Pretty Girl 05.31.12 - Courtney Henggeler


I've always said that there was nothing good about The Big Bang Theory.  Guess I was wrong.  Missy Cooper!

MVotD - Semisonic - Closing Time


It's always closing time somewhere... ;-j

If only I knew who I wanted to take me home...

Completely having kittens.. ..with Peter Frankenfeld



And again: Hello to a new issue of Completely having kittens at this little corner of blogland!


This is part of a meme hosted by Michelle @ THE TRUE BOOK ADDICT

Today I have a gentleman as my guest who is actually a German Telly legend and who is one of today's birthday boys: Peter Frankenfeld - the man who made the greatest TV-Shows and was famous for his chequered jackets. 




 He was the entertainer of German Telly since the 1950s to his early death at age 65 in 1979. 


After WWII - before his big career - he became an interpreter for American Government in Berlin.

When he married singer Lonny Kellner in 1956 (they stayed married until his death..)




his best man was boxer Max Schmeling


Well-- okay.. okay.. that's not what you came for.. 

You want a kitty? 

Here you have a kitty:

Peter Frankenfeld  - with a very little kitten..


*aaawwww* 

Thank you very much for listening!

Yours very, very well and truly

Irene


Flick of the Day: Badlands

One of cinema's true auteur's, Terrence Malick has directed 5 features in nearly 40 years as film-maker with a 20 year hiatus between his second film Days of Heaven in 1978 and 1998's WW2 epic The Thin Red Line for good measure. His work has a tendency toward emphasising the stark beauty of the natural world over the flawed nature of human beings and sparse dialogue. Today's flick of the day is his remarkably self assured début Badlands, based loosely on the 1958 murder spree of Charles Starkweather.
Narrated by Holly, played by a very young Sissy Spacek, a young girl who lives with her violent and overbearing father in small town America in the 1950s. One day she meets and ultimately falls in love with rebellious loner Kit, played by the always superb Martin Sheen. Her father, played by Warren Oates perhaps one of the terminally underrated actors of his generation, attempts to drive them apart so in a cold manner Kit shoots him and together the pair hit the road. As they cross the empty plains of the Dakota's, Holly narrates their story like some poetic love story while Kit leaves bodies in his wake everywhere they go. Holly's flowery narration is in stark contrast to the murderous Kit and the beautiful visuals of the American midwest. Eventually their murderous actions lead to a fitting denouement.
While the actions of Kit and Holly are dealt with in a casual manner, Malick is careful never to glamorise them or their predicament but there is no moral judgement. There is also no sensationalism which is something many directors would surely have surrendered themselves to. If anything the film is low-key in dealing with its murderous pair. Malick offers no explanation for their actions and it is tempting to believe from Sheen's bravura performance that it is out of boredom and adolescent ennui as anything else. 
Along with Malick's fantastic visual style, the real star of the film is Martin Sheen. His film is perfectly measured, capturing the studied attempt at James Dean rebellious cool that is Kit. Kit is so busy trying to look cool that he doesn't seem to have time to feel emotions like a normal being. Indeed his cold demeanour is chilling in its way just because of its banality and very much a counterpoint to the girlish naivety of Spacek's Holly. 
Badlands is Malick's best film perhaps because it manages to catch the right balance between the quiet beauty of his visual impulses and narrative tedium, something which could not be said for 2005's The New World, perhaps the dullest couple of hours I have spent in front of a screen. Made for less than $500,000 in 1973 after Malick had spent one year at film school it stands out today for its style, performances and elegiac beauty and as such is one of the defining films of its generation. 



I dare you, Irene Palfy!


Yes, this is a challenge to myself! By that I dare myself do write at least two film reviews a month - and one of them has to be an European film. And I hope I am strong enough to write about e.g. a German film though I know most of my followers won't even look at it - but maybe I will write just for myself then.. 

I think this might just be because it's summer and I am feeling like doing some exercises - though I can't use any of this town's swimming baths or gyms because everywhere I will meet customers - and I simply want to relax when I am exercising.. I think I need an exercise machine.. though why not exercising my brain on a machine.. 

I am curious about whether I can make it or I will tank with it.. 



We'll see.. and watch.. 

Thank you very much for listening

yours

Irene


The Kid with a Bike.


Samantha and Cyril search for his father.

