Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ten Random Thoughts on the Tenth: May 2011

--- What is this committed Julie Andrews enthusiast to do when he watches Star! and Darling Lili every time out, but shuns The Sound of Music?

--- We’re told that James Thurber said of Cecil B. De Mille’s The Ten Commandments: “It makes you realize what God could have done if He’d had the money.”

--- David Thomson in The Whole Equation says of Louis B. Mayer: “He had noticed that people liked going into the dark to see the light.”

--- Paul Stewart is one of my favorite character actors.

--- If they remade the filmed version of Sorry Wrong Number these days, one wonders if they would have the Stanwyck character using a smart phone, her (method?) thumbs, and text messages.

--- I think the young Patty McCormack would have been just right for playing the young girl in H.H. Munro’s short story: The Open Window.

--- Charlton Heston’s In the Arena tells us that of the forty some actresses with whom he worked the most difficult was Ava Gardner (in 55 Days at Peking).

--- I wish Jim Jarmusch made more movies.

--- I regularly dip into all the editions of David Thomson’s A Biographical Dictionary of Film (he is excellent on actresses) but I find most of his film reviews less satisfactory in Have You Seen …? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films.

--- If you cannot get to Mumbai, go to Southall in West London -- The Glassy Junction accepts rupees as legal tender for the bill.

Note: “Random thoughts” pieces bring to mind the great Jimmy Cannon, whose “Nobody Asked Me, But” set the form. Any similarity stops there.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Film Makers 10: Monroe Stahr

Listen … has your office got a stove in it that lights with a match?

I think so.

Suppose you're in your office.

You've been fighting duels all day.

You're exhausted.

This is you.

A girl comes in.

She doesn't see you.

She takes off her gloves.

She opens her purse.

She dumps it out on the table.

You watch her.

This is you.

Now ...

She has two dimes, a matchbox and a nickel.

She leaves the nickel on the table.

She puts the two dimes back into her purse.

She takes the gloves ... they're black.

Puts them into the stove.

Lights a match.

Suddenly, the telephone rings.

She picks it up.

She listens.

She says, "l've never owned a pair of black gloves in my life."

Hangs up.

Kneels by the stove.

Lights another match.


you notice ...

... there's another man in the room ...

watching every move the girl makes.

What happens?

l don't know.

l was just making pictures.

What was the nickel for?

Jane, what was the nickel for?

The nickel was for the movies.

Admit one: 5 cents

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Film Makers 9: Otto Preminger

The Preminger quote is often cited. But offered here because the picture is of interest: a 28-take photograph, perhaps.