YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by JediMoonShyne » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:47 pm

This thread really needs an icon.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:23 pm

JediMoonShyne wrote:This thread really needs an icon.
I once found some tiny boxing gloves, but I thought that would be misleading! :D
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by JediMoonShyne » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:33 am

YouTookMyName wrote: I once found some tiny boxing gloves, but I thought that would be misleading! :D
How about this?

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“Bisogna essere molto forti per amare la solitudine.” - P.P. Pasolini

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:20 pm

JediMoonShyne wrote: How about this?

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cleVER! Do that for me, please.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:23 pm

I am struggling so hard with the reviews for the two Dorian Gray films. I've been writing and re-writing them since last Fall when I first watched them again to begin the Rematch. Maybe I'll get one of them, or both, posted today.

I think it's going to be a case of quitting and posting rather than getting the reviews "just right."

Meanwhile, if you'd like to read the Project Guttenberg version of the original novel ... (it's fairly brief).
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:57 pm

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) dir. Albert Lewin

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Year: 1945 Director: Albert Lewin Cast: Hurd Hatfield, George Sanders, Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury Length: 110 min. Color/Stereo

World War II was drawing to a close. The ugliest capabilities of human nature had been freshly rubbed in everyone's face. What better time to resurrect the ultimate tale of surface over content that is Oscar Wilde's only published novel?: a modern Faustus, told about a beautiful young man who makes a pact with the devil to keep his youth and beauty, while a portrait of him takes on all the characteristics of his filth-encrusted soul.

But what Wilde describes in the book, even though mostly by suggestion, could not be shown in the film. This film is a classic for a reason. For those of you who revere subtlety in storytelling, this movie is your benchmark. In a sense, Wilde's original story was strapped by the Victorian mores of his time. In part, the book is a rebellion against those mores. But the film was even further shackled by the zeitgeist of the middle 1940s in America, especially in Hollywood.
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Sometimes the economics of filmmaking overwhelm the ability to tell a story such as The Picture of Dorian Gray. To depict the full range of Dorian's illicit behavior would have genuinely alienated audiences in the WWII era. But Albert Lewin didn't have to worry much about that. Because of the Hays Office Production Code, he couldn't include any of the same-sex material that is in Wilde's book, and couldn't be explicit about anything else. In fact, much of what Wilde wrote about could not even be suggested in American films in 1945. It would be thirty years before anyone made a mainstream film that depicted what Dorian was into with an unflinching eye; and when Salo or 120 Days of Sodom was released in 1975, people belived that Passolini had gone mad either because of making it or before making it!

Although the 1945 film is cleverly constructed, it doesn't strike me as a strong film because it falls short of presenting its subject matter in an honest way. Clearly, this is a reaction based on my perch at the second rung of the 21st century, looking back at a movie that was already seven years old when I was born. As I wrote above, the film is the hallmark of insinuated storytelling. But, to me, the timidity of the presentation, albeit politically necessary at the time, renders it almost incomprehensibly vague. Dorian is supposed to be doing what, exactly?
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Ah, you might want to claim that the film allows the viewer to fill in the blanks and create a story as harrowing as the individual mind can contrive, and that this is one of the highest callings of a literary motion picture. But my argument is that Wilde's novel already does that. Novels are excellent at doing that kind of thing, because they have only the reader's imagination to cobble up all sorts of stuff. Indeed, a mere suggestion can conjur vast realms, but film is explicitly visual, and because of that, if you don't at least strongly hint of 'it' in a film, 'it' doesn't exist in the film. Thus, the 1945 Hurd Hatfield version of Dorian Gray spends a lot of time regretting that he misled Sybil Vane. In fact, the only thing truly regrettable that Hatfield is allowed to portray, is his murderous rampage toward the artist who painted his portrait as a young man. The rest is so vaguely suggested as to remain family TV fare. The painting that we are allowed to see in color, no less, devolves into putrescence without any plausible hints about why from the filmmakers.

It isn't that the film is technically inferior: what is revealed is revealed very well. It's that the undercurrents of the film are so weak by modern standards that anyone who hasn't already read Wilde's story would have no idea what was going on...mostly because nothing is. Dorian's depravity is a matter of weak suggestion. We see nothing that would help us understand why the portrait becomes so ugly. In my estimation the corrupt nature of Dorian's soul is left too much to the imagination for the medium of cinema, no matter how politically necessary it was at the time. There is never a compelling requirement to make a film; in other words, film is by its very nature gratuitous, so the effort to make a story into a film carries with it certain necessary obligations in terms of visual explicitness, and this film doesn't find itself living up to them.
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As a boy, probably about 10 years old, I sneaked up behind my mother's TV chair when this movie was on some network show similar to Saturday Night at the Movies. I ws supposed to be in bed, asleep. I wasn't, of course. I arrived just as the first big reveal of the hideous portrait is made, and it scared the bejebus out of me! Caught because of my cry of alarm, I was sent packing back to my bedroom. But the fright stuck with me. I spent the rest of my life until 2007 waiting to become old enough to watch the film from start to finish. I needn't have waited for so much time. Before I ever watched the film that had scared me as a child, I read the Project Guttenberg version of the Wilde novel. The film left me rather baffled. This is probably pablum-type fare for any modern person 10 years old or above. It isn't that a 10-year old boy or girl would understand what is supposed to be going on (other than the murder) but that I've seen more lurid depictions of stuff like Dorian's "bad" behavior on TV shows from the 1960s.

The Wilde story is supposed to be about knowing yourself, or not knowing yourself. And as certainly as I'm in favor of leaving the themes to be picked out of the substance of any film by the viewer, this story doesn't match the politics of the day well enough. The producers have to be allowed to give strong enough hints for more than a handful of folks to get hold of them.

So what are some things I liked and didn't like about this movie? Both lists are rather short, which might be an indication of how lukewarm my response to this classic film is. Read on, brothers and sisters.
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Like The use of the Eqyptian cat figurine to symbolize the acceptance of the boy's errant, yet almost totally innocent, bargaining away of his soul. The boy's idle wish spoken in the presence of the idol causes the deal with the devil to be made so secretly that even Dorian doesn't understand that a deal has been made in that moment. The presence of the physical symbol allows the filmmakers to have Dorian go right on through most of the story without ever figuring out what happened to him, but when we see the stone cat we are reminded of what Dorian doesn't know yet. Perhaps Lewin was previewing the later wildly-popular idea of the zombie for audiences (I am aware of Val Lewton's 1943 film). For all I know, that is exactly the pop-cultural reason for Hatfield's emotionless performance, but I don't have any corroboration for the idea.

Like The attempt to be subtle about the more heinous aspects of Dorian's career as a mad, sadistic pan-rapist and mass-quantities-indulger in all things unvirtuous. The attempt at subtlety is admirable, but, as I wrote above, it is far too successful, so the film falls flat because the Hays Office kept the whole point of this movie beyond arm's length. Thus, subtlety is rolled past at Indianapolis Speedway velocities and we find ourselves in nada-land. Ha ha! I just realized that this paragraph began as something I like about the film.
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Like Despite the ridiculous, story-gutting restrictions of the Hayes Code, the producers went ahead with the movie. Of course, I have to recognize that people had imaginations back then, and they could imagine what all Dorian was getting into. I have to imagine that the ideas were shocking for audiences of the day, even though they seem like a kiddie-flick sort of presentation these days.

As much difficulty as I have coming up with things I like, I have equal trouble spotting what I don't like, other than the pervasive nothing that I already whined about in the main body of the review. Wait! I didn't stop there, I'm continuting to whine about it. I'm probably going to whine about it some more.

Don't Like There is no doubt an artistic reason for it, but Hatfield plays Dorian with almost no facial expression. On a few occasions he almost smiles. Almost. The rest of the time his lack of soul is mimed as a near-robotic state of activity. That might have been frightening to 1945 audiences, but it seems oddly disaffected to my 21st century mindset. Clearly, this is the actor's way to depict that the boy is feeling nothing as he descends into a depraved, soul-less lifestyle. It just doesn't settle well with me at this point in my life.
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Don't Like So much is left up to the imagination that I'm pretty sure if I hadn't read the novel before I first viewed this film several years ago, I'd have wondered what was going on. Because, most of the time, nothing is. But I also wrote that above...just to see if you'd notice, and then I gave it away, because you might not have noticed if I hadn't. See?

Don't Like The apparent trigger for Dorian's most dissolute adventures is the death of Sibyl Vane. After this happens, he seems to lose all perspective as if the love of a good woman is the only thing that held him back. That was one of the Hollywood memes of the day, so I'm not surprised that it's in this film. But the two people never really seem to connect in the film. Maybe this is due to Hatfield's stony portrayal of the heir to his uncle's fortune. The Hayes Code keeps getting in the way of this film at every turn. I can see this more clearly the more I write about it. In fact, the youngster already has self-destructive behaviors going on when he meets her at a dance hall in the seedy part of London. I think perhaps she serves as a block to his more lurid behaviors, and he might feel guilty that she died due to his wimpy rejection of her, even though it leaves him free to debauch himself more fully.
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Don't Like The use of archetypes for almost all the characters. No one changes, except Dorian. Everyone else is flat as can be, which is a stark contrast to the presentation of the same characters 64 years later in the Parker remake. Although, I have to admire George Sanders as Henry Wotton in this movie. Controlled sleeze. Go man, go!

Once again, the film is a classic for a reason. It is well-made, but hampered by its own times. As an exercise in subtle filmcraft it is great, but as a depiction of Oscar Wilde's original tale, it suffers. I wanted the film to make me feel as violated as I had when reading the book. But it left me feeling exactly what Dorian appears to in the film. Nothing.
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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:57 pm

Dorian Gray (2009) dir. Oliver Parker

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Year: 2009 Director: Oliver Parker Cast: Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, Emilia Fox, Maryan d'Abo, Rachael Hurd-Wood Length: 112 min. Color/Stereo

If you have a story that includes sexual depravity, debauchery and murder it is inconvenient to have a Production Code that allows these things to be only obliquely hinted at, or forbids them to even be mentioned, even if not shown. When I read Oscar Wilde's novel before seeing the 1945 film for the first time, I was rather astonished. The novel merely hints at so many things, rather than explicitly describing them. I realized that Wilde worked under a Victorian Code which functioned in much the same way as the Hayes Office code of the 1930s through the 1960s. In fact, an "uncensored" version of the novel, which I have not read, has only recently been published. You may be aware that the novel was one of the major "witnesses" in Wilde's sodomy trial. In December 2010 I learned that a new film had been made of the novel in 2009, and I expected more vices to be shown than ever before.
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Indeed, there are denser shadows of Wilde's novel than you find in Albert Lewin's adaptation, but you have to keep in mind that by the time it reached Victorian book paper, much of Wilde's prose was nothing but suggestion. Even in 2009 the same economic problems that were faced by the director in 1945, those of budget and of possibly alienating a large part of the potential audience, were faced by Parker as well. Yet, Parker had the advantage of reduced proscriptions on the things that Dorian could be shown or said to do in his pursuit of the total dissolution of his soul. As a director, Oliver Parker made use of that more relaxed atmosphere; still, demographic-economic concerns might have saved the movie from becoming outright pornographic. While writing this I was willing to speculate that porn versions of this story have been made--the 1970 version must come very close--it certainly has the basic plot underpinnings for a sexually explicit film, and supposedly this is a hard-core version. Filmmakers have been drawn to this story for over a century. But not everything that plays well in the theater of the human brain can be translated effectively to the screen.
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If you read the capsule reviews for this film at Rottentomatoes.com, you'll quickly see that critics reacted to the perverse aspects of the film as if in opposing camps. Some agree with me that the increased "honesty" of the depictions of Dorian's depravity enhance the film, while others believe the same aspect makes it one of the worst adaptations of the story ever made. If you read a broader swath of reviews on the 'net, you'll find that people are equally divided on Ben Barnes's portrayal of Dorian. Some say he is alive as the character, which is what I see compared to Hurd Hatfield in the 1945 film, while others claim that he is wooden and unresponsive to what he is doing and what is going on around him. I submit that the very theme of the film still stands in the way of approaching it honestly, as the response to what Dorian does is mostly emotional, just as it was in Wilde's day. And Dorian Gray is a despicable character, a murderer, an amoral narcissist. There is no doubt of that. And I think there is less doubt of that when you view the 2009 film than there is when you view the 1945 film.

