Friday, 29 July 2011

Hi From Greece!!!

Sorry, no photos! Using my iPod!

Hi all! I'm sat in a "sidewalk cafe" which can't help but remind me of one of Audrey Hepburn's wishes in Roman Holiday, which happens to have web! Yayayayay :3. After being out of the web zone for a wee while, it is good to be linked in a little again. It's all going well in Greece. Days are filled with swimming, reading and eating; afternoons with milkshakes and evenings with classic movie watching and more food :-)

I have just found some cool posts, the prospect of a new blogathon in the works and the result of my recent grade 5 music theory exam (81% merit if you wondered!!!) which has made me even more happy than I am already (if that's possible). I thought it would be cool to post my classic movie endeavours so far :-)

Movies Actually Watched (in order)

>Holiday (1938) starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, directed by George Cukor. ~ New to me!
This film was so cute! Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn do acrobatics together (enough said). Everything about it is great. Just so sweet. Katharine Hepburn is growing on me and this just reinforced it! Cary Grant was amazing as always. Could he be anything but?

>Indiscreet (1958) Starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant, directed by Stanley Donen ~ Rewatch
See my review here

>Pride And Prejudice (1940) Starring Lawrence Olivier and Greer Garson, directed by Robert Z. Leonard ~ Rewatch
See my review here

>An Affair To Remember (1957) Starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, directed by Leo McCarey
See my review here

>Roman Holiday (1953) Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, directed by William Wyler
See my review here

Random Classic Movie things

> Read The Thin Man by Dasheil Hammet. Amazing. Read. Now.

> Reading Notorious: The life of Ingrid Bergman by Donald Spoto. Very good... Gifted by Libby

So there you go! I hope you have good holidays too :-)


Saturday, 23 July 2011

I Love Your Funny Face...

Saw Funny Face (1957) and fell in love with the beautiful Stanley Donen direction and amazing George and Ira Gershwin songs like "S'Wonderful and How Long Has This Been Going On?". Plus it has Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire in it. Both. There. At. The. Same. Time. And Audrey is playing an assistant in a bookshop. This film is full of "Well, that's something you don't see every day!", moments, and it is pretty awesome.

The story is that Head of a "Vogue" equivalent fashion magazine, "Quality", Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) needs a good model for their spread for the intelligent woman who likes clothes spread, and finds Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn), an assistant at a psychology bookshop while using the shop for a shoot. Photographer, Dick Avery discovers her and convinces her to join the modelling world by breaking the news to her that she will be modelling in Paris, where she has always wanted to go and see her favourite lecturer. But when they arrive in Paris there is lots of other things that she wants to do besides modelling, but she finds herself falling head over heels for Dick Avery. But can everything work out with the entry of lecturer Professor Emile Flostre (Michael Auclair)?

It was such a sweet movie. While not one of my favourite Audrey Hepburn or Fred Astaire films, it still manages to rank pretty high just by it's nice atmosphere and all. I love the classic "Think Pink" scene where all the doors are painted pink and all of Ms. Prescott's minions don pink garb and one even dyes their hair pink (according to my sister, I didn't catch it though.) just like the amazing Kate Gabrielle, who rocks her new pink locks! (Hey, I'm a poet and I didn't know it!)

Pink toothpaste. Hmmmm.

I just love the songs in this film. I play the ukulele and sing and recently I've taken to covering classic musical / jazz standards on it and singing a cool arrangement and this film is full of great songs to do that with :-) I particularly love, "How long Has This Been Going On?" which I'd already heard either Dinah Washington or Billie Holiday cover, and it was nice to hear Audrey Hepburn singing it, as for My Fair Lady she is dubbed over.

Fred Astaire is amazing as usual. Me and two other close school-friends have established the Fred Astaire appreciation society.

This mainly consists of random conversations about how awesome it is that he danced on ceilings and how we wish we were Ginger Rogers. As you can tell, me and my friends are top of the cool list at school. As some of the boys in my class would say, "Yeez, innit blad!"

I. Want. This. Dress. So. Bad.

Now, I'm off to Greece tomorrow morning for two and a half weeks, and I'll miss you all so much!!! We managed to bag a brand new Audrey Hepburn box-set in English disc region compatibility which is great because my favourites like Sabrina, Roman Holiday and My Fair Lady are on american DVDs which don't work on my dad's laptop and now the new ones will work! I also came across an old penguin copy of Dasheil Hammet's "The Thin Man" (also known as the base upon the amazing William Powell and Myna Loy legend was built) and shall read that over the break! Also, just wanted to recommend "The Help" which I just read and my mum is about to start. I don't mention books a lot on this blog, but this book was super good :-)

No, I won't be fishing.

There should be posts a-plenty when I get back as I am free and on 6 weeks summer holiday as of now, so should have loads of time and ideas. See you in a bit!


