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 YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread 
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Derninan wrote:
Every time I pop in here, I try to wrap my head around everything that's happening. So many colors and pictures and text and cool graphics! It's wonderfully overwhelming.

Lord of the Flies was one of the first books I really loved as an adolescent, so I think I'm gonna start there with all the reading and such, even though I haven't seen either film.

Thank you. I'll get some more information about those films up shortly.

"Shortly" may mean as much as a couple days. :D

I discovered that it took me six hours to preen the original tech posts for The Time Machine today. There are even more such links to check and format for the re-posts covering R&J and LotF!

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:58 am
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I really want to read Lord of the Flies again. Been thinking about it since this thread appeared.

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Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:00 am
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Mod Hip wrote:
Macbeth > pretty much everything ever

Interesting. I'm sure many would agree with you.

But not this guy.

And these people would not easily become close friends of MrCarmady! :D

Well, even in this short list of five, Macbeth isn't on top.

But here's a page with a bunch of people who see it your way! (I knew there would be one if I looked long enough.)

I also like Macbeth *chears throat* I mean, of course, "The Scottish Play," *clears throat again* don't want to bring bad luck. But I don't think it's necessarily in the top spot. I'm a bit partial to Hamlet and I haven't seen a Shakespeare comedy yet that I didn't like. So, Taming of the Shrew might easily tie with Macbeth *clears throat* I mean, "The Scottish Play" in a listing, if I made one.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:06 am
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The Lord of the Flies (1990) Harry Hook
IMDb link RT-link

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Year: 1990 Director: Harry Hook Cast: Balthazar Getty is Ralph; Chris Furrh is Jack Merridew; Danuel Pipoly is Piggy. James Badge Dale is Simon. Roger is played by Gary Rule. Length: 90 min. Color/Stereo Screenplay: Sara Schiff

It took 42 years before someone re-made George Pal’s 1960 film of The Time Machine, but Lewis Allen must have believed he could produce a better version of his own 1963 production of Lord of the Flies. He orchestrated this and released it to the screen just over a quarter-century after he worked with Peter Brook to bring the flawed (yet great) 1963 version to life.

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Just as in the novel and Peter Brook’s 1963 film of Lord of the Flies, the main characters in this film are among a group of school boys who are stranded on a tropical island following a plane crash. Nearly all the children survive, but no adults do. Except one, who is very badly injured. The boys are all very young, 8th grade and under, I’d say. But these boys are from an American military school, rather than a British boarding school. A change from English to American characters was made for this film much like what was done with The Time Machine when it was remade in 2002. (And watch for the same relocation to happen with the re-posted Romeo and Juliet Remake Rematch; although Franco Zeffirelli’s Verona is in Italy, Verona Beach is clearly an American city.)

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Some people call this version emptier than the 1963 version. Some revile it because it does not exactly follow Golding’s book. Presumably these are not the same people who revile the Chris Columbus Harry Potter films for following the books too closely! I find this film to be a variation on the story in the book. As I’ve written elsewhere for the Remake Rematch between the two films, the writers wanted to update the story, and add different ideas to it. And as I stated in my essay on remakes in general, when an artist adds his or her vision to that of another artist, the result should be collaborative. Why get involved in a creative endeavor if nothing of yours is allowed to show through in it? And why remake a film and set it in the same time frame?

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Aside from numerous departures from its 1963 forebear, this film parallels the earlier film and the novel for the last third. It is not a carbon-copy of either, but it makes the same statements, often with similar words and the same actions, by and large. I wouldn’t rate the movie as high as the '63 film, because I believe that the Hollywood slickness detracts from the '90 film—but only to a small extent. It is also this same slickness that makes it a joy to watch.

I would say that if you don’t like this film you won’t like the 1963 film either. That is because what is most likely to put you off are the theme and the story (some people just don’t see much of a plot in the film, perhaps not realizing that it is a modern fable—and fables have paper-thin plots). Perhaps if you like to ponder what motivates human beings to either great acts of goodness or great acts of evil you will like the film. As with all adaptations of printed stories, the movie has to omit some characters and adjust certain ideas to fit the tastes of the intended audience of the day. Movies are still a money business.

Even with its heightened violence, red blood, and smattering of swearing and crude speech, this film is consigned to an art house existence. What do you get when you take a cult novel, make a second movie of it, and it features kids running amuck without grown-ups on a tropical island? An art film. That’s all there is to be said, there. But in this case you get a film that is beautiful to look at, and if you approach it with the attitude that it has a very simple surface with a lot of swirling waters running beneath that surface, you can enjoy it.

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Here are some statements about what I like and do not like about Harry Hook’s 1990 remake of Lord of the Flies:

LIKE: Although Hook and Schiff don’t recreate the book Golding wrote, they tell the same story. And this version engages my intellect (which I like) but additionally makes me feel what it might be like to be in that situation, or to discover a group of boys whose sense of connection had deteriorated to this point.

LIKE: Whereas Peter Brook’s 1963 film makes me think a lot about what a masterful achievement his filming of Golding’s novel is, Hook’s version (produced by the same Lewis Allen that produced Brook’s film) makes me feel the same way that I feel when reading the book. Brook’s version does not do this; I am kept behind an invisible barrier that says, “You are watching a movie.” Younger readers should not blame this on black and white. When I grew up most films, and in my household all TV was black and white, and a lot of it engages me, still. Hook manages to draw me into the goings-on and the lives of these young boys facing both an incomprehensible personal tragedy, and what Golding says is Human Nature, at the same time.

LIKE: There are enough “human interest” moments early in the film to get me engaged with the characters. These are little boys I am watching face something that they are not equipped for—military school or no military school. They are in danger of becoming feral children. The degeneration from civilized boys to a pack of wild children is quite palpable in this film—nearly to the extent that I imagined it when I first read the novel. Sure, it seems somewhat contrived. Ladies and gentlemen, it is contrived. And it is equally contrived in the novel, as well.

LIKE: The opening scene beneath the titles features Ralph rescuing the only adult to survive the plane crash. It has some gorgeous underwater photography. As the boys paddle into the lagoon that will become their new home, the beauty of the landscape belies the evil that awaits them—little do they know that they are bringing all that evil on shore with them.

LIKE: The episode where an attempt to set a signal fire results in the fire getting out of control. The fire does exactly what the boys’ Nature will do as the story progresses. The fire destroys a beautiful old tree on a hilltop. Just as it is difficult for them to beat out the spreading fire, the boys will be powerless to stop the spread of base nature among themselves.

LIKE: In this film the boys manage to kill a large boar that it takes 7 of them to carry. This is like the huge sow that Jack and company slay in the novel, rather than the little pig Brook’s kids kill.

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DON’T LIKE: The lack of a Cold War in the real world by 1988 removes a compelling reason to have a plane full of boys in the air susceptible to crashing, requires Schiff to invent something different to generate the Beast Thing (called the “monster” in this version). What she uses makes sense, but isn’t dramatically as strong as Golding’s original invention, which Brook was able to use exactly as conceived in 1963. That original genesis of the Beast Thing would have been less plausible in 1990.

DON’T LIKE: The character of Jack seems much more manipulative and less innocent from the get-go than the Jack of the novel or Brook’s film version of the story. It is not that Chris Furrh’s performance lacks subtlety, because it is as nuanced as a 14-year old can usually provide. It’s that the part was written to be scheming to a greater extent than the novel’s chief chorister. Perhaps this is in keeping with the military school source of these fictional youngsters. This Jack is not a choirboy.

