Friday, December 18, 2009

I Only Have Eyes For You

Another one for the romantics...

'I Only Have Eyes For You' by The Flamingos (featuring several of Natalie Wood's great film moments.)

This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

Home... it's where the fun is. 

Here's a little video I made for one of my favorite Talking Heads songs. Enjoy :-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Last of Sheila (1973)

Retro Active Critique #15

Directed by Herbert Ross, scripted by Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins, 'The Last of Sheila' is a snappy whodunit that's fun from the get-go. Each moment has bite and the teeth belong to the splendid cast, stand-outs being the brilliantly dry James Mason as the burnt-out director, the crackling and buzzing Dyan Cannon as a loud-mouth Hollywood agent, the dour yet dapper Richard Benjamin as a defeated screenwriter and the irrepressible James Coburn as the wild man, Clinton, who pulls all the strings for his little marionettes.

Rounding out the bunch (beautifully) are Racquel Welch, Ian McShane and Joan Hackett. The film is about several friends, their Hollywood trappings, a murder, a colossal yacht, a sadistic host and one heck of a game –– but it's all in good fun. Or so Clinton tells them.
'The Last of Sheila' is so refreshing and it boasts enormous talent, in terms of its writing, direction and performances. Yet it remains rather unknown. Of course, it is from 1973, which explains its being reviewed here 'Retro-Active'ly. A mystery about a mystery –– within a mystery. What a film! 

For me, this is one of the best –– perhaps because it matches my personal preferences on so many levels. But I recommend this gem to anyone who can find a copy (and fortunately, this one is available on DVD, unlike some previous Retro Active recommendations I've made :-))
Indeed, who doesn't love a good mystery? Particularly one that's this tautly-written with a good, healthy dose of psychology mixed in. Each character is fully fleshed out. But what's more, the story is immensely fun and engaging. Interactive, if you will. In other words, if you like to THINK, you'll be sure to enjoy yourself. 

As if that's not enticing enough, you'll also feel as if you are going along for the ride, having a mischievous time on board the yacht. The entire film is a mass of jovial entertainment, but it's worth watching if only to see the masterful James Mason in the final scene. And Dyan Cannon gives a strong performance, particularly in one scene after she nearly drowns and is brought back onto the boat.

I could rave about this one to no end. But I am not just being a cheerleader. I already feel the urge to revisit 'The Last of Sheila' again, as I write this, despite having watched it only a few days ago. That is how much I love it. 'The Last of Sheila' could be one of the most entertaining films you've never seen –– or heard about –– before.

Here is a preliminary viewing to get you started, made with several clips & the song 'Winds of Barcelona' by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jim & Pam ('Peace Frog')

Long before the TV Jim & Pam coupling came about in an office sitcom, there was the real-life (read, 'larger-than-life') Jim & Pam union in a rock & roll universe. (Didn't you know?)

"Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding. Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile egg-shell mind."

Here's a video I made for 'Peace Frog'. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tighten Up

Time to get your party boots on and tighten up!

Here's a video I made, with love, for the peppy hit by Archie Bell & The Drells.