Kim Novak

No Pushover
Male cinephiles tend to get all gaga over Kim Novak because she was in a ton of auteurist movies and...well...look at her.

This is Kim in Pushover, one of those t.v.-style late noirs that have been packaged so perceptively by Columbia and the like.  Directed by the solid but rarely inspired Richard Quine, one can sum up the pleasures of Pushover in pretty much two words (Kim and Novak) and a few choice images, including this one, which one wonders how in the world they ever got away with.

Perhaps not SFW

But it is the ambiguity of the look in the car mirror that is the key Novak image.  What in the world is being those eyes and that sloping nose?  Certainly most of the suspense of Pushover is wondering to what extent Novak's character is controlling the sap played by an rather sad-looking Fred McMurray, long past his leading man days, to do her bidding.   If she is really in control at all. 

Heartbreaking Photo Essay

Dream Theater, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

One can close one's eyes and picture smartly-dressed couples and families filtering their breathless selves into these former palaces to enjoy the unique experience of being taken away from their lives in Pinoche, Nevada and Bucyrus, Ohio via the magic carpet of movies. 

Remember when the advent of television had the movie industry all in a kvetch about how the idiot box would kill the movies?  Well, it didn't happen, entirely, because the movies figured out a way to continue to appeal to its audience's sense of otherness.  A big part of that was the building itself, palaces and shoe boxes of a grand or intimate nature which offered an experience more immediate and shared than a 19-inch Zenith could ever hope to achieve.

Now, I see these dead soldiers on the American horizon, and I close my eyes and picture those same couples and families, decked out in matching sweat suits and plopped in front of their home theaters arguing over whether American Idol is just not the same since Simon left, driving each other insane.