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David Hines [userpic]

Movie Recommendations

September 16th, 2004 (11:01 pm)

A Song is Born. 1948, starring Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo. Kaye stars as one of nine professors who have shut themselves up in a house for nine years to wite the definitive multi-volume history of music -- only to discover, through a chance encounter with the outside world, that they've missed the jazz revolution. They draft an army of jazz musicians to update their work; Mayo stars as a jazz-singing gangster's moll who winds up in the middle of the proceedings. It's a remake of the classic Ball of Fire, but stands quite well on its own -- and stars an army of jazz greats, including Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Barnet, Mel Powell, Tommy Dorsey, and (as one of the professors!) Benny Goodman.

Forgotten Silver, possibly Peter Jackson's best film. Sweet, sly, brilliant mockumentary about Colin MacKenzie, an unknown and entirely fictitious New Zealand filmmaker who invented the feature film, the talkie, color footage, and (my favorite) the tracking shot.

The Wizard of Speed and Time. Animator Mike Jittlov worked for Disney in the seventies and had hellacious experiences, including wrangles with an evil producer who refused to pay for Mike's work. So Mike made a modest feature film about it, playing himself. The film's producer played the evil producer in the movie -- and in real life; the climax came when he sold the video rights to several fly-by-night distributors simultaneously, inextricably tangling the rights and ensuring that nobody would ever see a dime. Jittlov refers to the product as the Nostradamus of motion pictures -- but it's a fun, cheery movie with great music and hand-animated special effects.

Comments

Posted by: Mara (marag)
Posted at: September 16th, 2004 08:31 pm (UTC)

I love Danny Kaye! I've never seen that one, but it sounds hilarious. I shall have to search for it.

Posted by: Isn't moral anarchy kind of the point? (sharpest_rose)
Posted at: September 16th, 2004 08:49 pm (UTC)
portrait of a hobbiton family

Forgotten Silver! Yay! I have an absolute adoration for that film. I've been to a couple of lotr conventions where Sarah McLeod has appeared, and all the questions are about playing a hobbit and then it gets to my turn to ask something and I'm 'Forgotten Silver yay!!!1'. You've heard the stories of what happened when it was first screened, I assume?

*glees more*

Posted by: cmar_wingnut (cmar_wingnut)
Posted at: September 17th, 2004 07:23 am (UTC)

Cool! Love it when older films are appreciated.

I once heard an ad for 'A Song is Born' describing it as 'Danny Kaye holds the Mayo.'

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