Cinema Enthusiast

Scribblings from a lifelong lover of film. Keeping track of films I watch, the books I read, my blog posts and all related interests.

Aspiring librarian/former screen studies student who dreams of one day dabbling in film programming or archiving film documents or at the very least serving popcorn at an independent theater of some kind! I'm a lifelong pursuer of film to the point where it in large part defines me. I write so I can remember and so I can grow in my efforts to articulate. The online film community is a wondrous place where I hope to interact with many fellow cinephiles!

Idolizes Louise Brooks, Leonard Cohen, Joanna Newsom and Jim Henson. Favorite film is Bringing Up Baby (although in a couple of years I feel Shop Around the Corner could take that coveted spot) but I literally have hundreds and hundreds of favorite films that range from Fat Girl and Dogtooth to The Muppet Christmas Carol and The Emperor's New Groove. I also write for Verite, CineOutsider, and Criterion Cast.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CinemaEnthusiast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cinephile24
Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/cinephile24/
Recent Tweets @

Now Watching: 
Lumière d’été (1943Grémillon)

Films Seen in 2014:

#73. The Hard Way (1943, Sherman)
This was everything I hoped it would be. I’d been dying to see it since reading a plot synopsis, couldn’t get hold of it, and thus blind-bought it (something I don’t have the money to normally do).

One of the best rags-to-riches showbiz claw-my-way-to-the-top yarns with older sis making sure little sis’s dreams of performing on the stage are realized. They rise up from an unhappy marriage, grey dowdy graduation dresses, and endless soot to contracts, furs and success. Like Old Acquaintance, it somewhat conflates women’s careers with the perversion and interruption of ‘natural’ gender roles. Like ‘Old’, this is offset by the individuality of characters with Helen’s (Ida Lupino) bold manipulations and Katherine’s (Joan Leslie) inherent sweetness. It could have spent more time on Katherine’s self-destructive phase, though that likely would have further implied what we can safely assume from that hectic superimposed paint-the-town-red sequence.

Ida Lupino’s eye-on-the-prize performance is electric (though she apparently was not fond of her work here), constantly looking for ways out and up, unabashedly seizing upon questionable opportunities that present themselves, gradually unable to tell the difference between success and personal happiness. Joan Leslie is equally as good, like a 40’s Jennifer Jason Leigh (with a dash of Larisa Oleynik?). She is increasingly torn and devastated, loyalty in check far past its expiration date.

The two male counterparts, played by Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson, are just as engaging. Paul (Morgan) sees through Helen and the two have a great dynamic as she tries to suppress feelings for someone who loathes yet admires her. Al (Carson) is an earnest and naive schlub whose pride and blinders prove too much. What I loved most about The Hard Way is the careful and complicated evolution between all four characters, with attention paid to who they are within themselves and in relation to each other through time as paths cross and double-cross. There’s a development in Act 2 that completely took me off guard. The direction and staging enhance our understandings of the character dynamics and includes visually stimulating and slightly surreal montage sequences.

The Hard Way plays on TCM June 12th. Don’t miss it.

http://cinenthusiast.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/capsule-reviews-films-seen-in-2014-62-73/

Films Seen in 2014:

#72. So Proudly We Hail! (1943, Sandrich)
Appeal here is the focus on U.S Army nurses and their experiences in Bataan and Corregidor played by the de-glammed glamour gals of the early 40’s. Does a surprisingly nice job, by Hollywood standards of the time, conveying the it’s-never-ever-ever-enough futility of the nurses efforts and the onslaught of attacks. The superficial characters shed their shallowness for the greater good. Veronica Lake, suicide bomber (!), is dispensed far too soon, though her character is a mainly a mouthpiece for vitriolic Japanese hatred. She is harshly lit, no softness to be found, and then in those final moments, preparing to die, she lets down her trademark hair. Great stuff.

The story targets and turns Claudette Colbert’s practical and clear-headed woman into a “hysterical schoolgirl” via romance with the block-headed George Reeves. She starts as a role model and ends up having the reverse trajectory of Paulette Goddard’s floozy character re: priorities. Still, an effective female-centric morale booster for the time even if it feels somewhat middling today.

http://cinenthusiast.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/capsule-reviews-films-seen-in-2014-62-73/

roserosette:

The Seventh Victim, 1943, Mark Robson

roserosette:

The Seventh Victim, 1943, Mark Robson

The Seventh Victim, 1943

paperspots:

Jean Brooks in The Seventh Victim (1943).

brave-fox:

The Seventh Victim

I could confess to a murder, you can’t say a word. I could have murdered someone this morning and you can’t say a word. But, if i’m planning to commit a murder…