Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Treats

Joan Carroll and Margaret O'Brien in Meet Me in St. Louis
The origins of Halloween go back to the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sowˊ-in). Samhain began on the eve of October 31 and heralded the Celtic New Year on November 1. The Celts believed that during Samhain the divide between the living and the dead vanished, allowing spirits of the departed to briefly visit the world of the living. With the advent of Christianity, the Celtic New Year was

Monday, October 29, 2012

You've Gotta Have Heart...Damn, Giants!

San Francisco's Coit Tower bathed in Giants orange on Sunday night  (photo by Luanne Dietz, SF Chronicle)

One of the best-known tunes from Damn Yankees (the 1955 Broadway hit and 1958 movie) is the catchy number "Heart," and it goes like this:

You've gotta have heart
All you really need is heart
When the odds are sayin' you'll never win
That's when the grin should start...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Prize Pack Giveaway this Weekend for Upcoming "To Kill a Mockingbird" Screening...Plus...

The Lady Eve's Reel Life is pleased to take part in a "prize pack" giveaway sponsored by Fathom Events and Harper Perennial books in celebration of the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird, the 1962 film version of Harper Lee's acclaimed novel.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Film to Watch for...on TCM Next Week

Actress Jeanne Eagels, one of the great legends of early 20th century American theater, became the toast of the New York stage by the time she was 30. She most famously originated the role of Sadie Thompson on Broadway in John Colton's Rain (based on a Somerset Maugham short story); the play ultimately ran for a record-setting 648 performances. Eagels appeared in only a handful films during her career, most of them silents. The two sound films she did make were both produced in 1929, and she received a Best Actress nod for her performance in the first, a film adaptation of Somerset Maugham's The Letter. But Eagels' contention for an Academy Award occurred posthumously, for she had passed away, at age 39, in October 1929.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One of Ours...on Turner Classic Movies

Moira Neylon, aka/moirafinnie, blogger on TCM's Movie Morlocks site and member of the Classic Movie Blog Association, will be a guest programmer on Turner Classic Movies next month. Moira and three other Morlocks will be featured in segments with host Robert Osborne on Friday, November 30; each will discuss a film they've chosen to be screened that evening.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Many Thanks

It was nearly a year ago that I began to think about hosting a blog event focused on Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. I had just read an English translation of the French noir novel the film was adapted from and wanted to blog about it. But to simply write a book-to-film piece didn't appeal. And a straight-ahead review struck me as not only daunting but - redundant - so much has been written on Vertigo by so many over the years, beginning with France's Cahiers du Cinema set 50+ years ago. So, I thought it might be interesting to try something different. What evolved was "A Month of Vertigo," a more-than-a-month-long meditation on the masterpiece from many angles by many bloggers. This turned out to be much more work than I ever anticipated - and much more rewarding than I ever imagined. The icing on the cake has been the honor of being voted a 2012 CiMBA for "Best Classic Movie Blog Event" by the Classic Movie Blog Association.

This award would never have come my way if not for the incredible contributions of the superb guest bloggers who joined me in celebrating Hitchcock's great masterwork (now, according to Sight and Sound, the best film ever). I owe a special debt of gratitude to Brandon Kyle Goco (of Brandon Kyle the Cinephile) who created this wonderful teaser/promo as the event prepared to launch:

I'd like to again thank each of the bloggers who participated - this award belongs to them as much as it does The Lady Eve:

  • R.D. Finch of The Movie Projector, who kicked off "A Month of Vertigo" on January 1, 2012 with "Deadly Obsession: Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo," a reflection on the film's structure and themes.
  • Whistlingypsy of Distant Voices and Flickering Shadows who offered her contemplation of "Bernard Herrmann ~ Composer of Haunting Music and Treacherous Dreams."
  • Blogger and author Christian Esquevin (Silver Screen Modiste is his blog,  Adrian: Silver Screen to Custom Label is his book) who explored "The Costumes of Vertigo."
  • Brandie Ashe of True Classics, who assessed Kim Novak's greatest role and performance with "Kim Novak in Vertigo: A Hypnotic Presence."
  • Michael Nazarewycz of Scribe Hard on Film, who considered the film's iconic setting with "More Than Just the Streets of San Francisco."
  • Author Steven DeRosa (Writing with Hitchcock), expert on the Hitchcock screenwriters and screenplays, who explored the story behind Samuel Taylor's best known screenplay with "An Inconsequential Yarn."
  • John Greco of Twenty Four Frames, who had recently interviewed award-winning biographer Patrick McGilligan about his new Nicholas Ray bio - and interviewed him again for our event on the subject Alfred Hitchcock, about whom McGilligan had written a 2004 biography, and Vertigo.
  • Allen Hefner of Bit Part Actors, a man who knows his supporting players well, who took a closer look at some of the film's unsung character actors (and more) with Vertigo, The Bit Players.
  • Brian/Classicfilmboy of Classicfilmboy's Movie Paradise, who examined one of James Stewart's greatest performances with "James Stewart: A Walk on the Dark Side."
  • Brandon Kyle Goco who contributed not only the promo but also the vlog (video blog), "Vertigo: Alfred Hitchcock's Edifice to Obsession."
  • Vertigo authority Dan Auiler, author of the definitive VERTIGO: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic, who wrote of the film's mesmerizing impact with "Vertigo for Life."
  • Joel Gunz aka/the Alfred Hitchcock Geek, who meditated upon one moment of the film with "Hitchcock's Most Beautiful Shot Ever; Or, A Single Frame So Good, 2,000 Words Don't Do it Justice."
(My own contribution, "A Month of Vertigo, The Final Chapter," contemplated the transformation of a genre novel into a cinematic work of art.)

Thank you to the members of CMBA for honoring the blog event, the contributors and Vertigo with this deeply appreciated award.

  Click here for the complete list of 2012 CiMBA award winners.