RIP Brian G. Hutton.
Anderson’s Inherent Vice. Incredibly excited for this movie, more than any other upcoming film. Also, I love this photo and how it looks like a much more artful picture my Dad snapped in the 70s of his cop friend Carl — a guy who ate blocks of cheese like candy bars.
More about Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson’s take on Thomas Pynchon and more at Cigarettes and Red Vines.
Bacall & Hawks, Bacall & Von Trier
Oh no… A legend, gone. “Looking at yourself in a mirror isn’t exactly a study of life.” RIP Lauren Bacall. Farewell, you magnificent woman.
Lauren Bacall plays a word association game during an interview, 1987.
From photographer Carinthia West: “This was taken after Christmas lunch in Suffolk, 1980. Robin had spent a lot of time on the sofa prostrate with jet lag after flying in from America, straight off a comedy tour. I had met him and his first wife, Valerie, during the shoot of Robert Altman’s film Popeye in Malta, and we had all become great friends. So I invited them to England for Christmas. This shot was taken just after he had woken up and began telling funny stories to the little boy and Sheba, the Great Dane.”
"The Big House" (1930) — an uncompromising prison picture with powerful performances by Wallace Beery, Chester Morris and Robert Montgomery (while making the movie, director George W. Hill reportedly stated he’d fire the first person he saw "acting"). Beautifully shot — both claustrophobic and vast, endlessly institutional — I love how the story turns as well. You’re expecting Montgomery to be the hero but, nope, he’s a coward, a rat, and yet, not simply villainous. He’s acting like a lot of terrified newbies when first incarcerated. While doing screen grabs (there are so many fantastic shots in the movie), I remembered George Hurrell took some great publicity stills of the picture, posted here. In between shooting a glammed up Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford, Hurrell snapped Chester Morris as an emaciated jailbird. The dungeon walk is a gorgeous Hurrell here but the scene itself is as gritty and as stylish and a standout in the movie.
June Carter & Johnny Cash.
Arbus Picasso Priscilla.
"But frankly, Frank." Burt Reynolds.
Fat Girl. Catherine Breillat.
Blondie Johnson. 1933.
Just rewatched Mervyn LeRoy’s “Heat Lightning.” 1934 Pre-code desert drama and sweaty, in the-middle-of-nowhere lust and intrigue with Aline MacMahon and Ann Dvorak as sisters working in the Cal desert. The auto garage, diner and road side motel are a literal hot spot for all sorts of dubious, mysterious and amusing characters/situations… Preston Foster and Lyle Talbot show up, on the lam. Also Glenda Farrell as “Feathers” and Ruth Donnelly as “Tinkle,” rich divorcees road tripping with their jewels and chauffeur, of course. The camerawork is exceptional — beautiful and interesting. I especially love the tracking shot at the beginning when we’re introduced to the sisters — tough minded McMahon and pretty, frustrated Dvorak — while McMahon is walking to the car she’s working on. Dvorak storms away, angry, and LeRoy shoots from McMahon’s POV under the car. MacMahon and Dvorak are wonderful here — really appealing and touching.