Friday, December 30, 2011


The sixth and final chapter of the Norma Desmond Chronicles. Norma got off on a temporary insanity plea, did a short stint in a spa-like psych center and is now free in Hollywood. She's back and better than ever!

New Year's Eve was the start of a horrible mess;
A grave misunderstanding at Norma's Sunset address.
But time and therapy heals all psychosis;
And hypnosis cures all of those other diagnoses
Max and Norma were alone at last;
Finally, they could be together and forget the past.
Norma knew Hollywood could be a heartless old town;
And Max had stood by her through the up and the down.
No need now for monkeys or boys with big bills;
No need for sharp razors or too many pills.
The movies and cameras belonged to the past;
The future was Norma's and her fortune was vast.
Oil fields pumping and pumping, Norma was wealthy!
And dowtown real estate made that bank account healthy!
Max was her man now and on this New Year's Eve,
Maxie appeared to have something grand up his sleeve!
The orchestra played,the tiles were waxed;
No memory of Joe (that broken down hack)
Speaking of wax, the "works" weren't invited;
Max was too hopeful and much too excited.
A serenade for Madame and for her dainty hand;
A diamond that symbolized a passion so grand.
Max opened his heart and his love he disclosed
to Norma, his star, and again he proposed.
And Norma said "yes," she just couldn't believe
that her dreams could come true on this fine New Year's Eve.
Did they live happily ever after? Of course they did!

And, so ends the Norma Desmond chronicles.
Wishing you and Norma and Max, and hell, even the monkey, a very Happy New Year! I have a feeling 2012 is going to be great!

For Norma's entire story (post shooting) see below:
Chapter 1: Norma's New Year's Eve
Chapter 2: Norma Desmond: What Next?
Chapter 3: Big Star Meets Small Screen
Chapter 4: Max Makes His Move!
Chapter 5: Norma's Halloween Seance

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


A new silent film! Oh, I had my fingers and toes crossed before walking into the theater. I have looked forward to this film for so long, I prayed I wouldn't be disappointed. Is it possible that this movie, which has gotten so much "buzz," could actually live up to all of the praise heaped upon it? For me, the answer is an unqualified "YES"!

The plot is as fragile as ancient nitrate film, but who cares? My head was spinning as the ghosts of Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, John Gilbert, Gene Kelly, "Singing in the Rain", "A Star is Born", "Citizen Kane," "Cinema Paradiso," and "Vertigo" (Vertigo?) enveloped me in a classic cinematic embrace.

Lovingly written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist" tells the story of a great silent star who refuses to accept talking pictures and the up and coming actress whose success is cemented with the advent of sound. On the great elevator of careers, one goes up and one goes down, but can they meet in the middle?

Is it Douglas Fairbanks? Is it John Gilbert? Is it Gene Kelly? No - it's Jean Dujardin, who turns in a stunning performance. He is George Valentin, "The Artist," a man whose personality is his artistic creation. He flashes the Fairbanks ultra masculine smile, he has a Mary Pickford-like wife (Penelope Ann Miller), he dances Kelly-style and he sinks into Gilbert-like depths. He is magnetic, and he is magnificent.

Bérénice Bejo is vivacious and touching as Peppy Miller, the girl on the way up. A little bit of Clara Bow, a little bit of Nancy Carroll and a dash of Ginger Rogers, Bejo's plucky performance reminds you of that old-time glow of stardust. She is youth, she is new, but she is also a good egg and the right girl for our hero. Her scenes with Dujardin are totally charming.

Uggie as "the dog," Valentin's constant and loyal companion, rates a spot in the canine cinematic hall of fame right up there with Asta. He is not only adorable, but a major player in this story.

"The Artist" is a visually beautiful film. From the authentic 1920s-looking opening credits, to the breathtaking use of black and white film for great poetic effect, to the never intrusive but always emotional score by Ludovic Bource (with a dash of Bernard Herrmann's Love Theme from "Vertigo," used to powerful effect), this new silent film respects the genre and does not play parlor games with it. It is a silent film with all of beauty and musicality that is the hallmark of those films before sound. They were art and they were made by artists, and if you love them, then I know you will love this film. If this is your first silent film, give it a try and then work your way back to discover the true romance of film.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thank You, Santa!

