charlie chaplin’s “city lights”

city lights chaplini have always been a buster keaton fan and never truly understood chaplins appeal until today when i saw City Lights (1931).

where keaton has remarkable acrobatics, chaplin has this sweet sweet sentimentality. and so many bits.  chaplins facial expressions are also not limited to just one.

i hesitate from giving away the movie – can you spoil one thats nearly 100 years old?

but the idea that a very poor guy falls in love with a blind girl and needs the help of a millionaire to help him is a bit extreme to say the least.

something ive noticed in these older movies is how often theres someone with a butler or a maid or a paid servant of some sort to help them do the most bizarre domestic dealings.

people dressed super nice back then

and women got bouquets of flowers like all the time, it seemed.

it was also nice to see one of those gutters that led to a pipe that filled a wooden barrel: who the hell thought we should get rid of those?

but the little tiny scene that i loved – other than the end –  was when charlie is working as a street sweeper and gives dirty looks at the horses before he has to pick up after them

as if the horses know what theyre doing!

four stars

one of my new years resolutions is that every week imma see a classic movie i aint never seen before, it started with imitation of life (1934) then love in the afternoon (1957) and last week was belle de jour (1967)

belle de jour (1967)

belle de jour

i thought i had seen the Luis Buñuel classic, but when i saw it was on Hulu Plus the other day and watched it i realized i’d only seen photos of it and clips.

it’s a fascinating film starring the ridiculously beautiful Catherine Deneuve as a woman who is unfulfilled sexually in her marriage SO DECIDES TO BE A HOOKER.

or does she? the film does things that in the College of Creative Studies they taught us never to do: explain away everything as a dream.

there are scenes that happen and we realize they were just fantasies. and as the film moves along we never know whats real and whats a dream. even until the end.

Bunuel said even he didnt know what was real.

is that art or an easy way out?

we at school were taught that its the wrong path. that it’s lazy to work that way. that you should know and at some point your audience should know otherwise you’re just playing with their head for no good cause.

in the end i couldnt keep my eyes off Deneuve and i was glued to every step in her walk through being a prostitute because it was super interesting.

but im glad film didnt follow this path.

three stars

one of my new years resolutions is that every week imma see a classic movie i aint never seen before, last week was love in the afternoon and before that it was imitation of life.

love in the afternoon (1957)

love in the afternoon

one of the great things about being a man in america is no matter how old we get we can still fool around with babes in their 20s.

that, to me, is the theme of the gary cooper + audrey hepburn + billy wilder romcom

do i buy it? do i think that audrey has daddy issues when her papa is maurice chevalier?

no. it is not established why shes into the cavorting, forgetful, bland cooper.

gary cooper and audrey hepburnthe only other love in her life has no game, but cooper does? he’s got so much money he’s able to pay a quartet of gypsies to perform live music anywhere he wishes, but audrey doesnt seem impressed by material objects

except for that fur

and that hat

if anything i think shes attracted to his style. it is carefree and simple. and stylish.

because when you’re a handsome man with money, no matter your age, life is a parade of women of all sorts

why wouldnt you soak it all in?

which is where the gunman comes in. the only interesting part of the film to me. most of it is damn audrey’s gorge or damn coop got old.

but as the nra says: when theres a gun – theres always fun.

there werent enough guns is the problem. not enough stumbling blocks.

youre telling me fine as audrey is, theres no other men knocking on her door? theres no other husbands trying to get at coop?

theres no other songs those gypsies can play???

there were some moments of LOLs and decent lines, but for the most part i was all what a waste of talent.

two stars

one of my new years resolutions is that every week imma see a classic movie i aint never seen before, last week was imitation of life.

imitation of life (1934)

delilah - imitation of life

one of my new years resolutions is that every week imma see a classic movie i aint never seen before.

kicked it off tonight with claudette colbert and louise beaver in a strange film about race, pancakes, and love.

directed by john stahl, one of the 36 founding members of the academy, one of the odd facts about the movie is the Mammy (beaver) in real life was less than two years older than her daughter (fredi washington) – both actresses were actually in their 30s. washington played a convincing 19 year-old.

what i liked was how it portrayed the rich as people who wear tuxedos, carry canes of all sorts, own furs and employ help.

but really it was an eye opening and in a way progressive view of race and mixed race America in the 1930s.

the film was nominated for best picture, but it was up against the other film colbert starred in that year

it happened one night

two and a half stars