side of the celebration and write about scary movies.

Halloween IIBut scary movies frighten me so I’m not the one to write knowledgably about them. I loved “Wait Until Dark”– [anything with Audrey Hepburn] –but tend to avoid such flicks. Guess I’m normally nervous and don’t need additional stimulus.

So I asked the people in the office in which I share space. What amazed me is that everyone had a favorite and there is only one duplicate! This is their list: 

     “The Haunting” –Lee A

     “When a Stranger Calls” –Mike S 

     “The Birds,” “Psycho” & “Rear Window” & “Trump TV”—David R

      “The Conjuring” & soon, by DJ  Trump: “When Mexico Attacks” –Pat C 

            The Gate“The Gate” –Danny M 

            “The Strangers” —Brandt Z 

            “Halloween II” –Joshua C 

            “The Thing” –Stephen H 

      “The Shining” –James B AND Jeff M           

      “Poltergeist” –Dan M 

       “The House of Wax” –Bambe L

       “Bones” –Kori M 

Do you like to be frightened by movies? What is your favorite scary one? Is there a difference between creepy and scary?

The Strangers

The Strangers

Service of Favorite Films

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Auntie Mame

Over the holidays we saw “Auntie Mame,” [1958], with Rosalind Russell, on Turner Classic Movies. I’ve seen it many times and enjoy it each time. I can too easily ignore my list of “to do’s” on a Saturday when one of my favorites appears. All it takes is for me to see a moment or two and unless I have hard deadlines or apply enormous restraint, a few hours melt away.

Some other films I enjoy seeing again and again include:

  • “Roman Holiday,” [1953] and “Sabrina,” [1954] with Audrey Hepburn
  • “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” [1957] with Alec Guinness
  • “An Affair to Remember,” [1957] with Deborah Kerr
  • “The Apartment,” [1960] with Jack Lemmon

    The Apartment

    The Apartment

  • “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” [1967] with Katherine Hepburn
  • “Kramer vs. Kramer, “ [1979] and “Out of Africa,” [1985] with Meryl Streep
  • “When Harry Met Sally,” [1989] and “Sleepless in Seattle,” [1993], with Meg Ryan and
  • “The King’s Speech,” [2010] with Colin FirthThe Thomas Crown Affair

My reaction to other “great films” that are repeatedly played such as “Lawrence of Arabia,” [1962] with Peter O’Toole or “The Thomas Crown Affair,” [1968] with Steve McQueen is a brisk “I’ve seen that, I’m not tempted.”  I may even have enjoyed the first viewing but don’t need another.

Recognizing that everyone’s lists will differ, what gives some films legs/why do they stand the test of repetition and others not so much? Is it: The story? The acting? The setting? The directing? How the film resonates with the personality of the viewer? What are some of your favorite films?

When Harry met Sally

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