Adieu, August!

To salute the 8th month of the year goodbye, I compiled the list of films I've watched this month. As an overview, I'm gleeful to know that I've managed to get in my hands around 78 films in 30 days. It's an accomplishment, I tell you!



So far the notables ones are The Thin Man series, which I adore sooo much and just can't get enough of (especially the sequel, where James Stewart shines in the end), some classic 50s monster movies I found interesting, Gary Oldman's films (just a few, but his acting was always so memorable), sequels of hit movies like Home Alone, Lethal Weapon and such, and especially three Hitchcock films; I love Rebecca and Rear Window. I love them I love them I love them. Oh, and I have to mention Dr. Strangelove because it would be crazy not to mention Dr. Strangelove and the chameleonness of Peter Sellers ("Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!"). Some movies I've watched months and even years ago but forgot, most are new to me, most are on repeat watching, and some I just stumbled upon, and of course, there's quite a lot that become my new favourites (Arsenic and Old Lace! Vivacious Lady! You Were Never Lovelier! Tootsie! Butch Cassidy! Breathless! The Ghost and Mrs. Muir!)

So... hit it! And pink ones mean I love them!

1.  The Remains of the Day (1993)
2.  The Ten Commandments (1956)
3.  Breathless (1983)
4.  Rear Window (1954)
5.  Sea of Love (1989)
6.  Rebecca (1940)
7.  Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
8.  House of Wax (1953)
9.   A Night At the Opera (1935)
10. The Cameraman (1928)
11.  Romantic Comedy (1983)
12.  Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
13.  Crime and Punishment (2002)
14.  Little Women (1994)
15.  Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
16.  Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
17.  Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
18.  The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
19.  Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
20.  Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
21.  Vivacious Lady (1938)
22.  Tampopo (1985)
23.  La Cité des enfants perdus (1995)
24.  Tootsie (1982)
25.  20,000 Million Miles To Earth (1957)
26.  Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
27.  The Parent Trap (1998)
28.  You Were Never Lovelier (1942)
29.  The Cable Guy (1996)
30.  My Zinc Bed (2008)
31.  Fargo (1996)
32.  This Gun For Hire (1942)
33.  Song of the South (1946)
34.  Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
35.  Ocean’s Eleven (1960)
36.  Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
37.  Jaws (1975)
38.  Serpico (1973)
39.  You Don’t Know Jack (2010)
40.  Chinatown (1974)
41.  The Thin Man (1934)
42.  After the Thin Man (1936)
43.  Another Thin Man (1939)
44.  Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)
45.  Song of the Thin Man (1947)
46.  Interview with the Vampire (1994)
47.  Turn Left, Turn Right (2002)
48.  Home Alone II (1992)
49.  Clue (1985)
50.  It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955)
51.  Airplane! (1980)
52.  Airplane! II (1982)
53.  Death Becomes Her (1992)
54.  The Two Jakes (1990)
55.  Batman (1989)
56.  Coney Island (1917)
57.  Naked Gun (1988)
58.  Lethal Weapon II (2006)
59.  From Here To Eternity (1953)
60.  When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
61.  Return of the Musketeers (1989)
62.  Criminal Law (1988)
63.  Romeo Is Bleeding (1993)
64.  The Bodyguard (1992)
65.  Marnie (1964)
66.  Apollo 13 (1995)
67.  Letters to Juliet (2010)
68.  Chloe
(2009)
69.  The Painted Veil
(2006)
70.  Taking Woodstock
(2009)
71.  First Men In the Moon
(1964)
72.  Clash of the Titans
(1981)
73.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
(2001)
74.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
(2002)
75.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
(2011)
76.  Frozen
(2010)
77.  Death At a Funeral
(2010)
78.  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
(1969)

Silent Styles: or How I See Charlie and Buster From Their Clothes

This post is my contribution to the Fashion in Film blogathon, hosted by Angela of The Hollywood Revue.

But before.. have you seen Google's tribute to Jim Henson? I've been playing with the monsters for about half an hour now (my favourite's the blue one!)



