Essential?

Moderators: Lzcutter, Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie

jdb1

Re: Essential?

Post by jdb1 »

Ollie wrote:Robin Hood didn't split so many bullseye arrows as well as you just did. Congrats.


Well thanks, Ollie, but I just calls 'em as I sees 'em.

The irony of it all is that whenever I'm asked how I know some esoteric (and usually useless)bit of information, my answer is invariably "I watch a lot of television."

It really galls me -- TV is such a powerful medium that can be such a great learning tool, and not just for "fancy" stuff, but for every kind of general, and fun, information, and its potential is now being sqandered by the increasing number of path of least resistance morons in charge.

Ah, me.
User avatar
srowley75
Posts: 731
Joined: April 22nd, 2008, 11:04 am
Location: West Virginia

Re: Essential?

Post by srowley75 »

jdb1 wrote:My sinking feeling is that much of this celebrity commentator usage is dictated not so much by a desire to educate a newer generation to the joys of Classic Hollywood, as it is by the latest style of TV presentation, which is to narrate everything we are seeing unfold before us, even when it doesn't need narration. These so-called "reality" shows drive me crazy with their never-ending explanation of what we are seeing, and then what we are going to see after the commercials, which is then re-narrated to us as it happens, and then again two minutes later in summation.

I just don't get it. If I'm watching the tube, and hear some underdressed, semi-literate Angelina wannabe pretending she belongs in New York City in some completlely implausible true life show saying "Awesome!" fifty or sixty times a minute, why do I also need her talking head interspersed into the frame simultaneously repeating: "Then I said that was so awesome."


Judith, do you ever watch French and Saunders (BBC)? They once did a hilarious skit that parodied what you're describing - I believe it may have been based on one of the celeb-reality shows (Big Brother?), and Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders were Jackie Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen. Anyway, throughout the entire program, a voice would interrupt to inform the viewer what they'd just seen occur on the screen. Very funny stuff - I think the clip may be available on YouTube (I'm at work or I'd find it for you).

-Stephen
jdb1

Re: Essential?

Post by jdb1 »

Yes, I have seen it, Stephen, being an avid F&S fan. I don't see that one on YouTube at first sweep, but I did find one of my favorites, Dawn French's parody of a Bjork video -- so very accurate.

(She likes pixies, and she has an imaginary friend)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41iySHgV_iI[/youtube]
kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: Essential?

Post by kingrat »

To revive an old thread: the new season of Essentials will include--wait for it--or not, as you choose--The Sugarland Express and I Love You, Alice B. Toklas. These strike me as bizarre choices, and comments to this effect have been made on the TCM website.

Granted, if I were co-host, some of my choices would probably seem strange, too. My first pick, though, would have to be The Red Shoes, because it has apparently never been shown as an Essential.
User avatar
movieman1957
Administrator
Posts: 5502
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 3:50 pm
Location: MD

Re: Essential?

Post by movieman1957 »

Bizarre is a good word.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
User avatar
ChiO
Posts: 3924
Joined: January 2nd, 2008, 1:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Essential?

Post by ChiO »

I can understand THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS in a round-about way. Regardless of what one thinks of Spielberg's work in generally, he is - for better or worse - a key component of film history and culture. THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS is his first feature film. Ergo,....

I LOVE YOU, ALICE B. TOKLAS on the other hand.... Peter Sellers? Far from his best work. Capturing that period? Others do so far more interestingly. Paul Mazursky's first movie credit as a writer? That's stretching the concept of "Essential." A tribute to co-writer Larry "Big Ralph"/"Pagliacci" Tucker for his first movie credit as a writer? Isn't it pretty to think so, but I doubt it. I give up. Flip over all the cards, John Charles Daly.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles
kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: Essential?

Post by kingrat »

I've reviewed the lists of Essentials drawn up by our own lzcutter and the late lamented Kyle in Hollywood--Kyle's list goes back as far as 2003, though not complete for that year--these are some of the films never shown as Essentials. Of course, rights issues may be involved in some instances:

The Red Shoes
On the Town
The Killing
My Man Godfrey
Murder, My Sweet
The Nun's Story
Zorba the Greek
Bonjour Tristesse
Seconds
The Train
Lost Horizon
The Bitter Tea of General Yen
The Cameraman
Sherlock, Jr.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Birds
(most of Hitchcock's famous titles have been Essentials, and some lesser ones too)

If you want to extend the Essentials into the 1970s, I'd definitely add:

Badlands
Chinatown
Dog Day Afternoon
The Man Who Would Be King


Some foreign films have been chosen as Essentials, though not these:

The Wages of Fear
La Strada
Nights of Cabiria
Ashes and Diamonds
Pather Panchali


I don't think any of those mentioned above would be very controversial choices.
User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: Essential?

