Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Automat

Automat:


by Edward Hopper, who died at the age of 84 on May 15, 1967. I offer this for the weekly T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering, where we share a cuppa. This woman is enjoying a cup of coffee alone in an automat. I've never known of such a place, but I'm having a cup of coffee alone at home. I feel a certain kinship with her, lost in her thoughts as she is.

Please post something drink related and join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing is a 1987 drama film. Abortion plays a central part in the plot. Want to go back to the days of back alley abortions? Here's what it looked like, and it's not pretty. "The guy had a dirty knife and a folding table. I could hear her screaming in the hallway." God, help us. Baby is pretty, though, and those dance scenes are wonderful! It's on HBO Max.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sherlock Holmes (1922)


Sherlock Holmes is a 1922 silent film starring John Barrymore as Sherlock Holmes and Roland Young as Dr. John Watson. This was William Powell's first film.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Errrbody

Errrbody:



by Yo Gotti, born in Memphis

Friday, May 20, 2022

French Dispatch

French Dispatch is a 2021 Wes Anderson film starring Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, and Anjelica Huston. I am a Wes Anderson fan, and I was excited to see this. I watched it on HBO Max.

trailer:

 



The New Yorker says, "“The French Dispatch” is perhaps Anderson’s best film to date. It is certainly his most accomplished." Roger Ebert's site, The Independent, and Rolling Stone each give it a positive review.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Paheli (2005)

Paheli is an award-winning 2005 Indian (Hindi) fantasy film. A delightful, lighthearted, beautiful romance (and y'all know I don't generally care for romance). This is more along the lines of a fairy tale, though, and those I do like. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:



Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Maude's Dilemma

Maude's Dilemma is a 2-part episode from 1972. It's funny to read the history of this story and see the objections to it coming from religious -not political- circles. How we ever let a women's health issue become a political one is beyond me. Don't kid yourself. This isn't about "life" but about control and imposing religious beliefs. If your religion has certain requirements I suggest you abide by them, and if it has certain beliefs it requires of you then I suggest you believe them. I object to you requiring them of me.

part 1:



part 2:



Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The History of Future Folk

The History of Future Folk is a 2012 science fiction comedy film telling the fictional backstory of the musical duo Future Folk. I can't express how much I enjoyed this movie. Such a sweet, charming look at music and humanity. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:



The reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes yield an average 93% rating.

Join me in a cuppa comething (I'm having black coffee, no sugar):



at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Containment

Containment is a 2015 thriller film. I liked this one, and thrillers are never my first choice in film.

from Wikipedia:
The film is set in a 1970s era council block in Weston, Southampton set in the present-day United Kingdom. Mark, an artist, wakes to find that he has been sealed into his flat with no way out. There is no electricity, no water and no communications with the outside world apart from a voice over the intercom, repeating the phrase, "please remain calm, the situation is under control". Strange figures in Hazmat suits patrol the grounds outside and set up a military tent.
via Youtube:


The Guardian calls it "a zippy, clean-cut and ingenious panic-thriller". Rotten Tomatoes has a 92% critics consensus score.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Batman

The Batman is a 2022 Batman movie. Intended to be the first in a trilogy, I sometimes wonder why they keep making movies about the same characters. The every-decade-or-so remake or re-boot, yeah, ok, fine, but how many Batman movies can the market support? That said, I watched it, didn't I, just like I've watched all the others. (I watched it On HBO Max.) I enjoyed it, I must say -though at almost 3 hours it's too long. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

trailer:



Roger Ebert's site gives it a positive review, calling it "consistently viscerally gripping". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 85%, and the audience score is even higher.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Phantom of 42nd Street

Phantom of 42nd Street is a 1945 film directed by Albert Herman, starring Dave O'Brien and Kay Aldridge. Wikipedia offers this plot description:
An actor is killed during the performance of a play while critic Tony Woolrich (Dave O'Brien) is attending. Initially Woolrich is reluctant to investigate, even though he's encouraged to do so by his friend Romeo (Frank Jenks), who is also the taxi driver who brought him to the show, and acts as a sort of sidekick throughout the story.

Tony is chewed out by his editor for not investigating when he happened to be at the scene of the crime, and so he takes an initially reluctant interest. Tony becomes more involved in the investigation when there is another murder, and when Claudia Moore (Kay Aldridge, in her last movie role), the girl he loves, is suspected, and is also possibly threatened by the killer.
There's not all that much to it, but it's under an hour long and for its length they tell a good yarn.



TCM has information.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine is an award-winning 2006 comedy film. I watched it on Amazon Prime. It's included in the book 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

trailer:



Roger Ebert gives it a glowing review and says,
A gentle family satire and a classic American road movie, "Little Miss Sunshine" harks back to the anti-establishment, countercultural comedies of the 1970s such as "Smile" or "Harold and Maude" -- satirical fairy tales that preached the virtues of nonconformity over the superficiality of conventional American values.
Common Sense Media gives it 4 out of 5 stars and calls it "a hilarious but mature family road trip movie." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 91%.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Commando

Commando is a 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger action film, perhaps the epitome of 1980s action films. The Younger Son had this on DVD and watched it with me. It's not readily available otherwise except with premium subsctiption services.

trailer:

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Four Lions

Four Lions is a 2010 political satire black comedy film. I watched it on Amazon Prime, but it's available free on Youtube. It's age-restricted, so you have to click through to watch it on the YouTube site:



This film is included on the list of 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Watch. Roger Ebert gives it a positive review and says, "“Four Lions" is impossible to categorize. It's an exceedingly dark comedy, a wicked satire, a thriller where the thrills center on the incompetence of the villains." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 83%.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Our Time (1974)

Our Time is a 1974 coming-of-age drama film dealing with the difficulties of adolescence including an unplanned pregnancy. It was renamed Death of Her Innocence and aired on television in 1978. I find it particularly relevant for these dark days when rights are being stripped away from women. It's set in the 1950s, which seems to be where some folks wish we lived.

trailer:



You can watch the film at Youtube at this link. Here's a screenshot from early in the film:



This is my offering for the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering. I won't be having milk. No. I think I'll have a gin and tonic and mourn.

