Thursday, April 2, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks:Seven Deadly Sins Edition-Greed


Greed is insidious because we can see it in walks of life even in our own families, work, you name it. How many times do people win the lottery only to play it again, why? Greed can probably be found in many films including my favourite, "It’s a Wonderful Life". So one has to choose 3 films that fit this week’s theme, this is the brainchild of Wandering Through The Shelves and here are my 3...

1. GREED-1924


This is a superlative, if  unlikeable, film directed by the great Erich Von Stroheim who paid so much attention to detail, it destroyed his career as a director because he just spent way too much of the studio’s money. He put everything into this film which would now be on Netflix as a 4 part series but back then, the studio slashed the film to bits getting rid of many subtle tidbits that Stroheim created and was he disgusted by what happened to his masterwork. This stars Gibson Gowland As a dentist who meets  a young woman, played by the comedienne, Zasu Pitts, in a very different role for her, and he woos her over a sewer..yeah not a place I would have a picnic. They marry and before you know it, he wins the lottery and they are overjoyed. Soon, the wife begins to change and hoards the money and controls her husband as they live in more poverty than ever before. Whenever he tries to spend anything, even his own meagre earnings, she puts a stop to it. Let’s just say their marriage is not a happy one. It is a great film and one critic who did see it in its entirety way back then said it was the best thing he ever saw. It would be a huge find if ever one could find some lost pieces but even without those, it is still a film worth seeing and the ending in Death Valley really grips you.

2. DOUBLE INDEMNITY-1944


Gosh, I love this film even with Barbara Stanwyck’s bad wig which just seems to work with her viper gal image in this movie by Billy Wilder. You know, from the beginning, that Fred MacMurray’s character, an insurance agent, fell into lust with Stanwyck and they both decided to kill her old hubby in an “accident” style so she can claim double the insurance and they can live happily ever after....hahahaaa. You know she is bad news from the moment you see her anklet as she comes down the staircase to greet Freddie in nothing but a robe. This is an excellent film noir, well acted and brilliant writing by Wilder and Raymond Chandler(they hated each other). Funny, Billy Wilder said he loved Stanwyck and said his dream was her greeting him at the door when he got home with high heels, an apron..and nothing else.

3. TREASURE OF THE SIERRE MADRE-1948


I saw the Bugs Bunny cartoon before I saw this film and had no idea who the guy was who kept appearing to Bugs asking for money until I finally saw this film. You meet Dobbs, played by Humphrey Bogart, who is an American down on his luck. He meets another American and an old timer who knows there’s gold in dem dar hills. They team up and go deep into the jungle to dig for gold. We see the affable Dobbs slowly turn from a disarming nobody to a paranoid a-hole who salivates over all the gold they find. He wants to hoard all the gold for himself and will kill for it. You see how each man is changed as a result. Another film worth seeing where John Huston, the director and Walter Huston, the dad, both win Oscars.

Now which films would you choose?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks: Tv Edition-Docu Series


I love documentaries and I am so glad this is finally getting some love here at Wandering Through The Shelves. Heck I could do only Ken Burns who is one of the best, ever, in providing an in depth look at whatever interests him. Last week, I watched "The American Experience" on the Flu Epidemic of 1918 which I have always been intrigued by. Considering what is going on in the world right now, I thought it apt to show this documentary again. Now, we will not be as bad as this flu epidemic was because a world war is not going on, people are not pushed on troop ships like sardines and we have better technology because of this 1918 virus. Also, it was killing the really healthy people and violently so. Most who do have this virus today are sick but not deadly which does not mean it should not be taken lightly...anything but. Hopefully, people do get the message, stay indoors, away from people unless they need to get groceries, don't panic and find unique ways to entertain themselves and their families. Ok, enough about this, I am writing about 3 documentaries that I truly liked and wish to see again(I want to see them all again) because it has been way too long.. Here are my 3...

1. THE WORLD AT WAR-1973-1976


My dad insisted on watching this much to my mom's chagrin. She was really upset and didn't want to see this at all but my dad put his foot down and so I was able to see much of it and was enthralled by it and saddened by it. It was the first time I saw the images from the holocaust which stayed with me to this day. My mom told me to go to my room but Daddy said that it was good for me to see what happened. I didn't quite understand everything but this series made me fall in love with documentaries as well as wanting to know more about what happened to my mom and dad since they both experienced the war but in different ways. My dad was a soldier who, although he was sensitive, could talk about his experiences. I wish I would have asked him more but I didn't. He had a good way of balancing the horrors that he saw mentioning that one has to look at things in black and white as the grey will haunt you. My mom, on the other hand, suffered much, much more as she was 17 when the war ended and was in the heart of the war before, during and after when the Russians came in, even though she lived near a small town, Wittenberg. I didn't quite understand why my mom was so upset about this series but it was only 28 years before when the war ended. 28 years for me, now, is 1992! I  have been working at my present job longer so now I understand her anxieties and how she suffered from PTSD. This is a riveting 26 part series(narrated by Sir Lawrence Olivier) that truly captures the war including the Germans behind the scenes and was one of the first series to truly capture the horrors of the holocaust.

