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On 5/22/2021 at 2:46 PM, misswonderly3 said:

Never mind Absolute Beginners,  I had fun watching the earlier "TCM Underground" pic that preceded it:  EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY  !!!

Oh my goodness, what a completely unabashedly silly piece of fluff !  But it was good fluff, I enjoyed it very much.  It was so shamelessly ridiculous, it didn't even try to have any kind of cohesive plot or make sense in any way,  so what do you do with a movie like that?  You go with it.  You sit back and enjoy the ride, and you don't try to pretend that it's anything other than a celebration of silliness -- but in a good way !

Maybe it's because I have a bit of a weakness for those kind of quirky goofy  '80s  comedies.  They make me nostalgic for the '80s.  I'd also put the original Hairspray in this category...a fluffy musical that's lots of fun, not particularly memorable, but kind of sweet.  (Actually, to be fair, there's a lot more going on in Hairspray than there is in Earth Girls are Easy.)

A brief description of what passes for a plot will give y'all an idea of how un-serious a film,  even a film that's a comedy, this is:  Geena Davis, who is engaged to a smarmy two-timing doctor,  and who works as a manicurist  at a salon called  (wait for it !)   "Curl Up and Dye",  is languishing beside her pool after a fight with the aforesaid smarmy fiance.  Suddenly a spaceship falls into her pool !  Oh no !  Aliens  !  But it's ok, the aliens are nice, three  furry young men who just want to meet some nice earth girls  (the "easy" part comes later-   no  pun intended...)

The rest of the tale involves Geena's attempts to help the aliens get their spaceship fixed so they can return whence they came, but not before a splendid time is had by all.  The aliens get their fur removed at the "Curl Up and Dye"  (any excuse to write that name again)  salon, whereupon they emerge as Jeff Goldblum,  Daman Wayans,  and Jim Carrey,  all three looking amazingly young and , well, attractive.  After their makeover, they check out all the fun things young Californians were doing in 1988 --- dancing  (Wayans steals the show),  hanging out at the beach  (where there's some kind of "blondes" contest going on),  accidentally robbing a convenience store,   stuff like that.

Why am I bothering to post about this goofy little movie at all, let alone writing so much about it?  I don't know, except that Earth Girls are Easy is so ingenuously silly,  so good-natured (no one in it is very mean, not even the two-timing fiance),  and so joyfully unworried about its own shallowness,  it kind of works !

Also,  I watched it in real time, which means I watched it at 2 o'clock in the morning .   And I didn't fall asleep once !

I was up at 2 AM watching this one as well. It was such a ridiculous film, but such great, cheery, silly, goofy, adorable fun. I really liked it, and Geena Davis was delightful. 

I just about rolled off the sofa during the sequence where Geena Davis' character (in a Julia Roberts blonde Pretty Woman wig and lingerie getup) goes about destroying some of her cheating boyfriends things while singing a parody of a power ballad breakup song. I was laughing so hard.

 

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PS, it seems that Earth Girls was filmed in 1987 but was unreleased until May of 1989, the victim of being husled around too many studios. De Laurentiis Entertainment Group was originally tapped as a distributor, but they went bankrupt while the movie was filming. David Puttnam picked it up for Columbia, but when he was let go, the film was without a home again. Vestron (another short lived company) ultimately released it.... 2 months after Geena won the Oscar for The Accidental Tourist, making this one one of the most eclectic first post-Oscar win films.

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36 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

PS, it seems that Earth Girls was filmed in 1987 but was unreleased until May of 1989, the victim of being husled around too many studios. De Laurentiis Entertainment Group was originally tapped as a distributor, but they went bankrupt while the movie was filming. David Puttnam picked it up for Columbia, but when he was let go, the film was without a home again. Vestron (another short lived company) ultimately released it.... 2 months after Geena won the Oscar for The Accidental Tourist, making this one one of the most eclectic first post-Oscar win films.

Yes,  I looked it up and read the tangled history around its search for a distributor, etc.  It's funny, because it's such an inconsequential little film, one has to wonder why there was all this bother about it.  

1987,  eh?  I actually thought, watching it, that it might have been made even earlier.  Although it definitely had that unmistakable '80s look,  a lot of it looked  more like it was from  early '80s.  Those hair-dos  !!  And the clothes !  Of course, I'm not sure what 1989 looked like, because it was a complete blur to me at the time  (had a new-born baby-- that'll keep you from following what's going on, believe me...)

