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January 21, 2018, 03:21:54 AM
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1  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: Pemiere Classics (french magazine) on: January 19, 2018, 06:18:11 PM
They're starting a new collections of "Mooks" (in their own words: "contraction of magazine and book")
The Japanese were using the term more than 30 years ago.
2  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: January 18, 2018, 04:53:52 PM
New Battles Without Honour and Humanity (1974) - 7/10. Kind of the digest version of the original series, with different characters, and a lot of the actors reassigned to new roles. The whole bit about guys needing to be shot 14 times before they die still holds. No one ever aims for the head!
3  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Blu-ray to be released Dec 2013 on: January 18, 2018, 10:21:36 AM
WTH is this? Just a straight re-release? https://www.amazon.com/Duck-You-Sucker-Blu-ray/dp/B0791Z1SYV?
4  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 2018 Awards Season (for 2017 movies) on: January 18, 2018, 05:44:12 AM

I cannot wait to see 3 Billboards (it was released yesterday in France).
It's pretty good.
5  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Raw Deal (1948) on: January 17, 2018, 07:50:15 AM
Fabulous looking transfer! (Too bad the movie sucks. Oh well).
6  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Raw Deal (1948) on: January 16, 2018, 01:36:22 PM
Blu in da house!
7  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Name Your Top 20 Westerns of all time... on: January 16, 2018, 11:09:28 AM
Shane is way more groundbreaking.
Absolutely. That moment when Emile Meyer makes his "we were here first" speech changes everything we've known up to that point. Then we realize that Shane is actually working for the bad guys, Wilson is the true (and tragic) hero. Westerns in the 50s weren't usually capable of such reversals.
8  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: DJ and D&D Go to the Symphony on: January 16, 2018, 09:34:29 AM
I think about 35.
9  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: DJ and D&D Go to the Symphony on: January 16, 2018, 06:48:58 AM
They were in the HH row--about 10 rows farther back than I would have liked. I was able to see the pianist well enough, but for the other players it was hard to see what they were up to. I had no trouble seeing what Fischer was doing, of course (except for the Beethoven, as I mentioned). The seats were almost in the center of the row, so we were well positioned as far as that goes. I can't complain about the price--thanks again, Drink, for arranging things. My date really enjoyed it and demonstrated her appreciation afterwards.
10  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Raw Deal (1948) on: January 15, 2018, 05:42:53 PM
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film6/blu-ray_reviews_80/raw_deal_blu-ray.htm
11  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: DJ and D&D Go to the Symphony on: January 15, 2018, 05:24:30 PM
DJ and I got tickets for some 2018 shows but (due to various commitments and scheduling and women) may be going to separate shows.

DJ will be seeing the awesome Ivan Fischer conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center on Jan. 14, performing:
 Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 2
Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3. With pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2
http://www.lincolncenter.org/great-performers/show/budapest-festival-orchestra-2
Had a lot of fun at this. The three pieces were all very different. The Bach was a chamber piece for 8 performers, some or all on period instruments. Fischer himself (with his back to the audience) manned a primitive organ. My date (not Drink on this occasion) was gratified to be able to finally hear a harpsichord played live. She also pointed out the fact that the flute being played was not the modern version. The rest of the group performed on various string instruments,  but I was unsure of their vintage. Two negatives: I find most Bach a bit dull; and, a chamber group performing in Avery Fisher/David Geffen Hall doesn't have the stuff to project enough sound for the place. It was all too pleasant, too quiet, too soporific. At least it was short (24 minutes).

Then the full orchestra came in with the guest pianist, Denes Varjon (not Mr. Thibaudet as originally advertised). Fischer's platform was set up on the other side of piano, so that the pianist was sitting front and center where everyone could enjoy his performance. This meant Fischer's conducting was obscured, but I was happy with the trade-off. A program note informed us that "Mr. Varjon will play Beethoven's cadenzas." What does that mean? Do pianists performing this piece sometimes play cadenzas by other composers? Do they improvise? I couldn't quite see the point of the note. Nonetheless, Mr. Vajon was a demon on the keyboard, with both a light touch and a commanding presence. Thirty-five minutes later he got standing ovations by many--I myself found myself on my feet at this point. Afterwards, Mr. Varjon performed an encore, a short piece for solo piano that I did not recognize. He called out the name before starting, but he was not mic-ed and I was way, way too far away to hear what he said.

After the intermission it was time for the Rachmaninoff (55 minutes), which I had never heard before. There was no piano for this--hah, Rachmaninoff without piano!--but plenty of orchestral pyrotechnics, yeah. The first movement was filled with potential movie music moments--I guess Messrs. Korngold, Steiner, and Waxman heard this a few times in their youth. Nothing seemed to have been stolen outright--I didn't hear anything I recognized--but as I listened I could easily imagine bits of the music accompanying scenes from some of my favorite films. This and the second movement had a lot of changes, dynamically and otherwise, and surprise seemed to be the point of many of these. Fisher was very aggressive throughout: at one point it looked like he was sparring with his string section, at another it looked like he was suffering a bout of apoplexy as he cued his horn section. The frenzy of the first two movements gave way to the lush romantic theme of the third. I recognized the theme, but took a moment to place it. It was Eric Carmen's "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again"! Of course, pop composers have been raiding the masters for years, I just hadn't realized Mr. Carmen's theft had been so conspicuous. I have to admit Mr. Carmen has good taste, though. The fourth movement was a capitulation of all that had gone on before, plus, I believe, the introduction of a new theme. Then there was the boffo finish, a bit of parody if you ask me. The performers were impressive and received many standing ovations. There was, apparently, an encore after that, but I couldn't stay--I had to hurry over to PJ Clark's for my $25 hamburger so that I'd be done in time for my movie at the AMC Lincoln at 7 (but that's another story).
12  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Caught (1949) on: January 15, 2018, 04:26:20 PM
Ryan had a much greater range. He could play just about anything. Bogart could play only two different characters: Psycho Bogart and Romantic Lead Bogart. In In a Lonely Place Ray was able to conflate the two to achieve a third performance, but that was entirely the director's doing. 
13  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: RIP Darlanne Fluegel 25 Nov 1953 - 15 Dec 2017 on: January 13, 2018, 04:14:53 PM
RIP

I believe she is the first credited cast member of OUATIA to die, with the exception of James Hayden
You are forgetting Richard Bright, killed by a truck in 2006.
14  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: January 13, 2018, 01:08:04 PM
A Royal Scandal (1945) 9/10. Lubitsch by way of Preminger. A handsome Russian officer comes to the attention of Catherine the Great (Tallulah Bankhead)--much to the consternation of the young man's fiancée (Anne Baxter). The Empress's wily Chancellor (Charles Coburn), however, makes certain everything works out. I've never been such a big fan of Lubitsch, but here it all clicks. Ms. Bankhead was born to play the man-eating monarch, and deadpanning Coburn has the best lines of his career.  This is the very definition of droll: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvbEb3hg1ws
Still hella funny.
15  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rate The Last Movie You Saw on: January 13, 2018, 01:06:54 PM
Well, yeah, I guess so. But who IS Gosta Ekman?
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