Friday, November 13, 2015

Tragedy in Paris

Like all of you, I am furious to read about the terrorist attacks in Paris.  May all free nations unite to fight and end this barbarity.

We're with France.  May the U.S. always remember the great debt we owe France, and always be among the first to lend aid.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

Turkey Day 13

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Noir Watch: The Unsuspected (1947)

It's Noirvemeber, and I haven't really been doing my duty to keep up.  Plowing through October and horror films and then thinking about watching mostly just one genre again sounded like being asked to eat a second turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day.   I may like both genres but, man...  So, I have not taken too much of a noir plunge yet this month outside the superlative Fargo on FX.

But if we were going to jump into Noirvember, I was either going to do it by watching Narrow Margin and see Marie Windsor bust everyone's chops, or with another one of my favorite actresses of the genre, Audrey Totter.  And, man, is she ever good in this movie.  I appreciated her the last time I watched the movie, but this time... yowza.

Turkey Day 12

Mad Watch: Mad Love (1935)

We all grew up liking Peter Lorre thanks to the many imitations Mel Blanc performed of his voice in a sea of WB cartoons, and if that worked for you, I can't really recommend enough catching him in roles from his younger days, such as this film - Mad Love (1935) - or in something like The Maltese Falcon.

I'd recorded Mad Love during TCM's October horror movie sprint, but, a bit like The Black Cat, its a tough one to pin down exactly as a horror film, but it's a label that works better than, say "rom-com" in this instance.  Not only does the film partake in acts of horror and madness, it actually begins within a theater clearly meant to be the original Grand Guignol (a topic worth reading up on if you've got a minute).

Not only does the film star Lorre, we also get Colin Clive, an actor I've enjoyed in Frankenstein films but who pops up all too infrequently in other roles.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Turkey Day 11

Tarantino Watch: Pulp Fiction (1994)

By Fall of 1994, I was in my second year at the University of Texas.  Back in the 80's and 90's, Austin was a much smaller town, but the avid film scene for both film production and film fans, which would become fertile territory for the Alamo Drafthouse to take hold and grow.  You're welcome, America.  Our 90's love of beer and movies is now our gift to you.

For reasons upon which I am unclear, Quentin Tarantino was well aware he had a particularly vocal fanbase in Austin.  I suspect screenings of Reservoir Dogs at either The Dobie (a small "art house" theater on the edge of campus) or the Village (a larger, equally dumpy art house theater a few miles north of downtown) might have gone well for the director, but I was living in North Houston from 90-93, and missed that window.  

Anyway, Tarantino booked a screening of his new film, Pulp Fiction (1994), on campus at UT Austin about two months before the film's broad release.  I've written before about the experience*, but it was pretty amazing.  Hogg Auditorium, an old-style movie and performance house, was filled to capacity.  The place was rowdy as hell.  People were dressed in black suits and ties.  In sports parlance, this was a hometown crowd.

So, it should come as no surprise that when Amanda Plummer's character took the screen, shouted spittle our direction and then the credits appeared, the crowd went monkey-shit.  Standing en masse, cheering, clapping, roaring really.  And not for the last time.  The adrenaline shot didn't just get the crowd on its feet, if there'd been a police cruiser to turn over and set ablaze, it would have happened.  We were up and down in our seats throughout the screening, and I guess at that point Mr. Tarantino had a good idea there was an audience for his movie.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Inexplicable BudK Catalog

I have no @#$%ing idea

So, this showed up in the mail.  That's right, it's a Christmas Knife!  These people aren't making the same mistake as those heathens at Starbucks!  And, with their product, you could kill a man.

I have no idea who this company is, but they had my name and mailing address.

Oh, yeah.  That's a lousy picture.  Here you go.  From their website:

Pretty exciting!  And something that you will totally not throw in a sock drawer and forget about.  

But, like the page says:  You may also like...

Turkey Day 10