Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
It finally dawned on me what people liked about Westerns. It's not much of a revelation, but they take place in a world where otherwise insurmountable problems can be solved by killing people.
There's something weirdly appealing about this. To name a couple non-Westerns, there's Slingblade and The Crying Game, movies where the characters were in situations they seemed to have no way out of---a mother stuck with an abusive boyfriend and a former IRA member forced into taking part in a killing---and, in both cases, they were freed by someone with a simple willingness to kill.
It's not something I would recommend in real life. It's shocking the things people will kill for. They'll commit murder to avoid divorce court. They'd rather kill than declare bankruptcy or admit some personal failure. They'll commit murder to avoid a minor criminal conviction.
On the other hand, a local woman tried to murder her three children. She killed one and seriously injured the other two. She wanted to get rid of them because she was obsessed with a man who didn't want children. When prosecutors argued that this was her motive, she said that if they wanted to get rid of her children, she would just put them up for adoption. In this case, talking so logically about perfectly legal alternative to murdering her children just made her look even more like a psychopath.
But you have the real-life case of Ken McElroy who terrorized people in a small town. The law would do nothing and he kept getting away with his crimes until two people picked him off with rifles and got away with it because no one in town would say who did it. In that case, there was made-for-TV movie and news coverage that was sympathetic to the people of the town which you don't normally see with stories about lynch mobs.
Look at Woody Allen. If you want my opinion, he was trapped. He went for years and years with Mia Farrow starring in every one of his movies. He recently said himself that it had gone on too long. But he had no way out without ending his relationship with her. It seems like an easy enough thing. Most marriages end in divorce and they weren't even married. But for some reason he had to completely destroy their relationship by taking nude Polaroids of Soon-yi and leave them lying around where Mia would find them.
If it had been a Western, he would have shot her. Or she would have shot him. Or someone else would have shot them.
Now that Woody Allen has made mystery and suspense movies, I hope he'll make a few Westerns. Westerns where the characters stand around talking a lot.
Posted by Waldo Scott at 3:25 PM
...at least we'll be able to openly ridicule the people of Alabama. Think of all the cruel stereotypes of the South we've had to suppress all this time out of some confused sense of tolerance. Think of the snake-handling churches, the child brides, the backwardness and stupidity. The outhouses. The chain gangs.
Meanwhile, we've had one president after another from the South because simian pro-child molestation White Southerners won't vote for no Yankees. That's why we ended up with the pervert Clinton, a right-wing Democrat who destroyed the labor movement, and George Bush. Why we suffered through Al Gore's campaign. Gore has been accused of sexual assaulting masseuses.
Gore, by the way, explained in a speech how he would gone about invading Iraq in a slightly different way. Democrats jumped on this and claimed it showed some vast difference between him and Bush, Jr.
|12-year-old bride in Florida. You can get married at 12 but have to be 18 to file for divorce.|
Posted by Waldo Scott at 7:26 AM
Monday, December 11, 2017
|Think of the horrors these children were subjected to!|
"Sure, I believe that," I thought sarcastically. I assumed this was some weird but not terribly interesting British masochistic fantasy.
Then, last night, I did a news search on an unrelated topic. I had read something about Louis CK's perversion so I did a search for "shame based" and what came up was an article from a few days ago in an English newspaper about how children in what those people call a "primary school" were forced to take part in physical education in their underwear because they didn't have their "PE kit".
A critic in the local school system said it was a 1960's "shame based" English thing.
I'll never doubt the British again when they talk about how perverse their schools were.
Posted by Waldo Scott at 9:30 AM
Sunday, December 10, 2017
It was the first movie quote I remember remembering. I went around repeating it dramatically when I was four or five years old:
"Don't touch me! Don't you know touching can kill!?"
That's what I remember saying, but I didn't have the quote right. It was from the movie David and Lisa (1962) and it was "You touched me! You fool, you touched me! You want to kill me? You fool! You want to kill me? You want to kill me! He touched me! Touch can kill! ...Touch can kill!"
I don't know if it was cute or really disturbing that I went around saying that. The movie is about teenagers being treated for mental illness.
Posted by Waldo Scott at 4:21 PM
Saturday, December 9, 2017
How long has it been since Siskel & Ebert died? Because Roger Ebert was mad at Gene Siskel for giving away the shocking surprise in this movie. It may not have been such a surprise to Gene. When you already know what it is, it seems pretty obvious and it may have been obvious to him.
I'm watching this thing for the first time. I didn't really know what it was about---something about the IRA and a lady who's actually a man.
I was pretty much on the IRA's side in Northern Ireland. Catholics were plainly a persecuted minority. The British put an end to non-violent civil disobedience there when they massacred Catholic Civil Rights marchers on Bloody Sunday. British soldiers were cheering as reports came in about how many people were killed. The IRA paid them back in kind. The IRA's first action in Northern Ireland was fighting a gang of armed Protestants trying to burn down a rectory after trapping the priests inside.
I was on the IRA's side but I'd stay away from those guys. I don't know how Catholics in Northern Ireland felt about them.
The Republic of Ireland was no picnic either. Catholics writhed under the Catholic jackboot.
Was that scorpion/frog story a new thing when this movie came out? Because it's just annoying now. It's too long. They need a short version.
The final message of the movie seems to be that revenge killing really is a solution to at least some problems.
Posted by Waldo Scott at 4:54 AM
Friday, December 8, 2017
|Dramatic moment in Herschell Gordon Lewis's Linda & Abilene.|
Look at Plan 9 From Outer Space. It had a lot of plot---four storylines that all come together in the end. It had plenty for the actors. Everyone had a lot of dialog, it had Bela Lugosi emoting. They put a real effort into it and it was just terrible.
Contrast this with the equally crappy films of such auteurs as Herschell Gordon Lewis. His movies were simply excuses for a series of sex or gore scenes, and they were kind of entertaining in their way.
One time---did I write this before?---I was watching one of Lewis's movies, The Psychic, with a friend. I was surprised he wanted to see it. He wasn't into bad movies.
The movie, which Lewis wrote but didn't direct, would have a scene of the psychic appearing on stage or on a talk show, then a scene of him having sex. That was the whole thing. Psychic scene, sex scenes, psychic scene, sex scene, psychic scene, sex scene, for 80 minutes.
My friend started fast forwarding through the sex scenes and just sat through the scenes of the guy mumbling on talk shows.
"Most people would fast forward through this stuff to get to the sex scenes," I told him.
He said that those particular sex scenes were unappealing.
My point here is that if you're making a movie and you have little money and probably not that much talent or ability, don't put much effort into it and you'll do just fine.
Posted by Waldo Scott at 9:21 AM