Sunday, 29 April 2012

Actresses That Inspire Me

As an aspiring actress, when I watch films I do think about the way the actress is doing things and how they convey emotions. Overall there are three that really inspire me as performers and every time I watch them I make a kind of mental log of how excellent the performance was and why all that jazz. These three actresses are Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman and Bette Davis.

Katharine Hepburn


One of the reasons I find Katharine Hepburn such an outstanding actress is her way of conveying things. She was an immensely intelligent woman who studied each part she played thoroughly. She has a unique way of showing her emotions and her intentions which have prompted some fans and critics to label her as an eccentric. I think that there's a great deal more to her brilliance than that. It's a kind of emotion that only comes from someone who is deeply immersed in their character. Actually, all my actresses on this list have a similar quality. I don't know. There are kind of no words to describe why or how much I admire this crazy and talented woman, then there's her love that she shows for Spencer Tracy in her movies - god don't even get me started on that. My favourite two performances of her's are The Philadelphia Story (1940) and The Lion In Winter (1968).

Ingrid Bergman


In a way she is the most inspirational actress to me on this list. When she got a part she would go and get experience in what would have happened to the character. Not in a method actor way, but in way that shows that she wants a thorough understanding of his character's personality. Another thing that I find wonderful about her, probably the thing that I most aspire to be is how free she is in her portrayals. She is unlike any other actress I've come across. A perfect word to use to describe the way she plays her characters is fearless. She totally embodies her characters. My favourite Ingrid Bergman film, favourite Hitchcock and one of my overall favourite films is Notorious (1946) co-starring Cary Grant. Y they no have flawless babies? Anyway, even in this and every single film of hers she is in some way likeable or at least approachable. She always has an aura about her that is totally magnetic. Her presence is incredible. In some ways I don't think that's something you can learn.

Bette Davis


Bette Davis was responsible for introducing me to classic hollywood (well, it was my parents but I became interested because of Bette's movies). Although she may not still be my tip-top favourite star/actress I still think that she is one of if not the greatest screen actress ever. With Bette Davis, it isn't so much the intellectual and emotional wonders of the greatness that is Hepburn, or the free, natural raw emotion of Bergman, but a different kind of talent. Bette Davis for me always is her character. She is a wonderfully talented actress and she has a way of making characters come to life with her sheer energy and commitment. There will never quite be anyone like her.

Anyway they are my views on these extraordinary actresses and why they make such an impact on me. Hope you enjoyed!

Bette

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Those Times Kate Hepburn Is Awesomespice (All The Time)


Sometimes I read a story or watch a new movie of one of my favourite stars and it just reminds me why I love them all over again and I go into obsessive mode again. The other day I watched Break Of Hearts (1935) with Katharine Hepburn and Charles Boyer. It wasn't a fantastic movie but I love the stars and I saw a gifset from it where Kate looked like such a little baby (she was 28 but for me this is still Kate's baby stage) and it reminded me why I love her acting so much.

{Source - she's so adorable there}

She inspires me so much as a performer. If I had to pick three actresses that inspire me as a performer it'd have to be Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Ingrid Bergman - funnily enough the top three female AFI screen legends. Each of them in a different way inspires me.

But another thing that reminded me was a story I read which was added to a post of Tumblr (it was added by katharinehoughtonhepburn which is run by hollywoodhepcat). It told of when Katharine Hepburn and Robert Taylor worked together on the film noir, Undercurrent (1946). Now, this was surely a match made in hell. Robert Taylor was a super republican who reportedly gave names to McCarthy in the Hollywood witch-hunts of the 40s and 50s. A member of the HUAC (house of un-American activities committee - anti-communist organisation that blacklisted and ruined the careers of many people in Hollywood), only a few moments working on the film together, he was angering Hepburn by using derogatory terms to communists and other groups of people considered by him, "Un-American". Well, Katharine Hepburn was one of the most liberal people in hollywood and she became so angry that she got up onto the stage and gava a speech against it while, (to quote hollywoodhepcat's addition), "Meanwhile, Chaplin of the Little Tramp variety loomed in the background, passing out flyers."

I don't always agree with my favourite star's political views (I saw an interview with John Wayne that really made me see him in a new light the other day) so it's people like Katharine Hepburn that I really admire.

I don't think I'll ever find a better non-family role model than Katharine Hepburn. She is everything I aspire to be; independent, successful, intelligent, opinionated, creative, talented and by all accounts a wonderful person (if she liked you!). I also found out today that I've seen 22 of her movies! That's the most I've seen of any actor or actress. Not all of them have been perfect, but I've enjoyed them all.

I wrote before about Katharine Hepburn's inspiring autobiography and after watching a new film of hers and hearing that story, I have to say that I want to drop everything and read that damn epic book again. Although that'll probably have to wait a little while, I still am probably gonna be on even more of a Kate Hepburn kick. When am I not? She's excellent. If you don't admire her ninja skills, well...




How about you? Do you like Katharine Hepburn and do you find yourself always coming back to your favourite star after seeing something amazing they've done?

