Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesdays with Cary Grant - Destination Tokyo

In honor of Memorial Day -

"Clair de Lune" - Start you right at the beginning

Chapter 12 - Cassandra falls in love with Simon while listening to Claude Debussy.

From page 217:
"Simon walked along with the candle, looking for the Debussy albums.

"I suppose we ought to start you right at the beginning," he said, "but I don't believe we have anything from "The Children's Corner." I'll try "Clair de Lune" on you - and I bet you'll find you know it."

He was right - as soon as it began I remembered; a girl once played it at a school concert. It is beautiful - and the gramophone was amazing ..."

Do you recognize it? It is used in a lot of movie scores.

Play the sample or download the free MP3.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Scoatney Hall is the "new" Netherfield Park

“Did you think of anything when Miss Marcy said Scoatney Hall was being re-opened? I thought of the beginning of Pride and Prejudice – where Mrs. Bennett says ‘Netherfield Park is let at last.’
          And then Mr. Bennett goes over to call on the rich new owner.” [Rose]
“Mr. Bennett didn’t owe him any rent,” I said.  [Cassandra]
“Father wouldn’t go anyway." [Rose]

Monday, May 23, 2011

Which would be nicest? Smidgen of Austen or Bronte

In Chapter 2 (page 24):
[Rose] "How I wish I lived in a Jane Austen novel!"
[Cassandra] I said I'd rather be in a Charlotte Bronte.
[Rose] "Which would be nicest - Jane with a touch of Charlotte, or Charlotte with a touch of Jane?"

What do you think? 80% Austen and 20% Bronte?

I have NO clue. I have never read any of the Bronte sisters' works (unless I blocked them from high school memories). I am adding them to my TBR list. I have quite a referenced list of literature to read from this book (see I am Grigg!). SMH.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 
As You Like It (The New Folger Library Shakespeare) by William Shakespeare
Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen
What Maisie Knew (Penguin Classics) by Henry James
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
War and Peace (Wordsworth Classics) (Wadsworth Collection) by Leo Tolstoy
The Letters of Abelard and Heloise by Peter Abelard and Heloise
Vanity Fair (Barnes & Noble Classics) by William Makepeace Thackeray
A la recherche du temps perdu (French Edition) by Marcel Proust
The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales (Signet Classics) by Edgar Allan Poe

Debussy: Images 1 & 2; Children's Corner by Claude Debussy
Clair De Lune by Claude Debussy
Preludes, Book 1: No. 10. La cathedrale engloutie by Claude Debussy
Préludes, Book 2: 7. La terrasse des audiences au clair de lune by Claude Debussy
Sheep May Safely Graze by Bach

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Capture the Castle

Scribble Title: I Capture the Castle
Author: Dodie Smith (also author of 101 Dalmatians)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Paperback: 352 pages
Original Publish: 1948
Genre: Fiction (diary)
Description: From the cover of the green paperback:
"I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months to hone her writing skills She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her  journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pins her final entry, she has "captured the castle" - and the heart of the reader - in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments."

"This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met."--J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series
"Dreamy and funny . . . an odd, shimmering timelessness clings to its pages. A thousand and one cheers for its reissue. A+"--Entertainment Weekly

"I Capture the Castle is finally back in print. It should be welcomed with a bouquet of roses and a brass band. Ever since I was handed a tattered copy years ago with the recommendation 'You'll love it,' it has been one of my favorite novels."--Susan Isaacs

"It is an occasion worth celebrating when a sparkling novel, a work of wit, irony, and feeling is brought back into print after an absence of many years. So uncork the champagne for I Capture the Castle."--Los Angeles Times

"A delicious, compulsively readable novel about young love and its vicissitudes. What fun!"--Erica Jong

Flick Title: I Capture the Castle
Actors: Marc Blucas, Rose Byrne, Henry Thomas, Tara Fitzgerald, Romola Garai, Bill Nighy
Rated: R
Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD Release Date: December 23, 2003
Run Time: 113 minutes

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sir Mix Alot's legacy lives on ... "Baby Got Leads"

Just because it cracks me up ...

HubSpot's original song and music video, "Baby Got Leads," about a rapping marketer's obsession with lead conversion and inbound marketing.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Milk + Honey. Be sure to check it out.

Pass the word ...

Asha May, together with her mentor Debbie Allen, Idris Elba and Lance Gross have created an excellent TV series Milk + Honey. Idris and the Brown Paper Dolls company (Chicagoans and Howard U, FAMU & Spelman, grads Dana Gills, Asha Kamali May, and Jeanette McDuffie) have been working on this series for
over 3 years. The show was created to showcase diverse images of women of color that are rarely seen on the big or small screen, and also to create more opportunities for black actors.

milk + honey series trailer from brown paper dolls on Vimeo.

Didn't I See You Before Friday?

In His Girl Friday (1940), Bruce Baldwin is about to lose his girl to the conniving newspaper editor, Walter Burns.

