Blu-ray Review Bell Book and Candle Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Richard Gallagher, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Unlike you, I have changed my position because I realized that people as individuals look at art with their own interpretations.
     
  2. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    Just to set it straight ... Bewitched was inspired by an earlier film than Bell Book and Candle ... 'I Married a Witch' starring Fredric March and Veronica Lake ... it dates from 1942. Sadly, Veronica must give up her witchly powers to marry her mortal ..... but that happens in Bell Book and Candle too when Kim falls in love....
    Anthony
     
  3. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    Appreciate it, although someone did mention it a handful of posts back.
     
  4. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    While thematically related to both movies, the wonderful cast of witches and warlocks bear far more resemblance to the characters in BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE than they do to the vengeful bunch in I MARRIED A WITCH.



    For some reason, I'm really bothered by this. It's coming across as though you're going to great pains not to have your enjoyment of BB&C "ruined" by the gay parable. You began by claiming people were reading too much into it and then, once the connection was pointed out and made clear you changed to saying it doesn't really matter what the intent was because you don't have to see it if you don't want to and no one can make you.

    One can look at Picasso's GUERNICA without knowing the backstory and think it's a painting about Greek ghosts on a rampage but it doesn't change what GUERNICA is actually about.

    Someone mentioned CITIZEN KANE earlier and that it can be enjoyed without knowing anything about William Randolph Hearst. I really can't imagine anyone, however, when finding out who William Randolph Hearst was, saying "Nope, I don't care what Welles and Mankiewicz intended, I choose not to see any connection."
     
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  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm not going there as I said my piece.





    Crawdaddy
     
  6. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    I enjoy both I Married a Witch and Bell, Book, and Candle.
    I can see the how tidbits of each played into what became Bewitched.
    Add a few more years to Aunt Queenie (Gee, there's a name!), make her a bit "touched," and you get Aunt Clara.
    Add a few more years to Jack Lemmon's Nicky, and you might end up with Uncle Arthur.
    Even Samantha's dad seems like a benign version of Verionica Lake's dad in I Married A Witch
    As to the other topic of art and intention vs interpretation, I was an art history and sculpture student in college. We talked often about the nature of art, art theory, and the fuzzy logic around art and meaning. Art is subject to different interpretations by different people, but those interpretations, once stated, like the art itself, must be able to stand up to critque, debate, and evaluation if they are going to be deemed of any merit.
    Also, in my experience, no one ever used ignorance to justify or validate their interpretation of art, whether defending their own work or someone else's.
    Someone may want Ishiro Honda's Gojira to "just be a movie about a giant monster stomping through Japan" and not acknowledge that it is a metaphor for a nuclear bomb, but they would be wrong. Doing the intellectual equivalent of closing yours eyes tightly, plugging your ears, and singing "Mary had a little lamb..." will not change that any more than it will the facts regarding Guernica or Citizen Kane.
    Bottom line: An informed opinion about a work of art is going to be more valued than an ignorant one.
     
  7. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I must admit that I never saw the gay allegory in this movie until this thread pointed it out. Given the screenwriter was gay and having the specific items pointed out, I went "doh!" While this will be on my mind the next time I watch BB&C, I don't believe it has to dominate my thinking.
    I don't want to agree with the above, particularly "it doesn't matter what a playwright or artist intended it to be" as I think it does matter. If it doesn't matter, why create the art in the first place? I've also listened or read more than one interview of an artist saying that he/she in effect turns over the art to the audience to interpret. I don't think that means the artist wants the art to be distorted.
    In the case of BB&C it would seem, because of the mores of the time, the gay allegory was inserted in "code" so that not everyone would get it, most of all, the censors. It was, of necessity, deliberately hidden.
     
  8. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Hopefully it just adds to your appreciation of the film while viewing it...the same way knowing lots of information about the making of Alien increases your appreciation for that film without diminishing your enjoyment of it. :)
     
  9. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    Well said, Will.
     
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  10. Dick

    Dick Producer

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    Guess I am a minority of one.
    I thought this was the weakest transfer from TT I've seen. Yes, it is sharp and has good grain structure, but the flesh tones are never really accurate, and the saturation level about doubles halfway into the film, demanding that i adjust the color level.
    I have memories of seeing this at Radio City Music Hall, but that might be a false memory, as I can find no documentation that it played there, and I would have been only 8. I did see it that year somewhere, though. And another false memory: I had it firmly embedded in my brain that all of the Piewacket POV shots were blue-tinted to match his eyes. If this disc is accurate, they have always been black and white, to represent the colorblindness of Siamese cats.
    The film as a comedy is mediocre. As a fantasy it is mild at best. However, there is a certain charm and atmosphere to it that one doesn't find with current films much. And, as mentioned numerous times, there is also Kim Novak... I have always wondered why she felt compelled to extend her eyebrows with that dark paint. I am sure she was even more gorgeous without it.
    The late great Ernie Kovaks steals the film, I think.
     
  11. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    I agree with this wholeheartedly. As someone mentioned, while it is never "out loud" funny, it is certainly a smooth and pleasant film and it always puts me in a good mood.
     
  12. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    Thank you for the kind word, Andrew
     
  13. Brianruns10

    Brianruns10 Second Unit

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    Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak made two films together in 1958, and THIS is the one that makes it to blu-ray first?
    God.
    Dammit.
     
  14. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    BBC is a worthy film.
    Explanations for the timing:
    1. Vertigo is clearly more marketable, hence more thought is perhaps going into the release.
    2. BBC, being less marketable, fits the TT business model.
    3. BBC is from Sony. They have their act together on mastering and care about Blu-ray. Vertigo is from Universal. They have not had their act together on mastering and Blu-ray until very recently, and even recent efforts don't quite reach the level of other studios such as Sony IMHO.
    I personally don't want to see Vertigo until it is perfect. Universal can take their time with it. They need all the time and help that they can get.
     
  15. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    just finished watching this, what a great transfer; all the grain , all the detail, no boosted contrast. This is how blu ray should have been since day 1
     
  16. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    This could describe MOST minorities. No minority group has a monopoly on these things.
     
  17. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    I would *almost* agree, except I gave a list where many could apply to several groups, however line item four,
    They can be among you and you don't even know it. is particularly true for gays and lesbians.
    We can be standing right next to you and experience homophobia in a way that most race, color, or national origin minorities cannot.
    Other minorities do not have "coming out" as part of their cultural and normal personal process because they are rarely have the option to be "in the closet,"
    even within their own families.
    Case in point, my own uncle, when gay pride day appeared on the evening news, told me, "They're not gay; They're pathetic." not knowing he was looking "one of them" in the eyes.
    That is unique to the gay community.
    This is why the witches in BB&C and the some characters in X-men, like Bobby (aka "Iceman")
    and his "coming out scene" to his parents in X-Men 2
    with Bobby's mom responding "Have you tried not being a mutant?"
    are the most analogous to the LGBT community. "Have you tried not being gay?"
    When asked by Nightcrawler why she does not always make herself blend in, Mystique responds, "Because we shouldn't have to."
    That hits home to LGBT folks who are advised for years to pretend they are not who they truly are even when it is stifling.
    Try asking, "Have you tried not being _______?" filling in the name of another minority or discriminated group,
    and see if that question even makes sense.
    As for line item six, about faulty subject experts and Ernie Kovacs' BB&C character,
    how many now-debunked "experts" have tried to do reparative therapy to make someone not a member of a minority?
    (It is still happening today to LGBT youth at the hands of their parents and misguided "experts.")
    How many other minorities have had lobotomies, electro-shock therapy, and other horrors done to them to "cure" them of their minority status by so-called "experts" using bad science?
    Ernie Kovacs' BB&C character is an amusingly benign version of a subject expert
    who has no clue what he was talking about, yet still manages to write and sell a book that "...sold like the Kinsey report." according to Jimmy Stewart's character.
    The movie itself compares Kovacs' ignorance to sexuality.
     
  18. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    How about getting back to the movie and take other topics to the "After Hours Lounge" forum?
     
  19. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    It IS about the movie, completely about the movie. The fact that something about the movie makes YOU uncomfortable is no reason why it needs to be moved to a separate forum so that you don't have to have your enjoyment tainted by what the author intended and is a fact of life.

    You haven't had anything to say about the movie or made a post in this thread prior to saying "can we STOP talking about the gay stuff" so I'm not sure why you feel the need to wag a finger now. Prior to this you didn't even have a "dog in the fight."
     
  20. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Looks like art isn't all that can be based on personal interpretation...
     

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