Tag Archives: Bum bum bum!!!

Found Poem: “She’s at home, my dear

21 Dec

I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the rest of this.

“She’s at home, my dear
man, she’s
at home,”
she answered
as though perturbed by
my question.

“She’ll come in
to see you directly.
It’s a serious matter!
Not a sight of you

for three

And That’s Why Career Girls Shouldn’t Get Married

22 Sep

Posted as part of the Breaking News:  Journalism in Classic Film Blogathon, hosted by Comet Over Hollywood.

As everyone knows, career women (especially in classic films) are a rare breed of diseased characters who need to be cured through domestication.  Once married to a good man, a (former) career woman presumably lives a normal life, inoculated against her unnatural occupational fixations with the wholesome combination of kids and dogs and bacon and eggs and draperies.

However, not many films explore how this domestication might actually play out.  Crime of Passion (1957) starring Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, and Perry Mason (Raymond Burr, that is) takes the career woman character to her logical–and tragic–end.

First a Synopsis

Our story begins with a newspaper truck barreling through San Francisco.  On the side we see this advertisement.

Read Kathy Ferguson

So we see this picture of our protagonist, Kathy Ferguson, and we see she’s one of those “Dear Abby” type columnists, and we’re probably supposed to think she’s all soft and feminine and sympathetic and all that.

And then we cut to the newsroom, where Barbara Stanwyck is Barbara Stanwyck-ing around, wearing practical clothes, trading wry witticisms with coworkers, and generally showing she’s not as prissy as we might imagine a ladies’ columnist to be.

Her editor sends her out to get a scoop on “the Dana woman”–a woman accused of killing her husband in Los Angeles and holing up someplace in San Francisco–and write a piece from some lady angle.  She at first does not want to go because she’s got other stuff to do, but he says they can just run some of her trash from last month and nobody will notice.  She reluctantly goes to the pressroom at the police station or wherever, and everybody’s on a personhunt for “the Dana woman,” including two detectives from Los Angeles–Captian Alidos and Lieutenant Doyle (Sterling Hayden).  Alidos tells her point blank, “Your job should be raising a family and having dinner ready for your husband.”  This is her response:

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Severe Suits and Bermuda Shorts: Fashion in Witness for the Prosecution

30 Mar

Posted as part of The Hollywood Revue’s Fashion in Film Blogathon running March 29-30.

Witness for the Prosecution is not the most fashionable movie ever made.  It does not make my heart leap and yearn like Humoresque or cringe and guffaw like High School Hellcats.

It simply has costumes that really fit the characters (not to mention the characters the characters are trying to make everyone believe they are).

So let’s take a look-see.

First we’ve got our intrepid hero, Charles Laughton, and his gal Friday (who is really his nurse because he has a heart condition and he does not want anything to do with her for most of the movie), Elsa Lanchester.

Old British Nurse

This little car ride shows us their typical wardrobe (as well as their typical attitude).  I did a little research (the rigorous and academic typing of “1950s British nurses” into Google Images), and even by 1950s standards, Lanchester’s outfit here is bulky and old-fashioned.

And she’s a bulky, old-fashioned nurse who delights in her bulky, old-fashioned ways.

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OUaT 2.6 Recap: When They Forgot More Than We’ll Ever Know about Emma Swan

18 Jan

Episode 6:  Tallahassee

Previously on Xena Damages:  That hipster from 2.1!

Present-Day Fairy Tale Land:  The OUaT Spice Girls and Hook are at the beanstalk, and Hook gives us some exposition:  Evil giants grew magic beans to plunder stuff and subsequently destroyed all the beans.  Hook again promises loyalty “to whomever gets me there first.”  Don’t you mean whoever?

He’s also got a spell thing to get up the stalk (which you can’t climb without a spell of some kind for some reason).  He has two of them because he ain’t goin’ up there alone.

Pictured L-R: The Nastiest Dude Ever; Someone Who Is Supposedly 17

Portland, 11 years ago:  Hipster Baby Emma approaches the yellow VW she currently owns and breaks into it and steals it.  That other hipster is in the back seat, except 11 years ago he wasn’t a hipster: he was a nasty-looking dude 11 years ago.  He’s totally cool with the fact that she just stole his car.  She runs a stop sign, and he gets her out of the ticket because he had actually also stolen the car.

