films (13)

From "Modern Times," a B&W masterpiece by Charlie Chaplin.

Paulette Goddard, Charlie’s beautiful waif girlfriend has found them a house. “It’s not Buckingham Palace,” she says. Charlie walks in and a beam falls on his head.

One of the funniest movies of all time. It’s a silent film, but made when sound was available. Charlie apparently felt that the Little Tramp wouldn’t work with sound, so this is silent. In the end the Little Tramp and Paulette walk off into the sunset, and this was the end of this character.

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Bride of Frankenstein

What a masterpiece! Funny, going back, looking at films years later, my perceptions are so different. This time it knocked me out. The lighting, the gorgeous black and white photography, the acting, the miniature people in the jars, Elsa Lancaster’s electrifying performance at the end (she said she studied the swans in Regents Park, who were “…very nasty creatures, always hissing at you…” for the role).

Directed by James Whale.

You could do a 3-part series: Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and Young Frankenstein, all masterpieces.

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The Perfect Song and The Perfect Movie (From the Early '60s), All in One Day

Mr Postman, by the Marvelettes, 1961

I thought this was a Beatles song, but here is the original. The singing, the phrasing,

Way-yay-yay-yate Mr. Postman,

the enunciation, Dee-liver the let-ter, the sooner the bet-ter,

I’m just crazy about this song. It’s on a 3-disc  collection: She’s So Fine: The Rise of the Girl Groups, about 90 songs. The Chantelles, the Shirelles, the Bobettes, the Ikettes. I don’t know of any singing like this nowadays.

François Truffaut’s Jules et Jim, 1962

Then, last night I watched this, with 5 friends in a small cabin in the woods, and was stunned. Just an absolutely perfect movie, a masterpiece. It’s wonderful when a work of art can lift you into another realm.

I think I saw it about 50 (ulp!) years ago, but it didn’t hit me then. (The Surf Theater was a small theater out by the beach in San Francisco’s Sunset District that played foreign films in the ’60s. For us California kids, it provided a sophisticated and different view of art and the world: Goddard, Ingmar Bergman, Truffaut, Kurosawa…)

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The Dude!

This is Paul Meredith, owner of Buzzard’s Bar and Grill near San José del Cabo. It took me 3 days to figure out who he reminded me of. As of in The Great Lebowski…
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"I don't have to show you any stinking badges."

Famous movie quotes quiz (mostly vintage).

I have to remember, when talking to people much younger, that we don’t necessarily share the same points of reference. These are all embedded in my memory, and I have to remember that there’s a certain age requirement for them to have any meaning.

1. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

2. “He vas my boyfriend!”*

3. “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

4. “We’ll always have Paris.”

5. “Round up the usual suspects.”

6. “Made it Ma, top of the world!”

7. “Mussolini, Hitler—and now, Peterson!”

8. “I coulda been a contender.”

9. “You talkin to me?”

10. “Go ahead, make my day.”

11. “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

12. ” You just put your lips together and blow.”

13, “Nobody’s perfect.”

14. “It was beauty killed the beast.”

15. “The Dude abides.”

16. “You’re my baby, man.”

17. “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille.”

*in what is probably my favorite film of all time: 

18. “…just exactly what is it that you do do?”

19. “Put the candle back!”

20. “Don’t put the candle back!”

20. ” Do not open this door.”

21. “Open this god dammed door…”

22.  “Oh, you men are all alike. Seven or eight quick ones and you’re off with the boys…”

Hey, this is fun, but I gotta get back to work. We’re putting the finishing touches on Small Homes: The Right Size this week.

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Cool Tools- My Favorite Website

As I’ve said before, this is the 21st century online Whole Earth Catalog. Same M.O.: People like us writing reviews of cool stuff for other people like us. It’s embarrassing how many things I’ve obtained after reading about them here. These aren’t frivolous purchases; all the stuff is useful to me, stuff I’d never have known about otherwise.

I must point out I have a massive conflict of interest here. I’ve written a lot of CT reviews, and these guys are good friends.

That said, I periodically want to turn people onto this rich source of ad-free advice. It’s just madly useful. Take a look:

Write a review and they’ll send you an email of new tools weekly.

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