YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Fri May 04, 2012 12:37 am

Colonel Kurz wrote:How about the print of a cowboy boot?
Thank you for strolling through, cowboy.

Here, you lost this.

*hands Kurz a spur*
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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 Quite-Gone Genie » Fri May 04, 2012 12:46 am

I usually peek in every time I see that the thread has a new post.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat May 05, 2012 3:43 pm

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:I usually peek in every time I see that the thread has a new post.
Time to peek!
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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 » Sat May 05, 2012 3:43 pm

A Comparison of Planet of the Apes (1968) and Planet of the Apes (2001)

The Pierre Boulle novel is available. At Amazon. At Barnes & Noble. Hmm. On ebay.

Some Reviews
The TopTenReviews page for the 1968 film.
TCM's notes page for the 1968 film.
The Combustible Celluloid page for the 2001 film.
A review By ELVIS MITCHELL Published in The New York Times: July 27, 2001

A couple of thoughts fromj Mark Wahlberg about the 2001 film. On MTV's site. On Cinema Blend. See, on the internet originality isn't prized very much, is it?

Halloween costumes, anyone? Attar mask. Thade mask.

For the 1968 film, an archive of some Concept Art & Costume Tests.
Apparently the internet allows people to make collections of things without owning any of them! An example from YourProps.

Want to go see where they filmed some location scenes?

35 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT PLANET OF THE APES. See how ignorant you truly are.

Do you like movie posters? Here's another poster page, with six posters chronologically arranged for the first six Apes films.

Well, that's enough random searching and link posting for this film, I think. Maybe you'd like to post some links that you find in the thread.

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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 May 07, 2012 3:14 am

Four more Apes essays are finished. Only one of them needs additional graphics, because they are short, like the ones in my original Rematches often were.

A blessing for you, I know. :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 YouTookMyName » Mon May 07, 2012 3:14 am

A Comparison of Planet of the Apes (1968) and Planet of the Apes (2001)
The Leads and their Characters

Image

This is merely my opinion, but perhaps some of you share it. Charlton Heston was a movie star, not an actor. To my eye and ear he always played the same person. When I would see him in interviews he was the same person. So I take it that he always played himself, even when under layers of makeup in the Burton Apes film in a cameo role as the senior Thade.

Mark Wahlberg is also not much of an actor, always playing himself in what I've seen him in (seven of his film roles). So he's also a movie star, seeming to be the same person when I see interviews with him.

Johnny Depp always gets into his roles, and as an interview subject he is quite different from any of his stylized film roles. He is a move star now, but was always an actor. He's the one I compared the other two guys to in terms of determining if they are actors, or mere movie stars. I've never seen Depp in an Apes movie, though, so he's only being used as an example here.

I never cared for Charlton Heston in any of his Bible film roles. But I didn't hate him in them, either. I've scarcely seen him in anything but Bible-flix and Apes. (And a well-known Welles movie.)

I've never seen Heston in a Calvin Klein underwear ad. But I did see his buttocks in a diving scene in the Apes movie.

Marky Mark seemed totally lost, ineffectual and goal-less, and not simply as the character Capt. Leo Davidson, in the 2001 Planet of the Apes. George Taylor seemed disoriented, with a purpose and a goal as Chuck Heston portrayed him in the 1968 Planet of the Apes. He gave the character some sense of trying to understand where he was, and to act on his environment.

Winner: Charlton Heston.


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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 May 07, 2012 3:21 am

A Comparison of Planet of the Apes (1968) and Planet of the Apes (2001)
In Conclusion...

Image

The novel, and each film have decidedly different endings, not only in the sense of plot, but in the sense of intention. Pierre Boulle's novel begins with two space travelers, Jinn and Phyllis, coming across and capturing a message in a bottle, so to speak. They find it is a memoir by a human who crash landed on a planet only to discover to his horror that apes rule the planet, control the politics and technology, and use humans as if they were animals. It concludes
with the two space travelers finishing up their reading of the memoir manuscript. At the end of the memoir, the human main character travels back to earth where he finds himself greeted by ape gendarmes. This is the conclusion used with Captain Davidson in the 2001 re-imagining, but in the novel there is another twist: the travelers in the spaceship are chimpanzees; we learn this when Phyllis powders her muzzle. And they agree that the purported memoir could not actually have been written by a human. Not only that, the planet where the apes dwell is not earth. The wikipedia entry about the novel.
The potentially stunning nature of this ending is not lost because of the passage of time and the flux of earthly politics. But the ending of the 1968 film went for the throat, and it most likely only worked for the day.
The planet of the apes in the Heston flick turns out to be future earth, and the clue to this is a mostly-buried and wretched Statue of Liberty standing not quite upright at the seashore. Colonel Taylor falls to his knees cursing those who used The Bomb. There is nothing that resembles the conclusion of the novel in this case.
This ending was shocking to me as a teenager, who like nearly everyone else fretted about the possibility of total nuclear annihilation. That's why it worked. I wonder if some of the teen or 20-something readers can tell me whether the ending was shocking to them or even mildly surprising. That is, if anyone can be found who hasn't learned the ultimate ending of the 1968 film these days before they see it.

Because of the underlying politics the 1968 conclusion is a surprising twist of fate, but there isn't the same feeling when I watch the 2001 conclusion. Perhaps the 2001 ending didn't surprise me because I'd already read the novel. I must admit that the 1968 ending seems to grow out of the film that precedes it, while the ending chosen for the Burton film seems to be in place only to provide a twist ending.
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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 May 07, 2012 4:10 pm

Image Image Image Image Have You Seen It?
(Do You Want To?)

I couldn't locate my original version of this mini-poll, so I built the list again. This time I saved it as a separate BBCode file. For posterity.

Once again, checking to see who has seen what. Here's a list of the films in the Rematch thread so far. Some of you responded last time, but I didn't bother compiling anything. There weren't all that many responses. I'm merely curious.

Below each pair or trio of titles is a link to the Rematch post with further links to places where you could buy the flicks (if you wanted to).

3:10 to Yuma (1957) Delmer Daves
3:10 to Yuma (2007) James Mangold
Sources post

The Maltese Falcon (1931) Roy del Ruth
Satan Met a Lady (1936) William Dieterle
The Maltese Falcon (1941) John Huston
DVD sources post
Blu-ray sources post

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) Robert Wise
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) Scott Derrickson
DVD sources post
Blu-ray sources post

Nosferatu, eine symphonie des Grauens (1922) F. W. Murnau
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) Werner Herzog
DVD sources post
Blu-ray sources post

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) Albert Lewin
Dorian Gray (2009) Oliver Parker
DVD sources post
Blu-ray sources post

Planet of the Apes (1968) Franklin Schaffner
Planet of the Apes (2001) Tim Burton
DVD sources post
Blu-ray sources

Romeo & Juliet (1968) Franco Zeffirelli
Romeo+Juliet (1996) Baz Luhrmann
DVD sources post
Bleu-ray sources post

The Time Machine (1960) George Pal
The Time Machine (2002) Simon Wells
Sources post

Lord of the Flies (1963) Peter Brooke
Lord of the Flies (1990) Harry Hook
Sources post
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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 May 08, 2012 5:06 pm

Hmm. Previous post was a clinker!

Coming up, another PotA essay. And I finished it on Sunday. Do you know how difficult it was for me to postpone posting it? :D
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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 YouTookMyName » Tue May 08, 2012 5:06 pm

A Comparison of Planet of the Apes (1968) and Planet of the Apes (2001)
Why Doctor Zaius?

