Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: Female Cinematographers

 


This is suggested by Brittani Burnham over at Rambling Film who really knows her movies. She gave me a run for my money because, as in many areas, the cinematography field sorely lacks a ton of women recognized for their work.  I had to look up the women who specialize in this field but I think I did ok. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to find out who the other great women in this field  have created. Here are my 3...

1.  CAKE-2014-RACHEL MORRISON

This lady is more famously known as the cinematographer for Black Panther but I wanted to choose this movie starring Jennifer Aniston as a woman suffering from chronic pain. At first I was not sure I would like this film because the heroine is quite caustic, a truly mean bitch who has just about drove every person away.  You realize, through peeling away the layers, why she is the way she is. It is well acted by Aniston, surprisingly, well directed and I liked the look of the film which felt heavy looking and dark but you see cracks of light here and there and I think Ms. Morrison  helped capture the the weight of this character and what many people, including me, must deal with when dealing with chronic pain. It is truly worth a look.

2. HIDDEN FIGURES-2016- Mandy Walker

This Australian is, again, more famous for the live action Mulan (which I want to see) but I have chosen this gem of a film about 3 African-American women, geniuses really, who worked for NASA during the space program. All 3 actresses, Viola Davis, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer are superlative as these 3 women who had to undergo, well, crap because of the colour of their skin.  They had to walk almost a bloody mile to use a washroom even though they were helping NASA get ahead in the space race. The rich colours and look of the early 1950s really brought it that feel of many films from that time period. If anyone watched a Douglas Sirk film or others from the late 50s and early 60s, one can see how Ms. Walker used those films to create the look of this one.

3.  LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE-2019-NANCY SCHERIBER

Nancy was a co-cinematographer with Ian Coed on the brilliant documentary of the great Linda Ronstadt. If you don’t know who Linda is, go to YouTube and check out all the great songs she sang. She started out in Rock but she did Country, Gilbert & Sullivan, opera and folk songs from her country, Mexico. I have her album that is dedicated to her dad.  It details her life with archival film when she first started, all the way until she had to retire. The filming is done with love. The look of this film seems matter of fact but there is a sense of honour when they speak with her as she discusses her work and the disease(Progressive Supranuclear Palsy or PSP) that has robbed her voice and will take her mind and her life. It is joyous yet so sad but never do you sense anything but respect. It really is worth watching. 

Can you think of 3 movies with female cinematographers? It's a toughie as I googled it.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Weekly Song Challenge-Week 15

 


I am really loving this new series because I don't feel I have to be an expert, just think of songs that fit the themes for each week. I know I go against the grain, normally, because I often don't pick rock songs but it doesn't matter and I hope some of you have a chance to listen to some of them. Jingle, Jangle, Jungle is the brain child of this weekly event and here are her 3 themes:

A SONG WITH "LADY" IN THE TITLE

A SONG WITH "LOVE" IN THE TITLE

A SONG WITH LUCK OR LUCKY IN THE TITLE

1. FOR MY LADY-THE MOODY BLUES-1972


This exquisite love song is on the Moody Blues album, "Seventh Sojourn", written and sung by Ray Thomas(my favourite of the Moody blues and who sadly passed away in 2018 after years of failing health. He is a troubadour  from the romantic times of years passed and this song is one of the most romantic songs I ever heard. I had this as my first song at my wedding(song prevails, marriage did not). I would love to learn more about this song and like to think he wrote this for his lady love at the time. 

2. YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU SUNG BY JUDY GARLAND IN 1937


This song was written in 1913(My Dad's birth year) by James Monaco and James McCarthy( the lyricist not the nasty senator from the 1950s) and was the hit of its day. Judy Garland sang this to Clark Gable for his birthday at MGM. It was such a hit they had her repeat her performance in the "Broadcast of 1938."  You can hear how youthful, sweet and innocent she sounds before so much took hold of her. 

3. LUCK BE A LADY-SUNG BY MARLON BRANDO-1955


Yes, Marlon Brando, before he went all Godfather on us, ate to many hamburgers and went totally apeshit weird. He ended up as the star in Guys and Dolls a Broadway musical from 1950 starring Robert Alda (Alan Alda's dad). The songs were written by Frank Loesser and it became a huge hit finally culminating in the musical co-starring Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivien Blaine who reprised her role as the hapless girlfriend of Sinatra's from Broadway. I took this version because this is the one I know plus, even though I could find Robert Alda's version on Youtube directly, I could not find it  through blogger...I hate that. I also refuse to showcase Frank Sinatra's version because he is a real snot. He hated to play second fiddle to Brando and made life difficult on the set. When Brando asked for his help in singing, Sinatra refused. Loesser hated Sinatra's singing for this role and found he made the role and the singing of Nathan Detroit too smooth and lacklustre, not like it was supposed to be. 

