MotherofZeus

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Everything posted by MotherofZeus

  1. So, I know An American in Paris, is NOT recommended viewing for the "Mad About Musicals" course, but who can do a musical course without watching it? Consequently, I'm thinking a great deal of how wonderfully Oscar Levant plays in this film. His cynicism and resignation to the status of obscure starving artist is played to perfection and contrasts so well with Gene Kelly's bright-eyed and busy-tailed lead. I think despite the age disparity between leading man and leading lady, the romance works in part because Levant's character helps to make Kelly's veteran of WWII still the cockeyed optimist musicals need at that time. What other foil or second banana in musicals makes the lead that much stronger? Or feel free to just bask with me with me in how Oscar Levant reflects on one of Hollywood musicals' underrated joys of classic cinema.
  2. So, I suspect this topic may have been posted before because this community is just so comprehensive. Yet, I can't find it. My mother was a single mother when I was born smack dab in 1970. Add to that my granny was very dedicated to art influencing me. Consequently, I was exposed to a great deal that other kids may not have been exposed to at an early age. As it relates to movies, here is my list of movies I shouldn't have seen with the corresponding age. I am leaving out the Noir movies I watched late at night as an insomniac, the movies my babysitters let me watch, and the great, age appropriate classics I saw as well. I'd love to hear folks stories of similar shenanigans. I'm happy to discuss mine in more detail but would like to get others' takes. Again, please direct me to the topic space if I am rehashing old territory. Please also feel free to venture into a discussion of what or how to determine age appropriateness because a) I still am freaked out by stupid things based on early exposure but also b) I had intelligent people around me providing context, historical and cultural relativity, and open discussion regarding anything I wanted to know or say. That was the up side, and it made me a smarter person for it. Here's my long and distinguished list: Poseiden Adventure: I was 2 and I do remember. Coma: I was 8. A Clockwork Orange: I was one, so I can't remember it -- but, come on! Tommy: I was 4. Jaws: I was 5. Animal House: I was 8. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: I was 3. Saturday Night Fever: I was 7. Personal Best: I was 12. Marathon Man: I was 6. The Towering Inferno: I was 4 (not yet 5 but close). Invasion of the Body Snatchers: I was 8. Looking for Mr. Goodbar: I was 7. No, my mother didn't take me to it, but I was at a drive-in. We'd gone to see Darby O'Gill and the Little People, but guess what was showing one screen over and guess which one I saw more of? Life of Brian: I was 9. Midnight Express: I was 8. History of the World Part 1: I was 11. A Little Romance: I was 9. Lenny: I was 4. Alien: I was 9. The Silent Partner: I was 8. Monty Python and the Holy Grail: I was 5. Earthquake: I was 4. Eyes of Laura Mars: I was 8. Taxi Driver: I was 6. The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: I was 6. The Last Detail: I was 3. Tess: I was 9. The Prisoner of 2nd Avenue: I was 5. Cabaret: I was 2 -- and I do remember. The Deep -- I was 7. Freebie and the Bean: I was 4. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band: I was 8. A Special Day: I was 7. Pretty Baby: I was 8. Lipstick: I was 7. Shampoo: I was 5. Madame Rosa: I was 7. Harry and Tonto: I was 4. Deliverance: I was 2 and I do remember. Serpico: I was 3. Soylent Green: I was 4. Ben: I was 2 but I think I saw it as a rerun before I was 6. Little Darlings I was 10. Anyone else out there????
  3. I may have missed it, but I do not see a DC or Montgomery/Howard County Maryland Backlot Chapter. I saw a Greater Baltimore and DelMarVa. Did I miss one, or do I need to find my fellow Backlot Unicorns to start a chapter for this area?
  4. MotherofZeus

    Why is TCM re-running same movies over and over?

