Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Video Stores of My Youth Part III

"You better not never tell nobody but God.  It'd kill your mammy."-Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)

"It's too late, Krueger.  I know the secret now...I take back every bit of energy I gave you."-Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, screenplay by Wes Craven) 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Video Stores of My Youth Part I

"Everything was beautiful at the ballet."
-Sheila, Bebe, and Maggie, A Chorus Line (1975, lyrics by Edward Kleban)

"Everything is temporary!" 
-Cosmo Castorini, Moonstruck (1987, screenplay by John Patrick Shanley)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My Los Angeles

When I first moved to Los Angeles I kept thinking over and over again about a Quentin Crisp quote from the documentary The Celluloid Closet.  He says that when his friend first came back to England from visiting the United States, he said "It's more like the movies than you would ever believe."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Studs of '70s Horror Part I

When people ask me what I love most about horror films, my answer is usually: "The character development."  I think that I see most horror films as character studies, no matter how thinly drawn the characters are.  I choose these studs of '70s horror not just for what they look like, but for who they are.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Looks of Crossing Delancey

For what seems like years, I have been saying that I want a blog so that I can do a tribute to the costumes and set design of Crossing Delancey (1988, Joan Micklin Silver).  So here, at last, it is.  Crossing Delancey was notable in my childhood because it was one of the few movies that my parents went to see without me in the theater.  It was also one of the few movies that they had a VHS copy of in my synagogue library (along with the other seminal Amy Irving masterpiece, Yentl).  I used to watch it over and over again and imagine that, one day, I would live in New York and my life would be exactly like that of the character Isabelle (played by Amy Irving).  This notion was solidified when I visited New York for the first time in the early 1990s, and it looked to me just like it did in Crossing Delancey: a sea of beautifully frizzy hair, shoulder pads, and cluttered bookstores (I ran into the same frizzy haired woman, and her tweedy husband, two nights in a row: once outside The Cinema Village, and once at the off-Broadway play How I Learned to Drive starring Molly Ringwald.  On some level I based many of my future fantasies on being that couple, and thought about them repeatedly over the years.  I imagined that they had pots hanging from the ceiling in their kitchen). 

A new beginning.

Having just watched a zillion Tyler Perry movies and episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show in preparation for writing a dissertation chapter, I am rewarding myself by writing the first entry of my new blog.