The Poison Pen

My Top 5 Films about … Films

Posted in Oddiments by thepoisonpen on November 23, 2011

Being a sick girl for many years meant I spent more than few hours entertaing myself the only way you can, by getting yourself a tesco dvd subscription and watching copious amounts of movies. So herein lies my top 5 films about films! To celluloid purists this is not aimed at being the definitive sacrificial top 5 to end all top 5’s but purely based on the films that I have personally loved over the years. Everyone loves a top 5 right? So lets begin…

5. Cecil B. Demented

I saw this film a few years ago, and coming from John Waters knew it would be worth a watch (not to mention a residual intolerable girl crush on Stephn Dorf from the 90’s) . The film centres around Dorf’s title character who along with a bunch of misfit movie extremists work to capture famous actress Melanie Griffith and force her to star in their guerrilla movie. The namesake of the film being Cecil B. Demille, creator of all films grandeur during his many years with Paramount from the 1920’s. It’s spoofy and fun and hard not to like.

4. Play it Again Sam

The only film in this list not about actually making a film, but rather living vicariously through one: Casablanca. Woody Allen stars as Allan a recently divorced film critic who goes through a series of messy dating sagas all the while getting tips from the spectre of his alter ego, Mr. Humphrey Bogart. It’s got some brilliant scenes, it’s funny and I particularly loved the decor in Allan’s San Franciso apartment. This started out on Broadway and I think it translates really well to to the screen.

3. Ed Wood

Everyone’s seen Ed Wood right? The fact it was filmed in black and white endears it to me more, coupled with my love for all things Lugosi. Historically there’s a few facts and figures that are at war with each other like Ed’s true relationship with people like Bela, but who knows. For now it makes a brilliant entry into Tim Burton’s early 90’s arsenal. Not to mention Martin Landeu won the best supporting actor Oscar for playing the aging and antagonistic Lugosi.

2. Living in Oblivion

Living in Oblivion switches between black and white and colour cinematography, and is far more of a quieter black comedy than the trailer suggests. Steve Buscemi plays the brilliant an angsty director who’s attempted to make his movie are thwarted at every turn. I really need to watch this again, my copy lies somewhere in a pile of  old scribbled on vhs from my years of video+ all the good late night movies. Does video+ still event exist?

1. Sunset Boulevard

Directed by Billy Wilder Sunset Boulevard is the Hollywood film to end all Hollywood films. It’s my own personal favourite movie of all time, telling the tale of aging silent film actress Norma Desmond played superbly as artifice by Gloria Swanson – herself one of the most famous silent stars of her time. Desmond lives reclusively in her dilapidated grandiose mansion with old Eric Von Stroheim as her doting butler. The film is genius on so many levels, particularly in hindsight. An intricate story which also interweaves other Hollywood gentries taken straight from their hey day in the 1920’s: Cecil B. Demille, to Buster Keaton and Hedda Hopper, the notorious and much feared queen of the gossip columns.

I could write about this film all day, and for me, it’s one of the best films ever conceived and constructed to end all Hollywood films.

Girl Illustrated

Posted in Oddiments by thepoisonpen on December 30, 2010

Samantha has lived in Putney all her life.
The great conflict in her life to date has been whether to be a true-blue Chelsea football supporter or a black and white Cottager (Fulham).
In the end she always supports both teams, but is in paroxysms of doubt when they play each other.
Her star pinups are Tom Jones, Peter Bonetti and Tommy Trinder, and her best male friend at the moment is Sir Alfred, her pet poodle.
Samantha is a private secretary to the director of a large company.
“Unfortunately it isn’t like Mogul,” she told us sadly.”

I bought Marc a 1960’s glamour magazine for Christmas (along with some 1950’s crepe paper which could possibly win the prize for most random present) and after looking through it, I have to say glamour magazines back then seemed so much more respectful to women than they appear to be now. It’s filled with such a variety of womens shapes and sizes and some fantastic make up and clothing. It even shows a young Natalie Wood, albeit not in the nudie. Gap in the market?

The Miseries of Human Life

Posted in Oddiments by thepoisonpen on July 29, 2010

I’ve been reading like a fiend recently. It feels good after a period of marginal and inexplicable stupidity. Jewellery glue must be going to my head.

Modeling school-London,1925

Posted in Oddiments by thepoisonpen on May 6, 2010
Speaking of which, I should really learn how to spell.
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The Good Old Antiques Fair

Posted in Days Out, Oddiments by thepoisonpen on May 4, 2010

Me and the Bird attended our local yesterday, choosing to take less money than I should of, it was filled with more fantastic finds than usual to act as punishment. I’m such a regular I already know a few of the stallholders and can even be found tidying Mark the silver sellers stall, that or trying to find rings that actually fit my infantile sized fingers amongst all his dirty tat. A good way to spend an afternoon!

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Care and Feeding of a Mermaid

Posted in Oddiments by thepoisonpen on April 30, 2010

Weeki Wachee has fascinated me all week since I found the Alice in Wonderland underwater teaparty. Wikipedia says:

“Weeki Wachee Springs is a natural tourist attraction located in Weeki Wachee, Florida, where underwater performances by “mermaids”, women dressed with fins about their legs as well as other fancy outfits, can be viewed in an aquarium-like setting in the spring of the Weeki Wachee River. A water park, Buccaneer Bay, and boat rides are also part of the attraction.

Weeki Wache visitors sit sixteen feet underwater and view Florida Mermaids in a performance that is unique in all the world.”

As a British citizen, this can only hold the unbridled pie eyed fascination where one’s own aquatic experience is firmly mitigated to a rainy school trip to Tynemouth Sea Life centre to poke a few stingray and be thoroughly disappointed at the un Jaws like proportions of the sharks. Now ask yourself this, what would have made the Sea Life centre better? MERMAIDS.

Care and Feeding of a Mermaid, originally uploaded by State Library and Archives of Florida.


Posted in Oddiments by thepoisonpen on April 28, 2010


Originally uploaded by gairid1791

I have to admit. Some of my favourite things in this world are bunnys, chocolate and vintage smoking adverts.

Alice’s Unbirthday in Waterland – Weeki Wachee, Florida

Posted in Oddiments by thepoisonpen on April 22, 2010

“At Florida’s Weeki Wachee the Mermaids celebrate in the depths of the Underwater Grand Canyon located at the junction of US 19 and Fla. 50 with an “Unbirthday Party” as part of the underwater show, “ALICE in Waterland” 

Just Plain Freaky.