The Movie Thread

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Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2009-10-11 07:26

If like me you haven't yet seen Dark Knight it's just about to screen on Sky Movie Channels 1 & 2.

Call Me By Your Name

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"To make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything ... what a waste!"

Old Doco on Rupert Brooke

Lindsay Perigo's picture

From the BBC, before it became fully submerged in The Filth:

Crooked House

Lindsay Perigo's picture

No, not Crooked Hillary—Crooked House. Agatha Christie whodunnit. Sumptuously filmed, beautifully acted by humans who can speak the English language.

Death of Stalin

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Don't miss this one! I saw it this afternoon. Biting take-down of a dictator and his oleaginous sycophants. Especially devastating portrayal of the weasely lickspittle Malenkov. Life is full of his ilk. One thing I regretted was the absence of the scene where the lickspittles, thinking Stalin dead, dance around his "corpse" celebrating his demise and proclaiming his awfulness, only to see him open one eye and then to cravenly beg his forgiveness. Maybe the story is apocryphal.

Raphael: The Lord of the Arts

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Just saw this today. I shall go to it again and again. And I'm definitely going to convert to Catholicism! Smiling


Melanie Phillips ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... points out the obvious ominous parallels:

There have been extraordinary scenes in cinemas throughout the United Kingdom. People have leapt to their feet in standing ovations, and grown men have been weeping. The source of the emotion? The wartime speeches of Winston Churchill in the movie “The Darkest Hour.”

It’s not just because of Gary Oldman’s tremendous performance as the former prime minister. The movie has touched something very deep in the British psyche: the call to summon all one’s courage and resolution to defend their nation.

Showing how the nation’s previous prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, vainly tried to appease Adolf Hitler, the movie illustrates the catastrophic error of trying to compromise with a regime whose agenda brooks no compromise. ...

Great movie!

Olivia's picture

One of the best ever. Yes, remarkable that in a post modern climate such a film is still a blockbuster.
Very moving!

I thought of President Trump many times during the movie - the fact that the elite mocked him all the way, but the common man loved him and wanted what he wanted.

'Darkest Hour'

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Saw this today. Perfect for the Age of Trump—don't even think about negotiating with evil. And—the worst weasels are those purportedly on your own side. I don't know that Chamberlain and Halifax connived against Winston after he replaced Neville to the extent portrayed in the movie, but Churchill certainly had more than his fair share of the equivalent of Obleftivists, not to mention John McCains, to contend with: cowardly, back-stabbing treasonists, itching to do a deal with Hitler.

All the actors here are sublime, the ones playing Chamberlain and the King especially. I didn't think it was possible for a movie like this to be made these days.

Holy Flying Circus

Sam Pierson's picture

Hilarious; so well done and about something too. The 'nicest man in the world' was nauseating. Glad his wife loved him. Smiling

Les Miserables

Rosie's picture

In light of Professor Jonkins' thread, if you haven't read the book (and probably won't get round to doing so) but have become intrigued by this story, there is always the 1978 rendition on dvd starring Richard Jordan, Anthony Perkins, Sir John Gielgud, Cyril Cusack, Ian Holm, beautiful-faced Celia Johnson and Caroline Langrishe (!) and other formidable actors. (I have a copy and I can tell you that it is 137 minutes long!)

I would highly recommend seeing it - whether or not you have read the book. Smiling

The Cabin in the Woods

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

My favorite movie of the past year is pretty much Joss Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods (2012), which is out on CD. The same high-quality entertainment genius which brought us Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, gives us this existential meditation and horror-movie-with-a-twist.

31 Days of Oscar

Michael Moeller's picture

In honor of the Oscars, TCM is running its yearly "31 Days of Oscar".

A lot of great movies playing.

I browsed through them, and I saw Double Indemnity, which is probably my favorite of in the film noir genre. Out of the Past is a close second in that genre, but I don't think it won an Oscar. Well worth the watch, though. Robert Mitchum at his best, and one of the first films for Kirk Douglas, who is subtly menacing in the film.

A couple of other Kirk Douglas films will probably appear, including Ace in the Hole, The Bad and the Beautiful, and Champion. The Bad and the Beautiful reminds me a lot of A Face in the Crowd, which has a menacing performance from Andy Griffith, of all people.

At any rate, a good month for movies on TCM.

agree on Master & Commander

Doug Bandler's picture

Just watched Master and Commander. Can't say I thought it was as great as has been portrayed here, but I was greatly relieved when it turned out not to be "crap," which someone told me it was a couple of nights ago. For it to be crap would have been very annoying, since it is certainly long. I liked the rapport between Crowe and the doctor, and the drollery of the last line, "It isn't going anywhere" (was this the origin of that expression?), but I I guess I was expecting a more Randian showdown between Good and Evil. A bit flashy and superficial in the end. Sub-epic. I'll watch it again though ... after the rest of the little collection that Rosie so kindly assembled.

I thought the same thing. The film has its merits to be sure but it does not have a tight plot or any great conflict. The French are not really all that great as the villains and the final battle scene seems thrown in there for effect.

The Left must have felt somewhat uncomfortable with this movie because it does have a Burkean feel to it; i.e. the rigid hierarchy of a British naval ship, and it was rated as one of the best Conservative movies of recent times. However, I think the Left allowed it to be made because the film did champion naturalism even though it is a pre-Darwin time frame. But the movie does have good things to say about a time before the 1960s without portraying the people of that time as horrible racist, Christian, sexist, homophobic monsters. For that reason alone the film should be seen.

Holy Flying Circus ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... is on again tonight at 9.30, UKTV ... or rather, as that disgraceful dreg who does the voice-overs says, Ewe Kay Tay Vay.

Just watched Master and Commander. Can't say I thought it was as great as has been portrayed here, but I was greatly relieved when it turned out not to be "crap," which someone told me it was a couple of nights ago. For it to be crap would have been very annoying, since it is certainly long. I liked the rapport between Crowe and the doctor, and the drollery of the last line, "It isn't going anywhere" (was this the origin of that expression?), but I I guess I was expecting a more Randian showdown between Good and Evil. A bit flashy and superficial in the end. Sub-epic. I'll watch it again though ... after the rest of the little collection that Rosie so kindly assembled.

Oh goodie.

Olivia's picture

I'll hunt that one down - I can only imagine how funny that could be!

Holy Flying Circus!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Just watched this on UKTV. Unbearably funny. Still retrieving my innards from the floor. Based on the efforts of Goblians to have Life of Brian banned. Pythonism applied to Goblians and the Pythons. Let's hope Islamofilth is the next target!

Clare Balding

gregster's picture

Knows her horses. Now helping to add substance to television.
By Daphne Lockyer7:00AM GMT 30 Dec 2012

"What it probably boils down to, she says, is something rather simple: a growing desire on British television for substance and for experienced, capable presenters who have done their homework.

Balding sensed a sea-change after the BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s Jubilee, which received as much criticism as its Olympics coverage received praise. “You think back to the River Pageant, in particular, and people said, 'Hang on a minute, we don’t want the light entertainment treatment. We want to be informed and interested, we want presenters who are well-prepared and know their stuff.

“Yes, the BBC should entertain, but in doing so they’d moved too far from their remit to educate, too, and viewers didn’t like it. So maybe when it came to the Olympics there was an appreciation of the way I like to do things.”

Her modus operandi, developed over 16 years as a presenter, involves basic but cardinal rules. “I get to know the athletes, so they’re comfortable and pleased it’s me who’s interviewing them. I also do a lot of background work so that I’m informed and I know what questions to ask.

“People commented on how messy my desk was during the Olympics and, yes, it was covered with running orders, start and finish sheets. Mountains of homework. The hard work was on show but that’s what viewers like.

“You could take me out of the equation altogether if you like. It wasn’t a question of, 'We want Clare.’ It was more, 'We want it the way Clare does it.’ And if that’s created a fashion for factually loaded content presented in a palatable way, then I’m thrilled because I do try to be all about substance.”

That substance could well be about to revolutionise Saturday night prime-time viewing, too. Britain’s Brightest occupies a slot previously vacated by ratings-grabbers like The Voice, but it is not about the contestants’ ability to sing or dance or twinkle for the camera. “It’s an exciting departure, both for myself and for the BBC, and a step in the right direction towards intelligent family viewing,” she says. “And the thing is to hook people in and keep them interested, and I hope it does that because you do end up marvelling at how brilliant some people’s brains are.”"

"It's all over, Sir. Now ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... we shall never be parted." -- Alec Scudder to Maurice Hall, in Maurice.

Akin to, "She didn't have to kill you; you're dead." -- Mario Lanza to Joan Fontaine in Serenade.

Reminiscent of, "We never had to take any of it seriously, did we?"

Other stand-outs on TCM-NZ this Summer: Julius Caesar, Brothers Karamazov (I know, awful theme) and Dr Zhivago.

They truly don't make 'em like that any more.

Oh, my

Ross Elliot's picture

Just wonderful.

"I want to be successful". "From nothing to something".

Big hearts. Big dreams. Glorious.

Natural talent combined with a strong mentor.

The Invention of Lying

Ross Elliot's picture

Ricky Gervais as the one man who has discovered how to lie in a world that doesn't. He invents God. Good little movie.

Invention of Lying


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Great voices, great spirits. Younger Bro is going to be hard to beat in the Lexus finals.

The Pati brothers video..

gregster's picture


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Surfing, passing through Sky Movies 1 & 2, normally wholly given over to filth, and had to stop. Jane Eyre! I have no idea who was in it (aside from Judy Dench) or what version it was, except that it must have been contemporary to be on those channels. It was very good. I'll look it up in the morning. But I almost died from the shock of seeing something of quality on the channel for Generation Airhead.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Missed that, though understand I'll be seeing one of the brothers in the Lexus finals in a week.


gregster's picture

Great item just now on two young Samoan tenors, Peni and Amitai Pati.

I have to agree with Doug. I

Tom Burroughes's picture

I have to agree with Doug. I saw the film last night and although it had its good moments - the way in which the looters were portrayed did illustrate their nihilistic, destructiveness - it left me feeling disappointed. Batman is a self-pitying character; there is no obvious motivation he has to do what he does other than to expiate some sort of pain. He lacks the sort of joie de vivre of Iron Man, say, or the straight-shooter appeal of Captain America. And the baddie in The Dark Knight Rises is more coherent in his, admittedly, menacing rants. But even here, we don't quite get to find out why he reaches such depravity other than that he had a nightmarish upbringing. There is a lack of credibility around the characters.

I am getting bored by all these various cartoon knock-offs.

Perfect summation of the Dark Knight

Doug Bandler's picture

The bad guy coherent and righteous in his chaos and amoralism, the good guy a masked, weasel-worded Christ who doesn't kill the bad guy and takes the rap. Ugh! The world is fucked. Heath Ledger reminded me of leering Brandroids and Ahmadinejads, Batman of Obama.

Fuck Lindsay! I never saw that. You summed up that garbage movie in three sentences. Awesome! Nolan is a fucking Kantian and an altruist. There is nothing good philosophically about his movies. And his style of film making is loud and nihilistic.

Linz, it is serendipitous to note...

Marcus's picture

...that this thread started with you watching the Dark Knight after rave reviews.

You wrote:

The bad guy coherent and righteous in his chaos and amoralism, the good guy a masked, weasel-worded Christ who doesn't kill the bad guy and takes the rap. Ugh! The world is fucked. Heath Ledger reminded me of leering Brandroids and Ahmadinejads, Batman of Obama.

I wrote:

Yes, truly the most over-hyped, over-sold piece of fantasy since Barack Obama!

And now the same buggers are hyping the next one!


Lindsay Perigo's picture

It has long puzzled me that folk who reject nihilism as a philosophy, if such it can be called, embrace it in the culture, especially in music, and get extremely uppity with me for trashing the filth, accusing me of wanting to ban it, etc.

I think you should spit. So should everyone who glories in the great heights of Western Civilisation. Let there be an orgy of spitting.

Filth indeed

Doug Bandler's picture

If it's a headbanging soundtrack I'd be out the door before I even arrived. Filth!

Headbanging soundtrack is an understatement. We live in an aesthetic dark age. Our culture is really not capable of producing great art. The Left's total domination and corruption of the West is that strong. Don't Objectivists understand this? What the fuck are they doing with their Objectivist epistemology?

I could spit.

I should think ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... in all likelihood Doug you'd win your bet. If it's a headbanging soundtrack I'd be out the door before I even arrived. Filth!

The Bataman movei sucks

Doug Bandler's picture

...and Bosch implored everyone to go watch the new batman film. They think it's the epitome of Objectivist morality.M.

Bosch and A.Peikoff (why is she still keeping his last name?) have the analytical powers of a fly. Their praise for the movie was sickening.

O'ists have been doing this shit for years (anyone remember the 'Titanic' debates?); ie attributing pro-reason, pro-egoism, Randian sentiments to Hollywood movies. That's a joke. Hollywood is the propaganda arm of the Left and has been for 50 years. Nolan is a Kantian. Kant's ethics was all over the 2nd Batman film. And this latest one is incoherent garbage.

I would be curious to know Lindsay's take on it but I think I would bet big money that he couldn't sit through it because it is an assault on the senses. Lindsay has 19th century artistic tastes while most O'ists still claim allegiance to today's nihilistic trash. This latest B-man movie is pure nihilism. Its not O'ist, hell its not even Conservative. Its nihilistic garbage from a British Kantian.

I saw that Amy Peikoff...

Marcus's picture

...and Bosch implored everyone to go watch the new batman film. They think it's the epitome of Objectivist morality.

I only recently discovered that Chris Nolan is British. (So too is Sam Mendes and the late Anthony Minghella). I know, it's takes me a while to catch on.

Hollywood is being overrun by British actors and directors. Who would have thought it?

However given that the last batman film was absolute tat in my opinion, I am not rushing out to see the new one.

She is, Olivia

Ross Elliot's picture

A wonderful woman, dramatised.

