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Harry Lime

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  1. Harry Lime

    Bonus Reel: Joker & Taxi Driver

    I agree with Amy 100% about movies like this that "Frankenstein" older movies instead of just paying subtle homage to them. Get Out is another example of that. I enjoyed that movie, but it borrowed so heavily from The Stepford Wives that you could predict what was going to happen if you were familiar with the older movie/novel (except for the ending, which was made more upbeat after test screenings). That's why I don't agree with those who say Get Out should eventually be added to the AFI Top 100 list. It seems better for the list to feature movies that created a new mold rather than just reusing an old one.
  2. Harry Lime


    Okay, so picture that famous moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door in black and white to reveal the Land of Oz in vivid color. Are you saying this scene is "a bug, not a feature" because it wouldn't have worked for the vast majority of that 1956 television audience, who would have been watching on black and white TVs? Those viewers could truthfully claim to have seen the movie, but they wouldn't have felt the impact that scene was meant to have. That's all I'm saying: sometimes a person might have a "meh" reaction to a movie because they saw it differently than its makers expected. Nobody's at fault for that. It's just something that happens as new technologies emerge and evolve.
  3. Harry Lime


    I get what you're saying, but it wasn't spectacle I as much as intention that was the issue I was trying to raise. Hitchcock couldn't have imagined anyone would ever watch Vertigo on a phone. He thought everybody would see it in a theater, so that's how he made it. Here's how Walter Murch, who edited Apocalypse Now and The Godfather Part II, describes the difference in approach: "Sometimes ... you can get caught up in the details and lose track of the overview. When that happens to me, it is usually because I have been looking at the image as the miniature it is in the editing room, rather than seeing it as the mural that it will become when projected in a theater. . . One of the tricks I use to help me achieve this perspective is to cut out little paper dolls--a man and a woman--and put one on each side of the editing screen: The size of the dolls (a few inches high) is proportionately correct to make the screen seem as if it is thirty feet wide." (In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing, 2nd Edition, 2001, p. 21-22) Filmmakers today, on the other hand, will naturally assume audiences will be trying to judge the merit of their films on small screens at some point, so they can (and do) take that into account.
  4. Harry Lime


    Sorry if this has come up before (I just discovered this podcast and have been bingeing it), but have Paul and Amy mentioned how they are watching these films? On small computer screens, maybe? A friend and I saw Vertigo for the first time in a movie theater and were absolutely stunned and mesmerized. We could barely speak coherently after the screening. I've seen it on TV a few times since then, and it just didn't have the same effect. The older movies on this list weren't created to be streamed through Netflix onto handheld devices. It would be like trying to judge the value of Michelangelo's paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by looking at thumbnails on your iPhone. An image is overwhelming when you have to crane your neck and gaze side to side to take in the entirety of it. I suspect that our hosts are dismissing so many of the movies on the list because they might literally be looking down on them when they view them. Think, for example, about the typewriter key that slams into a page to open All The President's Men. The innocuous key is meant to appear two or three times as tall as you and the bang should hurt your ears, sending you the message that this is actually a weapon powerful enough to take down a sitting president. When Alex's face opens A Clockwork Orange, you should feel as though a malevolent giant just fixed his gaze on you and is smirking at your insignificance (and, incidentally, the big lashes on his right eye should make the eyeball look like a giant cog in, say ... clockwork.) Just wanted to point this out. I hope that Paul and Amy are indeed watching these great movies on the biggest screens they can manage (and that, if not, they can fix that before the time comes to watch Lawrence of Arabia!).