127 Hours
Steve Sailer
The exuberant 127 Hours, Director Danny Boyle’s first movie since winning the Best Picture Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, is surprisingly comparable to The Social Network. While 127 Hours is shorter, slighter, and more upbeat, both films are deftly made reconstructions of famous 2003 events within young elite subcultures: Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg founding Facebook and alpinist Aron Ralston walking away from a solo canyoneering accident by amputating his own arm. Both movies overcome their inherently static situations through showbiz razzmatazz. Aaron Sorkin enlivens a story of typing and giving depositions with snappy dialogue. Boyle employs flashbacks, hallucinations, alternative endings, and his zap-pow digital cinematography to juice up the tale of a man, his hand wedged to a canyon wall by a fallen boulder, contemplating his options. Namely, these options are: somehow survive in a crack in the Utah desert on a liter of water until somebody stumbles upon him; rig a pulley to lift the 800-pound rock; chip the boulder away; perform surgery on himself with a dull knife; or die. In contrast to the frenetic Slumdog, Boyle offers viewers time to think along with his hero by spreading out Ralston’s discoveries of his options. In truth, Ralston, a mechanical engineer from Carnegie Mellon who’d quit Intel to concentrate on climbing, identified all his possibilities within an hour after his fall. Getting audiences to like the real Ralston’s combination of cold-blooded rationality and recklessness, however, is a more complicated challenge than Boyle chooses to accept.“Both The Social Network and 127 Hours leave you wondering whether the middle-aged filmmakers, despite their undeniable expertise, truly understand their young subjects.” (In case you are worrying, no, the hero doesn’t spend all 127 hours sawing off his arm. While that took Ralston an hour, Boyle compresses the auto-surgery down to a couple of minutes, with his camera mostly on James Franco’s expressive face.) Both The Social Network and 127 Hours leave you wondering whether the middle-aged filmmakers, despite their undeniable expertise, truly understand their young subjects. For example, both films’ inspirations are more conventionally handsome than the movie stars who portray them. Franco (the kind-hearted dope dealer in Pineapple Express) looks weedy compared to the rugged-jawed Ralston. Boyle’s harsh digital colors and need to shoot with wide-angle lenses in the soundstage mockup of the four-foot-wide canyon slot leaves poor Franco looking pop-eyed and sallow. These casting choices enable the filmmakers to manipulate audience reactions. The Social Network portrays Zuckerberg as a lonely, angry nerd, even though he strikes programmers and venture capitalists as a natural leader of men. Last week, for example, Google granted all its employees pay raises to keep them from defecting to Team Zuckerberg. Next Page ]]>
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1917
American Renaissance
(”1917” is briefly mentioned in this.)

Celebrities make everything political.

The post The Academy Awards Culture War appeared first on American Renaissance.

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Steve Sailer
(”1917” is briefly mentioned in this.)
From the New York Times movie section: Stop Blaming History for Your All-White, All-Male Movie Movies like “1917,” “The Irishman,” and “Ford v Ferrari” have all used their historical settings as a shield to deflect diversity critiques. But the past had people of color and women, too. By Aisha Harris Ms. Harris is an Op-Ed...
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Steve Sailer
(”1917” is briefly mentioned in this.)
From the New York Times: Plus, "Little Women," which was ho-hum. Because you are gay? The Academy Awards are like the Big Gay Super Bowl, so they've finally taken my advice and rather than schedule them long after anybody could remember the end-of year releases, they moved the ceremony up in the year to the...
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Steve Sailer
Here's my movie review in Taki's Magazine: Read the whole thing there. For an example of Buster Keaton running:
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Taki Mag Staff
2019 turned out to be a good year for quality guy movies after all, as several veteran directors ignored the anti-male zeitgeist and just shot the films they’ve long wanted to make, such as Joker, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, The Irishman, and Ford v Ferrari. Sam Mendes, for example, delivers in 1917 an admirable […]
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American Renaissance

We are still in the shadow of the Great War.

The post ‘1917’ and the Suicide of the West appeared first on American Renaissance.

