Film Friday: Before Sunset

I’m happy to welcome Arlinda to Literary, etc! She’s guest blogging today and she’s here to review her favorite film, Before Sunset.


beforesunsetIt all started with a random conversation with a complete stranger on a train. Nine years later they are reunited by the book Jesse wrote about his night with Celine. Upon the success of his novel, Jesse embarks on a promotional tour in Europe with the last stop in Paris. It is at the infamous Shakespeare and Company bookstore where he at long last runs into Celine. She walks in. She’s listening to him ramble on about a book he wants to write and then he sees her. For a moment you can feel the tension and the connection and the realization that this is the person they’ve both been waiting for. This movie takes us on a physical and emotional journey seeking to understand and “capture what it means to really meet somebody [and] make that connection.” Throughout the film Celine and Jesse maintain a playful yet serious conversation. Their conversation is engaging and you experience a genuine sense of intimacy–breaking down their life contemplation to the smallest details. Their discussions range from life, politics, sex, love, romantic idealism, and relationships. Yet at the root of their issues they seek validation from one another. They want to know everything they experienced that one night meant as much to the other as it did to them. The highlight if the film for me is when each character breaks down in the car. There’s so much pent up frustration and hurt and an animosity for this life they could have had together. All the words they needed to vocalize are being said; there was more connecting between these two than a one night stand. I was a real connection and a powerful one.

This entire movie takes the viewer on a walk around Paris. Its highly intimate and personal.

Below are a couple of my favorite clips:


This clip is when Celine breaks down


This clip is when Jesse breaks down and Celine reaches out to touch him and pulls away

This final clip is at the end of the film and Celine sings a song at Jesse’s request

After she finishes she turns up Nina Simone’s Song Just In Time, she’s dancing around mimicking Nina Simone and says to Jesse “Baby, you’re going to miss that plane.” And he smiles and says “I know.”

Film Friday: Pure Country

This week’s Film Friday is a little late because I wanted to combine it with a wrap up of the George Strait concert I attended last night. I wanted to post this after the concert, but I got home way too late and all I wanted was sleep.

I grew up with country music in the house and my parents really enjoyed George Strait. When my father heard this year was going to be George’s last tour, he decided to purchase tickets.

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Walking into the venue was crazy since there were over 15,000 people present and even though we got there late we still had to wait in line for over twenty minutes. We made our way down to our seats and noticed people sitting there. Turns out someone was sitting in their seats and they decided to take ours. I dislike it when people do this. Do me a favor and get an usher if someone is sitting in your assigned seats I wanted to say. A few minutes later it was straighted out and by then Martina McBride was on stage (she was the opening act). She sang for a little over an hour and I joked about how whose concert she forgot it was. LOL! During intermission they played a video of George’s career. Ah tears in my eyes at this point since this was his goodbye tour. George took the stage about twenty minutes after McBride and he got a standing ovation. The concert was a basically a chronology of his career and he played a lot of songs he use to sing when he played at bars back before he signed his record deal. He was very humble and would take a bow after each song. He brought out McBride for two duets and then he brought up a wounded warrior to tell him he’s getting a house along with a few other items and a job as a thank you for serving his country. Afterwards he played a few more songs and he took his final bow. Tears when he began with Troubadour.

Song highlights:
The Fireman, Amarillo By Morning, Marina del Rey, The Chair, Blame It On Mexico, Ocean Front Property, and Troubadour.

Wish he had sung: Does Ft Worth Ever Cross Your Mind, Fool Hearted Memory, I Just Want To Dance With You, Write This Down, and Ace In The Hole.

As George takes his final bows and thanks his fans, it is the fans who have to thank him. He said we got him through a lot of hard times, but he’s easily helped us as well even if it’s to forget a few things in life. Thank you, George.

So for this week’s film, I chose his 1992 film, Pure Country. He’s not the best actor, but it is a cute film.

Pure Country (1992)
Superstar Dusty Chandler (Strait) is tired of the smoke, the strobe lights and the overmiked sound of his arena spectaculars. One night, something snaps. “I’m just going to take a little walk,” Dusty says as he walks out of the empty hall, ditching his beard, ponytail – and temporarily, his career – to reclaim his down-home country roots. But his manager (Leslie Ann Warren) retaliates: a stand-in (Kyle Chandler) lip-synchs his songs in concert. And a romance with a lovely rancher (Isabel Glasser) is on again, off again like a rodeo cowboy. The simple life can be complex, but it’s nothing a revitalized country boy can’t handle!

Film Friday: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

This past Tuesday was Tennessee Williams’ birthday and what better way to honor the memory of a great American playwright, than to feature one of his adaptations. I debated over which film to showcase, but decided on Cat on a Hot Roof because Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman deliver outstanding performances.

Maggie: You know what I feel like? I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof.
Brick: Then jump off the roof, Maggie. Jump off it. Cats jump off roofs and land uninjured. Do it. Jump.
Maggie: Jump where? Into what?

