Monday, March 16, 2015

3 Women (1977)

3 Women (1977) poster
3 Women (1977) poster
Robert Altman
Shelley Duvall 
Sissy Spacek 
Janice Rule 

The two main characters, both named Mildred have emigrated from Texas to a small dusty Californian town off the highway that could pass for Texas -- the younger Mildred remarks, "Sure does look like Texas". The attention-seeking, loquacious Mildred #1, alias "Millie" (Shelley Duvall) struts around like a yellow canary on stage reminding me of Norma Desmond from Sunset Blvd with the same lack of self awareness.
3 Women (1977) Sherry Duvall
Thoroughly modern Millie prepares for her entrance.
Obviously imitating what she's sees in the glamour magazines she reads. The clumsy naive Mildred #2, alias "Pinky" (Sissy Spacek) who's even more clueless mistakes Millie's bravado as confidence immediately becoming her sycophant says she is "the most perfect person I've met" until an unexpected turn of events challenges their fan-idol relationship and their identities. It is a final crisis that resolves their "identity crisis" in the end involving a third women, Willie (Janice Rule), an artist that paints a mural with groupings of reptilian anthropomorphic beasts that include a pregnant female (like herself) and an alpha male standing erect with his huge "cock" (maybe blurred in some copies) which I presume represents her cock sure husband and possibly lover to the pair of Mildreds. This very surreal film some what of a black tragicomedy (if you can force it into a genre at all) evolved from a dream director, Robert Altman had, so don't expect a nice neat traditional Hollywood ending. I loved the film! One of his best IMO. It explores the female psyche so well, its hard for me to believe a male developed this from his own dream. The film is also a time capsule from the 70s. Millie loves the color yellow, drives a "French" mustard colored Pinto ( not to be confused with English mustard, she corrects the cops as they look for her stolen car) and has an apartment decorated in a combination of slick mod and lacy kitschy furnishing, all in yellow. Lots of double knit halters and peasant blouses fill her closet, all in yellow, of course. This cult classic is worth viewing just for the trip back to the groovy years.

3 Women (1977) Sherry Duvall and Sissy Spacek
The pair of Mildreds bonding their first night together in the "perfect" apartment. Millie later records in her diary " She loves the apartment. I guess she's never lived in a decorated place before."

Would someone please comment about the reptilian art? Who was actual the artist?

3 Women (1977)  Sissy Spacek, Sherry Duvall, and Janice Rule
3 Women (1977)  Sissy Spacek, Sherry Duvall, and Janice Rule

3 Women at Wikipedia
3 Women at the Internet Movie Database
3 Women at Rotten Tomatoes

Thursday, December 11, 2014

GET TV celebrates Frank Sinatra's Birthday | 99 Reasons We Love Sinatra

My latest and only broadcast TV source of classic film getTV is celebrating the entertainment icon, Frank Sinatra's 99th birthday with an all day movie marathon and a social networking birthday party. Anybody can join in the @getTV hosted party on Twitter with the hashtag #99ReasonsWeLoveSinatra. With the remaining characters we are to express why we adore Ol' Blue Eyes. If your adoration requires more characters you can post your passion for Sinatra on GET TVs Facebook page. You will find a schedule, trivia game, and an interactive flash mosaic of images and social networking posts on this page dedicated to to celebrating the icon. That even  lets us tweet directly from an input form that automatically adds the long hashtag. How nifty is that! So December 12 TCManiacs becomes SinatraManiacs as we join the getTV's party with why we love Sinatra.

Frank Sinatra Marathon Friday, December 12

7:00PM EST / 4:00PM PST
10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST
7:30PM EST / 4:30PM PST
10:35PM EST / 7:35PM PST
1:25AM EST / 11:25PM PST

Friday, December 05, 2014

Christmas Classic Movies added to my Amazon Watchlist

Every year struggle to catch viewings of my favorite Christmas classic movies. So this year I am compiling lists. I am a purist so I usually only consider Christmas movies as "classics" if they predate 1960. Doing a search for "christmas classic movies" on Amazon Instant Video doesn't filter according to my strict parameters. So here's a list of timeless holiday classics I gathered for my personal Amazon Instant Video Watchlist. I have the Prime Account which enables me to enjoy unlimited streaming of many classics. Unfortunately not many of the "true" classics listed here are Prime Instant Videos but a number of them are available for immediate streaming for a nominal fee.(Often as little as $2) Click the links below posters to view trailers and your options to stream, download, rent or buy. Hope I have added a little cheer and convenience to your holiday season. Please let me know if I have overlooked any other "classics" off my Amazon list.

It's A Wonderful Life (Black & White Version)
It's A Wonderful Life (Black & White Version) 

Crosby, Bing - White Christmas Show
Crosby, Bing - White Christmas...

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) 

A Christmas Wish (In Color)
A Christmas Wish (In Color)

Bells of St. Mary's, The
Bells of St. Mary's, The

Going My Way
Going My Way 

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
Christmas in Connecticut (1945... 

Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) 

White Christmas
White Christmas

Holiday Affair (1949)
Holiday Affair (1949)

The Shop Around The Corner
The Shop Around The Corner 

Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn

It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
It Happened on 5th Avenue (194...

