Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lucky Seven

Over the past few weeks the 7x7 Link Award has been making its way across the classic film blogosphere. I’ve been kindly honored with this award by three of my favorite bloggers:  Ivan G. Shreve, Jr., of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, FlickChick of A Person in the Dark and Whistlingypsy of Distant Voices and Flickering Shadows.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mad Men: Through a Glass Darkly

by guest contributor Motorcycle Boy

“A personality marked by traits of compulsive and habitual use of a substance or practice in an attempt to cope with psychic pain engendered by conflict and anxiety.”
~      definition of addictive personality, Mosby’s Medical Dictionary
Mad Men glorifies alcoholics.”  This statement was made to me by an acquaintance, clearly meant as a criticism of my favorite television series.  He went on:  “It seems the writers take every opportunity conceivable to shove a glass in the hands of the actors.”

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ernst Lubitsch does Noel Coward: Design for Living (1933)

Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins and Fredric March

Fredric March was already an Oscar winner and a newly minted Hollywood star when he co-starred with Miriam Hopkins and Gary Cooper in Ernst Lubitsch’s 1933 adaptation of the Noel Coward play Design for Living. In 1929, when all the major studios were scouring the Broadway stage for photogenic leading men with trained and mellifluous voices, March had been recruited and signed by Paramount Pictures.  He received his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for his 1930 portrayal of ‘Tony Cavendish’ in The Royal Family of Broadway, but it was his split-personality tour-de-force as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1931 that brought Fredric March his first Academy Award and movie stardom.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mad Men Style

by guest contributor Christian Esquevin

The thing that makes Mad Men such a perfect television series is its “all-of-a-piece” quality. It has all of its elements operating at a high level and fully integrated into a drama geared towards adults. This goes well beyond high production values, or even great writing – it is a seamless creation mixing fascinating characters, interesting plots, evocative sets and costumes, a down-to earth reality needing no gratuitous violence. It is a perfectly pegged recreation of the Zeitgeist - not just of the world of advertising - but of urban America at the turn of the 1960s. Despite its very real display of sexism in society and in the workplace, including the very negative consequences of that mindset, Mad Men is mainly the story of one man and his perilous perch high atop the hierarchy of a corporate ad agency. The series title is a play on “ad men” and Madison Avenue, where the big ad agencies were located.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Coming to a Theater Near You: Turner Classic Movies Presents "Casablanca"

Turner Classic Movies, Warner Bros. and NCM Fathom have joined in celebration of Casablanca as it turns 70 with Turner Classic Movies Presents the Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event. On Wednesday, March 21, at 7:00 pm (local time), the film that topped the AFI's list of the "100 Greatest Love Stories of All Time," will screen at select theaters nationwide. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Feminine Mystique Of Mad Men

by guest contributor Whistlingypsy

Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again, and interesting, and modern.”
 - Frank O'Hara, Meditations in an Emergency

Although the title might suggest the notion; this is not a discussion of feminism in Mad Men’s very male dominated industry. The inspiration is, in part, taken from the photograph above: a provocative portrayal of beautiful women and men perfectly accessorized and stylishly coiffed. The division of these individuals into feminine and masculine, light and dark, personal and professional, implies not only different natures and different worlds but a separate mystique.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" at Oakland's Paramount Theatre


Friday night, March 9, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) will screen at Oakland, California’s spectacular Art Deco movie palace, The Paramount Theatre, as part of its Spring Movie Classic Series. The ticket price is an amazingly low $5.00. And…Movie Classic Night includes a newsreel, cartoons and Jerry Nagano at the Mighty Wurlitzer. Kudos to the sponsors of the series, Vo’s Restaurant (authentic Vietnamese cuisine) and the Pacific Pinball Museum.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mad Men: Now and Then and Back Again

by guest contributor FlickChick

Watching Mad Men is a bit like time traveling with one foot dipped in the past and one firmly planted in the present. Viewing the actions of the "then", we can't help but measure them against the "now." The fact that things were like that in the past usually means things are not like that in the present. We judge if those things are better or worse now as the story of the Sterling Cooper (Draper Pryce) gang unfolds.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dine Like a Mad Man - Book Giveaway...and a Sweepstakes

Betty's "Around the World" dinner
With many thanks to veteran cookbook author Judy Gelman and SmartPop/BenBella books, Eve's Reel Life will give away a copy of Gelman's new book (co-authored with Peter Zheutlin), The Unofficial Man Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars and Restaurants of Mad Men.