slaytonf

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Everything posted by slaytonf

  1. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    So there you are, blithely watching something--a movie, or TV show, or something, all unsuspecting, and someone drives up, and gets out, and--wait a minute. . . .you can't help saying to yourself: That's a nice car!: or:
  2. I once heard someone characterized James Thurber as a man who would have taken delight dropping a cat down in the middle of the Westminster Dog Show. I get the feeling I am doing something similar to that, but maybe people are all talked out about the subject. I haven't seen a thread about TCM's immanent demise or corruption in, what?, almost a week, now. Maybe people are just catching their breath for the next round. If so, then I'll take the opportunity to sneak in this little missive under the radar, so to speak. Now, statistics don't convince people, and the published mission statement of TCM doesn't convince people, so maybe the words of Robert Osborne on his very first first first introduction will. After all, he is the Voice of TCM, it's guiding spirit, it's venerated personification, if you will. If anyone can speak with authority about TCM, he can. So, from the recent Private Screening interview with that other person people are divided about: Hi, welcome to Turner Classic Movies. I'm Robert Osborne, I'm gonna be your host, right here, as we present some of the best, the--finest films ever made, twenty-four hours a day. We're going to be drawing not only from the great film libraries of MGM and Warner Brothers, but also from other outstanding catalogs, so: Come join us, and see not only great films and stars from the past, but also films from recent years, featuring some of our newest and most watchable stars. Emphasis mine. Of course, after Mr. Osborne retires, then, ah, then. . . .
  3. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    It may have been a 1950 MG TD: As for the Lotus, you can see it here: https://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_2367-Lotus-Seven-Mark-VII-1965.html
  4. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    1965 Lotus Seven Series II (Mark VII), from The Prisoner TV series: Every once in a while I watch the show to satisfy my paranoiac cravings. No one could match McGoohan for overwound mainspring intensity.
  5. slaytonf

    1959's "The FBI story" w\Jimmie Stewart

    The only way I was able to figure it out was through your tag.
  6. slaytonf

    What Robert Osborne Said--Revisited

    All lost to the mistiness. Except Mr. Dobbs, who went on to a different higher gig.
  7. slaytonf

    What Robert Osborne Said--Revisited

    I think he was tapped to play in a higher gig.
  8. slaytonf

    What Robert Osborne Said--Revisited

    I thought it would be worthwhile to recall this thread.
  9. slaytonf

    Gone with the Wind: My thoughts on the classic film

    Surprisingly, I don't have a recording of the movie, so I wasn't able to review the scene at Tara where Ashley Wilkes admits his worthlessness and tells Scarlett that she will have to be the strong one (overlooking the fact that she's been that ever since the end of the war.) When he gets back from the war, he doesn't work to revive Twelve Oaks, but accepts a job, and an obviously charitable offer, from a woman--something a southern gentleman of fiber would never do. He allows Scarlett to seduce him in his office, or at least begin to when they are interrupted, leading to scandal. When Scarlett comes to him for advice on how to raise tax money, he has no suggestions, leaving it up to her to save Tara. He is never a leader. He never takes action to contend with crises, but is buffeted by them. As long as it was intact, his inherent weakness as the enervated output of played-out society was concealed. Without it to shield him after the war, his ineffectualness was exposed.
  10. slaytonf

    Gone with the Wind: My thoughts on the classic film

    Ashley Wilkes was inherently weak. It was the war that brought it out. At the end of the story, Scarlett realizes her obsession with Ashley was pathologic and that Rhett Butler was the right one for her, only too late.
  11. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    1926 Duseenberg Model A in After Office Hours (1935): Dig those headlights!
  12. slaytonf

    What's up with artists and their windows?

