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looking for this movie

Hopefully It Happened on Fifth Avenue will be available on DVD in my lifetime.  It is such a charming film!  I’m also looking for books by Herbert Clyde Lewis – but either the books are out of my price range or unavailable (that doesn’t mean I will stop trying!).

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Critics pick – 1997 movie The Apostle

I thought that Robert Duvall’s movie The Apostle was excellent and apparently the Movie Critics agree.

Robert Duvall in an interview for the Journal of Religion and Film stated that

“I even heard that David Denby, in the New York Review, said it was the best film ever made in America on a religious subject. He’s a guy who usually rips everything and he really ripped Tender Mercies. But he knows you can’t write those people off. You get below the Mason-Dixon line and you have some of the best music, culture, the two races, the literature, and it’s so rich, so deeply rich in many things. So why not try to get it right if you’re going to make a film of southern religion? That’s what I wanted to do.”

Motel Chronicles

I really can’t remember the first Sam Shepard play I read.

I do remember seeing him with Jessica Lange in the movie  Frances (which was a heartbreaking film).  Of course, he has been in several movies (The Right Stuff comes to mind).

A movie I could see over and over was the one with Sissy Spacek, Jessica Lange, and Diane Keaton, portraying sisters – and Sam Shepherd.  What the heck was the name of it?  Sissy Spacek killed her husband and then tried (unsuccessfully –  to commit suicide).  Of course, my description of the movie sounds macabre – but it was a hilarious movie.

Crimes of the Heart??? Yes, I think that was the name of the movie.

Anyway – back to Sam Shepherd: he does have a very different way of looking at life.  The movie Paris, Texas was based on a Shepherd play and I was haunted by several scenes in that movie for days after I saw it.  It was good – but different.  (In my humble opinion.)

Enough rambling . . .

Some quotes from Motel Chronicles:

Evidently I walk in my sleep.  They find me standing at the end of the hallway by the hibiscus-flowered wallpaper, mumbling to myself.  They say the words are unintelligible and when they shake me I shut up.  They lead me by the shoulder back to bed and I fall asleep and don’t walk again the rest of the night.  When they tell me the next morning how they’d found me like this I’m filled with a kind of warm glow.  My spine buzzes.  I smile uncontrollably and my Dad says:  “It’s not funny.”  But he has a smile too when he says it and that makes me smile even more uncontrollably.

One night I walked into the bathroom in my sleep and climbed into the empty white tub.  They found me asleep in there on my side.  Their reaction to this was more severe than when they’d found me at the end of the hallways.  A slightly worried tone crept into their voices.  For some reason they felt climbing into the bathtub was too bizarre.  A little crazy maybe.  Even though (when I was much younger) my mother had often bedded me down in bathtubs all over Idaho while my Dad was away in the Air Force dropping bombs on Italy and there was only one narrow bed in the motels.

I don’t know why my imaginings of these nightly sojourns were so compelling to me but I began to look forward to the morning explanations by my parents of where they’d found me the night before.  Where had I traveled?  Would they have found me on the ceiling this time?  Curled up inside the fireplace.  I couldn’t stand the fact that I was missing out on these unconscious encounters so I invented a brave scheme:   I would pretend I was sleep-walking.  I would keep my eyes closed tightly and sort of stumble down the hallway, bumping into walls, breathing deeply and maybe make a little low sound so they’d be sure to hear me.  It took me hours to work up enough guts to follow through with this plan because I knew if I failed they’d probably think all the other times had been faked and there’d be no way of telling what their reaction would be to that.

Would you believe it??

Would you believe it?

A movie with a plot!

We saw Blind Side at the King Ranger Theater and enjoyed it tremendously.  The acting was good (Sandra Bullock gave a very good performance; Tim McGraw surprised me with his acting; Kathy Bates is always good; the supporting actors were convincing – great ensemble acting).

Richard Corliss [writing in Time Magazine] doesn’t agree.

An aside:  Tim McGraw is from Hubby’s neck of the woods and made a sizeable donation (probably several) to his hometown of Start, Louisiana.

Although I had heard of Michael Oher (what do I know about football??), Hubby certainly did know of Oher/and does know football –  and of course, he recognized all of the coaches in the movie – real coaches playing real coaches.

A Second Aside:  I remember Lou Saban (coach Nick Saban’s father; Nick plays himself in the movie) from the years when he was in Denver and he is on the Hall of Honor at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado (the father Lou – not the son).

Perhaps it is some of those remembrances that also made the movie fun for me.  The fun for DH was recognizing some of the football teams (film footage at the beginning of the movie) and all of the coaches.

And I repeat: it was just pleasurable to see a movie that had a real plot . . . with real acting.  With Academy Awards on the horizon, perhaps we will be seeing some more worthwhile movies (do I sound jaded??).

Sean and Leigh Toohey with Michael OherLeigh Ann Toohey (if you see the movie, you will learn that Leigh Ann and Sean Toohey adopted Michael Oher — see the movie!) said that “God gives people money to see how you’re going to handle it.”

Sean Toohey, Michael Oher, Leigh AnnToohey in photo

The Ballad of Big Mike

The church – and skeptics – and Elmer Gantry – and the Devil’s Tickets

Just finished The Devil’s Tickets by Gary M. Pomerant (which isn’t about Elmer Gantry or Sinclair Lewis – but rather about The Roaring Twenties and bridge and the murder of Jack Bennett by his wife Myrtle).

However, after finishing the book, I kept thinking of Sinclair Lewis and his novel Elmer Gantry (both of which  Pomerant mentions in his novel).  This led to remembering the movie Elmer Gantry and the great performances by Shirley Jones and Burt Lancaster (think Jones won an academy award for her performance in that movie).

