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Sister Rose and Revisionist History


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I watched all of the films presented last night on TCM in the Condemned Festival as hosted by Sister Rose Pacatte, and listened to all her prologues and epilogues.

In the first film “The Story of Temple Drake” I fear the Legion of Decency should have been glad that no mention was made of the “corn cob” bit that I recall from reading the story in my college class on American Southern writers with Faulkner at the head of the milieu, as it was a much more raw expose of the situation. Yet to my jaded eyes TSOTD was hard hitting and still relevant.  Sister Rose makes mention that Temple is the book is not so nice as Temple in the movie, which is certainly good to know, and I did note that they changed the name of the **** from I think Popeye to Trigger, probably to save spinach prices from descending.
 

The next film was the highly regarded “Black Narcissus” by Powell and Pressburger. When Sister Rose reviles the critics in LA for their negative reviews of “Black Narcissus” by impugning their male smugness, she exemplifies amusingly the biblical aphorism of “Strain at a gnat, swallow a camel” [Matthew 23:24] in not realizing her adherence to a church which has continually kept woman and nuns as subservient, which is much worse than one bad film review but I digress.
 

In BN  it is often said and also by Sister Rose that the “mad nun”, Sister Ruth is in need of therapy of a mentally medicinal type, but to my mind she may be the only sane person in the film. Sure Cardiff shows her lust blowing up in the face of Mister Dean as a red glow, but perhaps being stifled away in a convent in rarified states, only brings out normal human tendencies of jealousy and lust, which is symbolized by the bell tower, which is so phallic a statement. The ruins in Pompeii produced wind chimes in priapic forms that created sounds not dissimilar from those tintinnabulations emanating from the deserted harem palace walls. Jealousy has been represented in films with bell tower scenes from as far back as Bunuel’s “El” in 1953 to “Vertigo” in 1958, since the clapper and the outer shell resemble a union and it is not probably a coincidence of the similarity of the words “cloca” and “cloaca”.
 

The next film was “Design for Living” in which Sister Rose describes only the platonic relationship between the threesome, wherein when Hopkins describes it as a “gentlemen’s agreement, but I’m no gentleman” it is obvious that much more is occurring. Sister Rose states that the church never said it was a sin via the Legion of Decency ratings to attend a condemned film, yet I have it on good authority through relations alive at the time that when one was obliged during Mass in the 1930’s and later to pledge their support to not attend such films, that it was always mentioned that they were an “occasion of sin” as described by their Baltimore Catechisms and Catholic Telegraph newspapers, of which the bishops of the Legion of Decency had control. Sister Rose also states that of the Lubitsch touch there may have been some who thought the innuendo was funny, which begs the question, who and is the subtext that Lubitsch humor is immoral in its sophistication? I got the feeling that Sister Rose did not find it funny, but I may be assuming too much.

 

In “The Outlaw” we find Sister Rose stating that one of the objections to the film by the LOD was due to “disrespect toward sheriffs” and though risible, I can only assume that the bishops had never engaged in reading western lore which abounds with such distortions of outlaw connections, since the Hughes’ film is full of John Ford type “print the legend” over the truth commonalities. I would hardly expect Billy the Kid to be deferential to any sheriff which would be so ludicrous. By the way, making a point of saying that Russell’s photo used in the ads where she is laying back against the hay, was never even in the film as being a critical issue in the LOD decision, makes one wonder if the LOD or nuns should have been protesting all the figures of angels portrayed with wings, which adorn buildings, books and holy cards yet don't seem to be supported by biblical text?
 

We end with “Baby Face” and thankfully by this time, I had decided for myself that the good sister was a bit out of her element in reviewing any of these films. It is a rather like asking a taster at Carlo Rossi to assess the wine of her employer as being sound. Far be it from me to say she is a shill and question her ethics, but some might describe her with the antiquated term “company man” [in an organization which will never accord her the rights of a man] spewing out the company gospel, in defense of itself but just repackaged to be more palatable to latter day standards and to whitewash the past. I’m sure she is a very nice lady but was not a perfect impartial choice to host such a series.
 

If you actually watched all the prologues, epilogues and films I would be interested in your comments, yea or nay.

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I also watched most of the Condemned segment, intros et all, but I have slept since then, so my comments will lean towards the general more than the specific.

