Friday, August 28, 2009

The Movies That Changed My Life

After a long conversation with my boyfriend today, discussing our favorite films and such, I was inspired to blog about the films I feel changed me… that shaped my life in one way or another. It’s difficult, because I feel that all the films I have seen changed me in some way, whether temporary or perpetually. But, I felt like sharing the two films that have changed me for good, and the reasons why. So, here goes!

It’s A Wonderful Life - Okay, okay… this film actually changed my film taste. I’ve always loved movies, and I did like classic films, but after seeing this movie when I was old enough to understand, I pretty much just stuck with classic films. That’s not the reason why it completely changed my life, however.

We’ve all been depressed at least once in our lifetime. Life would be boring if people were always happy, right? I was going through a hard time after a break up, and before I started going out with my current boyfriend, I saw this film around Christmastime. I was born on Christmas, and so I have always loved Christmas! But not that year. Anyway… after seeing George Bailey put himself before others constantly throughout his life, and never appearing as if he got anything in return, I realized I didn’t have it so bad. Everything for him always seemed to fail, and after almost killing himself, he realized that things weren’t as bad as they seemed… that you can always make a bad situation better. George Bailey has definitely inspired me to look on the bright side.

To Kill A Mockingbird - It should be no surprise to anyone who knows that my favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird or who knows that my favorite actor is Gregory Peck, that this film is listed. I read the book in late 2006, early 2007 in my 10th grade English class. I grew in love with the book…the way the words flowed, the storyline, and of course the memorable characters. I don’t think that there is any better protagonist than Atticus Finch. He is the greatest hero that has ever graced the planet, and his morals are that of an open-minded person. Anyway, unlike all the other English classes who read the book, we didn’t get to watch the 1962 film. I had to see it for myself, and so I waited patiently for it to come on the television rather than for me buying it (although, I do admit, renting it or even buying the movie would have been worth every penny). It finally came on television, and as soon as it began, I was in a trance. Every piece of that film was just as how I pictured it while I was reading the book. Scout, Jem, Atticus… everyone was who I thought they were. I have never, in my entire life, watched a film-version of the book and loved it so much. Harper Lee herself said that nobody but Gregory Peck could have played Atticus. I once read that on the set of the first scene of the film, Lee was crying. Mr. Peck asked why this was so, and she said that he looked so much like her father.

This film changed my view on people. I never could believe that people could hate people the way that they do. I’ve always considered myself rather liberal and open-minded, so I never understood why you can hate another person because of race, gender, sexual orientation, or other reasons. It still boggles my mind, but I have grown to accept that not everyone is so genuine or kind.


English Assignment

For my English 101 class, as extra credit, we can write a blog weekly about something we are passionate about. So, up until December, most of my blogs will be for that class, if not all. But it does give me good ideas! C:

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Lady Eve: A Movie Review and Synopsis

This film is delightful in every way possible. What do you get when you have Henry Fonda as a wealthy man who loves snakes and Barbara Stanwyck as a conniving cardsharp? You get a helluva lotta laughs!

I recently saw this film after several years of it being on my ‘to see’ list. Once I started… I couldn’t stop! I felt as though I was being sucked into a film like no other!

In this screwball comedy, Henry Fonda plays a man named Charles Pike who has spent a year up the Amazon studying snakes. After tripping on her heel, he meets Jean Harrington, played by Barbara Stanwyck. However, Jean knows that Pike is heir to his father’s ale company and knows he’s wealthy… the tripping was all a set up. Either way, he falls in love and to her surprise--falls in love with him, too.

After a misunderstanding, however, they break up on bad terms. To get back at Charles, Jean comes back into his life disguised as the Lady Eve. Although his bodyguard suspects that it’s the ‘same dame,’ Charles falls in love with Eve, and they get married. On their wedding night, Eve opens up about all the men she’s been with, and they divorce afterwards. Will the Lady Eve, or Jean, ever see Charles again?

I don’t want to give the ending away completely… but I do give this film a strong four stars. I think it’s ahead of it’s time, and surely stands the test of time. Plus, this film was the one that introduced me to Barbara Stanwyck [and then I saw Meet John Doe]. I haven’t gotten a big chance to see her. If you haven’t, I’d start with this film! She's beautiful and hilarious. And don't worry, Henry Fonda is completely handsome as the unsophisticated wealthy 'nerd'.

Antiquing and Jazz

Yesterday, I was finally able to find time to have a 'night on the town.' Well, that is, after a day of antiquing.

