The New Year means an end to my blogging break! I’m very excited to share with you details on Spellbound By Movies’ first event! Even if you live far from me, you’ll have an opportunity to participate virtually.
By msbethg in 20th Century Fox, 21st Century Fox, Fox Film, Fox Film Corporation, Jeffrey Paul Thompson, Michael Troyan, Movie Moguls, Movie Studios, Series, Spellbound Events, Vanda Krefft, William Fox No Comments Tags: 20th Century Fox, 21st Century Fox, biograpy, book, books, California, classic film, discussion, film archivist, film historian, film history, Fox, Fox Film, Fox Film Corporation, history, Jeffrey Paul Thompson, Jeffrey Thompson, Lamorinda, Michael Troyan, movie mogul, new, Orinda, Orinda Books, releases, signing, Silent Film, The Man Who Made the Movies, Vanda Krefft, William Fox
The New Year means an end to my blogging break! I’m very excited to share with you details on Spellbound By Movies’ first event! Even if you live far from me, you’ll have an opportunity to participate virtually.
By msbethg in Actors, Genres, Halloween, Holidays, Horror, Mark Gatiss, October Terrors, Series Tags: A History of Horror, BBC, BBC Four, bee, coffin, Dracula, dream, dream-like, film, films, gif, horro, horror film, horror films, horror movie, horror movies, Mark Gatiss, movie, movies, nightmare, nightmares, October, October Terrors, quotation, quote, surreal, terror, terrors
The first day of October is here, and contrary to the habits of some creatures, I’m coming out of (blogging) hibernation! I’ve much to share with you. I can’t wait to get started. First up is today’s post, which starts a new series called OCTOBER TERRORS.
“The cinema is where we come to share a collective dream, and horror films are the most dream-like of all, perhaps because they engage with our nightmares.”
By msbethg in 2010s, Actors, Actresses, David Lynch, Directors, Era, Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern, Series, The Power of Costuming, TV Shows, Twin Peaks Tags: 7, actor, actress, agent, Agent Dale Cooper, bathrobe, callback, Cooper, costume, costuming, couple, Dale, Dale Cooper, David Lycnh, Diane, Diane Evans, director, episode, FBI, Laura Dern, pair, part, Pendleton, program, resonance, robe, seven, Showtime, television, television show, The Power of Costuming, The Return, TV, TVshow, Twin Peaks
Forgive my diversion into TV for a moment, but like a lot of you, I’ve gotten hooked on the new season of TWIN PEAKS. I coveted the silk robe Agent Cooper‘s former secretary Diane Evans wore in Part 7. Its colors and floral pattern look like something I’d wear because of my vintage sensibilities. When I went hunting for a good image of it, I stumbled across the photo of Cooper in his bathrobe in an earlier season. Again another red robe, but his looks like a Pendleton with abstract snow-capped mountains. Two red robes reflecting their wearer’s tastes and gender, but seemingly calling out to each other between seasons, symbolically marking each for the other half of the pair they once were. The more concrete print of her robe is a stronger image for a woman who wears bold clothes, maybe once simply for fashion, but perhaps now they buck her up and distract her from the bitterness and pain of her broken heart.
By msbethg in 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, Alice Guy Blaché, Claire Parker, Classic Film, Contests, Directors, Documentaries, Dorothy Arzner, Drama, Era, Experimental, Foreign, French, Genres, Germaine Dulac, Leni Riefenstahl, Lois Weber, Lotte Reiniger, Mabel Normand, Madeline Brandeis, Marie-Louise Iribe, Mary Ellen Bute, Maya Deren, Mrs. Wallace Reid, Olga Preobrazhenskaia, Series, Silent Film, Women Film Directors 4 Comments Tags: #52FilmsByWomen, Alice Guy Blaché, American, An International Anthology, animation, anthology, Blu-ray, cinema, Claire Parker, classic, commercial, contest, director, directors, doc, documentaries, documentary, Dorothy Arzner, Dorothy Davenport, dvd, Early Women Filmmakers, experimental, experimental film, feature, feature films, features, female, film, film history, filmmaker, filmmakers, filmmaking, films, Flicker Alley, Frederick Hodges, French, Germaine Dulac, German, international, Judith Rosenberg, Kate Saccone, Leni Riefenstahl, live-action, Lois Weber, Lotte Reiniger, Mabel Normand, Madeline Brandeis, Marie-Louise Iribe, Mary Ellen Bute, Maya Deren, Milestone Film, Milestone Film and Video, Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, movie, movies, Mrs. Wallace Reid, narrative, narratives, new releases, Olga Preobrazhenskaia, rare, restoration, restored, Rodney Sauer, Russian, Sergei Dreznin, set, Shelley Stamp, short, shorts, silent, Silent Film, silents, Tamar Muskal, TCM, Trailblazing Women, Turner Classic Movies, woman, women, Women Film Pioneers Project, World
Flicker Alley, a boutique distributor of classic and rare films, contacted me about another great contest they’re running. Of course, I said yes to spread the word of their brand new release I thoroughly believe in, and I’m going to give you a chance to win a copy. It’s called EARLY WOMEN FILMMAKERS: AN INTERNATIONAL ANTHOLOGY.
