Whew, it feels so good to finally take a moment to myself and write on my blog. I know its only been a few days since I’ve written a post, but my soul can’t go too long before it begins craving a desire to express itself. Normally if I don’t write, then I would paint or draw, but everything is packed up since I’m moving next week.
So, in the midst of school work, writing resumes (my paid freelance gig), and mentally preparing myself to move yet again, I’ve been passing my time sipping on freshly brewed coffee, watching classic films, and reading some good cozy books(thank you Amazon.) Oh, and aside from romantic films, I found myself watching all three Lord of the Rings films in consecutive order; felt like having my own LOTR marathon.
LOTR is of course far from being romantic, but it was a nice break from my recent TCM obsession. Perhaps because I’m a single girl in my twenties, or maybe it’s because every now and then I’m a sucker for romance, but I just really love a girly moment drinking coffee, cuddling up on my bed, and watching Clark Gable fall in love with a random stranger.
If you haven’t watched a film starring Clark Gable, then boy I must say you are missing out! I’m a huge Gable fan and I stayed up till 2am last night watching the classic film Test Pilot starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Lionel Barrymore. The leading lady in that film isn’t one of my favorites (I love Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Lauren Bacall) but she did a pretty good job falling in love with Gable in one day and marrying him. Gable has that effect on women.He’s sort of a classic heart throb that I throw into my categorization of all the 1940s romantic movie leading men; the list includes Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, and Errol Flynn.
Now that is just a small list of the leading men I personally like, but there are of course many more. And when it comes to instilling fear, I have to totally say the award goes to Robert Mitchum in the film Cape Fear. If you haven’t seen the classic film Cape Fear, then you need to watch it. The film is a superb thriller driven by suspense and the reality of how crazy stalking can be. Excellent film.
Speaking of thriller, I should devote a post to classic thrillers since this is Halloween month, so stay tuned for that post coming soon.
So let’s get back to the topic, romance! There is just something so refreshing about watching a classic film where a stranger meets someone that catches their eye and they find themselves falling in love. Most films nowadays have to rush straight to showing the sex, but the films of the 30s and 40s focused on the conversation, the flirtatious banter, and the passionate throws of kisses. Even an occasional slap was followed by an aggressive kiss of passion, as if to say “I love you so much, I don’t want to ever hurt you again. Forgive me!”
I could make an argument for the amount of slapping in classic films, but then again you can form essays on how booze and cigarette smoking as a lifestyle prominent. It’s rare you watch a film from the 40s and see an absence of liquor or some beautiful leading lady smoking a cigarette in a stunning evening gown; I’m surprised they never portrayed the reality of how harsh your voice can become. But then again, classic films are supposed to romanticize relationships, show us the intrigue of mystery in film noir, and enlighten us with stunning simplicity driven by complex lighting and shadows.
The romanticism infused with intrigue is why I truly love classic films and have an ongoing obsession with TCM. I hope that channel never goes away, it is essential in showcasing the history of film! And my favorite thing about TCM is the days they devote to film noir. The allure of murder, gangsters, and romance is such a phenomenal combination that I’m going to say most women love. Their is something devilishly sexy about the bad boy appeal, the daring stranger who can charm our pants off. And a film that perfectly captures that entire vibe is my favorite noir film, The Big Sleep.
The Big Sleep is a complex crime thriller with steamy romance that was based off Raymond Chandler’s 1939 novel, but was officially brought to life on the big screen in 1946 by Howard Hawks. The film stars one of Hollywood’s most iconic couples, Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall. The two had a romance on-screen, but they were also married in real-life and had children together. Sadly, their romance ended when Bogart died, but the memories of their undeniable love & attraction will always be on-screen.
There are so many reasons why I love The Big Sleep. It’s the type of film that mimics the type of day dreams I find myself having about a steamy romance set in a film noir atmosphere. In the midst of all the chaos, Bogart is that cold-hearted detective Phillip Marlowe who finds himself in the midst of a “hazy” private investigation, and he finds himself falling in love with the beautiful Mrs. Vivian Rutledge, portrayed by Bacall. I could sit here and describe the plot to you, but it’s such a complex classic visualization of film noir that you must-watch for yourself. If you like Double Indemnity then you’ll find this film a treat; a complex dosage of character motives.
