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Posts posted by slaytonf

  1. 12 hours ago, laffite said:

    Can we say movies are not either good or bad but viewing makes it so?

    I've heard that before.  But  like your point.  At any one point in time, a movie that does not appeal at first, will not appeal at all.  But if your perspective changes, then the movie can appeal.  I'm sure there are movies I didn't like that I like now, and vice versa.  I can't think of any right now, but I'll let you know when I come up with any.

      The rest of your observation goes to places that are too deep for me.

    10 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

    always liked the movie.  But going in,I knew the "rivalry" between Salieri  and Mozart was mostly legend and not fact.  And the movie was based on the stage play that was based mostly on that legend and highly fictionalized for entertainment purposes.  

    Excellent example of how you should not get your history from movies.

  2. 3 hours ago, DougieB said:

    I'm a little puzzled why you'd advise against going to documentary movies for history, but to go to books and the library instead

    I say this mostly from a filmmaking perspective.  When you take a picture, you are also not taking a picture of what is not in the frame.  Even in the most detached cinema verité, someone is pointing the camera.  That means they are making a choice, and that is an opening for bias.  Though interpretation of history changes over time, a book lists sources.  Even if the sources are affected by the authors bias, it is still better opportunity to get at history than a film.

    3 hours ago, DougieB said:

    including a mind-boggling scene in which Pope Leo crosses the river in a heavenly mist to dissuade the attackers from sacking Rome.

    I made the comment because occasionally someone will post about how a movie is historically inaccurate.  The recourse is not to work to make movies more accurate, because that will never happen, but to look elsewhere for your history.  Pope Leo did persuade Attila not to sack Rome.

    3 hours ago, DougieB said:

    It's generally (thankfully, not totally) slice-and-dice now, anchored by a frenetic music score. 

    Some of that might also arise from the egotism of the director, thinking to enhance the performance with his singular abilities.  I run into this on some videos of ballets, with the camera jumping back and forth during the performance, evidently arising from the director's concern that the choreography would not be sufficient by itself.  All they end up doing is interrupting the flow of the performance, which seriously decreases the enjoyment.

    • Like 1
  3. Oh, nice sure is.  But I've posted the E-type (The Most Beautiful Car Ever in the World) a couple of times in this thread, so I felt hesitant about mentioning it.  But that doesn't mean I'm not happy to see others post it.

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  4. Got around to watching the movies.  Ken Russell holds true to form in them.

    In Lisztomania (1976) Ken Russell, having seen he created something extravagant, felt irresistibly compelled to create something more extravagant.  And he went on, piling extravagance on extravagance, striving for Olympian heights.  The movie, as far as I can make out, depicts the development of romantic music in the nineteenth century as an allegorical conflict between Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner, posing Liszt as champion of true artistic virtue and Wagner as the evil genius, whose philosophies were responsible for the rise of naziism.  In a climactic scene he manages to satirize both the perpetrators of the nazi horror and its victims, while trivializing the Holocaust, having a Hitler/Frankenstein's monster brought to life by a crazed Wagner mow down Jewish pawnbrokers with a guitar/machine gun.  Like I said, true to form.  Oh, and lots of naked women.

    Mahler (1974) is a little more restrained, if you can call having a quiet, lakeside boathouse burst suddenly into flame for an opening shot restrained.  It follows Mahler and his wife, Alma on a train trip during which we get a retrospective of his life in a series of flashbacks.  It's more of a conventional effort, but don't worry, Russell takes every opportunity for extravagance.  And naked women.

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  5. I'm not talking about the philosophical positions promoted, or critiqued, by the way the stories in movies play out--and there's plenty of them.  I'm talking about observations, and conclusions I've made about the nature of movies from watching them.  I expect people will disagree with me, but I've realized the contrary nature of the human race will lead it to just not recognize my brilliance:

