Wednesday, December 9, 2015

300! THIS IS... [um, no, never mind]

This is my three-hundredth post in this year of 2015. The last time I was even close to three hundred was in 2010 (290 posts).

Do you ever wonder if you'd read your own blog, if you weren't you?

Well, I went back to my 2010 posts, and I really enjoyed rereading them, many of which I didn't remember very well; so maybe I'd like what I'm writing now too, if I weren't me.
I enjoy writing it, anyway, and that's the thing.

Among other things, having a blog gives me a push to do things like look up and screencap the famous aquarium scene in Orson Welles's Lady from Shanghai (1947, right) that is mimicked in the Due South episode "Victoria" (1995, below left--the swimming polar bears are fascinating).

I wasn't sure if the mounty, Fraser, should trust the woman he's in love with, but when I saw that scene I thought, ah-ha, the director is giving film buffs a clue. 
We know: women in aquariums are double-crossers.

I was surprised to notice several other allusions to literature and film in Due South--not usual for TV shows. 
In the episode "Chicago Holiday", for instance, a character is named Mrs. McGuffin, and I thought, could that refer to Hitchcock? 
It fit the episode, which is about a bunch of people scrambling to find a mcguffin: Hitchcock's term for a meaningless object to hang a plot on (a matchbook, in this case). 
I looked it up, and of course it was purposeful.

In the episode "Gift of a Wheelman" a young man (baby Ryan Phillipe) buys a Christmas present for his father at O. Henry's Gifts.
 I didn't catch this (read it on imdb), but the father--who is doing his part of a bad gift exchange--is named William Porter, which is O. Henry's real name. 

Oh---a-ha--I see now the boy's name is Del, like the girl Della in O. Henry's story "The Gift of the Magi", which some of us had to read in high school, right?

I love this sort of game, and it makes me curious to find out more about the people who made Due South

If I didn't have a place (this blog) to put these findings, would I bother to look them up? 
Yeah, probably, some of them, but it's more fun to stash them here as well.

Speaking of behind-the-scenes, I just read an interesting Vanity Fair article, "Here’s to You, Mr. Nichols: The Making of The Graduate" (2008 ). 

I'm always interested in Mike Nichols.

 Publicity still ^ by Bob Willoughby

Here's a funny bit from the article:
Is it possible that Anne Bancroft reminded [Mike Nichols]—both in her intonations and in her appearance—of Elaine May?
Just close your eyes and you’ll hear a Mike Nichols–Elaine May routine in any number of scenes, such as the exchange between Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson in the Taft Hotel—filmed at the Ambassador, in Los Angeles—where Benjamin has just nervously rented a room for their first assignation. He calls her from the hotel-lobby pay phone and she asks:
“Isn’t there something you want to tell me?”
“To tell you?”
“Well, I want you to know how much I appreciate this—really—”
“The number.”
“The room number, Benjamin. I think you ought to tell me that.”
“Oh, you’re absolutely right. It’s 568.”
“Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Well, I’ll see you later, Mrs. Robinson.”


ArtSparker said...

Current New Yorker (dec 7) has a wonderful appreciation of Orson Welles by Alex Ross. Actually a stellar issue all around.

Michael Leddy said...

“Do you ever wonder if you'd read your own blog, if you weren't you?” I do, and I sometimes wonder what I’d think if I were to come across it by chance. I think I’d read it.

I have to read that article. Skimming it, I’m happy to see it mentions the (mere) six-year age difference between Bancroft and Hoffman. When I showed students the film, they couldn’t believe it.

Michael Leddy said...

Oh — and congratulations on post CCC!

Fresca said...

Thanks for the heads-up, ART SPARKER--I'll get a hold of a copy of that New Yorker.

MICHAEL: Your blog is a thrift store of well-sorted goodies!
Thanks for the congrats.
P.S. I was shocked when I learned "Mrs. Robinson" was only 6 years older than "Benjamin"! What a perfectly cast movie---it was interesting to read how they chose the actors.