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Gene Kelly On Rollerskates

If you didn’t know better you might think the sight of Gene Kelly on rollerskates in Xanadu was just a sad and desperate cashing in on a fad like roller-disco.
But Kelly danced in roller skates decades before in the movie It’s Always Fair Weather.
It’s not one of his better known performances.
But it is better that Xanadu.


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Building Suspense – The Birds

The Birds is both a continuation and a departure for Alfred Hitchcock.
A continuation because danger and suspense abound.
A departure because this time there is no villain to either discover or await their discovery.
The lack of motivation for the arising threat multiplies the sense of foreboding and hopelessness.
Probably not best viewed during swooping season.
Memorably, suspense is built in a schoolyard playground with the voices of children singing in the background as Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren’s first role) waits for class to finish.


The original Angry Birds movie.


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All The Time Ya Spend Trying To Get Back What’s Been Took From Ya, More Is Going Out The Door ( No Country For Old Men)

No Country For All Men is a disquieting film from the Coen Brothers that, by all accounts, is faithful to its roots in Cormac McCarthy’s novel.
Tommy Lee Jones plays Ed Tom Bell, a lawman who comes to comes to a point in life where enough is enough, but he is sticking at the point of transition.
He visits Ellis, his uncle, also a lawman, but one who was crippled in the line of duty.

Ed Tom Bell : That man that shot you died in prison.
Ellis : Angola. Yeah…
Ed Tom Bell : What you’d done he had been released?
Ellis : Oh, I dunno. Nothing. Wouldn’t be no point in it.
Ed Tom Bell : I’m kindly surprised to hear you say that.
Ellis : Well all the time ya spend trying to get back what’s been took from ya, more is going out the door. After a while you just have to try to get a tourniquet on it.

+++

Ellis : You can’t stop what’s comin’, it ain’t all waitin’ on you… That’s vanity.


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All The Difference In The World – Leap Of Faith

Leap Of Faith is a conflicted movie.
A cynical look at manufactured religion transforms into something else.
Crippled teenager Boyd (Lukas Haas) interacts with Jonas Nightingale (Steve Martin) when a miracle show experiences what seems to be a miracle:

Jonas:
Look, I run a show here. It’s a lot of smoke and noise and it’s strictly for the suckers. I’ve been pulling one kind of scam or another since I was your age, and if there’s one thing I know it’s how to spot the genuine article because that’s what you’ve got to watch out for. Not the cops, you can always get around the cops. But the one thing you can never, ever get around is the genuine article, and you, kid, are the genuine article.
Boyd:
Are you saying you think you’re a fake?
Jonas:
I know I’m a fake.
Boyd:
Well, what difference does it make if you get the job done?
Jonas:
Kid, it makes all the difference in the world.

One of my friends from college days and I used to wonder about working the phrase ‘aluminium siding’ into one of our sermons, but to the best of my knowledge neither of us ever did.


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From Whence These Dire Portents Around – Sunday Songs

Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much features a scene that takes place during a church service.
To identify much more about than that may than that may constitute a spoiler.
While it may sound like generic droning, the congregation are singing an actual hymn, chosen with Hitchcocks usual care and sense of humour.
The spiritual testimony and challenge that Charles Wesley intended in the lyrics of From Whence These Dire Portents Around is marginal to the master director’s intent, but the first line is pointedly appropriate.

This youtube clip is from the movie and apparently features the first and last verses.

The lyrics:
1
From whence these dire portents around,
That strike us with unwonted fear?
Why do these earthquakes rock the ground,
And threaten our destruction near?
Ye prophets smooth, the cause explain,
And lull us to repose again.
2
“Or water swelling for a vent,
Or air impatient to get free,
Or fire within earth’s entrails pent”;
Yet all are ordered, Lord, by Thee;
The elements obey Thy nod,
And nature vindicates her God.
3
The pillars of the earth are Thine,
And Thou hast set the world thereon;
They at Thy threatening look incline,
The center trembles at Thy frown;
The everlasting mountains bow,
And God is in the earthquake now!
4
Now, Lord, to shake our guilty land,
Thou dost in indignation rise;
We see, we see Thy lifted hand
Made bare a nation to chastise,
Whom neither plagues nor mercies move
To fear Thy wrath or court Thy love.
5
Therefore the earth beneath us reels,
And staggers like our drunken men,
The earth the mournful cause reveals,
And groans our burden to sustain;
Ordained our evils to deplore,
And fall with us to rise no more.


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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a beautifully shot movie, with an aching story of love deferred to duty.


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This Is My Third – The Trouble With Harry

Alfred Hitchcock’s comedy/mystery The Trouble With Harry.
Harry didn’t seem to be a good man, but he did prove hard to keep down.

Jennifer Rogers (Shirley MacLaine) : I’ve never been to a home-made funeral before.
Capt. Wiles (Edmund Gwenn) : I have … it’s my third. All in one day…