I was about to come in and play with the computer at three 'clock, when I discovered that TCM was showing the melodramatic and intermittently cheesy 1953 anthology movie The Story of Three Loves. Well, I had to watch the first segment, which has James Mason as a ballet company director and Moira Shearer as a doomed dancer. I'd seen it long ago, and remembered enjoying Shearer's fluid dancing almost as much as Mason's moody scenery chewing.
Then, having stayed up that long, I decided that I might as well watch the second segment long enough to see the few moments it features of the always engaging Ethel Barrymore, she of the strangely evocative voice. (What is it about that voice? I can never quite escape the feeling that it is coming not from a living person but from the disembodied spirit of some ancient Greek nymph or woodland sprite, inexplicably speaking English.) And, as I had already invested that much time in the segment, I decided to finish watching it, despite the presence of the moon-faced young gamine Leslie Caron, who I have always considered one of the most irritating of ingenues. But we also get to see the precocious and still un-drugged 11 year old Ricky Nelson magically transformed into Farley Granger (of "Strangers on a Train" fame.) The segment was directed by Vincent Minnelli at his sappiest. So bad that it's almost good.
I forced myself not to linger for the final tale, which features Kirk Douglas as an ill-fated trapeze artist. It's probably the strongest of the three segments, and is made more interesting by the fact that Douglas did most of his own stunt work, but it couldn't compete with teh Internets.
That movie, having been released in 1953, would have been entering the public domain at the end of 2007, had the copyright law in effect at the time it was made not been changed. Now, under the new regime, and assuming that there are no further extensions of copyright durations, you won't be able to legally download it from the Internet for free until 2048. Practically everybody born the year it came out will probably be dead by then. This is thanks the willingness of public officials to cater to the desires of the media-entertainment complex. So it's interesting that, via jdlasicadarknet, I found this weblog entry by Edward W. Felten about what Hollywood is up to these days. They are actually pushing Microsoft around! But not in a good way. Mr. Bill's new OS, formerly called by the silly name "Longhorn" is now renamed "Vista," which carries a touch of irony considering the limits which MS is putting into it at Hollywood's behest.
Crap. It's seven o'clock. Time to shut up.