What was the last movie you saw?

Jeffbert

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
1,183
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974) I thought I already mentioned this one, which TCM showed immediately after the original FRANKENSTEIN movie, sometime in October. Not nearly as funny as BLAZING SADDLES, but no where as vulgar, either.

So, Dr. F's grandson, who pronounces his name 'FRONKENSTEEN' and hopes to avoid any identification with grandpa, ends up repeating his experiments.
 

Justin Swanton

Loving the view from up here.
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
525
Location
Durban, South Africa
Episode 10 of Foundation. Thus far the only characters that interest me in the series are the Cleons (Brother Day and Brother Dusk) and, to a lesser, extent, Hari Sheldon. The rest and their story are just, somehow, boring. Chop out all the foundation stuff, do just the Cleons and the downfall of the clone dynasty and the series would be vastly improved (fidelity to Asimov be damned, which it is in any case).
 

CupofJoe

Some medals you wear on your heart not your sleeve
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
841
I am sinking deeply in to my Xmas movie addiction.
So far I have watch films about, reuniting families, saving a ranch, love conquering all, and what it takes to understand the real meaning of Xmas.
I don't know why I like them, but I will watch far too many in the next month...
 

Randy M.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
2,060
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974) I thought I already mentioned this one, which TCM showed immediately after the original FRANKENSTEIN movie, sometime in October. Not nearly as funny as BLAZING SADDLES, but no where as vulgar, either.

So, Dr. F's grandson, who pronounces his name 'FRONKENSTEEN' and hopes to avoid any identification with grandpa, ends up repeating his experiments.
It was interesting to compare Young Frankenstein with Blazing Saddles. The latter is looser, more episodic and probably the inspiration for movies like Airplane! where the jokes come rapid fire. The former is more controlled, following a more discernible plot -- in part remaking the 1931 Frankenstein with more Mel Brooks, but not as much Mel Brooks as in Blazing Saddles.

["Pardon me, boy, is this the Transylvania choo-choo?" "Yes, sir, track 29. Would you care for a shine?" Saw it first in a theater and this was such an obvious joke I should have seen it coming, but no; I think I missed the next three jokes because I was still laughing.]
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
10,301
Location
Iowa
Episode 10 of Foundation. Thus far the only characters that interest me in the series are the Cleons (Brother Day and Brother Dusk) and, to a lesser, extent, Hari Sheldon. The rest and their story are just, somehow, boring. Chop out all the foundation stuff, do just the Cleons and the downfall of the clone dynasty and the series would be vastly improved (fidelity to Asimov be damned, which it is in any case).
We must have diametrically opposed tastes. I could so do without the Cleons and their "I know what's best for the world and it's me!" attitude. Also, unlike the books where I found Hari Seldon to be a hero, I find the movie's Hari Seldon to be distasteful. The story, though it is not truly the Foundation of the books, is beautifully filmed, sweeping in it's range, and providing interesting insights into humanity.
 

Justin Swanton

Loving the view from up here.
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
525
Location
Durban, South Africa
We must have diametrically opposed tastes. I could so do without the Cleons and their "I know what's best for the world and it's me!" attitude. Also, unlike the books where I found Hari Seldon to be a hero, I find the movie's Hari Seldon to be distasteful. The story, though it is not truly the Foundation of the books, is beautifully filmed, sweeping in it's range, and providing interesting insights into humanity.
Sure, the Cleons are not role models, but I find Cleon XIII interesting. He is politically brutal but he does not have an invincible conviction of his own superiority like his predecessor Cleon XII. He criticises Cleon XII for his acts of terror against Anacreon and Thespis. He himself can be cruel, killing Halima unnecessarily, but he wants to spare the life of his successor and son Cleon XIV even though the logic of the dynasty requires the latter's execution. It shows the reality of men who are caught up in the obligations of power that corrupts them but not entirely. It's deep.