Random thoughts:

I support abortion rights as a private matter between a woman and her health care provider.
A fertilized egg is not a baby.
Abortion isn't murder.
Many women don't even know they're pregnant at that 6-week period you hear talked about.
Plan B is a birth control option and does not cause abortion.
There is no "fetal heartbeat" at 6 weeks. An ultrasound can detect an inaudible flutter in the area where the heart will eventually form. That that term has become common in the general public is a damn shame. It's a lie.
At 6 weeks it's not a fetus but an embryo.
I hear precious few in the anti-abortion movement discuss fertility clinics, where fertilized eggs are destroyed as a matter of routine.

I may add more here later, but that'll do for a start.

Monday, May 09, 2022

What's Your Mama's Name

What's Your Mama's Name:



sung by Tanya Tucker

Lyrics excerpt:
Thirty some odd years ago a young man came to Memphis
Askin' 'bout a rose that used to blossom in his world
People never took the time to mind the young man's questions
Until one day they heard him ask a little green eyed girl

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Girl on the Third Floor (2019)

Girl on the Third Floor is a 2019 horror film. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:


Roger Ebert's site calls it an "impressive haunted house flick." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 84%.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

Howards End

Howards End is a 1992 period romantic drama based on the E.M. Forster novel by the same name. The book can be read online. The movie stars Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, and Emma Thompson. I watched the film free on Tubi through Roku on my TV.

trailer:



Roger Ebert put it on his list of Great Movies. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus rating of 94%.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Guns Akimbo

Guns Akimbo is a 2019 action comedy film starring Daniel Radcliffe. I watched this movie on Amazon Prime and got a big kick out of it -though as is so often the case, professional reviews were mixed.

trailer:

 

 

 

Thursday, May 05, 2022

The Pirates (2014)

The Pirates is a 2014 South Korean historical-themed adventure film. There's just enough comic element to it. I watched it free on Tubi through Roku on my TV. You can also watch it free on YouTube:



Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Oblivion

Oblivion is a gorgeous 2013 science fiction film starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. I saw it on HBO Max and enjoyed it, though professional critics gave it mixed reviews.

trailer:

 

 

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Tom Jones (1963)

Tom Jones is the award-winning 1963 comedy film adaptation of the Henry Fielding novel and stars Albert Finney and Susannah York. The book itself is in the public domain and can be read online here. I have the movie on DVD but watched it on HBO Max.

trailer:



Here's the "lusty dining" scene I offer as my contribution to the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering:

 

 

Share your own drink-related post and join us.



*******

Blogs that ask me to "Sign in with Google" to comment won't then let me sign in. Frustrating.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Machete and Machete Kills

Machete is a 2010 action movie starring Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, Don Johnson, Jessica Alba, and Robert De Niro. I watced these because of Danny Trejo, but this first one especially is surprising good. Much fun to watch. It's on Amazon Prime.

trailer:



Machete Kills is the 2013 sequel. This one stars Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Mel Gibson. It's not as good as the first one, but again it has Danny Trejo in it, which is draw enough for me. I saw the sequel on Netflix.

trailer:

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Mute

Mute is a 2018 neo-noir science fiction film directed by Duncan Jones. I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was suggested by Nicole at DVArtist. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:


Friday, April 29, 2022

To Be or Not To Be

(I'm finding real comments in my spam folder every day.
If you don't usually check there, you might want to.
No telling what you're not seeing.)


To Be or Not To Be is a 1942 black comedy. It's directed by Ernst Lubitsch and stars Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart, and Lionel Atwill. The plot concerns a troupe of actors in Nazi-occupied Warsaw who use their abilities at disguise and acting to fool the occupying troops. It was Lombard's last film, released just a month after her death in an airplane crash when she was only 33 years old. She was returning to Los Angeles from a war bond rally. It's considered a comedy classic. I have the DVD but watched it on HBO Max.

trailer:



FilmSite opens its glowing review with this:
Berlin Germany-born director Ernst Lubitsch's sophisticated screwball masterpiece, with satirical comedy, romance, and suspense. The controversial anti-war comedy about espionage and politics from producer Alexander Korda - marked by incisive black humor - was a bold cinematic work during the World War II years that skewered and lampooned the tyrannical leader Adolf Hitler, the Nazis and the Third Reich, while still being completely entertaining in its story of marital conflict.
Deep Focus Review has historical context. Rotten Tomatoes has a concensus score of 96%.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a 2010 romantic comedy/action film. It didn't do well at the box office, but it's praised by critics and has a cult following. I'm a fan. Fun film. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Wreck of the Sultana



The explosion of the ship Sultana is the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history.

On April 27, 1865, the overloaded ship (built for 376 passengers, but carrying 2,427) exploded and sank just north of Memphis. According to Wikipedia, the official count by the United States Customs Service of those who died is 1,800. Final estimates of survivors are about 550. Many of the dead were interred at the Memphis National Cemetery. Three victims of the wreck of the Sultana are interred at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis. There's a museum in Arkansas not far from here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hector and the Search for Happiness is a 2014 comedy drama film starring Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno, Veronica Ferres, and Christopher Plummer. I think this is delightful, but most professional reviewers didn't agree. Well, what do they know, right? You can watch it free on Tubi. It's also on Amazon Prime.

trailer:



Here's a screenshot from the Tubi video:

Please share your own drink reference and join in at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson

Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson is a 1976 film directed by Robert Altman and starring Paul Newman, Joel Grey, Kevin McCarthy, Harvey Keitel, Will Sampson, Geraldine Chaplin, and Burt Lancaster. from the Wikipedia article:
Buffalo Bill and the Indians is an ensemble piece with an episodic structure. It follows the day to day performances and behind-the-scenes intrigues of Buffalo Bill Cody's famous "Wild West Show", a hugely popular 1880s entertainment spectacular that starred the former Indian fighter, scout and buffalo hunter. Altman uses the setting to criticize Old West motifs, presenting the eponymous western hero as a show-biz creation who can no longer separate his invented image from reality.
I watched it on Tubi through Roku on my TV.

trailer:



Spirituality and Practice says it "Explores the interface between heroes, hypocrisy, and illusions in the Wild West."

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Mystic Pizza

Mystic Pizza is a 1988 romantic comedy/drama starring Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor, and Vincent D'Onofrio. Romantic comedies aren't my thing, but this is delightful. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:


Saturday, April 23, 2022

Ode: Intimations of Immortality

Arthur John Elsley
The Joy Of Spring, 1911

Ode: Intimations of Immortality has 11 stanzas in 3 movements. You can read it in its entirety here and here. It begins:
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day.
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
Listen to it here:



The author William Wordsworth died on this date in 1850 of pleurisy at the age of 80. I'm not much for poetry, but this strikes me as especially apt for springtime contemplation.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Lake of Dracula

Lake of Dracula is a 1971 Japanese horror film, the second in the Bloodthirsty film trilogy. This has atmosphere. It's much more reminiscent of Hammer Horror than the more traditional Japanese horror I've seen. I watched it at Tubi. You can also see it via InternetArchive:


Moria Reviews concludes with an explanation of the difference between the western-style vampire and this Japanese version.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

For My People

For My People:



by Memphis-born Drumma Boy

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Pied Piper

The Pied Piper is a 1985 Czechoslovakian stop-action animated dark fantasy short film. Shorter than feature length, this film is less than an hour long. It retells (reinvents?) the traditional Pied Piper story.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Last Time I Saw Paris

The Last Time I Saw Paris is a 1954 romantic drama starring Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson, Walter Pidgeon, Donna Reed, and Eva Gabor. This isn't my usual fare, and I've had the DVD for decades but had never seen the film. I've decided I need to watch these movies that are cluttering up my DVD shelves, and I settled on this one first. I ended up giving the DVD away and watching the movie on ... oh, where did I end up watching it... Hmmm... It's available on Amazon Prime and Paramount+ but also free on Tubi, Roku, Crackle, Internet Archive, and on Youtube:



Here's a screenshot from the beginning of the movie:



Please share a drink-related post and join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, April 18, 2022

The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad is a 2021 superhero movie directed by James Gunn and starring Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone, Viola Davis, Peter Capaldi, and Nathan Fillion. Great fun! I watched it on HBO Max.

trailer:


Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 88%. Roger Ebert's site has a positive review.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Gabriel-Ernest

Gabriel-Ernest is a short story by H. H. Munro, pen name Saki. You can read it online here or here or listen to it read to you at the bottom of this post. It begins,
"There is a wild beast in your woods," said the artist Cunningham, as he was being driven to the station. It was the only remark he had made during the drive, but as Van Cheele had talked incessantly his companion's silence had not been noticeable.

"A stray fox or two and some resident weasels. Nothing more formidable," said Van Cheele. The artist said nothing.

"What did you mean about a wild beast?" said Van Cheele later, when they were on the platform.

"Nothing. My imagination. Here is the train," said Cunningham.

That afternoon Van Cheele went for one of his frequent rambles through his woodland property. He had a stuffed bittern in his study, and knew the names of quite a number of wild flowers, so his aunt had possibly some justification in describing him as a great naturalist. At any rate, he was a great walker. It was his custom to take mental notes of everything he saw during his walks, not so much for the purpose of assisting contemporary science as to provide topics for conversation afterwards. When the bluebells began to show themselves in flower he made a point of informing every one of the fact; the season of the year might have warned his hearers of the likelihood of such an occurrence, but at least they felt that he was being absolutely frank with them.

What Van Cheele saw on this particular afternoon was, however, something far removed from his ordinary range of experience. On a shelf of smooth stone overhanging a deep pool in the hollow of an oak coppice a boy of about sixteen lay asprawl, drying his wet brown limbs luxuriously in the sun. His wet hair, parted by a recent dive, lay close to his head, and his light-brown eyes, so light that there was an almost tigerish gleam in them, were turned towards Van Cheele with a certain lazy watchfulness. It was an unexpected apparition, and Van Cheele found himself engaged in the novel process of thinking before he spoke. Where on earth could this wild-looking boy hail from? The miller's wife had lost a child some two months ago, supposed to have been swept away by the mill-race, but that had been a mere baby, not a half-grown lad.