    At the risk of being too serious myself, I'm grateful for your comments. Your observation I quoted above shows how often the positions of people and objects are tweaked for the requirements of the camera. You'll see piano benches at an angle to the piano. Chairs almost side-on to their respective tables. People will stand with shoulders so squared to the camera they appear to be Egyptian hieroglyphs come to life.
  13. slaytonf

    Grammer question pls

    Film noir is a French phrase, coined by film critics over there that noticed a theme in American postwar movies. If you are French and in France, my guess is that you would dit: "films noirs." The adjective in French takes the number of the noun. If you are an American, and here, then my opinion is--rather what I say is: film noirs, as the phrase here has become Americanized.
  14. slaytonf

    Gone with the Wind: My thoughts on the classic film

    Here is what I have written on the movie previously: It's not surprising Margaret Mitchell chose a woman as the central character of Gone With the Windto personify the destruction and rebuilding of the south during and after the Civil War. Not many authors have done a good job depicting the internal workings of the opposite sex. Not having read the book, I will have to take it as a given David Selznick faithfully translated Miss Mitchell's work to the screen. So what can we see she was saying through the person of Scarlett O'Hara? She is a strong-willed and determined person. She knows what she wants, and is clear-headed going about getting it. Practical, and unsentimental, even to the point of being mercenary, she doesn't hesitate using any tactic to accomplish her goals. It's understandable, the hardships she faced drove her to make fearsome resolutions. Scarlett's progress represents the destruction and revival of the southern economy, its agriculture, commerce, and industry. She's quite a busy person, managing Tara, then becoming a retail queen, and building a lumber empire. Her marriage to Rhett Butler rounds out the picture with trade. But combined with that is a curious and contradictory irrational obsession with Ashley Wilkes. He is the old order, destroyed in the war, that stood for slavery, nobility, honor. He was the flower of the social order, its full realization, but also weak, attenuated. He's a dead end, but in this instance, she blinds herself to reality--out of pride, or conceit, or something, until she realizes (only too late) how misguided she was. Her preoccupation with him ruins her relationship with the one she ought to hanker after, Rhett Butler, as the south preoccupied with the past hurts its recovery. He's the future, practical, sensible like Scarlett, unhindered by outmoded ideals, or nostalgia for what's lost. He's obviously presented as an alternative to the enervated Wilkes. At the end however, Scarlett remains as she was, a combination of realistic, and irrational. She rightly recognizes her source of strength is Tara. But her freedom from her obsession with Ashley Wilkes, alas, is only replaced with another futile hope, getting Butler back. Margaret Mitchell's efforts to appraise people of the dangers of worshipping the dead past went unheeded, dragging down states, and hindering peoples' advancement for too many decades. To the contrary, her work is even now not looked on as a cautionary tale, but as a celebration of what she argued should be left behind. A prime example of people seeing what they want to see, and not what is there. For more discussion, see here: http://forums.tcm.com/topic/167336-the-south-is-a-woman/
  15. slaytonf

    Can anybody tell me the theme?

    Well, then, it's relationships, not marriage.
  16. Tonight as part of the Black Experience in Film, we are being treated to two movies with stories involving jim crow justice. They are both based on works by two great American authors, and have, on the surface at least, many similarities. There's a man accused, falsely, of a heinous crime against a white. There are defense lawyers. Threats of lynching. Children have a role in the action. But there are also profound and powerful differences that lead me to prefer the latter movie, which I will endeavor to show. I hesitate to question To Kill a Mockingbird, given its revered place in the American consciousness. Both the book and the movie. They are no doubt masterpieces, well made, affecting, and with the proper message that racial injustice is bad. I feel a not inconsiderable amount of the high regard we have is due to Atticus Finch, and Gregory Peck's portrayal of him, appealing to us as a Great Big Father Figure we all want to have. Not that this is wrong, just that it is valued more as a testament against racism than it otherwise would be without him. Despite its message, it still presents the world from the white point of view, with the whites controlling the action. In short, it's still all about us, with patronization substituted for racism. The African-Americans are still presented as passive. Even though Tom Robinson is portrayed sympathetically, he is still powerless, a victim of the system and circumstances. While Intruder in the Dust still tells the story from the white point of view, the central African American figure, Lucas Beauchamp, played magnificently by Juano Hernandez, is portrayed as dignified, independent, non-subservient. He has as powerful an influence on the action as any of the white characters, even more so. He gets the whites not only to let him off, but get the real criminal. And this while in a jail cell. His influence extends beyond the events as they happen in the present, but into the past. In fact, it's his influence on events and people in the past that saves his life in the present. I suppose the reason this story is not so beloved by America is due to none of the whites being portrayed in a very good light. Not to say they are all raging racists, but they are certainly not the same glowing goodness of the positive characters in Mockingbird. The lawyer, in contrast to Mr. Finch, is self-important, quick to judge, and not often right. Nor do we have his towering figure as a father. The closest character we have as a defender of the just and the right is an old Lady. She may not appeal like Atticus Finch, but she and her knitting hold off a lynch mob, while he obviously would have failed if it weren't for Scout showing up and breaking the mood.
  17. slaytonf

    Can anybody tell me the theme?

