Author Topic: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project  (Read 2258 times)

pixote

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Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2017, 02:42:55 PM »
smirnoff, I wonder how you'd have reacted if Brief Encounter were a modern film set in, say, Iran. Is it really a temporal divide that influenced your viewing, or more of a cultural divide?

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

chardy999

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Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2017, 07:26:18 PM »
smirnoff, I wonder how you'd have reacted if Brief Encounter were a modern film set in, say, Iran. Is it really a temporal divide that influenced your viewing, or more of a cultural divide?

pixote

I don't really understand this angle/question. Brief Encounter is not set in modern day Iran. So we can't react to that. We could conceivably consider how we would react if another actress from 1945 played the woman but you can't transplant it to another time with different cultural basis. The film exists as it is, and it only changes based upon we bring to our viewing as individuals.
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pixote

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Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2017, 07:34:29 PM »
smirnoff, I wonder how you'd have reacted if Brief Encounter were a modern film set in, say, Iran. Is it really a temporal divide that influenced your viewing, or more of a cultural divide?

I don't really understand this angle/question. Brief Encounter is not set in modern day Iran. So we can't react to that. We could conceivably consider how we would react if another actress from 1945 played the woman but you can't transplant it to another time with different cultural basis. The film exists as it is, and it only changes based upon we bring to our viewing as individuals.

I read smirnoff's reaction as being rooted not just in the acting style of a different era but also in the mores of that distant era — what is acceptable behavior and what isn't; what's a soul-wrenching decision and what isn't. Those unfamiliar mores (or the relative equivalent) could probably be found in a modern movie based in a different culture, so my question is whether greater viewer empathy could be afforded in that situation (due to a modern acting style or fimmaking sensibility or cultural awareness or whatever) or if a similar divide might still exist.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

chardy999

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Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2017, 07:44:07 PM »
smirnoff, I wonder how you'd have reacted if Brief Encounter were a modern film set in, say, Iran. Is it really a temporal divide that influenced your viewing, or more of a cultural divide?

I don't really understand this angle/question. Brief Encounter is not set in modern day Iran. So we can't react to that. We could conceivably consider how we would react if another actress from 1945 played the woman but you can't transplant it to another time with different cultural basis. The film exists as it is, and it only changes based upon we bring to our viewing as individuals.

I read smirnoff's reaction as being rooted not just in the acting style of a different era but also in the mores of that distant era — what is acceptable behavior and what isn't; what's a soul-wrenching decision and what isn't. Those unfamiliar mores (or the relative equivalent) could probably be found in a modern movie based in a different culture, so my question is whether greater viewer empathy could be afforded in that situation (due to a modern acting style or fimmaking sensibility or cultural awareness or whatever) or if a similar divide might still exist.

pixote

Ah yes I'm with you now and looking forward to the answer!
Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.
- Groucho Marx

StarCarly

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Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2017, 08:56:08 PM »
Admittedly, I haven't seen any other movies from 1945, but if any of them live up to my love of Brief Encounter I'll be shocked. I'm so sad that it didn't affect you, smirnoff. Every time I watch it I fall more in love with the performances, the nuanced relationship, and even the dialog of the minor side characters. I always call Brief Encounter the saddest movie I've ever seen.


I loved the most recent Retrospots so I'll make an attempt to watch some more 1945 stuff in the near future.
"I've been very lonely in my isolated tower of indecipherable speech."

Films Watched in 2017

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smirnoff

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Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2017, 03:43:06 AM »
I could always use a good movie cry! I missed out! :)

Watch Gleason!

pixote

I've written it down. I was hoping it would be on Netflix here but it isn't yet. Sounds like a powerful one. Thanks for the recommend.



This is becoming 1990s U.S. Bracket all over again with the front runner finding a lot of unexpected resistance.

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown!


Quote
David Lean does some wonderful tricks with music, composite images, moments where a character is isolated from their surroundings by darkness or a dramatic tilt

You're certainly right about that. There was one shot, positioned behind her, where she is seated at home in her big chair and the living room fades away before her and is replaced with the diner. It's a bit like a shot in The Insider with Jeffrey Wigand sitting in a hotel room and the room in front of him fades into his back yard where his kids are playing. I was surprised how smooth and seamless the transition was in Brief Encounter! I've watched a number of old westerns where they attempt a straight fade from one scene to the next and there's a distinctive jerk that occurs as the last of the former scene fades out. Like the splice was out of alignment or something. Or sometimes the focus is off during the transition, and then it snaps into focus once the transition ends. No such issues here.

