Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks- Nostalgia

I have picked 3 newer films for once...ok newer in my book. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves to see what nostalgia films they chose. Here are my 3...


I am not a huge Woody Allen fan especially since his private life has been made public but I am looking at the film, not the person even though I believe we see his issues played out on screen. Woody plays a loser with women who is literally haunted by his ex wife who continues to harass him.  He gets his strength from the ghost of Humphrey Bogart who is dressed like the character from Casablanca, Allen's favourite film. He strikes out with women on a regular basis and can only let his guard down with the wife of his best friend (played by his then paramour Diane Keaton) and soon realizes he loves her. The film is funny, full of the normal Woody Allen anxiety but before he became insufferable and Allen plays loving tribute not only to Bogart but to one of the best films ever made, Casablanca. I do recommend this film despite Allen.


A beautiful film which uses black and white and colour to amazing effect. A young goofy kid loves to watch this old 1950s tv show which reminds me of Ozzie and Harriet and, one day, is given the chance to truly visit this place with the help of Don Knotts. He enters this place along with his popular sister who doesn’t care at all about studying. At first, the young man is so happy being there but soon he notices that it is unrealistic and quite bland. Through his eyes, others become open to more than just Gee Whiz  thinking which creates a much darker side to happy America. An excellent story on prejudice, love, awakening, race, and hate. Truly worth seeing

3. THE ARTIST-2011

Many people seemed to dislike this film and I just don’t understand why because I find it beautiful, sad and a worthy homage to the silent era when it was changing to sound. A man, who is a huge star, meets an up and coming starlet whom he helps attain stardom. Like the films,  A Star is Born, as her star shines, his lessens and he soon loses almost everything except for his agent and his trusty dog. This dog reminds me of that famous dog of the 1930s - Asta. Asta could do anything just like this dog who almost stole this film and one understands why, when one watches this movie. I love the scene when he has a nightmare and hears all the sounds but I also love the ending. I think it speaks beautifully to the classic silent era and the hard times many stars suffered when sound came in.

What are your 3?


  1. Never really enjoyed Woody Allen movies that I saw. Pleasantville is a great movie indeed. Watched that one a few times.

  2. I'm one of those people who hates The Artist lol. I've seen the last two picks, but not the first one. I remember liking Pleasantville but I haven't seen it in years.

  3. I love love love Woody Allen. Just watched one of his movies last week. I hate hate hate The Artist. Pleasantville? I remember seeing it but can remember nothing about it. Have no idea what I would pick. My head is all fogged up right now from meds I'm taking for a stupid cough.

    1. BTW, I once called a radio station and told them to get their facts straight. Woody Allen was never married to Mia Farrow and his wife was never his adopted daughter - she was Mia's adopted daughter.

  4. I haven't seen any of these films. I think I tried to watch Pleasantville but didn't give it a fair shot because I was too young to appreciate it. Maybe I should give it another shot.


  5. Nothing new here. I have never seen any of these. Never even HEARD of any of them, either. I do confess I'm not a Woody Allen fan after what I learned about him and his private life.

  6. Play It Again, Sam is the only one I've seen and I enjoyed it. I'm disgusted by Allen but his movies, though he plays himself in them, feel different, don't they? After all, we are watching/enjoying the art, not the artist.

  7. Hi, Birgit!

    These are marvelous picks, dear friend! I have seen the first two and now, based on the trailer and your review, I want to see the third, The Artist, as well. Why? Because I studied silent films at college, watched dozens more in recent years, and can tell by the trailer that the art direction, shot composition, cinematography and editing are first rate and in the grand tradition of the classics. I well remember Asta the acting dog.

    I like Woody Allen's earlier films and enjoyed Play It Again, Sam. That clip you posted reminds us that in 1972, with the Women's Movement making headlines on a daily basis, there was heated debate about what women look for in a man, what they really want, and what it means to be a "real man." Are women instinctively drawn to bad boys who use and abuse them, or to mother approved, clean cut rule followers? That debate rages on to this day.

    It has been so long since I watched Pleasantville I forgot that two of my favorites, Jeff Daniels and Wm. H. Macy, are in it. What a fine cast! I do believe the story is a metaphor about racial desegregation in America and the resistance to it in many communities.

    Thank you very much, dear friend BB. Have a great weekend. If possible please come see me this Sunday over at SDMM. There is someone special that I would like you to meet. :)

  8. Sorry. I'm not familiar with these:( I remember Play It Again, Sam. It was pretty popular at the theater, but I never saw it.
    I'm not a big Woody Allen fan.

  9. I've seen part of Play It Again, Sam; none of the other two.

    The Commitments
    Field of Dreams
    Velvet Goldmine

  10. I thought about trying The Artist, but the no sound thing did turn me off from actually renting it when the time came

  11. I liked the concept of Play It Again, Sam more than I liked the actual film but it was not a bad film.

    I LOVE Pleasantville! So many great performances and its message is both gentle and relevant. It's beautifully shot as well.

    I liked The Artist, I don't know if it deserved to win Best Picture but it was an excellently made. It did borrow VERY heavily from A Star is Born.

    I also picked a Woody Allen film, many of his trade in nostalgia, and another that I'll be surprised if I don't see it somewhere else.

    Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)-A year in the life of the upper middle class Smith family (including second daughter Esther played by Judy Garland) as they and their hometown prepare for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. For the most part charming, sweet and bandbox pretty full of great songs-The Trolley Song, The Boy Next Door, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (which was written expressly for Judy) etc.-this is interwoven with dark undertones most courtesy of borderline psychotic (though she’s meant to be seen as innocently eccentric) youngest daughter Tootie (Margaret O’Brien-who won a special Oscar). Wonderfully produced by the Freed unit and directed by Vincente Minnelli.