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The Unz Review Staff
(”2001: A Space Odyssey” is briefly mentioned in this.)
The day Jeffrey Epstein turned up dead in a New York jail cell, I decided I needed to write something about Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Stanley Kubrick’s last and weakest movie. Epstein has quickly faded from the headlines, so
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Steve Sailer
(”2001: A Space Odyssey” is briefly mentioned in this.)
From Variety (with some pictures I added): But ... That a few individuals' faces are worthy of being projected 40 feet high while millions of people with less glamorous faces sit in the dark, eat popcorn, and admire them? No! That's totally wrong. You see, Owen Gleiberman knows exactly what movies are about: Beautiful, fabulous...
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The American Conservative Staff
(”2001: A Space Odyssey” is briefly mentioned in this.)

If you haven't yet seen the movie Arrival, then stop reading, because there will be spoilers.If you haven't yet seen the movie Arrival, then what's wrong with you? Go!

(Review Source)
Steve Sailer
(”2001: A Space Odyssey” is briefly mentioned in this.)
(Review Source)
Steve Sailer
(”2001: A Space Odyssey” is briefly mentioned in this.)
The astringent new romance film Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky might be the arthouse equivalent of that often-proposed high concept blockbuster Superman & Batman. Instead of “Who would win in a fight: Batman or Superman?” Dutch director Jan Kounen delivers: “Who would win in an affair: Stravinsky or Chanel?” In the 1913 prelude, the ambitious young dress shop owner attends the most celebrated classical music event of the last century, the Ballets Russes’s Paris premiere of The Rite of Spring. To her bemusement, a riot breaks out between the avant-garde claque who had received free tickets from the wily impresario Sergio Diaghilev and the paying customers, who are outraged by Vaslav Nijinsky’s angular choreography and Stravinsky’s polyrhythmically pounding score. Ever since, “Le Massacre du Printemps” has been portrayed as inaugurating a new golden age of music. Yet, looking back from the 21st Century, The Rite seems more like the grand finale of two centuries of musical glory, the greatest run any civilization has enjoyed in any artistic field. In 1920, the White Russian composer is back in Paris, down at the heels after the Bolsheviks stole his homeland. At a party with Diaghilev and a man named Dmitri, he meets Chanel. She offers to put him, his tubercular wife, and their four children up at her gorgeous Art Nouveau villa in the suburbs. At first, he refuses due to the impropriety. Although The Rite’s debut was the most famous triumph of the bohemian motto “spatter le bourgeois,” Stravinsky was himself a starchy bourgeois, a modernist man of the right like T.S. Eliot, whose 1922 poem The Waste Land was likely influenced by The Rite. Stravinsky eventually agrees to Chanel’s offer for his children’s sake. Mrs. Stravinsky, however, is not happy with being domiciled with France’s most chic exemplar of the liberated woman. Coco pursues him, and eventually Igor teaches her to play the simple right hand part in his new Les Cinq Doigts. Soon, they are making beautiful music together. “This hazy bit of cultural history about the couturier and the composer furnishes director Jan Kounen with justification for an exercise in old-fashioned modernism, stylistically reminiscent in its enigmatic elegance of 2001 and its Soviet rival, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris.” She gains the confidence to choose her new perfume—vial No. 5, not surprisingly—while he overcomes his composer’s block to venture into a neoclassical style that reflects her understated taste in clothes. They break up, but she secretly gives Diaghilev the money to mount a triumphant revival of The Rite. The last scene suddenly shifts to the early 1970s, when the protagonists are elderly celebrities separately inhabiting neoclassical hotel rooms (rather like the one in that unnerving