Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Hey everyone-- just a little information--
I haven't been writing this week because I am coaching at a Lacrosse camp. I'll hopefully be back writing some time this weekend.
Talk with you soon!

Ingrid RULES!
(Wanted to make this about the lovely Ms. Bergman as well!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A.V. Club Review "Autumn Sonata"

I was looking around the A.V. Club and found this review of Autumn Sonata. I think it is a fantastic review and reveals my sentiments in perfect context.

Autumn Sonata (VHS&DVD) By Keith Phillips March 29, 2002.

When it was released in 1978, Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonatareceived positive to indifferent reviews, written off by many as a minor work from a great director. In the grand scheme of things, that may be a fair assessment, but it must have been quite a golden age if a film this strong warranted dismissal. Like many of the later films of Bergman (and, for that matter, Fellini, Kurosawa, Truffaut, Godard, and others), Autumn Sonata has been only sporadically available on video, and then sometimes in inferior incarnations. Now, however, viewers finally have the opportunity to reappraise it in this fine restored form. A chamber piece for a handful of actors, Autumn Sonata stars frequent Bergman collaborator Liv Ullmann and first-time Bergman star Ingrid Bergman as a mother and daughter who reunite after seven years to spend a long, dark night turning over their differences. With cinematographer Sven Nykvist, the director turns the film's theatrical elements—the soliloquies, the long exchanges—into virtues, creating a film that's alternately warm, claustrophobic, and brutally raw, telling the story largely through long close-ups and close, two-character compositions. It doesn't hurt that they're given the remarkable performances of Ullmann and Ingrid Bergman to work with. Sonata would be the latter's last big screen role; she was already aware of the cancer that would kill her four years later, a fact revealed on the insightful DVD commentary track by Scandinavian film scholar Peter Cowie. Her performance as a famous concert pianist whose humanity comes through more in her art than in her life—there's more than a touch of her character in Woody Allen's Sweet And Lowdown—reveals a well of sadness perfectly in tune with the movie as a whole. With the burden of high expectations lifted, Autumn Sonata can finally be seen as an austerely beautiful meditation on death and the not-always-realized possibility of reconciliation across generations.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Notorious: A Woman's POV (Well, Mine.)

Joe Frank, a new reader, who has just complimented me by "stumbling" onto my blog and telling me that he likes what I do, wrote this about my Notorious Part 1 post.

"I just stumbled on your blog after searching for reviews on Notorious. I have often told people that Notorious is my favorite film. Usually, I get a blank look in response. Even people familiar with Hitchcock are often not familiar with the film.

I first saw Notorious a few days before Cary Grant died. I was stunned. Classic films aren't necessarily known for deep character development. My prior favorite Hitchcock films, North by Northwest and Rear Window, were driven mainly by story. Notorious is very different. The three main characters are very messed up people. You could spend hours discussing Alicia and Devlin. One question, why does Alicia fall in love with Devlin? Is it for the superficial reason that he is tall dark and handsome? After all, he treats her poorly through most of the film. As a man who has stuggled to understand women,I would like to hear a woman's persective."

Joe poses some fantastic questions, that I don't know have definite answers, but I'm willing to give my opinion based on my LOVE for this movie and my research that has followed the love trail.

I wouldn't go as far as saying "classic films aren't necessarily known for deep character development," personally I think that might be too broad. There are so many different types of classic film that they may or may not depend on character development. I would say a film like Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind, A Letter to Three Wives, The Graduate, Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde, The Wizard of Oz depend a lot on the characters. Actually I'd say that Notorious is extremely character driven based on some key elements.

Their location doesn't matter.

Their object doesn't matter (in fact the "Uranium Ore" is the MacGuffin).

Whether or not they are successful really has little to do with their lives.

What the two need is each other. They are polar opposites that are driven away by politics and scandal and driven toward each other by love, lust, affection, beliefs and loyalty.

In these films, what matters is the way the characters interact. In order to have the contrast between characters or the depth that we need to believe they're worth investing time and emotions we need some sort of development of character.

In order to know that Ingrid's Character, Alicia Hubermann is not just a Nazi-whore, we have to know several things:

She didn't like her father.

She didn't have the same beliefs as other Germans.

She wasn't actually a German but a German-American (which at this point in history would have been a HUGE deal).

How she feels about patriotism (My FAVORITE LINE: "waving the flag with one hand and picking pockets with the other").

