Today is WIZ’s fifth birthday! To celebrate that and LONNOL Month, we’re giving away TWO free silver screen classics from days of yore for your viewing pleasure!
This first is a rerun from a previous WIZ Retro Review Giveaway, but it’s one of my favorite old flicks. Come Next Spring is a generous story with a quiet but strong heart. Like many of these older films, rather than relying on in-your-face action sequences and special effects, loud soundtracks, and romantic drama that glues a box-office-compatible couple to center stage, Come Next Spring turns on resonant dialogue and actual, honest questions about family and community relations.
The story: recovering alcoholic Matt Ballot (Steve Cochran) returns to his Arkansas farm and the wife, Beth, and daughter, Annie, whom he abandoned twelve years earlier. He’s more than a little interested to see what’s become of them since he left. As he walks down the home stretch, he meets Annie. Annie is a voiceless creature who keeps company with animals but runs away from her father, who doesn’t recognize her. When Matt reaches the old homestead, he’s surprised to discover not only that his stoical and resourceful wife Bess (played beautifully by Ann Sheridan) has held everything together quite well without him but also that he has a delightful son, Abraham (Richard Eyer), born after Matt ran out on the family. Continue reading “WIZ Retro Review Giveaway Double Feature: Come Next Spring and Merrily We Live”
In spite of how elements of this movie’s storyline deal with the troubling subjects of alcoholism and abandonment of family, Come Next Spring is a generous story with a quiet but strong heart. Like many of these older films, rather than relying on in-your-face action sequences and special effects, loud soundtracks, and romantic drama that glues a box-office-compatible couple to center stage, Come Next Spring turns on resonant dialogue and actual, honest questions about family and community relations. No glamor kings and queens in this movie. Its “just folks” actors provide it with a low-key, slow-moving charm. Continue reading “Retro Review: Come Next Spring by Patricia”
Wilderness Interface Zone would like to thank participants who put their hearts in our Love of Nature Nature of Love Month. The list includes:
Ashley Suzanne Musick
Gerard Manley Hopkins
You all helped WIZ celebrate love and nature with fair fond tokens of well-worded affection. Thank you!
Thanks also go to our readers and commenters. There’s still plenty of room open (until March 24) on our LONNOL month giveaway of Typhoon, starring Dorothy Lamour and Robert Preston. If you’d like one, please go to that post and leave a comment. I’ll contact you for shipping information. WIZ offers these DVDs free to readers in appreciation for your presence here and for your support of WIZ’s mission to create a rhetorically-diverse space for Mormon nature literature (though, of course, all nature writers are welcome–see submissions guidelines here).
Also, WIZ’s 4th Annual Spring Poetry Runoff Contest and Celebration will open on the vernal equinox, March 20, with categories for both competition and non-competition, an open-invitation spring haiku chain, another Retro Review, and other revelry. Please make a note of the Runoff’s pending arrival and watch for announcements detailing this year’s activities and prizes.
Again, deepest affection to you, contributors, and to you, readers and followers of WIZ, for your continued presence here.
Today is WIZ’s third birthday, and we’re in the mood to give gifts to our loyal readers. For its giveaways, WIZ chooses flicks that feature nature in some way. Our featured movie this time: Typhoon, starring Dorothy Lamour and Robert Preston.
This movie comes from an age when Hollywood trotted out the tropics when it needed an idyllic backdrop to frame one of its golden-throated beauties. Because, you know, nothing makes nature look better than a sarong-clad peach. Typhoon contains several formulaic parallels to The Jungle Princess (reviewed here on WIZ), the movie that launched Lamour’s acting career. Typhoon is another eye-and-ear candy adventure-romance starring Dorothy Lamour and animal friends along with a young Robert Preston in a screenplay that features cutting-edge special effects for 1930s-era films (Typhoon was released in 1940). Continue reading “WIZ’s Birthday Retro Review: Typhoon”
Roses are red;
Their odor is heady.
LONNOL month’s here–
Are your Valentines ready?
It’s Love of Nature Nature of Love Month on Wilderness Interface Zone, and we’re looking to publish love abroad. Do you have a message of friendship and love you’d like to send someone? WIZ is looking for original poetry, essays, blocks of fiction, art, music (mp3s), videos or other media that address the subject of love while making references to nature. We’ll also take the flipside: We’ll publish work about nature intertwined with themes of love. Besides original work you’re welcome to send favorite works by others that have entered public domain. So if you have a sonnet you’ve written to someone dear to your heart–even and perhaps especially your pet hamster Roley Poley or faithful horse Old Paint–or perhaps a video Valentine or an essay avowing your love for a natural space near and dear–please consider sending it to WIZ. Click here for submissions guidelines.
Besides rolling out a (hopefully) heart-embroidered carpet of love-art, we’ll also be running two WIZ, nature-laced, romantic DVD giveaways, Typhoon, starring Dorothy Lamour and pre-Music Man Robert Preston, and a Pre-Hays Code movie, King of the Jungle, starring scantily clad Buster Crabbe as Kaspa the Lion Man.
We hope you’ll join the celebration. Let’s warm up February with fond feeling.
Yep, this review probably contains spoilers. Also, because its themes address directly environmental issues, I’ve given it a more thorough critical treatment than I gave The Charge at Feather River. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read it. Finally, this movie contains intense battle scenes and a frightening pirate villain, either of which might be unsuitable fare for sensitive minds, be they adult minds or juvenile.
The beauty, intensity, and flair of this 1940 action-adventure flick caught me by surprise. After watching the Dorothy Lamour vehicle, The Jungle Princess, I expected a tropical paradise movie of similar ilk. Geographically displaced animals. Childlike but sexually forward leading men or women. Backward natives who are slaves to superstition. Lots and lots of giant ferns. I anticipated cartoon villains and expected that the water beneath their pearl-scooping pirate ship would have more depth than the ship’s crew. Continue reading “WIZ Retro Review and giveaway: South of Pago Pago”
Warning: As usual, this Retro Review may contain spoilers.
Don’t be fooled: Despite its somewhat predictable cavalry v. Indians plot and the flaming arrows shot directly at the audience to showcase the movie industry’s earliest 3-D special effects, The Charge at Feather River is about relationships €”between misfit soldiers and their leaders, between rivals for a woman, between a young white woman and a Cheyenne chief and the people who come to her unwanted rescue. At the admirable heart of this surprisingly complex story lies the bond that forms between a frontiersman and another captive woman, although as movie romances go, this one is understated and unique. Continue reading “WIZ Retro Review and giveaway: The Charge at Feather River”