Projects like #52FilmsByWomen and TCM‘s TRAILBLAZING WOMEN have drawn attention to the often forgotten, neglected, underpromoted, and underseen works of women directors. These are contemporary problems. Women were involved in every aspect of the nascent film industry. Early women filmmakers made product intended to be consumed by an audience comprised largely of female peers, and stars of their movies were usually women, who were paid higher salaries than their male acting counterparts.
Despite their achievements, many early women filmmakers have been written out of film history, and their contributions have been undervalued or misattributed. As in the case of Alice Guy-Blaché, their “firsts” may have been given away to now more famous males. Flicker Alley’s new release EARLY WOMEN FILMMAKERS: AN INTERNATIONAL ANTHOLOGY will be a resource for those wanting to learn more about the talented women of world cinema. New audiences, no matter where they live, will have a way to see and experience these movies, which is much better than possessing only academic knowledge of them. Restoring films to the canon requires accessibility.
On May 9, Flicker Alley releases EARLY WOMEN FILMMAKERS: AN INTERNATIONAL ANTHOLOGY on dual-Format edition Blu-ray/DVD. The set showcases fourteen of early cinema’s most innovative and influential women directors, rewriting and celebrating their rightful place in film history. The directors are Alice Guy-Blaché, Lois Weber, Mabel Normand, Madeline Brandeis, Germaine Dulac, Olga Preobrazhenskaia, Marie-Louise Iribe, Lotte Reiniger, Claire Parker, Mrs. Wallace Reid (Dorothy Davenport), Leni Riefenstahl, Mary Ellen Bute, Dorothy Arzner, and Maya Deren.
The directors are represented by ten hours of material restored to high definition. Their twenty-five films span four decades (1902-1943). Many are rare titles not widely available until now. Expect shorts to feature films, live-action to animation, and commercial narratives to experimental works. These women’s technical and stylistic innovations pushed boundaries of subject matter, narrative, aesthetics, and genre. For a complete list of films included on the set, please visit Flicker Alley here.
Bonus Materials include:
One lucky winner will receive a copy of EARLY WOMEN FILMMAKERS: AN INTERNATIONAL ANTHOLOGY from Flicker Alley! The giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada, and the contest ends on May 22, 2017. To enter, comment on this post and then fill-out the form below. Tell me which early woman filmmaker you admire or want to learn more about!
By msbethg in Actresses, Directors, Feud, Happy Birthday, Jessica Lange, Joan Crawford, John Waters, Series, TV Shows, William Castle Tags: actress, actresses, B, B movies, B-movie, book, cameo, camp, campy, Castle, Crawford, director, directors, Divine, Divine Trash, Dreamlander, Feud, film, filmmaking, films, FX, gimmick, gimmicks, Hagsploitation, Hollywood gothic, horror, I'm Going to Scare the Pants Off America, independent, indie, Joan, Joan Crawford, John Waters, low budget, Massachusetts, master, memoir, miniseries, movie, movie-making, movies, Odorama, Polyester, premiere, Provincetown, Ryan Murphy, shock, shockmeister, show, Step Right Up!, store, Strait-Jacket, stunt, stunts, television, thrift, TV, TV show, vintage, Waters, William Castle
I grew up in a John Waters household, so when I caught up with FEUD (2017), I was delighted to watch his cameo as shockmeister William Castle. My parents went to Waters’ movies, and my mom owns an ODODRAMA card gotten at a first run screening of POLYESTER (1981). Living in Massachusetts close enough to The Cape that Provincetown could be a day jaunt, she thinks she shopped in Dreamlander Divine‘s thrift shop, which he ran in his poor, pre-fame days. It was only a matter of time until we shared some of Waters’ movies together. I’ve now seen most of his films and read most of his books.
Which is how I know it was an honor for him to play Castle. Physically, the two men were very different. Waters has remained trim while Castle was heavier in comparison and thicker haired. FEUD show creator Ryan Murphy didn’t want Waters costumed to resemble Castle. No, fat suit as Waters said. Murphy was aware those in this know would delight in how meta it would be for Castle disciple Waters to appear as himself when portraying the other director.