DON’T LIKE: Because there is not a choir with a head-boy as leader, the 1990 screenplay makes the boys students at a military school. This of course allows for rank, and Ralph outranks everyone else as Cadet Colonel—so there is no contested election of Ralph over Jack, as in the book and the 1963 film. There is no block of choir votes behind Jack. However, Ralph is taller and larger than Jack in this film as in the novel. That is largely the motivation for his election in the book, and his rank provides a quick and easy way to have him chosen leader, here.

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DON’T LIKE: Jack in this movie is more or less an ex-con, having supposedly stolen a car for a joyride on the freeway. This dodges Golding’s original premise by setting Jack’s errant behavior up to be a personal flaw that he possesses, not a flaw that is inherent to every young man on that island with him. It robs the potential discussions about this Lord of the Flies of the humanitarian issues that Golding brought about with his spinning of the fable, and replaces it with a socio-cultural argument that “bad boys do bad things,” an idea that I thought went down into disrepute in the 1940s.

DON’T LIKE: Ralph and Piggy stand by and watch as the rest of the boys slay the monster that is not a monster, but one of their own. Ralph laments the next morning that they didn’t intervene, but in the novel and the 1963 film, both Ralph and Piggy wielded sticks in the sad incident. This screenplay has the two “civilized” boys standing outside the mayhem and observing it because they are somehow “not like those other bad boys” instead of being in the thick of the evil. That puts forth a different thematic perspective. It is a misstep equal to what I wrote about Jack already being a juvie offender at the beginning of the story. But, you see, I have read the book, so I just interpose my understanding of Golding’s premise and ignore the errant directions of the 1990 script! Isn’t that easy!?

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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:09 am
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kiddo in space wrote:
I really want to read Lord of the Flies again. Been thinking about it since this thread appeared.

Well, you've got another review up just above this post, the whet your appetite further.

I wonder if you'd find interest in reading both the English version, and a Spanish translation of the novel! There could be some differences brought about by the way one language or the other handles a particular concept, no?

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:20 am
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YouTookMyName wrote:
The Time Machine (1960) dir. George Pal


Yvette Mimieux was very hot back in the day.

_________________
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:50 am
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dreiser wrote:

Yvette Mimieux was very hot back in the day.

Uh, yeah. I recall holding my breath when I saw that film in the auditorium at high school...when Mimieux first climbs out of the stream in that thin white wet garment. 8-) When she made the film she was about the same age I was at the time I watched it.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:56 am
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Gort wrote:
Well, you've got another review up just above this post, the whet your appetite further.

I wonder if you'd find interest in reading both the English version, and a Spanish translation of the novel! There could be some differences brought about by the way one language or the other handles a particular concept, no?


I normally prefer reading the novles on their original lenguage (if I know said lenguage of course), but I can read a spanish translation of the novel anytime. A good translation to spanish could make a good use of the lenguage to adapt the novel, which would be interesting.

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Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:03 pm
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Gort wrote:
Uh, yeah. I recall holding my breath when I saw that film in the auditorium at high school...when Mimieux first climbs out of the stream in that thin white wet garment. 8-) When she made the film she was about the same age I was at the time I watched it.


I remember as a little kid the first movie I saw with her in it was Jackson County Jail. Of course it is a Roger Corman co-produced film so it was pretty salacious. She made quite the impression on me.

_________________
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:05 pm
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kiddo in space wrote:

I normally prefer reading the novels in their original language (if I know said language of course), but I can read a Spanish translation of the novel anytime. A good translation to Spanish could make a good use of the language to adapt the novel, which would be interesting.

I used to read German much more fluently than I do now, and I read Der Prozess von Franz Kafka in German, then read The Trial by Franz Kafka. There were differences.

I also read some Hermann Hesse novel (but I don't recall which one, but it was not Siddharta, which I read only in English) in a side-by-side edition. First all the way through the English, then all the way through the German. There were differences in tone. The German seemed less brooding to me than the English translation.

EDIT: I had to go look it up. The Hesse novel was Narziß und Goldmund. (Narcissus and Goldmund)

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:07 pm
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dreiser wrote:

I remember as a little kid the first movie I saw with her in it was Jackson County Jail. Of course it is a Roger Corman co-produced film so it was pretty salacious. She made quite the impression on me.

I haven't seen that one. Enjoyed reading the IMDb page, though.

Sadly, aside from The Time Machine, the only thing I've seen her in is Snowbeast. Even more sadly, I could go watch it right now. It's on a collection of 50 made for TV films that I bought once upon a time. I've actually watched 14 of them. Snowbeast is one. :shifty:

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:17 pm
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YTMN is madly working on making sure the technical links are still good in the ancient Remake Rematch re-posts, and trying to get more information on certain cast and crew members from each of the six films used in the 2008 Rematches.

No posts yesterday because of squinting at BBCode text, and editing links for hours on end.

Some links have gone 404 over the past nearly 3 years. A surprising number are still good! And there is new information, plus new ways to find copies of the films in some cases. For example, I will have to add links to the posts someone made of the two Lord of the Flies films on YouTube. The links are in the tech posts, but I'll retro them into the DVD post for that Rematch, just for completeness. And I learned how to make the embed feature of this forum work for YouTube material.

I can no longer access the threads at RT, so I've had to go back to my Word.doc files which don't have the very latest text, but do have the picture and internet links in them. Re-ordering everything in Notepad++ before posting is time-consuming, but it means that my test post in the Crew thread here lets me work out kinks before I put the info up in this thread.

Nobody needed to read all this, but I wanted to put something more substantial in this post than "Bump."

Image A taste of the YT embed for the old LotF flick from 1963; Part 1 of 9 parts:



If you haven't seen it, this post set from EnglishAssist has been lurking at YouTube for over a year, apparently flying beneath the radar. And the 1990 version is there, also. :) Amazing what you can find if you Google until your eyeballs burn.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels will also lose all its images on the same day. But just think about how many images Jedi has on Photobucket, and the other posters here.


Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:31 pm
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Romeo & Juliet (1968) dir. Franco Zeffirelli

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IMDb link RT-link

Year: 1968 Director: Franco Zeffirelli Cast: Olivia Hussey, Leonard Whiting, Michael York, John McEnery, Milo O’Shea, Pat Heywood Length: 138 min. Color/Mono

Everyone ninth grade or higher has read this play, or seen it in class, or come across the basis of the plot in some way. There is no such thing as a spoiler for Romeo and Juliet! The play, and the story are that well-known. That much a part of Western culture.

In 1968 I was in 10th grade. Our High School English classes all hopped onto school busses and rode downtown to see this film. I was not expecting what I saw. They made me go, more or less. At least I wasn’t sitting in a classroom. I was prepared to be bored. Really bored. Instead, I was amazed at the contemporary feel of the movie (for those days) and proud that actual young people were playing Romeo and Juliet! I was won over by the end of the duel in the market, as a matter of fact.

Olivia Hussey had a film and television acting career after this movie. Leonard Whiting didn’t fare so well; or maybe he didn’t want a film and TV career. Michael York was already a well-known actor, but became a star when he appeared as Tybalt. His career continues to this day. Franco Zeffirelli may never have had another international hit of this scope. But he made some later hit movies, such as The Champ, and some flops such as Endless Love. Zeffirelli made films of at least four operas and four Shakespeare plays over his career. Whatever happened to the young man who sang “What is Youth?” I don’t know. Is that him in the film? I don’t know.

The film won the 41st Oscar for Achievement in Cinematography. It got three other nominations, including Best Picture.