    • Movies can get worse, but they can't get better.  This stands to reason.  Creativity is no small feat.  It's easy to have a spark of an idea, but developing it, fleshing it out, making it sparkle and delight, is another matter.  I'm sorry to say most of the people involved in moviemaking just don't have it.  And the ones that do, well, even they aren't always successful.  I can already hear the objections.  How can I know it's true?  Can't a movie stumble at first, then start to hit on all cylinders.  Well, I've tested it.  I used to slog my way through the most horrible dreck.  Dutifully spending seventy, ninety minutes and more of the precious time I have here in deference to the movie gods, until I came to the realization that when I feel like I'm chewing on cardboard, or have this almost intolerable urge to leap up off the sofa and run heedlessly out of the house, that I might better change the channel, or dust mop my floors.  As a corollary, I will say that every movie has something good in it.  A bit of dialog, or action, or direction, or something.  But it is also true that it is not worth enduring all the other worthless minutes to find it.  And then to remember it, you will have to make a note, and catalog the notes to remember why you should watch it again.  Another demi-corollary  is that if a movie I'm not impressed by has an actor in it I like, but does not show up right away, I'll wait to see what sort of difference they make when they come on (usually none).  I'll also give a director I like the benefit of the doubt, for a while.  This maxim has saved me countless wasted hours.  If I'm not engaged, or I'm actively repelled by a movie in the first few minutes, I turn it off.   Sometimes I don't even get through the credits.
    • Don't get your history from movies.  I've said this often other places.  I wasn't the first to say it.  Others have said it many times.  The reason being, it's true.  Don't go to documentary movies, either.  Even cinema verité.  You want history, go to a library, go to the books, go to the sources.  Movies are entertainment.  And by that I don't mean just superficial diversion.  Powerful and moving stories are also entertainment.  They have to be, otherwise people wouldn't watch 'em.
    • Regardless of the time they depict, movies are always about the time they were made in.  The example that comes first to mind to illustrate this is M*A*S*H (1970).  Ostensibly about the Korean War, nobody doubts it's anti-war, anti-establishment message directly related to the Vietnam War and the rejection of the conventional american myth that grew out of the 60s.  You can have Marie Antoinette sip chocolate out of the finest china, you can have a centurion kicking up sand in the Levant, you can have intergalactic battles fought thousands of years in the future.  But it's all about when the movie was made.  The mores, the culture, the ideas and conventions that were around at the time will shape and color the movie.  You can also see this in movies that have had many remakes over time, like the A Star is Born movies.  And some often readapted literature, like The Three Musketeers.  This leads to the next observation, that:
    • The more things stay the same, the more they change.  This is a little harder to get a handle on.  Comparing production code movies with more recent ones highlights the changes in our culture,.  But it's surprising how persistent the conventions of storytelling are.  And they're not always what you would assume.  Of course, today movies are much more explicit in language, sex, and violence.  Things that were severely frowned on in the past now pass without comment, and things that used to be accepted uncritically are now anathema.  Everyone can make their own list.  And they don't all relate to race and abortion.  An example that comes to mind is from Shakespeare in Love  (1998).  Despite portraying the Bard in an adulterous affair without any scruple, the same old messages about the aristocracy are perpetuated.  Shakespeare and Viola's continued relationship is impossible because the obligations of her class force her into a loveless arranged marriage.  Think of The Swan (1956), and One Romantic Night (1930).
    • An actor can make the difference.  An otherwise uninteresting, or downright unwatchable movie can be made not only entertaining, but great by the performance of an actor.  It doesn't happen often, but it can.  For instance, Random Harvest (1942).  It's a romance movie, which I almost always loathe, being  even more formulaic than slasher movies.  It has a plot that requires a suspension of disbelief that could give someone a hernia.  And it's one of the favorite movies in my rotation.  Why?  Because of a performance.  In this case, two performances, Greer Garson and Ronald Colman.  It's been said that the mark of a great actor is the ability to read the entries of a phone book and make it engaging.  Well, these two top that by a mile.  They recite the lines of this script and make it painless to watch.  Even more.  They make it enjoyable.  Gene Wilder does the same in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  A movie entirely worthless (except for a decent song:  Pure Imagination), is brought to life by his performance.
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  6. 3 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

    Ouch. I had meant I was like Hayward in that men are "afraid" of me.

    While I'd never put up with unwanted advances/abuse, I also have very low tolerance with BS- and we all know BS is the typical young man's tool for attracting a woman's interest. 

    So the men in the bar must have been BS.

  7. 9 hours ago, NoShear said:

     Sorry for snapping back like that.  While I acknowledge that I was stretchin' the chutes on your Topic here with the entry, I was partially referencing the 2013 movie;otherwise, I would not have pushed 'em up to the line.


    Threads get stretched every which way here.  That's fine with me, 'cause it increases the post count and keeps the thread going.  And you did have a movie angle, so you get points for that.  I'll just mark that down here. . . .

    • Like 1
  8. 8 hours ago, NoShear said:


    Didn't mean to upset you, but here's from my op:

    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!:


    Now, that's nice.

    • Like 1
  9. On 6/4/2021 at 11:32 AM, NoShear said:

                     f7422d7d1b52ec2ec9120f9f9dfd6492.jpg                                                                                                                                       th?id=OIP.3KZGNd9fb9ILrjEPJGa_ZAHaFB&pid=Api&P=0&w=267&h=182                                                                                              hot-wheels-supernationals-ontario-tom-mongoose-mcewens-hot-wheels-picture-id165569235

    Powerful.  Loud.  Fast.  But not nice.

  10. Almost forgot about the Ken Russell double feature on Imports tonight (or tomorrow for you Easties).  Love him, hate him, or love and hate him, he is one of the most startling directors.  Visually lush, extravagant, his movies for me are sometimes tiring to watch, sometimes irritating, but never boring.  I haven't see either of the two movies slated, Mahler (1974), and Lisztomania (1976).  But the two subjects of his movies, Mahler and Liszt, are right in line with his style.

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  11. 3 hours ago, HelenBaby2 said:

    “I’m Gonna Live Til I Die” performed by Julie Wilson in This Could Be the Night. Very catchy but I don’t recall it from my youth. Queen Latifah did a couple of albums of jazz & pop standards in the early 2000’s and covered this song. 

    The song has become a minor standard, with a number of covers, including Sarah Vaughn, Frank Sinatra, and Keely Smith. But that shouldn't keep it from becoming even better known!

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