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Author Topic: Film Trivia  (Read 9557 times)
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madupont
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« Reply #300 on: March 02, 2008, 12:39:52 PM »

Harrie,

You are getting very close.  I am still contemplating why this director identified his female star as running for office when Hillary began run for Senate; but possibly it was originally in the writer's basic material for a start.

For fans of such shows on tv as The Wire and Homicide:Life on the Streets, this film also has a supporting cast with Charles Dutton, and Dennis Haybert; because (the operative word here) the male star opposite the lady interested in politics is a rather ordinary but expert and high-ranking cop with an interesting Dutch name.  I stared at the changing frame intently, and yes, I could say that designation works for this well-heeled hero of action films who is either Mr. Suave or guaranteed to save any woman in distress. However, neither of this superstar's parents were of origins having anything to do with a Dutch cop in Washington,D.C. or any other locations required on the East Coast; but I got closer to what he and the director do see in each other as their most common heritage.

I've become more interested in following the career of this actor(although I admit to ignoring some, most treasured by fans of Spielberg and George Lucas, which are just not my thing) ever since learning he was at school with my brother in law.  One of them was an ace student, the other became interested in acting.
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barton
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« Reply #301 on: March 02, 2008, 01:39:53 PM »

Madupont, I have not actually had Sioux City Sarsparilla -- it was just a nod to the Coens, it being the beverage of choice for The Stranger (aka Sam Elliot) in...you know, that film about that guy who purchased a quart of milk on the day of George H.W. Bush's "line in the sand" speech. 

Given the recent legalization of absinthe in the U.S. perhaps SCS will also be making a return?

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madupont
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« Reply #302 on: March 02, 2008, 01:58:42 PM »

Night before last, as I said, I did a rerun, although too tired at that hour but as it came up on the screen before I switched it off, since I had not intended to watch The Black Dahlia again, I suddenly realized that I either had originally not turned on the first viewing of the film early enough and had just caught in passing after it gave very pertinent information, visually, in the opening scenes.

I'm a stickler for seeing movies from the front when I go to movie theatres! At home, we get lazy and easily distracted from being there where the tv gives us the opportunity to run to the bathroom or take that popcorn out of the microwave (thanks to Barton, we now have new and improved healthy popcorn, after he made us aware of findings of what to avoid and had been recently discovered).

Anyway, what I caught at a very late hour, things shot discreetly in long range(which I already knew as to locale because I looked it up on the LA maps almost immediately after reading both the Leonard Elroy version and the John Gregory Dunne novel which also became a film starring Robert Di Niro and Robert Duvall emphasizing different points mainly because Dunne -- Joan Didion's husband and brother of Dominic Dunne--was so utterly familiar with how things were done in LA and he could second guess as he went along) led to no necessity to use certain shock flash scenes that keep the Audience adrenaline rushing.

In other words, there are different cuts of this production, both of them showing up on tv.

I was happy to have a clearer,brighter, better lit story for this second chance, less mysteriously dark with night thoughts; although the same sound track gives us some 1940's dialogue, not of the kind usual to films of that era but true to the streets of L.A. which keep you straining to get the picture and whether you understand everything pertinent to the plot. This is of course of key importance  when actually navigating L.A. --and by the way, I suddenly realized this was not back lot shooting but as usual, in this case  Brian Di Palma, whom we've recently been discussing with Carlito's Way, doing what many tv and movie industry people do when doing a Thirties or Forties period piece --they go to Long Beach which has it all right there preserved in sea-air and from which you can see the Hollywood (hill) sign from your window.  I like the place because it has the aesthetic design in exteriors and interiors reminiscient of my childhood(just as Spielberg shocked me with his wardrobe for Liam Neeson and the fine detail of "production values" in Schindler's list which were as emphatic as wardrobe and design back when Bob Evans produced and Robert Townes* wrote,Chinatown!).

{Fri. Mar. 7 2:00 AM SHOW  Ask the Dust -- Robert Townes}

So, yes I decided that Scarlet Johansson was right on for a gal from the Forties; I liked Hilary Swank a bit better in her repro of "swank" with shots of anatomy that clarify why she frequented Lesbian clubs and introduced herself to the "Black Dahlia" (I even forgave her character's mother for being nuts and her father for being a phony; and while I kept pondering why they lived in such a set-decorated private residence(?)-- I finally discovered that where the menage a trois, of Scarlet,and Bucky Bleichert/Josh Harnett, and Lee Blanchard lived was a lot nicer than first impression in the "dark cut".

