Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Days 12-13

Day 12: Favorite Movie based on a book, poem, or song

   I think that the movie that is the best adaption I have seen is All Quiet on the Western Front, because it nails all the important themes and creates potent imagery.

Day 13: Film that is your Guilty Pleasure

   I guess I will say 42nd Street.  There are definitely some very good things about the film, like Ginger Rogers, Una Merkel, and the choreography, but there is a lot of bad.  However I can't help but love every minute of it, even the terrible parts.  However I do feel a little guilty re-watching movies knowing I could be crossing movies off of my 'To Watch' list.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Days 9-11

Day 9: Favorite Animal Star
Asta/ Mr. Smith

Day 10: Favorite Child Star
Baby Peggy

Day 11: Favorite Character Actor/ Actress
Eugene Pallette

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 8: Favorite Comedic Screen Team

   Myrna Loy and William Powell never fail to make me chortle.  I love The Thin Man, Libeled Lady, and any other movie of theirs that I have seen.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 7: Favorite Romantic Screen Team


  Recently I have watched several movies with Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell and have really loved them as a team. 7th Heaven in particular is a great example of how they can carry semi-melodramatic plots with aplomb.  I am not normally one for movies about the trials of being young lovers but for some reason I adore these two.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 6: Favorite Romantic or Screwball Comedy

  This is another tough one, but I'll say The Awful Truth

Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 5: Favorite Adventure

Definitely The Mark of Zorro with Douglas Fairbanks.  I love how his 'real' self is such a nerd.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Day 4: Favorite Drama

Here are some of my favorites: The Big Parade, Imitation of Life (1959), and The Best Years of Our Lives.  The frames below are some of my favorite moments from these films.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

30 Day Classic/ Silent Movie Challenge: Days 2 and 3

Day 2: Acclaimed Classic/ Silent Film You Hate

I can generally find something to appreciate in highly regarded films so my feelings don't normally amount to detestation except for one film-- You Can't Take It With You.

A film that so delights in its own pretentiousness and "cleverness" is infuriating.  Lionel Barrymore is of course the worst offender gleefully not paying his taxes because you know having roads and policemen is not his concern.  One of the worst parts is that it has a cast, especially Jean Arthur and Edward Arnold, that could make it a much funnier film.

Day 3: Favorite Comedy

It's hard to go with just one, so I won't.  Here are movies that could very well make up my top 5.  Show People, It, Girl Shy, Trouble in Paradise, and Stage Door.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

30 Day Classic/Silent Movie Challenge: Day 1

  Movies Silently came up with a 30 day challenge so here is my answer for Day 1.  They are all super cool ideas, just fyi.

Day 1: Best Classic or Silent Film You Have Seen in the Last 12 Months


This serial is awesome.  Judex is my favorite superhero.  He is a really fascinating character.  There are some really interesting other characters.  One thing that I loved about this serial is that the female characters are all so multi-dimensional (a disappointingly rare thing for action movies.)

like when this chick saves Judex

and it has Musidora

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Peevish Sunday: Silent Movie Assumptions

     I admit it, I have a ton of pet peeves, many of which have to do with movies.  One of the ones that bothers me the most concerns many people's perceptions about silent movie acting.  There seems to a reputation that much of the acting in silent films is unbelievably over the top or strange.  (As a side note, if you put mute on most talkies, it would also seem over the top.)
This part is pretty strange
     One of the main reasons for this is the movies newbies are shown.  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, Nosferatu...etc.  I took German and Scandinavian Cinema last semester and the only silent films we watched were The Phantom Carriage, Metropolis, and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.  Some people complained of having a hard time with silent film.  Well of course if these were the first you'd seen, they'd be hard to watch. I have a hard time watching The Phantom Carriage and Metropolis and Caligari  have an Expressionist acting that can be off putting.  The sad thing about this is that even many of the film students now think silent film acting is strange but you 'have' to put up with it if you want to seem educated. Even Keaton and Chaplin, the other things shown to newbies, are in some way different than what we would see now. However movie actors, especially Mary Pickford, were a huge part of the shift that changed the melodramatic stage acting of the 1800s to the more naturalistic style of now, so many of silent films have a very natural style.

Everyday life
    I will say at this point that of course silent film is different.  News flash- there's no talking and they were filmed almost a hundred years ago.  However one of my favorite things about watching old and foreign movies is how much people are the same and how I can in a little way reconnect with people of the past by seeing some of the movies they watched.  This is why I think we should show newbies actors like Harold Lloyd and Clara Bow, Charles Farrell, Janet Gaynor, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Ossi Osswalda, Douglas Fairbanks and John Gilbert who really aren't that different from today's stars, and who often set the stage for them.  We should also watch movies like Safety Last!, The Freshman*, It, Mantrap, Why Change Your Wife?, 7th Heaven, The Big Parade, The Oyster Princess, Judex, My Best Girl, The Mark of Zorro, Girl Shy, The Crowd, etc. etc. instead of just the arty and experimental movies, which of course have their place, but should not be the only story of silent film and especially not be thought of as the norm of silent film acting.

* I was watching the Harold Lloyd marathon on TCM about a week and a half ago and my room mates, unfamiliar with silent film, came in and watched this movie with me and loved it.  I mean like rolling on the floor laughing.