Handyfilm etc

Film reviews and other thoughts

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Monday, November 28, 2011

The White Bus

The White Bus is an odd short feature (or longish short film) by Lindsay Anderson, made in 1967 just before his greatest film, If... It shares with If... the actor Arthur Lowe and the cinematographer Miroslav Ondricek. Ondricek’s work is the principal reason to see the film. Like If..., the scenes alternate between black-and-white and color photography, seemingly at random. But all the images are striking.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Change of Pace: A Holiday Recipe

A spicy, delicious holiday favorite.

Tennessee Jam Cake

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

½ cup yogurt (whole-milk yogurt) – or use sour cream or buttermilk

1 jar seedless blackberry jam or preserves (12 to 16 oz)

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup chopped pecans

½ cup raisins

Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and yogurt and mix thoroughly.

Mix flour, soda, salt, spices, nuts and raisins. A third at a time, add to egg mixture and mix thoroughly. Add jam. Mix thoroughly.

Bake for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool for ½ hour. Top with caramel frosting.

Caramel Frosting

½ cup butter

½ cup milk

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups confectioners sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup chopped pecans

Bring butter to a boil in a saucepan for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it just starts to brown (not burn). Add milk and bring to boil again for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Mix until smooth. Spread over cooled cake.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Making the Boys

Making the Boys (awkward title) has a great subject for a 45-minute documentary: the story behind the groundbreaking play and movie The Boys in the Band. It actually runs a bit over 90 minutes, so there is more than a little padding. Luckily, most of that padding is pretty entertaining, too.

The Christine Jorgensen Story

Newly released to video as part of MGM’s Limited Edition Collection, The Christine Jorgensen Story is no classic, to put it mildly, but it’s an amusing period piece, already dated by the time it was released. The subject matter must have been shocking or at least titillating in 1970: the true story of the first sex-change operation to get major press coverage. George Jorgensen, uncomfortable growing up as an “All-American boy,” went to Denmark in 1956 and returned to New York as Christine. The tabloids had a field day.

But the style of the movie is not sensationalistic, or even particularly exciting. It's a by-the-numbers Hollywood docudrama.