..she'd walk down the street naked."
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Freakshow Episode 2
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..she'd walk down the street naked."
Entr'acte After last week's screening of the first half of the gargantuan Gone With the Wind. I realized that three fourths of my memories of the movie come from its first half. What would this screening of Act 2 reveal? We return now to wind-swept Georgia and the tale of the most famous of southern belles, Scarlett O'Hara.
Part 2 The first act of GWTW is, largely, a Civil War film albeit one that's told brilliantly off the battlefield. The second act shifts gears to Reconstruction. While the South is being rebuilt, Scarlett is doing her own life remodelling. It's now a romantic melodrama, but pleasantly also a rich ensemble film as each character comes into sharper focus (Hattie McDaniel's Mammy and Olivia de Havilland's Melanie in particular - both superb)
Ashley Wilkes, simpleton that he is, still doesn't get Scarlett, assessing her strength like so:
You never have trouble facing reality."
Oh, Ashley! Our semi-delusional Southern Belle is still continually fantasizing about you, a man she can't have and wouldn't want if she had him, while denying her love for the one she has and does actually want... in her own way. All the way she's hoping to recapture or clinging to her obsession of former glories of the Old South: Tara with its lush lands and easy wealth, the cheap labor force (ahem), and even her girlish waistline which alarming grows to a (GASP!) 20" and she cannot figure why. 'Childbirth? Fiddle-dee-dee!'
If Ashley Wilkes, who idolizes Scarlett, were choosing Part 2's Best Shot, I know just what he'd choose.
Previously on Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Gone With the Wind Pt 1
We return now to wind-swept Georgia and the tale of the most famous southern belle of all time, Scarlett O'Hara Wilkes Kennedy Butler. We've lost a few Best Shot participants this time around (people don't love Part 2 as much I guess - a group which includes me) or they're just running late (which includes me). I'm still debating between a few images and too tired to think any more. I'll decide tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day!
GONE WITH THE WIND PT 2
Click on any of the Best Shot choices to read the corresponding articles
The marriage of Scarlett and Rhett is its own version of Sherman's march... a path of destruction in their wake.
-The Entertainment Junkie
There is something you love better than me, though you may not know it.
-Ashley Wilkes for The Film Experience
a glimpse of reality; her funhouse mirror is cracking
My favorite section of the film [is] the hardcore suffering part, where everyone is starving and filthy and Scarlett has to wear the same dress for 18 months...
Certainly a movie you love wouldn’t take you two weeks to watch...
-Pop Culture Crazy
No use trying to sweet talk me. I knows you since I put the first diapers on you.
-Mammy for The Film Experience
You're a heartless creature. But that's part of your charm.
-Captain Rhett Butler for The Film Experience
One of the great characters and performances in the annals of cinema...
-Antagony & Ecstasy
Scarlett stands confidently and defiantly. Its the only way she knows how.
-The Film's The Thing
Nothing modest or matronly will do for this occasion...
Here's Our Darling Scarlett."
-Melanie Wilkes for The Film Experience
Melanie as the calm moral centre of the film...
-Lam Chop Chop
I love the fact that Scarlett’s bedroom has a portrait of Marie Antoinette in it...
- Allison Tooey
Gone with the Wind is my mom’s favorite movie...
-Coco Hits NY
And that is... the end! Except for my choice. Unless a few stragglers show up. Hope you enjoyed.
Next Tuesday night, September 2nd, our Season Five Finale: THE MATRIX (1999) for Keanu Reeve's 50th Birthday. Why not pick a shot and join us?
Seventy-five years ago this December (yes, we'll celebrate again...albeit in a different way) Gone With the Wind premiered. No, that isn't quite right. This epic about a selfish Southern Belle surviving the Civil War and beyond ARRIVED IN STYLE with a three day celebration in Atlanta which reportedly drew one million visitors -- how'd they fit them all into the theater? (Hee). 1939's Best Picture winner arrived with roughly a bajillion times the anticipation that today's blockbusters get because pop culture was far less fragmented back then and everyone was obsessed with it. It would stay in theaters for literally years (the first couple of them at twice the normal ticket price) and become the biggest cinematic smash the world would ever see. To put it into perspective only Star Wars ever came close with The Sound of Music, E.T. and Titanic fighting for a distant third.
To look at something this large for a single defining image is an impossible task (or two images rather since we've split it in half). My favorite recurring visual motif of the film, Scarlett moving against the current of the crowd as befitting her singular tetchy anti-heroine nature and her duties as protagonist just doesn't look magnificent in freeze frames, but my favorite instances are two: First, when war has been declared and she walks up the stairs calmly through a sea of pastel dresses running down them (bless the film's first fired director George Cukor - that's obviously his work!), and second, her selfish exit from the scene of an amputation when she moves from the sweaty interior nightmare of a hospital to the shock of an exterior nightmare of chaos outside in the streets. Other favorite images were too small or atypical. For instance, there's this calming exquisitely lit shot of Mr and Mrs Ashley Wilkes. [more...]
Here's abstew with a Valentine special!
In the dark of the movie theatre is where we fall in love. Romantic films have influenced our lives and how we love since the dawn of cinema. And as we watch–perhaps on a first date–the actors fall in love on the silver screen, we swoon. More often than not, if you believe location rumors, that passion on-screen finds its way into the real-life relationships of the actors involved. In honor of Valentine's Day, let's celebrate those cinematic couples who's love burned bright on and off the big-screen.
Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh
[Editor's Note: Here's abstew with 5 Hollywood on Hollywood pitches. Co-sign!]
It's no secret that one of Film's favorite subject matters is, well, itself. The past two Best Picture winners (The Artist and Argo) have had Hollywood and the art of film-making at their core. And this weekend another film-on-film, Saving Mr. Banks, about Walt Disney's decades long struggle to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen expands across the country in its quest to join those previous films in Oscar glory. The story seems ready-made for the movies - beloved source material, larger-than-life characters/personalities, and, just because it can, a hard-knock-life childhood back-story thrown into the mix. (If the old Hollywood angle doesn't win them over why not add the Academy's other irresistible allure: the biopic. It's two films for the price of one!)
I'm sure many people were unaware what went into trying to convince author P.L.Travers to sign over the rights to Disney and I'm sure even fewer people knew about Travers' back-story. But so many classic films have equally fascinating behind-the-scenes stories that would make just as compelling films. In honor of Saving Mr. Banks, here are 5 other classic films that deserve their own film treatment. So, quiet on the set...Action!
The Wizard of Oz
Alexa here, weighing in with some curios for TFE's Vivien Leigh Centennial Celebration. It seems unbelievable that Vivien made only 19 films, with her face leaving such an indelible mark on the cinema landscape. And, oh (as Kendra's book celebrates), that face! I think only Cate Blanchett can today approximate the expressive prisms that were Vivien's eyes. With that in mind, here are some lovelies that celebrate her cinema career.