    Looks like marriages imperiled by something, usually the husband going haywire.
  18. A major attraction of TCM for me, naturally, is its liberal bias. Love those up the people flicks! But here it is, another Labor Day weekend, and no worker movie marathon--to say nothing about May Day. You know, looking at things on the whole, a gnawing fear that the lefty lean of the channel is just a pose is beginning to grip me. On two holiday weekends, Memorial and Veterans Days, we get three days of war movies. And you can toss in 4 July, too. In December, we get a whole month drowning in Christmasy schmaltz and sugar coating, and not one movie involving Kwanza, or Chanukah. I--I don't know. . .I-- (sigh) Agonizing reappraisals.
  19. slaytonf

    What's up with artists and their windows?

    Ah, there will always be contrarians. Where this comes from I'm sure can provide for lengthy discussion. Certainly people perpetrate art in all kinds of environments, except perhaps total darkness. It would have been very difficult for Monet to paint his water lilies in a studio. The question posed related specifically to studios, and the form they took, which derived from the requirements of the artists. If you're in a room, you want the most light possible, especially in days before electric illumination. Not that you will always need it, but unlike Alice with her tea, you can take less light if you don't want it. Artists didn't have a hand in designing buildings, but others had requirements for light too, especially in trade and warehousing. In the days before electric lighting, and steel framing, the exterior walls formed the structure of a building. This limited the size of the windows. On the top floors windows could grow. Also with a limited ceiling height, the way to increase window square footage is to slant them. And though artists did not design these buildings, they certainly recognized the advantages of them, and the price when their neighborhoods fell into decline. Now this is not all artists everywhere at all times. But enough to create a convention for Hollywood to pick up on and stereotype. And you will certainly find in movies artists working in spaces not in the 'typical' form. As for the northern exposure, certainly all lofts of this type didn't have them, though I wouldn't be surprised if most did. For the reasons artists--painters especially--would want one are to a great extent ones others would want them. One reason is to eliminate direct sunlight, so as not to bake the artist, the models, and the materials. It also eliminates glare from surfaces and hard contrasts. Changing your gaze from shadow to bright light and back is hard on the eyes, and takes time to adjust the pupil size. Sitting in direct sunlight also casts shadows across the work, making it difficult to see details. Diffuse light creates a uniform environment, though with the drawback of tinging the light to the blue end of the spectrum. Those who paint in basements or at night should be aware the temperature of the light they use affects how colors are seen. Now I know people will jump up objecting that artists--painters--do their stuff outside, too. And when they do, they make adjustments for it, like mixing their paints differently--that is, when painters mixed their paints themselves. Or sitting in a shadow, or using an umbrella when they could. They would also position themselves with relation to the sun. You don't see paintings, in general I mean, looking directly into the sun, or for that matter, with the sun directly behind the painter. And Tiki, we are all artists. That is, we are all creative at times. The difference is that some to a greater or lesser extent are intentionally creative. Lucky ones make their living at it. The luckiest make a contribution to the human condition, like Maya Lin, or Christo and Jean-Claude.
  20. Thanks, I copied the date from the movie next on the list. If what you say is true about the movie, I probably won't watch it.
  21. According to MovieCollector's list, My Son John (1940) was on once in 2010.
  22. Hey! A micro Labor Day marathon!
  23. He'd do that just for you? What a great guy!
  24. slaytonf

    What's up with artists and their windows?

    Large windows, preferably slanted were sought by artists for the light they provided in the rooms they used for their studios. Normally, such windows were only available on the top floors of older walk-ups, which meant they were generally cheap, which was an added advantage for the artists. Although there are no compasses visible in the movies, these windows should also have had a northern orientation for the indirect light. The diffuse light, tinged a little to the blue due to atmospheric absorption of the other frequencies, was the best light for getting colors right. The window in Rear Window (1954) was useless for the composer, but useful for Hitchcock as it let him film what was going on in an apartment a few stories above Jeff's.
  25. Labour Day. Uh oh. . . .

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