She is actually quite loyal to her lovers (though she has had many we see that she is reformed by Dev).

All of these elements are almost the opposite of the straight, dark, rule-following T.R. Devlin.

His character isn't nearly as developed. I mean, we don't know what T.R. stands for (I like to think Teddy Roosevelt--it would just be great to have an environmentalist who's name became the "teddy bear" to be Dev's name).

I agree the Hitchcock films you have mentioned earlier were definitely story driven. I mean do we really care who Jimmy Stewart's character is? No. We want to know what the hell is going to happen when Grace Kelly goes into that apartment...EEK!

Though from an Ingrid Bergman fan point of view-- I care who those characters are because they are rumored to have been based on Ingrid and Robert Cappa... But that's a whole different can of worms. Lol.)

NOW I want to get to the juicy stuff-- why does Alicia looooovvveee Deviln?

I like to think Devlin is not as stiff and dark as his first impression lets on. He does little things, "actions not words" as he puts it, that show he loves Alicia. For example:

On the plane, he listens to Alicia talking about her father and though he interrupts her story

with, "we're coming into Rio," he then checks her out BIG TIME when she looks out the window. He is obviously intrigued by her and who she is or might be. I find that incredibly attractive, I think Alicia unknowingly does too.

They romp around, they have a great dinner. Though he later forgets it, he does pick up the (liquid themed) champaign.

I think he is the post to her waving flag like personality. If we had two characters like Alicia, they'd bounce off of each other. They'd never fall in love, they'd be too busy competing for attention and fighting for their space. Devlin gives Alicia space. He dangles the steak from a stick, and she wants to know what else there is. It's a perfect match.

I think we should all re-watch the film. I mean I'm always game for that, but this time, pay attention to Devlin. Let it be his story for once. I don't know if you'll be convinced, but I have a good feeling, that you might see more this time to his softer side.

Thank you for sharing your comment, Joe. I hope this wasn't too harsh. I really love talking about Notorious and thouroughly enjoy picking it apart and discussing.

Everyone should feel free to do the same. I'd love to read your opinions about Devlin and Alicia's relationship and what you love about them.

OH WAIT! I forgot to tell you-- What I love about these two-- I totally relate to Ingrid's character in this film. I think more than any other film. I think Alicia is a tough cookie, she's a hard sell and wants things her way. She has extremely high standards and requires someone to love her despite her fallen attributes and lives up to her expectations. We all love Cary Grant (if you don't, you can leave now) so when he plays a hard-ass like Devlin, he challenges her persona. I love this. I hope someday to find that. Maybe he'll look like Cary Grant--maybe not.

He better not forget the champaign!

Friday, July 24, 2009


OOPS! I forgot to tell you to stop by Adi's page or her blog, Pickled Beetnik. She also does amazing art and can be commissioned to paint, draw, photograph or transform graphically anything you like! She has painted several Ingrid Paintings for me (which I have posted in this blog--search for it!) and they are stylized masterpieces!

She can also be hired for murals--hence the mural find.


Casablanca Mural

My friend Adi sent me a link to this mural:

The mural was painted by Jake Jahelka from the Bronx, NY.
This is what he had to say about it:

Casablanca Movie Mural

I did this mural a few years ago. I didn't have a painting to hang in this particular spot over an old trunk in my living room, so I painted this picture from a "Casablanca" movie poster. I used an opaque projector to blow it up a bit, and get the right proportions. Then I sketched a light outline and used some cheap acrylics to paint it. I want to do another mural, but I wanted to learn more about how they're done. That's how I found this website. I'll use some of the tips I've read about here.
Bronx, NY

You can see this and other murals @

I think the mural is an accurate depiction of the cover art for Casablanca. If I owned a wall, I'd love to have that on it. Come to think about it, Jake, if you see this, how much do you charge? I could have you paint my room at my parents house. That's right Mom and Dad, I'm still trying to redecorate my room there. I'll move 3000 miles away in January, but I expect my room to be mine. Lol. I'm a brat~! :) I love my parents and Classic movies--why not have them in the same space?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thanks Millie!!

Thanks Millie from Classic Forever. She awarded me the

This is what she posted (HUGE compliments to a lot of us!)

"The beyond cool and amazing Lolita of Lolita's Classics gave me a blog two weeks ago....

Anyways, I now wanted to officially accept this lovely honor, and pass it on!