    Has TCM ever explored creating a 501c(3), that probably would be a competitor of AFI, but would be a nonprofit dedicated to preserving, restoring, showing, and educating about classic film? Then folks like us who have the resources could donate toward the movies we love, purchase rights, and expanding various TCM education opportunities. Heck, they could even do specific campaigns to preserve/restore specific noir or musicals or westerns that each of us with our respective pet projects would help fund?
  5. My mother wonders what she was thinking whenever it comes up in conversation. She is a very different person now. As a true fan of The Who, I agree. The music is epic.
  6. Wow! You are a revelation. 😁 Thanks for the tip.
  7. That's interesting. Really, either could play the up and comer or the has been.
  8. So, in watching the discussion of High Society today, I found it difficult to agree that High Society's musical numbers give more depth to the characters. I would argue it has less dimension than the non-musical Philadelphia Story. I see just as much psychoanalysis of Tracy in the original as the father tells her a daughter's love is what keeps a father young, and his affairs are her fault. I've always felt that that aspect of the tale was a "Just, wow!" moment that is hard for contemporary women to swallow. They cut her down to size quite deftly in the original with the same complaints about her expectations of others. Hepburn's Tracy is far more transformed from ice queen to a woman who embraces people and herself as they are and she is. I don't see a convincing change in Kelly's Tracy. I do love the music in High Society. Any Louis Armstrong is good music. Likewise Cole Porter. I agree that the most delightful couple is Bing and Louis. This is what I watch an otherwise watered down movie. Grace is stunningly beautiful, but Hepburn outacts her by miles. Cary and Jimmy are also leagues ahead of Crosby and Sinatra in depth of character, nuance in performance, and bringing issues of class to the front. I found it interesting in comparing this movie's exploration of class and how the "mighty have fallen" as a bit out of place in the prosperous for white-America 50s where it was right in line with the original Philadelphia Story's 1940 preference of the average Joe, deflation of the rich as America had not yet come out of the Depression. What do others feel about High Society?
  9. can't wait. I'll have to see if the preview is on youtube. Exciting. If I had my way today, I'd have Judy Garland and Frederick March because I love their respective performances. I am curious to see who is the dwindling star in the remake.
  10. I enjoyed La La Land a great deal. I look at the movie for what it is rather than what it could be. Asking for Fred and Ginger is like asking for moondust. It is so rare. We've watched tremendous musicals. We've watch so-so musicals, and some stinkers. La La Land is somewhere in the better than so-so and good range for me. it was a victim of being overhyped because people are starves for musicals. What I enjoyed about La La Land was a nostalgic movie informed by the past that is still examining how those crazy show biz kids of today are trying to make it happen. It showed us one of the classic tropes of whether or not one of the lovers will give up the other for the career. Won't spoil it here by discussing the ending. How artists support one another and inform each other's art. The way La La Land wove fantasy and escapism into the lives of Seb's and Mia's reality while employing humor and romance was wonderfully done for me. There is an astute observation above regarding the musical being a product of its time. As our fearless instructor told us, it is a time capsule of when it is made. What does the audience and the culture want from it's aesthetic, its protagonists, its conflicts? What does that say about us? In such a divided country, I liked that "Here' to the Dreamers" relates to all of us -- for surely we all dream. Do we dare to reach for the dreams? If so, what do we sacrifice? That is very uniting in most lives, I'd say. The leads are gorgeous but relatable. For me, that was are faced whether or not each will compromise his and her vision to achieve their dreams. It asks the "if only I had..." in a very compelling way. It is exceptionally accessible while still being evocative of the magic of musicals. "If one gets one's dream, at what price" is an extremely timely question in the movie. Are we applying an outdated standard for what the musical is becoming? I don't have an answer to that. It is a question I ask when I look for more in La La Land. The songs "City of Dreams" and "Here's to the Dreamers" really touch me whenever I watch the movie. When I left hte theater after watching it, I heard more people discussing the plot, events, and meaning than I usually do. It wasn't for lack of those elements. Rather it was because it had provoked thought. That's what art should do. I actually think it is stronger than many recent musicals and original content is a delight. Add that it succeeded at the box office, and we have a musical that paves the way for more musicals. On the other hand, I didn't go to TGSMOE because I know how it glossed over some unpleasantness in a way I couldn't overlook. That's just me. I know some people adore it.
  11. MotherofZeus

    Trump's Biggest Whoppers

    No words. Only action suffices.
  12. @zea and @Marica I also gave up gardening and swimming (although an avid hiker, swimming is my regular form of exercise). I don't have the excuse for heat on swimming at my indoor pool. I managed to do just enough gardening, but I have a lot of dead-heading, fertilizing, weeding, and pruning to do. I'm chemical-free, so I don't use chemicals. It's all hand picking and natural remedies that take longer to catch up on, but it's worth it.
  13. So...I love The Who, but I can't endure Tommy. I'll tell you why and I will date myself as a spring chicken for some and a lady of a certain age for others. My mom took me to see Tommy in the theater when I was four. I remember everything about that day in perfect crystalized clarity. She and I recently discussed my being a child of the 70s and how many inappropriate movies I saw for my age. Tommy scared the crap out of me, and, to be honest, my four-year old brain rightly or wrongly was scared straight off of narcotics from that day forward. Honest to goodness, I've never so much as dabbled in taking an extra prescription medication or the whacky weedus (as my beloved Mel Brooks called it). All. Because. of. Tommy. I can't speak to the merits of the movie because don't remember it in a reasonable, knowledgable way. I just remember being frightened by what it showed my little eyes. Furthermore, I won't watch it again as there is a psychic anxiety about watching it that has to do with many other things from the 70s I'd rather not relive. I did love growing up in the 70s before all the safety mechanisms and lockdowns on how we raise children robbed kids of certain journeys of self-discovery and independence that now has to be programmed into their daily rituals instead of fallen into naturally as we all used to, but seeing Tommy was not a necessary part of that. On the other hand, The Who remans part of my daily listening experience. I'm teaching myself guitar, and I aspire to some of the solos even as I'm just learning rhythm at present. Thanks for the topic. Lots to unload here around the movie and the music -- and the decade. 😉
  14. This is a fantastic guide you've provided TCM! I've always wanted to go. This year may be the year I have to for the marking of the anniversary and the possible guests based on all that you propose as possible inclusions.
  15. MotherofZeus

    Ingrid Bergman

    I would pick Journey to Italy and Notorious only to show the scope of Bergman doing Hollywood and Bergman doing European film. Both are exquisite but amazingly different.
  16. I will confess, after watching High Society again, I give Kelly higher marks than I had. I am back to looking at the two movies as two entirely different things (as I had prior to the course). I can't compare the two even if they are verbatim the same story and largely dialogue. Philadelphia Story is a masterpiece. High Society is a fun, lovely musical -- but not even in my top 25.
  17. I gave up housecleaning. I can normally have TCM on while housecleaning, but for a course, I really wanted to focus on visual intake as well as audio. Don't get me wrong, when it is on in the background, it's because I've honestly seen the movie 15 times (maybe more), and there are some I will sit down for every time. However, for his course, I was committed to editing, set design, choreography, and cinematography. So, my home will be clean in July.
  18. Immortal Beloved Impromptu Amadeas Straight outa Compton Rocky Pennies From Heaven
  19. Captain's Courageous Gilda The Killers Jaws Godfather I&II The Thomas Crown Affair (the original) Bird I think someone said Bridge On the River Kwai Sweet Dreams I'll stop now...I could go on forever, and I shouldn't.
  20. The Piano The Pianist The Soloist Stand By Me American Graffiti The Competition A Face in the Crowd Moonstruck Paris Blues Working on more.
  21. Pitch Perfect(s) Close Encounters of the Third Kind Star Wars The Man Who Knew Too Much The Buddy Holly Story Play Misty for Me The Sting Whiplash Mo Better Blues Birdland Cadillac Records Down With Love Florence Foster Jenkins The Blues Brothers Guardians of the Galaxy 1&2 That Thing You Do Pirate Radio The Fabulous Baker Boys Almost Famous I have more. These are the first to come to mind.
  22. I love the intimacy of this performance. Belting it would take away from what I feel is a seduction by Fanny of Nicki. Yes, she is asking the questions of herself, but she is also drawing him in to her in a very sensual, quiet way. The performance has him gazing at her. He is being seduced, and she is slowly engaging him. He slowly follower her as she moves up the street. When she sings about lovers, she literally leans into Nicki's direction. She sings, "one very special person" and the camera angle has Omar in the background making clear he is that person as is she for him. He gazes at her, and she concludes the song and turns to him standing halfway up the stairs. The stair rail is still between them. They start as separate people with goals that make them lonely. By song's end, they both seem to have opened up to one another in body language. Whether it is the idea of love as sung by Streisand, or actually attraction to one another, the blocking has a subtle back and forth movement by both actors' bodies that is not overt but exceptionally delicate and nearly erotic. Yet the stair rail is still between them. They've not yet made the leap! If I may be so bold, it is almost foreplay. To belt it out would not be as effective in drawing these two to the precipice of jumping into their relationship. Omar has little to do other than step back and admire Streisand's performance, not get in her way, and have his character open up to her character's idea that needing one special person is beautiful. His gaze at her indicates he's open to her as his very special person. Now rip down that stair well and let them at each other!
  23. I would agree in comparing the two musicals. Both have such lush setting. The sets are characters that inform the actors' performances. Cukor becoming this most fully in this movie. Minnelli having this throughout his career. Yes, The Women also uses setting and props to perfection for the various characters. Love your observations.

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