Because I’m actually in a TV class this semester and not a film class, I have been watching way more TV than I normally do. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does put in a bit of an awkward place, blogging-wise. Instead of investing 1.5-3 hours and then writing a post, I have to invest a ton more. I decided I like reviewing a whole series at a time as I did with Twin Peaks andTrue…
Also known as: what I’ve been doing for the past two weeks. Pictured above (in regrettable quality; I’m sorry about that) is the set I worked on for Rope. The play is best known from the 1948 Hitchcock film, so you can guess why I was excited to work on it. I got to help build the set, which mostly turned out to be painting (which was fine with me because I don’t actually know how to use power…
Happy birthday Marlon Brando!
Born Marlon Brando, Jr.
April 3, 1924 - July 4, 2004
“To the end of his life, Marlon Brando insisted that he had done nothing special. In his view acting was a trade like plumbing or baking. The only difference was that he played characters instead of unclogging drains or kneading loaves of bread. This was not false modesty; he believed in what he said. But what believed was untrue.
There was screen acting before Brando and after Brando, just as there was painting before Picasso and after Picasso and writing before Hemingway and after Hemingway and popular singing before Sinatra and after Sinatra, and even the casual observer can tell the difference. As film historian Molly Haskell pointed out, the film star’s legend “is written in one word. BRANDO. Like Garbo. Or Fido. An animal, a force of nature, an element; not a human being who must, as a member of society, distinguish himself from other members with a christian name and initial as well as a surname. There is only one Brando.”
…From his debut film, The Men, in 1950, Brando worked without a mask. The inner wounds were manifest, and the risks he took- doing anything, no matter how outlandish or unflattering, to make a character credible- had never been attempted by a Hollywood star. His predecessors drew a line between their private lives and their movie roles. No such boundary existed between Brando the actor and Brando the man. They were one and the same: complicated, dangerous, vulnerable. That, too, was different.
…When Brando first appeared, he shook up screen acting in a way that had not been seen since performers were given voices in 1927. His work had been sedulously imitated by performers for more than half a century. Those actors have unwittingly obscured the contributions of the man who started it all… Marlon was the first to show a profound vulnerability beneath the male exterior, as well as a willingness to depart from the script not out of perversity or an inability to remember his lines, but because he was going for the truth of the character at that moment.
Along comes Brando, and an art form is transfigured.”
-Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando, Stefan Kanfer
“The most terrifying fact of the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” —Stanley Kubrick
This interview is part of The Playboy Interviews: The Directors, a book anthology that also includes conversations with Robert Altman, Billy Wilder, Ingmar Bergman, Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, John Huston and Orson Welles. A must have on your shelf. Buy it today at Amazon.
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Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
these men are such fundamentally different dancers but especially at slow GIF speed it’s clear how perfectly precise they were as a duo.
Donald O’Conner was actually nervous about this because he considered himself more of a hoofer than a dancer, and if you watch this number you can see he uses his upper body less than Gene Kelly. Also, they were both really worried that the other would turn the opposite direction from them, but as you can see, unlike Zoolander, they both turn left. :D