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Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 34130 times)
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jbottle
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« Reply #2685 on: November 29, 2007, 08:31:41 PM »

Yeah, but are you really going to dispute that it's the same thing, where there's a building, a lot of gleeps and glops and science sounds and dire warnings about messing with the unknown, and then some government conspiracy to convert hippie science to some kind of ordinary perverse evil use?

I mean, yeah, you might separate the "paranormal" from the "wierdos" or whatever, but nobody really cares as long as there are sparks and boobs.
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barton
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« Reply #2686 on: November 30, 2007, 10:53:37 AM »

The govt. appropriation does seem to be a unifying thread in a lot of the weird science stuff -- either the lab is taken over or, if there's a journey in quest of some anomaly, the expedition must always have a govt. mole along to snatch the goodies away from the wonder-struck scientists.

My favorite science sound is the one generated by authorial unawareness that circuit breakers were invented -- this goes back decades in the sci-fi genre, where we see a future where circuit breakers STILL haven't been invented, so that any kind of power surge or electrical problem must results in loud spits and zzzzzots and such and sparks and flames shooting from instrument panels.

And don't forget to check out the the lab sound in the Alec Guinness film, where he invents a fabric that never needs washing, IIRC it's called The Man in the White Flannel Suit.

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weezo
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« Reply #2687 on: November 30, 2007, 09:55:29 PM »

Whether it's to boost ratings during the writer's strike, or just for the holidays, the movie channels have been showing a lot of new stuff after months of repeating the same movies.

LOVED Cars! If you are a Nascar fan, you will find many racing nuances in the movie. Even Waltrip's famous "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" is in the movie.

Tonight watching Bruce Almighty, got to thinking about God portrayed by George Burns in Oh, God, and God portrayed by Freeman Morgan in Bruce Almighty. Quite a contrast.
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jbottle
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« Reply #2688 on: November 30, 2007, 11:02:42 PM »

Am I supposed to be "old" now?

http://www.avclub.com/content/feature/primer_the_coen_brothers
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madupont
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« Reply #2689 on: December 01, 2007, 12:12:26 AM »

jbottle,

In reading the link you posted, a little something kept nudging me after a few paragraphs where they had to recite the Coen filmography.  I thought of this film, it kept zooming in, and I had to wonder why it too had existed without becoming a Coen brothers film? 

It was instead a Sam Ramie film called,  A Simple Plan.  Vintage Billy Bob Thornton.
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madupont
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« Reply #2690 on: December 01, 2007, 12:15:33 AM »

Weezo,

Just goes to show, the Jewish recognition of God is entirely different than the African-American experience.  Close but different.

I've got some stuff for you that I picked up this morning on line, but should probably drop in the Education forum; it is about inexpensive computers for kids, etc.
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #2691 on: December 01, 2007, 12:33:48 AM »

Am I supposed to be "old" now?

That, and fortunate.
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madupont
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« Reply #2692 on: December 01, 2007, 12:43:18 AM »

Barton,

My favourite Alec Guiness in that genre is about the vaccum cleaner salesman known as, Our Man in Havana

My brother and I sat through a hot Summer afternoon back in the Seventies in front of a conspicuously big cool television in our great aunt's living room while she took one of those little old lady naps upstairs in one of those stately bedrooms that her deceased husband had left her all to herself.  They used to have separate bedrooms, which she always told me made their sex life more interesting.

Meanwhile, downstairs,   we laughed and laughed at the ingenious idea that Carol Reed had decided to make this film from Graham Green's book(as all the viewer/reviewers seem to note when Castro came to power)because it makes fun of all those people who take global take-over
seriously with CIA  (or any number of M's in the UK) governmental plots.

