william steig drawing

To Catch a Thief: Danielle

My lord. It’s been quite a while hasn’t it? There are many things to say about To Catch a Thief. The scenery is certainly worth a rapturous comment or two. The color photography more so. Cary Grant’s furrowed brow (also making frequent appearances in Suspicion, Notorious, North by Northwest and maybe even Father Goose) deserves a discussion of its own. And there is no reason why Grace Kelly’s Philadelphian lilt alone (simultaneously aristocratic and mischievous) shouldn’t inspire a few spontaneous collages, novels, fashion editorials, interior design ideas, and new kinds of martinis. Oh Yes. There are many things to say. But I shall say only one: Isn’t Danielle Foussard a lovely little thing? Wait, wait, wait. But isn’t Grace Kelly […]

Le Notti Bianche (White Nights)

Count Luchino Visconti di Modrone is my beloved. Grand and operatic. Never fearing the theatrical or taboo (but never vulgar for vulgarities sake). You see, we are exactly alike. The Count was an interesting man. A member of the Italian aristocracy and the Italian Communist Party. He was open with his homosexuality, and photographs men in a way unlike any other directors I’ve seen. He showcases their beauty. Le Notti (based on the Dostoevsky short story) has an unusual cast, all actors I associate with different directors simply because I saw them in other movies first. Marcello Mastroianni (Fellini’s man), Maria Schell (Rene Clement’s girl), and Jean Marais (Cocteau). Schell (with the most expressive eyes) plays Natalia, an innocent girl […]

Race in Film: Tammy & the Bachelor

In elementary school, my desire to be white was so strong, I created two imaginary sisters. They were both older and white with red hair and lived in California. One’s name was Gina, and the other’s was Tammy. I named her Tammy after the character in the 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor directed by Joseph Pevney. Who could be whiter than Tammy? Tammy is not a good movie. It isn’t even a “bad” movie that amuses its way to being “good” (Frankie & Annette have a special place in my heart). It’s just bland and uninventive. I know the Beach Party movies aren’t winning any medals for innovation, but they at least possess a certain stupid energy. Tammy is […]