Wartime Romance Films: All’s Fair

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Coming out of Dunkirk last week (guys, it’s amazing- go watch it (except for the erasure of everyone who wasn’t a white man from WWII)!) I was inspired to write a list of great war films.
When I got on it the next day I realized belatedly that war film knowledge is really a big gap in my film expertise.  I haven’t watched most of the classics yet (Bridge on the River Kwai, All Quiet on the Western Front, Das Boot, Patton, etc.) and I couldn’t get more than a few minutes into Saving Private Ryan when I tried to watch it a few months ago. (It’s just so overblown and melodramatic).

My list would have been solely Hacksaw Ridge and Dunkirk, and we can’t have that- even if I do write movie pairing posts sometimes.

So I decided to ease into the subject with a genre I know a little (okay, a lot) more about- wartime romances.

My criteria were vaguely as follows: 1) There must be a war that actually took place in reality. 2) The plot must primarily follow some kind of romantic trajectory- the love story can’t be a secondary consideration, which rules out things like Hacksaw Ridge and Watch on the Rhine.

Be warned- it’s a bit of an eclectic list, but all are worthwhile in my book. Continue reading “Wartime Romance Films: All’s Fair”

Books: Bizarre Bizarre

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I’ve had some great fun reading surreal, magical, and just plain odd books.  They’re brilliant at both lightening your mind and giving you the space to think about issues in a new or less static way.
Here’s a mix of the most fantastical and bizarre books I have read, including both my favorites and others that I think fit too well not to be included, even if they didn’t do it for me.
Do you have any beloved surrealist books?  Books of odd characters and unbelievable circumstances? Continue reading “Books: Bizarre Bizarre”

Familiar Film Faces

For a person of 20-going-on-21, this list is… um…. a bit embarrassing.
I like old movies (classics, please) just as my literature preferences lean more toward the 19th century.

Naturally, my favorite actors and actresses are similarly timeless/currently deceased.  Mostly.
And my favorite actors are not necessarily the ‘best’ actors, but rather the people I am always happy to see on the screen.  Just as when a book is written by my favorite author I try to read it, if a movie has one of these people in it, I try to watch it.

Jimmy Stewart: I date my film obsession back to when my grandmother showed me Rear Window the summer before my freshman year of high school.  In reality, it had probably been seething beneath the surface before then- but the breathtaking combination of Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly (see below), and director Alfred Hitchcock caused a veritable explosion in my conception of what films could be.  I like Jimmy Stewart for his self-effacing, foot-shuffling charm, whether he’s bringing it to a screwball romantic comedy (Philadelphia Story), a Western (Destry Rides Again), or the quintessential Christmas film (It’s A Wonderful Life). Continue reading “Familiar Film Faces”