Category Archives: beyond the valley of the dolls

This Is My Happening And It Freaks Me Out!

One of my all-time favorite movies in the world is “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.” It’s a movie that makes me believe anything is possible if you have a young, rich, well-connected aunt in Los Angeles. I do not. But I can still apply what I’ve learned from the film to enrich my life. For example, if I talk in a perpetually low voice and tell cute guys, “You’re a groovy boy, I’d like to strap you on sometime” then I’m certain to attract lots of positive attention. Also, I’m not a hippie, I’m in a rock group. Another thing I’ve learned is that it’s perfectly acceptable — nay, expected — to have sex in the host’s bathroom but NOT their bedroom. Every room however, including the pool, is totally fine. Drinking is sort of square these days, but then again, so is grass — unless you know how to use it! Also, never underestimate the importance of applying mascara thickly to the bottom lashes. Draw them in if you have to. Don’t run of champagne man, people are dying of thirst! Here’s another great tip: if you want a band to play for free at your party, just make sure you manage them!

This generation sometimes gives me hope. We’ve grown up watching the movies of better eras and we want to recreate them. When people dress up, they really like to dress up. Some of the outfits that you’ll see in BtVotD are awfully similar to outfits you see hipsters wear at your local shindig. Men are finally starting to come around and wear suits. It’s like everyone really wants to play dress-up. Jobs are incidental. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you look good.

You can be a rock star if all you do is sing in a three person three piece band. All you need is the right opportunity to have a spontaneous show at that super famous rock producer’s house, and you’re set for life! The best thing is that even though it’s just you singing, your friend on the guitar, and your other friend on the drums, you’ll sound like you have a wall of music behind you! Where did that bass come from and those horns?? Who cares, that’s the magic of the 70s! It’s okay if your singing voice sounds nothing like your speaking voice. Another great thing about movies like these, those made in the late 60s-early 70s, is that everyone at some point has to be in a band. Jack Nicholson, in a movie that I think is called “The Trip” but I don’t feel like checking, played a musician named Stoney and “played” guitar in a band. By played what I mean is that he swayed side to side while holding a guitar. He didn’t even bother to pretend to pluck strings or anything. That’s what life should be like, man! No, that’s what life can be! Life can be playing the guitar even if you don’t know how. Just hold the damn thing and look awesome and it will all come to you.

You’re young! Take advantage of every opportunity you can, and whatever you do, don’t bogart the joint.

EDIT.

The aforementioned Jack Nicholson movie is called “Psych-Out.” Here’s a still from the film. That’s Stoney!

Enjoy this BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS themed mini mix:

1. Nobody But Me — The Human Beinz

2. Shape Of Things To Come — Max Frost and the Troopers

3. Incense And Peppermints — The Strawberry Alarm Clock

4. I’ve Got Your Man — Honey Ltd.

5. You Keep Me Hangin’ On — Vanilla Fudge

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Eternal Boredom of the Bored Boredom

I’m sick with a mysterious something so I’ve been spending my time watching Veronica Mars, True Blood, and Fringe. Summer is here but I don’t feel like dancing in the streets; if anything I feel like lying in bed and watching more television and movies. Thus I bring you: favorite summer themed movies. In no particular order.

The Seven Year Itch. This guy (Tom Ewell) lives in an apartment and Marilyn Monroe lives in the bottom apartment, or maybe it’s the top, I don’t know. It’s a hot summer and his wife and kid are in the Hamptons or Nantucket or something and he’s an ad man so he has to work. And he drinks a lot of drinks with Marilyn Monroe, like “big tall martinis” and champagne.
memorable quote: Tom MacKenzie: What blonde in the kitchen?
Richard Sherman: Wouldn’t you like to know! Maybe it’s Marilyn Monroe!

Beach Blanket Bingo. This is one of my favorite childhood films. You know the way most people revere “The Princess Bride”? That’s how I feel about this movie. This and “Bye Bye Birdie.” Basically the entire movie is about surfing, parties, and breaking into song on the beach. And my family knows Marta Kristen who played the mermaid. Oh yes, there’s a mermaid. Did I forget to mention the motorcycle gang? Yeah, there’s a motorcycle gang.
memorable quote: (from the song) “Beach blanket biiiiiiigno! Beach blanket biiiiiingo. Beach blanket biiiiiiingo! That’s the name of the game!”

Rear Window. Jimmy Stewart sees some shit and Grace Kelly has sex with him. Off screen. The sex is always implied. I think everyone knows what this film is about and if you haven’t then you’ve seen The Simpsons episode that nails it. “Grace, there’s a mysterious lookin’ kid starin’ at me!” It takes place in New York and even though the whole set is filmed in a soundstage (and looks it) the film still captures the essence of a sweltering NYC summer.
memorable quote: “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!” “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!” “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!” “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!”

Vertigo. I’m not even sure if this movie takes place primarily during the summer (though I do remember that it spans quite a few months) but this is also a great Hitchcock/Stewart film and seeing as I just vacationed in San Francisco a few weeks ago it will be a summer movie to me.
awesome moment: Jimmy Stewart’s ahead-of-the-times psychedellic nightmare:

Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls: One of my favorite movies of all time. It follows the late 60s girl band, The Carrie Nations, as they grow corrupt in Los Angeles thanks to a character based on Phil Spector. I have the soundtrack on vinyl and every time I listen to it I’m transported back into a time and place that never really existed but should have. It’s just so weird and flat-out hilarious.
memorable quote: (there are SO many): “This is my happening and it freaks me out!”




Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
Everybody and their mother knows this film and if you don’t you should probably feel pretty bad. Nah, it’s OK. This is the film where Audrey Hepburn walks around in a black dress and everybody wants to be her. Even though she’s kind of a bitch. Yes, see the film in which Audrey Hepburn is bitchy! Although she might be bitchier in Two For The Road, another favorite of mine.
memorable quote: I’m Audrey Hepburn and I love going to Tiffany’s where I eat danishes and la la la la.

Play It Again, Sam. I think this takes place during the summer? Also set in San Francisco, Woody Allen tries to woo Diane Keaton, but it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds. This was one of his earlier films and he didn’t direct it so it’s got a very different feel. And his apartment in this film is AMAZING.
memorable quote: Allan: This is a beautiful beach house.
Linda: Thank you.
Allan: Yeah, let’s burn it down for the insurance money.

That’s what a got, with an honorable mention to Rosemary’s Baby. What are your favorite summer-themed films? Or films with a summer feel?

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