20th Hall of Fame

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How about Bernstein? West Side Story, Candide, and Chichester Psalms are all solid combinations of the three.

Wagner is an interesting guy. Have you heard the Ring or just listened to his other stuff? The only piece I really love of his is The Ring but Iím also getting into Die Meistersingers (ignoring the fact that it was also Hitlers favorite opera).
Obviously The Ring is the one I've been trying couple of times (as obviously I've never even nearly completed it). I think I once tried the Flying Dutchman as well. As much as Wagner is (supposedly) the metal of classical music there's very little that I can grasp in opera either. To my untrained ears it sounds almost like speaking in opera voice, no melody, no structure (I like the way they sing but would prefer songs over "narration + background music").
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Exactly. First of all plenty of non vocal pieces tell a story
That's not my idea of storytelling.

The Ring Cycle, which was the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and basically any other epic fantasy ever made, is probably my all time favorite classical piece. Donít be daunted be itís 14 hour length, it feels like 10 minutes.
Hard pass.

Also, how did this thread get turned into a discussion of classical music?



Exactly. First of all plenty of non vocal pieces tell a story
That's not my idea of storytelling.

The Ring Cycle, which was the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and basically any other epic fantasy ever made, is probably my all time favorite classical piece. Donít be daunted be itís 14 hour length, it feels like 10 minutes.
Hard pass.

Also, how did this thread get turned into a discussion of classical music?
Sorry haha I brought up Fantasia due to the discussion of animation. It just always something Iím trying to promote.



I'm surprised how much people think that classical music is an acquired taste. For me it's just as easy to listen to as any other music... Try the Richter recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier if you ever get the chance. Just put it on in the background (I wouldn't expect you to just sit and listen to the whole four hours) and it's so absolutely beautiful.

Sorry if I'm turning this thread into classical music recommendations, I'll stop. I just think it's a style that's deeply misunderstood in terms of being "upper class" and "snob" music. It's really the most accessible style out there, because it has something for everyone.
I believe you're misunderstanding what I've wrote. It's not that I don't like the sound of classical music, I do like the way it sounds...It's that I don't know the names of the composers, or what even to call the 'songs'. I know they're not called songs and have a proper name, but I'm clueless to all that. That's what I was trying to say, is that I don't know the terminology.



I'm surprised how much people think that classical music is an acquired taste. For me it's just as easy to listen to as any other music... Try the Richter recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier if you ever get the chance. Just put it on in the background (I wouldn't expect you to just sit and listen to the whole four hours) and it's so absolutely beautiful.

Sorry if I'm turning this thread into classical music recommendations, I'll stop. I just think it's a style that's deeply misunderstood in terms of being "upper class" and "snob" music. It's really the most accessible style out there, because it has something for everyone.
I believe you're misunderstanding what I've wrote. It's not that I don't like the sound of classical music, I do like the way it sounds...It's that I don't know the names of the composers, or what even to call the 'songs'. I know they're not called songs and have a proper name, but I'm clueless to all that. That's what I was trying to say, is that I don't know the terminology.
I see. I still donít think you need any of that to really love it as a genre (although it certainly helps).





Elmer Gantry (Richard Brooks, 1960)
Imdb

Date Watched: 10/22/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 20th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by cricket
Rewatch: No.


I had really mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, I appreciate what the film does in terms of confronting people's ideas of religion and showcasing some of the greed, corruption, hypocrisy, and deceit of those who claim to represent God and the irrational behavior of some of their followers. The film was also generally well acted (though I really wanted to punch that s***-eating grin off Lancaster's face) .

On the other hand, as an atheist it was quite a struggle for me to get through 2.5 hours of melodramatic preaching, gospel, prayer, and religious discussion. Even in a situation like this - where religion is not being cast in an particularly positive light - my natural response to hearing such things is to mentally check out and I wasn't entirely successful in fighting that urge.

This is probably a film that deserves a rewatch, but that's not likely to happen before this Hall of Fame is finished - if it happens at all.




The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Exactly. First of all plenty of non vocal pieces tell a story (Beethoven Pastoral Symphony, literally everything Gustav Mahler wrote), but vocal music is just as prominent in classical music. Wagner and Mozart both wrote a crap ton of operas and other vocal music. The Ring Cycle, which was the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and basically any other epic fantasy ever made, is probably my all time favorite classical piece. Donít be daunted be itís 14 hour length, it feels like 10 minutes.
Yeah, the Ring or almost everything by Wagner is probably the wrong thing to recommend to someone who's just getting into classical music and opera in particular. There are parts of the Siegried that I simply fall asleep for 1 hour and when I wake up, they are still on the same scene (true story, happened last time I watched it live).

Kind of, I suppose. Usually it just sounds more like another instrument though and it's hard to even pick words from it. It's rarely (as far as I know in my very limited exposure to classical music) anything like vocals and lyrics in let's say rock music. I guess I should also say that in addition to instrumental music I don't really enjoy a cappella either, it's the combination of instrumentation, vocals and lyrics I need to fully enjoy my music.

EDIT: And I've tried to listen to some Wagner operas but just can't really get into them.
As I said on top, don't start by Wagner. Start by the italians or Mozart, maybe you'll find something you like.
About what you said of not understanding the lyrics, that happens either in dense works (like Wagner) or when the singers are bad.
Also, there's a lot of great repertoire in english, especially songs to voice and piano by english and american composers that are simply superb. Apart from that, there's also translations. It's like watching a foreign movie with subtitles



Exactly. First of all plenty of non vocal pieces tell a story (Beethoven Pastoral Symphony, literally everything Gustav Mahler wrote), but vocal music is just as prominent in classical music. Wagner and Mozart both wrote a crap ton of operas and other vocal music. The Ring Cycle, which was the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and basically any other epic fantasy ever made, is probably my all time favorite classical piece. Donít be daunted be itís 14 hour length, it feels like 10 minutes.
Yeah, the Ring or almost everything by Wagner is probably the wrong thing to recommend to someone who's just getting into classical music and opera in particular. There are parts of the Siegried that I simply fall asleep for 1 hour and when I wake up, they are still on the same scene (true story, happened last time I watched it live).

Kind of, I suppose. Usually it just sounds more like another instrument though and it's hard to even pick words from it. It's rarely (as far as I know in my very limited exposure to classical music) anything like vocals and lyrics in let's say rock music. I guess I should also say that in addition to instrumental music I don't really enjoy a cappella either, it's the combination of instrumentation, vocals and lyrics I need to fully enjoy my music.

EDIT: And I've tried to listen to some Wagner operas but just can't really get into them.
As I said on top, don't start by Wagner. Start by the italians or Mozart, maybe you'll find something you like.
About what you said of not understanding the lyrics, that happens either in dense works (like Wagner) or when the singers are bad.
Also, there's a lot of great repertoire in english, especially songs to voice and piano by english and american composers that are simply superb. Apart from that, there's also translations. It's like watching a foreign movie with subtitles
Ok, second act of Siegfried and maybe part of Rheingold is boring, but for fourteen hours I can pretty solidly sit through it




Blood Simple (1984)
*Spoilers*

The Coen Brother's rock! They employ such unique artistry in their scene compositions and such lush lighting with their subdued shadows, that just watching Blood Simple is like a wonderful day spent at an art museum. I just sat back and soaked up their visionary film making whilst enjoying their equally inspired soundtrack. Blood Simple is one of those prime examples where the soundtrack is genius in and of itself.

I'd never seen Frances McDormand look so young. Frances is good too, so is M. Emmett Walsh who's always a blast.. and the guy who played the stiff, Dan Hedaya was real suited to his role. But mostly I was impressed with how the film was made. At first there was so many closeup shots that I thought that I had my DVD setting on zoom, but no, the film was meant to impart an up-close and personal view of the story. It's almost claustrophobic...which is perfect for the subject matter of a mystery thriller where everyone suspects someone else.

I loved how the Coens would show us little nuances that really made this film stand out. A good example is when the stiff-to-be is laying in the road and Ray (John Getz) is dragging the tip of the shovel on the pavement! Oh so effective and the entire film is shot like that. And how about the ending where Abby shoots through the door and thinks she's shooting someone else, sublime.

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As I said on top, don't start by Wagner. Start by the italians or Mozart, maybe you'll find something you like.
About what you said of not understanding the lyrics, that happens either in dense works (like Wagner) or when the singers are bad.
Also, there's a lot of great repertoire in english, especially songs to voice and piano by english and american composers that are simply superb. Apart from that, there's also translations. It's like watching a foreign movie with subtitles
For relative novices I'd recommend Carmen or even The Tales of Hoffmann.

It's a tall order for anyone to suddenly start loving opera just by listening to recordings. If one attends a live opera performance, THAT's where one can get hooked.

~Doc



...
As I said on top, don't start by Wagner. Start by the italians or Mozart, maybe you'll find something you like.
About what you said of not understanding the lyrics, that happens either in dense works (like Wagner) or when the singers are bad.
Also, there's a lot of great repertoire in english, especially songs to voice and piano by english and american composers that are simply superb. Apart from that, there's also translations. It's like watching a foreign movie with subtitles
For relative novices I'd recommend Carmen or even The Tales of Hoffmann.

It's a tall order for anyone to suddenly start loving opera just by listening to recordings. If one attends a live opera performance, THAT's where one can get hooked.

~Doc
For opera, Verdi and Puccini I would also add, especially Puccini (Tosca, Madama Butterfly).



Blood Simple

Not bad for a directorial debut. This movie really reminded me of Pulp Fiction in terms of its structure and pacing - it's very moment based and scene based. I don't think it's as good, since the dialogue isn't as great as well as the acting. But this is still a really solid movie. You never had any idea where it was going, and even at the end, it was a twisted tale that could make any turns anywhere. I did feel like the dialogue cut off way too much at the end, which resulted in characters not being well developed. But like Rear Window, this isn't a character film, it's an atmosphere and tension-building film that tugs on every nerve in your body. For my first experience with a Coen Brothers movie, I can certainly say I'm looking forward to watching more of their films.

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Elmer Gantry (1960)

I still have that damn Ghostbusters song stuck in my head, I should've not watched that music video. Luckily, there's no catchy tunes sung by Mr Teeth, Burt Lancaster. Does that guy have a mouth full of teeth or what? Seems to me there was an actress who really had lots of teeth too, but I can't remember her name right now. Oh well, I know it wasn't Shirley Jones who not only played a doe eyed song bird once, but also plays a hell bent for revenge prostitute with gusto! I thought I'd find a pic of Lulu, because a little beauty in my review never hurts! But as soon as I seen that pic of Lancaster it just screamed, 'this is what the movie is all about!'

I love this movie and so it's going to be hard deciding my voting list. Lancaster is uber mega personality, larger than life and LOUD, with a laugh that draws them into those canvas tents and makes them drop to their knees in redemption.

This film does so much, so great, that I'd have to write on and on, and well I don't even know if you guys read what I write, or do you just rep and say, damn Citizen wrote a lot this time...In a nut shell I love how the film never says that Elmer Gantry is just preaching the word to get a shot at bedding Sister Sharon behind the podium. I think Elmer really believed what he preached, but mostly he believed in the power of the spoken word, and that my friends is a good place to end this on.

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Blood Diamond (Edward Zwick, 2006)
Imdb

Date Watched: 10/26/19
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 20th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by me
Rewatch: Yes.


I've long been a sucker for redemption stories and Blood Diamond is a very good one. It doesn't offer a whole lot in terms of surprises or originality, but it does offer some really impressive performances. Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou both impart their roles with intensity and humanity and were each rewarded with Oscar nominations for their efforts, while Jennifer Connelly does well with what she's given.

It also sheds a little light on the dark side of the diamond industry - and the immeasurable suffering it has brought about - and calls into question just how rare and precious those rocks really are. It's a very moving and effective piece that seeks to entertain and enlighten and - at least for a Hollywood flick - does a good job at both.

Bonus points for how hot DiCaprio looks in it.

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My wife has some diamonds and that movie did make me pause to think about where they came from, especially the part where they specifically mention it.

Good work Miss Vicky



Ghostbusters

I love this movie. It's funny and clever while actually being interesting as well. It's not deep, and it will never rank as a huge favorite, but is an enjoyable watch nonetheless. Bill Murray is great in this movie, and I love his character along with all the other characters as well. Sigourney Weaver is of course fantastic, and I like her character as well. Ghostbusters could have been the usual sci-fi fare, and indeed there are a lot of cliche things in it. But it's the fun the movie has that makes it so special. It's the moments like the library scene and the Marshmallow Man and the ridiculous scenarios that I think make it very easy to like, or at least hard to really hate. Won't rank the highest on my ballot but certainly not the lowest either.

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Elmer Gantry



I first watched this 4 or 5 years ago when I was going through Mark's top 10. I watched it again not long after because I wanted my wife to try it and she's hard to pick for. She also loved it. I ended up giving it my number 1 vote for the 60's countdown. It wasn't an easy choice like the countdowns of the 70's, 80's, and 90's, but I came to the conclusion it was the best movie in a decade loaded with great movies. If I had to do it all over again, it would be an easier decision. I loved it even more this time around.

So yea I think this is an incredible movie and one that can have a lot said about it. I'm just not the one who likes to go into long detail. While I'm not personally interested in religion, it's certainly an interesting subject if one chooses to look. It seems to have a lot of parallels with politics. I'm also a non-believer, and I wonder how beliefs affect feelings for this movie. Elmer is slimy while also being a charismatic gentleman with a good heart. Sister Sharon has a combination of allure and purity. It's easy to see what they see in each other and it's not all noble on either side. One would never guess halfway through how powerful a movie this is, and I'm not sure if I even realized it after watching the whole thing twice. It offers a lot to think about and would be a great choice for one of those movie of the month things. Several excellent performances and loaded with strong dialogue, it's a great story and a great movie.