The Artist

Jan. 22nd, 2012 12:09 am
dangermousie: (Default)


I am dying to see this. Not only does it look fantastic, but I am a huge fan of silent movies. Oh God, please be good!

The Artist

Jan. 22nd, 2012 12:09 am
dangermousie: (Default)


I am dying to see this. Not only does it look fantastic, but I am a huge fan of silent movies. Oh God, please be good!

The Artist

Jan. 22nd, 2012 12:09 am
dangermousie: (Default)


I am dying to see this. Not only does it look fantastic, but I am a huge fan of silent movies. Oh God, please be good!
dangermousie: (Firefly: Mal/Inara dance by pepperlandgi)
Today's pick is one of my favorite silents - the funny, bubbly, smart It which stars Clara Bow and Antonio Moreno.



The term "it", to describe sex appeal, was coined by the notorious British novelist Elinor Glyn. Ms. Glyn wrote deliciously trashy and extremely scandalous (for the time) romance novels. I have read a batch of them and they are delightful. She was also an extremely shrewd businesswoman who wrote books to keep herself and her husband living well, and moved to Hollywood to pursue an extremely successful career there.

But, anyway, on to the movie. Its protagonist is the spunky, no-nonsense shopgirl Betty Lou Spence (Clara Bow). Her awesomeness catches the eye of the wealthy, reserved owner of her department store, with the rather dated name of Cyrus Waltham Jr. (Antonio Moreno). A courtship full of fun, misunderstandings, and adorableness ensues. She takes him to Coney Island! He rides a streetcar for her!

So, why watch a movie that is over 80 years old? Because it's fun. I laughed out loud at some of the sequences. Because the glimpses into a long-vanished world are fascinating. Because of the heroine. Betty Lou has "it" in spades, but what really drew me how awesome she was. She was warm and real and practical and with a huge temper and optimistic and very strong (there is a subplot with her neighbour's illegitimate baby in which Betty Lou is great). I can't blame Cyrus falling for her because I fell for her myself. It is perhaps anachronistic to call a 1920s movie heroine feminist, but I will. (There are a number of silents which have very strong women in them - see Our Dancing Daughters). She rescues herself, she has strong opinions of right and wrong, she will not put up with wounds to her self-respect even from a man she loves, she stands up for those weaker than herself. Her (and the movie's) views on unmarried mothers (i.e. her neighbor) are incredibly progressive for the time. Basically, she is awesome.

The rest of the cast is second fiddle to Clara Bow but I really liked Antonio Moreno. His looks probably wouldn't make him a movie star today, but he looks like what an attractive wealthy man of the period would love to look like :) And I ended up liking his reserved character, and his chemistry with Clara Bow.

Have a clip from the movie:



Anyway, check it out, it's a delight! The entire movie is on youtube btw.
dangermousie: (Firefly: Mal/Inara dance by pepperlandgi)
Today's pick is one of my favorite silents - the funny, bubbly, smart It which stars Clara Bow and Antonio Moreno.



The term "it", to describe sex appeal, was coined by the notorious British novelist Elinor Glyn. Ms. Glyn wrote deliciously trashy and extremely scandalous (for the time) romance novels. I have read a batch of them and they are delightful. She was also an extremely shrewd businesswoman who wrote books to keep herself and her husband living well, and moved to Hollywood to pursue an extremely successful career there.

But, anyway, on to the movie. Its protagonist is the spunky, no-nonsense shopgirl Betty Lou Spence (Clara Bow). Her awesomeness catches the eye of the wealthy, reserved owner of her department store, with the rather dated name of Cyrus Waltham Jr. (Antonio Moreno). A courtship full of fun, misunderstandings, and adorableness ensues. She takes him to Coney Island! He rides a streetcar for her!