And, I wanted to profusely thank Lolita for the award. Because getting an award from someone so knowledgeable and amazing is really such a lovely thing...and so good for the blog esteem! And, if I could I really would give the award right back at fact I think I will! It yours again Lolita ;-D!

The people I give the award to are all lovely (with lovely blogs) for different reasons:

Sarah of Cinema Splendor because: she's a dear old friend and I love to visit her blog so much. She's quite funny and clever...but also more than that. I know that when I visit her blog it can cheer me up when I'm sad or make me even more happy when I'm already happy! Going to her blog is like going to a party...the best party ever!

Harley of Dreaming in Black and White because: Harley is Harley. She's funny, sarcastic, and very intelligent. Her blog is like a second home. She loves so many of the same people/things I do (although not for the same reasons...which can cause much arguing! ;-D). Only problem is, she has this really weird crush on Shia Labeouf.......;-D

DKoren of Sidewalk Crossings because: DKoren get's the award for most encouraging blogger. DKoren always leaves a comment on my posts...especially the posts that no one else in their right mind would comment on (example: Michael Callen looking exactly like American Idol Kris Allen). And, when I do a review of Cat Ballou and give Lee Marvin a smashing critique DKoren pops into comment and say that my review was very funny. And slightly mentions that Lee Marvin is a favorite performance of their's...but that I still did an amazing review! That's just DKoren for you! Also, Sidewalk Crossings is an amazing, well-written blog!

Nicole of Classic Hollywood Nerd because: Nicole and her blog are way too underrated! This girl should have at least a thousand followers! Each post from her is original, knowledgeable, concise, lucid (my blog and writing are not), and just plain wonderful! She also comments on my blog all the sweet! Everything about her blog is creative, her ingenious themes and series are amazing...and I should know, because I recently subconsciously stole a series title from her!

Kate-(with a hyphen 'cause she's that cool)Gabrielle of Silents and Talkiesbecause: I don't really know what to say. I'm speechless when I write about Kate. Kate and her blogs are really way too amazing. I recently got to do a guest blogger post for her blog which was admittedly not too good, but Kate never said anything like that! She encouraged me, and drew a most amazing portrait of Ingrid Bergman for it, and then she mailed me the drawing. And well, she's so kind and generous (look at all those contests she does)! All of her paintings, drawings, and Flapperdoodles leave me speechless! Well, I better stop writing because this will get too long...but really Kate is that amazing!

Alexis of Ingrid Bergman Life and Films because: is there anyone who knows more about Ingrid Bergman? Is there anyone who writes better about Ingrid Bergman? Is there anyone who's funnier and also adores Ingrid Bergman? I think not. Alexis is truly amazing.

That's it for this award!

Thanks again to the inimitable Lolita!"

Thank you Millie! This is a giant feather in my hat! Fully appreciated! :)

Please Vote for my Video-- AGAIN

So somehow LOST my video entry. I was glad that I checked back, disappointed that they lost my entry, but HAPPY because I misspelled "safety" in my original, so this gives me a much-needed second chance!

So can you please view and vote again? Even Views help!

Click on this video to go to my page and view and vote! :)

Thank you!

Elena et les Hommes

I am watching An American In Paris right now with Sarah's parents, Susan and Claude. This movie is a fantastic post war musical. It's full of familiar tunes, Gene Kelly dances and Leslie Caron appears for the first time on the big screen. This film is directed by Vincent Minnelli and won 7 oscars.
Now onto the Ingrid connection:
I want to mention a 1956 Jean Renoir film that Ingrid starred in, Elena et les Hommes or Elena and Her Men. I love this film. It is constant hilarity. Ingrid co-stars with Mel Ferrer (Audrey Hepburn's husband at the time) and it is a must see.

I bring this up because it too takes place in France. It was actually shot in France toward the end of Ingrid's "Rossellini period"...if we want to call it that. Audrey Hepburn was starring in Funny Face at the same time. She actually required that the scenes in Paris be shot while her husband was shooting his film so they could be together.

Though Ingrid had no affiliation with An American In Paris or the studios in the States at the time, she later had an affiliation with Vincent Minnelli. Ingrid starred in (the less than successful) A Matter of Time with Liza Minnelli. Isabella Rossellini also makes an appearance in this film! The story apparently did not carry well and it was eventually looked as Ingrid's excuse to hang out with her daughters (Ingrid Rossellini did Ingrid Bergman's makeup for this film).

