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01 September 2009

College Life, or What To Do When Gone With the Wind's Over


So here I am, in the university. Which I'm fairly certain you all knew.
It's swell really. The people are grand, and I'm kept pretty busy.
I rise at seven, class at nine, lunch at noon, class at 2, dine at 6, and so on.

After about 7, though, anything goes. It's a sort of no man's time, if you will.


Lately we've been filling these wee hours by watching a movie or two in the commons. And this, my friends, is precisely where the problem arises.

I couldn't possibly list all the movies we've been watching, but I'll try to name a few, just to give you a sort of general idea of the sitch I'm in.

Let's see...

- Juno (don't get me started)
- Twilight (you're kidding me, right?)
- Pay It Forward (seemingly out of left field)
- Step Up 2 (not that I've seen the first one, mind you)

To be fair, we did watch BBC's Pride and Prejudice as well, which I adore. But let's just brush that fact under the carpet, shall we? Makes my argument sound a heck of a lot better.

I know, I know, I'm sounding like a movie snob. And I don't mean to. These movies (well, not these movies, but movies like them) are fine-- just not one after the next, with nothing in between. Ya dig?

And all this time, Judy sits abandoned in my dorm room, along with Fred, Ginger, Cary, and Bette...

I feel like a mother who's left her children in Disney World or something. Not cool.
But what am I supposed to do? I cannot force people to like things. Believe me, I've tried. And it's backfired all times but one. Which is the reason I'm not allowed to play any Streisand around any of my family members, with the exception of my supercool mother. Yeah, we'll go with supercool.

Plus, isn't it known that persuasion works far better than force anyway? Ah, maybe not. Maybe I just need to work on a menacing pose...


Anyway, the point I'm getting at is...how does one go about introducing others with little to no exposure to classic film to the greats? I don't want it to be, you know, a total shock to their systems, but gosh darn it-- I hafta do something, right?


We did try Gone With the Wind, and that seemed to work. But what next? I toyed with the idea of Laura, but didn't know how it'd be received.

Any thoughts, suggestions? I do so want to be reuinted with my wonderful (albeit dead) buddies in film, and cannot wait four years to do so.


In other news, I've just discovered the fabulous Lupe Velez.




Also, I'm planning another Monday Murder. Still trying to decide between this...

and this...

57 comments:

Doug said...

film noir always seems to work. Laura might be a little too fey, but The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep or Kiss Me Deadly might be good. Also I find that Hitchcock's Notorious is always a crowd pleaser.

Christopher said...

oh no!..you're in Movie HELL..You need to pellet them with the real stuff!Get 'em educated fast!...Sometimes its best not to build a movie up so much before you show it,just casually toss it on and let it grow on them...A Hitch is always a safe bet starting out..Maybe Rear Window..or North by Northwest..Marnie even..maybe...then spring Pigskin Parade on em.. ;o)

Juliette. said...

Doug-- Yeah, The Big Sleep might do. I dunno, though...film noir might be too big a difference from "normal" romcoms and the like. I do like the Hitchcock suggestion-- definitely keep that one in mind.

Christopher-- I know, right? (I've always wanted an excuse to use that phrase, and now seemed like as good a time as any) :)

You're (again) correct about Hitch...Rear Window could definitely work...or Dial M. Unfortunately, I think I've just brought Shadow of a Doubt and his Brit stuff with me. Perhaps a trip home is in order...

Ha, maybe I will. I've had "Texas Tornado" stuck in my head this past week. :)

Kate Gabrielle said...

Christopher said it, Movie Hell indeed!! Gosh I would not want to be in your shoes... can you sneak some movies on your computer after hours and watch by yourself? I'd go mad!

Artman2112 said...

ok first off, you have your work cut out getting most younger people to watch classic films! the generally disdainful reply to such a suggestion is usually something like : "is it in black and white?"

you might try The Adventures of Robin Hood (such pritty color!), Angels with Dirty Faces (moves really fast) or something slightly newer like Lust for Life (if they dont know who Van Gogh is then fughedaboudit)

i agree with the other commenters, you can rarely go wrong with Hitchcock too, but i would advise against Vertigo or Marnie.

i know if i had the chance i would try to get 'em to watch The Searchers, Paths of Glory, The Train, Day the Earth Stood Still, the Thing (actually almost ANY Hawks film would qualify) Spartacus, Mister Roberts, Force of Evil... I'm sure i'll think of others when i'm not thinking about it.

i LOVE Lupe Velez, so props to you for discovering her! you MUST see her in Kongo with Walter Huston, The Gaucho with Douglas Fairbanks sr and The Squaw man with Warner Baxter (Lupe seems sedated she is so restrained in that but very good none the less!)

oh and Midnight Mary alllll the way, a Wellman film wins out 99% of the time ;)

Juliette. said...

