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Found 11 results

  1. I have seen a lot of Alfred Hitchcock films, and "Vertigo" is one of my favorites. I can watch this movie over and over, and find something new and interesting each time. My most recent viewing was in the National Gallery of Art East building. I was delighted to see a restored version of this film on the big screen. "Vertigo" has everything I want in a Hitchcock film: suspense, romance, interesting cinematography and a fantastic score. Kim Novak beautifully embodies the iconic Hitchcock heroine--cool, blonde and sophisticated. Jimmy Stewart is wonderful as Scottie, the retired police detective with a fear of heights. Critics have written that the way Scottie objectifies Novak's character is emblematic of the way Hitchcock viewed women, making this one of his most personal films. SPOILERS FOLLOW! I live in the San Francisco Bay area, so I also enjoyed seeing the City and surrounding areas depicted in "Vertigo." There is so much to appreciate in this film, but the heartbreaking ending is what resonates most with me. "Vertigo" depicts the objectification of a manipulative and manipulated woman who, in the end, becomes sympathetic and real. The viewer can't help but root for their fatally flawed love to succeed. It is heart-wrenching to watch these two people, who love each other so much, in unbearable pain over what cannot be, and what cannot be undone.
  2. I grew up reading about Anthony "Jo Jo" Hunter in the Sports pages, watched him win the MVP Award in the 1976 Capital Classic, and then had season tickets to the University of Maryland games, where he was a minor star, but never reached his full potential. Sometime in 2007 - "Set Him Free! - The Jo Jo Hunter Story" by Ryan Thorburn on dcbasketball.com Jan 16, 2013 - "The Comeback" by Dave McKenna on grantland.com Is this true?! If so, why haven't I heard *anything* about it? The only reason I found it is because I was doing some research to start a thread about Hunter. I'm not sure I believe it, because I can't find anything else about it, anywhere. Can anyone verify that Jo Jo Hunter is still with us? I would NOT assume the above link is true, as I cannot find *any* confirmation of it, and the local basketball community would have chimed in. <--- NOT true Notice also that the numeric date on that website says 5/23/2017, but the written date says April 23, 2017 - given that I cannot find anything else about it, this almost looks like one of his friends was playing a joke on him (maybe someone beat him in one-on-one on that date, and was taunting him?) More importantly, note that Hunter was absolutely not born in 1962 - if he played in the 1976 Capital Classic, he was born in the late 1950s: I can promise that he's older than I am, and I was born in 1961.
  3. My wife introduced me to Paul Weller in the early 90s. I knew The Jam (1976-1982) because of MTV, but never made the connection and at the time it was not my thing. Over the past 20 years I have really grown to love what this guy does. Most of it is at least good or interesting, some of is is great, and he has some serious gems in his catalog. I prefer his 90s to early aughts period the most. A favorite song of mine from his body of work is "As You Lean Into The Light." Sit back, feel the groove, the atmosphere and lean in to it. It's pretty great. "As You Lean Into The Light" (Live (much extended) version - amazing): "As You Lean Into The Light" (Studio): But don't get we wrong, he also does a lot of louder/faster/robust songs. And his voice is just great.
  4. "Dodgers Continue To Rack up Accomplishments, Including Owning the Best 50-Game Stretch in 100 Years" by Gabriel Baumgaetner on si.com
  5. It sounds kind of pathetic, but I sometimes try and link together two small themes when it comes to selecting my next film - in this case, the theme was Jacqueline Scott, who co-starred as Polly Baron in "Macabre," and also co-starred as Carol Maxwell in "The Galaxy Being," the very first episode of "The Outer Limits." It's a thin, tenuous link, to be sure - not unlike throwing a dart, blindfolded, at a global map to determine your next family vacation, but I wouldn't have discovered "Macabre" without it. "Macabre" was one of the first "huckster" films, where director William Castle gave each patron a $1,000 "frightened-to-death insurance policy" upon entering the theater, written by Lloyd's of London. If anyone died of fright during the film, their beneficiaries got $1,000. There's also a plea at the very beginning to "look out for your neighbor" showing any signs of distress, so that appropriate medical attention can be obtained quickly, and another plea at the end, urging customers not to tell anyone about the film's surprise ending. The campy, promotional aspect of this film is, by far, the most important and historical thing about it; nothing else is of any merit. Although "Macabre" is completely dated, the one thing about it that's not is the basic premise: A man's daughter is kidnapped, and placed into a coffin, where she has about five hours of air before she suffocates. The film is a "race-against-time" pioneer that would be very typical in today's landscape - in that regard, it was truly a groundbreaking movie (although I don't really know whether or not it was the first of its type). Two people whom you may recognize from "Macabre" are Jim Backus (Mr. Magoo, and The Millionaire on "Gilligan's Island") and Ellen Corby (Grandma Walton on "The Waltons," whom I've been running into a *lot* in shows aired around the turn of the 50s-60s decades - I've seen her in several anthology series, and have written about her on this website). About 2/3 of the way through the film, I sneak-peaked a look at some reviews in order to get some characters straight (I still don't know the infamous "twist ending"), and Leonard Maltin seems to sum things up nicely when he said, "promises much, delivers little." Despite William Castle's hype about the film (this is apparently the first movie ever to have "gimmick promotion"), this is shaping up strongly to be typical, B-level 1950's suspense (so far, there's very little horror to be found). I found it very difficult to sort through the relationships of the characters in this film, so I'm going to explain them to you here (this is after about thirty minutes of research, and will save you time