Tuesday, 2 September 2014
which I loved a year ago, as per my post here, see Garbo label, and I now think everything about MATA HARI in 1931 is utterly fantastic: the art design, her odd but mesmerising dance with the giant statue, Ramon Novarro, her stunning outfits, and that ending as she faces the execution squad ..... its amazing the number of different posters in various colours that are still around. Jeanne Moreau's MATA HARI AGENT H21 in 1964 though very different is rather dull by comparison!
TWO FACED WOMAN shows how she could have developed and looked as the 1940s progressed - just as Marilyn's uncompleted SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE fragments show how that now slimline Marilyn could have dazzled as the '60s unfolded .... At least Greta lived out her life as she wanted .... those late '40s photos by Cecil Beaton show she was still a stunning woman then. More on Greta, and that usually overlooked PAINTED VEIL at label. Even the very name 'Garbo' summons up unfathomable mystery and unattainable glamour ...
Right: a laserdisc (remember those?) of MATA HARI & THE PAINTED VEIL!
Left: Moreau as Mata:
Soon: Another look at Marlene's 1932 BLONDE VENUS and THE SCARLET EMPRESS, 1934. More 1930s delirium !
Monday, 1 September 2014
Antonioni, Fellini and Visconti as well as De Sica and Rossellini may have been the Italian great directors (along with Pasolini & Bertolucci and more), but its been fascinating catching up with those early films by Mauro Bolognini (1922-2001),which we like a lot here - LA NOTTE BRAVA, GIOVANI MARITI, CORRUPTION, SENILITA, METELLO, GRAN BOLLITO etc (as reviewed at Italian label). I still have to see Mastroianni & Cardinale in his highly-regarded IL BELL'ANTONIO, 1960, and Belmondo and Cardinale in LA VIACCIA, 1961.,
Another one, not available now, is his equally fascinating sounding FROM A ROMAN BALCONY (LA GIORNATA BALORDA), 1960, from a Moravia novel, with those attractive players Jean Sorel and Lea Massari. The trailer for it is on YouTube though:
Bolognini also did episodes in those Italian compendium films I like: LE BAMBOLE (Four Kinds of Love - the hilarious and sexy Sorel & Lollobrigida episode) and LE FATA (The Queens), Sorel with Raquel Welch.
Next Italian: Marcello and Romy in FANTASMA D'AMORE, 1981 - finally, a sub-titled print, and the Blu-ray of THE GREAT BEAUTY.
Sunday, 31 August 2014
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Lets quote some of this deathless prose:
"But, unfortunately, harmony did not reign in their mountain-side home for long. Soon the rumours started - Rock and Phyllis were not hitting it off so well. The marriage was cracking.
Hollywood know-alls said the trouble stemmed from Phyllis's extravagance. It was true that she loved to go shopping. And after all, why not, when Rock had so much money?
One night, Rock came home tired and hungry, from an exhuasting day at the studio. He pushed open the door. No Phyllis. He went through the house calling for her and at last he found her in the bedroom, trying on a black chiffon evening dress.
She turned to him with stars in her eyes. "Look at it Rock" she cried. "Isn't it just the most stunning gown you ever saw?"
Rock raised a hand to his brow. "Wait a minute" he said, "you bought an evening gown last week. You haven't even worn it yet, and now this today".
The stars faded from Phyllis's eyes ... "But honey, don't you understand, soon I shall wear both of them. When we go out in public again".
"I've told you before", Rock stormed, "I don't want us to start dragging round to nightclubs and premieres".
And so such a comparatively small thing as a new evening dress started off a first-class row.
It sparked off the other major difference between them. Phyllis liked the do the Town occasionally. Rock preferred to stay at home.
Perhaps he liked to have the chance because his film commitments so often took him away from home.
When he went to Europe to make A FAREWELL TO ARMS it was understood that Phyllis would join him. They both looked forward to this immensely for it would mean a second honeymoon.
And then a couple of weeks before Phyllis was due to leave for Italy, Rock received a letter.
"Rock, darling, I've just rented a beautiful house at Malibu Beach for us both. You can swim all day long ...!
Rock was furious. He rushed to the phone.
As soon as he heard her voice, he started to storm. "Phyllis, its me, Rock. Now what do you mean by renting a house without even consulting me?"
Phyllis's voice was cajoling at the other end of the line. "But, honey, its the loveliest house you ever saw. You'll adore it..."
Rock's voice was grim. "I'm not taking any house I haven't seen. Why didn't you consult me? I am the man in this family."
Phyllis's voice rose. "And I'm a grown woman. Why do I have to ask your permission for everything? A house is a woman's business. All I did was -"
Finally, they hung up on each other. Rows at home were bad enough, but rowing with thousands of miles between them - this was disastrous.
It was also the beginning of the end ......"
There are pages more in in that vein. They certainly deserve an award for artistic licence!
At least Dirk never went through a sham marriage - he and Rock were both filming in Italy in 1957, and as I have posted here before, they met for a photo op, and no doubt amused themselves discussing the sizes of their respective closets ....
Friday, 29 August 2014
Then there's Peter and Audrey in 1966 HOW TO STEAL A MILLION, and then Audrey and Romy among the all-star line up in the '70s Trash Classic (which I really must have another look at one of these days) BLOODLINE ... (with Omar, Irene Papas, James Mason and Ben Gazzara). More on these at the labels ...
Thursday, 28 August 2014
From what I gather Blain himself was bisexual in his youth and also had an older protector, so maybe this is his roman a clef about that. Philippe is actually heterosexual, and Nicholas does not object or put barriers on his pursuit of an attractive blonde. This relationship is obviously benefiting Philippe, as the older man teaches him and guides him and helps him to get ahead. Some scenes though go on rather too long, like Philippe and the blonde in that car, then next scene, he is back sharing a hotel double bedroom with Nicholas (there is nothing explicit, it is all very tasteful), and then seemingly making a good impresson on the blonde’s family, until she finds someone else ….
Its perhaps a meditation on how people cope with grief, rather like the Italian THE SON’S ROOM by Nanno Moretti. Deneuve is a sterling presence here in another good late role for her and it is ably directed by Gael Morel, who played the lead in Techine’s LES ROSEAUX SAUVAGE (WILD REEDS) (reviewed here at gay interest label) and has directed other films too, I am looking at his THREE DANCING SLAVES soon. Morel co-wrote the script here. Its absorbing though the ending is rather inconclusive.