Movie Scrapbook

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John Wayne/Ford
2017 08 15 Last night I watched The Quiet Man. The Irish setting had me instantly near tears. We associate Ford with his mythic western landscape, Monument Valley. But Oh, is he a wonderful painter of Ireland. I don’t like Ford’s patriotism: belligerent bullies. Then again, there’s something about Wayne: he so gorgeous, my eyes are misting.
He overdid it, for way too long. By the end he was a fat old man, abusing livestock by riding a horse. But oh, my god, from Stagecoach to The Quiet Man so was so gorgious: himself and his phis, the best propaganda.
I ordered the movie to resee it, after many decades of not having seen it; but I soon realized I’d never seen this movie. All the cast is great.

I catch things I don’t know when I would have first noticed them had I seen this mobvie in the 1950s: the John Wayne character is reluctant to fight his brother-in-law “because” a ring opponent is supposed to have died; but he too “quiet” a man to say so! Similarly his woman, boy oh boy, Irish redheads! gets away with murder on his hearth: he could break her like a twig, but he does’t: and when he’s perceived as being ready to it’s neighboring women who deliver whipping switches to him, with instructions, for its use and her improvement.

I was watching, at home, alone, but even had Jan been here, the whip might have slid by unremarked on.

Meantime, one other thing very interesting: This is a Hollywood movie wherever it was filmed.: and symbolically it’s Irish. But what Irish? Northern Irish? Norman Irish? Protestant Irish? or standard Irish, Roman Catholic Irish, a thorn in England’s side Irish.

If the Irish, the RC Irish, were marching on Charlottesville to honor lynch culture, would there be any ambiguity about what they meant?

Apparently Ford’s own life is ambiguous on the point: he was raised RC, but his wife was a divorced Protestant.
Note, these Irish priests in this fictitious Inisree, are married! That’s Church of England! That’s English Catholic; not English Protestant.

Wayne Note
We all know John Wayne was called Duke. What I didn’t know till browsing wikipedia last night is that the young Wayne was inseparable from a large firehouse dog, an airedale terrier, called “Duke”. Wayne himself, soon to be 6’4″, was called “Little Duke”. I think that’s hilarious.

The Wayne character was born in Inisfree but raised in Pittsburgh: goes back to Inisfree as Home!
Ford was born in Maine: but I can see him going “back” to Ireland: both RC & P!

Shane Kung Fu
2017 08 07 I’ve now sampled the first five minutes of a kung fu chick flick. The girls battle on the roof of a Hong Kong skyscraper. They were beautiful, skilled, acrobatic, fine. Then we see one of the pair arm wrestling some guy: she pins him. But it’s fiction! So what? anything can happen in fiction: Alan Ladd can beat up all the bad guys in the bar, Alan Ladd can outdraw Jack Palance.
There are rules of course. and the studio has to guess what they are. Whether the investors earn or lose depends on those guesses: one year the chink can get a lick in, another year there better not be any chink at all! (And if it’s a North Korean, how could we tell?

I’ll suspend my disbelief this month, but don’t assume it next month. And don’t think it’s conscious. We “know” some of what we believe, we’re at least partly aware of all the propaganda we’ve been fed. This month we seem oh so liberal, but don’t bet the farm. And if you get away with it once, don’t try for twice.

Me? I’ve had enough of these chix fights for the time being.

Homer on the Half Shell: Hollywood Atheism
2017 07 23 Just wrote theMarcus: Think with me:
The Ware That Killed Achilles made me itch to see Troy again, however ridiculous some of the stars looked, Bama, Bloom, Brad Pitt looked and moved or seemed to move fabulous. But by the time Paris fights Menalaus something was bothering the hell out of me:
Hollywood showed Achilles by showing Brad Pitt in costume, Hollywood showed Helen by dressing Kruger in a role, Hollywood showed Troy by building a model on Crete or somwehre, but when it comes to Zeus reasoning with Hera or Poseidon planning this or that, atheist Hollywood showed nothing.
Achilles visits with his mother at the shore, she’s a nymph, immortal, but when Aphrodite whisks Paris home to bed in the middle of his fight, misting men’s eyes as Homer is so fond of doing, Hollywood shows Nothing!

Hollywood is hilarious, Jews tiptoeing around Christian toes. Why? How do they make their diceisions? are the bankers present at every decision? I wish Homer were.
How come you can cast a nymph with a human actress but can’t cast the gods and goddesses at all?
Let’s film the Passion again, but next time without Jesus!

