Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 9/5/22 — 9/11/22

Some weeks, it seems like time is standing still.

And then other weeks, the entire world changes in a day.  Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday and all I can say is that it’s remarkable how all the self-described contrarians on twitter had the exact same response and often used the exact same words to express that response.

As for me, I continue to prepare for October.  Here’s what I watched, read, and listened to this week!

Films I Watched:

  1. A Little Game (1971)
  2. The China Lake Murders (1990)
  3. The City (1977)
  4. The Death of Richie (1977)
  5. Downdraft (1996)
  6. Last Shift (2014)
  7. Long Journey Back (1978)
  8. Night of the Comet (1984)
  9. The Principal (1987)
  10. Quarterback Princess (1983)
  11. Rollerball (1975)
  12. Scream of the Wolf (1974)
  13. The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver (1977)
  14. Teenage Caveman (1958)
  15. They Call Me Trinity (1971)
  16. The Who — Under Review: 1964 — 1968 (2005)
  17. Who Is The Black Dahlia (1975)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. The Bachelorette
  2. Big Brother
  3. The Challenge
  4. Fantasy Island
  5. Full House
  6. Hang Time
  7. Inspector Lewis
  8. The Love Boat
  9. Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head
  10. Night Flight

Books I Read:

  1. Crash (1973) by J.G. Ballard

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Adi Ulmansky
  2. Avril Lavigne
  3. Britney Spears
  4. The Chemical Brothers
  5. Duran Duran
  6. Goblin
  7. Gwen Stefani
  8. Hilary Duff
  9. The Human League
  10. Jessica Simpson
  11. John Carpenter
  12. Kylie Minogue
  13. Lorde
  14. Moby
  15. Muse
  16. The Prodigy
  17. Saint Motel
  18. Taking Back Sunday

Inferno (1980, dir by Dario Argento, DP: Romana Albano)

Live Tweets:

  1. Downdraft
  2. Rollerball
  3. The Principal
  4. Last Shift

Awards Season:

  1. Here Are The Winners From Venice

News From Last Week:

  1. Queen Elizabeth II Has Died 
  2. Queen Elizabeth II’s Obituary 
  3. Actress Marsha Hunt Dies At 104
  4. Emmanuelle Director Just Jaeckin Dies at 82
  5. Director Alain Tanner Dies at 92
  6. Actor Jack Ging Dies At 90
  7. Queen’s Funeral Date Set As Young Royals Join In Mourning
  8. What Queen Elizabeth Did During Her Trip to Dallas In 1991
  9. With Queen Elizabeth’s Death, What Changes in the UK?
  10. In his first speech, King Charles III pledges to serve Britain 
  11. Venice Film Festival Comes To A Close

Links From Last Week:

  1. New Mirsky Minis : “Generic Action Hero” And “Dingus And Dum-Dum”
  2. My Dinner With The Queen
  3. The World’s Common Tater’s Predictions for New Fall TV Shows
  4. The Word’s Common Tater’s Week in Books, Movies, and TV 9/9/22
  5. Here’s The Stunning NEW “9 To 5” From Dolly Parton And Kelly Clarkson! PLUS Kelly’s Season 4 Talk Show Sneak Peek!
  6. Remembering September 11, 2001. My Experience In New York That Week, From Howard Stern’s Studio To Meeting Bill Clinton…

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin shared the ultimate Labor Day scene, the covers of Smashing Detective Stories and Carrying the Flag!
  2. Erin shared Man and Machine, Lights Out, Enter, Possum, Bubba’s Bridge, Alley, Possum, and Our Flag!
  3. Jeff shared music videos from Dead Kennedys, Souixsie and the Banshees, Scorpions, Anthrax, INXS, Queensryche, and Staind!
  4. I reviewed The Death of Richie, California Dreams, Gang Boy, One World, City Guys, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and Hang Time!
  5. I shared my week in television and an amv of the day!
  6. I shared a scene from A Face In The Crowd!
  7. I paid tribute to Brian De Palma, Dario Argento, and Werner Herzog!

More From Us:

  1. At her photography site, Erin shared 11, Tower, Clouds Above, Jake and Max, Vase, Spring Creek, and Peace In Black and White!
  2. At Pop Politics, Jeff shared Congratulations to Liz Truss, Self-Sabotage in Arizona, Self-Sabotage in Alaska, The Queen’s Health, The Queen Has Died, More On Alaska, The King’s Speech, and No Day Shall Erase You From The Memory Of Time!
  3. I reviewed Big Brother for the Big Brother Blog!
  4. At Reality TV Chat Blog, I shared Back From The Holiday, It’s Time To Open Up The Diary Room Week 9, About Tonight’s Double Eviction, Week 10 Nominations, and Week 10 Veto Comp!
  5. At my music site, I shared songs from Jessica Simpson, Kylie Minogue, Gwen Stefani, The Prodigy, Hilary Duff, Britney Spears, and Taking Back Sunday!
  6. At my dream journal, I shared Last Night’s Orient Express Dream, Last Night’s Art Show Dream, Last Night’s Kidnapping Dream, Last Night’s Work Dream, Last Night’s British Vacation Dream, Last Night’s Fort Smith Dream, and Last Night’s Dream About Amy’s Wedding Shower!

