The Story of Film: An Odyssey
is a documentary in 15 parts
which documents the evolution of the medium from first steps of silent film to the present day multi-national blockbuster (trailer
). This amazing work is currently available on Netflix
, but will also be playing on TCM starting this month
(full schedule available at the bottom of this link
The best films of the decade
if the decade in question is 1900-1910.
I researched and put an infopiece together after recently learning of bile bears here on Metafilter
. Even as an animal professional, I was unaware of the existence of bile bears. Now I know: Bile Bears
are live moon bears
that are turned into living crated "bile kegs," the bear's bile being extracted by means of a surgically implanted tube and used to treat conditions as varied as gallstones, kidney disorder, and (of course) impotence. After the long-suffering bear dies, the creature's body parts are then sold off individually for further monetary gain.
Indeed, it is an appalling practice, but worse I learned the practice is spreading
, and in fact demand for bear products is now affecting the bear population of North America
, as North American bears are being illegally hunted and harvested
for their parts to be used domestically and abroad
in the preparation of traditional Chinese medicine
TCM is playing tribute this month to Archie Leach, better known to the world as Cary Grant
. The range of films, the types of roles, the co-stars. Makes you long for another era of american film-making. Of interest to you architect
types might be Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House
of 1948, with the fabulous Myrna Loy - whose 1947 film The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer partly occupies that special message place on my answering machine. Grant's films with Hitchcock - especially North by Northwest with its great fake FLW house and fantastic Saul Bass titles - Cukor, and Hawks are well worth searching out. Don't miss his final role - Walk Don't Run - a film set at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and itself a remake of The More the Merrier of 1943. Who said that Hollywood couldn't do remakes?
One of the most interesting items to come out of the TCM documentary is Cary's embracing LSD in the early pre-illegal tests of it.
Turner Classic Movies programs Harold Lloyd tribute.
I've seen stills from "Safety Last" for years, but have never been able to track down the movie. Is it as good as all the critics say? I'm looking forward to finding out.
What other old movies have you been wanting to see for years? (I keep meaning to get around to renting "The Bank Dick.")
Along the same lines, what do you wish would be available on VHS/DVD?
A good week for movie fans. Cronenberg
has a new movie in production (Spider
, with Gabriel Byrne as well as the cast listed). And TCM is running some interesting stuff on Thursday
has quite a reputation(s)). That's a complete (I think) retrospective of Tarkovsky Fridays throughout September, BTW.
One of the classier TV channels around has done a site re-design.
I think it's pretty neat, but it's a bit um flashy and so drags with a slower connection. I've been watching movies for over 30 years, but I'll still come across a gem on TCM now and then that I've never seen, or sometimes even heard of. They're running some more recent films lately too, like The Hudsucker Proxy
a few weeks ago.