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Film Friday: The Bridges of Madison County

I haven’t read the book, but I adore the film!  The scene in the rain where Robert is waiting for Francesca gets me all worked up with tears and I keep saying, “go, go, go,” and when the scene is over I’m just an emotional mess.

Francesca: I had thoughts about him I hardly knew what to do with, and he read every one. Whatever I wanted, he gave himself up to, and in that moment everything I knew to be true about myself was gone. I was acting like another woman, yet I was more myself than ever before.

 

The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
Photographer Robert Kincaid wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson, for four days in the 1960s.

Film Friday: Her Majesty Mrs. Brown

We’re back with Film Friday and this time, it’s Her Majesty Mrs. Brown. It stars Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Billy Connolly as her Scottish servant, John Brown. PBS has a wonderful article about the making of the film.

Her Majesty Mrs. Brown (1997)
Queen Victoria is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Brown, who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but that relationship creates scandalous situation and is likely to lead to monarchy crisis.

Film Friday: A League of Their Own

One of my favorite films growing up was A League of Their Own. It stars Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, and Lori Petty. The film is a fictionalized account of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. The league operated from 1943 to 1954.

Lavonne “Pepper” Paire-Davis played 10 seasons with the league and was the inspiration for the character portrayed by Geena Davis in the 1992 film. Ms. Paire-Davis died earlier this month at the age of 88.

Davis, who was known as Pepper Paire in her playing days, entered the league in 1944, the year after it was formed by Philip W. Wrigley, the chewing-gum magnate and owner of the Chicago Cubs. Wrigley had worried that World War II would deplete professional baseball of male players and force it to fold. That never happened, but his women’s pro league became popular anyway, and Davis became one of its most enduring players.

Playing catcher as well as shortstop and third base, she won pennants with all but the Millerettes, and her 400 career runs batted in tie her for fourth in league history. In 1950, she drove in 70 runs in 110 games for the Chicks. – New York Times Obituary.

He loves me, he loves me not

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is romance. My list consists couples from history, literature, television and film. A little of everything. Who’s on your list?

Abelard_and_HeloiseAbelard and Heloise
Nothing screams true love forever than letting your lover’s family castrate you. Abelard heard how well read Heloise was and persuaded her uncle Fulbert to meet her. He realized she was beautiful and quite intelligent too. When they become lovers, her uncle finds out and they both flee to his sister’s house where she later gives birth to their child. They secretly marry despite Heloise refusing to marry him (she believed marriage would ruin his career prospects). Her uncle publicly announces the marriage, but she denies it and goes to a convent at Abelard’s urging. Fearing his niece has been cast aside, Fulbert castrates him. The lovers never see each other again, but over the course of twenty years, exchanged passionate love letters.

03B2LAPOLA2Policarpa “La Pola” Salavarrieta and Alejo Sabaraín (La Pola)
No one can confirm if these two were indeed lovers, but evidence suggests that they were. In the telenovela, they meet as children and fall in love, but Alejo is told she died of a fever and when they meet as adults, he’s shocked to see her alive. Although he’s engaged to someone else, he pledges his love and urges her to run away with him, but she refuses wanting to do things correctly. Soon she’s involved in the war effort to free New Granada from Spain. He reluctantly gets involved and in the end, they are both arrested for treason. It’s been rumored, as they both stood to be shot (she opted for that sentence saying she wasn’t a coward) he turned and said to her, “It has been an honor to love you and even more so to die with you.”

maya_raj_caminho_indiasMaya and Raj (Caminho das Indias)
When I first started to watch India, I really wanted Maya to be with her one true love Bahuan, but he was an “untouchable” and her family had already arranged her marriage to Raj. Raj was in love with someone else too, but she was a foreigner. He and Maya make the best of things and she’s thrown out of his house when he finds out his son isn’t his. Meanwhile Bahuan tries to get Maya to leave Raj, but she refuses saying she owes her husband respect. Raj is angry at Maya and later he realizes he still loves her. He goes in search for her because at this point she’s living as a cast off and apologizes. The series ends with her walking hand in hand with him and they come across Bahuan’s wedding and he says to her, “I hope they live a beautiful love like ours.”

150307706284419415_g0CEIpkA_cClark Gable and Carole Lombard
Ah the love story for these two ended way too soon. They met when they were both married to other people, but a few years later they announced they would marry; no date was set and Gable just picked up Lombard one day and drove off to get married (the lovers didn’t think they would ever marry because Gable’s wife refused on several occasions to sign divorce papers, but she relented). The two often played jokes on each other and had nicknames for each other, “Ma” & “Pa.” One time Lombard bought a blow up doll and was in bed in with it to surprise Gable as a joke. When he arrived he made comment to the effect of, the doll better not be equipped bigger than him. LOL! Lombard became one of the first female casualties of World War II when her plane crashed outside Las Vegas. She was returning to LA after being on a Bond Tour. Gable was inconsolable and joined the war effort on her behalf and memory. When he died, he chose to be buried beside her.