"What are you doing there?" he demanded.

"Obviously, sunning myself," replied the boy.

"Where do you live?"

"Here, in these woods."

"You can't live in the woods," said Van Cheele.

"They are very nice woods," said the boy, with a touch of patronage in his voice.

"But where do you sleep at night?"

"I don't sleep at night; that's my busiest time."

Van Cheele began to have an irritated feeling that he was grappling with a problem that was eluding him.

"What do you feed on?" he asked.

"Flesh," said the boy, and he pronounced the word with slow relish, as though he were tasting it.
...

Saturday, April 16, 2022

42 as the sum of three cubes

Thanks to Boing Boing for this interesting piece of math history:


"42 was the last remaining number below 100 which could not be expressed as the sum of three cubes (*) - UNTIL NOW"

Friday, April 15, 2022

A Respectable Woman

A Respectable Woman is a short story by Kate Chopin. You can read it online here or here. It begins,
Mrs. Baroda was a little provoked to learn that her husband expected his friend, Gouvernail, up to spend a week or two on the plantation.

They had entertained a good deal during the winter; much of the time had also been passed in New Orleans in various forms of mild dissipation. She was looking forward to a period of unbroken rest, now, and undisturbed tete-a-tete with her husband, when he informed her that Gouvernail was coming up to stay a week or two.

This was a man she had heard much of but never seen. He had been her husband's college friend; was now a journalist, and in no sense a society man or "a man about town," which were, perhaps, some of the reasons she had never met him. But she had unconsciously formed an image of him in her mind. She pictured him tall, slim, cynical; with eye-glasses, and his hands in his pockets; and she did not like him. Gouvernail was slim enough, but he wasn't very tall nor very cynical; neither did he wear eyeglasses nor carry his hands in his pockets. And she rather liked him when he first presented himself.

But why she liked him she could not explain satisfactorily to herself when she partly attempted to do so. She could discover in him none of those brilliant and promising traits which Gaston, her husband, had often assured her that he possessed. On the contrary, he sat rather mute and receptive before her chatty eagerness to make him feel at home and in face of Gaston's frank and wordy hospitality. His manner was as courteous toward her as the most exacting woman could require; but he made no direct appeal to her approval or even esteem.

Once settled at the plantation he seemed to like to sit upon the wide portico in the shade of one of the big Corinthian pillars, smoking his cigar lazily and listening attentively to Gaston's experience as a sugar planter.

"This is what I call living," he would utter with deep satisfaction, as the air that swept across the sugar field caressed him with its warm and scented velvety touch. It pleased him also to get on familiar terms with the big dogs that came about him, rubbing themselves sociably against his legs. He did not care to fish, and displayed no eagerness to go out and kill grosbecs when Gaston proposed doing so.

Gouvernail's personality puzzled Mrs. Baroda, but she liked him. Indeed, he was a lovable, inoffensive fellow. After a few days, when she could understand him no better than at first, she gave over being puzzled and remained piqued. In this mood she left her husband and her guest, for the most part, alone together. Then finding that Gouvernail took no manner of exception to her action, she imposed her society upon him, accompanying him in his idle strolls to the mill and walks along the batture. She persistently sought to penetrate the reserve in which he had unconsciously enveloped himself.

"When is he going--your friend?" she one day asked her husband. "For my part, he tires me frightfully."

"Not for a week yet, dear. I can't understand; he gives you no trouble."

"No. I should like him better if he did; if he were more like others, and I had to plan somewhat for his comfort and enjoyment."

Gaston took his wife's pretty face between his hands and looked tenderly and laughingly into her troubled eyes.

They were making a bit of toilet sociably together in Mrs. Baroda's dressing-room.

"You are full of surprises, ma belle," he said to her. "Even I can never count upon how you are going to act under given conditions." He kissed her and turned to fasten his cravat before the mirror.

"Here you are," he went on, "taking poor Gouvernail seriously and making a commotion over him, the last thing he would desire or expect."

"Commotion!" she hotly resented. "Nonsense! How can you say such a thing? Commotion, indeed! But, you know, you said he was clever."

"So he is. But the poor fellow is run down by overwork now. That's why I asked him here to take a rest."

"You used to say he was a man of ideas," she retorted, unconciliated. "I expected him to be interesting, at least. I'm going to the city in the morning to have my spring gowns fitted. Let me know when Mr. Gouvernail is gone; I shall be at my Aunt Octavie's."

That night she went and sat alone upon a bench that stood beneath a live oak tree at the edge of the gravel walk.

She had never known her thoughts or her intentions to be so confused. She could gather nothing from them but the feeling of a distinct necessity to quit her home in the morning.

Mrs. Baroda heard footsteps crunching the gravel; but could discern in the darkness only the approaching red point of a lighted cigar. She knew it was Gouvernail, for her husband did not smoke. She hoped to remain unnoticed, but her white gown revealed her to him. He threw away his cigar and seated himself upon the bench beside her; without a suspicion that she might object to his presence.

"Your husband told me to bring this to you, Mrs. Baroda," he said, handing her a filmy, white scarf with which she sometimes enveloped her head and shoulders. She accepted the scarf from him with a murmur of thanks, and let it lie in her lap.