Heart of Glass (1976, dir by Werner Herzog, DP: Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein)

Want to check out last week?  Click here!

Retro Television Review: The Death of Richie (dir by Paul Wendkos)

Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Sundays, I will be reviewing the made-for-television movies that used to be a primetime mainstay.  Today’s film is 1977’s The Death of Richie.  It  can be viewed on YouTube!

It’s not a spoiler to tell you that this film ends with the death of a teenager named Richie.  It’s right there in the title.  We start the film knowing that Richie is going to die.  The only question is how it’s going to happen and who, if anyone, is going to be held responsible for it.

Played by Robby Benson, Richie Werner is a sensitive teenager living in the suburbs.  He’s painfully shy and he deals with that shyness by taking the drugs that are supplied to him by friends like Brick (Charles Fleischer) and Peanuts (Clint Howard, yes that Clint Howard).  His parents, George (Ben Gazzara) and Carol (Eileen Brennan), knows that Richie is struggling with both drugs and school.  However, neither one of them have a clue as to how to help him.  Carol spends most of the film silently hoping that things will somehow just magically get better.  Meanwhile, George can’t understand his son and, even worse, he makes no attempt to understand him.  George holds back his feelings and he’s obviously uncomfortable with his emotional son.  George is the type who retreats to his basement when he needs to get away from the world and yet, he can’t understand why his son needs a similar sanctuary.  When he discovers that Richie has set up a mini-bedroom in his closet, George destroys it.

Throughout the film, Richie tries to get his life straightened out.  He gets a job working at a restaurant but he quits after his friends laugh at his dorky uniform.  He tries to date a girl named Sheila (Cindy Eilbacher) but is heartbroken when he discovers that she’s going out with someone else.  When Richie tries to talk his dad, George refuses to listen.  When George tries to talk to Richie, Richie tells him to get out of his room.  Finally, after Richie crashes his car one last time, it leads to an act of shocking violence.  After all, the film is called The Death of Richie.

It’s also based on a true story, though there’s some debate over whether or not the film gets the story correct.  In real life, Richie’s named was George Richard “Richie” Diener and he lived in Long Island.  (The film appears to take place in a generic California suburb.)  Richie’s death inspired a magazine article and book, both of which inspired this film.  While I was doing research for this review, I came across a website about Richie’s death, one that argued that both the film and the book were too sympathetic to George’s version of what happened the day that Richie died.  The site has comments from many of the people who knew Richie and I recommend it to anyone who watches this film and want to know the other side of the story.

As for the film itself, it’s well-directed, intense, and, at times, rather heart-breaking.  As portrayed in the film, Richie is so desperate for some sort of approval that your heart just goes out to him.  Robby Benson is one of those actors who you come across in a lot of 70s films.  I’ve always found his performances to be a bit inconsistent and that’s certainly the case here.  He’s good when he’s allowed a quiet moment or two but there are other times when he gets so shrill that it takes you out of the reality of the film.  Ben Gazarra does a good job playing George as someone who loves his family but who is incapable of understanding his son’s pain.  Gazarra adds just a hint of ambiguity to his anger toward Richie.  Is he upset because Richie keeps getting trouble or has he reached the point where he’s just looking for an excuse to get Richie out of the family’s life?  According to the comments that I read at the blog mentioned above, both the film and the subsequent book based solely their portrayal of the last minutes of Richie’s life on George’s account.  Many people felt that there was more to what happened.

The film is a bit quick to blame all of Richie’s problems on the drugs.  While the drugs probably didn’t help, there are times when the film seems to suggesting that Richie would have been a happy, go-lucky kid if he had never taken that first Seconal.  Watching the film today, it’s obvious that there was a lot more going on with Richie than just weed and pills and it’s also obvious that calling the cops having them search his room while he watched was not the solution either.  Richie needed someone to talk to and, in the film at least, that was apparently the one thing that he could not get.  As the song says, things get a little easier once you understand.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Brian De Palma Edition

4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today is the birthday of Brian De Palma and that means that it is time for….

4 Shots From 4 Brian De Palma Films

Carrie (1976, dir by Brian De Palma, DP: Mario Tosi)

Dressed to Kill (1980, dir by Brian De Palma, DP: Ralf D. Bode)

Blow Out (1981, dir by Brian De Palma, DP: Vilmos Zsigmond)

Scarface (1983, dir by Brian De Palma, DP: John A. Alonzo)

Music Video of the Day: Outside by Staind (2001, directed by Nigel Dick)

This is the version of Outside that does not feature Fred Durst providing “backup.”

I prefer the version without Durst but, in all fairness, they’re both good.  The version that Aaron Lewis performed during the Family Values tour was still a work in progress and Durst wasn’t lying when he said that he was feeling those lighters.  The version that Staind later released as a single is the final version of the song.  It’s the way the song was meant to be heard.

The music video was directed by Nigel Dick.  If you’re a successful musician, Nigel Dick is eventually going to direct a video for you.  That’s just the way it works.