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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 97 1776

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You say you want a revolution...

We watched: 

 

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This is just killing time until we can get an adaptation of 17776.

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The version I watched seems to be a mix between the theatrical and the director's cut. What I watched was definitely three hours but imdb says it has a black and white scene which I don't remember.

I appreciate this movie on a few levels. It is very well acted. I think the staging and costuming is all great. But this felt very long. I also thought many of the musical numbers would have been better served as dialogue. I do like that this does bring to life colonial America in a way that textbooks really don't though. If there was a version of this that was under two hours, I could see liking this a lot more and showing it to students.

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As I said on the earlier thread, I think my first experience with 1776 was over the course of a couple days in, I want to say, 7th grade. It's always stuck with me since then as it combines music and early American History which are things I'm both passionate and fascinated by. What I love about it is it really gave John Adams a lot of credit for what he accomplished--especially as he's largely dismissed as a mediocre president. Which, honestly, is probably true, but I don't think being the head of state was really where his talent was. 

1776 is a remarkably accurate retelling of what happened at the time, with much of the dialogue being pulled directly from John Adams's correspondence to his wife. Which, now that I write that, is probably the more logistical reason to put him in the forefront of the Musical. 

 

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I also think you need to follow Adams because it's going to be hard to watch the movie from anyone's perspective who isn't staunchly pro-independence and anti-slavery.

I have also seen the HBO miniseries John Adams. That's a bit boring for a student to watch compared to this but I appreciated it much more as an adult than this.

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What I found odd, but charming, about the film is how most of the songs are these light funny little songs yet the drama is very real and very heavy at times. Not to mention the dead solider song which comes out of nowhere. 

My only real problem, weird tonal things aside, is that it felt very stagey. Like I could see the stage set up right away, and even though I have never seen it on stage I know exactly what the stage would look like and how things would play out. They do try to do the odd thing like Lee on the horse and the five men on the stairs to add a bit more movement and variety to things but that said how interesting can you make a bunch of men sitting in a room and arguing more interesting? Maybe a more variety of shots. Not just following the action. I'm not sure but I think to me it was less of a movie and more of a stage show.

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57 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

The version I watched seems to be a mix between the theatrical and the director's cut. What I watched was definitely three hours but imdb says it has a black and white scene which I don't remember.

I appreciate this movie on a few levels. It is very well acted. I think the staging and costuming is all great. But this felt very long. I also thought many of the musical numbers would have been better served as dialogue. I do like that this does bring to life colonial America in a way that textbooks really don't though. If there was a version of this that was under two hours, I could see liking this a lot more and showing it to students.

The version I watched was 2:47 not sure which one that is and I think there was a black and white scene with Adams and his wife but I could be wrong.

Also odd compared to last weeks movie which was also three hours, I felt that Fiddler moved a bit more. This one had some slow patches, particularly at the start, that made it feel it's length.

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From a technical standpoint, if I had a criticism, it’s that by virtue of the story being male driven, there’s not a lot of dynamism during company songs. It’s just a wall of baritones bombarding you. That being said, the more I think about it, I wonder if that’s by design. It really gives a unharmonious, cacophonic impression that I feel might be deliberate. I own the soundtrack (which Howard Da Silva [Ben Franklin] wasn’t present for and his understudy is...disappointing) and listen to how it was recorded. 

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This movie's a little goopy, considering it features Gwyneth Paltrow's mother and all.

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I also really like the music in this even if it isn't doing anything particularly groundbreaking. It has an easy, humable vibe to it that I really enjoy. I have had "The Egg" in my head since last night, and "Is Anybody There?" is a tour de force from Mr Feeny Kit John Adams.

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1 minute ago, Cameron H. said:

I also really like the music in this even if it isn't doing anything particularly groundbreaking. It has an easy, humable vibe to it that I really enjoy. I have had "The Egg" in my head since last night, and "Is Anybody There?" is a tour de force from Mr Feeny Kit John Adams.

Mr. Feeny KITT Dr. Mark Craig you young whippersnapper

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6 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

From a technical standpoint, if I had a criticism, it’s that by virtue of the story being male driven, there’s not a lot of dynamism during company songs. It’s just a wall of baritones bombarding you. That being said, the more I think about it, I wonder if that’s by design. It really gives a unharmonious, cacophonic impression that I feel might be deliberate. I own the soundtrack (which Howard Da Silva [Ben Franklin] wasn’t present for and his understudy is...disappointing) and listen to how it was recorded. 

