Archive for the ‘FiLM’ Category

CC CHRONICLES: My favorite Meryl Streep performances

Published by cctadmin on February 6th, 2015

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I’ve loved me some Streep since I was an young boy taking in films and escaping to other worlds; and while she has no shortage of brilliant performances, I’ve recently had a chat with a pal about some of her work over the years and it had me assembling a tally of my favourite performances of hers.

They are hard to choose!  Here are my five favourites, in no particular order.

1. Silkwood (1983)

2. Sophie’s Choice (1982)

3. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

4. Postcards From the Edge (1990)

5. Death Becomes Her (1992)

**Honourable mentions:  One True Thing (1998);  Adaptation (2002);  The Bridges of Madison County (1995);  Marvin’s Room (1996).

 

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Tuesday Weld.

Published by cctadmin on April 21st, 2014

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shelley duvall

Published by cctadmin on March 25th, 2014

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CC CHRONiCLES: Imitation of Life (1959) / “How do you explain to your child – you were born to be hurt?”

Published by cctadmin on February 1st, 2014

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Years and years ago I worked in Winnipeg’s Osbourne Village at Blockbuster Video; and them were some great times.  One of the highlights for me, as a film buff, was the chance to watch all kinds of films – capitalizing off our privilege of receiving 10 free movie rentals a week.

I watched all sorts of films, good and bad – but mostly I loved the collection of classic films, including 1959′s Imitation of Life, starring Lana Turner, Sandra Dee, John Gavin and a list of other greats.

Today is a lazy Saturday and after finding it on Netflix I decided to watch it again after so many years – and I really must say I love it even still.

Essentially the film is centred on widow Lora Meridith (Lana Turner), who dreams of being a famous Broadway actress.  Lora has a young daughter named Susie.  The film begins with a frantic Lora losing track of Susie on a crowded beach, eventually finding Susie is safe and being looked after by Annie Johnson (Juanita Moore – who plays the part brilliantly), a black, single mother with a daughter (Sarah Jane).  Unlike her mother, Sarah Jane is a very  fair-skinned African American and can pass for white – which her character seems to strive for enormously, even at a young age.  Lora eventually takes Annie and her daughter in, at first temporarily – with Annie persuading her to let her say and take care of the family while Lora pursues her own acting career.

The film follows this groups struggles along the way, showing Lora, a very determined lady with dreams to fulfill , eventually succeed in becoming as a star of stage comedies.  Susie, her adorable blonde, blue-eyed little girl struggles to adjust to life without a present mother, tho she takes great solace in her caregiver Annie – who’s work and devotion to the family and her own daughter – provides the heart of the film.  Annie is not without conflict however, as her devotion goes unnoticed by her ever-troubled daughter Sarah Jane – a little girl who has difficulty in accepting her African-American heritage.  And with reason – for in those times racism was rampant and Sarah Jane seemed all too aware of this even as a little girl.  With that – her character strives to accept herself,  going to great lengths to hide her birthright, as a matter of self preservation.

The later half of the film fast-forwards to eleven years after their initial coming-together:  Lora is a highly regarded star on Broadway, Susie and Sarah Jane are both young women who find themselves in different situations, and Annie is ever loyal to all of them.

While I enjoyed Sandra Dee‘s role of Susie – a pretty and privileged  blonde teen who develops an unrequited crush on her mothers boyfriend – its Susan Kohner, who plays the troubled Sarah Jane who really steals scenes.  Sure, you can’t help but sympathize with Susie, who has a non-present mom and is faced with all sorts of questions about the birds and the bees that she longs for her mother to answer.  Her resentment for her mom’s priority in fulfilling her dreams instead of acting like a mother, stews and grows.   But Sarah Jane, with dark hair and features – and an intensity in her eyes that implies much more is happening under the surface – well, she continues to toil with her existence as she passes for a white girl, eventually getting beaten up by a white boy she dates who discovers she is black, and running away from home in effort to shun her mother.  The scenes are captivating,  with her character so determined to shed her African-American status that she rejects her mother in the most tragic ways –  all of which begin to take a physical and mental toll on poor Annie.

Its within these mother-daughter scenes I found myself most affected – and these fine actresses did so well in bringing complexities to each of their roles.  You can’t hate Sarah Jane for her ignorance – for Annie says it best when she laments to Lora; “How do you explain to your child – you were born to be hurt?”  And thus is the centre of the film for me – a mother’s love for, and desire to provide and protect her child.

I won’t spoil the films end – just in case any of you are interested in seeing it – but I do highly recommend it for those who enjoy looking back on classic Hollywood cinema.

Below is a photo gallery of images I snapped of Imitation of Life. Enjoy!


