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Everything posted by joshg

  1. joshg

    Episode 236 — The Great Wall (Live)

    Maybe he wasn't philosophizing so much as speaking from his own personal experience as a fly.
  2. joshg

    Episode 236 — The Great Wall (Live)

    The Taotei reproduce upon being fed by their own offspring. From a certain point of view, they are basically inseminated by their own kids. Is that insect-like? Is there any example of a living creature that is that incestuous, fictional or otherwise?
  3. We could just ask B*tch McConnell. If only his portrait was hung on the wall at the Turtle Club. That joke alone would earn this film 5 stars.
  4. joshg

    The Gold Rush

    Another loose Star Wars connection: In the penultimate episode of the 2nd season of Felicity (a.k.a. the best show of all time), written by J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves, Felicity and Ben watch The Gold Rush. Ben had previously stood Felicity up, so he makes amends by finding the movie (and, one assumes, a projector). They set it up on their rooftop and watch the film (at least until after the dinner roll scene) and make out and it's all so beautiful you just want to die.
  5. Yes, I was at a Boston show for an episode that hasn't dropped yet. If other audiences are anything like the audience from that night, then some angel is editing these podcasts to an extent that I hadn't appreciated until now. Is it just me or are audiences more obnoxious these days? It didn't seem so long ago when people would behave respectfully at a show.
  6. Or....this is a meta commentary on the inscrutability of this movie. The book is intended for viewers of Master of Disguise, the film we are watching. This movie happened to us, we are the "dummies". Half the book deals with the Magic vs. Acting? debate, and there is an entire chapter devoted to Bo Derek entitled "James Brolin's Vagina".
  7. Hi everyone! Paul wondered where the $16 million budget came from. Might I suggest the soundtrack? Consider these songs: Walking on Sunshine; Papa Don't Preach; Whip It; Eye of the Tiger; Conga (Miami Sound Machine); U Can't Touch This (M.C. Hammer); Happy Face (Destiny's Child); and the themes from Jaws and Chariots of Fire, just to name a few. This is the soundtrack to a major blockbuster film, not this movie. Perhaps the director said to the music director, "use a song like this" (names the most obvious placeholder song he can think of)....and then they were too lazy to find a cheaper version, so they just used those exact songs.
  8. It's almost as if the filmmakers retro-fitted a script to give their two leads something to do together.
  9. Late to the party here, but for anyone still curious about the difference in violin-playing ability between the two main actors... check this out! If you don't watch the whole video at least check it out from 10:20. They demonstrate what the music would really sound like based on the visuals. Hilarious.
  10. At the risk of stating the obvious, I just want to point out that "Strings and Dance" competitions are not a thing. Sure, there are dance competitions. But they dance to something called MUSIC, not any one particular instrument. Why distinguish strings from, say, woodwinds or percussion? Are they judging the playing or are they judging the dancing? If they're supposed to be judging the overall symbiosis between the two art forms, then who gives a shit what kind of instruments are playing the music? What happens if Group B had the best dancing but Group C had the best violinist? There were 3 judges on that panel. We would assume that at least one was a dance expert and another was a violin expert. How would they be expected to agree on anything? it's like speaking different languages. There very much do exist string competitions...there are competitions for every instrument. But the judges are experts on that instrument, and aren't going to be distracted by another discipline which they know nothing about. On America's Got Talent the 4 judges have different backgrounds or areas of expertise, but the point is they are judging based on commercial appeal across the board, not artistic merit as they would do in a conservatory. Add to these complications the fact that the three groups were performing completely different styles. In fact, the only thing they had in common was that there was a dancer and a string player. One had ballet and a back-up orchestra. The other was faux-hip-hop with an urban dance crew. With all those variables (and only three entrants) it's a miracle they picked anyone. Finally, if Johnny was so against formal classical training, why did he have "sforzando" tattooed on his arm, an Italian term only used in formal classical score-reading?
  11. I take it you're not looking forward to the sequel, "High Cs", where a bunch of young opera singers cut loose by crashing neighborhood Karaoke bars?
  12. I believe this was a conservatory, modeled after Juilliard, as opposed to a performing arts high school a la Fame. Schools like Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, your state university School Music or Dance, etc. are standard 4-year college programs with a Bachelor's degree (they also offer Masters and Doctorates). Almost all of the courses are arts-related (private lessons, group classes, rehearsals, ensemble, theory, music history, ear training, etc.) but you may have to take one humanities per semester. The little Asian kid was probably a pre-college student. Most of these schools offer lessons to students younger than college age to help pay the bills and recruit for their degree programs. At a prestigious school like Juilliard the pre-college program is widely seen as a foot-in-the-door for acceptance through the highly competitive admissions process.
  13. Don't forget that jerky violin boi was borrowing the school's bow. The lender guy literally said, "You break it, you buy it." You would think that, after he broke his own bow merely by playing Bartok, he would choose to avoid other violent bow-related activities such as, I don't know, whacking someone else's bow in a game of Fiddle Fencing.
  14. It's all very lazy and confusing because there is contemporary dance, and then there is contemporary ballet. As a ballet dancer, one would assume that "contemporary" in Ruby's case meant she had to learn contemporary ballet, where you're still on pointe but not limited to the classic French moves. So maybe, giving this movie more credit than it deserves, the judges were shocked to see straight-out urban hip-hop style dancing, where the Crew weren't even on pointe.
  15. joshg

