Tuesday, October 17, 2017

May Morris

May Morris, the younger daughter of William Morris and artist in her own right, died on this date in 1938 at age 76. In the photo above she is seated on the ground next to her mother in the hammock. I love the cup and saucer in the foreground and offer this post as part of the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Here she is as a child in about 1865 with her mother:

She's 4th from the right with her parents and sister in this 1874 photo:

She wrote a book on decorative needlework in 1893 which can be read online. She was best know for her embroidery, and images of her work are available online using a simple google search. She bequeathed art to the Victoria and Albert Museum on her death. I offer these that particularly struck me as I was reading about this artist:

A Garden Piece, 1938:

Hanging panel:

Maids of Honor:

Book binding:

Honeysuckle II:

Please join the weekly T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth where you'll find a warm welcome.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Machinist

The Machinist is a 2004 psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and starring Christian Bale. It's painful to see Bale so thin -he's almost unrecognizable- and his character's pain and confusion throughout is hard to watch. But even though it's disturbing to watch, it's a film I'm glad I've seen.


The New York Times has a mixed review and calls it "an expertly manipulated exercise in psychological horror". Rolling Stone says, "Director Brad Anderson tightens the screws of suspense, but it's Bale's gripping, beyond-the-call-of-duty performance that holds you in thrall."

Empire Online concludes, "It looks and feels the business, both in Bale's bone-bag of a body and the morphine-dosed-Kubrick vibe, but it's more a tightly wrought slither through pastures old than fresh investigation into the claws of madness." Roger Ebert gives it 3 stars and says, "The director Brad Anderson, working from a screenplay by Scott Kosar, wants to convey a state of mind, and he and Bale do that with disturbing effectiveness." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 77%.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Red House

The Red House is a 1947 Edward G. Robinson film, also starring Judith Anderson and Julie London. Delmer Daves directs. Priceless, and well worth watching. But then it has Edward G. Robinson in it. Dame Judith Anderson and Julie London are just icing on the cake.

via Youtube:

"Every living soul has its Ox Head Woods."

The New York Times in a review from the time of the film's initial release says, "For this tenebrous tale of an abandoned house set deep in a tangled and forbidding forest and its impact on the lives of a group of people living close by, is told intelligently and with mounting tension. ... the picture's cumulative effect still is as eerie as a well-spun ghost story."

DVD Talk says, "The Red House is an intense, somewhat off-kilter suspense story that promises a dangerous secret and delivers a decidedly "unhealthy" revelation." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 80%.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive is an award-winning 2001 mystery film. David Lynch directs. It has Justin Theroux, Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring, Ann Miller, Robert Forster, and Michael J. Anderson.

Indescribable. It has to be seen.


The Guardian has an article on how to understand the film. The BBC explains why it's the greatest movie since the year 2000. Salon answers all our questions. Vulture explains why it should be considered a great horror movie.

Roger Ebert considered it a great movie, 4 out of 4 stars. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 83%.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Blood and Black Lace

Blood and Black Lace is a 1964 Mario Bava film starring Cameron Mitchell, both favorites of mine. An early and influential giallo film, it makes for interesting watching for that alone. The dubbing is odd. The music is wonderful. If you like this sub-genre you must see this!

via Youtube:

Slant Magazine calls it "influential and still extraordinary".

Moria calls it "one of the essential films in the cult of Italian director Mario Bava". 1000 Misspent Hours says, "Even today, this movie has bite." DVD Talk calls it a "seminal masterpiece" and says, "Blood and Black Lace is a prototypical film worth owning for anyone who appreciates this subsect of film history."

Roger Ebert's site has an article addressing the film in light of the sexual politics of serial murder of women. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 85%.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Frankenstein (2004)

Frankenstein is a 2004 two-episode miniseries, an adaptation of the book. This is a faithful adaptation but a bit slow getting started. Notable actors in supporting roles are William Hurt, as Frankenstein's academic mentor, and Donald Sutherland, as captain of the ship trapped in ice in the Arctic.


The book itself is readable online.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Grim Prairie Tales

Grim Prairie Tales is a 2009 western horror anthology film with four tales told around the isolated campfire. James Earl Jones comes upon a skittish eastern-bound Brad Dourif huddled over a lonely campfire, and gradually the stories unfold. It's a bit awkward, but it's fine enough if you like anthology films.

via youtube:

The L.A. Times says it is "is too slight to be able to recommend it, but it does have its moments." The NYT has a negative review. Time Out says, "The four tales are ingeniously varied (and intelligently keyed to the character of the teller and the situation around the camp-fire); but it's the writing of the framing story and the two lead performances that make the film so special." Moria says, "It certainly uses a much more substantial framing story than the average anthology film. Indeed, for once –perhaps the only time ever in an anthology film– the framing story is better than the stories it holds together. The sequence also has two of filmdom’s great over-actors, James Earl Jones and Brad Dourif, on fine form as they play off one another."

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

J&G Pizza and Steakhouse

J&G Pizza and Steakhouse is in Manchester, TN, and close to the Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park which was part of our vacation this past summer. We passed this sign:

and pulled in. We were greeted by pleasant staff and shown to a table. The interior has a fun look:

This was a great find. I'm sure they do a strong repeat business, as the food was wonderful (I had the lasagna, here's the menu),

and the service couldn't be beat.

Summer is over, though the heat is still hanging on. Highs are still around 90F, so I'm still able to spend a lot of time on the patio.

I like the heat; it's cold I don't like. But I appreciate seasonal changes and look forward to that finally happening.

Please join the folks sharing a beverage for the weekly T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Night of the Blood Beast

Night of the Blood Beast is a 1958 science fiction horror movie produced by Roger Corman. An astronaut's body is returned to Earth after an aborted mission. Is he dead? Maybe....

Unless you're a fan of 50s horror science fiction, I wouldn't bother with this one. On the other hand it's only an hour long, so it won't cost you much time to try it.

via Youtube:

1000 Misspent Hours says, "So many good ideas, so little follow-through". Wild Realm Reviews calls it "an even-worse-than-expected Roger Corman producton". DVD Talk calls it "a surprisingly uninteresting show".

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Call of Cthulhu

The Call of Cthulhu is an award-winning 2005 horror silent made in the style common in 1926 when the H.P. Lovecraft story on which it is based was first published. The story can be read online or you can have it read to you at Youtube. I discovered Lovecraft in high school, and it's a pleasure worth exploring.


HorrorNews.net concludes a positive review with this: "It should go without saying that, for Lovecraft buffs, this film is a must-see. It’s also interesting and entertaining enough for anyone into movies, generally. It’s creepy, melodramatic, a little silly (on purpose), and, most of all, Lovecraftian. And you know what: “The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be!”"

Bloody Good Horror says, "As far as modern horror goes, "The Call of Cthulhu" stands out for all of the obvious reasons...". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 100%.