That's true I hadn't really thought of that. You have some younger people like Jefferson who you could have easily been a non-baritone. That might be why the songs that do offer something different standout a bit more. 

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9 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

That's true I hadn't really thought of that. You have some younger people like Jefferson who you could have easily been a non-baritone. That might be why the songs that do offer something different standout a bit more. 

Yeah, I think any songs with Martha and Abigail are welcome for this reason. It also helps that Adams and Franklin have distinctive voices—even if they wouldn’t be considered classically “good.” There’s just not a lot of harmonizing going on in general. Musically it’s not very complex. That’s not a criticism, mind you. I love the music.

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I'm curious how all this plays to the non-Americans who might have watched this. I can't say I had some jingoistic tear in my eye as I watched history come alive, but there is some kind of "oh, this is kind of neat" feeling I wouldn't have from a movie about literally any other country declaring independence.

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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.

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7 hours ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

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.

It still frustrates me that John Adams doesn’t have a statue on the National Mall. I’d love to see one made for him (Preferably, with  Abagail next to him :) )

Jefferson is a toughy. He was no doubt brilliant, but on a personal level, he’s definitely more problematic. I mean, on the one hand he did resolve to free his slaves, but in the end, due to excessive debt from his extravagant lifestyle, he never actually followed through. Weird (disturbing) fact, Jefferson truly did love his wife Martha and carried a locket of her hair with him until his death. He never remarried, although, obviously, there was Sally Hemmings (which I refuse to call a “relationship”). Sally Hemmings was actually the half-sister of Martha (through rape) and his attraction to her was apparently due to her strong resemblance to his deceased wife.

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7 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

It still frustrates me that John Adams doesn’t have a statue on the National Mall. I’d love to see one made for him (Preferably, with  Abagail next to him :) )

Jefferson is a toughy. He was no doubt brilliant, but on a personal level, he’s definitely more problematic. I mean, on the one hand he did resolve to free his slaves, but in the end, due to excessive debt from his extravagant lifestyle, he never actually followed through. Weird (disturbing) fact, Jefferson truly did love his wife Martha and carried a locket of her hair with him until his death. He never remarried, although, obviously, there was Sally Hemmings (which I refuse to call a “relationship”). Sally Hemmings was actually the half-sister of Martha (through rape) and his attraction to her was apparently due to her strong resemblance to his deceased wife.

Here's a sample of the cut John Adams Rap from Hamilton.

 

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On 7/28/2020 at 11:45 AM, grudlian. said:

I'm curious how all this plays to the non-Americans who might have watched this. I can't say I had some jingoistic tear in my eye as I watched history come alive, but there is some kind of "oh, this is kind of neat" feeling I wouldn't have from a movie about literally any other country declaring independence.

I'm non-American!

I was going to actually ask a bit about this. So this is from my perspective of my schooling growing up in Canada. We do study a bit about America and it's founding but not that much. We cover the basics like the thirteen colonies and taxation without representation which led to the revolutionary war. However in terms of covering the people involved and their roles it's not really touched upon. I'll come back to this later. Then next time we learn about America is the war of 1812 and then the civil war is briefly mentioned. We start looking at US politics and history more come 20th century particularly from the stock market crash and depression and lead up to war. When I was in school though, grades 9 and 10 history/social studies classes just covered Canada and Canadian topics with brief mentions of America where it considered us. Then in 11 and 12 we go to more global and world and really focus on 20th century issues which brings more of a focus on modern America.

All this said I have two things going for me. One, American media. You learn a lot about these figures based on references in shows and movies. Before watching Hamilton my knowledge of the man was he was shot by Aaron Burr (thanks to a milk commercial) and he was on the $10 bill and something to do with the treasury (from Lazy Sunday). I know Button Gwinnett is a person who signed and was looking for him in the movie. The second thing in my favor is I love history. So I can name you most all American presidents from my own readings and that, but my main interest in from late 19th on. I love Teddy Roosevelt, my personal favourite, because his story I found really interesting and read about him and just what a larger than life man he was. Sadly I know not that much about the civil war or founding of America. I know most of the players in general overviews and that's about it.

