Archive for August 25th, 2009

After all the week’s events, something light-hearted, totally amateurish and written with the wit of a flea…but it may make you smile…

You just need to know the lyrics of that immortal anthem from Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Sam Juliano

    While I have formally balked at writing a full-length review of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, in fear of irking some of WitD’s readers (most of whom have loved the film) I defer now to a highly-respected blog, run by Rick Olson, Coosa Creek Mambo, which takes the opposite position on the controversial film.  Translation:  I have no balls, and am putting Rick’s head on the chopping block and am hising behind him! After Olson’s blunt and ever-insightful piece are comments by Marilyn Ferdinand on Tarantino that seem to hit the nail on the head as far as I’m concerned.  When Rick says that the film is in large measure “boring crap” I can’t help but  nod my head in full agreement. In any case, it’s always good to see both sides, and I provide a link here to Rick’s place, for those who want to investigate: (if for some reason the click doesn’t negotiate, Coosa Creek Mambo is on the blogroll sidebar)  Note:  Rick’s review is not remotely a complete pan as he acknowledges the artistry and  a number of persuasive set pieces in the film. Furthermore, as Mr. Olson states, this is an initial and incomplete report.  He says he’ll have more to say in a few days, presumably in the form of a complete review.  His essay here is basically musings of the film in the context of disappointing summer offerings.


Read Full Post »

marlene 1

(West Germany 1983 94m) DVD1/2

Your future is all used up

p  Peter Genée  d  Maximilian Schell  w  Meir Dohnal, Maximilian Schell  ph  Ivan Slapeta, Pavel Hispler, Harry Hauck  ed  Heidi Genée, Dagmar Hertz  m  Nicholas Economou  art  Heinz Eckmeie, Zbynek Hloch 

Did Schell approach Dietrich to do the film or did Dietrich approach Schell?  It’s an intriguing thought which could be answered either way depending whose versions you believe.  Dietrich had been asked for interviews countless times and turned them down.  Her contemporary Garbo, never gave one, of course, preferring to drift off into the horizon like Galadriel at the end of The Return of the King, or herself at the end of Queen Christina.  Garbo retired at 36.  At 36 Dietrich still had Destry Rides Again, A Foreign Affair, Witness for the Prosecution, Touch of Evil and Judgment at Nuremberg ahead of her, and endless concerts.  Did she meet Schell on the set of the latter, and if so it’s intriguing to think of Schell playing an attorney and Dietrich a witness.  What was Schell hoping for?

            The premise was that Schell was allowed several sessions, some in English, others in German – it’s all the same to Marlene – and set questions and notes to help him ask the right questions.  Some he knew wouldn’t be allowed an answer – there was a contract after all – and others he knew he’d get an evasive one.  Schell inter-cuts these snippets with clips from her films, other archive footage and memorabilia.  (more…)

Read Full Post »