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Posted: August 12th, 2007, 12:13 pm
by feaito
Mr. Arkadin wrote:Gong Li is the best (see my avatar). I just got the new Raise the Red Lantern (1991) release, but have not viewed it yet. Hopefully, they have found a good print.


Mr. Arkadin, that's another excellent film!

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 12:29 pm
by Mr. Arkadin
Yes, hopefully the print is good. I would also like a good DVD copy of Ju Dou. The best print is still on VHS these days. I would like to see Shanghai Triad, but it seems to be OOP.

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 1:21 pm
by feaito
You know something Mr. Arkadin? "Raise the Red Lantern" used to be confused in my country with "Farewell my Concubine", since in Chile the former was released as "Wives and Concubines". Two outstanding films! Gong-Li aka Li-Gong must be one of the prettiest, sexiest, most talented actress to come out of Asia or anywhere else in the last decades.

Zhang Ziji aka Ziyi Zhang (who starred in "Hero", "House of Flying Daggers" and "Crouching Tiger...") is my second favorite Asian actress.

Man Li (who played Gong Li's rival for Prince Wa's affections in "Curse...") is also very beautiful and sweet. I also like Maggie Cheung.

I've always thought Oriental actresses have a special kind of allure and mystery to them....ever since I saw pictures of Anna May Wong and ravishing Nancy Kwan.

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 1:38 pm
by SSO Admins
Ziyi Zhang makes my knees weak. In addition to those you listed above, she's also very good in Musa the Warrior and Memoirs of a Geisha, all of which I have on DVD.

The Emperor and the Assassin is a very good Gong Li movie telling much the same story of Hero (an assassination plot against the Emperor of Qin) but slightly more historical in its story. Highly recommended.

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 4:59 pm
by feaito
Zhang Ziyi is very beautiful Jon and I also enjoyed "Memoirs of Geisha", though not as much as her other films I mentioned.

I've just watched the early talkie "Pointed Heels" (1929), which has some fine camera movement and shots, not usual of early talking pictures.

It's the film where I've seen Helen Kane at her best, singing "I Have to Have You" to Skeets Gallagher and delivering some funny lines. Good comedy thanks to both of them.

Fay Wray plays a beautiful but rather colorless showgirl who falls for a rich Park Avenue guy played by Phillips Holmes. William Powell is a producer in love with miss Wray, but he won't use his influences to take any advantages.... as usual, he's a fine gentleman. Eugene Pallette is i it too. Quite enjoyable flick.

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 5:03 pm
by Mr. Arkadin
feaito wrote:You know something Mr. Arkadin? "Raise the Red Lantern" used to be confused in my country with "Farewell my Concubine", since in Chile the former was released as "Wives and Concubines". Two outstanding films! Gong-Li aka Li-Gong must be one of the prettiest, sexiest, most talented actress to come out of Asia or anywhere else in the last decades.



That's interesting to know, yes the book was called Wives and Concubines. Farewell is another wonderful film. Leslie Cheung was incredible. Sadly, he committed suicide in 2003.

IF you've never seen To Live (1994), that's a great Gong Li film as well.

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 8:02 pm
by precoder
Well as I suspected I was out all of the weekend and just now getting out of the tub. Doesn't it just thrill you to know that? I had fun though. Went out to Pineville to camp on the Big Sugar Creek. I did get some films in Friday night I've had in my stack for ages. A couple here I've been wanting to see for quite a while. So here's a short set of comments ...

"Bells Are Ringing" (MGM 1960) was enjoyable. Judy Holliday plays a mixed-up and lonely telephone operator at 'Susanwerphone' taking and relaying messages to subscribers. These include wake-up calls to various lonely-hearts clients like Dean Martin who is a lazy playwright and has no self-confidence or work-ethic. He won't wake up early enough to finish his play and meet obligations. Before she calls him in the morning, she applies a fresh coat of lipstick *Hilarious* ... Judy feels sorry for all the clients she serves and becomes obsessed with fixing their problems, one by one. These include those of a nut-case dentist (Bernard West) who wants to write show songs, and a scruffy beatnik actor (Frank Gorshin) who could probably do better with a new suit. But it's Jeffrey Moss or Plaza 0-4433 (Dino) who gets the most intimate attention from Holliday (as Ella or 'Mom') and the couple ultimately fall in love. The complicated story results in some really zany and screwbally predicaments for all and becomes quite funny ...

Fun movie with good songs and some light dancing. Judy Holliday's last movie proves to be a swansong of sorts reprising her successful 1956 Broadway stage role. Holliday projects a lot of comedic charm and feeds well off all the characters but especially with Dean Martin who provides an unusual pairing with Judy but actually makes it a delightful fit. The songs in the film are good ones: "It's A Simple Little System" is clever and "Drop That Name" incorporates Hollywood stars one by one in rhyming verse. My favorite from Judy was "I'm Going Back" which finishes the film and was really fun watching her punch out the lyrics in very expressive Broadway fashion. Also has Fred Clark, Eddie Foy Jr, Ruth Storey, Dort Clark, Valerie Allen and Jean Stapleton who originated her role as Susan of Susanswerphone ...

"Bells Are Ringing" was written for the stage by Betty Comden and Adolph Green who's humble beginnings were as a vaudeville trio in 1939, the third member being a young seventeen year old upstart named Judy Holliday. Amazing how these things connect. Rollicking good fun, high-spirited songs and an excellent final performance from Holliday again prove her Oscar-worthiness and make for a worthwhile two-hours spent. Directed by Vincente Minnelli ...