Anyway, I spent weeks trying to decide on what I want to write for this blogathon. Cleopatra? Annie Hall? Bonnie Parker (and her berets)? Amy Jolly? This? That? I was confused. (Note to self: it's always good to have one or two ideas for your topic, but list down more than TEN ideas and you're lost). I wanted to address that little black dress that was the point of Breakfast At Tiffany's, and I wanted to poke at Scarlett's curtain dress, I even wanted to admire Fred's sharp style in most of his films and Ginger's bold dresses, but... but... I can't choose just one topic. I just can't. Everytime I am forced to choose, be it choosing epic or romance, buying this pair of shoes or that pair, or wearing this blouse or that dress, I feel like Charlie Chaplin when experiencing nervous breakdown. I go crazy!

Day #13 - A Guilty Pleasure

So we finally come to the category 'guilty pleasure'. Tough, tough one. I'm the kind of person who indulges in an awful movie just because. Sometimes it's the character that steals my heart. Sometimes it's the scenery. Sometimes, juuuuust sometimes, it's the dialogue. Yes, I find dialogue to be the most important part of a movie, be it good or bad. Anyway, my guilty pleasure film is...

Mixed Nuts (1994) dir. Nora Ephron


You know, this isn't really that awful (but then again, thinking about that sad 7% tomamometer the critics in RT gave it)... at least for me. It's a Christmas movie, and the seasonal theme adds to the chaotic plot and characters (which is why I love it)! You find Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, Madeline Kahn, Adam Sandler, Liev Schreiber, Juliette Lewis and Anthony LaPaglia all spending Christmas together, with a twist (one of them commits murder)! Their characters are extremely eccentric and quirky; they can't relate to each other that much except for the fact that they're all crazy people with problems of their own. At times it's naturally humorous, but sometimes it feels like they're trying too hard to be funny that they lost it. I love Madeline Kahn, and Liev Schreiber is quite memorable, however Steve Martin, Adam Sandler and Anthony LaPaglia are sadly forgetful, despite the fact that they're all amazing comedians. But it was the brilliant over-the-top craziness of the film that makes me love it. We see Kahn stuck in an elevator for more than an hour without anyone helping, and Schreiber's transvestism that makes him look like a complete drag, and Sandler's weird songs, the corpse disguised as a Christmas tree, the fact that there is such job like 'a wall artist', and Steve Martin trying to straighten things out from the beginning to the end... amusing. I like this movie. A guilty pleasure!

Day #12 - A Film By Your Least Favorite Director

My least favourite director is currently him:

Michael Bay. His films are all high-budgeted, filled with A-list actors, and set in a CGI wonderland that seemed to promise you that great, unforgettable summer blockbuster treat. Then, as we watch his movies, we feel completely ripped-off. It was like opening an extremely large and colourful christmas present that has a large red ribbon on top and an expensively nice feel about it, only to find out that there's only a pair of white socks inside. Definitely disappointing.


I'm sorry, people, but Transformers 3 isn't as good as you think it is.............

WYSW: Top Hat (1935)


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Another Why You Should Watch post! And this time, we'll be talking about the greatest film ever made one of my favourite films ever (but it's really a musical), the fourth from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' paired filmography, Top Hat! Directed by Mark Sandrich and released in 1935, this was nominated for several Oscars including Best Picture, became RKO's (it's production house) best box-office hit in the 30s, and was the most successful of all Astaire-Rogers films together. It's a very charming movie, with a pleasantly funny and simple plot, amazing dance numbers and swellegant performances from Fred and Ginger. For all you musical lovers, Top Hat is definitely a must-watch!

Day #11 - A Film By Your Favorite Director

It's hard enough to choose just ONE director, but thinking of choosing just ONE film from that one director's full filmography is just... a tough job. I have loads of favourite auteurs I love for their remarkable styles, like Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Chaplin, Hitchcock, Spielberg, Keaton, Burton, Capra, Polanski, Preminger, Wyler and Wilder (I used to mistake them as one another), Coppola (the father), Tarantino, Allen, Godard.............. lots of them. I mean, I could be making my own 'Great Directors' list just by the look of it!

But I have to choose, now, don't I? So after much eeny meeny miny mo, my pick goes to...

Billy Wilder!


He directed and wrote so many awesome movies, and the mentionworthy ones are Ninotchka, Sabrina, Double Indemnity, Stalag 17, Some Like It Hot, Seven Year Itch, and The Apartment. The fact that he's a director that pushed the actors to play against their typecasting for a change (like Bogart's role in Sabrina) but didn't force them to play their characters beyond their own abilities, and that he believed that the story is the most important part of the film (in which he often created the best dialogues ever, like in Some Like It Hot and Sunset Boulevard) aside cinematography or anything else make him my favourite pick out of all the auteurs I admire. His film I choose for this category:


World in Film: Food and Dystopia

This post is my entry for the World In Film Blogathon, hosted by Alan from The Great Movie Project.

It's always fun to participate in interesting blogathons, like this one. I like the idea of selecting a film that was set in different places in each of the seven continents; like a representation. And believe me, it's not as easy, nor is it as hard as it sounds like to choose the movies. Only what bugged me was the 'sub-theme' idea, because I find it hard to do so. So since no one told me that it's a terribly wrong thing to do to pick more than one sub-theme, I convinced myself rather happily that I won't be disqualified when I decided to have two sub-themes for my entries and pick both food and dystopia. The only reasons why I want those particularly random sub-themes are because I want Mad Max as my Australia choice, and also because I love good food films. It's always nice to watch a delectable movie, don't you agree? (But my film selections have a rather disgusting take on food, though... e.g. France and North America). So, here goes, my bizarre picks for each seven continent! *drumrolls*

Day #10 - A Film With Your Favorite Actress


Tee hee.

Day #9 - A Film With Your Favorite Actor

Ask me again who my favourite actor is?

Daddy Long Legs (1955) dir. Jean Negulesco

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)


Teddy 'Roosevelt' Brewster: "General Goefels?"
Dr. Herman Einstein: "Yes, sir?" 
Teddy 'Roosevelt' Brewster: "As president of the United States, commander in chief of the army and navy, and the man who gave you this job, I demand that you accompany me on the inspection of the new lock!"
Jonathan Brewster: "Teddy, I think it's time for you to go to bed." 
Teddy 'Roosevelt' Brewster: "I beg your pardon? Who are you?"
Jonathan Brewster: "I'm Woodrow Wilson, go to bed!"

Day #8 - A Film You Can Quote Best



 

I just watch this movie too much.


Sid: "Hey! Hey baby, what's going on here?"
Holly: "Oh, hi." (rings bell, Mr. Yunioshi wakes up, grunts, blunders around)
Mr. Yunioshi: "Miss Gorightly...! Someday, someday, Miss Gorightly!"
Sid: "What happened to you anyway? You take over from the powder room and that's the last I see you!"
Holly: "Now really, Harry..."
Sid: "Harry was the other guy, I'm Sid! Sid Arbuck, you like me, remember?"
Mr. Yunioshi: "Miss Gorightly! I proteeest...!"
Holly: "Oh, darling, I am sorry but I lost my key!"
Mr. Yunioshi: "But that was two weeks ago! You cannot go on and keep ringin' my bell! You disturb-ah me! You must have a key made!"
Holly: "But it won't do me any good, I just lose them all!"
Sid: "Come on, baby, you like me, you know you do!"
Holly: "I worship you, Mr. Arbuck, good night, Mr. Arbuck!" (shuts her door)
Sid: "Wait a minute, what is this? You like me, I'm a liked guy! (bangs the door) You like me, baby, you know you do! Didn't I pick up the check for five people, your friends, I never see them before! And when you ask for another change what did I give you? A fifty dollar bill, now doesn't that give me some rights?!" (bangs door)
Mr. Yunioshi: "In thirty seconds, I going to call the police! (Sid leaves) All time disturbance! I get no sleep! I gotta get my rest, I'm an artist! I going to call the vice squad on you!"
Holly: "Don't be angry, you dear little man, I won't do it again."


I can go on and on writing down the entire dialogue. I honestly remember it by heart right now! Although it might not be exactly as it was scripted, but the way it was spoken, the tone, the stressing of certain words and the actions carried as they speak are all carved in my memory... I remember I used to put Moon River on repeat the entire day back when I was crazy about Audrey Hepburn and Holly Golightly!

Day #7 - A Film That Reminds You of Your Past

The Aristocats (1970) dir. Wolfgang Reitherman
 

Or Alice in Wonderland (1951). Because my past was highly influenced by classic Disney movies. Come to think of it, Lady and the Tramp had a big impact on me too. They all remind me of my past, simple as that.

