Family Movies Music Too Long For Twitter

Nothing but Time by Metric, Video w/ Lyrics & Thirst Day Prep

EDITED with proper linkage. This is why I don’t get paid, folks. *deep curtsy*

My current earworm, hide the ad pop up for the lyrics, or scroll down and read them. (I know I share a lot of Metric songs, but I made sure, none have repeated. I don’t think 😉

And I’m speechless to say that my life is a damned embarrassment of riches, some days.
It’s so very humbling.
Thanks to all that keep my/our lives/life on the bright side.
Share love and life into the circle of love that surrounds you, and by Glob’s calculator, they will surround you, too.
It’s a big world, and I’m grateful that I was taught not to limit it, superficially (race, religion, gender identity, hair cut, boxers vs briefs).
My whole life, I’ve loved the idea of the melting pot, all of us coming together. But that’s not the reality.
I had to learn myself to limit the artificial, because it inevitably hides the darkest of depths that will cause harm to me and mine now that I’ve got a “delicate disposition” (GLOBDAMMIT.)
My heart aches for those lost from this existence, but they’ve made their mark on me, strengthening my empathy, teaching me that I’m worth loving and not to waste time on negativity. Love is all you need.

I’m currently focused on a project we are involved in thanks to our dear old PG. So many things I’m grateful to him for, but the Durham family is high on the list.

If you want info on the project, there’s this party tomorrow night, in Greenbelt, Md.No charge and you get to see James’ new indie short film, “Thirst.” Clicky linky for info on the Facebook Event page and pix that various folks on the cast and crew have been taking, including pix taken by me. It’s amped up my desire for my photo project in time for Balticon, but who knows? I’m still trying to get the anthology done.

#HowDidWeNeverSeeMetricTogether #SweetSixteen #SilverLinings #BecausePGH
 Anyways, the lyrics from AZ lyrics, as usual.

“Nothing But Time”

Steal once
Pay twiceAdvice to heed
I won’t
I mightAdvice to heed
Steal once
Pay twice

Advice to heed
I won’t
I might

Advice to heed
Steal once
Pay twice

Advice to heed
I won’t
I might

Advice to heed
Steal once
Pay twice

Advice to heed
I won’t
I might

(Advice to heed)

You always said that love was not enough
Always on the move

(Advice to heed)

And even though we long to shut it up
We could never choose

(Advice to heed)

Now we know there’s nothing awaiting us
Better than the truth

(Advice to heed)

I wanted to be part of something
I got nothing but time
So the future is mine

(Advice to heed)

I wanted to be part of something
I got nothing but time
So the future is mine

(Advice to heed)

I wanted to be part of something
I got nothing but time
So the future is mine

Friends Movies Too Long For Twitter

Spoilers, Sweetie – Guardians of the Galaxy and My Communication FAIL

I dunno if anyone else does this, but do you identify with anyone in Guardians of the Galaxy?

I see Naughty Bear as the Star Lord, partly because of facial similarity. (Yes, Star Lord is THAT handsome.)

That kind of thing. Do you do that? If so, who do you most identify with?

For brief reference, I tend to see movie team-ups broken down into the necessary gaming group requirements. Using City of Heroes MMORPG (RIP) as my examples:
a tank, a blaster, a controller, a healer, and a scrapper. (I may be missing a few and don’t know the City of Villains versions, but do you get what I mean?)

For myself, I am Groot. Because of his creaky body that could sometimes do cool stuff under extreme duress (and pay for it later, lol) , his limited speech (mine is self-limited due to neuro stuff) , his need to do other things that would cause him harm if it would save or help another to survive (oi, the bruises I came home with, lol.), my need to make circles around ones that I love and include sparklies was almost too much to bear at the theater, upon my second viewing. And so on, with my empath need to identify with an empathic character.

Also, after much self-examination, and what the last three weeks in August was, I find I was dropping my filter for brevity in urgent moments and then almost disappearing as I “translated” (as Pamela then called it).

