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speedracer5

I Just Watched...

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Never mind the controversy over the Ayn Rand stuff,  The Fountainhead is just a sub-par movie. ( In my opinion, of course.)  Yes, it's got some nice direction and  cinematography, and I've no problem with the actors  (or their acting) in it. In fact, I like all of them, especially Raymond Massey's performance. 

But !   OMG, the thing is so over-wrought and self-important !  It's weighed down with its own message-y earnestness.  Words such as "overblown" and "pompous" come to mind.  One example:  that scene that you seem to admire, where  Howard Roark and Dominique Francon see each other for the first time,  seems laughably portentous and and over-dramatic to me. 

And ...aside from anything else...the script !  (which I assume is based on the dialogue in Rand's novel) ---people just don't talk like that !

I haven't seen The Fountainhead in a few years but I always recall being impressed by the power of a number of scenes in the film. Enough so that I would not dismiss the film the way others do. Yes, the screenplay's over wrought and the dialogue often stilted and unreal. But, and this is a big but, if you can get beyond that and just watch the incredible craftsmanship of this production in a number of scenes I can't help but think you will be impressed. Well, I guess you (among others) weren't that impressed but I, most certainly, was.

I think that in the marble quarry scene which you seem to laugh at, MissW (and you're far from alone in doing that on these boards), when Roark and Dominque first sight one another, he with a very phallic giant drill in his hand, King Vidor does achieve a certain eroticism, at least as much as the production code would allow, in just a few tightly edited shots, including closeups of both their faces. Max Steiner's music plays no small role here in underscoring her feelings of fevered desire.

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But, just as much so, take a look at the power of the film's final scene, as Dominique ascends the outside of Roark's latest structure, with the images of the city dwindling in size as the elevator she's on moves skyward. Again, it's the towering majesty and power of Steiner's musical score that makes this sequence a special one, enhancing, as the music builds and soars, the sense of triumph the film is conveying with Roark standing symbolically on top of the world. The compelling visuals of this sequence, combined with the power of Steiner's music, make this finale an emotionally impactful one, in my opinion, and one of the more memorable endings that you will find in '40s films.

Jump to 1:11.

 

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

...seems laughably portentous and and over-dramatic to me. 

Did you mean "pretentious"? I don't remember the movie so maybe I can't tell. I'm not taking a swipe at you, just curious. Thanks.

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I've seen things since then, but I rewatched part of Gigi last night out of curiosity. It gets a bit talky and slow at times, but its still elegant and crisp, with charming music. That is why I find it all the more ponderous that on many places on the internet, it feels like the most hated film ever made.

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30 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I've seen things since then, but I rewatched part of Gigi last night out of curiosity. It gets a bit talky and slow at times, but its still elegant and crisp, with charming music. That is why I find it all the more ponderous that on many places on the internet, it feels like the most hated film ever made.

I love Gigi but I went with a friend to see it on the big screen a few years ago and she hated it.  I think she found the premise of Gigi being groomed to be a courtesan offensive.  

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2 minutes ago, Peebs said:

I love Gigi but I went with a friend to see it on the big screen a few years ago and she hated it.  I think she found the premise of Gigi being groomed to be a courtesan offensive.  

But fortunately for Gigi, Gaston loved her enough that she did not have to end up spending a day as such.

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8 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

But fortunately for Gigi, Gaston loved her enough that she did not have to end up spending a day as such.

My biggest problem with GIGI is that the title character has not one single line of dialogue in the last three or four scenes of the film. She is *literally* given no voice, she is nothing more than a piece of set decoration to be placed here or there by the other characters or the director. It’s a very distant film that seems to care a lot more about costumes and set design than I n the flesh and blood characters. (And I don’t think it was an accident that received no acting nominations.)

 

edit/ I just had to spend about six minutes editing this post because I used my phone to make it and voice transcription herD nearly every single line wrong. So if I missed any of the numerous mistakes, sorry

 

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16 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

But fortunately for Gigi, Gaston loved her enough that she did not have to end up spending a day as such.

I love when Gigi tells him that she doesn't want to just be a mistress, to be eventually tossed away and a fodder of gossip.  She has more sense than her silly great aunt.  It opens Gaston's eyes to his real love for her.

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5 hours ago, laffite said:

Did you mean "pretentious"? I don't remember the movie so maybe I can't tell. I'm not taking a swipe at you, just curious. Thanks.

PORTENTIOUS Has a couple of meanings- but one of them is “imbued with its own sense of importance” or “pompous”, So I got to say Miss W nailed it with that one.

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31 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

IN RE THE FOUNTAINHEAD NOW AND FOREVER:

 

ROFL!

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We're trying to watch the films that were nominated and/or won at this year's (last year's? 2019) Oscars.  Most of them are or will be available for rental.

BEST ACTOR OSCAR

Joker.  I finally watched this movie, even though I wasn't particularly excited about yet another villain origin story.  I still maintain that Mark Hamill is the best Joker.  However, Joaquin Phoenix' interpretation of Arthur Fleck (aka "Joker") was different than that of his predecessors, which I appreciated.  The events of Joker unfold in 1981 NYC.  In this version, Joker is already well into adulthood, probably at least in his 40s, though he looks much older.  Bruce Wayne (aka "Batman") is a child in this film.  His parents have not yet been murdered by the unknown assailant.  In some "Batman" stories, Batman and Joker are roughly the same age.  In other versions, Joker is much older than Batman.  I am not sure if I've seen a version where the future Batman is a child when the Joker is well into adulthood.  Anyway, all that doesn't really matter.  

In this film, Arthur (Phoenix) plays a clown-for-hire, a job that he very much enjoys.  However, he has suffered much trauma in his life, much at the hands of his mother and society.  Arthur is beat up by others who see him as weak, weird, different than a "normal" person.  Arthur is regularly put upon by everyone and doesn't really have a place in the world.  As the film progresses, you can see his neuroses start to take over and he begins his evolution into his alter-ego, "Joker." Even though Joker is awful and a psychopath, you cannot help but feel sympathetic after seeing his plight throughout the film.  I saw Joker as a symbol of the power of kindness, something society is desperately lacking.  Joker is meek, put upon, a little odd, traumatized, and as a result, is bullied constantly by others who are "normal" and have attained some status in society.  This example is depicted in the subway scene between the Joker and the Wall Street men.

I thought this was a great movie.  It kept my attention from beginning to end.  I loved the soundtrack.  It isn't often when you hear Jimmy Durante on a movie soundtrack.  I also loved all the dancing.  The ending was fantastic.  With all that said, I probably wouldn't go out of my way to watch this again.  It was a good movie, but also a very tough, sad movie to watch.  It wouldn't be something I'd just pop in to watch randomly.

---

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY OSCAR

Jojo Rabbit.  This movie on the other hand.... I loved it.  I would watch this movie again. 

This satirical film takes place during WWII in Germany.  I'm guessing it takes place in the months before Hitler's suicide, so late-1944 through late April-1945.  In this film, Jojo, a 10-year old boy is going through his training with the Hitler Youth.  These scenes are all very funny with the kids using very heavy artillery so that they can enter the German army, all at the tender age of 10-11.  However, Jojo is injured and ends up homebound and also volunteers at the Hitler Youth school.  While at home, Jojo discovers a startling secret: his mother Rosie (Scarlett Johannson) is hiding a Jewish girl, Elsa, in her home. Jojo, believing that he's been indoctrinated to be a Nazi, immediately expresses disdain toward the Jewish girl; however it is clear that he doesn't really believe the garbage that he's spouting.  And all throughout the events of the film, Jojo receives advice and guidance from his imaginary friend--Adolf Hitler. 

This film is very funny with lots  of ridiculous scenes and situations.  However, there are also genuinely sweet scenes such as those between Jojo and his mother, Jojo and Elsa, and Jojo and his commander, played by Sam Rockwell (whom bears a striking  resemblance to Dick Powell).  I thought that the set design is fantastic and I loved the music in the film.  The ending is very sweet.   

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2 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

We're trying to watch the films that were nominated and/or won at this year's (last year's? 2019) Oscars.  Most of them are or will be available for rental.

BEST ACTOR OSCAR

Joker.  ........ I probably wouldn't go out of my way to watch this again.  It was a good movie, but also a very tough, sad movie to watch.  It wouldn't be something I'd just pop in to watch randomly.

---

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY OSCAR

Jojo Rabbit.  This movie on the other hand.... I loved it.  I would watch this movie again. ...

 

speedracer,   great posts about "Joker"  and "JoJo Rabbit".  (Hope you don't  mind my editing out your actual write-ups, but they're right above this post for anyone to see.)

I agree with your take on both films, both in your assessment of their quality, and your feeling about whether you'd watch either of them again.  ("JoJo Rabbit", yes,  "Joker", probably not.)

Very nicely written reviews, I think you really capture what each of those films is all about.

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I am working on a side project that has a small plot point about HITLER YOUTH, so i have been interested in seeing JOJO RABBIT.

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By the end of the day, I will have seen 10 films for the first time (thanks to finishing up some I started in the last few days). It feels GREAT!

The films were

The Manxman (1929)

Sun Valley Serenade (1941)

The Paradine Case (1947)

The Golden Blade (1953)

The Indian Fighter (1955)

The Last Sunset (1961)

The Caretakers (1963)

I'll Take Sweden (1965)

After the Fox (1966)

The Laundromat (2019)

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I am working on a side project that has a small plot point about HITLER YOUTH, so i have been interested in seeing JOJO RABBIT.

It just hit RedBox yesterday!!

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4 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

By the end of the day, I will have seen 10 films for the first time (thanks to finishing up some I started in the last few days). It feels GREAT!

The films were

The Manxman (1929)

Sun Valley Serenade (1941)

The Paradine Case (1947)

The Golden Blade (1953)

The Indian Fighter (1955)

The Last Sunset (1961)

The Caretakers (1963)

I'll Take Sweden (1965)

After the Fox (1966)

The Laundromat (2019)

I've seen I'll Take Sweden.  That is a ridiculous movie, but it had its moments. 

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1 minute ago, speedracer5 said:

I've seen I'll Take Sweden.  That is a ridiculous movie, but it had its moments. 

No Bob Hope film is completely hopeless, and putting the always wonderful Tuesday Weld in it is icing on the cake.

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Just now, CinemaInternational said:

No Bob Hope film is completely hopeless, and putting the always wonderful Tuesday Weld in it is icing on the cake.

Yes. I also liked that Frankie Avalon was in it.

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11 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

After the Fox (1966)

This is one of Peter Sellers' most underrated comedies. He was hilarious as the Italian criminal who poses as a movie director. Victor Mature nearly steals the show as an aging former movie star, who knew this guy could do comedy?

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I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) with Paul Muni
 

Muni overacts, but he’s also damn good, so it doesn’t bother me. I’ve wanted to see this for a while now and kept missing it. It lived up to expectations. 

Fury (1936) with Spencer Tracy
 

Apart from the final scene, this movie is incredible. Tracy’s performance is one of the best I’ve seen. 

The Harder They Fall (1956) with Humphrey Bogart and Rod Steiger 
 

I really liked Bogart’s final film, but it’s also depressing knowing that this was it. I can’t name another Steiger film I’ve seen, but he turns in a great performance. 

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

By the end of the day, I will have seen 10 films for the first time (thanks to finishing up some I started in the last few days). It feels GREAT!

The films were

The Manxman (1929)

Sun Valley Serenade (1941)

The Paradine Case (1947)

The Golden Blade (1953)

The Indian Fighter (1955)

The Last Sunset (1961)

The Caretakers (1963)

I'll Take Sweden (1965)

After the Fox (1966)

The Laundromat (2019)

So, let me get this straight:  Do you watch movies in bits, start one up, maybe watch the first half hour or so, then leave it for a few days while you start another one, watch it the same way, etc.  ??   I'm not telling you how you should watch movies, it's a very individual thing, and if that way works for you,  that's fine.  I'm just curious.   I mean, that's 10 films you started watching over the last few days but didn't watch any one of them in one sitting?  I'm not sure I get it.

For me, I usually watch a film all the way through at one sitting.  The only exceptions would be a)  if I (unintentionally) fall asleep   or b)  decide to watch it in two parts -- this would only happen if it were a really long movie to begin with, a so-called "epic", for instance  (which is a type of movie I usually don't like anyway.)

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5 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

So, let me get this straight:  Do you watch movies in bits, start one up, maybe watch the first half hour or so, then leave it for a few days while you start another one, watch it the same way, etc.  ??   I'm not telling you how you should watch movies, it's a very individual thing, and if that way works for you,  that's fine.  I'm just curious.   I mean, that's 10 films you started watching over the last few days but didn't watch any one of them in one sitting?  I'm not sure I get it.

For me, I usually watch a film all the way through at one sitting.  The only exceptions would be a)  if I (unintentionally) fall asleep   or b)  decide to watch it in two parts -- this would only happen if it were a really long movie to begin with, a so-called "epic", for instance  (which is a type of movie I usually don't like anyway.)

What happened involved this. Paradine Case had been started the night before. Laundromat and Caretakers were only on the computer at the library since I don't have internet access at home anymore, so I had started them both the other day and finished them up today.  I'll Take Sweden was a download on the Kindle that I had started yesterday as well; the download was by accomplished by using wi-fi at the library. The others were all watched today. I try to make the most out of time, and sometimes I get interrupted in watching things, so I make the best out of everything.

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On 2/18/2020 at 4:18 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

IN RE THE FOUNTAINHEAD NOW AND FOREVER:

 

It really says a lot about her philosophy that her "hero" was the serial killer William Hickman.

 

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On 2/18/2020 at 10:53 AM, misswonderly3 said:

Never mind the controversy over the Ayn Rand stuff,  The Fountainhead is just a sub-par movie. ( In my opinion, of course.)  Yes, it's got some nice direction and  cinematography, and I've no problem with the actors  (or their acting) in it. In fact, I like all of them, especially Raymond Massey's performance. 

But !   OMG, the thing is so over-wrought and self-important !  It's weighed down with its own message-y earnestness.  Words such as "overblown" and "pompous" come to mind.  One example:  that scene that you seem to admire, where  Howard Roark and Dominique Francon see each other for the first time,  seems laughably portentous and and over-dramatic to me. 

And ...aside from anything else...the script !  (which I assume is based on the dialogue in Rand's novel) ---people just don't talk like that !

I'm  little disappointed you chose to not respond to my response to your critique of my comments on The Fountainhead, MissW, but that's your prerogative.

The reason why I am defending this film is that so many posters over the years have taken shots at it on these boards, while few ever comment on the film's considerable virtues. You acknowledge the film's cinematography, acting, etc. but then, as with the others, proceed to denounce the film as "sub par" and talk about its "self importance." Well, I said earlier that I don't pay as much attention to the Ayn Rand message of the virtue selfishness (which I can't agree with), as others do.

There are all kinds of areas where the film can be criticized from a logical standpoint, too, aside from the message. In the rock quarry scene, which I very much appreciate for conveying erotic attraction I also think, "Hey, Roark, hasn't anyone ever told you about the need for safety glasses?"

Then I think, too, of the scene in which Dominique cracks a slab of marble in her home as an excuse to have Roark come there to repair it. And he does show up, but what kind of a coincidence is it that? Especially as she didn't even know his name? What'd she say, "Send me the tall one without glasses?" And Massey's suicide at the end of the film. Why'd he do it? Just to make way for a happy ending for Roark and Dominique?

I could go on but I tend to put that small stuff aside, for the most part, because I still find this bold, in your face film, a strange combination of passion and cold philosophy, to be compelling viewing despite its faults. King Vidor, who had real problems with Roark's rambling trial speech (which the director tried to shorten but almost lost Rand's participation in the film in the process so the studio backed down on the speech cuts) and was also scratching his head about the idea of Roark insanely blowing up Cortland Housing because they changed the design on him, responded to the material with his stylized direction which, in combination with the film's wonderful black and white photography, created some really striking imagery.

As I stated earlier my two favourite scenes in the film are the rock quarry and the open elevator finale but the power of the scene of Roark's assault of Dominque should also not be denied for its visuals, as well as the accompanying music of Max Steiner. I don't advocate this kind of caveman stuff, of course, but, as photographed by Robert Burks and directed by Vidor, I think the scene works. Here's a video clip which is, unfortunately, without audio so we are missing the Steiner music which clearly adds to the drama.

The Fountainhead, after over 70 years and with all its players now gone, remains a film of divisiveness for viewers. You may not like the film for its pretentiousness and the Rand screenplay wordiness, at times, but to simply dismiss the entire film I think is unfair. Not when it has scenes as powerful as the finale (forgive me for the repeat video from before, jump to :55) . . .

As a side issue, this film also started a torrid affair between Cooper and Neal which came close to ending Cooper's marriage. The stress of the affair led to the actor getting an ulcer and, within a couple of years, his features started to age quite noticeably on screen. Contrast Coop's looks in The Fountainhead, filmed in 1948, to those in Bright Leaf, shot just two years later or High Noon in '51. But that, as they say, is another story.

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"I'm  little disappointed you chose to not respond to my response to your critique of my comments on The Fountainhead, MissW, but that's your prerogative."

Tom, I'm sorry I did not respond to your earlier post about The Fountainhead  Given how well you defended it (this is in your previous post, not even talking about the more recent one), and how much you like it, it was rude of me to not reply.  

What I appreciate about your posts in general, and certainly about the ones you've written about The Fountainhead  is, you don't just say, "Well, I disagree with the majority here, I like the film."  It's easy to do that. But you explain, in careful detail, why you like it, and why you think it deserves more respect than it generally gets.

I think one poster here - it might have been Lorna, not sure - said, whatever its faults, The Fountainhead is entertaining. But I think they meant in an "it's so bad it's good" way, whereas you make a case for the film in many ways being good, and not in an ironic way.   So I'll "take that under advisement" and the next time TCM airs it, I'll try and watch it and give it another chance, keeping in mind the arguments you make in its favour.   (I'm pretty sure it's not "blocked" in Canada...you and I both know how frustrating that can be.)

As for my not responding to your earlier post about it,  it's simply because I don't think I come to the boards as much as many here do. I did read your defence of the film, and as I said, I should have replied. But I just don't spend as much time on these boards as some do.  This is largely because if I do, all of a sudden a couple of hours can go by, hours that I'd intended to spend doing something else.  So my discourtesy in not answering you before was not because I didn't think your points were valid, it's just that I didn't want to get into a long discussion, simply because of the time it would take.  (In fact, usually, I only check out about 3 threads on these boards, this being one of them.)

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