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The acting is not as staid as most Shakespearean acting was up until that point. The notable exception that I was aware of (by word of mouth—I didn’t see it until 2008) was Laurence Olivier’s Richard III which was said to possess a light-hearted spirit that my teachers liked. Almost all Shakespeare done in the 1960s and before dripped with the same heavy-handedness that science fiction was mistakenly given in that time period: “This. Is. Important.” Not Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. The dialogue is treated as if it’s dialogue in any other play or film. When it is appropriate, it is yelled, or whispered. Spoken slowly, or rattled off quickly. I had never seen or heard anyone use Shakespeare’s script as if it was just regular speech before. It was (and is) so cool. I think this film started a trend. Without this film (and Richard III before it) I doubt that Branagh’s cycle of Shakespeare movies could ever have been done.

You will notice if you read some of the contemporary reviews that the old hand critics didn’t care for the “mumbled” lines spoken by those teenagers in the lead roles. One of them went so far as to say that “Shakespeare does not have to be unintelligible,” but he claims he couldn’t understand what the kids were saying. I had no problem. Neither did my peers. And it is not difficult for me to understand the lines even today with my old-timer ears. The problem, I think, is that Zeffirelli’s cast did not intone with the “This, is very Important.” diction that the grizzled old critics had grown up believing was “the way to do Shakespeare.”

Following are some points I like and some points I don’t like about this film:

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I Like: Very young actors in the lead roles. The fact that they seem like real people is only half the fun. They actually seem like teenagers. The parts are supposed to be very young people having a fling that they see as more important than it is, perhaps. With these two playing the parts you can tell just how canny the Bard was when writing the two title characters. He got teenage personalities down cold. And his other teenagers were played by youths who could pass as teens. In 1968, that made it all seem, well—different. And good. Even today it seems that way, to me.

I Like: The sets and costumes. Whether they are totally authentic or not, they seem to be. So do the swords and other props. At times there do not seem to be enough people in the crowd scenes, but the overall feel is still perfect.

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I Like: Olivia Hussey’s Juliet. She is perhaps a touch too wise for 13, but she is girlish enough to seem real (she was 15 when she made the film). The delivery Hussey uses for the lines is so very much right on the money. The only more convincing Juliet I’ve ever seen is Claire Danes in the sequel. And I’d rate Danes’ performance only a smidgin above Hussey’s. Hussey’s portrayal of the scene in the tomb after she discovers Romeo lifeless in the floor is just so moving. When she rears back after realizing that her husband’s lips are still warm it just tears me up.

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I Like: Leonard Whiting’s portrayal of Romeo. At first he’s too soft-spoken. But he becomes rather strong-voiced when he chases Tybalt through the streets of Verona to avenge the death of Mercutio. It always tears at my heart when he delivers the turning-point line for the character, ”Oh, I am Fortune’s fool!” Of course it didn’t affect me emotionally at all when I heard the line as a 16-year old audience member. But since then, it tears at me. Whiting is the most convincing and believable Romeo I have ever seen either on stage or on the screen. Bar none.

I Like: Zeffirelli’s technical achievement in taking the play on location, indoors, outdoors, all over Italy. A long time ago I saw one of those ”Spotlight” short features oabout the making of the film. Too bad it isn’t on the DVD I bought. But because of the location shooting, the light always seems real (because it is) and the buildings seem real (because they are). Although I must confess, I think I read somewhere that these were sets? Help me out, here. When the Prince comes riding up on his steed with attendants in tow, the power of his office is evident. He’s mounted on a real horse, and has actually galloped into the square!

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I Like: The casting. Watching this film is the closest thing you will ever experience to a Botticelli painting coming to life. The faces are fabulous. Everyone is either handsome, beautiful or distinguished-looking. Once you get them into the costumes and in those classical settings, the effect is fabulous. It is mythical Verona come to life. And the camera can be up close to the beautiful faces, so it isn’t an effect that is lost, the way it would be on stage. And the delivery of lines in nearly every case is so natural, and un-stagy that it’s almost like a documentary about people who speak oddly in metered verse as a normal part of their lives. And watch for the hint of a smile on Milo O’Shea’s face as Friar Lawrence contemplates Juliet’s ruse at her ”funeral.”

I Like: The way I feel after I watch this movie. My head is full of pleasant memories and the lines the actors recite rattle around in my head. It sticks with me beyond the time when I rise from whatever chair I sit in while I watch it. When I saw it in the theater I had dreams about it for several nights in a row. Actually, it shares this effect with the 1996 version. After watching both on the same day, I have them joyously battling for my attention as I write the material for the Rematch thread.

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I Like: The ”depth” of the production. Sure, I’ve probably seen a dozen different live-performance or film productions of the play, if you include West Side Story as a variation. I’ve watched the Zeffirelli film either 5 or 6 times over the years, and it gets better with each viewing. That’s because of Shakespeare’s original play in part, but it is also due to Zeffirelli’s direction and the performances he got from his cast. As I add layers of experience to my life, whenever I watch the movie again, I find something else that must have been there all along, but I never noticed it before.

I Don’t Like: The faint vestiges of stagy haughtiness in the delivery of the Bard’s lines. What I thought when I saw the film the second time was, “This is a new day, buddy. Quit being so self-important! Peace, love, dove, man. You know?” I think it was the guy playing the Prince that I railed against in my own mind. Some of the actors, the older ones, just didn’t seem to get it. But on my most recent viewing for this thread, I didn’t notice as much of it as I did three years ago. In fact, it mostly seemed to vanish into the various parts. Am I getting old?

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I Don’t Like: Having to have someone sing at the masked ball. For all I know this was done even in the first performance of the play at the Globe Theater. Luhrmann has two different singers at his masked ball! But it sort of slows things down for me, here. The song is good, though. And this time I paid much more attention to the goings on with Romeo and Juliet behind the curtains as they talk about saints and sins and the like. Plus, I had read the lyric for the song on the ‘Net before watching, so I could finally understand the words.

I Don’t Like: One of Zeffirelli's cuts is the apothecary scene (Luhrmann retains this scene because it gives his MTV version a drug scene!). Romeo simply shows up in the Capulet tomb with poison in pocket. Why was the apothecary scene cut out? Does this kid go around mythical Verona with deadly poison in his pocket all the time? Hmm. Must be even more depressed than he seemed to be in Act One.

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Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:10 pm
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YouTookMyName wrote:
The acting is not as staid as most Shakespearean acting was up until that point. The notable exception that I was aware of (by word of mouth—I didn’t see it until 2008) was Laurence Olivier’s Richard III which was said to possess a light-hearted spirit that my teachers liked.


Richard III was either the first or second Criterion I ever purchased. It's fantastic.

I really enjoyed your commentary and insights into Ziffirelli's movie. Never seen it myself, which is strange since I have seen and read a good deal of Shakespeare's works. This post has got me eager to do so.

My Olivia Hussey watching where she's the lead is pretty much limited to Black Christmas.

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Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:55 am
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dreiser wrote:
Richard III was either the first or second Criterion I ever purchased. It's fantastic.

I checked that pup out of the library a few years back, and it more than lived up to its press!

dreiser wrote:
I really enjoyed your commentary and insights into Ziffirelli's movie. Never seen it myself, which is strange since I have seen and read a good deal of Shakespeare's works. This post has got me eager to do so.

My Olivia Hussey watching where she's the lead is pretty much limited to Black Christmas.

Well, I'd encourage you to give the Zeff version a watch.

I'm sure Olivia didn't play a character named Juliet in Black Christmas. :)

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What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:36 am
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Gort wrote:
I'm sure Olivia didn't play a character named Juliet in Black Christmas. :)


No. :P

Pairing her with Margot Kidder was a Bob Clark stroke of genius. I can't imagine two more different actresses.

