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Archive for the ‘banner’ Category

This is part of a shot from the 1952 film The Bad and the Beautiful, directed by Vincent Minnelli and starring Kirk Douglas as Hollywood film producer Jonathan Shields. I’ve not finished watching it yet, so I’ll say more later, but the shot shows Douglas explaining to a director how fear works: we fear the unknown – and therefore the unshown – more than what we can see and know. Since both have been assigned to a cheap B movie about cat-men, this lesson in terror also cuts costs: viewers will sense the presence of the movie’s villains through sounds and shadows instead of costumes and elaborate special effects. Here’s another shot:

The Bad and the Beautiful

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About the banner

The current banner is brought to you by the 1940 film The Shop Around the Corner directed by Ernst Lubitsch. I notice that the film also appears in the “Classics Seen with the Kids” sidebar on my sister’s blog. Anyway, for the uninitiated, Lubitsch’s films – without exception in my experience – are charming, clever, sexy, hilarious, and touching. The banner shows Margaret Sullavan looking for mail from the pen pal she has fallen in love with, who also happens to be the coworker (Jimmy Stewart) that she can’t stand. Of course, she doesn’t know that the two men are the same person, and if this is all sounding familiar it’s because You’ve Got Mail, starring the 90’s version of Jimmy Stewart (Tom Hanks) is a remake. (The film was also remade as a musical, In the Good Old Summertime.) Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to check out one of the other Lubitsch films. My favorites are To Be or Not to Be and Heaven Can Wait. I’m including a shot of Hell from the latter film.

Heaven Can Wait

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About the banner

This is an image from a haunting movie, Kenji Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu monogatari, one of the latest great films to fall from that very long list of movies I’m supposed to have seen by now.

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