slaytonf

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Everything posted by slaytonf

  1. slaytonf

    Requesting movies on TCM

    You're right. It looks like it's been scrubbed from all the drop down menus on other pages except for the one on the MESSAGE BOARDS page (except on my old version of Safari, it pops up on the TCM homepage, too). But though the page comes up, the link to sign in is disabled. You will notice there is no record of recently suggested movies, either, only an error message.
  2. slaytonf

    Requesting movies on TCM

    Looks like the SUGGEST A MOVIE option has been discontinued. It used to be in the COMMUNITY menu, but has been replaced by a button for Fathom Events.
  3. slaytonf

    How is the exact length of a film determined?

    There is no standard, or agency that promotes one. There might be as many methods as there are people who care to measure movies. I think most would agree that a movie's time runs from the first logo to when the last credit crawls up off the top of the screen. There are different released versions of many movies, some famously, some from country to country. During the production code era states and even individual projectionists would take it upon themselves to edit out parts of movies they found objectionable, leading to myriad different prints. How many of those remain I'm not sure, but if you are attentive, you can see where bits of dialogue too racy or otherwise have been clipped out.
  4. If achievements in art are comparable to those in other human endeavors, such as science and philosophy. And if achievements in cinema are equal to those in other arts, such as painting and sculpture. Then great moments of cinema are among the greatest accomplishments of the human race. I have no problem equating great moviemaking with the works of Monet, Pasteur, or Aristotle. Baby Face 1933: Barbara Stanwyck as Lily surveys the scene of destruction after her former lover kills her current one, then himself. The scene is a masterful example of understatement. Her impassive study of the scene, acting more as a guide through it than an interpreter, allows the audience to absorb the shock without any filter. Thankfully someone had the insight to have no music. This concentrates the attention on the visuals and heightens the sense of the enormity of what happened. There is a technique in pottery called burnishing. Before firing, a dried pot is rubbed with a smooth pebble, compacting and hardening the surface clay and giving it a sheen. Whenever I see Ms. Stanwyck standing in profile in front of the shut door, hair permed, immaculately made up, she always appears to me as highly burnished. The ultimate attainment of her relentless program of self-transformation. Exquisitely hard surfaced--hollow inside. Completely detached from the scene, unconcerned about what has happened. The perfect Nietzschean hero.
  5. slaytonf

    Much of this Month's schedule has disappeared!

    I see the plot for a movie. The universe is dissolving. Crusaders race to defeat the evil forces behind it befor
  6. There are four basic schematics which account for all stories that are told. The one that forms the basis for most stories is: --Things start out right, then they go wrong, then they are made right again. Two variations are: --Things are wrong, then they are made right. And-- --Things are right, then they go wrong. The first is the basis for comedy, the second for tragedy. A final schematic is the inverse of the first: --Things are wrong, then they are made right, then they go wrong. It is employed in more modern works, particularly in ones crafted to highlight the failures of contemporary society. Stories may have added elaborations and embellishments on these basic forms to lengthen the works and increase dramatic tension, but they can all be reduced to the above forms. Two final schematics are possible: Things are right, and they stay right. Things are wrong, and they stay wrong. These are rare and mainly form the basis for absurdist, nihilistic, or angry man (woman) stories.
  7. slaytonf

    The four basic story schematics.

    Things are right, then they go wrong, then they are made right.
  8. slaytonf

    Great moments in cinema.

    Well you are a TCM citizen and have done your duty by acknowledging him. For which I thank you. There is certainly a lot of his work that could be cited here. (Hmm. . . .). Charlie Chaplin had a tendency to the sentimental. His great genius saved him from the saccharine. His delicate understanding of the human character makes this scene both beautiful and painful. The the impulses for generosity and selflessness, the interplay and shyness and desire for exposure, combine to make this culminating moment.
  9. slaytonf

    Do many of you like Shakespeare?