He made some commonplace observation upon the baneful effect of the night air at the season. Then as his gaze reached out into the darkness, he murmured, half to himself:

"`Night of south winds--night of the large few stars!

Still nodding night--'"

She made no reply to this apostrophe to the night, which, indeed, was not addressed to her.

Gouvernail was in no sense a diffident man, for he was not a self-conscious one. His periods of reserve were not constitutional, but the result of moods. Sitting there beside Mrs. Baroda, his silence melted for the time.

He talked freely and intimately in a low, hesitating drawl that was not unpleasant to hear. He talked of the old college days when he and Gaston had been a good deal to each other; of the days of keen and blind ambitions and large intentions. Now there was left with him, at least, a philosophic acquiescence to the existing order--only a desire to be permitted to exist, with now and then a little whiff of genuine life, such as he was breathing now.

Her mind only vaguely grasped what he was saying. Her physical being was for the moment predominant. She was not thinking of his words, only drinking in the tones of his voice. She wanted to reach out her hand in the darkness and touch him with the sensitive tips of her fingers upon the face or the lips. She wanted to draw close to him and whisper against his cheek--she did not care what--as she might have done if she had not been a respectable woman.

The stronger the impulse grew to bring herself near him, the further, in fact, did she draw away from him. As soon as she could do so without an appearance of too great rudeness, she rose and left him there alone.

Before she reached the house, Gouvernail had lighted a fresh cigar and ended his apostrophe to the night.

Mrs. Baroda was greatly tempted that night to tell her husband--who was also her friend--of this folly that had seized her. But she did not yield to the temptation. Beside being a respectable woman she was a very sensible one; and she knew there are some battles in life which a human being must fight alone.
...

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Death on the Nile (2022)

Death on the Nile (2022) in the second Kenneth Branagh Poirot adaptation, and I've been looking forward to it since I saw his Murder on the Orient Express. I admit I liked the first one better, and I believe Suchet is the more perfect Poirot, but still... I hope Branagh will contine to make these. At least one more. Please. I watched it on HBO Max.

trailer:

 

 

Reviews were mixed; don't listen to them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Strength of God

The Strength of God is a 1919 short story by Sherwood Anderson. You can read it online at this link or at this link, or you can listen to it read to you at the bottom of this post. It begins,
The Reverend Curtis Hartman was pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Winesburg, and had been in that position ten years. He was forty years old, and by his nature very silent and reticent. To preach, standing in the pulpit before the people, was always a hardship for him and from Wednesday morning until Saturday evening he thought of nothing but the two sermons that must be preached on Sunday. Early on Sunday morning he went into a little room called a study in the bell tower of the church and prayed. In his prayers there was one note that always predominated. “Give me strength and courage for Thy work, O Lord!” he pleaded, kneeling on the bare floor and bowing his head in the presence of the task that lay before him.

The Reverend Hartman was a tall man with a brown beard. His wife, a stout, nervous woman, was the daughter of a manufacturer of underwear at Cleveland, Ohio. The minister himself was rather a favorite in the town. The elders of the church liked him because he was quiet and unpretentious and Mrs. White, the banker’s wife, thought him scholarly and refined.

The Presbyterian Church held itself somewhat aloof from the other churches of Winesburg. It was larger and more imposing and its minister was better paid. He even had a carriage of his own and on summer evenings sometimes drove about town with his wife. Through Main Street and up and down Buckeye Street he went, bowing gravely to the people, while his wife, afire with secret pride, looked at him out of the corners of her eyes and worried lest the horse become frightened and run away.

For a good many years after he came to Winesburg things went well with Curtis Hartman. He was not one to arouse keen enthusiasm among the worshippers in his church but on the other hand he made no enemies. In reality he was much in earnest and sometimes suffered prolonged periods of remorse because he could not go crying the word of God in the highways and byways of the town. He wondered if the flame of the spirit really burned in him and dreamed of a day when a strong sweet new current of power would come like a great wind into his voice and his soul and the people would tremble before the spirit of God made manifest in him. “I am a poor stick and that will never really happen to me,” he mused dejectedly, and then a patient smile lit up his features. “Oh well, I suppose I’m doing well enough,” he added philosophically.

The room in the bell tower of the church, where on Sunday mornings the minister prayed for an increase in him of the power of God, had but one window. It was long and narrow and swung outward on a hinge like a door. On the window, made of little leaded panes, was a design showing the Christ laying his hand upon the head of a child. One Sunday morning in the summer as he sat by his desk in the room with a large Bible opened before him, and the sheets of his sermon scattered about, the minister was shocked to see, in the upper room of the house next door, a woman lying in her bed and smoking a cigarette while she read a book. Curtis Hartman went on tiptoe to the window and closed it softly. He was horror stricken at the thought of a woman smoking and trembled also to think that his eyes, just raised from the pages of the book of God, had looked upon the bare shoulders and white throat of a woman. With his brain in a whirl he went down into the pulpit and preached a long sermon without once thinking of his gestures or his voice. The sermon attracted unusual attention because of its power and clearness. “I wonder if she is listening, if my voice is carrying a message into her soul,” he thought and began to hope that on future Sunday mornings he might be able to say words that would touch and awaken the woman apparently far gone in secret sin.

