Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mon Oncle (1958)

Mon Oncle aka My Uncle
Director: Jacques Tati
France 1958
117 min
Starring: Jacques Tati, Jean-Pierre Zola, Adrienne Servantie, Alain Bécourt, Lucien Frégis, Betty Schneider, Jean- Francois Martial and Yvonne Arnaud, among others.

A cosy film with on of the loveliest French characters of cinema ever - Monsieur Hulot.
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1959.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Announcement: Mrs. Lolita!

A short announcement!

Today I became a proud fiancée with a golden, glittery ring on my finger! Right on our two year anniversary, that is. I think I still haven't understood the situation, but I'm pretty sure I said something like "Are you kidding? Do you really mean it? Really? Do you want to? Are you sure? Yes!" One has to make sure, right? Ceremony planned for the summer.

I'll be back with more film related subjects soon!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lolita: Student at the Department of Cinema Studies

How cool doesn't that sound? I still can't believe it's true.

This Monday I entered the building Filmhuset ("The Film House"), especially build for Cinema Studies in 1971, to attend by first film class. From the outside one could never guess what treasures are to be found there - a big ass block of concrete on the far side of a huge field, at this year almost impenetrable by 6ft of snow. (At least that's how it feels walking over it in the morning after only one cup of coffee in my blood stream.) It sure is a dream.

Filmhuset from the other side, and my every morning view from now on.

The usual school day contains of a two hour lecture in the morning, and then a screening in one of the two film theaters in the building in the afternoon. I bet everyone who was kind enough to write about their classic-film-at-the-theater-experiences on their blogs had to suffer my complaints about how I never will see a classic film on a big screen; Well, no more!

This Monday I lost my classic-film-on-the-silver-screen virginity with Francois Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 (1966) - a dystopia where the firemen no longer works with putting out fires, but rather break into people's homes to find hidden books and burn them. You see, litterature only makes people sad. Pretty cool film with Oskar Werner (from Jules and Jim) and Julie Christie (fresh from Doctor Zhivago), and the only English speaking film Truffaut made.

Pictures from Fahrenheit 451 (1966).
The title refers to the heat where books start burning.

Yesterday we watched Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette (2006), which is (in my opinion) more of an eye candy film than a truly great one. It's cool, but a bit slow. But jeez, is it pretty!

Eye candy from Marie Antoinette (2006).

Did I mention that the movie theaters are named after the two great Swedish silent film directors, Mauritz Stiller (he who is responsible for Greta Garbo's arrival in Hollywood) and Victor Sjöström (Seastrom)? Did I also forget to mention that the Swedish film association Cinemateket show loads and loads of classic films in these theaters - in the very building where I study?

It certainly feels like I have entered a brighter era of my life, and I really hope that the feeling will last for a while. Tomorrow it's time to see Citizen Kane (1941) in the Mauritz theater, and on Tuesday we get the chance to watch a silent piece by earlier mentioned Victor Sjöström (in the Victor theater, of course), A Lover in Pawn (Mästerman, 1920) - with live piano music!

I did not mean this to become a "in your face" post (alright, I did) - but maybe I won't feel like this for a long time, so I better hurry to brag about it!

Polish film poster. Mr. Kane looks evil.

As a last addition to this post I would like to include two works by Frenchman Michel Gondry, the man behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). He experiments a lot with "video art", or what one should call it.  Today it becomes more and more popular to extend the film experience through multiple forms of media, something that is referred to as convergence culture. As I generally am quite uninterested in new films, I am quite surprised to find this phenomenon so fascinating. A good example is the Matrix franchise, that requires the viewer to not only see all three movies, but also play the games, read the comics and search the website to get a full idea (or at least, a broader picture of) what the Matrix is.