This I guess is a long winded way of saying I'm interested in the subject but not well versed so I spent a lot of time wondering about how accurate it all was. Like I know they aped the painting and I know that they are all the real people that signed and what not, but as far as characterization and events I am curious. As far as the jingoism goes I think I wrote about this on the Unspooled episode of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I have no problem watching American movies that pat themselves on the back as long as it for the right reasons. Mr. Smith is a good example. About a man fighting for what the country was founded on and should be about. America is a land of opportunities and founded on principles and ideals of people being free to be themselves. These are good things that anyone can get behind. When it starts to get eye rolling is when it is unwarranted or when America is just celebrated for being great end of story. Michael Bay slow motion flag waving montages come to mind as eye rolling and groan inducing. However, that can also go full circle to being funny like in Rocky IV. If you want to tell me America is great because America is great fuck yeah and you're not being ironic then it is, for me at least, hard to bear. Also, I hate interjecting modern ideals and values on past works. That's where I did have many questions. I would like to know if Adams hard line stance on slavery is accurate to the man and something he did fight for. I know he is one of the few of the first twenty presidents or so that had no slaves but not sure if that was his beliefs or just lack of land, money, etc..

Long answer longer, where does 1776 fit in with all this? I wasn't put off by it. Some things were a bit cutesy, like The Egg, but none of it really struck me as all that jingoist. While I did like the songs I enjoyed their debates and the politicking side of things more. I think what helps is that Adams is so well defined and driven. If he was more of a wishy washy guy that wasn't sure what he wanted I think I could have lost interest or felt it was too "pro-American" if you get what I mean. The fact that Adam was so adamant about his belief in independence and it was for the right reasons and he was unwavering in his beliefs helped it come off as a character piece and historical fiction without seeing overly patriotic. Two of my favourite bits were at the end was he little talk with Hancock about knowing where he stands and when he is debating if he is right to give up the fight against slavery and Dr. Hall comes in and talks to him. If at any point a character started talking about the potential the nation would have to be the greatest nation in the world where every man would be equal and free, I would have groaned. It never did. These were people being oppressed by a tyrant king and wanted their freedoms and rights. Who can't get behind that?

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2 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

I'm non-American!

I was going to actually ask a bit about this. So this is from my perspective of my schooling growing up in Canada. We do study a bit about America and it's founding but not that much. We cover the basics like the thirteen colonies and taxation without representation which led to the revolutionary war. However in terms of covering the people involved and their roles it's not really touched upon. I'll come back to this later. Then next time we learn about America is the war of 1812 and then the civil war is briefly mentioned. We start looking at US politics and history more come 20th century particularly from the stock market crash and depression and lead up to war. When I was in school though, grades 9 and 10 history/social studies classes just covered Canada and Canadian topics with brief mentions of America where it considered us. Then in 11 and 12 we go to more global and world and really focus on 20th century issues which brings more of a focus on modern America.

All this said I have two things going for me. One, American media. You learn a lot about these figures based on references in shows and movies. Before watching Hamilton my knowledge of the man was he was shot by Aaron Burr (thanks to a milk commercial) and he was on the $10 bill and something to do with the treasury (from Lazy Sunday). I know Button Gwinnett is a person who signed and was looking for him in the movie. The second thing in my favor is I love history. So I can name you most all American presidents from my own readings and that, but my main interest in from late 19th on. I love Teddy Roosevelt, my personal favourite, because his story I found really interesting and read about him and just what a larger than life man he was. Sadly I know not that much about the civil war or founding of America. I know most of the players in general overviews and that's about it.

This I guess is a long winded way of saying I'm interested in the subject but not well versed so I spent a lot of time wondering about how accurate it all was. Like I know they aped the painting and I know that they are all the real people that signed and what not, but as far as characterization and events I am curious. As far as the jingoism goes I think I wrote about this on the Unspooled episode of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I have no problem watching American movies that pat themselves on the back as long as it for the right reasons. Mr. Smith is a good example. About a man fighting for what the country was founded on and should be about. America is a land of opportunities and founded on principles and ideals of people being free to be themselves. These are good things that anyone can get behind. When it starts to get eye rolling is when it is unwarranted or when America is just celebrated for being great end of story. Michael Bay slow motion flag waving montages come to mind as eye rolling and groan inducing. However, that can also go full circle to being funny like in Rocky IV. If you want to tell me America is great because America is great fuck yeah and you're not being ironic then it is, for me at least, hard to bear. Also, I hate interjecting modern ideals and values on past works. That's where I did have many questions. I would like to know if Adams hard line stance on slavery is accurate to the man and something he did fight for. I know he is one of the few of the first twenty presidents or so that had no slaves but not sure if that was his beliefs or just lack of land, money, etc..

Long answer longer, where does 1776 fit in with all this? I wasn't put off by it. Some things were a bit cutesy, like The Egg, but none of it really struck me as all that jingoist. While I did like the songs I enjoyed their debates and the politicking side of things more. I think what helps is that Adams is so well defined and driven. If he was more of a wishy washy guy that wasn't sure what he wanted I think I could have lost interest or felt it was too "pro-American" if you get what I mean. The fact that Adam was so adamant about his belief in independence and it was for the right reasons and he was unwavering in his beliefs helped it come off as a character piece and historical fiction without seeing overly patriotic. Two of my favourite bits were at the end was he little talk with Hancock about knowing where he stands and when he is debating if he is right to give up the fight against slavery and Dr. Hall comes in and talks to him. If at any point a character started talking about the potential the nation would have to be the greatest nation in the world where every man would be equal and free, I would have groaned. It never did. These were people being oppressed by a tyrant king and wanted their freedoms and rights. Who can't get behind that?

I think a lot of what you’re describing can apply to depictions of Captain America too. It’s why people outside of America can be fans of his.

As far as Adams is concerned, he was always fiercely anti-slavery, primarily through his religious beliefs. Remember, his son Quincy Adams was a staunch abolitionist as well and argued (successfully) in the Supreme Court in the Amistad case. That was based on his upbringing. Adams also made slavery illegal in Massachusetts when he wrote the state’s constitution.

No, Adams was a pretty good dude—especially compared to the other founders. He was mostly into justice. He would defend slaves in court, and actually defended the British after the Boston Massacre because he was the only one in the city who would give them a fair defense. (He won that too)

By all accounts, Adams biggest flaw was egotism. He always wanted to prove he was the smartest in the room. He also made some pretty unpopular blunders during his presidency with the Alien and Sedition Act and the XYZ Affair, both of which were incredibly dicey political issues that I’m not sure anyone could have navigated any better. 

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3 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

I'm non-American!

I was going to actually ask a bit about this. So this is from my perspective of my schooling growing up in Canada. We do study a bit about America and it's founding but not that much. We cover the basics like the thirteen colonies and taxation without representation which led to the revolutionary war. However in terms of covering the people involved and their roles it's not really touched upon. I'll come back to this later. Then next time we learn about America is the war of 1812 and then the civil war is briefly mentioned. We start looking at US politics and history more come 20th century particularly from the stock market crash and depression and lead up to war. When I was in school though, grades 9 and 10 history/social studies classes just covered Canada and Canadian topics with brief mentions of America where it considered us. Then in 11 and 12 we go to more global and world and really focus on 20th century issues which brings more of a focus on modern America.

All this said I have two things going for me. One, American media. You learn a lot about these figures based on references in shows and movies. Before watching Hamilton my knowledge of the man was he was shot by Aaron Burr (thanks to a milk commercial) and he was on the $10 bill and something to do with the treasury (from Lazy Sunday). I know Button Gwinnett is a person who signed and was looking for him in the movie. The second thing in my favor is I love history. So I can name you most all American presidents from my own readings and that, but my main interest in from late 19th on. I love Teddy Roosevelt, my personal favourite, because his story I found really interesting and read about him and just what a larger than life man he was. Sadly I know not that much about the civil war or founding of America. I know most of the players in general overviews and that's about it.

This I guess is a long winded way of saying I'm interested in the subject but not well versed so I spent a lot of time wondering about how accurate it all was. Like I know they aped the painting and I know that they are all the real people that signed and what not, but as far as characterization and events I am curious. As far as the jingoism goes I think I wrote about this on the Unspooled episode of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I have no problem watching American movies that pat themselves on the back as long as it for the right reasons. Mr. Smith is a good example. About a man fighting for what the country was founded on and should be about. America is a land of opportunities and founded on principles and ideals of people being free to be themselves. These are good things that anyone can get behind. When it starts to get eye rolling is when it is unwarranted or when America is just celebrated for being great end of story. Michael Bay slow motion flag waving montages come to mind as eye rolling and groan inducing. However, that can also go full circle to being funny like in Rocky IV. If you want to tell me America is great because America is great fuck yeah and you're not being ironic then it is, for me at least, hard to bear. Also, I hate interjecting modern ideals and values on past works. That's where I did have many questions. I would like to know if Adams hard line stance on slavery is accurate to the man and something he did fight for. I know he is one of the few of the first twenty presidents or so that had no slaves but not sure if that was his beliefs or just lack of land, money, etc..

