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Messages - Jill

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: July 27, 2020, 08:33:17 AM »
Taikoki (1987) - a fairly long TV movie about Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Rather cheesy at times but fun. Sonny Chiba kind of steals the show as Mitsuhide, who at first seems to be the bad guy but by the end he's a tragic anti-hero. It's very much historical fanfiction, for example, Nobunaga and Mitsuhide have an epic duel(!) in the flames of Honno-ji (that's extremely not how it happened). What is this, a Samurai Warriors game?  ;D Later, after being defeated at Yamazaki, Mitsuhide commits seppuku (instead of being killed by some bandit) and delivers a dramatic monologue to Hideyoshi who politely listens. At this point I'm fairly sure I'm watching an Italian opera.

Here's my sort-of commentary and some screenshots.

Ennio Morricone / Re: Ennio Morricone died
« on: July 06, 2020, 07:37:56 AM »
I'm sitting here crying :( I came back here because I knew people here would understand. My usual crowd - opera fans and gamers - are usually not into Western.

Ennio Morricone / Re: Leone and Opera
« on: April 22, 2020, 05:38:21 PM »
Well, I'm a huge Verdi fan, and I can definitely see his influence on Morricone (as well as Puccini with his love for nusual instruments and noises embedded into the music).

I wonder if the Maestro ever composed opera? I feel like nowadays the people who could and should be doing opera mostly write soundtracks, and the people who write opera are afraid of melody. The last "modern" composer I enjoy is Britten - he did experiment with atonality here and there but most of his music is very approachable.

This duet:

I'm a woman. Trying to sing either is hopeless as one is a baritone and the other is a bass. Doesn't stop me XD I've long been an opera fan (23 years since my first) but this one is a relatively recent obsession.

Warning: Ghiaurov is VERY loud. That man was definitely Dragonborn.

I live! :D

It just occurred to me how perfect this play would be as a western. You have your outlaw anti-hero, his scheming evil brother, their landowner dad, the pure love interest, the gang of outlaws, a lot of gritty crime and violence, an extremely downer ending. (The brothers would certainly need to have a duel in a western, but otherwise not much would change.)

Other Films / Carlos (1971)
« on: May 14, 2018, 05:36:31 PM »

Has anyone seen this? Is it available in some form? It's apparently a western adaptation of Schiller's Don Carlos which is such a wild idea, I just have to see it XD

I have seen quite a few stage versions (mostly of the opera), but western? That's new.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: November 07, 2017, 12:28:07 AM »
Thor: Ragnarok - 8/10

A lot of fun (funnier than I expected, given the theme) and finally some character development for Thor. Loki is brilliant as always. Valkyrie is a welcome addition, and the lack of Natalie Portman and the rest of the boring humans is a huge plus. Hela makes for a pretty fine villain, and I only realized after the movie that her henchman is played by Karl Urban, making for a rather funny LotR reunion. Also, Heimdall is awesome. I wish he got his own solo movie, because I love Idris Elba a lot.

A little help: where can these be found (preferably with English subs, as my Italian knowledge is pretty limited, just what I picked up from opera)? I'm especially looking for MASSACRE IN THE BLACK FOREST, because it seems to be the only non-documentary adaptation about the Teutoburg Forest. (Why the makers confused it with the Black Forest is a mystery, though.)

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: October 07, 2017, 04:53:29 PM »
Finally watched Age of Ultron... 5/10

This was hopelessly mediocre. Also, fuck Joss Whedon, he overstayed his welcome long ago.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: August 09, 2017, 12:07:05 PM »
Coriolanus (2011) - 8/10

Overall a very good adaptation. Compared to the Donmar Warehouse version I have seen earlier: I liked this ending better. The setting update is well thought out and works. Ralph Fiennes looks distractingly like Voldemort and has the same soulless glare. This Coriolanus really doesn't have sympathetic qualities - he's a cold, heartless jerk. Vanessa Redgrave effortlessly steals the show whenever she's on screen (where is her Oscar). Gerard Butler is as Aufidius should be - hella gay for Coriolanus, even though some of his lines were cut. (The Donmar version didn't fuck around, Hadley Fraser even kissed Tom Hiddleston.) Brian Cox as Menenius is less of a sassmaster than Mark Gatiss and more a warm, fatherly type, which makes his (unscripted) tragic end even more heartbreaking.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: August 03, 2017, 07:37:25 PM »
Cleopatra (1963) - on a rewatch, 8/10. I did see it on TV years ago, dubbed, and it didn't leave much of an impression. Watching the remastered Blu-ray in English was so much better.

The good:

- it looks gorgeous. The costumes, the sets, the scale of the whole thing. They flaunt that budget - and no CGI back then!
- Mark Antony's extremely short miniskirt armours.  >:D
- Prof. Higgins pretty much just being Prof. Higgins dressed as Caesar. He's adorable.
- Richard Burton definitely nailed Antony. Too many Antonys suffer from being Extremely British and not really believeable as a party animal with a heart of gold and drama queen tendencies. Burton has it all down.
- Octavian is a little shit but also has his moments of "fuck I'm just gonna Shakespeare this".
- Rufio. Just... everything about Rufio. He made me cry. I have a weakness for loyal, tragic characters.
- some of the character banter is comedy gold.
- it gets pretty damn sad towards the end (as it should)

The bad:

- some of Cleo's headdresses are... questionable. Like those shower cap thingies.
- reading up on just how much stuff was cut even in the 4+ hour version. They really should release a full version, no matter how long.
- Liz is beautiful and certainly a good actress, but she's a movie star, not a queen. And some of that "infinite variety" is lacking.
- Cleo using her magic fires to see events she's not present at. This is some Melisandre level shit.
- conspirators, conspiring in broad daylight, in uniformly dark outfits so we can tell they are Suspicious™
- Cleo's entourage for her Big Entrance more like "Rio Carnival Rejects"

I have only seen the original, and, reading that they chickened out on the downer ending in the remake, no thanks. The whole point of the story was that the protagonist is doomed (being played by Jean Gabin, this is only natural, that man was Sean Bean before Sean Bean was Sean Bean).

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: July 21, 2017, 09:27:02 AM »
Gambit (1966). Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. Great fun. There was actually a time when MacLaine was fun to watch and not outright annoying. Caine can do no wrong.

Couldn't help but picture Michael Caine as Gambit from X-Men and just about died.

Also, to not double-post:

I watched the Donmar Warehouse version of Coriolanus. It's really intense and surprisingly relevant. Tom Hiddleston is excellent (as he has already proven as Prince Hal/Henry V) and Mark Gatiss is a delight. A minimalist but very bloody production, and it works really well. This play needs more love and Coriolanus/Aufidius more fanfic. I mean, Aufidius canonically has sexy dreams about him. Will was on a roll.  >:D 9/10

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw
« on: July 10, 2017, 11:38:14 PM »
Since there is no such thing as enough Julius Caesar (I've been obsessed with this play since I was twelve), I watched two more: 2012 RSC (which was a TV movie but apparently based on their stage porduction) and 2017 RSC. The two couldn't be more different: the 2012 version has an all-black cast and set in a modern African Republic, while the 2017 version is all traditional with togas and gallons of stage blood.

Both are pretty damn excellent.

2012 version's strength lies in the casual, relaxed approach - no pathos, no posturing, the characters just feel like people. This is paired with beautiful delivery, however. There are moments of fun (Cicero's cute umbrella deserves a mention) and some rather grim scenes (the mob vs. Cinna the poet, partically filmed on someone's phone, feels very real). They don't attempt to show actual battle scenes and the scenes between fighting take place in darker and darker spaces, eventually bringing us to a dimly-lit staircase that may as well lead into Hades. The ending gets surprisingly emotional from some small touches - Brutus keeps a flower from the wreath he sent for Cassius, and Strato is replaced by boyservant Lucius - the kid, more like a young man in this cast, gets an actual character arc. The ensemble is strong overall. Definitely worth watching. 8/10

2017 version, first of all, looks beautiful. The sets are elegant (but not cluttered), and the scenes make painting-like tableaus, especially the assassination. I forgive the inaccuracy that puts every senator in a toga praetexta because it looks to damn great to resist. But a traditional setting doesn't mean dated - the characters are very much alive, very flawed, modern people. Cassius in particular stands out to me. I never realized before but he clearly comes off as bipolar, and just thinking about how many times he wants to die even early in the play just drives it home. And the conspirators all have their demons. Antony, on the other hand, is on the rise (or so he thinks, not quite noticing how dangerous that little twat Octavius will be). The battle is done relatively well (stage actors will never learn what to do with shields, though) and poor kid Lucius (here a child who was clearly hired for his beautiful singing voice) meets an unexpected end that had the audience gasp in horror. Also, the Brutus/Cassius ship tease is strong with this one. 8/10

So, yeah - if you want some Bard with a lot of stabbing and intrigue, both these productions are a lot of fun ("fun" meaning "everybody falls on their swords and everything is terrible").

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