Archive through October 12, 2000

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived Thru Dec 2000:After Hours:Archive through October 12, 2000
By Jkk on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 12:15 pm: Edit

Funny, I watched the video of Greed again recently, which I hadn't seen in a coon's age. Here's an interesting story that maybe someone someday will be able to investigate: I was told by Miles Kreuger, the owner of the Institute of the American Musical, (in Los Angeles), that John Houseman claimed to have seen the complete version of Greed years after it was made, and that it still exists somewhere in some warehouse.

All right, here's my list:

The Birth of a Nation
Sherlock Junior
Zero for Conduct
The Rules of the Game
Citizen Kane
The Magnificent Ambersons
Tokyo Story
Sawdust and Tinsel
The Seven Samurai
Jules and jim
8 1/2

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 09:05 am: Edit

Oh, I don't think I could come up with a numerated top 20, but these are some of my favorites off the top of my brain:

Citizen Kane (of course)
Wallace & Grommit - The Wrong Trousers
W & G - A Close Shave
Blade Runner
The Piano
The Joy Luck Club
The Thing (Newer version)
To Have and Have Not
Key Largo
Tender Mercies
Sophie's Choice
Red Rock West
Grosse Pointe Blank
Ground Hog Day
Annie Hall
Persuasion (Jane Austen, BBC version)
Lonesome Dove (TV)
Amateur (Hal Hartley)

Oh hell, I suppose that's enough for now.


(BTW, I like a bit of Masterpiece Theatre now and then, and other British 'Wig and Corset' dramas. I don't spend much time worrying about how "important" they are. I'll leave that to those who get off on looking down at the 'middle brows', and slinging around foriegn phrases without translating them, to prove how uneducated others are.)

By Midas on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 07:48 am: Edit

I'd have to say it's a toss up between 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari', 'Drowning by Numbers' and 'Orlando' for me. The latter mainly for the costume dribble factor.

By Pataphysician on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 07:29 am: Edit


Not a masterpiece in the league of those listed below, but I just saw this one and enjoyed it immensely. Anybody seen it? It's a pulp fiction/film noir about a used car salesmen who wants to be a filmmaker. Starring the guy that played Putty on Seinfeld (you know, Elaine's big lug of a boyfriend). Can't recall the actor's name, but he's brilliant in this, the role he was born to play.

Favorite movie of all time: THEIF OF BAGDAD (Douglas Fairbanks version).

By Don_walsh on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 06:08 am: Edit

Welles paid the price for tugging on SuperHearst's cape. That corpulent cop in TOUCH OF EVIL was all that was left of Welles, years later. Hearst systematically destroyed him. And he put on all those pounds going to a Hollywood diner for years and eating 20-25 hot dogs at a sitting.

You must admit, naming the sled after Marion Davies' vagina (Rosebud was WRH's not so secret nickname for that part of Ms Davies) was a pretty reckless thing to do to a man with the power of William Randolph Hearst. A man who could and did start wars just to sell newspapers. As he told Frederick Remington "You supply the pictures, I'll supply the war." The Spanish-American War. Theodore Roosevelt was sort of an accodental by product.

By Bob_chong on Tuesday, November 07, 2000 - 05:28 am: Edit

I've always thought that top-whatever lists tell a lot about a person. And if people think this is stupid, then move along. But this is the After Hours arena.

Here are my favorite films, in no particular order:

Breaking Away
Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Shawshank Redemption
Monster in a Box
Much Ado About Nothing
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Apocalypse Now
Citizen Kane
This Is Spinal Tap
Bullets Over Broadway
Crimes & Misdemeanors
The Court Jester
Being John Malkovich
Dazed & Confused
The Player
Short Cuts
The Big Lebowski

There are, of course, another couple dozen that could easily battle their way into these top 20, but this is the list today. Granted, my "finest films" and "favorite films" are two different things (with lots of overlap, though).

By Marc on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 10:46 pm: Edit

Another film that got destroyed by Hollywood is
Erich Von Stroheim's GREED. Originally 8 hours long, GREED was edited down to 2 hours by the studio. The master print was destroyed. We will never have the pleasure of seeing Stroheim's masterpiece in it's entirety.

