This post was part of my month-long celebration of Vincent Price–TCM’s October Star of the Month in 2013. Throughout the course of Vincent Price’s long career, he worked with some of my favorite actresses such as Barbara Steele, Diana Rigg, Jennifer Jones and Linda Hayden. But if I had to single out Price’s most important costar I would point to the incomparable Gene Tierney. Tierney appeared … Continue reading VINCENT PRICE & GENE TIERNEY: A DOOMED ROMANCE
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
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)
Barbra Streisand in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) Last week I had planned on writing about some romantic films in honor of Valentine’s Day but I never got around to it. I’m still fighting off that cold bug but this week I decided to share some thoughts about one of my favorite romantic movies, Vincente Minnelli’s metaphysical musical On A Clear … Continue reading Vincente Minnelli’s Metaphysical Musical
Pierre Clémenti in Listen, Let’s Make Love (1967) Regular Cinebeats’ readers are undoubtedly familiar with my fascination with the French actor and filmmaker Pierre Clémenti. I’ve written about him enough that he’s earned his own blog category so you can imagine my surprise when I came across one of the little seen films that he appeared in playing on Netflix Instant Watch recently. The erotic … Continue reading Seduced by Pierre Clémenti
Katharine Hepburn in Christopher Strong (1933) On Friday, August 20th, TCM is devoting the day to the celebrated actress Katharine Hepburn as part of their ongoing Summer Under the Stars event. I really enjoy Summer Under the Stars and this year some of my favorite actors and actresses have been featured. I thought it would be fun to highlight one of my favorite Katherine Hepburn … Continue reading Courage Conquers Death
Tomorrow would have been Jack Kerouac’s 88th birthday and in honor of the event I decided to write about the 1960 film adaptation of his novel The Subterraneans over at the Movie Morlocks blog. The movie has a lot of problems including beatnik parodies and a terrible script but I still appreciate some aspects of it. If you’re a jazz enthusiast or just like films … Continue reading The Subterraneans (1960)
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.
Yesterday was Elizabeth Taylor’s 77th birthday. Last year I wasn’t able to properly complete my tribute to Taylor and I never finished writing about a few of her films that I want to cover here sooner or later, but today I thought I’d offer up a few brief thoughts about her 1973 film, Ash Wednesday. The paper-thin plot of Ash Wednesday was summed up perfectly … Continue reading Ash Wednesday (1973)
Even though I’m a lady, I don’t often watch what many critics refer to “women’s films” and typical romantic films tend to bore me to tears. It’s always bothered me that I’m supposed to enjoy An Affair to Remember (1957) more than The Dirty Dozen (1967) simply because of my gender. Apologies to the film’s legions of fans, but I find An Affair to Remember … Continue reading Rethinking Romance