I am having difficulty filtering now. It started over the summer. And in August it was ripped off my face. There was no choice. I have less tolerance for bullshit, and I don’t mean that in a judgmental way. I mean it in a physical condition impacting way.

Emotional stress triggers physical stress in my f***** up body.

When you add the lowered filtering, which LITERALLY only appears to be working on a fairly good level when I’m around kids, to the many many many many communication difficulties I was having at times, which many people can attest to (sadly), what I was putting in the public stream sounds to be gibberish and scared some friends, I may as well have been simply saying “I Am Groot.”

For that I am both sorry and humbly grateful for your concern.

#FuckCancer #BecausePGH

Anti-Health Movies Podcast Too Long For Twitter

Quick Review of Gravity + Link to Vidcast Discussion


I saw Gravity in IMAX 3D specifically for a Google Hangout with friends where we planned to geek out on it and other stuff. I highly recommend it in that format if you can swing the funds. I have been (I know, I know, I brought it on myself.) spinny and nauseous since about 5 minutes into the trailers (that was hours ago. *burp*) with a migraine bearing down, but it’s totally worth it. If you can’t swing the funds, please, see it on the big screen however you can. I think it really matters on this one. 

The giant wall of blackness and silence in the theaters as you feel like you sit amongst the stars. I caught myself at one exciting moment having to force my hands to stay down, so strong was my urge to reach for hands of the actors as they swung around in space, desperately seeking purchase. The movie immediately immerses you into what truly is (as expected) a breath-taking movie with a beautiful story.

Seriously, beautiful. There’s no feel of a “Wouldn’t that be cool visually? Yeah, let’s write a script to explain THAT.” I just hadn’t heard about the emotional punches to the throat, other than those expected by knowing the premise from the trailer. But, WOW. I finally like Clooney again and Bullock outdoes anything I think I’ve ever seen her in. And I’ve seen a lot of them (fan girl). She is amazing in what must have been a solitary and physically taxing role, and her face frequently made me forget that behind her there were sights of Earth and space that should have held my attention over anything else. 

Take tissues – you have been warned. Your mileage may vary, but this movie was heartbreaking for me and I want no bitchin’ later. 

Per minute entertainment may have been pricier for the IMAX 3D price tag since it’s only 90-ish minutes, but we also saw the Ender’s Game trailer, standard, (which is coming out on our 10th anniversary!)
The Hobbit:2 trailer (in 3D) with a December release date. And I don’t feel cheated either. I’m just super glad the Furlough ended so we could finally expend the funds to see it. Don’t get me started on the furlough… 😉

If you’d like to hear a lengthy discussion, where Chooch, some friends and I attempt a Spoiler-Free(-ish) chat, followed by a Spoiler-Rich segment, check out the following deets:

WARNING: I say attempt, because we’re not vetting each phrase and sometimes we realize too late that we’re in Spoiler-Rich territory. No bitching, you’ve been warned.

For the vidcast, you can catch it now at the SpecFicMedia YouTube channel.

If you’re audio ‘cast only, then there will be a wait as the audio gets spiffied up for posting, but you can grab previous episodes (this was number 10) at the site, in iTunes or whatever witchcraft you use for your RSS goodness.


Review: Wreck It, Ralph

Run, don’t walk, to the theater if:
You liked Scott Pilgrim and/or wished there was a movie like it for your ankle biters;
You like video games;
You like CGI movies;
You enjoy a good story of redemption with a shocking number of moments viewed through teary eyes;
You like fun;
You dislike not fun.

Admittedly, we missed the first few moments, but I don’t feel like we missed much. It was a surprisingly rich story, with many familiar faces (from the video game world) and familiar voices.
My hands down fave surprise? Jane Lynch’s performance. Perfect casting and perfect performance.

My goose-bump inducing fave moment? Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz. I refuse to try and describe her other than as a cross between Housie’s daughters, Feral Dancer and Tiny Expert. Which, if you’ve never met them, would equal AWESOME!

