Double Feature

Two fabulous films for $15 at Luna Leederville 5 August 2020

Do you remember when nobody had much money and you searched for great value? Double bills at the movies was the normal and provided some of those opportunities.

HIS FINEST: M. GUSTAVE (RALPH FIENNES) & ZERO (TONY REVOLORI)

These days no one seems to have four hours to spend watching two films back-to-back?

But if you did or you needed to hide from the cops on a Monday night you would find it hard to beat a double bill planned at Luna Leederville on Monday 17 August.

Lights down at 6.30pm for The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Wes Anderson’s fable that is sheer delight. It has the kind of originality that makes someone like me – who people say “why don’t you write?”  – say to himself “why would I bother when there are people out there who can write stuff this original?”

On the other hand, the second leg, All About Eve (1950) has dialogue so sparkling that it makes someone like me – who people say “why don’t you write?” – to say to himself “why would I bother when once there were people out there who could write dialogue like this?”

These two make up the third double feature in an August series as Luna attempts to kick-start slow Monday nights.

In The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ralph Fiennes plays concierge M. Gustave, a didact of high-level service, schooling young Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) in the art of understanding what a guest wants, and getting it to the guest, before the guest has even thought of it. He wears a scent called ‘Eau de Panache.’ He’s also a ludicrous horndog and gigolo, and his troubles begin when the wealthiest of his dowagers (Tilda Swinton) dies and leaves him a strange painting.” Glenn Kenny, Roger Ebert.com

The film has a star-studded cast (Fiennes, never finer) of Anderson regulars. supporting role heroes and cameos from big names.

Look for Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzmann, Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, Saorise Ronan, Lea Seydoux, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Jude Law and Mathieu Amalric.

It was inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig, with the story by Anderson and Hugo Guinness. Anderson wrote the screenplay.

BUMPY NIGHT: BETTE DAVIS

All About Eve was the tour-de-force of writer-director Joseph L. Mankiwiecz with assistance (uncredited) from Mary Orr, who wrote the original story from which the film emanated.

Bette Davis as Margo Channing is electric as a stage star about to be usurped by an adoring fan who she takes to her bosom. Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) inserts herself into Margo’s life and eventually into Margo’s stardom. Sound a bit creepy? None of it. This is a comedy-drama with a wit that rivals the script in Casablanca (1942).

All About Eve is the movie from which Channing’s line “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night” became one of the most-quoted in cinematic history. That’s only a sample. The dialogue crackles and tingles and comes at the audience at the kind of pace 1950 moviegoers may have found unique.

Supporting cast includes George Sanders (Oscar-winner as acerbic critic Addison DeWitt), Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Huge Marlowe and Thelma Ritter at her wisecracking best. Marilyn Monroe plays a small, but star-making role.

You probably don’t want to go out for a double feature on a Monday night and it will probably be pouring rain which would stop me going to a replay of the 1989 grand final but perhaps encourage your kids?

They couldn’t see two more marvellous films together if they live two lifetimes.

The Grand Budapest Hotel & All About Eve Luna Palace Leederville 6.30pm Monday 17 August $15

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