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About Susan*

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  1. Susan*

    Annie Hall

    The good thing about being a sort of Woody Allen fan for years was that he tended to release a movie every year that I could see over the Easter break when my family usually abandoned me. For some reason, when it comes to the older films, I can set aside any thoughts about what may have been happening in his real life. There were plenty of movies I didn't enjoy but then there were the near perfect ones once in a while and that made it worth it. Plus they were alway different from the other movies available to me in my local theaters. I eventually lost interest in Allen's movies but not till after Manhattan Murder Mystery, and I think it was more that I didn't care for the movies he was making, of maybe I was tired of him, but I don't think it was tied to anything in his personal life. That's a bit odd for me because I'm super judgmental and all kinds of things can turn me off of an actor or filmmaker. Maybe I just go back so far with Woody that I can separate the movies from the moviemaker. I can also love parts of his movies while hating other parts--it helps that so many of them are made up of little stories about individual characters. Like I'd watch Hannah her sisters and fast forward through the Barbara Hershey parts. Although I later sought out all the early movies in video stores, the first Allen film I saw was Annie Hall. My parents took me to see it after the Oscars. I was too young and they hated it. there was something that appealed to me though so when I was older it was one of the first movies I sought out again when I started getting seriously interested in films.
  2. Susan*

    Star Wars

    ^^ there's a lot to like about Empire, but I agree that Star Wars can stand alone. It would deserve to be on the list even if there hadn't been sequels. Jaws is one of my favorite movies. It also happens to be the first movie I remember seeing in a theater that was a huge event. Then Rocky. Then Star Wars. But Star Wars obviously went beyond being a movie -- all the little boys I knew had the toys, the album, the home furnishings, and fast food tie ins. And US childhood was never the same. I understand why they had to make the next two movies, but I wish they had stopped there. (just a random thought, but it's puzzled me why I didn't see Empire in the theater, and likely didn't see it till I rented a VHS tape at some point, and I remember the press around Return of the Jedi far more than around Empire. I mean, Empire was obviously a big huge deal but something must have been going on in my life at that point, because I was movie obsessed but it was a big blank spot for me.) Also, I think Friendly Fire had a fun podcast about Star Wars.
  3. Susan*

    Forrest Gump

    I seem to remember a time when I thought I'd listen to all the podcasts and have a letterbox list to follow along. And I remember posting that I'd try to re-watch the movies, except for Forrest Gump because that would be too big a punishment. I largely gave up on the podcast, but I listened to this episode in hopes that they would trash the movie. This is the first time I was really on Paul's side during a podcast, until the very end when he messed up by leaving Gump in because it was so popular. I saw this movie in a theater during it's initial run and I hated it at the time. After years of being fairly interested in some parts of the Oscar show, this was they year that I completely lost faith. I can't remember whether Amy or Paul mentioned that this came out around the time W was emerging as a politician and that was an apt comment. Like this movie is similar to liking a bologna sandwich. I try not to be judge-y about pure movie taste but this movie is trash. Sorry. But i'm glad I got that off my chest. (I'm going to try and come back next week in hopes of hearing about a good movie. The Best Years of Our Lives is not perfect, but it's a time capsule movie, in a good way, not like Gump. And with Myrna Loy!)
  4. Susan*


    Rocky is one of the only movies I saw more than once during its initial run in theaters. I only saw Star Wars once. I watched it about a year ago and thought it was still great. I loved Creed. I voted for it as best movie of that year in the Canon podcast. Amy's been wrong about Creed for a long time. Listening to all the Ryan Coogler interviews about Creed and the Rocky movies made me re-watch Rocky II -- he talked it up. That's an interesting movie. Some real flaws but worth a watch.
  5. Susan*


    I really enjoyed this podcast -- i didn't get to it till yesterday. I've appreciated all the effort they've made to get interesting guests, but this one was my favorite. What a treat! The podcast really made me want to see the movie again, because like many people I didn't care for it when I saw it years ago. When we used to have several busy revival houses, I made an effort to see all the Altman movies and Alan Rudolph movies (and movies by many other directors from the 60s and 70s that movie magazines featured when I was in high school and college). Altman made a lot of movies and I rarely enjoyed them. I have always been attracted to movies that have great dialogue and clever plots over movies that are well photographed and atmospheric. But I think I've finally turned a corner where I can be more appreciative -- especially if I can force myself to see a movie where there are no easy distractions. I saw Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on its opening weekend and I really liked it. It reminded me of Alan Rudolph movies and the fact that I liked it made me wonder if I should give some of those movies another chance now that maybe I'm in the right head space?
  6. Susan*

    The Maltese Falcon

    That's always been my take on it as well.
  7. Susan*

    The Philadelphia Story

    BTW, all this thinking about old romantic comedies made me watch My Man Godfrey again tonight. For most of my life, if you caught that movie on TV it would have such a horrible soundtrack you could barely hear the dialogue. Bless Amazon for having a decent version.
  8. Susan*

    The Philadelphia Story

    I haven't listened to the Bringing Up Baby episode, but I prefer that movie. I'm not talking as a critic but just what I enjoy. For whatever its minor issues, every time I run into that movie on TV, I wind up watching the whole thing. Philadelphia Story was one of my mom's favorite movies. She took me to see it when it played on a big temporary screen at a modern art museum when I was young (shortly before videos of movies became widely available). She was dying to show it to me. So it's a special classic movie for me. My mom loved Hepburn and Tracy. I've always preferred her without him, though I tend to to watch the Desk Set around Christmas sometimes. I adore Jimmy Stewart always. He's almost enough to make this rise above Bringing Up Baby. I'm such a sucker for old movies. I can usually set aside dated scenes/moments. But I can't get past Philadelphia Story's scenes where her father and Cary Grant pick at Hepburn about not being the right kind of woman -- i usually fast forward through those scenes to avoid ruining the movie.
  9. Susan*

    In The Heat Of The Night

    My mom grew up in Illinois and Indiana, and lived in the South as a young adult. She loved this movie (and Sidney Poitier) with a fiery passion. She raised me in Minneapolis, which has and had its own challenges with different sorts of discrimination, but she frequently schooled me on social issues using her past experiences as examples and using movies including this one. So this movie holds a special place for me. And I love the performances. I'm glad Amy interviewed national treasure Lee Grant. I'd heard about the HUAC stuff from her before in more detail but this was a nice side feature to this podcast.
  10. Susan*

    In The Heat Of The Night

    I listened to this episode today in part because I just finished that book. I'll try just about any movie written about making movies and I've been going through a bunch of recommended ones I can find at the library. I'll admit to skipping the parts about The Graduate because I'm just so tired of hearing about that movie. I remember as a kid how big a disappointment Dr. Doolittle was, though I remember nothing about the movie. I just remember it being on TV and me being excited because Talking Animals! and wow was it dreadful. Like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. No one should make a movie for kids that's so long. But interesting to hear that it premiered at an old Minneapolis theater where I still attend concerts (I didn't know if had been a movie theater decades ago).
  11. Susan*


    Next week will be interesting for me. I'm going to try and re-watch Tootsie. I used to love that movie--in part because my parents loved it. I always brushed aside the bullshit in the press when Hoffman sort of embraced feminism when promoting the movie, and I always had problems with Jessica Lange's character but the good parts really appealed to me for years. And I repeat, my parents loved that movie. They would quote lines from the movie. My parents are dead and watching movies together could be a pretty big deal so I get emotional about some film memories. Also from the time I was young, some of the early Hoffman films appealed to me even though he sometimes drove me crazy with the overacting. I loved Kramer vs. Kramer so it was tough to read a couple of years ago that he was so awful to Streep. And now I'm not sure I can enjoy anything about Tootsie given its lip service to female power (sort of in an 80s way) in light of the sum total of stories about Hoffman. Also Tootsie might have the worst soundtrack of all time. So soft 80s, so horrible.
  12. Susan*


