Monday, November 15, 2010

More of the Stanley Donen Mini-Film Festival at Lincoln Center

So before getting into this post, I want to share the other things I remember from Mr. Donen's Q&A on Wednesday night.  He began by saying that he had been a little uncomfortable and embarrassed during the scenes of Funny Face that didn't involve singing and dancing.  He said that, for some reason, during this particular screening it was painful and the scenes without singing and dancing felt as if their only purpose was to propel the plot.  And that's when Mike Nichols mentioned that Opera was very similar in that respect and that it's to be expected in musicals.  It sounded like he hadn't watched his own film for a number of years.  He also mentioned the difficulty of being a director and the importance of having dancers who can dance and things there to point the camera at.  He said this after Mike Nichols complemented him on the way he captured the dancing in the movie and seemed to always have the camera in the perfect place.  Mr. Donen almost brushed off the compliment and gave the credit to the actors and dancers he's had the opportunity to film, by saying that if the dancing is there and the actors are where they're supposed to be, you just have to point the camera at them.  I thought it was so great that Stanley was so open and candid and provided such interesting insight.

On my way out of the theater I picked up the full schedule of Stanley Donen screenings planned for the next few days and tried to figure out which ones I could feasibly attend.  I did have work, school, school work and a test on Saturday to work around, so it was going to be difficult.  While looking through the schedule it reminded me that Stanley Donen is one of my absolute favorite directors/co-directors.  He's directed some of my favorite movies, like Charade, Singin' in the Rain, Indiscreet, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Damn Yankees, The Pajama Game and it also made me think about all the amazing groundbreaking film techniques he was responsible for, like: Gene Kelly dancing with Gene Kelly :).  So I finally decided on Indiscreet Friday night at 6, The Pajama Game Saturday afternoon at 4 and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Saturday night at 6:05 (followed by another Q&A with Mr. Donen).

I had decided to take the LIRR and Subway to the theater this time, especially since it took me forever to get there by car on Wednesday and because the price of parking near the theater was astronomical!  But, of course the train into the city was 15 minutes late and I made it to the theater with 1 minute to spare.  I wasn't the same completely late jerk that I was for the Funny Face screening, but I was definitely a little late.  Now here's the thing, I love the movie Indiscreet...I don't know why, it's silly and almost a throwaway comedy.  But, I love all the actors in it and I love the silly little plot.  If you haven't seen it, I won't give too much away, but it's about a famous stage actress, Ingrid Bergman, who returns to her London home and seems to be in a bit of a funk, but then her sister (played wonderfully by Phyllis Calvert) and her brother-in-law (played with the perfect amount of humor by Cecil Parker) invite her out to an evening of boring talks and fund raising.  She declines until she sees who one of the main speakers will be...Cary Grant, of course.  Then courting and hilarity ensue.  It was nice to see this movie with an audience.  I love hearing people laughing at all the right parts and even at the parts that weren't supposed to be funny.  For example, there's a scene in the elevator when Cary and Ingrid are trying to act nonchalant in front of the elevator operator, so they talk about innocuous things, like the weather. So, Cary Grant says he had read an article about the climate changing.  That got a big laugh, but the biggest laugh came from the split screen scene, just look how cute they are!:
Coming up...Saturday at Lincoln Center- The Pajama Game and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

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