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August 08, 2022, 10:44:08 AM

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Topics - dave jenkins

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Off-Topic Discussion / Larry Storch R.I.P.
« on: July 08, 2022, 03:10:51 PM »

Off-Topic Discussion / Top Gun Maverick (2022)
« on: June 07, 2022, 06:52:06 AM »
TOPGUN Instructors React. This is fantastic but full of SPOILERS:

Film Locations / "Fistfuls of Dollars in Almeria"
« on: May 12, 2022, 05:12:59 AM »
For my Leone studies this week I'm reading Fistfuls of Dollars in Almeria by Terence Denman. No idea when this was first published. I have a made-on-demand copy that only lists the date on which it was manufactured (in this case 7 April 2022).

Before it was used as a location for SWs, Almeria was discovered for other kinds of films in the 1950s. Denman points to one film shot there in 1956 (released in 57) that put the place on the map in terms of later film productions. The film was called Oeil pour oeil (An Eye for an Eye) and was directed by Andre Cayatte:

A totally French production in terms of finance, but with a Spanish crew, Oeil pour oeil is a fascinating film, with several wonderful Amerian set pieces. The opening credits roll over the townscape of Almeria, with the sea in the background, standing in effortlessly for a north African city, as it could do so easily then. A scene in which the main protagonists cross a mountain pass on a dangerous aerial ropeway (especially constructed, and filmed at the Cerro de la Garibola near Santa Cruz de la Marchena in the Tabernas desert) is particularly exciting. But it's the film's final shot that is the true visual poem to Almeria. The star of the film, Curt Jurgens, is seen stumbling through the landscape near Tabernas, exhausted, parched and near death. The camera (obviously airborne in some way) pans back, revealing more and more of the stunning mountains and canyons around Tabernas. Even as a fan of spaghetti westerns, I can think of no scene in them which has this Almerian grandeur.
pp. 85, 86
This film sounds so interesting I had to look it up on IMDb. Unusually, there is a decent synopsis of the film available there:
In North Africa Dr. Walter (W) is a very skilled surgeon but lives at a distance from the hospital. In the evening a husband (H) and his sick wife come to his private home from far away. He tells them to go to the hospital. The wife dies during the operation. The other doctors think that W might have saved her. Shortly afterward a man asks W to come to a village to treat a very sick man. W goes thither in his car. The local habitants do not allow him to apply Western medical techniques, all tyres of his car are stolen, and he sees H in this village. W tells him that his wife would not have died if he had timely taken her to a doctor. W buys a lot of coca-cola and starts walking home on his feet. He refuses H's offer to show him a shortcut. But thrice he finds H sitting at the road much ahead of him. Then he accepts H's guidance = misguidance! When they have been without water for many days and W wishes he was dead, he wounds H with a knife. H is sure to die within 24 hours without medical treatment. Then H says that inhabited areas are found in a quite different direction. W starts in this direction, not followed by H. The camera rises and reveals that before W there is nothing but stone and sand.
Hmmmm. Anyone else here thinking maybe Tuco saw this film as a boy?

Off-Topic Discussion / Crimes of the Future (2022)
« on: April 16, 2022, 11:54:57 AM »
Weird that DC would re-use the title and not do a remake, but I guess weird is what DC does:

Off-Topic Discussion / Babylon (2022)
« on: April 01, 2022, 06:10:49 PM »
noodles would have eventually made this thread anyway, I'm just beating him to it.
Damien Chazellle?s new movie stunned L.A. moviegoers last night. I?m hearing the word ?masterpiece? being uttered a few times this morning.

Judging by some of the reactions gathered from last night?s screening of Chazelle?s ?Babylon,? this is going to be the writer-director?s go-for-broke epic. Scorsese?s ?The Wolf of Wall Street? was mentioned more than a few times, ditto Fellini?s ?Satyricon.?

The film, which clocks in at 185 minutes, is said to take place between 1925 and 1952, tackling Hollywood?s wobbly transition from the silent era to sound. Margot Robbie?s performance as Clara Bow is said to be the big takeaway & a likely Best Actress contender. Jean Smart also registered major points as a showbiz journalist who helps Bow learn to act with spoken words.

I won?t say more about the film, but that it does pull off the kind of surprising opening credits that would make Hamaguchi blush, not to mention its shades of ?Eyes Wide Shut? orgy debauchery. I?m telling you, this is Chazelle swinging for the fences and trying to rile up the dead horse that is American cinema?s current state.

