Supernatural Sunday: The Uninvited

MV5BNWI2ZjljOTItZmEwNi00NjRjLWJhMWItYTkyOTNlMmI5OWFkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjUxODE0MDY@._V1_Often seen as a precursor to the modern horror/slasher film, Psycho is one of Hitchcock’s most known films among modern audiences. Shot in black and white after Hitchcock already used color and technicolor in previous films, Hitchcock made a deliberate choice that added to the atmosphere of the film. Most famous for the character of Norman Bates and the infamous shower scene, Psycho is has laid the ground work for many writers and directors in the suspense and horror genre.

After stealing money from her bosses client, Secretary Marion Craine runs off with the money. After ditching her old car in favor of her new one, Marion stops at The Bates Motel during a stormy night. This would be her biggest mistake. After her disappearance, Marion’s sister searches for her with the help of her sisters lover Sam Loomis and Private Detective Milton Arbogast.

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Using a television crew and a small budget, Psycho was a big departure from his previous film North by Northwest. Hitchcock’s willingness to take risks and try new and exciting things aided him in a long and successful career that spanned six decades. Beginning in the his career in Britain during the silent film era, Hitchcock made five silent films. In the thirties he would make one musical and one of his best and better know British films The Man Who Knew Too Much. After his move to the US, Hitchcock found greater success with his films like Rebecca, his first film in America and Shadow of a Doubt in Film Noir style. The Fifties would become his peak years with films like Rear Window and Vertigo that are often cited as his best films. His first film in the sixties was Psycho and you can tell that Hitchcock can’t do the same thing over and over. His peak years that came in the decade prior all had a different flair and that would be the same for his films in the sixties.

Receiving mixed reviews upon its initial release, box office sales changed things for Psycho and it has grown into a classic film often scene as a top movie for Hitchcock. Adapted from the novel of the same name, Hitchcock got as many copies as he could not to spoil the ending something impossible today.

 

 

Suspense Saturday: Psycho

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Screen shot of Janet Leigh in Psycho 

Often seen as a precursor to the modern horror/slasher film, Psycho is one of Hitchcock’s most known films among modern audiences. Shot in black and white after Hitchcock already used color and technicolor in previous films, Hitchcock made a deliberate choice that added to the atmosphere of the film. Most famous for the character of Norman Bates and the infamous shower scene, Psycho is has laid the ground work for many writers and directors in the suspense and horror genre.

After stealing money from her bosses client, Secretary Marion Craine runs off with the money. After ditching her old car in favor of her new one, Marion stops at The Bates Motel during a stormy night. This would be her biggest mistake. After her disappearance, Marion’s sister searches for her with the help of her sisters lover Sam Loomis and Private Detective Milton Arbogast.

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Promo shot from the set of Psycho 

Using a television crew and a small budget, Psycho was a big departure from his previous film North by Northwest. Hitchcock’s willingness to take risks and try new and exciting things aided him in a long and successful career that spanned six decades. Beginning in the his career in Britain during the silent film era, Hitchcock made five silent films. In the thirties he would make one musical and one of his best and better know British films The Man Who Knew Too Much. After his move to the US, Hitchcock found greater success with his films like Rebecca, his first film in America and Shadow of a Doubt in Film Noir style. The Fifties would become his peak years with films like Rear Window and Vertigo that are often cited as his best films. His first film in the sixties was Psycho and you can tell that Hitchcock can’t do the same thing over and over. His peak years that came in the decade prior all had a different flair and that would be the same for his films in the sixties.

Receiving mixed reviews upon its initial release, box office sales changed things for Psycho and it has grown into a classic film often scene as a top movie for Hitchcock. Adapted from the novel of the same name, Hitchcock got as many copies as he could not to spoil the ending something impossible today.

 

 

Film Noir Friday: The Third Man

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Joseph Cotton with Wiener Riesenrad behind him

 
Directed by Carol Reed from a screenplay by Graham Greene, The Third Man is a British Film Noir often considered one of the best films from Britain. Starring Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli and Orson Welles, The Third Man is celebrated for its acting, score and cinematography.

American Holly Martin is given in a job in Vienna by his friend Harry Lime. When arrives he is told that Lime is dead. Believing the death to be suspicious, Martin begins to investigate.

One of the top films that I love to recommend to people, The Third Man is a stunning look at post World War II Vienna through shadows and distorted angles as a man investigates the death of his friend. Played by real life friends with multiple collaborations under their belts, Joseph Cotton as Martin and Orson Welles as Harry Lime add a little something extra to the characters.

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Orson Welles as Harry Lime

The Third Man is a great use of a variety of film techniques and looks like the perfect mesh between British and American Cinema during the time of the film’s release. The use of Vienna’s landmarks, American lighting techniques, and Dutch “Deutsch” angles, a German filming technique used to portray psychological unease, The Third Man mixes various genres and styles to create a film that makes you feel out of place.

With one of the greatest scenes and film speeches of all time, one you have to hear for yourself, this 1949 Film Noir is a must see. If you are an aspiring director or a successful one, this is a film you should study. Also an important film for Cinematographer’s to view, The Third Man’s use of angles and lighting portray the unease of being in a foreign country while dealing with strange circumstances.

The Third Man is available to watch on Netflix. Perfect for Friday night viewing, turn off the lights, make some popcorn and grab a beverage of your choice. It’s time to investigate the death of Harry Lime.

Netflix Pick of the Week: Rogue One

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Rogue One, now on Netflix

If you are a big Star Wars fan chances are you have already seen this one in theaters. If you are a casual fan, chances are you’ve seen this one in theaters. That doesn’t mean you can’t spend a Friday night in front to the TV chowing down on popcorn as you invest another two hours on this incredible movie with a diverse cast and a strong female lead.

Funny and full of information, Rogue One proves that these are the years for Star Wars movies to be made once again. Constantly the target of online trolls and sexist reviewers, the current movies in the franchise have had its fair share of backlash due to the diverse casting they now employ.

Standing alone from the new trilogy of films and a prequel to The Force Awakens, Rouge One follows Jyn as she joins the resistance to stop the building of the Death Star.

If you enjoyed The Force Awakens for its strength, answers and story, Rogue One should be another enjoyable adventure through the future. The new films in the franchise given us what the Prequels did not. While we had a few characters to entertain us there still lacked something to root for and with strong female leads like Rey and Jyn we are give woman that we and our little girls can look up to. With men of color like Cassian and Fin, men are given someone that resembles them on the screen. It is so easy to forget the importance of female leadership and diversity but for those who have been waiting a long time the casting of these film’s mean a lot more.

For lovers of strong female leads, diverse casts, sci-fi, Star Wars and adventure, a night in with Rogue One should mean a lot to you. I know it means a lot to me.

TV Tuesday: Wynonna Earp

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Watch season two Fridays at 10 pm on Syfy

Syfy original series Wynonna Earp follows Wyatt Earp’s heir as she takes on the Earp curse. Now twenty-seven, Wynona must wield Wyatt’s Colt to shoot revenants (returned out-laws shot by him) while dealing with the town of Purgatory’s judgement.

Created by the Show Runner of Lost Girl, you can be sure that this show has a lot to offer. The age the Earp curse begins, Wynonna has returned home after many years away. She is on her way back for a funeral when her bus has a malfunction and a woman dies. She returns home on foot and soon becomes partners with a US Marshall who is a member of the black badge division. Now in possession of her great-great grandfathers Colt, Wynonna is able to kill demons by shooting them between the eyes and she is the only one that can wield the weapon.

Airing on Space in Canada and Syfy in the US, Wynonna Earp has carved out a little cult following for itself. Holding a huge following in the LGBTA community, Earp’s healthiest couple is  a bisexual and lesbian woman. The main female is a strong, complex woman with a difficult past and a wild life. Going into its second season, Wynonna has an even more diverse cast. The show has proved itself worthy of a following as it continues to listen to its audience and maintains a strict rule that woman are always badass, even when they show weakness.

For the fans of Supergirl who have promised to boycott the show after a reckless display of ignorance during Comic-Con, you have a new show you can jump to and trust. There is a hilarious cast of people that support and love the community that loves them. The stories are cheesy at times but it remains true to itself, laughs at itself and doesn’t take itself too seriously.. Wynonna Earp is a show for Syfy lovers, strong woman lovers and people who want to be supported.

Thanks to google I was able to do a little research that looked further into female representation on the small screen and female viewership. Over the past five years a lot has changed. There are more female centric shows on then ever and female viewership continues to grow. Women watch about four minutes more TV a day than men but their representation has been the decision of groups of mostly white males gathering in a conference room. Luckily we have those that have our backs, women who don’t take no for an answer and many ways to prove how much we really need something.

