Several years ago a friend recommended that I watch Three Godfathers (1936), thinking, even though it was a Western, that I would enjoy it. For the most part, a Western has to have something different than the usual Cowboys and Indians shooting it out to hold any interest for me. I remember when I was a kid, I would sometimes watch these films on TV, and would mostly feel sorry for the horses that fell during the battle. Therefore, I was delighted that I enjoyed Three Godfathers with the unusual story-line about three murderous outlaws who end up caring more for a baby than they do for themselves.
Since we have to stay at home, and since the type of job I do is not something I can do from home, I have plenty of time to watch films if I so choose. A film that had been on the back burner of my mind was the Swedish version of A Woman’s Face [En kvinnas ansikte] (1938) directed by Gustaf Molander and one of ten films Ingrid Bergman made before being brought to Hollywood.
I’m in the midst of reading the biography Hattie McDaniel, Black Ambition, White Hollywood by Jill Watts. Several years ago I read Watt’s Mae West: An Icon in Black and White. She’s a very good writer and researcher and, besides involving my favourite topic of film, this book broadens my education on black people and the issues they have had to deal with during and after slavery.
I watched these two films with my kids; Quadrophenia (1979) with both my son and daughter and True Romance (1993) with just my son. To actually get my kids, especially my daughter, to watch a film with me, well it’s just short of being a miracle. I had Quadrophenia on my list of films to watch with them for a very long time and we finally did it. I had a lovely Criterion copy that my friend gave me as a gift so that made it an even more anticipated viewing.
While reading Some Enchanted Evenings: The Glittering Life and Times of Mary Martin by David Kaufman (2016), I had the urge to watch a couple of Mary Martin films.
I’m dedicating this week of films to my long-time friend Barry Chapman. Barry was a director on the board of Toronto Film Society for many, many years and was always involved in the programming. The last time I spoke with him was just after the TFS screening on December 8th and he died in the early hours of the morning on the 14th. If there’s a movie house in an afterlife, I’m sure that’s where Barry will be.
I went for a long weekend to Cleveland, Ohio and that’s where I did my film viewing.
During the week above, I only had time to watch two films, both foreign, both available on Criterion and both truly great!
I am far behind in writing about the films I’ve seen in the past few weeks. Life can get busy and usually what we do in our leisure time is what has to give. So instead of heading to the gym or doing the dreaded task of cleaning, I’d rather write about the films I’ve been watching. Continue reading
This particular week, I watched with pleasure, a number of films that featured unsvelte women. This is rare, especially in early Hollywood films. To begin with, I started out the week by attending a Toronto Film Society double-bill, where the first feature film had very few noticeable women, and certainly none who were svelt in the cast at all.