I haven’t been online much the last few months for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I’ve been having some medical problems with my left eye and spending lots of time on my computer reading, watching vids and writing can often be problematic. My eyes get easily irritated and I’m prone to headaches, etc. The other reason is simple net fatigue, particularly on social … Continue reading June & July at the Movie Morlocks
Highlights from my April & May contributions to TCM’s Movie Morlocks. You can read all the articles by following the links below: – Happy Birthday Doris! Excerpt: “The legacy of this vivacious movie star, popular vocalist, television personality and animal rights advocate is truly unparalleled. And knowing Doris Day’s is still here with us doing good work that benefits us all is something worth celebrating!” … Continue reading April & May at The Movie Morlocks
Jess Franco 1930-2013 What follows is a collection of links to some of my posts at TCM’s Movie Morlocks from 2013. These are (in my estimation) the best and most interesting articles I wrote last year but you can read my entire output for 2013 at the Movie Morlocks if you peruse the archives. From this point onward on I’ll be collecting links to my … Continue reading 2013 at the Movie Morlocks
My latest post at the Movie Morlocks takes a look at the making of THE PICASSO SUMMER (1969) starring the fabulous Albert Finney & Yvette Mimieux. Here’s a brief excerpt from my post… Continue reading A Tale of Two Films: THE PICASSO SUMMER (1969)
Controversial film director Ken Russell passed away suddenly this week at the age of 84. Russell has long been considered the bad boy of British cinema or the original ‘enfant terrible’ of the empire, but for almost as long as I can remember he’s been one of my favorite filmmakers. I was introduced to his work as a young pre-teen in the late 1970s after … Continue reading KEN RUSSELL: IN HIS OWN WORDS
As someone who came of age during the 1980s, I’ve become increasingly disturbed by the critical response to director John Hughes’ recent death. Over and over again I’ve been told that he was “the voice” of my generation and that he “defined the ’80s.” Instead of pointing out the crass commercialism that made up the man’s entire film career, The New York Times has let … Continue reading John Hughes vs. Shane Meadows: This Is England (2006)
When I first mentioned that I was going to start “Modern Mondays” at Cinebeats I briefly discussed how much I liked musicals so I thought I’d share a few thoughts about the best musical I’ve seen in recent years, Love Songs (aka Les chansons d’amour; 2007).
Love Songs was directed by the talented French filmmaker and writer Christophe Honore (Ma mère; 2004, Dan Paris; 2006) and features an original musical score by composer Alex Beaupain. It also stars one of my favorite working actors, the incredibly handsome, charming and charismatic Louis Garrel (The Dreamers; 2003, Regular Lovers; 2005, Dans Paris; 2006). The film tells a rather simple but multilayered and bittersweet story about three young lovers living in Paris who are torn apart physically and emotionally after one of them unexpectedly dies. Romantic films featuring bisexual threesomes instead of typical “boy meets girl” couples are rare enough, but I’m pretty sure that Love Songs is one of the first full-length musical involving a ménage à trois.
The film’s unconventional take on love and loss is refreshing and beautifully handled by director Christophe Honore. In many ways Love Songs is the director’s ode to French cinema, particularly musicals, from the 1960s. Fans of classic French films such as Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Francois Truffaut’s Jules and Jim (1962) and Jean-Luc Godard’s A Woman Is a Woman (1961) will easily spot their influence on Honore’s film, but like the New Wave artists that he celebrates here, director Christophe Honore is clearly interested in breaking new ground. He sidesteps much of the ambiguity that was often a trademark of ’60s cinema to unabashedly deal in honest human anguish, passion and desire.
Love Songs is a sentimental film and I appreciated its sweetness and romanticism, but it’s also a thoughtful meditation on loss and the painful grieving process that occurs after we loose someone we deeply care about. There’s nothing more agonizing than the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one and I think Love Songs greatest achievement besides its wonderful score, smart script and beautiful cinematography is the way in which it expertly conveys that overwhelming sense of unexplainable sorrow that can become paralyzing when you’re in deep mourning.
Pictured Above: High and Low (1963), Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) Eyes Without a Face (1960) Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Cleo From 5 to 7 (1961) I was invited to participate in putting together a list of Favorite Foreign Language Films at Edward Copeland’s blog recently which is now open to online voting and I hope my blog readers will cast their vote for their … Continue reading List Making
R.I.P. Jean-Claude Brialy 1933-2007 I was planning on finally wrapping up my delayed week of celebrating all things French today, but after reading the news that the great French actor Jean-Claude Brialy had passed away I felt compelled to write something about him. Oddly enough my first thoughts went right to Alain Delon since Brialy and Delon were longtime friends. Brialy even encouraged Delon to … Continue reading Jean-Claude Brialy 1933-2007
Like many people I would love to be in France this weekend, but I’ll have to settle for celebrating Cannes 60th Anniversary in the privacy of my own home. In true armchair traveler fashion I thought I’d share some tips on how you can throw your own 1960s-1970s style Cannes Festival at home for yourself and a few film loving friends. Jean Shrimpton and Terence … Continue reading Celebrating Cannes 60th At Home