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Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:42 am
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A Comparison of Lord of the Flies (1963) and Lord of the Flies (1990)
Racial Composition

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Every character in the 1963 film is Caucasian. It is not explicitly stated, but one gets the idea that all the characters in the 1955 novel are also Caucasian.

The remake features one African-American boy, and a Hispanic lad. All the adults in both films are Caucasian. The comment on humanity is not really one related to race at all. It seems odd to me to have only one African American and only one Hispanic student at the school. Were they the only non-whites that survived? Or are they cinematic tokens of casting “inclusiveness”?

Nothing at all is ever made of the non-whiteness of the two. They are among the “other boys” in the group. As such they function as a visual reminder that not everyone has light skin, but they serve little purpose beyond that. If you stretch the point, you'd have to also notice that there are no Asian kids. At least none that I noticed. It would be awkward to try drawing any inferences from this casting. I don't think the film says anything about race per se; it sticks to a generalization for all of humanity.

The problem with this kind of presentation is that we live in a world where race or ethnicity is supposed to not be noticed, and that fact puts it top of the mind. "Don't notice a person's race. Don't notice a person's race." Thus, the ethnicity of the cast has an unspoken function. The 1963 casting actually is more "real life" for the times. Perhaps a 1990 private military school would not have had many minority students. Or perhaps it could have been mostly minority students, depending on its location in the US.

My hunch is that the two boys I noticed are casting tokens, and nothing more. Personally, I'd have wanted a larger number of non-whites, simply to make it less noticeable that they were there, except as human beings. Still, if one or both the main parts were played by minority actors, would that change the entire "message" of Lord of the Flies into a parable about non-white people? That's an interesting point to contemplate.

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Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:26 am
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A Comparison of Romeo & Juliet (1968) and Romeo & Juliet (1996)
The Score

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With the updating in time and place that Luhrmann did for his version of the Romeo and Juliet story, a modern soundtrack would be expected. And there is a good representation of modern pop music. But there are also orchestral sections that are arresting in their presentation. The incidental music in the film was composed by Nellee Hooper. It is very emotional and fits sublimely with the style of story-telling.

Nino Rota composed the original music for Zeffirelli’s film, including the international hit song, “What is Youth?” The editing of the film seems quite modern, and so does the music, except for Rota’s “urgency” theme that appears in the fifth act. It seems to be a throwback to the “make me feel something” music of the 1960s. It is not a throwback, of course, since it was composed in that decade!

As I’ve written before, for me the soundtrack of a film is equal in importance to the imagery. And the music is a large part of the soundtrack, although not the entirety of it. I used to work obsessively to get “just the right music” and “just the right sound effects” in my training and other institutional videos. It was probably only important to me, in retrospect. But when I watch a film, it is a special bonus for me if I’d love to own the CD of the soundtrack—and an even bigger bonus if I actually like it enough to go out and buy it. And I bought CD2 of the R+J soundtrack.

The 1968 Rota music, profound as it is, seems to me to fit best when nestled with the sound effects and images of the film. That is not a bad thing. I just don’t think I’d want to hear it separately. Here is a link I put up in the original thread, to a recording that someone has posted online of the famous song,“What is Youth?” from the Zeffirelli film. If you'd rather hear it and see it here is that clip from the film:



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Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:41 am
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A Comparison of Romeo & Juliet (1968) and Romeo+Juliet (1996):
The Death Scene in the Tomb

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The first time I saw Luhrmann’s version of the death scene, I thought, “That’s how I always wanted to do that scene.” I always thought that Juliet should see Romeo drink the poison. It plays better that way. It is also far more tragic that Romeo sees Juliet awaken just as he swallows the bitter draught. As Luhrmann has it laid out, the scene is so gut-wrenching!

Yet when Olivia Hussey’s Juliet bends down to kiss her dead Romeo’s lips in hopes of getting poisoned herself, her despair at learning that his lips are still warm always gets to me. It really does.

Each in its own way is an astonishingly appropriate staging of Shakespeare’s scripted death scene. Of course, the heart-ripping irony of Luhrmann’s order of events cannot be denied. But somehow, when I watched these films back-to-back (literally on the same day) the staging in Zeffirelli’s version brought me to tears, while Lurhmann’s death scene merely made me feel incredibly empty this time. Of course, the scene where Juliet reaches up for Romeo just as he swallows the poison, and the look of love in her young eyes—that look of contentment that her husband is right there to welcome her back—it just makes the skin tingle with the sense of appropriate horror. And the look in Romeo’s eyes, and on his face when he realizes that he has taken the poison and it is too late, just barely too late, but irrevocably too late is what pushes it over the emotional edge. I think in Luhrmann’s film that is the most moving moment—whereas with the Zeff version, it is when Juliet realizes that Romeo is not long enough dead for the body heat to have left his lips.

I am not sure which way of killing one’s self would be the most difficult—with a dagger or with a gun. Somehow, this time the Zeffirelli version also moved me the most when the girl plunged the dagger into her heart. The Luhrmann Juliet’s bulleted suicide was a more or less anti-climax as I watched it this time.

Regardless, the message of the movie is that vengeance brings about death—and not always the deaths of the people you want dead. The prologue to the play makes no secret that Romeo and Juliet are doomed. Yet the story is told so skillfully—by Shakespeare, Zeffirelli, and Luhrmann—that you cannot help but be moved in the end. And when either the Prince or Captain Prince shouts to his hearers that final line, “All are punish-ed. ALL are punish-ed!” it brings goosebumps to my skin every time. It’s so true. Vengeance leaves no life untouched—even when you think you are outside the ring of vengeance altogether.


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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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WEBLINKS
A Comparison of Lord of the Flies (1963) and Lord of the Flies (1990):

Image Weblinks for the Two Films

A resource about the novel for students, to guide them in research. This site has what seems like billions of links to other sites on the web that deal with William Golding, his novel, and the movies made from it.

Another student guide, probably featuring many of the same links, but just in case it doesn’t…

You can buy a copy of the book or find it at your local library)

1963 film. Another website about the LIFE magazine article, and the film itself.

1963 film. Michael Brooke writes about the film at screenonline.org.uk

1963 film. Matthew Dessem writes an excellent, thoughtful, on-going blog about the Criterion Collection at criterioncollection.blogspot.com. His goal is to see all the Criterion releases, and to write about them in his blog. He wrote about Lord of the Flies on Wednesday, November 30, 2005.

I guess it’s worth re-stating that I found virtually nothing about the 1990 film other than at Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, besides sites where you can buy a copy. But YouTube has been peppered with a number of clips from both movies. Here are two.

1990 film. Trailer on YouTube. (no way to know how long it will stay available).

1963 film. Here’s a 9:35 condensed edit of this film from YouTube. I haven’t watched the entire clip. (Cheesy, I know, to post a clip you haven’t seen—it could have koochi koochie girls edited in or something). What I’ve seen looks well-done. The music is not from the original film.

The novel provides ample fodder for humorously-mounted high-school productions:

A student-produced video of the novel/film, produced for English class. Lord of the Flies Part 1 & Lord of the Flies Part 2

Another student-produced film Lord of the Flies

Apparently it's now the thing to do to produce a film for class, and share it on YouTube. Lord of the Flies

Ms. Connor's Fourth Period class made their own version of Lord of the Flies. One comment says that it's boring.

Image
1963 film. YouTube resource. Lord Of The Flies 1963 Part 1 of 9 parts. Apparently the entire film has been uploaded by EnglishAssist. Once again, who knows how long it will remain on the site?

