Friday, April 28

Max in English

Max von Sydow has managed to balance his acting career on two different planes for many years.  On the one hand he started out in his native Sweden as director Ingmar Bergman's gloomy alter-ego and then morphed into an internationally sought-after character actor with an intellectual bent, often specializing in austere villainous roles. His tall, imposing, often severe and mysterious presence can occasionally give way to a glorious smile.  However one cuts it, this is a most watchable actor who has performed in foreign productions across the planet.

Tuesday, April 25

Charlotte Rampling

She doesn't look like a movie star and when I see her on the big screen I never catch her acting.  What she brings to her work is a seamless naturalness and extraordinary intelligence unlike almost anyone I've ever seen.  It's not like watching her up on that screen at all but rather like chatting with her on my sofa.  And the strangest thing is that she has never much acted like a star, never courted publicity or attention and yet she's made movies longer than most and is still at it.

Friday, April 21

The Directors: Hal Ashby

Ford, Hitchcock, Huston and all that crowd, no matter where they were as the 1970s dawned on that great sunny playground called Hollywood, must have wondered whatinthehell was happening to their profession?  Or for that matter... Hollywood itself.  Everybody was pissed off, against more than they were for, making depressing movies about real life and doing drugs.  It seemed like a movement to the old guys and they were sure no good could come of it.  Like all good movements, a leader is needed or at least a symbol.  Enter Hal Ashby. 

Tuesday, April 18

Good 70s Films: Darling Lili

1970 Musical Comedy Drama
From Paramount Pictures
Directed by Blake Edwards

Julie Andrews
Rock Hudson
Jeremy Kemp
Lance Percival
Michael Witney
Gloria Paul
André Maranne
Jacques Marin
Bernard Kay
Doreen Keogh

Friday, April 14

Book Review: Nevertheless

It's been some time since I've read an autobiography/memoir and my life works better when I have one going.  Alec Baldwin has put together a bright and breezy one, ready for public consumption. I should tell you that I like Alec Baldwin and always have. There was a time I, um, really liked him but that's another posting. He's always impressed me as honest and sometimes a little loose-lipped and I thought the combination of the two would make for a good read. From my point of view he didn't disappoint.

Tuesday, April 11

Behind the Scenes I

How about meeting a few folks from behind the scenes? For the most part, for a majority of the public, these are some unsung heroes.  Within the industry, of course, these are heroes whose praises were sung all the time. Most actresses remember who dressed them for a particular film and we're visiting the movie colony's most famous costumer.  All actors care very much about how they are shot... we're speaking cinematographers here.  Stunt people are revered as well and the one we're saluting also handled directing B units on some of his films.  A director's best friend is an editor and whether you know it or not, she's yours, too.  Let's visit this first group of four.

Friday, April 7

Karen Black

She is probably as identified with the 70s as anyone could be although by the end of the decade there wasn't a lot of steam left. She had a near-genius IQ and a hunger to become noticed and acting was an easy call. While she certainly had moments of delivering heartfelt performances, her rather quirky personality and unusual look found her engaging in a number of unorthodox performances in oddball films. 

Tuesday, April 4

Good 70s Films: Chinatown

1974 Film Noir
From Paramount Pictures
Directed by Roman Polanski

Jack Nicholson
Faye Dunaway
John Huston
Perry Lopez
John Hillerman
Roy Jenson
Diane Ladd
Joe Mantell
Bruce Glover