Tag: Film

Holy Thou Art

 

What does it mean for something to be holy? I think it means that a thing or person directs us to God or expresses His presence. Holiness is connected with pious awe. 

What artistic works seem holy to you? Which are the most peculiarly holy — holy in some unusual and perhaps less obvious sense? Is there some work of sculpture or architecture, painting or music, oration or literature that draws you closer to God in a way your associates don’t fully share? 

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Last week we honored those fine dramatic performances by comedic actors. Mary Tyler Moore won the day for IM Fine, who decided this week to turn the question on its head and ask: What is the best comedic performance by an actor (male or female) originally known for dramatic roles?The Rules: Post your answer as […]

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As some of you know, the week 50 fight was called with @danok1 as the winner, however it’s possible that @rushbabe49 may have been tied at the time. I can’t say for certain either way. Ties are decided by the member who posts the question, but owing to the uncertainty (and the fact that I’d […]

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Last week we had a silent shootout courtesy of Eustace C. Scrub. While Charlie Chaplin garnered the most entries, it boiled down to Mel Brooks vs. Giorgio Moroder. In the end, Vince screwed up on the counting we just couldn’t decide a winner, so both fighters will get their day. First up is MWD B612 […]

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A red sun rises in the Great Land up north while elsewhere, fighters recover from a week of shootouts and violence. One of these, Eustace C Scrubb, surpassed Charlotte as the all-time champion with his fifth win. And perhaps since we’re at a bit of a milestone today with our fiftieth fight, or maybe just […]

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Last week we dealt with movies featuring all variety of childhood trauma, including kids who see ghost, a kid getting processed by a demon, a kid taking on the mantle of vigilante and/or bounty hunter to avenge a murdered father, kids traveling the road of scam artists and thieves, and even a kid learning how […]

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Pasha Is Going to Need to Talk to You

 

Pasha, in the Russian WWII TV series “The Attackers,” is the political commissar attached to an aviation regiment. His duties include political education/indoctrination, ensuring that the regimental commander’s actions are in line with the regime’s desires, and taking action against any personnel who commit politically disfavored actions or express forbidden opinions.

He is quick with accusations of treason against the regiment’s members. When sabotage of one of the planes is discovered, Pasha assumes the regiment’s own mechanics did it and wants to have them immediately shot. In this instance, the regimental commander, a fatherly sort of man, is able to avoid precipitous action …”calm down, Pasha” … and get a proper investigation conducted, which shows that the mechanics had nothing to do with the sabotage. But overall, it is very dangerous for anyone, even the commander, to stand up against Pasha.

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Last week the blows came fast and furious, and within minutes two fighters had scored on the winning combination, seconds apart. We almost had our first RMFC scandal but Mark Camp, gentleman that he is, poured water on the fire by deferring to his fellow fighter, Dan Pierson, the right to ask: What movie has […]

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Who would have thought that a matter of costume design would lead to an all-out brawl. But this is Ricochet, and AUMom pointed out that it only took 49 comments for the matter to morph into a discussion on who was the better monarch, Henry VIII or Elizabeth I. By Friday we had six fighters […]

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Last week we pitted our favorite Sci-Fi characters against one another. Owing to other factors, somehow Jar Jar Binks managed to make it into the top three. But the ship righted itself and Groot of Guardians of the Galaxy took the prize, earning Eustace Scrubb the right to ask: What film is your favorite for […]

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Alt Images: Smooth Sorcery

 

In 1984, I was one of a lucky handful of people from the LA film festival who were invited to pay a secret visit to Douglas Trumbull’s anonymous, windowless special effects stage and laboratory. Located in an industrial area down at the marina, it was many miles away from the movie studios that paid Trumbull to create magic for films like Columbia’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Warner Bros. Blade Runner (1982). Trumbull called us there to make a dramatic demonstration of his new process, Showscan, which he claimed would grow into much more than just a technical improvement, becoming a profoundly deeper artistic and psychological experience than moviegoing had ever known.

It sounded, I have to say, like an absurdly pretentious claim. But for weeks after that screening, whenever any of us got together, I heard Twilight Zone-like stories of the experience of having those hypnotic Showscan moments merge into their own memories and dreams. 37 years ago, we were among the first to experience the peculiar, uncharted subconscious world of HFR, high frame rate moving images.

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In our last fight we had a gay old time revisiting the glory days of Cold War spies, Olympic hockey, and East German dart tag (it’s complicated), a time when communists who dropped from the sky were mowed down by Colorado kids with rifles instead of being elevated to the White House. But nothing was […]

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Last week we tackled the best movies about historical figures. Spoiler alert: Jesus wins, He always wins.  Sisyphus was quick to dial in on that fact and thus earned the right to ask: What is the best movie about the Cold War?The Rules: Post your answer as a comment. Make it clear that this is […]

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When LC asked us to determine the best coming of age movie she admitted she had Studio Ghibli films in the mind. Most the rest of us went straight to the John Hughes anthology. But Hartmann von Aue had a different take on the matter, digging into the depths of mild childhood tragedy as told […]

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Altered Images: Colorization

 

About thirty-five years ago the top bosses of my then-employer, the American Film Institute, got us into a real jam with our funders. Taking a stiff-necked, self-righteous pose, AFI impulsively issued strong statements and held an urgent press conference in support of a new artists’ rights movement headed by longtime board members and all-around AFI pals Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Saying yes to them must have seemed like a no-brainer. What, after all, could be controversial in 1980’s Hollywood about backing Steven and George? And they had allies; the film directors’ guild, as well as groups of film critics and other intellectuals, were coming out in force against a new media technology that they sternly called a mortal threat to America’s film heritage.

The new technique, supposedly so dangerous to preserving American culture on screen, was called colorization, using video technology to allow hand-coloring of black-and-white films and TV shows. In retrospect, it was one of the most overblown film controversies of the mid-Eighties. But the way it worked out set business precedents that still guide media law to this day, and shape the battleground over censorship and online cancel culture. Withdrawing Song of the South from general circulation, or turning police guns into walkie-talkies in E.T., cutting a Donald Trump cameo appearance out of Home Alone 2 or removing Kevin Spacey from All the Money in the World, —they were all affected by what happened in courtrooms and offices in the nearly-forgotten Colorization War of now-distant 1986.

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Last week’s fight came down to a question of which would you rather do: jump off of a four story balcony and fall through a plate of glass, or kiss Barbara Streisand? But after a week of infighting on other matters LC made an astute observation – it’s not about which one you’d rather do, […]

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1984 is a specific year. In 1984, Tetris was first released, Ghostbusters hit theaters, and Virgin Atlantic made their first flight, however, most of us don’t think of those events when we think about that year. Thanks to George Orwell, 1984 has become synonymous with government overreach, complete control of the populace, and the thought […]

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The curtain was lowered on the tragic, rotten tomato known as 2020, and as it fell, was peppered with whole boxes of uneaten popcorn and hundreds of Milk Duds from angry moviegoers wishing they could get their money back. But at least Gumby Mark was moderately satisfied having won his first fight. And as he […]

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As we spend the holiday weekend channel surfing, or scrolling through our streaming services looking for a two-hour escape from news of the crumbling Republic we will no doubt come across Roadhouse. Whether or not we admit it, most of us will stop and watch at least a few scenes. Hoyacon knew it, chose it, and […]

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