VERTIGO is in my top twenty favorite films of all time. Marc's top twenty

11. the first 25 minutes and the final 40 minutes
16. JAWS

By Jkk on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 09:47 pm: Edit

Yes, what happened to the Magnificent Ambersons was the greatest tragedy in the history of film. Something like 45 minutes was cut from the second half of the picture, in Welles's words, "the whole heart of the film"--I'm quoting from memory.

Welles was away in Brazil and left his editor Robert Wise to defend the picture in his absence. Some help he was! He even justified the butchering done to it!

By the way, the preview screening was legendary--the very worst audience reaction in the history of RKO. (Reminds me of the reception accorded to Une saison en enfer: not one copy sold!) When a work is treated in that way, it's probably an abomination--or a masterpiece.

I still consider Kane and the Ambersons as the two greatest American sound films. I'd put Vertigo in third place.

Anatomist1, everyone is free to watch what he wants. Chacun a son gout. Nevertheless, I'm heartily sick of hack directors and ham actors putting their grubby paws all over someone else's art, and then marketing it as culture for middle-brows, (the kind of people that think Masterpiece Theater is more important than Hitchcock.)

By the way, I agree that Touch of Evil--and also the Lady from Shanghai--are damned good thrillers.


By Pataphysician on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 05:46 pm: Edit

>The studio cut The Magnificent Ambersons to shreds, had another director reshoot parts of it and redit it. That's what ruined the movie.

Well that's just part of it. Welles was trying to make Ambersons in the U.S. while simultaneously shooting It's All True in Brazil. He tried to finish Ambersons before going to Brazil, but had to leave the post-production work to the studio. The studio was really pissed off because It's All True was supposed to be this little side project and Welles was taking it way too seriously. He fell in love with Brazil and it shows in the movie. Welles was sending 36 page telegrams from Brazil explaining precisely what was to be done on Ambersons and no one at the studio wanted to be bothered. Welles was just spreading himself too thin and the studio was actively sabotaging him behind his back. In the end, he lost both projects: Ambersons was butchered in his absence and It's All True was never completed. The reels for It's All True were discovered after his death and what appears on video is a reconstruction done in the '90s. Still a beautiful movie, though.

By Marc on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 02:27 pm: Edit

The studio cut The Magnificent Ambersons to shreds, had another director reshoot parts of it and redit it. That's what ruined the movie.

By Pataphysician on Monday, November 06, 2000 - 11:47 am: Edit

"It's All True"!

The "lost" film by Orson Welles. A really stunning piece of cinematography. I'm drawn back to this one again and again.

It's got a really convoluted history, which I won't even attempt to relate. That's all covered on the video, though. It was made just after "Kane", at the same time he was making "The Magnificent Ambersons". In fact, it was his devotion to "It's All True" that *ruined* "Ambersons".

The budget was so small that Welles had to shoot it as a silent movie! He used no professional actors and I think he only had one camera. Given those conditions, I think THIS is the film that really proves Welles' genius.

By Bob_chong on Sunday, November 05, 2000 - 11:17 pm: Edit

And Charlton Heston as a Mexican sheriff.

By Marc on Sunday, November 05, 2000 - 09:30 pm: Edit

TOUCH OF EVIL has just been released on DVD.
It's a brilliant film noir featuring an overweight and truly frightening Orson Welles as a corrupt cop.

By Anatomist1 on Sunday, November 05, 2000 - 06:53 pm: Edit


If you haven't seen it, you're talking out of your ass. If you have, then you must've spent 1.5 hours drooling into a cup and staring at your shoe, ignorant of the basic point of the film. Only a fool would think it is meant to be a substitute for the actual Citizen Kane. In fact, it's pretty much assumed that you've already seen it, know it, and love it. That's like saying "This biography of of Da Vinci is just Houghton and Mifflin attempting to cash in on someone else's life, just go look at his paintings".


By Jkk on Sunday, November 05, 2000 - 04:55 pm: Edit

It's about HBO getting a free ride off of somebody else's art. Rent the original.

By Anatomist1 on Sunday, November 05, 2000 - 04:37 pm: Edit

RKO 281!

An HBO movie that has just been released on video. The short answer is that it's about the making of CITIZEN KANE. It stars John Malkovich and Roy Scheider, among others. It's about the fearless creativity of a young upstart with titanic balls. It's about fighting giants. It's about a relentless young Welles who refused to compromise. It's about the drama and the context behind a director's debut that would go on to become universally acknowledged as one of the greatest works of art in the history of the human race. Rent it now!


By Midas on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 09:46 pm: Edit

Don, I keep them well separated! My snake lives in a tank in the living room, so the kitten sees him all the time, but Balla, my snake, doesn't take too much notice of Bentley, which is good. And he can't get out of his tank unless I take him out, so I've no safety concerns for our little one. I've heard stories from people who say their snake and their dog/cat/gerbil get along, but I refuse to believe it. Balla wouldn't want to make friends, he'd just be trying to figure out how to digest a Devon Rex.
- Robert.

By Don_walsh on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 03:55 pm: Edit

Dear Midas

Congrats! how does the kitten get on with the python?

By Midas on Sunday, October 15, 2000 - 09:00 am: Edit

Just thought I'd share my news that we just added a new member to our household; a little 12wk old Devon Rex kitten called Bentley. And he's terminally cute. He's chasing his tail on the mousepad as I write this.
He only arrived the other day, yet he's managed to investigate every corner of the house, garden, back of the fridge, and item of laundry.
So now the tally is:
Human : 2
Python: 1
Feline: 1 (3 including the neighbours cats who seem to be at our place more than they are at their owners)
Soon we're adding another cat to the list (a Bengal. She was only born on the 30th of last month), and possibly a pot-bellied pig, if my housemate has her way. Can you tell we're animal lovers?

By Don_walsh on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 11:59 am: Edit

Kallisti, the Bellocq stuff was all rediscovered by a music historian in Nawlins, whose book on Storyville was filmed as Pretty baby...Al Rose. He was one of Trotsky's bodyguards in late 40s in Mexico...which is about as much of a recommendation as choosing Gordon Liddy to set up a burglary...

Trotsky's cousins still live in New Orleans and actually own a lot of property in the Quarter. If you know Trotsky's real family name, they aren't hard to find.

By Anatomist1 on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 11:45 am: Edit

...ummm. I don't think I would've put it that way, but if it works for you...

By Pataphysician on Saturday, October 14, 2000 - 07:18 am: Edit

In other words, she puts the "cunt" back in "Country".

By Anatomist1 on Friday, October 13, 2000 - 06:45 pm: Edit

Just saw NEKO CASE & HER BOYFRIENDS last night. This woman's voice is a fucking religious experience. I had the distinct impression that she wasn't in need of amplification, and indeed these amazingly pure and powerful sounds weren't coming from the amps at all. If you've ever liked Loretta Lynn or even Patsy Cline, you owe it to yourself to experience the current crest of this wave. Her new CD is called "Furnace Room Lulliby" and I haven't been more than 10 feet away from my copy for days.

A nicely expressed review:

"Case middle-fingers most contemporary country. She plays country as Mother Nature intended: bloody, gut-wrenching, foul-tempered, done-wrong, liquored-up, tearful , hormonal, filthy, often-violent, perpetually-heartbroken. She scrubs the red off its neck, takes the white from its trash, strips back the top-40 gloss that coats too much of it and strikes tuning forks against its bare white bones." -Susan Moll,Stomp and Stammer


By Pataphysician on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 07:10 am: Edit

"I'd like to see Lanois hook up with Nick Cave and p.j. harvey."

...and Leonard Cohen. The writing and performing on his last two albums were great, but the production wasn't. Have Cohen and Lanois ever worked together? I don't think so.

By Marc on Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 12:51 am: Edit

Lanois has also helped Dylan and Willie Nelson
amplify the soulfulness in their aging voices.
When recording my recent solo album, I was very inspired by Lanois's style of production, particularly in Dylan's TIME OUT OF MIND. His use of ambient sound, vintage instruments and old recording equipment results in a warm and organic sound that is beautifully atmospheric.

It's unfortunate that Lanois' solo albums haven't received the attention they deserve.
He's a terrific songwriter, splendid guitarist and
fine vocalist. Commercial radio has turned it's back on some of America's finest musicians.

BTW, Lanois has a beautiful big home right in the heart of The French Quarter in N.O.

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