I loved this movie, the soundtrack, the casting, the performances, everything.

AFI's Top 100 Movies Chooch

The Wild Bunch, #79 on AFI’s Top 100 Films List


I have now attempted to watch this film twice and cannot make it through. My husband agrees and wouldn’t even give it another try.

There is actually nothing that compels me to finish the movie. I feel nothing for the characters or the story. I understand what is happening, I just don’t care enough to finish it.

I’m saddened because I intended to watch every single movie from beginning to end, but cannot expend any more of the rarest of all commodities – time – into this film.

I give the following as explanation for this movie being on the AFI list:

From Wikipedia:
The Wild Bunch is a 1969 American Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah[1] about an aging outlaw gang on the Texas-Mexico border, trying to exist in the changing “modern” world of 1913.

The Wild Bunch is noted for intricate, multi-angle editing, using normal and slow motion images, a revolutionary cinema technique in 1969. The writing of Green, Peckinpah, and Roy N. Sickner was nominated for a best-screenplay Academy Award; Jerry Fielding’s music was nominated for Best Original Score; Peckinpah was nominated for an Outstanding Directorial Achievement award by the Directors Guild of America; and cinematographer Lucien Ballard won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography.[2]

In 1999, the U.S. National Film Registry selected it for preservation in the Library of Congress as culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant. The film was ranked 80th in the American Film Institute’s 100 best American films, and the 69th most thrilling film.[3] In 2008, the AFI revealed its “10 Top 10” of the best ten films in ten genres: The Wild Bunch ranked as the sixth-best Western.[4][5]


Back to Netflix it goes, as I eagerly await the arrival of Modern Times, my first full-length Charlie Chaplin movie!

While I wait for the post office to bring on the goodness, I will definitely be checking out Christiana and Mike’s discussion on The Wild Bunch as they are always able to find and appreciate things I miss. I guess it’s a damned good thing they are doing a podcast and not me!

AFI's Top 100 Movies

The Apartment, #80 on AFI’s List

The Apartment, 1960

Director: Billy Wilder

Writers: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond

Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray

Jack Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter, one worker in thousands at an insurance company trying to work his way up the ladder. Shirley MacLaine plays Fran Kubelik the elevator operator. Knowing this movie was filmed over fifty years ago, I was still mesmerized by the youth and beauty of both MacLaine and Lemmon. But more importantly, their acting chops are just as strong as they are in later movies, and both actors utterly compelling in their performances.

He’s a really nice guy, but besides being a highly efficient and responsible employee, he’s trying to achieve executive status by lending out his apartment to executives in his office for their extra marital affairs. He finds himself in various difficult situations because of it.

There are some differences in some social aspects, not surprisingly, from current day morals. One is that when Baxter is asking Kubelik out on a date, he tells her he knows everything about her because he looked up her personal information in the insurance files. He knew her address, birthday, social security number. She thought it was funny. We thought he was a stalker.

The other was that when a married executive fires an ex-lover because she told his current lover about their relationship. He was very frank about why he was firing her and had no fear of legal retribution. She did get even, but not by pursuing sexual harassment or appealing the job loss.

The movie suddenly takes a serious turn and is absolutely mesmerizing. I absolutely loved the ending, when it seemed that we were going to get a cliche ending and didn’t with my favorite response EVAR to a character being told “I love you.”

Fran simply says, “Shut up and deal,” while playing a card game with Baxter when he confesses his love for her.

It’s a completely charming film with a blunt view of affairs, sexuality and the appetites of powerful men taking full advantage of their place in life. I am sad that the vast majority of women in the film seem to be drunken bimbos, other than the absolutely charming balance of goodness of MacLaine’s Fran and the apartment’s neighbor-wife. There was not a lot of depth given to either, and all the female characters fulfilled a cliche, but for its time that is not a surprise.

