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About DougieB

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  1. "The Philadelphia Story" and ""Some Like it Hot"

    I think your original assessment of the Hepburn character was a good one. If the character had shown some self-knowledge and understood at least somewhat how her behavior was affecting others, you could still have had the comedy and she would have been a lot less irritating. I think it shows either insufficient imagination or laziness on the part of the scriptwriters to keep the character so one-note throughout.
  2. EASTER PARADE (1948)

    This year it's being shown in the primo time slot, 8 PM on Sunday, April 1. Personally, I'd rather watch it in the afternoon. I imagine it will conflict with the airing of the mammoth Ten Commandments but the only commandment I know for sure I'll be obeying is "Thou shalt watch Judy, Fred and Ann on Easter Sunday".
  3. Musical numbers in nonmusicals

    You're right; Jane had proven herself as a musical performer so they sometimes worked a number into her films. In The Revolt of Mamie Stover she did a hula-themed number in the dance hall. ("Keep Your Eye on the Hands" or something). I'm relying on memory but I think she had a musical number in Fate is the Hunter too. It's been so long since I've seen Nicholas Ray's Hot Blood, but it's hard to imagine Jane in a gypsy movie without cutting loose with a number at some point. The Jane/Marilyn connection reminded me that Marilyn did a couple of scaled-back musical numbers in River of No Return and, of course, famously mishandled "That Old Black Magic" in Bus Stop. Some Like It Hot would probably be considered a non-musical and she had a couple of very effective numbers in that as well.
  4. I'm intrigued, especially after reading LawrenceA's review in another thread. Was this released widely, because I don't think it ever came anywhere near where I live? I'm sure I'll be able to catch it on cable, but you sure make a good argument for seeing it in 3D in a theater.
  5. Recently Watched SF & Fantasy

    Emily Mortimer was exceptionally good in Aaron Sorkin's drama series The Newsroom on HBO, which lasted 3 seasons. Sorry to see her in something so apparently dismal because she's capable of really good work.
  6. Musical numbers in nonmusicals

    I just watched Random Harvest during the 31 Days of Oscar and I'd forgotten that Greer Garson does an entire music hall number in it near the beginning. She leaves that career to help amnesiac Ronald Colman who has wandered into her life, so we never see her in that mode again, but she was surprisingly (mostly because so unexpected) good as a musical performer. She usually had "big" facial expressions and reactions as a performer, so that probably helped her put the number across since bigger is better onstage, if not always on film.
  7. What Ever Happened To Baby Jane (1962)

    I don't use the term camp all that often either. It's always been notoriously hard to define since its emergence in the 1960's. I think you're exactly right that it depends on what's NOT said, something the audience itself can see but which the movie itself either doesn't acknowledge or maybe slyly hints at without saying or showing it outright, sort of a cinematic form of punning. I think it also applies to movies which go about their business with great self-importance but don't really add up to much of an experience for (at least some of) the audience. It's the disconnect between intention and perception which can strike us as humorous. Anyway, I agree with you, james, that Bette's makeup and character in Baby Jane don't "cross over" into the unreal. Our perception is very close to her intention in that case.
  8. Random Alerts!

    Nijinsky's performance of "The Spectre of the Rose" is on my short list of historical events for which I wish I could have been present. After a young woman has fallen asleep in a chair holding a rose from her lover, Nijinsky "flew" through the open window and danced in her dream. According to accounts, he departed by leaping through the window, always ascending, with no hint that he was about to land offstage. (If someone was there to catch him, I wonder who the lucky guy was who got that job.) By the way...THOSE THIGHS!!! I loved Buckle's book. Parts of Nijinsky's diary have also been published.
  9. What Ever Happened To Baby Jane (1962)

    I've never felt as though Baby Jane qualified as camp in the sense that it's so bad it's good. There's so much about it that's good that you really have to look hard to find anything bad. You're right that these are major performances, Bette's in particular. Maybe it's the clownish makeup, which I understand Bette had to fight for, which is the trigger for people's laughter, but the best clowns have always known that the secret is showing the pathos underneath and Bette's performance is masterful in that respect. She never breaks character to signal that underneath she's the Academy Award winning actress who gave us Charlotte Vale and so many other classic characters. In fact, her incredible concentration and focus is probably the single most compelling reason why this movie is not camp. The one off-putting thing to me, and it's not a major drawback, is that it was obviously budgeted as a B movie, though its success at the box office probably eclipsed that of other "major" Warner releases that year. I think it shows in some scenes, in particular the stage show at the beginning where the costuming and general ambience seem to be approximated rather than fully realized. It's kind of indicative of the state of many studios at that time, who were quickly moving into television production where approximation was the name of the game. Warner's television unit was one of the first and one of the most prolific, with lots of hit TV shows and TV-groomed actors to show for it. The problem was that in some of Warner's theatrical product there seemed to be a scaling back in terms of production values, which were more in line with what they were getting away with on television. It seemed that there was more and more overlap during this period and that TV production people and crews were finding their way into Warner's films, just as some of the TV actors were making the leap to films as well. Anyway, this is a long way of saying that some of Baby Jane appears to me to have the look and feel of a television project, probably accentuated by the fact that it was filmed in black and white. Thankfully, the performances, particularly that of Bette Davis, elevate the whole project and make it the classic film audiences still respond to, sometimes with laughter which isn't always appropriate, but that's only a personal opinion. We all appreciate any given film for our own particular reasons.
  10. Ideas for LGBT essentials