We have reached the final film for this seasons Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre Film Club. It started back last September with a well-received showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and ended this week with The Kid with a Bike(2011). In between, the season has had its highs and lows. Each of us would no doubt have their favorites. My personnel top feature films would be The Skin I Live In (2011) Drive (2011)My Week with Marilyn (2011) Shame (2011)The Lady (2011)and Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (2011) My prize for the most original film would have to go to Johnny Daukes The Acts of Godfrey (2012), which was also the most enjoyable evening. We also had a selection of documentaries the two best in my humble opinion would have to be The Interrupters (2011) and Girl Model (2011). The best film of the season? We Need to talk About Kevin (2011) for which Tilda Swinton should have won an Academy Award for Best Actress and Lynn Ramsey for Best Director.


The angry boy in red.
Man of leisure Brendan Kearney was our host for the evening and opened his introduction with a question “what was Belgium best known for”, and it was probably not films, I thought chocolate which gave me food for thought. Apparently the country has two distinct languages, the Dutch speaking majority and the French-speaking minority and its cinema has been thriving. Audience attendance for local films, especially Dutch speaking releases have grown considerably.  When you look into this its quite surprising how often Belgium has been involved with many of the films I have seen including The Devils Double (2011) Potiche(2010) Ae Fond Kiss (2004) Amer (2009) Calvaire (2004) Days of Glory (2006) L’Enfant (The Child)(2005) Looking for Eric (2009) Outside the Law (2010) Private Property (2006) Seraphine (2008) and of course A Kid with a Bike (2011).

Let me say at the outset that the this film is nowhere near as sentimental as the poster would have you believe, in fact it could be a British social problem film from a director the like of Basil Dearden, Ken Loach (Kes 1969), Lynn Ramsey (Ratcatcher 1999) or even Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank 2009) to name but a few. 

Directed, produced and written by the Belgium born brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne their latest offering is accentually an unconditional love story about trust between the single young hairdresser Samantha and Cyril, a dejected young, tightly wound, pre-teen boy who has lost his mother, grandmother and has been abandoned to a children’s care home by his father who has also sold the boys beloved silver forked bicycle. Its when Cyril realises that his father has moved from the estate where they lived without leaving a forwarding address that things begin to turn nasty. Like a fairy godmother of old Samantha agrees to have the boy at her own home for weekends, helps him search for his father and buys back his bike. In the process she falls out with her boyfriend when he asks her to choose between him and the boy she chooses the rather wayward Cyril.

Certainly not a sentimental movie.

The film stars the very attractive Belgium actress Cecile de France as Samantha who you would of seen recently in Clint Eastwood’s 2010 supernatural drama Hereafter as well as many French movies including Switchblade Romance (2003) Singer (2006) Orchestra Seats (2006) A Secret (2007) and Mesrine (2008). In his debut feature film eleven-year-old Thomas Doret gives a very good performance as the vulnerable Cyril, certainly a name to watch out for. Cyril’s irresponsible father Guy is played by another well known Belgium actor Jeremie Renier (Potiche 2010, Summer Hours 2008 The Child 2005)

Cecile de France was the Dardenne's first choice for Samantha.

The Dardenne brothers have been quoted as wanting to make a film about a women who helps a boy emerge from the violence that holds him prisoner, change the word violence to anger and you have the film in a nutshell. They also for the first time combined the use of music to help the story unfold and a cracking straightforward naturalistic story it is, with no diversions, and no sub plots. Although, be warned gentleman, its another film where men are second bested by the female characters, Samantha, the Children’s Panel Chairperson and Guy’s boss, all seem better equipped to deal with ‘life’. A very good film choice to end our season and hopefully I will see you all in July for the Darren Conner Commemorative Evening.




All day long I thought of you..

Well.. not of YOU maybe.. though.. who knows.. no.. actually it was her:


Romy Schneider.


Exactely 30 years ago on May 29, 1982 she died at the age of 43. And when ever I wrote today's date down today (and I wrote it quite often) I was thinking of her.. She is one of my really favourite actresses ever. I know I use "favourite actress/actor" a lot - there are so many I like.. But there is a little "inner circle" of just a few.. A few of whom the most are a little dickey or have a little crack.. The broken and despaired.. ok.. let's leave that..

Back to Romy and me.. 

We met when we were very young.. she was a teenager and became Empress of Austria and married a really boring man (sorry, Mr. Böhm.. but: Franz Joseph wasn't the kind of guy I would go for..)


