YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

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Shieldmaiden
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Shieldmaiden » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:10 am

YouTookMyName wrote:When long-used software screws you over it feels just like a divorce. Exactly like that. :x
I had an old version of Photoshop that I'd paid hundreds of dollars for seven or so years ago. And a couple months ago, Adobe remotely disabled it. It's a bit more complicated than that, but the bottom line is, it's gone, like it never existed. So, yeah, I know what you mean. :(
YouTookMyName wrote:I'm nearing PhotoBucket bandwidth limitations because of this thread. You may start seeing a substitute block sometime once the thread has a few more graphics in it. I'm limited to 10GB per month of linked transfers to another site (which would be this one). Didn't know that until I neared the limit. I guess they only tell you what you need to know. Now they want me to buy a premium account!
Whoa, I didn't even know about this. Interesting.
dreiser wrote:Nah, you've got 10 years easy.
Haha!
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:24 am

Gone because Adobe remotely disabled it!

Well, they'll be able to remotely disable a lot of my software, because I signed up for their Creative Cloud.

Excuses Lavished Upon You Below

That's why there was no post today. Yeah, I was planning on reviewing one of the two films I watched this week (1943 and 1946) and maybe throwing a tech post onto the forum, too.

But yesterday morning I exported the contents of one of my CreateSpace books to HTML from Acrobat XI, and yesterday afternoon I edited it with Dreamweaver. This morning I tried working on an epub of the 45 page book using my own hand-coding. As you might expect, the file wouldn't open. (In fact, a website that checks for epub errors found three major ones, and fourteen minor ones.) So I downloaded free software called Sigil, and was able to come up with a workflow technique or two. So I now have the Stan Jones Quintet in epub form, which I can offer for sale at B&N for their nooks, and can adapt to put up on the Kindle Direct Publishing site. My print-on-demand books (only 13 copies have been demanded over the past 5 years) are going to wind up linked to the Kindle versions on Amazon. And this has been a long time coming, but you should soon see some notifications in my sig that some of these ebooks are available at last.

Doing all this involved a learning curve, and although it was very exciting, it has left me tired. I can't focus on the Rematch files that I opened up an hour ago and wanted to work on.

And that's why there's no RR post today!

Over the past year I spent four Saturdays trying various ways to get the edited versions of the nine books I've completed into ebook format...and had to give up each time. But with the combination of Acrobat, Dreamweaver and Sigil I was able to do a 44 page book in less than a day!

Maybe I'll become one of those $0.99 book millionaires in a couple of years. :shifty:
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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dreiser
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:42 am

I'm exhausted just reading that post.
"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 Jul 07, 2013 12:18 pm

dreiser wrote:I'm exhausted just reading that post.
Ha ha! As you know from writing Voices in the Dark, working on long posts can also take a lot out of you with the brainwork involved. So I'm sure you know what you're talking about, and at the same time it's a clever little joke! :up:

As you can tell, I never did recover enough to finish a Rematch post yesterday. :(
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 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:48 pm

For some reason I've got a stretch of nights that are taken up by things! Last night it was optional, of course, since I went with friends to see The Kings of Summer.

Tonight it's work-related. Tomorrow night through Saturday night, nothing scheduled!

I grabbed an hour and built some banners for the reviews, though. The '43 and '46 reviews are written. They simply need the statistics at the top and the graphics for the body. Heh. Like that's no great shakes.

Here are the four banners for your delectation. Some of the DVD transfers are kind of gritty, maybe shouldn't be enlarged to fit the templates, but this is how I wanted to do it and that's what I did. :D :
Image

Image

Image

Image
Thanks to Rematch sponsor charulata for the widescreen 1981 stills.
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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Gort
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Gort » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:33 pm

Who cares? :twisted:

I worked up some buttons for Round Three that starts in September with Godzilla.

You like 'em?

Before the tech post is in place:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
After the tech post is in place:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
The Round Three tech post banners will have the border, the two-letter symbol (looks like the Periodic Table of the Elements, doesn't it?) and then the word that is on the button, only in the color this time rather than in black. The stripe will begin a respectful distance to the left of the word.
A sample:
Image

A Round Two banner for comparison.
Image
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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Quite-Gone Genie
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Quite-Gone Genie » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:42 pm

It's like Chemistry all over again. I approve.
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
The Devil, The Brothers Karamazov
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dreiser
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:25 am

Very snazzy.
"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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YouTookMyName
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:57 am

hee hee. Here's the list of Rematch elements :D :

Sc Scandium

Di Diversium

Dp Dnieprium

Ed Ednauseum

Pr Praseodymium

Fi Fibonaccium

We Webtubium

Qu Quotidium
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 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:23 am

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) dir. Tay Garnett
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IMDb link 7.5/10 from 10,056 users RT-link Tomatometer 95%, audience 77% with 7,289 ratings

Year: 1946 -- Director: Tay Garnett -- Cast: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway, Hume Cronyn, Leon Ames, Audrey Totter
Length: 113 min. -- B&W/Mono

Frank Chambers and Cora Papadakis in the James M. Cain novel The Postman Always Rings Twice are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. They aren't unintelligent altogether, but that is what allows them to act so stupidly. Whereas Visconti's Italian counterparts seem to be jaded and looking for something better, Frank Chambers and Cora Smith in the first American film based on the characters just seem to be ignorantly satisfied with ruining everything through attempts to take shortcuts. Life isn't worth the effort, as they see it, and that attitude has gotten them into situations that they can't bear. The 1946 film is an examination of the idea of real evil, embodied in these two lovers.

Whereas in the novel, although the actions they undertake are done on purpose, they seem to be bumbling their way through everything, including a first attempt at murder, and later, a successful murder. In this film they seem to be more driven by a reckless desire. They cannot resist their mutual attraction. This leads them to kill in order to try to be together, but once they get what they thought they wanted, both are sour on the resulting situation. Yet, the desire still remains strong. It is purely animal, the only thing the two have in common. The desire is an allegedly tragic flaw in the two.

Cain's novel doesn't judge the motivations, character or wisdom of Frank and Cora. It reports what is happening, and from the point of view of the protagonists. You'd have to call the novel amoral in its stance. So are Frank and Cora. They aren't doing what they do because they are trying to "get by with evil," but because they are too weak to stop themselves. They recognize that the social situation is untenable, but they aren't thinking clearly, and murder seems like a solution. In this film, there are morality issues superimposed on the naive story that Cain put together. The power of his novel is the seeming innocence of these murderers! In the movie, they aren't innocent at all. Never once do they seem to be struggling against themselves. Rather, they get the idea of Nick's death, and then that's all that can happen. It is flawed, and pseudo-literary tragic fakery. Frank Chambers and Cora Papadakis are dumb. Frank Chambers and Cora Smith are wicked. The difference deflates the film.
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There is too much moralizing in the acting and scripting of this adaptation. As if we can't tell (as we can easily tell while watching Visconti's amoral reconstruction of the story) Harry Ruskin and Niven Busch hold up the wickedness of Frank and Cora at every turn. Maybe it's the influence of what later came to be called film noir, but these characters are not the Frank and Cora of Cain's book. Semaphore flags of one sort or another get waved about all the time to let us know "these people are bad, and what they are doing is bad." It's very close to having a title that says, "Kids, don't try this at home." Some of this is done with the acting. Some of it is done with the music. All of it is tossed in lest we should miss the bad in the goings on. Hell, the story doesn't turn out well for any of the three main characters. You don't have to constantly point this out. The ending gets the point across.

I guess my biggest gripe with the film lies in its tone. Whereas in the novel Frank and Cora can be dumb, because the writer suspects that his readers are smart and will see the truth of their situation, the writers of the film assume that the audience is too stupid to recognize that Frank and Cora are not positive role models. Surely they could have done better. Visconti already had.

This film exists only to cash in on the phenom that was James M. Cain's best-seller. And to show off the high fashion designs of Cora's clothing. Nick wants the lights kept off to save money, but he lets Cora blow thousands on her Wardrobe by Irene. Heh. Wut?
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Here are few aspects of the film that I like, and you'll probably notice that my inclusion of them is rather grudging:

Like: The photography is innovative and slick. As I've written before, it is only extremely rarely that the photographer's work is the reason a film fails dramatically. This story is told well visually. How we see what is happening is well-mounted, clear, and it looks good. Very good. When the film doesn't work, it is not because of the way Sidney Wagner shows it to us.