While no where near my favorite movie on the list, it’s solidly in the middle and I enjoyed it immensely.

Dizzy Family Mom Movies Our Kids

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 (No Spoilers)

I will touch only lightly on the movie itself, as it just opened today and don’t want to spoil anyone else’s experience.

It was everything I hoped for, and save for a nitpick by my niece afterward that I agree with, it was perfection. We saw it in 3-D, even though I knew it would likely bring on the spins. I was, but it was worth it. Chooch said he didn’t feel 3-D added much, and maybe it’s my condition, but I noticed constant use of it to more fully immerse the viewers in the story. In hindsight, he thought maybe that’s the difference between good and bad 3-D, it’s not in your face, so to speak, like (my example) the old SCTV “3D House of Pancakes” skit. It was subtle and masterfully done in my opinion. Yes, I was extremely dizzy afterward, with nausea and a returning migraine. But I’m glad we sprang for it. It may be the last time I’ll have the chance to see Harry in 3D on the big screen, after all.

Watching the actors grow and develop their skills along with these beloved characters over the eight movies depicting this beautifully written but very dark children’s series has been bittersweet. I was amazed at the acting chops they demonstrated, and in fact the entire cast truly brought their A-game. I hope to see it again before it leaves the theaters, at least one more time, so I can more fully enjoy each and every nuance.

I will say this is not a film for young children or those with sensitive dispositions. As in the books, terrible things happen. I won’t go into it, but will instead point you to a SPOILER FILLED review written by my favorite kid review site, Kids In Mind. The site offers reviews based on a numerical score for nudity, violence/gore, and profanity. It then lists every scene in which each of these occur with description. I’ve used it for years, and have never found error with their reviews. In a quick reading of the Deathly Hallows 2 review, I find the descriptions to be wholly accurate. I highly recommend that you spoil yourself, if you are considering taking young ones to see it. There are things that can be unseen, and if you’ve not read the books you owe it to your kid(s) to know what they’ll be seeing to make an informed decision on their behalf. /steps off soapbox/

Now for the real reason for the post, to describe the journey. Christmas of 1999, my son Naughty Bear was given the book series (up to that point , 3 books) by both grandmothers, and the first book by an aunt. We’d not heard of the series, but all three of these wonderful women sensed that NB would love it. We split the difference, keeping one book from each of the sets given. He tried reading it, but at 8 couldn’t really sink his teeth into it. That spring, his dad left me and the boys and I moved in with my parents as I was an unemployed, stay-home Mom of two. While trying to find our way in our new life, we reached for J.K. Rowling’s magical world. Instead of him reading the books alone, I read the Sorcerer’s Stone aloud to him. LT was 4 and had little to no interest other than being in the room with us and sharing this special time, and played around us or snuggled with us as his mood warranted.

We enjoyed the book, but we were hooked when Fred and George entered the story. The light-hearted shenanigans they brought to the story where the turning point for NB, and we then read with gusto as quickly as I could. I then read the next book to him, and when my voice would give out he would read sections aloud to me. This was how we finished the books available to that point, and eagerly awaited book 4. We were transfixed by this world, full of loss, new friendships and the transformative new life little Harry found.

That Halloween, my Mom hosted a Harry Potter Halloween party for the family and close friends. My dad set out the Christmas light reindeer made to look like a unicorn with a pool of blue lights at its feet as if it were in front of a lake, taking a drink. My former sister-in-law and family friend made an ornate cardboard front for the door, making it look like stonework with a Hogwart’s shield on it. We set up a wand making station, and held a scavenger hunt for the Goblet of Fire that nearly ended in disaster as the kids thought one of the clues led to my Mom’s actual cat. We served theme foods (Mad Eye Moody deviled eggs comes to mind) and had Jelly Bellies since Bernie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans were not yet available. Everyone came in costume, even the 3 month old baby in the sorting hat costume made by his mom. My Mother went as Madame Pomfrey and handed out chocolate coins to the children all night for their “restorative powers.” It was an amazing night, that I think shows a small amount of the way that my family embraced that world.

