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ol' eddy wrecks

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ol' eddy wrecks last won the day on January 13

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  1. ol' eddy wrecks

    Upcoming Episodes

    Despite seeing Bringing up Baby as a young teen, I have zero recollection what it's about (I couldn't give you even a one sentence plotline or synopsis). Though I had never seen Woolf (I went with that this past weekend), I at least had a vague understanding of the plot (high level), a vague recollection of one of the stars, and I think I noticed a couple weeks ago it was another Mike Nichols film. I will say, it was definitely more than I was expecting though. I don't have a good feel on how people will react to it.
  2. ol' eddy wrecks

    Gone with the Wind

    Due to inclinations and time, I did not watch Gone with the Wind this past week, so I still have not yet seen it. If it didn't also place within the top 250 of the Sight & Sound critics' poll (#232 with seven votes) and #109 on the They Shoot Pictures aggregate list, I'd be perfectly content to skip this altogether entirely (classic melodramas that I like, while not unheard of, are still more an exception). All I can really contribute at this point is meta-commentary, though not tonight. Behind on my sleep. But one thing I did note while looking, for the BFI critics' poll both Gone with the Wind and Birth of a Nation (which received 5 votes from critics*, placing it at position #323), each only received one vote from an American. All the other votes came from other countries. I don't know if I should find that as a sign that the problems of the films haven't been conveyed as much overseas and there's just a lag... or if it should be disconcerting that America is exporting its racism. *: One downside to the BFI practice of asking people for just their top 10 films, which for the most part I like, is beyond a certain point, the number of votes involved is small enough, it doesn't really take a lot for movies to swing a lot of spots (which could also be an argument to stop looking at somewhere like spot 50 or 100, but I find lots of good movies worth watching on the list well after that).
  3. ol' eddy wrecks

    Gone with the Wind

    Birth of a Nation isn't on the list anymore. #44 is The Philadelphia Story. Maybe you're still looking at the 1997 version.
  4. ol' eddy wrecks

    Deer Hunter

    Fwiw, I like The Deer Hunter more than Platoon, but at the same time will acknowledge that Platoon probably had the best fights in terms of, "I believe this to be the most accurate depiction of a combat in Vietnam." It also had a lot of impressive jungle scenes. I am not fond of the narration or the general writing. The conflict of world-views seemed somewhat simplistic. I do wonder how we would view Platoon if Stone wasn't a veteran, but that's a counterfactual that I can't really imagine. I love Apocalypse Now, but I am someone who enjoys journey into the darkness of man type of stories that are done on a cinematically spectacular level. Full Metal Jacket (not on the list), I also love for its theme of the socialization of soldiers into killers (accompanied with the sub-theme of the dehumanization of the enemy, and the progression of being able to kill people closer and personal to the soldiers). I just rattled those off, because each of those main Vietnam films have their own focuses and strengths (and weaknesses), and going into this rewatch of The Deer Hunter, I mostly remembered I didn't like the Vietnam scenes beforehand, decided I didn't want to frame it as, "should it be on the list, should it not be on the list?," and went with, "What do I like about this movie? What do I dislike about this movie?" Which I think gave me a more enjoyable experience (something I've said in the past, and then the very next week, I've reverted back to, "does this belong on the list"). Just tossing that out there. Side observation - this is the vietnam movie that Amy likes. I remember she had the thesis that she thinks men like war movies because they are the only movies where men can show vulnerable emotions to each other. I can't help but notice that's definitely more true of this one than Apocalypse Now. I think also more-so than Platoon. Thought I'm wondering (and am too lazy to check) - what non-Vietnam war movies are on the list? Saving Private Ryan... M*A*S*H (though, I think the popularity of that one was due to Vietnam). I'm drawing a blank on what, if anything, else.
  5. ol' eddy wrecks

