Smoking Saturday: Naomi Watts

So it’s come to this: I’m not gonna pretend there’s any more to this than, Hey, I’ve got this folder with photos of pretty people smoking cigarettes, and I figure I can’t be the only one who likes looking at these, so… here you are. A new one every week. Trying to link to official sources and give credit as thoroughly as I can. No need to tell me that smoking is awful, either. I know.


Naomi Watts, photographed by Michael Thompson for W Magazine, March 2004. (Via.)

My Week on Letterboxd (12/2015)


No reviews on Letterboxd last week, but for the record, here’s what I watched:

• On Tuesday, March 17, I watched “The Quiet Man” (1952), giving it 4 out of 5 stars. I’ve collected my favorite images from the John Ford film here.

• On Wednesday, March 18, I watched “Song of the Sea” (2014). 4½ stars.

• Also on March 18, I re-watched “Dredd” (2012) in 3D. 4½ stars.

• On Friday, March 20, I saw “Sans toit ni loi” (“Vagabond,” 1985). 2½ stars.

• On Saturday, March 21, I re-watched “Planet of the Apes” (1968). 4½ stars.

• And on Sunday, March 22, I watched “Boudu sauvé des eaux” (“Boudu Saved from Drowning,” 1932). 3½ stars.

Best Shot: Ieri, oggi, domani (Part 3)

Ieri, oggi, domani

Finally, we get to the third part of “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” Mara. It’s my favorite story in De Sica’s film, and we get treated to plenty of beautiful imagery, most notably courtesy of Sophia Loren, of course:

ytt-3-a ytt-3-b ytt-3-g

But, sticking with the theme, my pick for Best Shot is once again one of Marcello Mastroianni being denied the pleasures he seeks. Plus: cat!


Best Shot: Ieri, oggi, domani (Part 2)

Following Adelina, the second story in “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” is the Milan-set Anna. It’s the shortest of the three, and the camera is locked in on Mastroianni and Loren in the car most of the time, so there aren’t as many memorable shots as in the other installments. I love the way Anna looks at Renzo, seen above, but my favorite shot focuses, once again, on Marcello Mastroianni:


Part 3 coming up!

Best Shot: Ieri, oggi, domani (Part 1)


This week we’re watching Vittorio De Sica’s “Ieri, oggi, domani” (“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”), winner of the 1965 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award and showcase of Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni as maybe the two sexiest people on the planet at that time.

The film is made up of three stories, and I will share my favorite images from each in separate posts. First: Adelina.

ytt-1-a ytt-1-b ytt-1-c ytt-1-e ytt-1-g

My favorite shot, and this will be a repeating theme in the second and third installment, as well, is Mastroianni defeated:

Parts 2 and 3 to come. You can (and should, really) watch “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” on Netflix or wherever fine films are offered.

Hold on to your hats!

The Simpsons Brother from the Same Planet

One of the reasons I was looking forward to finally seeing “The Quiet Man” was its connection to my favorite TV show, “The Simpsons.”

In the episode “Brother from the Same Planet,” Homer engages in a long, drawn-out fist fight with Bart’s Bigger Brother, Tom. It wasn’t until I bought the DVD set of season 4 in 2004 that I learned this was a direct reference to the 1952 John Ford film.

Fight scene from The Quiet Man

Showrunner Al Jean explains in the episode’s audio commentary:

“We were looking to rewrite the ending of the show, and [Sam Simon] suggested that we look at the movie ‘The Quiet Man,’ the John Wayne movie where he and Victor McLaglen have this huge fight that goes all the way across Ireland. And I remember we came in on a Saturday to watch that movie, or to watch at least the fight sequence, which goes on for a long time.

It’s a great fight. Just two huge guys pounding each other all the way across Ireland. And the people in the community really love the fight. John Wayne, at one point, is dragging his wife across town, and a woman comes up and goes, ‘Here’s a stick for you to beat the pretty lady with.’ It’s these attitudes you certainly couldn’t put in a movie now.”

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: The Quiet Man

This week Hit Me With Your Best Shot is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by looking at John Ford’s “The Quiet Man” (1952) starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, and the Irish country side.

The film won Ford and cameramen Winton C. Hoch and Archie Stout Oscars in 1953, and there are plenty of images to pull from “The Quiet Man” that confirm the Academy’s judgement. Here are some of my favorites:

The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man


My best shot of “The Quiet Man,” though, is this one from just a few minutes into the film:


It’s the first time Sean (Wayne) lays eyes on Mary Kate (O’Hara), and the way she leaves the frame on the bottom of the image, dwarfed by the emerald trees of Inisfree, is just so unusual and beautiful to me.

“The Quiet Man” is streaming on Netflix.

This and That

Source: Getty

Source: Getty

So I was searching for photos of Brie Larson, Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller (as you do) and came across this gallery from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and it is amazing. My favorite picture in it and quite possibly the greatest thing to ever appear on the internet is the one of Amanda Seyfried posing with some very happy photographers. Just amazing.

Via @obein comes another gallery full of adorable creatures: quokka selfies.

At, Michał Oleszczyk writes about Polish director and “sci-fi visionary” Piotr Szulkin.

And on The Film Experience, Anne Marie Kelly writes up my favorite noir, Ida Lupino’s “The Hitch-Hiker” (1953):

My Week on Letterboxd (11/2015)

Force Majeure

Over on Letterboxd I rate and occasionally review the films I see. Here’s my activity for week 11 of 2015:

• On Monday, March 9th, I watched “Still Alice” (2014) and gave it 4/5 stars.

• On Tuesday, March 10th, I rewatched “Robot & Frank” (2012) and gave it 5 stars.

• On Wednesday, March 11th, I watched “À nous la liberté” (1931) and gave it 4 stars.

• On Thursday, March 12th, I watched “Le bonheur” (1965) and gave it 4½ stars.

• Also on March 12th I watched “Kingsman: The Secret Service” (2015) and gave it 3½ stars, writing:

A character in this movie describes a kind of scene that usually happens in these kinds of movies and then says “But this is not that kind of movie” and then the next thing that happens is literally that kind of scene.

Many, many great parts that somehow add up to less than their sum. Still very enjoyable, but also quite erratic in its tone. More “Free Bird,” less exposition would have been nice. And don’t waste Jack Davenport like that.

• And on Sunday, March 15th, I watched “Turist” (“Force Majeure,” 2014), giving it 4½ stars, writing:

What is more menacing than an avalanche moving slowly towards you?

A camera doing just the same.


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