Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Report

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Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Report

PostTue May 29, 2018 9:27 am

2018 was Cinevent's 50th anniversary, and with few stars left to commemorate such things, the Columbus Ohio-based festival doubled down on authors, with Leonard Maltin, Scott Eyman, Richard Barrios and others in attendance presenting films and signing books. (I took full advantage of that, so listen soon for the results on NitrateVille Radio.) Here's the first half of a festival report on what I saw:

WEDNESDAY

The night before the festival featured a Wexner Center screening of two of the 3D Film Archive digital restorations:

THE MAZE *** Richard Carlson is about to get married, goes to his ancestral home when his uncle dies—and he suddenly calls everything off, leaving fiancee Veronica Hurst to investigate what’s responsible for the drastic change in his demeanor. Old Dark House yarn with a Lovecraftian spin, nicely filmed by William Cameron Menzies, who arranges lots of layered 3-D shots on a modest budget. Seeing the monster slosh down the hallway, wet, misshapen and as pathetic as terrible, revealed a clear influence on David Lynch’s The Elephant Man and Dune.

GOG *** An intelligence officer goes to a remote base run by a supercomputer to investigate the deaths of some scientists, and finds that the machines (including a pair of robots known as Gog and Magog) may pose the real threat. Gog has a reputation as a 3-D dog—sure, it has some howlers (“Oh, just a little radiation, nothing to worry about”), and the robots aren’t really up to carrying off the action scenes. But there’s an effective air of Cold War paranoia about the whole thing and all in all, it’s pretty intelligent sci-fi—and speaking of influences, the supercomputer with its rows of memory cards and the robots with the pincers seem to have stuck with Kubrick for 2001 (there’s also a prominent Coke machine on the base—no one better get up to any preversions). The only thing is, I don't know why it needed to be in 3-D—it’s not used for much.


THURSDAY

THE MASKED MARVEL **1/2
I caught the first few episodes of this Republic serial, clearly a sort of followup to Daredevils of the Red Circle as it had a team of (not very memorable) leading men for its heroes, plus all the other usual virtues of Republic serial work—namely, pretty good action scenes making use of LA industrial locations and Lydecker Brothers model work.

REPEAT PERFORMANCE ***1/2 The notes suggested this Eagle-Lion production with a New Year’s theme was a common TV choice for that holiday… apparently so you could get the year off to an even more nightmarish start than It’s a Wonderful Life did Christmas! The Groundhog Day-like setup is that actress Joan Leslie gets a chance to relive 1946 over again and try not to shoot alcoholic, philandering playwright husband Louis Hayward this time. But it’s not nice to fool Mother Destiny, so it’s more Twilight Zone than self-improvement parable. A plot that you haven’t seen quite this way before, a good cast of second-tier performers (including Richard Basehart in his debut) aware that they’re in a really good one for once, and atmospheric direction made this a real B studio gem.

SWEATER GIRL **12 There’s a certain thing you expect from a movie called Sweater Girl, and the opening number with Eddie Bracken delivers it. What you don’t expect after that is that it will turn into And Then There Were None, but yes, this wartime musical—which introduced Frank Loesser and Jule Styne’s “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You”—gets a decent rating just for being so bizarre that you couldn’t not stay to find out what the hell it’s about. Bracken’s not bad (although an unlikely star, it always seemed to me), and June Preisser, who apparently shortly after left Hollywood for good and never said why, is adorable.

Next up, Scott Eyman showed two clips relating to his new dual bio of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart. Their portion from the anthology film ON OUR MERRY WAY (***1/2) has them in a shaggy dog tale as two down on their luck musicians; their comedy playing together is wonderful, and you’re sorry that they never did anything like that again in the postwar era. That was followed by a 1959 hourlong TV version of Cinderella set on the prairie, CINDY’S FELLA (***). Sweetly done, though like a lot of 50s-60s TV it’s too cozy by half; the real surprise was the comic duo of Stewart and George Gobel, who makes it plain what a model Harry Langdon was for his persona

THE THIRD KEY *** Jack Hawkins in a 1955 British police procedural about trying to track down a safecracker. The police part is so dry and factual it makes Dragnet look like Tennessee Williams, but that’s nicely balanced by some equally dry humor about the life of a cop (he’s married with a bloody-minded young son, and breaking in a new partner at the same time), and it’s eminently satisfying.