So what can you think of?

Monday, April 12, 2021

Cards this week

 


Simon Says- Happy Birthday

Crafty Creation Challenges- Anything Goes 

I tried something new, namely gold flakes and bronze foil. I needed a birthday card for my bro-in-law so I took some brown cardstock, placed double sided tape diagonally in 2 different widths. I took the foil sheet on the one tape I took off and pressed it onto the tape and it adhered magically. For the wider tape, I used the gold flakes which I gently placed down and rubbed it with the excess falling away. I made sure not to sneeze. I took a die cut and cut the shape with my sizzex machine with a lighter brown, probably called kraft colour. I also used the sizzex machine to cut the birthday greeting from a shiny gold paper. For the edging, I tried this glue that, when tacky, will make the gold flakes adhere nicely...um, I need to work on that one. I edged it with bronze glitter pen placed it on top of the card with pop up dots and added the 2 gems. 


Fairy & The Unicorn- Anything Goes 

Stamping Sensations- Fantasy & Magical

Winter Wonderland- Peace on Earth

Christmas Card Throwdown- Silver & White

Cute Card Thursday-Wings

Addicted To Stamps - Christmas 

Christmas Crafts All Year Round-Something that begins with G &/or H-G for Glitter

I loved making this card because I love Angels. To me they are magical, peaceful...well except when killing dragons, and seem beautiful. I stamped the image on white pearl paper and embossed with silver powder, coloured in her face etc.. with flesh tone marker and proceeded to glitter her up in different white glitters I have plus silver. I also used a pearl paint on parts of her dress too. I had the silver paper, which I mounted on pearl white paper and used pop up dots to put my angel on. To finish it off, I took star stickers and placed them all around the card. 

Don't we all need an angel in our life?


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks

 


Have you ever wanted to be an amateur sleuth? I did...and still do to be honest because it just sounds a bit exciting. Mind you, I would never want to be shot at, clubbed over the head, drugged, kidnapped or running for my life so i will stick to trying to find out where I left my keys. Wandering Through The Shelves came up with another goody this week which is all about the amateur sleuth. Except for TV, I never did watch any Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys but that doesn't mean there isn't a wealth of films out there that fall under this category. So...here are my 3...

1. REAR WINDOW-1954


It's been a while since i talked about one of my all time favourite films and what better time than now to put this film back in the spotlight. James Stewart plays a photographer, who probably works for LIFE Magazine or National Geographic broke his leg and is stuck in his apartment with a great view of the courtyard showcasing all sorts of interesting people. He is visited by his beautiful fiancee, played by Grace Kelly, his physical therapist, played by the wondrous Thelma Ritter and his friend who happens to be a police detective. One night, Stewart hears a scream and broken glass and is convinced that the brutish neighbour across from him (played by Perry Mason Fame, Raymond Burr) is a killer who did in his bedridden wife. At first no one believes him, but soon fiance and nurse are brought into his voyeuristic antics. I love how this takes place on such a tight set and we become the voyeurs just like Stewart's character.

2. ARABESQUE-1966


I have not seen this in years but I enjoyed it. It may not be as good as Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn but it has some great style all its own. It stars Gregory Peck as a professor of Hieroglyphics who is asked to decipher a small inscription that everyone seems to be after. You have bad men and more bad men and the tiger eyed, temptress in Sophia Loren whom you just have no idea which side she is on. Poor Peck is trying to figure out why they want this small piece deciphered, what will happen  if it lands in the wrong hands and what can he do to stop it. Stanley Donan is the director of this film as well as Charade and, although the plot can be confusing and a bit messy, I enjoy this film with the engaging performances of the leads as well as her wild wardrobe not to mention the wild camera angles.

