litlover12: (JS_K)
As I said in an earlier post, this is a new thing I'm doing for [livejournal.com profile] movie_greats. Hope you enjoy!

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litlover12: (ATOTC2)
Besides films in the BFI top 10, here are a few other British classics I've seen recently . . .
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litlover12: (CG1)
TIME has a list of "Alfred Hitchcock's 10 Most Memorable Scenes." For once, I'm not inclined to quarrel with a "best of" list. Well, not very inclined. I might have thrown in one or two more, but they've got some terrific picks here. 
litlover12: (CG1)
The Halloween issue of Femnista, an online magazine I write for, is Alfred Hitchcock-themed, which, of course, suits me perfectly! Go here to see it (the links are under "Current Issue"; you can either read it on the Web or download it). My article on Notorious is on p. 10. Enjoy!
litlover12: (JS1)
Interesting! It seems that Citizen Kane is no longer the greatest film ever made -- at least, according to the prestigious Sight & Sound poll. For the first time ever, it's been knocked out of the top spot. This time, Vertigo was voted the greatest film ever made. Articles are here and here. (Watch out for major Citizen Kane spoilers in that second one. If you don't yet know what Rosebud is, I'd hate to be the one to ruin it for you.)

I've always thought that if I had to pick the best film ever made -- the best, objectively speaking, not my favorite -- I would probably go with Casablanca. However, there's the indisputable fact that Vertigo is a Jimmy Stewart film . . . and a darned good one at that. So, I can definitely live with this pick. The fact that it's a Hitchcock film as well is just gravy.

One more thing: I hope it doesn't make me a total philistine that I've always found Sunrise and 2001 -- voted #5 and #6, respectively -- way overrated. I don't care how pretty it is to look at -- aside from the parts with the homicidal computer, 2001 is about as thrilling as watching whiteout dry.
litlover12: (FB)
Just a couple of things I saw lately and have been wanting to recommend.

Of accordions and hams )
litlover12: (Classic men)
Notice a pattern here? Yesterday our featured actors included Grant, Stewart, Bergman, and Rains; today our featured actors include Grant, Stewart, Bergman, and Rains.

But today Grant and Stewart are in different movies, each with Rains as supporting actor. Which is a nice arrangement, because when you're not swooning over either Cary or Jimmy, you can be swooning over Claude. (Ohhh, Claude . . . )

#4 & #3 )
litlover12: (Default)
North & South, I mean. Somewhat. There was only one death in the last episode. Quite an improvement. :-)

Spoilers below cut . . . )
litlover12: (WC1)
It was pretty cool when Neal Caffrey started following me on Twitter. But Carlotta Valdes?? YIPE!
litlover12: (BA2)
I just now realized that on Monday nights I watch two different shows about men who are named after places of residence. Interesting.

However, I'm not THAT slow, because I figured out the Strangers on a Train thing before Castle & Co. did, and I've barely even been paying attention.

litlover12: (Default)
Cary Grant and James Mason are having a suave-off on my TV. Stroke of genius, putting those two in one film. And then of course, there were Grant and Claude Rains in Notorious. Smart guy, that Hitchcock.
litlover12: (Default)
Every time I read a book by Daphne du Maurier, mistress of the morbid, I wind up asking myself why I'm doing it. The woman scares the daylights out of me. Of course, some people like to be scared, but I don't. I have to really like the artistry of the person creating the work (a la Hitchcock or Shyamalan -- no, I'm still not over liking Shyamalan!) in order to let him or her freak me out.

And du Maurier's got artistry in spades, I have to give her that. The title story of the collection I just finished, "Don't Look Now," is clear evidence of that. One word -- just one word -- at the climax of the story hit me with such a cold shock of horror that I could hardly bear to finish. No, I won't say what the word was -- if you read the story, more than likely you'll know it when you get to it. At first there's something very strange and random about that ending . . . and then when you start thinking back through it, you see how the pieces fit together, and the cunning sleight of hand the author used to get you thinking in one direction while heading off in the other. A really well-crafted piece of work -- so well-crafted that I can't be sorry I read it, even though it gave me a tremor or two after getting into bed last night.

There were eight other stories in the book. Two of them I already had in another collection: "The Birds," which was the basis for the Hitchcock classic (even though Hitchcock changed it quite a lot), and "Monte Verita," which I've never liked much. I'm no "prosperity gospel" advocate, but sitting on a mountain gazing at your navel is not my ideal life of faith, especially not when -- well, I'd better not spoil that either. I didn't already have "Kiss Me Again, Stranger," but I know I've read it somewhere. It's probably one of those stories that gets anthologized a lot. Some of the other stories were pretty good but predictable. The one that really stood out to me was "Blue Lenses," which keeps twisting and turning right up till the very end, and is a stellar example of a theme that permeates du Maurier's work -- "that one may smile, and smile, and be a villain."

Several of du Maurier's stories remind me of this poem by Robert Frost, especially the line "What but design of darkness to appall?" It's not a worldview I can live with for very long, but it's a fascinating one nonetheless.

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