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Rinaldo

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  1. Rinaldo

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    The whole topic of Shakespeare movies is an endlessly discussable one. There are two threads for it on this site, but surely TCM discussion can include a little bit of it too. So many great stage interpretations of the past century were left unfilmed, so that their greatness is now a matter of written description instead of visible record. The obvious exception is Laurence Olivier, who rose to the occasion as his own director too. It's marvelous that we have his Henry V and Richard III, and I only wish that the unfortunate Othello could have been replaced by a Macbeth (his performances alongside Vivien Leigh in the 1950s became legendary, but plans to film it fell through). Of course Olivier represented a newer, more up-to-date approach than his great contemporary, John Gielgud, who represented their generation's version of the rhetorical, "musical" approach to speaking Shakespeare (each generation is modern to itself and old-fashioned to the next). In his prime, Gielgud is represented only by his Cassius, improbably part of that big Hollywood Caesar. We might have had his much-praised Lear and Prospero preserved in the BBC "complete" video series, but they passed him by.
  2. Rinaldo

    S06.E04: American Good Place Warrior

    Agreed on both counts. Plus a third, whereby they ignored a cardinal principle as demonstrated in this context by the master, Yvette Nicole Brown: "If it's not coming readily, pass immediately!" Trying to parse the elements of Rachel Bloom (and then abandoning it 20 seconds later) is what lost them the game.
  3. Rinaldo

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Why apologize? 🙂 I think that opinion is near-universal. I mean, maybe there are ways the Zeffirelli movie could be improved, but it's still the best rendition of the play we have, and a wonderful, touching piece of entertainment. (Though I wish TCM would occasionally let us have a look at the 1954 Anglo-Italian film with Laurence Harvey as Romeo, Flora Robson as the Nurse, and Mervyn Johns as the Friar. It's highly spoken of as a visual and artistic achievement, and it never seems to be shown.) But I will be a contrarian on one point: To me, Barrymore (or at least pieces of his performance) is one of the redeeming elements of the picture. Overage and overweight as he may be is, when he begins the Queen Mab speech, I can feel the old rhetorical way of speaking Shakespeare come to life and show its power as nowhere else on film. That's what Shaw referred to so often in his Shakespeare criticism as "making music with the words." It's a whole lot of fun. That long "Begin the Beguine" sequence is just breathtaking great art, and I never tire of it no matter how many times I see it. Eleanor Powell is a great partner for him in this.
  4. Rinaldo

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Oh, that's funny. I knew what @Milburn Stone meant -- he and I have talked about the whole TMM/WSS thing here more than once -- so my eyes and brain skipped right over what he in fact said there. Weird. I too spent time as a smart-ass music-school grad student bemoaning the injustice of West Side losing to a piece of nostalgic Americana (as and stated further above, I knew and quite liked WSS -- I had been assistant music director for our high school production -- but then I got snobby about Art). Eventually I saw what a masterpiece it is in its own way, with depths in what it's saying and how it says it. That year, not two years later*, is when it would have made total sense to have a tie for best musical. (*And that tie was between The Sound of Music and Fiorello!, for heaven's sake, with Gypsy entirely unawarded.) Similarly, during those same years I got in the habit of sneering at Oklahoma!, as I got caught up with the current trends in musicals. Then I finally encountered it again, and realized that if I'd written half a dozen of its songs, I could retire, content with a full and perfect life's work. And that I'd been a jerk. Oh well, as they sing in Follies, "Everybody has to go through stages like that."
  5. Rinaldo

    S01 Talk

    That's the problem of teams searching independently, especially this early in Race 1 when few precedents had been set: You can't be sure if you found the wrong place, or if everyone else found it first and then found a cheap hotel, or what. Yes, one might hope they'd ask a passer-by if there was another one, but it's easy for me to say that after the fact, and as they said post-elimination, who would expect there to be two? The producers (of course) never admitted to it; I saw this circumstance discussed somewhere online well after the race aired, but alas, all these years later, I don't remember where, and I can't produce a link. If one then responds that I shouldn't have brought it up without corroboration... you have a point. Apologies. I feel especially bad because Pat & Brenda are the team out of all TARs with whom I have a geographical connection; they're from my immediate region, and I was delighted to tell them so at TARcon3. (Hey, maybe it was Brenda who told me?... but I have a distinct memory of SEEing the info, though I can't say where.) A few years later, one of my music students spent a semester student teaching at the school that Brenda's daughter was attending.
  6. Rinaldo

    S02 Talk

    That leg is maybe my favorite hour of TAR ever. Everything Oswald and Danny do turns out to be perfect. ("I'm actually window shopping." "Now, can I go back to my partner?") And if one is into Boston accents, Chris's line (was he the one?) in Namibia about the view from the tower is pretty much perfect: "The hahdest paht was seeing that only one cah was pahked down theh."
  7. Rinaldo

    S01 Talk

    It's been a long time for me to remember (and no, sorry, I'm not going to go look it up), but as I recall, Dave & Margaretta actually did complete everything required on the task, except for actually getting the instruction from a clue. And the producers and rule makers hadn't thought ahead to this possibility and didn't have a prohibition of it in place. Like so many games, and competitions with a game element, many of the "rules" that become standardized, are added after seeing all the little things that don't go as planned during the first time it's all tried out. People are always more ingenious at finding unintended paths than one can imagine. Another example of this, that still makes me sad (and that I still laugh at myself for getting irritated about), came in the very next leg for Pat and Brenda (team "working moms"), who found a Foucault Pendulum not intended by the planners and were thereby delayed and eliminated. The onscreen narration tries to play it off as an intentionally tricky element, but it's been revealed that the existence of a second, less famous, Pendulum in Paris was simply not discovered when the tasks were planned, and it caused the demise of a good team. I'd like to think they wouldn't let that happen now.
  8. Rinaldo

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Of course. All of it's plausible (and has always been) because it pertained to a time several decades before and was safely "period." Nobody's proposing that the script be rewritten. But after you've spent a long time loving or performing the show (or researching it musically, as I have), there's an appreciative smile in eventually noticing the things that don't really fit. (In years past, I've posted here about the mystery of how Hill's con game actually gets him enough money to be worth the time and trouble. Which I noticed only after loving the show for 40 years, and now that I have, it's a sidelight that doesn't bother me a bit, I just salute Willson and Lacey for bamboozling us so well.)
  9. Rinaldo

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    That's fun indeed, @Notwisconsin. This wonderful page annotating pretty much every reference in The Music Man mentions that. It also points out one more anachronism, that Bevo (that near-beer that our soon-to-be-corrupted youth will start talking about) wasn't introduced until 1916, four years after the 1912 when the show takes place. There's also no "same historic day" on which all those famous bandleaders could have been seen together (more for geographic than chronological reasons, as Gilmore died well before Creatore came to the US) -- but that doesn't matter at all, because Hill is lying anyway. And he's pretty perceptive to cite Mendez and Klein (turning them Irish) as great cornet players when they were both preschoolers at that date. Another of his lies is potentially more problematic (though nobody minds really, including me): Hill keeps telling everyone he graduated from Gary Conservatory "class of aught 5," and Marian discovers that Gary, Indiana, wasn't founded ("built" she says, as if there were no buildings there till that moment!) until 1906. That's true, but in the Midwest in 1912 that was hardly ancient history or faraway esoteric knowledge: any random person might have known that, maybe used to live near there or had relatives there, and blown his cover. Why didn't he just pick Northwestern or Harvard for his fictional alma mater? All of which is just being silly and having fun with something I've loved most of my life. Seriously, take a look at that page I linked to!
  10. Rinaldo

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    It was indeed the tour with Forrest Tucker. (And Joan Weldon as Marian, and Lucie Lancaster as Mrs. Paroo, and The Frisco Four, and... memory won't help me any more than that.) But, in a neat synchronicity with @Sharpie66's most recent, we got his understudy. (That's right, at my very first show ever.) The understudy, by the way, was Harry Hickox, whose usual role was Charlie Cowell the anvil salesman. (And who plays that role in the movie.) He was very good, I thought, but clearly I didn't have sophisticated backup for that opinion, what with being a novice and in seventh grade. And it all worked out, because 3 years later I saw Forrest Tucker do the role after all, in summer stock, at the Melody Top Theater outside Chicago.
  11. Rinaldo

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I enjoy reading the reactions of others, but I will confess that that 's the first time I've encountered that particular one. I love "Shipoopi," complete with Onna White's choreographic bounty, and for me The Music Man is the most misstep-free of any movie musical adaptation I know. It gets better each time I see it, and I saw it during its original theatrical run. (After seeing the national tour of the stage show, as my first experience with professional theater.)
  12. Rinaldo

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I agree that Audrey Hepburn's singing was appealing and uniquely "her"; she did sing in other movies, and memorably: in Funny Face opposite Fred Astaire, and of course "Moon River" in Breakfast at TIffany's. But the role of Eliza Doolittle is written for soprano, no way around it. One reason Marni Nixon sounds joltingly incongruous (the start of "The Rain in Spain" always made my History of Musicals class laugh, and I can't disagree) is that she and Audrey never worked together to smooth the difference (as Nixon and Deborah Kerr did so perfectly in The King and I); the dubbing was imposed after shooting was complete, to unsatisfying result. (For what it's worth, several British people I know consider Hepburn equally wrong from a speaking standpoint: her vocal inflections, which sound British to American ears, reveal her Dutch origins to them, even when speaking "posh.") So in the end I agree with @Wiendish Fitch: the solution is to cast someone who can actually do what's needed. One of the (many) reasons The Music Man is my favorite of all stage-to-screen musical adaptations is that it was impeccably cast, and everyone is singing with their own voice. But of course Hollywood has never worked that way as a general procedure. In the case of My Fair Lady Warner's had given way (not without some resistance) on casting Rex Harrison and Stanley Holloway, neither of them a box-office draw, so for the third starring role they considered it mandatory to have just such a draw. It wasn't going to happen any other way. And of course on the many websites devoted to dubbing in the movies, we can see that several top "musical" stars of the cinema always had their singing dubbed: Rita Hayworth and Cyd Charisse for starters. They wouldn't have appeared in musicals otherwise.
  13. Rinaldo

    S01 Talk

    An extra day? Wow! That completely invalidates the detailed timeline I posted at the time, after days of revision to make sure the International Date Line was accounted for, and all that. Hah, I was all wrong all this time, story of my life...
  14. Rinaldo

    TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    The thing is, both of those were memorable poster images or main-title graphics (what we in the 60s, prompted by having a father in the business, referred to as "Saul Bass titles") -- so successful at their purpose that they instantly summon up the movie, and as such they seem (to me) to be bridging the time gap, and thus less of an outlier. Go back into the 40s, and that kind of "invent one image to recall it all" mindset wasn't so much a priority. And in that context, I can see that the Barry Lyndon one does also presents a unique graphic, it's just that the movie itself hasn't become immortal like the others. (I too was impressed -- how did they make it look like he lost his leg, from all angles, when CGI hasn't been invented yet? -- but not truly involved.) Truly, it's not that advanced, or I wouldn't be able to do it! I'll leave image capture aside because it may depend on your OS or perhaps need a special app (the capacity is now built into the newest Mac systems, if you know the key combinations). But image searches are truly easy, at least with Google (the only one I've tried): After any search, I see a row of options across the top of my browser window (All / Videos / Images / etc.). If I choose "Images," up in the window for typing one's search is a small icon of a camera. Click on that, and I get a new search window that prompts me to either give it the URL of an image I want to identify, or upload an image I have saved on my computer. After I've done one of those actions, I get a long list of pages that contain that image. I was clued into this by a helpful friend in his 20s -- I hadn't immediately understood about it myself. Now I use image search all the time to track down unidentified pictures. So I've ventured onto this sidebar as a way of paying my own belated education forward.
  15. Rinaldo

    The Other Two

    I second that thought, and not just for shallow reasons (though I must confess to those as well). That was a complicated dynamic there, something I haven't seen dramatized this way before and which has a sliver of reality in it, however satirically exaggerated (back in grad-school days, I knew straight guys who chose to hang out exclusively with gay guys -- me included -- on what felt an awful lot like dates, and it was hard to sort out everyone's feelings). I think there's more to show and tell there.
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