Posts Tagged ‘still’

Mean Girls Monday: Jingle Bell Rock

December 20, 2010

Jingle Bell time is a swell time.







That’s the Jingle Bell Rock.

Movie Millisecond: Don’t live like this. It isn’t you.

December 20, 2010


via.

Nocturne (Lars von Trier, 1980).

12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies: Elf

December 17, 2010


Actually, I tolerate this movie at a rate of only medium, rather than “highly,” but I picked it over Gremlins because I had more to say about it, I’d seen it more recently, and I had found better screencaps. Plus there is Zooey Deschanel as a blonde. Singing. In the shower.

Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003).

After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.

(the imdb)


Please answer the phone that way at least once this week. I plan to but, then, I almost always answer the phone weird, so I won’t have that element of surprise that you will. (My new favorite? Ask the person who’s calling you if they’re there instead of saying hello. Example: it comes up on caller I.D. as “Joe Brown.” Answer the phone, “Is Joe there? Can I speak with Joe Brown, please? Mr. Brown? You’re probably wondering why I’ve called …”)


That’s another thing. (sigh) Buddy, you should know that your father — he’s on the Naughty List.

Nooooo!

I remember thinking when this came out how odd it was that Jon Favreau directed it, but Buddy’s father Walter Hobbs, as interpreted by James Caan, is certainly what I would think of as a Favreauvian creation: a nasty, singleminded piece of work who needs the familiar but lonely high ground of distance from others, and congruent distance from the emotions intimacy might entail, above all else.

(Psst, it is Amy Sedaris. Woo-hoo!)

I think we should call security.

Good idea.

I like to whisper too!

Buddy is a nuisance to his own father not only because of his inconvenient bumblings, but also because he is a deviation from the norm. To confront a person who won’t let you push them away is to confront yourself, and people like Walter Hobbs seek to avoid that at all costs. I believe Favreau is a genius at whipping up these mean little slaves to the system, as an actor and as a director.

That said about a keen and critical eye for slaves to the system, the product placement in this film is almost beyond belief. One of the most blatant things I’ve seen since E.T. I do not count the scene in Wayne’s World II because they did that on purpose (albeit they got paid).



Zooey Deschanel: I don’t know about elves. I didn’t think much about elves because I was trying to think about the man in charge, the one that was going to bring me presents. I believed in Santa Claus until I was, like, 14. [I believed] if my parents think I do, then they’ll give me two sets of presents. And if Santa Claus really does exist, then he’ll appreciate my support.

(“Zooey Deschanel talks about Elf.” Rebecca Murray. 2003. About.com)


Make work your favorite. That’s your new “favorite.”

When the threads of this project were spun out of the distaff of Hollywood nothingness in 1993, Jim Carrey was originally attached to star as Buddy the Elf. I truly love the guy but I am pretty glad he didn’t get it. He’s got far too much pathos in his eyes and the film would have flopped. Will Ferrell gives Buddy an unblinking, irascible cheerfulness that you get the sense would not flag in the face of finding himself engulfed in flames, like a grip of Terminator robots grimly marching across the ocean floor in pursuit of John Connor. Oh, hey, marriage-made-in-heaven sequel idea? “Come wit’ me if yoo be-leaf in Santa!”


Now what can I get you for Christmas?

Don’t tell him what you want, he’s a liar.

Let the kid talk.

You disgust me! How can you live with yourself?

Just cool it, Zippy.

You sit on a throne of lies!

See? I told you Zooey Deschanel showers in this movie. She also eats top ramen. Tell a friend.

Yeah, pretty much. Where this film succeeds for me is in its treatment of the redemption of characters peripheral to Buddy the Elf: namely, his father, Walter, and Jovie, his would-be girlfriend. Grating as he is, if Buddy had changed to accept the new world in to which he thrusts himself, it would have been a cheap and deflating transformation à la Enchanted.*

To see people rise above themselves and protect a dumb, innocent guy is at least affirming. Buddy doesn’t have to change, because the world will always have burpy rays of sunshine: we need to change enough to take care of them, to share their optimism and deserve their devotion. I can hang with that.

Extra-tolerable bonus: Buddy’s supervisor at the North Pole is Peter Billingsley, of A Christmas Story. “You’re not a cotton-headed ninny-muggins, Buddy. You’re just … different.” Aw. Super-cool!





*Enchanted had nice music but, really, Giselle goes from being a full-throated maiden of the forest to Chi-ironing her hair and operating a dress shop in Manhattan. Conform, little girl! For all the posturing at positioning a new kind of feminist anti-hero that that script threw at us, in the end, it pandered to the same “princess-demographic” ideals it was purporting to rebel against. But, dang, that Amy Adams is cute as a button, yes?

