Monday, September 19, 2011

Grace Kelly and the West Virginia Pill-Snorters

This summer I enjoyed expanding my cinematic horizons.  I went on a Hitchcock kick and also found my new (and first) favorite documentary.  Not only do I feel more culturally enriched, I also now know the Boone County mating call.

Grace Kelly is the picture of class.  Watching her in "Dial 'M' for Murder" and "Rear Window" was a treat and a trip back in time.  I think it's safe to say her gracefulness (how aptly she was named), charm and talent are incomparable to any other film star in history.  (Though I think we will all agree that Lindsay Lohan comes in a close second.)

I absolutely loved "Dial 'M' for Murder."  With its perfectly constructed plot and unforeseen twists, this murder mystery was a perfect introduction to Hitchcock's repertoire and my favorite of the bunch so far.  When it came time for my second Hitchcock film, my expectations were pretty high.  The back of the "Rear Window" DVD case claimed it had one of the most unexpected endings in film history.  Really??  Because it seemed to me that what happened in the end was exactly what the main characters said would happen throughout the entire movie.  Don't worry, this is no more of a spoiler than the film itself is.  Despite some disappointment in the ending, however, I did enjoy "Rear Window."  Once again, Grace Kelly was a marvel to watch.

Then I had to get into Hitchcock's darker collection of films.  "Psycho" and "The Birds" are two of the most talked about movies out there, so it was about time I saw them.  I couldn't help thinking Norman Bates, the creepy hotel owner in "Psycho," was really handsome.  Even when he was cleaning up after the famous shower scene ("REE REE REE REE!"), covering up a murder, I found myself very attracted to him.  (Does this say something about me?  Should I be worried?)  A Facebook friend of mine reminded me of an episode of one of my favorite shows, "How I Met Your Mother," in which Barney points out the direct correlation between someone's hotness and their craziness.  His explanation can be seen here.  So, without spoiling the ending of "Psycho," I'll just say that it seems Barney was right.  Because Norman Bates is HOT.

"The Birds" met my expectations of both creepiness and quality of special effects.  If you've seen it, you know what I mean about the special effects.  Very 1963.  I recommend it to everyone who has ever wondered just how much we really know about birds and whether they can be trusted.  For me, it cleared up the suspicions I've had for a very long time.

NOW!  Blog readers!  I am about to introduce you to a great work of documentary film-making: "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia."  Produced by Johnny Knoxville and the same people who made "Jackass," TWaWWoWV is the story of what happens during a year in the life of the White family in Boone County, WV.  From fighting to snorting painkillers to creating an absurd scene in the Taco Bell drive-thru, this family is the epitome of the American Dream.  That is, if the American Dream is to live off welfare, sleep with your cousin's husband and lose custody of your newborn baby when the hospital finds drugs in her system.  Hey, for some people that's probably not too far off!  At least the welfare part.

Y'all wanna hear the Boone County mating call?

While watching this fantastic documentary, I couldn't help comparing Mamie White, "the biggest, the baddest and the meanest of all the White family," to Grace Kelly.  Can't you see the similarities?

So, dear readers, to sum up my summer of movie-watching, I'll say that Alfred Hitchcock and Johnny Knoxville both know how to make damn good films.  I should suggest those with weak stomachs avoid the West Virginia Whites, but heck, give it a try.


  1. Um how about comparing that photo of Grace Kelly with you as a debutante! Wow!

    Love the HIMYM reference :)

  2. Such a great post to start my day! I love how you drew lines between Grace and 'the sexy' Mamie White. I didn't necessarily agree with your Rear Window review, but I do see where you're coming from. Keep 'em comin', Paige!