Image
1990 film. YouTube resource. Lord of the Flies 1990 Part 1 of 13 parts. This film has been uploaded by LordoftheFliesmovie. It will stay on the site for as long as it's allowed to.

1963 film. The inevitable Wikipedia article

The novel. Inevitable Wikipedia article

1990 film. The inescapable Wikipedia article. I haven’t found much written about this film available on the ‘Net.

A web page about a British Channel 4 television episode aired on “Cutting Edge” in 2002 called “Boys Alone.” (In 2003 a counterpart called “Girls Alone” aired.) Comments bring up the Golding novel and these films a lot as a point of comparison. And here is the deteriorating IMDb page about “Boys Alone.” Eventually, my curiosity piqued, I located this retrospective from the week when “Boys and Girls Alone” (a different program) aired on Channel 4. "Boys Alone" sounds discouragingly like Lord of the Flies. The girls did better without parental or adult supervision. What I wonder is how the crew could actually stand to not intervene when the kids began to bully one another and trash the property.

1963 film. Some of the cast members and Mr. Brook had a reunion in 1996 on Vieques Island, where the film was shot. This was filmed and made into a documentary called “Time Flies” by British director Richard Dale.

1963 film. The actor who played Simon in 1961 wrote about his experience, looking back on it from the perspective of an adult.

William Golding’s book is said to be a dark response to this book, available as a free e-book from Project Gutenberg. There are characters named “Ralph” and “Jack” in Lord of the Flies, and in Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne. The main character of Coral Island, is, in fact, “Ralph Rover.”

TRIVIA LINKS
Trivia from the Criterion Booklet to accompany the DVD: Peter Brook writes, “We found an island off the coast of Puerto Rico. A jungle paradise; miles of palm-fringed beaches owned by Woolworth’s. They lent us the island in exchange for a screen credit.”

Trivia from the Criterion Booklet to accompany the DVD: Peter Brook writes, “The book is a beautiful fable—so beautiful that it can be refuted as a trick of compelling poetic style. In the film no one can attribute the looks and gestures to tricks of direction. The violent gestures, the look of greed, and the faces of experience are all real.”

For more trivia about the 1963 version of Lord of the Flies film
“Eleven-year-old Hugh Edwards, who plays Piggy in the film, landed his role by writing a letter to the director which read, ‘Dear Sir, I am fat and wear spectacles.’”

For more trivia about the 1990 Lord of the Flies production
“Chris Furrh was in another movie this same year about a group of kids stranded alone on an island: Exile (1990) (TV).”

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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:47 pm
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A Comparison of The Time Machine (1960) and The Time Machine (2002):
The Ability to Ignore that 800,000 Years Have Passed

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Both films severely underestimate how much change there will be in the time span that the movie covers. As I mentioned in my write-up about the 1960 film, I can forgive this, but I don’t like it. The necessity of clichés in order for the audience to understand the story is the culprit, I’m afraid. First of all, no one alive now knows what things will be like in 800,000 years, and if anyone did show us we’d be as lost as the Eloi in the 1960 version. So what goes on must be kept within a context that we can comprehend. The movie is made for 21st Century folk, after all.

The story H.G. Wells wrote was about people at the turn of the 20th Century. His great-grandson made the story about people of our time. It is set in the distant future, but it’s really about you and me. For anything that human hands have created to last even half that long is probably out of the question. The spinning rings that talk to George in the 1960 version, and the VoX System that Alex engages in 802701 would likely never last that long. Ultimately, I don’t care. It’s a good story, and the biggest plot hole in it is the time machine itself.

H.G. Wells himself was unable to fathom the differences that would accrue over such a huge span of years.

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Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:47 pm
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It's been rather a hectic week at work, and I've been working to set all the links for the technical information posts in my small amount of spare time. I have them up in Gort's test post in The Crew, and I'm testing and rewriting them. I also feel like I need to provide a bit more information for several technical features than the original versions of the three existing Rematches had.

I'm not ignoring the thread. I have been working on it for the handful of people who are reading. But I don't have anything quite ready to show you.

I was a bit disappointed to learn that Gort might be responsible for a large number of the "views" of this thread. Which means that I'm reading my own stuff. :D

*sighs*

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Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:51 pm
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I'm looking forward to Planet of the Apes.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:45 am
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Some of the views are mine too!

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Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:07 am
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dreiser wrote:
I'm looking forward to Planet of the Apes.

So am I. I wish I could work on all five new Rematches at the same time.

Right now I have to watch, analyze and pull stills from three versions of The Maltese Falcon. The disc set is due Tuesday and I haven't even put a disc in the player yet. I hope to get started Saturday. I've got Planet of the Apes in line right behind that.

It's a marketing ploy, of course. I keep stringing you along in hopes that you will maintain interest, instead of giving up and going away. :D

The same thing happened that happened last time I started the Remake Rematch idea: I got work just as I posted the first information. That's good, but it also interferes with my available time, because I have to focus my attention on earning that grisly "money" stuff for a few hours a week. As soon as I receive a paycheck I'm going to use some of those links I've collected, and order both Planet of the Apes DVDs.

QuiteGoneGenie wrote:
Some of the views are mine too!

Oh, thank goodness. ;) And thank you.

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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:01 am
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Gort wrote:
Right now I have to watch, analyze and pull stills from three versions of The Maltese Falcon.


I don't envy you that. I own the set and pretty much refuse to watch the other two versions. Not even curious.

Gort wrote:
It's a marketing ploy, of course. I keep stringing you along in hopes that you will maintain interest, instead of giving up and going away. :D


A ploy that's working it seems.

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New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:59 am
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dreiser wrote:
I don't envy you that. I own the set and pretty much refuse to watch the other two versions. Not even curious.

I've seen all three. This will be the first Rematch where I don't really like all the films. More mature-sounding, don't you think? Less a fan-boyish type of discussion.

dreiser wrote:
A ploy that's working it seems.

Success!

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:30 am
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The two placeholders I made yesterday finally have information in them.

And I hit on the bright idea of updating my signatures for Gort and YTMN to include when the latest updates are posted.

There's one for Lord of the Flies, and one for The Time Machine.

LotF: a massive list of weblinks for more pages about the films.

TTM: an essay about how it is difficult to imagine and impossible to show the change 800,000 years would likely bring.

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
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Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:30 pm
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I found your comparison of the Death scene in the Tomb of both Romeo + Juliet films to be quite interesting. It's been some time since I watched either version... but I remember being struck but the way Luhrmann’s film played out in that devastating instance. Through the slight altering of the order he completely changed the way I thought about the whole event. It made it much more heartbreaking and frustrating to watch.


Interesting that the 68 film moved you more this go around. I can see your point about the dagger being a little more tragic in some way... because of the amount of effort that it would take to carry the action through. I remember not being moved much at all at the end of that version... but I was considerably younger and considerably less sentimental when I saw it.

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Hank wrote:
I found your comparison of the Death scene in the Tomb of both Romeo + Juliet films to be quite interesting. It's been some time since I watched either version... but I remember being struck but the way Luhrmann’s film played out in that devastating instance. Through the slight altering of the order he completely changed the way I thought about the whole event. It made it much more heartbreaking and frustrating to watch.


Interesting that the 68 film moved you more this go around. I can see your point about the dagger being a little more tragic in some way... because of the amount of effort that it would take to carry the action through. I remember not being moved much at all at the end of that version... but I was considerably younger and considerably less sentimental when I saw it.

I wonder if I were to watch them back-to-back again, three years on down the road, whether the versions would flip-flop in their effect on me again. I don't recall watching either film since I did these three Rematches in 2008.

