Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"A Month of VERTIGO," TCM and...Synchronicity

Sans Soleil
This blog was consumed by Vertigo all through January and half of February. I thought I'd moved on, was looking forward to Mad Men on Sunday nights - and then I opened the March issue of TCM's Now Playing guide.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sunday Night is "Mad Men" Night...a blog event

AMC’s Mad Men begins its much-anticipated fifth season on Sunday night, March 25, after a long and, for some of us, parched nearly two year hiatus.

This means that Sunday night will once more be Mad Men night in my world. At last. But I’m not alone in my joy, and a few blogger friends have volunteered to contribute guest posts to The Lady Eve’s Reel Life in celebration of the series' return. So...three Sundays and one Saturday in March, a different take on Mad Men will appear:

Sunday, March 4 – FlickChick with Mad Men: Now and Then and Back Again
Sunday, March 11 – Whistlingypsy on The Feminine Mystique of Mad Men
Sunday, March 18 – Christian Esquevin on Mad Men Style
Saturday, March 24 – Motorcycle Boy with Mad Men: Through a Glass Darkly


Sunday, April 1 - The Lady Eve with A Meditation on Mad Men 

Coming soon: Jill of Sittin' on a Backyard Fence...

Click here to return to the Reel Life main page.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Noir City X...and a look at upcoming classics festivals

Noir City X, San Francisco

January was a busy, busy month in my reel and real lives this year, but I still managed to squeeze in one night of lust and murder thanks to Noir City X, San Francisco's 10th annual film noir festival, a ten day event that ran from the 20th through 29th.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Month of "Vertigo," The Final Chapter

by The Lady Eve

It was 1948 in post-war France when mystery writers Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac met for the first time at an awards ceremony for the Prix du Roman d'Aventures, a literary award for crime fiction. Narcejac received the prize that year and Boileau had taken the honor ten years earlier; in another two years they would become writing partners. Together the pair forged their own approach to the French mystery novel, placing new emphasis on character and suspense.

Today their work is considered a hybrid of two genres: the traditional whodunit and le roman noir (thriller). Le roman noir of that era was influenced by crime writers like Hammett and novelists of the naturalist school like Emile Zola, but Boileau and Narcejac were more inspired by the likes of Edgar Allen Poe. What most post-war French crime fiction did have in common was a dark vein of fatalism and, according to Michel Lebrun, another genre writer, Boileau-Narcejac’s work was marked by such persistent gloom that “...the hero, for them, should never wake up from his nightmare.”

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy 80th Birthday, Edna May!

Edna May Wonacott in Shadow of a Doubt (1943) with Henry Travers

Edna May Wonacott, who turns 80 today, was born in the town of Willits in Northern California in 1932. She spent most of her childhood to the south, in Santa Rosa, where her father was a grocer. When she was nine years old a twist of fate occurred that changed her life forever. Edna happened to be waiting at a bus stop in downtown Santa Rosa when she encountered director Alfred Hitchcock and producer Jack Skirball. Hitchcock, who would be shooting much of his next film in town, thought there might be a part in it for the pig-tailed, bespectacled young girl whose curiosity captured his attention.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hitchcock’s Most Beautiful Shot Ever; Or, A Single Frame So Good, 2000 Words Don’t Do It Justice

by guest contributor Joel Gunz

Practically every frame of every movie Alfred Hitchcock made could be blown up and hung on a museum wall. He had such a clear sense of composition that you can turn off the sound, forget the story and set your DVD player to slo-mo, letting the images parade by.*

Among the many iconic pictures that his camera has captured, the one pictured above is arguably the most sublime.

Practically everything that happens in the first half of Vertigo is carefully designed to lead the viewer to Madeleine’s (Kim Novak’s) trip to Fort Point, at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Let’s take a closer look at this single frame from the movie.