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Episode 228 - High Strung (Live from The Beacon Theatre)

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Live from The Beacon Theatre in New York City, Paul, June and Jason discuss the 2016 drama High Strung. They talk about violin bad boys, Jazzy's big breakdown, the dance teacher who broke his hips in a concentration camp, and more!

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I was truly flabbergasted that Jazzy's downfall never paid off, especially after falling in love with the mysterious, bad boy known as Paolo.

1. When Jazzy started showing up late for class after meeting her new man... I immediately thought, "Okay, here comes her addiction to pain medication that Paolo introduced her too." = Nope

2. Oh... Jazzy is warned to be safe on Paolo's motorcycle... "here comes the late night accident that will sideline her for a long time." = Nope

3. Jazzy is too tired in the morning and can't get out bed.... "Here we go! She. Is. Pregnant!" = Nope

And another thing, "fuck you Jazzy" for not wanting to get out of bed towards the end of the movie. The headmistress LITERALLY told you the day before that you have no more chances of fucking up. You should have made your full character turn at that moment. Why isn't Jazzy waking up Ruby; which would bring a nice turn in their relationship.  

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As a fellow man who is not flexible, I want to support Paul. This is the second episode his flexibility has been a topic. Let him be as flexible or inflexible as he is.

Did anyone else think the dancing in this was very badly filmed? Especially the break dance scenes. The camera was very dynamic and the editing kept cutting back to different dancers. I get the desire to highlight a specific dancer, but the way this was filmed detracted from the dancing. The camera would often move with the dancer which made their moves seem less impressive. I think a more static camera would have benefited everyone. 

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I am sad I didn’t get to see this live since I am in NYC. Stupid family. I sort of want to know what June would think of CENTER STAGE now. 

If Paul is flexible now, what does that mean for June’s anti-male flexibility/splits movement?

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According to Wikipedia, John Blackwell was the name of Prince's drummer, as well as a 19th-century Welsh poet, and a 19th-century English civil engineer. Any of these would've made for a more interesting and compelling love interest than illegal immigrant Edward Cullen. In fact, I would love it if the sequel was about Ruby falling in love with any of these Johnny Blackwells. 

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Can someone clarify what "High Strung" means in relationship to this movie? 

Yes, "High Strung" means one is wound too tight and then you would assume that is referencing Ruby. But she is a dancer and has fun. She just can't do contemporary dance. It's not like she is too prim and proper like her arch nemesis. 

Is it as simple and stupid as, Ruby can lift her leg "High" and our violinist essentially does the action of "Strung?" 

But it still just does not make sense when you put them together. 

Am I making any sense? 

OZIib46.gif

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I haven't listened to the episode yet , in fact I just started the movie. I paused it after 2 minutes because I NEED to talk about how insane it is that Brit Boy is  playing violin shirtless.( Sorry if this is discussed! I'm in a full tiz!) Some people get these sort of chafed red marks on their neck and sometimes throat / collar bone area. They are known as "violin hickeys" or "Fiddlers Neck". In fact when selling a rare Stradivari violin only people who had a "violin hickey" could try the instrument at Christies auction house .  Some people get really painful cysts and lesions that can get infected. 

Not everyone who plays gets one though.  There's been a theory that some people are allergic to the woods I the violin or the metals while others think it's the playing style. 

According to Wikipedia the cause of this can be ( I'm only going to be putting the important info to prove my case) " ....Hot weather is reported to exacerbate fiddler's neck, as are tiredness, playing emotional music, and playing in smaller groups where individual stress is higher.[2] Type I hypersensitivity reactions may also be involved, particularly to rosewood and ebony in the chinrest and tailpiece, as well as to varnish of the instrument body when chinrests are not used and to rosin deposits on the instrument and on chin cloths. "  

So technically Brit Boy ( I refuse to give him a name)  said that he burns with his music. Maybe it's just really hot in that million dollar loft?  Hence playing shirtless?  And he sure as hell wasn't using a chin cloth. He seems under the impression his music is deep and full of *emotions* ...

In conclusion this idiot is gonna get Fiddler's Neck all over his damn shoulder if he doesn't put a shirt on.

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41 minutes ago, gigi-tastic said:

I haven't listened to the episode yet , in fact I just started the movie. I paused it after 2 minutes because I NEED to talk about how insane it is that Brit Boy is  playing violin shirtless.

Also a few minutes later, Ruby meets her new roommate.... and they immediately pillow fight.

Lots of insanity in this one

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That fiddle-off in the middle of the fancy ballroom dance was the best part.

But it seems to be straight out of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" so it leads me to wonder: which one of those two violinists is the devil?

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1 hour ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Also a few minutes later, Ruby meets her new roommate.... and they immediately pillow fight.

Lots of insanity in this one

Are you insinuating you DON'T have a fierce sexy pillow fight with your new roommate to welcome them? 

Rude.

