Thursday, September 20, 2007

Watch the Monitor

Is it just me, or has the TV news gotten ridiculous once again. Such a hyperactive sense of uber drama, and at every turn there's a snub or a hint to incite anger. What to do you say.. well, turn off the TV and Watch The Monitor. Recently a movie starring O.J. Simpson, Richard Burton, Lee Marvin and Linda Evans has gotten popular. The Klansman, created in 1974 is not what I'd call great cinema, but it is quite interesting from a historical perspective. The film also has some bizarre ironies with today's news cycle, most are disturbing but a bunch of these synchronous snippets are just funny. By the way - Linda Evans filmed the famous Evel Knievel wipe-out at Caesar's palace. You see, John Derek got the nod to film the jump, and at the time Linda Evans was Derek's girlfriend (or wife.. not sure)... and she did the camera work on this job for John Derek. You can watch that jump if like, it's in part 4 of the Evel Knievel movie.

I recently felt compelled to watch a few more Renoir movies - after noting the similarities between Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night and Renoir's Rules of the Game. Jean Renoir was one of the greats in early film, yet unfortunately, most Americans are clueless to his genius. He was the son of Auguste Renoir, the impressionist painter whose works sell at auction for millions and millions of dollars. Well, Jean Renoir his son was also brilliant. I bet that was interesting, being the son of a reknowned painter. But Jean chose a new medium to excel in - film. Another Jean Renoir gem is titled Grand Illusion - a wonderful film about the bitter futility of war and its effect on population, especially families. Finally, you can also check out Boudu Saved from Drowning, a terrific film about class, conformity, freedom and loving. Boudu is played by Michel Simon, who at the time was called the French Charlie Chaplin.