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1 hour ago, Swithin said:

The "Moorish" argument is an old and interesting one. In some ways, Shakespeare is unclear. The Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice is the subject of Portia's racism: "Let all of his complexion choose me so." In Othello, the argument is whether Othello is from the Maghreb, or from Sub-Saharan Africa. He is referred to as thick lips, which might support the latter. 

Also, Othello himself has a telling line, just before he kills himself:

"And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk
Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him, thus."

Stabs himself

If Othello had been from North Africa, i.e. a Mohammedan, he would be circumcised and would not refer to the Turk in that manner.

 

Othello also says "Dian's visage is now begrimed and black/ as my own face." Orson Welles definitely makes this line very prominent in his film. 

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6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

the film ends up being a commercial for the Catholic Church, which may appeal to some viewers. However, I liked many of the scenes of sweaty desperation and paranoia.

And that's just the priests and altar boys!

I'll be here all week....

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9 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Edge of Doom (1950)  -  6/10

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Crime drama with Farley Granger as a desperate young man who commits a violent crime and then tries to escape capture. Nice-guy priest Dana Andrews tries to help out. With Joan Evans, Robert Keith, Paul Stewart, Mala Powers, and Adele Jergens. The moral lessons come on too strong, and the film ends up being a commercial for the Catholic Church, which may appeal to some viewers. However, I liked many of the scenes of sweaty desperation and paranoia.

Nothing says desperation like bare light-bulbs hanging from drop cords, this film is so far is my all time winner for depicting the most number of bare light-bulbs in scenes. I think one scene has four.

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The scene above shows a drop cord light with two sockets and a pull chain.

These apartment sets do a good job of depicting tenements where electricity was added at a later time.  Some of the  drop cords have a split socket at the end one for a bulb the other has a screw in plug. These look like the end of a screw in light-bulb with the slots for a plug. You'll see residents of these tenements, connect toasters, peculators. or radios to these drop cord plugs 

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8 hours ago, kingrat said:

.

In Elizabethan English the word "Moor" could refer to 1) a native of Morocco or North Africa or 2, as a shortened form of "blackamoor," an African with darker skin. Welles' Othello is a Moor as in 1), and Olivier's Othello is a Moor as in 2). Either approach can be justified.

 

:blink:

Wasn't that an old VIC DANA song?  ;)  I must be thinkin' of.......

Sepiatone

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55 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Nothing says desperation like bare light-bulbs hanging from drop cords . . .

 

 

There's even more desperation when there's no power to turn on the light bulbs.

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9 hours ago, kingrat said:

I saw Orson Welles' Othello.... it is directed extremely well, 1. Unlike the more recent version with Lawrence Fishburne (who might have been a good Othello with a better director) and Kenneth Branagh.

Welles gives us a film noir take on Othello, which is not unreasonable, and the cinematography is often out-of-this-world sublime, as in the opening sequence.

 Fay Compton isn't the first actress I'd think of for the blunt, working-class 2. Emilia, but she is such a fine actress that her performance is a total success, especially in her big scene where she admits that she might be unfaithful under the right circumstances (unfortunately in some of this scene her face is in shadow, which is unfortunate). 3. Suzanne Cloutier is a lovely Desdemona, and it's easy to see why Welles cast her, but a Desdemona whose first language is French means that some of Desdemona's best lines and best acting opportunities are cut. 4. For that matter, the important role of Cassio is trimmed almost to nothing.

5. As for Welles himself, he is good but not great, admirably spoken but not digging deeply into the character.

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2. Emilia is the most interesting character in OTHELLO to me. I would be interested in a version from HER point of view. (She a scheming ***** and I like that.)

3. You know it's funny, I think after THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI a lot of NAME actresses just did not want to work with Welles (although I may be omitting some instances.) He was something of a notorious HOUND-DOG and I would not be surprised if he got drunk and grabby after lunch (some days even before.) For this and MACBETH, he uses actresses who were not major players (although I like JEANETTE NOLAN, it's hard to believe he couldn't find a bigger name LADY MACBETH)

4. WELLES's approach to SHAKESPEARE is very much the same as that of MICKEY ROONEY in the many musicals he did with JUDY GARLAND- "LET'S PUT ON A SHOW!" and he starts tossing pages and characters and scenes out the window left and right; and in the end you get a pretty watchable Cliff's Notes version- but not exactly the whole picture as Willy Shakespeare intended.

5. I started watching OTHELLO yesterday morning and had to go to work, but I really do agree with this sentiment from what I saw. I will try to give it another go this evening if I am able. One thing I throw out if that OLIVIER'S Shakespeare movies BORE ME and I cannot make it through them; the same is not true for Welles.

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On 1/31/2019 at 8:45 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

I guess they were gearing up for 310 DAYS OF OSCAR by having a Trash-o-Rama yesterday...

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By coincidence, I came home right as BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (ITALY, 1964) came on; I had never seen it heretofore- and I have to say, I feel as if my comprehension of the History of Trash Cinema is far closer to being "complete" (if such a state exists) than it was 24 hours ago.

(it was almost like seeing CASABLANCA for the very first time and getting all the references, homages and shameless imitations.)

The only other MARIO BAVA film I have seen is DANGER: DIABOLIK, which is probably the "best" film they ever did on MST3K; I have to say though, intriguing and watchable as that movie is, BLOOD AND BLACK LACE has some fascinating visuals.

it is a visual film, so much so that it compensates for some of the other shortcomings in the movie (the overt plotlessness comes immediately to mind.)

There is awkward dubbing; HAUTE COUTURE; cocaine!; fancy sportscars; tires squealing on dirt roads; lots of gorgeous italian gardens; everyone lives in enormous townhouses cluttered with antiques; eerie green lighting; eerie red lighting, The No-Face Killer from SCOOBY-DOO, and a lot of very disturbing violence against women (I'm probably going to sound old-fashioned here, but TCM really ought to show this one after dark.)

DARIO ARGENTO was born when he first saw this movie.

CAMERON MITCHELL is "in" this movie the same way that Bruce The Shark is "in" JAWS- suggested, hinted, implied- but rarely seen (and when he is, if you listen- you can hear the air running through the series of pneumatic pistons that operate him.)

Forget ROME: OPEN CITY, this is the film that put Italian Cinema back on the map.

What a strange movie. It was already running when I turned it on and wasn't paying too close attention to it. (We got the day off that day due to bad wind chills) Everyone seemed to be living in palatial homes that looked just like movie sets. (I expected a wall to fall over at certain points). The dubbing was off-putting. And the horrible outfits! I dont remember this film at all. Wonder if it had any type of release here? Probably the lower half of double bills in what few theaters it did play in.......

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17 minutes ago, Hibi said:

What a strange movie [BlooD AND BLACK LACE]. It was already running when I turned it on and wasn't paying too close attention to it. (We got the day off that day due to bad wind chills) Everyone seemed to be living in palatial homes that looked just like movie sets. (I expected a wall to fall over at certain points). The dubbing was off-putting. And the horrible outfits! I dont remember this film at all. Wonder if it had any type of release here? Probably the lower half of double bills in what few theaters it did play in.......

I dunno, I liked the black cocktail dress that the second victim wore. It had an interesting see-through overlay...i went to google and did an image search, but didn't come up with any good pics of it.

 

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Well, like I said, I wasnt watching too closely. I wonder if there are any reviews on imdb?

 

LOL. According to imdb, the budget was so low they mounted the camera on a wagon for tracking shots! I cant believe all the good reviews on there. I was bored.

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On 1/30/2019 at 1:47 AM, LawrenceA said:

Dr. Cook's Garden (1971)  -  7/10

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TV-movie featuring Bing Crosby, in his last real acting performance, as a kindly country doctor whose protege (Frank Converse) discovers that the old man has been "weeding out" unsavory townsfolk for decades. Also featuring Blythe Danner, Barnard Hughes, and Bethel Leslie. Crosby is very good in an against-type role, and the film's brief 75 minutes doesn't overstay its welcome. The similarity between Danner and her daughter Gwyneth Paltrow is very evident in this. One of the better TV films of the era.

 

Strange, unexpected casting, to be sure, for Crosby. The Beatles had come and gone, Sinatra and the Rat Pack were dominating the charts and Der Bingle was no longer the force in the music industry he once had been at the time of this TV movie. Under those circumstances I suppose he thought he had nothing to lose by accepting this character part as a beloved small town doctor who is up to very deadly things.

Crosby uses his charm to mask the dark side of his character and I think the gamble paid off with an effective and rather discomforting portrayal. It's all the more discomforting because it's Bing Crosby, of all people, doing it. There was only a small number of times in Crosby's career in which his acting ability was allowed to stretch. It's appropriate, I feel, that his last real film role was one of those occasions.