Bette

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Because Half Of You Don't Know Me

I was realising the other day how many new followers I've got recently and how I haven't ever done an introduction except my first post and about page... Ooops! So half of you probably don't even really know who I am so I thought that finally the day must come when you realize that yes, I am actually a mole that lives in a little mound and has only some old movies for company and a laptop so he decided to go into the world via the world wide interweb. That was a lie. I'm still a teenage Brit with a penchant for old movies. Disappointed? Thought so.

Anyway, here's a little about me for all of you who don't know the epic ninja that is me. (If you read this blog you've probably learned to deal with sarcasm.)

Teenager, a British hazelnut-haired, green-eyed gal apt to talk 'till the cows come home. Lover of classic film, acting, writing, sailing, singing and various-musical-instrument playing. Classic film is awesome, and Cary Grant is cooler than us all. Clever dramas, film noirs, Hitchcock, Tracy/Hepburn, Technicolour musicals + wordy and screwball comedies. All About EveSabrinaThe Philadelphia Storyall the Thin Man films and The Talk Of The Town fan.

{that's not me. I wish lololol.}

I'm a teenager, though sometimes I feel like I'm really not a teenage and sometimes I feel so teenager.


I adore classic film (hence the on de blog), acting (taking Drama GCSE) and music (again, taking the GCSE). I am currently studying my GCSEs. When I'm not wandering the interweb like a little lost soul, I can be found in my school drama studio rehearsing for something, playing one of my instruments, homeworking (creys) or if you're lucky you might catch me sailing my single-handed dinghy (:-0).

My favourite movie is The Philadelphia Story. I cry a lot because of classic film perfection and these movies; Random Harvest, It's A Wonderful Life, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and Roman Holiday.


Me and technology have a complicated relationship. I love it in some ways, but I think it hates me too much to let me love it. Then everything crashes and I'm like,


{my gif}

My favourite actresses are Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Myrna Loy and Greer Garson.

Cary Grant is my husband. Undisputed truth.


I love the work of Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler, Billy Wilder, George Cukor and Neil Simon.

When I grow up I'd quite like to be Katharine Hepburn and Joni Mitchell, roam around a big city in dungarees and live in a little apartment with window boxes to put tomatoes and flowers in. It's been nice meeting you.


Hope you get more of an idea of what I'm like now followers!

Bette

Friday, 13 April 2012

Sometimes I Cry Because Audrey Hepburn


When people say "Oh, who's your favourite Hepburn?" I'm like, whut? I don't get it. How can you choose between two such different performers? If I had to choose it would probably be Kate Hepburn because of my special connection to her and her story and personality, but I have to say that I'm loving Audrey right now. I watched Two For The Road (1967) the other day and I didn't really like it. I found it mildly interesting but like many films of that genre - it left me cold. However, it wasn't Audrey's performance that did it (it was Albert Finney and the best script for the record). I was reminded of her brilliance when I saw a photoset from Roman Holiday.



One of my 9 year old sister's friends came over a little while ago and she was stumped. She loves to show her friends the old movies we watch - however her chats of showing them The Thin Man and maybe they could watch A Stolen Life disconcert me a little. I'm just like, "sis, I'm glad I've trained you so well but I'm not quite sure your pre-teen homies really want to watch women thrown off boats or a sophisticated couple drinking martinis and dodging gunfire - much as it pains me to say it." So we settled on Roman Holiday on our projector screen. Of course I weedled my way into the screening. It was ROMAN HOLIDAY on a big screen? How could I resist? I don't quite know what the friend made of the teenage sister who came in wearing a Joni Mitchell style poncho and her hair in a messy topknot exclaiming "You know that scene? That was improvised loveliness and Gregory Peck, OMG OMG OMG." Ah well. Haters gonna hate.


When I watched it I remembered just what an astounding actress she was. Everyone's like "Oh yeah, she was too skinny and she's started this whole bad body image thing," or "Well, she was pretty and stylish but all I remember of her movies is Breakfast At Tiffany's." I think there was so much more to her than that. In my favourite of all her movies, Sabrina (1954) she shows her acting chops by equalling if not bettering HumphreyBogart's still wonderful performance. Her parts are never easy, but she still manages to give each of them their own life, not falling back into her own personality as her fallback for the parts - as many actresses would be tempted to do.


Everything from her lush Technicolor musicals (Funny Face, My Fair Lady) to her thrillers (Charade), to her beautiful performances in famous romantic-comedy-dramas like Roman Holiday and Sabrina, she always added something different and something special. She had a quality I've only seen equalled by a few people.


She's something special. I don't like her in the same way that most do. If I asked many of my friends if they liked Audrey Hepburn they'd say "Yes, she was so stylish and beautiful. I've seen her in that movie with the cat where she eats danish pastries and I thought it was beautiful." That's a very valid answer, it's just that sometimes I feel like I'm in a little club of my own for the people who actually appreciate her as an actress and not just a clothes horse. Anyway, the title comes from the fact that I saw a few gifs from Roman Holiday (the haircut scene and the end scene where she has to leave Gregory Peck) and I actually felt a bit teary remembering the story and then how perfect Audrey Hepburn was and all that jazz.

{Source - ALL MY CREYS}

I swear everyone else in the world decides to go to Titanic and cry and all we classic hollywood fangirl/boys have to do is looks at a picture of one of our favourites and the tears start a gushin'. What about you? What's your favourite Audrey movie? Do you think she's a good actress as well as a beautiful style icon?

Bette