30 Day Film Challenge: Day 1

I just remembered at the last minute that I wanted to start this month long blogging project today. The 30 Day Film Challenge is relatively straight forward. For 30 days, you post pictures and clips that best represent 30 different characters: favorite movie, favorite director, favorite documentary, etc. (This is technically supposed to be something you share on Facebook. But I’ve never been one to follow the suggested guidelines.)

So here it begins with a few minutes to spare before the end of the day.

Day 1 – Your Favorite Movie

If you have read my blog for some time or follow me on Twitter or have randomly bumped into me in a deserted alley way, then you know that my absolute favorite movie is Bringing Up Baby.

The screwball comedy never fails to put a smile on my face. Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are at their best. (Although the supporting cast of characters gives them are run for their money.) It is the kind of sharp and witty movie I wish I could have written. It is the kind of movie that I wish were still made today. It is one of the few movies I have seen receive an overwhelmingly raucous response with people pointing at the screen and bursting out laughing during the wild final sequence unfolds. That is probably my favorite thing about Bringing Up Baby; it always makes the audience’s ride memorable.

The Katharine Hepburn Performances I Love

Today would be Katharine Hepburn’s birthday 104th. In honor of my favorite actress, here are clips from some of her performances I love and consistently watch.

Susan Vance – Bringing Up Baby (1939)

Rose Sayer – The African Queen (1951)

Terry Randall – Stage Door (1937)

Jane Hudson – Summertime (1955)

Tracy Lord – The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Continue reading “The Katharine Hepburn Performances I Love”

A Binary Day Top 10

Since it is October 10, 2010, I feel inspired to write some sort of top ten list. About what though, I’m wasn’t quite sure at first. I could, as my friend Kim, write about the top ten worst sequels. But that would require me to have seen certain sequels. I even considered writing about movies that have something to do with numbers. Of course, that means I would have to include A Beautiful Mind, a film I detest so that list just was not happening.

Then it dawned on me. This past week, I began going through my first blog posts and editing them. I’ve noticed, among other things, that my writing skills were horrible, my proofreading skills were lacking, and every movie was one of my favorites. I had a severe inability to dislike or critique anything. Today things are different. At least I hope four years of college and a Film Studies degree have noticeably improved the quality of this blog.

In the over five years since I have been a blogger, I have never written a definitive top ten list of my favorite movies. I’ve posted and commented on plenty of other movie lists but never my own. I have my reasons. “Joanna, what are your ten favorite movies?” is a question I hate to answer because it puts me on the spot to think of something creative and insightful. On top of that, my cinematic interests and thus my list is are always changing. What I loved years ago, I could rewatch and hate today. With all of this in mind, here it is. My top ten favorite movies and why I love them.
Continue reading “A Binary Day Top 10”

What I’m in the Mood For

As I was walking through the North End tonight, a song I haven’t listened to in ages popped on my iPod.

I prefer this version of “I can’t give you anything but love, Baby” to Doris Day’s faster, more upbeat version:

To me, this song isn’t necessarily a happy one. It’s more meloncholy. You would think, considering how many times I have seen Bringing Up Baby, I would feel otherwise. Just watch how the song is played and used at the end of this trailer.

In this instance, “I Can’t Give you Anything But Love” is anything but a sad, slow song. I have no idea what got me thinking like this about this song. The only way I can rationalize it is that I happened to be in the mood for Billie Holiday over anything else and the song that serendipitously played was the song from my favorite movie.

These are the unforgettable movie songs?

Every Top Ten list is subjective. It is a fact we know all too well but that still doesn’t stop us from arguing what are the greatest movies, songs, bands etc. of all-time. Which brings me to Spinner’s list of the 77 greatest movie songs. I agree with the majority of the songs featured on the list – not necessarily the order. I just don’t get what makes these songs “unforgettable.” (An EW.com blog post breaks down that very word here.)

My main complaint is that the earliest song selected is “Moon River” from 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Apparently before 1961 there was no such thing as an “unforgettable movie song.”

My personal Top Ten list of “the greatest movie songs” first includes staples such as Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” (Titanic 1995), Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me” (The Breakfast Club, 1985), and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” (The Graduate, 1967).

Then there are other favorites such as “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love Baby” from Bringing Up Baby:

“How Little We Know” from To Have and Have Not:

And easily my number one is “Que Sera Sera” from 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. More so than “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love Baby” or “How Little We Know,” this song is used brilliantly by Hitchcock during the film’s climactic sequence. Plus, it has a Doris Day performance and you can’t beat that. No wonder it won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1956.

For me, these three songs define “unforgettable movie song”, long before Celine ever even belted a note.