2018 Film Year in Review

So, this year was an extremely productive year for me when it came to watching films. I watched over 180 new to me classic films. Wait, what? That’s right almost 200 films. I honestly don’t even know how that is possible, especially considering I also read over 120 books while working as well.  That number of course doesn’t include the new releases, documentaries, television series, Hallmark movies etc. which I didn’t bother to keep track of.

CLASSIC FILMS

This year’s classic film binge included me filling in my filmography gaps for stars like Rita Hayworth, William Holden, Robert Mitchum, Elizabeth Taylor, George Brent, Ava Gardner, Marlon Brando and others. I watched my first Esther Williams films and finally found one I liked. And I finally discovered why Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni are considered a great pairing. Continue reading “2018 Film Year in Review”

Ingrid Bergman Blogathon -Ingrid Bergman: Remembered

When driving through a neighborhood, I’ve always been one who enjoys looking in the windows of homes, imagining the lives inside. People have always fascinated me, what shapes them, what drives them, who they are beyond what the eye can see.

Perhaps that is why I enjoy personal documentaries and biographies, particularly of classic film stars. In an era of studio control, glamour and polished public images, I’m always curious to learn the truth behind the persona, the person behind the characters they play on screen.

Continue reading “Ingrid Bergman Blogathon -Ingrid Bergman: Remembered”

Documentary Review -Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

The greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re loved and capable of loving.

Fred Rogers and his television program Mister Rogers Neighborhood have been a consistent staple in the lives of children for decades. I did not grow up watching this childhood favorite. Still I remained aware of the identity of Mr. Rogers and the influence of his show.

It’s not often I have the opportunity to watch a documentary in my small city. As I am a fan of ordinary, everyday heroes, I knew I had to see Won’t You Be My Neighbor? when it actually came to my local theater.

This documentary, produced with care and respect, is a beautiful portrait of a man who dedicated his life to the education of children. Whereas we generally think of education as facts and dates we learn in school, Fred Rogers chose to educate the hearts and souls of children as to the truth of their identity.  Much like the famous quote from the film The Help, “you is smart, you is kind, you is important” Fred’s mission was to teach children to believe that same truth. Continue reading “Documentary Review -Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)”

Film Year 2017 in Review

If you count only the new to me classic films I watched this year, I have seen just over 100 film titles. But once you add in foreign films, documentaries and new feature films, that number increases quite a bit. I marvel that I had enough time to watch so many movies! (Click on movie links for my reviews of these films.)

Classic Films:

As mentioned I watched over 100 new classic films this year and that doesn’t include those which I have already seen more than once. Clearly, I love classic cinema. In 2017 I worked on filling in the gaps in filmography for Eleanor Parker, Rod Taylor and Alfred Hitchcock. I also managed to catch some of Carole Lombard and Audrey Hepburn’s earliest titles as well as watching several of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s movies together. Continue reading “Film Year 2017 in Review”

Documentary Review -Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2015)

One of the reasons I love books and films are for the stories they tell. But I’m not just a huge fan of fictional stories. I’m also fascinated by real people’s individual stories; their personal experiences, what makes them tick etc. This is why when I heard about Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story I was interested in watching it. Then of course, I read several positive reviews about this ordinary couple who worked in an extraordinary industry and knew I had to see it. Harold and Lillian Michelson were a behind the scenes Hollywood institution. Despite all of my interest and research into film history, I had never heard of them before.

ABOUT Harold and Lillian

The Michelson’s moved to Hollywood from Florida in 1947. Harold was a self-taught artist who eventually found a job working in the movie industry as a Storyboard Artist. He slowly worked his way up to become an Production Designer. Lillian (like myself) loved to read. She used it as away of escaping a busy and demanding life as a wife and mother. This interest led her to become a volunteer for a film studio as a researcher making sure that the movies were as historically and otherwise accurate as possible. Along the way she became the owner and manager of a huge collection of books and other source materials. Continue reading “Documentary Review -Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2015)”

Documentary Review -Steve McQueen:American Icon (2017)

So, if you have hung around my blog for any length of time, you will know that I have been on a Steve McQueen kick this last year. I’ve slowly been working my way through his filmography. And although I have yet to read a full biography of his life, I have been reading up on him.

So, when I heard Fathom Events was hosting a special screening of a new documentary on McQueen I was thrilled. When I heard that it was produced by Pastor/Evangelist Greg Laurie and that the intention of the film was to share McQueen’s story of conversion to Christianity, I was intrigued. Continue reading “Documentary Review -Steve McQueen:American Icon (2017)”