One of my all time favourite John Hughes’ movies is: Pretty in Pink! The cast is great (Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts and James Spader), the costumes are even better; the music, oh, don’t even get me started! Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s, “If You Leave”, one of the greatest 80’s songs ever, that took us in to movie bliss in the middle of a darkened parking lot at the end!
This past week, James Corden recreated the famous record store scene with Jon Cryer (who plays Duckie). I loved it! Is it just me, or does anyone else think, Jon Cryer should keep wearing his hair like that? That wig just seems to work for him.
Another great find while catching up with the last threads of things I stored on my Instapaper account over the summer, I discovered a film on The Fox is Black site. Simply entitled Tone, it’s focus lies not with the art of painting itself but rather the medium used to create works of art: paint. The film was created by NY based filmmaker Trent Jaklitsch, who filmed Alyssa Monks while at work.
I was completely mesmerised by the colors bleeding and swirling into one another as they are blended. I love cleaning my brushes, watching the paint swirl around the water, like a squid that has just extruded a puff of ink. The water beginning to cloud with color like a storm rolling in.
The paint hues tangible, the bristles of her brush sweeping through the paint and stirring it into peaks and ridges as if she is creating mountains of color. There comes a point where it doesn’t appear as paint any more, it materializes almost as if it has come out of the cosmos, a star burst of color. Or, like bodily fluids, blood pulsing through the veins. It is an intoxicating film to view.
There are few men today, who are truly a gentleman, a real man’s man. James Garner was one of those men. I grew up watching re-runs of The Rockford Files and Maverick on TV and fell in love. He was charming, he was funny, he was handsome, he was generous and hardworking. I always had a bit of a crush on him.
He was unique in that he appeared to seamlessly transition between TV and film in a time where actors simply did one or the other. I loved him as Doris Day’s husband in The Thrill of it All, he was hysterical! They partnered again in Move Over, Darling. He played opposite Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria. He was a cowboy, a detective, a comedian, a gentleman. He has played many characters, there are numerous films that I love him in, but one might be more special than all the others to me: Murphy’s Romance.
There was something about this movie that just captivated me. It was my Birthday movie of choice this year. Mr. Michie put up the vintage projection screen for me and we ate cake in the dark and watched Murphy’s Romance. I love that movie! It has everything: Sally Field, Carole King singing the theme song, the cowboy element and it had James Garner, who you just fell in love with as the movie went on.
The world lost a gentleman this week and I was sure saddened to hear it.
I have long been a fan of This American Life. An episode aired at the end of the May that I missed and as I have been catching up with some podcasts here and there, I listened to it this morning. It was called: “Is That What I Look Like?”. In the third act, entitled the “Blunder Years”, Ira Glass talks to Molly Ringwald and what it was like to sit down with her 10 year old daughter and watch The Breakfast Club together for the first time.
I was still a little kid when this movie came out. It wasn’t until my early teens that I saw it. And, I got it! That was the magic, one of the many magic things about John Hughes, he got it. I think that there is a piece of us that identifies with each of the characters. There was always something in one of this films that you could identify with, you knew these characters, they were believable. They were your family, your friends, your neighbours. He understood teen angst and not in the whiny way that is mostly portrayed like today, but the real angst, where you are just trying to make it and you know there has to be something better out there than High School. It is a movie that I think all teenagers should see.
I remember a few years ago, Mr. Michie showed it to one of his Media classes and they had never seen it! I was shocked! This is a move that should be in your film viewing repertoire! I was an 80’s girl, to this day, that collection of John Hughes films are some of my favorite. If they are on TV, I have to stop and watch it.
Growing up, The Breakfast Club, somehow always seemed to be on TBS at least once a month. I would get home late from babysitting, my sister would get in from waitressing and we would sit down, get a snack to unwind, talk about our evenings and watch The Breakfast Club. To this day, we still randomly yell lines out to each other. Sometimes, all we need is one line, one word to sum up a situation, we get the rest, we have the unspoken language of sisters to fill in the blanks.
I can’t imagine how nerve-wracking and awkward and scary and slightly exciting, it must have been for Molly Ringwald to sit next to her daughter and watch this film. A little girl on the cusp of becoming a teen, the things you wonder if she knows about, if she doesn’t you would like to keep it that way, for as long as possible. It was insightful for Molly Ringwald, her daughter’s take on it and to which character she identifies with. The styles may have changed, the hair, the clothes, the time period, but to this day, I think that this is not a dated film, it is still poignant today.
I enjoyed listening to it, while cleaning the kitchen and I thought you might too:
I am a Radiohead fan. I have an old concert t-shirt of theirs I stole from Mr. Michie many many moons ago, it is perfectly soft. He is an even bigger Radiohead fan and so he smiled sweetly and closed his eyes when I played this for him this chilly Saturday morning, found via The Fox is Black.
