Friday, November 24, 2006
Random Flickr Blogging #1635; or, Biggest, Awfulest Shopping Day of the Year Flickr Blogging
We took our Random Flickr Blogophone out into the great mall called America and asked: What did you get today?
In other news, while there's not a lot to like about Slate, there is David Haglund—who this week has a head's up on a long-overdue collection of films from the underappreciated Preston Sturges. My friend jules turned me on to Sturges—though I still have only seen Hail the Conquering Hero and Sullivan's Travels (and of the latter I mainly remember the lovely, haunted Veronica Lake). I have got to see The Lady Eve:
While Sturges' men have less power than one might expect, his women have more. After making low-budget hits out of McGinty and Christmas in July, Sturges got enough studio money to write a script for Barbara Stanwyck, and he created a role inspired, in part, by his own mother—who began life as the poor, Irish-Catholic Mary Dempsey, then married three times, had Preston, divorced again, sailed to Europe, changed her last name to Desti (insinuating a connection to Italian nobility), and became the boon companion of the trailblazing modernist dancer Isadora Duncan. This example simply couldn't be ignored, and Sturges filled his movies with decisive, adventuresome women—none greater than Stanwyck's Jean Harrington in The Lady Eve.Meanwhile, Dana Stevens has a nice obit for the late, great Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau is in the midst of an interesting story arc wherein the pacifist Reverend Sloan and the three-time war volunteer B.D. team up to confront a classful of clueless brats who love wars—as long as the lower classes have to fight them.
Jean works with her father as a con artist finding dupes on transatlantic cruises. (There are few "traditional" families in Sturges' films.) They find the ultimate sucker in Charles Pike, played by Henry Fonda, son of a beer magnate and devoted ophiologist (he studies snakes)—with whom, of course, Jean falls in love. Sturges milks this scenario for all its Biblical and Freudian worth: Jean's first act is to drop an apple on Pike's head, shortly after which we see him reading a book titled Are Snakes Necessary? The movie is an exemplary comedy of remarriage, depicting the triumph of Jean's wordliness over Pike's outdated prudery: "You don't know much about girls," Jean tells Pike at one point. "The best ones aren't as good as you think they are and the bad ones aren't as bad. Not nearly as bad."
Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend!
Labels: Random Flickr Blogging
We just got the Sturges collection, so we're going to be re-watching them over the next few weeks (saw Palm Beach Story Wednesday night). Amazing stuff. The Lady Eve is one of my two favorites (with Sullivan's Travels.
By the way, a bit of Sturges trivia: his mother gave Isadora Duncan her scarf. Yes, that scarf.
I made over $900 last month having fun!
You can't go wrong with Sturges, although The Lady Eve is probably the best--the scene in the train is brilliant in its editing and acting (you'll see).
Too bad Miracle of Morgan's Creek isn't in the set because of legal tie-ups. It's a real hoot--an amazing virgin birth by a girl named Kockenlocker on Christmas!
And I just want to say that "Mexiporium" is my new favorite word.
Yes, you absolutely must see The Lady Eve. Immediately after that, though, you have to watch The Palm Beach Story. It's one of Sally's all-time favorites (and I like it, too). How can you go wrong with Claudette Colbert and characters like the Weenie King and the Ale and Quail Club? You can't. Fire up the Netflix queue and reserve some TV time soon.
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