Blackmail and The Ring

We recorded these early Hitchcock films and enjoyed both.  They are slow moving films, both being 1:45.  They are historic in many ways.  Blackmail is the first British “talkie” and also has Hitchcock’s longest on screen cameo.

 

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5o Years of Hitchcock

If you like Hitchcock you’re not going to want to miss what’s starting on TCM this Wednesday Turner Classic Movies month long the salute to the unsurpassed “master of suspense” kicks off with the British director’s silent 1927 boxing melodrama “The Ring”

 

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Dawson Creek: Frozen Time

I saw an article in the LA Times about a documentary that looked fascinating, I thought it was about Dawson Creek but no, it’s about film that ended up in Dawson City, site of the Yukon gold rush.  I don’t know where it can be seen but hopefully it will come to your home town.

click here for more and a look at the trailer

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Cellphones in the theatre . . . ahem

Who hasn’t been bothered by someone in a theatre who just can’t control his/her need to check on their smartphone?  Here’s a good article that goes to the core of the problem.

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Film Noir Poetry

We’re sure it’s a win when the rushes fade in, showing him and me.

There isn’t a clue what we’re planning, we two; it’s a mystery

We shoot in the light, but it’s all day for night with this movie plot.

We’re acting with zeal by pretending it’s real, but it’s really not.

Those shadows on the pavement, that constant drip of rain:

All done by clever lighting and a hose on the window pane.

We believe while the red light is on,

When it’s off all the magic is gone.

The cameraman takes the blame for letting me fall out of frame,

When I’m dressed like that Vertigo dame

Playing Hitchcock’s deception game.

There must always be a nightclub scene it seems,

With a torch singer’s song to haunt your dreams.

When the last line is heard, the crew applauds the take

But like Hammett’s Black Bird, it’ s all just a fake.

So round up the usual suspects, and have them watch this:

It ends with a bang; the cell door goes clang

Then the torch singer and the shamus kiss.

Johnnie Pat Mobley

 

 

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Mary Astor

Thanks to Marie for sharing with me an in depth story about Mary Astor, a top female personality of film during the silent and talkie eras.  Never a “star” which was exactly what she desired . . . as she said, when you get to be a star there’s no where to go but down but a great character actor is always in demand.  Here she is in her last film playing the mother of Charlotte in “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte”

click here

 

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RIP Michael Ballhaus

As Bill Cutforth pointed out yesterday prior to the screening of Broadcast News, Michael Ballhaus, 3 time nominated cinematographer passed away on April 12.  Although not winning any Oscars he won many awards worldwide for his work.  He was the DoP of photography for six films that were nominated for the ‘Best Picture’ Academy Award: Broadcast News (1987), Working Girl (1988), Goodfellas (1990), Quiz Show (1994), Gangs of New York (2002) and The Departed (2006), which won ‘Best Picture’.  He also “invented” many groundbreaking cinematic techniques.

here is a link to his LA Times obituary 

and here is his IMDB link click here 

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