Saturday, July 21, 2012

TV Bites: My Man Godfrey

William Powell's Vatrouskis (Vatrushki)

A version of this post appears at the Criterion Collection website

The first thing I want to mention is that this post marks the 2nd Anniversary of this adventure. I've been writing and teaching classes now two years as Chef du Cinema. Unbelievable. All I can say is that I've been really enjoying myself doing this and I hope you have enjoyed at least some of it and, hopefully, you've discovered some new movies, and have made some good food from the recipes you've found here. So thanks for dropping by. (Feel free to drop me a line and tell me about it.)

Let's get to it, then.... Why, you ask, have I paired this film and His Girl Friday back to back? Well, they are both screwball comedies and both have three words in the title.

Okay, that's weak.

Let's try this instead.... This film never grows old for me. I fall in love with it again every time I see it. It's everything I love about movies. And like His Girl Friday, I would definitely say the two of them are on my top 10 list of favorite movies and have been for decades. Unequivocally.

But, as always, there are other connections. Morrie Ryskind, who wrote the script for My Man Godfrey, was brought in to polish His Girl Friday. And there's more.... See, Howard Hawks really wanted to give the role of Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday to his second cousin but she turned him down. Yup. his second cousin (again, as mentioned in the previous post) - was Carole Lombard.

Friday, July 13, 2012

(shameless self-promotion time again....) National Geographic World Music

Here's links to these articles/interviews I just did on assignment for National Geographic while up here in Montreal.

The first is just an overview of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, followed by a series of interviews with some of the world music artists that played there.

Algerian singer/songwriter Souad Massi;
Venezuelan group Los Amigos Invisibles;
Sidi Touré from Mali;
and the lovely Lila Downs.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

TV Bites: His Girl Friday

Hot Open-Faced Roast Beef Sandwich w/Roasted Shallot Brown Gravy

So, I'd say it's hot here in Montreal, but considering how horrible it is elsewhere I won't. Working hard on assignment for National Geographic (links here) and seeing some great music here at JazzFest. But I've got some good films and good food as this here's part one of a two part classic romantic/screwball comedy double bill.

Wow. Back to Howard Hawks. I had no idea when I started this adventure I would be covering so many of Hawks' films so soon. I always thought I loved his work, but it certainly seems as if it's more than I thought. Hitchcock, of course. But this was a surprise for me. (The previous picks were Rio Bravo and To Have and Have Not.) I mean, I have yet to write about one Stanley Kubrick film, you know? It's also my fourth film to feature Cary Grant - and that's no surprise to me.

Also, there's Ben Hecht. He was the first screenwriter I think I recognized. I started reading up about him, reading his essays, novels, nonfiction, articles - whatever I could get my little hands on. Actually, I'm gonna say it started when I first saw Gaily, Gaily (based on Hecht's life) which I saw as a young man. I wanted to live the exciting life of a writer. (Ah, the sweet naivety of youth.) Seriously, if you want to know about screenwriting, he's the man to study. Jean-Luc Godard once said Hecht "invented 80 percent of what is used in American movies today."