So, why watch a movie that is over 80 years old? Because it's fun. I laughed out loud at some of the sequences. Because the glimpses into a long-vanished world are fascinating. Because of the heroine. Betty Lou has "it" in spades, but what really drew me how awesome she was. She was warm and real and practical and with a huge temper and optimistic and very strong (there is a subplot with her neighbour's illegitimate baby in which Betty Lou is great). I can't blame Cyrus falling for her because I fell for her myself. It is perhaps anachronistic to call a 1920s movie heroine feminist, but I will. (There are a number of silents which have very strong women in them - see Our Dancing Daughters). She rescues herself, she has strong opinions of right and wrong, she will not put up with wounds to her self-respect even from a man she loves, she stands up for those weaker than herself. Her (and the movie's) views on unmarried mothers (i.e. her neighbor) are incredibly progressive for the time. Basically, she is awesome.

The rest of the cast is second fiddle to Clara Bow but I really liked Antonio Moreno. His looks probably wouldn't make him a movie star today, but he looks like what an attractive wealthy man of the period would love to look like :) And I ended up liking his reserved character, and his chemistry with Clara Bow.

Have a clip from the movie:



Anyway, check it out, it's a delight! The entire movie is on youtube btw.
dangermousie: (Firefly: Mal/Inara dance by pepperlandgi)
Today's pick is one of my favorite silents - the funny, bubbly, smart It which stars Clara Bow and Antonio Moreno.



The term "it", to describe sex appeal, was coined by the notorious British novelist Elinor Glyn. Ms. Glyn wrote deliciously trashy and extremely scandalous (for the time) romance novels. I have read a batch of them and they are delightful. She was also an extremely shrewd businesswoman who wrote books to keep herself and her husband living well, and moved to Hollywood to pursue an extremely successful career there.

But, anyway, on to the movie. Its protagonist is the spunky, no-nonsense shopgirl Betty Lou Spence (Clara Bow). Her awesomeness catches the eye of the wealthy, reserved owner of her department store, with the rather dated name of Cyrus Waltham Jr. (Antonio Moreno). A courtship full of fun, misunderstandings, and adorableness ensues. She takes him to Coney Island! He rides a streetcar for her!

So, why watch a movie that is over 80 years old? Because it's fun. I laughed out loud at some of the sequences. Because the glimpses into a long-vanished world are fascinating. Because of the heroine. Betty Lou has "it" in spades, but what really drew me how awesome she was. She was warm and real and practical and with a huge temper and optimistic and very strong (there is a subplot with her neighbour's illegitimate baby in which Betty Lou is great). I can't blame Cyrus falling for her because I fell for her myself. It is perhaps anachronistic to call a 1920s movie heroine feminist, but I will. (There are a number of silents which have very strong women in them - see Our Dancing Daughters). She rescues herself, she has strong opinions of right and wrong, she will not put up with wounds to her self-respect even from a man she loves, she stands up for those weaker than herself. Her (and the movie's) views on unmarried mothers (i.e. her neighbor) are incredibly progressive for the time. Basically, she is awesome.

The rest of the cast is second fiddle to Clara Bow but I really liked Antonio Moreno. His looks probably wouldn't make him a movie star today, but he looks like what an attractive wealthy man of the period would love to look like :) And I ended up liking his reserved character, and his chemistry with Clara Bow.

Have a clip from the movie:



Anyway, check it out, it's a delight! The entire movie is on youtube btw.
dangermousie: (Paap)


The above image is very appropriate because last night I saw The River. Not the Jean Renoir masterpiece but a silent movie by that name that was lost and partially found and restored. It’s quite well-regarded and the critics all talk (rightly) about how unusual for a silent is its attitude and focus on physical intimacy, but what struck me much more is how feminist the movie is, arguably the most feminist silent I have seen!

TR has very few characters and develops only the two main ones with any degree of depth (thus creating a small, enclosed, self-sufficient world) so they are the ones I’ll talk about.