I think this was probably during the period when the Cubans found out the Angolan war was not a snap despite good intentions, so you begin to see the humor in political activism from either side.
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jbottle
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« Reply #2693 on: December 01, 2007, 01:50:23 AM »

Fortune, yes, to have seen and been there for "Miller's Crossing," which, lost in time it the misplacement the film had between "mob film," MASTERPIECE, "Goodfellas," and the other that I can't recall right now, indeed.  I guess the film will be view in somewhat of a vacuum years from now but I remember when it was the movie I saw where there was a singular figure, an older man in a coat, chuckling under his breath, as I was trying gamely to follow the dialogue to the best of my ability at the time.  The jokes that were apparent to him would be apparent to me, one day, but I guess that's the way of the best of experience, and especially music and film, not knowing what you see or hear until you hear it again, too strange to get right away, too interesting to dismiss, much too much to get at one time and all at once.

"Goodfellas," on the other hand, is fantastic on repeated viewings, and I regard it as the best film of the latter half of the 20th Century, but it's immediately accessible, like "Sgt. Peppers," like "Pet Sounds," etc., popcorn and dread boom all at the same time the first time, but "Miller's Crossing" took me a while to digest fully, and it occupies that strange place where it's joke after joke after joke after joke, you know, noir, that nevertheless leaves the melancholy and the smell of scotch in your nose, and that girl you lost, and that hat that gets away, every time.  Just when you think it's too ridiculous to care, there you are looking at Tom's eyes at the end and the backs of people he let go away, because, well, that's "Miller's," and what was so separate from the films of that year, and so contiguous with the noirs of the past that takes a while to grow up on, why "The Long Goodbye" is so silly and frustrating and sad ultimately, that nothing matters, and hey, what if it did sweetheart, you know, noir.  I love "Miller's Crossing," and wish everybody could feel the way I feel when I see it, like, that fortunate.
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jbottle
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« Reply #2694 on: December 01, 2007, 02:17:55 AM »

Charleton Heston just stepped into "1408" to borrow the phone from a blind merchant that displays the sign "If you are mean enough to steal from someone who doesn't see, help yourself..."  Not sure if this is the source of the number for King's movie of late, but it is noir, and a nice coinkindink, at least.  It's a kind of paraphrase of the line "sucker born every minute," so exploit, or that you're a fool to think you can take from someone who doesn't understand what is being taken, strange, and a good line for the border, and for a no man's land that was taken if you were mean enough, from someone who couldn't see..."  Heck, I just love noir, and "Force of Evil," mostly for the Welles performance that is larger than the screen, and for the force of chaos that really has only been hinted at in less allegorical noirs since, the sinister entanglement, the doom, sure, Tarantino can tapdance at the altar with "Pulp Fiction," but I think that only his style and wit coincide with the feeling that you get if you fully invest in FOE, a noir genre-bender only because being before it's time, and note-perfect enough to be the strange noir that might've put the nail in the coffin.  I forget sometimes the black heart of the unflinching filmmaking that doesn't rely on blood splatter and only the disappointment of betrayal, the sloppiness of the way people go simple, the sadness of greed and territorial vigilance.  If the more things change, the more they stay the same is true, then you look at form and futility from the same cockeyed lens, it just may be that you are competing as a filmmaker back on the same ground as telling a story that grabs, that fleets away, that disappoints, that fades, in longshot, to black, with the grip of a novel, the bravura of film, the crushing emotion of disconnection to failed principals, the lack of melodrama, the lack of cheating, too much, which is to say, the ragged perfection of a great noir that anybody could make a case for, just when I was head dangling over rotating heel, just when I thought, that thought was new.
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weezo
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« Reply #2695 on: December 01, 2007, 07:10:18 AM »

Maddie,

I hadn't thought of the God portrayals in terms of the ethnicity. Are you saying that Jewish people think God is a good comedian?
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madupont
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« Reply #2696 on: December 01, 2007, 10:26:01 AM »

That's one way of looking at it, although Originally, in the Beginning, I was looking  from the point of view of George pretending to be God, or possibly as he may have been brought up  to say: "- - -" --which is kind of a,"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy  - - -  in vain" although that really meant that Jews did not swear Oaths and such (because Yah has his mysterious ways and can flip you just like that so what you said, He laughs at and there you are).

As a matter of fact, I was not thinking of the portrayals as ethnicity but as difference in religious practice based on a difference of belief as to Who is dealing with them.

