Scenes That I Love: Ruth and Sonny in The Last Picture Show (Cloris Leachman, RIP)


Yesterday, it was announced that the actress Cloris Leachman had passed away at the age of 94.

Leachman had a long career.  I know that most people know her from her comedic work.  Indeed, when it was announced that she had passed, Twitter was full of people posting clips from Young Frankenstein, Raising Hope, and a host of other comedies.  However, Leachman was also just as a capable as a dramatic actress.  She began her career in 1947 and, though she worked regularly (and appeared in the noir classic, Kiss Me Deadly), her career really didn’t pick up until she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1972.

She won that Oscar for playing Ruth Popper in The Last Picture Show.  Ruth is the lonely wife of a closeted high school coach in a small Texas town.  She has an affair with teenager Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms), just for him to abandon her for the beautiful but self-absorbed Jacy Farrow (Cybil Shepherd).  At the end of the film, after realizing that Jacy actually has no interest in him, Sonny attempts to return to Ruth.  It’s a powerful scene, largely due to Leachman’s performance.

In memory of Cloris Leachman, here’s a scene that I love:

Lisa Marie’s 20 Favorite Songs of 2020


Every January, I list my favorite songs of the previous year and, every January, I include the same disclaimer.  My favorite songs are not necessarily the favorite songs of any of the other writers here at the Shattered Lens.  We are a large and diverse group of people and, as such, we all have our own individual tastes.

If you ever visited the TSL Bunker, you would be shocked by the different music coming out of each office.  You would hear everything from opera to death metal to the best of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.  And then, of course, you would reach my office and you would discover that my taste in music pretty much runs the gamut from EDM to More EDM.

Now, usually, I do try to listen to a variety of music.  You can go to my Song of the Day site — Lisa Marie’s Song of the Day — and see that I do occasionally listen to other types of music.  But, I have to be honest.  2020 was not a year that inspired me to really leave me comfort zone.  If anything, music provided me with some much needed consistency in an otherwise chaotic year.  2020 was a year that made me want to dance until it was all over and, for the most part, my favorite songs of the year reflect that fact.

Before I list my songs, I should make something else very clear.  These are my favorite songs of 2020.  I’m not saying that they’re necessarily the best songs of 2020.  I’ll leave that debate for others.  Instead, there are the songs that I found myself listening to over and over again.  These are the songs made me dance.  These are the songs that made me sing.  A few of these songs relaxed me when I needed to be relaxed.  These are songs that I liked.

You might like them.

Or you might not.

That’s the beautiful thing about art.  Everyone experiences it in their own individual way.  For instance, if you want to see an example of the different tastes of music that you’ll find here at TSL, be sure to check out Necromoonyeti’s top albums of 2020.  And also go to Days Without Incident and check out some of the songs that Leonard has posted.  To quote my friend Shirley Loh, “we all like different things.”

Here are my favorite songs of 2020:

20) No Sleep by Jessie Frye

19) Ghost In These Streets by Kate Vogel

18) Matches by Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys

17) You Do you by Dillon Francis and BabyJake

16) Into the Abyss by Zeds Dead x REZZ

15) Teacher by Chromatics

14) Stardew by Purity Ring

13) Everybody Here Hates You by Courtney Barnett

12) Swimming in the Stars by Britney Spears

11) Don’t Wanna by Haim

10) Preach by Saint Motel

 

9) Famous Monsters by Chromatics

8) Break my Heart by Dua Lipa

7) Feel Something by Armin van Buuren feat. Duncan Laurence

6) Dance Again by Selena Gomez

5) Phobos by Space 92

4) Pomegranate by deadmau5 & The Neptunes

3) Castles In The Sky by i_o

2) The Steps by Haim

1) A Good Song Never Dies by Saint Motel

Finally, allow me to offer up two honorable mentions to my favorite cinematic musical moments of the year.  From Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga:

And from What Did Jack Do?:

TSL Looks Back at 2020:

  1. Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  2. My Top 20 Albums of 2020 (Necromoonyeti)
  3. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems That I Saw In 2020 (Valerie Troutman)
  4. Top 10 Vintage Collections (Ryan C)
  5. Top 10 Contemporary Collections (Ryan C)
  6. Top 10 Original Graphic Novels (Ryan C)
  7. Top 10 Ongoing Series (Ryan C.)
  8. Top 10 Special Mentions (Ryan C.)
  9. Top Ten Single Issues (Ryan C)

 

Artwork of the Day: Wanton For Murder (Artist Unknown)


Artist Unknown

Wanton For Murder was published in 1961.  It was the first in a series of books about Lt. Shomri Shomar, an Israeli detective who was on loan to the NYPD.  Personally, I would hope that I could hold as convincing a pose while I was being questioned by the police as the woman on this cover.  Unfortunately, the name of the artist responsible for this cover is unknown.

Music Video of the Day: Penthouse and Pavement by Heaven 17 (1981, directed by ????)


I only recently discovered this band.  Heaven 17 is an English band, one that is still together.  The band was made up of two former members of The Human League, keyboardists Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware, and singer Glenn Gregory.  Gregory had been Marsh and Ware’s original choice to serve as the lead singer of the Human League but, when he proved to be unavailable, they went with Philip Oakey instead.  Oakey had a different vision for the The Human League than Marsh and Ware so Marsh and Ware ended up leaving the band and forming Heaven 17.  This time, they were able to get Glenn Gregory as their singer.

Heaven 17’s first album was called Penthouse and Pavement and the album’s title track was both their first single and their first video.  The video features not only corporate espionage but also the three members of the band pretending to be corrupt businessmen.  That Heaven 17 was a much more overly political band than The Human League is obvious from listening to the song’s lyrics.

The band, incidentally, was named after one of Alex’s favorite bands in A Clockwork Orange.

Enjoy!