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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:21 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20536 Location: New York City
gromit wrote:
Ah, I looked that stuff over quickly.
Actually you should have corrected my spellign of her name. I made it sound kind of dirty.



I almost corrected the spelling but I figured that would dilute my Oscar correction. I hadn't noticed the dirty part. Now that I have...
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bartist
Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:17 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6609
Finally saw American Factory. One of the best docus on labor, collective bargaining (and the ugly dynamic to eradicate it) and culture clash, I've ever seen. (we are now chronic Netflix poachers)
I'm gobsmacked. People in high places need to watch this... and be troubled by what they see. Karl Marx would be spinning 78 rpm in his grave to see what the Chinese have done with "Marxism."

Wonder if Gromit had a chuckle at the scene where the Chinese manager is telling some workers about how ten of them will get an expenses-paid trip to Shanghai as a special treat -- the expression on the American faces is priceless.

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bartist
Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:54 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6609
Saw Parasite. Weird pastiche, like a hybrid of HG Wells (Morlocks and Eloi) and Oliver Twist. This was the best film last year? Really? I guess if you do a sufficiently OTT metaphor of social class divisions, most critics will soil themselves with glee.

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gromit
Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:50 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
My initial American Factory review here:
http://www.thirdeyefilm.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=247593#247593

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bartist
Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:59 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6609
Thanks, I recall reading it back then, and filing it in my head as one to see.

The music was somewhat much. I tend toward the principle that documentary forms don't need mood music. Plenty of drama in the factory noises, disgruntled sounds from American workers, and the overall arc between hope and disillusionment. The global version of capitalism seems to be a relentless search for the cheapest labor.

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knox
Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:23 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1207 Location: St. Louis
Added to all its intentional messaging, I found it a good case for having all factory labor become robots. Not the brain work in the offices or engineering stuff, but the floor work that's so hard on the human body. We're wired as hunter-gatherers, not really so much for repetitive assembly line tasks. If I had to choose between some of those jobs and living in a tent and busking with my guitar for dinner money, it would be a hard decision.
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gromit
Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
I found the strident anti-unionism of the company very revealing and the most important element to document. For me that was more significant than the culture clash.

Just the threat of unionization got all employees a $2 an hour raise (substantial since they were only making $12). Underscoring how underpaid they were, and how the union would benefit them. The company also spent $1M to implement a professional anti-union drive. And even more money is squandered since employees have to sit through anti-union classes, and management spends time on his as well. (it's always been interesting how communists are against worker unions; though these are market-Leninists)

Hard to understand why people would vote against getting more salary, better benefits and more protections. Very dispiriting the extent of the company's anti-unionism and the outcome of the vote.

One thing I like about writing reviews is you can go back and see how you viewed things. I forgot about the music/score. So I'm glad I mentioned that it was distracting.

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bartist
Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:39 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6609
gromit wrote:
I sent a copy of Mary & Max to my eldest niece circa 2009 or 2010, when she would have been 15 or 16, and it became her favorite film for a number of years (maybe still?). Score one for Uncle Gromit!

Of course she was in a goth phase then, wearing all black; and these days has 4 tattoos, 2 pet snakes, and her hair is usually a particularly ugly two-tone green. (so nothing odd about her ... hah!)


The nice thing is there is a lot of things going on in the film, including some inside jokes and quirky humor a la Wallace & Gromit. It's really impressive.

After you see it, I'll mention a few small jokes I quite liked.


Took a few weeks, but I saw it, and really liked it. Bleakness abounds, yes, but mitigated by the sense that some redemption is possible and even the most alienated can find connection and meaning. I see very little claymation stuff, so I'm not expert, but it does seem to be influenced by the Wallace and You series, while being quite an original work in itself. And there are some amusing little Easter Eggs, in terms of references to other films, E.g. Mary's husband discovers gay love and ends up herding sheep in New Zealand with his boyfriend - Brokeback Mountain nod there.

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gromit
Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:17 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
Glad folks are seeing M&M and mostly liking it. I find it holds up well to repeat viewings, as there's a lot going on and plenty of little touches.
Such as after their estrangement, Mary checks the mailbox but it's empty except for a few snails making themselves at home. She checks again later and more snail activity has occurred. It's a variation on showing spiders/spider webs to depict a lack of useful activity and time passage. But the snails are goofy cute, and there's a subtle joke about snail mail folded within.
And for some reason the Bird Injury Ward at the hospital always amuses me.

For me, the humor counters some of the bleakness, and adds a low-key positive vibe.

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gromit
Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:15 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
...


Last edited by gromit on Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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gromit
Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:22 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
Has anyone seen this pre-code film?
Sounds pretty good and apparently some of the structure informed Citizen Kane.

Quote:
The Sin of Nora Moran

The Film Detective has officially announced that it will release on Blu-ray Phil Goldstone's film The Sin of Nora Moran (1933). The release will be available for purchase on July 29.

Label description: The Poverty Row, Pre-Code marvel that stunned audiences when released in 1933 stars Zita Johann as Nora Moran, a young woman sentenced to death for a murder she did not commit. Awaiting her sentence, Nora explores the patterns of her life in a dream-like haze, including the dark secret that could change not only her own fate, but the fate of those she holds most dear.

Directed by Phil Goldstone, The Sin of Nora Moran masterfully utilizes flashbacks, dreams and hallucinations to tell the tale of fateful doom, true to the thematic style of the Pre-Code era.

A star of stage and screen, Johann was fresh from performances in Boris Karloff's The Mummy (1932) and Edward G. Robinson's Tiger Shark (1932) before delivering a haunting performance as Nora Moran.

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billyweeds
Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:14 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20536 Location: New York City
bartist wrote:
Saw Parasite....This was the best film last year?


So NOT. "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood" was not only the best film of 2019, it was my favorite of the past two decades and more, the best since "Boogie Nights" (1997).
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gromit
Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:04 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8763 Location: Shanghai
I've run across Agnes Moorehead a few more times the past week.
She's in Dark Passage a sort of hokey Bogey-Bacall noir, which starts with the camera as the main character's POV for roughly 25 minutes.
And she's in How the West Was Won. A busy actress.

I've also been running across Edward Platt a bunch lately.
Rebel Without a Cause, where he's a good-guy youth counselor.
The Helen Morgan Story -- a good cop
Designing Woman

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billyweeds
Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:28 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20536 Location: New York City
gromit wrote:
I've run across Agnes Moorehead a few more times the past week.
She's in Dark Passage a sort of hokey Bogey-Bacall noir, which starts with the camera as the main character's POV for roughly 25 minutes.
And she's in How the West Was Won. A busy actress.

I've also been running across Edward Platt a bunch lately.
Rebel Without a Cause, where he's a good-guy youth counselor.
The Helen Morgan Story -- a good cop
Designing Woman


Agnes Moorehead was Kane's mother in "Citizen Kane" and won awards for her performance in "The Magnificent Ambersons."
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Syd
Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:42 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12624 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
When I was a kid Walter Brennan was the Real McCoy, Agnes Moorhead was Endora and Barbara Stanwyck was Victoria Barkley. I had no idea they had long and great careers in the movies.

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