Monday, 30 July 2012

Oscar Night - Ingrid Bergman and Bob Hope Sketch


I found this clip after Rianna recommended it to me. It's totally hilarious. Ingrid Bergman's comedic timing is total genius. When she just swipes Bob Hope's statue off the table and replaces it with her own Oscar... I can't stop laughing! This is a great clip to watch if you just want a little bit of a pep up. I only wish it were longer!

Bette

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Vintage Film Star Playing Cards


Ok, so I found these on Tumblr the other day. Have you ever seen anything more perfect? I mean who wouldn't want Greta Garbo and Deborah Kerr on their playing cards? Now wondering whether there was some whole novelty casino decked out with portraits of movie stars and quotes from George Cukor movies painted on all the walls...

Bette

Saturday, 21 July 2012

I'm Off Guys!


I'm going back to my tiny remote Greek island again for three weeks today so I'll be gone from both here and Tumblr... I'll try and update Tumblr when I get to internet cafes and I have a load of posts (about one or two a week) of interesting photos and video clips I've found around the web set to post. I'll miss ya. I'll have to tell you what films and books I've read when I get back! I'm taking To Kill A Mockingbird (to finish), The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, Tender Is The Night by F Scott Fitzgerald and Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger with me to read. And yes I'm an American literature obsessive.

So I hope you all have fun on holiday, too if you're going and just have fun anyway if you aren't. I'll be back in three weeks!

Bette

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Two Year Blogaversary


Today it is two years since I started this blog... Oh my god! Back then it just seemed like something that would be fun and and maybe kind of cool - it seemed like something interesting. A new thing to start and of course - I LOVED MOVIES. I thought it was great I could post about these things and people would read my posts. Then one day I woke up to some followers...


Since then I've watched more movies than I can count, gone through numerous obsessive periods and read autobiographies that have inspired me to go even further with what I want to do with my life. Classic film has become even more important to me and I have to say, watching these films and performances and reading these books about these incredible people has fuelled my passion for performance even more. I just adore everything about these movies and I'm so glad I decided to branch out into a social networking platform where I can fangirl talk about these movies and stars. 

So I also want to say thanks to all my awesome followers and commenters who put up with me and my phases (get ready for some Ingrid Bergman spamming again, guys) and I love all of you. I've made some great friends on here and on Tumblr. You're all too lovely for words. Thanks for following/emailing/tumblring/commenting/amazing-ing. And to all you guys that unfollowed...


I've had some great times and I've loved some of the crazy things that go on in the classic hollywood community (myrna and cake anyone?) and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I only hope that the years to come are as great as these past two have been. You're all the best and I love reading your posts and looking at the things you've made. I'm sorry if sometimes I don't comment very often - I'm often very busy at school as I'm quite active in my school's drama department which means rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal. If not that then my science teacher is asking me to do some homework on how the world works. After that I usually just read other people's blogs/tumblrs and make GIFs/watch films/review films.

Bette

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Notorious (1946)

All the GIFs in this post except the ones credited with another source were made by me and are all posted on my Tumblr. I would strongly appreciate it if none were re-posted without credit. Thanks!!!

Notorious is one of my all time favourite films. I think it'd have to be my favourite Hitchcock of all time. I know it isn't the scariest or perhaps his biggest masterpiece (Vertigo and Marnie imma lookin' at you) but in my eyes it's genius, romantic, dark and touching. So now you already know what I feel about this movie, so this review is probably going to be more like an appreciation for Notorious.


Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) is the wild socialite daugher of a convicted Nazi spy in Miami in 1946. Eager to forget everything that's happened in the past months and years, she throws a bash at her Miami bungalow. She is party crashed by American agent T R Devlin (Cary Grant) who persuades her to work undercover for the US government in Rio de Janeiro, trying to uncover Nazi organisations.


Once they get there they realise that they love each other. After they go back to Alicia's apartment in a state of lovers' bliss, Devlin is called back out to headquarters where he is told that Alicia must "catch" Alex Sebastian (Claude Rains) who is the head of a suspected group of Nazi scientists and find out what they're up to. On knowing that the Nazi Sebastian is already in love with Alicia, Devlin's view of her is changed - he now also knows she has a job to do. Alicia gets into Sebastian's home and heart easily - but will it be so easy to get out?


I could go on for pages and pages saying why and how this film is so special, but I'll try and keep it brief. First of all, this film marked a watershed for both Hitchcock and Cary Grant. It was the first real film in which Hitchcock came close to total artstic power and expression (he'd come close in 1945's Spellbound, again with Bergman).


Some of the shots in this film have since become iconic for their brave angles and extreme close-ups, especially the shot that goes all the way down from the balcony of Sebastian's huge house right up to an extreme close-up of Ingrid Bergman's hand with the wine cellar key... right. Now comes the time when I feel I need to share some goss on the Notorious wine-cellar key.

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The Key To The Wine-Cellar


In Notorious there is a scene where Ingrid Bergman steals the key to Sebastian's cellar and at a party he is holding, and goes down there with Cary Grant to look for the secret substance that they suspect the Germans are amassing in a plot to create an atomic weapon. The tension builds and builds until it climaxes with Claude Rains confronting Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman about their relationship. The key was used throughout the film and was seen as such a strong symbol that it was decided to be used as the main component of their publicity campaign.