2. HOLLYWOOD-1980


I have this series in VHS and it is my "precious"! I am actually missing one which is about Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino. This superb 13 part documentary is narrated by James Mason, who loved the Silent era, and was created by Kevin Brownlow, a great film historian and author on the silent cinema. This is not a boring rendering about the silent movies but a truly inspired depiction how the movies began. When Brownlow started this documentary, he thought that most people would be either dead or not wanting to talk about it but he was wrong. He talked to Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, Douglas Fairbanks Jnr but also the old directors like King Vidor and Allan Dwan. Agnes DeMille talked how everything was in bloom and the roads were mostly unpaved. How she and others in the film industry were so mistreated because of the bigotry of the day. As she said she was  only a "movie" which was a derogatory term back in the very early days. One of the best is about Stuntmen who did everything without the tricks they have today. You watch Viola Dana(I love her)talk about her fiancee, Ormer Locklear, and how they would go up in his airplane doing all sorts of stunts and fly low while she threw lipsticks only to have her heart crushed when he died doing a stunt (not his fault) which she was witnessed to. This series you can see on Youtube and it is one of the best documentaries about the beginning of film, the heights and the fall of the silents. My brother, who was not much into this type of film, found it excellent.

3. KEN BURN'S BASEBALL-1994


I can't believe that this documentary is from 1994 because I thought it was from 2004..My dim bulb above my head is getting dimmer by the day. Anyway, I am not into sports at all as my darling brother can attest and, in fact, I suck at playing it as well. My brother, on the other hand, has always been Mr. Sports(except football and basketball, he can correct me) who tried to teach me the Hockey teams back in the 1970's and would ask to watch baseball when I was watching Bugs Bunny(I usually won the round:)). His great love is baseball and has been playing baseball since he was knee high to a grasshopper! He is still playing despite his creaky knees and works at the Niagara Minor Hockey League Association. Because of my brother, I decided to watch this 9(of course) part series on the history of baseball. I thought if anyone can keep me interested in a sport it would be Ken Burns and he didn't fail me because I found it very informative and it kept my interest. I learned more about the Red Sox scandal, the controversial Ty Cobb and the brave Jackie Robinson. A worthy look indeed. I have missed some of his other documentaries like the one on Jazz but I do want to see it for sure.

Which 3 would you pick?

Monday, March 23, 2020

Coffee and fun


Lock down! I am not a coffee drinker or tea either, but people are beside themselves since they can’t walk into Tim Horton’s or Starbucks, but mainly Tim’s since Canucks love their Timmy’s. So far, people can still go through the drive thru but there may be a revolution if it’s forced to close. I’m trying to bring some levity here as these places would have gone belly up if they relied on me. From now until the threat has passed, I will be working from home which will be very weird. I decided to create a couple of cards with the same stamp but for different events.
Different cardstock, rubberstamp, gamsol pencils, cuddlebug, embossing pads, gingerbread brads, stickles in paint style.

Happy Little Stampers:Christmas-Beverage
CCAYR-Gingerbread
Tuesday Throwdown- sketch

I decided to try that sketch  that Tuesday Throwdown gave out as their theme. I used the Color Throwdown colours too but I missed their challenge. The funky brads on the 4 corners are little gingerbread men that always seem to go well with coffee or milk but I am saying coffee this time.

Cuddlebug, embossing pad, rubber stamp, gamsol pencils,different cardstock, gems, sticker saying

Addicted to Stamps-Anything Goes
Dream Valley-One for the Boys

I was actually going to put the gingerbread men on this card since it has the colouring in browns like gingerbread but, it seeped out of my head like steam from coffee so this one is made for a friend of mine who is in quarantine because he was on a cruise. I will make another card for his brother who is also in quarantine. I enjoyed colouring both of them with my gambol pencils and layering them with different papers and sticker words.

Stay safe!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks: Bad Boys


Crazy times as we all know, so let’s have some levity with this fun series created by Wandering Through The Shelves. This week the theme is bad boys and there can be so many variations to this theme but I went with 3 iconic bad boys who were not all bad in the 3 films I chose. So let’s get on with the show...

1. ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES-1938


This stars James Cagney as Rocky, a hoodlum who grew up in a rough part of the city(just like Cagney did in New York City-Hell’s Kitchen)and was best friends with Jerry. After stealing, Jerry is safe but Rocky gets caught and is sent to reform school. He ends up on the wrong side of the tracks while his friend ends up a priest..of course. Rocky winds up with a jerk named James, played by Humphrey Bogart, and they steal but Rocky takes the rap after being convinced by Mr. Jerk that he will get his part of the loot. 3 years later, he’s out and goes to meet up with his money but also meets up with his old friend, Mr. Priest and meets the young kids that idolize him. James Cagney really creates a well rounded character because he is not an evil bad boy but actually a redeemable person and likeable. A very good film worth seeing.

2. HIGH SIERRA-1941


This is the first film to bring Humphrey Bogart to the public as more than just a crooked jerk ready to be killed by Cagney or Robinson. Bogie still plays a crook but one with more depth who has genuine feelings. This film is very loosely based on John Dillinger...loosely, with Bogie on the run from the cops. He meets one girl who brings out the soft side and another who captures his heart. He’s a bad boy but you can’t help but like him and wish he could get away and start new. The dog in this film is actually Bogie’s own dog. Another fun bad boy film.

3. LARCENY, INC-1942


I have not seen this film since I was a kid and really need to re-watch this because I remember loving it. This stars Edward G. Robinson who gets out of jail determined to go straight but keeps getting a bum steer so he finally decides to bump off the bank that refused him a loan(don’t we all have daydreams) with the help of a couple of pals. They buy a luggage store next door with the intent of digging through to the bank. What they don’t count on is being successful with this store and enjoying it. They all decide to just go straight but they don’t count on the a-hole in prison who blackmails them to carry out the bank heist. This is a good film that I need to see to find out if I still love it as much as I remember. Edward G. Robinson, known for tough guy roles, was actually very meek, a lover of art and one who would close his eyes when he first had to shoot a gun.

Which 3 would you choose

Monday, March 16, 2020

Creativity

People panic, toilet paper is off the shelves, same with pasta and flour! People need to calm things down!!! I have to be careful since I have asthma, although not severe, plus I have a sunken chest...my double D aside, I apparently have a 1/3 less the lung capacity so I need to be careful just like I was before. I don’t want the flu or even the common cold so, washing hands, trying not to touch door handles etc...and I do wipe down my work space and my purse and wallet since I place my purse down everywhere. Thankfully, my work will not have anyone come to our office for a face to face and we are locking our doors, so people have to make payments on line or at their bank. One thing I will continue long after this virus is gone is not shaking hands. Just think about the number of men who take a leak behind the bushes( we see that on tv all the time) and then get back in the car and touch you..ick! Women are not much better since I saw many, in public washrooms, turning on the tap, rinsing their hand for 2 seconds and leave..WTF?? I can’t count the number of times I am at a stop light, look over to the next car watching some person digging for gold up their nostril. Why would I want to shake their hand? I want a great greeting that many African Americans seem to be using( well, I saw this on the Late show with Trevor Noah) which is the Wakanda greeting. Would they be offended if I started using that? The bottom line, please stay calm, we will not turn into zombies, we will make it through this but we don’t need to be jerks about it so don’t buy everything up and don’t be a real schmuck and sell it afterwards for huge prices.  Ok that is my rant now on to something pretty...at least, I hope you think so.
Distress inks, cuddlebug, embossing pad, embossing powder, rubber stamp saying, border stickers and crystals

Addicted to Stamps-Photo Inspiration
Happy Little Stampers-CAS-Favourite Technique
Stamplorations-CAS-Light Blue

This is, I hope a clean and simple card..well for me it is. I love using my cuddlebug to create the patterns for the background but I really love using my distress inks to create different backgrounds and one truly can't go wrong. I love that saying which, I think, is true. I hope this is considered clean and simple...it's so hard for me to do that:)
Washi tape, different card stock, rubber stamp, sparkle blue embossing powder and blue dye ink,  Crystals

Crafty Creations-Anything Goes
Stamping Sensations-Spring Florals
The Flower Challenge-Anything Goes
The Male Room- Team Colours
Dream Valley- One for the Boys

I gave this to my hubby who really loved it and I think it works despite the flower and glitter. The flower looks a bit like a weed and some men like glitter-look at the Blues artists.I had these paper remnants so I built up the card. I stamped the flower in blue and used blue embossing glitter to set it. This is the first time I used washi tape which is just pretty coloured tape you can place anyway and it will stick. I used it to frame the flower and at the top and bottom of the card. I added the crystals on each corner. I have no sports that I really watch unless it is figure skating and they will often wear blues and purples(never mind being bruised by all the falls they endure), so I chose Blue and Purple which many skaters have worn in the past.

I have made more cards and hope to show them over the weeks. I will not go out and eat at restaurants right now, nor will I go to any events or movie theatres until this virus seems more under control. Just being safe not nutty. ..well, I am a bit nutty but that's a good thing.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks: Spoofs/Satires/Mockumentaries


So this week is a fun one and I could have gone in so many directions but I went with Mocumentaries. If you head over to Wandering Through The Shelves, you can find out what others have chosen. Here are my 3...

1. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT-1964


This is a great film that everyone should see because it’s as much a mockumentary as a documentary on the, arguably, the best band called The Beatles. We watch these fab 4 deal with their crazy fans, each other, and Paul's nutty grandfather all while listening to some great music. I find this one gem of a film with the Fab 4 not bad in acting at all.

2. BEST IN SHOW-2000



I love this mockumentary starring a cast of great comedians like Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Jane Lynch, Harry Shearer and the wonderful Jennifer Coolidge. You meet a bunch of couples who each own their own dog that they are bringing to the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show to win Best in Show. You get to see the very uptight  couple, the uber gay couple, the sportsman, the gold digger married to a very old man, and the married couple where she keeps meeting old lovers but she only has eyes for her husband who, literally, has 2 left feet. If you have ever watched a dog show, you know they have this dog show stuff down pat. Sometimes, we even look like our dogs except I hope I don’t look like my Wallace. First, he is a boy and second, he is kind of...lumpy and I don’t think I am lumpy..not much anyway.

3.  A MIGHTY WIND-2003


This stars the exact same group of people as Best in Show and they pulled it off again with it being just as funny as Best In Show except, this time, they are hitting a home run with the folk singers from the 1960s who decide to come together after the death of their friend. Guess what? They actually can all sing. Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean are in This is Spinal Tap(I have not seen this yet) and would appear on Saturday Night Live as folk singers. Anyways, we listen to their trials and tribulations as well as wonder if the loving team (played by Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara) who fell apart years ago with her marrying someone else and he ending up in a sanitarium, will be able to play their big hit from back in the day(whoo-long sentence there..it's the German in me). Eugene Levy was excellent in his role and so funny yet you feel for him in this very funny film. By the way, even though Best in Show was co-written by Eugene Levy and Christopher Guest (who also directed and wrote the songs), the films were mostly improvised.

Which 3 would you choose?

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Thursday Movie Picks:Seven Deadly Sins-Gluttony


The next deadly sin...gluttony, which we are all guilty of when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner and chocolate. Ok, maybe I am the chocolate glutton which is why I try not to have chocolate in the house. I have to admit I had a tough time this week since I already used Henry the 8th, played by Charles Laughton and Tom Jones with Albert Finney but I think I chose 3 that work. It will be interesting to see what the others will choose over at the brainchild, Wandering Through The Shelves. Here are my 3...

1. WILLIE WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY-1971


Forget the Johnny Depp creepy flick and enjoy this one despite the creepy oompa-loompas. I had read that the studio thought the Oompa-Loompas were going to be a hit with kids so they put out dolls etc... only for it to tank..because they were creepy. Ok, a sweet kid, who is poor but happy, would love to get one of 5 tickets hidden in the chocolate bars placed all around the country. When the 5 lucky kids have the golden ticket they get a tour of the Willy Wonka factory. 4 of the kids are mean, entitled, nasty brats who love to eat whatever they can get their hands on. Well, the sweet boy gets a ticket and asks his granddad to go with him to the factory. There they meet the very odd Willy Wonka, played perfectly by Gene Wilder, and they, with the 4 brats and their parents, embark on a tour of the factory where each kid can’t help but gorge on sweets leading to unhappy events. It’s a weird movie that I haven’t seen in years and it’s not a favourite of mine but I will give it another chance to see if I like it better now even though I love Gene Wilder.

2. MONTY PYTHON AND THE MEANING OF LIFE-1983


Oh how I love Monty Python because, to me, they are brilliant in their absurdity. There is intelligence  to everything they do and this is one I found hilarious when I saw it in the theatre starting with the Song,”Every Sperm is Sacred” while the Catholic couple keep pushing out kids. This film has a series of skits trying to explain the meaning of life from the skit I just mentioned to Death coming to fetch people who ate bad fish( except one who didn’t but death told her to be quiet). The most famous scene and, most disgusting, is the Mr. Creosote skit. This skit is my least favourite but it fits the bill for gluttony. Mr. Creosote is an immensely obese, rude, disgusting man who comes to a restaurant and proceeds to eat and vomit (bring me a bucket!). When he is finally asked if he wants a "wafer thin mint", he accepts and promptly explodes. I love this film except for this scene even though it is the most famous.

3. CHOCOLAT-2000


This is a really nice film that takes place in a small French village run by a very uptight mayor and the citizens seem unhappy until a young woman and her daughter come to town. This lady opens up a chocolate store and she seems to know exactly what each person needs in her chocolate choices. This decadence does not go over with the mayor who tries to do everything he can to close up her shop. Little does she know that he wishes to gorge himself on her chocolate. This is a nice little gem of a film that makes you forget the nasty days out there.

Which 3 would you choose?