The house next door to the Presbyterian Church, through the windows of which the minister had seen the sight that had so upset him, was occupied by two women. Aunt Elizabeth Swift, a grey competent-looking widow with money in the Winesburg National Bank, lived there with her daughter Kate Swift, a school teacher. The school teacher was thirty years old and had a neat trim-looking figure. She had few friends and bore a reputation of having a sharp tongue. When he began to think about her, Curtis Hartman remembered that she had been to Europe and had lived for two years in New York City. “Perhaps after all her smoking means nothing,” he thought. He began to remember that when he was a student in college and occasionally read novels, good although somewhat worldly women, had smoked through the pages of a book that had once fallen into his hands. With a rush of new determination he worked on his sermons all through the week and forgot, in his zeal to reach the ears and the soul of this new listener, both his embarrassment in the pulpit and the necessity of prayer in the study on Sunday mornings.

Reverend Hartman’s experience with women had been somewhat limited.
...

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

I Wake Up Screaming

I Wake Up Screaming is a 1941 film noir starring Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Laird Cregar, and Elisha Cook.

via Internet Archive:


Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 86%.

Here's a screenshot from the movie for the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering:

Monday, April 11, 2022

He, by Katherine Anne Porter

1930


He is a 1927 short story by Katherine Anne Porter. You can read it online at this link. It begins,
Life was very hard for the Whipples. It was hard to feed all the hungry mouths, it was hard to keep the children in flannels during the winter, short as it was: “God knows what would become of us if we lived north,” they would say: keeping them decently clean was hard. “It looks like our luck won’t never let up on us,” said Mr. Whipple, but Mrs. Whipple was all for taking what was sent and calling it good, anyhow when the neighbors were in earshot. “Don’t ever let a soul hear us complain,” she kept saying to her husband. She couldn’t stand to be pitied. “No, not if it comes to it that we have to live in a wagon and pick cotton around the country,” she said, “nobody’s going to get a chance to look down on us.“

Mrs. Whipple loved her second son, the simple-minded one, better than she loved the other two children put together. She was forever saying so, and when she talked with certain of her neighbors, she would even throw in her husband and her mother for good measure.

“You needn’t keep on saying it around,” said Mr. Whipple, “you’ll make people think nobody else has any feelings about Him but you. “

“It’s natural for a mother,” Mrs. Whipple would remind him. “You know yourself it’s more natural for a mother to be that way. People don’t expect so much of fathers, some way. “

This didn’t keep the neighbors from talking plainly among themselves. “A Lord’s pure mercy if He should die,” they said. “It’s the sins of the fathers,” they agreed among themselves. “There’s bad blood and bad doings somewhere, you can bet on that. ” This behind the Whipples’ back. To their faces everybody said, “He’s not so bad off. He’ll be all right yet. Look how He grows!”

Mrs. Whipple hated to talk about it, she tried to keep her mind off it, but every time anybody set foot in the house, the subject always came up, and she had to talk about Him first, before she could get on to anything else. It seemed to ease her mind. “I wouldn’t have anything happen to Him for all the world, but it just looks like I can’t keep Him out of mischief. He’s so strong and active, He’s always into everything; He was like that since He could walk. It’s actually funny sometimes, the way He can do anything; it’s laughable to see Him up to His tricks. Emly has more accidents; I’m forever tying up her bruises, and Adna can’t fall a foot without cracking a bone. But He can do anything and not get a scratch. The preacher said such a nice thing once when he was here. He said, and I’ll remember it to my dying day, The innocent walk with God—that’s why He don’t get hurt. ‘” Whenever Mrs. Whipple repeated these words, she always felt a warm pool spread in her breast, and the tears would fill her eyes, and then she could talk about something else.

He did grow and He never got hurt.
...

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Danger Signal (1945)

Danger Signal is a 1945 film noir starring Faye Emerson and Zachary Scott. I watched it online at this link. There are so many great films noir out there I'm not sure why you'd want to see this one. It's better than nothing, but that's never the choice, is it.

trailer:


Rotten Tomatoes has an audience rating of 41%.

Saturday, April 09, 2022

Moon Over Harlem

Moon Over Harlem in a 1939 film with an all black cast. Edgar G. Ulmer directs. It's just over an hour long. I watched it on YouTube:

Friday, April 08, 2022

The Mothman Prophecies

The Mothman Prophecies is a 2002 supernatural horror mystery film starring Richard Gere. It's said to be based on a true story. I watched it on Amazon Prime.

trailer:


Thursday, April 07, 2022

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Gun Shy (2017)

Gun Shy is a 2017 comedy starring Antonio Banderas. Hilarious! Critics didn't like it, but then I wasn't watching it with them. I got a big kick out of it. I watched it on HBO Max.

trailer:


Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Continental Breakfast

Continental Breakfast:



by Elizabeth Okie Paxton, who died on April 2, 1972 at 92 years of age. Please post something drink-related and join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, April 04, 2022

Gunpowder Milkshake

Gunpowder Milkshake is a 2021 action thriller. Karen Gillan stars. I saw it on Netflix. It was a fine bit of mindless entertainment. If there's a sequel I might well watch it.

trailer:


Sunday, April 03, 2022

Undertow

Undertow is a 1930 crime film directed by William Castle. This is Rock Hudson's first credited film role. I watched it on YouTube:



Saturday, April 02, 2022

Blackthorn

Blackthorn is an award-winning 2011 Western film that assumes Butch Cassidy grew old in Bolivia under an assumed name. It's a fun concept. It stars Sam Shepard as Butch Cassidy (aka James Blackthorn) and was filmed on location in Bolivia.. I watched it at this link on the Tubi web site.

trailer:


Friday, April 01, 2022

The Bad Sister

The Bad Sister is a 1931 pre-Code drama film starring Bette Davis (in her screen debut) and Humphrey Bogart. I watched it on YouTube:

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Don Juan deMarco

Don Juan deMarco is a 1995 film, a romantic comedy/drama starring Johnny Depp from back when he actually acted in films and didn't just play Captain Jack Sparrow in everything. It also has Marlon Brando and Faye Dunaway. This is a delightful film. I can't recommend it highly enough. I have it on DVD.

trailer:


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Through a Glass Darkly

image from Amazon


Through a Glass Darkly is the 15th in Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series. I'm a big fan and am pleased The Husband continues to see them as good presents for whatever ocassion is next. The characters are engaging, the Brunetti family (he has a wife who is a university professor) and their two children (a boy and a girl) are enjoyable company without ever distracting from the plot, and they eat so well! The author lived in Venice for over 30 years so knows it well enough to help you feel like you're there.

from the back of the book:
On a luminous Spring day in Venice, Commissario Guido Brunetti and Inspector Vianello play hookey to help get Vianello's friend Marco Ribetti -an environmental activist arrested during a protest against toxic waste being dumped into the city's waters- released from prison. But on the steps on the police headquarters, they come face0to-face with Ribetti's cantankerous father-in-law, who has been overheard in the bars of Murano making threats against Ribetti. And when the body of a night watchman is discovered at the father-in-law's glass factory next to an annotated copy of Dante's Inferno, Brunetti must find out if there is a connection between the book, the body, and whoever is ruining the waters of the lagoon.
Italian Mysteries has a positive review and says,
Through Brunetti’s eyes, we experience a wonderful springtime in Venice and superb descriptions of glassware and the age-old art of glass making. Leon has done a lot of research for this book which is a primer on glass making lore and the operation of the factories on Murano. There also is biting social commentary on the effects of industrial pollution on the lagoon by not only the glass factories but also by the chemical and oil industries in nearby Margera.
Publishers Weekly says,
As usual, Leon educates the reader about the charms and corruptions of Italian life (the sensuality of the architecture and food, the indolence and stagnation of its bureaucracies), besides presenting a crash course in 21st-century glass-making. Every character, every line of dialogue, every descriptive passage rings true in a whodunit that's also travel essay, political commentary and existential monologue. And the middle-aged, happily married Brunetti remains unique—an everyman who's also extraordinary
Reviewing the Evidence says,
Leon, an American with many years of living abroad, brews her knowledge of Venice expertly and in exquisite detail to accompany her novels every bit as much as a cup of cappucino brings flavor to a rich Venetian pastry. We eat Venetian food with Brunetti and his family, grieve with him (not overly much) on the inevitability of Venetian graft, cruise the canals with him, admire the stately, if decaying, palazzi with him, see with him what makes the leading Venetian crime figures as unique as is their city, and empathize with him as he struggles to keep his personal integrity amid a sea of corruption.
Kirkus Reviews concludes, "Leon shows once more why she has no serious rivals in the art of unfolding mysteries..."

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The Old Guard

The Old Guard is a 2020 award-winning superhero film starring Charlize Theron. I watched it on Netflix. A sequel is expected. Count me in. I enjoyed this one.

trailer:


Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 81%.

*******

I'll take a cup of tea over to the T Stands for Tuesday party-goers.
Join me?

Monday, March 28, 2022

Hell Harbor

Hell Harbor is a 1930 film starring Lupe Vélez. Nicknamed "Mexican Spitfire," she had quite a controversial life with many lovers. Vélez was involved in several highly publicized and often stormy relationships. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, she was linked to actors Tom Mix, Charlie Chaplin and Clark Gable. Her first long-term, high-profile relationship was with Gary Cooper. After her breakup with Cooper, Vélez began a short-lived relationship with actor John Gilbert. She was married to Johnny Weissmuller for about five years. Her name was also linked to author Erich Maria Remarque and boxer Jack Dempsey. She killed herself at the age of 36. She is buried in Mexico City. I watched this movie on YouTube:

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Major Grom: Plague Doctor

Major Grom: Plague Doctor is a 2021 Russian action film. I saw it on Netflix. It is the first feature-length film based on a Russian comic. It doesn't break new ground, but that's not what I was in it for. It's positively reviewed where I see reviews.

trailer:


Rotten Tomatoes has an audience score of 83%.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry is a 1945 film noir directed by Robert Siodmak and starring George Sanders. Those two names are enough to watch the movie for. I watched it on YouTube:



DVD Talk says it "should have been a celebrated classic. It's a perfect little picture of its kind, with impressive performances and an intriguing theme. But it couldn't find its way around a censorship problem..." The Spinning Image says, " Sanders had one of his best roles as the downtrodden but polite title character." Rotten Tomatoes has a concensus score of 80%.