scene near the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey in which the astronaut encounters his aged self). They pause to think briefly of each other. A recurrent problem with musical biopics is that by the time the musician—whether Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, or Igor Stravinsky—finally triumphs over his personal demons, he’s over the hill creatively. Both Stravinsky (1882-1971) and Chanel (1883-1971) were vastly famous for the rest of their lives, but his peak was 1913. In contrast, she went on to make her greatest contribution, the invention of the Little Black Dress, in 1926. This hazy bit of cultural history about the couturier and the composer furnishes director Jan Kounen with justification for an exercise in old-fashioned modernism, stylistically reminiscent in its enigmatic elegance of 2001 and its Soviet rival, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris. Stanley Kubrick used the fanfare from Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Richard Strauss to anchor his ponderous and baffling classic about killer apes and space aliens, so why shouldn’t Kounen build his love triangle movie around The Rite’s polished primitivism? Personally, I was held rapt for two hours by Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky. I was enthralled by the Russian’s music, the Lost Generation clothes, the decor of Chanel’s villa, and by Anna Mouglalis’s self-assured performance as the designing woman. On the other hand, most of the audience found the movie too austere, too reticent, too eerie. Nor does it help that the tall, handsome Dane Mads Mikkelsen plays the squat, funny-looking, self-promoting Russian as if he were the monolith in 2001. The soundtrack is superb but emotionally opaque, which is the way the great man wanted it. Stravinsky, who endlessly expounded to the press on the Meaning of Modernism, asserted that “music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all…” The Modern Age is over, replaced by the Information Age, when expensive movies aspire to resemble documentaries. The abstraction of high modernism is now off-putting unless time-honored. It’s hard in 2010 to watch this unforthcoming film without being pestered by a need for more data. Who are these people? Why isn’t there a narrator informing us of their back-stories? For example, who is this minor character named Dmitri? Five minutes at home on Wikipedia reveals that he is Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, one of the assassins of Rasputin. Now, that’s interesting. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1456852648633-0');}); if(display_ads_server){document.write('<script src="http://a.intgr.net/tags/16_19.js"></script>');}; SIGN UPDaily updates with TM’s latest // delete this script tag and use a "div.mce_inline_error{ XXX !important}" selector // or fill this in and it will be inlined when errors are generated var mc_custom_error_style = ''; var fnames = new Array();var ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';var err_style = ''; try{ err_style = mc_custom_error_style; } catch(e){ err_style = 'margin: 1em 0 0 0; padding: 1em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; background: ERROR_BGCOLOR none repeat scroll 0% 0%; font-weight: bold; float: left; z-index: 1; width: 80%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; color: ERROR_COLOR;'; } var mce_jQuery = jQuery.noConflict(); mce_jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', errorStyle: err_style, onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = mce_jQuery("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); options = { url: 'http://takimag.us1.list-manage1.com/subscribe/post-json?u=0ba7696a8a378946b7e688500&id=f7706afea2&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8", beforeSubmit: function(){ mce_jQuery('#mce_tmp_error_msg').remove(); mce_jQuery('.datefield','#mc_embed_signup').each( function(){ var txt = 'filled'; var fields = new Array(); var i = 0; mce_jQuery(':text', this).each( function(){ fields[i] = this; i++; }); mce_jQuery(':hidden', this).each( function(){ if ( fields[0].value=='MM' && fields[1].value=='DD' && fields[2].value=='YYYY' ){ this.value = ''; } else if ( fields[0].value=='' && fields[1].value=='' && fields[2].value=='' ){ this.value = ''; } else { this.value = fields[0].value+'/'+fields[1].value+'/'+fields[2].value; } }); }); return mce_validator.form(); }, success: mce_success_cb }; mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').ajaxForm(options); }); function mce_success_cb(resp){ mce_jQuery('#mce-success-response').hide(); mce_jQuery('#mce-error-response').hide(); if (resp.result=="success"){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(resp.msg); mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').each(function(){ this.reset(); }); } else { var index = -1; var msg; try { var parts = resp.msg.split(' - ',2); if (parts[1]==undefined){ msg = resp.msg; } else { i = parseInt(parts[0]); if (i.toString() == parts[0]){ index = parts[0]; msg = parts[1]; } else { index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } } } catch(e){ index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } try{ if (index== -1){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } else { err_id = 'mce_tmp_error_msg'; html = '<div id="'+err_id+'" style="'+err_style+'"> '+msg+''; var input_id = '#mc_embed_signup'; var f = mce_jQuery(input_id); if (ftypes[index]=='address'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-addr1'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else if (ftypes[index]=='date'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-month'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else { input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]; f = mce_jQuery().parent(input_id).get(0); } if (f){ mce_jQuery(f).append(html); mce_jQuery(input_id).focus(); } else { mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } catch(e){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } ]]>
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The American Conservative Staff
(”5 Days of War” is briefly mentioned in this.)
foreign policy politics film Calum Marsh makes a ridiculous generalization: But it’s important to remember that despite their moralizing, war films are still essentially action films—blockbuster spectacles embellished by the verve and vigor of cutting-edge special effects. They may not strictly glorify. But they almost never discourage. This is a somewhat strange argument, since it is quite easy to come up with a fairly long list of movies that are explicitly and in some cases deliberately antiwar or at least have the effect of discouraging its audience from supporting most wars. There are the obvious examples, such as Grand Illusion, All Quiet on the Western Front, Apocalypse Now, Gallipoli, and Breaker Morant, and there are also less famous films such as Cold Mountain, Bang Rajan or even the recent propaganda film Five Days of War. Those are just the few that came to mind, and I’m sure that a more complete survey would find many more. Not all of them are good movies, but there are quite a few of them out there. One frequently hears complaints from hawks in the U.S. that filmmakers no longer make enough straightforward pro-war movies as they did in the years following WWII, because there really are relatively fewer war movies that are unabashedly trying to celebrate war than there used to be. It’s also worth noting that there are two very different kinds of antiwar movies. One kind tries to demonstrate the futility or injustice of a particular war or war in general, while the other engages in an almost cartoonish oversimplification of a conflict in order to portray war as something forced on the good side by an implacable, evil foe. Both want to reject war and condemn it for its horrible effects, but in some of them the responsibility for the conflict is identified (sometimes accurately, sometimes not) as being entirely on one side. I haven’t seen Lone Survivor, but based on what Marsh tells us about the plot it could easily be an antiwar movie that falls into this second category. ]]>
(Review Source)
8 Mile
American Renaissance
(”8 Mile” is briefly mentioned in this.)