    Deer Hunter

    I think I'm in the camp that likes it more than others, but it has its flaws. However some of your arguments, I have further questions (or possibly rebuttals). Outside of Fredo, I mean John Cazale, I'm trying to remember to who else in the town is he an asshole. And let's be honest, Fredo was Fredo'ing it up. I think some of the "perfect"-ness of Michael is also a statement on how his actions (the probability, success, and certainty of them) wouldn't seem out of place in the action movies that would follow in the 80s. It also makes me think of Mark Wahlberg's ridiculous take on what he would have done on 9/11 if he was on any of those planes, but that's an aside. In terms of differentiating this from other Vietnam movies, or well, to categorize it in terms of what it's concerned about, at a high level, I'd describe it as the effect the Vietnam war had on average American life. This might be influenced by my thoughts that the Vietnam parts are the worst aspects of the films and the non-Vietnam parts, the best. However, I think that's where the bulk of the movie time is spent. I think I need you to clarify more on how Michael's hunting mentality borders on being a psychopath, since I get the feel from the film that it's supposed to be some type of zen-warrior type of shit. The, "there are plenty of accounts of the North Vietnamese subjecting their prisoners to different types of physical and psychological torture," combined with the beginning of the film supposed to feel realistic, combined with the general sense of, I believe most people didn't go over to Vietnam (at least, outside of the draft age), their knowledge of what "the shit" is, was going to be spread via word-of-mouth. So, I don't think the film should necessarily be let off the hook so easily on the assumption people will know what's fact or what's fiction. I agree with you on what russian roulette was a metaphor for, and something would be lost thematically taking it out, but one has to acknowledge the downside of it confusing the minds of people when discussing what type of tortures the North Vietnamese did to soldiers. The difficulty of disproving a negative (saying russian roulette didn't happen) would also cause the misconception to linger. In terms of people actually playing russian roulette after seeing the film... okay, I don't want to be crass, but that is Darwin Awards stuff, and won't blame the film for that. There's also the issue that it wasn't the North Vietnamese setting up a russian roulette gambling house in the later half of the movie. I can't help but wonder if this even worse because then it just portrays all Vietnamese, not just our enemies in the war, as people who don't value human life.
  6. ol' eddy wrecks

    Do The Right Thing

    I will concede I'm not really engaging with any the complex questions about the movie in that quick take, but it's a Monday night, and it's a prior episode.
  7. ol' eddy wrecks

    Do The Right Thing

    Black Girl is on The Criterion Channel (unsurprisingly), if anyone wants to watch it. I'm a bit late to this episode, but I just wanted to add, the speech Radio Raheem gives is actually from another movie, Night of th... just kidding. I actually assumed everyone knew that for some reason. I have heard an interesting anecdote on it (maybe apocryphal), but someone once asked Spike Lee, "is that Radio Raheem quoting Robert Mitchum or is that Spike Lee quoting Robert Mitchum." Spike reportedly, paused, thought, and after a bit you could see a smile crack out on his face, and he replied, "Radio Raheem doesn't know who the hell Robert Mitchum is." In terms of references to movies already covered on Unspooled, I took the money scene at the end to be a reference to Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Though, in the end Mookie does bend down and pick up the money. But it was the whole principle they were trying to make. Maybe a stretch on my part, but it seemed deliberate.
  8. ol' eddy wrecks

    Do The Right Thing

    I'm not getting to watching this until this weekend, so I can't weigh in on much. In terms of films by black directors, my knowledge is sadly very limited (I mentioned To Sleep with Anger and The Hollywood Shuffle in the upcoming episode thread because they were leaving the criterion channel's/streaming service, well, have now left it). So I will just include this article because it at least lists movies... http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/cover_story/2016/05/the_50_greatest_films_by_black_directors.html I believe The Watermelon Woman (and I know Black Girl) is streaming on the criterion channel. Some of the movies on the list, such as Touki Bouki and Black Girl, aren't American. (e.g. Touki Bouki is from Senegal - or at least the director is). The one director I didn't see on the list was Bill Gunn for Ganja & Hess (remade by Spike Lee as Da Sweet Blood of Jesus). Which admittedly, feels a bit incomplete (maybe because of the rushed situation in which he filmed it). So, while it might not leap to mind as "top 100 movie" type of material, it has interesting flourishes and I find it more interesting and worth watching than a lot of movies on the AFI list (admittedly, I have more idiosyncratic tastes). He's directed two other movies, one sounds like it might have some of the same issues, and the other appears to hard to find.
  9. ol' eddy wrecks

    Toy Story

    I came across the title of this one when googling for examples of toys coming to life. I had not heard of it and did not realize just how close the plot summary is. I will say, of the movies that would trigger a lengthy debate on the merits of the AFI list, I was not expecting it to be, "#99. Toy Story." I don't have strong opinions on it. And it continuing to be on the list is different than being on the list in 2007, but I'll bring up the point that in 2007, the only Pixar films so far were: Toy Story A Bug's Life Toy Story 2 Monsters, Inc Finding Nemo The Incredibles Cars Ratatouille came out in 2007, but probably wouldn't have been out long enough to be considered for the list. I haven't gone through the AFI ballot to see which ones were even considered eligible (the presence of a curated list on the ballot being something I consider to be a great shortcoming of the AFI process). (I guess this is more for @Cambert) But just off of that list, I'm not sure it's obvious that Toy Story isn't the one to pick. Especially in 2007 (admittedly I haven't gone back to watch it, so it might be much weaker than what I remember - but I remember You Story 2 being too heavy on reference humor. Plus the burden of being a sequel). correction: originally had auto-complete mishap of "#99. You Story."
  10. ol' eddy wrecks

    Toy Story

    Just googling, we left off some obvious classics: The Nutcracker Suite and Babes in Toyland.
  11. ol' eddy wrecks