I have a film to finish editing this weekend that will go on display along with 14 other films in St. John Smith’s Square Music Hall this week. It is an abstract film that will accompany the symphony. It has been an interesting process for me as I have never made a piece of abstract film before. I will post the film and share more on that soon.
Oh, the weekend! Those two words: THE WEEKEND, hark so gloriously to my ears. This week has been insanely busy, with more than a few late nights. It is funny to think that the place you call home, the place you spend time creating as an oasis is sometimes the place you spend your least amount of time in. I have spent more time outside of my house than in it this week. Hmm, I think this work/life balance thing needs some reconsideration.
We plan to do a lot of walking this weekend, a little coffee drinking, a bit of shopping as I am working on putting together some surprise packages and a lot of delicious eating and being in each other’s company. Being with Mr. Michie makes me happy.
You were my Little Princess, where I dreamed of living in the attic with you as my bedmate and having secret parties with our gorgeous neighbor, Cesar Romero, who would regale us with magical tales of India.
You were my Heidi. I dreamed of sleeping in your hay loft that was warmed by the fire below and walking through the alps with you and your little goats, Schwanli and Baerli. Stopping by a meadow stream to feast on bread and cheese out of our lunch pails.
You were my Bobby-Soxer, who I watched dreamily as you fell head over heels for Cary Grant and the gorgeous Myrna Loy starred as your sister.
You were my favorite drink to order out at dinner on special occasions! I still make “Shirley Temple’s”, your never too old for a couple of cherries in your beverage!
You were kind, intelligent, talented, a diplomat, a breast cancer survivor; you were “Little Miss Bright Eyes” and you will be missed.
Today I got to help with a group of students who are creating an abstract film that will be shown in London alongside the school orchestra’s performance of an Elgar piece.
The film will be projected on to a screen in the back of the church and will appear as a moving abstract piece of stained glass.
First things first, the students were painting strips of film that will be digitized so they can more easily manipulate them to process and edit their final films.
As this is a medium I have not worked in before, I was very eager to give it a try myself. This is the closest I will ever come to being the cel painter I always dreamed of being at Disney. The strip I was working on was almost 10 feet in length, yet this will only equivalate to about 10 seconds of actual film time. I hung up my strip to finish drying when I was done alongside everyone else’s, now on to the next phase…
This is just one of the sweetest films! It makes me smile every time I watch it. Mr. Michie and I both have terrible colds and sinus infections at the moment, but soldier on we must! Being sick at work makes for a long day.
We both got in late tonight from work and sitting on the couch with a cup of tea, I dreamed of Paris. This film captures the essence of Paris, the magic to it! It is a place I would gladly call home and feel when we are there, that it is a second home as we know our little areas so well and some of the shopkeepers too.
I don’t know what could be more French then a blue coat with a red hat and wee red knee-high socks. So, as I dream of Paris tonight, I thought you could come along with me!
Mr. Michie took me to see a movie this weekend that I have been waiting to see for awhile now: The Way, Way Back.
It gave more than I even expected it too. Not, that I felt at any point either before seeing it or during, that I would walk away and not enjoy it, these coming-of-age tales are close to my heart. I already knew I would love it, the writers (Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, two extremely funny and talented guys), the cast, composed of many actors who I truly admire, the soundtrack, the location. I felt as if I was on Duncan’s (the protagonist’s) journey with him.
I never thought that I would think of Steve Carell as an asshole, a part he played well. Maybe it was more real because I could never imagine him having any of those traits outside of this role, so possibly, you could envisage him enjoying playing someone more sinister, he was into the role and you as the voyeur completely believed it. You hung in this disbelief watching this man emotionally torture a 15 year-old kid, when he himself was the one with all the issues.
Steve Carell’s character drives them to his beach house in an old restored station wagon. We used to have a station wagon for a little while when I was growing up and I have to tell you, the way, way back, was my favourite place to sit. You watched the world from a whole different vantage point back there. You also existed in your own world back there, as if there was some kind of magical barrier between you and everyone else in the car.
I felt for Duncan, there was no way that you could watch this movie and not cheer him on, through everything that was thrown at him. You might not have had this particular struggle but everyone has had their own teenage crap they went through, everyone has walked that road into adulthood, some are still on it. We all bring different things to the table.
In the end, I left with a smile on my face. As Owen tells Duncan, “You’ve got to go your own way”. You have to blaze your own trail, that is the only way that you will truly find out who it is that you are meant to be and that is a path that I don’t think stops after your teenage years, you have to keep blazing that trail because our decisions and the way we choose to handle a situation continues to evolve the path that we are on.
If you can, go see The Way, Way Back, it will be worth it, I promise you!