Category Archives: films

A Song From Long Ago

It is a holiday. And on days like these when you are free from the daily grind, you can’t help but dream about how things were and should be.

This video about how things were might tickle your funny bone.

Jean Shepherd could sure spin a yarn!

I was reminded of a song that I liked many years ago. It was about an event that took place in the summer. An event that many thought would change the world, though it did not.

Still, it was a beautiful moment, and one that we do well to remember form time to time. Here is Joni Mitchell singing about it.  Man she can sing!


London Calling: Doing the Hitchcock Tour

The great — if somewhat weird — film director has many associations with London.

This would be a bit much for me to wake up to each morning, but has artistic merit, right?

Want to take a spin around London to find the Hitchcock associations? Londonist offers you a free pass.

Go for it!

Movies to Feel French By

If you associate France – and especially Paris – with romance, these films will give you a boost!

My first pic

Priceless / Hors de Prix

In a luxury hotel, a bartender is mistaken for a millionaire by a beautiful young woman who dates older, rich men to fund her lavish lifestyle. After a romantic night together, Irène, played by Audrey Tautou, discovers Jean’s true identity and leaves him. Jean follows Irène to the Côte d’Azur, and soon becomes involved with a wealthy widow himself. Irène teaches him the tricks of the trade but soon starts to question whether money is more important than love.

Fry’s Wilde – Too Earnest?

Back in the 1990’s Stephen Fry was perfectly cast as Oscar Wilde.

On Stephen Fry and our shared idol – Painting the White Rose Red


Wilde takes the importance of being accurate a little too ...

And a film was made with Fry as Wilde in 1997. It was, by and large, an accurate depiction, with one glaring flaw. Gone was  Wilde’s spirit, replaced by a somber earnest quality that Wilde himself would have found appalling.

The Guardian reviewed the film.

This is not why we remember Wilde. It is not what makes him — to this day — a figure that many revere. We remember him because he blew a huge hole in ponderous Victorian standards of conduct.

Oscar Wilde - Wikipedia

Indeed, he was determined to show off his mindset and attitude towards life – that it was to be enjoyed with people. Not spent burdened by worries over status and superficial adherence to ethical standards, while secretly drooling over servant girls and prostitutes. This short vignette brings this out.

That is why I love Oliver Parker’s “An ideal Husband” from 1999. That film captures something of Wilde’s humor without being ponderous and stuffy. BTW, Parker then blew it in 2002 when he brought The Importance of Being Earnest to the screen.  Why do I say so? In the latter film, Parker gets too caught up in the props and action, as opposed to the characters.

But you can decide for yourself! Three films. Three views of Wilde and his work. Enjoy!

BTW, if you want to go a bit deeper into the story about Oscar Wilde, his court cases, his imprisonment, demise, and death, I posted on it a while back. I still find the punishment doled out to Wilde to have been wildly excessive (excuse the pun). And I still believe that of all the characters who were involved in that melodrama, Wilde was the least offensive of the lot. Andthis post that quotes Ellmann on Wilde is apt. Wilde’s aestheticism is a bit more complex than it is commonly supposed.

8 Great Films that Look Really, Really Great!

Let’s agree that not all of the film experience is about the intellectual content. You can get that from the book. And not all of it is about action. That can get repetitive. At least some of the experience is about the style the film evokes. The type of world that you enter when you watch.

That is why, for example, I cannot get enough of Fellini. I love his world, so playful and warm. I am thinking of Amarord here, but why not Eight and a half as well?   And that is why my two favorite films of all time are Charade and North by Northwest. They evoke an era  that I find very seductive. Cary Grant fits into these settings with ease. Ok. I should not leave out I To Catch a Thief. And Rear Window makes it mainly because of Grace Kelly.

You get the idea. What  films do you treasure most for their style?

Here is a list of 8 films that Robb thinks will turn your head for style reasons.

I have not seen “The Talented Mr. Ripley” but I remember the buzz it got when it came out. I might check it out first!