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OUaT 2.5 Recap: When Regina Returns from a Multi-Episode Blackhole, and Boy, Are Her Arms Tired

9 Jan

Episode 5:  The Doctor

OUaT Spice Girls

The OUaT Spice Girls! Saving the Kingdom with Girl Power! Pictured L-R: Baby, Sporty, Posh, Ginger. Not Pictured: Scary (cuz she’s back in ME trying to reform)

Present-Day Fairy Tale Land:  The OUaT Spice Girls (-Scary, of course) are trekking around, and they find errbody dead at their camp site.  Hearts are ripped out, so it wasn’t ogres.  Oh no, it was Cora!  Hook is there still alive, pretending not to be Hook.  Cora Plant!

Back in ME, Charming punches Dr. Whale for sleeping with his wife.  K.  Why not just punch him because he’s a d-bag?  Meanwhile, Dr. Whale is asking a helluva lot of questions about how to get back to fairy tale land.

Elsewhere in ME, Regina goes to Jiminy Cricket for magic rehab.  She’s teary-eyed talking about her magic addiction, and I’ve missed her so.  Jiminy Cricket comments that it’s harder to stop magic than to start it.  Ain’t that the truth!

Whale waltzes into Regina’s private counseling session (doesn’t this doctor know anything about HIPAA?) wanting Regina to send him back to his land to see his dead brother.  Bum bum bum!

They get rid of Whale, and Jiminy Cricket questions Regina about how she claims she can’t send anybody back anywhere.  He doesn’t believe her, but she says she doesn’t have a lot of control over that.  She also says this pouty thing that I loled about:

I don’t care about Whale or his brother.  I brought who I wanted.

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We Can’t Go on Together with Suspicious Minds, Except We Can and We Will

29 Dec

An Overly Lengthy Review of Suspicion.

Before the Fact

Credits roll:  I can’t help thinking Before the Fact would’ve been a better title.  Both Suspicion and Before the Fact are pretty bland, though.  I suppose Suspicion has more of a punch.

We start the movie in a train car.  Cary Grant barges into Joan Fontaine’s little suite claiming it’s too crowded in coach.  It’s dark because the train’s in a tunnel.  The train’s in a tunnel.  Get it?  Freudian stuff?  Hitchcock?  Get it?  Ay oh!

In other news, I totally recognize this scene from Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid!
We also get an extraneous shot of Joan Fontaine’s legs, which I suppose establishes Cary Grant’s sexual interest in her and expresses that even though she’s wearing glasses–quelle horreur!–she’s some sexy librarian type who’s only prim until you warm her up a little.

A train-ticket-taker dude comes in, checking errbody’s tickets and tries to kick Cary Grant out of this first class car because he only has a coach ticket.  He upgrades his ticket, but he doesn’t have quite enough money, so Cary Grant bums some cash from Joan Fontaine, except she doesn’t carry a lot of cash, so he pays with a stamp.  K.

This little exchange shows us he’s a charmer and that he’s bad with money.

Suspicion Level:  Low.  Society dude low on cash, charming ladies on trains.  Happens all the time.

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Best and Worst of the Fourth Week: In Which I Accept My Fate

29 Nov

I’m not finishing this book by Friday.

I’m not adding a love story, no matter how much my slightly tipsy roommate insists upon it.

What I will be doing is continuing to write it.

I like that I’ve written every day this month, even though sometimes I didn’t want to, and a lot of times what I ended up writing wasn’t worth a damn.

So maybe I’ll just continue writing every day until this monstrosity implodes and then maybe continue to write every day, even without a novel to write.

I think it sounds like an ok plan.

So, here’s the best and worst this week.

Worst:

In this section, Admiral Stoljarov tells us about her convalescence after getting xylenium poisoning.  Stateson = deceased aeronautics pioneer; Dalsgaard = evil-ish doctor; Martel = sleazy ex-husband of captain of Persuasion

I had many dreams, long and languid and surreal and realistic dreams that seemed to stretch on for days at a time.  When I awoke–or, to put it more accurately, when I was in that suspended state between consciousness and unconsciousness, that ethereal, phantasmic place that could be both reality and fantasy, sky and earth, male and female–I remembered them all in some great detail, but as I awakened more fully and became aware of my surroundings–a dimly lit hospital room in which I was the only occupant although the room allowed for four–had left my memory in leaps and bounds like a herd of gazelle escaping some hunter.  And just like a herd of gazelle, the weakest one lagged behind and was seized upon by my predatory brain, hungry for any meaning that might be gleaned.

