DIShGo

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About DIShGo

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  • Birthday December 23

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  1. Is there a post about Edith Head? If there isn't, there should be. It is a given, if you watch a film from a certain era, this woman designed the costumes for it. And she was good at it.
  2. I love this movie. I laughed out loud, while at the same time, I was moved by its tale of love and devotion. It is campy fun. It is the ultimate movie about movie-making. "Sunset Blvd." is a must-see for anyone who loves old Hollywood films. My only knowledge of this film before seeing this was a spoof I saw of it, on the Carol Burnett show. Because of that spoof, I thought "Sunset Boulevard" was a serious, over-the-top, drama. Over the top? Yes? Serious? No! I think this film falls into the category of today's black comedies. About 48 minutes into the film, there is a reference to Judas Priest. To a person of my age, that is a rock band and not a filtered-down way to take the Lord's name in vain. Betty is a refreshing young 1950's heroine, and I have to say, Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond looks pretty darn good for a "washed-up old woman" of 50! William Holden is excellent in the role of Joe Gillis, as is Erich von Stroheim as Norma's faithful servant, Max.
  3. Ahhh. I thought it was a comical title! Yes, the French title is perfect for this film. The English translation falls short. I am reading "Night" by Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. There is a preface in the book, explaining the new translation (by his wife) 45 years after the first version was published. Some extremely beautiful passages, written originally in Yiddish, were lost in the earlier translation. The same can be said for "The Tin Drum," which was also retranslated many years after its release, capturing beautiful, song-like prose that was lost in the earlier version.
  4. Absolutely, her talent was in choreography and her work with Janet brought her fame. I think the line dancing she and Janet did with an army of back up dancers behind was innovative in the 1980s. Now every pop singer has a choreographed routine with dancers behind them.
  5. I think your statement is correct about this film. There is more to "Breathless" than meets the eye. I so glad this film forum exists. It makes me watch movies with a more critical eye. It is refreshing to see what other people think about the films I watch.
  6. *** SPOILER ALERT *** Did you notice, early in the film, (24:04) when Patricia leaves him to meet the editor for lunch, he tells her, "you make me want to puke." He of course, doesn't mean it, but his feelings are hurt because she is going to see another man. Several times she asks him the meaning of words, and more often than not, he doesn't clarify. I think she is being coy and trying to get him to expand on his thoughts rather than not understanding what he is saying in French. I like the ambiguous ending. It suits the film. My interpretation is he is saying dying sucks, and he isn't saying she disgusts him. I think he loves her to the end, or at least he thinks he does. The very long scene with Patricia and Michel in her bedroom seems like it is about him trying to seduce her, but there is a lot of foreshadowing in it. Around the 32 minute mark, she tells him she wants him to be like Romeo, because Romeo doesn't want to live without Juliet. He says he doesn't want to live without her, but she does not believe him. In the same scene, around the 46 minute mark, she reads the last line from a William Faulkner book, a sentence she finds beautiful: "Between grief and nothing, I will take grief." She asks Michel which he would chose. At first he doesn't reply, instead asking to see her toes. So she asks him again. He says. "Grief is stupid. I'd chose nothing. It's not better, but grief's a compromise. I want all or nothing." Also in this scene, she says she wishes her name were Ingrid, instead of Patricia. Ingrid Bergman, of course, plays Ilsa in "Casablanca." This is another clue that the love affair between Patricia and the Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed Michel is doomed. I may have to eat my own words about not giving this film a second viewing. There is a lot to "Breathless" that isn't readily apparent on its surface. I am certain I would appreciate it more if I watched it again.
  7. I knew you would appreciate the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. There is an interesting fact about the scene where Patricia is running in circles around the house. They couldn't afford a dolly, so parts of the film were shot by a man with a handheld camera being pushed around in a wheelchair.
  8. I frequently find myself reading Kehr's reviews. I often disagree with him, but he usually offers a fresh perspective, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of what everyone else is saying about a film.
  9. Ha! I didn't notice what she was handing out when I watched it. He is such a flirt with pretty young things, I was surprised he was so rude to her. I read some glowing reviews of the film after I watched it, and apparently there are several other nods to French New Wave directors in the film, including cameos by both Godard and famed New Wave director Jean-Pierre Melville.
  10. ***SPOILERS FOLLOW*** Exactly, the father is a very good man from start to finish, and that is why he so desperately wants to find the bicycle so he can take care of his family. There comes a time when every child realizes that his or her parents aren't infallible. Bruno is young for this to be happening, but it is happening. Life's cruel twists have made his father so distraught that he slaps the boy, and doesn't even notice when Bruno is almost hit by a car. These events occur because the father is all consumed with finding the bicycle. That is what he has to do to save his family. You are right, there is a coming-of-age happening with the boy. At the restaurant, for example, the stress of the day is momentarily relieved. He and his father laugh and eat and enjoy each other's company. But the subject of money comes up, and shots of their meal are juxtaposed with the bowls of pasta being eaten by the wealthier family in the corner. Bruno's boyish expression of delight gives way to one of concern for his father. The father sees this, and tries to lighten the mood again. He wants to let Bruno be a little boy a while longer, but Bruno's perception of the world has changed that day. The injustices the father faces are felt more strongly by the viewer because Bruno is watching, too. Would the final scene have been nearly as powerful if Bruno had gotten onto the trolley, as his father instructed?
  11. I really thought I would like "Breathless" more than I did. Articles I read about this film stressed how important it is, calling it one of the most influential films of the French New Wave movement that changed the way modern movies are made. Having watched this film, I can appreciate these sentiments. I can see how this style of filmmaking would have been groundbreaking in 1960, and I understand how a film like this could influence future film directors for years to come. Having said that, I found the movie tedious to watch. I would never be interested in seeing it again. From a film appreciation stand-point, I am glad I saw it. The film has a quirky 1960s feel to it, and there are moments I enjoyed. Years from now, if I look back on this film, the thing I will remember best is beautiful Jean Seberg and her charming gamine style. I would love to find a copy of the striped dress she wears at the end of the film in a second-hand store somewhere (along with a pair of wrist-length white gloves).
  12. It is Bruno's reaction to his father that tells the story of how desperation is changing the man, more so than any action taken or word spoken by the father in the film. At first, Bruno looks at him adoringly, wanting to be just like him. As the film progresses, his look changes to hurt and confusion. He is seeing the chinks in his father's armor for the first time. The way he looks at his father in the pivotal scene near the end of the film is profound. So much is said about the father and his life's challenges, through Bruno's eyes, without a word of dialogue needed. I saw an interview with Enzo Staiola as an old man, saying that the director spotted him on the street and wanted him to play the part of Bruno. Thousands of boys auditioned, but the director was set on him. He said he thought it was something about a look in his eyes. I can see that.
  13. Hmmm. I am sure being a mother concerned about my son colors how I view both films. Still, I see similarities that go beyond that. This article explores how the Italian neorealism movement influenced the new wave film movement in France. Both "Bicycle Thieves" and "The 400 Blows" are about the everyday lives of ordinary people facing terribly difficult, but not at all extraordinary, challenges. Both films have charming child actors who tug at your heartstrings without being sentimental. Both films are beautifully shot in black-and-white, turning everyday scenes of city life into works of art. Neither film has a "happy" ending, yet both films left me with a sense of hope. Both films also show a strong, and sometimes difficult bond, between father and son. Between the two, I think "The 400 Blows" is the better film. There is certainly more to the story. But for a simple, beautiful tale about the human condition, "Bicycle Thieves" is near the top of my list.