Kate-- Hahaha, college really is grand apart from that one thing. Dunno what I'd do if I disliked the people here as well as the movies. Probably drop out. ;)

Mykal and Matthew were both so kind as to help me out with my movie situation, and today I watched The Most Dangerous Game, which was such (!) a welcome change. The black and white gave my eyes a chance to relax.

Paul-- Hah! That black and white question is exactly what I've been dreading. I think I may go with Breakfast at Tiffany's next...if Audrey can't reel 'em in, there might not be any hope.

Ooh-- great suggestions, especially with Hawks. You're right as well about the pace of Angels with Dirty Faces. :)

Why thank you. She is amazing, isn't she? I'll most definitely be on the lookout for those.

Haha, Midnight Mary it is!

Christopher said...

you didn't bring Night of the Hunter did you?..let 'em see what a sexy "Man of God"mitchum is..The Audrey Hepburn films should be a good idea..Show them The Women..You should let them see how cool the ladies were back then,pick some swell Screwball comedies,pretty soon y'all will be going around talkin' like wisecrackin' dames..people will wonder whats got into ya! lol.
...d'oooh i'm in movie hell!..kin ya sneak me in a ginger rogers?

Ed Howard said...

The Hawks suggestions are obviously good -- the fast-paced dialogue and sparkling wit of stuff like His Girl Friday and The Big Sleep should be hard for anyone to resist.

Old horror movies are also always a blast, regardless of people's prejudices about "old" movies -- try some Jack Arnold movies out on them, like The Incredible Shrinking Man or Tarantula. Or even better, Paul Landres' stunning Return of Dracula. Val Lewton's productions would be good choices, too, particularly Cat People, I Walked With a Zombie and The Seventh Victim. Creepy and atmospheric and beautiful.

And how about some of Edgar Ulmer's rough, wild work, either in horror (Black Cat and the wonderfully ramshackle Daughter of Dr. Jekyll) or noir (Detour).

Of course, you can also find plenty of modern films that are worthwhile as cinema and also crowd-pleasing for audiences who don't necessarily care about the cinematic virtues: films by Cronenberg, Mann, Lynch, the Coens, etc. - I must've watched The Big Lebowski, for instance, about a dozen times with friends in college. You don't always have to go with b&w Hollywood, you know.

Juliette. said...

Christopher-- Your suggestion about The Women reminded me of another great, and one with Ginger at that-- Stage Door (how could I forget, it's one of my favorites). Such marvelous dialogue in both of those. :)

Ed-- Ooh, definitely Val Lewton. Cat People would work, I think. Gorgeous movie.

You're quite right, one doesn't always need to go with B&W Hollywood...however, it is what I love best. :)

Amanda said...

Unfortunately I have had little success getting my friends to view classic films. Wish I some advice.

Juliette. said...

Amanda-- I know exactly how you feel. Kind of a bummer, isn't it?

Artman2112 said...

ah yes the women and stage door are 2 awesome examples, and on the other end of the spectrum you could try the great escape or enter the dragon ;)
lonely are the brave is one i think college age people could identify with... the independent thinking ones anyway.

Juliette. said...

Lovely picks! I did bring Enter the Dragon with me-- might go with that. :)

Matthew Coniam said...

Eisenstein usually does the trick. Either that or Attack of the Giant Leeches.

Matthew Coniam said...

What did you make of Most Dangerous Game, by the way. I like the bit where Fay says "You killed my brother!" and pounds on his chest with her dainty little fists.

mm45 said...

Great site. Very thorough and diverse. I couldn't even begin to answer your questionnaires. Fav actresses include Teresa Wright, Judy Garland, Margaret Lockwood, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard, Shirley Maclaine, etc, etc.

jwalker said...

