Archive for the ‘author Pierre de Plume’ Category

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By far the most successful adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 fairy tale about a Kansas girl thrust into a land of enchantment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s “The Wizard of Oz” achieves an iconography unique to Anglo-American culture. The film also catapulted its star, Judy Garland, to a career of legendary proportion.


by Pierre de Plume

The first time a movie made me cry was in 1957 when I was 6 years old. I remember like yesterday sitting in the kid-sized rocking chair that my dad, whose hobby was carpentry, had built of oak for our Midwestern home. Because my first emotional reactions to the film remain vivid in my memory, I decided recently to take advantage of a rare 35mm Technicolor screening of “The Wizard of Oz” at a lovingly restored movie venue, the Heights Theater near Minneapolis. There, I thought, I might revisit the experience of seeing Oz as a child and report back to readers at Wonders in the Dark about why this Depression-era musical fantasy has continued to capture the hearts of so many children — young and old alike.

What I encountered on the night of the screening was a sold-out crowd of diverse ages, from parents with eager children to gray-haired elders. A patron sitting next to us in the 400-seat Beaux Arts–style theater, a thirtysomething woman waiting for her special date, soon was joined by her salt-and-pepper-haired dad. Under the glow of the grand chandeliers, we waited as the Wurlitzer pipe organist played songs from the movie we soon would relive.

My experience of seeing Oz on the big screen — in 35mm Technicolor for the first time — left me not just in tears (again) but also wishing to know more about the literary origins of Dorothy Gale’s fantastic odyssey. (more…)

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Streetwise drifter Hal and small-town beauty queen Madge (William Holden and Kim Novak) bask in the delicious glow of sudden, explosive love at a Labor Day picnic. Because this film is based, however, on William Inge’s award-winning play about strained human relationships, the couple’s bliss gets complicated in a hurry.

by Pierre de Plume

Falling in love with love is falling for make believe,
Falling in love with love is playing the fool.
Caring too much is such a juvenile fancy,
Learning to trust is just for children in school.
I fell in love with love one night when the moon was full,
I was unwise with eyes unable to see.
I fell in love with love, with love everlasting,
But love fell out with me.

“Falling in Love With Love,” lyrics by Lorenz Hart,
from the Broadway musical “The Boys From Syracuse” (1938)

Despite the cynicism expressed in the above lyrics about romantic love, I believe most of us are nevertheless a little bit in love with love. What keeps us going, I also believe, is the hope that our lives somehow will transcend the pragmatic aspects and conjoin at some level with our idealized notions of eros and, therefore, personal fulfillment.

Picnic, the film adaptation of William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play, seems designed to encourage viewers to indulge this fantasy while at the same time showing us the dangerous pitfalls and turmoil that adventurous, even unbridled love may bring. These themes are made evident not only through the film’s central romance but also through most of its characters. (more…)

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Can Geoffrey Rush upset Christian Bale in Best Supporting Actor race? Pierre de Plume has the scoop in an extraordinary comparative analysis

by Pierre de Plume


This Year’s Oscar Race for Supporting Actor:

Comparing SAG and Oscar Winners

(and other factors)

      Most people – even many film fans – would consider Oscar prognosticating to be a rather meaningless waste of time. A core of Oscar fans, however, become just a bit obsessed this time of year with many of the awards races. Always looking (and hoping) for a surprise win or upset to make Oscarwatching more interesting and fun, fervent fans enjoy dissecting the competition through statistics and anecdotal evidence.

 Of the year’s acting races, the supporting categories appear more fluid. This  article focuses on the supporting actor field, where Christian Bale (The Fighter) presumably holds the lead, primarily because of critical dominance and the SAG and Golden Globe awards he recently received.

 Some prognosticators of late, however, have been suggesting a potential win for Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech), citing a recent groundswell of support for that film. Let’s take a look at the numbers and some of the anecdotal evidence that might conceivably support such a call, focusing primarily on what many consider to be the strongest pre-Oscar indicator in the acting races, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards. Listed below are the SAG and Oscar winners for acting, including ensemble acting, for years these 2 awards didn’t match: (more…)

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1. Revolutionary Road

2. The Wrestler

3. Man on Wire

4. Slumdog Millionaire

5. Doubt

6. Let the Right One In

7. Milk

8. Vicky Cristina Barcelona

9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

10. Rachel Getting Married



The Visitor

The Dark Knight

Burn After Reading

The Reader

Synecdoche, New York


Trouble the Water

In Bruges

Iron Man




Waltz With Bashir

Up the Yangtze

Encounters at the Edge of the World

My Winnipeg

Wendy and Lucy

Flight of the Red Balloon

Frozen River

Paranoid Park



4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days


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