Tuesday, September 11, 2012

7 x 7 Award

Oh, darling Neve. Why would you give an award like this to a self-destructive cinéaste who subconsciously deters the interest of any one like minded by being awfully sarcastic, morbid and childish? A woman who just watches her blog slowly wither away into oblivion and nothingness?

*dramatically covering eyes with arm and falling down to the floor with a loud bounce*

Please, Neve... if these are my last words... remember... The Baz... I believe... in... you... *croak*

Thank you, darling.

The point of this award is that once you are the recipient of it, you are supposed to highlight seven blog posts of your own (following the highlighted directions below), and then pass the award on to seven other bloggers you feel deserve the punishment of forced false modesty.

I will feel like a defiler of graves, since my answer to all these questions will consist of links to really old blog posts. Welcome to the Lolita Mausoleum:

1.Tell everyone something that no one else knows about you.

I believe that I already share too much about myself that you now know about me, but would prefer not to. But I can share something with you. I know that I am cool and all that. Super cool. Tough. Ice cold Queen of Scandinavia. But I'm afraid of spiders, which is totally ridiculous. Snakes - no problem, I grew up with them. I don't even mind the big, hairy tarantulas. No, the spiders I'm afraid of are those icky buggers with teenie tiny bodies and enormously long legs. (A quick Google search informed me that the correct Latin appellation is Daddy Longlegs.)
I blame my father, who traumatized my big sister by chasing her through the house with a spider in his hand. Guess he mistook her crying for hysteric laughter. So, some cognitive behavioral therapy:

2. Link to one of the posts that I think best fits the following categories:

a. Most beautiful piece:

My top 20 favorite actors. Obviously. Lots of sexy dudes there.

b. Most helpful piece:

Pictures Galore: Paul Newman. Seems like I helped my readers regain their sanity with sexy pictures of the late Mr. Newman. Going on my bitchy remark in the beginning of the post, it seems like I  in the previous post had tried to demoralize my readers by shoving post-colonialism in their cute and naïve little faces. Sorry about that.

c. Most popular piece:

According to the statistics, my review of Barbarella (1968) is the post with the most pageviews, closely followed by Ilsa, Swe Wolf of the SS (1975). Dear readers: you are filthy.

"Whaat? I'm just sittin' here lookin' all innocent with a fallic symbol in my hands."

d. Most controversial piece:

Controversial? Petite moi?

Well, perhaps The Strong White Man vs. The Rest might qualify. I was pretty brutal in my sarcasm with that blog post, and those who didn't get that... probably thought that I would enlist with the KKK any moment now. I think it was after that post I put up Groucho excaliming "Warning! Sarcastic bitch blogging" at the top of this site, for those who thought this was a genuine article:

"Interesting thing that natives from other countries can show their breasts and genitals all they want in photographs and in films, but we normal people just get censored. I bet it's because animals have no concept of moral". - A quote I just made up

I recommend to any one going the Cinema Studies route to throw yourself at a colonialism class when the opportunity arises. You may get sick to the stomach, but it's fascinating and important.

e. Surprisingly successful piece:

I'm surprised any piece of this blog is successful, if it is. But I enjoyed the reactionson Lars von Trier's Cannes fiasco (or rather, Cannes' fiasco of banning someone who just didn't express his sarcasm clear due to language difficulties)  in the comment section to my post "I understand Hitler, I do". Come on, it's one of our greatest modern auteurs. Let him be a little clumsy...

f. Most underrated piece:

Boney M. - Rasputin (1978). I am sad that so few people see the value of teaching history with the help of disco. Too further prove my point, here is the absolute, true, historically correct story of Ma Barker:

g. Most pride-worthy piece:

If one takes pride in exaltation without limit, slightly bad English and inexplicable amounts of bold text (don't ask me... I guess I thought it was a good idea at the time for those who only want to read little snippets of a text): Inglourious Basterds (2009). There's a lot of (perhaps too much) love and nerdiness there. I would love to feel that rush I had when I wrote that piece again. Without the help of cocaine, that is. (But one should never underestimate substance abuse.)