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10 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Yes,  I looked it up and read the tangled history around its search for a distributor, etc.  It's funny, because it's such an inconsequential little film, one has to wonder why there was all this bother about it.  

1987,  eh?  I actually thought, watching it, that it might have been made even earlier.  Although it definitely had that unmistakable '80s look,  a lot of it looked  more like it was from  early '80s.  Those hair-dos  !!  And the clothes !  Of course, I'm not sure what 1988 looked like, because it was a complete blur to me at the time  (had a new-born baby-- that'll keep you from knowing what's going on, believe me...)

It does look more like something that would have been filmed in 1984 or 1985.... the 80s  LA "look" that is so prominently featured here was beginning to fade out a bit in the films of the late 80s, although it was definitely there in full force in Married to the Mob. (and in the big hair in Working Girl)

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22 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

1987,  eh?  I actually thought, watching it, that it might have been made even earlier.  Although it definitely had that unmistakable '80s look,  a lot of it looked  more like it was from  early '80s.  Those hair-dos  !!  And the clothes !  Of course, I'm not sure what 1989 looked like, because it was a complete blur to me at the time  (had a new-born baby-- that'll keep you from following what's going on, believe me...)

The Pink Neon and Checkerboards that people who weren't alive then remember didn't really kick in until from 1983-'85 (as the Zappas' "Valley Girl" song didn't become a novelty until '82)

By '88, it was pretty old, but that's only because the movie had been in limbo for a while.  Also, don't recall whatever happened to Angelyne, after fake boobs fell out of fashion in the 90's, after the Internet let us look at real ones.  😛

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4 hours ago, SansFin said:

I was approximately six years old when my grandfather had to stop reading Nabokov to me at bedtime because his work stimulated me.

To be fair, Lolita might be a bit too stimulating for a six-year-old.

Then again, when I was 11 in sixth grade I did a book report on Ian Fleming's Doctor No.

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7 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

Thank you for your interesting and thoughtful post.  How intriguing that your grandfather read Nabokov to you.  (Hopefully he skipped certain passages, but perhaps not, since they appear to have had a stimulating effect. )   The only Bulgakov I've read is "The Master and Margarita", which I found most thought-provoking.

However,  now I'm dying to know who that shameful actor is you said you  like.  How can I forgive you for liking him if I do not know who it is?  I assure you I will not think badly of you regardless of who it may be.  After all, how can they be any more embarrassing than Adam Sandler?

As for John Wayne,  I used to despise him, but oddly enough, as I've gotten older, I find I don't mind him after all.  Sometimes I even like him.  I worry that this may be a symptom of aging -  am I losing my powers of aesthetic discrimination,  or am I merely becoming more open-minded?  One suggests early dementia, the other, the beginning of wisdom.  Either way,  I don't mind watching Stagecoach or Red River, John Wayne's presence notwithstanding.  

I will admit that I was intelligent and insightful as a child and I am told that I was quite precocious but I doubt that I understood any of the man-woman things in Nabokov and they became large themes in his later work. Invitation to a Beheading and Glory were the staples at that time in my life.

Mature people are generally better able to look beyond someone's persona and affiliations and judge the quality of their work on its own merits. This disassociation also means that some cherished idols are cast aside when it becomes apparent that their grand image propped up meager talent. People who love only the same things when they are fifty as they did when they were twenty became older but never truly grew up.

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9 hours ago, SansFin said:

I have no doubt that my personal tastes are very much dictated by social environment and personal bent. I grew up reading: Dostoevsky, Bulgakov and Gogol.

I loved reading Dostoevsky in my youth.  The Idiot was my favorite. A few years later, when I was assigned Dostoevsky's novels in college, I thought "What's this?!!!"  My problem was that, as a youth, I had read and enjoyed the Constance Garnett translations. My college teachers were using more modern translations which did not appeal to me as much.

I recently read that some writer/professor said that Constance Garnett's translations were "excruciatingly Victorianish." I don't care, they will always be Dostoevsky to me.

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Like everyone else I have my Jane Austen story. I was an indifferent and lazy high school student,

so I ended up at a religious cow college in the Midwest. Every year between the two semesters

this school had a January special study period. The only course that mildly appealed to me was

concerned with the novels of........Jane Austen. I had a friend from the local area who was, figuratively

and maybe even literally, just off the farm. I knew very little about JA at the time and he knew zip

about Jane Austen. But for some reason he also was stuck and took the course. I believe it was four

Austen novels in a month with class discussion meetings three or so times a week. That's a whole lot

of Jane Austen going on, like 40 pages or more a day. I made it through the novels, but I kind of doubt

he did as he kept asking me for plot hints and other info that are the signs of a student who isn't doing

a lot of course work. I can't recall if there were letter grades of just a pass/fail system, but we both

managed to make it through the course with minimal intellectual damage. 

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re: JANE AUSTEN

All you have to do is tell me that some author or novel is in YE PANTHEON OF THE GREATESTS and I fold my arms, stomp my foot and MAKE UP MY MIND TO HATE THEM/IT THEN AND THERE.

I'm not saying it's right to have adopted this attitude at my stage in life, but I've come by it honest- from the day I drop-kicked a copy of A WRINKLE IN TIME across the room at age 11.   Over the decades since- I have thrown many of the GREATEST NOVELS OF ALL TIME and many of THE GREATEST AUTHORS OF ALL TIME clear across various rooms- sometimes into the ash bin- but never at anyone and some titles I have thrown on multiple occasions  [ie LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL]

[also- never library books]

that said, JANE AUSTEN is one of those who- insofar as I am concerned- EARNED THAT SPOT in YE PANTHEON- if for no other reason than she unfolds A LOT of story and a LOT of clearly drawn characters into just a little over 200 pages- Basically DICKENS if he wasn't prone to prattling on for four pages at the start of every chapter in order to set the mood and place.

I don't like EMMA and even her fans admit there's not a lot of "there" there in MANSFIELD PARK, but PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY and most especially PERSUASION- where she exudes GROWTH as a writer- are all three pretty superlatively crafted works, everything that a novel- and a story- is really supposed to be.

She can plot, she can create characters, she can tell a story, she can set the scene and she WASTES NO TIME IN DOING SO- those are combined talents that even the BEST of AUTHORS are not completely well-rounded at.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

re: JANE AUSTEN

All you have to do is tell me that some author or novel is in YE PANTHEON OF THE GREATESTS and I fold my arms, stomp my foot and MAKE UP MY MIND TO HATE THEM/IT THEN AND THERE.

I'm not saying it's right to have adopted this attitude at my stage in life, but I've come by it honest- from the day I drop-kicked a copy of A WRINKLE IN TIME across the room at age 11.   Over the decades since- I have thrown many of the GREATEST NOVELS OF ALL TIME and many of THE GREATEST AUTHORS OF ALL TIME clear across various rooms- sometimes into the ash bin- but never at anyone and some titles I have thrown on multiple occasions  [ie LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL]

I've tried to get into the works of Thomas Wolfe (like Look Homeward, Angel) but have found his work to be a big bore.

A few years ago, I saw an adaptation in London (transfer from Chichester) of Jane Austen's unfinished novel The Watsons. It wasn't that she died before finishing it; she just abandoned it, earlier in her career. The play was wonderful, funny and wise. Needing 42 actors it will never come to Broadway!

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/nov/08/the-watsons-review-minerva-chichester-jane-austen-laura-wade

 

 

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1 hour ago, Swithin said:

I've tried to get into the works of Thomas Wolfe (like Look Homeward, Angel) but have found his work to be a big bore.

LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL is not just boring but incredibly racist. Like, racism on a whole other level- QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST RACIST THING I HAVE SEEN/READ/HEARD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, and I am from North Carolina, [ergo PRETTY USED TO IT by now. ]

Racism that is- I don't know, I don't want to use the word "eloquent" because Racism doesn't deserve to be described as such, but it's as close to eloquent racism as anyone besides LENI REIFENSTAHL or DW GRIFFITH came up with in the 20th century. The only time the writing in  LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL comes alive is when WOLFE waxes like ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING over his jaunts into N-WORDTOWN to basically rape some women for free newspapers [don't ask].

Even HP LOVECRAFT would be like "whoa dude- ease up!"

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL is not just boring but incredibly racist. Like, racism on a whole other level- QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST RACIST THING I HAVE SEEN/READ/HEARD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, and I am from North Carolina, [ergo PRETTY USED TO IT by now. ]

Racism that is- I don't know, I don't want to use the word "eloquent" because Racism doesn't deserve to be described as such, but it's as close to eloquent racism as anyone besides LENI REIFENSTAHL or DW GRIFFITH came up with in the 20th century. The only time the writing in  LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL comes alive is when WOLFE waxes like ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING over his jaunts into N-WORDTOWN to basically rape some women for free newspapers [don't ask].