Via Comic-Con we found out that this feminist, female centered, LGBTQ representing, Sci-fi Drama was renewed for a third season. Ten years ago I may have been surprised that this show made it past the first season and in 2017 I am glad to say that I am not. Wynonna Earp deserves at least two more years under its belt for the many things that it offers its audience and that includes a safe space to spend a Friday night.

Watch season one on Netflix. Season two airs Fridays on Syfy. Wynonna Earp has been renewed for a third season.

 

Suspense Saturday: Strangers on a Train

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One of my personal favorites, Strangers on a Train stars Farley Granger as Guy Haines and Robert Walker as Bruno Antony in an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel. Important viewing for all lovers of Hitchcock and avid viewers of suspense, Strangers encompasses a lot of what can make a movie stand out. The stand out actor is Robert Walker, who would never get to see the impact his character had. Farley Granger is a worthy co-star as the guy brought into the situation.
Guy Haines was not personally sought out by Anthony but he may has well been. The chance meeting on the train turns to chaos for the tennis star when Bruno proposes a switch. You kill my father, I’ll kill your ex-wife. It is a story known around the globe; constantly re-told in varying ways but nothing holds a candle to this Hitchcock adaptation of the novella.

 

 

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Farley Granger as Guy Haines and Robert Walker as Bruno Anthony

 

 

I have read about and viewed the film many times. One of the best to study, Strangers shows us our capabilities as story tellers and film makers. Many elements, like in all of Hitchcock’s films, create a hectic bow ready to be tied. The great suspense in this film belongs to our villain Bruno Antony, the man you want to win. It’s odd that in many Hitchcock films you root for the good guy but in Strangers you find yourself falling for the lovable psychopath who believes himself to be justified in getting rid of bad people.
A momma’s boy who disdains his father and dresses flamboyantly, many people have come to believe that Bruno is gay. In the end that does not matter. What I do think is important is that Antony’s strength lies in his unassuming femininity. If he were masculine the chances are people would have an easier time catching onto him. With his feminine ways, Anthony is seen as far weaker than he actually is. He is able to use what some may refer to as his weakness as his strength.
When you find yourself watching Strangers on a Train don’t forget to pay attention to everything. No detail is too insignificant. From the opening credits to the ending moments, Strangers on a Train has many elements that make up a great picture.

Film Noir Friday: Laura

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Laura

Detective Mark McPherson investigates the apparent murder of advertising executive Laura Hunt. Told in flashback by Newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker, Laura follows the detective as he falls in love with her through diaries and a portrait that hangs on her wall.
Gene Tierney stars as Laura, the titular character whose image floats through the film as if she were a mythical creature. Dana Andrews stars opposite her as the detective, Clifton Webb is Waldo Lydecker, Vincent Price is Shelby Carpenter, a role that would surprise today’s audiences, and Dorothy Adams is Bessie Clary.
Laura was adapted to screen from the 1943 novel of the same name by Vera Caspary. Directed and Produced by Otto Preminger, Laura is a classic Film Noir making lists of the top Noir’s for years.
While today’s audience may not find themselves as satisfied with the reveal, Laura still stands the test of time. A successful and talented woman is at the helm. Put on a pedestal by all the men, today’s feminist audience may see these male characters in a less than romantic light.
Film Noir has allowed women to take on roles usually reserved for men. After the Hayes Code was instated women typically portrayed the love interest, the wife, or the daughter. Occasionally they got to play roles far more interesting than that and Laura was a role worth having. Gene Tierney is perfect, as it is believable that any man could fall for her on her portrait alone. She has an essence that pours off the screen; her image excites us as she glides through the memories and imaginations of the other characters. While this role puts Tierney in a place of objectification she is also a strong and smart woman who fights against the ideas that men have of her.

 

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Gene Tierney and Vincent Price

Laura could have been created for the young starlet who by this time was best known for her film Heaven Can Wait alongside Don Ameche. While other good roles came before Laura better ones came after. Tierney would go on to star in Leave Her to Heaven alongside Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain and once again, Vincent Price. Vincent Price would appear in a few more roles outside of the genre he is most associated with but would eventually find his home in horror.