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Holidays and Golden Days

September 15th, 2012 § Leave a Comment

Scrumptious B+W 35mm prints all over the place this week at the ol’ GI. I’m getting this up a bit late for previewing Friday, so I’ll launch straight into my spiel for our 3rd annual fundraiser.

If you’re reading this, then you care about the Grand Illusion to some small degree. And any increment of degree of caring for our little jewel in Seattle’s cinematic crown should get thee hence to us tonight. I’ll be there slanging drinks yet again, hopefully with the esteemed Elizabeth Scarborough in tandem. It’s always a good time, and this year proves no different. Towering classics of cinema have graced us each year, from Bogart in “Casablanca” to Stewart in “Rear Window” to Tati in “M. Hulot’s Holiday.”

Allow me a moment to say a couple of words about “M. Hulot’s Holiday,” I’ll try to keep it brief. My first introduction to Tati was actually 2010’s animated “The Illusionist.” I mean I knew about his Hulot series, but I had never seen them. “The Illusionist” (from a screenplay by Tati) was an absolute delight of subtleties and visual treats, with hardly a word of spoken or at least understood dialogue. “M. Hulot’s Holiday” is thankfully right and truly in that vein.

Now what I noticed right away is Hulot’s lineage in the way of “silent” comic characters. A cinematic stop-off point in between Charlie Chaplin and Rowan Atkinson. The influence of Chaplin’s silly gaited and frumpled Tramp on Hulot and his precursor to Atkinson’s socially awkward and prankster Bean. I mean, Mr. Bean’s last effort was a movie about vacationing on a French beach in a film titled “Mr. Bean’s Holiday.”  Do you doubt the lineage?

the face of what’s to come and what has come before

So please, for the love of all that is holy (read: independent, volunteer-run, art house cinema), come support the GI tonight. I’ll be there. Hell, even Obama would be there if he weren’t campaigning! (Though that would be an excellent photo op, Mr. President.)

And the other film we have this week? “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” an inspired and wonderful P.I. ode to noir. Classic dames and vamps and vixens and femme fatales abound in this film comprised of archive footage inter-spliced with my boy Steve Martin and the hubba hubba hubba Rachel Ward. And my boy Humphrey Bogart even makes a few appearances! Somewhat in the vein of “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” and “Kung Pow,” characters are made to interact with classic movie footage into an entirely new story. Unlike “Tiger Lily” and “Kung Pow,” however, this movie draws a wide expanse of classic titles from the 40s and 50s. Check out this hilarious brand new 30th anniversary print of “Dead Men” before my breasts get knocked out of whack!

That’s about it from me this week, please enjoy the mellow and beautiful sunny yet overcast day out there, then swing on down this evening for fun and frivolity.

—classic comedy, count me in, dan

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