Even HP LOVECRAFT would be like "whoa dude- ease up!"

It's not just the work that is racist, it was evidently the author as well! Like H.L. Mencken, Wolfe was racist and anti-Semitic.

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27 minutes ago, Swithin said:

It's not just the work that is racist, it was evidently the author as well! Like H.L. Mencken, Wolfe was racist and anti-Semitic.

oddly enough, WOLFE's wikipedia entry and the wikipedia entry for LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL don't go into the racism much, if any. (the wiki entry for the book makes no mention of it at all)

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

oddly enough, WOLFE's wikipedia entry and the wikipedia entry for LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL don't go into the racism much, if any. (the wiki entry for the book makes no mention of it at all)

First place I looked. Most everything has some mention of "controversy".

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45 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

First place I looked. Most everything has some mention of "controversy".

I KNOW RIGHT? 

Usually the “controversies” “personal life” “allegations of [any number of things]” and “death” sections  are where I go first in a Wikipedia entry!!!

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

oddly enough, WOLFE's wikipedia entry and the wikipedia entry for LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL don't go into the racism much, if any. (the wiki entry for the book makes no mention of it at all)

I have not read the book and I know little about Wolfe, other than he badly needed an editor, but I've never seen him associated with racism before. Do you think it's possible your reaction is formed more from present-day sensitivity than the more historical understanding of bigotry? To put it in the current jargon, are we now problematizing TW based on his usage of one or two terms we no longer tolerate, no matter the context? Would you have come away with the same feeling say ten or fifteen years ago? (I hope this doesn't sound like a challenge. It isn't. It's an honest question. As I say, I have not read the book. I might very well agree with you.)

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5 minutes ago, LuckyDan said:

I have not read the book and I know little about Wolfe, other than he badly needed an editor, but I've never seen him associated with racism before. Do you think it's possible your reaction is formed more from present-day sensitivity than the more historical understanding of bigotry? To put it in the current jargon, are we now problematizing TW based on his usage of one or two terms we no longer tolerate, no matter the context? Would you have come away with the same feeling say ten or fifteen years ago? (I hope this doesn't sound like a challenge. It isn't. It's an honest question. As I say, I have not read the book. I might very well agree with you.)

Oh don’t worry it’s not a problem at all. My reading experience with LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL Is unlike any reading experience I have ever had with any other book, and I have read lots and lots and lots of books, even some very long ones (For reference, and not try to toot my own horn, I’ve read almost everything by Dickens except for Martin Chuzzlewit and Barnaby Rudge.)

The edition of LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL that I had was about 800 pages and on two separate occasions I made it 400 pages into it,  and put the book down because I couldn’t take anymore. That means I read from page 1 to page 400 and then a few years later picked the book back up and re-read pages one through 400 A SECOND TIME and got to the exact same spot ca. Page 400 and was like “you know what? life is short, and this book EATS.”

My aecond attempt at reading it was probably about seven or eight years ago, and both times the astounding racism leapt out at me.

It just kills me that the book is so plotless and so racist and so tedious , because the author knows how to string words together. He gets the majestic power of writing, and he’s smart enough to know better than to talk the way he does about his fellow human beings.

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8 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Oh my God.

Did you leave any survivors?

Only the strongly devout survive, so yes there were a lot of survivors, even after three mornings each

week of chapel. They still send me their quarterly publication and they're doing quite well. I think their

educational philosophy is the more new buildings constructed the better the academic heft of the school.

Okayyy. They also changed the name of the school from a college to a university. Can't hurt. And culturally

they're in the mid 1990s heading gradually for the turn of the century. I did pick up the game of euchre,

which is a card game mostly played in the Midwest, so my year spent there wasn't a total waste of time.

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I think LH,A is best read at a young age when its over sentimentality and not small dollops of

portentousness are easier to take. I haven't read it in a while, but it didn't seem much more

racist than similar books of that period by authors who were contemporaries of old Tom. I

visited the Wolfe home in Asheville many years ago and it's an interesting place. The local

cemetery also has a plaque about being the home of Wolfe's angel, carved by his old man

or something along those lines. I've never bothered to visit it to find out. My copy of LH,A

is only a little over 500 pages and I've read it twice and it's a fairly good read if one allows for

the mawkishness and the gee the universe is a wonderfully strange place interludes.....a stone,

a leaf, dynamite, and a riding mower. 

 

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