Movie Millisecond: This isn’t some communist day care center

December 14, 2010


via.

Desperate Living (John Waters, 1977).

Snap. Tell your mother, even.

Movie Millisecond: Moebius strip of misery

December 8, 2010

À bout de souffle / Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960.)

Movie Millisecond: Cancer of the Soul

December 6, 2010


via.

The Passion of Anna/The Passion/En Passion (Ingmar Bergman, 1969).

Movie Millisecond: Word of the Day

November 29, 2010

La jetée (Chris Marker, 1962).


via.

Scream real loud.

Movie Millisecond: Les diaboliques

November 24, 2010

Les diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955).

I had a friend around a decade ago whose girlfriend was horrified whenever she would catch him having opened his eyes to glance down at their interlocking parts during sex. “Stop looking,” she would say. He was fool enough to tell us this and naturally we all started to say it to him all the time, and it caught on well enough that it became a thing to say it even when he was not around. “Stop looking!” we’d tell each other.

They’re married now so I assume either he stopped looking or she let it go.

Mean Girls Monday: That is just exactly the way of it

November 8, 2010


This is the kind of thing that happens to me every day of my life.

Movie Millisecond: V for Vendetta

November 5, 2010

Remember, remember.

V for Vendetta (James McTeigue, 2006). I have not yet seen this movie, but I’ve had the graphic novel* since the Dead Sea was sick.

Have you seen it? Should I download it — super-legally, naturally, wink-wink-nudge-nudge** — and watch it while I work out, or is it not a worthy adaptation?


via.

*Let’s call them graphic novels and hold our pinkies out, mmkay.

**Just kidding, Wachowski Brothers. You know I got your backs; I saw Speed Racer three times in theaters, for crissake. Homies to the grave, dudes. I’d never do you like that. Besides, I can’t get Demonoid to work this week.***

***Anyone know how to get Demonoid to work this week? It’s not Demonoid. It’s me. I updated Mozilla and monkeyed with the proxy and firewall settings, and now I’m facing all manner of sassafrass left and right in the form of peer-to-peer denials, time-outs, and failure to connect. Luckily my sex life has conditioned me to expect this. (rimshot!)

Movie Millisecond: Mouchette

October 28, 2010


via.

Mouchette (Robert Bresson, 1967).

Mean Girls Monday: Karen’s psychic breasts

October 4, 2010


I’m kind of psychic. I have a fifth sense. It’s like I have ESPN or something. My breasts can always tell when it’s going to rain. Well — they can tell when it’s raining.

(Karen, Mean Girls.)

Movie Millisecond: The Big Lebowski

October 2, 2010


via One Day, One Movie on the tumblr.

Fight Club Friday: You still have your balls

October 1, 2010


via bloodandmilk on the tumblr.

Movie Millisecond: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

September 28, 2010

Because the last entry put me in mind of Russ Meyer, this Movie Millisecond comes from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (Russ Meyer, 1970).


via One movie, one day on the tumblr.

Groovy.

Movie Millisecond: Fuck me gently with a chainsaw

August 30, 2010

As promised, Heathers (Michael Lehmann, 1989).

Sharon Tate’s Actual Life Awareness Month: Movie Moment, Don’t Make Waves

August 29, 2010

Turn on! Stay loose! Make out!

Don’t Make Waves (Alexander Mackendrick, 1967) was a Tony Curtis comedic vehicle in which Sharon Tate debuted in the part of Malibu, a beautiful blonde bunny who rescues a New York tourist from drowning and sucks him into the swingin’, farcical Southern California beach scene, complete with over-inflated egos, nouveau riche developers, mudslides, meditation, and Muscle Beach.


via Mr. Peel’s Sardine Liqueur on the blogger.

The Ransohoff-produced-MGM film also stars Claudia Cardinale (Once Upon A Time In the West) as Laura Califatti, a hot-tempered and spontaneous Italian woman who is an even worse driver than this hot-tempered and spontaneous Italian woman used to be, and features genius comedian Mort Sahl (more on Mr. Sahl can be found in the recent Girls of Summer entry on his long-time wife China Lee, who also pops up in Don’t Make Waves). Also in a cameo is model-actress Joanna Barnes — she was Vicki Robinson, the gold-digging bad fiancee in the original Hayley Mills version of The Parent Trap, a role she lampooned/reprised in the Lindsay Lohan-starring 1998 remake as Vicki Robinson Blake, the gold-digging bad fiancee’s encouragingly avaricious mother; the idea being that a leopard never changes its spots, yes?


Ibid.