Character 1 is Allen John (Mr. Mousie, who watched a part of this with me said they might as well have named him Harold Richard. LOL) who is a young strapping* country guy who, it is made explicit, has never ever been with a woman in his life and probably hasn’t seen any of them up close either, not even his mother, who died when he was very small. His hobbies include making houseboats and swimming in the river naked, showing off his yummy physique.

*As he proudly tells the heroine when she comments on how big he is, he is 6’2”. I expected her to then make a comment on how big his hands are :P

Character 2 is Rosalie, the well-dressed, older, cynical mistress of a man who has just been arrested for murder of another man, out of jealousy (whether Rosalie only flirted with the corpse or had an affair with him is never made clear).

Rosalie is stuck all by herself out in this bumpkinsville middle-of-nowhere, and Allen John just might be a ticket to keep her amused.

Lengthy lengthy write-up under cut )
dangermousie: (Paap)


The above image is very appropriate because last night I saw The River. Not the Jean Renoir masterpiece but a silent movie by that name that was lost and partially found and restored. It’s quite well-regarded and the critics all talk (rightly) about how unusual for a silent is its attitude and focus on physical intimacy, but what struck me much more is how feminist the movie is, arguably the most feminist silent I have seen!

TR has very few characters and develops only the two main ones with any degree of depth (thus creating a small, enclosed, self-sufficient world) so they are the ones I’ll talk about.



Character 1 is Allen John (Mr. Mousie, who watched a part of this with me said they might as well have named him Harold Richard. LOL) who is a young strapping* country guy who, it is made explicit, has never ever been with a woman in his life and probably hasn’t seen any of them up close either, not even his mother, who died when he was very small. His hobbies include making houseboats and swimming in the river naked, showing off his yummy physique.

*As he proudly tells the heroine when she comments on how big he is, he is 6’2”. I expected her to then make a comment on how big his hands are :P

Character 2 is Rosalie, the well-dressed, older, cynical mistress of a man who has just been arrested for murder of another man, out of jealousy (whether Rosalie only flirted with the corpse or had an affair with him is never made clear).

Rosalie is stuck all by herself out in this bumpkinsville middle-of-nowhere, and Allen John just might be a ticket to keep her amused.

Lengthy lengthy write-up under cut )
dangermousie: (Paap)


The above image is very appropriate because last night I saw The River. Not the Jean Renoir masterpiece but a silent movie by that name that was lost and partially found and restored. It’s quite well-regarded and the critics all talk (rightly) about how unusual for a silent is its attitude and focus on physical intimacy, but what struck me much more is how feminist the movie is, arguably the most feminist silent I have seen!

TR has very few characters and develops only the two main ones with any degree of depth (thus creating a small, enclosed, self-sufficient world) so they are the ones I’ll talk about.



Character 1 is Allen John (Mr. Mousie, who watched a part of this with me said they might as well have named him Harold Richard. LOL) who is a young strapping* country guy who, it is made explicit, has never ever been with a woman in his life and probably hasn’t seen any of them up close either, not even his mother, who died when he was very small. His hobbies include making houseboats and swimming in the river naked, showing off his yummy physique.

*As he proudly tells the heroine when she comments on how big he is, he is 6’2”. I expected her to then make a comment on how big his hands are :P

Character 2 is Rosalie, the well-dressed, older, cynical mistress of a man who has just been arrested for murder of another man, out of jealousy (whether Rosalie only flirted with the corpse or had an affair with him is never made clear).

Rosalie is stuck all by herself out in this bumpkinsville middle-of-nowhere, and Allen John just might be a ticket to keep her amused.

Lengthy lengthy write-up under cut )
dangermousie: (BSG: Helo/Athena by lyssie)
Today's picspam of the day is courtesy of a silent stills website and is stills from a bunch of silent movies. I picked most because they had such delicious titles: "Changing Husbands," "Are Parents People?" (I've seen that one), "Her Body in Bond," "Putting Pants on Phillip," and "Nellie, the Beautiful Cloak Model."

From ridiculous (Fifth Avenue):



To sublime (Barbed Wire):



Hah!

Lipstick, short hems and men in evening wear )
dangermousie: (BSG: Helo/Athena by lyssie)
Today's picspam of the day is courtesy of a silent stills website and is stills from a bunch of silent movies. I picked most because they had such delicious titles: "Changing Husbands," "Are Parents People?" (I've seen that one), "Her Body in Bond," "Putting Pants on Phillip," and "Nellie, the Beautiful Cloak Model."

From ridiculous (Fifth Avenue):



To sublime (Barbed Wire):



Hah!

Lipstick, short hems and men in evening wear )
dangermousie: (BSG: Helo/Athena by lyssie)
Today's picspam of the day is courtesy of a silent stills website and is stills from a bunch of silent movies. I picked most because they had such delicious titles: "Changing Husbands," "Are Parents People?" (I've seen that one), "Her Body in Bond," "Putting Pants on Phillip," and "Nellie, the Beautiful Cloak Model."

From ridiculous (Fifth Avenue):



To sublime (Barbed Wire):



Hah!

Lipstick, short hems and men in evening wear )
dangermousie: (Coffee Prince kiss by alexandral)


I have just so splurged and bought myself a New Year's present, Murnau, Borzage and Fox, a set released by 20th Century Fox which contains 2 Murnau and 10 Borzage movies, most of which I have desperately wanted on DVD, plus a documentary on the two directors.

I...can't...fight it!

Set here.

So splurgy yet so wonderful. Now, if somebody would only do a King Vidor set!

ETA: OMG, apparently they are doing a King Vidor set in 2009. I think The Crowd is the best silent movie I have ever seen, and Big Parade is the most anti-war (yet romantic) movie I have seen. And Show People is one of the funniest. Yes!!!
dangermousie: (Coffee Prince kiss by alexandral)


I have just so splurged and bought myself a New Year's present, Murnau, Borzage and Fox, a set released by 20th Century Fox which contains 2 Murnau and 10 Borzage movies, most of which I have desperately wanted on DVD, plus a documentary on the two directors.

I...can't...fight it!

Set here.

So splurgy yet so wonderful. Now, if somebody would only do a King Vidor set!

ETA: OMG, apparently they are doing a King Vidor set in 2009. I think The Crowd is the best silent movie I have ever seen, and Big Parade is the most anti-war (yet romantic) movie I have seen. And Show People is one of the funniest. Yes!!!
dangermousie: (Coffee Prince kiss by alexandral)


I have just so splurged and bought myself a New Year's present, Murnau, Borzage and Fox, a set released by 20th Century Fox which contains 2 Murnau and 10 Borzage movies, most of which I have desperately wanted on DVD, plus a documentary on the two directors.

I...can't...fight it!

Set here.

So splurgy yet so wonderful. Now, if somebody would only do a King Vidor set!

ETA: OMG, apparently they are doing a King Vidor set in 2009. I think The Crowd is the best silent movie I have ever seen, and Big Parade is the most anti-war (yet romantic) movie I have seen. And Show People is one of the funniest. Yes!!!
dangermousie: (Default)
I was browsing Slant's reviews for Frank Borzage movies (one of my favorite Silent and Classic directors. My post on Farrell/Gaynor reminded me of him) and came across this quote from their review of The River:

The man is the idealized sex object here, and his watery purity adds to his long-limbed, smooth-skinned appeal. Allen John has never been with a woman, and he stresses that his mother died when he was young; he's looking for the ultimate Borzagian goal, a mother he can fuck, and he finds a doozy in the saucy-eyed, full-breasted Rosalee. Watching Duncan's adult, openly sexual movements and Farrell's hot sense of uncomprehending carnal possibility, we follow the couple's slow courtship avidly, as if it were an exploratory dance.

(The review is here).

