Good evening good citizens. There has been a request for a lighthearted open thread. And what could be more lighthearted than the trailer for the upcoming animated movie based on the Batman 66 TV show? Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar reprise their original roles. So be sure to tune in: same Bat time, same Bat station!
Between the FYWP/Firefox issue and various political happenings, last weekend’s inaugural Weekend Movie Club kinda got short shrift. Tireless commentors Schroedinger’s Cat and Mnemosyne will be doing a movie review every weekend, posted to SC’s blog and cross-posted here. Here’s your chance to vote for the next review:
… I grew up watching Hindi movies and more importantly listening to Hindi movie numbers. I must have heard and watched many more songs than the movies themselves. Growing up I used to turn up my nose at most of the offerings that came out of the movie industry which is now popularly known as Bollywood. There was a dichotomy between commercial cinema and art cinema and there very few popular Hindi movies that didn’t insult your intelligence or so it seemed to me. For twenty odd years, the new Hindi movies that I must have watched could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Now that I am at a distance from both my childhood and Bollywood, I think I may have judged those movies harshly. Hollywood can be pretty formulaic too. They have different formulas, that’s all. Since last year I have been rediscovering Indian cinema, particularly Hindi movies, mainly through their music. Through my YouTube meanderings, I have stumbled across many gems. The list of movies that I want to see keeps growing by the day. Either I have become more forgiving or the movies have gotten better. For example, there are many more movies with female protagonists which don’t have a love story as their focus, than the Hindi cinema of yore or even present day Hollywood. Here is a list of three movies with strong female leads…
Clink on the link to watch the trailers and vote for Queen, Neerja, or Jai Gangaajal. (Or, I assume, to suggest other movies for the Two Movie Kittehs to review.)
From renowned commentor Schroedinger’s Cat:
Do you need a respite from the Trump Horror Show that we are watching unfold? Starting this week, we will feature a movie review every weekend. I am happy to announce that the Insufferable Movie Snob, a serious student of movie making has joined forces with me in this endeavor…
Shock Corridor and Masculine Fragility
I want to thank Schroedinger’s Cat for inviting me to post with her on her blog. She thought our two ways of writing about movies and culture would be compatible, so here I am! I still have my (sadly neglected) blog about Pre-Code movies, so I’m going to use this space to talk about other movies in the same vein that don’t fit into the Pre-Code time period of 1929 to 1934. Today’s topic is Samuel Fuller, who managed to independently produce his own films his own way at the height of the studio system by imitating the ploy of the Pre-Codes and not submitting his films to the censorship office until they were completed. This allowed him to explore stories and subjects that were supposed to be off-limits, as in today’s featured film, Shock Corridor (1963).
A word of warning for those who’ve never read my regular blog, The Insufferable Movie Snob: my motto is “All Spoilers, All The Time.” If you don’t want to know what happens in Shock Corridor, go watch it and then come back to read this.
First of all, if you’ve never seen a Samuel Fuller film, you may not want to start with Shock Corridor. Trust me on this. Maybe start with Underworld USA (1961) or The Steel Helmet (1951) instead, because this movie gives you concentrated Fuller at top volume, complete with bizarre hallucinations, barely audible voiceovers, and a “mystery” plot that’s a complete throwaway. The murder that Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) goes mad trying to solve is the shaggy dog story on which Fuller hangs his musings about the toxicity of American masculinity.
I had no idea this movie was coming out, and now I cannot wait. Taraji P. Henson! Octavia Spencer! JANELLE MONAE!… and rocket ships.
Apart from finding other reasons to grit through this election season, what’s on the agenda as we start the week?
I never got around to seeing the original Ghostbusters, so it’s hard for me to understand why keeping it a precious, stand-alone trophy is so very important to certain critics. (I mean, I was just as outraged by the indecencies Disney committed against one of my iconic creators with the first Jungle Book, but I was still in middle school then.) This is pretty funny, though: In McSweeneys, Samuel Priest explains “No, I Don’t Dislike the New Ghostbusters Movie Because I Hate Women — It’s Because I Strongly Believe In Hollywood Finance Reform”…
… Of course we’re ready for a comedy-action movie with female leads. And of course, we’re overdue… but I think we need to wait for the RIGHT new Ghostbusters movie, not just ANY Ghostbusters movie. The women in the new Ghostbusters movie have a lot of good comedy experience, yes, of course. But over the last 20 years, I can find a few examples of them not being funny, especially when you take those moments out of context.
Now, if Elizabeth Warren and Jill Stein and Michelle Obama make a new Ghostbusters in a hypothetical four or eight years from now, I could get behind that idea. That vague notion that wouldn’t hold up under any scrutiny for a variety of reasons is CLEARLY a better option than this new Ghostbusters movie made by competent people that’s seemingly ready to be shown any minute now.
I also know a couple women who would agree with me on the things I’m saying, so again, I think that proves I’m not sexist or misogynist. This new Ghostbusters movie just isn’t for me and I think everything should be for me. Will this movie just existing inspire young women to get involved with making their own Ghostbusters movies at state and local theater levels? I don’t know, is representation in media and government even important?…
And you can tell it’s unbiased and nonpartisan, because it was written by a man.
First, a very useful Chrome script:
When beloved celebrities of color die, there’s a particular way that the media likes to remember them that lauds the deceased’s legacy of somehow having “transcended” their race.
In the days following both Prince and Muhammad Ali‘s deaths, both men were remembered for the ways in which they “defied conventional notions of race” and made it so that their color and religion were nearly invisible. For the record, Prince was unabashedly proud of his blackness and Ali was widely known for the ways in which his blackness deeply informed his personal and social politics.
Still, though, for many celebrities of color (both living and dead) positive media coverage often goes hand in hand with the intentional downplaying or erasure of their race.
With that depressing fact in mind, Los Angeles Times editor Dexter Thomas built Un-Transcender, a handy little Chrome extension that will scan through any articles you bring up in the browser and replace the words “transcended race” with “was retroactively deemed safe by white people.”
I know everyone says they laugh our loud when they see stuff like this, but I actually hurt my self with a deep belly laugh when I saw this.
Second, I love movies and television in general, so I found this very interesting.
Speaking of video games, I just finished the final expansion and end of the series for the Witcher, Witcher 3, Blood and Wine. I loved everything about this game, from the play style, to the story line, to even the dreaded cinematic cut scenes. It’s just a beautiful game.
I easily put this game up there with the original Deus Ex, Knights of the Old Republic, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, and the Baldur’s Gate series.
As to games I am following closely for their release, I have pre-purchased the Technomancer (because it was on sale and I knew I was going to buy it and I have 2 adult men, myself, three dogs, and a cat to feed and someone is always getting sick or injured every payday), Seven: The Days Long Gone, Cyberpunk 2077 from the guys who made the Witcher seriers, the new Deus Ex, the second Divinity: Original Sin, and finally, this joyous news:
— Onyx Path Publishing (@TheOnyxPath) June 5, 2016
That’s it for me for a couple hours. I’ll be back after Hitler is crowned ruler of Mordor and watch alleged progressives lose the fucking plot in real time on tv and twitter.
Balloon Juice commenter lamh36 posted her final thoughts on the recently aired remake of Roots as a comment last night. I asked her if we could put it up as a guest post because I think it deserves to be seen by more than those who happened to be commenting on one particular post on Friday night. She graciously said yes and sent me the link to where she’d posted it on her own blog. She also has a very interesting post about the Roots remake that she posted before it had aired, so make sure to click through and check that one out too. Lamh36’s post viewing remarks on Roots are below.
So, yesterday I watched the finale of the Roots tv reboot.
Here are my final final reflections.
So, you may already know, I wasn’t gonna watch…then thanks to blogger Awesomely Luvvie ( On ROOTS Reimagined and Retelling This Classic Story) and other folk I respect I decided to give it a chance. I never saw the original. Usually, I shy away from this type of drama because unless you are a heartless bastard it sticks with you and unless you are a ditzy absentminded sort of person it lingers in your mind even after watching…but I disregarded my usual aversion and I watched episode one.
So first of all, History channel did a GREAT job of filling in some of the holes in the story, that folks expressed about Haley’s original book with facts, figures and real life events of the time. In fact, even though it was based on Haley’s book and ancestors, they stuck to the story Haley told, but interspersed the personal family story, with a History channel style reenactments of real life events and happenings of the time in which the story was set (if you followed them on twitter, they also sent out factoids about the time and the people during the commercial breaks, and also with blurbs at the end of scenes with significant historical impact).
Another thing I applauded, was that unlike with the orignal mini-series, they didn’t go for ANY stunt casting (no white sitcom stars or black pro-athletes in this one). Instead, other than for a couple of the iconic roles (i.e. Fiddler, Kizzy, Tom Lea…) the cast was made up of new, and hopefully, up and coming young actresses and actors of color, including some for whom the show was their very first real acting job (US or otherwise). The standouts including Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte, Regé-Jean Page as Chicken George, Erica Tazel as Matilda, and a number of other younger actresses and actors. The casting for the series was really good.
As I expected, each and every scene lingered. but as I watched the first ep and the second ep…I began to see this NOT as a story of victim hood, or airing grievances against white people (though to be fair from this family’s saga standpoint and millions of others who were slaves…the grievances against white folks were valid and should NOT be forgotten or erased from conversation). Anyway, I began to see it as the story of SURVIVORS! From Africa to the Americas…these people SURVIVED all this brutality and came out of it on the other side yes bloodied but ALIVE and in many cases unbowed. So even with the painful acts and lingering anger at the entire institution of slavery in America, I feel blessed to know that I come from generations of these Survivors and I’d like to hope that their stories are told and heard by as many folks as can see or hear them, Black or white.