...I would agree 'Stage Door' may be a good one for them to cut their teeth on... maybe show the 'original' versions of remade movies... heck, I know they just re-did 'The Women'... and one of my personal faves, 'Roxie Hart', was more or less the source for 'Chicago'...even 'King Kong' would be hopefully interesting to folks. As for screwball comedies, there are tons of good ones, but 'You Can't Take it With You' is a fave here.
Oh, who is the 'Femme Fatale' in Midnight Mary?

Princess Fire and Music said...

You're braver than I am -- I'd have retreated to my room and gladly sealed my fate as a social pariah long before I'd have sat through Twilight. The closest I've come was when my friends tied their accidentally-acquired copy of the book to the back of a car and drove around for a while.

As for introductory classic films, maybe try Sunset Blvd.

Artman2112 said...

jaywalker - Loretta Young is the star of Midnight Mary. She also had roles in Wellman's Heroes for Sale and Call of the Wild with Gable. that's the film here she ended up pregnant in real life with Gable's child! i used to not like Loretta Young much at all but after seeing more of her early films i've grown to like her quite a bit. and she sure was beautiful in those early films, sheesh!

jwalker said...

Thanks, Artman! Interesting background for her, to say the least...think I remember my mom going over all that about her and Gable... that was a pretty big 'scandal' in those days...

Now, another noob question - who is that hosing down the bear???

Thanks, JW

Juliette. said...

Matthew-- Oh, certainly. Eisenstein would have anyone hooked. ;)

Actually, I'm planning a post on The Most Dangerous Game aaannnd how cool Fay Wray is in general. Can't believe I'd not really gotten into her work before. She and Gloria Stuart were/are supercool gals.

Mm45-- Welcome and thanks! I've just begun my Teresa Wright interest. Any recommendations?

JWalker-- Great suggestions! That remake idea is ingenious, as is the screwball comedy one. Who could possibly dislike Jean Arthur?

Psst...the bear-hoser is Mary Pickford. :)

Caitlin-- Sometimes that's exactly what I'd like to do, but my roomie (who's fabulous, but also the gal who showed Step Up 2) is generally in there. Haha, I know-- I was shocked myself that I sat through Twilight, as (and sorry if there are any fans out there) it was excruciatingly boring.

Paul-- Totally agreeed about Loretta Young. I'd always preferred her sis, Sally Blaine, until I saw some of her younger stuff. I particualrly love A Night to Remember. :)

Lauren said...

I'm going to have the same problem most likely. I'm starting school in less than a week!

You could always show the more 'known' classic movies, like Casablanca, and maybe they will like Humphrey or Ingrid, then you show other movies with them in it.. then it will be a chain reaction! Or on the idea of showing the originals, you could show The Shop Around the Corner (the original of You've Got Mail) then maybe people will recognize Jimmy from the Hitchcocks you show them, then maybe you can show them Vivacious Lady! I'm just going to have to play it by ear.
You should start with Cary Grant movies too because people our age have actually heard of him before. Or always start with Audrey Hepburn. Then you can show Funny Face then tell everyone Fred is awesome and show them all the Fred and Gingers! Or start with Swing Time, or Top Hat. Or maybe you can all watch The Green Mile (I think that's what it's called) and at the part when Fred and Ginger are on the TV, hint at the fact that they should check that movie out.
I have no idea if any of these ideas are good/will work... I may try them out for myself if the opportunity pronounces itself!

Actually Stage Door may work... you can try hooking people from a Lucille Ball standpoint. One of my friends likes I Love Lucy so at the video store we picked up one of Lucy's movies.

And actually I didn't read through all the comments so if I have overlapping ideas I apologize.

Lauren

Juliette. said...

Thanks for the wonderful suggestions, Lauren! I do appreciate them, and definitely agree about starting out with the more known movies and pople, i.e. a Hitchcock movie with Cary orrJimmy.

Good luck with your school as well-- what year are you?

Christopher said...

hard to say just what attracts a person to classic films..I can't honestly think what got me so ga ga in the first place..It kind of evolved with different factors coming into play(yes,lets think of ways to brainwash your classmates)I had more casual exposure to old films growing up,more people were aware of them,many loved them,many took them for granted,many hated them..Just like then, as now,I think people won't watch something that dosen't have something they can connect with in the time that they live,its too distant and meaningless to them..Audiances just won't sit still long enough to be seduced..You'll have to be clever in your seduction miss Julie ;o)

Matthew Coniam said...