Day #6 - A Film That Reminds Me of Somewhere

I'm thinking of highlighting three places that have their own memories for me, and the films that remind me of these places:

 1. Batman Returns (1992) dir. Tim Burton: A lovely hotel room

I spent one Christmas eve watching this and Nigella's Christmas Kitchen in a hotel room alone, waiting (for the whole day and night) for my family to come so that we can prepare for tomorrow's Christmas celebration!


2. All the President's Men (1976) dir. Alan J. Pakula: A certain holiday on a beach

It was a perfectly sunny day, but instead of going to the beach, I watched this film in my hotel room, completely wasting my time. Not regretting it, though. It was memorable.


3. Fantasia (1940) and Fantasia 2000 (1999): Amsterdam

I cheated a bit here by choosing two films. But I don't care, because the Fantasia films are the perfect reminder of the days I spent in Amsterdam. Besides, I've cheated from the beginning anyway by choosing more than a film for Day 6's theme alone. The original Fantasia from 1940 is reminiscent of an apartment I rent in a very sentimental district of West Amsterdam (well, sentimental at least for me). Then a segment from Fantasia 2000, the Rhapsody In Blue segment, is reminiscent to the most memorable days I spent completely alone in the city, feeling like the whole world's mine. I loved and missed those days.

Day #5 - A Film That Reminds Me of Someone

I seriously think the categories should be more specific. Someone in what term? My mother, my friend, or a certain someone?

Due to the vagueness of Day #5's theme, I decided to do it like this.

Someone I can't live without: The Land Before Time (1988) dir. Don Bluth
Someone I respect: Reality Bites (1994) dir. Ben Stiller
Someone that made me happy: Roman Holiday (1953) dir. William Wyler
Someone that attracted me: Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001) dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet
People I regard as two very dear friends of mine: Up (2009) dir. Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Someone that has changed my life: The Passion of the Christ (2004) dir. Mel Gibson

I wanted to make a longer 'Someone' list, but then I realized that it would be too long, as there are many someones in my life and each has left their own impression... so I settled with the people that meant (and still mean) a lot to me. What about your someone?

Film Challenge Day #3 and #4

Since I skipped Day 3, which was yesterday, because of many trivial reasons, I decided to just pile it up with Day 4 together today.

And thus we come to the categories of A Film That I Watch to Feel Good, and A Film That I Watch to Feel Bad.

At first I picked Breakfast At Tiffany's for my feel-good film, but then after much thinking, I decided to change it with this.



Everything about this film is just so feel-good. I have loads of favourite scenes, like when Gene Kelly jumps straight into Debbie Reynold's car and she hysterically calls a cop only to find out he's a famous actor, or when Reynolds throws a cake to Jean Hagen's face (priceless!), or when Donald O'Connor does the Make 'Em Laugh segment (I just love it too much), and the random but still amusing Moses Supposes scene, and of course, the unbeatable, inimitable, iconic Singin' In the Rain segment (video's below). Everytime I watch it happiness comes flooding right into my heart. And that is not exaggeration, dear readers, it is not. This film is just pure happiness and laughter from beginning to end, and to support it, here's a smiley for you :)




And now, the film the I watch to make me feel down. A harder subject, but my eventual choice is...

none. Really, how can a movie make you feel down? Usually I only feel disappointed when I had high expectation for a certain movie but it didn't work out, or I feel angry with a character from a movie for her annoying/bad qualities, or I feel sad for the plot or whatsoever, but I never once encounter a film that made me down. Other emotions did come but to an extent where I feel down... I just never.

Fred Astaire's Picture Play Interview (May 1940)

Thanks to Sharon from Diamond Dame, I (along with many other Astaire fans) had the opportunity to read a very delightful rare excerpt of Fred Astaire's interview for the magazine Picture Play, edition May 1940. In the interview, headlined 'Memo: ... From A Dancing Master', Mr. Astaire himself gave out dancing tips. Yes, he did. Yes, you read right. Dancing tips from Fred Astaire!


why, you're all welcome

The interview was carried out by Wilbur Morse Jr.,  and he started the read with his own story of being left by his date as soon as she found out he was a bad dancer (“Before you venture on the dance floor again, you should take a gymnasium course in co-ordination and … sit through the next five Fred Astaire movies nine times each!” -2nd paragraph) Oh snap. He then decided to ask the master of dancing and treating the ladies about what to do, and went on to interviewing Fred.

the magazine cover, which is extremely hard to find these days.