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Heiress (1949)

{Alternatively titled: Why is Everyone Called Cathy?}

Seriously guys, it's like you can't get away from it! Cathy Seldon in Singin' In The Rain, Cathy Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights and Cathy Sloper in this movie among many others. They always seem to be having their names screeched at them, like in Singing In The Rain he shouts 'Cathy, wait, CATHY!" and in Wuthering Heights Heathcliff is completely hysterical and starts calling out, "Cathy, come back to me! CATHY! My own! My heart's darling!"... Errrr... Yes. But it is Larry Olivier so we shall and must forgive him.

This woman in the poster looks like Elizabeth Taylor for sure.

I digress. I watched The Heiress in honour of Olivia De Havilland (actually I ordered it before I knew it was her birthday the other day but it seemed like a great reason to finally watch it) and I did like it. I did. Most of it...

The plot is basically that Catherine Sloper is the daughter of wealthy New York doctor Austin Sloper who is still fighting to cope with the loss of his beautiful and seemingly perfect wife.

He is constantly comparing Cathy to her mother whom he idealises and sets as his standard for judging anyone. Cathy is shy, but very accurate with her embroidery and very sweet-natured. Her father, Austin believes that almost no man would want her for her qualities - just her money. When she is introduced to a charming young man, Morris Townsend, by her chaperoning (recently widowed, although you'd never guess) aunt Lavina, she falls in love with him and he with her and he soon (within a few) days proposes and Austin, naturally, begins to question his motives.

He decides that he strongly disapproves of Morris and takes Cathy away on a long trip to Europe to try and make her forget about him.

She doesn't and returns just as eager to marry him. After a nasty fight with her father during which he told her frankly that she had no special or unique characteristics other than her large inheritance, Cathy storms out and finds Morris waiting to elope with her.

She tells him that she has effectively disinherited herself and she wants nothing more to do with her father. They agree for Morris to come back to the house at later that night, but she waits and waits and he never comes. Later that year, her father becomes gravely ill with an illness he will never recover from (by his own diagnosis) leaving only the maid and Cathy to look after him, and Cathy still refuses to be on friendly terms with him...

It was a good film and it was directed by William Wyler who I think is up there with directors like Hitchcock and Billy Wilder. The three best things in it for me were the direction, Miriam Hopkins and the costume design by Edith Head. Miriam Hopkins was amazing. I had only seen her in The Old Maid before and I thought that she was amazing and held the film together, completely. From what I understand, she was not a most agreeable lady, but there are countless greats who weren't, and what doesn't show up on the screen shouldn't really affect our opinion of the actor that much anyhow.

Olivia De Havilland was great too. The only thing about her performance that I wasn't so crazy about was the high voice she put on to sound younger. I didn't think she needed it to make her seem young, and it might have been a little more sincere without, but it certainly didn't take away from her great delivery and Olivia De Havilland-ish-ness.

I'am not a great one for mannered actors. I can adore James Dean in some things and not like him so much in others, in fact I even named my camera after him (it's a Canon Rebel, get it? Rebel Without a Cause? Canon Rebel?) and yes. I name inanimate objects. Is that a crime? Sheesh. I was ok with Montgomery Clift. He was very beautiful and good for the part and he was fine - I just felt like he lacked something a little.

Costumes and makeup: I. Want. Everyone. In. This. Movie's. Hair. And. Outfits. That. Is. All.

I would reccomend it although the story is a little bit of a downer (Where are my fill in posts of Pillow Talk and The Paleface clips when I desperately need them?). It makes for an interesting watch for sure :D

Also, I thought you all deserved an explanation for the sporadic posting. I just landed myself the a couple of roles in the school production of Bugsy Malone. I think I might be a-suffering from personality confusion. As of yet, my list of roles is:
  1.  Lena - The show off star of the show that the female lead, Blousey is auditioning for, as Lena leaves and comes back on a daily basis.
  2. A singer in the speakeasy
  3. A soloist in a reprise of a song
  4. One of the many narrators
  5. and, my favourite of course, a tree.
The coolest for sure is Lena though here is the main bit of her part in the movie

I also so get to come in screeching "OSCAR!!! OSCAR!!!" and some other cool lines. Ah well, it ain't Ilsa Lund but it'l do for now :-) I did audition for the lead but it went to older kids for both nights. That's show biz! So yes. I'm quite occupied with rehearsals and the like so I'll try and post when I can!

P.S. I ran Race For Life on Sunday with my friend which is a 5km race in support of cancer research and I just wanted to say that I hope everyone out there reading this who has been affected by cancer in any way can be helped by the money that we are all raising. I also especially wanted to shout out to my grandpa and amazing flute and piano teacher who have been suffering with cancer lately. Get better soon!