When the movies started coming out, for the first few I played hooky with Mark and my folks to go see them on opening day. Yep, if his grades were good, and they always were, I pulled him out of school to go to the movies. Judge me all you like, it was one of the few irresponsible choices I made, and I stand by them to this day.

So when this one came out, and my boys are actually here to see it with me (Thank God for the timing), we turned it into a big family event. We met at my brother’s house at 11 pm, as it’s 4 minutes from the theater. Chaos ensued, as it always does with us, and we headed off to the theater at 11:15. By the time we got there, we couldn’t get seats together. I expected that we wouldn’t all 9 have seats together, but I had expected to sit together in small groups. Nope. We had to settle for solo viewings, save LT and his cousin, who I was able to finally get seated together. It was highly stressful as they either over sold, or more likely, had people sneak in from other theaters. I finally managed to get everyone a seat, then almost lost mine as I ran to get drinks before the movie started. Luckily, my seat was next to an adorable couple, aged around 16 years old. They had wands and great excitement, and he saw what I was dealing with and guarded my seat with vigor, as did Chooch who was seated behind me.

Side note: The trailer for The Dark Knight actually has me wanting to see it now. The snippet with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) sold me completely. That man remains one of my favorite actors. The Sherlock Holmes trailer resulted in “meh,” but the trailer for John Carter looked pretty cool. The Twilight trailer for the upcoming movie, brought immediate booing and laughter at the dramatic scenes. Apparently, Bella and Edward are fairly despised, but Jacob is adored. The only cheering that happened was when he was shown, and the rest of the trailer was mocked. I was really surprised to find that there seemed to be a rivalry between the two franchises. I’ve never had interest in that series and know only what people have told me, so was shocked at the reaction. These Rowling loyalists don’t seem to dig the sparkly vampires one bit!

Once the movie started, cheering began and I saw people raise their wands at the screen in excitement. At different points during the movie, there was heartfelt cheering, uproarious laughter, total silence, gasping and a great sense of unity. At the end of the movie, some then raised their wands saying “Mischief managed.” I get goosebumps again thinking about it.

I’m extremely grateful that I did not re-read the last book as I had intended. There were things completely forgotten, and when they happened I was as shocked as if I had never read the books. It was a total and complete roller coaster ride.  I’m happy to say that my adoration of the tale was not from blind devotion, but rather true appreciation for what I find to be a rich and beautiful world filled with joy and pain, just like our own world.

As is true with the Lord of the Rings, my favorite characters are not the “heroes” of the story. Samwyse stole my heart there, and Neville Longbottom has had his name in my heart since, hm… The third book? Maybe the fourth. He, Luna and Snape are by far my favorites, although Mrs. Weaseley is right up there as well, especially after this installment.

The family gathered after the end of the movie and we excitedly shared our favorite parts and utter amazement at what an amazing experience it had been. It was bittersweet, knowing that this part of that experience is over even as I’m happy to finally have seen the final movie. As I expressed last night in Twitter, I’m very grateful that Ms. Rowling put pen to paper to such exquisite result. The impact on my life and that of my family has been huge and unexpectedly extraordinary.

Thank you, Ms. Rowling, from the bottom of my over-flowing heart containers.

AFI's Top 100 Movies Chooch Movies

Spartacus – Number 81 on the AFI Top 100 Movies

Spartacus, 1960

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Writers: Dalton Trumbo (screenplay), Howard Fast (novel)

Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, Tony Curtis  and Jean Simmons

Overture and opening credits: You definitely get that they were trying to imbue a sense of grandeur and majesty, which usually makes me roll my eyes. Because I know the reputation of this movie, it’s probably well-deserved, so I only half-rolled my eyes.