I nominate the following seven bloggers. Let your cinematic slime swirl to the surface so that it, once again, can see the light!

David C. - The Marx Brothers

Matthew Coniam - The Marx Brothers Council of Britain

Dymon Enlow - Happyotter

Kate Gabrielle - Silents and Talkies

Millie - ClassicForever

Flapper Flickers + Silent Stanzas

Particular Girl

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend Fun: No. 36

No, I don't think you should have any fun this weekend. Or, if you didn't see this before you went out partying yesterday (because I didn't post it until now, but that's no excuse): Enjoy your hangover! Wuahahaha.

I have a cold. Makes me malicious. I may write something about how Sweden sucked a an Olympic team in Olympia (Leni Riefenstahl, 1938) in the next few days. But maybe I won't. Now, coffeeeee! And teeeeea! And heroiiiiiiine!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Weekend Fun: No. 35

Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier on the set of The Marathon Man (John Schlesinger, 1976).

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman on the set of All the President's Men (Alan J. Pakula, 1976).

It looks like Dustin Hoffman had some severe facial tics in the 1970's. Does anyone know if he still has this problem? Poor guy...

Here's a fun article on why All the President's Men wasn't filmed in the offices of The Washington Post, where Redford's and Hoffman's characters work as reporters. Apparently Redford and The Washington Post has different accounts as to the reason of the locale...

The first paragraph of the wonderfully named article "When Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman behaved like groupies" by Judith Martin (Washington Post, Friday March 4, 2011):

On behalf of my 1970s Post colleagues, I take exception to actor Robert Redford's claim that "All the President's Men" was not filmed in the Post newsroom because "it was all giggling women and people doing their makeup and a general feeling of disorder".

Nicely put, Mr. Redford!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Weekend Fun: No. 34

Johnny Depp is not particularly happy with Ricky Gervais' behavior hosting the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, and seeks to vent his spleen once and for all. Oh, snap!

Warwick Davis, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Johnny Depp in Life's Too Short (2011, season 1, episode 2).

Ah, I love Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Committing to the spirit of the Olympic Games of 2012, I just finished a The Office Marathon and an Extras Triathlon - the blood taste in my mouth is making me delirious. Perhaps I need to take a look at Life's Too Short. That is, when I've recovered from all the times I've passed out, oxygen deprived from - out of pure, excruciating embarrassment - having buried my head into a cushion too violently and too frequently.

Related YouTube links:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Weekend Fun: No. 33

... The circumstances to this photo? Anyone? I also want to know what brand of mustache wax Señor Dalí uses! Amazing.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weekend Fun: No. 32

I can't give credit to where the hell I nicked this comic strip, since I just found it in an old map on my computer named "lulz". But yeah. Can't stop laughing.

Please not that this is poking fun at racists and misogynists, and is not meant to be either racist or misogynistic. Please also note that the Holocaust was awful and that 9/11 is no laughing matter. Unless you are really funny.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...

I sincerely hope that all you classic movie geeks out there have visited the Basil Rathbone blog, The Baz. If you haven't, check it out immediately. That's an order. Well, it's at least a recommendation that you should all be thankful for me to share with you. Aiight?

Being absolutely crazy about Basil Rathbone myself, the total dedication and devotion from Neve R is heart warming. But the best thing about Neve and her Rathbone work is her humor. Because, as one in all honesty has to admit... not everything in Basil Rathbone's repertoire is brilliant. More often than you would wish, Basil is the creamy toffee in the middle of a lollipop made of cow excrement.

I just read Neve's post on the strange, homoerotic, next-to-impossible-to-locate-any-damn-copy-of The Mad Doctor (Tim Whelan, 1941), and I was very amused. It's a clever little analysis, focusing on the, well... gayness of it all. You can't deny the meaning of the classic fallic symbol: the cigar. Read the blog post and watch the screenshots yourself, over here: "The Mad Doctor (Redux)"

And if you want to get an idea of just how pathetically nerdy I am, I will confess something to you. It's not like I have any pride anyway.

