Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Second Installment of Greed

New characters, puppies, chloroform?
This is a tricky one. The stills help, but the missing footage is heartbreaking.
I feel terrible that all I can think of when I watch this is Steve Martin doing "You'll be a Dentist" from Little Shop of Horrors. My apologies.


Here's the first installment of my viewing of the Eric von Stronheim film. The scene with the candles in the Gold Mine is quite beautiful. Kissing the tiny sick bird and throwing a man off of a cliff for his disregard for the tiny creature is quite the establishment of a character.

How do you end your day? Would you save a small puppy and throw your co-worker in front of a train?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Speaking of the Weimar Republic...

I'm always trying to find ways to link the Weimar Republic with our current social and economic environment. The report in Time Magazine about Detroit and other news articles about Detroit's deteriorated social and economic situation are mind boggling. CNN reports how bodies are piling up in morgues because families can't afford the $695 to bury them and the city has no money to bury them either. "Oh the shark bites..."

Then a week later there was a huge article in the Detroit Free Press on how when housing and utility assistance was offered the Cobo Center was m
obbed. "with his teeth dear..."

Then a few days later I happened to see a jaw dropping documentary on HBO called Outrage.
(I say jaw dropping because you just can't believe what self-loathing produces, I'm so naive!)
This film is about how many of the polices in Washington against same sex couples are championed by closeted, self loathing homosexuals. Really interesting film. "...and he keeps them pearly white..."

Today I came across a film I have hear of but have NEVER seen. Anders als die Andern this film is a stunner. It is so sad that it was destroyed by the Nazi's. The scene that really made the connection for me with the film Outrage, was the scene where the blackmailer of Paul is in an all male bar conspiring to blackmail Paul further which eventually leads to Paul being sent to jail.

So what does this have to do with Detroit? Not sure, but for some reason I can't get Three Penny Opera out of my head. "They call him Mac the Knife".

Anders als die Andern (1919, Germ.) (aka Different From the Others)
This is what Sex in Cinema has listed about the film:
This silent film (only half of it survives) by director Richard Oswald was reportedly the first representation of male homosexuality ("the third sex") in a feature-length film, and the first screen depiction of a gay bar (with gay males and butch females); it was also notable for sympathetically portraying homosexuality; the two ill-fated lovers were prominent pianist Paul Korner (Conrad Veidt) and his young music student, Kurt (Fritz Schulz); the film had a tragic ending (suicide for Korner) due to the effects of blackmail (threats of exposure), jail time for violating anti-homosexuality statutes, and the social stigma of being outed; the film was banned by the Nazis and all prints were ordered destroyed, although one incomplete print surfaced in the Ukraine; the film's themes were repeated in Victim (1961, UK), with Dirk Bogarde.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bank Runs-You could have knocked me over with a pin

American Madness -Directed by Frank Capra

I wonder if this is how Lehman Brothers went down. One scene illustrates just how quickly rumors get out of control and leads to a bank run. It just takes a pin to pop a balloon.
The underlying issue is that no one seems to trust the bank and who operates it. The flurry of phone calls and panicked voices. A complete void of trust in the financial system.

The topic of hoarded cash, sitting idle is a theme I've heard recently on the news. There is a scene where they discuss bringing the country back to prosperity by getting money in circulation. The scene where they are constructing a bailout is chilling.

We have been here before. In the film a character argues, "Help Jones, and you help the whole circle". He goes on to say, "Jones is no risk, neither are the thousands of other Jone's in this country."

Oh my, hang on tight folks this film is going to hit home. I highly recommend American Madness after you go and see Michael Moore's film, Capitalism: A Love Story.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Goin' South

City girl goes to rural America. Usually it goes the other way around, but this summer I'll be working in a place that looks nothing like New York and barely has internet. I'm trying to think of a movie I can watch before I leave that will prepare me for the amount of bug bites I'm going to collect. Hot Saturday springs to mind. This one reminds me a bit of the opera Susannah. Or the story of Susannah and the Elders. Should get me in the mood. Anyone have any suggestions for precode films that go well with Miller Light and a FEMA trailer?

Friday, May 15, 2009

5th Avenue? Really?

Last night I was in the city and walking down 5th Ave. and could not help but to be stunned by all the vacant stores, spaces and buildings. Very surreal. I just had flashed of downtown Detroit in my mind, but I just can't imagine that New York could deteriorate to that level. We would have to have a few riots, burn down the city and depend entirely on one industry. I think we may have a little more bounce than that. The Beast of the City may be something to look at to warn us where we may sink to and an ending not to be missed! Skyscraper Souls which is about a loan that is jeopardized, a bad stock tip and poor usage of a dead wife. Hold on kids. It's going to be a bumpy ride!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Creative Profesional

So the NY Times fashion section today writes about the plight of one of my favorite species. The poor suffering white man. The Metro Sexual is finally dead. The look of success is now one of a "Creative Professional". More checks and gingham and less solid and stable. I remember a few years back during the dotcom era when suits just were on vacation. Bannana Republic was the new corporate casual and the client based look was gone. This was due to the decreasing interface between vendor and client, but this one is a little different. No one wants to look like a criminal. I love it. So I'm thinking about men and style and what precode films they could watch that might sympathize with this new sterotype they have to endure. American Madness may be just what the fashion police ordered. It's about a bank robbery that happens under the nose of a bank teller who was an ex-convict who was recently hired. The man in charge is actually the one behind the caper. This film has been criticized for being dated...um...I think you will find it slightly topical.