We'll bring you our review of Tex Avery's Droopy later (didn't get our review copy yet- but it's coming), as well as a new semi-regular feature, Queue Review. However, I've read a couple of articles here and there from around the Shelf Community that I've enjoyed this week that I would like to bring to your attention. First of all if you aren't regularly reading our neighbors in the Shelf Community, you should. Some informative and intelligent stuff, and it's a good way to stay on top of things.
Laura continues her Musings, and gives some thought to Fred Thompson for President and his verbal response to Michael Moore. If you haven't seen it yet, watch the video. Fred is perhaps the most exciting candidate not running today. We hope he remedies the situation soon. Also of interest is the Nixon Library going under the control of the government (National Archives).
Maggie's Farm has a great piece about minimal requirements for a liberal arts education in colleges and universities. I think it is advice that should be taken to heart. We may elaborate on this further in a future article.
Finally, an article that was written by Mark Styen in 2003 on Elia Kazan. Recently we reviewed the Brando documentary on The Shelf, and the stuff about Kazan and Brando were very interesting. As I said then, Kazan brought out the best of Brando's talent. Kazan was a great director for Brando, and Brando was a great actor for Kazan. Their pictures demonstrate this kinship well. On the Waterfront is a terrific and important film, and the collaboration is there for all to see. In this vein, it is a wonder about Kazan's traitorous image in modern Hollywood. Traitorous to whom? Mark Styen gives an excellent answer in his article. Just a small portion:
It’s no fun being a socially conscious movie star if nobody’s conscious of you. You want to be noticed. Not too noticed, not Salman Rushdie price-on-your-head noticed. But just a little bit of attention. And the only time any one in power paid any attention to the political views of Hollywood people was half a century ago. In an ideal world – or if you were making a movie on the subject – the fellows who were politically “persecuted” would be a little more talented, or at least prominent, and maybe it would be better if they weren’t subscribers to an ideology so thoroughly failed and so comprehensively rejected by anyone who’s had the misfortune to live under it. But those are mere nitpicky details next to the towering feeling of validation the latterday Hollywood activist derives from his McCarthy fetish. For the Richard Dreyfus generation, what Kazan did is an affront to their deep conviction of their own heroism.
Amid the herd-like moral poseurs, Kazan was always temperamentally an outsider, and his work benefited after he became one in a more formal sense. But, both before and after, his best productions concern themselves with a common question: the point at which you’re obliged to break with your own – your union, your class, your group, or, in Kazan’s case, your Group.
It is worth your time to read the whole article: The Crucible of Hollywood's Guilt.
Don't forget! Next week is the Duke's 100th Birthday and you'll see more DVD releases than you can shake a stick at; not to mention the release of the TCM Spotlight Collection: Katharine Hepburn set. We'll have details in next week's roundup, and hopefully a full review of the Katharine Hepburn set. In the meantime here is a couple of good articles on Kate; one from Blogcritics Magazine and another from the Charleston Post & Courier. We also had another blogger comment on our Top 11 Kate list, and he has an interesting blog, aptly entitled The Katharine Hepburn Project, devoted to a year long project of watching all of Kate's films. Check it out, and we'll keep checking back to see how he's doing. Maybe he'll have a countdown list as he makes his way through them.
We'll be back later with more goodies from The Shelf. Stay tuned.
It's a small request, but I'd give anything for a good smack on the south end.