Sunday, November 22, 2009

Delays upon Delays

Since I moved in to my apartment, I have been using an unsecured wireless internet signal, because I am a broke college student and adding internet to my already astronomical cable bill ($77!) would put me even farther over the edge. Anyway, last Wednesday, whomever owns this linksys signal decided to be a meanie and make it password protected. Alas, I am without a signal and am currently blogging from the OU Fine Arts Library.
The Pro: I have more time to watch the over 70 movies I currently have on my DVR.
The Con: I can't tell you about them!

I'll leave you with one I watched Friday night, a new favorite: The Philadelphia Story. With each subsequent KH movie, I like her a little more (I also watched Woman of the Year last night).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Two new Ginger movies-Teenage Rebel and Primrose Path

I have watched two new (to me) Ginger pictures this past week.
First I watched Primrose Path, a 1939 Gregory LaCava picture. I will talk more about this when I begin my series on 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year in the coming weeks, but for now I will say that I was surprised at how subtly this film handled the many issues it covered. In fact, it is likely this subtlety that has caused it to slip between 1939's enormous cracks: there were so many deliberate films that year (Gone With the Wind, Dark Victory, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, etc.). Like I said, I will study this film in a more in-depth fashion when I begin my series on the films of 1939. I plan on assessing each of the Oscar nominees (not just for best picture, but also acting, directing, and of course music). There's something for you to look forward to!
Last night I watched Teenage Rebel, a 1956 picture directed by Edmund Goulding at Fox. It tells the story of Nancy Fallon and her daughter Dodie, with whom she has been estranged for about ten years. She is court-ordered to spend three weeks with her estranged mother, who does all she can to patch up their relationship.
I had a lot of trouble with this movie. It was difficult for me to imagine Ginger as a mother, and it looked to me like it was an awkward experience for her as well. The script seems a little haphazard, especially combined with the title, as Dodie never really rebels. In fact, the opposite happens. She goes from being totally stiff and completely lonely to learning how to socialize and relate to other people.
It seems like this film is inching towards a really strong message about the importance of mothers to young girls, but it never quite makes it. Goulding, who also contributed to the screenplay, was in his sixties when this was produced, so I can imagine why it didn't quite capture the mother/daughter relationship to a "T".
There is one scene worth watching: when Nancy gets PISSED at Dodie. Skip to :46 for the fight!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm going to LA!!

I just received word that my proposal of a UROP grant (Undergraduate Research Opportunity) has been accepted! I will be getting a little bit of money to cover travel expenses to LA, where I will spend a couple of days conducting research at the UCLA film archives.
My proposal outlined a project that will hopefully encourage more scholarly study of the films of Ginger Rogers. I have not yet decided if I want to focus on Carefree, or if I want to take another route. That will all depend on the materials I can get my hands on at the archives. I can't tell you how excited I am! I'm trying to think of some of the places I want to go. Of course, I will only be there for about 4 days max, so some things will have to wait until next time:
1. Oakwood Park Memorial Cemetery (of course)
2. 1605 Gilcrest Drive (another obligatory one)
3. Grauman's Chinese Theater
4. Forest Lawn Memorial Park: lots of people to see here: Lucille Ball, Franklin Pangborn (!!), Joan Blondell, Eric Blore, George Cukor, Edward Everett Horton, Max Steiner, Jimmy Stewart, so many more...
5. Hollywood History Museum
I'll probably try to drive by a couple of houses, probably the ones from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and Double Indemnity.

As you can probably tell, I can hardly wait!

Friday, November 6, 2009


I've been so busy lately, and that will only continue in the following weeks. I have 2 papers due this week, and I'm trying to get my embroidery "business" off the ground. I started doing hand embroidery almost a year ago, and since posting pictures of my work on my facebook page, I have received a couple of commissions! I am also trying to build up enough stock to start an etsy shop.

Today I would like to share with you a website that I enjoy. It's called Movies in Frames. I'm a sucker for movie trivia of any kind, and I also have a semi-photographic memory, so this site serves as a little challenge to me every day.
The concept is simple: contributors provide us with four frames of a film. The title, year, and director are given underneath. I don't know if anyone else uses it as a quiz like I do, but it's darn fun for me.

Another site is the fabulous magazine Mental Floss. They post quizzes every day that are pretty intense. Occasionally, the topic is classic film. While you're there, take a look at some of the articles. If you're a knowledge junkie like me, you will be thoroughly entertained.

Tomorrow my quizbowl team will be competing in TRASH Regionals, a tournament made up only of film, TV, Sports, and music trivia. I kind of rock at it, and occasionally there are classic film questions!