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The Furies (1950)  -  7/10

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Unusual western drama with Barbara Stanwyck as the spoiled daughter of wealthy ranch boss Walter Huston (in his last role). Huston has grown old and distracted, spending much of his time in San Francisco amassing gambling debts. Stanwyck decides to take an active role in running their ranch, The Furies. She butts heads with neighboring rancher Wendell Corey before falling in love with him. She's also close to Gilbert Roland, the leader of a small band of Mexicans who feel cheated of their ancestral lands. Stanwyck's greatest rival arrives in the form of Judith Anderson, as the scheming fiancee that Huston brings back from San Francisco. Also featuring Thomas Gomez, Wallace Ford, Beulah Bondi, Albert Dekker, John Bromfield, Movita, Blanche Yurka, and Arthur Hunnicutt. Directed by Anthony Mann, the movie has a moody atmosphere and good B&W cinematography. The disparate parts don't really add up to a smooth whole, but there's enough interesting stuff here to warrant a viewing. 

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Montana (1950)  -  6/10

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Routine Technicolor western featuring sheepmen led by Errol Flynn at odds with cattle ranchers led by Alexis Smith (sporting one of the worst hairdos of the era). Also featuring S.Z. Sakall, James Brown, Ian MacDonald, and Paul E. Burns. Old co-stars Flynn and Smith share a singing scene together. Flynn was still in good shape at this point, although the scripts were getting weaker.

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Furies (1950)  -  7/10

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This moody noirish western sure has a lot going for it. And with strong performances from almost all of the cast. The only fly in the ointment here for me: the charmless Wendell Corey playing it "tough" and "macho."

Walter Huston, in a larger-than-life characterization, gives one of the great swan song performances of the movies. And for those who have seen this film to remind them of one of the most startling scenes, all you have to say is one word: Scissors.

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25 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Montana (1950)  -  6/10

220px-Montana_-_Poster.jpg

Routine Technicolor western featuring sheepmen led by Errol Flynn at odds with cattle ranchers led by Alexis Smith (sporting one of the worst hairdos of the era).

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I thought Alexis Smith never looked better than with that tanned outdoorsy look in this film, very much including that hairdo. The musical number that she sings with Flynn (and it's clearly Errol's own voice doing the singing), "Reckon I'm In Love," is the charming high point of a disappointing Flynn vehicle. This film, by the way, is one of only two times in Aussie Errol's career when he played an Australian.

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55 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Montana (1950)  -  6/10

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By the way, Lawrence, did you notice how third billed S. Z. Sakall disappears from this film about half way through without a word of explanation?

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20 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I thought Alexis Smith never looked better than with that tanned outdoorsy look in this film, very much including that hairdo.

It doesn't look as bad in that profile shot, but from the front it looks awful. Then again, so did Stanwyck's in The Furies. It was an era of women sporting exaggerated mullets. I did think Smith was livelier than in many of her previous films that I've seen.

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1 minute ago, TomJH said:

By the way, Lawrence, did you notice how S. Z. Sakall disappears from this film about half way though without a word of explanation?

Yeah, I did. I was wondering if I'd nodded off or something. Is there a story behind that?

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19 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Yeah, I did. I was wondering if I'd nodded off or something. Is there a story behind that?

Dunno, but it's strange, particularly when no one in the film even makes a reference to Sakall's character again. It's not unlike Hattie McDaniel's disappearance from another Flynn film, Never Say Goodbye.

Sakall scrambled his English so much that a lot of actors hated working with him since he would throw them off their dialogue with him. Flynn loved working with Sakall but wrote that Sakall and Alan Hale hated one another. I'm not certain if I've ever seen Sakall and Hale share a scene together.

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17 hours ago, kingrat said:

In Elizabethan English the word "Moor" could refer to 1) a native of Morocco or North Africa or 2, as a shortened form of "blackamoor," an African with darker skin. Welles' Othello is a Moor as in 1), and Olivier's Othello is a Moor as in 2). Either approach can be justified.

 

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Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)  -  6/10

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Writer-director Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) re-teams with co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo on this uneven blend of art-world satire and supernatural horror. When a lowly art gallery worker (Zawe Ashton) discovers her upstairs neighbor dead, she also finds a horde of paintings that the reclusive tenant had been working on for years. Instead of destroying them as the deceased had wished, she steals them and brings them to her gallery boss (Russo), as well as to a highly-influential critic (Gyllenhaal), casuing an uproar in the art world and the declaration of a newly-discovered master. However, those in proximity of the dead man's works start experiencing hallucinations, and soon much, much worse. Also featuring John Malkovich, Toni Collette, Natalie Dyer, Daveed Diggs, Jim Sturridge, Billy Magnussen, and Steven Williams.

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The milieu of the high-end modern art world is ripe for skewering, and thus has been the target of derision in many books, shows, and films in the past. This film doesn't bring anything new to that tradition, merely highlighting the pretensions, backstabbing, and crass commercialism that even one as far removed from that world as myself has seen many times. The performances are appropriate for the material, with a few (Gyllenhaal, Collette) pitched to the back row for effect. The horror aspects are also a bit old-hat, although they are handled professionally enough. They come perhaps a bit too few and far between for hardcore horror fans, though. There's a barely-contained streak of black humor throughout which undermines the more menacing tones of the fright stuff. It's also hard to get too concerned about the well-being of such an unlikable group of snobs, twits and sycophants.

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18 hours ago, Swithin said:

The "Moorish" argument is an old and interesting one. In some ways, Shakespeare is unclear. The Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice is the subject of Portia's racism: "Let all of his complexion choose me so." In Othello, the argument is whether Othello is from the Maghreb, or from Sub-Saharan Africa. He is referred to as thick lips, which might support the latter. 

Also, Othello himself has a telling line, just before he kills himself:

"And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk
Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him, thus."

Stabs himself

If Othello had been from North Africa, i.e. a Mohammedan, he would be circumcised and would not refer to the Turk in that manner.

 

I'm surprised that Welles actually cuts this speech, so that Othello's suicide has much less impact, just as cutting the Willow Song lessens the impact of Desdemona's death.

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3 hours ago, TomJH said:

This moody noirish western sure has a lot going for it. And with strong performances from almost all of the cast. The only fly in the ointment here for me: the charmless Wendell Corey playing it "tough" and "macho."

Walter Huston, in a larger-than-life characterization, gives one of the great swan song performances of the movies. And for those who have seen this film to remind them of one of the most startling scenes, all you have to say is one word: Scissors.

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Tom, I'm with you all the way about Wendell Corey. Corey does his best, but an actor like Glenn Ford or Richard Widmark would have been so much better, and perhaps even made the awkward ending work. The Furies is one of my favorite westerns, though I'd probably agree with Lawrence that the parts are greater than the whole. Stanwyck is really too old (about 40) for the character she plays, but she brings all the skill, power, and emotion she has. Her scenes with Gilbert Roland are really beautiful and moving. Judith Anderson has one of her greatest roles, and as usual, Blanche Yurka scares the willies out of me, which works for her character. (I once included this film in a Program Challenge under the title "What If She Were Your Mother?") Plus Walter Huston in his final great role. Even the other noirish westerns like Blood on the Moon can't match this one for weirdness.

 

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1 minute ago, kingrat said:

Tom, I'm with you all the way about Wendell Corey. Corey does his best, but an actor like Glenn Ford or Richard Widmark would have been so much better, and perhaps even made the awkward ending work. The Furies is one of my favorite westerns, though I'd probably agree with Lawrence that the parts are greater than the whole. Stanwyck is really too old (about 40) for the character she plays, but she brings all the skill, power, and emotion she has. Her scenes with Gilbert Roland are really beautiful and moving. Judith Anderson has one of her greatest roles, and as usual, Blanche Yurka scares the willies out of me, which works for her character. (I once included this film in a Program Challenge under the title "What If She Were Your Mother?") Plus Walter Huston in his final great role. Even the other noirish westerns like Blood on the Moon can't watch this one for weirdness.

 

The Furies has a highly sympathetic performance from Gilbert Roland, one of the very best of this actor's career. As you said, his scenes with Stanwyck are marked by their sensitivity. Gilbert's final moments in the film, while upsetting and disturbing, are also distinguished by the nobility that his character brings to them.

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50 minutes ago, kingrat said:

I'm surprised that Welles actually cuts this speech, so that Othello's suicide has much less impact, just as cutting the Willow Song lessens the impact of Desdemona's death.

I've seen three productions of Othello, all in London. An interesting recent one (2017) at Shakespeare's Globe featured a lesbian relationship, which I think worked in the plot. Michael Cassio becomes Michelle Cassio, so Othello thinks Desdemona is involved in a lesbian relationship.

A few years ago (2013), there was an excellent production at the National Theatre with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear.

An even more recent one (2018), though one that didn't work, was also at Shakespeare's Globe. Mark Rylance played a rather silly Iago. Andre Holland was Othello.

Iago actually has more lines than the eponymous Othello.

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Mark Rylance (Iago) -- 2018

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Rory Kinnear (Iago); Adrian Lester (Othello) -- 2013

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Kurt Egyiawan (Othello); Sam Spruell (Iago) -- 2017

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