 

If you'd gone into the prologue/epilogue sections with a view to getting any detailed discussion of the rights/wrongs of the stances taken by the LOD, or the shifting sands of what society regards as wholesome, then you would have clearly arrived at the wrong place - and to be fair, there was no real way that those topics could be serviced in any proper manner in the 2-3 minute soundbites at either end of each feature, especially when presented only by a single person who was inevitably going to be taken to represent the standards of their order (in their comments, or in the perceptions of those viewing).

 

I did get a sense that there was an attempt to deflect the viewer's attention away from issues where societal norms of acceptability have moved some distance away from the LOD's, especially with the comments with respect to respect to women, Native Americans & the law, but again, some of my own preconceptions could have caused me to latch on to that particular commentary.

 

From the films themselves, a couple of things have survived in my mind, despite the intervention of sleep between then & now:

  • There was a genuine air of menace in The Story of Temple Drake whenever Trigger was around & the post car crash scene where he slowly moved up & down over Temple's body with his torch beam, evoked a pretty clear idea where events were likely to go next. Quite a sinister mood builder, without any need to be obviously graphic.
  • With The Outlaw, I got the impression that the movie couldn't quite decide whether to be controversial with sex/violence, or intentionally light/amusing. Whilst I did note the casual all the Injuns are out to kill ya & the girl can't help but chase the (somewhat) bad guy tone, I really didn't sense any unusual disrespect to the law - the whole thing came across as more of a tongue in cheek nod in the vein of 'here's the Doc Holliday/Billy the Kid legend, lets have some (preferably profitable) fun with it'. From a marketing standpoint, the LOD was the best thing that could have happened for it.
  • I didn't watch Design for Living this time round, as I'd seen it a while ago & remembered it as having usual Lubitsch wit & being clever to imply that a darn sight more was going on that it actually admitted to.
  • As for Baby Face, I agreed with the review I'd seen that basically said, Great story build-up, but, oh - why the sappy feelgood ending (even without the once tacked on she then became a good person epilogue) - as a potential moral play, the hubby should have bit the bullet properly, with Babs left to reap the full proverbial whirlwind.

On the issue of whether it was an official sin to attend such films, I've always had the sense that individual priests/churches/diocese' had some leeway in their interpretations of various edicts. I do have vague memories as a very young 'un, of listening to adult after dinner scuttlebutt, where person A was exclaiming that person B had changed attendance to local church C from also local church D  because the resident priest of the latter was variously either too wishy-washy liberal/fire'n'brimstone conservative (with all of the above being members of the same overall religious branch).

 

Back to the discussion of the prologues/epilogues - I was partly hoping that there would be a second person present to provide some possible counterpoint, but again, you'd really need to dedicate a decent amount of time for that, which was never the intention with these - they're best taken as 'Here's some films once considered rather controversial, intro'ed by someone who'd be presumed to have a certain viewpoint & some possible inside knowledge of the machinations behind why these were considered controversial'. Oh, and BTW, we have a nicely titled topical book for sale in the store this month...

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Being thankfully raised a protestant( reminds me of a joke.   LOOK for it!) the "Legion of Decency" had no effect on me whatsoever.

 

I missed the presentation to which you refer due to some other situations raised that needed more attention.  But I might have otherwise watched it for the amusement of it all,  as some of the fare offered were films I never much cared for anyway.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Good post @CaveGirl. I've seen Design for Living a long time ago and love the "I'm no gentleman" line. I thought that Hopkins was perfect and the best of show in the film (March and Cooper are also very good, but Hopkins steals the show). I like Trouble in Paradise a bit better. 

 

It's interesting that 3/5 of these films feature Hopkins. It shows what a truly edgy actress she was. One of the things I hate the most about the Legion of Decency the most is that it curtailed the careers of so many of the raw and visceral performers. 

 

I thought that Black Narcissus' parts were better than the whole. I did appreciate the climax and the ending, however. 

 

I've always wanted to see Temple Drake and Baby Face as they have this reputation for being really naughty for the time. You've read my mind as I have come on the board to ask for recommendations for satisfyingly naughty pre-code films.

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It's a nun whadda you expect

Being a nun is no excuse for inaccuracy when attempting to speak as an authority on a subject, Fuster but thanks for your thoughts.

 

Thanks also to Limey, Sepia and TawfikZone; it shall take me a while to absorb your more lengthy posts.

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I also watched most of the Condemned segment, intros et all, but I have slept since then, so my comments will lean towards the general more than the specific.

