Category Archives: Movies

The song “Gran Torino” from the film Gran Torino

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Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino
Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino

The haunting tune “Gran Torino” (Composed by Clint Eastwood, Jamie Cullum, Michael Stevens, Kyle Eastwood, and Written by Michael Stevens) from the film of the same name is a bit reminiscent of the song “Skylark” (Written by Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael,) and featured in Eastwood’s memorable film:Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Both renderings have the floating, fading, disappearing quality of smoky dissipation. Listen to this musical tribute to “Gran Torino” (provided by YouTube’s “jeremjoee.”)

I was also struck by the similarity to another amateur singer’s (he was primarily a horn player) vocal work on a song from the 60s: Herb Alpert’s “This Guy’s In Love With You” presented on this YouTube clip, from someone called “thegoochman.”

Both performances have a very tentitive quality. The voice is barely there, yet it somehow manages to surface – into a moving, memorable work of audio art. Eastwood’s very short (just a few seconds) vocalization of “Gran Torino” (other performances of the film’s theme are played throughout the movie) is one of the best audio-slices I’ve heard lately “in the muggy, foggy, haze of ear polution out there,” as Walt Kowalski (Eastwood’s character) might say.

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MERYL STREEP, PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN & CO hit one out of the park without DOUBT.

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Hoffman, Davis and Adams
Hoffman, Davis and Adams

Click to enlarge IMDb photo of Hoffman, Davis and Adams

THIS POST IS FROM [The other blog] JANUARY 5, 2009)

John (Moonstruck) Patrick Shanley’s “DOUBT” is a tight, lean movie – that is to say: there is no extraneous fat, what-so-ever. Every scene, every word, every shot is integral to the movie – nothing is wasted.

Without a doubt, there will be Academy Award Action for this film. Possible nominations may be: BEST MOVIE, BEST CASTING, BEST SCREENPLAY (John Patrick Shanley,) BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (Philip Seymour Hoffman,) BEST ACTRESS (Meryl Streep) and more.

Set in “The Bronx” (1964) at St. Nicholas’ Catholic parish-school, Father Brendan Flynn (Hoffman) is accused of a vague indiscretion with a black student by principal Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Streep.) Sister Aloysius Beauvier suspects that the head priest has taken the troubled minority student just a bit too far under his wing, eventhough she has absolutely no proof. She is running on her moral compass and is certain that she is right. And, she is going to win – at any cost.

Amy Adams as Sister James is stunning even under her habit, which frames her beautiful, sparkling face in a dark halo. There’s a bit of comic-relief in the form of elementary school antics from the uniformed students, and an especially amusing scene with Sister-Steam-Roller snaking down the church-isle, during mass, whacking various students for snoozing or other inattentiveness. Viola Davis as Mrs. Miller (the troubled boy’s mother) keeps it real with a heart-wrenching portrayal of a 60s era Black mother’s desperate suffering. This is a film I’ll see twice, maybe thrice, maybe more.

“It’s 1964, St. Nicholas in the Bronx. A charismatic priest, Father Flynn, is trying to upend the schools’ [sic] strict customs, which have long been fiercely guarded by Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the iron-gloved Principal who believes in the power of fear and discipline” read more from IMDb

Check out the IMDb pages for Doubt…

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