The remaining dream memory remained, shrouded in a gossamer, hazy cloud.  I saw two figures, who might or might not have been Sylvia Stateson and Sylvia Dalsgaard, and they were performing an operation on me.  They whispered to each other, and they whispered to me, for they had not completely sedated me for the surgery.  I looked down at my supine dream body.  My abdominal cavity was open, and instead of organs or blood, I had what appeared to be wooden blocks, the kind a child might play with.  The lights in the dream suddenly went out, but it was like a movie, in which I could still see Sylvia Stateson’s and Sylvia Dalsgaard’s panicking faces.  Suddenly, Captain Derek Martel appeared and turned the lights back on.  He smiled and asked what he would receive for saving them.  They whispered to him, and he grinned.

As I lay in my hospital bed, I thought of this dream often.  I was attracted to it for several reasons, I supposed: it was very bizarre; I was intrigued about what all parties could be whispering; I wondered why this particular dream was the only one I could remember–it hadn’t been the last dream, nor had it been the most vivid, but it had been the one my mind had been able to capture, and, consequently, I pondered it.

After I had named the evil doctor, I realized I had given her the same first name as a peripheral character I had mentioned much earlier in the book (the aeronautics lady).  I decided to give this slip up a little thematic relevance in this totally space-filler section that serves no other purpose than to fill space and be ominous.

Best:

Ugh.  Nothing was the best this week.  I guess I’ll go with this:  In this section, Lt. Aldridge recounts the opening session of the Mission Review Board.  Stoljarov = head of board; Dalsgaard = evil-ish doctor; Charbonneau = evil-ish string-pulling vice admiral; Martel = captain of Persuasion

“I know that you all are compelled by duty, your oath, and the law to be here, but I’d like to thank you for showing up bright and early this morning all the same.”  I supposed that was supposed to have been a joke, but it came out a little too tentative and a little too rough, and no one laughed.  I smiled at her and made sure to hold it until she saw me.  She looked as though she needed encouragement.  If I could’ve given her a stiff drink I would have.

And then I realized I was sitting there with my career on the line feeling sorry for the woman who was basically prosecuting me.  I got kind of mad at myself for a minute, but then I thought, why the hell shouldn’t I be encouraging her?  She certainly didn’t ask for this job, and she had xylenium poisoning a few days ago.  On top of that, she was probably still used to the way things worked on the moon, which was a lot different from Earth, and several million billion lightyears different from Mars.  Anyway, I refocused on what she was saying.

“I’ve assembled these fine people to comprise the board because I believe their respective intelligence, neutrality, judgement, and keen sense of right and wrong will lead them to fair and accurate rulings on the matters at hand.”  She had hit her stride now, talking in big, weighty words and keeping her eyes squarely on the clock at the back of the room or above my head or in the middle aisle and certainly not on Charbonneau or Dalsgaard.

“Beginning in two hours, we will call you in individually to give your testimonies.  A tentative list of who will give testimony at what times will be posted on the data stream and outside the door although all of that is subject to change.  We will attempt to update it as frequently as possible.

“We ask that you answer the board’s questions with complete honesty and completely factual information.  We are not interested, by and large, with emotions or suppositions, so please stick with things you observed.”

She took a breath and looked around the room and settled her eyes back on the clock.

“We project that this board will last seven to ten business days, during which time we ask that you adhere to the same confidentiality rules that you did during your administrative leave.  Additionally, we ask that you be especially vigilant regarding your transmissions.  If we want to contact you, it will probably be fairly important.”  She tried a trepidatious smile at this one, but still no one was ready to laugh at her jokes, such as they were.  She paused and looked imploringly at her audience.

“Are there any questions?”  I could feel Martel’s hand rising beside me.  I gritted my teeth and wondered what she could ask.  Stoljarov locked her eyes on Martel, and she cleared her throat before she said, “Yes.  Captain Martel.”  Martel recrossed her legs and said in a light tone,

“Might you need to recall any of us?”  Stoljarov nodded blankly.

“Thank you for reminding me, Captain.  Yes.  We might require anyone’s presence more than once due to the nature of eyewitness testimony, etc.  This, of course, makes it even more important to keep a watchful eye on your data streams.”

Stoljarov then locked eyes with someone else, someone in the back.  I didn’t turn to see who it was.  I waited for what seemed like a long time until Stoljarov said, “Yes.  Admiral Charbonneau.”

“Would you like to tell them about consequences, or would you like me to do it?”  Everyone sat completely still.  It was so quiet with just breathing and the quick whir of Martel’s cybernetic eye.