 

If you'd gone into the prologue/epilogue sections with a view to getting any detailed discussion of the rights/wrongs of the stances taken by the LOD, or the shifting sands of what society regards as wholesome, then you would have clearly arrived at the wrong place - and to be fair, there was no real way that those topics could be serviced in any proper manner in the 2-3 minute soundbites at either end of each feature, especially when presented only by a single person who was inevitably going to be taken to represent the standards of their order (in their comments, or in the perceptions of those viewing).

 

I did get a sense that there was an attempt to deflect the viewer's attention away from issues where societal norms of acceptability have moved some distance away from the LOD's, especially with the comments with respect to respect to women, Native Americans & the law, but again, some of my own preconceptions could have caused me to latch on to that particular commentary.

 

From the films themselves, a couple of things have survived in my mind, despite the intervention of sleep between then & now:

  • There was a genuine air of menace in The Story of Temple Drake whenever Trigger was around & the post car crash scene where he slowly moved up & down over Temple's body with his torch beam, evoked a pretty clear idea where events were likely to go next. Quite a sinister mood builder, without any need to be obviously graphic.
  • With The Outlaw, I got the impression that the movie couldn't quite decide whether to be controversial with sex/violence, or intentionally light/amusing. Whilst I did note the casual all the Injuns are out to kill ya & the girl can't help but chase the (somewhat) bad guy tone, I really didn't sense any unusual disrespect to the law - the whole thing came across as more of a tongue in cheek nod in the vein of 'here's the Doc Holliday/Billy the Kid legend, lets have some (preferably profitable) fun with it'. From a marketing standpoint, the LOD was the best thing that could have happened for it.
  • I didn't watch Design for Living this time round, as I'd seen it a while ago & remembered it as having usual Lubitsch wit & being clever to imply that a darn sight more was going on that it actually admitted to.
  • As for Baby Face, I agreed with the review I'd seen that basically said, Great story build-up, but, oh - why the sappy feelgood ending (even without the once tacked on she then became a good person epilogue) - as a potential moral play, the hubby should have bit the bullet properly, with Babs left to reap the full proverbial whirlwind.

On the issue of whether it was an official sin to attend such films, I've always had the sense that individual priests/churches/diocese' had some leeway in their interpretations of various edicts. I do have vague memories as a very young 'un, of listening to adult after dinner scuttlebutt, where person A was exclaiming that person B had changed attendance to local church C from also local church D  because the resident priest of the latter was variously either too wishy-washy liberal/fire'n'brimstone conservative (with all of the above being members of the same overall religious branch).

 

Back to the discussion of the prologues/epilogues - I was partly hoping that there would be a second person present to provide some possible counterpoint, but again, you'd really need to dedicate a decent amount of time for that, which was never the intention with these - they're best taken as 'Here's some films once considered rather controversial, intro'ed by someone who'd be presumed to have a certain viewpoint & some possible inside knowledge of the machinations behind why these were considered controversial'. Oh, and BTW, we have a nicely titled topical book for sale in the store this month...

Thanks, Limey for your as usual well expressed post and wise reflections.

 

I am totally enjoying the Condemned Festival as presented by TCM, my only complaint is that as usual they have someone who does not seem well versed in the subject matter, and appears to be more of a mouthpiece for Catholic Polemics as an extension of Catholic Apologetics, than someone knowledgeable about the real situation involving the Legion of Decency ratings guide and films of the era.

 

Again, I give the example of Sister Rose being clueless, in her remarks stating that the Legion of Decency condemned “The Outlaw” due to “its disrespect for the sheriff”. To begin with, Pat Garrett was not the most respectable gent in the West anyway, and one wonders if by this same made up, after the fact reasoning why the Legion of Decency would not have also condemned a work like “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” for its “disrespect towards a superior” since I don’t think Little Eva or others looked kindly upon Simon Legree. And remember, as you say it is hard to “service a topic in a two/three minute soundbite” but it was Sister Rose who chose to use her small amount of time to highlight the “disrespect” being an important issue for the LOD.

 

Is it too much to ask to find a host for these film series on TCM, who knows more about the subject matter and who is not bound to find ridiculous excuses for their sacred cows, in this case the LOD control tactics. I’m sure there might be a nun who is more well versed in these matters, but it is not Sister Rose, based on her remarks that she chose to make public on these films.