*

At the end of filming that same prop key was presented to Cary Grant to symbolise Notorious as a key that will hopefully "open new doors in his career." Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock and Ingrid Bergman formed a tight-knit friendship group on that filmset and it was a friendship that lasted the rest of their lives. In the many years of their friendship that same key was swapped around and given to each other as a good luck charm - and as a kind of token of hope that the recipient's life will get better in the future.


Cary Grant shows a new side unseen before this point in his career. He plays Devlin with a sort of sensitivity that still lets the hard side of his character show through. Ingrid Bergman is again wonderful in her role as wild Alicia Huberman.


There are many moments, especially *PLOT SPOILER* when she first realises what's going on with the coffee, that I actually am near to tears... her last scene with Cary Grant is so emotional... ALL MY CREYS!!!


Obviously I can't go through this review without at least noting the extreme chemistry between Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. All their scenes together are so romantic and probably just about perfect. Of course there's the famous kissing scene that defied all the laws of the production code.


The code states that no kiss onscreen may be longer than 3 seconds long. Now Hitchcock's idea was that Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant never actually let go of each other. They simply interspersed 3 second long kisses with "cheek-to-cheek intensity" (as I think ye olde worlde wide webe sayeth). The actors were both very concerned and uncomfortable about being... attached for so long onscreen. When they voiced their concerns with their director he simply said, "I don't care what you feel like, I know what'll look good on screen." or something like that. (Let's just bear in mind that this is the man who called Ingrid Bergman "The Human Sink" because of her Martini downing skills.)


Also - can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant didn't get married and have eight babies and live happily ever after?


Claude Rains is so scary. He really is quite an extra-ordinary actor. He manages to be cowardly and feeble yet still scare the hell out of me at the same time...


Yet he isn't as damn scary as is crazy milkmaid-plait wearing mother. She is on another level of creepy. There is one line I absolutely love though -


So if you haven't already watched this masterpiece then go and correct this major problem. Like, now. It might be on YouTube. *Checks YouTube.* It's on YouTube. Go watch it.

Bette

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Ingrid Bergman Calls Alfred Hitchcock An Adorable Genius


I'm reading Ingrid Bergman's autobiography at the moment (which I totally adore... it's fantastic. READ IT!) and I was reminded of this moment at Alfred Hitchcock's AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony when she calls him "An Adorable Genius" and talks of times when they've worked together. It's great and "adorable," too.

I have a whole load of Ingrid interviews I'm ready to link to... you were warned... you were warned.

Bette

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Why Is "Thinspiration" a Thing, And Why Is It Cropping Up All Over The Audrey Tag


So this was tagged on tumblr, "audrey hepburn, actress, ballet, discipline, self control, thin, thinspiration, thinspo, madethinspossible."

It really got my goat. Why is "thinspiration" even a thing? I know some people have weight issues and they feel they need targets and inspiration but from the way this was put across I strongly doubt this was aimed at this audience. Obviously eating disorders are serious medical, psychological and emotional problems and should be dealt with accordingly - but I don't think posting pictures of dancers and actresses who are evidently stick thin and tagging them "thinspiration" is going to help anyone. {I looked through the "thinspiration" tag for a few scrolls and I wouldn't advise it - it seems that this kind of picture is very mild compared to the skeletal girls with pictures tagged "pro anorexia"}


Audrey Hepburn didn't want to be as thin as she ended up. During the war in Belgium she had serious trouble getting food and as a form of protest (and help for her mother who was struggling financially) she decided she would make sure she could go without food. Later in her life she tried to gain weight and felt self-conscious about her weight (110lb at 5ft 6) she found it hard to gain weight because of the way she had grown up. Her food problems were as a form of protest against the Nazis and as a help to her mother who she was worried about. It was a political statement and something she did out of necessity and not something she did to look like a model (in her day and age models and movie stars actually looked like regular people and not always delicate as birds - if she'd been going for a model look she would have tried to be like Marilyn Monroe.)


However inadvertently, she set some kind of "standard" for models and actresses looking for perfection. I adore Audrey Hepburn. I admire her as an actress (as I said in this post) and as a person (her work for UNICEF is incredible) and I don't appreciate these pictures of her circling the web. I know it isn't what she would have wanted at all.


Everyone is of a different shape and size. I know it sounds cliche'd and probably a bit cheesy, but all of them are beautiful and perfect. I can name a few in the old hollywood community that people rank as some of the most beautiful women in the world. Ingrid Bergman - very tall, strong build. Katharine Hepburn - tall, lean, athletic. Marilyn Monroe - curvy, medium height, voluptuous. All very different but all regarded as "ideals of women". It just goes to show that you can't define beauty by a shape.


I honestly felt like this was really needed. It was something that had to be said. It would make me feel great if you could link to this article on social networking sites or on your blog and then maybe this "thinspiration" cult won't relate itself so strongly to the old hollywood community which is on the whole a safe, happy and accepting community. Thanks for reading (or skipping to the end) my long rant! :-D

Bette