Tuesday, 10 August 2010

NOTORIOUS! Talking about the past....

as well as my newest release - over on iheartspresents

Well, actually - it's a re-issue of two titles I wrote back in 2004.
Please come over and visit - even make a comment!


  1. Excellent post at 'iheartspresents', Sharon! It's been too long since I've seen "Notorious"; I'm going to have to rent that one soon. I'm a long-time fan of movies from that era. Women like Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall and Veronica Lake were absolutely captivating - but Ingrid Bergman took my breath away.

  2. Yes, Bergman is amazing. I'm also a great fan of Greer Garson - especially in the very old black and white version of Pride And Prejudice. Her English accent is abysmal, the dresses are completely over the top and yet somehow it's my favourite rendering of a favourite story. Of course, the fact that Laurence Olivier plays Mr. Darcy might have something to do with it!

  3. It's been an even longer time since I've seen that film, Sharon. I'll add that one to my list, also.

    If I remember correctly, Greer Garson also played Aunt Josephine in a poorly adapted, television version of 'Little Women'. (This would have been much later in her career.) But I remember my sister being terribly upset about what they did to her favorite book.

    I thought she was great in "Mrs. Miniver", which is probably the role she's best known for.

  4. The past and the present - very interesting! As for Dan, it’s been too long since I’ve seen “Notorius”, but I still remember it very well. One of Hitchcock’s few films where romance slightly surpasses suspense and mystery.
    Sadly, I’m not a great fan of Cary Grant - I have a weakness for Gregory Peck instead – and I loved Hitchcock’s “Spellbound” more, with Peck and the already mentioned Bergman (fantastic!)
    Black and white films, in general, are amazing because they make you focus on essential details as glances, smiles, hidden feelings and silences (totally agree on “Pride and Prejudice”).
    In “Manhattan”, Woody Allen says that “he’ll always see New York as a black and white city” and also the film is entirely in black and white. Is this sentence completely ingenious, isn’t it?
    About your post on iheartpresents – it’s true, books are timeless as well as films and their message is universal. They can talk about love, friendship, death, grief, memories or more… no matter, they find something inside of you and make it go out and sometimes they help to know yourself better.
    Being in theme of romance, an example: I recently watched (once again, I’ve lost the count) “Roman Holiday” (Peck again!) – and every time I discover so many messages in that film.
    The princess (the great Audrey Hepburn) who doesn’t accept her royal status (meaning that everyone of us wants to live his/her life with freedom), the timeless beauty of Rome (as I said, more details come out in a black and white film – and seeing how much it’s changed today makes me feel nostalgic); the man, a journalist, who thinks of his career (at first) and is ready to sacrifice everything in the name of kudos.
    What makes these two people change? Love, of course.
    Two different cultures collide so tenderly and so unexpectedly (how many times in life can this happen? It can, at least once) and make them mature.
    Sadly and differently from Presents they have to sacrifice their love (this also happens in life), but there’s an important evolution at the end of the film.
    The princess learns to understand the importance of her role and the journalist will be a better man in future but they’ll never forget that crazy, beautiful summer along Roman streets where they were just “a man and a woman”. I’ll never forget the last scene where Peck and Hepburn’s glances seem to escape from the screen.
    How many messages in this film?
    Many, exactly. And how I hate when critics label it as a simple, silly comedy…Generally I’m keen on happy endings but unhappy ones are remembered mostly. We can think of Romeo and Juliet, Othello and Desdemona, Katie and Hubbell, Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, Tristan and Isolde… the list is too long! Also, in “Sense and sensibility” - do we remember more that Marianne marries Colonel Brandon or that she was abandoned by the dashing, handsome (but cruel) Willoughby?
    This makes us think…

  5. Totally agree, Michela - it's tragedy and the big, dark emotions it evokes which is most memorable in literature. It's why we like to read about the arrogant/proud/dismissive hero....and revel when the heroine finally tames him!

    And sad music is much more powerful than the light, happy stuff. Think of the Brahms German requiem, which seems to encompass all the hope and resilience of the human spirit...

  6. Congratulations on the reissues, Sharon. I've not read them before--they sound really good!

    I've left a comment over at IHP, but a few hours later it seems to still be with the moderator (and, no, it was NOT a saucy comment!). I suspect it may not make it!

    Lots of love,

    p.s word verification is 'bedless'! Surely not!

  7. Rach, those word verifications get more and more bizarre!

  8. To Dan: yes, Greer Garson played Aunt March in a 1978 television version of “Little Women”, though I’ve always loved Mervyn LeRoy’s one starring a very young Elizabeth Taylor, June Allyson and Peter Lawford (who would have said that “Laurie” was going to be part of Kennedy’s family…).

    And Sharon – since you love Brahms you may like the film “Goodbye Again” also known as “Aimez Vous Brahms?” starring Ingrid Bergman (again!) and Anthony Perkins (watching Psycho’s Norman Bates playing a romantic role is so weird!) about a 40 year old woman who falls in love, returned, with a 24 year old man. Unusual plot but excellent acting.
    And the presence of Yves Montand justifies at least a showing.

  9. A very unusual and strong-sounding plot, Michela - I approve!

    I also loved Mrs. Miniver and another of Miss Garson's films which my mother adored, is called Blossoms In The Dust....

  10. Yes, very unusual – the only film coming to my mind with a similar plot is “The Graduate”, which is totally different but what a masterpiece of cinema!

    Two unforgettable scenes: Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” playing in the intro of the film and Dustin Hoffman screaming out “Elaine” repeatedly in the church at the end of it.

    Old classic films are also my mother’s passion – a common passion.
    Nothing can beat a cold, winter afternoon (sadly without snow in Napoli, sob!) sitting on the sofa with my mum, drinking a cup of hot chocolate and watching films as “It’s a wonderful life”, (a MUST at Christmas) “A Streetcar Named Desire”, (Brando is Brando…) “From Here to Eternity” (no need to explain…), “Gone with the wind” (…) or when my love for Russian customs, literature and language comes out more than usual – “Doctor Zhivago” (Lara’s theme is so evocative...).
    I know this will be one of the things I’ll never forget – spending time with my mother, sharing that beautiful thing called art.