 

As always, I read so many posts by people right here on the message board who are way more informed on many of the film topics spoken of in these hosting duties, than those who promote themselves as experts and film critics or media megalomaniacs. Sad to say, that they don’t advertise themselves as such or maybe we’d have better hosts to lead such discussions before the films.

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CaveGirl--Am replying only about "The Outlaw's (1943) outro and the "Baby Face" (1933) intro and outro.

 

Re TO--her outro seemed rushed (3 sentences??; TO deserved more time, as it helped "push the envelope" as to what would be tolerated ). She then went right into the BF intro, which was OK and at least error-free, in terms of cinema history (I'm not Catholic, so on specific points of Theology, other posters can debate specific religious points or mistakes).  Again, she seemed rushed.

 

Her outro to BF was 2 sentences if I remember correctly; she then went  to the history of Westerns, said her favorite director was John Ford and her favorite western was "The Searchers" (1956).  She then took time to point out that Hollywoods' treatment of the Indian was generally terrible, and then wound up the night (it was just before 5:00 a.m.).    Points for Sister Rose for knowing her directors, films, and filming locations (she knew where TS and other John Ford movies were filmed; points for her having the poise to pick up and finish an outro that sounded like it was meant for TO.  I'm sorry she didn't have the time for to the full outro for BF before saying good night, come back next week, etc.

 

My take on Sister Rose, from the two films she hosted that I saw: A smart lady, film fan, who knows film in general, is weak on specifics if not a favorite genre, who is new to hosting film presentations.  Good points, with some mistakes.  Let's see how Week 2 goes. 

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Thanks for your thoughts, Film Lover. You're probably just a much nicer person than I, but it is hard for me to be impressed with someone who purports to be a film aesthete, and thinks revealing that they are into Westerns and John Ford proves that. I mean I guess my movie friends knew who John Ford was when they were about twelve and also had seen "The Searchers" by then too. Not saying liking Ford is bad, but really in what context is Ford even needed during limited time available to discuss Legion of Decency ratings on films, none of which were Westerns anyway. To my jaded mind it seemed to be just one more attempt at deflection from the real topic.
 

But as you say, it will be fun to see how week two goes, but I'm not holding my breath for any great or incisive revelations, from the good sister. Now if Sister Rose starts discussing infractions by Hollywood against Native Americans during her prologue to the Bardot film, I will really be guffawing. I wonder if Sister Rose even knows who Eddie Cochran is, and if she will chastize him for doing impressions of Kingfish from the "Amos and Andy" show in the song "Summertime Blues", instead of discussing the Vatican controversies and the Index?

 

I do look forward to the next installment tonight which includes:
 

8:00 PM M (1951)

When the police hunt for a child killer cramps their style, the criminal underworld tries to track him down.

DirJoseph Losey Cast:  David Wayne , Howard Da Silva , Luther Adler .

BW-88 mins,

9:45 PM FRENCH LINE, THE (1954)

A Texas heiress masquerades as a model in hopes of finding true love.

DirLloyd Bacon Cast:  Jane Russell , Gilbert Roland , Arthur Hunnicutt .

C-102 mins, CC,

11:45 PM AND GOD CREATED WOMAN (1956)

A young woman loves one brother but marries the other.

DirRoger Vadim Cast:  Brigitte Bardot , Jean-Louis Trintignant , Curt Jurgens .

C-91 mins, Letterbox Format

1:30 AM UNTAMED YOUTH (1957)

When they're put in a small-town jail, two sisters fight to expose prison corruption.

DirHoward W. Koch Cast:  Mamie Van Doren , Lori Nelson , John Russell .

BW-80 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

3:00 AM BREATHLESS (1960)

A small-time hood hides out from the cops with his American girlfriend.

DirJean-Luc Godard Cast:  Jean Seberg , Jean-Paul Belmondo , Liliane David .

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Sister Rose could have mentioned RKO's selling slogan for "The French Line" (1954): "Jane Russell in 3-D--it'll knock BOTH your eyes out!!"

 

 I wish I had 3-D television; the first shot emphasizing her "assets" happened three minutes into the film; twelve minutes in, the camera catches her when her bubbles in her bath don't cover what they're supposed to. Twenty five minutes in, a friend calls her "Chesty".  The 3-D shots (from what I can tell) are exclusively shots of Jane Russell's "assets"--or her female costars.  In the "With A Kiss" number, right before the extras in low cut gowns are shot by the 3-D cameras, you can see them take a deep breath, and it looks like they charge the camera, LOL.  

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Watched the second installment of the Condemned file on TCM, with Sister Rose last night. She only commented on three of the films, and basically just restated the LOD position. Said they panned "M" for glorifying criminal activities which she disagreed with, called Jane Russell "multi-dimensional" and that Howard Hughes "augments certain physical characteristics of his star" [as if that was a bad thing] and that what the LOD called "grossly obscene scenes of great evil" was due to the "older gents" of the group "overreacting" perhaps and that films of the Golden Age often exploited women [gee, ya think so?] in competition with tv's affect on movie attendance.

"And God Created Woman" was the last film, which the LOD said had an "atmosphere of sensuality" and was "an open violation of Christian morality". Now Sister Rose states that the LOD only was classifying films for their Catholic followers, but calling something an affront to all Christians shows that is not basically true.

All in all, mostly empty prattle but what did show a lack of film knowledge in general was the fact that in introducing "M", Sister Rose stated that the cinematographer, Ernest Laszlo was known as a Painter of Light, when in actuality that was never a moniker for him, but rather for the noted Film Noir cinematographer, John Alton. Though Laszlo was very accomplished also, it was Alton who wrote the first book on lighting, called "Painting With Light" in the late 1940's and used the term "painting with light" exclusively to describe his vision, in films like T-Men, Raw Deal, The Big Combo, He Walked By Night, I, the Jury and in his AA film, An American in Paris.

 

Methinks Sister Rose did NOT do her homework and instead of being the director of "Media Studies" she should have said "mediocre studies". I give her a B for enthusiasm and a Fail in Execution for not researching her subject matter.

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CaveGirl--I am more forgiving in the instance of Laszlo--you're correct about John Alton and his work.  She (I'm Guessing) mixed up Laszlo's; the cinematographer ANDREW Laszlo thought in that vein and wrote a book on cinematography called "Every Frame A Rembrandt: Art and Practice of Cinematography" (2000, Focal Press).

 

Where I fault her is in not just saying what the attraction of "The French Line" (1954) was; not saying RKO's slogan (already mentioned earlier); and that it was the ONLY selling point of TFL; I mean, walls shuddered when doors were shut, the beds SURE didn't look expensive, the choreography was directly ripped off from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953)--the number with a waiter going among women and everyone saying "No!" is a direct steal from "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in GPB!!; (if anyone knows--was RKO sued because of that plagiarism??  THAT would be a neat thing to know (IMO)).

 

Other moments remembered at random; in the "With a Kiss Number", the well endowed woman who plays bull to Gilbert Roland"s toreador charges the camera at an angle that would have put only One eye out; whoever played the male character from Texas made me cringe every time he spoke; film was one of the Stupidest musicals I've ever seen;

 

Sister Rose reminded me of a college student who has been studying for a test at the last minute.  A- for enthusiasm (could you be enthusiastic after viewing TFL?  I was barely conscious, LOL), C for execution.  JMO. :)

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CaveGirl--I am more forgiving in the instance of Laszlo--you're correct about John Alton and his work.  She (I'm Guessing) mixed up Laszlo's; the cinematographer ANDREW Laszlo thought in that vein and wrote a book on cinematography called "Every Frame A Rembrandt: Art and Practice of Cinematography" (2000, Focal Press).

 

Where I fault her is in not just saying what the attraction of "The French Line" (1954) was not saying RKO's slogan (already mentioned earlier) and that it was the ONLY selling point of TFL; I mean, walls shuddered when doors were shut, the beds SURE didn't look expensive, the choreography was directly ripped off from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953)--the number with a waiter going among women and everyone saying "No!" is a direct steal from "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in GPB!!; (if anyone knows--was RKO sued because of that plagiarism??  THAT would be a neat thing to know (IMO)).

 

Other moments remembered at random; in the "With a Kiss Number", the well endowed woman who plays bull to Gilbert Roland"s toreador charges the camera at an angle that would have put only One eye out; whoever played the male character from Texas made cringe every time he spoke; film was one of the Stupidest musicals I've ever seen;

 

Sister Rose reminded me of a college student who has been studying for a test at the last minute.  A- for enthusiasm (could you be enthusiastic after viewing TFL?  I was barely conscious, LOL), C for execution.  JMO. :)

I wondered myself about that Laszlo thing, FL. Thanks for clearing it up.

 

Your Sister Rose analogy to a college student boning up the night before is hilarious!

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I would be enjoying this festival much more if it was not hosted by Sister Rose alone and instead had Ben interviewing her.

How about Ben instead, not interviewing anyone?

 

Or he could have Rose Nylund [sp?] from the Golden Girls on, and have Betty White to discuss the Legion of Decency stuff.

 

Now that would be the best guest host that TCM ever contracted!

 

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Sister Rose looks like she is within hailing distance

of the sin of gluttony. I prayerfully hope I am mistaken

about that.

I'll have to defend Sister Rose here. Those sisterly habits do no one justice.

 

They don't even have to dress like that anymore. Why, I ask, why? When you're told you don't have to wear a boring habit anymore, why do they all dress in white blouses, black or blue skirts and with no jewelry, as if it is a self-imposed uniform.

 

I think I need to start a career as a nun stylist. I could spruce them up asap! 

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In any case, I have seen all of the remaining movies in this spotlight which interest me at least once- and also some that don`t, so I don`t have to bother watching her introductions and conclusions anymore.

 

**I have mentioned before my irritation of the ending of Blow Up not resolving the murder before.

 

I really wanted to know who the killer was.  But no, we get to watch tennis instead.

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I'll have to defend Sister Rose here. Those sisterly habits do no one justice.

 

They don't even have to dress like that anymore. Why, I ask, why? When you're told you don't have to wear a boring habit anymore, why do they all dress in white blouses, black or blue skirts and with no jewelry, as if it is a self-imposed uniform.

 

I think I need to start a career as a nun stylist. I could spruce them up asap! 

 

CaveGirl's Sisterly Sprucings Boutique - there's nun better!

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Even making allowance for the dowdy dress, she looks like

she enjoys eating, maybe over eating. I hope she isn't

connected to one of those religious establishments that

earn a little extra bread by selling victuals. She might really

eat into the profits.

 

I only heard her intro to AGCW. Rather conventional and

uninteresting.

 

I know that the intention was most likely humorous jest & that religious devotees are commonly supposed to deny themselves worldly pleasures, but she's there to do some brief movie intro/outro pieces - it really doesn't matter if the presenter is fat, thin, or bright luminous green with a 70's mullet, eyes on stalks & a wooden leg.

 

Having said that, I do agree that her intro to And God Created Woman contained no surprises - mirroring some of the same discussion the film provoked when released... but, I also suspect that Roger Vadim also was also not in the least bit surprised by the reactions the film aroused, either...

 

Her intro to M was a bit more interesting, given that she took issue with the reasoning behind the LODs condemnation of that film.

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You know Limey, the introduction and conclusion of M had a very strong impact on me and I did write about that.  I was told by someone that my reaction had nothing to do with movies and to go elsewhere.  I was then told by others to keep talking.  So I will.  People who don't like it can put me on ignore just as I ignore others.

 

I agree that it does not really matter what the host wears and we are just having fun here.

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Assuming Sister Rose is doing the intros/outros/ in real time (e.g. right before viewing and after viewing "The French Line" (1954)), a gold star for the Sister for being conscious.  Her outro to TFL lacked the final two sentences she needed after categorizing a studio's film output.  Here are my final sentences to the outro of TFL:

 

 Some films are pure dreck, without even a sense of humor about themselves, and can only be sold to the public by pure exploitation of the unfortunate star(s) physical attractions; "The French Line" (1954) is a perfect example of such films.  The fact that it "pushed the envelope" in what was viewable by The Production Code was a by-product of its' exploitation of women.

 

At least she was conscious to do the intro for "And God Created Woman" (1956), LOL. :)

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I know that the intention was most likely humorous jest & that religious devotees are commonly supposed to deny themselves worldly pleasures, but she's there to do some brief movie intro/outro pieces - it really doesn't matter if the presenter is fat, thin, or bright luminous green with a 70's mullet, eyes on stalks & a wooden leg.

 

Having said that, I do agree that her intro to And God Created Woman contained no surprises - mirroring some of the same discussion the film provoked when released... but, I also suspect that Roger Vadim also was also not in the least bit surprised by the reactions the film aroused, either...

 

Her intro to M was a bit more interesting, given that she took issue with the reasoning behind the LODs condemnation of that film.

I so agree with you, Limey as I don't care how someone dresses or looks. They could be a green faced alien for all I care. But what is important to me is discernible facts about subjects, ones that easily can be looked up and anyone who places themself in a position to be a leader about a topic, unless they are speaking extemporaneously, I would expect to have checked their facts or know them well in the first place.

 

My only beef was that as a spokesperson about movies, I felt Sister Rose showed her total inexperience about films with her comments about the cinematographer, and that it showed that she was just bluffing a bit, and probably doing last minute and faulty research to fill the space in her prologues and epilogues. A true media expert speaking about films would have probably known about John Alton, and his career even if just enough to know about his lighting techniques. 

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Yes, I was being facetious. But it's hard not to notice the Sister

is packing a lot of flesh into that habit. I just watched bits and

pieces of AGCW, so maybe I missed any naughty bits. The parts

I did see made the film look like a tease, promising more than it

could deliver.

 

The outline of the habit might not be because of any excessive larder raiding habit. I know several folks who gained gratuitous girth not by gluttony, but by medicinal misfortune (side affects of medication). It doesn't help, that much of the readily available first world food tends towards high protein/calorie, usually at the expense of leaving anything vaguely good for you left therein. Nor does it help, that some of that good ole junk food tastes gooooooood, especially compared to a Bugs Bunnies best brunch of carrots. Although a much argued point of controversy, there is also some scientific evidence that folks may be more predisposed to obesity by their genes, especially when exposed to modern diet choices that human evolution has yet to catch up with.

 

Or she may just like the munchies!

 

Frankly my beer, it don't matter a damn - now where's the buttered popcorn & iced doughnuts...

 

Anyway, I promise to lay off all the atrocious alliteration awhile & tip-toe towards the troublesome topic (darn it) at hand - is the film selection any good, are the few minutes of this particular talking habit, er, I mean talking head at each end worth missing another wine club promo spot for & is any glossing over of the truth going on here?

 

Well, IMO - my primary interest is in the flicks - the intro's/outro's just add a little interest, or a few things to go dig for on the net. Well, so far, it's given airtime to a few movies that I'd not seen before - The Story of Temple Drake, Wild Boys of the Road, Untamed Youth & The French Line. Ok, maybe skip the last one, but I offer no apologies for including the highly amusing Untamed Youth. Anyway, new is always good, even if the film turns out to be utter carp (at least you can tick it on the list of things you'll never again need to clutter up the DVR with in the future). There's some old favorites/familiars lurking in the list shown thus far, that whilst being fairly unsurprising selections (Black Narcissus, Design for Living, And God Created Woman), are still worth some eyeball time & serve to illustrate the spotlight at hand.

 

So, what about the quality of the couple of minutes tacked on at either end of the feature presentation? Well, TBH - at least to some degree, I'd agree with elements of the criticism of this host (and the guest hosts in general) - that the spots sometimes feel ill-prepared, lack depth, occasionally contain apparent errors & specifically for this spot, could sometimes be taken as being apologist for the actions of the LOD. Having said that, the current guest spot format severely constrains what detail & counterpoint you can physically cram into what usually adds up to no more than ~3 mins at either end - as a consequence, what's left will often come across as glib/unconvincing, depending not only on the host's ability to create soundbites, but on the film selected. On the former, some folks are simply better at working with a live audience - on the latter, this host may (or may not) have had more of interest to say about a list that she'd selected herself. As has been touched on elsewhere, to get around the inherent restrictions of the current format, I'd really like TCM to consider giving the hosts on these kind of spotlight runs, an additional hour of programming time at the end/beginning of the series to give some depth & counterpoint, maybe with some additional warm bodies present to liven up proceedings. These additional spots, could even cover corrections/response to any errors/ambiguities that the spotlight run may brought up en-route.

 

Now, for the thorny one - revisionism. Do we have it here? Well, skipping over the inevitable 'It's a nun whaddya expect' line, I'm going to have to fudge this one. Yes & no is the only answer - I consider it reasonably brave for a representative of what's typically considered a pretty conservative organization to broadcast any kind of historical perspective on a subject that could naturally be seen to imply some criticism of that same organization. As such, I'd expect any commentary to be somewhat tempered - I was hoping for a little insider enlightenment of LOD machinations, but will take the recognition that times/attitudes have changed as a small, but positive step.

 

And... that's the lot for now. My brain is nagging me to feed it's snack habit. Ok, no more habit jokes, either...

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Limey, what's wrong with alliteration?

 

Are Catholics not supposed to write poetry with it?

 

 

I did record Wild Boys of the Road and it is waiting for me.  I have never seen it.

 

I am not sure about revisionist theory at all.

 

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