I found this YouTube clip, created and uploaded by Neve. If I understood it correctly, it was her contribution to some kind of bromance contest. (How lovely doesn't that sound, by the way?) And here's my confession: It gave me goosebumps, and I even shed a few salty tears into my weak, cold cup of coffee. I love Basil Rathbone. Really nice work, Neve. The pace is perfect, the film clips wisely chosen. If you can make even one weird, crazy film nerd moved to tears with a cliché song like "You're My Best Friend", you've succeeded!

Update: Yeah, I totally misunderstood. Neve just led me to find this lovely work of art. Love her anyway, though. Haha.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Il buono, il brutto, il male chauvinist

Eli Wallach as Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966).
One of my favorite shots of the whole movie.

Writing this, I just realized that Eli Wallach is still alive. At least according to IMDb and Wikipedia. The guy is like a century old! When he was born Abraham Lincoln was still just a twinkle in his father's eye, and Europe had not yet converted to Christianity. He's like that old!

Just a thought.

So I watched The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo., 1966) with my beau yesterday, and it's as amazingly fudging awesome as ever. The obligatory goose bumps all over my arms when I heard the first tunes of "Ecstacy of Gold" teasing in the far background of the soundtrack, where of course present.

But I actually just wanted to share one tiny little observation with you all: If you are really, really perceptive... you might just spot a few women in this film! I know, it sounds totally ridiculous and unnecessary. But I can, off the top of my head, mention a total of three women that I managed to spot. Chronologically, here they are:

In the very beginning, there is the wife and mother of a family. Remember her? She does of course not have any lines of dialogue. That's not necessary for putting the food on the table, is it? Apart from feeding her husband and the strange visitor, she faints when family is suddenly decimated.
...That's, like, it.

Woman 1.1

Woman 1.2

The Bad One, Angel Eyes, needs to extract some information from... some woman. The only way to get that stupid bitch to talk is, of course, to beat her up a bit. It's her own fault, really - not being clever enough to sell out her lover before getting physically abused. Duh.

Look! Her character has a name. And several lines.

Maria: Is that you Bill? Bill!
Angel Eyes: Go on talking about Bill Carson.

 Woman 2.1

 Woman 2.2

Woman 2.3

The Ugly, Tuco, and his men are looking for The Good One ("Bloooondiiiiieeeee!!!"), and a woman dares to speak up when a man is pressed for information:

- You leave him be, He doesn't know who rides every horse!"
- You stay quiet, old hen!

And of course, she had no clue about anything. The man with a gun in his face did have information. Stupid old hen, indeed.

Woman 3.1

Now, don't get angry with me. I realize that women were pretty much either breeding stock or prostitutes in the Wild West era, and to portray that society as egalitarian would be revisionism. But I don't really buy that there was only one woman in each village either, and that all women were peripheral in their existence.

And YES, I can watch these kinds of films as entertainment only, and I do. I don't need to analyze everything, especially not something as tiring as the portrayal of women in classical movies. But why is it a tiresome subject? Because it's such an obvious issue! You can not NOT notice the skewed gender roles in popular culture. But I'll leave it for now. Cheers, darlings of mine.

The theatrical trailer, where Lee Van Cleef is branded ugly. That's kind of mean.*

* Copy-pasta from IMDb's trivia page:

In the theatrical trailer, Angel Eyes is "The Ugly" and Tuco "The Bad," which is the reverse of their designations in the actual film. This is because the Italian title translated into English is actually The Good, the Ugly, the Bad, not The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and the Italian trailer had "The Ugly" and "The Bad" in that order. When the trailer was transferred to English, The Ugly and The Bad were not reversed to coincide with the altered title, causing the incorrect designations. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Quick comment on The Dark Knight Rises

Watch it!!