Still. At the root of it all, Gray is a murderer.
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As with all movies, there is much to like and at least something to dislike, which I present in the opposite order for this one:

Don't Like Once the film reaches the tipping point, and Dorian releases himself to the full gamut of sensual pleasure that Henry Wotton supposedly recommends, the excesses come in a barrage so rapid that it isn't clear how long this goes on. Of course, it's for the rest of Dorian's life, but there isn't any good sense of how long that is in the film.
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Don't Like I'm actually torn about this one, but I'll put it in this list. The portrait is animated in the 2009 film. It breathes, and moves. No reason that it shouldn't, but it kind of makes the film cheesier than it has to be, in my opinion. This effect doesn't really detract from the film, but Parker has a good, intense mood going until the painting suddenly exhales in one scene, leading to a WTF moment. Regardless of how dopey it seems, it also seems effective in evoking the weirdness that the painting causes in the boy's head. Perhaps we are privy to a hallucination he is having about the painting. Perhaps the painting is as it always was, and he is only transferring his thoughts about himself onto it. Later, of course, there is more intense use of 3D CGI on the painting in the climactic scene, and we recognize that Dorian isn't the only one who sees the painting like that. I think I've figured out that this effect done on the painting violates the subtlety that influences most of the other effects in the film. Whereas nothing besides the actions of the characters stands out up until that point, suddenly that nice little situation is violated by having a painting move and breathe, and it calls my attention to the movie-ness, rather than keeping me in the story.
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Don't Like (This is based on the very first viewing) Some of the depravity is taken just beyond far enough to create a feeling of discomfort in at least one viewer. That is probably the intention, but in a few instances this leads to cringing at what is done. At least it never goes as far as the depravity in Salo. Oddly, the Lewen production manages to keep Dorian at least a slightly sympathetic character most of the way through the film. In other words, you feel sorrow when the youngster finally realizes what he's become. In the 2009 film this whole "victim" idea is sublimated to the point that you recognize the willfulness with which Dorian Gray follows Lord Wotton's bad advice. At first it is easy to feel sorry for him, but then it's like you're watching a fiery WWI plane plunging toward the ground in a dive that cannot be recovered from...and you might find yourself cheering for a huge fireball, since there is nothing else you can do. Dorian Gray delivers on that fireball, which has the unfortunate side effect of some viewers saying, "He deserved it," when the flames erupt. No sympathy for the modern Faust. Feeling as if a life is being distorted (1945 version) is somehow a bit more enjoyable than cringing at what shit the kid gets himself into simply because he won't listen to the friendly voices around him (2009 version). Still, this doesn't ruin the film for me. It is still a strong presentation of the idea that for the most part you wind up where you choose to be, even if that's not where you intended to go. Country bumpkin Dorian intends to go there, but doesn't quite realize where "there" is. So, when he reaches "it" he just keeps slogging forward.
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Don't Like The use of an audio cue, namely the sound of breath being noisily exhaled, to attempt to ramp up the creep factor. Maybe it's supposed to take the place of music. I'm not sure, but it is used often enough to become tiresome to at least one person. I guess this audio effect in modern film is supposed to represent the "presence of evil spirits," or something. I'm not sure about that, either. I briefly mentioned it above when ranting about the moving painting. This sound is first used during the transition of Dorian's soul into the painting, and in that scene it works well.

A few likes for this production of Wilde's only published novel:

Like When Dorian Gray decides upon his world tour of vice, and he leaves Henry Wotton behind because the "birth of the child is imminent," we see a scene of the little Wotton girl at age 2 or 3 playing outside while her father watches through a window. Then, Dorian pops through a door into a paneled room at the Wotton family manor, which lets us know that he is expected. He announces "Here I am!" and the camera pans around to show all the friends he is greeting. They are many years older, and show it. A very nice effect to demonstrate the passage of time. Dorian looks the same as when he left, of course. And he appears to be the same age as Wotton's now-adult daughter. Dun dun dunnn.
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Like At my age with so many films under my belt it is difficult for directors to create any ambiance that I would define as "creepy," but this story virtually demands it in order to work. Parker manages to do this! Dorian Gray is creepy, but not in the ersatz way that a lot of modern horror flicks are. This one establishes the creep factor with dark sets, a bit of attention to the details of debauchery, and with atmospheric music cues. Obviously, these same things may affect you in the exact opposite way (see the Rottentomatoes link above), but they work for me.

Like An expansion on the idea above: as Dorian arrives in London to claim his inheritance, everything is close to sweetness and light. As the boy descends into depravity, the set decoration and the lighting reflect his decline, but not in any obvious way. I mean, no one is pointing a finger at it and proclaiming, "look what we're doing here." It is done in a very subtle way. I didn't notice this set-decoration parallel until the second time I saw the film. I have to give this a kudos, because I've long believed that the best film or video editing is the kind that you don't notice as a primary effect. I think the same goes for set-design.
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Like Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian) is a good-looking young man, but he isn't a pretty boy in the same sense that Hurd Hatfield is. I rather like the more masculine vibe that Barnes brings to the character. So what if he has dark hair and Wilde described Dorian as blond? Artistic license. Also a bow to a cultural change. Blond no longer means "innocent" but "dumb." This is an unfortunate stereotype, especially for the blond geniuses who certainly inhabit this world, but making Dorian dark-headed gives him more "weight" in a dramatic sense. A stupid thing, but a cinematically true thing nonetheless.

Like Ain't no music hall numbers.
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Like The way Barnes plays the ...wait, spoiler tags should be used here:
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The way Barnes plays the scene where Dorian slices Basil Hallward's jugular vein, leading to the artist's painful death evokes the great scene in Lawrence of Arabia where Peter O'Toole has to kill an injured servant boy in the midst of a battle, and has an enormously disturbing blend of terror, disgust, and sheer delight at having to (getting to) kill someone, on his face. O'Toole does a better job, of course, perhaps because he was older when that scene was filmed, perhaps because he was a spiritually more proficient actor; but Barnes does a more than passable job of evoking the feeling that might overtake someone who realizes that they have started a murder, and instead of backing off in compassionate disgust, they are driven forward by unexpected blood lust.
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Like Colin Firth has never disappointed me in any of his performances, and although this one seems to drift toward playing by the rules copied down in the master class, it is Firth who is conducting the Master Class. Henry Wotton is a blowhard, spouting a kind of dysfunctional philosophy that beautiful Dorian, fresh in from the countryside, laps up as if it were water to a man in the desert. Why the kid never sees through Wotton's facade, or why Wotton doesn't realize until it's too late what the kid is doing with this ersatz advice, isn't explained in either the book or either film. But Firth's Lord Wotton is more rounded than the scoundrel played by George Sanders in 1945. In general, I recall that the characters in the 2009 film are less flat than those in the '45 version, but another round of viewings might dissuade me of that belief.
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Like As I mentioned above, the reactions are split for the film. Viewers often "aren't seeing the same movie" when they watch. I think this speaks highly of the directorial style of the production. In other words, the first time you see the film it lets you know just what all the fuss about this story is centered on. Dorian's exploits seem to be way beyond over the top, and his bad boy behavior seems to have no boundaries. If you watch it a second, or third time you see that the salaciousness isn't depicted in quite as shocking a way as you thought at first. Just as Lewin had to suggest what Dorian was up to, and he seems to have gotten decades of mileage out of that style with many viewers, Parker holds back from going balls out porn and drugs. He, too, is merely suggesting what Dorian is up to, and allows your imagination to fill in the rest. In fact, you will notice that I am torn about this aspect of the film, since I also include it in what I don't like, above! I do make note that the dislike came about upon my first viewing of the 2009 version.

In general, I find the feeling of violation by this film to parallel that of reading the book. Its not as subtle a film as its 1945 predecessor, of course. Neither is the book all that subtle; it is simply told with shaded setnences that barely conceal Wilde's meaning, so that those who couldn't understand, wouldn't.
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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:10 pm

I always look forward to your essays.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:24 pm

YouTookMyName wrote:I've already tested it in the other thread where I keep a secret compartment for working out the BBcode for each post.
My secret compartment is called "PM drafts."
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:34 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:My secret compartment is called "PM drafts."
Ha! I didn't even think of using a PM to put these together. As it is, I have the post bookmarked, and can go directly to it when I want to test one of my posts.

As I recall, JediMoonShyne gave me the idea of pirating one of my earlier posts to use for that purpose.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:05 pm

I really enjoyed the 1945 version of Dorian Gray.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:07 pm

dreiser wrote:I really enjoyed the 1945 version of Dorian Gray.
Have you read Wilde's novel?
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:13 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: Have you read Wilde's novel?
It's been ages.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:24 am

dreiser wrote:
It's been ages.
There's a link a few posts above this one!
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:19 am

K, then. The Dorian Gray reviews are posted in the thread, above.
The 1945 review.
The 2009 Review follows it.
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:15 pm

Huzzah! Netflix added Dorian Gray 09 to their Instant Watch.... I shall watch it tomorrow, I believe.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:30 am

Hank wrote:Huzzah! Netflix added Dorian Gray 09 to their Instant Watch.... I shall watch it tomorrow, I believe.
It's back! That's how I originally saw the movie. Plus another couple of Dorian Gray adaptations that aren't all that great.

I look forward to learning how your reactions differ from or align with mine.
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:30 am

JediMoonShyne wrote: How about this?

Image
Thank you veruh much. I now see TinyGort next to my thread title. :up:
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by DJ Rkod » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:56 am

I don't think I'm as keen on the 2009 Dorian Gray as yourself, good sir. However, I read the novel directly before watching it and I think it suffers mightily by comparison -- so many liberties taken strip Wilde's salaciously wicked prose out of the film completely. (Though that is a ridiculously difficult thing to convey in a filmic medium.)

Amusingly enough, despite what seems to be a little reservation on your part about that aspect of the movie, I wish the blood and porn had been amped up some more as well. I think Lord Wotton is kind of blunted and victimized in order to enforce some kind of extra morality and I prefer the novel's take on that character by far.