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So "crematiing your pointes" is a thing. Pointe shoes can be worn through REALLY quickly. It's a way to keep your shoes going longer and stay stiff.  I don't know if I've ever heard of the term in my reading on the history of ballet, but according to a dancer wear blog I found one way to do this is "Some dancers also use this method to revitalize dead shoes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Swirl a floor polish like Mop and Glow inside the pointe shoes, the pour out the excess.  Place the shoes on a baking sheet covered in foil, and place them in the oven.  Turn the oven off, and let the shoes sit in the oven 8 hours or overnight.  The polish will re-harden the box and shank of the shoes, but it stains the satin a yellowish color and makes them super stiff.  This method is not exact, and it will take experimenting to find the perfect amount of polish.  Practice this method on an old pair of shoes you don't need before you try it with the pair you are wearing. "

http://thedancewearguru.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-to-make-pointe-shoes-last-longer.html

I found a lot of recommendations to use Jet Glue which I think is pointe shoe glue?  I also saw on a dance forum that some recommended putting shoes in the freezer for a brief fix.  Or to use shellac

http://www.dance.net/topic/8757237/1/Pointe-Beginners/Rehardening-pointe-shoes.html&replies=1

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8 hours ago, grudlian. said:

As a fellow man who is not flexible, I want to support Paul. This is the second episode his flexibility has been a topic. Let him be as flexible or inflexible as he is.

Did anyone else think the dancing in this was very badly filmed? Especially the break dance scenes. The camera was very dynamic and the editing kept cutting back to different dancers. I get the desire to highlight a specific dancer, but the way this was filmed detracted from the dancing. The camera would often move with the dancer which made their moves seem less impressive. I think a more static camera would have benefited everyone. 

I am 100% with you on this.  When I was watching the movie I thought they must have been trying to set two specific records.  One being make a feature length film with the shortest script ever and the second being include the most orbiting camera shots of any movie ever made.  I also throw in my support for my fellow inflexible brethren.

The movie was missing one small piece of writing which was what the hell was Johnnie Blackwell's motivation for being in the US?  He was clearly desperate to be in "New York" to the point of paying $5K that he couldn't spare but I have no idea why.  The top of the movie should have included a deep fake of David Cameron giving a fiery speech that he would end the scourge of violin players in the London Underground and then I'd have been on board.

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I was surprised the hosts (yup, still calling them hosts) didn’t comment on the conversation the judges have during the middle of Johnny and Ruby’s performance.  The female judge calls it “completely indulgent” and one of the other judges says “I disagree.  Don’t we want to evolve?  Don’t we want to progress?”

I have so many questions about this conversation like

- Is what they are doing really all that progressive?

- If the female judge had such a negative attitude toward the performance, how did they end up winning?

- And perhaps, most importantly, is this supposed to be the main lesson of this movie - to be more accepting of non-traditional expressions of art?  That works better if the movie was centered around the school trying to stop Johnny from playing the style of music he wanted, but Johnny’s not a student and the school seems to fully embrace contemporary forms of dance and music.  That conversation was as pointless as the subplot involving Johnny’s violin being stolen, which added no dramatic tension to the movie.

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Paul said that the sequel had no link to the first movie, but that is not correct.  Jane Seymour reprises her role as dance instructor Oksana in the sequel.  Jane Seymour was also an executive producer on both films.

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To settle the debate on whether the actor playing Johnny was actually playing the violin, here’s an excerpt from an interview with the actor Nicholas Galitzine, himself:

”While Galitzine appears to be an accomplished musician himself playing Johnnie in High Strung, the actor was unfamiliar with the instrument before landing the part. Prior to his casting, he had only played guitar.

“They gave me some time before and during the filming where I had very extensive crash course training. I had an amazing tutor in London, and then throughout the filming, sort of day and night whenever I wasn’t filming I was kind of practicing to make it authentic,” Galitzine told uInterview. ” [Director] Michael [Damian] is a musician as well, and we kind of spoke to each other and I think sort of he understood my musicality and what I could bring to the role acting-wise. So, I mean, eventually it worked out quite well ‘cause I think most people think I actually play the violin, which is great. [Laughs] Mission accomplished.””

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12 hours ago, gigi-tastic said:

So are we gonna talk about how this old violin is magically an electric violin at times?

Right?! I was also kinda wondering why go to all the effort of having it stolen at all? The movie didn't present it as something he needed to make good music or whatever, he borrowed the violin in the battle scene and then he used the rental??? during the rest of the movie?

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3 hours ago, DrGuts1003 said:

I was surprised the hosts (yup, still calling them hosts) didn’t comment on the conversation the judges have during the middle of Johnny and Ruby’s performance.  The female judge calls it “completely indulgent” and one of the other judges says “I disagree.  Don’t we want to evolve?  Don’t we want to progress?”

I have so many questions about this conversation like

- Is what they are doing really all that progressive?

It is definitely not progressive at all. A ton of dance movies are specifically about classical dance clashing with contemporary street dance before ultimately coming together for a dance finale. It's the plot for the original Breakin'.

It also seems especially weird at a contest put on by a school where dancers are simultaneously listening ballet and contemporary. Wouldn't you expect them to blend styles on occasion?

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21 hours ago, grudlian. said:

As a fellow man who is not flexible, I want to support Paul. This is the second episode his flexibility has been a topic. Let him be as flexible or inflexible as he is.

Did anyone else think the dancing in this was very badly filmed? Especially the break dance scenes. The camera was very dynamic and the editing kept cutting back to different dancers. I get the desire to highlight a specific dancer, but the way this was filmed detracted from the dancing. The camera would often move with the dancer which made their moves seem less impressive. I think a more static camera would have benefited everyone. 

I agree with this. In fact I wish they had filmed the dance scenes better because I might have enjoyed the movie more. I hated this movie and was mostly incredibly bored by it so when the dance scenes started I thought "Finally some fun." Nope they went and ruined those as well. Part of what makes a dancer incredible is seeing them move. It's about what they're doing with their bodies. You don't need close ups of the face let me see their bodies move!

While on the topic of horribly shot dance scenes, who was live streaming the subway dance battle? Were they just standing between the groups filming and how were they live editing it as well?

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So does the school want Ruby to fail? She's clearly a trained and skilled ballet dancer and I assume that's what got her the scholarship. However, she admits in the first contemporary class that she has zero experience with contemporary dance. The first day at the school she's told there is no dress code for contemporary dance and she asks what she should wear. Instead of getting a straight answer from the head teacher she gets "Use your imagination." How is that helpful? She doesn't do that kind of dancing and you know that because you just read her bio. What is the harm in saying something helpful? Then she's called out in the first class and after the second class. She has zero experience and you're trying to pull the "It's because she has so much potential." Bullshit. She's had two days and you're already threatening to kick her out even though she promises to start getting better. If you really thought she had potential you would give her actual instruction rather than berate her after her first attempt. Then what? A week goes by and you are threatening to end her scholarship because she's not showing enough improvement in something she literally just started? Maybe wait until the end of the first term or something. Fuck you dance conservatory.

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The one scene that made me laugh the hardest is when they are at that benefit and Johnny and the “villain” have their violin battle.  Johnny starts and as he is playing, the orchestra conductor standing behind him starts to conduct the rest of the musicians. Why?!? First of all, why is he trying to help one of the waiters out?  And how does he know what instructions to give his musicians?  Even if he recognized the song Johnny was playing, there’s no guarantee that he will stick with the same tempo or the same song since he’s trying to outplay the other violinist and display his wide range of skills.

You also inexplicably again have a crowd just stand around and act like this violin battle is totally normal, like with the subway dance battle earlier in the film.  It is not until a tray of champagne gets dumped over that the snobby crowd suddenly demands that security escort the entire dance crew (and also the event’s entire wait staff) out of the building.

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11 hours ago, DrGuts1003 said:

Paul said that the sequel had no link to the first movie, but that is not correct.  Jane Seymour reprises her role as dance instructor Oksana in the sequel.  Jane Seymour was also an executive producer on both films.

Jane Seymour is the only part of the movie I want . I live for her odd costume choices in these films.

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4 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

So does the school want Ruby to fail? She's clearly a trained and skilled ballet dancer and I assume that's what got her the scholarship. However, she admits in the first contemporary class that she has zero experience with contemporary dance. The first day at the school she's told there is no dress code for contemporary dance and she asks what she should wear. Instead of getting a straight answer from the head teacher she gets "Use your imagination." How is that helpful? She doesn't do that kind of dancing and you know that because you just read her bio. What is the harm in saying something helpful? Then she's called out in the first class and after the second class. She has zero experience and you're trying to pull the "It's because she has so much potential." Bullshit. She's had two days and you're already threatening to kick her out even though she promises to start getting better. If you really thought she had potential you would give her actual instruction rather than berate her after her first attempt. Then what? A week goes by and you are threatening to end her scholarship because she's not showing enough improvement in something she literally just started? Maybe wait until the end of the first term or something. Fuck you dance conservatory.

I find it odd that she says she's never done contemporary. If she's a dancer in today's world it's kind of impossible for her to NEVER have taken Contemporary classes. How did she get in this school with nothing but ballet? Yes she's a ballet dancer ( and a very good one at that) but many ballet dancers now take several kinds of dance and Contemporary is one of the main ones. She would have probably started dancing at a young age and should have had at least a few years under her belt. Also some of the criticisms of her problems in the Contemporary class I could remember had to do with her lines and angles. Ballet is all about the lines of the body and the angles.  Those aspects of Contemporary would have been the most similar to ballet I would think? 

Also I thought that the big dance finale would have her using contemporary style. But I don't think she did anything but ballet. She might have done more modern ballet but that was ballet as far as I could tell. 

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Did anyone else get upset when the Bad Boys of Violin began dueling with their bows?  I always thought those were fragile! So I googled and apparently BOWS ARE FUCKING EXPENSIVE . At the cheapest you can get one for $50 to under $100 for a fiberglass bow. Carbon fiber is $50- $300. But our Bad Boys look like they have wood bows. That's gonna set you back $50 for a cheap brazilwood into the $1,000s. You can apparently go well over $5,000 for a bow. A violin bow should cost 20-25% of your violin.   Something tells me Bad Boy Violinists don't buy cheap bows.

https://orchestracentral.com/ufaqs/much-violin-bow-cost/

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