I have only seen snip-its of A Matter of Time and some of them were in Italian, but I hope to see it in its entirety some day.

Just thought I'd link some of my classic film watching to Ingrid--of course! It's kind of like 6 degrees of separation--just 6 degrees of Ingrid. Lol

I suggest you check out Elena et Les Hommes and if you find A Matter of Time, please let me know where to get my grubby-Bergman-lovin'- fan-hands on it! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Click on this video and follow it to
Vote Thumbs up (Please cuz a thumbs down would SUCK)...
It would really help me out!! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ingrid Post at Silents and Talkies

Kate Gabrielle's blog: Silents and Talkies... hosted a guest blogging done by Millie, ofClassicForever!
Guess who she wrote about?! Ingrid!
You should go see this post as well her art that is on her (KateGabrielle's) site. Oh yeah-- follow her on twitter too!!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

TCM Classic Film Union

So Em had a message on (if you want to be friends hit me up!) and it was regarding the Summer Under the Stars series that TCM hosts. THEY LEFT INGRID OFF THE LIST.
Had a whole day last year (if you want to know how I watched it go here) dedicated to our favorite lady--now--SHANKED!

Okay, now that I have vented this, I'd like to state that I think we should write TCM about it, or at least request (*cough* demand *cough*) that she be in the line up next summer. Any thoughts?

Next--on a more positive note!

I have discovered, through my journeys on, that there is a TCM Classic Film Union for all of us classic film freakazoids!
This part of their site allows interaction and fanaticism to run wild!
You can talk about films, link your blogs, make new networks of film fans! It's amazing!
I have joined and you can too (by clicking the TCMCFU link I've posted)!
My screenname is ingridbergmanfan

Check it out!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Doesn't this picture look like it was taken by an HD camera?! I think it looks like it was taken yesterday and yet it's from 1958! AMAZING!

10 Random Facts About Me

I'm stealing this from Lolita's Classics, but she said to so I guess it's just taking the hint (not really stealing!).

1. I played college lacrosse and have been to the NCAA tournament twice. I scored the first goal in the National Championship Game and though we lost, it was my best sports moment.

2. I'm afraid of balloons.

3. My Dad was in the US Air Force and I was in 7 schools before I was 7. Resulting in my clinging to my stuffed animal Elli and my abilities to make friends ASAP.

4. I'm ambidextrous.

5. I could watch movies all day and night and never get sick of them (books too!).

6. My job (babysitting) and shelter are provided to me by my former Women's History Professor --turned friend--turned employer. It's the sweetest job ever and I love Julia and Katharine! (they're the babies I watch). I couldn't have timed this "tweener" year better!
(Me tackled by Julia, Katharine and Julia, Katharine)

7. Nothing aggravates me more than Miniature Golf. I hate it. It's not fun.

8. I get sad when I think about Ingrid Bergman being deceased. Like I could cry about it right now. Lol.

9. I am a die hard Shania Twain fan-- I try to keep it closeted, but I can't live a lie.

10. I was the only person who flipped on the tubing trip I took today. The rapid got me BIG time! haha.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ingrid's Gravesite

I received a comment a little while ago regarding the photo vlog I put on the Ingrid Blog. Jonas Nordin sent me photos from Stockholm, where he lives, of Ingrid's memorial gravestone and her family tombstone.

This was a fantastic surprise (as morbid as that might sound)! It's so nice to see Ingrid's history is alive and well and that we can all trek to see her home and truly admire her life and work.
Thank you again Jonas! Continue reading and let me know if there is any other cool stuff about Ingrid in Sweden! I hope to visit there someday!

"Hi Alexis,
I saw your video blog about favorite images of Ingrid Bergman.
Perhaps I don't have many of those but I still think I can contribute with a little something.

I happen to live about a mile from where Ingrid is buried so I just went there the other day and brought my camera."

(Pictures taken June 24, 2009 in Stockholm.)


My friend Byron (@LordByron42 on twitter) sent me a package recently and it contained a spectacular Ingrid gift!

This plate is from the 1958 film Indiscreet and Byron FOUND IT~!

The plate also has the certificate of authenticity and the original packaging--he found it at a yard sale!!

Thanks again Byron!

About Me

My photo
An avid Ingrid Bergman fan, I am a student of her life and work as well as film, filmmaking and Classic Film in general. I have my M.F.A. in TV/Film Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and have been making a living in the business they call show. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexis_morrell