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Everything posted by slaytonf

  1. The dialogue is definitely racist and derogatory. But I think the depiction of the blacks and the sacrificial cult are equally racist and demeaning. While there were superstitious cults throughout the Caribbean, I hardly think there was anything like what was portrayed in the picture. It clearly is the result of ignorance and prejudice. In fact, the attempted sacrifice of the child can be seen as the reading on to this plot the old legend from medieval Europe of the Jew's sacrificing a Christian child for Passover. The concept of political correctness too often is used to disarm legitimat
  2. It was always my feeling that we were supposed to gaze on with fascinated horror at that scene of immolation.
  3. >ThelmaTodd says: >You couldn't play on these fears today in a mainstream feature, at least not so blatantly Hi Thelma. I'm not so sure I agree with that. You don't think you can't pick a group that is easy to stigmatize as dangerous and violent, and that threatens to corrupt our womenfolk that way today? Although the the film is steeped in the racism of the era, there are still some aspects of the depiction of the blacks in the movie that depart from the conventions. First, they are portrayed as powerful. That's something, even if it's only in a negative light. Second, Lu
  4. Definitely the the salacious sexuality of the white woman taking a major role in an overtly **** cult, and dancing like the black "savages" was intentionally utilized by the producers to shock the audience, and take advantage of its fascination/repulsion with the portrayal. The delicious sense of violating racial norms, never publicly admitted, must certainly have been a strong draw for the movie.
  5. There are a lot of similarities in plot and atmosphere. Of course, Black Moon lacks the Lewton touch.
  6. Well, I was hoping for a discussion of portraiture in films, and maybe some adulation for Michael Powell. But threads don't always go where you think they will. Anyway, about your comment. All I can say is that it is a film. The only way to have what you talk about in the film is to put a camera in front of a stage and film a ballet as its performed. But I think you and everyone who's seen that done knows what a flat, stagey appearance that creates. The object of Powell was to communicate the emotional effect the audience experienced watching the ballet. The Red Shoes as a ballet wou
  7. There are a lot of things that can be said about The Red Shoes. One that occurs to me as I watch it is the necessity for a great director to be a great portriatist, for emphasizing plot elements, and capturing the emotional state of the characters. It is not enough to just put a camera close to a person's face. As a portraitist, Michael Powell is unsurpassed, and of his movies this one is where his ability has its greatest effect. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have Moira Shearer to photograph. I'm going to try to patch in some examples. The quality of my screen recorder is not great a
  8. Mary Shelly's object was to shock through moral and psychological horror and revulsion. The concept was so novel to her audience that, in spite of her overwrought writing, it managed to acheive it's effect. It's true the book doesn't have much of what movie audiences have been conditioned to expect from a Frankenstein picture (phisical horror and violence), which it too bad, because the themes of the desire for inclusion, rejection, and its reaction, the attempts to evade responsibility for one''s actions, and it's consequences are where a lot of the power of the book comes from. Neverthele
  9. The only version of Frankenstein I like is the original. I wonder if there is a faithful adaptation of the novel. The opening image of the monster running across the sea ice is stunning and eerie.
  10. With this added information, I am doubtful it is A Matter of Life and Death. But watch it anyway. It's a good movie, the cast is superior, and Michael Powell is a great director.
  11. A lot of these are shown on TCM from time to time. Two Lane Blacktop was shown in the Underground series. If you search the titles on this Web site, it will tell you if it is available for purchase. For example: http://www.tcm.com/search/?text=twolaneblacktop&type=allDb Of course, you can search on the internet for other sources.
  12. For Safari, in the Safari drop-down menu, in the Preferences option, select the Security button and you can enable the different Web content features, like Java, and Java-Script. You can also select to block pop-up windows. For my Mac, this works for all but the most aggresive marketing sites, where I still do get some pop-ups. But I avoid those sites for the most part. There is probably a similar procedure for Firefox.
  13. That rediscovery thing kind of resonates. But the only thing that comes to mind with a scene on a beach is a Michael Powell film, called A Matter of Life and Death (also known as Stairway to Heaven): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038733/ It's rather good, though I think it's not likely. It's the only film with a heavenly court scene that I can tolerate watching. Edited by: slaytonf on Sep 10, 2011 3:13 AM
  14. He may not have been a contender, but I think he ended up winning. One thing I like best about the movie it the terrifically sleazy atmosphere of the town Audrey Totter walks through. I've never seen it done as good. It always makes me feel like taking a shower after I see it.
  15. >As TopBilled: >Since we're on the subject of Walter Matthau, who would've thought he and Jack Lemmon would work so well together in various films. There are a lot of duos like them, not only in movies. They form the typical **** retentive/**** passive pair. Other forms they take are the schlemiel/schlimazel, or schemer/stooge pair. Examples are Abbot and Costello, Martin and Lewis, and more recently Pryor/Wilder. Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel also were a retentive/passive pair in the producers.
  16. I wan't saying that it was Wayne and Reed that made Expendable work (though you have a good point with Montgomery), I was saying that Wayne and Reed worked well together in the movie. Speaking of Wayne and his unusual pairing with Colbert, which wasn't as much of a disater as one would initially think, I have another: with Sophia Loren, in Legend of the Lost. Ok, it's not in any way as good a film (not to say Without Reservations is a great film), but again, I am speaking of the pairing and on-screen chemistry. And in that light, Wayne and Loren are not so absurd and ridiculous as you w
  17. Well, that was abrubt. But you know, if everyone agreeed, there wouldn't be anything worth writing. So permit me to disagree.
  18. I have a DVD I found in the used section of Lou's Records in Encinitas. It's a fairly good print, maybe second generation, with not too many scratches. It's put out by Platinum disc corporation, P. O. Box 2790, La Crosse, WI 54602-2798. I don't know if they're still around, or if it's still in print.
  19. Really, Monty C, it was not so much prescience I should have described it as, but an acute insight into human nature, and the way power and politics play out in society, as it has since the earliest civilizations. He wasn't predicitng anything, but describing a condition that has existed for millennia. What we observe today is the human race, sadly, following in the same well-trodden paths.
  20. >Per Dargo: >Dude, there has NEVER been more of a "message movie" in the history of Hollywood which has contained a "heavy-handed" message delivered to the audience by "two-dimensional mouthpieces" than the King Vidor directed, Ayn Rand scripted "sermon" titled The Fountainhead. I agree completely. The poster child for message movies.
  21. Yes, message pictures are almost always heavy-handed. Everything gets subjugated to the message, characters become two-dimensional mouthpieces spouting the party line, and stories are cut-to-fit to serve the purpose. It takes a great director to overcome the drawbacks of this kind of movie. I think the best of them is Metropolis. As for Capra and his prescience, think of Meet John Doe. Then think of the Tea Party movement and how the Republican Party moved in to take advantage of it. And I'm eagerly looking forward to the day there is a month long special showing all the Zatoichi m
  22. In the book, he does have an affair with her. It ends, and they remain friends.
  23. If I remember correctly, he was found at some sort of institution run by nuns and his recovery from sickness was expected. Try these links to find a dvd to buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/So-Long-at-Fair-DVD/dp/B000NA6VF0 http://www.amazon.co.uk/So-Long-At-Fair-DVD/dp/B004JIF5MM
  24. Except that Italian films at that time were made without sound and dubbed afterward. Even the voices of Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon were dubbed in by them. Either Lancaster would have to phonetically recite the Italian, or you would have the extremely disconcerting condition of Lancaster speaking in English with the other cast members speaking in Italian. I will say it is off-putting to hear him dubbed by someone else's voice, and distinctly detracts from the value of his performance.
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