Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

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JustinHoskie
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9115Post JustinHoskie »

http://www.rumorfliespodcast.com/episodes/movies1
I'm a fan of Rumor Flies, and since they want their audience to call them out on mistakes, I decided to go deep into a mistake they made while talking about the Suicidal Munchkin myth in The Wizard of Oz.

I may have overdone it, but my god was this a fun email to write.


When talking about The Wizard of Oz, Greg mentioned multiple times that it was the very first feature-length film shot in three-strip Technicolor. He was sure of it, Adamant about it. He used it to emphasize his points. "This is the first Technicolor film!" he even exclaims at one point.

Now, let's think about this real quick. If true, and if it truly was the first Technicolor feature film, it would be a huge gamble for MGM to make, and MGM was owned by investors in New York who would need to be assured this gamble would pay off. And the production was almost shut down multiple times due to production problems and mounting costs. (Once production has to shut down and all footage scrapped because one of your lead actors almost dies, another actor has to leave production for a while due to a horrific accident, and yet another has to recover due from a severe eye infection from their make-up, you start to question your choices.) The Wizard of Oz was a massive gamble. It was a family film that had to appeal to a large audience. It was a live-action fantasy film, and no one knew if audiences would accept it. And it would be an expensive production. (Brief aside, another myth about the film is that it was a major flop, critically and/or at the box office. This isn't true. It was actually a success in both respects. However, due to the distribution system at the time, when a film would play in theaters for only two weeks, the studio wasn't able to break even on the film. It wasn't until the film was re-released a few times that the studio made back its money.)

With all that in mind, would it really make sense for a studio to look at this massive undertaking and go "Let's also make it the first film shot in three-strip Technicolor!" Chances are, the studio wouldn't have gone for it. They would just be too uncertain about it.

Now, let's ask ourselves, how many feature length film had been shot in three-strip Technicolor before The Wizard-

Like 37. It wasn't even in the first handful. Oz was about the 38th feature film or so shot in Technicolor. There had been musicals, dramas, actions, sports, docs, bios, crime films... All shot in three-strip Technicolor. Many used a broad array of colors. Most had been shot in 24 fps. And though still a fairly new process, the technology had been used in features for about two or three years by that point.

I will admit, it was possibly the first to play with the idea, which is one of the reasons the color left such an impression. This trick had been used before in Oz media (in a 1933 unreleased color cartoon, as well as in the book itself), but I'm sure the moment when a sepia-toned Dorothy opens the door and walks out into this vivid, Technicolor world must have been breathtaking to a 1939 audience. So, it was possibly the first time a film used Technicolor to its advantage to tell its story.

Still, does that mean it was the first film shot entirely in three-strip Technicolor? By no means no.

Oh, and also like the first 20 minutes of the film was shot with black and white film stock so it wasn't even filmed entirely in Technicolor.
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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9117Post Garrett Gilchrist »

Podcast guy has no idea what he's talking about, part one billion of five.
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JustinHoskie
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9118Post JustinHoskie »

In his defence, the claim was made with a few caveats which he admitted in his reply didn't hold up when he researched it himself, and the hosts, like myself honestly, are armchair historians when it comes to film. They know more than the average person, but their knowledge can be incomplete or faulty. Case in point: Another one of the hosts brought up Snow White and when it came out, saying "let's say 1939, somewhere around there," and my immediate reaction was "No, absolutely not. It's because of Snow White that MGM even greenlit The Wizard of Oz and that came out in 1939. Snow White came out in about 1929 or so." It had literally no idea it actually did come out in the late thirties until I looked it up later.

And they're usually better at fact checking during the show and double checking claims they make. This was just one of those big ones that slipped through the cracks. He was probably told it at some point, assumed it was correct and, since he had no reason to, he didn't research it. The entire show is based on those types of claims and beliefs anyway, so anytime they make a mistake like this it becomes a good excuse to bring up the lesson "don't just accept something at face value and research it yourself."
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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9119Post Garrett Gilchrist »

Fun game: anytime you see a clip reel of "all-time classic films" for "Cinephiles," count how many of the movies were made by or star terrible, terrible people. Including racists and people who should really be in jail for sexual assault. Count what percentage. Is it most of them?

Hey look, it's Woody Allen, Klaus Kinski, Mel Gibson, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Frank Miller, Roman Polanski, etc. etc. etc., and they're not in jail!

