Pavilion Digest: April 2009

A plethora of perplexing pavilion posts. The Pavilion Annex thread, the Pavilion Discussion thread, and monthly digests of all messages from the Pavilion.

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Edward Brock

Postby Edward Brock » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:01 pm

Name: Edward Brock
Source: unca20090603.htm
There are many reasons for one to love a particular movie--entertainment value, sentimental value, meaning, message, accuracy, etc. That said, here are 12 movies that have value/meaning (for me).

01) Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
02) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1990)
03) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
04) Sleepy Hollow (1999)
05) The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)
06) Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
07) Superman-The Movie (1978)
08) Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
09) The Elephant Man (1980)
10) Destroy All Monsters (1969)
11) The Legend of Hell House (1973)
12) The Underworld Trilogy (2003-2009)

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Postby steveperry » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:45 pm

Name: Stephen
Source: unca20090603.htm
your assignment is to figure out what this list of movies have in common:
the blues brothers
good will hunting
the godfather trilogy
the lord of the rings trilogy
first blood
office space
road to perdition
chiti chiti bang bang
the wizard of oz

ok, so shoot me, there are 11 instead of 10.

influential movies, like animal house, make us see other movies
and real world situations in a new light forever more. some
movies remind us of our real lives. and some are just good
escapist fun. but the above list has something else in
common. no, I won't spoil the fun and tell you.

my condolences to josh olson on no one mentioning his best work.

brian siano: a 46 foot television is just too big dang nabbit!
scale back there son. try something more reasonable, like a
nice 20" set with a built-in dvd player and vhs player. and
keep it turned off except in case of emergency or a CUBS game.

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Postby Adam-Troy » Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:08 pm

Name: Adam-Troy Castro
Source: unca20090603.htm
Guys, whenever the subject turns to movies, it degenerates into a collection of lists. May I suggest that if this is what we're talking about, we actually append some more specifics to the titles? Otherwise, you know: Twin Falls Idaho. I love that movie. Great. But if you haven't seen it, what do you now know?

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Postby Ben » Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:58 pm

Name: Ben Winfield
Source: unca20090603.htm
Is it okay to admit that I don't particularly LIKE the Lord of the Rings movies? Maybe it was Peter Jackson's utterly bizarre KING KONG romp that left a bad taste in my mouth, but the endless assault of sound and spectacle just deadens the senses.

I mean, Tolkien's book was never really even ABOUT the battle scenes. It's more like a cross between a mood piece and a road trip, with a few orcs along the way.

Now, GORMENGHAST on the other hand...

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Rick Keeney
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OK I'LL BITE hehheh

Postby Rick Keeney » Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:58 pm

Name: Keeney
Source: unca20090603.htm


Dennis C
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Taibbi... and a movie list

Postby Dennis C » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:50 pm

Name: Dennis C
Source: unca20090603.htm
Just want to share the opening line of Matt Taibbi's newest article in Rolling Stone -- the article is fine, not one of his best. But the opening line is priceless:

"Following the Republican party of late has been a movingly depressing experience, sort of like watching Old Yeller die -- if Old Yeller were a worm-infested feral bitch who spent the last eight years biting children at bus stops and shitting in neighborhood swimming pools."

Laughed myself silly over that line


OK, I said I wouldn't, but I'm doing my favorite movies only because some are very obscure and might prompt you to watch them. Won't do 'em in order because I can't decide the order

Joseph Losey's THESE ARE THE DAMNED (a fave of Joe Dante -- a strange combo of science fiction and juvenile delinquent drama with a killer cast including Oliver Reed, Viveca Lindfors, Shirley Ann Field, Walter Gotell, Alexander Knox)

THE WILD BUNCH -- nobody picked Peckinpah's masterpiece? The film I've seen more than any other. Maybe that's why I'm so messed up.

HORROR OF DRACULA -- classic Gothic Horror

THE SKULL -- also classic Horror based on a great Robert Bloch story

SCARLET STREET -- Fritz Lang at his noirish best and how can you beat Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea???? How??? You can't!

Edgar Ulmer's DETOUR, minimal noir with a killer punch

Godard's WEEKEND -- scathing, uncompromising, brilliant

Truffaut's DAY FOR NIGHT -- the movie that loves movies more than any other movie

Bunuel's LOS OLVIDADOS -- one of Bunuel's many masterpieces, but no one's talking Bunuel nowadays... sadly...

Renoir's RULES OF THE GAME -- just about perfect

Honorable mentions:
Roger Corman's TEENAGE DOLL, a cheap shining black diamond of grit and toughness
Val Lewton's SEVENTH VICTIM (you gotta have a Lewton on the list and I prefer the more obscure but I love 'em all)
Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA or 8 1/2 -- you decide, I can't
Bergman's PERSONA
Lindsay Anderson's IF...

No Peter Jackson or Spielberg or Lucas... shocking (though I actually do like the LORD OF THE RINGS films... but that KING KONG was so awful it affected my opinion of him)

Actually if we're talking over-rated, I'd pick a large portion of Spielberg and Lucas...

And I gotta admit the one classic director that just doesn't do it for me is John Ford. I like Westerns, but I can't seem to get into his -- they're of a world and an era that is alien to me. I can appreciate his style and what he's contributed to film history... but can't like his films.

But my opinion is certainly no more valid than anyone else's opinion...

Tony Isabella
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My Two Favorite Movies

Postby Tony Isabella » Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:41 am

Name: Tony Isabella
Source: unca20090603.htm
The Quiet Man

It's Always Fair Weather

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A wager on a particular literary prize

Postby DTS » Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:35 am

Name: DTS
Source: unca20090603.htm
ALL: Doing my bit to try and change the topic, and steer away from has become (to paraphrase ATC -- because doing so twists his words so awfully well) a "degenerate collection of lists". I hereby make the following wager to anyone willing to bet against me: Even though I believe our beloved benefactor is MORE than worthy, I'm bettin' $50 (U.S. currency) that the next American writer to be awarded the Nobel will be none other than Phillip Roth (who is worthy in his own right). Even though I don't think the decision is made years before hand, I sorta think that things like the Library of America issuing 8 (count 'em, eight!) books collecting Roth's various novels -- as well as a few nonfiction works, and a short story collection -- points toward a sort of academic groundswell in his favor. Maybe not.

Any takers on the bet?

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Postby Jan » Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:01 am

Name: Jan
Source: unca20090603.htm
While Europe and Russia have achieved reductions of 21% and 22.4% respectively, list making is up another 4.5% in the U.S.

James P. Levy

OK, I'll bite on the best movies

Postby James P. Levy » Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:36 am

Name: James P. Levy
Source: unca20090603.htm
The best movies I've seen are:

8 1/2
The Last Wave
The Grand Illusion
Double Indemnity
Lawrence of Arabia
I'm All Right, Jack
Wild Strawberries
The Seventh Seal
The Seven Samurai
The Godfather

All of which I liked or loved, except the Godfather (and Taxi Driver, another brilliant film I don't like but can appreciate). My favorite films, some of which are great and some not, are: Fail Safe, The Andromeda Strain, Godzilla (1954), The Band Wagon, Spartacus, War of the Worlds (1953), Forbidden Planet, The Forbin Project, Twelve Angry Men, Gunga Din, and Blazing Saddles.

Most of these choices are at least marginally defensible as good to great films. A few are not, but resonate so strongly with me that I would watch them in a heartbeat. It is always important to differentiate between what is excellent art, and what art speaks powerfully to you.

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Request for Groupmind

Postby Adam-Troy » Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:44 am

Name: Adam-Troy Castro
Source: unca20090603.htm
There is nothing pressing about this request. It is merely a mind-itch, nothing more. But THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX (the good one) was on TV this morning, and it brought me back to the realization which comes anew every time I see it, which is that it happens to be a movie where the hero played by Jimmy Stewart is dead wrong and the "villain" played by Hardy Kruger is dead right. That's the one where plane crash survivors in the desert struggle to build a functional (but smaller) plane from the wreckage of the old. From the beginning, Stewart's character (the pilot) opposes Kruger's (the engineer) in his mad project to build a new airplane from the wreckage of the old; it becomes a battle of wills, and Kruger has to oppose him -- most unlikeably -- to achieve the result that allows everybody a chance at life. Kruger even has to threaten to stop work, at one point, to keep Stewart from sabotaging the project with counter-productive decisions. He, the villain, is right, while Stewart is wrong.

The thought always brings up NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, which we all know is far from our host's favorite movie, but is also a film where the hero is wrong and the villain is right. Cowardly, bullying Tom wants everybody to hole up in the basement where it's safe; heroic, stalwart Ben thinks they should just defend the house above. Ben gets his way, because everybody believes in him. And as a result everybody gets killed.

