onyxlynx: BxW F. Lang & T. von Harbou each reading. (Fritz Lang Thea von Harbou)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
Hello, I'm onyxlynx, occasional contributor to this forum, and I'll be your host for this week.

What I had planned on being boring about dissecting in a wide-ranging essay was remakes. This is not a new subject here (June 2009, anyone?), but I wanted to get at good reasons for remaking a movie, as opposed to "Somewhere somebody still has a nickel."

Unfortunately, that will have to wait; [personal profile] laughingrat posted on patriarchist tropes having infected even non-major-studio filmmaking, and there was a (mercifully) brief outbreak elseweb of people in countries not Norway claiming to know What They Would Do if faced with a gunman while unarmed and on an island. And that last reminded me a lot of Roger Ebert's Movie Glossary, which features a daily poke at cinematic cliché, as submitted by his readers. Which brought up *sigh* Flick Physics, or the Laws of Improbability.

Cartoons of course obey the Laws of Improbability; they're supposed to. Cartoons that restrict themselves to reality aren't funny. The whole point of a cartoon is the violation of physical possibility. Where I get antsy is action-fantasy movies where people do things like outrun fireballs.

There are certain givens of movie plotting that are probably not dispensable. If the assassin from the Sekrit Conspiracy hits the Spy with Amnesia with the first bullet, the movie is over. We get that. There have to be at least 2 acts of total stupidity in a romantic comedy before the designated couple can be together. We get that (we may not like it, but we get it). If the protagonists don't outrun the fireball in the disaster movie, it's too downbeat and realistic to make money. We get that. We get it even though we know the fireball has sucked up all the oxygen and is going rather faster than 5 mph.

This is why I have to believe that hobbits have very different biology from humans: They can survive high heat and toxic gases.

No scriptwriter has ever heard of concussions. Philip Marlowe at the end of his career must have been punchy from being hit in the head that often; football players at least had helmets, not that that helped much.

No set designer believes in railings and barriers to prevent people from accidentally falling from high places. Of course, this just heightens suspense if there's a swordfight going on, but what about the rest of the time? Aren't there children and sleepwalkers and blind people and drunk/drugged people and folks who are just there hanging out in the towers? (And why encourage suicide?)

There are other examples, which I'm going to let you provide, because I bought the deluxe edition of A Hard Day's Night, and now I can't find it.



kareila: (Default)
[personal profile] kareila
Hi there! I'm [personal profile] kareila and I will be your host in [community profile] classicfilm this week.

A bit about me: like many of you, I am by no means a student of classic film; I've joined this community out of an interest in learning more as well as seeing what other people enjoy. My only claim to any sort of "expertise" is that I was roped into co-directing my university's classic film series during one semester, oh, about 15 years ago. Around the same time, I took a class on the use of music in film, and thus I am more likely to ping on soundtracks than the average viewer. (Just don't ask me about the time we watched Birth of a Nation without any content warnings.)

I enjoy both comedy and drama, but I'm generally more about the comedy. It probably goes without saying that I love the Marx Brothers and the Thin Man movies; I also love Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Humphrey Bogart, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.

I thought I would start out by watching a classic movie musical, since I haven't noticed any previous discussions about musicals, and there's no "musicals" tag in the community (yet).

I'm also in the mood to watch a movie about baseball, since the All Star Game is this week. The movie I chose is Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949), which was directed by Busby Berkeley and stars Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Esther Williams. I've never seen it before, but I'll let you know what I think of it after I watch it!
laughingrat: A detail of leaping rats from an original movie poster for the first film of Nosferatu (Default)
[personal profile] laughingrat
Good morning! Wow, we've already got a few community members--cool! I thought it might be nice to break the ice a little, so if you like, please feel free to share your favorite movie, actor, director, etc. with us in the comments! Be as brief as you like, or go on at great length about how and why they're the best thing since Nutella on toast.

Ready...set...go! :-D

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