Monday, February 20, 2012

John Gielgud as Tieresias in "Oedipus the King"

Time for a link of quality: one of the really, really great scenes of Western Literature.   King Oedipus confronts the terrible truth about who he is, embodied in the person of the blind prophet Tieresias, played beautifully here by an 81 year old John Gielgud.

 From a 1985 BBC production of Sophocles with Michael Pennington in the title role. You can watch the whole play in 12 parts here:

 part 1.
 part 2.
 part 3.
 part 4.
 part 5.
 part 6.
 part 7.
 part 8.
 part 9.
 part 10.
 part 11.
 part 12.

This post isn't quite finished.  I'll be back to fill in some information, fix the hiccup in the playback,  and make the links more linky.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hogan's Heroes orgy fantasy from "Autofocus"

Valentines Day is over!
"Autofocus" is the 2002 movie about the murder of 1960s Sitcom Star and and sex addict Bob Crane. Ebert and Roeper liked it, but I always think about the great documentary they could have made for a tenth of the money, and it irks me. This silly (but awesomely silly) fantasy scene, right out of an old episode of thirtysomething, is a great example of why docudramas are generally a pile of shit.
The ending is lame, by the way. John Carpenter (played by Willem Dafoe) was acquitted of Crane's murder, so the film can't really finger him, but it does anyway, in a candyass way, since if Carpenter isn't the perp, the last two hours have been completely irrelevant. Plus Crane sort of suggests that Carpenter was the guy in one of those beyond-the-grave voiceovers that seemed pretty edgy when William Holden did it sixty years ago in Sunset Boulevard.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Charlie Chaplin in "City Lights" (1931)

Since I don't have a date for Valentine's Day, I was going to post something stupid and cynical like "Psychos in Love" or The J. Geil's Band's "Love Stinks", but instead I relented and posted the most romantic movie I could think of.

Chaplin actually shot this movie as a silent film during the sound era, and released it with music he wrote hmself. A tramp falls in love with a blind girl and sacrifices everything to bring her... vision! You have to watch it to the end. It's considered one of the best endings in movie history.

A great restored version. With Russian subtitles, so you can watch it with your mail-order bride.

The Black Belles "What Can I Do?"

I love these ladies so much, it makes me want to cry 96 tears.

Elvira, mistress of the night, had the good taste to make this her theme music.

Finally, the time has come for the Daily Embed to be daily for real. More or less.