    Many of me like Shakespeare. Without a doubt the greatest author in the English language. And there are not many in other languages to compare. I read his plays every handful of years or so. The problem you and many others have in appreciating him is natural. His English is four hundred years old. Meanings and usages have changed. The best way to experience his work is to see it performed on stage. Even if you don't get all the words, the intent and power come through. Reading him takes time to accustom yourself to the language. I use an annotated version of his plays, which have introductory remarks on the content, and performance history of the plays, and footnotes explaining words and passages. Paradoxically, I recommend not referring to the notes, at least not at first. It breaks up the flow of the plays, and turns reading them into a chore, rather than a joy. The best annotated set of plays is called The Arden Shakespeare, but there are others. As for that infamous canard about his works being written by some nobleman or other, it is simply another instance of thievery by the aristocracy. It is not enough for it to steal money, land, and labor of people to sate its rapacity, but it even needs to thieve their creativity. The answer to all the questions raised about the improbability of Shakespeare writing his works is simple. He was a genius. Members of the aristocracy, most of whom being distinctly average in ability and who attain position and success because of their social status or inheritance cannot conceive of anybody creating what he did without all the educational advantages they had. Despite numerous and repeated examples of people rising out poverty and disadvantages through hard work and brilliance to attain success and create a lasting contribution to humanity, their greed leads them to begrudge anything of value to one not of their class. As for why others of equal brilliance have not appeared, the answer is also simple. They have. But they either were in other kinds of art, or in other fields, like science, or politics. Other authors as brilliant have come around, but they could not hold the same position in our culture because Shakespeare already occupied it.
  10. I've talked about how I admire this movie for the themes it explores, the somber mood it creates, and the tragic ending with its joyless victory (http://forums.tcm.com/topic/127760-sympathy-for-the-monster/). One thing I was oblivious to was the effect of this movie on Japanese audiences. Needless to say, it must have been stunning, touching a very raw and unhealed nerve in the common psyche. A large destructive force, radioactive, that lays waste to cities, destroys and maims people. Ben Mankiewicz in his comments called the monster a metaphor for the atomic age, but I'm sure audiences saw something else in addition. The association of the monster with the United States and it's defeat of Japan with nuclear weapons would be inescapable. No nation enjoys the sharp sting of defeat. It is akin to death, and desperate measures are resorted to for coping with the assault on self-worth. The Viet Nam War is still problematic with us, and it didn't involve any devastation to our country or government. Imagine the psychic wound the Japanese felt, a people and culture even more proud, if possible, than we are. Perhaps there was morbid fascination with a subject matter that hewed so closely to painful matters. But perhaps there was also a certain therapeutic effect, allowing people, if only metaphorically to achieve some sense of control over their world by defeating the monster, and doing it with a weapon of fearsome power that they willingly give up.
  11. slaytonf

    Gojira (1956) as therapy.

    'Long as we beat 'em. There still is a strong strain in Japanese society which is militaristic, denying the horrors they visited on the Koreans, Chinese, and others, and honoring the war criminals we hanged. But if individual people can be a confusing mass of contradictory elements, think what a nation of them would be.
  12. 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:
  13. slaytonf

    Diahann Carroll Has Died

    Aw, gee. . . .
  14. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    Oooo. . . .fins. . .thas nice! Sadly, according to IMCDB, one had never been in a movie.
  15. slaytonf

    Movie identification request?

    I will take the risk and say you will enjoy it a lot. It's a great forgotten comedy. Jean Arthur is fabulous.
  16. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    It may be nice, but it is not a car.
  17. slaytonf

    Movie identification request?

    The movie might be The Devil and Miss Jones (1941), with Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn: http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/72933/The-Devil-and-Miss-Jones/ Click on the READ THE FULL SYNOPSIS tab for a full description.
  18. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    That's a nice. . . .car.
  19. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    Oops! Well, if you leave a door open, you should expect people to walk through it.
  20. You're welcome, jamesjazzguitar. I have to say part of the reason I don't go down any rabbit holes is that I don't have any formal education in music. What I know of jazz I've picked up mostly from reading CD booklets that came with the albums I bought. That and watching Leonard Bernstein shows, the Young People's Concerts and his The Unanswered Question. When I hear someone express an interest in the music, I try to think of what thrills me about it to feed that interest. Jazz is America's classical music, and the people who wrote it and performed it were true masters and geniuses. And I'm sure I don't have the knowledge to appreciate them nearly as much as they should be.
  21. slaytonf

    That's a nice car!

    From the Antiques Road Trip front, the 1066 Jaguar Mark II: I seem to be favoring Jaguars. I'm ok with that.
  22. Let me also recommend the Jazz at the Philharmonic series. This wasn't jazz players accompanied by an orchestra, but a series of concerts originally staged at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles, but later in tours around the world. It featured a bewildering array of the most accomplished artists including--well, who didn't it include? There was Illinois Jacquet, Nat King Cole, Les Paul, Lionel Hamption, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Coleman Hawkins, and on and on. Some of the cookinest music ever. Many of the concerts are available for purchase or listening on the Web. Bud Powell was the most intense jazz pianist of all time. His playing is suffused with a frenetic energy that is dumbfounding when you first hear him. The notes pour out at an almost impossible rate, and yet under absolute control. One of the preeminent figures in the development of bebop, his contributions are as important as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk. However, due to tragic events in his life, his later work, though superior of course, lacks the blazing fire of his early performances.
  23. All the people I mentioned, to whom I'd add, Lionel Hampton (the best vibraphonist), and Illinois Jacquet (a wialing saxophonist), worked in smaller groups at some point in their careers, also liking the freer atmosphere. You just have to search their names with the word live on YouTube or elsewhere to find examples, like this one:
  24. slaytonf

    copyright-protected?

    So you can record movies to DVDs from your DVR? Can you record movies to DVDs real-time as they are shown?

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