Oh, stop it, Lindsay

Ross Elliot's picture

You're being precious.

Melodrama is something that *exaggerates*.

As you often do.

Perhaps you should watch Howards End or Remains Of The Day, then compare.

Downton ..

Olivia's picture

is full blown melodrama! And I love every sumptuous minute of it.

Howard's End is my favourite Merchant/Ivory film. They don't come any better than that. The character of Margaret, played by Emma Thompson, should be held up for all women to study. She's magnificent in her thorough goodness.


Tom Burroughes's picture

I am off to see the latest of the Batman movies tomorrow night. Depending on my schedule, I might put up a short review.

There seems to be a lot of debate on the left and right as to whether the Dark Knight Rises is a pro-capitalist movie or not. Here is one example from the conservative side:

Sometimes people make the mistake of investing too much political/ideological significance into films. This is about entertainment, remember, although as a good Randian, I observe and am interested in the revealed sense of life and philosophy that a work of art can represent and reveal.

Oh dear!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Had I realised Downton sailed merely "awfully close to melodrama" I shouldn't have bothered watching it. "Awfully close" simply won't cut it.

Downton Abbey

Ross Elliot's picture

I've mentioned this before: I do like Downton and I love wallowing in its sumptuous production values, but it's sailing awfully close to melodrama.

Downton mines a deep vein of British class-conscious costume drama. But it's a pale imitation of the stuff featuring Anthony Hopkins in The Remains of the Day or Howards End, both of which I recommend.

Reprise ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... of Sense and Sensibility and Downton 1 beginning on UKTV in a few minutes.


Ross Elliot's picture

...just bought Zulu and The Dirty Dozen.

Zulu is not as punchy as I remember it as a kid. Could do with some editing. But The Dirty Dozen is really enjoyable. Telly Savalas is great as Maggot. Lee Marvin is quite wicked. One of his best roles for mine.

I must buy The Eagle Has Landed on hi-def. Such a good film.

"I can always tell a thoroughgoing bastard when I see one."

Some recent faves

Ross Elliot's picture

The Duellists:

Just sumptuous. Harvey Keitel. Two men trying to come to grips with one another during the long Napoleonic Wars.

Lonesome Dove:

Duvall at his best. Not just a cowboy series: Duvall has some great lines, full of import.

Double Indemnity:

Fred MacMurray of My Three Sons fame had a wicked film noir life many years before, the dog. One of the great femme fatale movies.

Howards End:

Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. If you liked Downton Abbey or Remains of the Day, this is your thing.

It's a short list and highly recommended.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

New series began tonight on UKTV. Martin Shaw and David Suchet together. Miraculous!

Underscores my burning hatred of the bimbos doing voice-overs on that and other channels, and the conscientious barbarians who employ them to do so. Strangling would be too good for them.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Saw this for the first time on TCM last night. Astounding! Repeats this afternoon at 1.

Yes, Robert

Lindsay Perigo's picture

That's the one. Order it!! It is beyond excellence!

Brokeback Mountain was on last night, and, against my better judgment, I watched it, for the third or fourth time. Two things struck me: 1) wotta downer!! (again); 2) the young Heath Ledger was already well advanced in his drug addiction. Most of the time he looked ten years older than he was, and in the latter half of the movie he wore a hairpiece. I was astonished to find this wasn't picked up on on all the reviews I then looked at. The baldness may well have been entirely natural and not drug-related, but hair loss *is* a known effect of meth-addiction, and in this tabloid age you'd think some of the gutter press would have jerked off on it. Anyway, potentially great movie that should have ended with Heath and Jake living happily ever after ruined by pomowanker anti-values.


Robert's picture

The tv-movie with Jeremy Irons & Michael Gambon? Longitude is one of my favorite books. And the documentary made about it is good to. But I always wondered about the movie... I may just have to order it through Amazon.

Sorry Perigo

seymourblogger's picture

I should have hit reply.

You win about Rand anyway -and Gould of course

seymourblogger's picture

DeLillo and Rand. Eric Packer and Francisco d'Anconia.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Just watched the DVD of Longitude with a dear friend. Astoundingly, indescribably great, albeit a marathon. For light relief, we watched The Great Caruso, which Hollywood feared would be a commercial disaster because of all the opera in it, but in the event was a record-breaking success. I have to remind myself, overwhelmed by pessimism as I now am, that this is still a universe in which the likes of Harrison, Gould, Rand, Caruso and Lanza ultimately (or even quickly) triumph. Or is it?

Yes, Tom...

Ross Elliot's picture

...Hornblower was the original naval hero from Forester, begun in the 1930s.

All of Forester and O'Brian is based upon the real Lord Thomas Cochrane. But Forester never had O'Brian's humanity, his satire and his truly wonderful literary skill. There is good heroic fiction--which Forester wrote, and then there is beauty, intellectual excitement and glory--which O'Brian so wonderfully bestowed upon us.

Marcus, the TV Hornblower is pretty good. I hope that a TV series of Aubrey-Maturin may come, and be true to every romantic ideal that was present in O'Brian's fiction.

Fantasy time: if you combine Francisco, Ragnar and Aubrey-Maturin, you have it all.

Hornblower books...

Marcus's picture

...and the TV series?

Having not seen it myself, Tom, is that worth watching too?

Ross, glad to see you like

Tom Burroughes's picture

Ross, glad to see you like the Jack Aubrey naval fiction of Patrick O'Brian. Truly wonderfully written, often funny. He has that rare ability to make you think, that, despite the hardships, serving on board a man of war battleship would have been exciting.

In a related vein, I also recommend the Hornblower books of CS Forester.

Wuthering Heights

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Prime TV, now. 2009 version, I think.

Do you fucking...

Ross Elliot's picture

...know me?

No, you don't. My name is spelled: Elliot. Get it fucking right or we're gonna have a fucking problem. Ever tangled with a Scottish descendant? This fucking sporran isn't just for show. We invented all manner of shit: the telegraph, the seismometer, penicillin and golf, and if you fuck with me, I'll drive a three-wood up your syphilitic ass.

well marcus

seymourblogger's picture

even if I were would I say so. Yet another stupid reply from the marcus.

eliott there ya go

seymourblogger's picture

poppin off your mout agin.

I sai FLAT was not a pjorative label and I gave you arren's post explaining the flat character through Forster's essay on it. Read darren on aroun the randroid belt. Here's the link: http://randroidbelt.blogspot.c... Looks like you're in good company. Hissing Diana said the same.


Ross Elliot's picture

Rand *intended* him to be *flat*?

No she didn't. But he is.

C'mon, precision was the defining aspect of Rand's writing. She said what she meant.

I've said this before: after Francisco and Hank, two wonderfully human heroes, where did Rand have to go? Galt? Yes, but where did that leave her? To my mind, it left her with an abstraction, in Galt, so pure, that he became a caricature.

Francisco and Hank are the true renaissance men. Galt is the embodiment of the philosophy which drove them. He's, with caveats, a Greek statue.

ross Galt is a FLAT

seymourblogger's picture

character as in literary theory. He's supposed to be that way. Not pejorative at all.


Ross Elliot's picture

...there's another production of Mansfield Park coming up on Sunday.

I found the aforementioned show...

Ross Elliot's picture

...on my own, presented by Amanda Vickery. And a nicer piece of hot-historian totty you'd be hard-pressed to find.

I don't agree that Rand's writing was long on narrative.

Except Galt's speech. There you have a lengthy philosophical statement that has, by that point, already been made wonderfully clear by all that came before. And this goes to my past thesis about Galt: he's a caricature. Frankly, if he hadn't made the speech, you might be thinking: who the fuck is this guy and where is Francisco and Hank when you need them?

Yes, that's a little cruel, but for mine, it's true.


seymourblogger's picture

It looks like your taste as a teen was excellent. What happened to it?

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is a masterpiece that still is relevant. And yes it does have some flaws but so what.

It is THE courageous retelling of the Tristan and Iseult legend. She is the only one besides Wagner that stared Death in the face instead of Happy Ending.

All romantic novels use the legend as template. Rand departs but evidences are still there. She certainly uses inversions. Rand really sets the new template for fan fiction porn.

Well ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... that feature (Vibe) on Jane Austen, with a misleading title about her lovers, was wonderful. Talked among other things about the (short-term) ascendancy over her by the supposedly antipodal Brontes. Now that hadn't occurred to me before. This is just the reason/passion dichotomy all over again. Austen is not short on passion and (this proposition is more arguable) Emily Bronte is not short on reason. Of course, the perfect dissolution of this phony dichotomy was achieved by Rand, which is why I have found it hard to read anyone else's fiction for decades. Wuthering Heights was my favourite novel as a hormonal teenager, but I realised even then there was something missing. Rand filled the vacuum. Especially in We the Living and The Fountainhead. Atlas is beyond brilliant, of course, but there's just too much tortuous, superfluous descriptive detail in it. As I've often said, needed a good editor. Ayn of course by that stage was in "Would you edit the Bible ??!!" mode.

In any event, Austen was a genius.

The parlous state of our civilisation is made manifest by the vile voice-overs that interrupt these programmes in the trailers and commercials. Retarded quacking females who embody Generation Airhead. They sound even worse than Ear New Zullid flight attendants. They are irresistible testament to the fact that civilisation as we know it is about to come to an end.

This will be dismissed as hyperbolic, paranoid elitism, no doubt. Come back to me in five years—if any of us is still alive. Acquiescence to this barbarism is folly—and a fool and his life are quickly parted.

And while I'm at it...

Ross Elliot's picture adaptation that transcends the source material by cosmic measure is Michael Mann's 1992 Last of the Mohicans.

James Fenimore Cooper's 1826 novel is almost unreadable to the modern mind, contrasted with Austen's wonderfully exact prose of twenty years earlier.

But the 1992 film is a winner in every respect. Not to be missed. Heroic, and all for love.

I came to Austen via...

Ross Elliot's picture

...Patrick O'Brian and his glorious Aubrey-Maturin series of novels.

Wonderful *R*omantic modern literature. O'Brian was an Austen fan and his books, set during the Napoleonic Wars, reflect her language and time perfectly.

On the subject of film adaptations, you can't have a better intro to Aubrey-Maturin than Peter Weir's (Dead Poets Society) 2003 stupendous Master and Commander. Paul Bettany is the perfect Maturin, the fighting naturalist.

Fail to read O'Brian's books at the peril of your own sense of life. They are that good.


Ross Elliot's picture

Where is that showing?

Austen has been adapted many times recently, some good, many quite silly.

Hands down, the greatest Sense and Sensibility is the 1995 film with Emma Thompson. Just gorgeous: both Emma and the film helmed by Ang Lee. This is the reference. Lovely (pre-Titanic) Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman also star. Thompson wrote the screenplay. What a girl. Grrr.

One adaptation to avoid like the plague is Emma with Paltrow.

I love ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... Mr Darcy. I watched Laurence Olivier playing him the other day. Not acidic enough, but he'll do. Wotta handsome bastard he was in his heyday.

I hugely enjoyed Sense and Sensibility a few weeks back. A more recent adaptation than the one mentioned here, starring the sultry Dakin from The History Boys. Now that is beyond handsome!

Tonight I notice there's a programme called Jane Austen Was a Nymph or some such. Needless to say I shall be glued.

Ah, and so we have...

Ross Elliot's picture

...another Austen fan, methinks.

Austen's strength was satire but the satire was always aimed at the system that kept women down. And her men were always required to rise above themselves and to deserve the women they sought.

And that is a lesson to all women. You hear that, girls? Never give in and always make him tell you what he's about. And you better damned-well do the same.

Austen's greatest heroine was portrayed in Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennet in her pursuit of Fitzwilliam Darcy, a man I'm sure we can recognise within many of ourselves, tortured herself as to the true nature of the man. Sublime, enduring stuff once you learn to strip away the non-essentials.

I can't say Mansfield Park with Billy Piper was anything more than a quick stab at the original work, but it was a lovely thing nevertheless.

Deronda ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... beautifully done but shot through with Karenina-like altruism as it is, just got creamed as the best thing on television by Mansfield Park on Vibe.

aw marcus

seymourblogger's picture

u is protecting linz. Po linz can't take care of hissef. erona is a classic book out of copyright so that's why the TV is doing another costme drama to keep the proles amused.

All a dunce can say is something about drugs their opponent is on. Great debater you are marcus. Try that with your aspiring career.

So your telling Linz..

Marcus's picture

...that he has no taste in literature was a perfectly civil response, was it?

And I am genuinely curious to know if you are taking any mind altering drugs at the moment.

yes reactionary marcus Daniel Martin

seymourblogger's picture

was the novel by Fowles I was thinking of. Daniel Deronda is by George Eliot. How wonderful that you get to correct me! Feel smart now!

A civilized, educated reply to my mistake might have been:

Janet, I think you meant Daniel Martin not Daniel Deronda by George Eliot.

Janet you're attributing Daniel Deronda to Jown Fowles is in error.

Janet, are you confusing Daniel Deronda with another book by John Fowles?

And so on and so on if you had any linguistic expertise, which you do not.

No Marcus, you have to go off half-cocked (a frequent occurrence?) and say, What drugs are you on seymourblogger? which is so typical of you. You think reactionary, abrasive, hostile and aggressive comments are an indication of intelligence and integrity when calling someone on something or other.

They aren't.

What drugs are you on seymourblogger?

Marcus's picture

Daniel Deronda is a book written by George Eliot.

I've never seen it or read it before Linz.

I will have to look it up sometime.

perigo not the best thing

seymourblogger's picture

If you have ever read Fowles in his entirety or arguably Daniel Deronda his best book.

And have you ever read his scathing critique of films, an essay he wrote while shooting was going on for French Lieutenant's Woman? He would have torn Atlas I - and Atlas II - to teeny tiny shreds.

But then you probably haven't read the original so you can praise the simulacra on TV as you have praised Atlas I and will do the same for Atlas II I think. Taste in wine, music. None in literature.

Daniel Deronda ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... on UKTV. Absolutely the best thing on television right now.

Dr Zhivago

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Caught Pt 2 of a three-part miniseries on Vibe tonight. Magnificent. I didn't even know there'd been a remake. I saw the original before I became an Objectivist, so had no idea how Randian the themes were. Pt 3 tomorrow night at 8.30, repeated next Sunday.

yes me I'm one

seymourblogger's picture

Please go on.

Just watched Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility....

Ross Elliot's picture

...for the third time.

Wonderful stuff. Easy to get lost in the sumptuous 19th century visuals and language, but a true statement of the false contradiction between rationalism and romanticism.

Any other Austen fans here?

Poitier to Dad:

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"You think of yourself as a coloured man. I think of myself as a man."

I absolutely adore...

Olivia's picture

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

An incredibly benevolent film - I love Sidney Poitier's outcry to his parents near the end, in the name of his own self interest. He doesn't buy their sacrificialism bullshit for one minute! And it all ends well. Aaaaaaahh.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... on the TCM loop right now. I timed Tracy's final wonderful rave in light of debate about how much "meat" can go into the Atlas movie—seven minutes! No headbanging underneath, no frenetic gesticulation, no gimmicks, just a talking head and cutaways of silent heads. And of course, there are a number of warm-up monologues and dialogues from the other characters leading up to Tracy's finale. I know attention spans are much shorter in contemporary Airhead America, but Atlas shouldn't be aimed at airheads. It has to be timeless.

Man in the Iron Mask ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... is in the loop on SM Greats right now. Catch it if you can, Kiwi SOLOists. Magnificent! Even though the director is a Goblian! Wink

Survivors: Nature's Indestructible Creatures

Marcus's picture

Really good BBC documentary about the animals that survived massive extinction events and why.

The host of the program, Professor Richard Fortey, is a refreshing change to the likes of Richard Attenborough.

The animals that he studies he sometimes eats too. In last night's episode he had Norwegian Musk Ox Steak and American Bison Burger.

It's not the main point of the program to eat the exotic animals he studies, but an added dimension to their description.

Amazing in these PC times that the BBC still allow this type of program to be made.

Survivors: Nature's Indestructible Creatures

Lance I agree with you 200%

seymourblogger's picture

It really is a masterpiece. And the way she thinks - in pictures that is - resonates with Lewis Carrol's philosophical work. also Alice Cullen of Twilight.

A non-linear, non progressive, non historical, non Hegelian dialectical universe. And very effective as her work proves in practice. So glad you mentioned it as I have been forgetting it.

Are you sure...

Marcus's picture didn't form the basis of the Sound of Music?

The Mortal Storm

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Great anti-Nazi movie from 1940 starring Jimmy Stewart on TCM right now. Hard to believe the writer wasn't influenced by We the Living. Hitler banned all MGM movies in Germany after that.

Two standouts ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... this weekend on Sky: Rhapsody (TCM) and Match Point (SMG).

Witness for the Prosecution

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Not sure if I've mentioned this one before, but saw it again on MGM this afternoon. Superb in every respect. Charles Laughton is beyond brilliant. Clever English, as it should be spoken.

"I am constantly surprised that women's hats do not provoke more murders."

"If I'd known how much you talk I'd never have come out of my coma."

"If you were a woman, Miss Plimsoll, I'd strike you."

Temple Grandin

Lance's picture

I wouldn't expect this movie to have broad appeal on its description alone. A biopic about Temple Grandin, a pioneer scientist in the humane livestock handling field.

Never mind that Miss Grandin won awards from PETA, the film is a no nonsense look at the life of a pure genius, who with observation to detail and a compassion for animals and an enlightened view on raising animals for food, developed a livestock handling program from pens to slaughter, now adopted throughout the majority of the US meat industry.

The best part though? She doesn't take her ideas and demand they be mandated, she takes her ideas and sells them. She appeals to the profit motive, showing her system requires fewer handlers, loses fewer beasts to accidents in the pens, and produces better quality meat.

"Nature is cruel, we don't have to be."

If you get the chance, watch it.

At it again...

Marcus's picture

...the third episode of All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace takes a stab at Dawkins and the predecessor to the selfish gene, implying that the result of this theory has been to turn us all into deterministic automata ruled by our genes only, no different to any other animal.

You have to wonder what pills Adam Curtis is on. Whatever it is, it must induce feelings of intense paranoia and nostalgia.

TV reviews

Marcus's picture

TV review: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

The global economic crisis and the mess we're in? Blame it all on the computers

So it was Ayn Rand's fault all along, this fine mess we're in. And there was me thinking it was Fred the Shred, or Gordon Brown, or the American money lenders anyway. Turns out it goes way further back, to the 50s...

Curtis takes a Big Thing, and goes back to someone in the 1950s (Sayyid Qutb, Ayn Rand), and you think: how the hell is he going to get from there to here? And he only goes and does just that. He's got some tricks up his sleeve – a calm persuasiveness, a lovely choice of archive film and music, he understands the power of television. So even if you can't quite get your head around how President Suharto's downfall is connected to a mass game of pong, you can still marvel at it, and at the extraordinary face of the wife of the man who did the pong experiment. Or laugh at Clinton picking his teeth. And there's nothing like a haunting track by Leonard Cohen, or the Kills, to add both credibility and poignance.

I have no idea really how much of what Curtis says is right, whether there is a connection between where we are now – with the world economy and the rise of China – and the philosophy of a cult novelist from the 1950s. The ride is certainly fun, though. Television that bombards you in waves and leaves you feeling bewildered and a little bit giddy.

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, review

...The subjects were approached non-laterally, with Curtis continually linking back to Rand's ideas, weaving threads all the way through that connect them together. He cuts in vast swathes of actuality footage and news bulletins from the 80s and 90s along with arty cutaways of windy trees and fast zooms into big buildings to suggest instability. The voice-over informs us of what we're seeing in a matter-of-fact way and the music laid across varied from classical to futuristic electronica. The whole effect is a Rand-esque, dream-like, dystopian feel. This is very much Curtis taking an auteur approach to his documentary – his creative personality is all over it and the effect is enthralling.

What he reveals is the dangers of human beings at their most selfish and self-satisfying. Showing no compassion or consideration for your fellow human beings creates a chasm between those able to walk over others and those too considerate – or too short-sighted – to do so.

However I would guess that Rand would not have been pleased by a bunch of bankers inventing money that wasn't there. More likely the lack of perfectionism in their work would have annoyed her.

Last Night's TV

...This was complex stuff. My notes are full of phrases such as "logical positivism" and "planetary consciousness", which befuddle me no less now than they did when I scribbled them down. And yet for all its intellectual heft, there was much that was beguilingly simple about Curtis's analysis of a world in thrall, politically, socially and most of all economically, to computer systems.

It seems, for instance, that for all its dotcom sophistication, the global economy is still vulnerable to the oldest of human impulses. I don't think Ayn Rand gave us the adjective "randy", but Curtis made a direct connection between the regrettable business of Monica Lewinsky's red dress and the bursting of the property bubble in Asia, suggesting that Bill Clinton became so distracted by the Lewinsky affair that management of the world's impending economic crisis, which in turn dictated US foreign policy, passed to Clinton's Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin. It must be frustrating for Curtis that the dramatic fall of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, another powerful man allegedly led by his loins, came after he had washed up the coffee mugs and left the editing suite for the last time.

Notes on a terrible BBC documentary taking on Ayn Rand

Writing about Rand-on-the-Web is such fun. I’ll have to take on the sociopath accusation shortly; for now, there is this: just watched a BBC documentary about computers, the world financial crisis, and how Ayn Rand was all to blame for it all – Adam Curtis’ “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.” These are my rough notes as I watched, edited from comments I dashed off in reply on Youtube with Pt 1 starting here. As my notes make clear, I found this documentary horrifying bad, only partly on inaccuracy grounds.

Ayn Rand did not say human beings were alone in the universe. That is just nonsense. Neither did she say we should be guided by our “selfish desires” – this has nothing to do with Rand’s thought at all. Ill-educated and falsifying.

Rand didn’t live next to the Empire State Building. Ever. Not one economist thinks that “selfishness and greed” was what led to the Crash of ’29 and the Great Depression of the ’30s. [How did these perpetually-discussed vices magically spring up just then and no other time?]

The film is strung together shoddily. Of course, the cheap point is that this video was edited on computers and put onto a computer network.

Altruism is not “the care of others,” certainly not in Rand’s meaning – it means sacrifice (and that’s what its originator meant by it). In “Atlas Shrugged,” government is corrupted by crony capitalists acting “selfishly” – they are some of her worst villains. She never spoke about “the virtue*s* of selfishness.” The Mike Wallace interview video is selectively edited to bad effect: she says she agrees with the facts but not the estimates.

The amount of unestablished premises of the argument here – and the factual errors – are astounding. This is one of the stupidest arguments I have ever seen constructed – the only bad thing government did, as always, was cut spending or regulation. The computers and evil Ayn Rand did all the rest!

In fact, the new age of stability was largely mediated by the collapse of the Soviet Union – and was a consequence of Reagan’s cutting income and capital gains taxes. Strangely enough, here we are in 2011 and we have all kinds of technology they didn’t have in 1992. How odd...

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