Morgan inevitably plays from a similar historic experience, and I was not originally thinking of how people like the Rastifarians of Jamaica speak of Yah, because they are descended they say from Ethiopians.  Morgan Freeman is neither, I think that I once heard him talking with Henry Louis Gates, jr. as they walked up the alley to the house that he had built which was his "Home-place", words used by Gates who was saying,
"...so you decided to go back and buy your home place and make it yours..." -- yes, in fact this was a DNA project to source your ancestry  in which some people(I purposefully took that out of quotes so the emphasis was not implied as too uppity)like Oprah wanted to find out if they really came from the African tribes that they preferred rather than the areas they found out that  their DNA showed some of their ancestors had come.

Yes, Morgan had that sense of "place" and liked the irony that he had become such an important descendent of slaves that he could buy the homestead-estate-plantation from which his ancestors came. It indicates that their work earned it.  It is almost as good as a -- Joseph in Eqypt, thing(from Thomas Mann's series of novels), the irony of being there when your kinsmen who left you to die in a pit, show up begging for food, and do not know that you survived because slavers came along and pulled you out of the pit and "carried you off" to Egypt.

So Freeman sometimes plays God as having a sense of humor.  A mean sense of humor that I call  ironic.  Both the Orthodox Jewish perception records through Torah that their experience of the Lord (sometimes known as the "Almighty") was of the mysterious ways of operation to unknown purpose that are ineffable,and that is African-American church-goer experience but hardly resigned.

There was a brief period in the last century, in which both Jewish communities and African-Americans coalesced in political action from a communality of having been discriminated against,actively persecuted or having their civil rights denied, rather than recognition that they shared a history of slavery in common; but that no longer is the case.

Whoever the actor who gets to play God in the movies,it is generally with an emphasis on the All Knowing attributes tempered by a kindly sense of humor. The first characteristic attributed to God, because he is called the Observant of Aeons; and, if that  hadn't caused a divine sense of humor, then in the modern sense God would be Dead from boredom.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #2697 on: December 01, 2007, 11:39:22 AM »

Weezo....God is the ultimate comedian. 
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barton
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« Reply #2698 on: December 01, 2007, 02:59:27 PM »

Saw NCfOM -- disturbing and far bleaker than any other Coen bros. film, and Roger Deakins certainly does justice to the beauty of west Texas. I don't think it's their best picture, but it does seem comparable to their first film, Blood Simple, without seeming like a regression or a falling back. I think it would have some confusing plot points for anyone who hadn't read the novel -- confusing enough that I want to go back and review some spots in the book. I'm not as wowed by TLJ's perf as some critics, but I'm not going to question that TLJ has a pretty good feel for that kind of country and its people.

I thought the Chigurh villain in the novel was more complex and interesting than in the film, but that is the novelist's natural advantage, esp. when you're getting into the head of a psychopath. After reading the book, I pictured Chigurh as more central European or similar, so Bardem's more Latin look and expression was not quite what I had envisioned.

Good film, but I'm not about to put it up there with Fargo or Barton Fink or Miller's Crossing or that one about bowling, whose title escapes me.  I just feel that dark comedy is the Coen forte, and I look forward to them getting back to that. So I enjoyed the more typical Coen moment when Moss is trying to get back into the U.S. and is being crossexamined by the border guard -- funny stuff. Another good comic moment was Chigurh and that poor gas station guy, the whole bit with flipping the quarter -- which was pulled pretty much intact from the novel.

Still, even middling Coeniana is going to be one of the best films of whatever year it is released.

 
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weezo
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« Reply #2699 on: December 01, 2007, 05:06:19 PM »

Maddie,

I thought that George Burns was a great God. He took things in stride and had the funniest lines, all delivered exactly right. Morgan Freeman was a more serious God. But, the humor came in, not with his lines, but with his appearances and actions. Bruce was not upstaged by God.

I was thinking of the difference in the times when the two movies were made. George Burns appeared as God in a time when there was substantial movement away from religion. Morgan Freeman played God in the current, when there is a lot more respect for religion

Laurie, your response was a total winner!

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