Dear Santa:

What, oh what, should I get my darling little wife, FlickChick, for Christmas?
Flicky can be so picky!
Should I get her:
A diamond tiara? might tangle her lovely hair.

A new Bentley?
No...she never learned to drive a stick shift.

A house in the country?
No... too far from the shops.
What's that you say, Santa?
Of course! Why didn't I think of that?
I must hurry home an wrap it up nicely! I know it's just what she wants!


What better present for my FlickChick darling to find under the tree?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Were there ever any hotter dueling divas than Daphne and Josephine of "Some Like it Hot"? These two fillies were in competition from the word "go." It's a close race, so lets examine their record and form before placing our bets.

Best Legs
Daphne: slightly bowed, ankles weak
Josephine: good muscle tone, good shape
Winner: Josephine

Best Musical Pedigree
Daphne: Claimed to have spent three years at the Sheboygan Conservatory of Music. Bull fiddle has bullet holes in it, which rarely happens at a conservatory of any type. However, she plays a mean bull fiddle.
Josephine: also claimed to have gone to the Sheboygan Conservatory of Music. However, her sax is intact, so she appears to have had the most genteel past. Josephine and her sax can really cook
Winner: it's close, but this category goes to Josephine

Best Early Speed
Daphne: jumps out to an early lead and eyes Marilyn Monroe for the finish line.
Josephine: very slow coming out of the gate.
Winner: Daphne

Strongest in the Two-Way Stretch
Both "ladies" appear to handle the foundation garment issue with equal aplomb.
This round is a tie.

Best Dressed
Daphne: While Daphne may be a grand girl, it appears her fashion sense is of the Stella Dallas variety.
Josephine: Quite chic, especially the very fashionable cloche hat.
Winner: Josephine

Best Hair
Josephine: the brunette is rather harsh and not at all complimentary to her rather milky complexion.
Daphne: Blonde is a good choice for her. Plus, the color is not too brassy, so it looks quite natural and refined. Nice finger waves are a plus.
Winner: Daphne

Most Fun at Parties
Daphne: This girl knows how to party and throw caution to the wind.
Josephine: Rather cautious and skittish, more of a wall flower.
Winner: Daphne

Least Conflicted About Her Gender
Daphne: Wholeheartedly embracing her feminine side.
Josephine: I sense some resistance here.
Winner: Daphne

Best at Collecting All the Marbles
Daphne: blows it big time.
Josephine: brings home the bacon
Winner: Josephine

Looks Like a Dead Heat!
Final Tally

It's a close contest all the way and there is no predicting whose nose will cross that finish line first. But, no matter which of these divas you prefer, it's a sure thing that each is a winner and that, when they are together, we are the real winners!

This is my entry in the Dueling Divas Blogothon, hosted by Backlots. Click here for the full list and wonderful posts about all of those dueling cinematic divas! Happy reading and watch out for those claws!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS... (movie-wise, that is)

In the spirit of the season, here are some Christmas wishes for some movie-folks who might need a helping hand from Santa. 

Santa, do your stuff!

I wish for Scarlett and Rhett to find their way back to one another.
I wish for Citizen Kane's Mr. Bernstein to meet that girl in the white dress.
I fervently wish Mrs. Danvers does NOT find any matches at Manderley while the master and his missus are out.
I wish for Rick to get his letter of transit and meet up with Ilsa in Paris after the war. All will be forgiven.
I wish for Norma Desmond to make Salome and that's it's a big, mega- hit.
I wish for Rocky Sullivan to get a last minute pardon from the Governor.
I wish for Old Yeller to get a rabies shot.
I wish for Tony Randall to get Doris Day just once!
I wish for Margo Channing to beat Eve Harrington out for a Tony, an Oscar and an Emmy - all in the same year!
I wish for Irene Dunne/Deborah Kerr to look both ways before rushing to the top of the Empire State Building.

Oh yes - and I wish for world peace.
And - to you, Dear Reader, may Santa leave your heart's desire in your stocking, under the tree or any place else where you can find it!