Image

They look mostly like apes, but they act mostly like humans. Their presence in the story takes advantage of the fascination that most of us develop toward apes when we are children: these creatures look so much like us, yet are so unlike us. They act so much like us, but they have hands where we have feet. How could that happen?

And then we ask the inevitable question for anyone whose brain swirls toward speculation: will they someday be like us? And we ask its parallel question: were they like us in the past?

From these things we notice and these questions we ask, it seems implausible that Planet of the Apes would never have been written. Given the rich symbolism and visual treasures evoked by the story it seems unlikely that those who create motion pictures would never have touched the idea. And so, as in a dark mirror, these fictional apes are held up to us in place of singling out certain types of humans. Perhaps Boulle and his cinematic successors are calling people who act in the ways preferred by the ape characters "monkeys," for their ways of doing things.

A Spoonful of Sugar?
It is perhaps easier to take a dose of strong medicine when it is sprinkled into a mound of sugar granules. The apes become the sugar that allows us to look at ourselves paraded before the lens as buffoons, without having to face directly that it is really human behavior being skewered. Boulle's story is satire. It seeks to show the genuine buffoonery in human attitudes, and the resultant behaviors that lead to more attitudes, and to further behaviors.

Each layer of attitudes and behaviors skews further and further from sustainability. And each less-sustainable permutation seeks to develop its own internal force of perpetuation. Thus, each layer becomes sillier and sillier. Soon we end up with ideologies that prevent their followers from looking at what they really are, so that the ideas themselves are trumped up into Things That Must Be Done. Dogmas result. You cannot think about a dogma without 1) laughing uncontrollably, and 2) dropping it like a burning coal. Dogmas always leave marks on mortal flesh, just as burning coals do.

The 1968 apes are allowed to act like ape-shaped human beings. The 2001 apes try to eschew the satirical roots that they have in Boulle's novel, and become more "realistic" as if they are To Be Taken Seriously. This is one reason the Burton Apes film, although prettier to the eye in some cases, is not as pretty to the mind. The Schaffnerian satire is undermined whenever Thade rockets around an area, leaping and hooting as if he were a real chimpanzee. The 1968 apes are the self-same symbols desired by Boulle, who concocted the perplexing fictional ape-ruled planet. These creatures look like apes, but act like us, and we can see that, but we chuckle at the aped version of ourselves while being appalled at the same time. The desired result of satire is exactly this.

Too Little Imagination
Something happened in the 33 years that elapsed in the human world between the Schaffner telling of the tale, and its reimagining. What happened was that some people wanted the apes to be "more like apes" (clearly this is true, because that is how they are depicted in the latter film). I suspect this was done because some producer said, "it's a good idea." In the 2001 film we are not looking at apes who represent ourselves, who substitute in a literary sense for humanity, but at apes who are a plasticine imitation of humans, unable to get it quite right. Instead of being satires of humanity, they become parodies of humanity and of apes. This is the basis for the ultimate failure of Burton's lively re-imagining. For me, it fails because it is not imaginative enough, attempting to ground a totally fantastic idea in "realism."

Schaffner's Apes film plays around a lot, while Burton's tries to be something with solid seriousness. What Burton seems not to have found a way to fit into his flick is the very purpose of the apes.

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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 Gort » Wed May 09, 2012 12:24 am

Hurrah! I picked up a copy of the Pierre Boulle novel Planet of the Apes today so I can make notes for the essay comparing the source novel to the pair of movies. I read it for the first time in 2005, I think. Years after I had already seen both films.

I'll read it quickly and pass the notes along to YTMN for his digestion. ;)
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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 Quite-Gone Genie » Wed May 09, 2012 12:54 am

I didn't even know there was a novel.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed May 09, 2012 1:12 am

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:I didn't even know there was a novel.
There is. And the English translation reads a hell of a lot faster than Stoker's cumbersome Dracula. I wish I could breeze through that novel as fast as I'm moving through Planet of the Apes. Boulle is also known for his novel The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Planet of the Apes appeared in French in 1963, apparently. Only five years passed before an American director made a movie of 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 YouTookMyName » Wed May 09, 2012 10:31 am

A Comparison of Planet of the Apes (1968) and Planet of the Apes (2001)
Making Up for It: 1968 to 2001

Image

Given the improvements in makeup prosthetics between 1968 and 2001, it's not surprising that a different technique was applied for the Burton film's apes. Frankly, the apes in the 2001 film seem a lot more natural than those in the 1968 original. But that might be due to a simple reason that has nothing to do with prosthetics: style. The election to use something like amped-up stage makeup in the "re-imagining" improves the "naturalness" of the apes.

From certain angles, as I've written elsewhere in this Rematch, the 2001 makeup doesn't look anything like an ape...not a natural ape, anyway. But from all other angles the appliances create enough of a suggestion of an ape visage that the brain buys it. Perhaps the 1968 makeup looks more like apes in an anatomical sense, but movies retain one characteristic that the theatrical stage makes use of in every performance: if the technicians (including the actors) suggest what they want you to see to a sufficient extent, your brain will go the rest of the way for them.

Of course, one of the drawbacks of the 1968 muzzles is that there is not enough difference between those used for chimpanzees and those for orangutans. Oddly, the gorilla makeup in both films is very similar.

Image

Overall, Pretty Good Work
The re-makeup used for Ari gives me a distinct uncanny valley reaction. The 2001 makeup allows more of the actor's performance to come through, no doubt. I have no idea which style kept actors trapped in makeup trailers for longer periods of time, or which style needed more on-set touching up. Overall, I believe that both types of ape makeup work. Both also have shortcomings. The 1968 appliances won an Oscar, of course, and the 2001 appliances, which look better, weren't even nommed. The 2001 costumes and makeup were not ignored by the Awards community, though.

Acting Like Apes
As I wrote in another essay, the 1968 apes behaved almost entirely as if they were human (an assertion that the character apes would have considered a mortal insult, by the way). Burton added "apeness" to the demeanor of his apes, which removes the ape characters from the realm of satire and with a slap sticks them into the region of parody. I think that is a step down in dramatic impact, steering toward comedy, but you might see it differently.

To see Dr. Zaius waddling slightly gets across that he is not human better than General Thade's pyrotechnic outbursts do, in my opinion. Perhaps each script has a different reflection on what the apes are supposed to be? When comparing the films it is important to recognize that the creators of each movie had different goals in depicting the apes.

Image
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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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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 » Wed May 09, 2012 10:51 am

In a few days I will introduce you to Pierre Boulle's original story: to the planet Soror (second of four orbiting the red giant star Betelgeuse), to Ulysse Mérou (French journalist, and interstellar traveller, with Dr. Antelle, young Dr Arthur Levain, and Hector the chimpanzee), to Nova (the strange girl who despite her incredible beauty has no mind), Dr. Zira, Dr. Zaius, and Zoram and Zanam, the gorilla cage keepers) in a city of motorized automobiles and multi-story buildings. You'll also meet Jinn and Phyliss, exotically wealthy interstellar tourists who find Mérou's story manuscript floating in a bottle in interstellar space. We read every word of the story as Jinn reads the French-language manuscript to his wife (he undertook part of his education on the earth, so he knows the "earth language").

I'm halfway through the novel re-read, and it will take me a while to gather my thoughts and put together a few graphics as illustrations.
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 May 10, 2012 2:42 pm

Okay. I finished the novel at breakfast this morning, pulled together a few thoughts and some graphics, and I'm about to complete the Planet of the Apes Remake Rematch!

This is a joyous moment. :)
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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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 » Thu May 10, 2012 2:42 pm

A Comparison of Planet of the Apes (1968) and Planet of the Apes (2001)
The Source Novel

Image
One of the things I try to address in each of these Rematches is how the cinematic "remakes" of a short story, novel or play stack up against the original source material. Of the nine properties featured in this thread so far, two come from short stories, one comes from a play, and six began life as novels.

Pierre Boulle published a science fiction novel in French in 1963. It was translated into other languages, and came to the attention of US movie makers. A novel by Aldous Huxley entitled Ape and Essence was published in 1948. Whether this work inspired Boulle is not clear. I have read Ape and Essence, and because it was so long ago I don't recall much of it, except that it was compelling enough to keep a 16-year old kid up past midnight to finish it. My English teacher had put it on a recommended extra-curricular reading list. I was unaware of the Boulle novel until after I saw the 1968 film. What stuck in my head is the scene in the Ape and Essence screenplay that depicts baboons acting in human ways.

How the Films Changed the Story
Even being aware of the Boulle novel didn't compel me to read it until I accidentally spotted it in the sci-fi books section of the local library in late 2005. Curious about what it held, I brought it home and learned that it reads quickly, especially if you have seen the films. Each of the films that bear the title of the book take parts from the original novel and drop others. Clearly, for the main character in an American film to be called Ulysse Mérou was out of the question, so the name was changed to George Taylor. With the USA in a race to the moon at the time the film was made, no wonder George Taylor became an astronaut, instead of a star-traveling journalist. And instead of leaving in the year 2500 on his journey, Taylor left not too long after the release of the movie. Yep, the film had NASA developing faster-than-light travel in only five years!

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The 2001 film keeps the NASA connection, or at least a USAF connection. So, novel and both movies include space travel.

The novel has a shell story about Jinn and Phyllis, a wealthy couple who tour space in a ship designed and built by Jinn. They come across a message in a bottle, a set of scrolls written in tiny handwriting on very thin sheets of paper. Neither movie uses this shell story. The shell ends in a sort of punch surprise to the novel itself,
Jinn and Phyllis are chimpanzees,
but the manuscript of journalist Ulysse Mérou ends with the same surprise that concludes the 2001 film.

As for the origin of the ape culture in each: in the novel the apes rule a world that orbits Betelgeuse, the red giant star. There are four planets, and the one which the cosmonauts in the novel visit is the second one. They name it Soror. The apes and feral humans are already there. The apes have an advanced civilization, complete with motorized vans in which they haul their captive human prey. The 1968 film has a crash landing on a desert planet, capture by intelligent apes, and, of course, has the famous twist at the end
the planet is earth in the future
which probably everyone knows, but just in case, I spoilered it. The 2001 film features a planet visited by Captain Leo Davidson because of a crash landing during a storm in space that sucks him through a wormhole to a non-earth planet where he learns that
the ape civilization there resulted from apes that were on the space station that he left, which later crashed into the planet, and evolution took its course
the apes haven't always ruled that planet.

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Mérou and Davidson never lose their ability to speak. In fact, in the film with Davidson, the humans are not bestial at all. Merely primitive. Mérou has to learn the ape language, but finds that Dr Zira is much better at learning French. The 1968 apes simply already speak English, as do those in 2001. In the novel, Mérou is freed after he addresses the science institute in perfect simian. He is allowed to wear clothing, after that.

Some Direct Comparisons
In re-reading the novel over the past two days I've come to realize that the 1968 film is based rather closely on the Boulle novel. The 2001 film is based on the 1968 film, but borrows a few moments from the novel. I think the reason Burton called his movie a "re-imagining" is because he took the core idea of the novel and first film and had his writers spin a new yarn from the same thread.

The following appear in both the novel and the Schaffner film: the feral human girl called Nova by the main character winds up in a cage with the main character; there are chimpanzee scientists named Dr Zira and Dr Cornelius, who are engaged to be married, and who assist the main character, believing him to be different from other humans; one of the party is killed during the hunt, another is reduced to feral conditions (in the film, by surgery); there is a Dr Zaius, an orangutan, who is ultra-conservative and delusional; there is a trio of orangutans who judge the main character in one way or another; Dr Cornelius is an archaeologist who discovers evidence that humans were once the dominant intelligent species on the planet of the apes; Dr Zaius takes steps to thwart the continuation of the main character's freedom.

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In the novel, but in neither film: the apes have a technological civilization, having launched planetary artificial satellites, using trains, jets and automobiles for travel, powering their lives by electricity. They do not speak French (the language of Ulysse Mérou) but simian, which Mérou learns, while Zira learns French. Ulysse Mérou has a contemplative episode after learning of the artifacts that show humans to have once been the dominant intelligences, where he imagines how the transition to simian rule might have taken place, and in this mindset he contemplates the apes' stock exchange in a scene reminiscent of Ape and Essence. In this chapter (Thirty), which takes place during an airplane flight from the archeological dig back to the capital city, the novel's satirical idea of human activity being nothing but mimicry is pushed to the fore. Thus, Boulle says that humans are nothing but highly polished simians in the first place. In the novel, Nova becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son, named Sirius, and this puts all three of these humans in terrific danger from Zaius and his kind. So Zira and Cornelius orchestrate a swap between the man, woman and child crew planned for an orbital satellite experiment, with the Mérou family (Ch. Thirty-six). They dock with the orbiting spacecraft in which Ulysse and his two companions originally arrived at Betelgeuse, from which they return to earth. The same surprise ending that concludes Burton's film is presented in a scaled-down manner as Mérou lands at Orly Field outside Paris.

Whence the Apes?

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The manner of explaining the apes' ascendancy differs among the three stories: in the 1968 film it is done with the scene at the archeological site and the surprise ending on the beach. The 2001 film also reveals how this topsy-turvy world came to be in the final scenes, then it adds a stinger in Washington, D.C. But in the novel, Boulle has Dr Cornelius and a brilliant a chimp scientist named Helios involved in experiments on humans in the "encephalic section" of the biological institute. These experiments, which Mérou is allowed to witness, top secret thought they are, result in two humans being induced to speak. One is a woman who seems to have human race memories (Ch. Thirty-four) which she recites during an anesthetic trance. The brief episodes that she recounts are the basis for Conquest of the Planet of the Apes to some extent, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes to a greater extent. The stories she tells are not exactly the same as the plots of those movies, but the ideas in both those sequel films are embodied in what she says.

An Adventure for the Leisure Class
A good experiment for those who have the time would be to read Boulle's novel, then follow it with the Schaffner film, toping off the trio with Burton's re-imagining. Similarities and distinct differences would become apparent. Boulle puts forth his tale of an inverted society with the same economy of thought that he uses in The Bridge on the River Kwai. Schaffner more or less follows this directness and economy in his 1968 film. Burton's film becomes a hodge-podge by comparison, with plot threads that are pulled off the spool, then dropped. But you can readily see what Burton retained from the original story that Schaffner and company dropped altogether.

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Gort » Sat May 12, 2012 10:02 pm

Whew! I've finally made it through Dracula. For me the story had nothing of real interest until nearly the end of Chapter 13. From that point on it picked up steam. The ending could be shot as a knuckle-whitener in the hands of a great filmmaker.

Instead, the ending dropped off the face of cinematic history and was replaced by intense melodrama. That cinematic mythology remains with us to this day. For one thing, at least one stage play was created based on the novel, and it changed the public perception of the "true" story of Dracula. The 1931 film starring Bela Lugosi is based on one of the plays, rather than the novel. This further cemented the reputation of the "true" Dracula story being the one in the play/movie. The play(s) existed before Murnau did his movie, too, so his screenplay must have been influenced by it. I'll have to listen to commentaries again to see if I can pick up something.

But at least I managed to struggle through the original tale, and I have some basis for comparisons and some comments in the remaining essays. I hope this knowledge will make the comments a bit more interesting. We'll see.
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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 YouTookMyName » Tue May 15, 2012 8:11 pm

A Comparison of Nosferatu (1922) and Nosferatu (1979)
What is the Same

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This essay and the one on "Divergence" were conceived as discussions of how the two films are alike (and different). After reading the novel I realize there is another kind of parallel and divergence at work in the story. That is, parallels between the novel and the films, and differences between novel and films.

Herzog has said (on the commentary track for his 1979 film on DVD), that he believes Nosferatu to be the greatest German film. He obviously believed that he could not successfully remake the film in the sense that Gus van Sant remade Psycho 20 years later, by retaining the identical script, and mimicking each and every shot. As I wrote in the essay about Remakes, it would be unfair to expect a person with artistic bent to take a story that another had told, and merely add color and sound, but keep every other aspect the same. And Herzog adds his own strands of bizarre fabric to the tale in a most effective manner.

Herzog retains the Murnau set of characters, and he is free to return their original Stoker-bequeathed names. Yet, Herzog does not add back the characters from the novel that Galeen omitted. He retains the basic 1922 story. He even includes, in his own way, the notion that the blood of a pure woman would be the undoing of the nosferatu of the title. And the pure woman, in this case, is the wife of the real estate agent, Mrs. Hutter/Harker.
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In the novel it becomes clear that Renfield must have been under the sway of the Count even before he sent Harker to Transylvania to meet with the ancient undead creature. In the Murnau and Herzog films this is not made any more explicit than it is in the novel, but it is an obvious plot point.

The nose and general facial appearance of the Count's face when Harker meets him is copied for the Murnau film (a curving nose, thin visage) even though Murnau moves the blood-letting teeth to the incisors, rather than having them be the eye teeth that Stoker mentions. He also makes the Count's skin totally colorless in its pallor, and the shape of the Count's ears is batlike. Herzog retains the ear and dental changes along with the unearthly pallor for his visual presentation in 1979.

Because Galeen's script did not show the count becoming a bat or wolf or mist, Herzog retains the absence of such transformations, although he adds back footage of bats, without suggesting that the bat is Dracula. Probably, by the time he made his film, the idea of Dracula becoming a bat was so ingrained in the thinking of the audience, that not showing a bat was unthinkable!

Herzog never exactly matches any of Fritz Arno Wagner's shot framings (for one thing, Herzog's film is in a widescreen aspect), but he does offer loving homages to the most memorable shots in Murnau's film. You'll see two of these in the banner for this Essay. In keeping those shots, Herzog also keeps the ideas that underlie them. Certain of the scenes, for example the scene early in the movie where the Count backs Hutter/Harker all the way across two rooms of the castle and drives him into a seat beside the fireplace, are reproduced. Again, not exactly, but you understand that you are watching the same scene, and a very similar staging, if you have already seen the Murnau. The scene immediately prior to that shows Hutter/Harker slicing his finger with a bread knife, arousing the blood lust of the Count.
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Harker's disorientation in Herzog's film is more palpable than Hutter's in the silent movie. And although the Plague in Bremen idea is retained, Herzog presents it on a grander scale. If you expect a completely parallel remake from Herzog's films (both German language and English) you will be disappointed. If you understand that all he does is motivated by love of and reverence for Murnau's film, then you will see that he made his changes with great, deliberate, and artistically-inspired caution. The film retains at least as many parallel moments as it introduces divergent moments.



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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue May 15, 2012 8:19 pm

A Comparison of Nosferatu (1922) and Nosferatu (1979)
What is Changed

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Both Nosferatu films are based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, published in 1897, 25 years before Murnau made his adaptation of the story, and 34 years before Carl Lammele, Jr. and Tod Browning brought their iconic adaptation to the screen. Both the Murnau and the Browning adaptations cast certain mythos in concrete, and these staples of vampiric fare have remained constant across the decades until the double-oughts brought some changes to cinematic blood-suckers. A few stage adaptations used the title Dracula, including the stage play that Garret Fort used as the basis for his screenplay in 1931. Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston had successfully rewritten the plot of the story for the stage, culling the unproduceable segments of Stoker's novel. Murnau chose the title Nosferatu, of course. But the sleight of hand didn't save him from the courts. Yet, Henrik Galeen's script is not like any stage play at all. It is a cinematic visualization of the tale from the beginning.

The term "nosferatu" is actually used in the novel (something I didn't know until I speed-read Stoker's boring work). Dr. Van Helsing, in Chapter 16, explains to Arthur Holmwood Lord Godalming, and those who are hovering over the body of Lucy Westenra, "Friend Arthur, if you had met that kiss which you know of before poor Lucy die; or again, last night when you open your arms to her, you would in time, when you had died, have become nosferatu, as they say in Eastern Europe, and would all time make more of those Un-Deads that so have filled us with horror." (One way in which the Nosferatu films diverge from the novel is that the scientist character does not speak broken English.)
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Because the plot of the novel is convoluted in a tiresome way, it has to be streamlined to be put on the stage or screen. The original ending of the story could not be done well on stage, and would not have the dramatic impact of the ending selected by Murnau. Deane and Balderston retained some characters that Galeen shoved aside to streamline the telling of the tale. Murnau produced a script that has no Lucy Westenra, no Arthur Holmwood, no 50 boxes of dirt transported to London. Wisely, Galeen reduces the number of dirt-filled coffins that the Count takes with him to Bremen, Germany. And I think in the Dean/Balderston play there is only one coffin brought to London.

No adaptation of the Dracula story (that I have seen) has included what I find to be the most inspired twist of Stoker's book: as Count Dracula sups on the blood of beautiful young London women, he becomes younger in appearance. No wonder this hasn't been used in a movie: it appears in only one sentence in the middle of Chapter 15 when Jonathan Harker sees the Count in a crowd in London, and exclaims to Mina Harker, "I believe it is the Count, but he has grown young!" This would also be a makeup challenge, but worth it. For one thing, it helps explain why the young ladies fall prey so easily to the vampire's charms. I also prefer the ending of the novel to any that I have seen in movies, but it is an intellectual chase as well as physical, and there is no hissing, threatening Count at the end. His final remaining earthen coffin is overtaken as he attempts to flee to his castle, and his head is cut off, a stake is driven through his heart, and it is over. Mina is no longer his slave.

For the two Nosferatu films, Galeen's screenplay is the main driver. He adds the idea of the Count being fatally vulnerable to direct sunlight. The Count's disdain of daylight is hinted at in Stoker's novel, but does not have the fatal impact that it does in Galeen's telling of the story (unless I missed something while tearing through the pages). For ease of depiction, Galeen leaves out the transformative powers of Count Orlok; no mist, no wolves, no bats. Yet the Count can become a shadow! He can walk through closed doors! He is no doubt unearthly in his powers. Herzog features bats in his imagery, but never explicitly states that Dracula has become any of the bats. Whereas the novel simply has a plague of attacks by vampires on the citizens of London, both adult and children, the Galeen screenplay invokes the imagery of the Black Death. People have seen the rats on the ghost ship, and when neighbors begin to die they belive it is the blandly-named Plague, rather than a vampire sucking the life away from the city. Herzog ramps up this imagery, filling the city square with parading pallbearers and coffins that await passengers.
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The ending of the 1979 story is Herzog's own twist, just as the evaporation of Count Orlok by the rays of the morning sun is Murnau's economical ending. Herzog set out to remake Murnau's film in a modern style, but he kept the time setting, the costuming and many iconic visual presentations. His divergences from Murnau's film are all artistic, rather than being mere updates. The slow pace is Herzog's idea, and in his hands it becomes deliberateness. He has selected music that plays in such a way as to set your nerves on end. He has diverged from Murnau by returning to Stoker's character names, yet he retains the European locale of Murnau's transfiguration.

I believe that the changes Herzog makes alter the story, but do not weaken it. He had to diverge in adding sound, a silent film would not have "flown" in 1979. While he was tinkering with Stoker's little "what if" tale, by way of Galeen and Murnau, he wondered what if it ended slightly differently. What if the vampirism were like a contagion, and someone else caught it? Whereas Stoker and Murnau have the vapirism end with the death of the Count, Herzog takes a whimsical little sidestep.

His film is not a slavish recreation of Murnau's, but a loving evolution of the ideas that Galeen and Murnau brought to the screen so well 57 years earlier. In many ways, the Murnau/Herzog story is stronger than Bram Stoker's original Dracula. And much of what Herzog left aside was put aside not by Murnau, but by Tod Browning in 1931 when he selected an interim adaptation to base his film upon.


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat May 19, 2012 9:18 pm

A Comparison of Nosferatu (1922) and Nosferatu (1979)
The Woman who Saves Wisborg

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The androgynous Greta Schröder appeared in a number of films between the 1920s and 1950s. Whereas Bram Stoker's novel features Mina Harker, wife of Jonathan Harker, Murnau's film features Ellen Hutter, wife of a character who has only the surname Hutter in the credits, but some later titles call him "Thomas Hutter.". (For those of you who don't know, but do care, "Hutter" is German for "hatter" and it is pronounced "hooter".) Ms Schröder plays her character as a lovestruck young wife who is about to see her husband off on a long, maybe dangerous journey across the Carpatian mountains into spooky Transylvania. Naturally, she has misgivings about letting him go, although she recognizes that she cannot stop him. Sort of an "I have a bad feeling about this" situation.

Day by day she awaits the vision of a ship's sails on the horizon; a ship that will be bringing her beloved Hutter home to her. Her husband has fallen into the clutches of a vampire, the "nosferatu" of legend, the undead, a bloodsucker. Even he is unaware of what is going on.

Now, if you've seen the Hammer Dracula films you know all about some aspects of Stoker's novel that are left out of the 1922 adaptation. There are no brides of Dracula, as there are in the novel. The film doesn't feature any character similar to Lucy Westenra, who is the first London-based victim of the Count (that we know of). All the feminine aspects in this movie are piled onto Mrs. Hutter.

As Sir Christopher Frayling notes in a documentary about the restoration of Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, the character Van Helsing in the novel uses science, Christian symbols, and folklore to defeat Count Dracula. The character of Professor Bulwer in the film does nothing. Instead, screenwriter Henrik Galeen places the power to defeat the nosferatu into the hands of a woman who is without sin and who gives herself willingly to the monster. That woman is Ellen Hutter. Frayling calls this "a romantic story about true love," and also notes that the behavior between the Hutters is that of a newlywed couple, although they are rather well-established to be newlyweds. Perhaps, he speculates, the marriage has never been consummated?

Herzog's Lucy Harker (he restores two Stoker names to the character: Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra) played by Isabelle Adjani is the first person we see in the film as she awakens from a terrifying nightmare. Her husband Jonathan moves from his twin bed into hers to comfort her (although there is no indication that they are about to get it on). She fulfills the same role for Herzog that she does in the Murnau: the woman without sin who entices the vampire to his death. But she has lost her husband (Jonathan returns to her house but he doesn't reconize her, nor does he have any lust for her). Mrs. Hutter still has the love of her man, and they are reunited in the end.

Murnau's Ellen Hutter reads her husband's book of vampires, and learns that she has the power to vanquish the nosferatu. Of course this is a troubling thing. And it takes her a while to decide that she must undertake this challenge. Once she decides to she realizes that it will be the last thing she ever does, but her heart is laden with continual visions of coffins parading down the high street of Wisborg. She knows what is going on, and she resolves to stop it.

And stop it she does, but at the cost of her own life. The nosferatu, the terrible pure evil, is done in by the self-sacrifice of a purely good woman. This is the vision that Murnau wants us to remember: Mr Hutter holding his dead wife in his arms, while Professor Bulwer wipes a tear from his grizzled eye.

Herzog adds a coda to the film he devises: ignorant people will always trip up good, and free evil to continue in the world.


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat May 19, 2012 9:22 pm

A Comparison of Nosferatu (1922) and Nosferatu (1979)
The Mad Estate Agent

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The 1922 film has a character called Knock who replaces the Renfield character from the novel. He is apparently already under the spell of far-flung Graf Orlok. We can tell this because he cackles like a maniac. Perhaps this is from all the money he is going to make. Perhaps because of something else. He sends his young employee and associate, Hutter, away across the Carpathians to sell the dilapidated building next to Hutter's home to this unseen Count. When Hutter is in Transylvania, Graf Orlok sees a cameo that the young husband carries with him, and observes, "Is this your wife? What a lovely throat!" The Count buys the building and sets off for Wisborg/Bremen after locking Hutter in his castle in Transylvania. Hutter tears his bedsheets and escapes the castle, although his last few meters to the ground are covered in freefall.

Meanwhile, Knock goes crazy and is locked up in a mental hospital where he spends almost all the story. In the novel, Renfield is not what you would call comic relief, but in any film such a character would fulfill this function, simply because he is so bizarre.

Herzog runs with the comic relief aspect of Renfield in his film from the beginning. It is possible that Murnau does the same, but it is more difficult to tell due to changes in acting style and the fact that Murnau's Nosferatu is German Impressionism (something that Herzog did not try to emulate except in rare instances). Herzog's Renfield is committed to the mental hospital after biting a cow.

Renfield in the novel, and Knock/Renfield in the films is a barometer for the audience to judge the proximity of "The Master" that Knock/Renfield worships from afar. This is, of course, Orlok/Dracula. As the Count travels across the seas and into Wisborg, Knock/Renfield grows more and more excited, although he will never say why, other than to babble about "The Master." Ultimately, Knock escapes and is made the scapegoat for The Plague. All the townsfolk chase him down, and he is returned to the mental hospital before Orlok's deathship reaches the harbor of Wisborg.

In Herzog's film, Renfield eventually escapes, but simply in order to meet with Dracula at night. He is not pursued by the townsfolk, who have gone crazy and are having what appears to be a festival of death in the town square.

Renfield is one of the celebrated characters of the films, marking the passing of The Master without actually seeing him die. Although he is seen frequently enough in the two Nosferatu films, Renfield actually has what seems to me a stronger role in Tod Browning's 1931 Dracula movie.

Alexander Granach portrays Knock in Murnau's film, wearing a lot of makeup and a fat pad at his middle. The 1979 role of Renfield is played by Roland Topor. Interestingly, Herzog hired the actor because he was enchanted by his laugh, but then decided that he needed to overdub Topor's cackle with another actor's laugh in both versions of the film.


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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 dreiser » Sat May 19, 2012 11:55 pm

Romeo + Juliet (Luhrmann, 1996)

I caught this one last night. It's probably the best Shakespeare adaptation I've seen since Scotland, P.A. Loved the urbanization of Verona, the gangbanger motif, the use of modern music ("When Doves Cry"), and DiCaprio and Danes mostly fare well reciting the text believably.

This movie is so much more entertaining than Moulin Rouge!.
"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 dreiser » Sun May 20, 2012 12:05 am

"O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!"

Unless I had too many beers while watching the movie last night, one of my favorite lines in all of Shakespeare was omitted. :rotten:
"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 MrCarmady » Sun May 20, 2012 12:08 am

dreiser wrote: This movie is so much more entertaining than Moulin Rouge!.
Ha, ha.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun May 20, 2012 12:34 am

I noted Scotland, PA. Thanks drei.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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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 » Sun May 20, 2012 12:43 am

YouTookMyName wrote:I noted Scotland, PA. Thanks drei.
You have to see Christopher Walken play Macduff. :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 YouTookMyName » Sun May 20, 2012 6:59 pm

dreiser wrote:
You have to see Christopher Walken play Macduff. :P
It's next in my Flix DVD queue!
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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 May 22, 2012 2:43 am

A Comparison of Nosferatu (1922) and Nosferatu (1979)
Orlok/Dracula

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Bram Stoker gives the Count the title role in his novel, and then places him more or less into the background for most of the book. This may explain why, except in the scenes with Hutter in Transylvania, Graf Orlock is placed in supporting character status for the bulk of Murnau's 1922 film. Herzog barely promotes his Count Dracula character to any higher dramatic level. Part of this, in both films, is probably an attempt to stay true to the novelic source. Or, perhaps, it is a way to maintain mysteriousness.

In a DVD extra that somehow wound up on archive.org for a brief time, Sir Christopher Frayling does an excellent analysis of Murnau's classic film. He points out that screenwriter Henrik Galeen took Stoker's novel, which is presented as a collection of documents, and turned the film itself into a sort of collection of documents. Albin Grau, the production designer, enhanced this effect by his use of intertitle designs, and excerpts from a book that Hutter reads about the Nosferatu creature.
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Werner Herzog's renamed Count Dracula is Klaus Kinski in makeup very much like the makeup Max Shreck wore for the 1922 silent film. But Kinski speaks. The voice he selects sounds as if he is channeling a young Peter Lorre, but it fits the image that Herzog has affixed to the actor's face. Also, he doesn't look as frightening as Max Schreck. Kinski's Count is allowed to wistfully speak of the dread boredom of living for so many centuries. He, too, sees a cameo portrait of the lovely Mina, and buys the dilapidated building in Wismar, right near the Harker's home.

Count Orlok travels from Transylvania to Wisborg or Bremen, Germany (depending on which set of English intertitles you have on your print), just as fictional as Wismar, and just as ancient in appearance. Herzog's Dracula even appears in homages that reflect certain scenes that Murnau staged for Orlok. This helps tie the films together, but serves to point out the differences. Murnau's Orlok is merely lugubrious. Herzog's Dracula is depressed. Both are deadly.
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And both are done in by the solicitor's wife. She willingly succumbs to his advances, feeds him and holds him in her bedchamber until the rays of the sun come in through the window to abolish his curse forever. Quite different from the ending of the novel, and from the endings of the traditional Dracula stories. Well, actually, some end with a stake through the heart, and others with disintegration via solar power. It's a mixed bag.

But the world owes the cinematic meme of Dracula being fatally susceptible to sunrays to Murnau's 1922 film.

Schreck's Count is more hideous, because Kinski when in makeup is mildly humorous in appearance. Still, that is kind of like a T. rex with feathers...might look silly, but you shouldn't stand and giggle. You oughta run away as fast as possible and hide in some small nook.

It is possible to hold yourself emotionally distant from either movie (at least it is possible for me) but it is also possible to think about what it would be like if you were one of the characters, and the terror becomes palpable. I mean, Count Orlok is shrewd enough to bring rats with him so that the townsfolk of Wisborg will think of the Black Death and never deduce that there is a vampire causing all these deaths! How shrewd is that!? Stoker's Count is not that clever.


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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 » Sat May 26, 2012 2:35 pm

A Comparison of Nosferatu (1922) and Nosferatu (1979)
A Battle Against Ignorance

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Perhaps a theme of Bram Stoker's book is that Science, when confronted with what it cannot study, has nothing but denial to offer. If such things as vampires existed, Science would have no explanation for them; so, to the Scientist these creatures would not exist, even as they nibbled on your neck. It would be "imagination," for example. That's the thesis of this tale.

Our brains did not evolve in a vacuum, but they did evolve in certain circumstances, limited circumstances, perhaps. So if there are things in the Universe that our ancestors didn't have to deal with, it is likely that the human brain and the mind that it gives rise to, would have no way of directly experiencing these things. But our physiology evolved to allow us one clear response to what we do not know: apprehension. Wariness is the usual response when we perceive the thing that we do not know, and cannot readily understand. And wariness can often overule curiosity.

There has to be a character like Van Helsing/Professor Bulwer in any story of the Dracula type. Someone who knows of these unscientific goings-on must be present to interpret the twin bite-marks on the necks of victims. And the vampire has to leave traces of its existence behind. Otherwise, it would never be caught, and that's no good for story-telling. The essence of this Dracula story is the surmounting of superstition by careful application of the Scientific Method. The foolhardiness of sticking to this one method of operation is pointed up by the ridiculous stake-driving that Van Helsing and his colleagues must do in order to vanquish that which the mind cannot believe in. Folklore works alongside Scientific Technique to rid the world of the evil Undead.

Fear of the unknown, and terror when confronted by whatever cannot exist, are tropes of horror from even before the time of cinema. Tales around the campfire that cause your skin to rise in hackles are based on that very basic, very real human emotion. Somehow, seeing what the mind cannot understand is less frightening than reading about it. But a movie with only words would be odd, to say the least. Just as odd, would be a movie without any hint of whatever the content of dialog is. We have to know a little bit of what is happening in order to feel afraid. The terror of a film such as Nosferatu needs a framework in order to reach its pinnacle. We must see that Science is powerless against this demonic presence, as long as Science denies its existence. Once the skeptic embraces the fictional reality of the undead creatures, those who are its purported victims can fight back, not with Theories, but with stakes sharpened to a fine point.

Science is a study of Nature, limited by its very scope. It cannot study what is not matter or energy, nor can it successfully study what does not repeat. Thus, Science derives its power from repeated observations, and from facing what becomes at some point, the obvious truth. Once the unknowable is known, then facts can be developed. From these facts technology can be devised to deal with whatever is perceived to be the problem. As long as perception of the problem does not match the real problem, nothing effective can be done.

Someone has to listen, someone has to look. Someone has to...believe! In these tales there are always those who deny, but there must be someone who looks and sees. That is Van Helsing and Professor Bulwer in these stories.
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Also, notice that there is always someone with a book. Always. There must be pre-existing knowledge to direct the efforts of the one who sees. Perhaps it is because of the knowledge in the book that the Seer is capable of seeing in the first place!

It is ignorance of these already-known pieces of information that get the characters in trouble. Once they know the secrets, they are able to act with effectivity. Christopher Frayling points out in his video analysis of Murnau's film that the Professor Bulwer character doesn't actually do anything in this story. So, is he there simply because Van Helsing exists in the original novel? I have no idea. But the role of Van Helsing in the Murnau film is taken over by the book that Hutter finds on his way over the Carpathians. It is this book that clues Mrs Hutter in on what she can do to end the horrible situation in Wisborg.


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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 May 27, 2012 1:36 am

I enjoyed these two essays, YTMN. Good points about the Van Helsing/Professor Bulwer types in films... even though it seems to me those types of characters are often poorly written and drive me a bit of crazy.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon May 28, 2012 3:26 pm

A Comparison of Nosferatu (1922) and Nosferatu (1979)
How Does it Feel?

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Of all the comparisons I set up for myself in this Rematch, this essay is the most difficult. With the topic of acting, I could simply compare styles and put in all the hum-her-ahs about one being silent acting, and German Expressionism, while the other has sound and color, etc, etc, etc.

The mood of a film is set by so many different aspects that are often technical in nature! Also, all viewers have a previously absorbed volume of filmed entertainment of a certain type that informs their approach to any specific film. If you look at the body of films from any decade (even decades that start on years between those with 0's at the end) there will be many more similarities in production style and values than there will be vast differences. In general this is true if you compare specific films from 20-30 years apart. And this holds true for most of the history of film. But there is a tremendous divide that takes place in cinematic history around the late 1920s. So, comparing the mood-setting aspects of a silent film with anything after 1930 results in a comparison like, at least this is how we put it in English, comparing apples to oranges. You can do it, though. That is, you can compare apples to oranges. You can compare any two things. But in many cases the comparison becomes a list largely populated by how they are different.

For example, you can compare an orange to an automobile.
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Mood Music
Murnau's silent film was not music-free. In fact, Hans Erdmann put together a full score specifically for this film. And some of it still exists as sheet music. For the 2007 restored DVD release, KINO had it re-recorded. But that required almost as much reconstruction as the film itself. When heard with the film, this score provides much more coherent mood-setting power than any hodge-podge of PD classical tracks I've ever heard while watching other releases of Murnau's masterpiece. But the mood-setting power of the music track cannot overcome the less-practiced ability (at least on the part of this viewer) to directly experience any film that cannot reproduce the sound of dialogue. By that I mean simply that I've experienced a lot more films with sync sound tracks, than I have films that are presented without sync sound tracks. I am more educated in how to do so.

Thus, I have to ponder the way that ignorance affects my ability to "get" the mood intended by Murnau. Herzog worked within my lifetime, also having seen many sync sound filmed entertainments, and having at his disposal that technology to work with when creating his movie. Not that his film is carried by dialogue at all. But the more "natural"-seeming presence of people who make sounds seems more...natural in his movie. The pure fact that he doesn't have to put down his camera and toss up an intertitle every now and then affects pacing, thus mood, tremendously. And on top of that, Herzog decides to toss in other-worldly, bizarre music by a group called Popol Vuh. Now, everyone who watches the Herzog Nosferatu movies hears the same musical tracks. This is not the same as with the Murnau film.
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Title Cards
Since I brought it up, there is some similarity between the films concerning titles and dialogue. It is somewhat easier to "translate" a movie that has no spoken dialogue into other languages. Rewrite and film new title cards in the desired language! But the stop-everything effect cannot be avoided. Using subtitles distracts, perhaps, but does not stop the flow of the program. You can tell that early cinema, before sync sound, struggled with that incongruity: you're trying to tell a story, but once in a while you have to put up words to be read. As one blogger I found somewhere wrote, you have to take into account the slow readers in the audience, and that slows everything to a snail's pace while they read the title card,. Then it's back to the action. So there is a tendency to keep title cards short and to keep the number as low as possible. But, once again, over 70 years of public domain releases those title cards have changed.

Herzog's soundtracks for his pair of vampire films has remained the same. The words remain the same across time. The mood set by Popul Vuh's music is potentially the same no matter who watches. The spoken words can be understood natively, or can be read from real-time subtitles as the action happens. The flow is much more natural.

Plot Points & Eerie Marks
Because of the potential changes in the Murnau from print to print, I think the mood-setting potential comes down to presentation of events (plot) and the moments that build eerie character into the presentation. The banner for this essay shows a small boy with a violin standing over Jonathan Harker. The small boy is playing the violin in a blood-curdling manner. Not that his technique is rotten, simply that the music is weird. Very fitting. (Herzog says in the commentary that the child was actually playing the music, and he doesn't know what piece it is). The boy appears in the film twice. He does nothing but play his sweetly eerie little song. No explanation is made of his presence.
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I think that the Murnau film uses intentional comedy far more than the Herzog. Murnau also intentionally uses what he believes to be eerie techniques (stop motion, undercranking) to impart impossible movements to objects. His Count Orlok moves in an almost inhuman manner, signifying that he is not of this world. Not entirely. Whereas a writer might pen the line, "The dread creature moved up the stairs as if he were a shadow," Murnau simply shows the Count moving up a flight of stairs as a shadow. The poetry is the same. The mood-setting power of the image outdoes that of the sentence. The Murnau film presents Orlok as a weird creature, divorced from the regular world. He walks through closed doors. Carries a heavy coffin as if it were a movie prop. Wills doors to open and close. Rides inside a closed coffin and steers a horse and wagon. Otherworldly things.

Somehow, the presentation of Dracula in Herzog's film is not quite as eerie as the silent film presentation of Orlok. I think it might be because we hear the vampire's voice.

Not Exactly a Laugh Riot
Both films use comedy, as I stated above. Murnau uses Knock as a comic figure right from the beginning, but it might be that what Murnau expected to be taken as the behavior of a crazy man has become comic in my experience. I have no way of knowing whether Knock being chased through the streets of Wisborg is meant to be funny or not.

Herzog drives up the comedy with an over-the-top death carnival in the central square of Wismar. The coffins of the dead are carried there and stacked up. Groups of the soon-to-be dead gather at rat-infested tables to have a last meal. Bonfires burn, animals do tricks. It is totally wigged out! Is this really happening, or is Lucy Harker imagining it? Does it matter? The comic aspects are held in tension with the grindingly bizarre. Which aspect takes over is probably up to the viewer.
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In Conclusion
Both directors seem to focus on a mood of eerieness rather than a mood of terror. Perhaps both believe that terror grows out of constant contact with the bizarre. Herzog, more than Murnau, believes that the world will not go back to the way it was. His film does not relieve the world of its undead tormentors. Murnau, on the other hand, allows love to triumph after a fashion, although it is self-sacrificial love. The world is returned to the way it was thought to be before. There are no longer vampires.

Thus, the films end with different moods. Murnau closes his film on a note of sad triumph. Victory, but not without loss. Herzog leaves his story open-ended. The sacrifice has been made, the loss is there, but perhaps nothing has really been gained.


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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 May 28, 2012 3:34 pm

Hank wrote:I enjoyed these two essays, YTMN. Good points about the Van Helsing/Professor Bulwer types in films... even though it seems to me those types of characters are often poorly written and drive me a bit of crazy.
Thanks, Hank.

Since those characters are often "more knowledgeable than thou" types, by dramatic requirement, it's probably very hard not to write someone who isn't either overbearing, or (in an attempt to make the character not be overbearing) written as a wimp.

It's kind of like boxing films have to have boxers as characters. But how do you write a "good" boxer who seems like a real person? You can't. The people who become boxers aren't "ordinary" by any stretch of the imagination, so to most of us they come across as strange folk. Yet in real life, boxers are real people. They must have hopes and dreams and fears like the rest of us. But films seem to have a damned hard time showing us anything but the surface.

The person who knows things no one else wants to believe, most often comes across as crazy, or arrogant. Do they have to be that way? I'm not sure. I hadn't given it much thought until I read your comment. But in the process of alerting the ignorant people who are in danger, that kind of character has to be a busy-body (who likes busy-bodies?) and kind of pushy (who likes pushy busy-bodies). So, I can see your point.

I wonder if a film can be, or has been written in that genre (frightening stories with people being threatened by an unknown horror) where there is no all-knowing character. Surely there has. Maybe y'all can tell me some titles.
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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 » Thu May 31, 2012 5:55 am

A Comparison of Nosferatu (1922) & Nosferatu (1979)

A few Project Gutenberg page links to assorted versions of Bram Stoker's novel in electronic form.
Dracula by Bram Stoker at Project Gutenberg
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Dracula, by Bram Stoker
The Dracula audiobook at Project Gutenberg
Dracula's Guest by Bram Stoker at Project Gutenberg
The Project Gutenberg eBook, Dracula's Guest, by Bram Stoker

A comic book in Kindle format from Amazon. By Rafael Nieves (Author), and Ken Holewczynski (Author, Illustrator). The same as a Nook book.
A different Nosferatu comic, by Chris Wolfe and Justin Wayne.
A Making of page about a third Nosferatu comic adaptation.

There is even a Wikipedia disambiguation page for Nosferatu. Note the beer entry.

Image Weblinks for the 1922 Film
The Wikipedia article about Murnau's masterpiece.

Chris Edwards writes about the original score for the 1922 film.

A page about various versions of the movie soundtracks.

A cinematic archaeology of Murnau's Nosferatu.

A Review of the 1922 film by Mark Bourne

A deviantArt painting based on this film.
On UniversalMonsterArmy.com there is another painting of the Count.
Why not? A Google images search for "nosferatu painting images".


Image Weblinks for the 1979 Film
The Wikipedia article covering Herzog's English/German remake of Nosferatu.

A NYT October 1, 1979review by Vincent Canby, published October 1, 1979.

Kinoeye, new perspectives on European films, looked back at Herzog's film in 2002. "Having previously seen Murnau's film, I anticipated a creaking relic of histrionic acting and anachronistic special effects. Indeed, I watched the film while listening to alternating snickers of disappointment and simultaneous thrills of wonder in a crowd several hundred strong."

Famous Monsters of Filmland website. Werner Herzog Reflects On Nosferatu, The Vampyre. By Jesse. March 22, 2010.

From American Cinema Papers: NOSFERATU: BLOOD SUCKING AND WILD RATS by Harlan Kennedy, New York Times on Sunday, July 30 1978, Section D, pages l and 13.

And, from fear.net, another look at the Herzog film.

Image Trivia Links for Both Films

Fellow corrie Madman looked at both films in his 2011 October Marathon thread, placing them jointly at #3 in his list of 31 seminal horror films.

Here is the Trivia page for the 1922 Murnau film on IMDb.
"This is the very first time in film history in which a vampire is killed by sunlight. F.W. Murnau knew that he would be sued for borrowing heavily from Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, Dracula without permission so he changed the ending so that he could say this film and Dracula were not exactly the same."

Here is the link to the 1979 Herzog remake trivia page on IMDb.
"As this movie was made long after the copyright to Bram Stoker's Dracula had expired, Werner Herzog decided to restore the original names of the characters, while still following the movie blueprint laid out by F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu."

Image
A full version of the 1922 film on YouTube.

This is basically the version available from Netflix on DVD. But this is only 240p quality.

And another source for a complete video, this one a restoration with new intertitles:
1922 film at Archive.org from the British Channel Four broadcast.

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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 » Thu May 31, 2012 5:58 am

The Nosferatu Rematch is finally complete!

*celebrates*
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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 Gort » Thu May 31, 2012 10:18 am

Image
I think what I need to do as I move forward with this thread is make my essays more the length of this essay, than this essay. Shorter essays require fewer graphics to break up the text, so they are quicker to produce.

Over the course of the thread those posts have been getting too long. And I can't find anything to cut out. It's just that some of the ideas behind the essays spawn a great deal of thought, a great number of points, and a wall of words.

I will try to do better at that. But I will never be able to write as Spartanly as JediMoonShyne. Or Martin Teller.
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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 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:50 pm

A Comparison of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) and Dorian Gray (2009)
Cinematography

Image

Black and white film excels at creating a dark, oppressive ambiance, that doesn't have to be pointed to by any other aspect of the movie in order to work. Harry Stradling Sr. uses this to his advantage when creating the look of the 1945 film. A problem that color film adds in that regard, is that color carries its own emotional cues to the sets. This is obvious when you look at silent movies with toning for various scenes. Thus, if Roger Pratt makes his lighting very stark and low key, then adds a bright yellow pillow in the background, the pillow will attenuate the mood. Thus, for color cinematography, creation of the mood extends to selection of the color palette, and the specific colors for all objects in each shot.

I'm not sure whether Stradling had any input on set design. Perhaps he simply used what set designer Edwin B. Willis provided. But I have trouble believing that Stradling didn't suggest photographing the door to the attic room through the transom above the drawing room door before the set was designed and built.

The 2009 version of this story has a simultaneous expansive and claustrophobic feel to it. The attic room, for example, is accessed through a very small ante-room and what appears to be an interior bridge. It is designed to make one feel as if he is squeezed into the room through the mouth of a paint tube. Although the dimensions of the attic in both films remain unclear, the camera is usually located close to the action so that a sense of tightness develops. It has the effect of setting the attic up as Dorian's trap, his cage. The 2009 trap is gotten to by that gauntlet of sticks, and it remains closed in as long as we linger there. The 1945 trap is a room with non-parallel walls, forcing all things to the center of the room, where the rotting painting sits.

The 1945 film was photographed on soundstages, so it never has the chance to be as expansive as the 2009 version can be with its CG backgrounds. Pratt is able to have an open, airy feel to London when Dorian arrives to claim his inheritance. As the film progresses the sets grow dingier, and the photography moves in closer to focus our eyes on Dorian and his misbehavior. As he grows egocentric, we grow more voyeuristic, in a sense.

Stradling keeps his tonal palette dark and makes it darker as the film progresses. Oddly, when the film is at its depths emotionally, the light-painted area around the attic door seems to be a beckoning sign: "Get rid of this picture and you will be free."
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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 YouTookMyName » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:05 pm

Bunch of essays to finish Dorian Gray's Rematch.

I've written a number of them, haven't even started on some others.

Posting to try to get to page 17 of the thread. My log sheet for page 16 is all full. Might have to write some entries on the back of the sheet.

Now I can get back to puzzling over the mystery of the hundreds of posts I get after an update. Must be bots. Could be people linking from outside the forum who cannot respond.

Probably bots. :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 Gort » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:06 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: Posting to try to get to page 17 of the thread.
Me, too. I'll know in a second if we made 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 YouTookMyName » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:07 pm

You failed!
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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 Quite-Gone Genie » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:21 pm

It's probably lurkers.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:53 pm

Lurkers... agreed.

Also, new page? I know YTMN is hoping for one.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:55 pm

Now I just hope he doesn't tell me I failed like he told Gort. They are always going at each other though.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:06 pm

Hey Gort, I think that the thread still need 5 or 6 posts to get there... YTMN shouldn't hold it against us.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Gort » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:25 pm

Hank wrote:Hey Gort, I think that the thread still need 5 or 6 posts to get there... YTMN shouldn't hold it against us.
Five or six?

Okay, I'll play that game.
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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

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:26 pm

We'll count that one as six.

Five!
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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

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 Gort » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:26 pm

Page 16 remaineth.


Four!
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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

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 Jun 09, 2012 5:27 pm

Threeee!
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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

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 Gort » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:27 pm

Twoooooooooo!
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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

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 Jun 09, 2012 5:28 pm

Ooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!
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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