Tag Archives: Horton Foote

Movies and Vintage Television, March 2010

Movies

At the Theater
The Grace Card (2011), Louis Gossett Jr., Michael Joiner, drama/faith. Mac is an angry white policeman who resents black people. Sam (a black preacher and senior officer) is his new partner. It is the story of what unresolved guilt and anger can do and the power of inner healing and forgiveness.

Calvary Church in Memphis was inspired by Sherwood Pictures, which made Fireproof and filmed The Grace Card for around $200,000 (according to IMDB). This is an incredible achievement outside of Hollywood. Apparently the excellent Mr. Gossett was the only one who’d acted in a movie before. He lends weight and dignity to anything he’s in. I could watch him read the phone book.

Some of the actors could’ve used a little more coaching but Michael Joiner is excellent as the angry cop. It’s hard to believe that Joiner’s regular job is stand-up comedy, because there’s nothing funny about Mac. He was really convincing as the tough man who’s teetering on the edge.

Here is the official website.

I hope to see more of this kind of film.

On DVD
Darling (1965), drama. Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey. For years I’ve seen this film mentioned on the “Best” lists, but never had the opportunity to see it. Julie Christie won an Academy Award for her portrayal of an absolutely morally bankrupt young English woman and her morally bankrupt acquaintances and conquests. It is an sordid, ugly story and I’m sorry I watched it. I felt like I need to have a bath just to wash it off.

If this is typical of the best that Hollywood (and by that I mean all professional film-making because this was an English production) can do, I’ll take the purer, even though less “professional” effort of companies like Calvary or Sherwood any day over.

NOT RECOMMENDED

Online
Convicts (1991), Robert Duvall, James Earl Jones, Lukas Haas; drama written by Horton Foote. Hulu. One of Mr. Foote’s stories about the Texas coast in the early years of the 20th century. The main character is Horton’s father as a 13 year-old-boy who is having to work for his living, since his mother’s new husband doesn’t want him around. Horace is learning that life and some people are unfair, but that others (who are poor and have nothing to gain from you) are kind. If you enjoy Mr. Foote’s stories and style (which I do), you may want to give it a try, but be warned: there are gritty and unpleasant scenes. Go here for more information and clips.

RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS

Vintage Television
Columbo, season 1
The Fugitive, season 4
The Dick van Dyke Show, season 4

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Entertainment, Movies, Movies, Television

Cozy Reading

100_8353Brenda over at Coffee, Tea, Books and Me is asking her blog readers to submit their favorite books and movies that are in the Cozy category. She defines them as ones that make her feel all warm and cozy in the winter weather. Partly because we live in the south, my definition would be a little different – books and movies that me feel contented. There’s more to it than that, but when I start trying to nail it down, it gets elusive.

For instance, Agatha Christie mysteries are considered cozies, but they almost always involve murder. No gory details or horrible unpleasantness – but murder, none the less. I struggle with my affection for her books. Surely a Christian shouldn’t be so fascinated with sin. If I’m wanting to rationalize, I could say that it’s actually the intricacies of logic and justice that intrigue me.

Cozy books of all types make up a good deal of my reading. I also read a lot of challenging non-fiction: political, Alzheimer’s tales, biographies, but I find that after a few of these books, I need to read something that calms me down a bit. Because, even though I believe those topics to be necessary and important to my life, they can be a bit stressful.

Anyway, here’s some of my list. It isn’t complete because I’m sure that I’ll remember an omitted favorite this afternoon.

I’ve used Brenda’s format, to help me compare my list to hers.

AUTHORS
M.C. Beaton -mostly mysteries: Edwardian, Scotland, Cotswolds
Elizabeth Caddell – light mid-20th century novels of England
Agatha Christie – mysteries
Emily Kimbrough – reminiscences of very early and mid-20th century
L.M. Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables series
Miss Read – very light and pleasant novels of an English village school
D.E. Stevenson – light English romances
Gladys Taber – journal-like books about living in New England
Laura Ingalls Wilder – Little House books

FICTION
+Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder
*Absolutely any of the Miss Read books
*Mrs. Miniver, Jan Struther (disclaimer: there is a chapter on fortune telling which I skipped. I don’t think witchcraft/occult is harmless fun.)
*The Gown of Glory, Agnes Sligh Turnbull (one of the reader reviews on Amazon compared it to Our Town.)
*The Nightingale, Agnes Sligh Turnbull (same town as The Gown of Glory, different people)
*Half Crown House, Helen Ashton (post WWII England)
*Owl’s Castle Farm, Primrose Cumming (mid-WWII English farm life)
*Now That April’s There, Daisy Neumann (English children returning home from America 1945)
SERIES
*Fairacre series by Miss Read
*Thrush Green series by Miss Read
*Some of the Mitford books by Jan Karon
*Reminisce Magazine books – collections of short personal stories from very early to mid-20th century

NON-FICTION – HOME ARTS
*A Thousand Ways to Please Your Husband with Bettina’s Best Recipes, Louise Bennett Weaver & Helen Cowles LeCron (either 1917 or 1932 edition)
*The Little House Cookbook, Barbara M. Walker
*If Teacups Could Talk, Emilie Barnes
*The Charms of Tea, by Victoria Magazine
*Beautiful Home on a Budget, Emilie Barnes & Yoli Brogger
*Timeless Treasures, Emilie Barnes
*Sew Pretty Homestyle, Tone Finnanger
*Crafting Vintage Style, Christina Strutt
*Creating Vintage Style, Lucinda Ganderton

BIOGRAPHIES & AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
*Farewell, Horton Foote
*In My Father’s House: the Years Before the Hiding Place, Corie ten Boom
*Agatha Christie: an Autobiography, Agatha Christie
*A Fortunate Grandchild, Miss Read
*Time Remembered, Miss Read

FASHION

*20th Century Fashion, John Peacock
*Fashion Accessories, John Peacock
*The Costume Collector’s Companion 1890-1990, Rosemary Hawthorne Air

6 Comments

Filed under Books, Cooking, Cozy, Faith, Fiction, History, Tea

Books Read in September

October! How lovely that sounds in north Texas. That means it’s very unlikely that we’ll have any more 100 degree days until next May.

So, I’m thinking about what I’ve been reading and need to get it written down. Every January, I start a list of books I read during that year, but towards the end of summer I get very lax in keeping it up.

Do you think we can tell something about a person by what they read? Whenever we go to someone’s house, I’m always fascinated by what books are on their shelves, or better yet on their end-tables.

Non-Fiction
Farewell by Horton Foote Farewell Memoir of a Texas Childhood- Horton Foote
This is probably my favorite autobiography. The world was a different place in 1916 when Horton Foote was born. He is a master storyteller and reading this book reminded me of listening to my parents and aunts and uncles talk about their early years (they were a bit older than Mr. Foote). He paints a vivid picture of small town life in the early part of the 1900’s.
*Highly recommended.

The Reagan I KnewThe Reagan I Knew – William F. Buckley
One of the last books that Buckley wrote before his death last year, this is a personal look at Ronald Reagan through correspondence and reminiscences.
*Highly recommended.

Losing Mum and PupLosing Mum and Pup – Christopher Buckley
“They were not – with respect to every other set of loving, wonderful parents in the world – your typical mom and dad.” What an understatement. Christopher Buckley is not my cup of tea, but he writes a fascinating book about one of the most fascinating men of the 20th century. William F. Buckley was a singular man; I just didn’t realize before how singular he really was.
*Highly recommended.

Making an exit coverMaking an Exit – Elinor Fuchs
Publisher’s Weekly: “Fuchs celebrates the richness and folly of life and language in this loving and often funny tribute to her nonconformist mother, Lillian Kessler.” After her brilliant mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Elinor began recording their conversations (how I wish I had done the same). Her insight into the disease and how she coped with it was very helpful to me in dealing with my own mother. Nearly all the books I’ve seen on Alzheimer’s are much too clinical and not terribly helpful. This is not a self-help book, but it had that effect.
*Highly recommended.

MrsAstorRegretsMrs. Astor Regrets Meryl Gordon
Let me say right up front that I don’t like Brooke Astor or anyone else in this book, with the possible exception of her grandson, the photographer Alex Marshall. Not even the author. Especially the author and the subject. Snobbery fairly drips from the pages. If Mrs. Astor isn’t referring to Bill Clinton’s objects of desire as “trailer trash”, then Meryl Gordon is describing someone as not coming from a house with a rusted pick-up on blocks in the front yard. And who are these people? Brooke Astor’s second husband didn’t like her only child, Tony, so he was promptly shipped off to boarding school. After her second husband’s death, she was proposed to by Vincent Astor (he was still married) and she absolutely married him for his money. The rest of her life seemed to be a struggle to buy a good name and position for herself and give as little as she could to her family. She hated her daughter-in-law and condemned her as a gold-digger. The DIL had cheated on her husband (the local vicar) with Tony and they married after each getting a divorce. What hypocrites. The author’s sympathies clearly lie with Tony’s oldest son, Phillip who sued his father for guardianship of Mrs. Astor. Pretty mean stuff for someone so proud of being a buddhist. Gordon doesn’t even seem to consider that Phillip’s motives look mercenary.
*Not recommended unless you want an inside look the vanity and debauchery of the upper class.