Yeah. becoming a daddy somehow affected my ability to be touched by sentimentality and tragedy in films. I've wondered why that is. Perhaps being around children somehow exposes you to pheromones that permanently alter your emotions? Other men have told me that having children altered the world in major ways, both outside them (changing their perceptions of what is important) and inside them (altering the internal emotion landscape, as it were).

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Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:20 am
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In the midst of the note-taking pass in my rewatch of the 1931 The Maltese Falcon. It is easy to see the influences it had on John Huston's more famous version.

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Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:02 am
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Gort wrote:
I wonder if I were to watch them back-to-back again, three years on down the road, whether the versions would flip-flop in their effect on me again. I don't recall watching either film since I did these three Rematches in 2008.

Yeah. becoming a daddy somehow affected my ability to be touched by sentimentality and tragedy in films. I've wondered why that is. Perhaps being around children somehow exposes you to pheromones that permanently alter your emotions? Other men have told me that having children altered the world in major ways, both outside them (changing their perceptions of what is important) and inside them (altering the internal emotion landscape, as it were).

I'm not sure how it happens... but I feel that it might have a little bit to do with this (although certainly not limited to it alone): Being more tired in general. By being worn out all the time (it is the best type of worn out though!) it really opens up a different side of a guy.

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Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:14 am
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Hank wrote:
I'm not sure how it happens... but I feel that it might have a little bit to do with this (although certainly not limited to it alone): Being more tired in general. By being worn out all the time (it is the best type of worn out though!) it really opens up a different side of a guy.

Now, there's a thought. I can certainly see that being part of it. Fatigue can affect how a person responds to many things, and mixed in with the other aspects of fatherhood, it could indeed factor into a more redy emotionality.

See, I don't think guys clamp down our emotions necessarily on purpose. There were times when I was mid-divorce that I wanted to cry (and I was alone, so who would have cared? who would have known?) and no tears would come. Inside I felt like I was about to burst into tears, but there were none. It was a horrible feeling, actually. :D

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Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:24 am
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Gort wrote:
Now, there's a thought. I can certainly see that being part of it. Fatigue can affect how a person responds to many things, and mixed in with the other aspects of fatherhood, it could indeed factor into a more redy emotionality.

See, I don't think guys clamp down our emotions necessarily on purpose. There were times when I was mid-divorce that I wanted to cry (and I was alone, so who would have cared? who would have known?) and no tears would come. Inside I felt like I was about to burst into tears, but there were none. It was a horrible feeling, actually. :D

It's good to see that you can say that with a smile on your face :P

I'm pretty emotional for a guy, I suppose. But there are certainly times where I've felt like I should be crying when I wasn't. It is very frustrating indeed.

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Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:29 am
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A Comparison of Romeo & Juliet (1968) and Romeo+Juliet (1996):
The Role of The Nurse

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Who wouldn’t fall in love with the Puerto Rican nurse portrayed by Miriam Margolyes? Or the charmingly loquacious Nurse portrayed by Pat Heywood? The role is a plum, and both these actresses do excellent work with it. As filmed the roles are a bit different, though. In the play the Nurse is basically Juliet’s link to the past. She actually raised the girl (her own daughter died long ago, but was about Juliet’s age). She tells stories about when Juliet was little—something that is usually the role of a parent. But she is also a family servant, so carries out formal roles for the girl, such as going to Romeo in order to make arrangements for a wedding—if his intentions are honorable. And she toys with Juliet when bringing the news that Romeo will marry, delaying any meaningful response until the girl is beside herself before divulging the good news.

Heywood’s Nurse gets to stick pretty close to the original role. Some of the history she spouts is left intact. She fulfills the function of comic relief, also. And when the going becomes tragic, she becomes one of the movers that carries the tragedy forward: visiting Romeo at Friar Lawrence’s cell, and counseling Juliet to go ahead and marry Paris, because Romeo is as good as dead to her. The nurse is part of the terrible, tangled web that is so expertly rendered in the play.

Miriam Margolyes’s Nurse is not allowed to be Juliet’s historian, but functions as her nurturer and go-between. With a charming Hispanic accent the old woman flits and flutters through the day, adequately tough when needed, and playful after she obtains Romeo’s consent to marry Juliet. Both actresses have fun with the role, but Ms. Margolyes seems to enjoy herself just enough more to make her my favorite of the two Nurses.

What is your take on the role and on the two portrayals?

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Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:33 am
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A Comparison of Romeo & Juliet (1968) and Romeo+Juliet (1996):
Friar Lawrence

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In the [original RT YTMN movie post] vanity thread candlestick pointed out that he hates the way Friar Lawrence doesn’t make his plan go—well, according to plan. Part of the tragedy of this tragedy is that the situation calls for desperate measures. Desperate measures often as not yield desperate outcomes—and this one certainly does. When I saw the pony with Balthasar astride it overtake the monk with the donkey, both on their way to Mantua with important news, my heart sank. This was when I was 16, and seeing the Zeff film for the first time. In the play script this is only hinted at after the fact—but on screen it can (and must be) shown. Zeffirelli found an excellent way to do this. I wondered as I watched the Luhrmann version of that scene how he would match the wordless empathy of that moment. And he managed to do it by using post-haste-dispatch. The Friar’s astounded response when he’s at the PHD office and learns that Romeo did not get the news is classic. Surely you have to see the Friar as one of those characters that means well, but has a degree of over-confidence. The plan only goes wrong by a few moments, actually. But I think the old saying is “a miss is as good as a mile.”

Do you feel empathy for the clergyman’s plight, or do you find him to be an irritant, the way candlestick does?


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Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:34 am
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A Comparison of Romeo & Juliet (1968) and Romeo+Juliet (1996):
Mercutio, Romeo’s Best Friend

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To modern British Commonwealth/American eyes the relationship between Mercutio and Romeo is “suspect” in that they seem awfully close to both be guys. Franco Zeffirelli, as a gay man, didn’t shy away from this implication in his film, and Baz Luhrmann operating in the era of increased tolerance of gays and lesbians extends this into having Mercutio played as a fawning character of uncertain sexuality. Sure, he’s dressed in drag for the party, but does that say anything about him as a person other than that he is adventurous? Perhaps it says he is quite secure in his masculinity! Is Luhrmann playing with our American sensibilities in choosing to portray Mercutio in this light? The character is certainly over the top. Isn’t everyone in this film except Juliet? Orpheline and I already had an exchange about this character earlier. It’s at the bottom of this post a page back. [NOTE: the last sentences refer to an RT thread post.]

The Queen Mab speech is the usual characterization of Mercutio in performances of the play: a fun-loving, quick-witted sort of fellow who is willing to take his friends where they perhaps should not be. But that’s fine, because they all want to go there. Luhrmann adds the additional characterization of having Mercutio arrive in a high-powered convertible auto and step out in a powder-white curly wig and silver-colored mini-skirt. This elicited an, “Ooookaaaay,” from me the first time I saw the film. I wondered what the director was up to. I’d already seen an exploding gas station. On my first viewing of the film, when Mercutio launched into a performance of “Young Hearts Run Free,” I decided this was just another Luhrmann crazy take on things—similar to all the slapstick in the party preparation section.

After seeing his film several times, I’m not sure Luhrmann is making any “statements” by whatever is happening onscreen. I think his only statements are pokes at, and paeans to Hollywood conventions. I know for sure everything is exaggerated. Everything except Juliet.



