Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Necessary Inspiration...

Sorry that's it's been awhile since my last blog entry. My excuse is a combination of being otherwise occupied with job-related stuff, along with lacking the inspiration of knowing what to post. Anyway, the latter problem was cured when I read this article on Jeremy Richey's blog, "Moon in the Gutter", about Kim Novak. As it turns out, Jeremy also lists Kim Novak among his alltime favourite actresses, as do I. So after reading his tribute the other day, I decided to watch the film "Bell, Book and Candle" again last night, so I could sketch a caricature of her. After I inked it up today and coloured it on Photoshop, I went back to Jeremy's blog again, only to find out that he's actually showcased this very film role as a follow-up to what he wrote the other day! Here is the link to his fine article on this film.

Jeremy Richey is a far more articulate film commentator than I, so there's not much point in my adding much to it. All I know is that Kim Novak is absolutely sultry and alluring in her role as Gillian, the gentle witch in the story. Since having first seen the film when I was a kid, I can appreciate it even more today for what I perceive as being a sly satire on America's fear and distrust of the communist movement, as typified by the "beatnik" characters who make up the coven of witches in late 1950's New York. Also, since we're at about the halfway point between Halloween and Christmas, this film seems to straddle that interim period quite nicely, being about witches during the Christmas season in Manhattan.

I've long admired Kim Novak's good looks, as, like her contemporary, Marilyn Monroe, she's quite representative of that more curvy, voluptuous type that was definitely in vogue back in the 50's. It's hard for me to pick an absolute favourite of her roles, but "Bell, Book and Candle" is probably it, though of course she is also renowned for her role in Hitchcock's "Vertigo". Also, being the huge Frank Sinatra fan that I am, I have a soft spot for Kim's role in "Pal Joey" too. This was their second film together, having costarred previously in "The Man With the Golden Arm". Here is an original autographed photo from my collection of Sinatra memorabilia, which is a treasured piece as you can imagine.

By the way, here's an interesting bit of trivia relating to "Bell, Book and Candle". Roy E. Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney who is still active in the Company today, is apparently also a big fan of both the movie and the play on which it was based. So much so, that he named his yacht, "Pyewacket", after the Siamese cat that appears alongside Kim Novak as the "familiar" to her witch. (Hey, if I were Pyewacket, I'd probably want to be as familiar with Kim Novak as I could get!)

So in closing, I would like to dedicate this post to Roy Disney, as well as to Jeremy Richey, whose "Moon in the Gutter" blog has become one of my regular daily reads!