Friday, January 30

Maria Schell

I think Stephen Sondheim may have been right.  Maria.  Maria.  Maria.  It is a beautiful sound.  It has been a favorite female name of mine since childhood.  I was in the sixth grade with a pretty little blonde I fancied.  She smiled at me and told me her name was Maria.  It was inevitable that I would one day sit up and take notice of a certain gorgeous blonde actress arriving in America from Austria to make movies.  Her name, too, was Maria.  Maria Schell.

Tuesday, January 27

The Directors: Blake Edwards

He was essentially a director of comedies and had been for five decades or so.  Some would put him in the same category with such esteemed old-timers as Preston Sturges, Ernst Lubitsch and Howard Hawks.  Blake Edwards would often combine slapstick and homages to silent films with sophisticated humor, melancholia and social commentary.  One might say he took his comedies seriously.  He was devoted to his characters and yet faithful to his audiences.  For most of his career, he certainly knew how to put on a great show.

Friday, January 23

REVIEW: American Sniper

  
Directed by Clint Eastwood
2014 War Biography 
2 hours 12 minutes
From Warner Brothers and
Village Roadshow
 
Starring
Bradley Cooper
Sienna Miller

Tuesday, January 13

Fast Out of the Gate

I do like my trio postings, don't I?  I get to do three personalities at once.  Three birds with one stone, so to speak, if you will.  This trio, all actresses of varying talents and films, have in common that they started their careers being on fire.  They would light up the sky with dazzling movie debuts and then go by way of the meteor.  These types of careers fascinate me.  Now, you go ahead, click on the button below and see who they are.

Sunday, January 11

REVIEW: Selma



Directed by Ava DuVernay
2014 Historical Drama
2 hours 8 minutes
From Paramount Pictures

Starring
David Oyelowo
Carmen Ejogo
Tim Roth
Tom Wilkinson
Giovanni Ribisi
Alessandro Nivola
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Martin Sheen
Common
Dylan Baker

Friday, January 9

Barbara Hershey

We're not that far apart in age.  Barbara Hershey once represented for me a lifestyle that I wished I had been more involved in but never could... a flower child, a hippie.  Convention was never my thing and I always admired rebels, people bold enough to say no thanks, I'll do it my way.  But there was more... she was a good actress, an authentic one, often pulling back layer after layer of complex characters.  She is able to embroider together sensuality, sincerity and a degree of omniscience and usually with a ready smile.  Her sense of self seems so entrenched that she could never betray it in her work.

Tuesday, January 6

Would Somebody Pass the Muffins?

As in stud muffins...!  Oh, you suspected that, didn't you?  Here are three examples of male beauty in the 60s... and as luck would have it, we just happen to be discussing the 60s.  By the way, some serious male beauty.  Those faces could, in fact, have something to do with their not making it to the top of the acting ladder.  Their successes at their craft varies among the three just as the handsomeness does.  They were all actors I liked and whose careers I was pretty much on top of.  Let's visit... 

Friday, January 2

Good 60s Films: The Stalking Moon

1968 Western
From National General
Directed by Robert Mulligan

Starring
Gregory Peck
Eva Marie Saint
Robert Forster
Nathaniel Narcisco
Noland Clay
Russell Thorson