The events on Terminus on the other hand - I can't really get into them. Phara is sort of interesting, but she is one-dimensional, never deviating from her obsession with revenge. The stories of the foundation characters just don't stick with me - they seem conventional and prepackaged Hollywood fare.

The central problem with Asimov's Foundation is that it equates civilisation with a single political authority. Historically that simply isn't true. The great artists of the Renaissance, for example, flourished when Italy was a mosaic of warring city states. Massive autocratic empires tend to go hand in hand with cultural decay. The great works of Roman literature and art rose during the era of the Republic and the early Principate that had many features of the former Republic. By the time of the absolute autocracy of the Dominate - equivalent to the centralised control of the galactic empire - literature and the arts were effectively dead. Humans achieve their best works when political control is mild and they have a free hand. In the real world the end of the galactic empire should be followed by a period of chaos and then a time of cultural enrichment, not decay. So I can't relate to what Hari Seldon is trying to accomplish.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
10,301
Location
Iowa
Well said. But I would also point out that no society is monochromatic. There are times when society is very controlled and yet some art flourishes. Think of some of some of the great Russian novelists, Tolstoy, etc. In more modern times Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would be an example. And there are times when things are far less restrained that all you get is a kind of meaningless exuberance. I think a lot psychedelic 60's movies would fit there.

I experience Foundation as an evaluation of grand experiments one where change is anathema, and one where change is expected, but is expected to flow in predetermined way. --- Both interesting experiments which seem destined to ultimately fail. Still, I find the second experiment more interesting than the first, because change is a fact of life. To live is to be changing. Trying to hold onto what's "always been" is completely doomed, trying to understand and manipulate change is very likely doomed as well, but at least there seems to be a sliver of hope there.
 

Justin Swanton

Loving the view from up here.
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
525
Location
Durban, South Africa
Well said. But I would also point out that no society is monochromatic. There are times when society is very controlled and yet some art flourishes. Think of some of some of the great Russian novelists, Tolstoy, etc. In more modern times Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would be an example. And there are times when things are far less restrained that all you get is a kind of meaningless exuberance. I think a lot psychedelic 60's movies would fit there.

I experience Foundation as an evaluation of grand experiments one where change is anathema, and one where change is expected, but is expected to flow in predetermined way. --- Both interesting experiments which seem destined to ultimately fail. Still, I find the second experiment more interesting than the first, because change is a fact of life. To live is to be changing. Trying to hold onto what's "always been" is completely doomed, trying to understand and manipulate change is very likely doomed as well, but at least there seems to be a sliver of hope there.
Interesting you should cite Solzhenitsyn. He was a victim of Stalin (only surviving the Gulag because he had a shorter sentence - 7 years rather than the standard 10 - and was able to pass himself off as a nuclear physicist and get transferred to an easier camp). He had a brief career as a writer in Russia during the autocratic thaw of Khrushchev that itself was a reaction against Stalin and didn't last long. He is practically the only Russian writer of the Soviet era who produced anything worthwhile. Certainly those writers and artists who made sure their works didn't result in their arrest are all forgotten today.

Solzhenitsyn himself described the growing mildness of Tsarist Russia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There was far more intellectual freedom in that time than during the Marxist regime that succeeded it. Free enough for a Dostoevsky.

I don't know if you can equate the meaningless exuberance of the 60's with the mild governmental control of, say, Renaissance Italy. In the latter case there were still strong social mores and a sense of common purpose in that Italians were all Catholics and shared the Catholic outlook, which itself allowed for a great deal of flexibility and creativity. The Church didn't mind being criticised - the paintings showing clerics and bishops in hell were all commissioned by clerics and bishops - provided its principles weren't undermined. The 60's IMHO was a reaction to the social regimentation of the 50's which itself came partly from a fear of a new World War with the USSR. When Khrushchev's bluff had been called over Cuba the younger generation began to relax and throw off the rules of their parents. But in rejecting those rules the baby was thrown out with the bathwater. There was no longer any common norm or ideal that could inspire great art so art largely went bye-bye.
 
