Archive for the 'film' Category

QotD: Never Seen It

February 5, 2007

What’s the most famous movie you’ve never seen?
Submitted by Mike.

‘ Apocalypse Now’ is the one my friends will yell at me for not having seen yet. I’ve also not seen ‘great’ films like ‘Citizen Kane,’ ‘Gone With the Wind’ and ‘Casablanca,’ but for some reason nobody gets mad at me about those.

Yvonne De Carlo

January 19, 2007

Every so often I take a celebrity’s death very personally. This is obviously strange behavior, since I’ve been no less than ambivalent towards any real loss in my own life. What is even more bizarre are the people who I find myself attached to: one week it’s Frank Gorshin and in another it’s a 1930′s jazz singer who I only learned about by reading their obituary. This week it’s Yvonne De Carlo.

Most people remember Yvonne De Carlo as ‘Lily’ from the cult TV series, ‘The Munsters.’ In this case, I have no shame in admitting that I am ‘most people.’ ‘The Munsters’ is one of those quirky shows that manage to win over the viewer with a combination of humor, sincerity and charm. Just watching a few episodes recently have made me appreciatre how timeless the series really was. Yvonne’s portrayal of Lily as a normal, loving housewife stands out as one of the things that made the show work. Without her providing a sense of normalcy against the wacky situations the family got into each week, things would have gotten very old, very fast.

Yvonne

About a year or so ago I was spending a day at Disneyland with my good friend, Andrea, and her good friend, Joe. Although I didn’t know it when I met him, Joe created and operates Munsterland, one of the most comprehensive Munsters fansites on the internet. While it may not seem like it, Fred, Lily and the gang have an enormous online presence, and fans the world over have been mourning her passing.

Unlike the recent death of Al ‘Grampa Munster’ Lewis, who got extremely weird and political in his later years, Yvonne De Carlo was widely respected both inside the industry and out. Before taking the role of Lily, she had once been a popular Hollywood starlet, originally gaining fame for playing Moses’ wife in ‘The Ten Commandments.’

Even though she was afraid the make-up and costume would ‘turn her ugly,’ Yvonne took the part of Lily Munster to provide for her family. Her husband, a movie stuntman, had been seriously injured while filming a movie and was unable to work. Thankfully for both of them, The Munsters became a hit. The series filmed a total of 70 episodes and had two movies, giving De Carlo plenty of work over the next few years.

While I’ll be Netflixing some of her film work over the next few weeks to honor her (‘Frontier Gal,’ hear I come!) take a moment from your incredibly busy and exciting life to remember a great actress and a classy lady.

My Favorite Movie: Network

September 7, 2006

Many people I know, if not everyone I know has those movies they can’t help but watch over and over again. These are the ones that connect with you at a visceral level, and instantly draw your full attention as you’re flipping through the channels on a late night. Despite being a great fan of the medium, I’m generally not the type of person who can do that. My short attention span makes it difficult for me to see a movie more than once, and for that reason alone I usually rent the films I claim to love instead of purchase them.

Tonight I was on the phone with a friend and ‘Network’ went on the air. ‘Network,’ for those of you unfamiliar, is a satirical film from 1976 about the downfall of American society, as told through the story of a struggling television network. About ten minutes into watching it tonight I realized that I was still on the phone, although my friend had hung up long on me out of annoyance.

‘Network’ is hypnotic, brilliant, passionate and above all, relevant. Every time I see it the ideas and themes behind it seem more important than ever; it’s about the dumbing down of America, it’s about media becoming the new God, it’s about how cold and impersonal the power of communication has made us.

All of these are emphasized, and almost overshadowed by the powerful acting of everybody involved. Peter Finch gives his greatest, and final, film performance as the mad prophet of the airwaves, Howard Beale.

Not only that, but ‘Network’ serves as proof that Faye Dunaway can do a lot more than telenovelas and ‘Dunston Checks In.’ She won the Academy Award for a reason, you know.

Favorite Movie Villain

August 29, 2006

Who’s your favorite movie villain?

Wicked Witch

I don’t care how stereotypical it is, but The Wicked Witch of the West is my favorite villain, and the greatest movie villain of all time. Regardless of how multi-faceted more modern antagonists may be, there are none as memorable or as pure as The Witch in The Wizard of Oz.

The talent behind this film managed to transform a generic children’s book character into the archtypical villain of cinema. In 100 years people will still be watching The Wicked Witch of the West.

Can you honestly say the same thing about your favorite?

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