/two cents
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:11 am

DJ Rkod wrote:I don't think I'm as keen on the 2009 Dorian Gray as yourself, good sir. However, I read the novel directly before watching it and I think it suffers mightily by comparison -- so many liberties taken strip Wilde's salaciously wicked prose out of the film completely. (Though that is a ridiculously difficult thing to convey in a filmic medium.)

Amusingly enough, despite what seems to be a little reservation on your part about that aspect of the movie, I wish the blood and porn had been amped up some more as well. I think Lord Wotton is kind of blunted and victimized in order to enforce some kind of extra morality and I prefer the novel's take on that character by far.

/two cents
Interesting. My assessment might change, as well, because one of my next phases will be to read the novel again (it's been a little over 4 years for me) in order to complete my essay "To Conceal the Artist."

Compared to my memory of the novel it is "better," but no doubt it will pale in comparison to Wilde's wicked prose when it is the freshest thing about the story that I can recall. :)

I most definitely did notice that Lord Wotton is given that little twist of latent morality...which allows him to change, or to seem to change. Tell me, in the novel is he as stonily hedonistic to the end as in the 1945 film?
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:16 pm

In having now saw the 2009 version, I can actually now see some of the virtues that you speak of.

However
I really didn't like the animated painting or the gasping noises. Ugh. Really left a bad taste in my mouth. Well, I should say that I agree the gasp when Dorian was transferred was fine... and even a couple others would've been okay... but they certainly got old as it went on. And the ending explosion was uncalled for and poorly done in my opinion. In fact, I liked the movie far more before the last ten minutes or so than I do now has I type this. (the credits are currently rolling, by the way). The overall sense of dread is pretty well done. I couldn't help but wonder what the film would've turned out like if Kubrick directed it for some reason. Seems as though his meticulous eye would've made something I would have truly loved.

The film served to get me more interested in looking at the book and the previous film, hopefully I will find time to do so sooner, rather than later.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:32 pm

Hank wrote:In having now saw the 2009 version, I can actually now see some of the virtues that you speak of.
That's nice. I braced myself before reading your post, and was going to make a joke about being "voted down" by the readers of the thread concerning the film! ;)
Hank wrote:I couldn't help but wonder what the film would've turned out like if Kubrick directed it for some reason. Seems as though his meticulous eye would've made something I would have truly loved.
Wow, what a terrific realm of speculation! I wonder if he ever even considered Wilde's novel as a possible canvas for his genius. Even though I haven't seen Eyes Wide Shut, I know that Kubrick didn't automatically shy away from luridness and explicitness, so his version might have been truly Wilde in nature. I wonder how you'd find out what properties famous directors have considred, other than by pure chance.
Hank wrote:The film served to get me more interested in looking at the book and the previous film, hopefully I will find time to do so sooner, rather than later.
Maybe while the oil dries on your commissioned 5x5?

I found the novel quick and easy to read. It sort of draws you forward. I'm sure anyone who wanted to find subtext could rake up handsful, but you don't have to read it for anything other than the story.

Actually, I thought you had already see the '45 version, but since you haven't, I'm looking forward to hearing what your take on it will be. Perhaps you will find it just as explicit in its own way as you find the 2009 film. As RKod pointed out, even Parker could have been more explicit if he had chosen to be. I've been wondering if that would create a more powerful film. it's an interesting thing.

I'm kind of thinking it might get into the glorification of beyond-the-pale lifestyles, similar to the glorification of war that happens sometimes when a director intends to make an anti-war film by showing all the brutality of war. I wonder if The Thin Red Line ever made any boys want to join the military. I overheard a kid saying that he wanted to join the Marines after seeing the Spielberg War of the Worlds. As far as I know he didn't enlist after all.

If I take a rather Henry Wotton attitude, I'd say it would be interesting to find out if an even grosser and wilder take on the film could have an enhancing effect.

But would a more explicit film ofThe Picture of Dorian Gray make a lot of boys want to transfer their souls to paintings? I doubt it. Maybe a few.
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by DJ Rkod » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:04 am

YouTookMyName wrote:I most definitely did notice that Lord Wotton is given that little twist of latent morality...which allows him to change, or to seem to change. Tell me, in the novel is he as stonily hedonistic to the end as in the 1945 film?
I haven't seen the 1945 movie but in the book, well, the whole bit with Wotton's daughter, and indeed the expanded timespan, is just something they wrote in for the 2009 version. He sort of fades into the background towards the end in the novel and he certainly never becomes as domesticated or sympathetic as he is in the more modern adaptation's second half.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:18 pm

The Kubrick speculation is so fun to think about because I imagine it being some kind of hybrid between Eyes Wide Shut and A Clockwork Orange.

I think that one thing that plays into the 2009 film's advantage is that of expectation (at least for me, anyway). Even with your endorsement I had my doubts... between the trailer, poster and cover art I was expecting something more akin to a tv movie that was trying to cash in on the whole Twilight business. Being a bit too goth and a bit too soap operaish. It had it's moments of that, sure. But there were sparks of a good film in there. So, it out did my expectation. Overall I would say its a fresh film for me... perhaps not by much though.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:46 pm

DJ Rkod wrote:He sort of fades into the background towards the end in the novel and he certainly never becomes as domesticated or sympathetic as he is in the more modern adaptation's second half.
This is why I must re-read the novel, even if only to skim it swiftly, because my most recent exposures to the story have been through the two films. I sort of thought I remembered Wotton playing an increasingly less significant role in the novel, but, then again, it seemed to me as if he was always there somewhere. And without re-reading, I don't really recollect. And I was fairly certain that the 2009 Wotton figure must be a recent embellishment, because the 1945 Wotton stays just as strictly hedonistic in philosophy as ever right to the end. He does not necessarily practice exactly what he preaches, though.