    Just a couple more things to say, then we should probably return the thread to TB for its intended purpose. For people who haven't seen To Wong Foo, the fact that these actors play drag queens doesn't mean that occasionally we see three men throw on a frock and lip synch something onstage. The only one we ever see as a man is Patrick, stepping out of the shower and beginning his transformation under the credits. Wesley is seen in mid-transformation and John is seen fully transformed but carrying his wig, all under the credits. For the rest of the film all three are the characters of Veda, Noxema and Chi Chi in every aspect of their lives as they travel cross country in their (junky but fabulous) vehicle. These are sustained performances, totally in character and in a wide variety of situations, including encounters with police, bullies, a battered woman, and a shy closeted young man. Again, this movie is as far from being a joke as it could be, which makes the fact that it's so basically lighthearted and comedic all the more remarkable. The script, by the way, is especially witty and clever and, like any good drag queen, knows how to "go there". Another side note: In both the pageant sequences which open and close the film in New York and then Los Angeles, the contestants all represent the cream of then current drag performers in each city. That's basically all the approval you need and confirmation that the filmmakers (Stephen Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, by the way) were on the right track, and the presence of RuPaul as the New York M.C. confirms the confirmation.
  11. Tiffany and new male host, feb 2018

    If you go to Page 3 in this General Discussions forum, there's a thread called "The End of TV" (Tiffany Vasquez) where the whole thing is discussed in more detail.
  12. Call Me by Your Name

    Thanks for the feedback, guys. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the facts that it's set 30+ years ago and in a remote, rural European locale both could be a source for dissatisfaction in some viewers. Nobody is constantly glued to their smartphone and they all interact, for God's sake. And the slower pacing would only prolong the agony until those viewers could get back to the screens which matter, their own. I know that's an unfair blanket indictment, but I still bet there's some truth there. In the age of Grindr, a tentative exploration of feelings seems quaint and makes Elio and Oliver seem as relatable as Pilgrims on the Mayflower. The critic's argument you mentioned that the boy's family is too privileged makes me crazy. Love and discovery happen where they happen. That's another aspect of our times which bugs me: the mania for "egalitarianism" which would reduce everything to the least common denominator and make no provision for excellence, so that any indicator of superior intellect or achievement needs to be obliterated, the way Black Lives Matter needs to be obliterated by All Lives Matter. Like a boy raised in a home dedicated to learning and the arts needs to be humbled in some way. I was born poor and raised poor and I love the dynamic of loving mutual respect in Elio's family. The idea that such people shouldn't be attended to because they've achieved a place of comfort offends me, frankly. The isolation of Elio at the ending is a more legitimate point and, as I said before, it gnawed at me a little too. But the fact that he's allowing himself to fully experience his pain, as his father had recommended to him, gives me the hope that all will be well. His immediate future is a holiday celebration with the family who love him and it seems likely their love will help define his remoter future.

    There are some choices we make freely in life and some choices we feel compelled to make. Both can lead us to happiness and success and both can lead us to disaster. As TB said, a horribly sad situation.
  14. Ideas for LGBT essentials

    Agreed. I think Wesley Snipes probably had the most on the line since his specialty had been male-oriented action films. If he had tanked as a performer in To Wong Foo there could have been a very negative effect career-wise, beyond the mere fact of him playing a drag queen in the first place. His seemingly effortless embodiment of Noxema Jackson is a truly heroic achievement for an actor at a career mid-point, where all could have been lost. I have the most respect for him because I think his reach to get the character was the farthest. As you said, Swayze and Leguizamo both nailed it as well. The women in the film are also notable, especially Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner and Melinda Dillon.
  15. any lucky folks to see the play---BOYS IN THE BAND???

    I don't expect to see it, but I'm super excited. Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells are all white hot career-wise and are the cream of the crop of out young actors. It sounds like it could be stunning.

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