Throughout the movie I kept thinking that Baldwin looked and sounded familiar. However, I could not put my finger on it. Toward the middle of the movie, Burns (Cary Grant) gives Evangeline* (Marion Martin - see Sinners in Paradise, Lady of Burlesque: The G-String Murders, Angel on My Shoulder) directions to help her identify Baldwin to prank. Burns (Grant) says, "He looks like Ralph Bellamy."  I scribbled down a note to look up Ralph Bellamy.

Lo and behold, guess who played the character Bruce Baldwin? None other than Ralph Bellamy. So of course Bruce Baldwin looks like Bellamy. LOL!

Why did Bellamy seem so familiar to me? I knew him as the character Randolph Duke from the movies Trading Places (1983) and Coming to America  (1988). Ralph Bellamy had an extremely long career!

* Evangeline was Louie's blond associate; also referenced as "the albino" by Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mr Media Interviews Dolen Perkins-Valdez, novelist, WENCH

Check out Mr. Media Interviews with Dolen Perkins-Valdez on her book.

In this interview, Perkins-Valdez discusses striking a balance between upsetting the reader and romantizing the situation (black female slave - white male owner relationships).

Do you think that she was able to achieve this balance?

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Awful Truth: Scandalous relatives can mess up your game

The Awful Truth: Scandalous relatives can mess up your game.

Just ask Elizabeth Bennet (Pride And Prejudice) or Jerry Warriner (The Awful Truth). There's is nothing like a relative making a bad impression.

In this scene, Jerry Warriner's soon-to-be ex-wife, Lucy (Irene Dunne), pretends to be his drunken sister in order to undermine his relationship with his fiancee and her family. It is my favorite scene in The Awful Truth. Lucy Warriner's dialogue is priceless! Samples:

"Saa-ayy, wait a minute. Don't anybody leave this room. I've lost my purse."

"I had three or four [drinks] before I got here, but they're beginning to wear off, and you know how that is. [Lucy to Jerry] Well, don't look at me like that. You like a little drink yourself. We call him him 'Jerry the Nipper.' He likes to sneak 'em when nobody's looking."

"[Singing] I used to dream about a cottage small, a cottage small by a waterfall, but I wound up with no home at all, my dreams have gone with the wind."

"I never could do that."

posted on YouTube by

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"The Awful Truth" is awfully funny!

In Leo McCarey's 1937 screwball comedy, The Awful Truth, unresolved suspicions of affairs lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings. During the 60 days before the finalization of the divorce, the spouses try to undermine each other's attempts remarry.


Next week - His Girl Friday

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Awful Truth: I'm addicted to screwball comedies.

I am addicted to screwball comedies. There. I said it. Step 1 on the road to recovery.
  1. I admit I am powerless over screwball comedies—that my movie queue has become unmanageable.
See, what had happened was .... it all started with the Thin Man series ... though some would argue that it is not true screwball .... whateva.

Then I saw Bringing Up Baby which led to His Girl Friday and The Awful Truth (I ♥ Cary Grant). All of which I found odd, but captivating.

After comparing the movie descriptions, I realized that they were considered screwball comedies. To me, a screwball comedy is somewhere between a farce and a romantic comedy. And at times, kinda like sophisticated slapstick.

"What goes on?" I don't normally like slapstickish movies. I must admit that I am not really sure what keeps me watching screwball comedies. They are like train wrecks. I know what's doing to happen, but I cannot look away.  Perhaps it is the combination of:
  • Clever fast-paced dialog
  • Reversal of traditional gender roles
  • Comedy of error (I was paying attention in literature class)
  • A ridiculous/unpredictable situation
  • A smidgen of slapstick

Now my movie queue is all backed up. I must watch all of the other screwball comedies. I cannot help myself. Crack (slapstick) is wack. I know. I know.

Do you like (err ... love) screwball comedies?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thoughts on "Evenings with Cary Grant"

My Review

I wasn't expecting to like Evenings With Cary Grant: Recollections in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best so much. I cannot think of a lovelier "biography." To be honest, it is less of a biography and more like a collage of an amazing life as told by Grant and those who knew him (guided by Nancy Nelson's narrative hand). With a forward by Barbara (Grant's wife) and Jennifer (Grant's daughter), the book has an air of credibility that you don't often find with celebrity biographies.

A charming, troubled, generous, witty, stylish and talented actor, the "real" Cary Grant seems even more likable after finishing the book (if you can imagine that). It's rare to find a movie star that has such appeal with both men and women. The book makes you wonder what your life story would read like as told by the words you left behind and those who knew you.

Many thanks to Nancy Nelson for enabling me to snuggle up with Cary Grant for a couple of evenings. "Happy Thoughts!"

I am curious to see what the books of Grant's daughter Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant and his ex-wife (Dyan Cannon) Dear Cary: A Memoir have to add.

Happy Birthday Audrey Hepburn!

Which of her movies is your favorite?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Out Today: Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant

Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant by Jennifer Grant

Also check out "Cary Grant: Debonair dad" from @CBSNews "Jennifer Grant writes of her cherished childhood and the iconic Hollywood star who gave up acting to raise his only daughter"