I didn't notice any tricks with the music but watching the film did put it in my head to ask if anyone knew of any films from 1945 with unconventional scoring or instrumentation. Something different than the traditional orchestral accompaniment.



smirnoff, I wonder how you'd have reacted if Brief Encounter were a modern film set in, say, Iran. Is it really a temporal divide that influenced your viewing, or more of a cultural divide?

I don't really understand this angle/question. Brief Encounter is not set in modern day Iran. So we can't react to that. We could conceivably consider how we would react if another actress from 1945 played the woman but you can't transplant it to another time with different cultural basis. The film exists as it is, and it only changes based upon we bring to our viewing as individuals.

I read smirnoff's reaction as being rooted not just in the acting style of a different era but also in the mores of that distant era — what is acceptable behavior and what isn't; what's a soul-wrenching decision and what isn't. Those unfamiliar mores (or the relative equivalent) could probably be found in a modern movie based in a different culture, so my question is whether greater viewer empathy could be afforded in that situation (due to a modern acting style or fimmaking sensibility or cultural awareness or whatever) or if a similar divide might still exist.

pixote

Ah yes I'm with you now and looking forward to the answer!

Ah, what a good and insightful question! Through the Far East Bracket I've definitely experienced similar instances of detachment to a protagonists anguish. And in some cases I would certainly attribute that detachment to a cultural unfamiliarity, and not a problem with the style of filmmaking (which is much more modern). Say a character screaming on a rooftop, and I'm just like "why are you so worked up about this?". So the kind of experience you are asking about is definitely one that I've had before.

Are there also cases where I am totally invested in the protagonists situation, even though when I stop and think about it they are fretting over something very small? Perhaps not. There are plenty of films which take place long ago in which the values are very different, an which I am invested in what the character is going through, but usually what's at stake is a value that transcends the era in which the story takes place. A friend betraying another's confidence, or someone burning down your house. It's hard to think of films about characters fretting over things which I don't not think are that big a deal, but which I'm still really invested in.

I guess my recent experience with Boys Don't Cry may be one example. When it came out it was made for the audience of that specific time, and that specific cultural climate. Many people would not have heard or seen a story like the protagonists before, and in the climate of that time such a story felt entirely possible. And while such a story is still entirely possible, I found the movie's delivery quite tiresome. Where such brutality and ugliness might have been eye-opening at some time in the past, and been powerful because of that, in 2016 I found there was nothing to learn from it. It wasn't eye-opeing, it was just painful. The film was like a laser. Blindingly powerful, but only if it happens to be pointing directly at you. Otherwise you don't even see it.

Similarly there may be nothing wrong with Brief Encounter, it just happened not to be pointing right at me.

I feel like cultural disassociation tends not to be such a pivotal issue as it happens to be in Brief Encounter. I think it more commonly plays out in an accumulation of small ways, missed nuances, that add up to a climax that may differ in intensity to watch you calculated was appropriate.

I went looking to see if I could recall some first hand experiences that would provide some indication one way or the other. I didn't really come up with anything specific. Still, I think you're on to something.

I find it hard to answer definitively, and maybe that's because it's really a combination of the two factors... and difficult to determine the degree to which each is having an effect.



Admittedly, I haven't seen any other movies from 1945, but if any of them live up to my love of Brief Encounter I'll be shocked. I'm so sad that it didn't affect you, smirnoff. Every time I watch it I fall more in love with the performances, the nuanced relationship, and even the dialog of the minor side characters. I always call Brief Encounter the saddest movie I've ever seen.

Even the side characters! This film really has you in it's crosshairs!  :) Alas I could only really appreicate it from a distance, and wish I too was caught in it's wake.

pixote

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Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2017, 12:35:27 PM »
Thanks for that thoughtful reply, smirnoff. I'll no doubt refer back to it when I revisit Brief Encounter for this project.

I hope you come out of 1945 with at least one film to really champion — maybe a film that can be a gateway into other films from the era. That'd be very gratifying. If fiction films prove a dead end, there's a good number of war documentaries that might be more to your liking.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

1SO

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Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2017, 10:07:51 PM »
Disney Animated Short Films of 1945

African Diary – Goofy on safari. Uninspired jokes and annoying voiced by someone who’s supposed to be Goofy but sounds nothing like Goofy. * *

Californy er Bust – That first one had me thinking reviewing a bunch of kids cartoons was going to be a chore, but this Goofy outing is clever in its silliness. You could get your PC up about the broad portrayal of Indians, but the cowboys, pioneers and landscape are treated the same. Enjoyable silliness. * * * - Good

Canine Casanova – Never a big fan of Pluto. Don’t find him interesting as a lead. Plus the portrayal of gender politics is backwoods, sending terrible messages to our kids, including a rape-y joke at the dog pound. * ½

Canine Patrol – Coast Guard Pluto tries to keep a baby turtle off the restricted beach. The turtle is cute and very expressionistic for an animated short. * * * - Okay

The Clock Watcher – Donald wraps gifts for a department store while a boss passive aggressively gives orders through a pipe. It’s all about getting Donald to boil, which this does efficiently if not in a way that shows inspiration beyond the premise. * * * - Okay

The Cold-Blooded Penguin - I'm all for disqualifying this and The Flying Gauchito since both come from the 1944 feature, The Three Caballeros. (IMDB list them individually as 1945.) It's a cute idea - a penguin that hates the cold - with more visual imagination and polish than the other short films. Sterling Holloway narrates.* * * - Very Good

Cured Duck – Daisy’s had enough of Donald’s temper and forces him to seek help. He purchases a machine with a pipe on top – similar to the last short – only this one is all aggression and abuse. Interesting premise, but there’s something off about being aware of Donald’s short fuse, especially when you only have seven minutes and things have to return to normal at the end. Does that mean Donald’s temper is actually okay? * * ½

Dog Watch – Sailor Pluto on night patrol must face off against a street rat that sneaks on board to steal food. Very thin, but the image of Pluto wearing a glass pitcher that’s stuck over his face is funny. * *

Donald’s Crime - I could tell pretty quickly that this was the special one and would probably be my favorite of the bunch. Not because it's the funniest, but because it's about something important yet difficult to explain, guilt. It's also more true to the characters than the other shorts. Donald wants to take out Daisy but he has no money, so he breaks into his nephews' piggy bank. The message comes across in the most simple way, the short almost makes a moral misstep but the final moment finds a way to correct that, and it also manages to be fun, including a hot dance number between Donald and Daisy. * * * - Very Good

Duck Pimples - The tone is more Looney Tunes than Disney with Donald's crime book coming to life in his living room. Much bizarre humor follows, plus a character who looks like Red Hot Riding Hood. * * ½

The Eyes Have It - Donald gets a hypnosis kit and convinces Pluto he's other animals. Pluto as Mickey Mouse is very funny, but the one-joke idea wears itself out. * * ½

The Flying Gauchito - I don't know when this story turns into a rhyming poem but it definitely doesn't start that way and by 5 minutes in the "Casey at the Bat" narration becomes unmistakable. There's a lot to like in this story, but it seems to exist halfway between warm-hearted friendship tale and gag-filled slapstick. You wait for a final punch and instead it just says "Adios." * * * - Good

Hockey Homicide - Classic Goofy short demonstrating how hockey makes very little sense and the only people more violently passionate than the players are the fans * * * - Very Good

The Legend of Coyote Rock - Okay Pluto adventure where he's a sheepdog protecting some lambs from a wily coyote. The clever ending is the best part. * * * - Okay

No Sail - Donald and Goofy adrift at sea. Every rescue attempt by Donald fails while Goofy goes on without a care. Nothing stands out, but it was wise to pair up these two personalities to make the premise work. * * * - Okay

Old Sequoia - Donald must protect a giant tree from two beavers who behave and talk like Chip 'n' Dale. Again, this is fine for kids watching a bunch of cartoons, but not much for any deeper analysis. * * * - Okay

Tiger Trouble - The animation here has a different look, a more advanced style. The story is typical Goofy (or more closely The Reluctant Dragon) where our hero sets out to hunt a tiger even though he hopes to never actually find one. The tiger was casually minding his own business, but he does like the taste of meat. A massive elephant gets caught in the middle. * * 1/2


Final Ranking
Donald's Crime
The Cold-Blooded Penguin
Hockey Homicide
The Flying Gauchito
Californy er Bust
Old Sequoia
The Clock Watcher
No Sail
The Legend of Coyote Rock

Canine Patrol
Duck Pimples
The Eyes Have It
Cured Duck
Tiger Trouble

Dog Watch
African Diary
Canine Casanova

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2017, 10:39:26 PM »
Is that a complete Disney 1945 list, 1SO?
I might remember it all differently tomorrow.

1SO

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Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2017, 11:05:59 PM »
No. There are government produced shorts...
Health for the Americas: Cleanliness Brings Health
Health for the Americas: Infant Care and Feeding
Health for the Americas: Insects as Carriers of Disease
Health for the Americas: The Unseen Enemy
The Right Spark Plug in the Right Place
Something You Didn't Eat

Health for the Americas is online, but I'm not interested in them. The other two I can't find to watch.


My plan is to watch 5 by Tex Avery next:
Jerky Turkey
The Screwy Truant
The Shooting of Dan McGoo
Swing Shift Cinderella
Wild and Woolfy

I also have a list of Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies animated shorts and films with Tom & Jerry.

 

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