2017 07 22 Reading Caroline Alexander’s The War That Killed Achilles whetted my appetite to see Troy again. I’d liked a number of things about it when it came out, especially Brad Pitt as Achilles. So I ordered Troy from Netflix. Now I’m still watching it, bits at a time, liking it, enjoying the hell out of the casting for the most part, but also hating aspects I’d swallowed last time. Hollywood here has plenty of gall but no nerve for Homeric theology. For instance, the gods play active roles in the Iliad, but not in the Brad Pitt Troy. Paris, the fairy, challenges Menelaus: females both diving and human are suckers for Paris, Paris is snatched from his battle, Aphrodite befuddling Menelaus’ senses, and deposits Paris in bed back in Troy amid all his damn women, bathing him, stroking him, tending to his wounds and his ego. Homer shows the goddes interfering, why won’t Hollywood show it? The gods are “half” of the epic.
At least they showed Thetis in dialogue with Achilles. His mother is not a goddess but an immortal nymph. At least they cast Julie Chrisie!
Hollywood doesn’t scruple to show an immortal, but balks at a divine immortal.

For decades, at least six or seven decades, I’ve ranted against Hollywood unfamiliarity with war, with weapons: the combatants fail to harm each other with swords, say 36″ long, and never connect, never inflict hamr; so they punch each other in the jaw, with no extention but the fist, and always connect. In Hollywood prepubescent girls can shoot the bow, can be accurate; male archers always drop their bow-holding hand befor releasing the arrow: they would never hit anything, but they all live to make the same mistake tomorrow, and the next day … In Ivanhoe they drop their bow hand, in Troy: always, the bow-hand drops. They shoot themselves in the foot.
2017 08 19 I was just watching The Hunger Games, Mockingjay. Jennifer Lawrence plays a girl who’s supposed to have proved that she’s lethal with the bow. She’s introduced, takes aim, holds the pose: and, just as she lets fly, her expression dedicated, stoic, she drops her bow hand!
No, the stupid movie does not show her shooting herself in the foot.
You know, some of the movie toughies, Errol Flynn, Russell Crowe, really were tough, really could fight: but can any of them shoot an arrow on a true course? There’s be an army worth of them if bows were still in use. As is, it’s all fantasies, for feminist females.
Jennifer Lawrence’s ass is from here to there. Her boson is always on hand, stentorian. And if she’s no on hand, Milana Vayntrub is. So bless us all.

Unique Genius
2017 07 19 I’m watching Creation: Charles Darwin fathering his beloved ten year old daughter Anne, while she’s still alive, bless her. Jennifer Connelly plays Mama. Now tell me, how can Jennifer Connelly be so heartbreakingly beautiful in so many brilliant people roles? Charles Darwin’s wife? Wife to maths geniuses … She’s not the genus, but it’s clear that she belongs: even if she sabotages the men’s work.
They love her: and we love her too. Extraordinary.

2017 08 08 Watching BBC’s Middlemarch I see Juliet Aubrey embodying similar talents.

The Devil’s Advocate
2017 06 24 The other day Jan didn’t recognize Charlize Theron: so I named a few of her titles: still no recognition: so I ordered The Devil’s Advocate: quality from multiple sources: and we saw it last evening: she for her first, me for at least the third time: wonderful casting, funny script … But there’s at least one thing I hate about it. No, not them duplicating a plot twist of mine from a story of 1969 or so; no: their lame brained indulgence in the illiterate confusion between lawyers as stadning up for the law and lawyers as disgustingly paid knights errant. A trial is supposed to establish facts: that’s a goal separate from whethr or not the facts are repugnant. This flick establishes a straw man and palms it as a heroic struggle. The math teacher appears to be an abuser of underage girls: the school fed the pervert a stream of victims. It’s our young-lawyer-hero’s first case: and he’s suffering a non-existent crisis / whether to deend the skumball. No, no, no, no: the law requires the scumball to be defended: that one of the most basic delusions of state-based government, centralized power.
Humans know that they’re not very good at determining truth and that truth-telling is punished, not rewarded: a Jesus needs an outside source of energy. Simultaneously humans fall for the same state/church trick every time: if the people doubt that the church has a special relation to truth, then the king does: if this king doesn’t then that king does: revolution, revolution, revolution, with nothing important every changing for long. And if we put Newon in the palace then Newton’s son will be an idiot, or his daughter, his friends. If the republicans have about as much integrity as a Mississippi gambler, then oust them and enthrone democracy: or believe in communism instead: the early Christians did.
The early Christians believed a lot of balderdash, just like the later Christians.
Anyway, the current imbecility believes in rituals of law: if the communists and the royalists are similarly stupid then our survival will be entirely the result of luck: bad luck, we survivce.
Well this flick has Al Pacino as a Satan, Satan has a son, the lawyer, Satan steers resources to his son and heir: he wins case after case as prosecutor, then wins case after case as defense attorney, Satan always seeing that the guilty win, the guilty get off, the no-good lawyers live in the pentshouse.
That’s funny: Satan up top; just the reverse of usual theo-cosmology.
Anyway, our bed of delusions preaches that “fair trials” are a constitutional right, descended from all those churches, palaces, political parties. Satan’s son is good at it, his wife isn’t so sure, and … never mind; the accused’s defense attorney is still supposed to work to see that certain core rituals are observed: stack the jury, then declare the schmuck guilty: or innocent.
So what’s duplicated from my story? I had a solipsist being driven crazy by the noise of civilization: a neighbor is dragging boxes, the solipsist freaks out: “I know how to stop you!” And he blows his own brains out.
Steven King used the same gag: decades after I did.
Note: civilization doesn’t know what’s what if it allows the liars and the cheaters control over the “facts”.
We say we tried this and that: we don’t know what we tried: the media, the Times, the Library … something sould have to be truthful. Infallible.
But never mind: Charlize Theron is gorgeous, so is Satan’s daughter, the lawyer’s sister, Connie Nielsen. Jan loved it.