Now I won't be copying the full article because I don't feel the need to do so, I'll just summarize a few of Fred's tips in his own exact words. Besides, Sharon herself was kind enough to do the job and had the article copied on her blog, so if you're intrigued, go check the transcript on Diamond Dame! I can't thank her enough for this lovely treat.

Film Challenge Day #2

My least favourite film is...

Oh this is hard. Because the topic 'least favourite film' can be about the worst movie I've ever seen and disliked because well, it's the worst movie ever made, yet it can also mean a good movie that is just not my favourite; and not to mention the many movies I've seen that I thought was good, but turned out bad, and the many movies I wasted my money upon only to find out it was not worth it. At all.

But now, having realized that I've talked too much, I'll just save time and announce you my least favourite film:

Psycho (1998) dir. Gus Van Sant

even the poster looks cheap

Hands down the worst remake for me. This film made me question why did these people even had the audacity to think about re-creating an Alfred Hitchcock's. Because, you see, he was in any way a very inimitable man. So unless you're an aspiring auteur blessed with Hithcock-wise talents, never try to copy one of his masterpieces. Ne-ver. Especially the ones like Psycho. Or The Birds (oh, I wonder what the result would be if ever they decide to remake The Birds! Make or break.)

Welcoming September

with a 30-Day Film Challenge!

Basically, it's just like this...

For everyday of the month, I shall post something for the appropriate category given --all in the cinema field, or else it won't be titled '30-Day Film Challenge'--, and the categories can be seen here.


Excited? You bet I am.

And so for Day #1, my favourite film (ever? or just currently?) is...

this.

Because I like the characterizations of Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley and Melanie altogether. It's the best ever. And not forgetting the rest supporting characters (like Mammy!) And I love the plot and the conflict and how it all ruled out. I loooove it to bits. Then there's the amazing theme and costumes and interesting behind-the-scene stories like this one (which made the film more appealing for me) and the settings. I've been watching this film on repeat these past few months.... I'm afraid I'm giving a little too much damn about it.

And to salute August goodbye, here's the list of films I've watched the previous month (some I've watched two or three times before, but I watched again because I was either bored or too much in love with the movie). In other words, my film journal has largely developed! But still nowhere near perfect.

In August, I watched...

  1. Barkleys of Broadway (1949) dir. Charles Walters
  2. Beetlejuice (1988) dir. Tim Burton
  3. Blonde Crazy (1931) (currently a favourite) dir. Roy Del Ruth
  4. Easter Parade (1948) dir. Charles Walters
  5. Singin' In the Rain (1952) (definitely the best happy film for me) dir. Stanley Donen
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) dir. David Yates
  7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) dir. David Yates
  8. Modern Times (1936)* dir. Charlie Chaplin
  9. Sherlock Jr. (1924) dir. Buster Keaton
  10. Gone with the Wind (1939)* dir. Victor Fleming
  11. Cleopatra (1963) dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  12. Airplane! (1980) dir. Jim Abrahams, David Zucker
  13. Reversal of Fortune (1990) dir. Barbet Schroeder
  14. Schindler's List (1993)* dir. Steven Spielberg
  15. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) dir. Robert Zemeckis
  16. The Apartment (1960) dir. Billy Wilder
  17. The Blue Dahlia (1946) dir. George Marshall
  18. Footlight Parade (1933) dir. Lloyd Bacon
  19. 1941 (1979) dir. Steven Spielberg
  20. The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) dir. H.C. Potter
  21. A Passage To India (1984) (in which I dislike Adela Quested very much) dir. David Lean
  22. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) dir. David Lean
  23. Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961)* (the gazillionth time I've watched this) dir. Blake Edwards
  24. Casablanca (1942)* dir. Michael Curtiz
  25. Ghostbusters (1984) dir. Ivan Reitman
  26. The Glass Key (1942) dir. Stuart Heisler
* repeat watching because I love the film