Like: Lana Turner is often sexy in this film, but not in her role. She is the archetypal ice witch. Frank Chambers would only be a masochist to get involved with her. Still, she looks good for the most part. And she actually creates a character, showing that she had real acting ability. But her good acting creates the wrong character. That's sad.
Image
Like: The film retains Frank's philandering, even within this illicit affair that he's into with Cora. It could have died with the Hayes Office censors, but it remains. When she goes away for a while he immediately takes up with a blonde whose car engine won't start, and whose personal engine won't stop. This is directly from the book.

Like: Once or twice John Garfield's Frank Chambers has a flash of the naiveté that the novellic Frank exudes. But only at the end, when it doesn't really count. I like it that they made the effort. Garfield's acting skills are misdirected, and ill-used, although he does a good job here.

There is so much more that I don't care for:

Don't Like: The main characters have the total hots for one another in the novel, but in this film it all comes across as play-acting. And that's not good. There isn't much detectable on-screen chemistry between Turner and Garfield. There seems to be a plastic moralizing-shield that gets shoved between them in every embrace. You can just see the double beds upstairs, although they are never on screen!
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Don't Like: The film moves at breakneck speed. And a lot is thrown in that is meant to add motivation to the characters. The charm of the book is that they have a naive failure to comprehend what is happening to them. In this book the characters are quite cynical, moving from step to step with murderous intent.

Don't Like: There is a scene in which it is made extra clear that Cora's "No" really means "Yes," (and that was never good). At this 21st century point after decades of Hollywood dramatically projecting the "No" means "Yes" idea, it is difficult to tell whether this is art imitating life, or art creating damnable confusion about the issue in real life. But I don't like it in the film. I don't detect such a situation in the novel. Both Frank and Cora are drawn to one another, and Cora doesn't make some kind of noble effort to resist him. Here, Frank breaks the ice with a kiss. See the next entry for more.

Don't Like: This script creates a Cora who is in a marriage of convenience, but she isn't willing to throw it all aside. She wants to really try to stay with Nick. This is probably the influence of the censors at the Hayes Office, whether direct or inferential. In fact, it's the opposite in the book. In the book she acknowledges that she should, but she never really wants to. This tension is very literary, I suppose, but it just makes the film a lot more tedious than the book. The novel pulls you along. The film drags you kicking and screaming. A significant difference, I think.
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Don't Like: The novel never gives me a sense that Cora hates Frank. But this film does right from the start. Because film is external and novels are internal, sometimes a change like this works dramatically for the visual medium. In this case it works against it the whole way. I'd be willing to say that it's coherent with the film as a whole, if it was. But it is not. The morality that is imposed on Cain's amoral novel feels exactly like what it is: something tacked on to assuage the heebie jeebies of some Americans of the 1940s.

Don't Like: The music cues tip us off to the sinister nature of Frank meeting Cora right from the start. In fact, that tip-off occurs while we watch the credits flash across a picture of the book's cover.

On balance, I don't think this film is terrible, or a waste of time. But, I think it's a prime candidate for a class on missed opportunities in adapting a novel into the audiovisual medium. This would be the negative example, leading to energetic discussion of how not to do it.
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Let me allow one slight moment of grace toward the producers of this movie. Although the film was marketed as Adults Only, people brought their kids to films like this in 1946 the same way they do today. Maybe the semaphore signaling was meant to keep children in the audience from thinking that Frank and Cora are okay types. But was that really necessary? This film would have put me to sleep as a kid. And I'm fairly certain I wouldn't have grasped what was going on outside of the murder. In other words, I wouldn't have seen the moralizing at all. When I watch it as an adult, the moralizing just makes me want to say, "Oh, stop treating me like I'm a kid." That's what gave me the idea that it might have been put into the movie for the kids who would see it.

In fact, the steaminess of the book is all there by inference. You read between the lines to see all that going on. Cain doesn't have to describe it; he relies on the minds of his audience being in the gutter and merely suggests things, in the same way Oscar Wilde does with The Picture of Dorian Gray. The smut is within you, as you read it. Not found explicitly put down on the page. Visconti manages that cinematically for the most part with his celluloid version of the tale. But Tay Garnett's version fails in this regard. Thus, the Ruskin-Busch script actively campaigns against things it never shows!



