Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Inklings // January 2021

Hi everyone! The long and the short of it is that I was so busy trying to figure out a Halfway Adequate First Post for the Year + getting excited brainstorming for our period drama party next month + trying to keep up with the LOTR read along that I completely forgot about Inklings! *face palm* Good news is, cliche or not, it makes for a very apropos January post.

So let us at it!

Rules:

1. At any time during the month, on your own blog post a scene from a book or film that matches the prompt, including a link back here in your post.

2. Leave a link to your post in the comments section on this post and I'll post all your links with the next prompt. That's it!

December Round-Up:

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January's prompt is:

A new beginning in book or film 

My contribution comes from Jane Eyre, a book chock full of new beginnings, with the future as it materializes always masterfully tying in with who Jane is/what she's becoming all the way through. I haven't thought this out in all it's details, but it could be argued that every new beginning/pilgrimage section of her story leads directly into the next answering haven. (Yeah, that might all be obvious.) Anyway. It just got me thinking how Bronte ties those two ideas (a haven and a setting out) together. Also thinking how (with the possible exception of Lowood in the early years) she describes each of the havens her heroine finds -- pretty entirely shut away from the world all of them -- as still being worthy fields of endeavor, with work to be done.


"When Mrs. Fairfax had bidden me a kind good-night, and I had fastened my door, gazed leisurely round, and in some measure effaced the eerie impression made by that wide hall, that dark and spacious staircase, and that long, cold gallery, by the livelier aspect of my little room, I remembered that after a day of bodily fatigue and mental anxiety, I was now at last in safe haven. The impulse of gratitude swelled my heart, and I knelt down at the bedside, and offered up thanks where thanks were due; not forgetting, ere I rose, to implore aid on my further path, and the power of meriting the kindness which seemed so frankly offered me before it was earned. My couch had no thorns in it that night; my solitary room no fears. At once weary and content, I slept soon and soundly: when I awoke it was broad day." from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Chapter 11

Love this story so much. Have you read or seen Jane Eyre?

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Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with -- have fun!

Monday, December 14, 2020

A Romantic Blog Party

Come one, come all!

Announcing… 

*drumroll please* 

…a Valentine’s Day Period Drama Blog Party! 

There’ll be a tag and games here at Along the Brandywine and you can also contribute film reviews, character studies, whatever you’d like to dream up connected with the whole period drama romance theme.

Details

  • For the purposes of this party, I’m specifically narrowing it down to period dramas set in the 17th-20th centuries (let’s say 1600-WWII -- not sure if there are many set in the 1600’s, but it’d be fun if you know of any xD). 
  • The only other specification is that all entries must be family friendly (i.e. not rated R). 

That’s it! So start brainstorming my lovely fellow period drama loving friends and be sure to grab a banner/button or two and splash them about (including a link back to this post) so as many people as possible can join in the fun. 

Yay, I can’t wait! ;)  

(P.S. And I'm sorry, blogger is giving me a bit of a run around on the picture sizing/how visible the type is, so some of them are more suited to sidebar use, others if you want to use in a blog post. I've messed with them a whole bunch, but now need to get busy with some Christmas festivity plans... hopefully you can still find one of them that works beautifully for you! <3)

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Movie Review // Lady on a Train (1945) with Deanna Durbin & David Bruce

Yet another deeply longtime family favorite, I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to get around to reviewing this! Actually, it’s been on my list for a long time, it’s just that whenever I start thinking about it I kinda come up floundering for words. 

Also starring Dan Duryea and Ralph Bellamy, this classic Christmas-tide mystery is such a deft combination of styles that it makes it frightfully difficult to categorize.

At first I was going to say it flirts with the edges of film noir (i.e. in the camera angles and storytelling style), but I’ve since found some folks put it completely in the noir class, albeit acknowledging its hilarity.  

Truth is, it’s just brilliant. And classy, very very classy.

Every last scene has it’s own little surprise and/or excitement and I really really really don’t want to give any spoilers. 

Here's my best shot at a quick summary: Spunky San Franciso debutante Nicki Collins (Deanna Durbin) is on her way to visit an aunt for Christmas and just coming into New York City on the train when she witnesses the silhouette of a vicious murder. 

After trying to inform the authorities and being dismissed as having an overactive imagination, she determines to get the help of her favorite mystery writer, Wayne Morgan (David Bruce). 

An entire snowballing adventure of amateur detective work, case of mistaken identity, and lighthearted but none-the-less genuine romance ensues. 

As far as the crime solving methods/police investigation go it's not exactly realistic, but I prefer to think of it as Nancy Drew-esque. ;) And they do a really good job of keeping you guessing right the way through. I remember the first time I was on the edge of my seat and even on subsequent viewings you can feel the tension.

The whole thing is just laced through with humor; but one of my favorite aspects of the story is how Wayne -- dragged into the case very much against his will -- gets genuinely interested and involved (promptly getting plunged in at the deep end with the whole scene in the cellar, replete with cascading wine racks) out of sheer chivalry. 

As I said, I’ve never seen another film quite like it in terms of being able to move so smoothly between laughable absurdity and real genuine emotion -- all in the space of about two minutes and without making one or the other look ridiculous.

As for the musical numbers, while this doesn’t have some of her most famous operatic solos, on the flip side they’re some of my top favorites, still beautifully showcasing her amazing vocal talents.

Deanna Durbin singing Silent Night over the telephone = one of the most beautiful and iconic scenes of classic Christmas film.

Content: it is a multiple murder mystery and the pivotal scenes/center of the film all happen round the environs of a nightclub (at the end of which a murder victim is briefly depicted), but as far as such things go it’s pretty squeaky clean. With a parental preview, I’d say it’s very family friendly.

Altogether it's fun and funny and hilarious and sweet, and it definitely needs to go on your watch list asap! <3 :)

Reviewed for PEPS Happy Holidays blogathon.

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