In this film, Spartacus is a slave and is openly rebellious, as he demonstrates by hamstringing a guard that’s beating him by cutting into the tendon with his teeth. That my friends, is what you call A Bad Ass. He’s sold to a gladiator school for training, with the intent of selling him to win or die in the arena.

He develops friendships (or tries) to, and because of his success is given a female slave to enjoy. He is struck by her beauty and fragility and gently touches her skin and hair, admitting he’d never had a woman before. He’s incredibly smitten and she appears confused at what I’m sure is a completely different meeting than she usually gets.

They are then mocked by voyeur Batiatus which enrages Spartacus, causing him to shout, “I’m not an animal!”

“Neither am I,” Varinia says quietly. This is the first hint that although she is submissive, Spartacus isn’t the only one with some rebellion in him.

The training montage was more interesting than most. How do you train men to fight to the death when you only care a little if they live or die? You have them on a training machine with huge swords attached to give greater motivation to doing well, I suppose.

Burgeoning love growing between Varinia and Spartacus is believable and touching, and how I imagine it may have been a common development in the slave communities throughout history.

As two sets of gladiators at the school are forced to fight to the death, the guard says to those in the spectator box, “Those who are about to die salute you.” I thought I misheard until I saw it repeated with the second set of gladiators.

During that fight, Draba refused to kill Spartacus and instead attacked the spectators. This was quite surprising since he had refused to exchange names or befriend the other gladiators-in-training  since they would likely face each other in battle one day. The implication was that he would kill anyone he was put in the arena with, and did not want to make friends with any of them. In hindsight, it seems that Draba was trying to steel himself to be able to kill another in battle so tried to keep a distance, which he was unable to do.

The honorable Draba’s body was hung as an example to the others, “He’ll hang there til he rots” said the head guard and all-around meanie. All the slaves hung their heads as they passed by, but this instead seemed to  haunt and motivate Spartacus, and ended up being a big fat mistake on Batiatus’ part.

Evil politician Crassus said to Antonius as he was washing his back in the giant tub, “My taste includes both snails and oysters.” Because of the conversation surrounding that statement, this was only a veiled reference since it was literally spoken behind a veil. Crassus seemed very disappointed when Antonius took that moment to escape.Confession time:
Notes were abandoned after this as I became completely caught up in the movie. Yes, this movie. I’ve dodged it for decades, and it is magnificent. Here are my thoughts after watching:

The complete and utter love and devotion that Spartacus inspired was compelling and well-deserved.

The moment when he kills Antoninus (Tony Curtis) is particularly poignant as they are forced to fight to the death knowing that that victor will be crucified. They fiercely battle to kill the other, only because each wants to save the other from the agony of dying slowly in the heat without food or water while nailed to a cross. Spartacus wins, and you can see it takes all that is left of him as he believes all the people he loves to be dead.

Happily, in a traumatizing and devastatingly bittersweet turn, in the very last scene he sees his wife Varinia after she is freed with their son. She introduces him, and then begs him to let himself die. *ouch*

I remain glad that I avoided this movie until now, as I don’t know that I would have given it as much attention were I not convalescing from the wonderful weekend. All of the performances were perfection, I don’t have a criticism about any point in this movie.

It should also be noted that Kirk Douglas’ physique is insanely ripped in this movie. Insane!

My favorite thing about this movie is having discovered Jean Simmons. In the moment when she was reunited with Spartacus after separately freeing themselves, I found her to be exquisitely joyful and captivating. Her performance was perfection, and I am now picking through her movies and adding them to my Netflix queue. The list is long, and includes How to Make An American Quilt; Guys and Dolls with Brando and Sinatra; Hamlet, when she once again teamed with Olivier; and many other movies which landed her alongside Gregory Peck, Burt Lancaster and Cary Grant.

More recently, she was on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and did voice work for  Thru the Moebius Strip, (Shepway), Howl’s Moving Castle (Grandma Sophie in the English version), and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (Council Member #2).

I couldn’t find a photo of her from Spartacus, but have included this one from 1959.