The cast of Don’t Make Waves was rounded out by a number of popular bodybuilders of the Venice Beach area and era, including David “The Blond Bomber” Draper, Mr. America 1965 and Mr. Universe 1966, who portrayed Ms. Tate’s character Malibu’s boyfriend, Harry Hollard.

The $4,000,000 film is based on Ira Wallach’s novel Muscle Beach. The movie can be described as a “sex and flex” gala spectacular featuring blondes, bikinis and bulging biceps. …

(Mozee, Gene. “Don’t Make Waves: Hollywood’s Greatest Muscle Movie.” Muscular Development, December 1967.)


As is Hollywood’s custom, the film pokes a little fun at the muscle world, but on the whole, the movie is quite entertaining and I am sure bodybuilders throughout the world will enjoy seeing it.

Co-starring as [Dave] Draper’s girlfriend is the very lovely Sharon Tate, one of the most beautiful girls these eyes have ever seen!

(Ibid.)

A legend in bodybuilding, Mr. Draper had a long career as a competitive weightlifter, actor, and author, and he runs a voluminous official website devoted to health, nutrition, and weightlifting.


I think of Sharon often as pictures of her during our filming of “Don’t Make Waves” adorn the walls of my gym in Santa Cruz, California. The members are mesmerized. … We first met on location in Malibu when we were advised to practice a trampoline dismount for the next film sequence, to begin promptly.

“Sharon, this is Dave. Dave, this is Sharon. Sharon, I want you to bounce on the tramp as high as you can and jump into the arms of Dave, standing right here. He’s a sturdy fellow. Good.” — The instructions of Sandy McKendrick [sic], cogent director assuming magic. We smiled, nodded, shook hands and she mounted the trampoline for the first time in her life …


Sharon and Dave filming, via sharontate.info.

… Any fear or doubts the sweet girl had turned into resolve. Sharon bounced with all her might and within five minutes was leaping through the air like a gazelle. I didn’t dare miss her. We were smiles and laughter.

First take, “Cut. That’s a wrap.” I miss her now. A star on Hollywood Boulevard bearing Sharon’s name would warm my heart. She has a special place there, indeed.

(David Draper, memorial statement on Ms. Tate’s official website supporting Sharon’s receipt of a posthumous star on the Walk of Fame.

I can’t believe it is even an issue that needs lobbied. Why would Sharon Tate not get a star? Her career may have been cut short by something that we must reasonably not want to accidentally celebrate, but look at that career — even her presence in the cult classic Valley of the Dolls, which has likely never stopped playing at least somewhere in the campy-theater-viewing world, alone should position her for a star on the Walk of Fame. Come on. They gave ones to Pat Sajak and to Rin Tin Tin. Okay? Let’s get real. It’s bizarre to me that there is even debate.


Official soundtrack — the Byrds’ sang the theme song. Ransohoff spared no expense. (Get it.)

I do hate to throw in detracting non-Sharon Tate stuff on the “Sharon’s actual life” posts because, like I said from the beginning, it pisses me off that her unique character and burgeoning career is always getting overshadowed by the doings of all the others in her life story, but I must add that two reknowned Academy-Award winning actor-director-producers, Robert Redford and Clint Eastwood, do not have stars yet either. Lassie and Tony Danza, yes. Dirty Harry and the Sundance Kid, no. Um, what? The process of selection and awarding now officially baffles me. A more complete list of strangely overlooked performers, or those who have declined or been disqualified, is here.

Back to Don’t Make Waves.

A great deal of money was spent on an all-out publicity blitz for this movie (no doubt with the urging of Ransohoff, the head of Filmways and Sharon’s personal career guru, who’d been waiting for his chance to spring her on the public), with everything from cards with stills to giant cardboard cutouts of Sharon Tate as Malibu in theaters to promote the film. There was even a tie-in with a Coppertone ad, shown above.

The amount of attention that was suddenly on Sharon and her body was not terribly to her liking. Though her later roles in Valley of the Dolls and The Wrecking Crew, as we’ve discussed this month, gave her the opportunity to show off her more robust dramatic and comedic talents, she was at this time pretty nonplussed by her box office debut as Malibu.

Among her friends, [Sharon] began to refer to herself as “sexy little me.”

(Bowers, John. “Sexy Little MeThe Saturday Evening Post, May 6, 1967.*)


Despite the lauded publicity campaign, Don’t Make Waves did not do as well in theaters at its release as its backers hoped, but it has gained in popularity with critics as time has passed.

The film has [recently] received more positive comments from reviewers, such as Leonard Maltin who describes it as “a gem”, and makes note of the “fine direction and funny performance by Sharon Tate”.

(the wiki.)