Robin-Hood-and-Maid-Marian-walt-disneys-robin-hood-6386303-300-402Robin Hood and Maid Marian
What’s a hero without the fair maiden? Although versions of this tale portray Marian differently, she’s not really introduced as a love interest for Robin until sometime in the 16th century. She’s evolved as a character and each adaptation portrays her differently depending on the time period the tale is written. I’ve always been a fan of Marian as a noblewoman under the protection of King Richard, but I like the Marian who can fight for herself and isn’t afraid of a little adventure. I do have a favorite film adaptation of the Robin Hood tale and brace yourself it isn’t a popular version. I’m a fan of the Kevin Costner version. Blame it on the ten year in me who went and saw Prince of Thieves and just fell in love. Although I can’t resist Disney’s version.

phant093Christine and the Phantom (Phantom of the Opera)
Now I know what you’re thinking, but I’m basing this on the novel. In the novel, Christine does return to the lair to be with him and stays until he dies. Prior to that when he kidnaps her, he sets up the trap to kill everyone in the Opera house unless she agrees to marry him, but she refuses. When she realizes Raoul is trapped in the hot torture chamber, she agrees to marriage to save him and everyone at the Opera house. Erik then tries to drown Raoul, but Christine says no and promises not to kill herself if she marries him. He rescues him and the Persian. Afterwards, Erik is alone with Christine and he lifts his mask to kiss her forehead. He’s overcome with emotion because not even his own mother allowed him to touch her and Christine kisses him back. Having a change of heart, he lets Christine go on the condition that she return when he dies. She honors that promise and stays with him when his time comes near.

Wallis_Simpson_5Wallis Simpson and Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor
A king abdicating the throne for the woman he loves? Swoon! To be truthful, I’m not sure I would have wanted him to do that if I had been in Wallis’ shoes. Imagine if it never worked out, he’d be saying, “but I gave up my country for you!” Lucky for us it did work out despite the royals never warming up to her. I wish we knew more about Wallis and she’s such a mystery! I’m sure history hasn’t been kind to her story. We’ll never know 100% if both Wallis and Edward were Nazi sympathizers and if they were, I wonder if they ever changed their mind seeing the aftermath of the second World War.

Annex - Kerr, Deborah (An Affair to Remember)_01Nickie and Terry (An Affair to Remember)
If I learned anything from watching An Affair to Remember it was, sometimes promises aren’t kept and there’s a reason behind it. Nickie, played the handsome Cary Grant, is on a transatlantic ocean liner enroute to New York. He’s involved with someone and he meets Terry, played by Deborah Kerr. Through a series of meetings, the two of them quickly establish a friendship and soon Terry falls in love with him. Both agree to meet in six months time at the top of the Empire State Building if they have ended their relationships. Six months later, Terry is on her way to meet Nickie when tragedy strikes! She’s hit by a car and Nickie is unaware of the accident and believes she’s rejected him. Another six months pass and they see each other at the ballet and he doesn’t notice she’s in a wheelchair because she’s seated as he passes to say hello to her. Nickie’s still hurt that she rejected him and finds out her address. When he visits her, he tries to find out why she didn’t make the meeting, but she doesn’t address the issue. As he leaves he notices his painting on her wall and remembers what the shopkeeper told him, that he gave it to a woman in a wheelchair. He realizes why she didn’t keep the appointment and he embraces her as they both declare their love. :sigh:

00/00/1939. film "Gone with the wind" (Autant en emporte le vent) By Victor FlemingRhett and Scarlett (Gone With the Wind)
I first saw Gone With the Wind when I was five-years-old and fell hard for Rhett and Scarlett. Over the years, I’ve read the book on numerous occasions and watch the film at least twice a year. While it’s not your typical love story with a hero and heroine overcoming the odds to finally find happiness, it is a love story nevertheless. Haven’t we all dealt with unrequited love at some point in our lives? Sure in Scarlett’s case we know Ashley is leading her on as well as Melanie, but what of Rhett? Is she leading him on? My answer is always no because he’s fully aware of where she stands with regards to Ashley, but Rhett believes he can make Scarlett love him. Sadly Scarlett realizes too late of her love for Rhett and while he passionately declares that he doesn’t give a damn when she confesses, in my mind he does. I know in my version of the true ending, he comes back to find her at Tara and grovels at her feet because after all…tomorrow is another day.

prsbrockwc23Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth (Persuasion)
I love stories of separated lovers who meet up in the future. The unresolved conflict of will they or won’t they gets me all the time. Anne is young when she walks way from Wentworth and several years later, they meet again. She’s convinced he’s off to find a wife and all the signs point to that, while he quietly ignores her. Then tragedy strikes when Louisa Musgrove is hurt and Anne leaves to Bath. Later she comes across Wentworth’s sister who informs her of Louisa’s engagement and Anne’s heart dies a little thinking Wentworth is marrying her, but his sister confirms that is not the case. Wentworth comes to Bath and isn’t pleased to see another man courting Anne and the two of them become reacquainted. At the public room in Bath, Wentworth overhears Anne talking about men and women in love and he’s moved with what she has to say. He then proceeds to write the BEST love letter ever written in history (it’s true) and the two of them marry. Here’s the love letter and judge for yourself:

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in
F. W.