If you haven’t read Castle’s memoir STEP RIGHT UP! I’M GOING TO SCARE THE PANTS OFF AMERICA, you need to. Waters wrote a loving and nostalgic introduction on how seeing Castle’s gimmicky movies as a kid inspired a love of cinema and the outrageous. There’s a joy in both directors’ works at defying convention to pursue their own visions. Keep on reading after the introduction, and you’ll learn a lot about B-movie making on shoestring budgets, including what it was like to work with Joan Crawford on STRAIT-JACKET (1964).
Happy birthday to John Waters, who doesn’t think he’s ever topped William Castle, but got to be him for a day! That must have been his best early birthday present.
By msbethg in Appreciations, Film Music, Genres, Movies, Performances, Science Fiction, Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, Series, Star Wars (1977) Tags: C-3PO, choreographer, Dance, dancer, dancing, film, films, force awakens, George Lucas, Han Solo, instructor, jazz, medley, mehs, Monday, movie, movies, old school, old style, performer, PMJ, Postmodern Jukebox, retro, robot, Sarah Reich, science fiction, scifi, Scott Bradlee, Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, song, songs, Star Wars, style, styles, Tap, tap dancer, tapping, The Tap Awakens, vaudeville, vintage
Let’s fight the Monday Mehs together! I guarantee THE TAP AWAKENS by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox will bring a smile to almost anyone’s face. The group rearranges famous STAR WARS songs into a jazz medley, complete with a tap dancer to add percussive elements.
You don’t have to be a huge STAR WARS fan to enjoy the band’s performance. I consumed the original trilogy as a kid; I owned merchandise like action figures and slept in branded bed sheets; and I played STAR WARS instead of cops and robbers with friends, but I can’t claim they’re what turned me into a film fanatic, even with Han Solo being my first cinematic crush.
Awareness of and exposure to STAR WARS are hard to avoid. The movies are part of our shared cultural consciousness. They’ve been rereleased for home and theatre viewing repeatedly, which has allowed these fan favorites to be passed down to multiple movie-going generations. The songs will be familiar to you.
What’ll be new is seeing their performance turned into an vaudeville-style number and envisioning gold-clad, high energy Sarah Reich as a dancing, female C-3PO. If her enthusiasm or that image doesn’t bring a smile to your face, you might need more caffeine to get you through the rest of today!
By msbethg in 1940s, Actresses, Ann Miller, Easter, Era, Holidays Tags: actress, American, Ann Miller, bonnet, dancer, Easter, Easter bonnet, Easter Parade, hat, hats, holiday, holidays, rabbit, singer, surreal, Tap, tap dancer, Top Hat, unique, unusual, white
Easter greetings from Spellbound HQ! I hope yours was lovely. For a last moment of celebratory fun, here’s Easter Parade star Ann Miller wearing a truly unique variation of the Easter bonnet. Inside her floral, hinged top hat sits a real, living rabbit. Miller and rabbit look nonplussed, and the actress does her best to make the look chic.
By msbethg in 1920s, Actresses, Cecil B. DeMille, Chicago (1927), Directors, Era, Film Festivals, Frank Urson, Genres, Movies, Phyllis Haver, Silent Film, Toronto Silent Film Festival Tags: 1920s, 1927, 20s, Beulah Annan, Bobby Franks, Canada, Cecil B. DeMille, Chicago, Chicago Tribune, drunk, drunks, Eugene O'Neill, film fest, film festival film festivals, film fests, flapper, flappers, Flicker Alley, Fox Theatre, Frank Urson, George Pierce Baker, Jordan Klapman, Leopold and Loeb, lover, Maurine Dallas Watkins, Maurine Watkins, murder, Murderess Row, Nathan Freudenthal Leopold Jr., Nathan Leopold, newspaper, Phyllis Haver, Prohibition, reporter, reporters, Richard Albert Loeb, Richard Loeb, Roxie Hart, shooting, shot, silent, Silent Film, silent films, silents, Toronto, Toronto Silent Film Festival
A newspaper photographer poses a pretty flapper with platinum curls wearing not much more than a peignoir over a man’s lifeless body. Don’t worry. He’s not really dead. He’s playing her real victim, who’s lying cold elsewhere. Welcome to CHICAGO where a girl gunner gets priority in print over her victim! She was the one who was going to sell papers, and she did. In the movie, her name is Roxie Hart, but in real life her name was Beulah Annan, and she would take her place on “Murderess Row” where she awaited trial and attempted to maximize her beauty and newfound fame into an acquittal. Reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins covered Annan’s case. If Annan was an angel of death, then Watkins wanted to be an avenging angel with her words as her weapon.