And it will crush Eminem and his corporate “homies.”

The post It’s Like an Army appeared first on American Renaissance.

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The Unz Review Staff
(”A Christmas Story” is briefly mentioned in this.)
From The Guardian: How not to name your child – five golden rules by Phoenicia Hebebe Dobson-Mouawad Thinking of giving your baby an unusual name? Think about the effect it will have on their life, says Phoenicia Hebebe Dobson-Mouawad My name is Phoenicia Hebebe Dobson-Mouawad. No, I’m not kidding. This is the name my parents chose for me 19 years ago and it is the reason I don’t go to Starbucks. Choosing a name for your baby can seem like a way to determine what type of parents you will become – many aim for trendy rather than traditional. However, faced with the resentment of your grownup offspring, who have endured a childhood of being embarrassed by their unusual name, you may wish you could turn back time. My experience of living with an unusual name has been, to put it lightly, difficult. There has not been one occasion when making a new acquaintance has not resulted in a remark about it, or some degree of confusion. … Have you heard the name before? If not, no one else will have. Can you pronounce it without having to look it up? Because if you need to look it up, I can tell you firsthand that you will be the only person your child ever meets who has taken the time to do so. Avoid hyphens unless both names are easily pronounceable. Dobson – that’s fine. Mouawad – more than enough effort on its own. Dobson-Mouawad – no comment. Can a child of primary school age say it? If they look confused and say, “What?”, take that as a strong no. Remember that your child’s name is for their happiness alone and not to prove to the world how cool and creative you are. That’s what Instagram is for. Take it from someone who knows or in 19 years’ time your child will be as fed up as I am. One issue is whether your child will have an accommodating personality and will be distressed by inconveniencing others. It’s hard to tell ahead of time. For example, you might think that giant baseball slugger Giancarlo Stanton would be an assertive individual who’d consider the rest of society’s problems pronouncing the Italian movie star name his parents had given him to be your problem, not his. But he is a nice guy, so he was troubled growing up that the other children couldn’t pronounce it. Thus when he was in fifth grade he decided to have everybody call him Mike. Finally, after a couple of years starring in the majors he asked professional sportscasters to use his real name Giancarlo. Yet, one complication is that if you have a common surname such as Stanton, it can make sense to look for a distinctive first name. For example, baseball doesn’t have a rule like the Screen Actors Guild that you can’t use the same name as an earlier player. But there was previously a relief pitcher named Mike Stanton who was in the majors from 1989-2007, so another Mike Stanton was confusing to fans. A sixth golden rule would be not to give boys any names that are trending into girls names. Composer Shel Silverstein was inspired by the childhood travails of his friend Jean Shepherd, whose memoirs about wanting a BB gun as a boy were the basis of the movie Christmas Story. Jean Shepherd was a radio humorist, the Garrison Keillor of his day, but I have a hard time remembering he was a man: I always get him confused with Jean Kerr, the woman humorist who wrote the novel behind the Doris Day movie Please Don’t Eat the Daisies. Christian names only trend feminine. Going through life with a name that is increasingly feminine mostly seems like an indication that your parents weren’t cool enough to notice which way the winds of fashion were blowing when you were born. I suspect that Evelyn Waugh’s long grudge against his father Arthur Waugh had to do with Arthur not being (whatever the 1903 equivalent of) cool enough was to notice that the grand old aristocratic masculine name of Evelyn was becoming a common woman’s name. The younger Waugh had too many insecurities about his masculinity as it were without his first wife also being named Evelyn (or She-Evelyn as he called her during their short marriage). Yet, not every name ever given to a woman trends feminine. The best known example might be Bertrand Russell’s third wife, Peter, Countess Russell (1910-2004). Her parents gave her the official name Patricia but they always wanted a boy so they called her Peter. So far, Peter has not caught on as a girl’s name. One complication is that the biggest source of potential easy-to-spell first names that aren’t common (yet) are Anglo surnames. But upscale-sounding WASP surnames are vulnerable to turning into girl’s first names. A classic example is Madison. This Founding Father’s surname (derived from Matthew’s Son) started to trend upward as a girl’s first name after Darryl Hannah played a mermaid named Madison in the delightful 1984 movie Splash. By 2001 and 2002, it was the second most popular baby girl’s name in America, but has since been declining in of fashion, as girl’s names are more wont to do. One question would be how much popular culture drives American baby names. Much of the changes seem to be driven by cycles in the fashions of sounds and spellings rather than instantaneous reactions to celebrities. The Splash case might be a good example of the effect of pop culture, although another possibility is that the filmmakers were simply more tuned into changes in fashion that were already in the pipeline. It’s pretty much impossible to turn around a trend toward being a feminine name, no matter how big a celebrity comes along. For example, in 2014 San Francisco Giant pitcher Madison Bumgarner was World Series MVP and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. You can’t get all that much more masculine than Bumgarner, who is a 6’5″ and 250 pound truck-driving hillbilly nicknamed Mad Bum is perhaps the strongest power hitter among contemporary pitchers. Bumgarner’s post-season heroics in 2014 did lead to an increase in the tiny number of baby boys named Madison in 2015. Douglas Knight kindly researched my question at SlateStarCodex: Douglas Knight says:July 29, 2016 at 2:29 am I don’t know about Northern California, but there were 72 boy Madisons born in America in 2015, compared to 40 the previous two years, after a long decline from the peak of 269 in 1995, a peak caused by the same force that created the girl’s name. You have to go back to 2005 to find as many boy Madisons. There were more than 1000 girl Madisons born in the state of California [alone] in 2015. ORDER IT NOWLike Evelyn Waugh, Madison Bumgarner once had a girlfriend with the same first name. Unlike Waugh, she had the same last name too: Madison Bumgarner. (Across the street from the home he grew up in in Hudson, North Carolina, 55 of the 305 people buried in the Baptist cemetery are named Bumgarner.) ]]>
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