Men, Women, Children and Humans: Some short movie reviews

What I've been watching.Mr Skeffington: Two and a half hours of epic Bette Davis. We start in the 1910s, with Davis as a Scarlett-like belle of the ball who ends up turning down all her suitors to marry the Jewish financier Job Skeffington. She married him only in order to save her beloved wastrel brother from ruin, so although Mr. Skeffington demonstrates his patience and loyalty to her and she does try to please him and work up some fondness for him, things rapidly go downhill for the … [Read more...]

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No Werewolf But the Class Werewolf: Short movie reviews

The Anniversary: Bette Davis as hell-matriarch in red eyepatch shaped like a teardrop. Swings wildly from ultracamp to the sort of thing you'll instantly recognize if you or a friend had a narcissistic parent. An example of my thing* about how "'Realism' only works for people whose worldviews are already accepted as realistic. The rest of us must make do with genre"--the parent's narcissism distorts the whole family's sense of what is real, so the most outrageous acts and statements seem … [Read more...]

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A Vindication of the Rights of Clip-Joint Girls

Recently watched "Marked Woman," an early Bette Davis/Humphrey Bogart flick in which Davis is a nightclub hostess who tries to go up against the toughest gangster in town after he kills her sister. Bogart is the crusading, by which I mean lecturing, DA. It's actually a startlingly powerful film, largely because it takes everything about the clip-joint girls' lives so seriously: their friendships, their families, their courage, their distinctive personalities. It's about the compromises they made … [Read more...]

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