Want me to be a little bit more articulate? Well, okay. Just let me sip my coffee for a while first.

...it was cold. Never mind then.

So, I went to watch the new Batman movie after having spent five crazy hours riding roller coasters. At the very least the movie was entertaining. Visually impressing. Special effects were great. Yadda-yadda. I have nothing to add there. Therefore I won't analyze the film, but I'm just going to bring up the few things that made an impression on me. Because let's face it: the expectations were sky high as usual, and mostly Nolan and his ensemble managed to match them. Quite expectantly.

I love the superhero trend that makes the superheroes not superheroes. Who can't identify with Bruce Wayne? Filthy rich, great political and financial influence, handsome, fit, saves the world... has a British butler... Okay, I give up on that train of thought. What I mean is that he doesn't fly or shoot spider web out of his hands. Wait, he does fly nowadays... Fuck. He gets his ass kicked by the villain, that's what I'm trying to get at. That's refreshing. (Cinema studies at university level, thank you!)

I may be a little wishful here, but I've decided that Nolan is a history geek. And I like that. There is one Storming of the Bastille-scene that convinced me that people would find history much more exciting if Robespierre had only been a Darth-Vader-mask-wearing broiler. See below. (And here's a link to Wikipedia for my American readers.)

Scene from the film. See what I mean?

And lastly - Anne Hathaway. I despised that woman before. Too cute, too much forced likability. Now I think she's amazing. Damn! Nice to see a strong female character that isn't through-and-through EVIL. Okay, she's still a sex symbol. But so is Christian Bale. Doesn't that mean that our society is equal, when we objectify men too...?

That's enough for today. My brain is still vacation jelly. I'll deal more seriously with movies later. Maybe. Until then, decide whether or not you're a feminist; if you drool more over Christian Bale than Anne Hathaway, you probably are! According to my definition, and that's the one that counts.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekend Fun: No. 30

"In Soviet Russia, our dogs have twice as many heads as they do in the Capitalist West!"

Funny thing! Russians experimenting with dogs! I wonder what the reasoning was.

"Hmm, those Americans are winning this sciency spacey race-thingy... What to do, what to do...? Da, of course! We take a puppy head and put it on another doggy, and then we have a pet than can carry a newspaper in one mouth and a pair of slippers in the other! Na zdorovye, comrades!"

The Soviet scientist behind this and similar experiments was Sergei Brukhonenko. The following film is perhaps not for the faint of heart, but hugely fascinating for people with morbid interests like me. It's called Experiments in the Revival of Organisms (D.I. Yashin, 1940) and it's in public domain. The version below has English narration.

Of course, these kinds of experiments were executed mostly for propaganda reasons, showing Big Brother of the West how high tech the Dr. Frankensteins of Vodka County were. The dogs didn't live for long, and the reactions on external stimuli of the separated head are mostly reflexes. But yeah. Give me your opinions.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Amelia Earhart

As one can see from Google's search page, it's aviatrix Amelia Earhart's birthday (b. July 24 1897). Really cool lady. She disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937, probably because of that guy she flew with (Fred Noonan) who chose to navigate after the stars. Kind of difficult when it's cloudy. But read the Wikipedia page for more accurate details concerning her disappearance. Or better yet, listen to the awesome podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class from HowStuffWorks. The episode I'm referring to was posted July 16th. Go listen to it!

Marlene Dietrich and Amelia Earhart.

Harpo Marx and Amelia Earhart.

Cary Grant and Amelia Earhart.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weekend Fun: No. 29

Sophia Loren is watchful. Jayne Mansfield's... delights... are about to escape and devour her, any minute now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weekend Fun: No. 28

Two worlds collide: Groucho Marx and Jack Nicholson hanging out together.

Well, I was kind of lazy this weekend. But since it (in Sweden anyway) rains cats and dogs and I slept to 2 PM, I consider it still a weekend. Feels like a hung over Sunday, know what I mean? Nudge, nudge! Know what I mean!? (Inkipinkie, klikken and knipogen, etc... Nice subtitled version I found.)

