Category Archives: movies

Speaking of Good Writing-Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes

Downton Abbey is so refreshing to hear as well as to watch. It’s the writing! It’s good dialogue. The actors can hardly discharge good lines if they aren’t any good when written. Thanks to Julian Fellowes we hear good lines…..and thanks to Maggie Smith, of course.
The Dowager Countess character puts me in mind of an earlier writing extraordinaire of Fellowes’, Gosford Park . Countess Trentham, snobbish aunt of Lady McCordle, played superbly again, by Maggie Smith. She has the best lines in the movie. Well, among the best. Fellowes declares that he fashioned her after an aunt of his own. It is a movie I have watched many times because of the good writing; the subtle hints to dwell on, trying to figure it all out. After I did figure it out and I knew what was coming next, I still enjoyed it because good acting follows good writing.
If you want to search and enjoy more of Julian Fellowes, check out Monarch of the Glen. He acts resplendently as a delightful character in the series from 2000-2005.

No, that is not a picture of Downton Abbey. It is America’s Castle, the Biltmore, former home of George Washington Vanderbuilt in Asheville, North Carolina.

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The Art of Klimpt & More


ImageAnything that mentions Gustav Klimpt catches my attention. From there I follow the thread from one thing to another, then find a movie and go there to  learn more. This time the movie was about Alma Mahler Gropius Werfel (nee Schindler) who I believe was related to Klimpt. Her story enraptured me.

The Bride of the Wind is that movie and I have enjoyed viewing it several times over the years. Each time I watch it, I see something I haven’t noticed before. To me, that’s a sign of a really good movie.

It’s a true story set in Victorian Vienna, the city that inspired many great artists of music, architecture, fine art, and literature. It also inspired Alma as she later in life became the famous composer she dreamed of when she was young, but not allowed to be,

Jonathan Pryce plays the role of her first husband, the famous Viennese composer Gustav Mahler. His compositions are still recorded and played today. The ruggedly handsome Vincent Perez plays the role of Oskar Kokaschka, painter of the real Bride of the Wind with his usual intense presence. Oskar’s painting is full of passion, in all blues, very different from the one shown here on the cover of the DVD, which is presented in the style of Klimpt. Seeing Perez in this movie led me to buy another of his films, Swept from the Sea. The thread goes on.

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