Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Touch of the Castro and Weimar Chili

It's barely a week into the year 2009, and I'm already halfway to meeting the grand total of number of visits to the Castro I made in 2008 -- two. It's hard to believe that I'd find much reason to exceed that number of visits this year since it's really hard to find much in that neighborhood that is remotely relevant to my life. Though now that the Noe Valley Streetlight Records is gone, I may have to venture over there more often, but if I've already gone that far, why not just drive or 33 it over to Amoeba in the Haight? Anyway, I was able to pick the full two seasons of Stockard Channing's 1979-1980 sitcoms (worth the $6.98 price but not a penny more).

The main purpose was to see the screening of Orson Welles' 1958 A Touch of Evil. It was great to see it on the big screen. There was murder, drugs, racism, alcoholism, obesity, oil wells, Zza Zza and inter-racial marriage.

Here are what I consider to be the highlights:
* Dennis Weaver saying that it was not his job to change fuses at a remote desert motel.
* Orson Welles saying "Lawyers? Phooey with lawyers, all they care about is the law."
* Marlene Dietrich making the most famed chili on both sides of the border.
* Janet Leigh proving once again that she has the worst motel karma in the history of travel.
* Mercedes McCambridge simply snarling and looking very butch.
* Acid being thrown on a poster of Joi Lansing's character "Zita".
* Orson Welles snarling, "English! Say it in English. I don't speak Mexican."
* Evidence that in the late 1950s everyone in border towns drove enormous convertibles with enormous fins.
* Welles standing beneath a forest of oil wells.
* Seeing Charlton Heston's "Mexican" make up in the sunlight.
* Marlene Dietrich having the last line of "Adios" and then walking into the darkness, likely off to make more chili.

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At 2:21 PM, Blogger rich bachelor said...

"He was some kind of a man. What can you say about people?"...Or whatever Marlene's line just preceding the 'adios' is. I love that movie.

Also, Chuck Heston saying, in his finest swarth-ese, "I LOVE MY COUNTRY!"

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Wow, Stockard Channing's TV show. How odd that you mention that because I have been trying to see if I can get a copy of these for the past three weeks. When you are done viewing I'll place an even higher bid for them. :)

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Rich - I dearly love that movie and anything of Orson's. Even when he was a mess, he was a wonderful mess.

Gary - Stockard's show is a curiosity but no classic. I'd recommend saying your dollars to see her in "Pal Joey," not this early series.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

I hope the library has a copy of a touch of evil available - great, great movie and haven't seen it in forever. of course would be much better in an old movie house on the big screen. but no castro nearby! though there's talk that a restored movie house that will be showing art flicks is coming soon to the near west side of cleveland (not far from where I live)

only time in recent memory that I've been to the castro was a couple weeks ago on a celluloid trip thanks to the marvelous movie milk

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Mouse - Be sure you get the 1998 recut version of "A Touch of Evil" when it was restored to Welles' original edits. One of the times I was in the Castro in 2008 was when they were filming "Milk" and restored it to the early to mid-1970s. Surreal.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Ah, you know I love the "Touch of Evil." Saw it on the big screen when it was "remastered" or whatever about seven or eight years ago.

You probably know that my favorite line is, "Your future's all used up."

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Oh dear, make that eleven years ago, I guess. Sigh. How does that happen?

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Joe - Time does have a way of slipping away. Sometimes I feel like Marlene is reading my cards and sees no future.


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