Ooooh! Can't wait! Hooray for Fay!

Gingerfan11 said...

LOVE your page and LOVE Ginger Rogers, here is my site address if you would like to follow me. I would be delighted..Arianna..

http://theclassyginger.blogspot.com/

Juliette. said...

Christopher-- How insightful! I agree completely...the bottom line is, people will very rarely become interested in something by suggestion alone. One has to possess the desire and motiviation to watch a certain type of movie.

Matthew-- Indeed! :)

GingerFan-- Thanks! I will most definitely check out your site.

Hannah said...

What a predicament you are in! But, I completely understand how you feel. None of my close friends enjoy classic films, let alone know who Fred or Ginger are. I think, perhaps, a good way to sort of expose these films are to slowly integrate them decade by decade, going backwards. Also, like others have mentioned already, going with popular classics is always a good idea. Anyhow, good luck it!

Juliette. said...

Hannah-- Thanks so much for the sympathy. :)

Yeah, you're probably right with the gradual phasing in of older movies. I wouldn't wanna start with, like, May McAvoy silents or something, haha.

Dave said...

This is a very insightful, well-written, witty blog! I love the way your photo selections perfectly evoke the tone of the posts. Like the first one with poor, perplexed Judy. A dilemma is about to be set forth!

Juliette. said...

Dave, thanks so much for the kind words! :)

Loes said...

I so can identify with what you wrote here - being a young classic movie geek nowadays can be quite.. lonely! I'm following a 'film and Literature' course at uni now, and I can tell you that if I state to fellow students that Howard Hawks was a famous actor, they wouldn't even doubt my words (; Also tried to get my best friend to like the classics, so I gave her 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'(Audrey! Romantic! Great outfits!) to watch.. and she thought of it as a film 'without a clear plot' *sigh*.
Anyways, I'm still convinced that Audrey's films are a good introduction for lots of girls to classic film (like 'Roman Holiday' and 'Sabrina')! (:
I think both girls and guys unfamiliar with anything classic will really enjoy 'North by Northwest'. It's snappy, thrilling, there's a romance involved.. actually quite James Bond-ish! Hope you can make the people around you move from 'Step Up (1,2)' to 'Shall we Dance' (The Fred&Ginger film..NOT the one with Jennifer Lopez ;D haha)

jwalker said...

Juliette! Juliette!
Wherefore art thou, Juliette?
...I assume you've heard THAT line a few times in your life, no?

Anyway, just curious to know how school is going, and specifically, how the 'movie experiment' is going with everyone...hope it is well!!!

Well, I am sure you will soon post an account of the events surrounding the experiment thus far...in the splendiferous manner in which only you can do! Seriously!!!

Hang in there - and keep it Gingery! JW

Matthew Coniam said...

Come back, Juliette!
Or have you been forced to watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy and died from an overdose of triviality?
Come back! Come back, I command!

Artman2112 said...

^^^^ i second that!!!

jwalker said...

...Motion carried and passed.
All in favor of the prompt resumption of Juliette's blogging wizardry, say "Aye"...

"AYE!!!"

Matthew Coniam said...

Okay. Time for extreme measures then. I will post a different libel about Barbra Streisand every day until you return. The longer it takes, the more malicious they will become.
Here goes with the first one:
She has a list of endangered species on her kitchen wall with a tick next to each one she has killed in the wild. So far she has shot rhino, mountain gorilla and a blind panda. She takes photos of each kill and sticks them on her refrigerator.
I have this on the good authority of the man that did the location catering on Yentl.

Matthew Coniam said...

And she owns a company that sells bogus fire insurance to orphanages.

Matthew Coniam said...

She makes her domestic staff buy their own meals and charges them ten dollars every time they use the bathroom.

jwalker said...

I've heard she makes long-distance phone calls to random people in third-world countries and reverses the charges...

Matthew Coniam said...

... then goes out to fire stations and lets the tyres down on the fire trucks.

jwalker said...

...before she steps off an elevator, she pushes every floor button...

Juliette. said...

Leave her alone, you two! Stop slandering her good name! She only did that elevator thing once-- how was she to know that the next elevator passenger would be a woman in labor??

You'll have your new blog post. Promise. What's a good subject, I do take requests!

Matthew Coniam said...