(There are a lot of other names I'm leaving off that list that deserve to be there, but I'll wait for public opinion to turn.)
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FloorMat116
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9130Post FloorMat116 »

At long last, a brand new HD restoration of THE LOST WORLD (1925) has a blu-ray release date!
Flicker Alley, Lobster Films, and Blackhawk Films® are thrilled to present the world-premiere Blu-ray edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, the most complete version of the film ever released. This visually stunning 2K restoration, accomplished by Lobster Films, features newly-discovered scenes and special effect sequences, incorporating almost all original elements from archives and collections around the world. Renowned silent film composer Robert Israel contributes a new and ambitious score, performed by a full orchestra in 2016.

This edition is dedicated to David Shepard, and to the collectors, archives, and passionate cinema lovers, who help preserve films for future generations.
Flicker Alley has released a preview clip showcasing the beautiful new restoration, revealing that a particular scene was originally produced in an early COLOR technique.
https://vimeo.com/219031714

The blu-ray is available for pre-order for a September 12th release.
https://www.flickeralley.com/classic-mo ... y=20414531
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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9132Post Garrett Gilchrist »

Dino-mite!
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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9139Post Garrett Gilchrist »

I'm not 100% convinced Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, but I'm very certain that Patty Jenkins is. DC handed her a ruined franchise and she pulled off a miracle. Jenkins' last film was Monster, for which Charlize Theron won the Oscar as Best Actress. The fact that Jenkins otherwise hasn't made a movie since 2003 is a crime and shows how Hollywood doesn't value women. This is the first DC movie of any kind that's actually on par with Marvel's recent work. It's hard not to imagine a world where a director of Jenkins' caliber was given the keys to DC's characters earlier.

The previous DCEU films, Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice are, in my opinion, unwatchable and the worst film I've ever watched, respectively. Patty Jenkins knew she had to do better. She knew that regardless of what she'd been handed here, she couldn't screw it up. It had to be not only good but great, and it is.

Comparisons to Captain America: The First Avenger are inevitable, but that's not a bad thing. Especially since it's hard to say which is the better film. The action sequences dazzle, like a higher quality version of anything Zack Snyder ever did. I wonder if Snyder had a strong hand in any of that, as he was still on board as producer and this sort of razzle-dazzle action sure works better here without the dark-n-gritty macho posturing of Snyder's films. Indeed this film makes Batman V Superman a better film by its existence. The problem with that movie (and Man of Steel) was Snyder's Ayn Randian hatred of the entire concept of heroism and altruism. His heroes are not heroes. They refuse to be. They're dark and macho and mean and conflicted, and they hate being what they're supposed to be. Wonder Woman was a highlight of that film, as she was simply, straightforwardly, a superhero without any apparent baggage. She seemed to come out of a different, better film, and we now see that's literally true. Just how much better is the surprising part.

Any complaints I have are things which were probably out of Patty Jenkins' control. Gal Gadot is good enough as Wonder Woman, but still sticks out as odd casting. The Israeli actress speaks with a thick accent and is model-pretty in a waiflike way - maybe not the first choice for an action hero in an American film. Jenkins works around it by giving almost everyone in the film a (non-American) accent, so Gadot is not out of place. The island of Themiscyra, home of the Amazons, is the former home of Greek gods and goddesses, and the Amazons are patterned after Greco-Roman warriors, so why shouldn't they have Greek-ish accents as well?

It often feels like the film is taking place around Gadot rather than because of her, like the film is working extra hard. Then again, it's been said that film acting is about doing as little as possible, and if Keanu Reeves can get away with it I won't dock Gadot any points here. There was a behind the scenes clip from Batman V Superman where Gadot smiles and spins around the way Lynda Carter did, and seemed to be having fun. We didn't get to see anyone having fun, smiling and being charming in that film, but we get that here. Patty Jenkins has said that she would personally have cast an "American girl" but loved working with Gadot.

This film's origin for Wonder Woman disappoints a little, because it's still a male-driven story, when it would have been easy to exclude men from it entirely. Themiscyra is entirely populated by women, but her mother Hippolyta tells her, as a child, that she was sculpted out of clay and brought to life by Zeus. She tells a tale of male gods. Zeus is depicted as good (a real stretch) and Ares as evil (another stretch). We find out later that this wasn't the whole truth, but it still grounds even the beginning of the film in a certain maleness. The action sequences with these warrior women are terrific right out of the gate, and grounded by Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen - the sort of casting which suggests the director got her first choices for everything.