Last edited:

AE35Unit

]==[]===O °
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
7,093
Location
Somewhere near Jupiter
Earlier I watched a film called The Wilding. I'd like to say what it was about but I have no idea. Things were just starting to happen, then it just ended, like it was halfway through or as if it was an episode in a series. Utter bowlocks! Left a 1 star review on iMdb
 

hitmouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
2,922
Episode 10 of Foundation. Thus far the only characters that interest me in the series are the Cleons (Brother Day and Brother Dusk) and, to a lesser, extent, Hari Sheldon. The rest and their story are just, somehow, boring. Chop out all the foundation stuff, do just the Cleons and the downfall of the clone dynasty and the series would be vastly improved (fidelity to Asimov be damned, which it is in any case).
Is this a movie?
I thought it was a tv series.
 

Justin Swanton

Loving the view from up here.
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
525
Location
Durban, South Africa
Guess you never heard of the Strugatsky brothers or Bulgakov? (The Master and the Margarita)
Their careers are interesting. Bulgakov survived only because Stalin liked some of his works and protected him. From Wikipedia:

"In 1939, Mikhail Bulgakov organized a private reading of The Master and Margarita to his close circle of friends. Yelena Bulgakova remembered 30 years later, "When he finally finished reading that night, he said: 'Well, tomorrow I am taking the novel to the publisher!' and everyone was silent", "...Everyone sat paralyzed. Everything scared them. P. (P. A. Markov, in charge of the literature division of MAT) later at the door fearfully tried to explain to me that trying to publish the novel would cause terrible things", she wrote in her diary (14 May 1939)."

And on the Strugatsky brothers:

"Several of the Strugatsky brothers' books take place in the World of Noon, also known unofficially as the Wanderers Universe. The name is derived from the title of one of their texts, Noon: 22nd Century.

The main characteristics of the Noon Universe are: a very high level of social, scientific, and technological development; creativity of the general population; and the very significant level of societal maturity compared to the modern world. For instance, this world knows no monetary stimulation (indeed, money does not exist), and every person is engaged in a profession that interests him or her. The Earth of the Noon Universe is governed by a global meritocratic council composed of the world's leading scientists and philosophers. That Noon World has been clearly named as "World of Communism" in their novels, which was handy for publishing their novels in the USSR, where the Communist Party decided whether a book would be printed and approved for mass circulation."

The Master and the Margarita is said to be very good (I haven't read it) and is apparently critical of the Soviet literary establishment. It was published only decades after Bulgakov's death, in 1966. The 1966 Soviet edition was heavily censored, with 12% removed and much else changed. The complete MS was published only outside the Soviet Union. So I rest my case.
 
Last edited:

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
7,586
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
The Comeback (1978)

American pop singer Jack Jones stretches his acting muscles by playing an American pop singer in this British shocker. Starts with the singer's ex-wife getting slashed to death by a killer hidden in a shawl and old woman mask. The singer gets sent to this fancy mansion to work on his next album. We get our suspects pretty quickly. There's the singer's manager, who blames the ex-wife for ruining his career; there the elderly couple who, in traditional fashion, serve as the movie's Vaguely Sinister Servants; there's the singer's creepy "right hand man" who starts talking to the manager's secretary (and singer's love interest) about her breasts as soon as he's alone with her. Well, there's an obvious red herring, and one of the folks listed above gets killed, so it's not hard to figure out whodunit, especially if you've seen a film from director Pete Walker before. The singer hears sobbing and screaming, and sees a rotting corpse from time to time; a haunting, or an attempt to drive him insane? It's obvious which one, although the movie's last scene contradicts what's come before. It's pretty slow, but has its moments.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
7,586
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972)

