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Archive for November 12th, 2012

by Pat Perry

A few years back, when memes were passed around the film blogosphere like a flu virus, I was invited to name my ten favorite film characters of all time.  Right at the very top of my list, I placed Lucy and Jerry Warriner, the sparring, on-and-off spouses played by Irene Dunne and Cary Grant in Leo McCarey’s The Awful Truth.  In retrospect, that was a telling choice.

With the possible exception of the Thin Man movies, I can’t think of another screwball comedy whose principal characters are so much fun to watch regardless of what they’re doing or what’s happening around them. Screwball comedies aren’t typically character-driven; their motors run on  intricately structured plotting and razor sharp, rat-a-tat dialogue. The Awful Truth, by contrast, belongs wholly to the screwball genre, and yet stands apart from it in significant ways, and its character focus is the least of it. Its loose, free-wheeling style is a result of its being made without a completed working script; bits of comic business were improvised and McCarey notoriously wrote much of the dialogue while on the set. Thus the film is a bit short on plot, but very long on brilliantly funny, sketch-like scenes that could each, more or less, stand on their own.  You could dive into the film at say, the beginning of the nightclub scene where the estranged Warriners and their ill-chosen new partners end up at the same, uncomfortable table, and still follow and laugh at the proceedings. (more…)

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Daniel-Day Lewis in masterful “Lincoln”

Glorious Re-election of President Barack Obama

by Sam Juliano

A second storm battered the northeast on Wednesday, causing power outages for many who had just had their power restored from the havoc inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.  For those in the NYC/northern New Jersey area the nor’easter brought as much as six inches of snow and some blizzard conditions for several hours.  With winter well into the future one can only wonder with dread what Mother Nature has in store for the coming months. Speaking of Sandy, gas lines are now non-existent, and stores and supermarkets are back in full operation. People with shore homes have embarked on depressing trips south to assess the damage on their properties.

The long and exhausting Presidential election ended on Tuesday, and WitD is thrilled that the Republican right was dealt a strong rebuke by numbers substantially greater than some pundits had predicted.  For some of us it was a special joy to see talk show hosts Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh take it on the proverbial chin, and hear all the sour grapes doomsday scenarios being painted by a party whose narrow and alienating views fell victim to a spirited coalition of women, minorities and young people.  President Obama’s victory speech will go down as one of the classics, and to all who did their share on Election Day I offer gleeful congratulations on a job well-done!  We were all busy with the campaign here in the small town of Fairview, New Jersey where the numbers delivered big for the President:  Obama 2462, Romney 741.

Here at Wonders in the Dark the months-long comedy countdown nears it’s final quarter, with the last essays slated for the days just before Christmas.  Much like last year’s musical countdown, the project has yielded some splendid writing by some of the blogosphere’s most esteemed and talented scribes.  The John Garfield petition signing continues on with a long-term commitment from it’s tireless founders – Dee Dee, Lori Moore and Barbara LaMotta.  The page as ever can be accessed on the site sidebar under the acting icon’s photo.  Our great friend Jaimie Grijalba has moved his blogging operations to a new location.  While we won’t ever forget the time and effort he put into the wonderful Exodus: 8:2, we are alll certain his best work is yet to come.  Best Wishes on your continuing success at your new surroundings! (more…)

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