Monday, March 28, 2011

Farley Granger.


July 1, 1925 - March 27, 2011


I've always liked Farley Granger. He was such an interesting actor. He could play crazy, and he could play REALLY crazy, and he could also play completely normal "heroes."

Two of my favorite roles of his are The Girl on the Red Velvet Swing, where he is seriously deranged, and Strangers On a Train, where he is the all-American tennis star.

Hitchcock often had a habit of making his heroes boring and his villains fascinating. Strangers On a Train was supposed to be like that and Robert Walker definitely gives us one of Hitchcock's most gleefully awesome villains. But, even though Farley's role is boring-- his performance is not. In Hitchcock movies I OFTEN root for the villain over the hero. (Robert Cummings over Ray Milland?! NEVER.) But in Strangers, I find myself unable to completely do that.

This is because of Farley Granger.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is that Farley Granger was a very interesting and talented actor. He could take small or boring roles and give stellar, classic performances. He was just cool.

He will be definitely missed.

-Millie

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dear, Mr. Welles

I may have genuinely liked Harry Lime, felt very sorry for CHARLES FOSTER KANE (the name always must be SCREAMED), and scoffed at the idea of Jane Eyre ending up with Mr. Rochester (a man so clearly more awesome than her) -- but I refuse - REFUSE - to be taken in by Franz Kindler the Nazi.

Or so I thought. 

Mr. Welles, why do you find it so necessary to always mess with my mind so utterly and completely?!

Why didn't you ever work with Sir Alfred? (Besides the fact that the two of you would have probably ended up strangling each other.) He loved directing fascinating villains. You loved directing and playing fascinating villains. Think of the possible mind-blowing amount of cool villainy.

What is it about you that makes you so inherently likable, Mr. Welles? I always just want to smile watching you onscreen. The way some people feel about Jimmy Stewart or John Wayne -- I feel about you. You could have maybe used this inherent likability to play, you know, LIKABLE characters or something?! Why did you instead play gleefully evil black market-dealing baby killers and Nazis and just all-around heartless guys?

Also: why are you so awesomely brilliant, genius-personified, and utterly cool?

Mr. Welles, even though you usually don't survive to the end of any film you appear in, I love you.

Thank you for never changing. And thank you for never settling for anything less than perfection (even in frozen pea commercials...;-D). You'll always be the favorite boy genius of EVERYONE (excluding William Randolph Hearst, people who love Rita Hayworth with red hair, and most producers/studio heads).

You're just awesome.

Sincerely,

The Millie




^Orson Welles in The Stranger playing a Nazi with a creeper mustache and a love for old clocks and killing people.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Coolest Actor of the '60s.


Last week I posted a poll asking you all to choose who you thought was the coolest actor of the '60s. The list you were given to choose from was one which took me approximately 30 seconds to think up and post. If I had thought about it any longer there would have been at least 3,000 more entries.

SO, anyway.

Tied for last place with 0 votes each are:

Frankie Avalon [hehehehe! I just put him in as an option to annoy everybody. ClassicForever readers are still paying for voting against Awesome Surfer Movies in that poll last year....;-D]

[How could you not vote for his clearly cool, unmovable hairstyle?!]

Alain Delon also received 0 votes....poor Alain!

And oddly enough, Sidney Poitier also received 0 votes! WHY?!


Coming in 6th place with  just 1 vote is Peter O'Toole (at LEAST he managed to get ONE vote!):


Coming in 5th place with 2 votes is Marcello Mastroianni (Applaud. That's the first I've ever spelled his last name right without Googling it!)


Tied for fourth with 3 votes each are:

Bobby Darin! I am quite pleased as I gave him my vote because I thought he wasn't going to get any votes! You other two voters (or one clever poll manipulater): I salute you! ;-D


Also tied for fourth - the brilliant Jack Lemmon!


Coming in third with 5 votes is James Garner:


Coming in second [cough cough, should be first, cough cough] with 6 votes: The King of Cool himself!


