Friday, January 28, 2011

Feathers, I love ya

So, today is my free Friday post where I can talk about anything!

I'm currently working through Fred Astaire's autobiography, Steps In Time. It took me a while to get into it, I'm afraid, because his writing style is very dry. Plus, a good portion of the book is dedicated, understandably, to his work with Adele and I don't have much of a connection to that. I want to learn about it but I don't get the same excitement from it as I do when I read about him getting to know Ginger or Randolph (or Randy) Scott or David Niven. I'm finally at that part, by the way. I'm not quite finished with it yet but I expect to finish some time on Saturday. I really love reading these autobiographies and reading about their day-to-day interactions with other movie stars. It's so surreal.

One of the things that amazes me is how different everybody's perspective on history is. I watch documentaries and hear stories about Fred and Ginger and then I read their autobiographies and none of the stories seem to quite match up. It's pretty apparent that it's a simple matter of perspective and the fact that everyone misremembers their own history so everything is likely to get muddled. But it's still wacky. For example, I've heard that Fred was very hesitant to do films with Ginger because he didn't want to be teamed up again now that he had finally started establishing himself after his sister's retirement. Well, in his autobio (hope you don't mind if I call it that), he doesn't seem all that bothered by his sister's retirement in the first place - he did know it was coming, and he was all happy about getting to work with Ginger. It's not until Top Hat where he mentions either of them having any issue with being tagged as a team. Plus, the whole Feathers story. The way documentaries tell it and the way Ginger describes it, it was a whole debacle with tempers flaring and arguments ensuing and feathers flying everywhere. But, when Fred tells it, it's like "yeah there were feathers everywhere. It was so frustrating. We didn't think it would work. Then we watched the rushes next day and it was fine. We were so relieved. We laughed the whole thing off." The end. (Definitely major liberal paraphrasing there). It's insane!

Two more points I'd like to point out before ending this little post and going to bed.
1. Phyllis. By all accounts, I don't much care for the woman. She seemed very cold and rarely smiles in pictures. This bothers me a great deal. I don't know why but it does.

2. Adele. She fascinates me. We all know Fred today to be iconic, brilliant, immensely talented, one of the best dancers ever. But everyone seemed to say that Adele was the talent in the family. The reviews of his first show without Adele were incredibly biting, implying that he couldn't make it without her. Why is there no footage of this woman dancing? I'm dying to see her perform. It's really quite maddening.

Okay and one more thing. I absolutely love reading all these bits and pieces about the composers. It's so amazing! Fred Astaire refers to George Gershwin as a hoofer (who knew?) and Ginger Rogers admits to going out with him a couple of times (can you blame her?). I really wish I could have lived back then. It's truly depressing.

Okay, well that's all for Free Friday. Have you guys read any good autobios that you recommend?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm laughing at clouds so dark up above

I actually had a whole blog post written but I changed my mind. After it rained all day (practically), I kept thinking of various rainy day songs so I've decided to make a list of my favorites.

  • Singin' in the Rain - naturally.
  • Isn't This A Lovely Day (To Be Caught in the Rain)
  • A Fella With An Umbrella
  • Pennies From Heaven
  • April Showers
Okay, so it's a short list. Do any of you have favorite rainy day songs that I've missed?

And, while we're on the subject, here's a little something I made a while ago with one of the songs listed above:

Friday, January 21, 2011

But I stay out of your private collection.

Photography Friday!! I'm very excited about this new segment to my blog. I have so many wonderful photos saved up and I never have an excuse to post them. Okay, well, sometimes I do in which case you'll see photos that you've seen before. But I think (I hope) you'll forgive me for that!

I also hope you'll forgive me for not knowing where I've attained these photos. I generally just save them and use them as wallpapers for my laptop so I really have no idea where they're from.

To start the ball rolling let's check out this fabulous photo (one of my favorites) of the highly photogenic and glamorous Joan Crawford. It's one of my favorites ever. The lighting is just amazing! (Plus I love her dress).

As an amateur photographer I'm completely in love with the photography techniques of those days and I'd love to be able to do that. I have a sneaky suspicion that it requires a nice studio. Sigh.

P.S. I'm going to have a hard time theming my titles with quotes for these posts so I may just put random quotes in there - hope that's okay!! This quote actually is semi-relevant as it's from the only Joan Crawford movie I've ever seen: Dancing Lady.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm so full of information, I feel like the latest edition of something or other

Okay, so I'm doing my first fellow blogger post. Hooray! I was a little worried about which blogger to feature because I've been so behind on my reading lately, but I decided to start of with L.A. La Land written by Meredith L. Grau. This was one of the first film blogs I started reading and I still really love it. Meredith's posts are chock-full of fascinating tidbits and tales. I often end up quoting her facts and behind-the-scenes stories to other people. I just love all of that stuff!

