Classic Movies Not Always B&W

I haven't always liked classic old movies, but it seems the older I get, the more I do. The day I wrote this was a snowy, blustery day, I'd been watching them on the Turner Classic movie station (TCM). It started with "On the Town", a corny musical with Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Jules Munshin as three sailors who dock in New York City and proceed to "do" the town and meet some pretty ladies, all of whom sing and dance and say corny lines and make corny dance moves and the more I watched, the more I could appreciate the corniness, the dance steps, the music and think about the times the movie was made in. I"d never heard of Jules Munshin before and wondered why his name was unfamiliar, even though he'd played such a significant role in such a famous movie.

Two actresses singing the song, "For the Boy I left Behind". The blond in the pink pj's that look like long underwear, shows her nipples. Never, in a 1940's movie, but there it is. The PJ's themselves very unusual for the time. 1945 movie, Tonight and Every Nigh, takes place in a seedy old music hall, which never misses a performance even at the height of the "blitz" a previously unknown movie to me..another strange thing that caught my attention...a young German dancer is auditioning for the show which I assume is a German show made for the enjoyment of the Allies. He is dancing to the "tune" of Hitler's voice and the roaring sound of the audience cheering him on and it ends with the dancer doing the Heil Hitler sign. It gave me the chills and as far as the movie was concerned, it had no significance, well, it did contine the plot. OMG, the color in this movie was spectacular, at times too spectacular...a little to red in the face.The film was used as a Technicolor vehicle for Rita Hayworth after her success with Cover Girl. The Blitz...London was burning, but the show must go on.


I finally saw Amour  at the movies yesterday (it's only playing at a few theaters in NJ; we caught it at the South Orange Clearview Cinemas). I had read much about it, so was prepared to have a ton of strong, sad feelings. For most of the movie, I did feel deeply, but the extraordinarily and tortuous slow pace of the movie, conflicted a bit with emotion and overall appreciation. Then something happened that left me feeling, well, nothing. The movie went to my head and left my heart. For those who haven't seen it yet and plan on it, consider this a "spoiler alert". After the husband smothers his wife with the pillow (which I found as a huge relief), from that point on, I did not understand clearly what the rest of the movie meant. For example, what was the reason for cutting off the heads of the stemmed flowers into the sink of water? My friend suggested it was akin to what the Hindus do with flowers in water after death. But, there was no religiosity up to that point in the film. When he taped up the door, which door was it? I thought it to be the bedroom door, in order to hide the smell of a putrefying body. My friend said it was the front door. But then, why? I didn't get that he also killed himself. My fellow movie goer said that he put on the gas to do so. That never occurred to me. When the daughter comes in at the end, I expected her to call for her parents, before I realized that she must have known already that they were dead (I thought it was only the mother, however). Of course, I remember how the movie started with the police coming into the house, with hands up to their noses and some wearing masks over their mouths and noses. Again, I read this as means against putrefaction. One may get the idea that I have a smell obsession, and this is true. Still, I think it was the movie itself that led me to these conclusions, not my funk fixation. My co-movie viewer said it was the gas, and that's why they opened the window. One last point, about the pigeon that twice got into the apartment. The second time, when he threw the blanket over the bird, I expected him to throw his body over it, as he had his wife. I thought that somehow killing the bird in that "gentle" way, would give him some solace. The real point here is not the details, but that because it became confusing for me, I only thought about it and I no longer felt anything. For me, this was a mistake on the writer's and director's part.  A movie so important about growing old, family and mostly about love itself and how powerful love can be, should not leave the viewer thinking. It should leave the viewer “feeling” as it did through most of it’s long, sometimes tortuous, 120 minutes.