I'm interested in what was added to each film, trying to learn what was at the basic level of the novel, what was added, stacked on in 1945, and what was layered onto that in 2009.

Of course, if I were to include the seven intervening film and television versions of the story that bear the same general title, and especially if I added in the three soft or hard-core porn versions that appeared in that period, I'd never get finished analyzing!

Thanks for your reply.
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Kayden Kross » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:53 pm

Would you consider watching the 70's eurotrash adaption? It's from the director of What Have You Done to Solange?. It's the only version I've seen, but I liked it quite a bit when I watched it a few years ago.

Here's a pretty review of it:
http://cinebeats.blogsome.com/2007/04/0 ... rian-gray/
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:58 pm

Hank wrote:The Kubrick speculation is so fun to think about because I imagine it being some kind of hybrid between Eyes Wide Shut and A Clockwork Orange.

I think that one thing that plays into the 2009 film's advantage is that of expectation (at least for me, anyway). Even with your endorsement I had my doubts... between the trailer, poster and cover art I was expecting something more akin to a tv movie that was trying to cash in on the whole Twilight business. Being a bit too goth and a bit too soap operaish. It had it's moments of that, sure. But there were sparks of a good film in there. So, it out did my expectation. Overall I would say its a fresh film for me... perhaps not by much though.
When I first streamed the 2009 version from Netflix I had already streamed another modern adaptation which left me certain that modern cinema would not properly address the story I remembered. So my expectations for the Parker film were quite low. Whether that had the same effect on my eventual approval of the 2009 film as your low expectations may have had for you, I can't say. I try to watch movies "critically" but as I have written elsewhere, my usual approach to any film is the more or less neutral position, "Show me something." And whoever has made nearly every film I see, does just that.

That's why if I hate a film I'm always kind of astonished at myself.

For the record, I've seen these screen versions of the story over the years:
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
Dorian Gray (1970)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1973) (TV)
"BBC Play of the Month: The Picture of Dorian Gray (#12.1)" (1976)
The Sins of Dorian Gray (1983) (TV)
Dorian (2004)
Dorian Gray (2009)

Some I saw on television, others from DVD, one from VHS. None in the theater. The most astonishing is the 1983 version, where Belinda Bauer plays Dorian (a woman). I don't remember much of it, except that there were commercials.
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:18 pm

Kayden Kross wrote:Would you consider watching the 70's eurotrash adaption? It's from the director of What Have You Done to Solange?. It's the only version I've seen, but I liked it quite a bit when I watched it a few years ago.

Here's a pretty review of it:
http://cinebeats.blogsome.com/2007/04/0 ... rian-gray/
Ah, yes. You mean the 1970 version with Helmut Berger as Dorian. (That is a fashionable review!) The only version I know of where Dorian's portrait features him shirtless.

I've seen it. It's been a while, watched a VHS tape of it, as a matter of fact (the review that you linked to shows that in 2007 there was still only a VHS release). But I have seen it. I think I was less impressed at the time than you were. But when I watched it in the 1980s I hadn't been exposed to many films as, shall we say risqué as that one! The film came out the year I graduated from high school, by the way, and I remember it playing at one of the "art house" movie theaters in Memphis. They also showed hardcore porn at this place, and I wasn't old enough to go see Dorian Gray, even if I hadn't been afraid to do so, because you were supposed to be 21 to enter the theater back then.

I'm not sure if you clicked on the link that takes you to a trivia item for that versions, but it reads, "Richard Todd has said in interviews he had no idea this film was semi porno until he discovered it was playing at a well known Porn Cinema in London." When I read that I could relate!

I would like to have time to watch all of these that I could get my hands on, but that would no doubt lead to Dorian Gray overload. (EDIT: I just looked to see if the film is on DVD, and it is, now. It's also widescreen. I'm almost certain the VHS I saw was pan-and-scan. EDIT EDIT: The VHS tape I saw was a "bootleg" transfer, I forgot to add. I did not see the 1998 VHS release. I was in the video industry and had friends who had various types of connections. Even before the internet there was piracy. I didn't keep a copy of the tape, by the way. If I had, it would still be in the basement and I could have watched it and included it in the Rematch!)

Thanks for the link, Kayden. I had almost forgotten about the zebra fur and all, but I still remember feeling kind of smutty watching the film. Something that I wouldn't feel today. And you gave me a chance to reminisce about what an uptight, timid boy I was when I graduated from high school!

What do you remember about the film and your response to it?
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Kayden Kross » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:33 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: Ah, yes. You mean the 1970 version with Helmut Berger as Dorian. (That is a fashionable review!) The only version I know of where Dorian's portrait features him shirtless.

I've seen it. It's been a while, watched a VHS tape of it, as a matter of fact (the review that you linked to shows that in 2007 there was still only a VHS release). But I have seen it. I think I was less impressed at the time than you were. But when I watched it in the 1980s I hadn't been exposed to many films as, shall we say risqué as that one! The film came out the year I graduated from high school, by the way, and I remember it playing at one of the "art house" movie theaters in Memphis. They also showed hardcore porn at this place, and I wasn't old enough to go see Dorian Gray, even if I hadn't been afraid to do so, because you were supposed to be 21 to enter the theater back then.

I'm not sure if you clicked on the link that takes you to a trivia item for that versions, but it reads, "Richard Todd has said in interviews he had no idea this film was semi porno until he discovered it was playing at a well known Porn Cinema in London." When I read that I could relate!

I would like to have time to watch all of these that I could get my hands on, but that would no doubt lead to Dorian Gray overload. (EDIT: I just looked to see if the film is on DVD, and it is, now. It's also widescreen. I'm almost certain the VHS I saw was pan-and-scan.)

