Thursday, March 31, 2011
Is it murder? Is it kidnapping? Is it suicide? And where is the body, by the way?
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The sanatorium is run by Miss Holloway, a VERY creepy Cornelia Otis Skinner who makes mincemeat of her part - she is one scary woman. (I can't help but think that the movie's message here is see?, this is what happens when women become too powerful) Turns out that she was the 'nurse' who took care of Stella's mother when she was ill. Stella's mother had been the wife of an artist who'd been having an affair with his model, also in residence at the cliff house. A nice kind of menage-a-trois sort of thing. Well, you know how artists are.
Will Stella be saved? Will Milland get there in time? Will that little dog ever agree to stay overnight in the house? Will the housekeeper? See the movie.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Reacher is a modern knight in not-so-shining armor, the go-to guy when trouble is brewing in a violence prone world. Reacher takes no prisoners. He is always on the side of justice, more often than not, his brand of justice, and more often than not, he gets the job done. He has no doubts. He wades in where others fear to tread. He is the ultimate competent man.
Alan Bradley is such a wonderful writer - yeah, I'm gushing again. I really and truly do wonder how a man of a 'certain' age can write such terrific stories all from the point of view of an 11 year old girl. My initial inclination is this: 11 year old girls are not that much different from 11 year old boys and so I'm assuming Bradley pulls on his own memories of running about the countryside of his youth causing havoc. I'm smiling while I'm writing this, but hey, it might be the case.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
...and another thing: A Favorite Film: LADY IN THE LAKE starring Robert Montgomery and Audrey Totter
The film - directed by Montgomery himself - must have had a budget of 99 cents - tops. Except for a couple of night time car scenes, everything was shot indoors. Even though part of the story takes place at a camp site in the country - we never see where the body of the 'lady in the lake' (of the title) is found. It's all explained to us by Montgomery as he appears during a couple of breaks in the story as a kind of avuncular 'host'.Robert Montgomery is an odd sort of duck. Not movie-star handsome yet there's something about him that's compelling. You either like him or you don't. My feeling has always been that a little of Montgomery goes a long way. But I like him well enough in this.
Audrey Totter, an actress who has trouble playing 'sincere' on her good days, plays Adrienne Fromsett, a woman who - horror of horrors - actually works for a living. (She has shoulder pads!) She is the associate of publisher Derace Kingsby played by Ames. I actually like Totter, but she is not someone who intantly charms you. She takes getting used to. The camera should soften her up a bit, but in this film, it doesn't bother.
Marlowe is instantly smitten with her even though - horror of horrors - she's made her mark in the 'man's' world of publishing. Later when she asks him what he wants in a wife, he says he wants someone to 'take care of him' someone who, I assume, doesn't work - at least outside the home. Hey, who wouldn't want someone to take care of our every whim?? You can't blame Marlowe for that. Though I had a good laugh.
Anyway, Lavery attacks Marlowe and sets him up to be arrested for 'drunk' driving by the Bay City cops. In this way we get to meet the two Bay City cops who play a large part in the story. Lloyd Nolan is the gruff and nasty (though strangely attractive) DeGarmot and Tom Tully is his boss. They warn Marlowe off the story and out of Bay City. But does Marlowe listen?
On the whole, I think, a film worth watching if only to see how Montgomery's interpretation of Marlowe differs from Bogart's. I liked the book much better, though. Read that if you get a chance.
Guess what arrived in the mail this week: A package from my good friend Jean in Colorado. She sent along a beautiful Colorado calendar, a book for me to read with my granddaughter, THE QUIET BOOK by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Renata Liwska. Such a gentle and adorable book. Can't wait to read it with her.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Known widely as a brilliant society portraitist, Helleu painted most of the fashionable beauties of his day. He worked extensively in drypoint and pastels. To read about his life and work, and find out exactly what the 'drypoint' technique is, please use the excellent link above.