Ha! I knew it would work in the end!
Too busy with your new pals to bother with us now, are you? I get the picture. And after we gave you the best years of our lives...

I seem to remember a post about The Most Dangerous Game being promised... but anything'll do: an update on this what-to-watch-at-college one, or another of your general random ones.
Or how about 'Chimps in the Movies' - I see that as an ambitious three-parter, with footnotes and pics.

jwalker said...

...well, glad to see you are back, Juliette! Hope all is well in AcademiaLand...
Well, the Chimp topic would rule, but 'Curly Headed Screen Sirens hosing down Baby Bears' could work, too... wait a minute... I think we already touched on that one...
Well, just an update on the current movie menu in your cohabitated domicile would be a great read, too!!!

(BTW, Babs has also been known to grease down the handrails at the local assisted living facility from time to time... I really thought you should know...)

Juliette. said...

Matthew-- Yes. That was exactly it, good guessing. Chimps in the movies, huh? Don't believe I could get very far with that one, but I'll try to think up something. Probably not involving chimps. Randomness and pictures are sounding good to me right now.

JWalker-- Haha, current movie menu, I like that. And you take that back about Babs! She totally warned them beforehand.

Lauren said...

AHAHAHA that was hilarious!
I also realised I haven't visited this blog since I commented here because I didn't even answer your question, Juliette! (I almost called you Jules.)

I am a first year. What about you? And everything is so far so good because I have a friend here who loves classic films, definitely knows who Fred and Ginger are, and likes vintage. One's enough since it was more than I was expecting! I am also slowly trying to get this guy I know to watch some classic films. I decided to start him with the thin man. I have no idea if he will like it though!

Hope you are having fun at college! I'm studying for mid-terms now, and trying to write a paper.

Lauren

Juliette. said...

Lauren-- Haha, no problem. I find it hilarious that you almost called me Jules. :)

Well that's good! Always nice to have someone with whom you can share interests. Hopefully that guy comes around as well.

I'm a first year, yeah. Liking it a lot so far but finding it hard to keep up with other things (haha, as Matthew or JWalker will tell you).

Christopher said...

just gives us an update on college life..like what films are you watchingor would LIKE to watch and what are your pals watching..if ever the twain shall meet..
We'll fill in the rest

jwalker said...

...ok, apologies to Babs... guess she's not all that bad of a gal... and she ALMOST sings as well as Ginger... (ha ha...)

Now, Liz Taylor, on the other hand... well, just ask AC about her...

Lauren said...

JULES! - What are you majoring in?
I know, jwalker was giving me a hard time about my blogs, and I hadn't posted in only a week or two. NOT THAT LONG HUEY.

But so far, college is not taking up as much of my time as I thought it would... or I guess it's supposed to! Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Maybe I'll find out when my grades go down the drain that I have to disconnect the internet. :S

Lauren

Artman2112 said...

hi Juliette! had any luck turning your schoolmates onto classic films???? - Paulie

Maggie said...

I'm experiencing the same thing. Even though I'm a film studies major, I've found only a couple of people interested in older films, and still not as old as the stuff I watch. My best friend refuses to watch ANYTHING in black and white,which I think is extremely shallow.
I usually save the old movies for my special alone time with my cat. It's the way I treat myself, and it's much healthier than food!

Amanda said...

Juliette, I finally decided I had to come by and make sure you're still alive! Are you still breathing, or have you drowned in homework? We miss you!

By the way, you guys, you're getting your facts wrong! Babs didn't do any of those things - it was ALL the handiwork Liz Taylor!

jwalker said...

...I heard they are making a new version of 'Baby Jane' with Babs and Liz as the leads...but which one will be which?

Lauren - I admit that you are a bit more proficient than Miss Juliette on time between posts... but please don't tell her I said that...

Maggie - believe it or not, my cat is generally the only one left at the end of a Ginger movie I am watching... well, my little girl does ok sometimes... but the cat is always there for the duration...of course he is curled up asleep on the couch, but is still making his presence known!

Lauren said...

My mom can't even finish films she wanted to see! Then I'm sucked into it!!

Baby Jane was one creepy movie...

BTW Huey it's officially your fault if I fail art history :D

Lauren

Juliette. said...

JWalker-- Oh goodness....I would not only watch that film, I'd see the midnight premiere. :)