Post by moira finnie »

Gee, if they are really doing Spielberg's Essentials, I'd like to see the seldom-mentioned but most adult film from this masterful movie mogul, Empire of the Sun (1987), which belongs in the hopper next to Schindler's List (definitely an essential film, but one I suspect that TCM would be best showing after midnight or with numerous parental warnings). As long as they are doing Essentials and Speilberg's name came up, wouldn't it be lovely if one of the most relentlessly entertaining films ever made could be a part of this series--Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)?

I realize that Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan was a very good film and might be one others would choose, but I felt that it lost emotional impact as it progressed, but that's just me, probably. (I'd prefer The Story of G.I. Joe, Stalag 17, Best Years of Our Lives, and a few other films).
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks
kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: Essential?

Post by kingrat »

The Essentials for October 2014 are:

Twentieth Century
Stella Dallas (1937)
Field of Dreams
The Haunting (1963)

It's clear from our recent discussion that several of our posters would not consider Twentieth Century an Essential. I do consider Bringing Up Baby and His Girl Friday essentials, and would recommend that newcomers to Hawks' screwball comedies see those two before thinking about Twentieth Century.

What do think of the other three? How essential are they?

By the way, we happened to see some of the latter portion of Saving Private Ryan the other night, and I agree with Moira in not being overly impressed. Is this an advance on Battleground? I'm inclined to think not. It's perfectly respectable movie movie stuff, and I like Damon and Hanks, but once the gore of the first part is over, we're back, not in the 1940s, but in a 40s movie.
User avatar
ChiO
Posts: 3924
Joined: January 2nd, 2008, 1:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Essential?

Post by ChiO »

Of the four, I would consider only TWENTIETH CENTURY to be essential. To some extent, whether one likes it or thinks it's funny is irrelevant, at least in my conception of "essential" (I can think of a number of films that I'm not crazy about, but I'd still consider essential because of their place and impact on movie history). It is generally considered the first Screwball Comedy and for that it deserves to be an "essential."

STELLA DALLAS - Love it! Essential? I wouldn't put it there, but would never argue the point.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles
User avatar
knitwit45
Posts: 4720
Joined: May 4th, 2007, 9:33 pm
Location: Gardner, KS

Re: Essential?

Post by knitwit45 »

KR, I really like Bringing Up Baby. It's silly and fun and ridiculous. I always want to slug Katie in the opening scenes, and shake sense into Mr. Grant. After the maddening car episode, it becomes totally wonderful. Yes, she's irritating beyond belief, but she isn't mean spirited or self serving. She is just unaware that everyone else doesn't exist in the same daffy world she inhabits. By the end, she brings him some silliness, he brings her stability...sort of...

His Girl Friday is just loud and annoyingly unfunny. That mean spiritedness is so pervasive, I can't "get" the intended humor. There are some great one liners, but it seems to be a competiton between the two of them to see which one can score the most direct hits at the expense of the other.

The BEST part of this place is the fact that we can agree to disagree, and still bump along together. :lol:
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard
kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: Essential?

Post by kingrat »

I totally agree that some films not especially to my taste are absolutely Essentials.

I could make a case for Field of Dreams as an Essential if you want to include films from that decade. This is a classic "male weepie." Because it's about sports, real guys are permitted even to shed a tear.

Knitty, thanks for pointing out how hard-edged His Girl Friday really is. Because it's Cary Grant, it's easy to overlook that.
RedRiver
Posts: 4209
Joined: July 28th, 2011, 9:42 am

Re: Essential?

Post by RedRiver »

TWENTIETH CENTURY It is generally considered the first Screwball Comedy and for that it deserves to be an "essential."

From that perspective, I must agree.

HIS GIRL FRIDAY is my favorite Hawks comedy. I like the cynical edge; it suits the fictional world of newspaper men (and woman) well. The stage version of THE FRONT PAGE makes this look like MARY POPPINS!
User avatar
ChiO
Posts: 3924
Joined: January 2nd, 2008, 1:26 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Essential?

Post by ChiO »

HIS GIRL FRIDAY is my favorite Hawks comedy.

Mine, too. And my favorite Hawks movie in any category.

And in the Comedy category, the only two movies that top it for my eyes and ears are DR. STRANGELOVE and DUCK SOUP.

I find Comedy is so difficult to dissect and discuss. We can disagree about whether WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF or A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE are successful film Dramas and can understand a dissenting point of view. But Comedy - You don't think that's funny? (Sloooowly I turn...shaking my head, bewildered.)

Funny is so personal.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles
User avatar
Lucky Vassall
Posts: 290
Joined: January 27th, 2014, 2:40 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Essential?

Post by Lucky Vassall »

ChiO wrote:Funny is so personal.

And age related, as well. I clearly remember watching Bob Hope's drunk scene in The Princess and the Pirate in 1944 at age nine and completely losing it. Not too long ago, I saw it again and couldn't even manage a smile. That made me feel sad - and old!
AVATAR: Billy DeWolfe as Mrs. Murgatroid, “Blue Skies” (1946)

“My ancestors came over on the Mayflower.”
“You’re lucky. Now they have immigration laws."

Mae West, The Heat’s On” (1943)

:–)—
Pinoc-U-no(se)
Post Reply