23 August 2009

3 Dot Film Blogging...


Item: An Indonesian woman was mysteriously spared the caning she was sentenced to receive today. Her offense was drinking beer in public. And why would I make something like that up? Wouldn't...

Item: Finally watched Design for Living (1933) an Ernst Lubitsch film starring Miriam Hopkins (have a major crush on her) Frederic March and Gary Cooper (the photo above is from the film). One of my first responses to the film was "why the deuce haven't I seen this before?" It is very pre code, very funny and totally engaging. Can't wait to watch it again...

Item: Watched bits and pieces of Miss Universe tonight. Beauty pageants go against most of my core values especially as the father of two daughters. It's the type of deal that I hate while I'm enjoying and hate myself for watching. Still, I like to pick the finalists and am pretty good at it. Comes from having watched these damn things since I was a kid. I still remember as a little kid thinking that the evening gowns were supposed to be the same as night gowns and wondered how rich women slept in such outfits...

Item: Watched the much ballyhooed preview for James Cameron's Avatar which is set for a December release. Assuming no one will pay me to see it, I doubt very much I'll be interested. Looks heavy on the next generation of super spectacular special effects and of course very light on story...

Item: Meanwhile the trailer for the Coen Brothers next film, A Serious Man, has been called by some the best film preview ever. It certainly has helped guarantee that I'll be among the first to see the movie in October. Another interesting preview is the one for Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr. stars as the title character with Jude Law as Watson. Any film that casts Downey has my attention. Look for it around Christmas...

Item: Tomorrow oldest daugher and I are going to see Inglourious Basterds and it's been awhile since I've looked forward to seeing a film this much. Virtually every reviewer I respect is raving. I only worry that my own expectations will have been raised to too high a level. Preconceptions can muddle the first (which is often the only) viewing of a film...

Item: No one asked, but my favorite columnist is Frank Rich of the New York Times. He is clear, cogent and because he writes once a week his columns are long and seem well researched and measured. I always feel like he's the voice of reason and the perfect antidote to the shrill voices on the right...

Item: A recent post of mine, If I taught "Introduction to American Film" ,was featured on IMDb's hit list the other day. In it I listed 13 films I'd show in such a class with a brief comment explaining each choice. I got a lot of response and much of it came from people who had evidently just left town hall meetings on Health Care Reform and weren't yet through spewing vile. I swear none of my choices are likely to foment insurrection or genocide but you've never know that from some of the angry comments I received. About movies! Some people...

Item: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are on vacation for three weeks. Thus my ability to maintain perspective and sanity will be challenged. I'm counting on you David Letterman....


2 comments:

Kate Gabrielle said...

Frank Rich is my favorite columnist too! My local paper doesn't publish his column so I have to get it online, though. My favorite that my paper does publish is Eugene Robinson.

Goodness, you just can't get away from those people can you?! To be honest, their fearmongering is working a little. I have a Republican congressman and I was considering going to one of his town halls to ask why he's opposed to the public option but I'm scared I'd get shot in the parking lot or something! And my grandmother overheard an old lady at the lunchmeat counter saying that Obama was going to kill senior citizens. It's so demoralizing, isn't it?

ps. How much did you love Design for Living?! It's definitely one of my favorites now -- I think the Goodnight Bassington scene (where Fredric March reads Act I to Gary Cooper) was one of the most perfect scenes in movie history!

R. D. Finch said...

Riku, totally agree with you about "Design for Living," which I saw a few months ago. I don't understand why this is considered minor Lubitsch. It may be a cut below "Trouble in Paradise," "Ninotchka," and "The Shop Around the Corner," but not by much, and that's a pretty good recommendation in my book. The three stars were a fantastic team--even Cooper seemed loose for once--but don't forget the contribution of the great Edward Everett Horton as the American millionaire. Loved that ending.

I had something appear on the IMDb "Hit List" recently too. They seem to have a thing for posts with lists. I'm convinced that many of those commenters don't even read the lead-in but just skip to the list, and if they don't find a particular favorite there, project all their negative emotions onto the writer who, of course, must be an idiot because he or she has a different opinion. Reading those nasty, intolerant comments can be a depressing lesson on human psychology.