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gromit
Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8850 Location: Shanghai
I might try one of those cruises one day when I'm significantly older.
One that goes around the Mediterranean could be fun, since when otherwise would you get to say Corsica, Sardinia, Malta, Cyprus, Crete, Sicily.
Okay, I actually went to Malta and Cyprus this February, just before the virus took hold of Europe. But it's a cruise would be a good way to hit some of these islands you'd otherwise have a hard time of visiting. And most of those islands are small enough that a full day would cover a fair amount.

That's one thing impressive about cruises. You stop over in exotic places. Find a Med cruise which pulls into Beirut for a day. Or some such.
A somewhat localized cruise like the Med could get you a lot of stops and only maybe half the time cruising on the water, which sounds like the right balance to me. And then there's that whole idea that you can just fall overboard and be gone which adds intrigue . . .

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gromit
Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:01 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8850 Location: Shanghai
I don't think I ever saw Fiddler on the Roof before. I've had the Dvd for 15+ years, and vaguely assume I had watched it. I think my excuse is that I don't really care for musicals and don't like long films. And I had a notion that this might be a somewhat cheesy feel-good ethnic adaptation.

But it's really a terrific film. Topol is very believable in the lead. And I tend to like films where the narrator/protag talks to the audience and kind of conspires with us. You get involved as the daughters quietly rebel against Tradition!

I really liked the look and feel of the film. And the pacing. Filmed in Croatia, Yugoslavia for an authentic backwards locale. Also, there isn't that much singing and for my taste I prefer these snippets of songs instead of full songs. A lot of this just worked real well for me.

I'm not sure what the competition was in 1972, but Best Cinematography, Best Actor, Best Picture, Ste Design nominations seem about right to me, plus Song and Sound wins (and Cinematography).

The end works well, with the village being dispersed so it really is the end of the lives they/we have known. But with some heading to America, you can imagine the story for the next generation or two as they become part of the great European immigration to America in the early 20th C and part of the 20th C American narrative. But there's also dread at the Jews who choose to migrate to Poland and other later-to-be dangerous parts of Eastern Europe. Knowing their divergent fates makes for a bittersweet ending.

___________________________________________

This was released in late 1971, when I would have been in 1st grade, age 6 close to turning 7. I remember the songs being quite popular, and my mother's elementary school putting on the play (kind of a big deal to go to my mother's school at night to see a performance). And given that my hometown at that time was heavily Jewish, the film and songs would have been a big deal. But I was rather too young to really comprehend too much of the reaction and cultural import. It was one of the first cultural events that I was really aware of, even if not able to fully engage with. One of those early becoming aware of the outside world events. So it brought back some interesting vague memories.

Another such moment a couple years later: I'm in the family station wagon with my mother and the car parked in front of us has a bumper sticker which reads:
Don't Blame Me
I Didn't Vote for the SOB
.
With a picture of Nixon's ugly mug.

So gromit age 9, I asked my mother what an SOB was.
And she hemmed and hawed a bit. I don't recall her actual answer. But I came away with a sketchy notion that some people didn't like the president.
Why anyone voted for a president whose mother was a dog I couldn't puzzle out ...

Interesting some of these early discover-the-outside-world moments.
Apparently I was plopped in front of the Tv to see the moon landings, but at a mere 4 it was wasted on me and never imprinted on my memory, and must have been some puny black and white screen with dials, an antennae and a vertical hold button.


Last edited by gromit on Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:40 am; edited 2 times in total

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gromit
Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:06 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8850 Location: Shanghai
If anyone is interested, here's the 1972 Oscar noms and winners:
https://www.imdb.com/event/ev0000003/1972/1?ref_=ttawd_ev_1

I just rewatched The Last Picture Show last week.
Terrific film (though the editing is a bit choppy at times).


Last edited by gromit on Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:15 am; edited 1 time in total

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bartist
Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:14 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6670 Location: Black Hills
I remember being a teen, in high school, and seeing pretty much all of those movies. I remember LPS and TFC getting lots of awards and being much talked about. Recall liking Fiddler, but forgot it had gotten Oscars, too. The one I really liked that year was The Hospital, partly due to Diana Rigg, partly my budding taste for the dark and farcical.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:27 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8850 Location: Shanghai
I don't know The Hospital at all.
Sounds kind of weird and possibly fun.

Kind of similar with Sunday Bloody Sunday, having heard the title but I knew absolutely nothing about.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:38 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8850 Location: Shanghai
My mistake.
Fiddler won 3 Oscars Best Cinematography, Songs and Sound.

When I followed the Oscar link off the film page, it highlights that film which makes all the noms look like winners.
And if you look at this list from IMDb it's real hard to tell which categories Won and which were just Nominated.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067093/awards?ref_=tt_awd
Poorly designed.
(now I see there's an ultra-faint line on my screen separating the Winner and Nominated boxes. Real hard to see, at least on my screen. And things line up poorly, as the top Noms are closer to the Winner column. So if you don't see that faint line. Boooo.

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carrobin
Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:42 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7757 Location: NYC
"Fiddler" is one of those items that has been around so long and seems so familiar that I feel like I've seen it, but I haven't. I should check it out.

We got our first TV in the year Queen Elizabeth was crowned, and I remember that; I also remember complaining that the political talk one day was boring, and my mother said I should pay attention because it was history, which is the only reason I still recall seeing Senator Joe McCarthy on TV. A mother's comment does carry weight.

My only experience on a cruise ship was a "cruise to nowhere" on the QEII with my mother and my friend David and his mother. It was wonderful. I wanted to go all the way to England. Ah, the good old days.