Awesome!

And full of id :) Ahhh, pre-Code!

I think Frank Borsage would have been pretty good at writing manga :)
dangermousie: (Default)
I was browsing Slant's reviews for Frank Borzage movies (one of my favorite Silent and Classic directors. My post on Farrell/Gaynor reminded me of him) and came across this quote from their review of The River:

The man is the idealized sex object here, and his watery purity adds to his long-limbed, smooth-skinned appeal. Allen John has never been with a woman, and he stresses that his mother died when he was young; he's looking for the ultimate Borzagian goal, a mother he can fuck, and he finds a doozy in the saucy-eyed, full-breasted Rosalee. Watching Duncan's adult, openly sexual movements and Farrell's hot sense of uncomprehending carnal possibility, we follow the couple's slow courtship avidly, as if it were an exploratory dance.

(The review is here).

Awesome!

And full of id :) Ahhh, pre-Code!

I think Frank Borsage would have been pretty good at writing manga :)
dangermousie: (Default)
I was browsing Slant's reviews for Frank Borzage movies (one of my favorite Silent and Classic directors. My post on Farrell/Gaynor reminded me of him) and came across this quote from their review of The River:

The man is the idealized sex object here, and his watery purity adds to his long-limbed, smooth-skinned appeal. Allen John has never been with a woman, and he stresses that his mother died when he was young; he's looking for the ultimate Borzagian goal, a mother he can fuck, and he finds a doozy in the saucy-eyed, full-breasted Rosalee. Watching Duncan's adult, openly sexual movements and Farrell's hot sense of uncomprehending carnal possibility, we follow the couple's slow courtship avidly, as if it were an exploratory dance.

(The review is here).

Awesome!

And full of id :) Ahhh, pre-Code!

I think Frank Borsage would have been pretty good at writing manga :)
dangermousie: (Paap)


Some of you might know that one of my biggest fannish loves is silent movies. I don't post about them on this LJ often but I do think there are few pleasures so purely, viscerally visual as a well-made silent movie. It's a very different art form from a modern movie but it's gorgeous. Some of my favorite movies of all time (Sunrise, The Crowd, Big Parade, City Lights, Seventh Heaven) are silents.

Another thing, however, silents had that modern movies do not, is a phenomenon of "movie couples" rather equivalent to Bollywood "jodis", i.e. an actress and actor paired in a movie after movie together, becoming an established on-screen couple. Most of them were excellent. John Gilbert and Greta Garbo? sizzzzzzzle.

And my favorite of the bunch was the pairing of the tiny, fragile-looking Janet Gaynor (first winner of Best Actress Oscar, in fact) and the tall, strapping Charles Farrell. They just...were so gorgeous on screen, together, with insane chemistry. Unlike a lot of other silent movie couples who sizzled with sexual chemistry in those pre-Code days, while Gaynor and Farrell were physical, their vibe was much more of just intense and protective romantic love, somewhat of a 'pure love' concept Asian movies seem to love.

The most famous of their collaborations (and on my list of all-time favorite movies) is the super-phenomenon hit Seventh Heaven. Set in the slums of Paris pre-WWI, Farrell is a rough and gruff cleaner who works in the sewers. Gaynor is a street-walker and a horribly abused younger sister of an alcoholic. Their paths cross when Gaynor is being beaten on the street and the only one who intervenes is Farrell. Due to some circumstances, and his pity for her, they end up sharing his flat. Platonically, of course, but inevitably love blooms and then comes World War I...The interplay between them is gorgeous from the start. Such utter weakness and helplessness is completely alien to him and at first he feels only derision for someone who won't fight back. But he can't help but sneak peeks at her lying there in a heap at his feet too tired to even want to move. And being with her makes him able to slowly open up all the emotions that he never allowed himself to feel. And Gaynor is amazing, portraying someone whose soul has been almost brutalized out of her but who slowly begins to regain self-worth and courage in a supportive environment.

