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Watched, Watched, Watching: Saltier Things Part One


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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Quijote Light said:

RRR?

I recommended it a couple of days ago on the previous thread, after watching the first sections -- recommended to me by friends in the biz..  It so fresh in comparison with the turgid tired franchises going on here. I hadn't known until then RRR is  part of an Indian franchise called Baahubali, which I have been watching for a while. 

 

Edited by Zorral
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16 minutes ago, Zorral said:

I hadn't known until then RRR is  part of an Indian franchise called Baahubali,

 

I don't think it's part of the franchise? Just by the same director. If it is connected it's only by the loosest possible (or thematic) threads, coz this is an entirely standalone story. But I've not seen them yet. 

 

In any case it's great. A combination of storytelling norms I'm not used to and a director just apparently entirely unconstrained by anything that would make his movies less fun. 

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Survivor finished last night, I liked the season, thought there were some really good players in it. But..

Spoiler

That was the weakest final 3 I have ever seen.  I wouldn't have voted for any of them. IMO Maryann won by default. Mike over valued himself, people did not think he was half as good as he thought he was and Romeo!! Oh for fucks sake this guy was the ultimate lump on a log the whole season. The only thing Maryann did besides get out Omar was have an idol no one knew about and she never used...so that's the best thing she did, have an un used idol. All of the best players got voted out and none of them were able to sneak in this time. 

Good season but ugh.

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2 hours ago, polishgenius said:

 

I don't think it's part of the franchise? Just by the same director. If it is connected it's only by the loosest possible (or thematic) threads, coz this is an entirely standalone story. But I've not seen them yet. 

 

In any case it's great. A combination of storytelling norms I'm not used to and a director just apparently entirely unconstrained by anything that would make his movies less fun. 

Thanks for the information!  I have seen others in the series -- I mean think it is a series/franchise, but I don't know that much about Indian film, other than I watch a fair number of them and it's not "Bolywood" romance that draws me  -- it's the superhero/god/historic aspects.

Gads, the music-dance sequence about 1/4 of the way in just knocked off my sox (would have if I were wearing sox, but it's warm enough not to).  It's just how things have worked in the real world, historically forever. Dance and music cross-pollinate no matter how hard the ruling groups try to make us be separate, and then bring us together.  Also that bs about how 'these cultures' don't have the great music and dance that WE do -- and he's demonstrating all these dances that are NOT ENGLISH at all -- flamenco, salsa, etc. but come from African inflected, influenced, created influence.  And, of course, the orchestra was African-whatever, as well as Indian.  I melted into a puddle in enthusiasm, jumping up to dance (though I'm a terrible dancer).

Alas, that it concludes, unlike others I've watched, with a rather heavy-handed Hindi supremacism in some ways.  I dunno -- but the constant switcheroos in tone -- there was a certain lightness of being, a buoyancy, a sheer delight in this scene I haven't seen in franchises here in years.  Yet there was a full platform of the horror of colonialism present as well.  Reminds me of how Mexican films often work too.

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8 hours ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

That looks incredible. 

I'm signing off for a while... 

RRR

Bonkers. Top to bottom madness. Emotional roller coaster. 

Eat shit, Rambo.

Same for you Chuck Norris.

Stick that shiny metal frisbee up your ass, Captain America.

"Avengers Assemble"? Yawn. Boring. Boo.

And it serves you right, British Empire; for being racist imperialist clowns.

There's actually a scene:

Spoiler

Where the spirit of the guy's dead father who the guy killed because he had to is hovering over him while he's firing arrows at British troops with grenades attached to the arrows. And for such a goofy movie holy crap it gets dark in places. 

I'm glad they subtitled the song lyrics. A lot of that stuff was very on the nose. If I had a better sense of Indian culture and Indian nationalism, I might say some of this stuff is jingoist as hell. but I'm largely ignorant of that so it's fine. 

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1 hour ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

If I had a better sense of Indian culture and Indian nationalism, I might say some of this stuff is jingoist as hell. but I'm largely ignorant of that so it's fine. 

 

From what I can see reading around about it, it's put itself in an odd position because it's very deliberately a Telugu film about Telugu freedom fighters and deals in part with some themes about the splitting of the main Telugu state, Andrha Pradesh, into two states in 2014, being a false split (although that in itself seems to be complex because the real Komaram Bheem is associated with the opposite, though my quick read doesn't say if he himself believed that since he fought in a time before India was independent at all so it wasn't his main struggle either way). In any case a key purpose of it was more prominence for these two figures and for the region/s they were from. It also has Bheem apparently disguising himself as a Muslim (I missed that in the film, but there was one scene, when he's going into the city, that he dresses all in white that clearly did have a visual significance I just didn't understand and that may have been it) which is significant and against typical Hindu/Indian nationalism.

But it that has then added Hindu mythic symbology in the finale - the Rama and Bhima stuff- which was as far as I can tell just meant to give it a wider national appeal and say 'yes we are of India too, we fought the British too' but came unfortunately timed just after another, apparently far more openly nationalistic and racist, film (the Kashmir Files) got cinema goers in a certain mood and got it associated with xenophobic nationalism in a way the director probably wasn't intending.

It also has Ram teaching Bheem in ways that apparently lean a bit into unfortunate stereotypes about tribal peoples in India being less cultured.

 

Ultimately though any film positively portraying an independence movement will inherently be patriotic to some degree, and it being - quite deliberately- a superhero movie too heightens that, so where it lies on the fine/uncomfortable line is up for debate, but I don't think it's, like, Modi-ism or anything. 


But all of that is based from literally a couple hours reading time after seeing the film, I am completely undeducated on this and will definitely have missed stuff.

 

 

Also a note for Marvel: see, it is possible to make a ridiculously over the top action epic and make it have complex themes and meanings!

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Posted (edited)

One of the major indications of the jingoism which is alas a fairly international movement again, is the massive 'sculpture' straight out of the 1930s' fascist nationalist art -- and soviet stuff too -- that are the set dressing of the exuberant final number.

This sort of nationalist-religion propaganda spoiled the later seasons of the great Turkish television historical epic series, Resurrection, too.  Though, I suppose, when it comes to the history of Turkish Empire, the religious aspect cannot be left out.  But there got to be entire episodes of overt religious teaching, which is not how the series began.  Reading around over the years - this is a years' long series -- it was revealed how Erdogan, etc., seeing how very popular the series was in non-Turkish, non-Muslim nations, even Greece and Argentina, the pressure was put on to be more 'nationalist'.

Edited by Zorral
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54 minutes ago, Zorral said:

One of the major indications of the jingoism which is alas a fairly international movement again, is the massive 'sculpture' straight out of the 1930s' fascist nationalist art -- and soviet stuff too -- that are the set dressing of the exuberant final number.

I'm no expert, but I'd say more soviet than facist and definitely reminiscent of Soviet "great patriotic war" sculpture; Much of which is kind of amazing actually.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

more soviet than facist

 

Plug 'fascist public art cubism' in particularly into google images, and you'll see why I said fascist first. 

Also plug 'public fascist art Europe' into google images  -- you get stuff like this:

https://www.artnews.com/art-in-america/features/fascist-art-learning-from-fascism-63619/

https://ehne.fr/en/encyclopedia/themes/political-europe/political-models-make-europe-modern-era/fascist-ideology-and-europe

and etc., as sculpture, mural and slogan.

Nazism too.

 

Edited by Zorral
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26 minutes ago, Zorral said:

 

Plug 'fascist public art cubism' in particularly into google images, and you'll see why I said fascist first. 

Also plug 'public fascist art Europe' into google images  -- you get stuff like this:

https://www.artnews.com/art-in-america/features/fascist-art-learning-from-fascism-63619/

https://ehne.fr/en/encyclopedia/themes/political-europe/political-models-make-europe-modern-era/fascist-ideology-and-europe

and etc., as sculpture, mural and slogan.

Nazism too.

 

I thought Hitler was more of a fan of classical realism. Anyway, I was thinking more along these lines.

The Motherland calls

Ukranian Motherland Monument

more

Huh, interesting

Anyway, the early 20th century was rife with political movements that were "the new hotness" for a time in much of the world. It makes sense that they would embrace contemporary art movements at the time.  Even if only as a reaction to the stuff that was identified with the status quo. 

 

 

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You can see surviving in Cuba, particularly in eastern city of Santiago, cradle of the Cuban Revolution, some actually gorgeous and monumental monuments in the mode particularly of that one sees in your link, more.  But these are very specifically Cuban history monuments, nothing else, which probably has to do with their sense of vigor, dimensionality and movement, which the other stuff doesn't -- mostly flat.  I've particularly loved this one,

https://www.cubagrouptour.com/places-in-cuba/santiago-de-cuba  (the second image down)

and have taken, myself, over the years, a whole series of stunning photos of it in all kinds of light and weathers.

The interesting link -- that is where we see the art deco coming together with some of the other art modes of the 1920s and 30s.  You really see it in Radio City Music Hall, which is quite close by!

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I went to see Top Gun with my dad and my brother. It’s very good. Also it’s definitely a film suited to seeing with your dad and a lot of other people seem to have had the same idea.

The only slight disappointment was 

Spoiler

the beach football scene. Nowhere near homoerotic enough.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/26/2022 at 3:47 PM, Corvinus85 said:

There was a development right at the end of the episode that is meant to be the hook and why I may continue watching.

Did...

Spoiler

something finally happen on the space planet?

I might try again, but it just makes me worry about my mum. So fucking grim.

Edited by Spockydog
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1 minute ago, Spockydog said:

Did...

  Hide contents

something finally happen on the space planet?

I might try again, but it just makes me worry about my mum. So fucking grim.

Spoiler

The old lady is about to step out through the airlock not caring if she was going to die when a noise makes her look back. A mysterious younger man is on the floor of that observation room, apparently injured. He asks her for help.

 

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Posted (edited)

Decided to watch RRR based on the trailers and commentary here. The reviewers who referred to it as "bromance" were not kidding -- these two heroic characters do everything heroically, as they should. It was actually kind of fascinating and refreshing to see a male friendship played to the hilt without any winks or sense of irony about it. And in general, the lack of depth in the writing and plot reminds me a lot of where film making was in mainstream American and British cinema decades ago (and, to be sure, sometimes even today...), but it's also rather refreshing to just be given something simple, straightforward, spectacular, and not dripping with nuance or irony. Actually, in that aspect -- its earnestness -- it reminds me of Breaking Away (which also had male friendship as a part of its story.)

The depiction of the British colonials reminds me of a Mitchel and Webb sketch about the Nazis:

Finally, the action was remarkably silly fun. The best of some of the more out there Hong Kong action flicks, but with a style that felt uniquely its own. Not sure what my favorite moment was, but certainly the last 40-odd minutes are something.

Edited by Ran
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Watched Top Gun Maverick today and there were no where near the same amount of people at it as there was for Dr. Strange a few weeks ago.

I liked the movie, plenty of action and the story worked well enough. There were a few too many sequences that mirrored the original but that was expected. Still recommend to see this on the biggest loudest screen you can. Some movies just need it.

Spoiler

I think they did a great thing bringing Val Kilmer back for this, he's been dealing with cancer and for Ice to have as big a role as he does I'm betting Cruise insisted on it. They handle the Goose/Rooster thing well enough to have it make sense.

This isn't going to win an oscar for best picture but it was a good enjoyable movie.  One other note, related to the movie

Spoiler

The mission immediately rings the Star Wars bell really loud. Flying through a canyon and making an impossible shot, trusting instincts when the guidance fails, pretty much dead on for destroying the Death Star.

 

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2 hours ago, dbunting said:

I liked the movie, plenty of action and the story worked well enough. There were a few too many sequences that mirrored the original but that was expected. Still recommend to see this on the biggest loudest screen you can. Some movies just need it.

I can remember one of the criticisms of the action scenes from the original was that they were excessively "two dimensional" in nature. Everything seemed to take place in the same plane. That's really not the case with this film. 

2 hours ago, dbunting said:

 

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The mission immediately rings the Star Wars bell really loud. Flying through a canyon and making an impossible shot, trusting instincts when the guidance fails, pretty much dead on for destroying the Death Star.

Totally. The bearded one shows us the way.

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