Hamish Downie’s First Friday Playlist – April 2022

Hamish Downie has a new type of column that started backing December as his Holiday playlist. It was so popular hat he decided to make it a monthly recurring column with a movie playlist for each month. Thanks, Hamish for creating a new concept for TG Geeks.

If you have seen any of these films, let us know your thoughts.

Let us know what you think in the comments section below. As always we welcome your feedback and input on all of our published content. Than you for stopping by and spending time with us.

Boy oh boy does a month go by quickly! How are you doing? Did you enjoy last month’s selection? I’ve got some great films and shows for you this month, so let’s get to it!
“Pretend it’s a city”

I find myself watching this 7-part documentary series as if I were watching David Attenbourgh talk about a lizard that had evolved to live on one tree in one forest in one part of the world. If you took that lizard anywhere else, even to the next tree, a bird would eat it and the species would be extinct. Fran Leberwitz is one of those people who cannot exist outside New York. I know a few people like that, who go about the world as if they were condescending to anyone who wasn’t from New York that they had to do business with, and could not possibly understand that other parts of the world might operate differently from New York. And she knows it. On “Sex and the City” they say that there’s a breed of New Yorker that never leaves Manhattan, and this documentary seems to prove that it’s true. I saw it explained on Anthony Bourdain’s show that everything good in the world will eventually come to New York, so why go anywhere else? They get the best of everything. I’ve never been to New York, so I guess that means that I’m no good, although I did have a script of mine produced in New York (“Night Disclosure” – please check it out).

Martin Scorsese and Fran Leberwitz discuss the modern world and the ways in which New York has changed. Fran is a humorist, so she’s very entertaining to spend 7x30min episodes with. It’s like being invited to a dinner party with a great conversationalist who hates and loves everything about New York. Check it out!

“Jezebel” (1938)

So, this film that was made in the 30s about life in the 1850s is a little out of step with the modern world, but if you’ll check your expectations at the door, you’ll get a very interesting look into the past. Yes, you may not like everything you find there, but there is a lot to like and be intrigued by in this film. A young and dashing Henry Fonda is engaged to the titular Jezebel, played by Bette Davis at the height of her powers. This is famously the film that was rushed into production during the craze over the runaway success of the “Gone with the Wind” book, and when negotiations between Jack Warner and David O Selznick for Bette Davis broke down (Jack wanted to package Davis with Eyrol Flynn, which just about everyone but Jack Warner thought was a bad idea). So, Jack optioned and quickly made this film based on the 1933 play with William Wyler at the helm. It has the elements of Gone with the Wind, being set in the South, just before the civil war, and Bette Davis as the great Southern Belle locked in a love triangle between Henry Fonda and George Brent. And it plays out somewhat similarly to the one in “Gone with the Wind”, but what I think would be interesting to today’s audiences would be to see the way the film deals with the Yellow Fever epidemic, the Civil War on the horizon, and Men defending a woman’s honor through duels. It’s an interesting window into the past, and while you may not like everything you find there, it is fascinating, and a wonderful way to see Bette Davis at the height of her powers and beauty.

“Morocco” (1930)

If you’ve watched the Takarazuka Revue in Japan, or seen Madonna’s Girlie Show (or watched her performance of “Bye Bye Baby” on the MTV Video Music Awards in 1993), you really owe it to yourself to go back to the original and watch Marlene Dietrich in full drag, performing for the Foreign Legion as a Nightclub Performer in Morocco, who then gets caught between the dashing Gary Cooper, and the older wealthy Gentleman (who’s name I forget). You know how the story goes, but if you’ve been longing to travel the world, and see a sophisticated love story, you’ll find an amazing film here. It’s amazing that nearly 92 years later, the lesbian kiss still holds so much power. And, in my opinion, Marlene has much more chemistry with this young woman, than she does with either Gary Cooper or the Wealthy Gentleman. Do yourself a favor and watch this film! It’s worth the price of admission alone for the scenes of Marlene ripping up a man’s business card, and kissing a young female audience member on the lips – in 1930!

“$500K” (2021)

This is a fun short (trust me) about a failing lesbian filmmaker who discovers that she’s worth more dead than alive, and decides to commit insurance fraud. All the performances in this film are honest and enjoyable. And it really is fun. I think creatives of all walks of life have probably experienced this feeling, and I think you’ll enjoy the ride this short film takes you on.

Watch the film here: https://lesflicksvod.com/programs/500k-2021


Thanks again for checking out my list for this month. As this will be during Easter, I also recommend watching “The Ten Commandments” again, and enjoying Ann Baxter along with the dashing Yul Brynner and Charlton Heston, retelling the story of Moses.

If you’ve enjoyed this list, please check out my film “Matcha & Vanilla”, available now on Gagaoolala. You can see the TGGeeks review here: https://tggeeks.com/blog/2021/12/23/andreas-angle-matcha-vanilla-bittersweet-yet-loving/

Until next time, love yourselves and each other.

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