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bartist
Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:10 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6432
I'm not certain even many Boss admirers knew that he wrote the song, given that his version had no commercial success and sank into obscurity, eclipsed by MM's success with covering it. Hardcore fans knew it, I guess. Yes, very Gary-like post , especially the MM gig that you didn't see. Heh!

It's like the time I almost met Debra Winger while she was in my town shooting scenes for a movie. In the process of almost meeting her, I did meet the governor, who had been dating her. It's rumored that she found his wooden leg a real turn-on.

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billyweeds
Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:58 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20405 Location: New York City
Winger is now married to Arliss Howard, who I have met and who seems like a genuinely stand-up dude.
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gromit
Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:39 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8591 Location: Shanghai
American Factory is a documentary about a giant Chinese manufacturer that opens an automotive glass plant near Dayton Ohio in a factory that was used by GM until it closed in 2014. They bring in hundreds of Chinese engineers and workers to teach the American's how to make glass. The culture clash is as noisy and frustrating as the loud and overly dramatic film score.

One thing the Chinese understand very well is that they don't want their US plant unionized. They pay a labor consulting company $1M to defeat the union drive, roughly $500 per employee. And all I could think was that was $1M that could have gone to wages. I really wonder why any employee there would vote against unionizing. But I guess scare tactics, including mandatory anti-union meetings, work.
The company also tosses out a $2/hour raise for all employees, which to me just underscores how underpaid they were, and even the threat of unionization got the workers better pay. But with starting salaries at $12/hour, a $2 raise is fairly significant. And the fact is most of these workers are/were pretty desperate, and thankful even for a job that pays a good deal less than half what they made at GM.

Some context. We hear the Chinese workers in Ohio will be away from their families for 2 years. A hardship. But working in the US two years and improving their English is a definite career boost. And we see some of the Chinese managers do have their families with them, and sending their kids to an American school for a few years is a big plus. The Chinese workers sent to America to work were no doubt carefully selected, are some of the most skilled and dedicated workers, and not that representative of the Fuyao factory workers in China. And in this film, we're seeing skilled Chinese glass workers teaching lowly paid Americans a new trade.

Fuyao Glass Company is from Fujian Province, across from Taiwan. And they are powerful and wealthy enough to pay off the local govt and do whatever they like. In China, there are plenty of factories that regiment their workers as FuYao does. Though a lot of the company celebration and fanfare stuff is pretty dated for Shanghai. I'm sure safety and labor standards aren't much of a concern in their little fiefdom in Fujian.

Another issue is that in the US, the company is paying a relatively low wage for repetitive factory work. $12/hr doesn't go far, so FuYao tends to get older ex-factory workers who can't find other work, and then starts switching to young workers who will accept low pay. The workers in China make less than the US counterparts, but the cost of living is probably 1/5 or so, so these factory jobs in China can lead to a middle class life, while they are just dead end, barely pay the rent jobs in the US.

I liked when the Chinese hold lectures for the Chinese employees in the US, telling them that Americans are lazy and overconfident and careless. Then we see large signs throughout the Ohio factory with poor, non-grammatical English. Not surprisingly the relentless Chinese corporate propaganda rubs many US employees the wrong way. Finally we see the best way to deal with American workers is to replace them with robots. And remove all the American managers.

I think the best part of the documentary is the access the filmmakers have to the US factory and the company Chairman. He seems pretty self-aggrandizing, and probably thought this would make him look like a great international tycoon. I thought the film could have gone into more detail in a number of areas. An injured worker talks about never having had a workplace accident in 15 years in GM, but we never hear what his accident was or how it happened or if it related to Fuyao safety issues. Etc.
I found the score intrusive and kind of pompous.

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carrobin
Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:54 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7688 Location: NYC
I never heard of "American Factory" but it sounds very intriguing--documentaries and foreign films are both genres I've missed since leaving the film class. I never seem to have time to watch anything on Netflix or Amazon even though I have (and am paying for!) both, but if I notice it's on their lists, I'll check it out.
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gromit
Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:09 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8591 Location: Shanghai
American Factory was just released August 21.
It's a Netflix documentary.
And the first film from the Obamas production company Higher Ground.

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carrobin
Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:23 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7688 Location: NYC
Thanks--now all I have to do is find the time to watch it!
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Syd
Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:40 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12532 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
I greatly enjoyed Brittany Runs a Marathon,, which is about a woman named Brittany who, well, runs a marathon. Of course, it's about how she gets there. Brittany is a very nice person who is a bit on the obese side who is given the facts by her new doctor that she is also staring to develop serious health problems and need to change her lifestyle. Her upstairs neighbor hears her crying in frustration, and suggests that she set herself goals, and, since her neighbor is a runner, Brittany takes up running a block or two, and sets her a goal to...guess what.

