October 2010

The family is still on the mend from varying degrees of bronchitis and pneumonia, so here are a few Thomas pictures. The Spider-man ones are from a party last weekend (pre-coughing fits). We are hoping to make it out tonight for a street or two of trick or treating, but won’t be doing much.

I’m still too sick to do a real post, but I thought I would put this up.  I am quite good at tracking down Oscar nominees  (I have seen 2843 of the 3005 films nominated for feature film awards and by the end of today will have seen 820 of the 827 Oscar winners), whether it be through Interlibrary loan, TCM, buying them online or on YouTube.  So when very hard to find films with lots of nominations or actual Oscar winning films that I have never seen actually become easily available to watch, I try to let people know.

Well, in the slate of massive recent additions to the Watch Instantly portion of Netflix are Brazil (a very hard to find 1944 film which was nominated for Musical Score, Sound and Song), Gaily Gaily (a hard to find 1969 film nominated for Sound, Art Direction and Costume Design) and, most importantly, Captain Carey USA – the winner of Best Song from 1950 (for “Mona Lisa”) – the most recent winner I hadn’t seen (and am watching while I type this).

Aside from The Patriot (which is lost), this now leaves me with only four films left with more than 2 nominations than I haven’t seen (The Big Fisherman, A Certain Smile, Man of Conquest, Army Girl) and only seven Oscar winners (Marie-Louise, The Scoundrel, Transatlantic, The Patriot, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, The Dove and The Way of All Flesh – and at least two of those – Patriot and Flesh – are lost).

There was a lot of grumbling when Netflix made the deal to wait 28 days on new releases but would be given more access on Watch Instantly to older films, but if these hard to find films are finally going to be available to see – well, I will take that trade any day.

Don’t know when a new post will make it up.  I have a nasty case of bronchitis that has laid me up since my birthday and Veronica and Thomas aren’t feeling so great themselves.  The only reason I even got the last one up was because it was all ready to go and just had to be posted.  We’ll see how the rest of this week plays out.

101 Dalmations - the best of a weak decade for animation

1960 – 1969

Total Films I’ve Seen:  801

Films That Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  40

Best Film Not to Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Film of the Decade:  Bonnie and Clyde

Worst Film of the Decade:  Horrors of Spider Island

Worst Best Picture Nominee of the Decade:  Doctor Dolittle

Worst Film of the Decade Made by a Top 100 Director:  Tonight for Sure (more…)

the 1960 Modern Library dust jacket for War and Peace

War and Peace (Война и мир)

  • Author:  Leo Tolstoy  (1828  –  1910)
  • Rank:  #61
  • Published:  1869
  • Publisher:  Russkii Vestnik
  • Pages:  1273  (Pevear / Volokhonsky translation)
  • First Line:  ” ‘Eh bien, mon prince, Gênes et Lucques ne sont plus que des apanages, des estates, de la famille Buonaparte.’ ”  (Well, my prince, Genoa and Lucca are now no more than possessions, estates, of the Buonaparte family.)
  • Last Line:  “In the first case, the need was to renounce the consciousness of a nonexistent immobility in space and recognize a movement we do not feel; in the present case, it is just as necessary to renounce a nonexistent freedom and recognize a dependence we do not feel.”
  • ML Edition:  MLG #1 – three dust jackets  (1937, 1960, 1969); current Modern Library paperback  (all ML versions are the Constant Garnett translation)
  • Film:  1956  (***); 1968  (***.5)
  • First Read:  July, 1996 (more…)

"I'm walkin here! I'm walkin here!"

The 42nd annual Academy Awards for the film year 1969.  The nominations were announced on February 16, 1970 and the awards were held on April 7, 1970.

Best Picture:  Midnight Cowboy

  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Z
  • Anne of the Thousand Days
  • Hello Dolly!

Most Surprising Omission:  They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Once Upon a Time in the West

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #44 (more…)

striding towards death: The Wild Bunch (1969)

My Top 20:

  1. The Wild Bunch
  2. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  3. Z
  4. Once Upon a Time in the West
  5. Oh! What a Lovely War
  6. Midnight Cowboy
  7. Stolen Kisses
  8. They Shoot Horses Don’t They
  9. Take the Money and Run
  10. Boudu Saved from Drowning
  11. Easy Rider
  12. The Round-Up
  13. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  14. The Rain People
  15. The Rite
  16. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  17. The Brothers Karamazov
  18. Medium Cool
  19. Andrei Rublev
  20. Cactus Flower (more…)

the Signet version of Sanctuary that Veronica bought because she liked the cover and really opened the door to my Faulkner collection


  • Author:  William Faulkner  (1897  –  1962)
  • Rank:  #62
  • Published:  1931
  • Publisher:  Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith
  • Pages:  341  (Vintage Corrected Text)
  • First Line:  “From beyond the screen of bushes which surrounded the spring, Popeye watched the man drinking.”
  • Last Line:  “She closed the compact and from beneath her smart new hat she seemed to follow with her eyes the waves of music, to dissolve into the dying brasses, across the pool and the opposite semi-circle of trees where at sombre intervals the dead tranquil queens in stained marble mused, and on into the sky lying prone and vanquished in the embrace of the season of rain and death.”
  • ML Edition:  #61  (three dust jackets  –  1932, 1959, 1967)
  • Film:  1933  (***), 1961
  • First Read:  July, 1994 (more…)


"Consider Yourself" - one of the happy-go-lucky songs that defies the bleakness of the story in Oliver! (1968)


The 41st Academy Awards, for the film year 1968.  The nominations were announced on February 24, 1969 and the awards were held on April 14, 1969.

Best Picture:  Oliver!

  • The Lion in Winter
  • Rachel, Rachel
  • Funny Girl
  • Romeo and Juliet

Most Surprising Omission:  2001: A Space Odyssey

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  2001: A Space Odyssey

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #71


Kubrick again makes the best film of the year - 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

My Top 20:

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  2. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  3. The Producers
  4. The Lion in Winter
  5. Rosemary’s Baby
  6. Belle de Jour
  7. The Battle of Algiers
  8. Closely Watched Trains
  9. Shame
  10. The Two of Us
  11. War and Peace
  12. Charge of the Light Brigade
  13. Hour of the Wolf
  14. Night of the Living Dead
  15. Hunger
  16. The Fireman’s Ball
  17. Hell in the Pacific
  18. The Odd Couple
  19. Bullitt
  20. Faces (more…)

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