When Hilary as Miss Linscott shows up on screen, as missed in the darkness of the shot first time round, dressed in men's clothing, it is she who pulls the knife on Lee Blanchard who goes toppling over the edge of the interior atrium under the extra weight of Richard Brake as Bobby De Witt whose initials are carved on Scarlett Johansson's back.

Have any of you viewers seen Mr.Sardonicus?

That's the movie that Lee, and Kay, and Bucky, "always with us but never between us" are "apparently" watching, although I seem to remember another version of that as well which was truly frightening back in the Fifties. Have to check that out.

Mia Kushner gets a break on a second viewing, as Josh Harnett tries to find out who she is, because I caught some of her lines in reference to her real life as Elizabeth Short which truly show how compromised and taken of advantage of she truly was back in the days of blame the victim.

Is that over yet?  Cut










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barton
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« Reply #303 on: March 02, 2008, 02:14:20 PM »

...Leonard Elroy version....


This name sounds like some unholy hybrid of Elmore Leonard and James Ellroy.    Smiley
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madupont
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« Reply #304 on: March 02, 2008, 02:15:12 PM »

Barton, since you are a Kansan, I figured you really had run into SCS from nearby Iowa.  I  used to have a small sapling of a sassafras tree which got left behind when I moved from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. I did have a neighbor in childhood who treated the entire neighood of kids to root beer because he claimed to have a tree in his back yard. His name was a common family name in Mennonite-Amish country where they sell gallons of the farm brewed beverage to tourists.  Sassafras and sassparilla or sarsaparilla, although a home medication recommended by herbalists as a tea -- does have a down-side when over-done, like most other perfectly natural chemicals. The preference for natural which took place in a rerun -- in about the 1970s, when it came to public awareness,
caused many to believe that all homeopathics are better than drug=chemical prescriptions which are synthesized compounds.  I had drunk a great deal of sassafras tea while writing my butt off just to stay warm in  Midwestern countryside winters. Where ever I put the root so that I could regrow the pretty little tree which attains quite an immense height, I haven't the faintest idea. Just as well, I don't seem able to hold on to shrubs, bushes,and botanical herbs where-ever I move; the anti-plant squad always appears.
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madupont
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« Reply #305 on: March 02, 2008, 02:25:28 PM »

...Leonard Elroy version....


This name sounds like some unholy hybrid of Elmore Leonard and James Ellroy.    Smiley


You are right, I always do that; James Elroy wrote the The Black Dahlia

And I didn't even have a drop of absinthe this morning. Made popular by Francis Ford Coppla's, Bram Stoker's Dracula.   I had my first shot here in the States, in about 1954, because European gallants usually try to interest a girl in whom they are interested by cafe-seating and a nice aperitif as a way to have conversation and get to know each other better, just like in the movie; what were Gary Oldman's lines again when describing absinthe to  Winona Ryder.  As my son told me after he saw the movie, "Very romantic."--I'd say so, Oldman was spell-binding in that role.
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madupont
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« Reply #306 on: March 02, 2008, 02:41:15 PM »

Harrie, you do have the right director, so perhaps you should take over the next inventive question.

And-- I did see -- Heath Ledger -- last night, in Ned Kelly. Everything that has been said in two out of three Movie forums about the loss of a great acting talent was absolutely accurate. In comparison to his bouyancy with comedic talents when I caught him in the,Knight's Tale,made two years before Ned Kelly, you get the weirdest impression, in that as the scenes accumulate takes one right after the other, he seems to be actually channeling* a personality/a character's reality. In other words,Ledger had a capacity to use Method that few people in his generation currently realize is necessary as an actor.

*there is some nitwit male chauvine in the Campaign forums who insists that I don't comprehend (at my age) what "channeling" means, because I am one of only two women regularly participating in a predominantly male conducted forum.  Perhaps, I should mention to them that Shirley McClain has been channeling for half a century, in films and out.  Then I could hit him with ageism instead of sexism.
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barton
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« Reply #307 on: March 02, 2008, 02:48:18 PM »

In Wichita, where I grew up, and the nearest metro to Garden City, we had "Dad's" and "Barq's" IIRC.  When word got out that killer Perry Smith's favorite beverage was root beer, I think there were certain parents who made use of this intelligence to discourage excessive sugary drink consumption -- "You want to end up on the gallows, like Perry Smith??"    I was a Mountain Dew boy, myself, though not above the occasional cherry cola at Crank's, a popular drugstore fountain that made it the old-timey way, right across the street from Wesley Medical Center.

OK, I was kidding about the whole Perry Smith thing being used to put kids off root beer.  His liking for root beer, however, was factual and a matter of public record.  He often crushed aspirins into the RB, for his bum legs.



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madupont
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« Reply #308 on: March 02, 2008, 03:03:29 PM »

...Leonard Elroy version....


This name sounds like some unholy hybrid of Elmore Leonard and James Ellroy.    Smiley


Leonard Elmore appreciated as well; Get Shorty being one of the all time greats and equally important to Tarrentino's, Pulp Fiction.

Then there is Hombre, done for Paul Newman; he also helped along Mr. Majestyk for Charles Bronson.   

I've read snatches of his "literature", in the novels, but never all the way through, so I'm familiar with the style but no authority on his writing.   Whereas Elroy on the otherhand is an exceedingly quirky little fellow, nearly as much so as Hunter S. Thompson whose friend Johnny Depp adapted or"channeled" Raul Duke's author into several characters that he has played for the screen.

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madupont
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« Reply #309 on: March 03, 2008, 02:59:19 AM »

Harrie, I didn't know whether to put this in movies or television, in my ongoing chase down of movies shown on tv a year after their release; and in this case more than that after arriving from France.

But as I know you like to watch the night films, I had to include this special appearance:

"Sydney Pollack is so much fun as an actor. Very American in the middle of all the French. A+ Film." said by one of the patrons of The New York Times."...Initially the most abrasive player is Catherine Versen (the wonderful Valérie Lemercier), a television star preparing for a role in a theater that sits cheek by jowl with the concert hall. With her galloping self-regard and goofily dramatic gestures, Catherine registers as the very incarnation of the actress as professional narcissist, despite the flakes of croissant tumbling down the front of her shirt. Even her ductile face, which scrunches and bunches with each word, eyeballs rolling like marbles, mouth twisting into tight bows, then expansively releasing, appears designed for maximum attention....


Given the film’s good-natured vibe, it really should come as no surprise that Catherine turns out to be more appealing than her sometimes bad cafe manners suggest. Ms. Thompson[the director] seems to be having some fun at the character’s expense when Catherine amusingly blunders an introduction to a famous film director played by the famous film director Sydney Pollack. Mr. Pollack’s character, Brian Sobinksi, is in Paris preparing an alarming-sounding new film about Simone de Beauvoir; the sultry sexpot Monica Bellucci, for one, is said to be up for the lead. Seated in the cafe that serves as the film’s and the avenue’s hub, he proves too busy to notice Catherine, who is on her way to rehearsals for a boulevard comedy by Feydeau..."

And that is the segment that leads to Sydney Pollack, from The New York Times review. The clips were even worse.

That's unfortunate because they keep referring to "comedy", when actually this film is what the French call "amusant. When Pollock eventually discover's the actress   who is the character Catherine Verson playing the actress in the simple comedy he loves to see, she is really the actor Valerie Mercier  who plays Catharine like Joy Behar in what the French call a "Farce"(most often a bedroom farce)  by Feydeau that she really does not want to be in; which is why she meets Pollack who best enjoys a simple comedy like Feydeau. Opposites attract.  Like most women, she wants something serious. But in Catharine's case it is because the soap operas are offering  300,000 francs per episode and she moonlights shooting on location at night while rehearsing Feydeau by day.  Sydney happens to spot her in  one of these tv roles while searching clips  to familiarize himself with French actors who should be called for audition.  Here it is the image that counts, what he thinks she is; but it is why he shows  up in the theater, I suspect, after doing lunch with her, which Is satirical farce, or in California, "to take a sit-down meeting". 