FRIDAY

Friday kicked off with four early 30s shorts somewhat tenuously related to the Hal Roach studio (none made there, but all involving people related to it in some way). THE LOUDMOUTH (***) is the first version of what would become The Heckler with Charley Chase, and is quite funny, with Matt McHugh more likable as the guy who won’t shut up at sporting events. ROCK-A-BYE COWBOY (**) has James Gleason and Raymond Hatton—which seems a bit repetitive—as cowboys who wind up with a baby; it’s pretty rote baby comedy, though hard to say it got a fair shake as the print was so warped it kept leaving the sound head. FLICKER FEVER (**1/2) is an aspiring in Hollywood yarn with some good Depression era gags and George Chandler (the son in The Fatal Glass of Beer) as the dad. THE SLEEPING PORCH (**1/2) is Raymond Griffith’s only talkie where he speaks; they cover for his raspy lack of a voice by giving him laryngitis, and it’s amusing enough, though obviously his career was over and he soon went into producing.

That was followed by a fun talk and Q&A with Leonard Maltin, looking at how the world has changed for classic film. You kids with your blogs online—in his day, he had to shlep Film Fan Monthly up the steps of the main New York Post Office to mail it!

THE BIFFLE MURDER CASE *** This was my first chance to finally see a Biffle and Shooster short, and my feeling is as much as they’re aiming to recreate 30s comedy, there’s a lot of Tashlin and Tex Avery meta zaniness too in the mix. Anyway, I enjoyed the mix of good comedy and good bad comedy, which even includes Robert Forster turning up as a tough guy cop no brighter than the rest of them.

THE TOLL GATE **** One of William S. Hart’s best stern Calvinist westerns, in which he runs a wild bunch decimated when they’re sold out during a job; he escapes with an eye toward exacting revenge on his Judas, but hiding out with a good woman (Anna Q. Nilsson, very good) starts to soften him… a little. This is the sort of title made for regular Cinevent accompanist Phil Carli, in which he can pound the ivories like Hart pounds home the moral.

THE PHANTOM PRESIDENT **1/2 George M. Cohan’s only surviving talkie is mainly interesting for showing you what Cagney stole from him—and made more charismatic on screen. Otherwise, this tale of a stuffed shirt running for president and the medicine show huckster who is hired to play him with more pizzazz in public is hampered by the fact that the two personas aren't that different, but it has some intermittent laughs, including in a few songs by Rodgers and Hart. Jimmy Durante is obviously shoehorned in to liven up the premises with more shtick—which is kind of the plot of the movie, no, livening up a dud?— but the one who really steals it is Claudette Colbert as the woman the stuffed shirt Cohan thinks he needs to marry, but only the medicine show Cohan is actually capable of wooing.

DON’T CHANGE YOUR HUSBAND ***1/2
One of that series of Cecil B DeMille comedies about modern marriage; Gloria Swanson is the bored wife, Elliott Dexter is the husband who’s grown stale (as epitomized by a mustache that makes him look like Neville Chamberlain), and Lew Cody is the snake in the grass who woos her. The economics of these things are always pure wish fulfillment, but underneath the gloss they’re sharp about husbands and wives in a way that seems more modern than many films that come out today.

VALUE FOR MONEY *** Imagine The Girl Can’t Help It made at Ealing, and you get something of the sense of this mid-50s Brit sex comedy with Diana Dors, in a gorgeous IB Technicolor print. John Gregson (Genevieve) has just inherited his stern Yorkshire father’s textile business, as well as the preternatural cheapness of his clan; persuaded to go on a junket to see the lights of London, he falls for showgirl Dors, to the heartbreak of his childhood sweetheart, and not realizing how little Dors will be wowed by his gray northern town. For a sex comedy, it could practically write a Ph.D thesis on the differences between the two parts of England at that time (between the end of the "Chatterley" ban and the Beatles' first LP). Ernest Thesiger turns up as a very elderly lord at a public event, and I’d swear the original intention was to resolve the plot by having him marry Dors, leaving Gregson free to marry his sweetie, but in the end they shanghai another minor character into the job.