Thanks for the link, Kayden. I had almost forgotten about the zebra fur and all, but I still remember feeling kind of smutty watching the film. Something that I wouldn't feel today. And you gave me a chance to reminisce about what an uptight, timid boy I was when I graduated from high school!

What do you remember about the film and your response to it?
The one scene I remember most is when Dorian is shown fooling around with various women, then it switches over to him taking a shower with Lord Wotton. I read that it's actually uncommon for Dorian's bisexuality to portrayed in the adaptations. It had a lot of things I like most in trashy movies. The fashion, the colours, the sex... Maybe I'll give it another viewing sometime soon.

You mentioned a version with a woman as Dorian Gray. Supermodel Veruschka played the character once as well. I've wanted to see the film for awhile, I've got a copy of it surprisingly, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:36 pm

Kayden Kross wrote:
The one scene I remember most is when Dorian is shown fooling around with various women, then it switches over to him taking a shower with Lord Wotton. I read that it's actually uncommon for Dorian's bisexuality to portrayed in the adaptations. It had a lot of things I like most in trashy movies. The fashion, the colours, the sex... Maybe I'll give it another viewing sometime soon.

You mentioned a version with a woman as Dorian Gray. Supermodel Veruschka played the character once as well. I've wanted to see the film for awhile, I've got a copy of it surprisingly, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
Wow. There are versions that no one has posted to the connections pages at IMDb. You just proved that. :D

The bisexuality issue is as you have heard. Except, the 2009 film does address that.

Also, now that I have seen Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein, I can say that they sort of remind me of the '70 Dorian Gray film.
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I had fun. Thanks for reading!

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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Kayden Kross » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:59 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: Wow. There are versions that no one has posted to the connections pages at IMDb. You just proved that. :D

The bisexuality issue is as you have heard. Except, the 2009 film does address that.

Also, now that I have seen Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein, I can say that they sort of remind me of the '70 Dorian Gray film.
I loooooooove those two Morrissey films. You sure know how to win a boys heart!

No idea how the character is used in the Veruschka film, and I'm unfamiliar with the director's work to have any idea what to expect. It certainly has some interesting images in it though, judging from the photos I've seen.

"Dorian Gray vs. Dr. Mabuse, by way of a trippy, self-indulgent German art movie of the 1980s! With Delphine Seyrig and Veruschka!

The Image of Dorian Gray in the Yellow Press, 1984, is a demanding and highly ironic critique of mass media, with fashion model Veruschka cross-dressed as Oscar Wilde's unaging protagonist. Made by German arthouse director Ulrike Ottinger, this is a wide-ranging grabbag of influences, freely mixing the Dorian Gray story with the legend of Dr. Mabuse. In this telling, Dr. Mabuse is a sinister media baron played by Delphine Seyrig, who wants to manipulate Dorian Gray's public image to advance her own corporate agenda."

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:13 pm

Kayden Kross wrote: "Dorian Gray vs. Dr. Mabuse, by way of a trippy, self-indulgent German art movie of the 1980s! With Delphine Seyrig and Veruschka!

The Image of Dorian Gray in the Yellow Press, 1984,

Image
??? !!! Pig? Desert? Yes, smacks of weirdness.

Since you included the title I found the IMDb page.

I just watched Das Testament des Dr Mabuse last night for the Fortnightly film thread. I'm trying to figure out how in my wildest imagination those two could be merged.

In this film Veruschka plays Dorian, a guy. In the other film, Dorian is actually a woman. But I'm sure the other film isn't as bizarre as this one!

Are you German? (I read your signature)
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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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by MrCarmady » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:34 am

pretty sure Kovich is a Canadian Germanophile, but what do I know, I've had Blood for Dracula on my hard drive for years now...
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:53 am

MrCarmady wrote:I've had Blood for Dracula on my hard drive for years now...
For repeated viewings, or to get around to watching someday?
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Kayden Kross » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:34 pm

MrCarmady wrote:pretty sure Kovich is a Canadian Germanophile, but what do I know, I've had Blood for Dracula on my hard drive for years now...
Canadian Germanophile would be the correst answer. Have you seen the Frankenstein one?
yours truly,
kayden kross.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by MrCarmady » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:43 pm

Kayden Kross wrote:
Canadian Germanophile would be the correst answer. Have you seen the Frankenstein one?
I've heard that Dracula is better, so picked it as my first, but I have a terrible tendency to avoid watching certain films for no discernible reason whatsoever.
YouTookMyName wrote: For repeated viewings, or to get around to watching someday?
The latter.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:25 am

MrCarmady wrote:I have a terrible tendency to avoid watching certain films for no discernible reason whatsoever.
For me that reason is usually a sneaking suspicion that I might not like it.
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I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by MrCarmady » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:01 am

Nah, Dracula seems right up my alley. I just always try to gauge my mood to find an optimal film, and that is a random and maddening activity.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:29 pm

A Comparison of Nosferatu (1922) and Nosferatu (1979)
Apples vs. Oranges
Image

An Unfair Comparison?
One of the now-standard essays in these Rematches is a comparison of acting styles. But from 1922 to 1979 there were so many changes in the technique of film! How can you compare the acting in a silent film to the acting in a film made after Star Wars? In a sense, the dimension added by synchronous sound changes the dynamic of acting from that of mime to that of the stage, and the two are quite different. You'd never rate Marcel Marceau's acting alongside that of Chita Rivera. For one thing you'd be comparing a male to a female, and everyone would spot that incongruity. At the same time you'd be comparing a man whose performance art is based on movement alone to a woman who sings, dances, and speaks for her performances. So you'd perhaps fall back to saying that they could not be compared, because they are apples and oranges.

