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Muthsarah

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About Muthsarah

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  1. Muthsarah

    Episode 112 - Footlight Parade (w/ Bryan Cogman)

    So...I should have voted before properly thinking it over...until the 11th hour? Oh well. Even though I'd like to think of myself as the potential John McCain of this thread, I'm not too despondent that my vote didn't keep the film out. We'll probably never see Gold Diggers or 42nd Street here (which, to stress, are more solid films, even if they don't necessarily hit the highest of high notes as Footlight Parade), so long as one is here, hopefully some people are turned onto the genre. Also, I didn't realize that ALL THREE films came out in 1933. Busby Berkeley deserves to be in The Canon for nothing other than that. How do you make THREE of the most canon-worthy, decade-defining musical extravaganzas, in the SAME calendar year?! All while sticking it to the Hays Code. That's New Hollywood/underground/punk rock $#!+. But with granny appeal too. Dude's a legend. I don't care if he was a drunk. I wanna have eight drinks with him. (Hopefully we wouldn't kill anyone afterwards).
  2. Muthsarah

    Episode 112 - Footlight Parade (w/ Bryan Cogman)

    Mmmm....nah. It's just not the definitive Busby Berkeley MOVIE, even if it may have the most iconic of his scenes. Near miss, but there are better films of this type.
  3. Muthsarah

    Homework - Footlight Parade (1933)

    Really don't know what to think of this one going in. Are we picking a "Best of 30s Hollywood"? Even though none of them are my very favorites, the splashy musicals probably define the whole decade in film better than anything else. And for best of the splashy 30s musicals, yeah, it's this, 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, and whatever your favorite Astaire and Rogers film is (I'd have to go with Top Hat). The first two also probably had both Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler. But this one has Cagney too. There SHOULD be a 30s musical in The Canon, probably two (one Berkeley, one Astaire/Rogers). Simpsons references them, the Coens have referenced them multiple times. They're still known. They were the height of extravagance and escapism at a time when moviegoers relied on them far more than we did. And when you could buy two hours of glamour for a mere nickel.
  4. Lost in Translation is, overall, the more pleasurable visceral experience. But it has "concernful" parts that do make me feel kinda bad while watching it. Marie Antoinette is occasionally distracting, but it really strikes at my sweet spot when it doubles-down on the historicaly-accurate filmed-on-location gorgeousness. I want to vote for them both. They're both wonderful films. But...ultimately, Lost in Translation left the bigger impact, even on re-watching. I won't say it's necessarily the better film, but it's the one that hits hardest, and is thus the more impressive. I love film as escapism above everything else, and Sofia Coppola has already made two masterpieces in that genre. But one delivers the full Sofia Coppola experience a little more than the other, and is thus a little better as an example of what's she's done so well. It's very close, but I gotta go with Lost in Translation. And, as penance, I will buy a Blu-Ray of Marie Antoinette. It's too good for mere streaming. These are both HIGHLY dreamy films.
  5. I've seen Lost in Translation at least three times, and Marie Antoinette twice. The latter has a rough road to climb to catch up to even the shallow exuberance of the former. I suspect the use of late-20th-century pop music was meant to put the viewer into the inner world of Marie and her friends, but it only served to alienate me. I know Baroque/Classical music, and I love it. It was always a huge disconnect to me. I think I would have preferred a movie that didn't lean on ANY music to tell its story. Then again, I adore "Barry Lyndon",and its 18th-century score worked perfectly well for me in its setting. Just a heads-up that I'm probably kinda-sorta-biased based on a very deliberate artistic choice. Yeah, LiT is the easy favorite. And it'll take a hell of an argument to turn my head around on this issue. Not that "Marie Antoinette" isn't a quality picture, but - for all of LiT's controversey (disclaimer I R the whiteness) I found it irresistable. The latter...I had to fight with, constantly, to qualify both my knowledge of the actual subject (I've read up on Marie and Louis and the grandpa Louis and company) and on the very real disconnect I had viewing a music video two centuries removed. Kinda got in the way, it did, whereas the more modern movie didn't have any sort of problem, so I could drink in its visuals and soundtrack without any distraction. It makes a difference in the viewing. It makes a BIG difference. "Marie Antoinette" is a bold, remarkable historical bio-drama. But which film is the more notable watch? Which leaves the bigger impression?
  6. Muthsarah

    Episode 110 - Z (w/ Richard Lawson)

    I suspect Amy's gonna go with another weeks-old one-of-two-results recordings, but all the same, I'm ever optimistic she'll throw in an in improv something. I'd love to hear her response to this here particular vote. Jinx. I cast my vote (no points to Gryffindor for how I voted) after seeing the film for the first time. I had nothing to add to others' comments. Just enjoyed the hell out of it. 1969 was such wonderful year for movies and for pop culture, I wish I had been alive then to have some sort of personal context. Never NEVER woulda seen "Z" without this show.
  7. Muthsarah

    Episode 109 - Raising Arizona (w/ Ira Madison III)

    I said it a week ago, this is one of the easiest votes I've ever had here. POSSIBLY my favorite comedy of the 80s. Certainly one of my favorite Coens (along with Barton Fink, and Miller's Crossing was pretty damn good too, so how's that for a run?). I feel bad that Ira Whatshisname III didn't care for it, but I know what it's like to feel underwhelmed by a supposed classic. Ira's Raising Arizona is my Trading Places, I guess. This film just feels so perfect from beginning to end. There's absolutely nothing in it I don't like. It's pure cinematic joy. And if you don't agree, well, it's a comedy. That's how it goes. You like it or you don't, and there's really nothing to argue over.
  8. Muthsarah

    Homework: Raising Arizona (1987)

    This will be the easiest, earliest "Yes" vote I have ever made here. The Coens are my second-favorite filmmaker(s), after only Wes Anderson. And Raising Arizona is my second-favorite film of theirs (after Barton Fink), but easily the most enjoyable film they've made. I could see putting it at #1. It's super-close. I'm voting now. I'll vote again in a week, for the record. But I'm also voting now. No way I'm not voting for this. Had I been here back in the when, I woulda voted 100% for Grand Budapest, the only other more-obvious pre-vote I can think of. This is - possibly even including a Barton Fink episode - my mostest of mostfully prejudicial votes.
  9. Juno didn't "fail" to get an abortion. She chose not to, even though she initially chose to. Pro-choice means you accept the woman's decision, however she chooses. And yeah, she makes a rather impulsive, kinda-stupid choice to choose Vanessa and Mark via the Penny Saver ad, but it was Mark's decision to put the ad in such an...unorthodox source to begin with. Because he didn't really want anyone to bite. But Juno, also probably very much in doubt, and very likely also deeply ignorant of what she was doing, ending up biting on the almost "ironic" ad. Her father, her step-mother, and, to some extent, Vanessa, all ended up trying to educate her on the full ramifications of what she was doing (without ever forcing her), even if Mark - who was never on-board with the adoption-thing - eventually bailed. I don't think it's a film everyone has to understand. It's all about a teenage girl making a momentous decision at a time of her life when she isn't prepared to deal with it, and the people who care about her. As she confessed to her own father: "I don't know what kind of girl I am". She's still figuring it all out herself. The audience sees the events of the film mostly through her eyes. She's better off with Paulie, rather than being a mother. She's still a kid herself. She could have taken the route of getting an abortion and just trying to forget about the whole matter, but she chose to see it through, to a natural (if not the most traditional) conclusion: Vanessa raises the child as her own, Juno goes back to being a kid, a little older and much wiser. But still a kid. Hence why she and Paulie are still a good pairing by the end. She remains the more emotionally-developed of the two, but she's just not ready to be a responsible adult (and not ready to be a mother). Paulie loves her, and she loves Paulie. Her father and stepmother are still watching over her. Vanessa (and her child) are still potentially in her life. That's the best thing for her at this point, whatever the future holds for her.
  10. Muthsarah