Very nice and funny movie with some dark overtones, and a lot of punch, with a brilliant lead performance by Jillian Bell, who really hasn't done much in films before now and delivers here. Pretty good supporting cast, including the wonderful best friend who does her best to limit Brittany's ambition to keep has her dependent best friend. Brittany also can get obnoxious as she thinks she failed her goal, including fatshaming an innocent woman whose main crime is reminding Brittany of herself.

Brittany was inspired by the scriptwriter's roommate, but as near as I can tell, the story is mostly original. And the film is much more ambitious than I'm hinting here.


Last edited by Syd on Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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gromit
Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:23 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8591 Location: Shanghai
Brittany won an audience award at Sundance. For some reason makes me think of Tully. I guess a around-30 year old woman trying to get her life together.

I assume we'll get more movies dealing with fat issues as obesity has become as American as Toyota ...

In American Factory it looks like half the US workforce for FuYao Glass is seriously overweight. One person in the IMDb comments noted that and compared them with the "lean and fit Chinese" workers. And yeah, most of the Chinese are slim and normal weight, but also almost all the Chinese workers we see smoke, and probably get little exercise. Not being fat doesn't equate to being fit. Though it's better than being a lardbutt.

Last week at basketball I was talking to a guy I play with regularly, and was surprised that he is prepping to run the Shanghai marathon in November. I was impressed.

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Syd
Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:50 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12532 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
The Goldfinch has a strongly negative rating at Rotten Tomatoes and is a bomb of the year, but I rather liked it. Apparently it's based n a complicated novel that you really can't adapt in less than four hours, so you get some abrupt transitions, but it all comes together in the end.

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bartist
Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:03 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6432
Will WFV, keeping your comment in mind.

Though I wasn't sure that a film about con artist strippers was what the world has been waiting for, I went to see and sorta liked "Hustlers," largely due to some solid acting and screenwriting. But I didn't feel that it quite sold me on the premise that the protagonists were Robin Hoods with great abs, just trying to pay their kid's future tuition by scamming Wall Street marauders. Really, they're greedy criminals who drug people (with life-threatening brews of ketamine and coke) and steal their credit cards. And their humanity (skilfully revealed by J-Lo, Wu, et al.) is matched by their ability to dehumanize their victims and pig out on bling. Not everyone who works in the financial district is a pirate who's been out plundering the fireman's fund or the mortgage market. And the ones that do don't have special decals or tattoos that allow instant identification. J-Lo makes an attempt to justify their crimes that's as weak and false as anything you would have heard coming from a subprime pillager or a ponzi schemer. And that's the real tragedy of the story. You are the company you keep.

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Befade
Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:34 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3637 Location: AZ
Syd......I was thinking of seeing Goldfinch today. I donít think itís going to stay in theatres long because of the reviews. So....Iím glad you thought it was worthwhile. I really liked the book....a long saga about a boy who loses his mother in the Metropolitan Museum of Art during a bombing. He survives and makes off with a painting of a goldfinch.

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Befade
Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:21 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3637 Location: AZ
Now, having seen it, I thought it was quite good....the acting especially. The character of the boy, young and adult was very well drawn. His despair at losing his mother, his inability to bond with his father, his attachment to the girl in the museum, his attraction to the drug taking friend. I really thought it replicated the tone of the book. I never did read the reviews.

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carrobin
Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:50 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7688 Location: NYC
Just read a fascinating review/article about Scorsese's "The Irishman," from The Week magazine. Try this link:

https://theweek.com/articles/868304

Since my computer isn't behaving very well these days (I really need a new one), it may not work. But the reviewer convinced me that the rather pedestrian title is misleading and it should have kept the title of the original source, "I Heard You Paint Houses"--a rather sinister comment in context. Since it runs more than three hours, I'll probably end up watching it on Netflix (or, if it's as great as the writer says, buying the DVD). The cast alone, with a new technology that allows them to look younger or older in various scenes, is a major draw. I remember sitting next to Martin Scorsese in film class wondering who this nervous guy was who couldn't sit still. Turned out he was the guest that night, talking about the weekend screening of "Mean Streets." (Lots of people had walked out.) Obviously, time's been on his side.
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bartist
Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:14 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6432
Quote:
I remember sitting next to Martin Scorsese in film class wondering who this nervous guy was who couldn't sit still.


OK, I think you've just tied with Gary, and maybe pulled into the lead, in the category of Third Eyeballer Celebrity Encounter.

I did have lunch with Alexander Payne, however.*



* if one means, by "have lunch with," that one ate lunch in a restaurant in Omaha where Payne was also eating, several tables away.

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Befade
Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:42 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3637 Location: AZ
I ate dinner with Bill Murray in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. If you count that I was eating 2 tables away from where he was eating.

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