Saturday, November 26, 2011

In which the accessibility of old flicks has me increasingly cranky (or, please release this one on DVD asap, #1)

Lately this Old Movie Lover (OML) has hit upon a renewed interest in the black-and-whites (and sometimes Technicolors)--the original passion of which had hit a temporary lull--by way of these four things:

1.) by way of encountering a battered Mickey Rooney autobiography in a free bin that she really has no intention of reading but is pretty amused by the pretentious opening lines and, on second thought, might have to give in to after all so she can find out just exactly how much Mr. Andy Hardy is in love with himself. And how the hell he landed Ava Gardner.

2.) by way of finally reading Mary Astor's "A Life on Film", which could give any sleeping movie fan a jolt of rediscovered love

3.) by way of discovering her local library's selection of the classics far surpasses that of Netflix's streaming offerings (this OML would also like to take this opportunity to raise a fist to said movie "provider" and whisper, "damn you, you devil, and your new prices" into the cold night air, but with a hint of foreshadowing in her favor--preferably with, as always, a heartwarming, Capra-esque ending)

4.) by way of one of those unwarranted, known-only-to-movie-lovers desires to suddenly watch something as random as that pictured below and finding that not only can this OML not view it this very instant, but that she cannot view it next week, next month, possibly next year. (She would like to dissuade any unfavorable remarks towards Susan Hayward at this time, and contends that even you, David Thomson, while you may not know it yet, want to know the truth about Ada.)

By way of all of these things, this OML has hit the fingers to the keys in an attempt to track down all those great oldies she recorded from TCM to VHS in her youth, and that are now sitting static-infested and peppered and salted in a cold garage courtesy of her ever-understanding parents who kindly avoided the question, "so, they're ruined, can we chuck 'em now?" The wide-eyed, horror stricken expression that would naturally have followed such a suggestion was successfully averted.

But now, VCR-less, with boxes upon boxes of TCM recordings slipping from "it's Claudette Colbert, I love her!" to "'s either Claudette Colbert or Walter Huston, that much I know...wait...or Margaret O'Brien", this OML is increasingly at the mercy of the ever political DVD release. The unsatisfying state of the business to someone like her, who is still amazed that whoever the hell "they" are have not yet released every movie Lucille Ball has ever appeared in, however minuscule the part (she realizes this includes "Go Chase Yourself" and "Roman Scandals", among others, and asks in her polite way, do you want to make something of it?) But this OML has lost her train of thought, apologizes, and explains that she tends to get carried away when it concerns the fiery Ms. Ball. As well as the refreshingly insightful Ms. Astor, the ------ Ms. Stanwyck, who is too good for adjectives, and a certain, previously mentioned filmmaker who never fails to warm the cuckolds of this OML's heart. 

To finally return to her point, this OML would like to vent her frustration concerning the fact that no, she cannot watch every Joan Fontaine or Irene Dunne movie ever made on a crisply transferred DVD, nor can she watch this declared gem, starring a very young Elizabeth Taylor (which this OML believes is grounds enough for a Blu-ray release) without avoiding the unfortunate transfers by companies who have turned "public domain" into somewhat of a punishment. She flat out refuses to recapture the giddy chuckles this movie evoked years ago until she will no longer be distracted by the awful whites turned greens, the "now you hear it, now you don't" audio quality, and the depressing reminder that she can neither say nor do anything to urge the restoration + release process along. Except bitch and moan, like so many others, into the "pits of despair", i.e. the blogosphere.

This OML has finally reached her point, which, she realizes, could have been stated in a few short words and taken up much less of the reader's time: there are simply too many wonderful films out there that she cannot watch. Selfish, she'll grant you. Without merit...she'll let the reader be the judge, but asks him or her to consider the fact that one can make a quick, slipper-wearing trip to the closest market (that specializes in food, mind you) and pick up a movie starring Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear as conjoined twins, while those starring a classy Greer Garson doing very un-classy things are still waiting for their 15 (err, 99) minutes of fame. She asks the reader, is this fair? Is this right?

So, along with 1947's "Life With Father", this OML would like to plead her case for a decent release of our fair Julia misbehaving, along with several more to come that, while perhaps missing the awards, the remembered stars, or the big budgets to guarantee passage to every new technology, will, she promises, make the world a better place. 

(On a side note, this OML is fully aware that her sudden 3rd person writing style is, well, sudden, but seemed strangely appropriate. It also may attest to the fact that she has been frantically catching up on Self-Styled Siren posts as of late, and here she would like to point out that, firstly, considering the posts in question, one can hardly blame her, and, secondly, that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Current Mood Is: bored....out of my f*cking mind

My new job pays me a tearfully low $8.51 an hour to sit, and stare, and try not to think about the uncomfortably close proximity of flesh-stripped, honest-to-goodness real life bodies just on the other side of a temporary wall covered in black fabric (it's as weird as it sounds). I am concerned how quickly I am becoming desensitized to such proximity, as I have been imitating Tallulah for nearly 6 hours now.

The good news is: ha! I'm blogging again. Sort of.