to be continued...
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir
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Re: Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Re

PostWed May 30, 2018 11:19 pm

SATURDAY

SATURDAY ANIMATION PROGRAM

What was once devoted to cartoons not on video is now more about film prints of things on video, but that's okay. Some highlights: in It's the Natural Thing To Do, Popeye and Bluto have to channel their aggression into good behavior for as long as they can stand it; Porky Pig's Feat is Frank Tashlin's outlandish cartoon about Porky and Daffy versus a hotel manager expecting to be paid; Hockey Homicide is a Goofy sports cartoon that reaches Averyesque levels of speed and violence; and Avery's King Size Canary and Little Rural Riding Hood need no introduction.

THE EYES OF JULIA DEEP ***1/2 Have I ever seen Mary Miles Minter? I'm not sure, but it's hard to imagine a better vehicle for her would-be Pickford persona than this sweetly humorous tale which anticipates screwball comedy when it reaches the point that all the characters are in front of a judge, trying to explain the plot to him. Allan Forrest plays a wastrel who's ready to end it when his fortune is exhausted; instead he lets Minter take charge of his life, and how their love develops (and he reforms) even in the face of stuffy grownups is charming. She may not be Pickford in the end, but she's not bad.

THE MEANEST MAN IN THE WORLD *** This Jack Benny film was apparently a troubled production and wound up at a scant 53 minutes, but what there is is pretty funny. He's a small town lawyer trying to prove himself in the city (with Eddie Rochester Anderson at his side), but he can't make it until he decides to act like a bastard—and makes the papers as the meanest man in town (though it's still a sham). The biggest surprise is a drunk scene between him and disillusioned girlfriend Priscilla Lane, which is pretty uniquely played out (and when else did Benny ever do physical comedy?)

THE SEA SPOILERS **1/2 Scott Eyman introduced this Universal B, one of six made by John Wayne as he was trying to broaden beyond cowboy roles. Here it's the Coast Guard, with him going after gangster seal skin smugglers who have kidnapped his girl to boot. The production—which ingeniously passes off Catalina as Alaska—is above average for a B, but the script aims for 12 year olds and is directed sluggishly (he has plenty of chances to duke it out with the gangsters, but waits to be rescued). You hear that voice, talking plainly about action he intends to take, and you just think—how could they not see what they had? Why didn't just having his presence inspire them to do something closer to They Were Expendable than this kiddie yarn?

THE SPEED KING ** Richard Talmadge—who had been a Fairbanks stunt double, and would go on to be a B action director—in a blatant ripoff of The Prisoner of Zenda (by way of Fairbanks' His Majesty the American). The notes indicate that it was never widely released, just some states' rights playdates, and you can see why, as if it weren't following the well-known Anthony Hope plot you'd be hard pressed to follow it (Talmadge isn't actor enough, really, to give you two versions you can tell apart). In the end I thought this was kind of like a mid-level 80s Jackie Chan vehicle—a few very impressive stunts studded in a very flimsy production that can hardly keep the storyline together.


SUNDAY

KITTY ***1/2
A bestseller about a Regency-era prostitute both demanded a film version and proved impossible to film. So Mitchell Leisen and co. turned it into a version of Pygmalion, with Ray Milland as an improvident lord who sees Paulette Goddard's Kitty as his ticket to getting back into the foreign office and the pounds sterling—never realizing that she loves him even as she basically pulls a Barbara Stanwyck in Baby Face through Regency England. Borderline self-parody, incredibly handsomely designed, and with lots of familiar faces in sharply-etched roles (Cecil Kellaway as a canny Gainsborough, Eric Blore as a spiteful cook, and so on), I thought this was grand fun (and it deserves better than the apparently lousy DVD that exists). Goddard was probably never better, going from Eliza Doolittle to a sadder but wiser lady, and for an actor I've always found dislikable and cold, Milland was never better cast than as the calculating and selfish lord—though everyone, at the end, was in agreement that their inevitable clinch really wasn't justified by his character or the very hasty reform he evinces.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir
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Re: Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Re

PostThu May 31, 2018 6:03 am

I didn't get to see as many movies as you did, but I had an absolutely delightful time. A great event.
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Re: Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Re

PostThu May 31, 2018 7:52 am

Great reviews! I've been waiting to hear what people thought of the show and the films.