But I think another way to compare is in how well the acting style communicates the character and action whether with or without sound. Clearly, the acting style in the '22 Nosferatu film is broader than that in the '79 remake. Part of that has to do with the lack of sound in the Murnau. But it also has to do with the stylistic flair of German Impressionism. Don't lose sight of the fact that more than one film actor has said that his/her character is fully-formed only after makeup and costume have been donned! Finding just the right hat for your character to wear, especially if it is a style that you would reject, helps you to become him or her. In both films, set in a past era, there is costume and makeup to help the actors along. Furthermore, in his reverence for Murnau's film, Herzog often replicates the costuming of the earlier version. In some cases he sets up parallel action in scenes.

Mute or With Voice
Herzog also constructs entire segments that have no dialog. I assume that this is because they worked without dialog in Murnau's film, and needed none in 1979 in order to "improve" them. Thus, the actors can experiment with how to express the character they are playing, In '22 in order to make Knock seem off-kilter in the attic, Alexander Granach used twitchy movements and frequent laughter. By 1979, Roland Topor playing Renfield (the same character, different names) had his voice, and a characteristic laugh that Herzog liked (although he over-dubbed the laughter in post-production!). Topor didn't have to be nearly as twitchy to get the character's mental problems across, because he had his voice to work with. Yet, if you watch both performances, the movement is still the greatest portion of the job of playing Knock/Renfield.

Taking Different Styles Into Account
If you compare the other characters within the realm of the technique of the time, it is difficult to fault many of the performances in either film. Herzog's mood is generally lower-key than Murnau's, which affects the degree of motion in each performance; but within the context of each film the characters are communicated to the viewer quite well. Murnau's film unreels at a breakneck pace. Herzog takes a modern, thoughtful path through the story-telling, and uses a slower pace so that his actors can make better use of nuance in their performances. Overall, I find the acting style in the Murnau film to be more naturalistic than that in The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. Despite being lower-key, the acting style in the Herzog versions (both German and English) is quite intense, especially Klaus Kinski's Count Dracula. The greatest divergence occurs in the performances of Gustav von Wangenheim as Hutter, and Bruno Ganz as Harker. Hutter begins the story as a far more naive person than Harker does. This difference is perhaps based on the exceptionally different endings that the writer/directors chose for their pieces.

I will post a few very brief essays comparing some of these characters specifically. In those I'll have a few notes about the acting style used to present them in each film.


Go back using these buttons.ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:54 am

They're showing the original Maltese Falcon as part of a six-picture, all-day Dashiell Hammett marathon at the film noir festival this weekend. I will keep my vow to YTMN not to see it, and take a lunch break instead.
"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
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:49 am

dreiser wrote:They're showing the original Maltese Falcon as part of a six-picture, all-day Dashiell Hammett marathon at the film noir festival this weekend. I will keep my vow to YTMN not to see it, and take a lunch break instead.
:D

But it wouldn't hurt either of us if you didn't keep that vow.

Tell you what. If you will prove to me that you have watched the first two versions of The Maltese Falcon, I'll watch The Godfather.

No, wait, that would be too horrible. I retract the offer. (Whew! I almost did something awful.) ;)
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:05 am

YouTookMyName wrote: :D

But it wouldn't hurt either of us if you didn't keep that vow.

Tell you what. If you will prove to me that you have watched the first two versions of The Maltese Falcon, I'll watch The Godfather.

No, wait, that would be too horrible. I retract the offer. (Whew! I almost did something awful.) ;)
Your hatred for gangster and boxer pictures amuses 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
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:06 am

dreiser wrote:
Your hatred for gangster and boxer pictures amuses me.
It would even if you shared it.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:08 am

YouTookMyName wrote: It would even if you shared it.
:P
"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
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Gort » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:13 am

dreiser wrote:
Your hatred for gangster and boxer pictures amuses me.
It's not hatred so much as I've seen it all before. On TV. When I was a kid. Millions of bazillions of times. Or at least it seemed like that when I was a kid. :shifty: I began to wonder if there would ever be anything on TV besides gangsters, boxers and cowboys. And then there was Trek.

Since those days, none of the movies in that genre (yep, I'm conflating them all into one genre) amuse me at all. Given that over the years I've probably seen all of The Godfather in various clips here and there on awards shows and other festivals of worship, I still have no interest in watching it. I really disliked Raging Bull for its totally mediocre story but I lied for the sake of the person who got me to watch it, and then felt guilty about lying. Million Dollar Baby was...a boxing movie with a girl boxer.

I can understand your intention to never watch the earlier editions of The Maltese Falcon!
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:25 am

Gort wrote: It's not hatred so much as I've seen it all before.
I think he's using "hatred" in the Biblical sense, where it means turning your back on something.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Gort » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:26 am

YouTookMyName wrote: I think he's using "hatred" in the Biblical sense, where it means turning your back on something.
Stop right there. I am not having a conversation with myself again. Not tonight. No way!


;)
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I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:28 am

Gort wrote: I can understand your intention to never watch the earlier editions of The Maltese Falcon!
Some Dashiell Hammett fans prefer the original to the Bogart. More faithful to the book or something.
"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
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:31 am

dreiser wrote:
Some Dashiell Hammett fans prefer the original to the Bogart. More faithful to the book or something.
Nah, I'm sticking to my reviews. They are both faithful, and about equally so, but in different ways, if that makes any sense.

Actually, if you read the novel and then watch the '31 it seems to be really, really close. But then if you watch the '41 it also seems really, really close. To both the first film and to the novel.

I had no idea that there were a number of admirers of that 1931 film!
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"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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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:38 am

YouTookMyName wrote: I had no idea that there were a number of admirers of that 1931 film!
Pre-codes are sexier usually than other versions.
"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
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