Watkins didn’t start out wanting to be a reporter. She intended to live a quiet academic life of language and religious studies, but she changed her mind after her short stories earned her a place in George Pierce Baker‘s prestigious playwriting workshop. Baker, a mentor of Eugene O’Neill, encouraged Watkins to go out and experience life for her work. Suddenly her purpose crystallized for her; she felt called to engage evil, and she’d do it through her writing. Like O’Neill, she became a reporter, and she chose to work in Chicago since she saw it as a hotbed of sin, and she applied to the CHICAGO TRIBUNE because it was “a real hanging paper—out for conviction always.”
Watkins was sure Annan was guilty. She had shot her lover in the back after drinking two quarts of wine with him, so her defense of preventing dishonor didn’t seem believable. Watkins wrote biting and acerbic pieces mocking Annan and the attitudes that might free her. Annan would be audacious enough to claim to be pregnant, but cynical Watkins feared Annan’s being a woman was enough to avoid conviction. Juries were only composed of men, who held Victorian views of women. As a youthful and beautiful woman, Annan might walk away from her crime. The prosecutor entreated the jury not “to let another pretty woman go out and say ‘I got away with it!’” Since Annan and Hart received the same verdict, you’ll have to watch them film to find out what it was!
Watkins covered crime for six months. Her last case was the Bobby Franks murder. She interviewed Leopold and Loeb and provided pre-trial coverage of the pair. She suddenly switched to movie reviews. She may have burnt out on covering murders, but she definitely was biding time until she could reunite with Baker to work on a play she had started, one ultimately called CHICAGO. Watkins distanced herself from her newspaper work, and no mention of it was made to promote her play. Her play was a hit, and when the offer came in to adapt it for the screen, her services were declined. She wrote other plays and eventually screenplays, including LIBELED LADY (1936).
By msbethg in Film Festivals, Series, TCM Film Festival 2 Comments Tags: #TCMFFGlamour, Annenberg Community Beach House, architecture, Audrey K, Bésame, Bésame Cosmetics, classic, classic film, classic films, classic movie, classic movies, clothes, clothing, couturiers, dark, eateries, eatery, expression, Fashion, Fashion in Film of TCMFF 2017: Sophisticated Comedies 1930s-50s, film, film exhibition, film fanatics, film fans, film fest, film festival, film festivals, film fests, films, food, glam, GlamAmor, glamor, glamour, Googie, Googie architecture, Hollywood, Kimberly Truhler, LA, look, Los Angeles, Miceli's, movie, movies, outfit, outfits, Pann's, Pinup Girl Clothing, PULP FICTION, restaurant, restaurants, self-expression, silent, Silent Film, silent films, silents, style, stylish, TCM, TCM Classic Film Fest, TCM Classic Film Festival, TCMFF, TCMFF 2017, TCMFF17, TCMFF2017, Turner Classic Movies, Turner Classic Movies Film Fest, Turner Classic Movies Film Festival, What Katie Did, Wild Orchid
If you ever attend the TCM Classic Film Festival, try flying in at least a day early. Even if you’re not travelling far and don’t need recuperation time, the Los Angeles area offers a lot for classic film fans to see and do. This year I flew in two days early. I arrived on Tuesday when the film festival starts on Friday.
The first thing my hostess, Karie Bible, did after picking me up from LAX was to whisk me off to Pann‘s. It’s a diner offering hearty food at relatively inexpensive prices. Best of all, it’s a a functional landmark. It opened in 1958, and inside and out it remains a fifties wonder. It’s a chance to nosh in Googie architecture! The eaterie’s 1950s sign is iconic, and the restaurant’s been featured in movies and TV, like PULP FICTION (1994).
After that, we picked up our friend Kaci and drove to Burbank’s Retro Row AKA Magnolia Boulevard. This street is full of vintage and reproduction vintage shops. First stop was Bésame Cosmetics to pick up the gift cards for Spellbound’s TCMFFGlamour contest and for personal shopping. The gift cards weren’t ready, but after looking, touching, and sampling, I left with goodies. I’ll be sporting their new lip color Wild Orchid at TCMFF’s opening night. We wandered over to Pinup Girl Clothing and tried on some of their fashions and stopped in What Katie Did to look at shoes and lingerie. It was Audrey K that cause me to splash more cash on a pair of green ombre cat eye sunglasses.