    City Lights

    Amy marveled at how the audience applauded for 90 seconds when Chaplin received his honorary Oscar. But that clip on Youtube, posted on the Oscars Youtube channel, is highly edited. The ovation in real life lasted TWELVE MINUTES! The longest in Academy history....that is crazy. It was great that they got a true Chaplin expert like Dan Kamin; I hope they can bring him back for the remaining films.
  16. joshg

    City Lights

    He talks in his later films, including Monsieur Verdoux and Limelight (both good films, though departures from his Little Tramp silent films). I believe Great Dictator was the only time he talked as some variation of the Little Tramp character.
  17. joshg

    Episode 206 - Little Italy

    I believe they did the same thing at the end of Sweet Home Alabama. Because apparently being out in Toronto in 2018 is still as much of a novelty as it was in the deep south in 2002.
  18. joshg

    In The Heat Of The Night

    Well that film got notoriously ignored by the Oscars in its year. Moral of the story: bringing the Academy Awards into the discussion is an exercise in frustration.
  19. joshg

    In The Heat Of The Night

    Paul talked about how this was a perfect "bridge movie" for the Academy Awards, smack in the middle of The Music Man and the subversive Bonnie and Clyde. First of all, it wasn't The Music Man, it was Dr. Doolittle (the Music Man was 5 years earlier). But Paul and Amy gave major short shrift to how epic that year's Oscars race was. You guys HAVE to read what must be one of the best books written about Hollywood: "Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood" by Mark Harris. (for what it's worth, Quentin Tarantino calls it "one of the best books I've read in my life", as quoted on Amazon) When I read it I didn't know which film had won for Best Picture, and it was riveting to see how the race played out, and what those five films said about Hollywood and America at the time. Looking back, 1967 was the pivotal moment when Hollywood started to shed the old-fashioned Biblical epics and movie musicals and moving toward socially relevant, auteurist fare. So in 1967 you had two revolutionary films, still considered classics, that captured the Vietnam-era American malaise: Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate two films starring Sidney Poitier that tackled contemporary issues of race and prejudice, albeit in different ways: In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? and a film that "old Hollywood" shoved down that Academy's throat, just because they wasted so much money on it and wanted to at least reap some critical self-acclaim even if no one paid to see it in theaters: Dr. Doolittle From what I remember of the book - in addition to incredible stories about Stanley Kramer, Arthur Penn, Mike Nichols, Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty, etc. - was that it was wide open season for Best Picture in 1967. It could have gone to any of those films (except for Dr. Doolittle). It turned out to be a perfect triangulation between the ballsy, forward-looking The Graduate or Bonnie and Clyde and - not the musical, but the more audience-friendly depiction of idyllic race relations, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? And so In the Heat of the Night won. I don't know which AFI list this is, or how it differs from the list Unspooled is using...but here you've got 3 of the Oscar nominated movies from '67 on the Top 100 list and In the Heat of the Night, the Best Picture winner, ISN'T INCLUDED. https://www.afi.com/100years/movies.aspx I don't know if Guess Who's Coming? is on Paul and Amy's list. I'm assuming The Graduate is. But with 3 or 4 Oscar-nominated films, 1967 might be the winningest year for movies on the list, at least tied with 1939.
  20. joshg