    Toy Story

    What about the broomsticks in The Sorcerer's Apprentice in Fantasia? Oh. I can't remember the backstory for Herby the Lovebug, Kit in Knight Rider, that animated car in that Hanna Barbara cartoon from the 70s. Go-bots and Transformers would probably be adjacent. I also read The Indian in the Cupboard as a kid, which also happened to be adapted to a live action movie, released the same year as Toy Story. There's also the old silent short, A Trip to the Moon (I believe. Never seen it. I just know the iconic image of the rocketship in his eye). The "merit of did it first" debate is a complex one in my head, but somehow, animated inanimate objects in a children's movie doesn't seem that crucial (especially looking back on the long history anthropomorphized inanimate objects in fiction.)
  12. ol' eddy wrecks

    Upcoming Episodes

    Prompted to mention because Do the Right Thing is the next movie up; but I noticed leaving the Criterion Channel on June 30th: Charles Burnett's (also known for Killer of Sheep) To Sleep with Anger Robert Townsend's Hollywood Shuffle I don't know if the other Charles Burnett stuff is leaving (e.g. My Brother's Wedding)
  13. ol' eddy wrecks

    Midnight Cowboy

    I re-watched Muriel and was mistaken. Lots of disorienting time-lapse cuts (that also shifts the camera angle), but no types of flashbacks. A fair amount of Resnais' work involves the issue of memory and how it remains with us.
  14. ol' eddy wrecks

    Midnight Cowboy

    I think I'm being more disparaging than intended by saying, "ape." Mimicing another's technique (and allegedly, Resnais didn't believe in the concept of stealing. He had a line about ideas are in the air, no single person came up with them. Or something to that extent), but doing it well is justified. I think my big issue is the memories in Midnight Cowboy start off with the grandmother and mother seems connectable to a person who would think "I want to go to NYC to be a hustler," and ends with a traumatic event that just doesn't seem to connect with what we see in the present day. Anyhow, I also checked, the American, neo-noir, Point Blank (with Lee Marvin) came out in 1967 also had flashbacks triggered by what's currently happening. IIRC (and it's not a given that I do), they spend a longer time in the flashback, so, unlike Hiroshima or Midnight Cowboy, it feels less like a passing/immediate thought, and more like a flashback. But the random jumping/triggering does have that image association quality, quick cut, that is more implying transition of thought of the main character rather than transition of narration as presented by the director.
  15. ol' eddy wrecks

    Midnight Cowboy

    The walkman wasn't invented until 1979. You can't fault him too much for playing the radio on the bus. I guess it depends how loud he was listening to it. The flashback editing (associating memories with what they're seeing) seems to ape Resnais' style in at least Hiroshima mon Amour (1959) - though by the end you do get the full expository, traditional, flashback. I'd have to rewatch Muriel (1963); Je t'aime, je t'aime (1968) and Last Year in Marienbad (1961) to see if he also did that exact same technique in there. I want to say yes on Muriel. For Je t'aime, je t'aime think the flashbacks were more traditional in the transition (since there was a scientific device for time travel, so technically not flashbacks. Though they did separate other experimental things, such as change the actress who played his wife in different scenes, IIRC). And I don't think Marienbad had flashbacks. That said, I think the flashbacks were the most interesting part of the movie. That and the scenes of Buck's initial homelessness. And the transition from being a fake Texan coming to New York, to looking like he might be a fake New Yorker coming to Miami. I felt the stream of consciousness fantasy for Dustin Hoffman in Miami went on for too long, but overall my two biggest issues were raised in the Ebert review. 1. If you were to excise the flashbacks from the movie, you would barely have any indication that Joe Buck suffered what should have been an incredibly traumatic event. Like, in anything, like mannerisms... anything. The best explanation I could come up with was, he didn't know how to emotionally handle it, and just really, really repressed it, which makes the violence at the end actually make more sense. He would just be kind of not emotionally right inside in terms of violence, but gets by day to day in denial about everything (and not thinking about it). 2. I don't really get why him and Ratzo really bonded over anything other than being in proximity and time passed. And the next big issue is just, the turn of events by getting invited to the party just felt like such a sudden change of fortune, it seemed jarring, and not in the intended way. Though that's less of a fundamental problem I had than the previous two. I enjoyed this movie a fair amount actually. Listening to the episode afterwards though, hearing Ebert emphasize the problems I did have with it, makes me more iffy on saying yes or no if I'd put it on my hypothetical ballot for the list. That said, I liked it better as a movie than probably most things we've seen so far. But not Taxi Driver. Or Apocalypse Now. ETA: On the Overlook feedback, Paul said he didn't know if TCM was too... something (unpolished?) to be on the list. Maybe, compared to what else in on the list, but fwiw it's #183 on the BFI sight & sound critics list (The Shining and Don't Look Now are also somewhere in the 101-200 range. The Exorcist didn't get many mentions in the poll/i.e. low spot on the list).
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