On to FIDM! Its museum is hosting two events sure to appeal to film fans, EXOTICA: FASHION & FILM COSTUME OF THE 1920s and 25TH ANNUAL ART OF MOTION PICTURE COSTUME DESIGN. I loved seeing the costumes in person to catch details that flick by in seconds on film. Sometimes the costumes gave me an idea of the figures that wore them, how tall or not and how slight or full. In one case, the illusion beneath the costume was revealed when a piece of padded shapewear got its own case. Of the two, EXOTICA was my favorite. It was one room full of gorgeous, fantasy wear. I wanted to see more!
Next we rushed off to pick up Kelly and Mark of the Facebook group Going to the TCM Classic Film Festival. Our destination was the Annenberg Community Beach House for a TCMFF perfect lecture. Kimberly Truhler of GlamAmor discussed Fashion in Film of TCMFF 2017: Sophisticated Comedies 1930s-50s. It was a great crash course or review on great actresses what they wore and who designed their costumes, often former couturiers. Like the movies they were featured in, iconic Hollywood costumes have had a lasting impact. Their influences can be seen in fashions on and off the screen.
We capped the night off with a late dinner at Miceli’s, another food institution in the LA area. The food was tasty. Growing up on the East Coast, I’m a pizza snob, and I was very happy with mine. It wasn’t quite as thin a crust as I usually go for, but it wasn’t too thick either. My friends’ lasagnas looked fantastic with extra sauce piled on tip. Maybe the entertainment realized we were in town for TCMFF, because the pianist keep putting movie themes into his ongoing medley. The only wrong note was when our friendly waiter turned gruff when we asked for split checks. Maybe that’s to be expected from a place with three brass plates listing house rules on its door.
By msbethg in #TCMFFGlamour, Contests, Film Festivals, Series, TCM Film Festival 1 Comment Tags: #TCMFFGlamour, 2017, accessories, Bésame, Bésame Cosmetics, classic, classic film, classic films, classic movie, classic movies, clothes, clothing, contest, contests, cosmetics, expression, fan, fandom, fans, Fashion, Feud, film, film fanatics, film fans, film fest, film festival, film festivals, film fests, films, glam, glamor, glamour, Hollywood, LA, lipstick, lipsticks, look, looks, Los Angeles, make-up, movie, movie star, movies, outfit, outfits, perfume, perfumes, red lipstick, red lipsticks, repro vintage, reproduction vintage, self-expression, silent, Silent Film, silent films, silents, style, stylish, TCM, TCM Classic Film Fest, TCM Classic Film Festival, TCMFF, TCMFF 2017, TCMFF17, TCMFF2017, Turner Classic Movies, Turner Classic Movies Film Fest, Turner Classic Movies Film Festival, Unique Vintage, vintage
Well, technically I need the help of other TCM Classic Film Festival attendees to bring the glamour. Last year Bésame Cosmetics entered into a co-promotion with me. You may have seen their red lipsticks featured in FEUD (2017). They gave me lipsticks and powders to feature in a contest for 2016 festival attendees, and the response was good. It was fun making women happy and talking with them about the glamour of movies we love. This year the contest returns in a new variation with new prizes.
Instead of having people discuss movie star glamour or answer trivia questions via Twitter, I’m going to seek out the stylishly attired to feature in my social media and on my blog. Like a lot of classic film fans, I’m fascinated by and attracted to the glamour the era brought to the silver screen. My style’s been influenced by the movies I love, and I see that trait reflected in other classic film fans in how they present themselves, especially at TCM’s festival. This year’s contest will explore and share that expression of fandom.
After the fest ends, I’m going to create a post featuring all of the stylishly attired I’ve featured during the festival. On that post, readers will be able to vote for their favorite looks. The top three winners will win prizes from Bésame and Unique Vintage. Whoever comes in first place will get her first choice prize and so on.
I’m excited that Bésame has returned as a contest sponsor. I personally use their products, particularly their lipsticks, but I love and wear two of their perfumes. They’ve donated two gift certificates for $25 each. Winners will be able to use those gift certificates to select an item from the entire line.
Unique Vintage is a new partner. They sell reproduction vintage clothing and accessories designed for today’s bodies in a wide range of sizes. They sell other companies’ clothing, and they have their own line. They have offered an in-stock Unique Vintage brand dress, separate, or swim item (excluding their flapper line)–winner’s choice!
In the goal of being transparent, I want to thank Unique Vintage for giving me a media discount on three of the frocks I’ll be wearing at the fest, which you’ll see featured in my social media. I’ve packed a fourth dress bought from them previously at full price, too.
If you’re attending the festival, and you’re glammed up, feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you why you chose your outfit and if you were thinking of any specific films when you did.