Adventures in European Filmmaking #32

Today's Adventure: Luis Buñuel directs Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour (1967)

Seminal Image #733

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Los Olvidados
(aka The Young and the Damned aka The Forgotten Ones)
(Luis Buñuel; 1950)

When Legends Gather #300

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Luis Buñuel and Billy Wilder

They Were Collaborators #368

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Catherine Denevue and Luis Buñuel

When Legends Gather #299

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Luis Buñuel and Angel Orensanz

Seminal Image #732

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Las Hurdes
(aka Terre Sans Pan aka Land Without Bread)
(Luis Buñuel; 1933)

They Were Collaborators #367

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The Pixies

El Cine del Oro #37

(Luis Bunuel; 1950)

A Is For Arbus #43

Philadelphia fashion maven Mrs. T. Charlton Henry

The Friends of Milt Hinton #5

Johnny Hodges enjoys a cold one at Beefsteak Charlie's in 1960.

Seminal Image #731

Crime Wave
(Andre de Toth; 1954)

They Were Collaborators #366

Billie Holiday and Coleman Hawkins

Heroes of Popular Culture #25

Sophie Tucker

Old New York #10

Lower Manhattan (1942)

Poets are both clean and warm
And most are far above the norm
Whether here or on the roam
Have a poet in every home! #23

Carl Sandburg

The Art of the Leaf #3

Artists in Action #271

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Peter Sellers imbibes

Art of Cinema #255

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(George Stevens; 1956)

Seminal Image #730

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(George Stevens; 1956)

in the art deco style #3

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Willem van Konijnenburg, Vier kinderliedjes zj

When Legends Gather #298

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Paul McCartney and Ernie K Doe

The Hitchcock/Truffaut Tapes #13

There were times – thankfully not many – when Alfred Hitchcock was moved to make a film solely to explore a technical gimmick that caught his fancy or to solve some purely cinematic problem.The most famous of these instances, 1948's Rope demonstrated just how disastrous such indulgences could be (in Technicolor, yet); for despite his oft-retailed and successfully marketed pose as the Master of Suspense, totally preoccupied with the mechanics of his craft (and then only for the purpose of manipulating audiences), Hitchcock's more everlasting creations carried what was at least an equivalent interest in matters beyond their physical production. But explaining to an interviewer the forces that drove intensely emotional works like Vertigo, or his 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much, would not have been an easy thing to do (assuming for the moment that such things can even be expressed); explaining them to hero worshippers like François Truffaut was a doomed enterprise from the start. It was better, safer, far less strenuous to pretend he only cared about montage and Macguffens.

It was, if nothing else, one way of staying alive in the hopeless minefield of Hollywood.

The Hitchcock/Truffaut Tapes make a limp return to this blog with a discussion of that "microcosm of the War," 1944's Lifeboat, a film whose existence Hitchcock freely admits was inspired by the challenge its rather limited and claustrophobic setting posed. And for once it's easy to take him at his word, because regardless of how many defenders it has among the faithful, Lifeboat has almost nothing going for it, being an apallingly simplistic wartime fable – with none of the rude emotional power that often drives such primal narratives – populated by one tiresome stock character after another. What else could have attracted him to the project? So taken was Hitchcock with surmounting the technical issues inherent to a film set entirely within the confines of a lifeboat, in fact, that he seems blissfully unaware (even in 1962) of just how hackneyed John Steinbeck's story and Jo Swerling's screenplay really were.

True to form, François Truffaut applauds Hitchcock's labor on one of the worst films he had ever put his name to (while noting the rather limited dimensions of its human landscape), declaring it (get this) "psychological" and highly "moral" . . . this from someone who during the war frequently professed his admiration for Vichy's original old goat, Marshall Petain.

A discussion of Lifeboat's largely negative critical reception . . . and Hitchcock's brief return to Britain to make two wartime propaganda films (Aventure malgache and Bon voyage) . . . leads into a somewhat tedious footslog through 1945's Spellbound.

Marcel Marceau dies at 84

Marcel Marceau in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie.

The Associated Press obituary can be found here. No word on if he'll be buried in a glass box.

Seminal Image #729

Peter Pan
(Herbert Brenon; 1924)

Collect 'Em All #37

Cary Grant
No. 22 in a series of 50 from Player's Navy Cut Cigarettes

Archibald Alexander Leach was born in Bristol, January 18th, 1904. At the age of twelve, his adventurous disposition prompted him to run away and join a travelling acrobatic troupe, but a month later his father found him, and he returned to school. Later he ran away again, and toured England with a theatrical company. Then he went to America, and after appearing in stock companies, won fame on Broadway and adopted his present name. A visit to the Paramount studios resulted in a contract. His latest films include Thirty-Day Princess, Kiss and Make Up, Enter Madame and Ladies Should Listen.

When Legends Gather #297

Nat King Cole tickles the ivories while Errol Flynn tries to remember the words.

Artists in Action #270

Lenny Bruce gestures.

Art of the London Underground #25

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Lambing by Clare Leighton; 1938

Through the Lens of Cyril Arapoff #13

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A second-hand carpet stall. Before the Second World War the Caledonian was the largest and most popular street market in London.

From the Sketch Book of Lawson Wood #20

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The Harbinger

Station-Master-Porter-Clerk (to impatient passenger): "It'll be getting near now, sir; here's the engine-driver's little dawg a-comin' down the line!"

From the Southern Travellers Handbook for 1965/66 #8

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Third-Class passengers

At one time there were also 'third class' carriages which were not only windowless but roofless as well...
...The rattling pig-pens on wheels, misnamed third-class carriages (before the late alterations) were despicable affairs, with the wonderful property if always meeting the rain in whatever quarter the wind might be blowing. They were a species of horizontal shower-bath, from whose searching power there was no escape.

Seminal Image #728

The Neon Bible
(Terence Davies; 1995)

When Legends Gather #296

Ginger Rogers and Jack Benny

Before and After #86:
Jean-Paul Belmondo



B is for Beaton #5

Queen Elizabeth II

Sex Education #86

Claudia Cardinale

Self Portrait #5

Allen Ginsberg, 1985

Adventures in European Filmmaking #31

Today's Adventure: Jean Cocteau directs a scene in La Belle et la bête while the crew watches (Beauty and the Beast; 1946).

They Were Collaborators #365

Alfred Hitchcock and James Stewart

Women of the Stage #3

Blaze Starr
Blaze Starr

they were an item #16

Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles board a plane in 1946.

Adventures in American Filmmaking #84

Today's Adventure: Lewis Milestone discusses the merits of camera mobility
with the cast of Ocean's Eleven (1960)

Newspapermen #19
Artists in Action #259
When Legends Gather #295

Brooks Atkinson hands Maxwell Anderson the 1935 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award