Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day of the Year

And so 2011 wraps up! I'm currently making a batch of spaghetti sauce and just started some homemade Italian bread. I'm listening to Carlo Buti, "the Italian Bing Crosby," singing popular Italian songs from the 1940s. Perfect background music for preparing an Italian feast! The sauce is the family recipe, takes 5-6 hours to cook. Finding good Italian sausages has been a near impossibility (must have fennel!!), but I finally found a little hole-in-the-wall Italian deli in Rancho Cucamonga where the owner makes his own! I bought ten, and we'll see tonight if I have a new source for the real thing.

I'm in the middle of watching two movies, one of which I don't think I'll finish. That's Black Horse Canyon with Joel McCrea. It's on instant viewing at Netflix and will go away tomorrow. I've watched the first 45 minutes or so, and I'm just not sure I can finish it. It's not a bad movie, I just can't deal with horse movies. I cry constantly. It's stupid, but they are so beautiful and amazing creatures that just watching a shot of them galloping and I'll get tears in my eyes. I can't watch horse racing either. This movie's about a gorgeous, dangerous black stallion that's escaped its owner, and about the attempt to catch and break him. The owner of the horse was a really annoying woman. I should like her because she's very strong-willed and do-it-yourself, which is always refreshing, but she still needs the men to help her. There's a lot of attitude from everyone and it gets old. I know it's just a sign of the times the film was made, but... just no desire to finish the film.

The other one is Scaramouche, with Stewart Granger. It might even make me like him and stop thinking of him as a double-crossing ratfink! (Those first impressions made by certain movies are just hard to lose sometimes.) Anyway, enjoying it immensely, particularly the sword fights. It's also filmed on one of the MGM back lots that was used in Combat! and I just love seeing the same buildings/bridge/etc. Makes me grin. When I finish this one, I'll post a review, but it's not going to be today.

I need to write today. When I'm not cooking and baking bread.

Last night I saw Vertigo with Laura of Laura's Miscellaneous Musings, and it was a great evening. It's always fun when the audience applauds for the composer (Bernard Herrmann, of course!) when his name goes by in the credits. Fills my heart with joy. Vertigo probably has my favorite Herrmann score for a Hitchcock film. Seeing the movie in 70mm just reminded me of all the reasons movies were made for the big screen. And not just because the details are lost on a small screen (Kim Novak is wearing the coolest hummingbird pin with her grey suit that I've never seen before), but because scenes have so much more power on the big screen. The nightmare scene in particular was twice as creepy and affecting as usual. And I got chills at the end.

I used to watch Vertigo quite often when I was younger. Anytime it came on tv, we'd usually watch it. But I haven't seen it in at least 10 years, probably a lot more. What a little age and maturity will do to your impressions! Things I once semi-mocked, I now understood why they were so. Things that bothered me when I was young made perfect sense now. It was a very different experience, and probably the long gap between viewings helped. Even if I knew every scene and image, I came to it a different person, and it was a different movie.

And now, off to go knead the bread dough...

1 comment:

  1. Okay, with all the Italian cooking and Italian music, I hope you have a glass of great red wine by your side as well.

    My daughter (who has a huge love of all things culinary and took over the cooking duties in our home early last year), has learned to make her own Italian sausage, and, yes, lots of that delicious spice fennel is a must!!

    I know what you mean about first impressions with certain actors. The first time I ever saw Charles Boyer was in "Gaslight," where he was a horrible, murderous husband. When, a few months later, I went to watch "Love Affair," I could hardly stand to see him. There was no way I was going to accept him as a romantic lead! After about 2 years, I eased up a bit and actually liked him in "All This and Heaven Too." I do need to go back and try "Love Affair" again...only thing is since its remake "An Affair to Remember", with the beautiful Cary Grant, is among my favorite movies, Charles Boyer still might come out lacking.

    I have only recently begun to appreciate Stewart Granger. I had seen him a couple years ago in "Green Fire," which I got for Grace Kelly. Now, though, I actually seek out movies for him. Have you seen him in "The Prisoner of Zenda?" He does a great swordfight with James Mason in that one. If you haven't seen it, look for the review on my blog to see if it sounds interesting. (And I still have it in my DVR, so I'm more than happy to record a disc for you.)

    Sorry for always leaving such lengthy comments.

    Happy new year,