Discussion in 'Entertaining Diversions' started by Bryce, Jul 6, 2012.
Link please? Nm. I didn't see the date and didn't search deep enough.
Listening to a How Did This Get Made? podcast about the sublime, deeply spiritual Patrick Swayze movie Road House, and they point out something that has always bothered me: What is Keith David even doing in this movie? He's like fourth-billed, they make a big deal of introducing his character, and then he DISAPPEARS FROM THE MOVIE. Why do you tease me with Keith David and then not use him, Road House? Why you gotta be like that?
Cuz I love my homie Bryce for making this thread I'd thought I'd put this shit here.
Comic lovers may know who Jim Steranko is, a pretty awesome comic artist for Marvel back in the day who had an arresting style similar to Steve Ditko or Jack Kirby but with a better sense of form and figure.
Lucasfilm sure liked him, they paid him to make the pre-production concept art for Raiders of the Lost Ark. With little more than "we want a protagonist who typifies the pulpy, cliffhanger reel action hero from the 50s" and pres-script ideas to go on (Ford had not yet been named as the lead), he pretty much invented Indiana Jones' look:
Pretty awesome you ask me.
Reaching way back to the OP - I liked that Macbeth. Did it show Banquo's ghost, though? I don't quite remember but I thought it didn't, (as in the Ian MacKellen/Judy Dench production didn't) which sort of "internalizes" it as a hallucination. The alternative is a trifle theatrical, but... it's theatre, and it seems truer to the material.
Demon G Sides.
We had a decent discussion of Steranko here.
But I didn't know about the Indiana Jones connection. Neat.
I was lucky enough to score third row seats to the performance at BAM, so lemme answer:
Before the intermission it ends with the banquet in progress, when a bloody Banquo emerging out of the elevator from hell, striding onto the table and practically on top of a justifiably freaked out MacBeth, blood strewing everywhere.
After the intermission it shows the same scene again - but with MacBeth almost comically freaking out at absolutely nothing - he was the only one to be visited by it.
I can quibble with a few line readings, but it was definitely the best performance of MacBeth I've ever been to (not to mention one of the best Shakespearean productions in general - the sandwich making scene was genius).
Hahah brilliant. At first (before watching it) I was like "Uhh... whaaat....?" but yeah that was great thank you. Totally worth the ribbing of being young.
The fact that in the film Stranger Than Fiction Emma Thompson's character did not write 'And then he cured cancer and ended war and lead humanity into a great age of peace and scientific endeavor' makes her history's greatest movie villain.
Okay, since we've been getting all artsy with films lately, I went looking for one of my favorite artsy films ever, Until the End of the World, which is the greatest science fiction road movie directed by a German ever.
It took ten years to make, and it came out in 1991. It was set in 1999. Wenders filmed it in 70mm, in seven countries across four continents, and he got Sony to bring in all sorts of near future technology so the future looked like Sony had eaten all other technology companies and become dominant. He asked rock bands to write songs for the soundtrack, and he asked them to write the songs they thought they'd be playing in 1999!
The movie opens with a David Byrne video playing on a flatscreen at a party, except it's old David Byrne. Now that David Byrne really is old, he looks almost exactly the same!
It's got Sam Neill, William Hurt, Max Von Sydow, Solveig Dommartin, and Jeanne Moreau!
I love this movie and it's only available on VHS. You can rent or buy it to stream on Amazon, but not in HD.
There's also some insane five-hour edit of Until The End Of The World, somewhere.
I am less enamored of this than you are. Until The End Of The World is really the point where the wheels fall off for Wenders for me, a real shame because I adore his films of the 70s and 80s. (Certainly Paris, Texas is one of the highlights of the 80s.) The first part of the movie is very tedious, as if Wenders is parodying one of those international thrillers with backing from eight different countries that Europe would crank out every couple of years. Once the movie settles down into the end part, with Max Von Snydow and the weird cult of people obsessed with memory, it gets much more interesting, but it's a pretty long slog to get there.