Monday, July 9, 2012

How to quit smoking when I love Hollywood so much?!

Don't worry, it's not for health reasons that I am trying to quit smoking; It's a damn expensive habit. Even though it makes me feel cool, I'd rather spend my money on clothes and make-up. You know, like a real woman. It's a girl thing.

But this interest of mine really doesn't help. I'm sitting here with my morning cup of coffee, trying to distract myself from the nicotine cravings that makes my whole body itch... by looking through a map of celebrity photos. Not wise at all:

 Basil Rathbone does it.

 Betty Compson does it.

 Brooke Shields does it.

 Buster Keaton does it.

Audrey Hepburn does it while having her hair fixed.

 Audrey Hepburn does it again, accompanied by Dean Martin. And it makes her feel carefree and happy.

Maggie Gyllenhaal does it before she even puts on any clothes.

Drew Barrymore does it before she even gets out of bed.

Fritz Lang does it with a monocle.

Gösta Ekman does it before snorting cocaine.

Hasse Ekman does it on Kungsgatan, before stealing a bicycle.

Isabella Rossellini does after slaying some zebras.

Mae West does before and after an enema.

Sigourney Weaver does it before slaying aliens.

It's perfectly clear. All cool people smoke at all times. They can't imagine a time when it's not cool to inhale the poisonous fumes of a Camel, Marlboro or a Lucky Strike. And I shouldn't have a cigarette to my morning coffee?! Even the dog in my previous post has a puff on the cancer stick! Strength, give me strength...

I have no strength.

This is my struggle, two hours into a day without a pack of cigarettes.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Weekend Fun: No 27

Every now and then you need a smoking dog with hat and glasses!*
Presumably from 1923.

*Weekend Fun is my mission to at least post something funny once a week. To get me started with the blog again, you know? And what's more fun than the mistreatment of animals?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Uhm... hello.

It's depressing to think about how long it was since my last blog entry. But perhaps we can ignore that teeny tiny little detail and pretend like everything's normal, mmm'kay?

I'll try to whip this dead horse alive again. I think I need it. I know the world needs it.

This blog may not be as strictly about classic films as it used to be. It may consist more of narcissistic rants about how society is too stupid to realize that I am The Almighty Lolita of the Classics! - nowadays a divorced 24 year old steaming pile of shit that can't even hold down a job as a hotel maid. Not even Dominique Strauss-Kahn wants me.

Juuust kiddin'! I'm not that down in the gutter. I'm awesome. Just a little... out of sync. With everything and everyone.

This time it's personal. This blog will keep me sane while I, for the umptyfifth time, sit at home looking for a job and wonder how the hell I will be able to afford my rent, my booze and my Virginia Slims. It won't be pretty. But it will satisfy your deep down, dark, hidden desires to gloat at other people's misery.

Nah, kiddin' again. I'll try to be pleasant. And those who know me also know that I am at least trying, though not always succeeding.

I am now a resident of Greta Garbo's home town. Also the home of our Whore King. (Seriously, not my invention: false 1 SEK coins are now circulating in my beloved country of the North. Instead of the text "The King of Sweden" on it, there is the phrase "Our Whore/Adulterer of a King". So funny. But silly. A king should sleep with whomever he wants, whenever he wants. The same goes for the queen. And if the people don't approve: let's do away with the damn monarchy then. Yes, this was a long and pointless parenthesis. Sorry about that.)

So I live in Stockholm now. Guess that was what I was trying to say. Uhm... yeah. I'll be back with some exciting stories. Or movie reviews. Or narcissistic rants.

Hey ho, let's go!

(Does anyone know how to get rid of those annoying advertisements that appear as links in my blog post? I feel violated.)

Update: I'm a computer whiz. Got rid of the ads. Ain't sellin' my soul over 'ere!