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Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:34 am
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A Comparison of Lord of the Flies (1963) and Lord of the Flies (1990)
The Fire and Decline of Civilization

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The theme of the Golding novel is that, left on their own people will degenerate into savage and rule-free, selfish behavior. Golding was a Socialist, which may have led him to believe that the forced imposition of social order was a necessity. That without enforced social order people would degrade into beasts. Yet, the Beast in his story is non-existent! And it is Jack, the despot, who imposes dis-order by force. Imposition of social order is often imagined as the bailiwick of military organizations, and para-military ones such as the Police. And in Golding’s 1955 novel—by the militaristic discipline of Jack’s choir!

I wrote about Jack and his tribe in another comparison, but there is more to the character than I have mentioned. Even though Tom Chapin does not play Jack as the scheming, underhanded character that Christopher Furrh does in the remake, the character comes across as sneaky, and self-interested in both cases.

In the Brook version Jack volunteers the choir as hunters, and he volunteers the hunters as keepers of the signal fire. All the boys agree that such a fire is necessary, to give potential rescuers a sign that there are survivors of the plane crash. In the 1990 version the fire-watching task is distributed democratically among the boys. Since it is everyone's responsibility, no one does it. Perhaps this is a comment on the danger of making something everybody's job.

Brook’s Jack takes on a responsibility and then abandons it, while Hook’s Jack simply avoids the responsibility that everyone in the camp has equally. In both cases, Jack doesn’t like the responsibility, and wants to live care-free, so he becomes a dropout, declaring in the early version, “I don’t want to be a part of Ralph’s lot!” In the book there is a vote, and the tribe is formed after the vote. In the movies, Jack simply splits with Ralph and Piggy, and creates an alternate gang or tribe of his own.

The truth underlying Jack’s abandonment of fire responsibilities is probably that he doesn’t want to go back home. Thus, he exerts whatever influence he can on the other boys to get them to decide to stay with him, to join him, to become a part of his tribe. I think this is true of both films. In the second film Jack clearly states on more than one occasion, “We will never be rescued.” He plans to stay on the island, perhaps thinking he can be Peter Pan and never grow up.


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Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:14 pm
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A Comparison of Lord of the Flies (1963) and Lord of the Flies (1990)
Falling from the Sky

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The reason for the plane trip in the novel, and in the 1963 film is that the adults have a war on that is becoming nuclear. All the boys are being ferried to a supposedly safe place during an evacuation, but their jet falls prey to bad weather and they never reach that place. The reason for the airplane trip in the 1990 version is simply for a trip home from the military school where all the boys are enrolled. World politics necessitated the change. By the late 1980’s the US and the Soviet Union were making strides toward ending the Cold War. The chances of there being a war where atomic weapons were hurled across oceans were reduced to practically none.

The 1963 film shows the boys only after they are on the island, as Ralph meets Piggy following a scary night on the island after the crash. The story of why they were in transit is told in stills beneath the opening titles. The 1990 release begins with the boys in the water, saving the injured pilot’s life, and going ashore in an inflatable raft immediately following the crash into the sea. The airplane sinks and the boys are stranded. Yet, they feel relatively secure because the pilot is alive, although unconscious. Peter Brook has no adults in his film until the bitter end.

One of the ironies of the story is embodied in the statement by Brook’s Piggy, “Grown-ups know things. They aint’ afraid of the dark. They’d meet, and have tea and discuss. Then things would be all right.” But Piggy, Ralph, Jack and the others are trapped on an island in the tropics precisely because adults failed to behave in the idealized way Piggy believes in. Perhaps to Golding, Ralph and Piggy were fighting a losing battle against the beast within all humans. What they believed in were shibboleths without underpinnings. Fantasies. Wills-O’-the-wisp.


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Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:17 pm
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Note to self: use the word oneiric in an essay for Dorian Gray.

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Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:41 pm
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Watched the 1968 film version of Romeo and Juliet last night. Both Hussey and Whiting were excellent. All the scenes between the lovers were riveting. The moments when they're not together are fairly pedestrian. Whenever I come across a Shakespeare play, I marvel at the lines that have become iconic in our popular culture. Here's a sample from this Italian play:

O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright.

What 's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

... parting is such sweet sorrow...

A plague o' both your houses!

O, I am Fortune's fool!

Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound?


One of the funniest moments in Twin Peaks is when Dick Tremayne uses that first quote to describe how gorgeous Lana Milford is.

I haven't seen Luhrmann's 1996 version yet for comparison. I'll chime in here when I do.

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Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:42 am
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A Comparison of Romeo & Juliet (1968) and Romeo+Juliet (1996):

Image The Writers

The 1968 version was adapted from the play by William Shakespeare, and written for the screen by Franco Brusati, Masolino D’Amico, and Franco Zefirelli. There are many considerations to adapting Shakespeare for film. The Zeffirelli adaptation set the tone for all those made after 1968, updating themes that always existed in the play, but emphasizing those that would appeal to the youth of that day (including YTMN).

The 1996 version screenplay was adapted from the Shakespeare play by Craig Pearce and Baz Luhrmann. "At the 51st BAFTA Film Awards, director Baz Luhrmann won Best Direction. Luhrmann and Craig Pearce won the Best Adapted Screenplay." Luhrmann and Pearce moved lines around, even assigning them to different characters in order to move their juggernaut forward. overall, critical response to the film was mixed in 1996, but over time people have begun to admit that the film works. "James Berardinelli, a critic of Shakespeare plays adapted into film writes, 'Ultimately, no matter how many innovative and unconventional flourishes it applies, the success of any adaptation of a Shakespeare play is determined by two factors: the competence of the director and the ability of the main cast members. Luhrmann, Danes, and DiCaprio place this Romeo and Juliet in capable hands.'" (from Wikipedia, reference: Berardinelli, James (1996). "Review: Romeo and Juliet (1996)". ReelReviews.net. http://www.reelviews.net/movies/r/romeo_juliet.html. Retrieved 4 October 2010.)

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A Comparison of The Time Machine (1960) and The Time Machine (2002):

Image The Writers

The 1960 version was adapted from the novel by H.G.Wells (Project Gutenberg e-Book of H.G. Wells’s The Time machine), and written for the screen by David Duncan. According to the IMDb biography page, Duncan's favorite of all the screenplays he wrote is The Time machine "by a huge margin."

The 2002 version was adapted from the H.G. Wells novel, and the 1960 David Duncan screenplay by John Logan. Logan was the screenwriter for a number of films that are known around this board. Gladiator, The Last Samurai, The Aviator, Sweeny Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, RKO 281 and Star Trek: Nemesis. Thus he has written some of my favorites, and a couple that I don't like much at all! That's versatility.

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A Comparison of Lord of the Flies (1963) and Lord of the Flies (1990):

Image The Writers

The 1963 version was adapted from the novel by William Golding, and written for the screen by Peter Brook. Brook was well-known by the late 1950s for his Shakespeare adaptations, but he had made two films before, the first being of John Gay's 1728 musical play The Beggar's Opera. A so-called ballad opera, the play satirized Italian opera of the time. I cannot comment on this film, because I haven't see it. But Brook was not a novice to film or to adaptation at the time he undertook The Lord of the Flies.

The 1990 version screenplay was adapted from the Golding novel by Sara Schiff. To date, this is Schiff's only credited screen writing assignment. According to Wikipedia, Jay Presson Allen was called in to do script doctor work on the screenplay, but was dissatisfied with the final film and had her credit removed. Allen's list of screenplays and stage productions is flattering. In her later years she accepted large sums of money to fix screenplays that had been "written by committee." She must have been terribly dissatisfied with the 1990 version of Lord of the Flies. (Reference from Wiki: Alternate Film Guide. May 2, 2006.)

