Jump to content
🔒 The Earwolf Forums are closed Read more... ×

Quasar Sniffer

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Quasar Sniffer

  1. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 97 1776

    Honestly, I really enjoyed the hell out of this. I've known about the musical for forever but had never seen it, neither on stage or in film. I guess... I've been sort of pushing against the mythos of the Founding Fathers for a long time, and while the film does play in that sandbox (especially with Jefferson), I found 1776 generally irresistible. I love that it pointed out the hypocrisy of both the South AND the North in their mutual complicity for slavery, even as the Northern representatives decried the practice for its inhumanity. And, like @Cameron H., I really do admire John Adams, and I enjoy seeing these events from his perspective. He spoke more eloquently and forcefully against slavery (having never owned one) than any other of these rich white dudes, and just... as someone with a cold, desiccated heart, I can't help but be warmed by his genuine love and respect for his wife. The lifelong love affair and friendship between those two is so remarkable, especially for the time, that I can't help but look at the two of them with great fondness. Two brilliant minds buoyed by their connection to one another.
  2. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 96 Fiddler on the Roof

    So before we do the Pick Thread for next week, I just wanted to thank everyone for indulging me in this particular film, as it's one I love quite a bit. Also, sorry if my big rant at the beginning took things a bit... seriously. I didn't mean to kill the fun mood or anything, it's just the movie makes me think about serious topics and I just find myself taking shit kinda seriously lately. So yeah, thanks everyone!
  3. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 96 Fiddler on the Roof

    Agreed. Old age makeup is something that is rarely done convincingly, but it's done exceptionally well in Fiddler. This is Topol from For Your Eyes Only, made 10 years later, but he still looks younger than Tevye.
  4. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 96 Fiddler on the Roof

    He doesn't, and that's one of the strengths of his character, and what makes him such a great ambassador to this world for the audience. He doesn't blame anyone for his own misfortunes, except God, and even then, it's more like, "God, You say the poor are the most blessed. So I could stand a little less blessing maybe?" [not an exact quote, but you get the idea]. He acknowledges his misfortunes, but moves forward and is still able to celebrate "To Life!" He's even admiring when he sees that attitude expressed in his eldest daughter and her husband, the tailor. "They are so happy, they don't know how miserable they are!"
  5. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 96 Fiddler on the Roof

    I have not seen the play, but yeah, even considering how much of a fan I am of this film, the "dream" doesn't work. Too long and unfunny.... and it's filmed like a dream when it's just totally made up... which makes it seem like the movie thinks it's funny?
  6. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 96 Fiddler on the Roof

    JAMES BOND CONNECTIONS! The most prominent is Topol (oh Topol, what a lovable charmer), who plays Milos Columbo in For Your Eyes Only Vernon Dobtcheff, who plays the black-suited Russian official who appears menacingly right before the wedding, played Max Kalba in The Spy Who Loved Me. Cinematography by Oswald Morris who photographed The Man With the Golden Gun. Set decoration by Peter Lamont who did set decoration, art direction, and production design for 18 James Bond films
  7. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 96 Fiddler on the Roof

    You better fucking believe I love me some laser wolves!
  8. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 96 Fiddler on the Roof