One thought leads to another . . .

Famous Americans dropped in [Kansas City, Missouri] during the twenties, announcing themselves in curious ways.  The novelist Sinclair Lewis, a disturber of the peace, spent six weeks in Kansas City in spring 1926 holed up downtown in an Ambassador Hotel suite, researching a “preacher novel” that became Elmer Gantry.  During his visit, Lewis stood at the lectern of one local church and challenged God to strike him dead in fifteen minutes.  He took off his watch and waited; he survived.  In his hotel suite each Wednesday, Lewis held “Sunday school classes” over lunch for eighteen local clergy.  They liked Lewis, and admired his zeal for his subject.  The perpetual skeptic, he prodded them and probed deeply into theological issues, once asking, “What the hell right has the church to exist anyway?”  At another turn, Lewis pointed a finger at a minister and challenged his belief in God; a Catholic priest calmed the novelist, saying, “Sit down, my son, and don’t blaspheme.”  Lewis paused, and replied, “Will you have a drink, Father?”  The priest said, “I will.”  The local clergy should have known what was coming.  The fictional Elmer Gantry proved a scoundrel and hypocrite with a lust for power.  He drank alcohol to excess, engaged in sex with church secretaries and congregants, and trampled choir girls in escaping a burning tabernacle.  As Gantry hit the bestseller lists, a few Kansas City ministers shouted betray, though others rushed to Lewis’s defense.

we live in a make believe world

When my sister was returning to Albuquerque after attending our uncle’s memorial service, she briefly wondered if she was in another country when she was driving through Las Vegas, New Mexico.  The movie companies shoot a lot of films in that area (such as No Country for Old Men).

Sure enough:  the overpass she photographed is being used as the set for an upcoming movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Juliette Lewis.

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Who knows what is real anymore??

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The 25 top cult films

Someone (whoever ‘someone’ is) compiled a list of the 25 top cult films.  There are LISTS for everything, aren’t there?

I love the movies; well I used to really love the movies; it seems as though most of the movies today seem to be made for Someone I Am Not.

However, I decided to list this Someone Person’s List and determine how many of these movies I have seen.  Amazingly, I sorta agree with some of the movies on this particular List Maker’s List.  Some I don’t think I would view on a bet!

Did I mention there are so many lists??  These movies are listed in the reverse order of importance – according – again to the List Maker (#1 is #25 and so forth).

  1. “Donnie Darko” about a demonic bunny!  [I’ve not seen this one . . . and not certain I ever will]
  2. “Fight Club” starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton [Interestingly enough – at least for me – is that I had a very recent conversation about this unusual movie with one of the male nurses when I was admitted to the Emergency Room September 1st.  Suffering an attack of appendicitis, I arrived at the hospital in mis-matched pajamas and an old old chennile bathrobe I’ve had since probably 1980.  This bathrobe is ornamented/decorated with coffee cups and is the EXACT SAME BATHROBE that Brad Pitt wore almost during the entire “Fight Club” movie.  The nurse and I discussed the merits of this particular film as I was being wheeled into the lab for some tests.  Coincidences abound . . .]
  3. “The Princess Bride” [I liked this silly movie.  After all – a princess and Andre the Giant . . .]
  4. “Akira” – apocalyptic future in a place called Neo-Tokyo [Did not see.]
  5. “Blade Runner”  starring Harrison Ford [Totally unbelievable of course – and I enjoyed the movie!]
  6. “Cannibal the Musical” [This musical dealing with Alferd Packer is one I maybe would have seen if I had known about it when it ran in 1997 – because of course, living in Denver, I certainly heard about the Alferd Packer story.]
  7. “The Big Lebowski” [I rather liked this movie with Jeff Bridges and John Goodman; however, I think both of these actors are very gifted and always enjoy their performances.]
  8. “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” [Think what I liked most about this movie was watching how much the kids enjoyed it.]
  9. “Showgirls” [Didn’t see this movie and doubt I would want to view it.]
  10. “The Goonies” [Well – didn’t see this movie and do not believe I would care for it.]
  11. “Rock and Roll High School” [WHO saw this?]
  12. “Night of the Living Dead” [no thank you . . .]
  13. “Freaks” [again: didn’t even know about this film]
  14. “Mommie Dearest” [read the book – didn’t want to see the movie – didn’t really want to read the book!]
  15. “Toxic Avenger” [another one I missed – thank goodness!]
  16. “Reefer Madness” [I have seen clips of this on television; guess it seems a little silly in this day and age . . . at least to me . . .]
  17. “Hairspray” [This was such a silly . . . and rather fun! . . . film.]
  18. “Eraserhead” [Missed . . .]
  19. “The Warriors” [another film I never heard about . . . that sounds strange . . . but may be interesting]
  20. “Clerks” [I remember seeing a clip of this on television but have not viewed the entire film.]
  21. “The Meaning of Life” [a Monty Python movie that I missed]
  22. “This Is Spinal Tap” [seems as though I’m not really a cult film enthusiast . . . didn’t see]
  23. “Evil Dead” [suppose I really AM a Mainstream Person – whatever that is . . . didn’t see]
  24. “Plan 9 From Outer Space” [this movie sounds particularly bad – didn’t see]
  25. “Rocky Horror Picture Show” [this movie was shown for years – at midnight – when we were living in Denver; think the town sold out all of the  BIC cigarette lighters – I was snoring away by midnight so never did this see this movie.]

This was – of course – a silly exercise.

How many of these films did YOU view??

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