It is gorgeously-shot movie with social commentary, star-crossed love, war and tragedy, and a happy end. What more can you want?

This is a pretty glorious (and unspoilery) review of Seventh Heaven from Slant which basically encapsulates why I love the movie so: Review here.

Someone made a very unspoilery (it covers only the first half of the movie) SH mv:



Btw, while the quality of film in the vid is blurry, the one I have is much sharper and is gorgeously tinted. Give it a chance.



They starred in two other good movies: Street Angel (she is a wild spirit and he is an artist who falls in love with her) and Lucky Star where she is a village girl and he is a crippled WWI vet:



Awesome Slant review of LS is here.

Check them out?

Slant did a wonderful retrospective article on Frank Borzage, the director of Seventh Heaven (and a bunch of other great movies) and his films here.
dangermousie: (Paap)


Some of you might know that one of my biggest fannish loves is silent movies. I don't post about them on this LJ often but I do think there are few pleasures so purely, viscerally visual as a well-made silent movie. It's a very different art form from a modern movie but it's gorgeous. Some of my favorite movies of all time (Sunrise, The Crowd, Big Parade, City Lights, Seventh Heaven) are silents.

Another thing, however, silents had that modern movies do not, is a phenomenon of "movie couples" rather equivalent to Bollywood "jodis", i.e. an actress and actor paired in a movie after movie together, becoming an established on-screen couple. Most of them were excellent. John Gilbert and Greta Garbo? sizzzzzzzle.

And my favorite of the bunch was the pairing of the tiny, fragile-looking Janet Gaynor (first winner of Best Actress Oscar, in fact) and the tall, strapping Charles Farrell. They just...were so gorgeous on screen, together, with insane chemistry. Unlike a lot of other silent movie couples who sizzled with sexual chemistry in those pre-Code days, while Gaynor and Farrell were physical, their vibe was much more of just intense and protective romantic love, somewhat of a 'pure love' concept Asian movies seem to love.

The most famous of their collaborations (and on my list of all-time favorite movies) is the super-phenomenon hit Seventh Heaven. Set in the slums of Paris pre-WWI, Farrell is a rough and gruff cleaner who works in the sewers. Gaynor is a street-walker and a horribly abused younger sister of an alcoholic. Their paths cross when Gaynor is being beaten on the street and the only one who intervenes is Farrell. Due to some circumstances, and his pity for her, they end up sharing his flat. Platonically, of course, but inevitably love blooms and then comes World War I...The interplay between them is gorgeous from the start. Such utter weakness and helplessness is completely alien to him and at first he feels only derision for someone who won't fight back. But he can't help but sneak peeks at her lying there in a heap at his feet too tired to even want to move. And being with her makes him able to slowly open up all the emotions that he never allowed himself to feel. And Gaynor is amazing, portraying someone whose soul has been almost brutalized out of her but who slowly begins to regain self-worth and courage in a supportive environment.

It is gorgeously-shot movie with social commentary, star-crossed love, war and tragedy, and a happy end. What more can you want?

This is a pretty glorious (and unspoilery) review of Seventh Heaven from Slant which basically encapsulates why I love the movie so: Review here.

Someone made a very unspoilery (it covers only the first half of the movie) SH mv:



Btw, while the quality of film in the vid is blurry, the one I have is much sharper and is gorgeously tinted. Give it a chance.



They starred in two other good movies: Street Angel (she is a wild spirit and he is an artist who falls in love with her) and Lucky Star where she is a village girl and he is a crippled WWI vet:



Awesome Slant review of LS is here.

Check them out?

Slant did a wonderful retrospective article on Frank Borzage, the director of Seventh Heaven (and a bunch of other great movies) and his films here.

Profile

dangermousie: (Default)
dangermousie

November 2012

S M T W T F S
     1 2 3
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 24th, 2017 10:57 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios