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What's on your Daily Viewing List? (5 Viewers)

Robin9

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Le Doulos 1962. NOIR: INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Jean-Pierre Melville's great noir starring Serge Reggiani and Jean-Pierre Belmondo. Doulos means hat, like "chapeau." It's also slang for informant. So for most of the film Belmondo is suspected of being one by both the police and the underworld. And it keeps us guessing until the very ironic twist when the hat rolls onto the floor. A most despairing end as befits a noir. Kino sells an excellent BD which I viewed earlier this year.
An excellent film which I first saw with a dubbed English soundtrack shortly after it first came out. I was very pleased to watch the film again on Blu-ray disc. Belmondo, for me, is one of the great screen "naturals" and, like Steve McQueen, is watchable no matter what film he's in. Jean Paul, by the way, not Jean Pierre.
 

HawksFord

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From the Terrace (1960) -- This was mentioned on the Twilight Time thread which reminded me that I've had it sitting near the top of my to-be-watched pile for awhile. When I'm in the right mood, I can really enjoy a glossy melodrama and this is a good one. The cast is first rate with Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, Myrna Loy, and more. But the story is expansive so there are large jumps in time and some characters get short shrift. I enjoyed the film, but I think I would have enjoyed it more had it been a bit shorter or, paradoxically perhaps, a bit longer.
 

Robert Crawford

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From the Terrace (1960) -- This was mentioned on the Twilight Time thread which reminded me that I've had it sitting near the top of my to-be-watched pile for awhile. When I'm in the right mood, I can really enjoy a glossy melodrama and this is a good one. The cast is first rate with Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, Myrna Loy, and more. But the story is expansive so there are large jumps in time and some characters get short shrift. I enjoyed the film, but I think I would have enjoyed it more had it been a bit shorter or, paradoxically perhaps, a bit longer.
I love this movie! From this movie and The Comancheros, I developed a boyhood crush on Ina Balin.
 

bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
An excellent film which I first saw with a dubbed English soundtrack shortly after it first came out. I was very pleased to watch the film again on Blu-ray disc. Belmondo, for me, is one of the great screen "naturals" and, like Steve McQueen, is watchable no matter what film he's in. Jean Paul, by the way, not Jean Pierre.
Oops, too many compound names and a slip of the Jean-P. Thanks for the correction. I went back and edited the post.
 

bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Tarnation (The Criterion Channel) 2003. Jonathan Caouette's searing mixed-media documentary about his family life in Houston, TX, his grandparents, his mother, his growing up gay and moving to NYC. But mostly it's about his mother and her mental illness caused by, shall we say, excessive and unnecessary shock treatments? Sad and difficult to watch, but quite brilliant.
Girlhood (The Criterion Channel) 2014. Directed by Celine Sciamma, centering around a young girl of 16 who joins a band of girls to hang out in order to find some sense for her life. It's about belonging, bonding, making choices (right and wrong), branching out, growing up, becoming her own person. Another jewel in Sciamma's crown.
The Teckman Mystery (TCM app) 1954. Directed by Wendy Toye, and starring some top-notch British actors, this intriguing Cold War thriller keeps you guessing until the very end. Ingeniously plotted and paced. Enjoyable.
Take a Giant Step (TCM app) 1959. Well-intentioned adaptation of Louis S. Peterson's play about a Black family living in a middle class white neighborhood. The young man feels the pressure of racism in history class and in the attitudes of his friends. His parents don't understand, but his Gram does. Estelle Hemsley shines as Gram; Ruby Dee is wise as the maid who has lived through some hard knocks and initiates the boy; Beah Richards is the conflicted mother; the trio of prostitutes is a hoot; and Johnny Nash, is very good as the young man who learns that is great to be young, gifted and black.
 

Toronto Argonauts

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Mississauga, Ontario Just West of Toronto
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David Thompson
Tonight:


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BobO'Link

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Howie
I, too, watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving even though it's way down my list of favorites with the series. They tried hard, maybe too hard, to capture the charm of A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown but, IMHO, failed miserably.

Because it was Thanksgiving Day, in addition to the above I watched:

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My wife even joined me for the viewing of A Christmas Story - a surprise as a few years back she'd said she never wanted to see it again when the grandkids and I gave it a viewing. That's because for years it was shown repeatedly, all day, on one of Turner's cable channels. We'd be at my mother-in-law's house, put the set on that channel, and let it play all day. You'd drift in and out of the living room, catching bits and pieces, rewatching favorite bits, talking and grazing the snacks while waiting for dinner. And it'd still be playing after the meal so you'd watch it some more, talk, graze leftovers, etc.

