Monday, March 29, 2010

and SNAP. the job's a game!

Due to the upcoming GRE this saturday aft and my reliance on disney films to solve all problems, I've taken to doing anything I can to weather the immense quantities of vocabulary words I don't know as well as I thought I did and math I haven't seen since high school by creating childish tricks to keep such information in my wee brain and maintain a phlegmatic countenance. Didn't know that meant something other than, ahem, a rather unladylike disturbance in the throat? I didn't either chum. My handy dandy vocab cards indicate that I should create unusual sentences to keep this weighty assemblage of words in my head. So what do I do? Use classic film, of course!

For example:

Mr. Potter, a rather avaricious and reprobate sort of fellow, as well as a virulent force in Bedford Falls, chooses to take unfair advantage of the impecunious George Bailey, choosing to prevaricate to maintain power rather than enervate his position in the community. Rather than disabuse the situation, we last see him awaiting the exigent incarceration of George.

Works like a charm.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

adventures in hollywoodland 2010

Rather than pawing at a beach ball and drunkenly stumbling along sandy shores as the stereotypical collegiate spring break entails, I chose to enter a time warp of my own design with one of my good friends as Co el capitan. One of our stops? Musso and Frank's grill, serving your favorite stars since 1919. Honestly I don't think the place has changed much since 1919.

We met up with the super snazzy Kendra of who I've known about the internet for eons it seems so it was lovely to meet you! It's always fun when two Vivien Leigh fans plus one admirer who doesn't know as much as the other two *cough* get together. Our waiter was Sergio, who has been a fixture of the establishment since the 1970s and served practically anyone and everyone who was still in town and not at Forest Lawn.

The other characters of our story are entertaining bar patron and wife. I couldn't decide what drink I wanted because I really don't drink often (how very un-Nora Charles of me) and entertaining bar patron suggests I get a Mary Pickford, an off the menu cocktail which sounded perfect for our surroundings, and was also delicious (maraschino, grenadine, pineapple juice, and rum should you care to know). Another thing I love about M&F's is that they didn't card me. I'm legal and all but the majority of the world seems to think I'm not a day over 14. Maybe they assume anyone who dines there has an 85 year old soul, I'm not sure. After thanking entertaining bar patron, he says "you know who that is, don't you?"

Oh ho ho you have no idea what table you're messing with, sir.

We quickly proved that we did in fact know who she is, and much more, and if I'd thought of it I would've said that I'm more of a Lillian Gish girl myself. Well done, angels.

Now back to Sergio. As someone who has served there for ages, of course we had to grill him. Apparently of the newer set Johnny Depp is one of his chums and gives a 5000% tip. But of course being us we also wanted to know about those of days gone by, and being me I only wanted to know who was the nicest and prettiest of them all.

The super nice?


The super gorgeous and super gracious?

No surprises here.

At one point I was sent a free drink for some reason (who questions such things) so there may have been a bit of the collegiate stumbling but in a prohibition era way. I don't know what that means. ANYWAY I would definitely recommend visiting this place if you're in town. If those walls could talk...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

quiet on the set-the quest pt 1

One thing that I love to do is seek out famous film locations, wherever I may be. I just think it's fascinating to watch a film (especially the older ones) and then see where the magic happened. Especially if things look just the same. For me it creates a sort of continuity with the past which I find comforting and I thought it would be fun to share, especially because my brain is still a bit mushy after having it pulled out of my skull during midterms.

(sorry some of these caps are not the best)

First, a few of the on location spots I have visited:

Greyfriars Kirkyard-Edinburgh, Scotland
Film: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Edinburgh is such a historical wonder and I have a Maggie Smith obsession to thank for my finding the kirkyard, one of my favorite spots in the city. Burials have been taking place here since the late 16th century and walking about it is like stepping into a time warp. The graveyard is most famous for the story of greyfriar's bobby, the loyal pup who was so saddened by his masters death that until his own he guarded the grave, and is now buried in the graveyard himself.

If you look up towards the tree you will see the square tombstone and dark wall captured in the frame above. Hasn't changed at all.

Chester Terrace-London UK
Film: The End of the Affair (1955)

Located just off of Regents Park lies this beautiful neighborhood where Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson had their secret trystes. The entrances to both ends is a magnificent arch which unfortunately I couldn't document because there were residents standing outside and I felt a bit funny, but the neighborhood and it's archways are well documented in the film.

A 180 from the above still, which would have been taken on the second floor above the blue door in the background

Cafe des 2 moulins-Montmartre, Paris, France
Film: Amelie

The cafe where everyone's favorite pixie worked. They rebuilt it as a set but the cafe it is based on is very real.

Please excuse my awkward cone shaped head exacerbated by my awkward but very warm cap.

Christchurch College-Oxford, UK
Film: Harry Potter...s

The UK in general is sort of Harry Potter land and of course there is CGI and studio sets a plenty but the first couple of films did some on location filming at Christchurch, and even if the films aren't masterpieces I can say I've visited Hogwarts. The 12 year old and 21 year old in me is happy.


Bodega Bay-California
Film: The Birds

One of the most iconic sequences in the film is when the kids run out of the schoolhouse towards the bay, only the real schoolhouse isn't by the bay! The complete run is composed of two different streets in the town.


What the kids would've seen as they ran from the school


Pinewood Studios-UK
Film: Tamara Drewe

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of my own for this but last semester I got to be an extra in Stephen Frears' newest film for a day which was an interesting experience to say the least. Needless to say I was very excited to be where the likes of The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus and many other great films have been shot. I was supposed to be an attendee at a literary festival and they set up tarps very near to the beautiful path pictured above out in the beginnings of their exterior shrubbery garden things. On the way to lunch we got to walk through the above pictured building which I believe is the main office that has been there since the beginnings. To the right of this picture is a rather lovely part of the building where I could see an episode of Poirot or some 30s style upper class farce being filmed.

Warner Brothers Studios-Burbank, CA
Studio Tour

I imagine this is pretty self explanatory. Too many films to name. This is the only picture I can find from this trip at the moment so here is the exterior of the Gilmore home for your viewing pleasure.

I hope everyone has a happy Oscar day! I am heading out to LA tomorrow to visit a friend for spring break and have already made plans to visit Sony studios, aka MGM. I'm sure other shenanigans will follow and if anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears!