Posted by Kimberly Lindbergs on February 7, 2016
I’m taking over for Pablo today while he recovers from his trip to the Sundance Film Festival. Hopefully he’ll return soon & share his adventures with us all.
If you are a classic film fan who appreciates movie memorabilia or a writer (like yours truly) involved in researching classic films, you’ve probably come across Monsieur Cinéma Fiches (Sheets). These large oversized collectible cards produced in France can often be found on auction sites like eBay and typically feature images from films or portraits of popular actors and directors from around the world.
I’ve seen them so often during my own research that I took them for granted while having no idea where they came from or when they were produced. Recently curiosity started getting the best of me so I decided to delve deeper into the history of these mysterious (at least to me) cards but I couldn’t find much information about them in English. In light of this, I thought it might be helpful to share what I’ve recently learned about these Monsieur Cinéma cards with other classic film fans who might be as curious about them as I was. And if you haven’t seen them before and appreciate movie memorabilia, I hope this post will pique your curiosity.
Posted by Kimberly Lindbergs on January 29, 2016
I’ve been wrestling with a nasty cold bug all week and while perusing TCM’s Now Playing Guide I noticed that they’ve got three nurse films programmed for Saturday beginning with The Nun’s Story (1959) starting at 5PM EST/8PM PST followed by One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and The Caretakers (1963). While I attempt to nurse myself back to health, I thought it might be beneficial (and fun!) to share “A Minor Picture Compendium of Classic Movie Nurses” with you.
Posted by Susan Doll on January 25, 2016
Once again, I am teaching a section on Hitchcock to my advanced film history course. I told the students that we would study one filmmaker this semester, and I let them choose a director from a short list. The students selected Hitchcock, which was also the choice last year. The Hitchcock section consists of four films, one from his early period in England and three from his Hollywood career. I am letting the students pick the director’s Hollywood-produced movies, but I will start out with a film from his early period when he was England’s best and brightest director. Ay, there’s the rub. I can’t seem to decide which early Hitchcock to show.
Last summer, I was undecided about whether to show Night Moves or The Long Goodbye in my film noir course. I put the choice to the knowledgeable Morlocks readers, and based on your helpful input, I decided on The Long Goodbye. So, I thought I would ask for your educated opinions once more.
Posted by Susan Doll on January 18, 2016
Hoist the colors! Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 19, TCM takes us out to sea with a series of cinematic adventures aboard pirate ships. Prepare to be shanghaied at the ungodly hour of 6:00am when the first film, Hell Harbor, kicks off the day-long celebration.
I confess I have already written about Hell Harbor back when TCM was spotlighting the film’s director, Henry King. That was several years ago, and Hell Harbor was not part of the programming on that occasion. I am revisiting the film, because this time around, I get to remind viewers to watch this forgotten film from the early sound era. Indeed, the sound is the most remarkable part of Hell Harbor, because it was shot on location in Tampa, Florida, in 1929—barely two years after the adoption of sync sound.
Posted by Kimberly Lindbergs on January 7, 2016
In recent weeks, you might have heard about the upcoming Doctor Strange film currently scheduled for release in November of 2016. The news caught my attention because I’ve always liked the comic book character and the cast, which includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor, is impressive. I mention all this because tonight TCM is launching their month-long spotlight on legendary production designer and director, William Cameron Menzies. Some classic film fans might balk at the idea of mentioning the upcoming Doctor Strange movie and William Cameron Menzies in the same paragraph but there are slender threads that connect the two thanks to Menzies’s creative contributions to Chandu the Magician (1932) airing this evening at 9:45 PM EST/6:45 PST.
Posted by Kimberly Lindbergs on December 31, 2015
If you are planning to spend New Year’s Eve at home this year you will find some great company on TCM where Nick and Nora Charles, as played by the dapper William Powell and charming Myrna Loy, will hold court while sipping cocktails, trading quips and solving crimes along with their lovable dog Asta. The party kicks off at 8PM EST/ 5PM PST beginning with the original The Thin Man (1934) followed by all five of the Thin Man sequels airing in chronological order; After the Thin Man (1936), Another Thin Man (1939), Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) and Song of the Thin Man (1947). Tune in and you’ll encounter some holiday cheer as well as lots of laughs and mysterious goings-on set amid the urbane elegance of nineteen thirties New York and San Francisco.
There are many reasons to love the Thin Man films. They’re smart, funny, sophisticated and flat out entertaining mysteries but I’m particularly fond of the way they make marriage look so damn fun. Nick and Nora are best pals as well as romantic mates and their breezy back-and-forth banter suggests an intimacy that is sadly missing from many depictions of marriage on screen. Best of all, they share a similar sense of humor and as the old maxim goes, “a couple that laughs together, stays together.”
Posted by Pablo Kjolseth on December 13, 2015
This Tuesday’s daytime theme on TCM is Under the Big Top. Yes, the circus is coming to town with 12 hours of chronological carnival fun from 1928 through 1959, and I can’t help but feel that some mischievous TCM programmer purposefully lined up these goodies as a warm-up for the presidential debates happening later that evening. But, who knows? Maybe it was wholly serendipitous. Either way, let’s see who all got stuffed into the classic-movie clown car coming our way. [...MORE]
Posted by Pablo Kjolseth on November 15, 2015
The 38th Denver Film Festival calls it a wrap today. When it began in 1978 it featured the works of such diverse directors as Woody Allen, Wes Craven, and Louise Malle. This year #DFF38 was held November 4 – 15 and it had an equally varied lineup that covered a wild gamut of genres from all around the world. Of specific interest to TCM viewers would be a documentary by Kent Jones that screened last night at the DFF titled Hitchcock/Truffaut. It uses a legendary 27-hour interview between François Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock conducted in 1962 as its starting point. The results provide an excellent launch pad for cinephiles looking to rekindle a discussion for what Hitchcock referred to as “the greatest known mass medium in the world.” [...MORE]
Posted by Susan Doll on November 9, 2015
“The fingers with the little blue letters. Now as the fingers stirred John could see them all. He supposed that at first the letters meant nothing; that perhaps each finger had a name and the name was a letter. H—A–T—E . The left hand. L—O—V—E. The right hand. Left hand and right hand and the fingers each had names. Now Preacher saw the boy staring and the hands sprang apart and he held them up. ‘Ah, little lad! You’re staring at my fingers!’”
This passage from the novel Night of the Hunter inspired one of Hollywood cinema’s most iconic images—Robert Mitchum’s tattooed hands. The widely recognized motif was referenced in later films (Do the Right Thing; Scorsese’s Cape Fear) as well as in song lyrics (Springsteen’s “Cautious Man”). Mitchum is chilling as Preacher Harry Powell who tells the story of his right hand and left hand, which represent the eternal struggle over love and hate, good and evil. Much has been written about Mitchum’s performance, James Agee’s script, and Charles Laughton’s direction in the film version of Night of the Hunter. However, the book’s author, Davis Grubb, who originated the love-hate tattoo and its symbolism, is generally overlooked.
Today is my fifth anniversary of joining Movie Morlocks. My first post, “Hey, down in front!” was posted on Saturday November 6, 2010. This week marks my 260th post—and since it’s been 261 weeks since I first showed up, that means I’ve only missed my slot once. And I didn’t even really “miss” it, since the day I dropped was when TCM took over the site for a themed promotional event and pre-empted the usual Morlocks posts.
Rather foolishly, I saved the best for first, and haven’t managed to top “Hey, down in front!” Maybe I should’ve done a mic drop and walked away then and there—instead I’ve gone on an interminable downhill slide as I’ve used this platform to broadcast my contrarian ideas about classic films (click on any of the titles to read the original post, if you’re interested): FW Murnau’s Sunrise is a slapstick comedy! Buster Keaton’s talkie pictures are actually quite enjoyable—especially The Passionate Plumber! Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent is a slapstick comedy! The inner frame of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari does not function like a dream sequence! The shorter cut of Metropolis is actually more authentic than the longer “director’s cut”! Chaplin mimics aren’t worthless ripoffs! FW Murnau is not the most important creative force behind Nosferatu! Star Trek The Motion Picture is a great movie, for exactly the reasons everyone hates it!
It’s a wonder y’all haven’t kicked me out of here yet.
Here are a few of my personally most memorable posts.
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