The Siren's been tagged by Dennis Cozzalio. As Lance Mannion says--homework! You're giving me homework! She has her own idea about how to approach this meme , of "12 Movies I Need to See," so she's working on it. In the meantime, here's some of what the Siren spent the week reading instead of doing her homework.
A little while back the great Peter Nelhaus of Coffee Coffee and More Coffee wrote an excellent essay about Give Us This Day, arguing that it may be director Edward Dmytryk's best film. The Siren remarked in comments that filmmaker Raymond De Felitta was mentored by Dmytryk at the American Film Institute, and she wished Raymond would write a full post about the director of Murder, My Sweet, Crossfire and The Caine Mutiny--and Hollywood Ten member turned friendly witness.
Ask, and ye shall receive. Raymond has a long post up today, and it is a wonderful tribute to Dmytryk as a complex, sometimes exasperating man and to his qualities and talents as a director. If you can't read it now, bookmark it and read it later. You won't be sorry. Here's a taste:
Eddie once said to me: 'I got all the drunks. They always gave me the drunks, for some reason.' As I was laughing (and he was too) he listed every famous drunk in Hollywood--and Eddie had worked with them: 'Clift, Bogie, Bill Holden, Gable, Tracy, Richard Burton...Jesus, I worked with every great drunk in Hollywood.' Funny as this was, later I gave it some thought and realized that every director had their specialty and perhaps Eddie was onto something; his own assuredness (and he didn't drink either) mixed with a patience and respect for actors made him the ideal 'drunk-handler.'
The Siren agrees with Raymond (and Peter) that this director deserves to have his work reappraised.
I'm late on this one (it went up while I was in France) but was delighted to find it: Over at And Your Little Blog, Too, Vertigo's Psyche posted a complete rundown on the outtakes of Night of the Hunter recently screened at UCLA. It was more than 2½ hours of Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish, behind the scenes as they worked.
At Some Came Running, Glenn Kenny has been posting correspondence with Joseph Failla about the Blu-Ray Godfather restorations. This marvelous series of posts gives you a clear-eyed summary of the debates over how older movies should look on our home screens, with Glenn at his pithiest ("Joe--Not to be disrespectful or vulgar, but the 'home theater crowd' can go eat a bag of dicks"). It also covers weighty matters such as That Kiss and Part III, operatic coda or greedy desecration? Part One, Part Two, Part Three and a Postscript.
John McElwee has also been watching as much Kay Francis as the traffic will bear, and has written up his impressions so far. As always, great pictures unique to Greenbriar and something you never knew before, as with the marvelous Jewel Robbery:
You can’t help speculating upon depression-era viewers, already short of bread at home, so inspired by such rascally goings-on as to hold up boxoffices on their way out (and indeed, theatre robberies, often at gunpoint, were rife during the early thirties).
Jacqueline T. Lynch has written a warm defense of a movie the Siren holds dear, The Enchanted Cottage.
Gareth at Gareth's Movie Blog has an index of his movie reviews up and running now, so if you want to see his thoughts on, say, Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier it's easy to do so. (Gareth has a particularly large number of well-executed reviews of French films, both old and modern, on his site.)
Jonathan Lapper meditates on why movies have gotten so goddamn long, a curmudgeonly topic the Siren herself has been known to rant about.
And finally, the Siren hopes y'all are still keeping up with the Best Pictures from the Outside In, sponsored by Nathaniel R, Nick Davis and the fabulous Mike, aka Goatdog. The latest: The Great Ziegfeld (gentlemen, I submit that you were way too hard on dear Luise) vs American Beauty (and on that one they aren't hard enough, though I hasten to add, before Nathaniel hurts me, that I share his love for La Bening).
Don't look at me like that, I do!
One last that I stupidly forgot: Darcy James Argue posts a clip from Sweet Smell of Success that includes the Chico Hamilton Quartet, of which we are asked to believe that Marty Milner is an integral part. Darcy and I had an interesting back-and-forth in comments about whether a little weed and some reddish politics would be enough to sink a sideman in the world of 1957.