Old-Style Scares: Halloween Films in B&W

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I’ve already mentioned that Halloween isn’t a big thing here in France, but it continues to be a big thing in my America mind- which explains why I’ve let go of the crutch that is mindlessly watching television shows for the first time (Game of Thrones and Sherlock) and turned to some more spooky stuff.
Not that GoT and Sherlock don’t get kind of… odd.

So creepy black and white films, what have I got? Quite a bit actually.
I’m trying to capitalize on the creepy and supernatural over suspense, because then (knowing me) we would wind up with just a list entirely of Hitchcock films.

But there’s still some Hitchcock:

  • Psycho, 1960: Psycho is fair game because it’s one of the most famous, most impactful horror films of all time. Also, you knew it was on the list because of the header image, so no surprises here.
  • The Birds, 1963: Another granddaddy horror film, but this time with some definite shades of the supernatural. Truly I don’t find this very scary, but it is a magnificent film.

What did I watch yesterday?

  • Death Takes a Holiday, 1934: Spoiler alert, he falls in love. I actually had a very good time with this film- and Henry Travers is in it. ❤

Hey, that was a good book:

  • The Innocents, 1961: The Innocents is based on Henry James’ Turn of the Screw and it definitely captures the novella’s encroaching claustrophobia and uncertainty. Is there evil afoot or is the governess batshit crazy?
  • The Haunting, 1963: Based on Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hillhouse, the film isn’t quite true to the book, but it’s fantastic in it’s own unique way. Very atmospheric and spine-tingling. I recommend both.
  • Nosferatu, 1922: The original vampire movie, based on Dracula, the original vampire book.  Even more chilling than the titular villain? A wife calling her husband by his last name.
  • The Uninvited, 1944: Based on a little known book by the same title, this is a beautiful and suspenseful family mystery/ghost story/romance.
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1947: So this is neither creepy nor scary so much as good wholesome odd couple romance. With Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. So yeah, pretty good.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1939: Not supernatural but almost so, and the desolate moors and howling lend a fair bit of creepiness. It stays.

I love Bette Davis:

  • Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, 1962: Not supernatural but definitely one of the more disturbing and creepy films on this list (possibly ever). Child stars, faded glory, and a permeating air of decay.

Dream within a dream:

  • Dead of Night, 1945: Supernatural tale-telling between guests at a country house starts takes an odd turn as one begins to experience some pretty spectacular deja vu.

The artsy French are so weird:

  • Eyes Without a Face, 1960: I find this to be a completely amazing movie, both in terms of its haunting beauty and the simple but strange plot. Face stealing.

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Friday Links 8/11

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Firstly, thank you for helping me reach 60 followers! I’m very touched that people enjoy reading this blog enough to submit to a never-ending influx of post notifications.
Also I’m picking up my Visa today. And maybe finishing up my tour of the Greater Boston area vegan pizza scene (i.e., three restaurants).

Also also, I may have broken my toe this morning. This has been a summer full of walking into things and burning myself on heating elements. And cooking, but I guess that goes with the heating element part.

So what else is new? Continue reading “Friday Links 8/11”

Role Models: Literary Villainesses

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You may have noticed that I took the weekend off from posting, which was nice because I didn’t have anything I very much wanted to get out.

But today I’d like to talk about some of the women in literature I find to be very inspiring- the women who are pretty much the devil incarnate.

Putting aside issues of women’s representation in literature and other arts, and how it may or may not be more connected to men’s imagination than female actuality… some of my favorite characters are strong, selfish, and mean people.

I’m not sure why this is, especially because I’d like to think that I personally am nothing like that.  But it’s also not difficult to see why their drive, anger, and uncompromising attitudes are appealing.  After all, the world is a scary place and women are frequently expected to be easy victims of it. Continue reading “Role Models: Literary Villainesses”

Watched and Read Over Break

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Sigh. I’m back at Yale and it’s so sad because it’s so cold and not my home but at the same time it’s so good because Lily’s here and Minerva (my cat) is so happy to be an only cat again.

I have my new calendar up and I used my unpacking as a chance to rearrange and to admire everything I own. I think there’s a great value in taking the time to want the things you have. I also bought that pair of J. Crew houndstooth socks I’ve been ogling for months (I made Dad buy them for me as a going away present). Proud to say they were $5.30 marked down from $12.50. We had dinner at Blue State and I failed to get to Bass Library before it closed. I have a foot high stack of things to return (and even more to check out- I think my check out list may be on the table for tomorrow).
And I think the new semester is the perfect time to debut a new toothbrush. It’s time, you know?
Now that I’m back on campus, I hope that my pleasure reading and film viewing won’t stall out too much, but realistically I know that it will. Continue reading “Watched and Read Over Break”