Friday, 30 December 2016
Wednesday, 28 December 2016
She entertained us throughout our 1950s and '60s with items as choice as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (when she was just 19), THE TENDER TRAP with Sinatra, TAMMY, IT STARTED WITH A KISS, HOW THE WEST WAS WON, THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN, the oddball GOODBYE CHARLIE, DIVORCE AMERICAN STYLE etc. and, er, THE SINGING NUN! She held her own against Bette Davis in THE CATERED AFFAIR in 1956, a nice dramatic role. Then she found a whole new career as a sassy grandma gay-icon, particularly as Grace's mother in WILL & GRACE and films like MOTHER and IN AND OUT., and practically unrecognisable as Liberace's mother in BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Then there was her work preserving Hollywood history and costumes, and she kept busy. She was fab too in the camp horror flick WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN?, acting up a storm with Shelley Winters, in 71. (review at Debbie label). She was a wicked mimic too, as per her impression of Streisand at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXtXzmdLq0E RIP to a game gal.
Carrie Fisher (1956-2016), aged 60.. Carrie Fisher was Hollywood royalty, her parents being Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Carrie was a teen in SHAMPOO in 1975 and then of course immortalised as the plucky Princess Leia with that hairstyle in the first STAR WARS films, and she returned to the latest one last year, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. She actually clocked up 90 acting credits, and was also that acerbic, funny writer, who wrote POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE and that campfest THESE OLD BROADS for her mother, Taylor, McLaine and Collins. Her colorful private life included a brief marriage to Paul Simon. She was her usual witty self on television here only a few weeks ago.
Tuesday, 27 December 2016
Add in Jeanne Moreau of all people, wearing those enormous ear-rings, intoning Oscar Wilde's "Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves" and Querelle submitting to her brutal husband, who likes getting off with those sailor boys. It was all too much at the time, how would it fare now? It was actually released after Fassbinder's death in 1982.
Below: Andy Warhol visits the set, with Fassbinder and Brad Davis.
Monday, 26 December 2016
It reminds me of one of those crazy nights back in 1985 - when I was in Brighton a lot with my disk jockey friend Rory - we were walking along the seafront late on a Sunday night when a car pulled up and to my surprise there was Andrew Ridgeley in the passenger seat, they knew Rory and wanted to know where to go for some late night after hours drinks, so he was able to point them towards The Beacon Royal, a late night gay hotel, so off they went.
Thursday, 22 December 2016
Oddly enough the story directed by Howard Hawks works least of all and is rather bizarre - but Fox stalwarts Henry Hathaway, Jean Negulseco, Henrys Koster and King direct the other episodes: cop Dale Robertson having to arrest old school pal Richard Widmark (guying his tough guy image) is a lively diversion; poor newly weds Jeanne Crain and Farley Granger trying to afford Christmas presents is nicely touching; and sisters Anne Baxter and Jean Peters play in an amusing anecdote with Gregory Ratoff.
Its a nice little diversion for this time of year.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016
It was marvellous seeing it for the first time on the widescreen of the old Odeon Haymarket back in 1968, I still have the souvenir brochure. Hepburn dazzled us then.
Jean Dawnay (1925 - 2016), aged 91. Another lady of style and elegance, Dawnay was one of the original British supermodels of the 1950s and 60s. Princess George Galitzine, who has died aged 91, was prominent in many charitable enterprises, most notably the Prince George Galitzine Library in St Petersburg, the Terence Rattigan Society and UK Youth, having been world-famous as Jean Dawnay, a top model for Christian Dior and the last remaining “supermodel” from the 1950s.
Thursday, 8 December 2016
His first wife was the marvellous Billie Whitelaw, another favourite of ours.
Greg Lake (1947-2016), aged 69 - another major musician from my misspent youth: Greg Lake, bassist and founding member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, one of the great progressive rock bands of the late 60s and 70s. Lake has died at 69, just 9 months after the passing of Emerson ..... ELP were very popular then (I had their album "Pictures At An Exhibition"), and he co-wrote (with King Crimson's Peter Sinfield) that Christmas anthem we will be hearing this season: "I Believe in Father Christmas".
AA Gill (1954-2016), aged 62. AA (Adrian) advised us only 3 weeks ago that he had cancer, and now it has taken him 3 weeks later. We have always liked his witty, trenchant TV reviews for "The Sunday Times" where he was also restaurant critic, with all those witty, erudite reviews in that dazzling prose. He was also the scourge of the television producers ("Tristams") and wrote moving reports from world crisis spots,like Syria or Darfur. AA will be much missed, The "Sunday Times" editor said he was the soul of the paper. He was also author of several books, including one on The Ivy restaurant. Today's paper features his last writing on his cancer diagnosis and treatment. We should all be so strong facing life's challenges,
"AA Gill is away" indeed.
Tuesday, 6 December 2016
I have only heard of half of them, most of them have not opened here yet until next year, and Hollywood mainstream movies are mainly absent (apart from LA LA LAND and MOONLIGHT, if they are considered mainstream).
Friday, 2 December 2016
Joanne Woodward and Glenn Close also come in for some respectful praise, and of course there's Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews and Natalie.
He was a 20th Century Fox boy and Natalie was a Warner Bros girl, so he got to know Jack Warner well too - and is hilarious about the abuse Warner heaped on Judy Garland (who would have been so ideal for GYPSY in 62 with Natalie), and he also recounts Vittorio De Sica's hilariously rude comment on Raquel Welch who was driving them mad with her delays on THE BIGGEST BUNDLE OF THEM ALL .... Star gossip does not get much better. As he says: "Movies and TV go on forever - only the delivery system changes ...".
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Sunday, 27 November 2016
If you loved the '66 original, you will get a lot of pleasure out of this too, particularly with Caan and Bujold at their most pleasing, both are very likeable here, and as charistmatic as Trintignant and Aimee in the 1966 film,. Lelouch though seems to be out of fashion now, unlike Demy, Malle, Truffaut or Chabrol... We love Bujold of course in films like De Palma's OBSESSION or the ace thriller COMA.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016
I've sung a lot of songs, I've made some bad rhymes
I've acted out my life on stages
With 10,000 people watching me
But we're alone now and I'm singing this song to you
. . . . .
I love you in a place where there's no space and time
I love you for my life, you are a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone and I was singing this song to you.
Colonel Abrams (1949-2016), aged 67. The Colonel may have been a one hit wonder here, but what a hit. We loved "Trapped" back in 1985, and it charted several times, and remains an imperishable club classic, from that heady decade. He was one of the creators of house music and had several club hits but "Trapped" remained his signature song, sad that despite its success and millions of sales, he was said to be almost destitute and homeless in New York in his final days. RIP indeed.
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Shawn Levy is new to me, but I like his vivid prose and great use of language. He captures it all here, the era of Ponti and De Laurentiis, Loren and Lollo, Fellini and Antonioni ("the anti-Fellini" as Shawn says, but he highly rates the Antonioni films), plus visiting stars like Belinda Lee, the Burtons and all that scandal. Rome is at the centre of it all, with of course all that Italian fashion - those stylish mens' suits, the new scooters and the rise of Italian food.
It was that large stylish men's magazine covering the London high life, and copies fetch a good price now. (I got this and the Vitti and Monroe cover issues reasonably cheap a while ago ...). The photo is by Terence Donovan, as is this 1966 shoot with Joanna Lumley ....