Wednesday

I was Tour Guide Barbie for the Wexner Center show, ferrying people on and off the bus and handing out tickets. To those of you who took a chance on Cinevent transportation to get to the Wexner Center, thank you! I've been hearing interest in a shuttle from the hotel for years but you never know how it will go in practice if it is implemented and it seemed to be successful.

The films were fun, but you have to have a taste for the ridiculous to fully enjoy them. The Maze is an atmospheric but often ridiculous movie about a couple weeks away from their wedding who parts after he inherits a spooky old estate and has a complete change in personality. The abrupt end of the relationship causes her to go to him to win him back and overcome whatever obstacles he feels are in place, and her desire is understandable thanks to some excellent exposition scenes of them at a nightclub and a pool. Veronica Hurst is BEAUTIFUL (and so tiny!) so it is amazing to me that Richard Carlson could drop her so easily, especially once we see the big reveal. The 3D is put to good use in this film, and it makes the movie seem very real and alive; I kept thinking how film truly keeps people who have been dead for decades alive as long as the film exists, supporting the importance of restoration and preservation. The plot of this movie hinges on secrecy. If the new Lord had been honest about what was going on at the estate from the beginning, a lot of stress could have been avoided (but then we would have no movie). The unexplained deaths don’t make much sense either but it is a fun ride and the ridiculous reveal gave the audience a good belly laugh.

Gog was in color, but made less effective use of the 3D technology. For most of it I felt I was watching a 2D movie, and the few uses of the 3D felt exploitative rather than useful to moving the plot. It is one of those sci-fi movies that spawned out of the fear of the atomic bomb. It started out strongly enough and devolved from there, but there was enough of the ridiculous to make it entertaining and fun anyway.

Thursday

Repeat Performance was one of the strongest films of the weekend. Joan Leslie is beautiful and carries the lead role effortlessly. Louis Hayward is great as the alcoholic husband. (Throughout the film I kept asking myself why she wanted him so badly if he was such a drain on her self esteem, a cheater and a liar, but there were a few lines about how she felt she owed a debt to him for supporting her when she was a nobody which fleshed out the relationship nicely.) In his discussion with Leonard Maltin, Scott Eyman said that part of the reason he loves film is because it is a form of archaeology, a way to travel to the past. In this one, Leslie literally visits the past when she is inexplicably transported back to New Years the previous year and gets a chance to remedy the things that cause her marriage to fall apart. I read a LOT of time travel novels, so this is a device I am familiar with (and never tire of), so I thought it was interesting how passive she was throughout concerning her fate. When she did something to prevent a major event, a new wrench would arise that would direct history back to its original course, and she would just accept it without trying again until it was too late. Richard Basehart deserves mention as her loyal but doomed friend; he is truly wonderful at bringing a complicated character to life in a way that makes him likable, especially for his first time in a film.

I expected (or at least hoped for) better attendance at the Our Gang silents program, but it afforded me the chance to get a good seat. I wrote the notes for these films so I won't say much here, except it was a delight to see Rainy Days on a big screen, and it got a lot of laughs. Wheezer is my favorite rascal and he shines here, although it is truly an ensemble film. I also love Wiggle Your Ears because it is such an oddity, and Mary Ann is so sweet in it.

Sweater Girl was my favorite movie of the weekend, a sneaky musical that turns into a murder mystery. It has all the sweetness of a Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland movie with some of the auxiliary cast from those films. June Preisser and Eddie Bracken are full of energy and fun, and it was nice to see Nils Asther looking very much like himself from the Casanova days of the 20s as a father. I highly recommend this one.

Since it only had German subtitles, Four Around a Woman was translated live by Glory-June. It worked better than I expected it to and it wasn't a distraction. It's a rare Fritz Lang film, and if you're a die-hard fan, seek it out. Otherwise, don't bother. It is about a woman whose friend recommends she cheat on her husband for some excitement, but she is uninterested and eternally faithful. However, an incident from her past threatens to come up and destroy their relationship. I'm surprised I stayed awake through the entire movie. As much as I love silents, they tend to lull me to sleep if I try to watch them after dark, and with as tired as I was, it was a feat not to nod off as I heard so many others doing.

