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Postby Wil » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:29 pm

MM,

If you are interested in going beyond the director's chair, I would recommend you read Michael Ondaatje's book The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film and David Mamet's Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business

Both give terrific insights.

-Wil
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Postby MarylandManson » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:54 pm

Thanks, Wil, I'll look into those. Mamet is certainly a favorite. And Murch, well...THE CONVERSATION speaks for itself, no pun intended.

"He'd kill us..."

"He'd kill us..."

The most subtle of differences, but all the difference in the world.

Also, Thelma Schoonmaker rates highly in this moviegoer's estimation.

Cheers! MM
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Postby Slade » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:24 pm

Wil & MM,

Have you seen both CAPOTE and INFAMOUS?

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Postby Wil » Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:02 pm

Slade,

I thought Capote was terrific, and I haven't seen Infamous yet. #24 on my Netflix queue.

-Wil
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Postby Slade » Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:17 pm

Wil,

Hard to know which is the better film. All the same characters. Daniel Craig is great as Perry Smith, and Toby Jones gives Hoffman a run for his money.

If you haven't seen THE PAINTED VEIL - Jones is good in that, too, and what a last line! - add it to the list.

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Postby MarylandManson » Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:45 am

Slade,

Haven't seen either of the Capote films, but they look to be great "The List" fodder for a fan of IN COLD BLOOD and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Wil,

I'm reading the Mamet book, and right off the bat it brings to mind FINAL CUT by Steven Bach. Ever read that? I'm guessing yes.

It's interesting that Mamet differentiates between "above the line" players (star, director, producer, writer) and the "workmen" below the line, or at least he notes the differentiation that others employ. Surely there are DPs, editors, composers, and take your pick of other "craftsmen" who would squawk at that. Anyway, so far I'm most enjoying Mamet's writing style, which varies between compact/powerful sentence structure and serial commas up the yingyang. Kind of like a private little war between Hemingway and Faulkner. Definitely an entertaining read.

Cheers! MM
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Postby Slade » Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:10 am

MM,

It's exactly the same material - plot and characters - handled in different ways, and thus gives rise to a great Zinc/Alex debate over who and what is better on a lot of subjects.

I wish we had Harper Lee's opinion on the two films.

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Postby Wil » Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:45 am

Okay folk,

Back to westerns for a minute. I just saw 3:10 to Yuma. I thought it was great fun. I give it a solid seven out of ten.

But...

I think there was one big storytelling mistake in the last 20 minutes.

Who can pick it out?

-Wil
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Postby PohlSE » Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:33 pm

I thought there were more than one mistake in this otherwise good remake.

For one the the character arc of Ben Wade is incomplete. You're given his potential for redemption but it's never completed.

Dan Evans stretches credibility as a character by being determined to continue, what amounts to, a suicide mission even when offered enough money to save the ranch and tell his debtors what they can do with themselves. There is a point where the line is crossed from moral and upright to priggish and shortsighted.

Finally; there are far too many themes that have already been dealt with in other western (and better) so the film is saddled with a 'been-there-done-that' feel that was distracting to me. This was embodied by Peter Fonda's impersonation of Clint Eastwood.

Despite all of that I did enjoy the film. And it has made me reevaluate some things about westerns (specifically westerns of the fifties). It also proved Mafus right from the 3:10 to Yuma thread: The remaking of an average western can make a really good one.
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Postby Slade » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:08 pm

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Another One Bites the Dust . . .

Postby Judy » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:03 pm

Sorry to hear of Richard Widmark's death, . . . each year someone else I grew up watching leaves . . . the older I get - the more I believe it requires GUTS to survive . . . when you look around and sometimes realize that you're the only one left standing . . .
Last edited by Judy on Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MrEd » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:11 pm

Yes, I too was saddened by Richard Widmark's rather sudden death - though at 80+ years old it can't reasonably be termed as 'unexpected'.
Anyway, Richard Widmark will (likely) forever be the holder of my personal 'Greatest Film Debut' award due to his debut role as the psychopathic killer 'Tommy Udo' in 1947's "Kiss of Death"...Widmark's skull-like face shining with absolute delight while he claps his hands & giggles like a kid at a birthday party while he watches and listens to the crippled elderly woman he's tied into her wheelchair with a ripped out power cord from the woman's lamp crashing & tumbling down a few flights of stairs to her (obvious) demise is, to me, pretty close to the vision of 'evil incarnate' in human form, anyway. As a bit of trivia, it was a few yeras before Widmark could convince anyone at the studio he was under contract to to cast him in non-villainous roles as his debut was so stunning to the film audiences of the day, the thinking was that that audience could'n't or wouldn't accept him as any other type of character; when Widmark finally was cast in a non-villainous role, the event triggered a 2 or 3 page spread in either Life of Look magazine.
2nd place goes to Andy Robinson for his debut role as 'Scorpio' in 1971's "Dirty Harry".
"One that will not reason is a bigot. One that cannot reason is an ignoramus. One that dares not reason is a slave." - Anon
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Postby Slade » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:13 pm

Mr. Ed,

Go back to Page 1 of this thread and start reading about six posts down. You'll find an in-depth discussion of Westerns, one of the best back-and-forths in the history of the Board.

It goes on for pages.

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Postby Brad Smith » Sun May 18, 2008 6:16 am

Slade wrote:Wil,

I noticed that, but it didn't register as film-maker's technique. While I find THE SEARCHERS disturbing, I can't help trying to figure out what's really going on...

...and that means Ford and Wayne have sucked me in.

Re BLACK ROCK:

According to one biographer of Spencer Tracy, the script did not originally call for the lead character to be a one-armed man. The producers were keen to get Tracy but didn't think he'd be interested, so they gave the character this disability with the idea that no actor can resist playing a character with a physical impairment.

And that's how we got an electrifying moment in the history of film: the ketchup scene.

Wow!

Slade

P.S. Other electrifying moments:
PSYCHO: the shower scene.
THE DEER HUNTER: the tiger cage scene.
SCARFACE: the chainsaw sequence.
TRAINING DAY: the bathtub scene.
Want to add some?


I've heard that Alan Ladd was originally up for the lead in BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK. It would have been interesting to have seen him in that part.

That being said, I love BLACK ROCK.

As for THE SEARCHERS, I do love that film. It ranks up there with THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, another Ford-Wayne collaboration. In both films, Wayne plays dark, complex characters.

In THE SEARCHERS, Ethan Edwards is introduced as a brooding loner, an outsider; at the end, while he did regain some of his humanity, he still remains the loner. The outsider. That struck me the first time I watched the film as a kid.

As for Wayne's politics, some of them were too far to the right for me. However, I still enjoy THE SEARCHERS, THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE and THE QUIET MAN.

Ford's politics were left-wing, despite his associations with Wayne and Ward Bond. Oh, I would have loved hearing those three discuss politics . . . .
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Postby Slade » Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:08 pm

Well, Sladists, it's time to mount up.

Yep, it's Marshal Slade, back in the saddle again. Fer you folks who are new to this thread, there was a rip-roarin' discussion of Westerns over the summer last year. At that time, I said that my favorite cowboy hero on TV when I was a boy was Paladin. As you'll see on another thread, he's who I based my court attire on.

Now, thanks to YouTube, we can return to yesteryear when Slade was a young-un, and see if what he liked back then still holds up as good fifty years later.

Here it is in three parts: the "Manhunter" (1958) episode of HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL. The bad guy is Martin Balsam (ON THE WATERFRONT, 12 ANGRY MEN, PSYCHO).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpmogHes ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQj-iNBe ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQj-iNBe ... re=related

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