Shirley MacLaine stars as a filthy rich, snobby divorcee with two school age kids. Her "freelance writer" (slacker) brother lives in a crummy apartment in Spanish Harlem. He gets possessed by the spirit of a dead Puerto Rican teenager who decapitated four women. After a failed attempt at exorcism via Santeria ritual, with the brother not present, the freaked-out sister runs off to an isolated beach house with the kids. Possessed brother invades the house and subjects them to sadistic psychological torture. It's a slow-burning but intense film. The attempted exorcism scene, whether or not it reflects Santeria ritual accurately, is emotionally powerful, without any kind of typical exorcism special effects. The scene in the beach house is genuinely disturbing, with the little girl forced to eat dog food at knife point and the little boy forced to dance completely naked. What the film is saying about social class and ethnicity is troubling. It can be seen as Privileged Rich White Woman menaced by Scary Lower Class Puerto Rican Man. The weird scene, before the possession sets in, where the brother asks the sister about her sex life suggests something under the surface of all this that never really emerges.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
7,586
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Agent 505: Deathtrap Beirut (Agent 505 - Todesfalle Beirut, 1966)

West German/French/Italian Eurospy flick. Starts with one bikini-clad beauty discovering another one dead, then getting shot herself. Then the guy who shot them gets shot by another bad guy as the cops come get him. He croaks out the movie's plot, that a four-fingered man known as the Sheik is going to kill everybody in Beirut. Enter our superspy hero and his sidekick. The latter does a lot of the work, really. Fistfights, gunfights, chases, explosions, Good Girls and Bad Girls follow. It moves briskly, and there's some impressive stunt work, particularly a guy hanging from a helicopter. Gadgets include the bad guys' guns, that shoot needles of frozen oxygen, and the good guy's suitcase that leaks drops of a highly flammable liquid so he can trace it when somebody steals it, by lighting the drops with a cigarette. I wouldn't think that would come in handy too often. There's also a car that turns into a boat. The climax features an attack by a bunch of soldiers on the main bad guy's secret headquarters, where he's about to launch a small rocket full of radioactive mercury over the city. (His motive is just to rob the place after everybody's dead.) A decent example of its kind.
 

KGeo777

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
751
Location
Canada
The author of Tin Tin did cartoons that talked about death squads in Russia and rigged voting and all that stuff which was not getting very much attention in the West outside of Hearst newspapers and smaller ones.

Soviet era film was devastating for Russian and Eastern art freedom.
You feel sorry for all the artists that were unable to flourish thanks to the alien control. For decades it seems like only two filmmakers existed, Eisenstein and Tarkovsky.
It's not just that it was bureaucratic--it was hostile to ethnic Russian or domestic artists in the occupied countries. You cannot have art that is relevant to the public if you shackle the artists and only promote those that reflect a very narrow philosophy which isn't popular with the public. They promoted amateurs because they followed the party line.
Hollywood was very controlling too but it was slower to filter out other voices and there was still more variety for decades.

Mussolini kicked Hollywood out of Italy in the 1930s and perhaps because he did that, it allowed Fellini and Leone and Bava and others to get a career--because Hollywood wanted to steamroll over everyone and dominate.

If Edison had been the only game in town, film production would have been much more modest--Hollywood brought lots of money and an assembly line attitude into it which otherwise would never have existed. For better and worse--it allowed a lot of faces to appear which probably would not have happened--it provided a shelter for artists--but at the same time--if Hollywood had never existed as a big money enterprise--it would have meant more independent voices. Later as they reduced output and variety--it became a big negative. It's not an exaggeration that it is turning into Mosfilm in the USSR era except that it is relying on used up corporate brands and aging movie stars (I hear Arnold Schwarzenegger's son is getting a movie career now--oh gee--just what we need to renew the cultural stream).

Speaking of recycling brands, I watched a Django clone, CJAMANGO 1967 - Ivan Rassimov, Mickey Hargitay, Helene Chanel. Kind of generic at first but had a few touches that kept it from being totally pedestrian. I liked a sub plot where a villain uses a fake report of a plague to scare and manipulate villagers for his own purposes. He calls them idiots for believing it.
 

Similar threads


Top