Greetings Film Fans! For me, the fun part of every week is to go through my Six Degrees of Film magazine and put together the top stories in film. We go through the film news, reviews, classic movies and top bloggers on film. We’ll see what the latest releases are and the line up of films to record for our Armchair Film Fest!
Turner Classic Movies is best for small screen classics to set to record each week. This week, I’m excited to see the Director’s Cut of Lawrence of Arabia. It never gets old to hear that beautiful music and to be pulled in to the epic story out in the deserts of Arabia.
The October Round Up:
Meanwhile, back in the La La Land of Hollywood, we discover that many of the top films of 2020 have been pushed into 2021. James Bond is a major disappointment for me, as I’ve been waiting to see No Time to Die with Daniel Craig in his final outing as 007, for the entire year! It is now slated for April of 2021. Along with Bond, the other movies slated for this year: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier , Black Widow, and The Batman with Robert Pattinson, are all pushed into 2021.
Christmas releases that are still slated (subject to change) include Dune, Wonder Woman 1984 and Pixar’s Soul. But everything is up in the air in this time of Covid-19.
Fall Film News of 2020
This section has really become: How is Hollywood coping with Covid? And the answer is, like everyone else, it is struggling wildly. The rich will still be rich in Hollywood, but the business people who run the popcorn stands and small movie houses are slated to either go out of business or continue to struggle through the rest of 2020.
Some winners in the Pandemic: Drive-in movie theaters have become a fun and nostalgic kind of throwback era that has caught on with many towns and cities. The Film Festivals have gone online, for the most part, and they will survive to become energized and revived for 2021.
I have always been a fan of documentary and Indie films that are low-budget gems. The great RBG documentary is seeing a revival with her passing, and we now see there is a great documentary streaming now about the life and horrific murder of the Arab journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who worked for the Washington Post. It is called Kingdom of Silence.
Armchair Film Fest: Set to Record for October 2020:
And finally, the October Round up is not complete without the classics we recommend to record in October. This month, there is always a surfeit of horror classics as well as the Bad-B’s that we know and love. On Turner Classic this month:
- I mentioned Lawrence of Arabia: The Director’s Cut– This one I recommend as a Bucket list item to see in all its glory at least once in your lifetime. You will understand more about human nature, as well as the problems we have currently in the Middle East after watching this film.
- Bogey stars in Dark Passage: Bogey and Bacall in their last film together (They were set to make another one but he got sick and died before they could make it!)
- Great Comedy gems this month: Laurel & Hardy star in A Chump at Oxford. One of my favorites with Jack Benny and Carole Lombard is the original version of To Be or Not to Be; it was remade with Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks, but this one is the best. The Shop around the corner has been remade and is one of the most enduring of all the remakes in Hollywood .This version has Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan as the bickering co-workers who discover romance, but they don’t know that it’s with each other! This was a musical with Judy Garland and Van Johnson, and finally a modern update with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail.
- Casino Royale is a ‘spoof’ of James Bond with the always debonair David Niven. The catchy soundtrack helped this to become a hit when it was released in the sixties. Bye Bye Birdie is a spoof on the Elvis craze, and this film with Dick Van Dyke and a young Ann Margret still holds up well.
Each month, the Bad B’s of Hollywood are found on Turner Classics. Sometimes it’s the old beach movies of summer, or as in this month of October, it’s the horror films that were made in all their low-budget splendor. For example, I had not seen Plan 9 From Outer Space in a while, so I taped it last month and watched some of it. The operative word for most of these is the fact that you can only watch SOME of it!
For my own part, I still like Glen or Glenda best in the Ed Wood Hall of Shame film category. But Plan 9 is a legitimately classic model for all really bad movie fans. The Brain that wouldn’t Die, also on the schedule this month, is another top contender for me in the bad movie pantheon. The Creature from the Black Lagoon was made in Florida, so that one has some good stand out trivial moments. And I did not remember Gojira, which was one of the films that spawned the slew of Japanese horribly horrible horror classics.
Carnival of Souls: I defy anyone to match this original for giving you the heebie-jeebies on a dark Halloween fright night!
Strong defining women-Hollywood Pioneers of #MeToo
Each month, we pick out some stand out performances for women who paved the way for all strong and enduring characters in films and in real life. At first glance, you would never put Doris Day movies in that category
But Doris Day in Please don’t eat the Daisies makes the cut. Although she’s not the role model for strong women and #MeToo in the same category as Lauren Bacall, Carole Lombard and Margaret Sullivan, all featured in TCM movies this month, Doris Day did have a creative license to play a defining and energetic housewife. Let’s face it- the female matriarch in the home was one of the most important roles for women in society, especially during the fifties and sixties! And Day did not ‘dumb it down’ in this part. David Niven and Doris Day were good together in this part based on the real life writings of Jean Kerr, a writer and the wife of New York theater critic Walter Kerr. This part is so much better in terms of her portrayal of a housewife than her syrupy sweet and hokey adaptations that became defining roles for Doris Day in later years.
And for the aforementioned strong women in roles that pioneered the #MeToo era; watch Margaret Sullivan in Little Shop around the Corner in her role as a strong, independent working girl in another era. Carole Lombard is seen in her best comic role as the wife of Jack Benny in wartime Poland in To Be or Not to Be. And Lauren Bacall is always ready to go toe to toe with a tough guy like Humphrey Bogart in her classic films with him. In their own ways, all are pioneers for the #Me Too era!
To sum it up, 6 Degrees is the place to be to find the latest in movie news as well as all that other jazz-the news that’s fit to print! 6 Degrees of Film online magazine is updated weekly. And we have your round up and reminders for what’s coming up each week on the Facebook page for the 6 Degrees Writer. Join us online and check in weekly. Till next time-See you at the movies!-ML