And I just had a curbside Covid check yesterday afternoon for free, and the results arrived in my email half an hour ago--negative, which I expected but was nevertheless a relief. I hope those little checkup vans are set up thoughout the city.
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gromit
Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:56 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8850 Location: Shanghai
Just because you have good songs and a good story doesn't mean that it's easy to make a good film. And Ii think Fiddler succeeds in turning it into a good movie. With In the Heat of the Night and Justice For All, it seems I'm a Norman Jewison fan. In those films he has terrific casts, good pacing, nice feel for the material. All have socio-political importance, which makes the individual stories resonate. Fiddler manages to be a story about a family, a village and a people all at the same time. A family drama that merges with the epic.

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gromit
Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:43 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8850 Location: Shanghai
Didn't like much about Mississippi Masala.
It seems fairly derivative of Spike Lee, but the scripting is very clunky, everything is overdone and too on the nose. A young Denzel Washington shows promise. And the young Indian actress is likable. And otherwise I found it hard to engage with. I thought it was clunky film.

What was interesting to me is the opening scene dramatization of the Indians getting kicked out of Uganda. I was in Kampala in 1987 and there were still some Displaced Asian Property Boards (I think that was what they were called) to deal with ex-Indian businesses. The film briefly mentions that the Indians were brought to East Africa to build the railroad and be the merchant class, with the British mostly as landowners and plantation heads.

But it doesn't discuss that when Idi Amin kicked the Indians out, they were the backbone of the economy, the businessmen and traders. And mostly these Indian companies and shops were handed over to African cronies who had no interest or experience running such companies and shops. For the most part, they just sold the existing inventory for quick profit and folded the companies. You need some real planning when you decide to excise a country's entire business community.

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Syd
Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:26 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12662 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
I liked it a lot better than you did. I found the racial politics very interesting.

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gromit
Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:39 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8850 Location: Shanghai
A lot of awkward dialogue.
A lot of awkward moments.
I just didn't believe much of it at all.
The scripting was too obvious.

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Syd
Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:15 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12662 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
gromit wrote:
My mistake.
Fiddler won 3 Oscars Best Cinematography, Songs and Sound.


The film was shot with a nylon stocking over the lens, which gives a tint of sepia to the film. Worked spectacularly, too. Love the film.

Isaac Asimov was born in the part of Russia affected by the pogroms, and tells the history in the first volume of his autobiography, "In Memory Yet Green." He was an infant when he came to the US a couple of years after the Revolution, but his parents would have experienced the programs. Really good reading.

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carrobin
Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:17 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7757 Location: NYC
Watched my favorite Christmas movie on the weekend. Berserk Bill Murray, adorable Karen Allen, distinguished (but slightly deranged) Robert Mitchum, empathetic Alfre Woodard, frozen Michael J. Pollard, deteriorating Art Carney, etc. etc. etc., with some truly terrifying scenes and a memorably happy ending to sing along with. I don't know why the most overlooked Xmas comedy is the classically twisted "Scrooged."
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Syd
Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:42 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12662 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
gromit wrote:
I don't know The Hospital at all.
Sounds kind of weird and possibly fun.

Kind of similar with Sunday Bloody Sunday, having heard the title but I knew absolutely nothing about.


I remember The Hospital as a very dark satirical comedy and somewhat better than Marty and Network, which Paddy Chayefsky also wrote, and he won Oscars for all three. I discovered I thought Marty was overdone on re-viewing (I always thought that way about Network) so maybe I shouldn't rewatch it.

It was also notable that George C. Scott was up again the year after he didn't show up to pick up his Oscar for Patton so people were wondering if they would get to see a repeat non-performance.

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gromit
Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:09 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8850 Location: Shanghai
In future, I should both search here and check my Best of The Year lists before declaring i haven't seen a 21st C film.

I ranked Ides 31 of 39 films I saw in 2011, the sub-mediocre section.

2011 FILMS

Best:
1. The Artist
2. Nader and Simin, A Separation
3. Margaret

Good -- liked well enough:
4. Mysteries of Lisbon
5. The Turin Horse
6. Young Adult
7. Kosmos (Reha Erdem)
8. The Temptation of St. Tony
9. The Tree of Life
10. Nostalgia for the Light
11. Another Earth
12. The Adjustment Bureau
13. Colors of the Mountain

Average -- ok, but flawed:
14. The Descendants
15. Into the Abyss (Herzog)
16. Midnight in Paris
17. Rango
18. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu
19. Attenberg
20. The Help
21. Hugo


Mediocre
22. The Beaver
23. The Light Thief
24. Martha Marcy May Marlene
25. My Week with Marilyn
26. 50/50
27. Source Code
28. Moneyball
29. The Deep Blue Sea
30. We Need to Talk About Kevin

Poor:
31. The Ides of March
32. Page One: Inside the NY Times
33. The Conspirator
34. Tuesday, After Christmas
35. Like Crazy

Bad
36. Melancholia
37. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
38. Poetry (Lee Chang Dong)
39. Uncle Boonmee

Want to see:
Take Shelter
Meek's Cutoff (Reichardt)
The Future
La Quattro Volte
The Guard
Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Werner Herzog)

and from 2010:
Tiny Furniture
Melody for a Street Organ
Dogtooth
Bas-Fonds (dir. Isild le Besco, 2010)
Finisterrae (dir. Sergio Caballero, 2010)

Has anyone seen Melody for a Street Organ?
I was real interested in thta.
Someone should get a hold of that and report back ...

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