What are you watching right now???

Kurosawa’s not so hot made for TV documentary. Aside from a lost film (which isn’t officially lost, but Akira didn’t like it and it’s never popped up anywhere) I’ve now seen every available movie directed by the master.

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For nostalgia, Landau/Bain/etc., all the practical sfx, that “old-style TV series” highly-episodic storytelling and dramatic close-ups style, and also because I likely never saw quite a few of the episodes.

And it’s all in glorious full-frame (4:3) HD, from film transfers, presumably. (I’m watching on the Peacock streaming service.)

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What’s the “lost” film called?

Not officially lost, and well, well, well, following a link wiki posted, it shows it was screened in 2004 during a Takamine retrospective. Damn, why can’t I live in Japan and speak Japanese! Well, at least there’s a sliver of hope…

Asteroid City is not my favourite Wes Anderson but it does seem like he is reaching for something beyond “dealing with distant/complicated father figure.” Don’t worry, that’s still in there. But this feels very much a reaction to the pandemic (something he confirmed, at least in regards to a plot point). I think he’s also trying to explore because the film tells us time and time again “I don’t have an answer to this”. It isn’t a lazy cheat, it’s more trying to deal asking if life has meaning or if there’s a grander purpose.

But I think the reason it speaks most to the pandemic is not the quarantine section (though that is part) but that it’s about people who have a shared Earth-shaking experience (in this case, a brief and enigmatic visit by an alien) and the question is “wait… this feels like it’s supposed to change everything. But did it?” The characters seem like they should be having some great revelation about the nature of their reality but in the end, there are no answers. This could be bleak but while I am a bit tired of Anderson’s deadpan style of humour in this one (still well played, just… I’ve been here a lot), I think it is ultimately… not hopeful but caring about the people living through it and seeing the beauty in the mystery, even if it’s the same thing that frustrates us. Maybe in the end, we might not learn as much as we want or solve all are problems or even have some great road map for figuring things out but we did have that shared moment and even if we don’t understand what it means, the experience means a lot. I think it’s a film I’ll appreciate more on rewatch because while I liked it, I enjoyed thinking about it’s themes after the film than in the watching of it. Still… good movie.

Watched Fifty Shades of Grey for How Did This Get Made?. It is as bad as you imagine. For two hours and five minutes.

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image

One of my top 5.
“Who’s not thrusting?”

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I’ve been watching public information films from Britain on YouTube; that’s what we Americans would call public service announcements.

This one is from 1973 but ran through out the 1970s and 1980s; it’s called “Charley Says” with the cat Charley voiced by the late Kenny Everett.

Well, it’s not every day one sees the dumbest thing one has ever seen.

I suppose it was to have happened anyway. Or however many years ago.

Still better than Joan Copcek, who had to rehearse her lines before delivering her lectures on Kant’s 2nd Critique in her seminars.

Ask me how I know? Go ahead. You know what my response is going to be. And you don’t want that.

There’s sometimes a buggy. How many drivers does a buggy have?

One of the Charley films was sampled by The Prodigy for an early single of theirs.

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I’m watching MST3K0512: Mitchell. Partly because it’s been too long and partly because today is Joe Don Baker’s birthday.

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I’m sorry.

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I remember being underwhelmed by the 2010 Sherlock when I gave in to the hype after series 2, but I hadn’t watched it in over a decade and thought it deserved another look. I’m four or five episodes in and yeah … still not really digging it. It’s fine.

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I liked the first season, but it went downhill fast.

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Just checked…

Never finished season 3?

Huh.

Guess I need to rewatch all of season three. In my mind I thought I’d seen all of the seasons that were out?

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It’s really not good.

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I’ve never been much for re-imaginings of classic literature. I’m very happy with Jeremy Brett.

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There have been some okay re-imaginings of Holmes- Elementary and House are both Holmes modernizations. And it’s not even a new thing with Holmes. In Sherlock Holmes in Washington, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce are in contemporary WWII-era Washington D.C. uncovering a Nazi spy ring.

I can also think of a few other decent modernizations- West Side Story is a pretty obvious one, as is My Fair Lady. Clueless is a pretty good modernization of Jane Austen’s Emma, and then, of course, there’s Apocalypse Now

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I enjoyed the first two seasons of Sherlock. Season three was a mess (not helped by the fact Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington were in the middle of a nasty separation and had to play a loving couple.)

I also enjoyed Elementary and House.

There is a nice bit in the short-lived series, Houdini & Doyle (don’t worry I won’t hold it against you if you’ve never heard of the show) where an inmate at Bellview Hospital claims he really is Sherlock Holmes and confronts Doyle with the many inaccuracies of the Holmes stories. At one point he yells that Watston’s actual name is Wilson. (David Shore was one of the creatives behind the H&D series and penned that line. :slight_smile: )

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Not currently available to stream anywhere, accounting to justwatch, but available to buy on Apple/Google/Amazon…

Cinema Snob reviewing the first ever movie on Rifftrax on Patreon.

road house GIF