Last night we were wracking our brains trying to figure out something that everyone, including stepson, could watch on Netflix instant streaming. Nothing was working. We finally settled on "The Man with One Red Shoe," an eighties remake of "The Tall Blonde Man with One Black Shoe," but stepson went on strike and retreated to his room.
He was right. "Red Shoe," an early Tom Hanks vehicle, didn't take us anywhere, and we stopped watching after about an hour.
Photo from here. Click and see a bunch of other similar photos. Enjoy!
These movies resemble each other not at all: "The Third Man" is a British film noir based in post-World War II Vienna, starring Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, and the excellent Trevor Howard. I won't give anything away about the plot, just that an American investigates the death of his best friend, and suspense ensues. It is a great story written by novelist Graham Greene, and an absolutely breathtaking piece of art, a window to a lost world. I forget how charismatic Orson Welles was-- even in the first shot we see of him halfway through the film, he's riveting.
Everyone in "Third Man" turns in a terrific performance, including the people of Vienna, many of whom are used in speaking parts and as extras in the movie. The city itself, devastated as it was by the war, also stars as a character brought to life by the eccentric, vivid cinematography that revels in the city's shadows, textures, and crazy geometry.
Loved that there is plenty of German in the film with no subtitles. It allowed me to test my understanding of the language and feel as if I had been transported to a different place. Don't worry: all the essentials are in English.
"The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" is on the other side of the spectrum. It is a documentary about a flock of South American parrots-- origins not exactly known-- that lives in San Francisco and forages for food on the slopes of the famous hill that is also home to the iconic Coit Tower.
"Parrots" stars a number of birds that will steal your heart, as well as Mark Bittner, the school-of-hard-knocks caretaker of the birds who steals the heart of-- well, you should watch the movie to find out.
It is stepdaughter's firm statement that she likes pictures of birds better than actual birds, but "Parrots" may be the best of both worlds. The film lavishes its attention on close-ups of these gorgeous and very charming "cherry-crowned conures," neon red and green cuties described with loving gentleness by Bittner.
If you've never been to San Francisco or Telegraph Hill, you might be surprised to see the lush, jungle-like environment within San Francisco's concrete confines that the birds inhabit and where Bittner lives like some solo ornithologist in the trackless Amazon. The area is very small, however, as the filmmaker, Judy Irving, attempts to show with numerous shots of helicopter flybys. Still, when you are with Bittner feeding the birds, it seems as if the place is a world away.
A lovely film that will lower your blood pressure, unlike "The Third Man."
Movie still from here.