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The Essentials: The Brad Bird Era begins May 2


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36 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

or in the road

And where there's a dead skunk right in the middle of it.

(...oh wait...that wasn't the Beatles, was it)  ;)

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3 hours ago, Dargo said:

And where there's a dead skunk right in the middle of it.

Yep, I know what song you're talking about. He didn't see the highway car, the skunk got squished, and there you are.

Of course, the Beatles did make some scandalous suggestions about "doing it" in the road.

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Mary Astor won the 1941 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, but it wasn't for her performance as the femme fatale Brigid O'Shaughnessy. She was honored for her work in "The Great Lie" as Sandra Kovak, a vain concert pianist who had a romantic rivalry with a character played by Bette Davis.

Astor's reaction to the award? ''I would have preferred getting my Oscar for 'The Maltese Falcon,' " she wrote later. 

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The late Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times added "The Maltese Falcon" to his list of "Great Movies" and declared that the drama "stands as a great divide" 
 
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He continued: "Consider what was true after its release in 1941 and was not true before:
 
(1) The movie defined Humphrey Bogart's performances for the rest of his life; his hard-boiled Sam Spade rescued him from a decade of middling roles in B gangster movies and positioned him for 'Casablanca,' 'Treasure of the Sierra Madre,' 'The African Queen' and his other classics.

(2) It was the first film directed by John Huston, who for more than 40 years would be a prolific maker of movies that were muscular, stylish and daring.

(3) It contained the first screen appearance of Sydney Greenstreet, who went on, in 'Casablanca' and many other films, to become one of the most striking character actors in movie history.

(4) It was the first pairing of Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, and so well did they work together that they made nine other movies, including 'Casablanca' in 1942 and 'The Mask of Dimitrios' (1944), in which they were not supporting actors but actually the stars.

(5) And some film histories consider 'The Maltese Falcon' the first film noir. It put down the foundations for that native American genre of mean streets, knife-edged heroes, dark shadows and tough dames."

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1 hour ago, jakeem said:

(5) And some film histories consider 'The Maltese Falcon' the first film noir. It put down the foundations for that native American genre of mean streets, knife-edged heroes, dark shadows and tough dames."

And also a cynical view of the world.  Spade, even though he finds Archer's murderer, does so not from loyalty or affection, but from practical considerations, which he so eloquently outlines to Brigid before he has her take the fall.  And he had an affair with Archer's wife.

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Did I hear correctly Ben say in today's intro something along the lines that it was a good thing George Raft turned down the part because not only was Bogart a better and more diverse actor (which of course is true), but also something about implying Raft being more an old school "theatrical" actor which wouldn't have played nearly as well for the Sam Spade role?

(...someone please tell me I misheard that, as the thought that the stone-faced and rigid Raft was somehow "theatrical" in ANY of the films he ever starred in, is a concept I just can't wrap my head around here)

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Special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull's spectacular slit-scan process -- or "stargate effect" -- clocks in at about two hours and two minutes into "2001: A Space Odyssey."

The scene inspired the opening titles of ABC's "The Movie of the Week," which aired from 1969 to 1976. Harry Marks, ABC's head of On-Air Advertising, hired Trumbull to design the special graphics for the network's package of 90-minute made-for-television movies. The musical theme was an arrangement by Harry Betts of composer Burt Bacharach's song "Nikki." The announcer was Dick Tufeld (1926-2012), who also served as the voice of the Robot in the 1960s CBS series "Lost in Space."

 

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"2001: A Space Odyssey" was another film that Roger Ebert added to his list of "Great Movies" in the Chicago Sun Times.  He cited the impact of director Stanley Kubrick's musical choices. The filmmaker famously used "The Blue Danube" by the 19th-century Austrian "Waltz King," Johann Strauss the Younger, and the 1896 musical work "Also sprach Zarathustra" by the German composer Richard Strauss.
 
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"Although Kubrick originally commissioned an original score from Alex North," Ebert wrote, "he used classical recordings as a temporary track while editing the film, and they worked so well that he kept them. 


"This was a crucial decision. North's score, which is available on a recording, is a good job of film composition, but would have been wrong for '2001' because, like all scores, it attempts to underline the action -- to give us emotional cues. The classical music chosen by Kubrick exists outside the action. It uplifts. It wants to be sublime; it brings a seriousness and transcendence to the visuals."

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"See you next Wednesday" was the last thing said to Astronaut Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) during a birthday transmission from his parents (Alan Gifford, Ann Gillis) on Earth.

Director John Landis picked up the line and ran with it, using it as a recurring phrase and sight gag in such films as "The Blues Brothers" (1980), "An American Werewolf in London" (1981), "Trading Places" (1983) and "Amazon Women on the Moon" (1987).

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The line can even be heard in the movie theater scene from the 1983 extended music video "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'." 

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