I can?t wait for this one.

Off-Topic Discussion / Drive My Car (2021)
« on: March 22, 2022, 06:46:13 PM »
July Criterion release:

Drive My Car (2021) - 10+/10. Three Murakami stories, interconnected and reimagined by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, with a staging of Uncle Vanya thrown in for good measure. As Nuri Bilge Ceylan has demonstrated, when you put Chekhov into a picture, you elevate everything. In this case, you also blow away, or nearly, everything else. The Murakami material takes a back seat (heh, see what I did there?) to the Russian master's great play. Well, some of the Murakami survives, including the idea about a female driver, a woman hired to chauffeur Mr. Kafuku, the director of the play. She does her job while saying as little as possible, and it takes almost the film's entire three-hour running time before we learn much about her.

At the center of the film is the preparation for the Chekhov play: scenes run long, showing auditions, table readings, rehearsals. Hamaguchi really knows what such a production entails, and at times the film seems like a documentary. The lead character is an actor-director who stages plays with multi-lingual casts. He is content to direct Vanya, but feels, due to past misfortunes, unable to perform, to inhabit the playwright's words. Naturally, the story is constructed to allow him to overcome his inhibitions and resume his craft.

But there's a lot more. The film opens with a long prologue that focuses on Kafuku's wife. That concluded, action moves from Tokyo to Hiroshima, and only then, about 40 minutes into the film, do the credits roll. So there's a movie before the movie, or, if you prefer, Hamaguchi signals he has discovered/ re-discovered the five-act structure.
And just when we think we've taken the measure of the film, there's a sudden road trip, late in the picture, to Hokkaido. Of course, the car, a red Saab, is one of the characters in the picture. In the Murakami story the car is yellow. Why the color change? Perhaps it is simply to enhance the presence of the automobile, but I couldn't help thinking it might also be a nod to Ozu (I have the red tea kettle from Equinox Flower in mind).

There is a final scene without Kafuku but with his car and chauffeur, that may indicate the action has been handed off to the driver. As in life, stories never end.

This is the film of the year (except that Annette is also the film of the year).
Except that The Hand of God is also the film of the year.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / MWNN Action Figure
« on: March 05, 2022, 08:47:40 AM »
Cusser, ya buying?

Nice that among the accessories they include the rock.

Off-Topic Discussion / In the Court of the Crimson King (2022)
« on: February 14, 2022, 12:40:03 PM »

For those who can't get through the pay-wall:

FEBRUARY 2, 2022 2:08PM ET
?Some of Us Went Through Hell?: New King Crimson Doc Trailer Reveals Agony and Ecstasy of Legendary Band

Doc will show, according to co-founder Robert Fripp, ?The rock & roll lifestyle of glamour and excess in fine detail, including getting on and off buses, living and dying, resentment, a little humor, and even some music?


An upcoming documentary will provide a rare look at the inner workings of King Crimson, one of rock?s most respected but also mysterious bands. Titled In the Court of the Crimson King, after the group?s legendary 1969 debut, the film will premiere at South by Southwest this March, and a new trailer is available to view now.

As seen in the trailer, the film follows the most recent incarnation of King Crimson, a three-drummer ?double quartet,? on tour in 2018 and 2019. We see intimate, fly-on-wall footage of the band onstage, backstage, and in transit, and clips of sit-down interviews with members from throughout their half-century-plus history. Bits of King Crimson?s signature song, the fiercely futuristic anti-war anthem ?21st Century Schizoid Man,? punctuate the scenes.

Toby Amies, who previously profiled the eccentric British actor and dancer Drako Oho Zarhazar in 2013 doc The Man Whose Mind Exploded, directed the film. The new trailer reveals the updated title of the doc, originally called Cosmic F*Kc, and hints at how In the Court of the Crimson King will focus not just on the band?s artistic genius ? the way guitarist, co-founder, and sole consistent member Robert Fripp has piloted it from progressive rock into art pop, free improvisation, and more ? but also the interpersonal struggles that have kept King Crimson?s lineup in near-constant flux.