A JOAN CRAWFORD GALLERY

Published by cctadmin on January 25th, 2014

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JAMES DEAN

Published by cctadmin on October 23rd, 2013

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Wicked Witch of the West / Wizard of Oz

Published by cctadmin on October 22nd, 2013

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HEDY LAMARR

Published by cctadmin on October 20th, 2013

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FLASHBACK: ‘Obsession’ by Michael Des Barres & Holly Knight (1983)

Published by cctadmin on May 25th, 2013

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Everyone should get their yearly dose of cheesy 80′s movies (Teen Wolf; Satisfaction; My Tutor; Weird Science, to name a few); which is why I found myself laying in bed all of today doing just that.  To put it in context, I have an injured foot due to an unfortunate minor accident (worry not, I’m in good shape) as well as the beginnings of a sore throat – all of which had me very content to stay in bed.

And what does one do when laying in bed all day? Surf the net for one; I found myself perusing Youtube for anything shiny to distract me; landing upon a certain 1983 bomb of a movie called ‘A Night In Heaven’, starring LESLEY ANN WARREN & former teen hunk CHRiSTOPHER ATKiNS.  The movie is hardly worth reviewing here; it was pure guilty pleasure: bored school professor (Warren) flunks charming student (Atkins) for flubbing his way through class.  Low & behold he’s a student by day & stripper at night – where the professor eventually lands herself when her zany sister comes to town.  An awkward affair ensues – we get some soft core porn scenes with the sexy Atkins, who is most interesting to me because his short-lived career of films (all of which he was a scantily-clad boy-toy) indicates he really was sort of a flash in the pan.  Every cougars wet dream.  I also recall him playing Sue Ellen’s much younger love affair in the mini-series ‘Dallas’ in the mid-80′s.

Best moment for me came when it was time for the prim & proper sexually frustrated professor to discover her recently flunked student doing his strip tease at a very 80′s discotheque, adorned with a lot of 80′s women screaming & carrying on uncontrollably.   Atkinson, or rather ‘Ricky The Rocket’, as his stage name goes, enters in full on stripper-astronaut attire, gyrating & seducing women to this MiCHAEL DES BARRES & HOLLY KNiGHT song ‘Obsession‘; done again in & around this time by one hit wonder group ANiMOTiON. Personally I enjoy this original version more. Quintessential 80′s moment set to a very typically 80′s song, which I enjoyed enough to sit through the rest of the crappy tale.  How it ends is irrelevant but I can say it would be interesting to hear Warren & Atkins give their behind-the-scenes commentary if anything – to at least answer the question: “What were you thinking???”

Enjoy it for yourself!


CHER: THE ULTiMATE HOT MAMA / “A COWBOYS WORK iS NEVER DONE” (1972) “Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.”

Published by cctadmin on July 20th, 2012


Today I salute one of the worlds BiGGEST SUPERSTARS – the one and only CHER – she who has brought a great deal of glimmer & shine to our universe.  It’s been a long time coming, as this stunning creature first captured my eyes and ears when I was but a little whipper-snapper.  There is nothing I can say that won’t make me sound like the gayest of all gays when it comes to how I feel about CHER but I will never back down, nor will I ever be ashamed; she is a woman who, across the arc of her career went from docile singing Kewpie to self-assured hot mama.  Her physical beauty was odd – and arguably she is one of the most exotic creatures to be photographed.  Of course we all know CHER spent the 60′s married to an ambitious, nerdy songwriter-producer SONNY BONO – who was a seasoned music-biz pro.  When they wed in 1964, she was 18, he was 29 – but together they figured out a formula for big time success, packaged in old-fashioned martial togetherness in proto-hippie garb.  They dressed outlandishly – he in buckskin boots and fur vests, she in navel-flaunting bell bottoms and giant false eyelashes… SONNY & CHER would eventually end in divorce and although I loved this era of CHER it was by far the 1970′s that gave us the best of her.  This was the era of BOB MACKiE gowns, Gypsies, Tramps & Theives and of course, Half Breed & Dark Lady – all of which showcased CHER in very new and alluring ways for the times.    To my stifled imagination growing up she was the perfect living ‘character’ to occupy a special place in my make-believe land of possibilities.

CHER’S determination led her to several other lives in the 70′s and 80′s:  a TV show, DAViD GEFFEN, GENE SiMMONS, serious acting, scandalous ACADEMY AWARDS appearances, a youthful bagel man, infomercials…but whenever she made a fool of herself it was on her own terms – and she has never been afraid to stand out.

On our way home from camping we inevitably ended up with some CHER on the iPod – and I couldn’t help but re-appreciate this particular tune of hers called A COWBOYS WORK iS NEVER DONE, which I encourage you to check out for yourself!  This BONO-penned song was from SONNY & CHER’S album ‘All I Ever Need Is You‘ and peaked at #8 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1972.  Classic stuff if you ask me.  Play it loud.  Play it PROUD!

Enjoy this track below, along with some classic CHER images that show her in her glory!!!