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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 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:20 pm

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
Ossessione (1943) dir. Luchino Visconti
Image

IMDb link 7.7/10 from 3,415 users -- RT-link Tomatometer 100% Audience 84% with 1,776 votes

Year: 1943 Director: Luchino Visconti -- Cast: Clara Calamai, Massimo Girotti, Dhia Cristiani, Elio Marcuzzo, Juan de Landa
Length: 134 min. -- B&W/Mono

International copyright is a querulous thing. Always has been. Remember the kerfuffle over Murnau's Nosferatu? Well, sometime before 1943 Luchino Visconti di Modrone, Count of Lonate Pozzolo decided that a certain 1934 American crime novel by James Cain would serve as the basis for an excellent Italian language film, with him directing. Wikipedia says:
With Gianni Puccini, Antonio Pietrangeli and Giuseppe De Santis, he wrote the screenplay for his first film as director: Ossessione (Obsession, 1943), the first neorealist movie and an unofficial adaptation of the novel The Postman Always Rings Twice.
So he let no laws stand in his way. No one sued him. Perhaps he bought the rights? Nah, there is the word "unofficial" in that sentence. He took the story, and got away with it!

The result is a film that embodies both the themes and feel of Cain's American novel, and the Italy of the time. This creates a feeling that Cain's story is so successful because it embodies some kind of Western notion of "just how people are." You can take these people from the novel's California locale and put them in Italy with a different language and culture, yet you don't have to change their motivations a bit.
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Giovanna's husband is played by a Spanish actor, but it is unclear whether the character is a foreigner--because his name is Giuseppe. This film adds a vagabond Spaniard who becomes another influence on Gino. The events of the novel, so carefully depicted three years later in the first American adaptation, are moved to different places and situations here. Gino takes up with Anita, a dancer (prostitute) who's passing through town, rather than making a cross-borders trip with a woman whose car won't crank. The main wedge between Giovanna and Gino is her insistence on keeping the store after Giuseppe is done in. The final incidents are not quite what they are in the novel.

But it captures the essence and feel of the novel without recreating the novel. This is an aspect of cinema that I wrote about in the Rematch for Lord of the Flies, where the 1990 adaptation does a better job of feeling like the novel than the more "accurate" telling made in 1960. You don't have to stick to the same plot in order to get the same story across! Your characters don't have to be exactly like they are in the book. In Visconti's film they have different names, live in a different country, and do slightly different things...but on balance this comes off like the film.

Here are some aspects of the film that I like:

Like: The camera moves. It moves in many planes. It moves. The things in the frame also move, and together the motions look delicious. And this was 1943. I decided that it must be because the Italians post-sync all their dialogue that it was possible. The shooting was done with silent 35mm cameras, no heavy blimps needed. I don't have any confirmation of that. But the camera can go anywhere, like it could before the sound films started in Hollywood. In fact, under the opening titles is a point of view shot out the windshield of a truck as Gino rides toward the Bragana's store along a roadway that we will see alter in the movie. It is not Gino's point of view (he is sleeping amidst the hay bales on the bed of the truck).
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Like: The lovers seem to have a thing for each other, although a very frustrated one. This is what you sense from the novel. Certainly the affair is tortured by the presence of a husband, which gives it an angry edge, but it seems like they are in love in spite of themselves.

Like: The "pull of the road" is symbolized in this film in two people. There is the Spaniard (that's actually the character's name: Lo spagnolo), and there is the "dancer" Anita, who is "passing through town," who diverts Gino's attention from Giovanna for a time. It's not just being not tied down that attracts vagabonds to intineracy. It's equally the people whom they meet and interact with. So, both these characters are itinerants. They are free to leave when they want, or must. Gino has gotten himself tied down. Not only are these two people ones whom Gino finds attractive in more than one way, but they represent his former condition of being unstuck in space, which he still finds attractive.