Another: FIRST BLOOD. The sheriff thinks John Rambo is "trouble" at first sight and tries to run him out of town, then arrests him. Rambo goes apeshit and shoots up the place. Viewers root for Rambo because he's played by Stallone, and because the sheriff shows no respect for him. But, you know -- in both the film and the superior novel by David Morrell -- the sheriff is RIGHT. Had he just kept superior control over his deputies, his instincts about Rambo's dangerous instability would have proven spot-on.

But those are the only ones I can think of, off the top of my head.

So what I'm asking for, here, apropos of nothing but that mind-itch, are other films, other stories, where the hero is dead wrong and the villain is absolutely right. (It's too easy, by the way, to bring up those where the "heroes" are notorious outlaws, like D.B. Cooper and Jesse James and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID or even fictional equivalents like the escaped murderer played by Jon Voight in RUNAWAY TRAIN (or come to think of it, John Rambo in FIRST BLOOD, so scratch that one). Those are stories where we root for the outlaws by definition, and we can easily name a zillion of those. No, I want cases where the "hero" is ***absolutely dead wrong*** even in achieving his own goals, and the villain just happens to be a guy who knows better. Just to scratch my itch.)

Brad Stevens
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Postby Brad Stevens » Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:06 am

Name: Brad Stevens
Source: unca20090603.htm
ATC - I guess you could add Orson Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL to that list of films in which the villain is right and the hero is wrong, since it turns out that the person Inspector Quinlan (Welles) has been attempting to frame for murder actually is guilty.

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Barney Dannelke
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Location: Allentown, PA.

The "N" word

Postby Barney Dannelke » Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:09 am

Name: Barney Dannelke
Source: unca20090603.htm
*** DTS *** Since you brought up the Nobel I confess, I would be a little interested in your argument for Roth. What novel or novels put him over the top for you? To say that who wins the Nobel has ALWAYS perplexed me would be a big understatement. I wasn't surprised that Lessing one, but having waded through SHIKASTA... and a few others I have to admit I was not excited by the choice.

I would ask how Harlan feels about Roth for the Big Prize but it's a mugs game, like asking prize-fighters to praise or "dis" other prize-fighters. You either get no answer or you get what the public needs to hear to enhance the purse or something that wont piss off the I.B.F. so bad you never get on a card again.

For instance, last year Dan Simmons said on his public forum that he thought Cormac McCarthy didn't rate it because he had one trick and pretty much only one trick. That Dan writes in a manner - I'm thinking of the wonderful DROOD here - opposite this "trick" - makes it easy to understand where he is coming from. I'm not sure he is correct in his criteria but I think he has the absolute right to safely express the opinion. Others who give out the Nobel may not see it that way. And that can be a career problem for some high verbals.

My contenders are A.S. Byatt, Umberto Ecco and maybe as a sentimental populist nod (and I'm pretty sure if he lives 20 more years this will still NEVER happen) Ray Bradbury. He's never been a real novelist and I never really cared. He did more for books and the act of getting people reading by an order of magnitude than any other writer in my lifetime and if the Ivory Tower folks won't award that - well them, umm, fuck 'em.

Enjoy your Sunday.

- Barney Dannelke

Acidfree, PA.

James P. Levy

ATC, I've got a possible

Postby James P. Levy » Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:13 am

Name: James P. Levy
Source: unca20090603.htm
Consider the 1971 film "Omega Man": Heston is the "hero", Anthony Zerbe (an underrated actor) plays the "bad guy." Heston represents Science and The Military; Zerbe was an anchor man and we later see him as the mutant "psycho" leader of The Family. Heston represents every dumb-ass instutition that got humanity into the dead-edn predicament it is in. Zerbe denounces "the age of the wheel" and wants to rebuild society renouncing the tinkering, scientific worldview that Heston represents. The story wants us to root for Heston to solve the problem and give mankind another chance (as represented by the kids he finds). But wouldn't he put the world back on track for a replay of the authoritarian control man/control nature paradigm that led them to the post-apocalyptic shambles they inhabit? Just a thought, but it may help scratch that itch you are feeling.

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Barney Dannelke
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Postby Barney Dannelke » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:42 am

Name: Barney Dannelke
Source: unca20090603.htm
Oh, crackers. NOT "one" but rather "won." And whatever else.

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