MoviesMidnight in Paris. This movie was written and directed by Woody Allen. Woody does not act in the film. I have wanted to see the movie for quite a while but for some reason I never took the time to see it at the theater. I watched it on cable on demand over the holidays. I loved the filmt but the Lovely Sharon thought it was just “ok”. I give Midnight in Paris 7 points. I liked the opening of the movie which was several minutes of shots of Paris accompanied by Sidney Bechet's jazzy “Si Tu Vois Ma Mere”. I like the movie’s sound track which includes songs by Frank Sinatra, Cole Porter, Louis Armstrong and Glen Miller among others. I like the midnight time travel to the 1920’s Paris. Paris in the 1920’s has always been one of my favorite time periods and locations. I have read a number of books and articles about the artists, writers and philosophers who congregated in Paris between World War I and World War II. Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald (and his wife Zelda), Salvador Dali, Josephine Baker and other personalities from Paris of the 1920’s are characters in the movie. I liked the cinematography and I liked the dialogue. I liked the movie so much I am going to buy the dvd and also download the sound track from Itunes.
My Week with Marilyn. This film is based upon two books written by Colin Clark about his interaction with Marilyn Monroe during the 1957 filming of the Prince and the Show Girl. This was another film I ranked a 7 Pointer, almost 8 points. I have been to England 5 or 6 times and it is one of my favorite destinations. So I am inclined to like things English. I loved the period automobiles in the film. I have been watching Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theater. The actor who plays the head butler in Downton Abbey, Jim Carson, plays the pub owner in My Week with Marilyn. Now that is interesting. Michelle Williams portrayal of Marilyn is terrific.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I have not read the book but I did see the Swedish version of this film and have now seen the English language version. I thought Daniel Craig and the rest of cast did a fine job, but the plot and the cinematography were equally dark. I suppose the film is a favorite of the professional critics but for me I give it 5 points. The tattooed and body pierced investigator, was smart but seemed to have had a dark and miserable life. The whole thing was depressing for me.
BookLucking Out (My Life Getting Down and Semi Dirty in Seventies New York) – James Wolcott. Mr. Wolcott writes a column about film, books and other cultural events for Vanity Fair Magazine. He is a good writer and I enjoy his magazine columns but this book gets 3 points from me. I was glad when I arrived at the last page. There are no chapters in the book, instead there are several long sections so even the layout of the book was a source of irritation for me. The book was a description of Mr. Wolcott’s interaction with various writers, critics, musicians, theater people and dancers during the 1970’s when he wrote for the Village Voice. I suppose if you were one of the in-crowd of these cultural “giants” the book might have been more significant.. But for this Podunk lawyer from Utah, the 1970’s was the time I graduated from high school, graduated from college, graduated from law school and started law practice. I was very busy in that decade. Pauline Kael, the film critic for the New Yorker during the 1970’s, who is the subject of an entire section of the book, was not someone I knew of during this period and now that I have read about her, it strikes me that I did not miss much. The book has significant section describing the punk music scene and the porno scene in 1970’s New York. I have read a few reviews of this book that were highly favorable, I did not particularly like it, did not feel it enhanced my life and did not find it entertaining.