    That seems appropriate to me, and I like the way you put it. When something has been celebrated as long as Chinatown and Polanski, I wonder if it's just a human temptation to try and say something fresh/interesting even if it's wrong? Seems like you really have to try hard to argue that Chinatown was great without celebrating Polanski. Regarding the character of the director, I don't even understand my own feelings on this stuff. I don't know why I can still watch some classic movies with underlying issues re cast/crew but not others. Chinatown isn't a movie I'd want to see again anyhow. I am such a huge fan of 70s movies and film noir and Dunaway, and I know in my head that Chinatown is an incredibly well-crafted movie, but there's always been something about Chinatown that stopped me from enjoying it. If L.A. Confidential was on cable now, it's 50/50 I'd watch it again, but not Chinatown. It feels wrong saying it, but it's how I feel. One of the million reasons why I couldn't be a film critic.
  13. Susan*

    All the President’s Men

    Regarding Watergate vs. the present: The Final Days has been a scary read for me. All the detail in that book about Nixon not listening to his lawyers, and Republicans supporting him for a very long time even after he was clearly obstructing justice -- well it doesn't support the discussions I see on cable news today about how Watergate was different because republicans challenged their president in the 1970s. Almost every republican supported Nixon until he turned over the tapes.
  14. Susan*

    All the President’s Men

    I had mostly quit listening to the podcast because of past frustration with Paul--you obviously need to love his personality to be a regular listener. I should have remembered that the worst time to listen to any podcast is when it's talking about a favorite movie! I kept wanting to hit my head against my car window. I think the movie is perfect in accomplishing what it's trying to do. It might not be everyone's taste but I love the whole thing. So many classic/talented actors. Jane Alexander is a particular favorite. Movies about investigative reporters are in my wheelhouse in general. And classic 70s movies tend to be my taste. I love that they don't spoon feed the viewer. I love the grinding pace, it fits what they're trying to show. And the reporters have different personalities but they are both so ambitious and they figure out how to work together. My mom was obsessed with Watergate, she watched it on TV all day long, read every book, and my parents argued about some of the key players for years over the dinner table. Over the years, I've read many of the participants' books. As well as other Watergate books, including a bio of the Jack Warden character. But I'd never read a Woodward and Bernstein one until recently. I don't like what Woodward turned into, which started right after the Watergate success. Then because it's come up often in discussing Trump, I've been reading The Final Days, and I had recently read about a third of All the President's Men. I've seen the movie many times and I recognized that most scenes in the beginning the movie track surprisingly closely to the book. From the first appearance in court, and the other character' discussion of the background given to the two authors, and Woodward's phone call with Dahlberg -- dialogue is the same. The book also contains a footnote about the kidnapping Dahlberg mentions in the call (which is a famous one in MN). During the podcast, they said the director's name over and over and they pronounced it in a way I'd never heard before, then the guest came in and said it the usual way. That sort of thing wouldn't usually bother me but it probably hurt me more because they didn't properly appreciate the movie. I liked the guest. I feel a little bad that I didn't love The Post. It was hard to get around Tom Hanks, and I'll never be sure whether it is because I'm tired of Tom Hanks in general, because the real Ben Bradlee is so well known, or whether it's the Jason Robards Ben Bradlee I like even better than the real one. There was no way Tom Hanks was going to be able to please me.
  15. Susan*


    I understand why Psycho was genius at the time, but it left me cold. As everyone has said (including in the podcast), you can't see it fresh so it's tough to guess exactly how big a deal it would have been to see it in theaters during its initial release. Among other things, I saw the shower scene in Mel Brooks' High Anxiety before I saw Psycho. I was thinking that there might be ten Hitchcock films I personally prefer, though I can't really advocate that they be on someone else's all-time-most-important film list. I've been a huge Hitchcock fan since I was a child -- my mom was a huge fan. I've never liked Vertigo as much as critics either (though I like it much more than Psycho). With Vertigo I think the problem is that it was one of the last well-known Hitchcock movies I saw and by the time I saw it I'd heard that it was a masterpiece and maybe nothing could have lived up to the hype. It's been a bit of a slog for me in the last few weeks so I'm glad that it's Raiders next week. That's a perfect film.