Some gems you never heard of, some nuggets you haven’t seen and some jewels you forgot were so great!
Dear Mom, Love Cher, 2013
Director: P. David Ebersole
Producer: Todd Hughes
Stars: Georgia Holt, Cher, Georganne LaPiere
IF revamping the image of the octogenarian to sexy, smart and adventurous is on your mind
SEE Dear Mom, Love Cher showcase the talents of Cher’s mom who’s a singer in her own right, reviving songs from her own album made in 1980,
BECAUSE we need fresh stories for the late years of life – and Cher is still beautiful, still fun and loves her mother…
BTW if you gave Sonny Bono a lot of credit for lifting Cher to stardom, think again. Behind every great woman is another great woman!
The Fire Within, 1963
Filmmaker: Louis Malle
Writer: Pierre Drieu La Rochelle (novel)
Starring: Maurice Ronet, Lena Skeria, Yvonne Clech
IF you’ve been wondering about the “lost generation”, the survivors of WWI who delved into their souls, thrived on fleeting pleasures and found little to live for after the flame of youth faded…
SEE The Fire Within consume a man who, like Fitzgerald or Hemingway, flirts with being the darling of literary circles but falls in love with booze…and yields to grief.
BECAUSE when the fire goes out, the search for a match to light another day is a gripping tale of desperation more philosophical than inspirational.
BTW a wise man once said that the key to surviving the dark night of the soul is not to kill the body. Also, a bit of trivia, a young Jeanne Moreau plays a bit part.
Director: Sidney Lumet
Writer: Paddy Chayevsky
Stars: Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, William Holden, Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty
SEE Network predict the conversion of actual news coverage into hours of entertainment driven by popularity ratings and hailed by corporate profit.
BECAUSE news isn’t meant to relieve boredom; it’s meant to inform the public for an active role in democracy.
BTW Network won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay but not Best Picture.
Catch 22, 1970
Director: Mike Nichols
Writers: Joseph Heller (novel) Buck Henry (screenplay)
Stars: Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Orson Welles, Martin Sheen, Jon Voight, Art Garfunkel (need I go on?!)
SEE Catch 22 capture the hard hitting satire that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert reprise to ask audiences – just who’s telling the jokes?
BECAUSE it’s not an original thought that crazy can be sane, sane crazy but, as the only one who knows the difference, Yosarian says — best to keep one eye on who’s putting hands where and the other on escape!
BTW the book was not even considered good, the movie a fantasy farce and sheer lunacy that “will not be forgotten by those who can take it”. (NYTimes book review, Orville Prescott, 1961)
Some Like It Hot, 1959
Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon
IF you are one of the ones who like soup and sex hot,
SEE Some Like It Hot make a totally ‘politically correct’ comedic film in 1959,
BECAUSE Hot is Hot, especially when it’s Cool. The millionaire marries the woman he loves even when he discovers she’s a he!
BTW Amazing to see Marilyn turn IT on; she was the real deal.
The Killers, 1946
Director: Robert Siodmak
Writers: Anthony Veiller (screenplay), Ernest Hemingway (story)
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien
IF fast-paced film-noir flicks from the forties filled with ham-fisted flim-flam fit into your free-time,
SEE Burt Lancaster be both beauty and beast in The Killers; fallen fighter in the ring falls madly in love at first sight of Ava Gardner and fails so miserably at crime that he dies in the opening scene and goes on to steal every scene thereafter,
BECAUSE the palooka never wins but the guy who plays him becomes one of the greatest stars ever? (Good enough for Robert DeNiro – the palooka in Raging Bull took him to the top!)
BTW How do we forget? Film noir IS gorgeous and black and white glamour IS sultry.)
Black Narcissus, 1946
Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Writers: Rumer Golden (novel), Michael Powell
Cinematography: Jack Cardiff (Technicolor)
Stars: Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Kathleen Byron, Jean Simmons
SEE Black Narcissus turn painterly Technicolor techniques into an empathic invitation, begging you to join in on encounters of sly desire,
BECAUSE the power of Michael Powell’s mythic filmmaking drags religious order to the edge of the earth, literally, and drops it over, leaving no doubt that believable transcendence lives in rare air indeed.
BTW watch the filmmaking feature AFTER watching the film for a great surprise! And it’s not that Deborah Kerr is only 26, Jean Simmons 15. What you’ve been sure you’ve been experiencing is more imagination than you could guess.
Article Written by Dr. Jane Alexander Stewart
Newtopia staff writer Jane Alexander Stewart, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles who writes essays about mythic themes in film, creates “Myth in Film; Myth in Your Life” seminars for self-exploration and travels a lot. Her film reviews have been published in the San Francisco C.G. Jung Library Journal, Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture and Los Angeles Journal of Psychological Perspectives. Jane’s popular essay on “The Feminine Hero in The Silence of the Lambs” appears in the anthology, The Soul of Popular Culture, and in The Presence of the Feminine in Film as one of its authors. She’s also presented myth in film programs at Los Angeles County Museum, University of Alabama and C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. A collection of her reviews and other writing can be found at www.CinemaShrink.com.