MCMXXXIX XVI: Dark Victory

Dark Victory. Edmund Goulding. 1939.

*gasp* Bette!

They’re talking really fast, see?

Is that Ronnie?

It is!

I thought this was gonna be a noir crime thing, but it’s a very dramatic drama instead? I’m digging it. Everybody’s talking like they’re in an early 30s crime thing, though. See?

Boo. When they introduce the male protagonist it goes downhill. (He’s the doctor in the background.)

Is this going to be one of those dreadfully earnest movies?

The doctor guy (George Brent) is totally suited for the role… but he’s so stoic that he’s practically dead, which is a bit much. Somebody a bit more lively might have worked here? Cary Grant would have been a bit too much in the other director, but… er…

It’s so difficult getting snaps of Bette Davis where she doesn’t look insane. In context it’s all wonderful, but all the snaps are like this.

Snaps are easier if your face never moves.

That’s the weepingest ending ever. *sniff*

This blog post is part of the 1939

MCMXXXIX XV: Never Say Die

Never Say Die. Elliott Nugent. 1939.

OK, so this is about a hypochondriac millionaire at a spa. I’m guessing there’ll be hi jinx!

Monty Woolley!

This is very funny! And quite risque. As screwball comedies go, it’s very, very screwy. Martha Raye is a comedic genius.


Preston Sturges! I should have known! The script is just too good.

The final scene is comedy genius. I laughed and laughed.

This blog post is part of the 1939

MCMXXXIX XIV: East Side of Heaven

East Side of Heaven. David Butler. 1939.

This is most amiable. Joan Blondell, Bing Crosby, and a plot that doesn’t feel like it’s going to be too taxing for my poor branes.

There haven’t been many musicals in this blog series? Last night was the Vernon and Irene thing, which was, I suppose, but like this one, all the musical numbers are “well-integrated”. That is, we only get singing when it could actually have happened (sort of; some of these situations are a bit contrived) in the real world. Instead of the normal musical thing of people just breaking out into music and then pretending nothing happened afterwards.

Since there’s two of these movies in a row, I’m wondering whether that was a thing they were really going for around this time? More “realistic” musicals?

This is the most patient baby ever in the history of babies in movies.

It’s good, but it lacks the pizzazz to push it over into being hilarious — instead it’s just amiable and amusing.

This blog post is part of the 1939

Linux on the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold

For some reason I can’t quite imagine, I’m a bit bored these days? It’s a mystery. So I seem to be buying more … stuff, and today I got a Lenovo Fold.

Yes, yes, I know.

Epic unpacking sequence (on the couch; it’s cold):

It folds!


Anyway, I don’t quite know what I’m going to do with this. I have a bunch of very vague ideas for what I could be doing with it: It’s an OLED screen, which means that images look gorgeous on it, so I was wondering whether to use it to schlep around on holidays to watch movies on? Or in the home for sofa movie watching? Or hang it on the wall as a weather monitor thing? (That’s probably not a good idea, since it’s OLED, and those has a certain burn in thing going still, I think? Besides, I’ve already got plenty of those.)

Or… something?

Anyway, the first thing to do with it is to get rid of Windows (ewww) and install Linux:

I used the Debian bullseye w/firmware .iso to install (it needs a bunch of non-free firmware to get the wifi to work, and it needs a new kernel for that, too). But otherwise installing Linux on it was totally uneventful.

But… there the fun ended. Other than the base basics, Linux doesn’t support anything on this machine: It can’t even rotate the screen. xrandr, for instance, says it can’t find any outputs, and this is because it’s using the VESA fallback video driver. And that’s because the i915 driver doesn’t support the built-in video:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Device 9840 (rev 03)

Furthermore, the touch screen doesn’t work, the battery monitor doesn’t work, and … I didn’t really explore much beyond that, because if I can’t even rotate the screen, that severely limits what I can do with it.

So here’s my question: Is support for this thing in the pipeline? Anybody know? I really don’t want to waste a lot of time poking at it if there’s no hope…

Well, I can do one thing with it, I suppose… I can display a screensaver, because I can just rotate the image:

Hah! I’m so hax0r! I’m using the Emacs Screensaver, of course.

Hm… I guess I could put some weather info and stuff on the screen if I move it around randomly?

One oddity about the screen: When looking at it head on, everything looks super clear. But reflections look really pebbly and uneven? Look at the reflection of the frame there in the screen… is that part of an anti glare thing? It’s weird.


So disappoint! But I guess that’s what I get for shopping out of boredom without doing any research…

MCMXXXIX XIII: The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. H.C. Potter. 1939.

Hey! I thought this was gonna be a Thin Man movie! But it’s not!

This is better!

I’m really enjoying this… the only thing I’m confused about is whether we’re supposed to thing that the Castles are wonderful dancers or not? I mean, Astaire and Rogers are, but the choreography is so… realistic? I mean, it’s got none of the flourishes and “ooh” moments — instead it’s two good dancers moving around, demonstrating how box steps are done.

OK, now we’re getting somewhere.

It’s such an odd movie. I wonder whether the whole war thing was originally in the script, or whether they retrofitted that because this is, like, 1939? And setting it in 1914 avoids the whole “pro British” conspiracy thing.

So it’s commendable for that, but it’s still… oddly pot together.

This blog post is part of the 1939