Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I watched the movie "Alfie" the other day. The 1966, Michael Caine version. I was too young to see it in the theater at the time, but really loved the song as sung by Dionne Warwick. I was really surprised that the US release featured Cher singing the title song. I don't remember ever hearing her sing it back in the day. It was always Dionne Warwick.
When I got the movie on DVD, I was expecting a fun, frothy romp from the swinging '60's. I've always loved Michael Caine and was looking forward to seeing him as a lovable scamp, always after the ladies.
I was very disappointed. What I saw was a sad, sordid little movie about an absolutely soulless cad. Alfie went through women like Kleenex with no looking back. He did seem to care for them in his own limited way, but it was VERY limited, and only extended to his own pleasure and convenience. He did "take care of" the married woman he got pregnant, and even cried when viewing his aborted child, but it was too little, too late.
He seemed genuinely bewildered at the end of the movie. He truly didn't know "what it was all about" and I doubt he ever would.
I found it rather bleak. I could imagine Alfie as a middle-aged roué, burned out by life and abandoned by the women he'd carelessly used, sitting in his cramped little apartment and still wondering what it was all about.
I still love Michael Caine, though.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

April book report

Amidst all the chaos of the last few weeks, I only finished 2 books. Here they are:

"The Way We Were" by Arthur Laurents
I was mildly interested in the movie, but never saw it. I liked the theme song, though. I don't remember where I found the paperback of the book the movie was based on, but thought it might be interesting. I really struggled to get through this one. I found it depressing. I thought both main characters were jerks in their relationship to each other. Counseling might've helped...
The only good thing was being able to picture the whole thing with Redford and Streisand in mind, so it was kinda like watching the movie. Have no idea how closely the movie followed the book. Don't care.

"I See By My Outfit" by Peter S. Beagle
This one was a delight. I've always loved the fantasy novels of Beagle, and found this book at some sale. It's an account of his trip from New York to San Francisco with his friend, artist Phil Sigunick. It took place in the 60's when both were in their early 20's. They each had motor scooters that had their own little quirks.
The book was a neat little window into a time long gone and an America that no longer exists.