Posted by Hedwig on July 22, 2009
Inspired by this great video essay by Matt Zoller Seitz and Kim Morgen, I recently re-watched In a Lonely Place with the boyfriend, who’d never seen it. I loved it, even more than the first time, for all the reasons mentioned in the essay, and had to wipe away a tear or two by the end.
The boyfriend, however, was lukewarm. This made me think, since his two main points of criticism made quite a bit of sense. First of all, he deplored that Gloria Grahame’s Laurel Gray, who starts out the film as a self-possessed, assertive woman who knows exactly what she wants (and doesn’t want), turns into a loving, subservient pillow-fluffer overnight, whose happiness depends entirely on the mood of her man, and who is scared of him to boot. His second problem with the film was that he had a hard time empathizing with Dixon Steele, because of his violent temper.
See why I love him?
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Posted in 50s, A Cinematic Education | Tagged: Gloria Grahame, Humphrey Bogart, In a Lonely Place, Nicholas Ray | 1 Comment »
Posted by Hedwig on September 1, 2008
It’s September 1st: the end of the summer, the beginning of the new (school) year, of routine. The French have a wonderful word for it: they call it “la Rentrée”, which means something like “the re-entry”. For the first time in -I think- 17 years, I have nothing to re-enter into. However, the occasion seems fit for another new beginning: a rebirth of sorts of this blog, which has been sorely neglected this past summer. It’s been a necessary casualty on the way to the degree, but now that that’s in the bag I have no excuse any more, and plenty of words ready to spill out. I have dozens of ideas, but I thought it would be fitting to start with the story of a new beginning. The beginning of an education. A cinematic education, to be precise.
As faithful fruitstand visitors know, I somehow acquired a boyfriend not too long ago. As faithful fruitstand visitors also know, this is not a personal blog. That is: I do write about movies from a strongly personal standpoint, and admit that my (personal) life has an influence on how I experience movies, but I don’t think my life itself is all that interesting, and rarely write about it – the most recent post being, I believe, a warranted exception. So no worries: it’s bad enough that I can’t shut up about the guy to my friends. I promise I won’t go all mushy on you. All you need to know about him is that he has a rather limited experience with classic cinema, and that he’s graciously allowed me to introduce him to some of my favorites.
The Onion A.V. Club often has primers on certain directors. My intention, with this educational diary of sorts (which starts, appropriately enough, with this 101st post), is not to offer a manual for turning an unsuspecting victim into a cinephile, mostly because every single person requires a different approach. But I hope that by chronicling his gradual exposure what he calls “verantwoorde” (“responsible”, more or less) movies, I’ll entertain you a little and hopefully remind you of how it felt to first discover cinema. It’s been a pleasure to sit next to him and see him realize that pre-80s or even black and white, pre-50s movies do not need to be boring or slow, and that’s the feeling I wanted to share with my dear, movie-loving readers. And then I’ll just go ahead and keep the mushier (and other) feelings to myself.
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Posted in A Cinematic Education | Tagged: Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Orson Welles, Production Code, The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, The Third Man | 3 Comments »