    Can we get some Kurosawa films please

    If this wouldn't be too controversial/heretical, howsabout: Yojimbo vs For a Fistful of Dollars Seven Samurai vs. The Magnificent Seven (the former would win) Throne of Blood vs Macbeth (Welles or Polanski) I really, REAAALLLY wanna see a Japanese film put up for The Canon, and I suggested a few off-the-beaten-path films last year (not surprised they weren't picked up, I know Kurosawa, Miike, or possibly Ozu are more likely to lead off than Mizoguchi, Shindo or Nakahira), but if we start off with Kurosawa, I think the best way to approach it is as Western film fans approaching the most "Western" Japanese filmmaker as the inspiration/reflection of other Western stories. Why start with Rashomon? Or even (another film I adore) High and Low? It's Kurosawa. What makes Kurosawa Kurosawa? That he's considered the most Western-inspired Japanese filmmaker of his day. Put one of his films in context with the Western films he was inspired by or (very, very) clearly inspired (/were ripped off). Go for broke. If you're gonna do Kurosawa, go all out. Get two guests, get a lively discussion going. He was my gateway Japanese filmmaker, and I suspect he was for many others. But don't just treat him like another foreign director. Give him a proper episode, based around his unique position in the Japanese cinematic pantheon. Put him immediately in context with Western cinema, in some way. EDIT: Upon reflection, I'd be 100% OK with High and Low Or Ikiru being a stand-alone. It'd be potentially fascinating to hear a deeply-knowledgable guest tackle the Western view on post-war Japan and Japanese cinema, if they really know what they're talking about. I recall having a lot of fun listening to the Criterion commentaries on these films (and on Drunken Angel and Stray Dog, though I'm not such a huge fan of those films, or The Bad Sleep Well). I'm probably biased in that I find that particular era to be fascinating, and I HIGHLY recommend the films and commentaries to anyone reading this who has any interest whatsoever in post-war Japan, but as I feel Kurosawa is probably the biggest "in" for Western filmlovers, I feel having someone being able to put a film into its historical and cultural context is invaluable in being able to appreciate these films as not just stories, but reflections on a real, vanished world. If Amy could get a real authority in to put up/recommend/talk about an early Kurosawa, I'd be in heaven.
  11. I voted Fellowship anyway. Whatever I feel about the trilogy these days, the experience of seeing that film for the first time was pretty damn magical. Not perfect, but better than I imagined it could have reasonably turned out given how much I had soured on big-budget films during the late 90s (seriously, how many truly GOOD blockbusters came out between Jurassic Park and Spiderman?) and how afraid I was of another cinematic train wreck. Even the parts of the film that I don't like I understand, not least because I realize I'm in the minority opinion on them, and I won't deny the film's appeal to the masses. I think it's for the best that Tolkien is no longer niche, and that classic fantasy is now deemed "worthy" of mainstream attention. Even if Hollywood still hasn't satisfactorily followed up on that (which, perhaps, should be another feather in the series' hat). I think it's entirely appropriate to vote FotR into The Canon, even if I don't particularly want to watch it ever again. Like the LotR "saga" itself, it started out magnificently, and I can't imagine the last 15+ years of pop culture without it.
  12. Muthsarah