Friday

The Six Degrees of Hal Roach felt like more of a mixed bag than I had hoped based on the notes. The first short The Loudmouth was okay. I heard someone behind me say it was "like that Charley Chase short" (The Heckler), but it wasn't as solid. Rock-a-bye Cowboy was the most promising of the set, but the print was badly damaged and we only had sound for about half of it. It was amusing to see how much as changed in child-rearing (That was a real baby playing with real broken dishes!), and how clueless these cowboys were. Flicker Fever has its moments, like Cicely Brown doing impressions of Zasu Pitts and Greta Garbo, but it is mostly forgettable. The Sleeping Porch was okay too but unremarkable.

The 42nd Street short was a tribute to the 1st Cinevent where 42nd Street was shown. It is basically just newsreel footage of a small train and the celebrities on it saying hello for the camera. Bette Davis is there, as is Laura La Plante, Lyle Talbott, Jack Warner. Other than the fact that they worked for Warner Brothers, they have nothing to do with the movie and I was disappointed that none of the actual cast was shown, as I know many of them traveled across country on this train doing personal appearances. (Dick Powell overworked himself to the point of pneumonia and wound up in the hospital for several weeks.)

The Phantom President could have been a good movie, but it moved way too slowly. You know that expression "show, don't tell?" They should have followed that advice. It felt more like the audience was the wife waiting at home to find out how the exciting rally went than a witness to anything substantial. Sure it was a chance to see Cohan in action, but the real star is Durante who mugs like nobody's business.

Saturday

I know the Animation Program featured some beloved cartoons, but I have to say, I was mostly unamused. Some of my favorite things from previous years have been the quirky and sentimental, and there was almost none of that here. These are characters we know, gags we're familiar with, and that is fine but not spectacular. My friends, however, were laughing loudly so I think this is a case where I am the odd man out.

I've wanted to see The Eyes of Julia Deep for a very long time because it stars Mary Miles Minter, and not many of her films are still around. After reading about how modern it was, I expected a very different film. What I got was conventional, enjoyable, but not outstanding. Minter is a capable leading lady whose innocent look easily wins over a spoiled former rich kid who gives her access to his remaining funds to reform him into a working-class success. This was our 100-year-old film for this year, which was surprisingly hard to pick out. Due to the war (WWI that is), not much from 1918 survives.

The Meanest Man in the World is a lot of fun. I like Priscilla Lane a lot, and she's excellent here as Jack Benny's fiancee. They have a very memorable drunk scene in a bar where they don't recognize each other. The movie moves very quickly, but I don't think that hindered it at all. The story is solid, the cast is great. What's not to love?

The program was running over so I only saw a few of the Jazz shorts before I had to make a reservation for dinner, but what I saw was pleasant.

We Faw Down is a Laurel and Hardy silent I had never seen before. The finale is a hoot, and the rest of the short isn't bad either. It begins with Ollie trying to get away to play poker with Stan, but they never quite make it over there (and it is never brought up again!) because they're distracted by a pair of ladies.

My dad and I stayed up for Three Little Girls in Blue, an inconsequential musical with a lovely cast and a predictable story. Although she shows up near the end, I thought Celeste Holm stole the show as the sister of a millionaire. Toward the end I was getting restless because I was tired, and we all knew how it was going to end up. The film is a feast for the eyes in color, and it is set at the turn of the century so the costumes are elaborate and beautiful.

Sunday

My friend told me Be Big was just 20 minutes of Ollie trying to get his boots on-- and he almost wasn't exaggerating. There were some laughs, but this one could have used some time in the editing room.

I didn't watch any of the other Masked Marvel serial, but I saw chapters 10-12 because my friends wanted to see it. I don't know if I could have sat through every segment of it, but seeing a few wasn't bad. These serials are fun because they're so ridiculous, from the crazy action scenes (we wanted to keep a "body count" for the amount of chairs that were destroyed) and the wooden acting (especially by Louise Currie).