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Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:56 pm
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*holds up newly acquired DVD box*

Look, dreiser! It's the 2001 version of Planet of the Apes. I need to get the other one, then I'll be off and running on the Rematch.

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Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 am
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I'm interested in that too.

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Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:35 am
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A Comparison of The Time Machine (1960) and The Time Machine (2002):
The Time Journey

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George makes stops in 1917, 1940, 1966, and 802701. Notice that every stop he makes is during British involvement in a war—of course the 1966 war is speculative as far as the 1959 script is concerned. Then, George spends 800,000 years encased in basalt before discovering the land of the Eloi. George is simply traveling through time because he can; he is an adventurer. He wants to see what humankind can become, dreaming of some kind of marvelous advancement, no doubt because the turn of the 20th century was a time when belief in progress had not dimmed. The future he finds is barren and disgusting to him with its lack of ambition on the part of the Eloi. George never intended to travel through 800,000 years of time, but the circumstances of his imprisoment blind him to that huge gap in time. He knows only his own time period, and this vastly distant future time period.

Alexander Hartdegen stops in 2030, 2037, 802701, and 635,427,810. In 2030 he tries to find the answer to his question, “Why can I not change the past?” In 2037 he is buffeted as he escapes a lava flow in his time machine and remains unconscious until the machine arrives at 802701, where he stops it. Because Alex is on a quest for knowledge, he is not traveling only for the adventure of it the way George is in the 1960 film. Yet, when Alex arrives in 802701 he finds a culturally rich place. The humans there can speak and are intellectually curious. They are technologically not as advanced as the 1899 that Alex leaves behind, but this doesn't bother him. He has nothing to go back to.

Both time travelers find something in the future that beckons to them. George returns to his present in order to get three books...and perhaps a change of socks? before rocketing off through time to 802701, where Weena awaits him. Alexander Hartdegan never returns to his own time, choosing instead to remain in the advanced year with Mara and her kind. Alex wasn't hoping to see the advancements that George sought. And 42 years further decay in the national belief in progress between the two fims, robbed Alex of having any kind of disgusted response to the lack of progress that he saw in the future. Instead he is disgusted by the slavery of Eloi to the Moorlocks, and their function as food and breeding animals.



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YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
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The Future Unreels


Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:25 am
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Post Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

A Comparison of The Time Machine (1960) and The Time Machine (2002):
The Acting

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Both films use fairly naturalistic acting styles (except for the hunter Morlocks), but there are differences. The differences are probably based on the formal versus informal construction of the lines to be recited. In 1960 staginess was not completely gone from film acting, though it was much subdued. Directors and actors had figured out that in film you should simply “be” rather than “acting like,” even though the difference is only in appearances, not in the expression of the craft. Thus, instead of being an actor pretending to be George the inventor, insofar as possible, you should become George the inventor. Some actors were adept at appearing to be “themselves” while pretending to be someone else. Casting in television had already been swept along by economics, into casting someone who is naturally like the person you want the character to be. It makes for predictable outcomes. Films still lagged behind in that aspect when Pal produced The Time Machine. Thus, all the seasoned actors in the movie reveal that they are acting. Rod Taylor is a “movie star” rather than an actor, so he pretty much makes George into Rod Taylor. (More on that effect, later) However, the younger actors and actresses playing Eloi roles are more adept at hiding themselves behind their characters, and simply “being Eloi.” So the change in acting style was underway, even in 1959. Still, the lines are very formally written, and are hard to deliver with total naturalism.

The 2002 film has no roles played by actors that don’t become the character they are portraying. Call it “Method” or whatever you want. I call it “naturalistic style,” and some of these actors carry it a bit too far.

Alexander Hartdegen is Guy Pearce—which is probably the opposite of how you’d want it to be. The first time I noticed an ad with the word “is” replacing the traditional “as” for the coupling between actor and character names was when I read that “Paul Newman is Hud.” The emphasis was in the advertising. Thus, I think that we live in a time when the 1960s TV-style casting has made its way irremovably into film casting. Simon Wells saw Alexander Hartdegen as being “like Guy Pearce,” and for that reason Pearce didn’t have to do much other than move around and speak his lines as convincingly as possible. And he is convincing, and quite natural, as he is in Memento. He is also engaging, something Rod Taylor failed to be in 1960 (as far as I’m concerned). And Pearce is fine in the role. He does a pretty good American accent, too (he’s English and grew up in Australia). Samantha Mumba is effective as Mara because Mara is like Samantha Mumba. She is a more interesting character than Weena the docile human livestock of the Morlocks.


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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:32 am
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A Comparison of The Time Machine (1960) and The Time Machine (2002):

Image Weblinks for the 1960 Film

Free-of-charge Project Gutenberg e-Book of H.G. Well’s The Time Machine

Generic Radio Workshop Script Library Oct 22 1950. I have no idea if this was produced. It has a totally different take on the story. Not like the novel or the movies.

1960 version: A weird transcript of the spoken lines from the film, with no character names!

1960 version: David Duncan’s screenplay “Draft revised thru 6-25-59”

1960 version: Another posting of the 6-25-59 script in case the other link doesn’t work.

1960 version: From “The Complete Rod Taylor Site” a discussion of the George Pal production.

1960 version: An interview with Alan Young from 1999 about the 1960 film.

It will come as no surprise to you that there is a Wikipedia entry for “The Time Machine (1960 film)”

Image Weblinks for the 2002 Film
2002 version: John Logan’s screenplay draft “February 22, 2000”

IMDb entry for a 1978 TV version of the novel (I never saw this)

2002 version: Script review from “Ain’t It Cool News”

2002 version: The cumulative IGN.com page for Simon Wells’ production

2002 version: Mark Bourne rips it a new one in this FAQ-formatted review

The Wikipedia entry for The Time Machine (2002 film)

Image Trivia Links for Both Films

“Yvette Mimieux was actually underage when shooting began (she turned 18 during the shoot) and was not legally supposed to work a full shooting schedule, but did. She was inexperienced - as she worked on this film she kept getting better and better so that by the end of the shoot they wound up going back and re-shooting some of her earliest scenes.”

For more trivia about the 1960 version of The Time Machine.


“Originally released for December 2001, the release was bumped to March 2002 because of a decision whether to remove a scene involving a meteor shower crippling New York. The filmmakers were concerned that such a scene may stir memories of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.”

For more trivia about the 2002 Simon Wells production of The Time Machine

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_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:43 am
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Post Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

I found the 2001 Apes movie for only 6 bucks. I can't seem to find the original for less than 12 bucks. Maybe I'll look harder.

Anyway, having bought the 2001 version I want to buy the 1968 version so that I don't have to keep renewing it while I work on the Rematch, the way I've had to do with The Maltese Falcon. Not only that, I'd simply like to have that movie in my collection. :D

I finally have frames grabbed from the first two versions. I have now to watch the 1941 version about three times, and then I'm going to begin work on the Rematch, while I complete reading Hammett's original novel. I've already watched the 1931 film 3 times, and the 1936 film three times, so I'd like to finish the novel before I watch the '41. The first version is very close to the novel. But I think there may be tonal differences almost as great as the tonal differences between the '31 movie and the famous '41 that Huston cobbled together.

I also can now see where the earlier versions influenced Huston a hell of a lot more than I noticed, when I watched all three about 4 years ago.

Also, for those Apes fans awaiting their anticipated Rematch, I'll be working on the Apes Rematch while I write and post the Falcon, and while I complete re-posting the original three Rematches.

_________________
"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Images will disappear about 13 Feb 2018 forever.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

The Future Unreels


Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:29 am
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