Archive for the ‘Cinema’ Tag


So these two friends of Dorothy’s came across one Caitlyn Jenner, and one said to the other ” Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!”


Chavez was so anti-American, and to think Simon Bolivar’s brother Sunset became a successful rancher in southern California, where they even named a street after him. 




So where’s George?


I don’t know, said his ex. I haven’t got a Clooney!


The Great Dictator

Even comedy has to be credible within its own confines and Charlie Chaplin’s final sermon on the mount at a kwatsch Nuremburg Nazi political rally didn’t really match this standard. His final and otherwise laudable soliloquy was not only clearly inherent in the earlier scenes of his own cinematic creation, it was totally unbelievable in its context.

Still this movie was a courageous masterpiece of relevant, urgent political parody and satire of a type no longer matched by anything coming out of Hollywood. Produced in 1940, before the worst of the horrors about the holocaust became known, it presaged the acts of a tragically laughable man prominently holding office in Germany at that very moment and making The Great Dictator a film of sublime timing. Political satire at this level well and truly gone, nobody able to mount a tin pot Mussolini like this, when we have an idiot like Chavez parading around, nobody seeing the parallels between Italy’s Premier tycoon and the tycoon Ayatollahs of Tehran, running ‘sacred’ business empires from behind their tragicomic sideshows and all not so secretly wanting to be Emperor of the World. Or the portrayal of Clinton’s ridiculous, obsessive sexual escapades not rising above the shallow, vulgar level of Saturday Night television treatment.

I saw Chaplin’s film in French on the bilingual French/German Arte channel yesterday, thoroughly enjoying his priceless characterizations, explosive ironies and innovative slapstick. It is said Hitler saw the movie twice, but to see himself replaced by a little Jewish barber as his unmistakable doppelganger, must have sent him into yet another rage and may even have doubled his efforts to wipe out Europe’s Jewry. Chaplin saying that had he known the horrible truth about this man, a thousand times worse than what he could have imagined in 1940, he would never have made the film. One doesn’t joke around with deliberate agony of this magnitude, ever!

So here’s my New Year’s wish, besides wishing you all good health and prosperity, see The Great Dictator and than look around the world, pretending it’s 1940, and maybe we can all do something about our planetary situation.

Truth & Lies

“It’s all a misunderstanding,” Leni Riefenstahl admitted. “I only had a mad crush on Adèle Fitler.”

Sure honey! And busy blowing bubbles, not Goebbels!


If you hadn’t let him in, I wouldn’t have slept with him!

(Arletty, the French actress, to her accusers, about having had a scandalous affair with a Nazi Luftwaffe general, in occupied Paris, during the the Second World War)

Nicholson’s Place

Oh come one, all Polanski wanted at forty-some…. was to lure, drug, rape and brutalise a child his own size.


A good film director must be a hypnotist: haven’t seen one since Hitch

Woody Allen Redux

The no longer inspired and thus uninspiring Almodóvar, and his muse Cruz (more like his mealticket) were up for the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this week, where both were shown the Front D’Or

Reel’s Real

The astonishing thing about Ship of Fools is that in real life and shortly afterwards all the main actors died under similar circumstances or of the same condition as the character they had played in this terrific movie. (Vivian Leigh a neurotic’s death, Oskar Werner a sudden, seemingly unprovoked heart-attack, Michael Dunn a quick dwarf’s demise, Simone Signoret a painful, lonely smoker’s leave, Lee Marvin boozing himself all the way to a cardiac spat). It’s a movie for the sadly disillusioned enacted by the ravaged. Still, they don’t make them like this anymore, despite certain historical inaccuracies in the story line.

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