So, definitely check out her blog. You'll get a wonderful education on classic film!

Even Errol likes to get an education... okay so it may not be on classic film but I think we can excuse him for that, right?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let's be outrageous...

It's Fashion Friday!!

I'm going to go a little away from the beaten path and highlight not a classic film but a period film with some killer vintagey pieces.

I've talked about this movie several times - I really like it. I like the actors, the music, the hair, the costumes. sigh... Anyway, here are some of my favorite little numbers that Jessica Biel gets to wear.

I also really like this outfit but it also happens to be my all-time favorite scene in the movie and I've shared it here way to often, but I'll indulge again. Just for fun.

What's your favorite period film wardrobe?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I want a hot ticket!

So, it's been such a long time since I've updated regularly that I haven't had a chance to talk about my new love for the Marx brothers. I discovered the Marx brothers about a month ago. I love their humor! I love the inane plotlines, the repeated gags, and the random musical numbers. So far, I've seen Monkey Business, A Day at the Races, A Night at the Opera, Horse Feathers, and Duck Soup. I've got Love Crazy coming in the mail - I'm pretty excited! My favorite is Monkey Business with A Night at the Opera coming in second. I love Monkey Business best because the plot line is so secondary to the brothers. They're so funny, I hate seeing them in the strictures of a plot. They're so zany and crazy in this one. I love it!

Today is video day! So, I'm going to share one of my favorite ever Marx brothers scenes (so far).

Which is your favorite Marx brothers movie?

Friday, January 7, 2011

"Okay. You're a cab."

Quote Friday!

"Okay. You're a cab."

You guys know how this works. What movie is it from?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You don't scold, you don't nag, and you look far too pretty in the mornings.

Okay, so the last 100 movie post I did was in October, which is a bit ridiculous. Let's see if we can kick that old habit back into gear, shall we?

And let's do it with a good timey old classic like...

After The Thin Man (1936)

I'm picking this movie for several reasons:
one, we're only very recently past the new year and I consider this a New Year's movie.
two, I'm in a bit of a Thin Man mood after having read Charles Tranberg's The Thin Man Films: Murder After Cocktails which was highlighted in the wonderful blog of C.K. Dexter Haven.
and third, well, I just love this movie. It's one of my favorite Thin Man films and it is, I believe, widely regarded as one of the better. This probably because it had a team as the first one: same director (W.S. Van Dyke), same writers (Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett), and our heroes are still partying it up without the soon-to-come hindrance of a child.

The story picks up where the first one leaves off - with Nick and Nora on their way home to San Francisco. Nick has just finished the Thin Man case and he's ready to relax... or so he thinks. Back at home, Nora's family is finding trouble when her cousin, Selma's (Elissa Landi) husband disappears. When her husband is later found murdered, Selma becomes a chief suspect and Nick and Nora start sleuthing. There are some great lines in this one and stellar performances by all, including a fantastic young James Stewart. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. If you haven't seen a Thin Man movie yet, then you definitely should add the series to your Netflix queue. They're worth watching (and rewatching).

I'm hoping to come back in full force. I'm going to assume that I'm doing so by being optimistic and adding a poll. The poll will cover this topic: Which is your favorite Thin Man movie? Weigh in with your opinion!

With a pencil and a pad, I figured it out!

Happy New Year!!

The New Year is a time for resolutions, for changes, for reorganization. So, I have sat down and reorganized how I want my blog to go. The fact is, I like all of my segments and I like spotlighting all of those different things but the other fact is, it's not working. Somehow, it's just not working. I think that I've worked all of my posts up to be huge projects so then I put them off because I think, "I don't want to research for photos and videos and trivia and then try to nutshell it." So, here's the plan for my new blog:

I'm going to post on Wednesdays and Fridays and I'm going to have mostly easy posts so that I can concentrate on the more time consuming posts but I can also post more regularly. Here's the plan: every month I'll have
a 100 movies post
a quote Friday
a video post where I'll embed a clip and talk about it a bit
a fashion Friday where I'll spotlight a costume
a fellow blogger day where I'll spotlight a fellow blogger's post. I'm pretty excited about this one!
a photography Friday where I'll spotlight a vintage photograph. I love glamor portraits!
a list day. I love lists and I think past lists have been successful
and a free Friday. Every now and again, I just want to talk about stuff - well, now I can do it!

What do you think? Good plan? I'm pretty excited about this plan and I really hope it works out! This new plan will mean that I need to write a 100 movies post tonight. I'm going to try and do that. We'll see how it goes!