I then watched "Sleuth" (British-Polamar 1972) a Tony Award winning Anthony Shaffer stage thriller brought very effectively to the screen by the eight-time Oscar nominated Joseph L. Mankiewicz with Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. Olivier is Andrew Wyke, an eccentric mystery author who lives in a house of fantasy and antique toys. He loves his plotfully intricate games and relishes in playing them with visitors. He invites his wife's lover (Michael Caine) a rather dandy italian-english fella to discuss the embarrassing arrangement and ultimately humiliates him to within an inch of his life. This proves a turning-point when Caine re-emerges as a local detective and returns the gamesmanship as a gentlemanly favor. HA HA. But unsatisfied with his less than fulfilling victory, Caine (as Milo Tindle) now embarks on a new caper for higher stakes ...

Extremely good movie. Very nicely directed with some amazing exchanges of dialogue. Claustrophobic and cocky the way only the British could do. It's quite the masterpiece considering the entire affair really unfolds in just a few rooms with two actors; Brilliant actors I should add. These two foils interact deliciously in scene after scene as the bizarre plot twists and bends and turns in deepening complication. They are equally matched, and though often come off unlikable, I found great joy in hating them both. Nominated for four Oscars. Didn't win any. But definately see this one guys ...

The third film I watched was "Stolen Moments" (American Cinema 1920) a re-release intended to capitalize on the popularity of Valentino. I'll post remarks in the Valentino DVD thread on that one ...

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 8:24 pm
by feaito
I'll put "To Live" on my list Mr. Arkadin. Thanks for the recommendation.

Precoder, "Sleuth" is a film I'd like to see; I only watched a small part of it once and I wish I had seen the whole movie then.

I've just finished watching a good British period film titled "Saraband for Dead Lovers" based upon Sophia Dorothea's (the wife of George I of England) life. She's played skillfully by pretty Joan Greenwood. Stewart Granger plays her lover Count Koenigsmark. But the actresses that make this film work are veterans Flora Robson and Francoise Rosay. They are a joy to behold. Such seasoned, talented troupers. Michael Gough, Anthony Quayle are also in the cast. Good period atmosphere, settings and décor. Good!

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 8:28 pm
by precoder
feaito wrote:I've just watched the early talkie "Pointed Heels" (1929), which has some fine camera movement and shots, not usual of early talking pictures.

It's the film where I've seen Helen Kane at her best, singing "I Have to Have You" to Skeets Gallagher and delivering some funny lines. Good comedy thanks to both of them.

Fay Wray plays a beautiful but rather colorless showgirl who falls for a rich Park Avenue guy played by Phillips Holmes. William Powell is a producer in love with miss Wray, but he won't use his influences to take any advantages.... as usual, he's a fine gentleman. Eugene Pallette is i it too. Quite enjoyable flick.


I found "Pointed Heels" quite the disappointment I'm sorry to say. The Helen Kane and Skeets Gallagher songs were cute and indeed the highpoints, but I found Fay Wray and Phillips Holmes to both be very ineffective actors. That kind of performance might getcha to the top of the empire state building with a big ape, but won't getcha far in Hollywood otherwise. William Powell actually looked embarrassed feeding off Wray who was dreadful ...

The film has some charm because it's age and but I found it no more than a curio and both songs "I Have To Have You" and "Ain'tcha" are better rendered by Annette Hanshaw with the Dorsey Brothers ...

http://www.redhotjazz.com/hanshaw.html

Image

Caine is able

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 9:17 pm
by Moraldo Rubini
feaito wrote:...She's played skillfully by pretty Joan Greenwood. ...

How I love Joan Greenwood. That voice! Like the tide receding from a pebbly shore... I'm always enchanted by her in The Importance of Being Ernest.

Sleuth is a blast! Great writing. I think I'll put it back on my list. It must have been a little bewildering to catch only a portion of it. There are so many twists and turns in the plot. Enjoy!

Re: Caine is able

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 9:32 pm
by precoder
Moraldo Rubini wrote:It must have been a little bewildering to catch only a portion of it.

Watching the whole thing intently leaves one bewildered ... feaito get ready for a ride ...

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 9:51 pm
by Vecchiolarry
Hi Fernando,

Oh you have to see "Sleuth" from the beginning. Excellent writing and the acting is superb. Unfortunately, we don't have that anymore or rarely.
Yes, I've heard of Mylene Farmer, but have never heard her sing. She is very Quebecois and refuses to appear in English Canada, so I'm told. The general concensis about her here is: "To Hell with you!!"....
We prefer Celine Dion!! Pity....

Larry

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 10:09 pm
by feaito
Yes Moraldo, Joan Greenwood has a unique voice. The only other film of hers that I remember is "Moonfleet", also with Stewart Granger, a good adventure film.

I ough to see "Sleuth"!!! :shock:

Larry, Mylène is unique!! Her Concerts are awesome. If only I could understand better the French language!

Mooning

Posted: August 12th, 2007, 11:50 pm
by Moraldo Rubini
feaito wrote:Joan Greenwood has a unique voice. The only other film of hers that I remember is "Moonfleet", also with Stewart Granger, a good adventure film.

She was also in another moon movie: The Moon Spinners, starring Hayley Mills and Larry's friend Pola Negri and rollicking Tom Jones. I think she was in Kind Hearts and Coronets, but I'm ashamed to say that's one of my voids... that is, I've never seen it.

Posted: August 13th, 2007, 3:05 am
by SSO Admins
It's not accurate to say that I've never seen Bells are Ringing since that was the first movie I was ever taken to as an infant, but it would be fair to say that I don't remember much of it.