    An American in Paris vs. Singin' in the Rain

    You're right. We don't need to keep giving Amy reasons to bring that movie back up. We'll have to put this off until she calms down.
  13. This post is for me. Me fifteen years ago, especially. It's OK to feel impressed by a work of art, even if you don't give a $#!+ about it. Just because a movie series is big, or maybe-unarguably important, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you if you are completely removed from it in any emotional way and don't ever want to experience it again, even if you paid $50 for it back during Dubya's first term and have barely thought about it since let alone touched it. Just because every third person out there your age seemed to love and worship it, that doesn't mean it's worth putting on a pedestal, or feeling remotely bad about yourself for feeling "left out" of the continuing love. A movie is just a story, there are a million stories out there, and it's fine if - despite all your anticipation and fleeting enjoyment - it didn't in any way hold up for you, even for a single year. There will be more stories. Ones you'll be giddy to re-visit once or twice every year for the rest of this presidency and the next (beyond that, nothing is promised). Most of them have already been made, so the past remains a rich vein to mine. You hoped, wanted, briefly believed, that this was one for the ages. Maybe it is. But that doesn't mean it has to be for you, and it doesn't mean you have to enjoy it...when you clearly can't even imagine re-visiting it, no matter how good certain specific scenes felt at the time. Life is short. You can skip a ten-hour movie series if you don't enjoy it. Spend that time doing anything else that makes you happy, and just leave this one behind, without feeling bad about yourself. You're forgiven for thinking otherwise in your ignorance, but regardless of your feelings on the books, this movie series was never actually for you. That's why you don't enjoy it. And I would have picked The Two Towers anyway (not least because I could never get through even the theatrical cut of RotK on home video). Paced way better than Return, more technically-precise than Fellowship, actually has a sort-of-ending, has a ton of memorable scenes. And I actually saw it before I just collapsed under the pressure of trying to like this series I wanted to love but just couldn't. I still have fond memories of TTT, and I'll always enjoy the soundtrack, but, even though I read the books as a child, I just couldn't get into these over-blown, over-wrought, yet still somehow really formulaic and artificial-feeling adaptations. Coming on the heels of the Star Wars Prequels was probably a big stroke of luck, as it couldn't help but impress after that crap. But it just doesn't tell its story in a satisfying way. I couldn't possibly vote for a movie I've been dead-set against re-watching for over a decade, especially when the only part I cared anything about wasn't even included (not that I would have voted for it anyway, as it's one big movie, not a trilogy of stand-alones). I'll stop. This is too long as it is. Also, past self: Discover the films of Wes Anderson now. You'll want to get into them as soon as you can. You won't regret it. Spend your time in a unique and (mostly) happy world that will invigorate your creative juices instead of drain them.
  14. Muthsarah

    An American in Paris vs. Singin' in the Rain

    Singing in the Rain would probably beat out any musical barring possibly West Side Story. I can't help but think back on the Annie Hall vs Manhattan episode, where I think "neither" got more write-in votes than Manhattan. I wonder if American in Paris vs On the Town would be more competitive. Paris has one truly outstanding sequence (maybe two) and a single comic relief character, while Town focuses on a fast pace and constant use of comedy from everyone involved. Singing in the Rain basically combines the strengths of both - a better song selection than Paris, the comedy of Town, and more show-stoppers than either of them. Though I'd still take the grand ballet from Paris over anything in any other musical.
  15. Muthsarah

    Maltese Falcon vs The Big Sleep

    Firstoff: Anything, anybody that would put "Mona Lisa" and/or "The Long Good Friday" up for The Canon would be a saint in my eyes. I could happily die after such an episode airs. As for a return to film noir, I dunno if a versus is the best idea. I wanna sell the genre on the young'uns, y'know. Maybe two at a time would work, but that tends to lead to a competitive episode, tearing the other down. "The Maltese Falcon" could stand on its own, as could "The Big Sleep", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", or possibly other films that don't have Bogart in them. But as he was in so many of the best, it would feel contrived/obtuse to avoid him entirely. Besides, "Double Indemnity" got in and "The Long Weekend" didn't, so we at least have a discriminating jury. Nothing would beat Chinatown head-up, so if you wanna cover it (a great intro to both noir and New Hollywood), just do an ep on that one. There'd be so much to talk about, all of it positive. It should be fun and probably instructive. But don't put it up against anything before or since, it wouldn't be fair. While I'm here, just put Casablanca up awready. Sure, it'd be the closest thing to a 100% ever, but use the moment, Amy, to pick who you feel is the BEST person to talk about the film. I worry that the younger generations only know the film by reputation, and A) don't sit down and actually watch it and B ) can't appreciate all the period references it sprinkles for lack of historical perspective. So if we're gonna do Casablanca, please get a very eloquent expert. It's a lock to get in, just think of the entertainment value of the episode, that's all that would matter.
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