    On Moonlight Bay (1951)-Based on stories by Booth Tarkington we are once again at the turn of the 20th century. In bucolic small town Indiana the upwardly mobile Winfield family has just moved into a bigger house that only the father likes until tomboyish daughter Marjorie (Doris Day) meets handsome neighbor, college student Bill Sherman (Gordon MacRae). Suddenly she gets in touch with her feminine side and she and Bill start a romance which goes along fine until her father finds out Bill is a nonconformist who doesn’t believe in marriage or other traditional values. But after many songs, several mishaps and lots of warm and fuzzies all ends happily. Followed by a sequel “By the Light of the Silvery Moon”

    Radio Days (1987)-Told as a remembrance Joe (Woody Allen) recalls his youth (played by Seth Green) growing up in the 30’s and 40’s with his colorful and somewhat crazy family (including his parents who will argue about anything including which is the greater ocean-Atlantic or Pacific!) and people he encounters including the story of radio personality Sally White (a quite brilliant performance by Mia Farrow). Filled with beautiful period detail this captures both the period and a sense of youth.

  12. Hi Birgit - I liked The Artist, I've heard of Play it again Sam, while Pleasantville I've never heard of ... thanks for letting us know - cheers Hilary

  13. Only one for me this week Birgit...the artist....just loved that dog!....spring seems to have Rrived at last here and my daffodils are out today....looking forward to the xxxxx

  14. I ADORE The Artist - so purely joyful and what star turns from Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, NOT TO MENTION UGGIE! Of course, Uggie is the TRUE star of the movie.

    Love Pleasantville, too. Such great performances and a great look to it. I almost chose it this week, actually. I totally identified with Tobey Maguire's character in finding comfort in "simpler" times as presented in classic sitcoms, although I was never quite as obsessive as him lol.

  15. I've only seen Pleasantville. I think I'd go for What's Up, Doc? with its homage to screwball comedies. And Singing in the Rain, for obvious reasons.

  16. Play It Again, Sam was incredible. I saw it in the cinema when I was a teen. Jerry Lacy (Bogart) was a perfect choice for the role. Tony Roberts' ever-changing phone numbers made for a great running joke, which wouldn't fit in a modern story thanks to the use of cell phones. It does bother me that so many people are down on Woody Allen now. When he has literally dozens of people accusing him of this or that (like Cosby, or Harvey Weinstein), or even one arrest and conviction (like Polanski), or a link to a crime that's coupled with damning prior evidence of physical abuse (like O.J.), maybe I'll believe what he's been accused of. (And please, folks, don't use Birgit's blog for a running Woody Allen argument with me. None of us has any proof in either direction.)

    I've seen Pleasantville, and liked it, but it didn't really make a lasting impression.

    I just saw The Artist the other night -- bought the DVD -- and thought it was fantastic. Too many great bits to single out here. And I thought of Asta as well! The DVD has a question and answer panel with the director, joined by actors from the film, and it was odd to hear "George" and "Peppy" speak with French accents.

  17. Only seen the Woody Allen. I watched most of his early stuff, then at some point lost interest.

  18. BIRGIT ~
    If I gave myself more time to think about it, I could come up with many more favorites. But just going off the top of my peabrain, I'll mention...


    Everyone knocks the sequel because they're comparing it to the original. But actually, although it was nowhere near as good as 'American Graffiti', 'More American Graffiti' is actually a good and very wrongly maligned movie.

    Love it! Treat Williams was great and the whole movie was a blast. Also includes one of the all-time best (and most shocking) twist endings. Ain't NOBODY saw THAT coming!! "George Berger" paid a big price to do the right thing. Who knew he had it in him?

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

  19. The best Woody Allen scene is the one in which he's on a cross and the carriers are trying to park it between other crosses with guys on them. It was hilarious. I was the only one laughing my head off in the theater.

  20. I remember seeing Pleasantville when it was in the theater. I haven't seen the others. :) Love hearing about new to me movies.

  21. I feel like I'm living under a rock because I haven't seen these.

  22. I've seen The Artist and and Pleasantville and enjoyed them both a great deal. Good picks.

  23. Pleasantville sounds like a film with lots of contrast. Definitely worth a look see.
    Hope you and your friend have all kinds of fun this weekend, Birgit.

  24. Pleasantville is the only one of your picks that I've seen and it's a good choice. Fellini made some wonderful films with nostalgic touches. In fact I think the majority of his films have been somewhat autobiographical looks back into his life. And the Ship Sailed on starts with the very cool concept of looking like an old silent film and gradually the images gain color and sound. I thought that set a great mood for the nostalgia of the film to come.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  25. I'm glad you mentioned the comedy with Woody Allen was made before he became insufferable – I'm with you. Don't like him.
    I did watch Pleasantville, and I loved that film.

  26. I'd forgotten about Pleasantville. I really loved that movie when it came out.

    Anything by John Hughes gives me a sense of nostalgia. Ah, the '80s.

  27. I like The Artist, but did not love it. My guess is people dislike it because there was probably a better movie that should have won the Oscars that year.

  28. I've never seen any of these but had wanted to see Pleasantville back when it came out and never did. Maybe now I will finally watch it! I loved the little dog in The Artist even though I didn't see the movie. He was too cute.

  29. Pleasantville is one of my favorite films. The Artist also. Black and white is rarely used to such advantage.