Like: Things don't go wrong here because someone sets out to be evil, only because things go wrong in real life. Here is an examination of bad luck finding its fellows. A true to life idea? Maybe not. But who knows? When you look back on your life on a bad day there are a hundred places where it seems that if you'd only made the other choice your life would have turned out better. Today wouldn't have been such a bummer of a day. This film sort of captures that aspect of living without seeming to try to. He never says it, but you can just see Gino thinking, "Why didn't I just go on down the road on that day?"

Like: We get stuck in life because we fail to see alternatives; or because we decide not to look for them. This film seems to embody that notion. Other people in our lives may be examining their alternatives, but when we catch them at it we tend to shame them for it, rather than accepting their "waywardness" for what it is. Their examination of alternatives may threaten us. To wit, when Giovanna catches Gino with the dancer, she demands that he come back (by pouting). And he does, because he's deciding to stop looking at the alternatives. See how that works? In the film it works even better.
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Like: There is something inside the characters in this movie. They are more than shadows on the screen. I haven't decided how Luchino Visconti and his five co-writers pull it off, but they do it. Maybe this is the art. Fine editing doesn't draw attention to itself. Maybe fine writing and direction are the same. Maybe the best is when you watch and at the end all you admire is the story itself, not parts of it!

Like: The sound recording is amazing for what I imagine would prevail at the time. But this is a result of the Italian practice of shooting without sound and post-syncing all the dialogue. The lip-sync is fairly close in this movie. If you watch mouths carefully, it disappears slightly too often, but if you aren't paying attention to that it seems locked. The audio mix is also very natural-sounding to have been totally built from scratch. (I managed to find an objection related to sound, though.)

Like: The guilt that the two adulterers feel is clear, but it gains a symbol after Giuseppe is killed. Gino is unable to escape the "ghost" of Bragana in the store where the man hired him to help out as mechanic and general handyman. It is this guilt that causes him to drink excessively (gives him an excuse, in reality). And it haunts his marriage to Giovanna. This doesn't make things any better between the two, of course.
Image
It's difficult to come up with a list of things I don't care for:

Don't Like: Okay, if I struggle I could say that the film is a bit longish. It is. A bit. But it doesn't seem to be as long as it is, so that objection evaporates.

Don't Like: Some aspects of the film are presented, and take a back seat. Or maybe you think they aren't being developed (the cops) and then they spring forward at just the right moment. Oops, that objection evaporated, too.

Don't Like: Let me try this. One or two of the characters who have a tremendous effect on Gino appear out of nowhere, for no reason, and interact with him, then disappear again, never to be seen for the rest of the movie. I can raise this as an ersatz criticism of the structure of the film. But doesn't that happen in real life? And isn't this called by some the first Neo-realist motion picture?

Don't Like: I give up. I don't like giving up, but I simply can't find anything to ... wait! There is one thing. A technical thing that I dislike intensely. Although it doesn't happen often, there is that "Italian movie sound thing" that occurs when the lines are post-synced, and you can hear room sound on the track. But that's no problem, you might say. Yes, it is a problem when the characters are standing at the beach. Or outside the store. All right! I found one!
Image
I have seen Death in Venice, Visconti's 17th film, and this one which is his first. I think Ossessione is better than Death in Venice. I could make you a long list of Don't Likes for that film. But the famous director might have had beginner's luck with Ossessione. He chose an excellent property to exercise his neo-realistic ideas, he didn't have anyone meddling heavily with his choices as far as I know (must help to be an aristocrat). Apparently the Fascists were unaware what he was up to until he had completed the film. To what extent he got lucky, I can't say. But most of what I see, or think I see in Ossessione clearly comes from hard work. It is not easy to get realistic performances from actors even today, when film acting is understood as "to simply be." It must have been more difficult in 1943. Visconti had to deal with the fascists in political power in Italy in his time. In fact, the film wasn't broadly distributed until 1976.

The first time I ever rolled a ball down a bowling alley I got a strike. I picked up my spare on a strike as well. I have never done that again. It was beginner's luck. Visconti's reputation tells me that he may never have hit a home run again, but he didn't do too shabbily over the years. You can be good at what you do without creating a series of masterpieces. I first heard the music of the band Gorillaz on their self-titled 2001 album, and didn't know whether it was good or trash. But I knew that I liked it. A lot. Maybe it isn't a masterpiece, but I enjoy that CD. Was, is, Ossessione Visconti's crowning masterpiece? I'm not qualified to say. But it's a damned good movie, and it works for me all the way through.




