Tuesday, January 27, 2004

-Modesty Blaise- (1966): I like Losey and all (esp. -The Servant- and, surprise, -The Go-Between,' but boy, you'd have to be a real auteruist to dig much out of this one. (And I'll bet one has.) Dirk Bogard has a few good moments, and Terence Stamp is hotter than Monica Vitti (but it's no -Quartet-).

-On Our Merry Way- (1948): Nice, Sturgesish use of the phrase "five smooth stones," a Frank Loesser novelty number sung by Dorothy Lamour, rare opportunity to see Henry Fonda in a comic role (playing a bandleader w/ a speech impediment opposite Jimmy Stewart -- AND the amazing Dorothy Ford, the tall number from -Love Laughs At Andy Hardy-, which means Bree has to see this); uncredited direction by George Stevens, some script contributions by Arch Obeler (of the OTR radio horror show -Lights Out-, which is sometimes genuinely creepy), and an inexplicably weak third w/ Fred MacMurray, William Demarest, and Hugh Herbert. Episodes linked by frame story concerning Burgess Meredith (who co-produced) and then-wife Paulette Godard.
Pure entertainment.

Cleo 5 to 7 (196?) -- Wow. Vanity, illusion, beauty, illness, death, song -- all while observing the Aristotelian unities. Uses Paris at least as well as -Breathless-, if you want to know. Lotsa mirrors, as in a Smithson displacement, and Atget window displays. (On a whim, I looked up the book "The Dream Of Display," on window advertising, that I saw mentioned in another book on the subject not so long ago, on abe and alibris -- no luck at all. Something recently came up about L. Frank Baum's pre-Oz activities being in this line, but I haven't followed it through. This is all relevant to -Power Trips- related concern, as of about '92.) Anyway, terrific movie -- the sort of thing I'll try harder to see on the big screen now that I've rented it.

-The Courtship of Andy Hardy- (1943) on TCM at Bree's this a.m. Morally reprehensible on almost every count -- basically, going to dances and dressing w/ 'zip' will help Donna Reed (who's pretty good and dry, actually) get over her broken home, and her interest in opera. I think the mother in these movies must be pretty good, b/c Bree and I absolutely hate the character, and don't even think about the fact that this isn't an actual person. And no musical numbers!

[Curiously, Jimmy Stewart is singing the offensive but musically graceful "I'm An Indian" from -Annie Get Your Gun- on Jack Benny right this second. I need to get out more--but I am, b/c Kristi and I are going to go see 50 Ft Wave, Kristin Hersh's new band, in a couple hrs. Hell, for me these days, seeing someone who's only been around for 20 years is pulse-of-the-nation.]

All this, and around 1000 wds of diss. (counting footnotes) too, almost despite myself. Really pushing myself the next week to 10 days, as I have no freelancing deadlines looming 'til, hm, Feb 4 or so.

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