“Thank you, Admiral,” Stoljarov said with a ragged voice.  “I will do it.”  She took a long glance at the room, seeming to want to encourage all of us with individual eye contact.  She took a quick drink of water and folded her hands in front of her.

“At this time, the Mission Review Board exists to investigate the events that comprise the entirety of the failed Mission 4640-Alpha.  Depending upon the board’s analyses of the situations therein, a subsequent board may be necessary to dole out appropriate consequences and/or punishments for those involved.”  She had said it all rather slowly although her breathing had been rapid.  Her eyes darted to the back of the room.  She began to call on someone, “Yes, Doctor–” but she was cut off by Dalsgaard’s voice, which sounded high and strained to my ears.

“And do you anticipate many court martials?”  The room began to murmur, and Stoljarov spoke firmly.

“The board has not currently heard any testimonies; therefore, I cannot answer that question with any level of certainty whatsoever.  And as I’ve already mentioned, this board is not interested in suppositions.”  Stoljarov’s eyes had narrowed, and she had looked rather fierce and admiral-ish, instead of librarian-ish like usual, and I wanted to cheer for her fortitude.  She waited a beat for any follow up and then looked around again before she spoke.  “Thank you again for your time, and thank you in advance for your cooperation.  We will begin at ten AM.  Please check the schedule posted in the data stream and outside this room.  You are all dismissed.”

We see that Stoljarov does not have a good poker face and that Aldridge is compassionate.  The suspense builds a little with everybody in the same room together, and we know there’s some antagonism within the ranks.  Bum bum bum.  Kind of.

So there’s that.  Pretty sucky right now.

***

Current Wordcount: 35,855

OUaT 2.3 Recap: When Lancelot Shows Up for Approximately 16 Lame Seconds

23 Oct

Episode 3: Lady of the Lake

Do we need to talk about how much I love Snow White’s outfit and sass, or do they speak for themselves?

Fairy Tale Land Flashback:  Red runs to a tent meeting over which Charming presides, the subject of which being taking back the kingdom from his (kinda) dad.  Red announces that King George’s new general is like a leviathan.  All the king’s men arrive, and the good guys all go their separate ways to do stuff, vowing to meet at Mama Charming’s house, and Black Lancelot catches Snow White.  He’s the new general, and Snow White is flabbergasted that a member of the Round Table would stoop to working as a hired gun.

Present day Fairy Tale Land: Snow White’s still unconscious in the pit, and Cora’s taking care of her while she chats with Emma about this corner of the land being a haven.  She laments being trapped here because of what Regina did and claims the “apple fell far from the tree.”  Emma buys it and talks about going back to Henry.

Snow White wakes up and immediately begins protecting Emma from Cora and trying to tell her not to trust her.  Emma balks at this.  She obviously don’t know nothin’ ’bout Fairy Tale Land.  A rope descends, and Emma and Snow White are called to an audience with the leader.

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OUaT 2.2 Recap: When the Evil Queen Decides to Stop Being Evil (Maybe)

11 Oct

Episode 2: We Are Both

The real mystery: Which one of the dwarves drives an El Camino?

We open with the seven dwarves investigating the boundary of Storybrooke.  They send Sneezy out across the line, and he gets caught in a blue beam of magic and subsequently convulses within the blue beam.

In the townsquare(ish) Red is organizing clean-up efforts and other support for the aftermath of the Soul Sucker tornado thing as well as the general fall out of having been under an amnesia curse for 28 years.

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Dear Googlers: Some Letters to Some People I’ve Never Met (Probably)

5 Oct

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “why did joan crawford not leave more to her twins?”:

I’m not sure.  If Mommie Dearest can be believed, she didn’t really like children and only had them for the publicity.  But I think her real inner life was probably more complicated than that.  I tend to see the glass half full and choose to believe she genuinely loved her children but couldn’t express herself very well in this aspect of her life because 1. she was in Hollywood too long; 2. She was naturally kind of a cold, domineering person; and 3. Her kids were probably brats anyway.

I doubt any of this is useful.  I wonder about Joan Crawford and her children, too.

Yours inquisitively,
Alexandra

PS How much did she even leave to them?  Is this a relative thing, like my mom leaving me $15,000 would be a big deal whereas their mom leaving them the same would be an insult?

***

Dear Googlers Who Found My Blog Using the Search Terms “star trek voyager queen arachnia iphone 4s case”:

If you find this item, which I hope against hope that you do, will you check and see if they have one for Motorola Droid Razr, as well?  Because that would be the most marvelous thing ever.

Thanks a lot and best of luck,
Alexandra

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