Of course he does not recognize her on stage until the whimsical elements that make up farce take place but Catharine knows exactly what she is doing, using the stage for Feydeau as an audition of how convincing she can be as Simone de Beauvoir .  When she exits the stage and returns to her dressing room, Sydney is there courting her to play the part in his film, and she swoons into his arms.  Happily ever after?  Probably not, as they are just one unexpected couple in several romances , one of which is a father and son encounter with the same femme fatale; in the US we used to refer to this as a prick-tease but that's no longer fashionable so, the son who is a divorced man anyway picks up what appears to be an underage girl from out of town in the country, in a series of at least three encounters before she seduces him just before her grandmother comes to town to visit this grand-daughter that she has raised. That role following in her grandmother's footsteps is not a reverse of Little Red Riding Hood but is the original where Red gets a job in a theatre restaurant-bar which leads to her making the acquaintance of the most interesting men on the block because she is that link that leads to the story of each of these  men of the world. She is what the French call a "naif" (in theatrical terms: an ingenue) which is why these men befriend her.

Except for Sydney Pollock, of course, who is smitten with "Joy Behard" of French "soaps" and bedroom-farce     

There is a most interesting segment on music. So the men tend to represent Art,Music,Academic Historian,and Cinema.     Of course, there is also the woman who would have wanted to have been a chanteuse but becomes the woman in charge of visiting artists during their appearances in the house, so she befriends all the actresses and new young girls who arrive in the city.   

Avenue Montaigne, directed by Danielle Thompson, badly reviewed in The New York Times but none the less, starring Sydney Pollack which was a surprise to me too!  He was actually lovable.

           
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harrie
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« Reply #310 on: March 03, 2008, 09:57:40 AM »

I run about 50/50 with the NYT reviews, so who knows?  Or it could be so bad it's good -- could be worth a look. Thanks for the heads up, madupont. 

So is the trivia answer the Harrison Ford/Kristin Scott Thomas plane crash flick?  Random Hearts (I had to look up the title, only remember the bare bones of the plot and didn't know it's a Pollock.)

Ponderosa, I don't know -- Coen questions seem to be almost snakebit on this forum.  That is a truly weird coincidence, datewise.
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madupont
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« Reply #311 on: March 03, 2008, 10:53:33 PM »

Correct, it's Pollock (and Avenue Montaigne is, by the way, so good that the PR  people on this side of the Atlantic were lost.  There's some very deep consideration of what it takes out of you to be a professional concert pianist forever on tour for the rest of your life;  and the man who realizes this is affectionate toward other people in general, old men, naive girls, old ladies, children in hospitals for whom he plays concerts informally with them clustered all around him and the adults, patients and staff, in the back; which is why he suggests to his wife, who is his booking agent, his contract keeper, his dresser, his attendant at every level and in every way, that they retire to house in the country preferably in a forest.  She is dumb-founded.  They live a very sophisticated life  and, as a former musician, she has been living through him; and now goes into complete shock.   The rest of the film is comic eccentricity).

Random Hearts it is. I  thought of it as the "plane crash flick" too, they often synopsise it that way, but then found as I began to watch that I had mostly forgotten that crash in its own after-math but intrigued as Harrison Ford "discovers" its reality.

I have a feeling this happens a lot just from the sheer accumulation of facts and details and experiences as you watch a film. As the plot heavily accumulates, it overwhelms the earlier scenes and characters so that you discover a whole new take on a second much later viewing. Pollock seems especially able to "work with this" and turn it to his advantage. I could mention at least one of those little details that he does to perfection but I'd better not because it is a real spoiler. He would seem to work with the fact that we really know everything but are trying to keep it from ourselves at all times.

Scott Thomas, on the other hand appears to be particularly obtuse, while competently covering every political detail of how to relate and gather up a constituency. She's right on top of it; but for getting through the mundane reality of "reality", should we say, she looks at you as if she is looking right through you and you can see that she is drawing a blank, not a clue. It is, i noticed, a really "Hillary thing", which is why I had pondered is this how Pollock picked up on his story when she began to run for the Senate?  Harrison, of course, can not stand  still for an instant. Has got to know. Has got to know everything.

Believe me, after this film, it was a relief  to see Sydney Pollock absurdly the mimic of his own tastes as a film-maker, with Avenue Montaigne.
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barton
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« Reply #312 on: March 12, 2008, 12:20:57 PM »

This is a rather puzzling video...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIEbcmFzICE

Are "they" here?
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ponderosa
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« Reply #313 on: March 12, 2008, 12:25:17 PM »

Take me to your leader...



AAAAAYYEEEE!
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madupont
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« Reply #314 on: March 12, 2008, 07:10:33 PM »

 harrie,

"Actor-director Edward Norton has revealed that his Class Five film company is working on a documentary about Presidental candidate Barack Obama..."
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