With Halloween approaching, I figured writing about horror movies would be appropriate. I could write about horror movies any time of the year, so it’s not completely limited to just now. I’ve talked about some movies to creep you out before, specifically a couple of my favorite silent movies. This time I chose four, each from a different decade. There were so many I could have chosen, but as I said this time there are four, the numerous other options will have to wait until future posts. And while my intention is not to reveal any spoilers below, something may come out that I don’t even think of as a spoiler. I’ve seen all the movies so many times, I may not even realize I’m revealing something groundbreaking to someone who hasn’t seen it. I apologize ahead of time if I do so.
House on Haunted Hill (1959), starring Vincent Price, isn’t necessarily the most chilling movie, but it sure is fun. By today’s standards it’s quite campy, but that’s precisely one of the reasons I love it. I think I remember reading somewhere that when the movie was originally in theatres, a skeleton would fly out over the audience. How fun is that? I can only imagine audiences of the time, not jaded by CGI or heaps of blood in their movies, being startled and screaming at the sight of the skeleton suddenly appearing. What a grand time!
Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?
Someone call the Flintstones’ real estate agent.
I decided to do a series of posts about certain songs that . . . just do something to my insides. I don’t know if I can adequately put into words the feeling I’m given by these songs, but I’m going to do my best. Music is an important part of my life, and can generate such an array of emotions and there are so many musicians and songs that I love. These songs, though, are the ones that make my soul flourish. They cause an internal and beyond reaction, a sensation that makes my heart well-up and about burst. It’s an agreeable feeling, mixed with an ache, but one that I know will be soothed. . .some day. If you reference back to my post, Please Step On My Toes, you’ll get a bit of an understanding of the context of these songs for me. I have a play list of these songs, and I’ll go through them one by one, in no particular order.
First up, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh in 1928. Like most older songs, there are quite a few covers and versions. The one that gets me right in the essence of my being is from 1947 from Django Reinhardt with Freddie Taylor on vocals. For anyone who may not know Django Reinhardt, he was a French guitarist most prominent in the 1930s and 1940s.
A few months ago I wrote about watching Casablanca in the movie theatre, and what a sublime event that was. Select theatres showed the classic because this year is the 70th anniversary of it’s release. Another great classic, Singin’ in the Rain is celebrating an anniversary, as well, it’s 60th.
It was brought back to select theatres for the viewing pleasure of those of us happy to be taken back to another place in time, or those who just want to see a movie much talked about and treasured through the years. It is widely considered the greatest musical in movie history. I would say it’s hard to argue with that sentiment. I’m a lover of musicals, they are fun and vibrant, and can make the gloomiest of days brighten and bloom. Singin’ in the Rain definitely does all these things. It makes me feel happy. It causes a tremor in my feet that makes them want to move across the floor. It brings a smile to my face and makes me want to burst out in song.
I want all of these dresses!
I recently got the hankering to watch The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I had seen a few episodes here and there in the past, but never really watched the show or knew much about it. I ventured off to the library to find they had seasons 1 -3. The library turns out to not only be the quiet sanctuary filled with lovely smelling books, but you can check out DVDs for a $1. Even though these contained multiple DVDs, they’re still only a dollar and you get to keep them for three weeks. Just another reason to love the library!
The first moment I saw/heard of The Artist, I had an overwhelming desire to see it. As a lover of silent films and classic movies, it was a no-brainer. I have written before, encouraging the viewing of silent films, for them to be given a chance in our age of technology, computer generated special effects, and, quite honestly, too many overproduced, mediocre movies.
With a flip of her hair, Rita Hayworth could drive scores of males wild. She was the “love goddess,” a pinup for military soldiers, and she was a presence on-screen that demanded attention.
I may get a lot of complaints, but there aren’t movie stars like her anymore. On screen she was almost always glamorous, to the point of it being unrealistic, but isn’t that what movies are about? Older movies are my favorites for a lot of different reasons, but one is because you know you’re watching a movie, it is an escape from reality, it is entertainment. In real life, Rita Hayworth was still gorgeous, but from what has been told she was very humble and shy, and not always decked out in elegant gowns and glamorous make up. It seems today, it’s the opposite with stars. In their movies they all play worn out characters, wear prosthetic noses or “ugliness,” and try and “nail reality,” but in real life they always look like an unattainable perfection. Personally, I prefer the way it was in Rita Hayworth’s time.
Err. . .that last part might not be right.
It seems like most people are more interested in playing Wii, PlayStation, or Guitar Hero these days. Which I’m sure are all enjoyable, but I miss old-fashioned board games. As illustrated in this blog, I can be quite a dork, so this should come as no surprise.
Sitting around the table with the board game spread out in front of everyone. Everyone choosing which piece/color/character they’re going to be. Drawing cards, performing tasks, making decisions, physically moving your piece around the board. The physical exertion, the actual touch of game pieces, and interacting with other human beings face-to-face are all aspects that make game night and board games an enjoyable and nostalgic feat.
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but most of the shows I do enjoy are older shows. Probably my favorite is The Golden Girls. I remember watching this show when I was growing up, right after we would come home from church. I even remember our priest at the time loving the show, making jokes and references in relation to it, and teasing how he would keep his sermon short so everyone could make it home in time for The Golden Girls.
The whirr of the turntable, the gentle scratch of the needle as it touches down on vinyl, and the delicious music that pours forth with the subtle balance of pops and crackles. To some, this is the only way to listen to music. While I do have my iPod (mostly for my car, but maybe I should look into one of those car record players they had in the 70s), vinyl is my preferred way to hear my favorite artists.
I don’t like to play the “favorite” game, it’s so difficult to choose one thing to be my favorite. However, when people ask who my favorite musical artist is, the first response seems to come quite easily: Otis Redding. (I have such eclectic taste in music, I usually ramble off an extensive list of artists following Otis. You know, because I have trouble picking just one.) Otis Redding does something for . . . to me. I can’t quite explain it fully, but here’s an attempt.
Anyone who has read this blog can clearly tell vinyls are a big part of my love of nostalgia, see header photo, and I have used my records as “preparation soundtracks” for (hopefully) edible posts. I’ve been somewhat hesitant to write solely about vinyls, mostly because I have so many I want to feature and it’s hard to choose where to start. Plus, I want to, in fact, write about most of them. (And plan to as I go along.) The choice was made much easier with the more recent discovery of two records at a local record store. (I’ve had a 45 of “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag/Direct Me” by Otis for a while, but some how skewed my ability of being satisfied with owning an actual, full record of his.) The first record I found of his (the same day I found the two) was completely out of my price range. I was disheartened and a bit glum leaving that record store, having seen my first Otis vinyl in person, able to place my hands on it yet being forced to leave it behind while it taunted me with its exuberant price tag. The next record store (which was a heavenly delight even if it hadn’t had Otis) re-energized my spirits. In fact, I placed my hands on Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul and Pain In My Heart and instantly had heart palpitations, tears took up residence in the corners of my eyes, and of course, I swooned. I thought I was dreaming. . .perhaps the victim of a practical joke, but no. They were real. And they were mine.