This week we will be exploring the work of Humphrey Bogart.

Bogie can be described with words like ICON and MOVIE STAR.  The real deal.

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For the vital statistics, read this: http://www.humphreybogart.com/index.php/facts then get the rest of the story here http://www.humphreybogart.com/index.php/biography

These movies will are so ingrained in our pop culture that if you haven’t seen them you still know a great deal about them.  I could spend a lot of time here talking about how the Maltese Falcon is a MacGuffin, or about the symbolism in the love story of Casablanca.  Or how even though he is not the love interest in Barefoot Contessa he still has an amazing rapport with Ava Gardner but in a father figure role.

But I won’t bother.  Just watch the movies.  You’ll get it.

This week’s film list:

1. Maltese Falcon (1941)
2. Casablanca (1942)
3. Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
4. Barefoot Contessa (1954)

Bonus but Recommended Films:

1. The Big Sleep (1946)
2. Key Largo (1948)
3. African Queen (1951)

Discussion questions:

1 – If lines are written by a writer or writers, how much of the zeitgeist of a movie quote is owned by the actor who delivered it?
2 – How many actors do you think have been type-cast who may have had great talent that was never allowed to be showcased on screen?  Do you prefer to see actors stay in the same types of roles or do you like when they try new things?
3 – Do real couples do better on screen with one another than non-couples or do you think it matters as long as the actors are good?  How much does real chemistry play into a good film?

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Week Seven: I Know This Story

Ever wonder why there are so many versions of Cinderella?  Why this summer saw back to back Snow White movies?

Well it all comes down to copyright.  These stories along with the Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland entered the public domain and became fair game.  You can make a movie out of the story and not have to worry about who has the rights.  (NB – the books are no covered by copyright but the movies you think of when you hear those titles are so you have to be careful.)  These laws have been changed to the point that nothing seems to go out of copyright any more but the old stories are still up for grabs.  But when you have a ton of versions of the same story you get a bit tired.

Brace yourself for the next interpretation … next up is Sam Raimi’s Oz: the Great and Powerful due out in 2013

In the mean time let’s spend a little time with some fun and different movies based on old stories.

This week’s film list – pick any 3 of the following:

1. Company of Wolves (1984)
2. Freeway (1996)
3. Cinderfella (1960)
4. Alice (2009) Syfy mini-series
5. Return to Oz (1985)

Discussion questions:

1 – Do you like reinterpretations of “classics” or do you wish someone would come up with a new story idea?
2 – Do you have a favorite fairytale or classic children’s story that you wish would be made into a film now?
3 – What demographic factors do you think come into play when using fairy tales as the basis for a movie?