Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Frankie in various forms

The name Frankenstein evokes all sorts of images, for my lost lover it was the Bride - reciting every word and giving out various details, rumors and factoids the film took on a life of its the last few seconds as the Bride reacts to love - he found incredible delight and intense concentration for those last few frames. The Bride of Frankenstein was filmed in 1935 by Director James Whale, starring the elegant Elsa Lanchester (who you might most remember as a quirky guest star in various TV shows, but who's career was eclectic emphasizing her amazing talent) and Ernest Thesiger as the infamous Dr. Pretorius. Its classic, tempered and so tightly edited as not to waist your time. Beautiful in its story, sets and poignant in its use of light and framing. Certainly fun to watch but also intriguing to study. 

Recent to video stores is the latest example of the monster, Frankenweenie. Celebrating the innocence and camp of the Franken legacy, director / writer / stop motion connoisseur Tim Burton has revamped a childhood dream into a touching, humorous and thoughtful film. Not exactly a child friendly film, its dark tones blended with a sad and slow format may not be suitable for younger viewers. Those of a certain age, however, will find certain references to childhood quite touching. Using everything around the house, including Marx army figures and mom's muffin pan give a glimpse into a future filmmakers way of seeing the world.  

This writing is dedicated to that film junkie who watched the Bride beyond 100 times, who would have watched it a hundred more and who would have adored  Frankenweenie - although he certainly would have wanted the 'monster' to be a cat instead of a dog. We would have argued that point with delight. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Film Chat

          What I wanted more than anything ..was someone I could talk to about film connect on a level of knowledge and insight into the workings of passion and words expressed as movement and shadows. When I found him, it was like dreaming. It was like finding Mr. Rochester or the master of Manderley not just on the page of my imagination but in a spooky realism found only on film. Yet, here it was in real life. Moody, sullen, brilliant and charming. He kept me off balance and felt like home. All at the same time lovingly reachable and carefully distant. Wounded from experience and hopeful with good nature. 
           We talked for hours about films, television and popular culture. We filled in places of interest and levels of experience in layers like a homemade lasagna. It was the small things like holding hands in the grocery store, a child like excitement at garage sales, and the same intense study of movies that helped create our bond. Films we had seen many times before, the startling lust for a lamp, a suit coat, a movement across the room and what music added or distracted from the mood, all of which caused arguments and built a relationship. 
            I've always railed against a certain type of love story...hated with a passion,"City of Angels", "Titanic" and "The English Patient" ...and now it makes sense why they always struck me wrong, felt like bad mojo.... like these ill fated conquests ours does not have a live happily ever after ending. 
           Yes, I am lucky - to have loved so vividly, to have shared an intense almost rabid affection for stories told on the big screen, even at this late part of life I am lucky. I would not have missed it for anything....but its also sad, horrifying, frightening and still doesn't seem right. In a quick 3 years, he changed me. Changed the course of my life more than I can express in words. 
            I have tried to restart this blog, in fits and starts I've begun to watch films again. All I can do now is try - to celebrate what he brought to me by using it to enhance the chat over coffee about the thing that brought us together.