Thursday, September 30, 2010

R.I.P. Tony Curtis

Another great actor and artist takes a final bow.

Jamie Lee Curtis:

"My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages," Jamie Lee Curtis said in a statement Thursday. "He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world."

Below is a clip from The Celluloid Closet which features a cut scene from "Spartacus (1960) as well as from the classic: "Some Like it Hot".

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Gershwin

Today marks George Gershwin's entrance into the world and into the great American Songbook.

To say that you're a fan of Gershwin is like saying that you're a fan of air. You can't miss hearing his music.

My first memory of being actually aware of who wrote all of these songs was when I saw An American in Paris.

Talk about an aural and visual orgy. Apart from the Ballet sequence which was the closest thing to a LSD trip ever (well until a few years later), the song I remember the most was "Our Love is Here to Stay".

I was entranced as Gene Kelly serenaded Leslie Caron along the banks of La Seine. This was George Gershwin's last hit song, published after his death in 1937.  His first "hit" was "Swanee" written in 1919 and made popular by Al Jolson.

 His contribution to the movie musical was enormous! Think Fred Astaire and the movie "Shall We Dance": which introduced "They Can't Take that Away From Me" and "They All Laughed".

Aside from these popular hits, Gershwin was also known to write a few classical ditties: "Rhapsody in Blue", "An American In Paris", and "Porgy and Bess" may ring a bell.

He was an artist whose genius was only surmounted by his alledged ego. However, unlike many of today's Divas, it was justified.

What's your favourite Gershwin tune?

Gershwin's first Hit: Swanee!

Say "It Ain't Necessarily So", Jimmy.

Frankie sings: Our Love is Hear to Stay.

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