And first place, with 7 votes, is Paul Newman:


Well, that was fun. Basically the entire REASON I created the poll was so I could make the results page and post photos of impossibly cool actors! ;-D

Also: Clearly my followers have an irrational hatred of accented actors. Alain and Sidney got zero votes, Peter got one vote, and Marcello was the highest ranked accent-- with two votes. WHY?! Haha

Thanks for voting! Who did you vote for? And who is your personal choice for the coolest actor of the '60s?

-Millie

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japanese Cinema Blogathon: Tokyo Drifter


Japan Cinema and Cinema Fanatic are hosting an awesome blogathon this week to raise money for the relief effort in Japan. Hopefully a lot of people will get involved by either donating money or writing a post, because this is a really cool idea. AND I KNOW the film blogging community is full of awesome people (I mean, I did write a post about the subject a couple days ago), so this blogathon is really gonna be exciting.

Anyway.

I chose to write about Tokyo Drifter (1966). Because it is a brilliantly cool, '60s-epitomizing, awesomeness-personified movie.

I remember the entire reason I watched it the first time was because I saw this movie poster:


This is one of the most jaw-droppingly stylistic films one will ever see. There is so much color, my poor eyes can hardly handle it. Seijun Suzuki - who was basically just a clinically insane genius (the best kind of genius, of course) - had been making increasingly odd films at this time (one producer famously stated that a Suzuki film "made no sense and no money"). He had been given a couple warnings by his producers, but still he continued to gleefully create nonsensically brilliant films. In punishment, the budget for his next film was slashed down - in hopes that he would make "normal" movies or something. (I mean, really?! Suzuki -- normal? I'm not getting the connection.) Instead, Suzuki took his smaller budget and created Tokyo Drifter.


Contrary to most Mind-Smushing Entertainment, Tokyo Drifter actually does have a fully-working plot. Confusing as heck, but definitely there. At its very core it's a film about loyalty. But, of course, The Millie cares very little about the cores or messages of films, so we shall move on to the overwhelming coolness. ;-D

This movie is pure '60s all the way through: the clothes, the sets, the minor characters, the music-- everything. The music is especially brilliant. Our protagonist Tetsuya (a former hit-man TRYING to go straight) is also known as Tetsu the Phoenix -- because he can't die. Everywhere he goes he sings or whistles the theme of the Drifting Man from Tokyo. Whenever an enemy thinks they've finally finished him off (and there is this one guy who is OBSESSED with destroying Tetsu) they'll suddenly hear the song (and usually they then freak out as only Japanese hit-men living in a Suzuki film can).

Here is a bit of the song from the opening credits.


I'm sorry if it's stuck in your head forever now. heh heh heh.... 


I suppose if I was going to get poetic about Tokyo Drifter, I would say that it is film at its most literal. The plot-line and story definitely add to the overall movie, but the film itself is just so breathtakingly fascinating. The colors are very...colorful. But, not in a hugely jarring way. The colors fit each moment and shot perfectly. And the camera angles are absolutely gorgeous. I normally have no problems watching sub-titled foreign films; reading the words is usually simple and unobtrusive to my viewing. Not so with this movie. Every time I watch it, I forget to keep reading the subtitles...because I'm so fascinated by the movement on screen. That's a pretty awesome film.

And that's why I love Tokyo Drifter so much. It's bright, and colorful, and very odd, and occasionally quite confusing. But, it's brilliant. There is nothing else like it. I can't explain it (as you can see from this frighteningly disjointed post), but I think it mostly has to do with the utter and complete coolness. Watching this movie always makes me want to go be a Japanese hit-man on the run, who constantly wears the same light blue suit and sings his own theme song. That's some pretty powerful coolness going on there.


Thanks, Millie

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy 18th Birthday, Sarah!


Frankly, I am unwilling to believe that Sarah is now an adult. It's just too crazy. If feels like yesterday that we were meeting up on the TCM Message Boards to discuss Audrey Hepburn. BUT YESTERDAY SHE WAS 14 AND I WAS 13. THAT IS CRAZINESS. 

Sarah is just cool. There is no other word that better describes her. She's also awesome, hilarious, super-intelligent, incredibly witty, and just cool. 

*sigh*

She's just the Queen of Quips.

Sarah is always original (in an incredibly cool way). Her posts are far too few  and long between, but when they do show up-- they always make me laugh.

And Sarah doesn't mind getting all fan-girl with me about random people. 

I don't know. This post doesn't really make any sense. I can't really boil Sarah down to a few descriptions (I also don't want to boil her. ;-D)

Basically, I just want to be Sarah. Always.

Audrey's checking on the birthday cake!

-ILoveRayMilland
P.S. Expect a better post later! :-D

P.P.S. Check out her 17th and 16th birthdays!

Quotables: Support Your Local Sheriff!

How to Win Non-Fleshies and Influence Classic Movie Bloggers

Do you like my awesome title?! I thought of it myself while I was sitting in my boring Geography class learning about how China is going to destroy us all-- more than likely in the next four years.

Anyway. I suddenly got the urge to watch Sunday In New York (again) on Thursday night at 11 or so. This would not at all be unusual in my former, carefree, practically perfect life-- but now The Millie is a college student. Words like responsibility, dedication, and sleep are suddenly a normal part of my vocabulary (so are depression, unhappiness, and exhaustion-- as you can well imagine).

OF COURSE, I HAD to text Kate and let her know I was watching her movie (I'm pretty sure when the copyright expired on the movie, sometime in the early 2000's, Kate took ownership!), because I rarely do anything remotely bordering on awesome without letting SOMEONE know. It's just the way us post-post-modern children do things. (I'm not joking. My political science professor last quarter told me that I was born into the post-post-modern era because I was only seven when 9/11 happened!)

The next day in geog class - in the midst of India overtaking China in 2050 - I was thinking about why it was I was texting Kate when I was going to watch Sunday In New York (besides the fact that she owns the copyright...;-D [OH MY GOSH! Fourth paragraph in, and only the first creepy, winking emoticon]).

It's because of Rod Taylor.

Kate is the entire reason I actually like Rod Taylor. Oh, I never really had anything against him. But, The Birds and The Glass-Bottom Boat sort of just left me blah on the subject. Kate's complete adoration for both Rod and SINY (and the free copy of it she sent me...haha) led me to watch the movie (and a couple other Rod films). Her posts about him made me watch the movie with, I suppose, a "new perspective". I came out of it liking Rod Taylor. Genuinely liking him. (I'm still on the fence with Cliff Robertson though-- THE BIG KAHUNA'S CREEPERNESS PERVADES EVERY THOUGHT OF HIM. ;-D)

Of course, then I started thinking about all the other influences non-fleshies [Reminder: the definition for unfamiliar words is in The Milliesaurus at the top of the page!] have had on me. A LOT OF INFLUENCES.

Before Kate became possibly-unhealthily obsessed with him, I had sorta/kinda heard the name Dirk Bogarde once or twice. I vaguely thought he was some character actor in b-movies. Um. No.


Also: has British accent.

Before Casey got ahold of me...I HAD NEVER SEEN A DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS JR. MOVIE. I had never watched the brilliance of Gunga Din. (Quick true story: I recently had a midterm in the aforementioned geography class. Because of extenuating circumstances, I was unable to study for the test AND I had missed a couple days of class because of sickness and snow. Anyway, the essay question was about colonization in India as opposed to colonization in Southwest Asia. OF COURSE that was the day of class I missed [reading the textbook possibly could have helped as well]. I faked the entire essay part of the test. A good portion of my answer may or may not have been knowledge gained from Gunga Din. I got 92% on the test. This should restore my faith in the historical accuracy of studio films, but it more restores my faith in the fact that using as many as possible large words and saying the same thing over and over in different sentence structures confuses over-worked professors EVERY TIME. End quick true story.) I had never seen the jaw-dropping coolness of Sinbad the Sailor! I had never watched Having A Wonderful Time, or The Joy of Living, or Young In Heart. In short, I was leading a deprived life. My life is much better with DFJ in it!

Sarah completely changed my opinion on Anthony Perkins. Apparently, he wasn't actually Norman Bates in real life (WHO KNEW?!). He was actually this person: 



PSYCHO SPOILER ALERT! (Note: this is NOT the same person who kills his mother, then dresses up as said mother and kills other people. Not at all.) END SPOILER ALERT!

There are many other examples of my movie tastes being changed. In myriads of different ways, I have been influenced by others. Classic film bloggers have diverse interests and favorites, and so have a great ability to persuade by their enthusiasm.

^This paragraph was written to show you my method of saying the same thing many times and lengthening other-wise blank essays. ;-DDD

Seriously speaking, my movie favorites have been often added to by other classic movie bloggers-- non-fleshies. Othertimes, a review will be written that makes me NEED to run out and watch that film at any cost. That is why I watched The Hustler: Raquelle's review. Nicola's 365 Movies series made me watch so many different movies. Alyson over at The Best Picture Project (brilliant blog by the way) has made me watch (or at least WANT to watch) any number of Oscar nominated films. AND I USUALLY HATE AWARD-WINNING FILMS. And I'm not gonna even talk about the fact that I'm watching Darby O'Gill and the Little People on St. Patrick's Day - Sean Connery's singing notwithstanding - because of Niahmy's recommendation. And these examples are just a few off the top of my head. You guys have so much influence over me that some things I clearly remember as being long-favorites...probably originated from one of your blogs!

IT'S INSANITY.

I  recently wrote my term paper for history class on the impact of WWII movies made during WWII. I also cited Matthew. I also got an almost perfect score on the paper (the few points I missed were because of some mistakes in the bibliography page). That's craziness, my dear followers. You guys are awesome.

ALTHOUGH.

Clearly, I haven't had too much influence over my followers (I feel like you guys need a cool name, so we can start a ClassicForever cult, yes?! Comment with a name for my readers. The winning name may be featured here some day. ;-DDD). ESPECIALLY when I comes to my beloved mind-smushing entertainment (I will NEVER forgive you all for voting against Awesome Surfer Movies in that poll about least favorite genre). I do however take some credit for the recent global popularity of the phrase Wowzie Kazam. That and that alone is the mark I have left on the world. ;-D

What I'm trying to say - in the least nonsensically way possible at 5am - is that the classic film blogging community is AWESOME. Where else could I find people so much like myself?! (You probably shouldn't take that as a compliment.) Where else in the world could I find other people who like Dr. Goldfoot and The Bikini Machine?! (Okay. I haven't found anyone else yet. BUT I WILL.) Where else could I find such nice, always stupendously amazingly cool, and sometimes even sardonic people who like to argue about Alfred Hitchcock movies?!

I MUSTACHE YOU GUYS. [Again, this post is relying heavily on the assumption of the readers' knowledge of basic Millie-speak.]

So. How have you influenced/been influenced by the classic movie blogging world? And, have you ever watched Gidget Goes Hawaiian on my shining recommendation? Comment and let me know (or just comment. Please. I hate the pathetic posts with no comments. When that happens I almost start letting spammers comment. So really, please. ;-DDD)

-Millie

P.S. This is a random shout-out to Brian. Because he begged for it. And if he's reading this right now, then he should know that he's not supposed to be reading my blog. Sooo.  ;-DD

Monday, March 7, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Photo of the Day!

Gina Lollobrigida!

{Admit it...you just said her last name with a pronounced Italian accent, right?! I KNOW I ALWAYS DO. ;-D}

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