?It?s the dream band viewed from outside; it?s the band you could do anything you wanted to in it,? says drummer Bill Bruford, a King Crimson member on and off from the Seventies through the Nineties, early in the trailer. Then a parade of other former and current members hint at their difficulties during their time in the band. ?Some of us went through hell,? says saxophonist Mel Collins, an early-Seventies member who rejoined in 2013 after reconciling with the famously exacting Fripp. ?I came back from making some of that music, my hair had fallen out,? says guitarist-vocalist Adrian Belew, who fronted Crimson?s New Wave?informed Eighties incarnation. At one point, co-founding keyboardist-saxist Ian McDonald, who left the group at the height of its initial success in late ?69, turns up to offer a tearful apology to his former bandmate Fripp: ?I love you, Robert, and I?m sorry I broke your heart.?

Fripp himself marvels at how the band?s latest lineup ? which will likely go down as its final one, following the end of King Crimson?s 2020 tour, apparently its last ever ? managed to achieve some degree of harmony after so many decades. ?This is the first King Crimson where there?s not at least one member of the band that actively resents my presence,? he says. ?Which is astonishing.?

Also heard from in the trailer are co-founder and former drummer Michael Giles, elusive early-Seventies percussionist Jamie Muir, and current singer-guitarist Jakko Jakszyk and drummer Pat Mastelotto, as well as drummer Bill Rieflin, a member since 2013 who died from cancer in 2020.

The movie was commissioned by the band, but as King Crimson manager David Singleton tells Rolling Stone, they left the project firmly in Amies? hands.

?Robert and I have long believed that there should be a good King Crimson documentary,? Singleton writes in an email. ?We have been approached by various broadcasters, but felt that the ?standard talking head? format was becoming increasingly cookie cutter and uncreative. We therefore approached Toby Amies, an independent filmmaker, and asked him to make an original music documentary. To reimagine the format. And gave him complete creative freedom to do so. So the film is really sanctioned by the band only in as much as they set the ball rolling and gave Toby the access and interviews he requested. Thereafter they happily ceded all creative control. Musicians are well accustomed to the problems that come with outside attempts to control their creativity, so this was an area they all understood well.?

?A grown-up documentary showing the lives of King Crimson?s working players during 2018?2019,? Fripp tells Rolling Stone in an email when asked for his impression of the film. ?The rock & roll lifestyle of glamour and excess in fine detail, including getting on and off buses, living and dying, resentment, a little humor, and even some music.?

In a director?s statement, Amies explains how he knew very little about the band before he embarked on the project.

?Music means the world to me. But I was innocent of King Crimson when on Christmas Eve 2017 Robert Fripp (a fan of my first feature documentary, The Man Whose Mind Exploded) suggested we make a film. A film about what King Crimson is, in advance of the band?s fiftieth anniversary,? he writes. ?I accepted the challenge with no idea of how hard that would be to make. I wanted to make a movie to understand what it felt like to be in King Crimson, both then and now. That?s a difficult and complicated process for everyone involved. The film documents that, and I want the audience to have a sense of what a high-pressure creative environment feels like, and what that can do to the individuals who enter it.

?I hope that the film resonates with musicians and anyone who has made hard sacrifices to come even a little closer to making something extraordinary, even transcendent,? he continues. ?There?s something very beautiful and inspiring about a band who are still willing to take risks, make mistakes and challenge themselves even as time catches up with them.?

In the Court of the Crimson King will premiere next month at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Ennio Morricone / One More Release . . .
« on: January 15, 2022, 08:03:32 AM »

Off-Topic Discussion / Burke's Law (1963 - 1965)
« on: November 14, 2021, 05:23:36 PM »
Gene Barry plays Amos Burke, a Los Angeles police captain who is also a millionaire with a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce, a mansion, and a playboy lifestyle. He is assisted in his investigations by Regis Toomey and Gary Conway. The formula is unvarying: each episode begins with someone who everyone loves to hate being murdered; Burke drives around town interviewing suspects, always played by a list of Hollywood Has-beens and Wannabes. The dialog is jokey, double-entendres dominating.

"Who Killed Holly Howard?"
(S1, E1) - A model is killed. Guest suspects include William Bendix, Bruce Cabot, Rod Cameron, Fred Clark, Cedric Hardwicke, Stephen McNally, Suzy Parker, Zasu Pitts, Will Rogers Jr.

"Who Killed Cable Roberts?" (S1, E3) - A big game hunter gets shot and mounted. Guests: Mary Astor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Paul Lynde, John Saxon, Lizabeth Scott, Chill Wills. I guessed the perp just by reading the credits. I learned the term "throat shot" from this episode. Who says TV can't be educational?

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