Long answer longer, where does 1776 fit in with all this? I wasn't put off by it. Some things were a bit cutesy, like The Egg, but none of it really struck me as all that jingoist. While I did like the songs I enjoyed their debates and the politicking side of things more. I think what helps is that Adams is so well defined and driven. If he was more of a wishy washy guy that wasn't sure what he wanted I think I could have lost interest or felt it was too "pro-American" if you get what I mean. The fact that Adam was so adamant about his belief in independence and it was for the right reasons and he was unwavering in his beliefs helped it come off as a character piece and historical fiction without seeing overly patriotic. Two of my favourite bits were at the end was he little talk with Hancock about knowing where he stands and when he is debating if he is right to give up the fight against slavery and Dr. Hall comes in and talks to him. If at any point a character started talking about the potential the nation would have to be the greatest nation in the world where every man would be equal and free, I would have groaned. It never did. These were people being oppressed by a tyrant king and wanted their freedoms and rights. Who can't get behind that?

As far as rah rah nationalism, I'd say this movie is pretty far down on the list. There's a little bit of "American sure is great" but, given the plot of movie, it's excusable and understandable in my mind.

What's the Canadian equivalent film to this? Is there a "national" film that is kind of widely seen and respected, public consciousness film of Canada? I ask that but admit the US doesn't have one in my mind.

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1 hour ago, Cameron H. said:

I think a lot of what you’re describing can apply to depictions of Captain America too. It’s why people outside of America can be fans of his.

As far as Adams is concerned, he was always fiercely anti-slavery, primarily through his religious beliefs. Remember, his son Quincy Adams was a staunch abolitionist as well and argued (successfully) in the Supreme Court in the Amistad case. That was based on his upbringing. Adams also made slavery illegal in Massachusetts when he wrote the state’s constitution.

No, Adams was a pretty good dude—especially compared to the other founders. He was mostly into justice. He would defend slaves in court, and actually defended the British after the Boston Massacre because he was the only one in the city who would give them a fair defense. (He won that too)

By all accounts, Adams biggest flaw was egotism. He always wanted to prove he was the smartest in the room. He also made some pretty unpopular blunders during his presidency with the Alien and Sedition Act and the XYZ Affair, both of which were incredibly dicey political issues that I’m not sure anyone could have navigated any better. 

And I do like Captain America as well. At the end of the day these aren't big asks they are very human things than we all want and hopefully want all people to have as well. To live free to love who you want to love, worship whomever you want worship, and everybody treated with equal rights. 

Did he right the Massachusetts state constitution before or after the declaration of independence? I'm going to assume his want to keep the anti-slavery bits in was based off real historic fact and not just for drama. I'm curious his his failure to get it in led to him putting it in or not.

If anything this movie did make me more interested in finding out about him as a person and what he did. I guess starting with the HBO mini-series on him would be a good place to start.

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25 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

And I do like Captain America as well. At the end of the day these aren't big asks they are very human things than we all want and hopefully want all people to have as well. To live free to love who you want to love, worship whomever you want worship, and everybody treated with equal rights. 

Did he right the Massachusetts state constitution before or after the declaration of independence? I'm going to assume his want to keep the anti-slavery bits in was based off real historic fact and not just for drama. I'm curious his his failure to get it in led to him putting it in or not.

If anything this movie did make me more interested in finding out about him as a person and what he did. I guess starting with the HBO mini-series on him would be a good place to start.

I love the HBO series, and you will see a lot of the same characters found in this movie. It goes a lot more into all of their relationships. (Plus, you'll get a more age appropriate Rutledge who was only 26 or 27 at the time.) I try to watch 1776 and John Adams every year around the Fourth, but...I gave it a pass this year. Talking about it though does make me want to revisit it. Maybe next week... It also has a far different take on Hamilton (played by the fantastic Rufus Sewell). Not that he was "evil" exactly, but he was absolutely manipulative.

John Adams wrote the state constitution after the war (1780?), but before we were the United States. Prior to that, we were the Confederate States of America for about a decade. It was much more European in the sense that each state was essentially it's own country. One of the problems with this was each state had its own currency, which lead to a lot of confusion--particularly with exchange rates and whatnot. This is why Hamilton's ideas were so important as it established a National Bank. And, of course, Hamilton (The Musical) goes into it a bit why the South in particular wouldn't want that. They were extremely wealthy, but they also didn't have to pay for labor.

It's also fun to note that Adams was right about not writing the Declaration himself. When you compare the Massachusetts constitution to Virginia's (written by Jefferson) it is far more verbose and less poetic.

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39 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

As far as rah rah nationalism, I'd say this movie is pretty far down on the list. There's a little bit of "American sure is great" but, given the plot of movie, it's excusable and understandable in my mind.

What's the Canadian equivalent film to this? Is there a "national" film that is kind of widely seen and respected, public consciousness film of Canada? I ask that but admit the US doesn't have one in my mind.

It's hard to say. I mean there is a common joke that Canadian nationalism didn't really start until the mid 90s and it was spawn by a beer ad. There is a humorous named Will Ferguson who has written a handful of books and a few on Canada and Canadian identity and the real lack therefore off it. In a nutshell a lot of Canadian identity came from describing how were different from Americans or British and not so much about who we are ourselves. Saying "Oh we're just like American's but without the guns" or "with healthcare" means we are identifying ourselves as American but just a little different so it doesn't speak to what it really means to be Canadian as we are calling ourselves American. So when it comes to media things that tend to "pop" that nationalism in Canadian's are things about how we are different or rejecting American stereotypes of Canadian and embracing our own stereotypes of ourselves. I mean look no further than SCTV's McKenzie brothers. SCTV was told they needed three minutes of Canadian content. Them being 90% Canadian, writing and acting in all the sketches which were filmed in Canada didn't understand what wasn't Canadian about the content they were already making. So in a mocking way Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas would go out and improvise for three minutes while being the most stereotypical white trash Canadians and the Canadian public ate that shit up.

There aren't really many films that touch upon this. Our independence was founded in negotiation and not battle which makes for a boring movie. The movies that cover the time before that are things that tend to be like "Yea we treated the native population shitty, hey look a French missionary!" (Looking at you Black Robe) I think another problem is a lot of Canadians don't see or know what is Canadian cinema. There are the odd big ones like Bon Cop Bad Cop that are wholly Canadian and do well. However, it doesn't really make me feel Canadian pride. I hate to say it but movies like FUBAR that fall into that McKenzie brothers territory do oddly make me feel very Canadian. I think the things that Canadians rally around that give us Canadian pride tend to be mostly be TV comedies. Things like Rick Mercer and This Hour Has 22 Minutes (aka The Canadian Daily Show but years before The Daily Show) and Kids in Hall and Corner Gas are all very well respected and regarded and make people feel Canadian pride.

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3 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I love the HBO series, and you will see a lot of the same characters found in this movie. It goes a lot more into all of their relationships. (Plus, you'll get a more age appropriate Rutledge who was only 26 or 27 at the time.) I try to watch 1776 and John Adams every year around the Fourth, but...I gave it a pass this year. Talking about it though does make me want to revisit it. Maybe next week... It also has a far different take on Hamilton (played by the fantastic Rufus Sewell). Not that he was "evil" exactly, but he was absolutely manipulative.

John Adams wrote the state constitution after the war (1780?), but before we were the United States. Prior to that, we were the Confederate States of America for about a decade. It was much more European in the sense that each state was essentially it's own country. One of the problems with this was each state had its own currency, which lead to a lot of confusion--particularly with exchange rates and whatnot. This is why Hamilton's ideas were so important as it established a National Bank. And, of course, Hamilton (The Musical) goes into it a bit why the South in particular wouldn't want that. They were extremely wealthy, but they also didn't have to pay for labor.

It's also fun to note that Adams was right about not writing the Declaration himself. When you compare the Massachusetts constitution to Virginia's (written by Jefferson) it is far more verbose and less poetic.

I see. Thanks for explaining it.

Between seeing this and Hamilton it has peaked my interest because on one hand it seems like these men were all colleagues and friends to a degree but on the other were all rivals to a certain degree. These men who all bonded together to form a new nation and once that was down were wheeling and dealing and going around each other's back. 

Last question about Adams, like in the movie I assume he was a man very well aware of obnoxious and disliked reputation?

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I think another issue with Canada is the fact that there are a ton of amazing Canadian artists, but as soon as they achieve success, they tend to immigrate to America. So Canada ends up losing a lot of that culture that might help define its identiy.

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