Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
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
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.
You can see this and other murals @ wallmurals123.com
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
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 you...in 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 time...so 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!"
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
- 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