I do not like westerns. I usually skip them at Cinevent, but I wanted to see The King of Wild Horses because Charley Chase is in the cast in a serious part. It is a small one though and can't redeem this movie. What is it about? There is a wild horse who has resisted being tamed for a long time and one man aims to tame him. So he spends most of the movie chasing him around again and again. Bor-ing!

Beauty for Sale was another very strong part of the film program this year. It was a fortunate last minute replacement for a film we were unable to get. Madge Evans is one of those names that pops up now and again, but I can never remember anything about her. However, she is outstanding in this (and other movies too-- why doesn't she stick in my brain?). She piggybacks on Una Merkel's job in a salon and finds herself working for high-end clientele, one of which has an attractive husband who reciprocates her feelings. Maybe it is because this is a pre-code film, but the scenes between Evans and Otto Kruger are intensely sexy in spite of their relative innocence. Edward Nugent plays Merkel's corny and wholesome brother who wants to marry Evans. Nugent is someone I first noticed in Loose Ankles (screened at Cinevent 39 in 2007), a brash actor who delivers one-liners you'll never forget because of his bold personality. Here his shtick is put to good use to annoy us. His jokes are bad and his laugh is even worse, but he's great in the part.

The last movie of this year was Dreamboat, a fun movie about a former silent movie idol (Clifton Webb) who wants to retain his anonymity and continue teaching and he has done for decades. His uptight daughter is played by Anne Francis who is wonderful in the role, alternately stiff and vulnerable as she finds herself falling prey to her hormones for the first time. Ginger Rogers is Webb's former co-star who introduces their old films on TV and tries to convince him to bask in the spotlight and save her job.
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Re: Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Re

PostThu May 31, 2018 4:27 pm

maliejandra wrote:Beauty for Sale was another very strong part of the film program this year. It was a fortunate last minute replacement for a film we were unable to get. Madge Evans is one of those names that pops up now and again, but I can never remember anything about her. However, she is outstanding in this (and other movies too-- why doesn't she stick in my brain?).

Just saw Madge in the pre-code drama Made on Broadway with Robert Montgomery as her ex-husband, a powerhouse New York press agent who can pull anybody's strings. She's secondary to Sally Eilers as a discovery of Montgomery's who gets too big for her own britches, but she makes the most of her scenes where she lets her ex know that she's the only one who truly understands him. TCM ran it recently, keep an eye out for it.
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Re: Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Re

PostThu May 31, 2018 9:00 pm

Thanks for the reviews, looks like a very strong and diverse line up!
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Re: Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Re

PostFri Jun 01, 2018 6:15 am

I look forward to next year's theme, "Killer Girls and Sweater Robots".

Robbie in cashmere... uhhh, no...

Jim
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Re: Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Re

PostFri Jun 01, 2018 7:00 am

Jim Roots wrote:I look forward to next year's theme, "Killer Girls and Sweater Robots".

Robbie in cashmere... uhhh, no...

Jim



Now I can't get the image of Robbie the Robot in a push-up bra and pink angora sweater out of my head. Thanks a lot.

Bob
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Re: Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Re

PostFri Jun 01, 2018 2:27 pm

boblipton wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:I look forward to next year's theme, "Killer Girls and Sweater Robots".

Robbie in cashmere... uhhh, no...

Jim



Now I can't get the image of Robbie the Robot in a push-up bra and pink angora sweater out of my head. Thanks a lot.

Bob


My work here is done!

Jim
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Re: Sweater Girls and KIller Robots: Cinevent 50 Festival Re

PostTue Jun 05, 2018 4:32 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
Next up, Scott Eyman showed two clips relating to his new dual bio of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart. Their portion from the anthology film ON OUR MERRY WAY (***1/2) has them in a shaggy dog tale as two down on their luck musicians; their comedy playing together is wonderful, and you’re sorry that they never did anything like that again in the postwar era.




I love the irony that modern critics and historians praise the Fonda-Stewart segment of this film to the skies since it's been learned that John Ford directed it without any credit - the majority of reviews from 1948 on the other hand panned this segment harshly moreso than the rest of the film!! Most of the reviews at the time rightly singled out Dorothy Lamour as the best thing in the movie, giving a delicious parody of her sarong girl fame in one number as good as any of Carol Burnett's classic movie spoofs.

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