Wow, I’ve actually talked about these films so much that now I must go watch them yet again! I’ve seen so many films from the 1940s over and over again, and the romantic inside of me never gets tired of them. The intrigue of boy meets girl infused with complex plots are timeless pieces of cinema that shouldn’t be ignored. So, if you have some time to relax, I highly advise you grab a cup of coffee (tea is good too) and turn your television to the TCM. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Last night was just another chill Friday evening on my schedule. I had spent most of the day running around and taking care of errands with my family, but later on that evening was my moment to finally relax. Since I’ve had a 2 week break from summer classes, I’m finally able to just chill before fall classes start on Monday. I spent last night laying on my bed and watching Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I love that movie! It is one of my favorite films and I recently began reading the Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (an edition that includes all 5 books and is 800 pages long.) The book is great and the movie is awesome as well, I’m glad that IFC decided to air it.
Not only did IFC decide to air the awesome Hitchhikers movie, but they showed an episode of this show called Whisker Wars. It came out quite some time ago, but it’s still relevant and so worth talking about. When I think of whiskers, I automatically imagine some silly cat from Tom & Jerry running around and chasing a mouse. Yet the show isn’t about cats and how cute their whiskers are. The show is about beards worldwide and beard competitions. I know right, random!
I’ve seen some pretty cool beards and mustaches in my life. I personally love a man that has a nice clean shave or a subtle signature mustache and/or beard, but I couldn’t imagine dating a guy that had a beard worthy of competing in Whisker Wars. I always imagine cartoon birds flying out of their beards and pecking my eyes out, vivid and disturbing imagery, but it could happen!
Nothing wrong with having a grizzly beard and being proud of it, but I think the real art is within the finesse of crafting the perfect mustache. One of the coolest mustache’s I’ve ever seen is when my mom and I met this guy at my school who had on a fedora, round glasses, a tan trench coat, and a perfectly crafted Salvador Dali mustache. My mom, being the artsty person she is, pointed at him and said “Salvador Dali, love it!” He laughed and let out a cheerful thankful. Many people who didn’t appreciate or know about art would have dismissed his mustache as being weird, but it truly was a work of art and he did style it like Dali.
Facial hair on men can be a work of art and also a defining feature. I couldn’t imagine Clark Gable, Lionel Richie, John Oats, or Chuck Norris without their mustaches. But hands down, I must say that John Oats has one of the coolest mustaches ever. After watching Whisker Wars and seeing how the judge mustaches and beards, I can confidently say this John Oats has a Whisker Wars worthy stache. It’s been referenced a lot in pop culture and it has even been featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’s Ultimate Mustache Fight. I might not be a big fan of the stache, but it’s pretty badass on John Oats.
But Oats stache can’t compare to some of those mustaches I saw on Whisker Wars. The length of the beards is quite impressive and the work these guys put into molding their facial air is odd yet fascinating. Maybe it can be attributed to my weird personality, but I do find this show pretty awesome. I had to run downstairs and watch it with my mom, but her eccentric personality immediately loved the show. Her excuse was “Hey, after I watched Air Guitar Nation on IFC, I think I’ve seen it all just about.” Which is true, there is a lot of weird and random stuff we have both been exposed to, so shows like Whisker Wars are just another form of a creative subculture.
Whisker Wars showcases some of the best facial hair in the mustache/beard aficionado subculture. The categories consist of: sideburns, wild west, dali,english mustache, goatee,verdi, garabaldi, full beard styled mustache, full beard natural, and full beard freestyle. I personally would never have any reason to attend a competition, but I highly enjoy watching it from the comfort of my house. The best thing about watching it, is hearing my mom’s priceless commentary and asking if women could compete. She has actually met women up in the Appalachians with full beards….that’s a story for another day.
The next time I see a guy with a really long beard or perfect Oats stache, I will truly appreciate the effort and hard work it takes into maintaining the image. My hat goes off to all the beard and mustache conoisseurs out there. Be proud of your stache!
Whisker Wars Trailer
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: The Ultimate Mustache Fighter- Einstein vs. Lionel Richie