Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Obit watch: January 22, 2015.

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

John Bayley, literary critic and husband of Iris Murdoch. Bayley wrote Elegy for Iris about his life with Murdoch and her decline from Alzheimer’s disease.

Alan J. Hirschfield, former president of Columbia Pictures.

Hirschfield was the studio president during the David Begelman affair, and is one of the central figures in David McClintick’s excellent book Indecent Exposure.

Obit watch: January 12, 2015.

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Robert Stone, noted novelist (“Dog Soldiers”, “A Flag For Sunrise”).

Anita Ekberg.

Enough said.

Obit watch: December 31, 2014.

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

I’ve seen coverage of this elsewhere, but I wanted to note it here.

Christine Cavanaugh, noted voice actress, passed away on the 22nd, though her death wasn’t widely reported until yesterday. Her major credits included the voice of “Babe” in the first movie, the voice of Marty Sherman on “The Critic”, and the voice of Dexter in “Dexter’s Laboratory”.

ETA: A/V Club.

More obit watch.

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

The LAT is reporting the death of Luise Rainer at the age of 104.

I’d never heard of Ms. Rainer until I read her obit, but she’s one of those interesting Hollywood stories. She started out acting on the stage in Germany, was signed by MGM and came to Hollywood in 1935, won two consecutive Academy Awards (Best Actress, 1936, “The Great Ziegfeld”, and Best Actress, 1937, “The Good Earth”)…

…and then pretty much disappeared from Hollywood.

Rainer, however, didn’t like the trappings of being a movie star. She refused to wear make-up or glamorous clothes and demanded a say in what roles she would play, which didn’t go over well with dominating Mayer. She disparaged Hollywood people, finding them more interested in clothes than in important issues of the day. Her friends included composers George Gershwin and Arnold Schoenberg, writer Thomas Mann and architect Richard Neutra — not exactly a Hollywood crowd. She struggled to find roles that were worthy of her talent.

She was unhappily married to Clifford Odets for a time.

Edited to add: Very nice McFadden obit from the NYT.

Obit watch: December 24, 2014.

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Lawrence forwarded this really nice appreciation of Margot Adler, who passed away in July. Awful lot of dust in the room today.

(No, really. I’ve been sneezing my ass off the past couple of days.)

A/V Club obit for Joseph Sargent, who I mentioned yesterday. Also: NYT.

I missed this over the weekend: former Houston mayor Bob Lanier.

Finally, one I missed until late yesterday: Billie Whitelaw. You may know her as the nanny in the original “The Omen”, but she was very famous in England. She may have been best known as Samuel Beckett’s muse and collaborator:

She accepted his artistic vision without always understanding its explicitly rendered ambiguities. They read his plays together, discussing not their meaning but the most minuscule elements of the text — the pauses and sighs and guttural sounds as well as the words, the inflections demanded by the language, and his need, as she said in interviews, to remove the acting from the performance. “Flat, no emotion, no color,” he would often caution her, she said.

Obit watch: December 23, 2014.

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Yesterday was a bad day for the Joes.

Joe Cocker: LAT. NYT. A/V Club.

This is the only story I’ve found so far, but prolific television and movie director Joseph Sargent also died yesterday. Among his credits: the original “Taking of Pelham 123″ and “The Marcus-Nelson Murders” (the pilot for “Kojak”).

Notes on film, 2014.

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The latest batch of movies added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry has been announced.

Quick takes:

  • There’s a good representation of historical stuff on here; I’m interested in seeing “Bert Williams Lime Kiln Club Field Day” and “The Dragon Painter”.
  • Also a good representation of horror, with “Rosemary’s Baby” and the 1953 “House of Wax”.
  • “Ruggles of Red Gap” sounds like a whole lot of fun. I’d love to see that, too.
  • You know, I liked “The Big Lebowski” okay when I saw it. I still think it’s a good movie, and I often quote lines from it, but I really don’t get what seems to be the passionate worship of it. In terms of just Coen Brothers films, I think “True Grit”, “No Country For Old Men”, “Fargo”, and “Miller’s Crossing” are all better movies. (“Fargo” is already on the list, of course.)
  • I kind of want to see “Down Argentine Way” for one reason: Carmen Miranda. Same with “The Gang’s All Here”. Maybe we should have a Carmen Miranda movie night one night. (If we do, I’ll try to let everyone know in advance. You might even say I’ll give folks a Miranda warning.)
  • Yes, I will be here all week. Try the veal and remember to tip your waitress.
  • I’d also really like to see “Rio Bravo” and “Little Big Man”. I saw parts of the latter on TV when I was a child, but I’ve never seen either one start to finish.
  • Other things I’d like to see: “Unmasked”, “The Power And The Glory”.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Carolyn Hax 2014 Hootenanny of Holiday Horrors. (The good stuff starts about halfway down.)

My brother turned to me and said in a rather flat tone, “No standards today. If they are alive at the end of it, we win.”

The Dissolve’s “Worst films of 2014″.

Obit watch: November 20, 2014.

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

I wanted to wait until the media had a chance to do fuller roundups of Mike Nichols and his career.

NYT. LAT. The Dissolve.

Man, what a career.

TMQ Watch: November 11, 2014.

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

This week’s TMQ, after the jump…


TMQ Watch: November 4, 2014.

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Authentic games. Voting. Space: not a frontier, at least for man. All this and more in this week’s TMQ, after the jump…


If they actually make this movie…

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

…I am there, man.

Stephen Frears is (allegedly) going to direct Meryl Streep in a biography of Florence Foster Jenkins.

(“Remembering Florence Foster Jenkins” from the Carnegie Hall website. Just in case you are unfamiliar with “The Glory (????) of the Human Voice“. And yes, you can buy FlFoJenk in MP3 format from Amazon.)