    Ok, deep breath... So this movie has fascinated me for a long time. It definitely pairs with the other movie adaptation of a spiritually focused musical directed by Norman Jewison in the early 1970s, Jesus Christ Superstar. The latter is definitely a much lower budget endeavor which puzzles me considering such a monster hit Fiddler on the Roof Was. I think in college I was looking up what were the most successful movies in big, important years in cinema and I was shocked to see what a phenomenon Fiddler was. A year before The Godfather, two years after Easy Rider supposedly made old Hollywood ideas (like epic musicals) extinct, was this, to me, an anomaly of a film. I know the Broadway musical was a smash, but a three-hour musical about pogroms, poverty, and the conflict between tradition and modernity in late Tsarist Russia seemed so unlikely to me. Plus, one of the most challenging and rewarding classes I took in college, around the time I discovered this movie, was a History of Russia class, much of which focused on this exact time period. Structurally, I think this musical is interesting from the get-go because it kind of has an "I want" song in "Tradition," but what Tevye wants is for things to stay the same as they always have been, just if he could maybe have a little more money and have to work a little less hard. Especially considering how much his family and his entire life are upended by the end of the film, our protagonist is actively opposing progress throughout the movie (though he's more open to change than a lot of his fellow villagers). Tevye is our window into this world, but what fascinated me about him is that he's just a bit beyond an Everyman character: he's a little smarter, a little wiser, a little funnier, has a little more perspective, works a little harder, has a little more of an active relationship with God, and is willing to bend the rules a little more than his fellow villagers. Not a lot, but a little. And all of those little bits make him, to me, a hero. So by the end, even when it takes his entire family yelling at him for him to acknowledge his daughter again, even if only for a moment, we see him carting all his belongings through the mud with a rope over his shoulder, he is a hero. Sure, we'd like him to be heroic enough to accept his daughter with open arms at that moment, but in this moment in history, in this movie, that is just a bridge too far. Tevye's life has been entirely upended by these gentile Russians; his daughter's wedding was ruined, his family is displaced, and his ancestral home destroyed. And now his own child is married to one? FUCK. I think that's a wonderful illustration of the theme of Tradition introduced in the opening song. It's tradition that this town, this community, this religion, has survived for millenia, living through pogroms and crusades and genocide. Their entire existence lives on the precipice of destruction (like that Fiddler), so of course this community depends on tradition to keep it together and alive. It is to Tevye's credit that he is able to recognize the damaging, or at least not useful, elements of that tradition and let it go, so his daughters can find happiness. Sure he grumbles about God and his fate, but he comes around eventually. Musically, the film stands out as it embodies that tradition with its orchestration and instrumentation. It combines 20th century modes of storytelling (the Broadway/big film musical) with sounds and rhythms of traditional Jewish music and culture. We are listening to the give and take of progress vs. tradition that is going on in Tevye's own mind. I know a lot of people are bothered by the tonal shift after the intermission, but I actually find it thematically appropriate. I think it is indicative of the life of Jews in Eastern Europe for much of the last, well, millennia. That is, existing on the edge between livable misery and intolerable trauma, going from where one is able to joke about one's living conditions in order to suffer through it, to tragedy so severe it constitutes a landmark break from everything one knows and cherishes. They lived that edge-of-the rooftop existence every day for generations. I have MANY more thoughts on this film, but I will end this rant by saying that this movie connects to me even on a spiritual level. The tableau at the end of the film, with the villagers, now refugees, staring starkly and longingly into both the camera and their grim future, breaks my heart. These images echo every Jewish refugee in history, from ancient Babylon to the Holocaust, and the Boomer generation that made up much of the audience for this film, whose own familes barely escaped or were victims of that genocide, it must has been harrowing. Me being Catholic, it affects me in a different way; in that I am reminded of all the refugee crises America has ignored since then, from Syria to those at our own border. It's reprehensible and tragic on a global scale and, personally, it's against everything I believe in to ignore people in such poverty and pain. The Bible is full of Jewish refugees that it frames as heroes, not just the many mentioned in Fiddler on the Roof, but also that one Jesus guy. So any Christian who would ignore these people, or participate in their destruction, makes me just so fucking angry. There's a panoply of movies about global crises of the present or the past, but maybe it's the smallness of the scale of this film combined with the scale of the music that makes it connect with me so deeply.
  9. Yeah, we've really been diving into some epic-length musicals lately. You are all too kind for indulging me in this one. Thank you.
  10. Quasar Sniffer

    Star Wars Podcast

    Definitely endorse this podcast. The Jaws and Star Wars series were outstanding. Haven't checked out Binge Mode thought.
  11. Oh shit, I could have sworn I checked, but I guess I missed it! Thank you!
  12. Oh! And if the group would just want to discuss Hamilton this week, I can defer and do my pick next time.
  13. Ok, this has been a movie I've wanted to cover in this group since it's inception, both because it's great (one of my aboltute favorite musicals) and we've covered so much of the Norman Jewison oeuvre already, the completist in me wants to watch it. I've waited for it to be free on streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime and it just hasn't happened. So... I'm just gonna pick it now. If the group would rather I pick something else (this being a pandemic and all), I would gladly change my pick (I do have an alternate that I would like to revisit anyway). Please let me know. After all, if I were a rich man, I would be buying way more movies.
  14. Quasar Sniffer