A few post 1960 films that are so nostalgic or iconic I'll add as classics...

A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas 

A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!/Horton Hears a Who
How the Grinch Stole Christmas..

Home Alone
Home Alone 

Monday, December 01, 2014

TCM 2014 Christmas Classics

Beginning Thursday, December 4, every Thursday leading up to Christmas Day TCM has yuletide classics scheduled. For your convenience I have posted TCM's categorized schedule of Christmas Classics, Religious Favorites, Robert Osborne's Christmas Eve Picks, Christmas Eve, Merry Christmas, and the jolly Christmas with Mel Brooks! The list is not necessarily sequential as many of our seasonal favorites are repeated 2-3 times. Click through the links to get TCM articles.

TCM Christmas Classics 2014

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! The TCManiac

[ updated 12/7/2014 to add dates & times ]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Black Book | John Alton photographs epic Reign of Terror in Film Noir style - Watch Free Online

Cover of "The Black Book"Cover of The Black Book
Reign of Terror (also known as The Black Book) is a 1949 drama film set in the French Revolution. Plotters of François Barras seek to bring down Maximilien Robespierre and end his bloodthirsty regime. Although ostensibly an historical thriller, the film also has the characteristics of film noir in style, and numerous elements of chase films.

"For The Black Book, working to the usual modest budget, cine-photographer John Alton contrived a richly atmospheric evocation of Revolutionary France, turbulent and treacherous, largely from shadows and silhouettes." ~ John Alton - Painting With Light

Reign of Terror available for free download at the Internet Archive

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Scarlet Empress | Josef von Sternberg's expressionist art design

Cover of "The Scarlet Empress - Criterion...Cover via Amazon
The Scarlet Empress is a 1934 historical drama film made by Paramount Pictures about the life of Catherine the Great. It was directed and produced by Josef von Sternberg, with Emanuel Cohen as executive producer, from a screenplay by Eleanor McGeary, based on the diary of Catherine arranged by Manuel Komroff.

Marlene Dietrich as Catherine, with John Davis Lodge, Sam Jaffe (in his film debut), Louise Dresser, and C. Aubrey SmithDietrich's daughter Maria Riva plays Catherine as a child. This is the very last mainstream motion picture to be released before the Hays Code was strictly enforced. ( Hence the sexual overtones in the symbols)

The film is notable for its expressionist art design von Sternberg creates for the Russian palace. In film critic Robin Wood's words:

Rooted in both Expressionism and Surrealism, The Scarlet Empress is essentially “modernist,” far removed from even Hollywood’s notions of realism. Though von Sternberg insisted that the Imperial Palace set was historically authentic, he used it to create and sustain a hyperrealist atmosphere of nightmare with its gargoyles, its grotesque figures twisted into agonized contortions, its enormous doors that require a half-dozen women to close or open, its dark spaces and ominous shadows created by the flickerings of innumerable candles, its skeleton presiding over the royal wedding banquet table. And here, the sense of entrapment that connects most of the director’s personal work reaches its extreme of oppressiveness.

Josef von Sternberg  was an Austrian-American film director. He is particularly noted for his distinctive mise en scène, use of lighting and soft lens, and seven-film collaboration with actress Marlene Dietrich.


Dietrich's daughter Maria Riva plays Catherine as a child.

You can see the director's sense of art expressed by the Von Sternberg House which he had designed by the architect Richard Neutra a philosopher of Modernism in architecture. It was a single bedroom (servant bedrooms excluded) mini-mansion built in 1935 in Northridge, California, in the then-rural San Fernando Valley. It was demolished in 1972 to make way for a housing development.


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Who is the mysterious TCManiac?

First, I'll tell you who I am not. I am not affiliated with TCM. I am not some superbot created by software developers. I am not being paid by TCM or anyone else to dedicate my time to tweeting. I am a real flesh and blood human being. I am a real maniac for TCM. I really do keep my TV tuned to TCM 24-7. I created the TCManiacs twitter as a result of my sincere passion for watching Turner Classic Movies.

How I got started?
Well, I've been a fan of TCM since its inception. As I lay flat on my back recovering from a disabling health crisis unable to do little more than watch TV and surf the internet, I found refuge watching TCM round the clock. I soon developed an obsessive habit of keeping a browser tab open for the TCM schedule and beating Robert Osbourne's introductions to finding out facts for upcoming movies. My entire day and night became defined by the TCM line-up. At the beginning of 2009 I decided to check out twitter and lucked up on some fellow TCM fans to friend. During the 31 days Oscar I decided to dedicate a twitter just to share my TCM obsession by tweeting about every movie every day of February. I was totally overwhelmed by the number of fellow TCM maniacs that became my following. Its been a WIN WIN in everyway for me. I have had the opportunity to share fun stuff with some incredible fellow classic movie lovers and bloggers. With so many followers I became committed to maintaining the twitter schedule and finding fun stuff for upcoming TCM movies.
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Even if you decide to skip tipping the hat, please take the time to comment or send a message with your thoughts and suggestions. Send ideas on more fun stuff you would like featured. Send me links to your own classic movie websites. I just want to hear from you! Let me know what sharing my little obsession is worth to you. Every follower is priceless to me!

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