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Public Speaking (2010)
A completely charming and incisive review of entertainment of the 20th century.
A truly delightful and enlightening experience. Fran Lebowitz guides the viewer through her experience with a multitude of famous, and now deceased, great artists. Although Fran is 14 years my junior, she has grasped the essence of America. A scene with Pack Paar and Oscar Levant is gracefully mixed with sound bites from William Buckley, Jr and the fine playwrights of the last century. I felt a great deal of empathy for her when she discussed what turned out to be a big guffaw at an outdoor rally organized by Joe Papp. Arts oriented persons should feel perfectly at home listening to her monologue. Whether I watch the History Channel, PBS or HBO, seldom is there as entertaining a story as this. This is a solid recommendation for anyone who wants an in depth personal account of the arts.
Goodbye, My Fancy (1951)
Goodbye, My Fancy demands a proper viewing. Education ranks #1 in my country!
SHAWFAN has the issue correct. The problem is that he does not have a full sense of history. This movie was made in 1951, and there was constant pressure on the motion picture industry to tone down hints of "radicalism".
Joan Crawford's attack on the right wing trustee for forsaking the education of these college age students with "entertaining" motion pictures; prevents the message of the film she has brought to campus.
Simply, without images, the result of letting the National Socialists destroy education in Germany from 1933-1945, resulted in hanging and executions of the teachers.
The trustee in question expressed that buildings were more important than a good education.
Yes, there are those gooey moments. They are not there because the film story has a need for it, but rather that the various "approval" boards would have forced the filmmakers to put it in to water down the content.
Robert Young's role proves that he is just a weak person. Not the person to stand up for what is right. Even his mealy mouth response to the film being shown AND THE STUDENT'S APPROVAL over everyone's objections prove that.
BUT, run this film with two others, THIS LAND IS MINE (1943) and PEOPLE WILL TALK (1951). Then the message of what the film is about comes through like a bell.
IN OUR DEMOCRACY EDUCATORS MUST BE BACKED. When cities, states and even your congress-persons yell, CUT EDUCATION SPENDING, these are just three films with which you can relate.
peter22060 PS Truth through learning, and a focus on history, should make these three movies text material.
The Symphony Murder Mystery (1932)
Good Mystery by S. S. Van Dine
A good mystery by S. S. Van Dine. If you are a mystery buff, then you will enjoy the story line. Please remember that this was filmed by Vitaphone in 1932, so the acting is a bit wooden. One gets the impression that the cast probably thinks that microphones are near them, so that the dialogue is a bit more emoting than speaking. If it was filmed three years later this short would probably get an 8 from the viewing audience. Donald Meek, Neil Hamilton and Douglas Dumbrille later in their careers prove this point. Reference Donald Meek in the Nick Carter series. Reference Neil Hamilton in his many character roles through television. Douglas Dumbrille reprises his usual roles, see CASTLE IN THE DESERT and THE BIG STORE. If you can sit back and overlook the vintage of the filming, enjoy a good murder mystery.
Amos & Andrew (1993)
From improbable Fiction to today's Front Page Headlines
The arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard University's top expert on African-American history and culture, sounded a familiar note, the plot of AMOS AND ANDREW.
Samuel L. Jackson playing an internationally known author is presumed to be a burglar in his own home by passers-by. A siege of his home by local police caricatures the Cambridge police department.
The film's supporting cast of Michael Lerner and Margaret Colin as well as Dabney Coleman make this a light comic view of what could have become a raw, racial confrontation.
Leonard Maltin after commenting that this was like a 1960's Disney film, continues, "maybe they should have called this THAT DARN AFRO-American.
If Nicholas Cage played his role with more fervor the IMDb rating would be higher. But in view of current events, screenings should skyrocket.
FESTEN "Celebration" is the Danish Dessert for THE DAMNED, 1963
Thirty five years after THE DAMNED, the Danes produced Festen. Family secrets shared with a cinema audience are more powerful today, because of the freedoms permitted to the movie producers. I believe you should watch THE DAMNED first, and then you will be in the mood for FESTEN. I have given this film a ten because I remember THE DAMNED and can appreciate the two films and their impact. Both films celebrate birthdays. Both films exploit sexual activity within the family. THE DAMNED is set in early Nazi Germany so there is some political variations that are not included in the FESTEN. I'm sure watching the two films will add commentary to the web site.
Favorite Son (1988)
Absolutely Fabulous. Loggia's performance is more subtle than Clint Eastwood.