    Episode 242 - The Boyfriend School

    This struck me as especially strange, since I've actually had jellyfish salad and it's very inoffensive tasting, mostly it's a delivery device for sauce or dressing. It'd be like vomiting over eating iceberg lettuce. And @Cameron H., I thought the EXACT same thing about Shakespearean comedies. I thought it was interesting since, reading Shakespeare and romance novels are such aesthetically different experiences, but this movie sort of merged the two. I'm not saying it was successful, but it was a neat idea. I know there is a LOT of the movie before Mr. Gute shows up as Lobo, but I think his sister's motivations would be better explained if we got more backstory on what his character was before his illness. Maybe even, for example, Shelly Long tries to hang a picture of her brother atop his Harley in the Andes mountains to remind him that, five years ago, he traveled from Alaska to South America on an epic multi-continent motorcycle/mountain-climbing trip just before he got sick. But now, he's in recovery and he shows no signs of that fearlessness and daring coming back. In fact, he's sinking deeper into depression than he ever was while sick, so Long is just desperate to make her brother well again and she sees this opportunity to contrive a romance as a way to force her brother into mental and physical health, even if they both have to "fake it until they make it," which does occur by the end anyway.
  15. Quasar Sniffer

    Episode 241.5 — Prequel to Episode 242

    Not a summer movie, but I thought appropriate...
  16. I had to give up on Unspooled early on. I know it's good to take a second look at sacred cows, but Scorsese one of my favorite filmmakers and it felt like Amy Nicholson just relished in taking a dump on him at every opportunity because he was over-represented on the AFI list. I didn't even get the sense that she liked movies, just that she liked having opinions about them. There were three or four episodes in a row where she accused male characters of being incels just because they weren't getting laid on screen and at that point, I was out. It felt like the attacks she was making were very personal, on the people who liked those movies, so it was very unpleasant to listen to. ANYWAY, I think the strongest sequence in Beats, Rhymes, and Life was when Q-Tip and Phife were recounting the same events that led to A Tribe Called Quest's breakup, but from their own perspective. When Q-Tip said in an interview "I don't have beef with Phife, Phife has beef with me," he felt all he was saying was that he had no beef with Phife. Phife, on the other hand, thought Q-Tip was saying, "it's that CRAZY Phife who's wrecking the group, not me!" I think they were both coloring events to make their own side look better and both being a bit unreasonable.... but both also kind of right. It was a great illustration of how two old friends who had made great art together could let their egos get in the way of forgiving each other over minor (or even imagined) slights. I just wish the documentary had more of that insight. Seeing how the band reformed to make another album and Phife's tragic death, I would love to see a film documenting their reformation and their reaction to Phife dying. There's got to be a great story there. Did it take the shadow of a best friend's impending demise allow the group to bury the hatchet, or was it something simpler? Did they just... start talking again one day? If not, who put them in touch again?
  17. All the promotion, episode title, etc. should be "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," but in the actual episode they make ZERO mention of the film, and the movie they will actually be discussing is 'Queen of the Damned.'
  18. Quasar Sniffer

    Episode 240: Megaforce LIVE from Montreal!

    When we're talking flimsy, impractical vehicles ridden by handsome blonde heroes into a sci-fi battle, I will always go FLASH (aaahhhh-aahhhh)
  19. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 92 Mamma Mia!

    Sorry to involve my Metal Nonsense in an ABBA thread, but I figured this would be the best place to share music/HDTGM crossover content. So if you are into the anachronistic swords-and-magic aesthetic of the 2011 film SEASON OF THE WITCH, then may I suggest... Wolftooth - Season of the Witch (Sorry, for some reason, Youtube absolutely refuses to allow this video to be embedded). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2En3oxF3mk
  20. Quasar Sniffer

    Megaforce: Declassified

    Your excitement makes me excited. This will be a first-time viewing for me!
  21. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 91 Hello Again

    Oh man, I love the Rankin & Bass Hobbit. I know it's not perfect, but it really has an indelible tone that few other animated films have. It's that singular sense of antiquity that sets the story apart from the Lord of the Rings books that came later, as well as other animated and fantasy films. It was also my first exposure to Tolkien as a kid.
  22. Quasar Sniffer

    Episode 238.5 — Prequel to 239

    Credit for the look and the style, also the inspiration, but doing paintings (as stone-cold brilliant as Frazetta was) is different from crafting an actual film.
  23. Quasar Sniffer

    Episode 238.5 — Prequel to 239

    Bakshi will forever have my love for Fire And Ice:
  24. Quasar Sniffer

    Musical Mondays Week 86 Purple Rain

    Oh man, I wish I knew this existed when we did this movie. A couple of my favorite metal bands, Baroness and Mutoid Man (frequent collaborators and tour buds) teamed up to pay tribute to Prince shortly after he died. This was the result and I LOVE IT. (the intro features some VERY NSFW musings from Ice-T).