Happy May, everyone! April was a rather unusual month for TCM, but it’s back to the usual schedule for May. June Allyson is May’s Star of the Month and will be featured every Wednesday night. Friday Night Spotlight returns with a look at Australian cinema hosted by Jacki Weaver. Since I haven’t seen many Australian films, I look forward to having the chance to see more. For Memorial Day weekend, TCM will be having their annual 72-hour marathon of war films. May’s Guest Programmer is none other than Rev. Mother Dolores Hart, who will be showcasing a few of her favorite movies on May 27th.
We’ve made it to the final ten favorite movies! I hope you enjoyed reading about my hundred favorite movies as much as I enjoyed writing about them. I’m definitely thinking that I might have to do some more big lists like this in the future! Thanks again to Colin from Pick ‘n’ Mix Flix Reviews for suggesting I do this list in the first place! Now, with further ado, my final ten favorites…
Site news time! As you may or may not know, November is NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. And because I love a challenge, I’ve decided to take a shot at participating. That’s right, I’m going to try to update the blog every single day in November! To make things a little more interesting, I’ve given myself a theme to work with: pre-codes. 30 days, 30 pre-code classics! Here’s hoping I can pull it off! Now, onto the TCM schedule…
Wow! This could quite possibly be one of my favorite months ever on TCM! Fans of silent films, rejoice! This month, TCM is starting its documentary series Moguls and Movie Stars. A new episode premieres every Monday at 8:00 PM and is followed by a night of movies related to that night’s episode. Every Wednesday night is also devoted to Moguls and Movie Stars with more related movies and an encore of that week’s episode. This is particularly wonderful news for fans of silents because a few episodes of Moguls and Movie Stars are dedicated to the silent era, so they’ll be airing movies from people like Mary Pickford (who I always thought has been very underrepresented on TCM), Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino, Georges Melies, and D.W. Griffith. In addition to that, Ava Gardner is the star of the month! I dig Ava Gardner, so I’m going to be watching a whole lot of TCM this month.
A while back, I was talking with Colin from Pick ‘n’ Mix Flix Movie Reviews, and we got to discussing movie lists. Over at his site, he did a list of his 101 favorite movies and he challenged me to make my own top 100 list. And since everyone seems to love movie lists, I thought it’d be a fun project. So, here’s the deal: Every Friday, I’ll be counting down my top 100 favorite movies, ten at a time. I really didn’t set any rules for myself, so every kind of movie was fair game. Classic, modern, American, foreign, there’s a little bit of everything in there. Without further ado, let’s get to the first ten.
In Contempt, Paul Javal (Michel Piccoli) is hired by American film producer Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance) to rework the script for an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey, which is to be directed by Fritz Lang. On his first day of work, Paul’s wife Camille (Brigitte Bardot) stops by, but Camille begins to suspect that he is using her to win points with Jeremy. She soon informs Paul that she doesn’t love him anymore, but Paul convinces her to join him in Capri for filming, hoping the trip would help them rekindle their romance. While in Capri, Camille sets it up so Paul would find her alone with Jeremy. When Paul finds them, Camille tells him that although she used to respect him, she can’t stand him anymore because she feels he traded her to Jeremy to work on the film. Of course, Paul denies this and offers to quit the film and go home if she’ll stay with him. But Camille doesn’t bend and heads off to Rome with Jeremy.
I can sum up my thoughts on Contempt in one word: disappointing. You have no idea how much I really wanted to like this movie. I thought this was sure to instantly become one of my favorites. And really, there’s no reason I should have thought otherwise. I love French New Wave, so I couldn’t wait to see what I’d heard was one of the definitive French New Wave films. I love Brigitte Bardot and I knew Contempt as one of the movies she’s most remembered for. And since I knew this was a movie about making movies, I figured it’d be right up my alley since I love movies like Sunset Blvd. and The Bad and the Beautiful. Fritz Lang even makes an appearance!
But when I finally got to see Contempt, I just could not get into it. I saw it for the first time a few months back when TCM played it. But since TCM played a print that was dubbed into English and had awful picture quality, I thought maybe I’d like it more if I rented the Criterion Collection DVD since I knew that would be in French and would have better picture quality. So I added it to my Netflix queue and they sent the Criterion Collection version. For the life of me, I still couldn’t get into the movie. The story bored me. If I wanted to listen to discussions about how to interpret Homer’s Odyssey, I’d visit a ninth grade English class. I simply couldn’t get myself care about any of the characters. Bardot had amazing screen presence and I usually love to just watch her work on-screen, but her being in this movie wasn’t enough to keep me interested. The whole thing was just painfully dull to me. Sometimes I end up coming around to a movie a little while down the road, so maybe in a few years, I’ll see something in Contempt I didn’t see before. But right now, it simply did nothing for me at all. I will say one thing for it, though: it did have some stunning visuals.
In a previous post, I talked about how excited I was for the big Metropolis restoration complete with lots of previously lost footage. Kino International is planning a DVD/Blu-Ray release of the newly restored version for December 2010, so I just figured I’d have to wait until then to see it, unless I got lucky and got to see a theatrical screening of it before then. So I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I opened my mail and found a DVD of the new restoration from my friend Cohen! Apparently Cohen has a friend who has a friend in Germany who recorded the restoration when Arte TV aired it and Cohen was nice enough to make me a copy. I just finished watching it and absolutely loved it. Having seen it, I can die a happy film nerd. Here is exactly what you can expect: