Category Archives: Movies

Where to Spend the Summer — Two Very Different Summer Rentals

Looking to spend some time out of the city this summer, but tired of old standbys like Martha’s Vinyard (if you’re a Democrat) and Mordor (if you’re a Republican)?

Here are a couple of options that will give you so many stories that your “What I Did Last Summer” paper will practically write itself.


Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

Maybe she did; maybe she didn’t.

The jury needed only an hour and a half to acquit Lizzie Andrew Borden of the axe murders of her father and stepmother in 1892, but no one else was ever prosecuted for the crime.

The Fall River, Massachusetts, house where the murders took place is now the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum. You can reserve Lizzie’s bedroom itself for $250 a night. It shares a bathroom with the John Morse Room—available for $275—where Abby Borden’s body was found. 

That website, btw, is a delight, and well worth a look.

Earlier this year, the owners of the B&B bought Maplecroft, the house that was Lizzie Borden’s post-trial residence. She lived there for 34 years, until her death in 1927. They plan to open it as another B&B this summer.


Marilyn Monroe’s Summer Cottage in the Hamptons

If you’re not into sleeping at famous crime scenes, and if you have a lot of spare cash lying around, how about this: The East Hampton windmill house that Marilyn Monroe shared with her third husband, Arthur Miller.

You can rent it for the full summer, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, for $55,000. Or you can lease it for a full year for the bargain rate of $68,000.

According to the New York Post, “Monroe — who fled California for New York in 1954 when her marriage to Joe DiMaggio ended — prepped for her role in the 1959 film Some Like it Hot at the cottage. She was regularly seen driving around town in her Thunderbird convertible.”

Monroe isn’t the house’s only famous former tenant. Other celebrities who have rented the cottage over the years include Ralph Lauren, Terence Stamp, and Kurt Vonnegut, all of whom, I’m willing to bet, rarely got through an East Hampton party without dropping the line: “I’m renting the Marilyn Monroe windmill house for the summer.” Being able to do that is surely worth $55,000.

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50 Years Later, There’s a New Print of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And It’s Drop-Dead Gorgeous.

This MUST be watched in full screen!


Thanks to Christopher Nolan, there’s a new 70mm print of Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nolan saw the film as a child in London, and, like many people, never got over the experience. in a good way.

After the success of Dunkirk last year, he spent months overseeing the project to create the new print. He emphasizes that it’s not a restoration:

“For the first time since the original release, this 70mm print was struck from new printing elements made from the original camera negative. This is a true photochemical film recreation. There are no digital tricks, remastered effects, or revisionist edits. This is the unrestored film – that recreates the cinematic event that audiences experienced fifty years ago.”

2001: A Space Odyssey opens on 18 May 2018, for limited runs in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, with more cities to follow. You can find ticket and engagement information at the 2001: A Space Odyssey website.

(Speaking of engagements, there’s no word yet on whether the 18 May release date will lead to a postponement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, which is scheduled for the next day in Windsor. What a dilemma for those poor guests!)

The recreated edition will be released on DVD and Blu-ray this fall, but you really want to see this on a big screen with big sound.


Here’s the original trailer for the 1968 release of 2001: A Space Odyssey:

“Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”

In Bruges in Bruges

I’d been dreaming of doing this for years.

I sat there, in that little café off Bruges’ central square, took out my IPad, and watched In Bruges.

in Bruges.

I didn’t watch the entire film, of course, just a few favourite scenes.

I know it might seem silly and trivial, but it made me inordinately happy.

It made my trip to Belgium.

In Bruges

Confession time. The main reason I came to Belgium was not the Breugels nor the chocolates, not the Rubens nor the mussels.

It was because 10 years ago, I saw Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, and I knew I had to go there someday to see the city for myself. In Bruges is easily one of my five favourite movies of the 21st century, and there are only 82 more years to go, so that might be a lock.

Belgium is a small country. It’s less than an hour’s train ride from Brussels to some of the prettiest towns in Europe. On a rainy Wednesday morning, I was off the Bruges.

After the stateliness of Brussels’ Grand Place, the historic central square of Bruges seemed disappointingly commercialized, with a group of carnival-type rides and amusements. The city center is a World Heritage Site, and the tackiness detracted from its beauty.

Bruges, which survived the two World Wars with little damage, is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. It’s a canal city, like Amsterdam and Venice, and boating along the canals gave me an unforgettable view of some of Bruges’ marvelous architecture.


These are the grounds of the Groeningemuseum, which has a small but brilliant collection. Among the stunners is this triptych called “The Last Judgment”, attributed to Hieronymus Bosch and his workshop.

"The Last Judgment". Image found on the Net

“The Last Judgment”. Image found on the Net.


In Bruges

This is a heavily edited trailer for In Bruges. The dialogue in Martin McDonagh’s movies is rude, crude, and profane enough to make Al Swearengen blush. You’ll have to watch the film to hear it, though, because it’s been purged—not by me—from this video.

“Every Wes Anderson Movie”

I’m immune to the whimsical charms of director Wes Anderson. His movies make me itchy, and I’ve never seen one without wishing I’d spent the time on something more productive and entertaining, like defrosting the freezer or finding out what Ivanka Trump is up to these days.

Anticipating this weekend’s release of Isle of Dogs, Anderson’s latest voyage to the Land of Twee, the people behind the Screen Junkies YouTube channel have posted one of their “Honest Trailers” videos.  Instead of simply promoting the new feature, this trailer covers the entire Anderson oeuvre.

Look on his Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

The Breathtaking Brilliance of David Bowie is at the Brooklyn Museum

David Bowie is at the Brooklyn Museum is the most exciting, dynamic, and fascinating show you’ll see this year.

Here are some of the things you can see or hear at the exhibition:

“Highlights of the exhibition include more than 60 custom-made performance costumes…85 handwritten lyric sheets, including those from “Fame” and “Fashion”… drawings, including a sketch for the Young Americans album cover; and oil paintings, including two of musician Iggy Pop, all by Bowie…more than 40 pioneering music videos, television clips, and filmed roles as well as a multimedia presentation of international tour footage…custom audio mix made up of snippets of Bowie’s songs…”

—from the exhibition’s web page

 

The show originated at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, in 2013. Since then, it has been on a tour that took it to 10 cities on five continents. David Bowie is has been seen by more people than any other show in the V&A’s 166-year history.

These reviews, from Vogue (“Go. Just go.”) and Rolling Stone (“Stunning”), describe parts of the show, and explain why it’s the Must See exhibition of 2018.

It runs through 15 July 2018. This is the last stop of the tour, so once it’s gone, it’s gone.


Souvenirs

Even if you can’t get to the exhibition itself, you can buy the David Bowie cotton tote bag ($10) or the lavishly illustrated David Bowie is exhibition catalogue ($45 softcover, $55 hardcover). All available at the Brooklyn Museum’s shop.


(Photography wasn’t allowed, so all these pictures are from the museum’s website.)

Ready Player One – “The Final Trailer”

Ready Player One opens at the end of this month, and this video was posted as “The Final Trailer”. It seems to be a fusion of two trailers, and it doesn’t appear to be an official Warner Brothers release, but it has some exciting content.

Maybe it’s just because I’m giddy about the return of the Thin White Duke these days, but doesn’t the Parzival avatar look Bowie-esque?

Here’s what I wrote after the first trailer was screened at Comic-Con last summer.

And here’s yet another trailer, this one titled “Official Trailer #5”, aka “The Clark Kent Trailer”: