Monday, January 29, 2007

Spear and Magic Helmet!

You've all heard the cliché, "The opera ain't over 'til the fat lady sings." Kirsten Flagstad was that fat lady. But she probably wouldn't get a second look today at a casting call for fat ladies. Over-fed Americans have so surpassed her now that she appears almost trim.

But check out that voice! Like a laser beam. Still regarded as the greatest Wagnerian soprano of all time. This is the only movie footage I have ever seen of Flagstad. Includes spear and magic helmet!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Clara Bow... The Eyes Had It

I love Clara Bow films. She was a miracle of the silent era. With no training at all she stepped in front of the cameras and gave performances like no one else. Many other silent film actors seemed to have a library of arm-flinging and grimaces that passed for acting. But Clara Bow could say whole sentences with just her eyes and put across nuanced emotional shifts with just a tilt of the head.

She was so good that that the studios overused her. Not every Clara Bow movie is a great film but she is always great in them, no matter how minor the material.

Who needs dialog when you have Clara Bow eyes?