Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Siren Plays Dominos

Ah, the joys of toddler twins, or Infectious Disease Vectors as we sometimes think of them at the House of Campaspe. Who says the Domino Theory is kaput? Last week we had a nifty demonstration of it, as first the daughter of the house, then the Siren, then the son of the house were felled by a stomach virus in neat little two-day increments. After waiting with pious patience for Mr. Campaspe to succumb, the Siren realized that this was a decidedly sexist virus. Two more days elapsed as she recovered from her pique.

She hopes that by now you have been over to Edward Copeland's place to check out the results from the Worst of the Best Picture poll. Going My Way did not make the top (bottom?) twenty. Over the weekend the Siren re-read City of Nets and was reminded, however, that her hatred for the movie gives her some august company. Billy Wilder, nominated that year for Double Indemnity, had high hopes of winning on Oscar night. When the priest movie's Leo McCarey was called to the stage as Best Director, Wilder "could not bear it...He stuck out a foot and tripped him."

Copeland incidentally has two more great pieces up, one on David Lean and another on Dog Day Afternoon. (Wonder if he has toddlers. Harrumph.) The Siren agrees with him on the Lumet, vehemently disagrees on Lean, but such is the fun of blogging. Assuming her Home Sweet Petri Dish stays healthy she may rise to Mr. Lean's defense in the near future. Copeland has also issued a challenge, as promised, to name the Best of the Best Pictures. That should be almost as much fun as the first poll. Results are due by midnight CDT on April 29. Address same as before, By the way--if you are wondering whether to differentiate between "best" and "favorite"--he suggests that you don't.

Meanwhile, Peter Nelhaus of Coffee Coffee and More Coffee has taken up the Siren's plea for another look at Lana Turner. This year, on the June 29 anniversary of her death, we're hoping to see some love for Lana. Peter is planning to tackle The Sea Chase. The Siren is having a bit of choice paralysis, as there are at least ten Lana films she could happily write about, from They Won't Forget to Portrait in Black. Maybe she'll do 'em all. We shall see.

Lastly, the Siren notes the passing of Henry Farrell, who wrote the novel Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? The bizarre 1960s trend of putting once-fabulous actresses in campy horror films just makes the Siren sad, for the most part. But Baby Jane, the first, was certainly the best and it did give the two stars a last hurrah, albeit at the expense of altering their images for all time. The Siren still prefers a much earlier Joan, and her small tribute is on its way.


katiedid said...

Oooh, a best of, too? That's really fun sounding - thanks Campaspe!

I am guessing Mildred Pierce will def. make it into your Joan tribute - even people who normally don't like that sort of stylized film seem to have enjoyed it when I make them sit and watch it with me...

"Billy Wilder, nominated that year for Double Indemnity, had high hopes of winning on Oscar night. When the priest movie's Leo McCarey was called to the stage as Best Director, Wilder couldn't bear it. He stuck out a foot and tripped him." Ha, I didn't know that! I ♥ Billy Wilder, so even though I think that is awfully poor sportsmanship, I love him anyhow ;)

Campaspe said...

But dear woman, did you SEE Going My Way? I'd have tripped McCarey also, even if he did direct Duck Soup.

That Little Round-Headed Boy said...

But ya are, Blanche, ya are in that chair!

Sorry, that's what happens when you bring up BABY JANE. Ah, Robert Aldrich! Another worthy blog-a-thon subject.

Brian said...

I've seen Going My Way and all 77 of the other winners, and while it's no Double Indemnity it's also nothing worth getting phyisical over, in my opinion. In fact, as probably the lightest and least pretentious film among the 78 its status as a winner doesn't irk me all that much. The fact that I think McCarey is a genius for being able to make such disparate masterpieces as Ruggles of Red Gap and Make Way For Tomorrow (as well as the aforementioned Marx Bros. film) probably earns Going My Way a bit of extra goodwill too. Don't worry, I'm not about to vote for it in Copeland's current Best Picture poll. But I don't really understand why it recieves such an angry response from certain quarters as it seems a perfectly innoccuous film to me.

The one I was surprised didn't get a few more votes was my #4 Worst pick, Patton. What a cynical, overindulgent movie that is.

Campaspe said...

Brian: I think you have to grow up with a huge anticlerical chip on your shoulder, as I did, in order to truly loathe the McCarey film. He was a genius all right, but in the words of Wile E. Coyote, even a genius can have an off day. :)

Edward Copeland said...

When am I gonna see your ballot for the best of the best pictures Campaspe (and anyone else who is looking and hasn't sent one in)?