Michel Gondry and Eternal Sunshine screen wright Pierre Bismuth has created a video installation, a work of art, called The All Seeing Eye. They have filmed a room full of personal belongings and have let the camera swipe the room in 360 degrees seven times. For each turn some things vanish. There's a television in the middle of the room showing a scene from Eternal Sunshine, making it obvious for those who have seen that film that this room is more a memory of a room than anything else, and that the memory is currently being erased. The basic question that both the film and this art work is asking is What is a memory?, and if a memory were to be erased, how much else that associates to it must also be demolished?

(And no, these are not my own thoughts. I agree with them, but to come up with all this myself would take more time than I use for my spontaneous throwing together of posts on this blog. This is a subject that is discussed and related to a lot in cinema studies, and that is why I share it with you.)

Another cool Gondry work is a less than three minute long short that he made as a birthday present to his friend Karen, who loves to ride a horse. It was just so cute and disturbing that I had to share it. It is called Three Dead People., and the music is lovely.

I will be back with more normal posts when the hype of finally starting to educate myself in a subject I have such a strong passion for had calmed down!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Miss Monty Python

British comic actress Carol Cleveland was born this day, 1942 in London, England.
I bet almost everyone recognizes her solely as the main female actress in the Monty Python's Flying Circus series (1969-1974), and she was also referred to by the cast members themselves as the unofficial "Seventh Python" (when they didn't call her "Carol Cleavage"). She appeared in 30 of their 45 episodes, often as a parody of the typical blonde bombshell.

I thought I could honor her birthday with three of her most famous sketches (at least a couple of my own favorites):

Sketch: "Marriage Guidance Counselor" from Season 1, Episode 2: Sex and Violence (1969).
Cast: Eric Idle (Marriage Counselor), Michael Palin (Arthur Pewtey), John Cleese (Southerner) and Carol Cleveland (Deirdre).

Sketch: "Seduced Milkmen" from Season 1, Episode 3: How to Recognise Different Types of Tree from Quite a Long Way Away (1969).
Cast: Michael Palin (Milkman) and Carol Cleveland (Milkman Seducer).

Sketch: "Mattress Skit" from Season 1, Episode 8: Full Frontal Nudity (1969).
Cast: Graham Chapman (Mr. Lambert), Eric Idle (Mr. Verity), Terry Jones (Groom), John Cleese (Store Manager) and Carol Cleveland (Bride).

I love the British... Here's a couple of photographs of Miss Cleavage:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another Kreativ Blogger for the road

Was that a too far fetched paraphrase of Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee"? That's a great song, by the way.

Thank you so much for the Kreativ Blogger award, Andrew! Since I already went through the heart straining procedures of receiving this award and passing it on in October [post], I will just go ahead and include the very sweet description of my blog that was Andrews motivation for giving it to me:

There are many blogs dedicated to classic cinema, I'm following quite a few, but Lolita is one of the best. She makes the classics seem new every day and sometimes she'll even start talking about a current piece. Lolita is fun to read which is always nice and necessary.

That is exactly what I dream that people will feel about my blog, so reading that was a nice pat on the back! Especially since I'm lost in the pessimistic daze of a hangover for the moment. (Has been that a lot recently, hasn't it?)

I will also take this opportunity to congratulate a certain Austrian-Hungarian actor by the name Paul Georg Julius Hernreid Ritter Von Wassel-Waldingau on his 105th birthday. Some of you might recognize him as "Paul Henreid", but that is highly unlikely. Oh, I like that man.

Now, Voyager (1942) could survive a re-watch.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Elvis in '56

Damn it, I forgot. Yesterday was Elvis Presley's 75th birthday, and there is probably a gazillion photos and honor blog posts around that I can't beat. What I can do is to offer a few un-staged photos of the rock icon.

These pictures are taken by a photographer called Alfred Wertheimer in 1956. My favorites among these are the backstage kissing photos, but all them are beautifully natural and shows a relaxed (and oh-so-handsome) Elvis. I hope you'll enjoy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Man Hunt (1941)

Man Hunt
Director: Fritz Lang
USA 1941
105 min
Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders, John Carradine, Roddy McDowall and Heather Thatcher, among others.

One of Fritz Lang's first American productions after having fled Nazi Germany, and one of several films at the time with the purpose of encouraging America to enter World War II (among for example To Be or Not to Be, 1942).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Portrait competition!

Dear readers!

I hereby announce the starting of a competition. The winner wins $10 discount on a Kate Gabrielle's Etsy store of his/her own choice:

Silents and Talkies (colorful portraits of actors and actresses)
Kate Gabrielle (funny art - give your walls a sense of humor!)
flapper doodle (where I could spend the rest of my life)

The assignment is for you to make a portrait of my Lolita persona. The caricature to the right is only an example - the portrait can be a serious one or a funny interpretation of how you think of me.

You may use whatever medium you like for the portrait: Photoshop, Paint, charcoal, your own blood - anything. The only restriction is (of course) that the painting isn't offending in any way. And I bet you all know that I, myself, am hardly offended that easily, so just use your common sense.
In the end of this post I have added a couple of pictures for help or inspiration, if needed.

The competition ends on March 1st 2010.

Audrey Hepburn Pop Art
8"x8" print, $15
4"x4" print, $5

Signed numbered matted art print, $15

Six cards, $10

Everyone that enters the competition gets a reward even if they don't win, meaning: all entries will be displayed (unless you say otherwise, of course) on my up-coming website
It's still under construction, I need to beef it up a bit before it's ready for a premiere!

Send your entry to
Add your name or alias and website (if you have any) and also city, state and country (that's optional) in the email.

I hope you will think this is fun: no professional artistic talent is required, after all!

[If you want to go back to this post later on you can just click on the icon on the far top of the right column.]

Love //Lolita

Want Joan Fontaine on your cell phone?

How suiting, after just having been enthralled by Miss Fontaine in The Women (1939)!

I just found this glorious photo while clicking around on Nicole's blog Classic Hollywood Nerd and ended up reading a birthday post for Joan Fontaine on October 22. It felt like a perfect photo to colorize and make a wallpaper of, so here they are. Just click on them to open another tag, and then save to your computer!

Widescreen 16:10
(1680x1050 px)

Standard 4:3
(1600x1200 px)

Computer nerd resolution 5:4
(1280x1024 px)

And my latest idea: cell phone background
(240x320 px, that's at least what my phone has.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Gene Tierney - a drawing

I was given a sketching book and some lead pencils by my brother for Christmas, who thought I should start making portraits again. Said and done: here's the first product of a hopefully more inspired and productive era of my life, Gene Tierney. (Sadly I have no good scanner, so I had to take a photo of the drawing.)

I thought her face got a little long, her features a little irregular, and I can never make those damn noses right - but it's still okay for someone who hasn't drawn for quite a while, right?

And keep your eyes open, people: I will soon start off a little competition on my blog!

Love //Lolita

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starting the year with bloodshed

I have a tendency to have a great hangover after New Years Eve, lasting for a couple of days. I also have a tendency, when I have a hangover, to have a terrible blood thirst. It's almost only the day-after-the-night-before that I can watch less respectable, new films by my own free will. Having a hangover, feeling sorry for myself and watching people getting their limbs torn off in the most wicked ways possible - it just completes me.

That's why I decided to watch Saw (2004) and Saw II (2005).

Now, they are definitively not as brilliant as the film posters themselves are, but they are entertaining. I will sum up my late-night Saw experience with one sentence: The first one had a better continuity in the story and Cary Elwes from The Princess Bride (1987), but the second one had a much better twist towards the end, but also some very annoying testosterone-high male characters.

There, I won't waste more words on those films, although they weren't bad. (Just wait until I watch the rest of them, hu-ha...) If that wasn't enough, you just need to watch Angry Alien's 30 second re-enactment with bunnies [click on picture below] - it pretty much sums up the whole series, I believe.