My how lucky I was to have taped this off of NBC television back in 1988. The real time for this mini-series is four hours and 23.5 minutes. My Beta recording was still perfect after 19 years. I am writing this at 4:12 AM. I could not leave my television set until the production ended. The casting of Ronny Cox and John Mahoney was also perfect. I enjoyed this movie even though I could see bits and pieces from movies as diverse as DAVE and THE DEAD ZONE. James Whitmore gives his role a very sincere and strong performance. Harry Hamlin who portrays a "scrungy" US Senator leaves you with the feeling that you should wash your hands if you had shaken his hand. Linda Kozlowski's performance throughout the film is very remarkable. Her final scene with Lance Guest as agent David Ross glues the viewer to the television. I hope that the producers re-release the mini-series in its entirety. I noticed that a VHS tape was available, but that only ran 115 minutes instead of the full 264 minutes.
didi-5 is right on the mark
One must only assume that the low negative votes are from children expecting sugar plum fairies in their beds. Contemporary versions of classic production from Shakespeare to opera are relegated to the depths by some viewer watching, because of their inability to comprehend innovation from tradition.
Romeo and Juliet with its modern setting brings to the screen a new view of the story in its contemporary reality. La Boheme in the Australian production is another example.
If we step back and think, then maybe the box-office success of TITANIC when compared to the actual horror of the events will aid these uninformed viewers. A bit of 21st century education should put THE NUTCRACKER at a higher rating.
AMC should pull this print from their vault.
This documentary narrated by Alec Baldwin is shown as created in 1995 and is 59 minutes. Although many of the newsreel clips have been seen before, the interviews with stars of the period like Marsha Hunt must be seen to see how witch hunts against sympathizers not members of the Communist party were shunned from working in their profession and shunted in their private lives.
It is an important film documentary because it can be related to life in the United States today. Alleged loyal Americans expressed their beliefs against members of their unions that threatened their potential rise to power in the film industry.
Today, any American that may question this nation's posture towards despotic governments with which it does not agree are automatically tarred with the same brush and innocents are treated like Salem witches.
It is important as well, because there is another film, Hollywood On Trial narrated by John Huston which apparently has received more air time. People can only get a passing view of the witch hunt and subsequent McCarthy hearings in "Good Night and Good Luck".
The viewing public of ages 12-30 can only remember, from the film libraries, "All the President's Men". It is incumbent upon the library networks and History Channel to enlighten all Americans about the dangers of hate mongering.
We who are Americans believe that Americans are innocent until proved guilty.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Why not just sit back and enjoy the film.
I have not read the book, nor do I want the opportunity. The lead reviewer takes the movie and in his review encapsulates his personal beliefs. I, on the other hand, just sat back in my theater chair and watched the film unwind. Direction, settings, color, acting ... every cinema aspect superb.
Several scenes appear as though they were lifted from INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. But where Harrison Ford played to an audience seeking excitement, Tom Hanks plays the "same" role with more aplomb. The albino, Paul Bettany, gives a unique performance. If I could, I would nominate him for best supporting actor. I kept thinking about "The Albino" in FOUL PLAY. But Paul Bettany gives the role a deep meaning.
Whether the Mary Magdalene theory is fact or fiction should certainly not dissuade any movie goer from seeing this film. It is the same as watching the Darwin theory on film, and a horde of strict constructionists cry out "Blasphemy! Adam and Eve were created to populate the world".
The simple fact is, I enjoyed the film. My only historical reference question was the commentary on the slaughter of the Knights Templar in the 14th Century. Were they murdered by order of the Papacy or by the King of France?
Yes, I would like to know. Do any of the author's theories sway my thinking? As an educated person, I can stand away and say ... anything is possible.
In conclusion, enjoy the movie as a movie.
1920's Vaudeville captured by Vitaphone
How lucky we are that the Vitaphone Collection was found. Those of us older movie buffs have vague reminisces of the Hippodrome Theatre and the Palace in New York City. We were not old enough to have attended. We have only seen later performances of those comics such as George Jessel on "The telephone" doing their sketches on early television. Some of the entertainers of the period made it to the Milton Berle show. The reparteé between the Howard Brothers was typical. Early TV viewers had a taste, updated, with George Burns and Gracie Allen. This is not 21st century comedy, but rather an insight of what amused your grand-parents and great-grandparents back when a roast beef sandwich cost a quarter.