    Schindler's List

    A couple personal stories to add, in keeping with the theme of Schindler's List as an entry point into not only the Holocaust for the uninitiated, but also Jewishness. The first two stories tangentially have to do with me liking nice non-Jewish girls in college in the nineties. Undergrad: I asked a girl to join me to hear Elie Wiesel (author, Nobel peace prize winner, Holocaust survivor) speak on campus. He gave a profound talk on the nature of evil and how to confront it. After the talk, students lined up to ask questions. My female friend got in line, but once someone else stepped up to the mike and asked "What did you think of Schindler's List?" she sat down. "That was going to be my question," she said. Grad school: I asked a freshman girl out, who I didn't realize was Mormon. She somewhat naively didn't realize I was Jewish, despite certain facial features and my last (and first) name. Once I explained that I was Jewish, literally her first reaction was to ask, "What did you think of Schindler'sList?" As for context in which to watch this movie, it probably wasn't the best timing when I returned back to the dorm after seeing it for a second time in theaters, this time with several non-Jewish friends who were shocked to their core. SNL was playing in the student lounge, and it happened to be this skit with Heather Locklear as host, during this exact moment: Needless to say, I wasn't in the mood to find it quite funny at the time. I've since come around and can appreciate it within the context of an absurd SNL skit...but in 2018 it sadly doesn't feel quite so much like a comedy bit any more.
  21. joshg

    Schindler's List

    I don't think that is a realistic "task" of this film. A film can't convince you of a historical event if it doesn't fully describe what that event is. The film can add detail, realism, empathy, and insight to our understanding of the event. But I'm not sure that Schindler's List conveys the essential, stipulated facts about the Holocaust to the novice or skeptic. Without any context, one might think that the Holocaust was a series of random violent acts and perhaps a concentration camp here or there. Only when I visited these camp sites did I fully realize how this was a state-sponsored death industry, as efficient as steel or automotive factories. By the same token, "Twelve Years a Slave" is not the ultimate "slavery story" that can be appreciated without knowing about America's history of endemic racism and institutionalized human trafficking. "Schindler's List" might be treated as the ultimate telling of the Holocaust because of the movie's ambitious scope and pedigree, but it is still just one story. This theme of context (the context in which we watch a movie) is brought up in this excellent story from This American Life about "Schindler's List". I highly, highly recommend it. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/644/random-acts-of-history/act-one-5
  22. I'm guessing that whoever was responsible for the "Bruce Willis: Tulip Expert" article read by the audience member was also responsible for this: (credit where credit's due: IMDB trivia)
  23. The thing that jumped out at me was why Halle Berry would leave her cell phone in her coat when she went to the bathroom. We've already established that she's super devious, able to entrap a senator and catch him on tape. And gain entry into a job as a covert employee with a fake identity. And, as we learn at the end, elaborately frame the wealthiest and most powerful man in the city with a murder that she committed. So why is she so dumb as to get her ass drunk on a crucial sting operation and leave her phone in the pocket of her coat at the restaurant table? These days, no one ever leaves their cell phone outside of their possession. You go to the bathroom, you take your phone with you. Wasn't that always a thing? Especially if you're trying to frame your boss for murder?