without ruining anything about the movie). I very much recommend that you read them *before* seeing the movie (if you get the five following bullet points straight in your mind, the movie will be *much* easier to comprehend); nevertheless, since they reveal some relationships - albeit none that harm the plot - I will mark them as spoilers: *** MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW (SORT OF - THEY'RE MORE HELPFUL THAN HARMFUL) *** * There are three "families" involved, the Wetherbys (Wealthy older man), the Barretts (Doctor), and the Tyloes (Sheriff). * There are two deceased girls, both daughters of the wealthy, older Jode Weatherby. * Alice Wetherby Barrett was one of the daughters, died a few years before, and was married to Dr. Barrett. A nuanced point is that Alice also apparently had a relationship with Sheriff Tyloe before Dr. Barrett took her away from him (this issue is presented very subtly in the film, and is easily missed, but you will notice obvious animosity in how the Sheriff feels about the Doctor). * Nancy Wetherby (Tyloe?), who was blind, was another daughter, died just a few nights ago, and had some sort of relationship with Sheriff Tyloe. I cannot figure out whether or not they were married, but imdb.com implies that they were, perhaps incorrectly (I don't think they were). There is a flashback in the film that shows the relationship between Nancy and Sheriff Tyloe - Nancy is also a girl who sleeps around, and has gotten pregnant by one of her lovers (even she doesn't know who it is). * Marge Barrett (the daughter of Dr. Barrett and Alice) is 3 years old, is Jode Wetherby's granddaughter, and is the one who's kidnapped. *** END MILD SPOILERS *** This movie was neither scary nor suspenseful. Unless you are a hardcore, and I mean hardcore, movie fan, your time is best spent as far away from this drivel as possible. There was almost nothing to like about this movie, and it was one of the worst films I've seen in a long time. But not *the* worst: That honor goes to "Five" (but not by much). To show how much William Castle evolved in ten years, and also to show how much of an influence "Psycho" had on the genre when it came out in 1960, William Castle was the Producer, believe it or not, of the 1968 classic, "Rosemary's Baby."
  6. I'm sorry to inform people that Prince passed away today. This article has been confirmed by multiple sources. "Prince Dead at 57" on tmz.com I have a friend who may have been Prince's biggest fan, and I'm not exaggerating. My deepest condolences, LF.
  7. The record label Analog Africa, which specializes in out-of-print music from Africa and Latin America from the 1960s and 1970s, has released 1973-1980, an anthology of the 10 songs recorded by Amara ToureÌ during the 1970s. ToureÌ is an afro-cuban percussionist and singer form Guinée Conakry who played with bands in Senegal, Cameroon, and Gabon. After 1980, ToureÌ's recording career was over. Apparently he returned to Cameroon, but little is known about what happened to him. The music is smoky, groovy, jazzy: listening to this music just transports you to some hot, sultry, nightclub cafe serving strong cocktails. Lamento Cubano
  8. The 2015 (15th) International Tschaikovsky Competition took place from Jun 15 - Jul 3, 2015, and is available for recorded streaming at this website. Piano - Violin - Cello - Voice To view all the contestants in all the early rounds, go to the website, then click on your instrument of choice, then click on "Replay." Every single performance throughout the competition is available, and it's a real gift that this is available for free streaming. --- The International Tschaikovsky Competition debuted in 1958, and is *the* competition that made Van Cliburn famous (with Emil Gilels and Sviatislov Richter defying the rest of the Soviet judges (when Richter saw what the other Soviet judges were doing - awarding Soviet players higher scores - Richter gave Cliburn a perfect score, and all the other contestants 0 points). Then, Gilels went so far as to approach Nikita Khrushchev and asked permission to award Cliburn first prize (remember, this is in the height of the Cold War, and Soviet propaganda meant everything). Khrushchev responded by asking Gilels if Cliburn was truly the best pianist - Gilels assured him that he was. "If that's the case," Khrushchev said, "then give him the prize!" This story is extremely famous and well-documented.
  9. This guy is still an underrated gem still 20 years plus after his last real efforts. Sure he got immediate fame for 'She Blinded Me With Science', but he has a lot of great little tunes. Pulp Culture Budapest by Blimp May the Cube be With You One of our Submarines Screen Kiss Hot Sauce I Love You Goodbye I Live in a Suitcase Beauty of a Dream
  10. I've never quite understood why Lola Albright, who was a radiant presence on the Peter Gunn television series in the 1950s and who could obviously sing, didn't have more of a career than she had. Here she is singing "How High the Moon" on a Peter Gunn episode. It's remarkable that they would take this much time for a musical number that in no way advanced the plot in a half-hour drama. Back in the late 1970s (I don't remember the year, 1979 probably, I could look it up), there was a pre-Broadway tryout at the Kennedy Center of a new play by Tennessee Williams called "Clothes for a Summer Hotel", which did not make it to Broadway for reasons that were painfully obvious at the time. I was at one of the performances, sitting in the last row of the orchestra section of the Eisenhower with a couple of friends. During the course of the performance, we all became aware that Mr. Williams was standing right behind us (in a huge fur coat). As the performance ended to tepid applause, one of my friends turned around in his seat and said "Mr. Williams, would you please sign my program?" Which he did. Then the other friend asked for the same, and Williams again consented. I finally said "Oh what the hell, will you sign my program too?" and Tennessee replied, while taking my program and signing it, "I'm not going to keep doing this forever, you know." You may draw your own conclusions as to why I share this anecdote in the present moment. I'm sorry to say that I moved house not long afterward and the program signed by Tennessee Williams was never seen again.
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