3. FRANTIC-1988


I enjoy this film directed by Roman Polanski, one complicated F#%^k. It stars Harrison Ford as a Doctor who travels to Paris, with his wife, to attend a convention and have a few days for a second honeymoon. When they get to the hotel room, his wife is having a tough time getting her suitcase opened and realizes that she must have grabbed the wrong case. While he takes a shower, she gets a phone call and leaves and disappears. Ford looks everywhere for her but the police can do nothing so he is now on the hunt to find his wife. Soon enough he gets entangled with a young girl who was smuggling things into the country. Arabs are the baddies in this caper with Ford playing against his rugged type who just wants to find his wife. Emmanuele Seigner is the young girl who reluctantly helps him and turned in a good performance. She became Polanski's wife and yes, they are still together. This is an intelligent film that is slick yet grimy. Worth a look.

So...which films would you choose?


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Weekly Song Challenge: Week 14

 


Another week gone by and I hope everyone had a good Easter. I was busy and didn’t make any cards this weekend hence no post earlier. Jingle, Jangle, Jungle created this weekly series where you find songs that fit the 3 themes she chose and here are the 3...

A Song With  “Face” in the Title

A Song with “Fast” in the Title

A Song with “Fire” in the Title

1. FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE SUNG BY ROBERTA FLACK IN 1972

I  heard this song when I was little and thought it was drippy and I would yawn but, over the years, I grew to appreciate the way she sang this. I had no idea that this song was, originally, a folk song written by Scottish Ewan MacColl for his lady love, Peggy Seeger, back in 1957. Roberta Flack made it a huge hit in '72 and was showcased in the Clint Eastwood film, "Play Misty For Me."

2.  LIFE IN THE FAST LANE BY THE EAGLES-1976


This is the only song that came into my head so I will look forward to what everyone will choose. It was written by Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey and Don Henley with Walsh being singled out for his guitar riff etc... I just thought it was a cool song.

3. LIGHT MY FIRE BY THE DOORS-RELEASED IN 1967


You must be living under a rock if you don't know this famous song sung by the sexy, sultry, destructive Jim Morrison. I know I first heard this song and other Doors songs from my brother whom I consider an expert when it comes to Rock music, Blues and probably some other genres I am not aware of. My brother would buy the records and, later tapes (yes, cassette tapes) to listen in his car while he drove us to school. I had a huge crush on this Morrison(I know, stand in line) before I even knew he was already dead. What a great song...one of many.

Let's see what you all can come up with.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks-Best Supporting Actor and Actress

 

I am choosing 3 from each again(girl and boy) because I must. Wandering Through The Shelves has a weekly theme challenge where one must pick 3-5 films that correspond to the theme. This week it is all about Best Supporting Actors & Actresses and there are a ton. Here are my choices...

1. HATTIE MCDANIEL IN GONE WITH THE WIND-1939


Yeah, I'm going there....This is a hot topic because of the blatant bigotry shown in the film especially as it makes the claim that the 2 wise African Americans felt loyalty and were treated so well by their owners that they felt great to stay behind....we won't go there(bad taste in my mouth). I would never ever want to censor a film because censoring is not right and my mom taught me this. Hattie McDaniel plays Mammy, the main house servant who knows Scarlet better than her own parents and is the one person Scarlet can't swindle. Hattie plays her part so well and with equal footing meaning that, in every scene she is in, you watch her more than the stars. You want to see more of this woman and you believe Rhett when he says he wanted her respect more than any other. She does give a brilliant performance despite the subject and, I feel, rises above it. She was ridiculed by the whites because of the colour of her skin and the African Americans because of the roles she took. From what little I have read about this lady, her parents were former slaves and she grew up knowing all too well about prejudice so judging this fine lady is wrong because we have not walked in her shoes. She seems very sweet and I wish I could have known her.

2. SHIRLEY JONES IN ELMER GANTRY-1960


Yes, The Partridge Family matriarch and the virginal singer in Rogers and Hammerstein films plays a hooker! You know it is Oscar gold when you play against type but Shirley plays it very well. This film stars Jean Simmons(I almost wrote Gene) as an Evangelist who meets up with a shark, played by toothy Burt Lancaster who knows how to bring in the sheep..er...flock. Shirley is the gal that can blow his cover and he is unsure how to deal with this problem. It is an excellent film somewhat based on the real Aimee Semple McPherson who could draw in the crowds with her preaching.