Fiction

A Proper Pursuit A Proper Pursuit– Lynn Austin
Set in the Chicago area, 1893 this is a tale about a young woman learning that there’s more to the world than what she learned at finishing school. Austin humorously develops the character of Violet Hayes from a silly girl to a maturing woman. Set against the backdrop of The World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago World’s Fair), as well as the impoverished life of immigrants, the author uses a good amount of history in the story. Her descriptions of the buildings at the fair prompted me to look up the photos on Flickr. It was amazing.
*Highly recommended as a well written, light Christian romance.

Still Reading

Green-Hell-coverGreen Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them – Steven Milloy
Very interesting. My husband follows his website on junk science. We’re reading this one aloud.

Against the Night Against the Night – Charles Colson
I found this one at the used book sale at the library. And I can’t write anything better about it than Larry Gott, who left this review on Amazon:
“5.0 out of 5 stars Most marked up book (next to the Bible), August 27, 2009
I have read this book twice, once when it came out in 1989, and once about 1998. I would mention that between the two readings, I lost my 1989 edition. However it was so marked up, it was hard to read the material for all the markings interposed. The 1998 copy I read mostly on an airplane (and marked it up again!).

In 1989, I thought it had the most substance of any ‘problem and solution’ book I had ever read. Colson was trying to be a ‘watchman on the wall’, and was warning us on what lay ahead if our nation, and the nation’s people (us), did not change our ways. The first half was diagnostic and prophetic (the problem), the second half was restorative and remedial (the solution).

By 1998, America, its people and its Christians were well down the road of what Colson was fearing. And now in 2009, we have arrived and have found ourselves in the middle of a giant mess. I’m going to reread it again, and see if the solutions might possibly still be valid. Highly recommended!”

2 Comments

Filed under Aging, Alzheimer's, Books, Fiction, Politics

Chautauqua

1905chautauqua waxahachie

When was the last time you saw a Victorian fashion show?  Went to a pie social?  Heard a concert by the Levee Singers?

If any of that sounds good to you, then come to Getzendaner Park in Waxahachie, Texas on Sept. 26 and see all this and more at the beautiful, round pavilion.  Built in 1902 for the princely sum of $2,750, it was designed to seat 2500 people for Chautauqua meetings.  With the windows raised, it became an open air auditorium and overflow crowds – sometimes numbering over 2,000 – would gather around the sides, eager to hear the programs. It is now included on the National Register of Historical Buildings and Sites.

The Chautauqua movement began in 1874, when a Methodist minister had an idea to help solve the problem of cultural isolation of rural Americans.  John Vincent and businessman Lewis Miller organized a series of meetings  in a campground setting.  Storytelling, music, lectures, political reform topics (such as child labor laws, temperance, prison reform, women’s suffrage) humor, entertainment and sermons were provided.  The meetings were popular and it ignited a movement that spread all across the country from the original site in Chautauqua, New York. Among the original headliners were William Jennings Bryan, Will Rogers and the U.S. Marine Band. At it’s peak in the 1920’s over 45 million Americans were attending. Then with improved availability of transportation, radio and the movies, the national culture changed and attendance dropped off dramatically.  A few communities have had continuous meetings all these years.  Waxahachie, Texas revived their movement in 2000 with an annual one day meeting, each year choosing a new theme.

This year, the planners are highlighting the history and importance of  King Cotton.  Saturday, September 26, 2009 the theme will be Cotton:  the Fabric of a Community and will include a historical fashion show, a lecture on Dressing the Victorian Woman, a book signing, hands-on demonstrations and exhibits, 2 concerts plus sing-a-long music, a catered dinner and pie social and more.

Two years ago my husband and I attended and loved it.  The programs are well planned and interesting.  That year the subject was the Texas wind and one of the lectures was by a Channel 8 meteorologist.  Now, anyone that knows me can tell you that science is not one of my favorite subjects, but that man completely held my interest (I learned why weather reports vary from station to station and how they are wrong so often.)

Here’s the Waxahachie Chautauqua website . They’ve included a wonderful slide show of the auditorium and last year’s event. Even if you can’t attend, I recommend viewing the pictures. As you can see from the photos, it’s a beautiful building.

It doesn’t list the admission price (which won’t include the dinner and probably not the evening concert) but they do have contact information. If I remember correctly it was somewhere between $10 – 15 per person. And for all you get, that’s a bargain.

Waxahachie  Christmas 2008
This is a photo I took during their Christmas home tour last year.

Merely driving through Waxahachie is a treat. The Victorian houses are lovely, the courthouse a treasure. Even if you’ve never been there, you may have seen the town if you’ve watched Places in the Heart, Tender Mercies, The Trip to Bountiful, Pure Country, 1918 Walker Texas Ranger,and a whole lot more. Most of Horton Foote’s stories were filmed there. A more complete list of the movies made there is at this website .

And incidentally, if you’re asking for directions, it’s pronounced Wocks-uh-hatch-ee. I liked to never learned that after we moved to Texas.

Hope to see you there.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events & Museums