So... It was just the two of us yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner and after eating I said "I'm about to watch A Christmas Story. Do you want to watch with me?" thinking I'd be turned down. To my delight she said "Sure! I need to make a call first, though." After that call we sat down and watched, uninterrupted by phones or visitors. It was quite nice. :)
 

TJPC

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I spent the day flipping through the channels off and on and then wondering why everything was a re-run. It suddenly dawned on me that it was a US holiday!

I think some commentators on MSNBC think Thanksgiving is a universal holiday however. I saw a report from Britain, with a British announcer. The first thing the US announcer said was “happy Thanksgiving”!
 

bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Lourdes (TCM app) 2009. Thousands of pilgrims pour into the Lourdes shrine hoping for a miracle of healing through faith. This film strikes a delicate balance between faith and crass commercialism. Our lead, Christine, goes on pilgrimages for "culture." She watches dispassionately as other pilgrims pray and hope for a cure. She's not particularly religious. And yet, she's the one who experiences a cure, a "miracle." Is it a triumph of the spirit, of the soul; is it permanent? Superb acting.
27 Missing Kisses (TCM app) 2000. Lushly lit so that almost every shot is like a painting. The story of 14-year old Sibylla who disrupts life in the town she visits during this dateless summer in the republic of Georgia. She falls in love with a 41-year old widower who has a 14-year old son who falls in love with Sibylla. The widower is handsome and has many affairs with married women, but resists Sibylla's advances. It's very lighthearted and fun until the son fires a shotgun. I loved this film in spite of its twist at the end.
Crime Thief aka Le voleur de crimes (TCM app) Jean-Louis Trintignant as directed by his then spouse, Nadine Marquand, gives a commanding performance as a disturbed man who witnesses a suicide and tries to convince the police, via anonymous letters, that he killed her. Slowly his deranged mind decides to stage another murder using the same methodology.
Enter Laughing (TCM app) Last seen when it opened in 1967, it remains a delight. Jose Ferrer (my compatriot) and Elaine May are priceless, as is just about everyone else. This small gem deserves to be better known.
 

Jake Lipson

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Tonight:

Lea Salonga.jpg

Lea Salonga's concert, recorded last year pre-COVID at the Sydney Opera House, will be airing on PBS as part of their Great Performances lineup. 9pm in most markets, but check your local station listings if you're interested. I had the pleasure of seeing Lea in person a while back, and she was both extraordinary as a vocalist and very kind. I can't wait to see the new show.
 

bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Just watched 2 delightful productions from Houston Grand Opera via Marquee TV:
Bon Appetit with music by Lee Hoiby, sung by Jamie Barton. A monodrama about Julia Child baking a chocolate cake.
The Impresario with music by Mozart, adapted to Texas and the pandemic. Very droll and well sung.
 

bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Tonight:

View attachment 82492

Lea Salonga's concert, recorded last year pre-COVID at the Sydney Opera House, will be airing on PBS as part of their Great Performances lineup. 9pm in most markets, but check your local station listings if you're interested. I had the pleasure of seeing Lea in person a while back, and she was both extraordinary as a vocalist and very kind. I can't wait to see the new show.
Will be catching this later. Tuned in briefly in time to catch the lovely end of Ice Cream.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Albany, NY
Uncle Frank
Originally Released: 11/25/2020
Watched: 11/27/2020
4k digital streaming on Amazon Prime Video via Roku Ultra

UncleFrank_2020_Poster.jpg


In light of Alan Ball's track record, I was disappointed in how derivative this was; if you've seen many movies about Southern families, and if you're even moderately familiar with LGBTQ cinema, there won't be a single beat in this screenplay that doesn't feel borrowed from something you've already seen before.

Given that fact, however, the movie works better than it has any right to thanks to uniformly great performances from top to bottom. He packs the cast with comedic actors, and then mines their dramatic potential.

Elizabeth "Betty" Bledsoe has spent her entire life in little Creekville, South Carolina observing the world around her with a certain aloof amusement. She is well-read and introverted and at times indecorously blunt. She loves her family, but the only one she feels a connections to is her Uncle Frank. He comes to town rarely, and Betty's grandfather makes his life miserable every time he does. Still, he nurtures her intellectual development, and encourages her reinvention from quiet, matronly Betty to sophisticated, cosmopolitan Beth. By 1973, new horizons have opened up for her as a freshman at NYU.