3. WHOOPI GOLDBERG IN GHOST-1990


My mom loved Whoopi and thought she was the best thing in Ghost and she is right! I really love Patrick Swayze but couldn't give two hoots for Demi Moore and those awful clothes she wears but you can't have everything. Whoopi made this part her own and I was really hoping for a sequel starring Whoopi as Oda Mae Brown but it has not come yet. Hey, maybe she will try to locate Demi's original face...accchhhh. OK, bad joke. Patrick and Demi are in love so much so they don't mind having mud splattered all over them when they start to make out. He gets killed(not by the mud) and wanders around the city ending up at Oda Mae's business. Oda, with her sisters, are bilking many sad people out of their money saying she can talk to the dead. In walks sexy ghost who disrupts Oda's happy, thieving ways. She ends up helping him find out who the killer is and get into contact with Gimme...um...Demi Moore. It is such a fun movie highlighted by her comedic performance.

Now the boys...

1. BARRY FITZGERALD IN GOING MY WAY-1944


I watch this almost every Christmas even though you could watch it almost any time of the year since most of it does not take place at Christmas time. Bing Crosby won the Oscar for Best Actor and Barry Best Supporting even though he was also nominated in Best Actor as well.... for the same role! Barry is superb as the old fashioned priest who built St. Dominics 45 years ago when he came over from Ireland but now the church is ready to be taken over by the bank. Father Chuck is sent by the Bishop to take over without the old Father knowing. Barry plays the priest as someone who is very traditional, does not see what is going on under his nose(the turkey incident), loves to eat and runs away from home before learning that Father Chuck is one of the best friends he ever had. Poor Barry knocked the head off of his Oscar when he was taking golf shots inside his home. It was the war years so they had to make the Oscars out of plaster. 

2. GEORGE SANDERS IN ALL ABOUT EVE-1950

This is one interesting man who had his share of demons, was very sensitive and married Zsa Zsa Gabor plus her sister Magda! In this film, he plays Addison DeWitt, a very acerbic but witty theatre critic who knows all the goings on of the main characters in this film. He knows all about Eve and lets her think she has duped him but he has the last laugh. He gave an acting tour de force in this film and rightfully won the Oscar. 

3. MARTIN LANDAU IN ED WOOD-1994


Martin Landau nails it as washed-up, drugged-up, alcoholic Bela Lugosi in this classic film starring Johnny Depp as the worst director ever-Ed Wood. This is another engaging performance which rejuvenated Martin Landau's career(he was in Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island which I, of course, love) playing this once big actor now reduced to making Plan 9 From Outer Space (another classic). Ed Wood is so happy having Mr. Lugosi in his films and will do what he can to make Lugosi happy. Ed feels he is making great films but he is not and you see his directing and how bad he truly is. This is another gem!

Which supporting actor/actress did you think of?

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Weekly Song Challenge-Week 13

 


A weekly song challenge-3 themes, 3 songs created by Jingle, Jangle Jungle and it is so much fun. I always try to go by the first song that pops into my blonde, greyish head so here are the 3 themes:

A PROTEST SONG

A LOVE SONG

A SPORT

1. WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE-PETE SEEGER 1955- SUNG BY JOAN BAEZ


Pete Seeger was a great troubadour as I like to refer to him. A folk singer and social activist who stood for what he believed in no matter what the cost. Peter, Paul and Mary made this song quite famous but I love the way Joan Baez sang this at the Kennedy Centre Honours and this song still stands up today as it did way back when. It is one of many protest songs that became famous during the Vietnam War. 

2. THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT SUNG BY FRED ASTAIRE-1936


This song was written by Jerome Kern and lyrics were done by Dorothy Fields for the musical "Swing Time" starring Astaire and Rogers and which won an Oscar. I was a kid when I watched this film the first time and daydreamed I would have a man sing this to me (without soap in my hair). Many famous composers of this time loved Astaire to sing their songs and, although he is a better dancer, you can tell that he wasn't bad as a singer either. There are sooooooo many love songs out there and many popped into this head of mine but this was seriously the first one. Who wouldn't want a man to sing this to them...well, my hubby wouldn't care for it but he doesn't count. 

3. TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME-JACK NORWORTH & ALBERT VON TILZER-1908


This version is one of the more famous versions sung and danced by Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra from the movie of the same name. I like to think they still play this song at all ball games but I have no clue unless I watch baseball so my brother has to let me know. This was actually a Tin Pan Alley song written by these 2 men(beside the title) who, apparently, never saw the game when they wrote this song. It was written on a napkin and I saw a picture of it which made me laugh with the doodles. I bet my brother could tell me more about this song. 

So what comes to your mind? What love song would you croon to your gal? Is there a sport song for curling?