My Day with Kate

I have two favorite times of the year… February and August. Why? Because they are Oscar season and TCM’s annual special “Summer Under the Stars”. For any cinephile, these are the most appropriate times to love being a movie lover.

Yesterday, August 5, was Katharine Hepburn (my idol) day on TCM. I, being the slightly crazed Katharine Hepburn fan that I am, would have gladly spent the day watching the her movies that I have already seen a million times, once more. Just the essentials though ~ The Philadelphia Story, Little Women, Bringing Up Baby, The Lion in Winter, Women of the Year, Holiday… Etc.

Yet, my day of endless Katharine Hepburn movies is not how I spent my day with the great Kate. No, I had to go to a college open house yesterday but not just any open house, I went to Bryn Mawr College. How does this relate to my idol? Easy, that’s where she went to college.

The possibility of me getting into Bryn Mawr with my barely-breaking-1000 SAT score, is slim to none. And I realize this and I’ve accepted it. So the real reason why I went to Bryn Mawr was because it is the closest I will ever get to Katharine Hepburn without coming across stalkerish. (Can you even stalk a dead person)

So, there I was, walking on the campus where Katharine Hepburn once was and I recognized landmarks from pictures of her from her Bryn Mawr days. I was in cinephile heaven and I was really enjoying it too

… at least until the admissions lady messed up some Katharine Hepburn facts… She said that a Bryn Mawr graduate is the first and only American woman to ever win four academy awards… which is completely true but 1) she didn’t even bother to mention Hepburn’s name. She said something like “I’ll let you figure out who that was on your own” and 2) the way the lady phrased it really undermined Hepburn’s achievement as an actress. She made it seem like other people aside from Hepburn had accomplished the same feat and not just anyone… but an actor.

And this is what really frustrates me the most about people who diminish the importance of Hepburn’s work (and of other classic movie stars). I have gotten into some pretty heavy arguments about why someone such as Hilary Swank is a great actress and she is is GOOD (I’m not denying that). They usually say something along the lines of “Well, Hilary Swank won two academy awards in the span of of 5 years in two very diverse and difficult roles” I always respond, “Was it Hilary Swank that made the role or was it the role and the content of the part that made Hilary Swank good in it” Because, in my opinion, before you are ever considered to be an amazing actress or legend you have to prove yourself so much. Not just in film but on stage as well. If you look at Hilary Swank’s movie career, the movie’s she made in between her oscars are complete CRAP. So to me, she has not proven herself as a great actress.

I realize that no one can compare to Katharine Hepburn. Her work spanned six decades and every movie she made is decent if not great because it stars Katharine Hepburn. It only when someone tries to ignore or undermine any aspect of her career that I get mad. She made movies at a time when only a few years before women were essentially pretty faces and on top of that she refused to be that typical, airhead of a leading lady. And that’s why I idolize her.

Okay now that my tirade is over…. I ended my Katharine Hepburn day by watching Suddenly, Last Summer from 1959. In this movie, Hepburn plays a wealthy bitch who son died suddenly last summer with his cousin Catherine (played by Elizabeth Taylor) nearby. Catherine is so traumatized by what she saw, she goes insane. Hepburn’s character wishes for Catherine to receive a lobotomy to prevent the truth about her son’s horrible death from coming out. Once again, Hepburn is superb. She was nominated for her 8th Academy award as was Taylor. I really like it when Kate plays the bitch.

Yup, I am definently a Katharine Hepburn fan. Can you see why my parents don’t like it when I start discussing this stuff? I go on and on and on and on…..

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Review: March of the Penguins (2005)

In the harshest place on Earth, love finds a way…

It takes a lot to impress me at the movies and I speak for most people when I say that what I to know is why I just spent 10 dollars only to be mildly impressed. Seriously. The only two times I can really remember being completely enthralled at the movies was when I saw Million Dollar Baby in January and The Lion King when I was 5. This movie makes it three.

Now, my adventure to see March of the Penguins began when my big sis Kate told me showed me the preview on the web. Rarely do I anticipate any film, believing that I will only be disappointed if I expect too much, but because penguins are another one of my teeny tiny obsessions, I was excited for this movie. What made March of the Penguins so memorable was not only the film, but where I went to see it.

I spent four days last week with Kate in Washington D.C. and we wemt to see this movie, at the AFI Theater in Silver Spring.

March of the Penguins follows the Emperor penguins of Antarctica as they make an incredible and exhausting journey from the ocean to the place where they were born in order to mate and start their families. These penguins battle freezing winter storms, starvation, and sea lions all for the love of their babies. French film maker Luc Jacquet, and cinematographers Laurent Chalet and Jerome Maison, followed the Emperor penguins in their native habitat for the nine month mating season.

As I think about this documentary in retrospect, it does remind me of The Lion King. (Work with me on this one.) Aside from the obvious animal kingdom references and the notion of family, it brings an element to a film suitable for young children and that is the simple reminder that life is not easy and that not everything goes perfect. If I were seven or eight years old, the image of that cute and cuddly baby penguin frozen to death would forever be burned into my mind.

The film in the entirety is not depressing at all. In fact, it is a celebration of the animal kingdom’s ability to survive and outlast and how in certain ways the Emperor penguin, perhaps the most majestic bird on Earth, is like humans, searching for family and happiness. It is a breathtaking film that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who watches it. Believe me it is worth the 10 dollars to see in the theaters, unlike that latest Tom Cruise vehicle that shall remain nameless. And the added bonus is that you get to spend 80 minutes listening to narrator Morgan Freeman’s dreamy voice.

Welcome! A Brief Summary

I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and create a blog. But instead of making it about my life and what I do ( which is pretty nothing anyway), I’ve decided to make this blog about movies, whether if it’s a classic, current, foreign, or just really bad , I’ll talk about them. Reviews, opinions, grips whatever…

Here’s a little about me and my obsession with cinema… I watch movies, a lot of movies. That’s the easiest way to describe it. I’ve seen over 500 films, mostly in the last 2 years. It all started during Oscar time and my mom told me to watch two Katharine Hepburn movies (Bringing up Baby and The African Queen) and I was hooked. Its grown into this teeny tiny obsesson that I must share with anyone who will listen because my parents have banned me from speaking about movies to them ever again.

The one contribution I’ve made to the film industry aside from forcing the little girls I babysit to watch Bringing Up Baby, is the film program I created for my community. I host a weekly classic film series where I present a film that is considered to be amazing and orgasmic. It’s a lot of fun and plus I’ve bonded with the elderly.

That’s enough about me and my obsession. So sit back, fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy what I am going to try to bring to this little blog.