~ I hated and loved those SISSI-films..
- but I think I might write some posts about those films which made her a star in Germany later on..
  ~

 and I was a child and became obsessed with films.. - not because of her or her films - it was just that we met at the right moment - and the more I learnt about her troubles and fights the more we grew together.. She gave me a feeling of being ok even if all people around you expect things of you you do not want or are not able to do. A feeling of not beeing alone..




And for I found her not sooo breathtaking when she was young but just beautiful when she grew older I had the hope that maybe someday even I could be pretty.. a bit.. well thoughts of a caterpillar looking at a butterfly, I guess..

Since then we spent a lot of time together.. 

We cried together 




We were afraid together



We laughed together




We had a heck of a time - though she was dead already and all that was left were some shimmering images on film - but at some points I think: we all are merely some glimmer in another person's eye..

She was the best friend I never had - so:


Romy, I think I love you.

Yours 

Irene

Pretty Girl Update! - Lindsay Lohan




I much prefer this whore over, say, Paris Hilton.  All other whores should take note.

Beginners.


Movie wise we’ve come along way since Basil Dearden’s 1961 film Victim the first British film to use the word homosexual which got it banned in the USA. Many people are of the opinion that it played an influential role in both liberalising attitudes and the laws in Britain regarding same sex relationships.


Now, what was a controversial subject is now dealt with in lightweight romantic American comedies like 2010’s Beginners. Written and directed by Mike Mills and based on the true life coming out of his father at the grand age of 75, just five years before he passed away and at a time when he was supposed to be watching diluted age related films at the cinema! Basically a love story that centers around Oliver, a graphic designer, his deceased parents Hal and Georgina, his fathers much younger lover Andy, a French actress Anna with whom Oliver begins a love affair and a rather annoying Jack Russell called Arthur.   The film starts with the death of Hal and is told in flashbacks going back to when Oliver was a boy and from the time that his quirky repressed part Jewish mother died and his father declares his true sexuality after 45 years of ‘happy married life’ and spends the last years of his life finding himself.




Plummer's probably the best thing about this film.
Ewan McGregor plays the emotionally retarded Oliver, Christopher Plummer, who has been appearing in feature films since Sidney Lumet’s 1958 Stage Struck is Hal, a role that won him Best Supporting Actor in the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. French actress Melanie Laurent who will be familiar for appearances in such films as Days of Glory (2006), Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009) and the wonderful Le Concert (2009) is Anna.  A meaningful, rather sad love story with some subtle and gentle humour but a film that’s extremely slow at times. The younger members of my family thought it tedious and barely lasted halfway! Oh well can’t win them all.

Pretty Girl 05.29.12 - Ann Lux


When you're the sort of guy blessed with the talent to be a Major League third baseman (Will Middlebrooks), this is the childhood sweetheart that you eventually marry.  Cue the fairytale ending.

Start with a smile - Ann-Margret and a friend


Here to wish all of you a nice start into the week.. 

It's quite sunny here - so take care of your skin...

...and please - take care of your love-ones, too..


Thank you very much for listening!

Yours

Irene


Nikita.


Nikita.

A brilliant and pleasurable piece of nonsense from the great visual stylist of French cinema. Nikita (1990), now over twenty years old, still manages to provide a diverting couple of hours of action, humour and entertainment that has not dated one bit. Luc Besson’s Franco-Italian high-octane thriller involves a nihilistic punk whose life revolves around crime, drugs and violence. During a robbery of a chemist owned by the father of one of raiders Nikita kills a policeman. She is arrested and sentenced to death by lethal injection. When she awakes she thinks she has gone to heaven but is actually in a secret government institution that have faked her death with the intention of training her to be a deadly assassin for the French authorities.

Jean Reno gives a new meaning to an acid trip!

The ex Mrs. Besson Anne Parillaud plays what is probably her most famous role as the 1990’s version of Stieg Larssons Lisbeth Salander, Nikita. Turkish born French actor Tcheky Karyo is Bob the man that is tasked with training our slender heroine and famous French actor Jean-Hughes Anglade plays Marco the man who unknowingly falls in love with a female assassin. The most memorable role is the cameo played by regular Besson collaborator Jean Reno as Victor ‘The Cleaner” a larger than life Besson character. Well worth a revisit.

The original poster.