This bunch are certainly warriors, fighting with swords and shields and bow and arrow on horseback. It's kind of a shame that Wonder Woman, a nearly invulnerable superheroine, has to fight with a sword and shield, and again a very masculine choice on how to portray her. But that's how she currently is in the comics and it's hard to argue with all the exciting action we get onscreen because of it.

Star Trek's Chris Pine is all American charm as Steve Trevor, and for a film about Wonder Woman he's asked to carry a lot of the weight. He is, in Marvel terms, the Sharon Carter and the Bucky Barnes of this movie. It's clear that if Diana hadn't shown up he would be the hero of the film. He's absolutely delightful (and a very rare Famous Chris that Marvel hasn't already cast), but it's very telling that this film felt the need for a strong male lead when the Zack Snyder films gave Lois Lane nothing to do except be a damsel in distress. As comic writer Gail Simone pointed out, the only live action Superman projects that ever worked were love stories.

The desaturated greys and dark grittiness of a Zack Snyder film are still present here, although at least some of the film is in color, and very effectively at that.

Diana's friend Etta Candy is here played by Lucy Davis, Dawn from the original The Office. She's made to look just chubby enough to fit the character, and clearly has what it takes to be a great and funny supporting character. In her brief scenes she's charming and funny. I wanted to see a lot more of her but she's given very little to do here. She's not around long enough to get a sense of friendship between her and Diana.

I'm not sure how this film would portray friendship anyway, as Diana is usually a stoic outsider here. There were a lot of scenes where I'd expect her to hug someone, like when saying goodbye to her mother or celebrating the end of the war. Hugs didn't happen. She's not without warmth and emotion - she smiles plenty, and at one point she cries. But she's not too far from being The Terminator.

Then again, Wonder Woman being an outsider, and one who doesn't talk too much, pays off throughout the film. She comes to World War I as an observer, shocked at what the world of Man is really like. Through her eyes we experience how society here is run by men only, and how it would force her into a box she can't fit into - literally in the case of restrictive clothing she "can't fight in." She doesn't give a long speech about her reaction to all this (though she does briefly lose her temper at some military leaders), but a speech might not have worked and she doesn't need to. We know that to her all of this is absurd, and also that she doesn't let it affect her. She just goes on being exactly who she is. We also see how the madness and pain of the war affects her. She is compassionate. She sees people dying and suffering, and she wants to end the war. And, yes, Steve Trevor plays a part in showing her who she is - that she is all about forgiveness and love. She is about ending this war.

So, even if we got there in a backwards kind of way, this is a film about exactly what Wonder Woman is about. She's about ending war. She knows that humanity is flawed but she forgives. She loves. She fights for peace.

This is the first DC film ever that achieves what Marvel's been achieving with every film. And it's actually about something.

I won't say this is a perfect film, but I will say that under the circumstances, and given what Batman V Superman already established, Patty Jenkins did a virtually perfect job directing it. And that is wonderful.
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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9174Post Garrett Gilchrist »

(A discussion on Twitter of Tim Burton, compared to David Lynch. These are all Twitter sized thoughts that repeat themselves a bit.)

Tim Burton has his own style & worked with a lot of great visual stylists, but anything he had to say he said in the 90s. Hot Topic Goth Grandpa.

Burton has been too content to become a parody of himself. There was a time when his stuff was kinky and subversive compared to Hollywood usual.

Burton's best and most Burtony movie, Nightmare, wasn't directed by him. Edward Scissorhands was 1990. A lot of newer Burton is astonishingly boring, in concept and execution. Somehow in a distinguished career since to the early 80s Tim Burton never earned the right to take himself seriously. Gets very dull when he does.

Burton was so influential and so style over substance that he's obsolete now if he's just gonna do the obvious. Others can do the exact same. James Bobin and Henry Selick have literally been hired to direct "Tim Burton" movies and no one knew the difference. That's a big red flag. You shouldn't be able to say "Tim Burton does Alice In Wonderland/Sweeney Todd" and already know exactly what that'd look like and the cast.

Occasionally Burton gets his mojo back, but his next project is apparently Disney's Dumbo, and I'm already throwing up if it is what I think.