As Beth starts traveling in some of the same circles as her uncle, the walls Frank has built to keep the different parts of his life separate begin to crumble. Soon Frank finds himself on a collision course with his childhood trauma.

As Frank, Paul Bettany is playing a very specific strain of New York City intellectual and his performance tracks with eerie exactitude to the real men I know who fit the type -- through probably a bit kinder than most of them. One of those truly tremendous performances that starts with what's within the character and then works out from there rather than trying to tackle it from the outside in.

Beth is a primarily reactive role; who she is and what she stands for is still cooking. She's soaking in the world around her, and the choices those around her make, and coming to her own conclusions. That calls for a very specific kind of performance, and Sophia Lillis is about the best there is in her generation for that kind of role.

Peter Macdissi, Ball's real-life partner, is phenomenal as Walid "Wally" Nadeem -- an immigrant from Saudi Arabia who has been Frank's partner for more than a decade. Bettany and Macdissi really sell the history between them, and the devotion that gets them through some pretty ugly altercations.

Stephen Root has very little screen time as Frank's father and Beth's grandfather, but it might be the most important performance in the movie. "Daddy Mac" is very one note on the page, but Root plays against the material. It would have been easy for him to play the character hating Frank; instead, he plays the character as loving Frank, and hating himself for it.

Margo Martindale, Judy Greer, and Lois Smith play Frank's mother, sister-in-law, and aunt respectively. As Mammaw, Martindale's warmth and kindness counterbalance Daddy Mac's anger and cruelty. Greer plays Beth's mother as someone who is kind but very limited in her view of the world; she loves Beth but doesn't really understand her. Aunt Butch is very much a quintessential Lois Smith character; one does see in the character where Beth might have acquired her inopportune bluntness from.

Steve Zahn plays Frank's brother and Beth's father. It's another important piece of casting; he brings a natural sort of puppy dog warmth, which softens some of the character's sharper edges. The character takes a few sudden turns in the movie, and without Zahn's sheer likability they would have been harder to buy into.

Don't go in expecting any fresh insights or exciting innovations. But the film is well crafted, and worth seeing for the performances alone.
 

Mike Frezon

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Rensselaer, NY
Tonight:

View attachment 82492

Lea Salonga's concert, recorded last year pre-COVID at the Sydney Opera House, will be airing on PBS as part of their Great Performances lineup. 9pm in most markets, but check your local station listings if you're interested. I had the pleasure of seeing Lea in person a while back, and she was both extraordinary as a vocalist and very kind. I can't wait to see the new show.

Peg and I watched this tonight, too. No secret around these parts that I'm a HUGE Lea Salonga fan. I saw her in concert a few years ago, too. And I hope she comes around again sometime soon.

This is a very abbreviated show (freakin' PBS pledge breaks!). But even a little Lea is a good thing.
 

bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
The Kite (TCM app) 2003. A Lebanese girl promised in marriage to a cousin across the Israeli border refuses, with her husband's consent, to consummate the marriage. Meanwhile, the checkpoint Druze soldier who has observed her crossing, has fallen in love with her. The kite is the symbol of freedom, flying unfettered in the sky till trapped in the barbed wire, in the no man's land seeded with land mines.
Lea Salonga in Concert (PBS Passport) 2019. Recorded live at the Sydney Opera. Cut to shreds, but what was left was excellent, including a mini-tribute (on purpose?) to Barbara Cook.
Black Angel (Arrow BD) 1946. After watching 20 NOIR films in roughly 10 days, I couldn't wean myself off so quickly, so I watched this underrated film. Filmed stylishly to hide some budget constraints, it really is much better than I was expected to believe. Duryea is believable as The Lost Night hero; and we have a femme fatale in his lethal wife. There are red herrings thrown at us just to build some suspense, but the plot is credible enough. Good presentation.
Calling Dr. Death (Mill Creek BD) 1943. Inner Sanctum #1. Another film noir done somewhat cheaply but with so much style that one does forget. There are twists and turns before the real killer is unmasked. But we have more than one femme fatale...Poor Lon Chaney suffers much. And Hollywood should have been prosecuted for underutilizing the beautiful and talented (and what a gorgeous singing voice!) Patricia Morison.
 

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