The story I heard about the soundtrack was that he contacted a bunch of bands and only told them the name of the movie - "Until The End Of The World" - and nothing else, and had them write songs. Pretty awesome, if true.
See, I have the opposite reaction. I think it's a great road movie until the last third when it stops going anywhere and gets all European art house. Then it's a slog of looking at out-of-focus heatmaps and gazing at navels.
I love the crazy Russian search software and to this day, whenever Google takes a second or two I'll say, "Searching..." like that Russian bear.
Monty Python's Life of Brian was, in its day, somewhat controversial. No surprise there. Arguably the most famous manifestation was the debate in the BBC talkshow Friday Night, Saturday Morning between Python's Michael Palin and John Cleese versus Malcom Muggeridge, a born-again Christian moral campaigner, and Mervyn Stockwood, Bishop of Southwark. Unbeknownst to Cleese and Palin (or anyone else for that matter) the two critics were late for the screening and thus missed the first 15 minutes of the film establishing Brian and Jesus as two separate characters. Incidentally, the host of the show was Tim Rice, who wrote the lyrics for Jesus Christ Superstar.
That's really great. I can understand fuck all from what the bishop is saying though. That's some posh accent he's got there.
I have a really great book called Monty Python: The Case Against, which is about all their legal and censorship troubles. Of course Life of Brian takes up the majority of the book. I recommend it.
If you haven't, you owe it to yourself to watch earlier Wim Wenders films then, because he was madly in love with the road movie as a construct. His early German New Wave period films like Alice In The City and Kings Of The Road are overtly road movies, but even others in the same period incorporate much of that same iconography, especially My American Friend.
Back in grad school I had a regular thing I called "Wednesday is Wim day!" (pronounced "Vednesday is Vim day!"). A few of us worked through everything we could get our hands on from him. We didn't see any of those, though.
And... a quick check shows that the only one that's available on any format is The American Friend on VHS. The others aren't available for home viewing at all. I guess I just have to keep an eye on the schedule at the Brattle Theater.
There's at the very least an Anchor Bay DVD of The American Friend, because I own it. They also released Notebooks On Cities And Clothes and Lightning Over Water, both of which are also very much worth watching, but Anchor Bay went under so I don't know what the availability of those are. You might be able to find them used. And of course his 80s output is a lot easier to find - Criterion has a bluray of Wings Of Desire that is fucking amazing, and the bluray of Paris, Texas simply confirms my belief that Robby Muller is the greatest cinematographer alive.
It's a crying shame that the German New Wave films are so hard to get. The Shape Of Things isn't on DVD? That's fucking criminal.
They did? Damn it!
Yeah, they got bought by Starz Media. I believe Blue Underground has been releasing some of their old titles, but most of the Anchor Bay stuff is out of print now.
What's the difference between Bicycle Thieves:
And The Bicycle Thief:
Are they the same movie? I think they are.
Well somebody should tell Criterion that they've multiplied the number of bicycle thieves in post war Italy.
Bicycle Thieves is a literal translation of the title ("Ladri Di Biciclette"). The English title "The Bicycle Thief" is a little misleading, for reasons I will not spoil. Criterion is a stickler for those kinds of things.
First off, thanks for posting this, Bill.
Anyway, my eye was immediately drawn to the German vehicle with the large gun. It looks an awful lot like the 7.5cm Selbstfahrlafette L/40.8 BN10H, a German prototype halftrack tank destroyer. This particular vehicle is the Modell II, identified by having a muzzle brake. An exceptionally rare vehicle, only 3 were built in the mid-1930's and they never saw combat.
Picture for comparison:
My guess is Steranko used that very picture as inspiration.
Also, yes, I am indeed a big fat clueless nerd.
Sign #45 that I've been working as a health and safety officer for too long - I was watching the Bank Job and literally wincing when they were tunneling beneath the building and not using shoring. The soil didn't seem that firm and it looked like a cave-in waiting to happen.
At least I'm not the only one.
Fact checking Jason Statham films, eh?
What could possibly go wrong?
Separate names with a comma.