I always saw Burton as basically a cartoonist, like Terry Gilliam. Barry Sonnenfeld actually does the same sort of thing, often better? Watching Sonnenfeld's Lemony Snicket, that 60s Vincent Price/Addams Family schtick doesn't play as well when we're not suburban and uberrich.

Burton is kinky dark Halloween candy funtimes at best, when we're dealing with actual fear over here.

Burton trying to freak out the normies with his superdark ideas straight from a Rankin Bass Christmas special. Works when he's aware of that

Also to like most of Burton's made you need a high tolerance for Johnny Depp, which ....... welp.

Burton picked Depp as his avatar, who is just this white blank canvas. Blank slate. Johnny Depp is all makeup, putting on a show. He's a clown painting.

David Lynch's avatars are 1950s-y young guys who're so normal they're weird.

I don't think David Lynch thinks of himself as dark. It's not like a hairstyle for him. He's trying to make you feel something.

The white middle class suburbia Burton was trying to Halloween out doesn't exist for a lot of us now. Lynch's films are about that suburbia but he actually digs into its darkness and hope.

In Blue Velvet and elsewhere you really feel the dark side of what Lynch's suburban childhood would have been, a whole generation who had gone to war and come back with anger and PTSD and violence in their hearts that they didn't know what to do with, while maintaining a happy and prosperous exterior. And it's never just dark, there's always this hopeful, youthful side to it, and a wider view of the universe and how strange our lives really are.

Burton's cartoon portrayals of his own suburban childhood don't dig much deeper than "What if it was Halloween all the time?" Very Munsters. In Burton's better work, he does really take that Halloweeny type stuff seriously and enjoy it as an aesthetic and way of life. That's very likeable, to a point.

Burton's movies, like the suburbia they sprang from, are all super white. So are Lynch's. But Burton's movies are white people in white makeup wearing colorless clothes in a black and white world. Either way you see the effect that the media and socialization they consumed as kids informed them and stuck with them.

I wasn't thinking Burton ripped off Lynch, but uhhhhh check out the sandworms in Beetlejuice and Nightmare.

Think Burton saw Lynch's Dune?
https://iamnotlefthandedeither.files.wo ... g_1271.jpg

That looks like a Pee Wee's Playhouse version of Lynch's film, which sounds about right. Burton's take on Pee Wee Herman was of course wonderful.

Burton, even at his best, is making cartoons. That's not a criticism. Lynch is live action, film.

Burton worked with the best, and a similarly goth-y style doesn't require him ... . .. .

David Lynch could direct a movie about an old man riding a lawnmower, with none of his "weirdness," and still make a great film that's absolutely "David Lynch" and bears a lot of discussion and thought. He can make movies that aren't consciously "weird" and still have something to say about America.

The appeal of David Lynch's films is his unique point of view on the apparently ordinary, and the emotions he feels and passes on to you.

David Lynch's work is very clearly made by a white man born in the 40s, but my god, he's the only true lucid dreamer our cinema has got. We need more of that.

I will say that even having made one great film means a director is worthy of respect, and Tim Burton admittedly made a bunch of great films. A whole career's worth of greatness by any director's standard. Repeating himself with diminishing returns took the bloom off of that. When you see he's capable of making unwatchable trash in the exact same style, it's easy to forget the good stuff, or look at it in a less favorable light.

Compared to "Nightmare Before Christmas," there was no real passion or intensity to anything in Corpse Bride. Not much more to it than the "Vincent"-era Tim Burton visual look.

And a 2005 film having the same aesthetic as a 1982 film by the same director doesn't show much creative growth. You could say that about a lot of artists/filmmakers, but it means that you didn't actually need Tim Burton there in order to create a film with this same visual style. It was already established pretty well previously. See also: Frankenweenie, the 2012 animated remake. So the audience is fatigued because the director has been doing roughly the same thing for 35 years at this point, even remaking and sequelizing certain films.
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JustinHoskie
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9185Post JustinHoskie »

"Howard Ashman was the song writer and creative force behind Little Shop of Horrors and some of the greatest hits of the Disney Animation Renaissance: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Oscar nominated film maker Don Hahn explore's Ashman's life and work in this follow up to his benchmark documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty."

https://youtu.be/l70W1cYZeRA
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filmfan94
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Post: # 9189Post filmfan94 »

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