Friday, March 25, 2022

John Wick

John Wick is an action thriller starring Keanu Reeves. I've forgotten where I came across it... Netflix? Amazon Prime, maybe? I'm glad I did, but it's not currently available free anywhere I can find. Fun film.

trailer:



Variety calls it a "slick and satisfying revenge thriller". Rotten Tomatoes has an 86% critics conscensus score.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Set It Up

Set It Up is a 2018 romantic comedy. I don't tend to care for romantic comedies, but this got great reviews so I gave it a shot in the interests of being open-minded and broadening my horizons. I quit after 45 minutes, but if you like romcoms you'll probably like it. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:

IndieWire closes its poritive review with this: "At its heart, though, “Set It Up” is a classic rom-com brought to life by a pair of wonderfully well-matched stars who seem to revel in the genre. This is cinematic comfort food, the kind we’ve been starving for." Roger Ebert's site, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety each has a positive review. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 92%.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

The Professionals (1966)

The Professionals is a 1966 Western film starring Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Jack Palance, Woody Strode, and Ralph Bellamy. That cast is enough to convince me to watch it, but it's also an Oscar-nominated and critically acclaimed film. I watched it at Internet Archive at this link.

trailer:


It has a critics consensus score of 88% at Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Tea Time

Tea Time:



by Robert Emil Stubner, who died on March 18, 1931. Please post a drink-related something and join us by linking at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Howl (2015)

Howl is a 2015 indie horror movie. Nicely done. There's a werewolf attacking people on a train. I'm always happy to see new entries in the werewolf/vampire/mummy traditions. I watched it free at Tubi at this link. You can also watch it on Amazon Prime.

trailer:



Heaven of Horror gives it 4 out of 5 stars and calls it an "overlooked gem".

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Ruler 42


I've had this ruler for as long as I can remember but had never before noticed the 42.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Kingdom: Ashin of the North

Kingdom: Ashin of the North is a 2021 film, part of the South Korean Kingdom franchise. It should be watched after the second season of Kingdom. I watched it on Netflix. Zombies, just so you know.

trailer:


Thursday, March 17, 2022

Juliet of the Spirits

Juliet of the Spirits is a 1965 Italian-French fantasy comedy-drama film. This was Federico Fellini's first feature length color film, and the color is gorgeous. I found it on HBO Max.

trailer:



Empire Online calls it "an intriguing film". DVD Talk calls it "a lulu of visual overkill". Roger Ebert considers it a Great Movie. It's included in the book "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die".

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Fear (1946)

Fear is an hour-long 1946 film adaptation of the main plot of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. I watched it on Tubi.


Where Danger Lives says it is "an inventive, exciting, and thought-provoking little movie" despite its flaws. TCM has an overview.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Chimes at Midnight

Chimes at Midnight is a 1965 film based on the Shakespeare figure Falstaff. It is directed by Orson Welles and stars Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford, and John Gielgud. Regarded as one of Welles' highest achievements, Welles himself called it his best work. I found it on HBO Max.

trailer:



via Internet Archive:

 

 Roger Ebert called it "a brilliant tribute to Falstaff". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 96%.

Raise a glass with Falstaff:



Share your own drink-related post and join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, March 14, 2022

The Wind (2018)

The Wind is a 2018 horror suspense western. Horror westerns are not generally well known, and it's an underappreciated sub-genre. I tend to enjoy them. I watched it on Netflix. It's also available on Amazon Prime. Both of these are subscription services.

trailer:


The Hollywood Reporter says,
Loaded with atmosphere, this fragmented chiller is set far out on the American frontier, where a lonely wife — played by an intense Caitlin Gerard — starts seeing and hearing things... Well-shot and edited, with a script that keeps you guessing for a certain stretch of time...
Roger Ebert's site opens a positive review with this:
"The Wind," an impressive horror/western hybrid, is the kind of artful genre movie that some filmgoers think simply doesn't get made anymore. It's a modestly-scaled character study about Lizzy (Caitlin Gerard), a resourceful, alienated frontierswoman who — living in a desolate cabin in the middle of an undisclosed part of 19th century America — slowly loses her grip on reality.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Remnant Population

image from Amazon


Remnant Population is a 1996 science fiction novel by Elizabeth Moon. This is one of only a few novels I know of with an elderly woman protagonist. I can recommend it highly as interesting, thought-provoking, and re-readable.

from the back of the book:
For forty years, Colony 3245.12 has been Ofelia’s home. On this planet far away in space and time from the world of her youth, she has lived and loved, weathered the death of her husband, raised her one surviving child, lovingly tended her garden, and grown placidly old. And it is here that she fully expects to finish out her days —until the shifting corporate fortunes of the Sims Bancorp Company dictates that Colony 3245.12 is to be disbanded, its residents shipped off, deep in cryo-sleep, to somewhere new and strange and not of their choosing. But while her fellow colonists grudgingly anticipate a difficult readjustment on some distant world, Ofelia savors the promise of a golden opportunity. Not starting over in the hurly-burly of a new community ... but closing out her life in blissful solitude, in the place she has no intention of leaving. A population of one.

With everything she needs to sustain her, and her independent spirit to buoy her, Ofelia actually does start life over–for the first time on her own terms: free of the demands, the judgments, and the petty tyrannies of others. But when a reconnaissance ship returns to her idyllic domain, and its crew is mysteriously slaughtered, Ofelia realizes she is not the sole inhabitant of her paradise after all. And, when the inevitable time of first contact finally arrives, she will find her life changed yet again—in ways she could never have imagined....
SFSite says, "All told, Remnant Population is a great story and a well-written book. Beyond that, it accomplishes what too few books, science fiction and otherwise, fail to do -it raises bigger questions that don't necessarily have neat answers." Publishers Weekly concludes with this: "Themes of independence and the value of wisdom form the backbone of this well-written, original novel." Speculative Book Review says, "Remnant Population will be considered classic speculative fiction, I have no doubts. [It] is a mature and intelligent piece of literature."