She had the kind of dark-haired ethereal beauty that I find similar to Audrey Hepburn, with a sprinkle of Vivian Leigh.
Shame on me for not having discovered her sooner. She was so very talented!

Next on the AFI list: The Apartment, also from 1960. I have faint recollections of this one, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, so am guessing I saw all or most of it at some point.

Chooch Cool Links / Clicky Linky Movies Too Long For Twitter

Sixteen Candles for Valentine’s Day

I’d planned on giving a review of the documentary Don’t You Forget About Me after watching it with Chooch this past weekend. It’s about John Hughes and his effect on film makers, actors and audiences over the last 20 plus years. If you’re a fan of his movies, I highly recommend you watch it, as I think you may be as surprised as I was just how many other folks feel still warm and fuzzy over his movies. Particularly his “teen movies” in which you got the feeling that he really got what high school was like. He was an adult and he hadn’t lost touch with what it was like being a teenager, and that is a rare thing, even today. The really surprising thing, was the number of teenagers in this 2009 film that felt the same way I did, but over 20 years later.

In a strange twist of fate, I discovered a special return to the big screen of my own personal favorite of John Hughes’ catalog. Twenty-seven years after its original release, Sixteen Candles will be shown on Sunday, February 13 and Monday, February 14 at 7pm in limited release at AMC theaters. No, really! Here’s the link to the press release!

I’m ecstatic over this and hope that the shows sell out early. I can think of no better message to send to Hollywood as we are inundated with reboots of beloved movies. This classic cannot be improved upon, in my humble opinion, and I can’t wait to sit in a darkened theater with others just as excited as I am to see it again on the big screen. If you want to see it, I’m providing the AMC Theater link for you to search your location.

Ya know, there really should be a “squee” font for things like this…

AFI's Top 100 Movies Movies

A Review of “Sunrise” (AFI Top 100 #82)

This movie was released in 1927, and while it is easily the oldest movie I’ve ever seen it’s not the oldest movie on the AFI Top 100 Movies list. Since it’s almost 84 years old, I’ll not worry about spoilers. Consider yourself warned.

The description is precisely accurate, “A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife.” Yup, that’s what happens. Slatternly is my new favorite word by the way, so consider yourself warned.

Along with womanly wiles, as hubby accused her of using against the simple Farmer, the City Woman briefly performs a bizarre and herky-jerky dance that had her “girls” flying around. This is apparently what finally convince him to go along with her plan for him to murder his wife, sell the farm and move to “the City” with her. Clearly, the Farmer is imbalanced as he attacks the City Woman when she suggests the murder, then later moves to kill his wife, then acts threateningly to a man in the barbershop, then attempts to choke the City Woman to death. The only time he does not stop himself is the last time, when he only stops because he is interrupted with the news that his wife survived a near-drowning during a storm. Can you say irony?

The actors in this silent film do a wonderful job of expressing their emotions and inner struggles, and the director does an equally spectacular job showing us what is going on beyond the action. For instance, the ghost images of the City Woman as the Farmer is trying to decide whether or not to kill his wife beautifully convey both his imbalance and inner conflict.

Yes, some of the more emotional scenes are over-acted, but that is to be expected in a silent film much the same as theater actors must exaggerate their movements more than film actors to convey the scene because of the distance from the action to the audience.

We watched Side A, which was the “Movietone Release.” Side B was the “European Silent Version.” We compared the two briefly, and the only two differences appear to be that the text cards are in English or German (?) and the European version has music and effects over the opening credits while the Movietone version does not.

What I learned from this movie? A plate of bread does not heal all pain. At least, not in this movie. Had it been made after the low-carb/no-carb diet craze, the Farmer may have won his wife back even earlier.

1929 Academy AwardsÂŽ
  • Best Actress: Janet Gaynor (Farmers Wife)
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Art Direction nominee

The next movie is Spartacus, which is another movie I’ve been avoiding.