As a final note, the character of Malibu is often cited as the inspiration for the Mattel line of Malibu Barbie dolls. The doll was introduced in 1971 and I’ve so far read nothing that confirms Ms. Tate in Don’t Make Waves being Malibu Barbie’s rock-solid model as fact — but it is certainly a thing that could be true.




*Besides interviewing Ms. Tate about her upcoming film releases, the article sheds light on the early stages of her relationship with her eventual husband and portrays his interaction with her in a none-too-flattering light from the get-go: I found it insightful but very depressing and disheartening. So if you are a person who does not like to read things like that about him, don’t follow the link, or at least don’t tell me about it if you have followed it and are unhappy with what you’ve read. I did not write it. I just quoted from it.

Movie Millisecond: Word of the day

August 27, 2010

Two in a row. Scream real loud.


Think it’s Antoine et Colette (François Truffaut, 1962). If not, please correct me.

Had a conversation I did not think I would have nor did I want to have today. It was ugly and unhappy and none of it was unnecessary nor I think unexpected from the other end, just difficult. Difficult in the broad delivery sense to say upsetting things to someone for whose well-being I do care, and difficult in the close and personal sense to voice deep-seated, long-meditated-over anxieties. Balancing the manifest past with predictions for an even slightly hopeful future is such a fine and delicate thing, it’s like splintered glass just working its way through you. It’s so layered and overwhelming.

Edit: The still is from Masculin Féminin (Godard, 1966). Thanks to Linda for the sourcing!

Movie Millisecond: Word of the day

August 26, 2010

Scream real loud.


saved long before I was wise enough to source, goddamn me.

As of press time for me, which is not the time this is appearing, I cannot source this screencap. Feel like the actress at least is on the tip of my tongue but it’s the middle of the night right now and I’m bushed and heading to bed. Help is appreciated.

Flashback Friday — Movie Moment: Switchblade Sisters (1975), Patch edition

July 2, 2010

This entry was originally posted on December 5, 2009 at 2:42 pm. Captions have been added to some of the photos.

There are many recommendable qualities about what is, to me, the title holder of all-time greatest cheeseball popcorn-flick, writer-director Jack Hill’s masterpiece of the exploitation genre, Switchblade Sisters (1975).

For one thing, the four taglines are as follows:

  • They’d Rather Kill Their Man Than Lose Him
  • So easy to kill. So hard to love.
  • Mothers… lock up your sons. The Switchblade Sisters are coming!
  • Lace… Maggie… Patch… Donut… Bunny… The wildest girl gang that ever blasted the streets!
  • Dig the poster art (click any of them to blow it up).

    The film, which do not think this is the last entry in which I will talk about it, centers on girl gang The Dagger Debs — a sort of ladies auxiliary of their boyfriends’ gang, the Silver Daggers — who later change their name to The Jezebels (some bootlegs of the film still have this as the title) under the advice of their new co-leader.


    That bowling alley is rougher than the cantina on Mos Eisley.

    Name changes and the new co-leader do not sit well with what is for my money the number one reason with a bullet (or switchblade, if you prefer) to watch this movie:

    This flyass bitch right here.


    Monica Gayle as “Patch.”

    Her name is Patch. Former first lieutenant of the Dagger Debs, Patch came to kick ass and look hot as hell — and she’s all outta blue eyeliner.

    You will want to marry her when you watch her snarl and flip and hiss across the screen. It’s wonderful.

    Look at that willowy neck and perfectly snide expression. I cannot believe that Monica Gayle did not go on to ridiculous heights of stardom and fame, but at least it ups my chances of running in to her at the grocery.

    Quentin Tarantino put up the money through his Rolling Thunder productions company to oversee the recent remaster and distribution of this film in dvd format. He claims it is among his favorite 70’s movies, and QT devotees insist that shades of the plotline, composition, and even characters from Switchblade Sisters can be seen in some of Tarantino’s films.


    Note the composition, with organic materials framing the hard face and the strong horizontals in their look-space.

    I cannot imagine where they are getting this. Even if he has seen Switchblade Sisters, I doubt it has in any way influenced his own work.*


    What am I talking about?, they clearly have patches on different eyes — psh. Not alike at all.

    *Obviously that’s in jest … but actually I love the fact that he based the “look” of Elle Driver on Patch. Love it. And then he put Daryl Hannah in the role on top of it?! Winner winner, chicken dinner! It’s like that loquacious elfin genius makes movies purely so I don’t have to. My hat is forever off to him.

    addendum 7-2-10: It’s still true. I know it is becoming vogue for some reason to consider QT “tired” or “irrelevant” or “pretentious” or any one of a million labels that float about like baseless ice cubes in the tall glass of haterade Hollywood critics pass around, but I will love him, deeply and without measure or reservation, until the end of time. Call me.