I visited my favorite antique mall, Crossroads, yesterday after nearly three years of not finding the time. My boyfriend and I spent two hours there, noticing and enjoying the atmosphere of jazz music and odd smells. I found what I was looking for... a traincase (and it's candy apple red!)! It's not as old as I'd like for it to be, but it's 1960s. Oh, it was so Mad Men-esque. I feel like Joan holding it! Among my other finds was a 1980s coin necklace, a 'lovers' brooch, sailboat earrings, and a jazz record with Dave Brubeck and Stan Getz! I also had the lovely chance of running into my high school German teacher who collects dolls! It was a fabulous afternoon.

Afterwards, I went to a jazz club with my best friend and two other good friends. We played cardgames, drank smoothes and mochas, and enjoyed eachothers' company. And that jazz band was just wonderful!

And of course, it would have been a Saturday night without a classic movie or two (or three...). It was Bette Davis night on TCM! I also finished up Season 2 of Mad Men so I am all caught up for Season 3 this coming Sunday!

I rummaged through my closet today and found two 1960s dresses and a 1960s swing coat. I feel so Joan in those, too. :]

Have a lovely evening, everyone! Expect a movie review soon!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Top 101 Movies You Must See - According To Me

After redoing my list of favorite films for Facebook, I decided to create a list of one hundred films I feel that you should see sometime during your life. I know that this list is bound to change -- some will be added, some will be removed, and some with stand the test of time. I couldn't choose just one hundred, but one hundred and one. What films do you think should be added or removed?

  1. Rear Window
  2. It’s A Wonderful Life
  3. Roman Holiday
  4. The Lady Eve
  5. Casablanca
  6. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
  7. Meet John Doe
  8. The Awful Truth
  9. To Kill A Mockingbird
  10. Gentleman’s Agreement
  11. The African Queen
  12. It Happened One Night
  13. Spellbound
  14. The Grapes of Wrath
  15. The Philadelphia Story
  16. The Apartment
  17. You Can’t Take It With You
  18. Two For The Road
  19. Bringing Up Baby
  20. The Children’s Hour
  21. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  22. The Birds
  23. Duel in the Sun
  24. Gone With The Wind
  25. High Noon
  26. To Catch A Thief
  27. North By Northwest
  28. Casanova Brown
  29. Only Angels Have Wings
  30. Monkey Business
  31. Some Like It Hot
  32. Woman Of The Year
  33. Back To The Future
  34. How To Steal A Million
  35. The Maltese Falcon
  36. The Yearling
  37. To Have And Have Not
  38. Notorious
  39. Father Of The Bride
  40. A Place In The Sun
  41. The Quiet Man
  42. West Side Story
  43. Funny Face
  44. The Shop Around The Corner
  45. The Thin Man
  46. The Breakfast Club
  47. An Affair To Remember
  48. Your’s Mine And Ours
  49. Picnic
  50. Safety Last!
  51. On The Beach
  52. Mirage
  53. Swing Time
  54. The Man Who Knew Too Much
  55. From Here To Eternity
  56. Mrs. Miniver
  57. A Night To Remember
  58. Breakfast At Tiffany’s
  59. Goodbye Mr. Chips
  60. An American In Paris
  61. Frankenstein
  62. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb
  63. Moonstruck
  64. Singin’ In The Rain
  65. Pat And Mike
  66. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
  67. Sunset Boulevard
  68. White Christmas
  69. Vertigo
  70. The Letter
  71. Mutiny On The Bounty
  72. Born Yesterday
  73. Lawrence Of Arabia
  74. Sabrina
  75. Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
  76. Sylvia Scarlett
  77. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
  78. All About Eve
  79. The Petrified Forest
  80. The Great Escape
  81. The Keys Of The Kingdom
  82. The Three Faces Of Eve
  83. Now, Voyager
  84. Gaslight
  85. Dr. Zhivago
  86. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  87. A Streetcar Named Desire
  88. East of Eden
  89. Wuthering Heights
  90. High Society
  91. Anchors Aweigh
  92. The Little Colonel
  93. Holiday
  94. Ben-Hur
  95. The Greatest Show on Earth
  96. The Wizard Of Oz
  97. Ninotchka
  98. His Girl Friday
  99. Laura
  100. The Jazz Singer
  101. City Lights
* Please note, the films listed are in no specific order.

Ones I should add... The Freshman, Crisis, Rebecca, The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer, and Father Goose.