Inter-Species Intra-Tribal Warfare
The Jungle Book (2016 film)
2017 05 26 Disney’s Jungle Book is something else, great voice acting, great everything: but best of all for me today is the coincidence of watching it climax within hours of reading Chapter II ff. of Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday. In traditional warfare groups form alliances, change alliances … States form, and war continues with alliances, betrayals … In this Kipling-based movie the wolves ally with the bear and the panther allies against the tiger, against the orangutang, the monkeys … Absurdly anthropomorphic? Sure, but not obnoxiously so. The deep symbolism is profound.
2017 06 21 Last evening I showed E.T. to Jan, she seeing it for the first time. Menacing federally organized, key-bearing adults scare the ets among California forest and hills: the aliens take off in their ship, our ET is left behind: he hides in the toolshed of our particular family, doesn’t hide too well, is found by our Elliott. Children and aliens are shown as natural allies, war is shown as natural between divorced families and federally organized adults: no fair play but lots of Terry Gilliam technology, nonsense ducts, tubes, plastic. But it’s all ET’s fault anyway: what an oaf to get separated from his group. Why didn’t the aliens nuke the adult feds? Why didn’t they burn everything, then study it?
Why? ’cause it’s Hollywood.

I grew up believing war could be fixed, racism could be transcended, ignorance overcome. I was deeply offended to notice that Hitler believed that war is inevitable, why not try to win it? to profit from it? Now I agree with Hitler, but don’t expect anyone can “win” anything for long. “Profit” from destroying the environment? Absurd.

This is a famously loveable movie, but it sure breaks a bunch of standards for stupidity.
Steven Spielberg references Peter Pan in parallel throughout. Faith-based magic, healing powers: no consequences that can’t be overcome: so long as morons run society.

ET sure does cast for adorable children: the blond girl in the frog-dissection class is world-class female: the one Elliot climbs on a human ladder to kiss. So I looked her up! Damn if this Erika Eleniak didn’t become a Playboy model! But she was totally beautiful in ET, twelve or thirteen years old!

Now there’s a fuss about some kid going to North Korea, getter mashed, railroaded: who before dumb Americans would have thought cultural trespassers should be safe?!

Download Diamond’s Yesterday: Check out the photograph of the first encounter:

That‘s what ET would look like! realizing he‘s for dinner!

Once upon a time people were wary to venture from their hearth to their yard. Go back far enough and you didn’t dare to have a yard. You cowered in the cave, there were no yards. The were extremely wary to venture through their style to the neighbors. If your neighbor didn’t have you for dinner yesterday does not mean that he won’t have you for dinner today. It helps if you saw him in church last month. Maybe you were an usher at his daughter’s wedding. It doesn’t matter: watch your back, watch your front, watch your sides. Recognize that you’re a hypocrite. It stands to reason that you’re a hypocrite. It helps to believe that you control your God, that God forgives you, no matter what you do, even if you crucify and torture his own son. He wants to forgive you, the fool.
If you don’t trust him you can always trust Hitler.

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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