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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:28 pm

Uninteresting statistic: the Ossessione review was the 350th content post in this Rematch thread.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
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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 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:41 pm

I'm still a few pages back, but I did catch the part about the strike. Ossessione (and La terra trema) were made a fair time ahead of his later active period, and they were both heavily steeped in the neorealistic style of the day. His next three or four major films were massive melodramas with big-time actors. There is certainly a stylistic shift in his films, from gritty to opulent, but he certainly hit a couple of home runs with Senso and The Leopard.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:49 am

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:I'm still a few pages back, but I did catch the part about the strike. Ossessione (and La terra trema) were made a fair time ahead of his later active period, and they were both heavily steeped in the neorealistic style of the day. His next three or four major films were massive melodramas with big-time actors. There is certainly a stylistic shift in his films, from gritty to opulent, but he certainly hit a couple of home runs with Senso and The Leopard.
Some scholars consider Ossessione to be the birthing film of the neo-realism movement!

Probably not all.

I'll have to catch up on some Visconti. He was terribly famous when I was a teenager and 20-something. I never took a foreign film history course in college. Probably missed out on seeing some of his movies there. That would have been a foreign film from the perspective of the USA course, of course. :D

Where the Jedi lives Visconti's films aren't foreign at all.
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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 YouTookMyName » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:33 pm

Image

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
The Writers

1943ImageImageImage
For Ossessione, according to IMDb, these are the writing credits: James M. Cain (novel "The Postman Always Rings Twice") uncredited, Luchino Visconti & Mario Alicata & Giuseppe De Santis & Gianni Puccini (scenario & dialogue), Alberto Moravia & Antonio Pietrangeli uncredited. That is quite a roster of writers. Whether Alicata had a small or tremendous influence on this script, he has no other screen credit at IMDb. De Santis has 20, and Puccini has 35 writing credits. For both De Santis and Visconti, this film was their second writing credit. It was Puccini's fourth. The two uncredited writers also had long careers in Italian cinema, producing 32 titles (Pietrangeli) and 62 titles (Moravia). One wonders what their contribution was, if it was small enough or insignificant enough in their minds to not merit a mention on screen. It was Pietrangeli's first disclosed writing gig. But Moravia had done three credited turns before Ossessione. Pietrangeli directed 13 movies on his own, as did credited writer Giuseppe De Santis. Gianni Puccini ended his life with 18 director credits. All these men became quite involved in Italian cinema, some of them associated with the movement called Neo-realism even beyond their work on this film.


1946ImageImageImage
IMDb has this information for writers involved with The Postman Always Rings Twice: Harry Ruskin and Niven Busch (screen play), and James M. Cain (based on the novel by). Ruskin began by writing comedy sketches for 1930's King of Jazz. Twenty-seven years later he retired from screen writing after 62 screen credits. He has only 8 credits after Postman, his next immediate gig having been the script for Love Laughs at Andy Hardy. He wrote many of the Dr. Kildare and Dr. Gillespie movie series entries. Postman is probably his most significant credit. Niven Busch wrote 29 motion pictures between 1932 and 1986. Duel in the Sun was "suggested by a novel by" Niven Busch (his biggest seller), so he's probably not the person responsible for the over-the-topness of that movie!


1981ImageImageImage
As the years go by the number of writing credits become scanter and scanter. This version of The Postman Always Rings Twice features only James M. Cain (novel) and David Mamet (screenplay) in the IMDb listing. Mamet has two Oscar nominations, and has written 43 screen works. Regardless of that, he doesn't consider himself as talented, quoted at IMDb as saying "There's no such thing as talent; you just have to work hard enough." It must be that last word that eludes so many wannabes. I've no idea whether Mamet has actually done cocaine, but he is also quoted as having said, "Hollywood is like cocaine. You cannot understand its attraction until you are doing it. And when you are doing it, you are insane." He is still hard at work, with scripts in production for 2015 release at this time. Mamet also keeps himself busy directing films. These are as off-kilter and varied as his writing work. He has 20 director credits, to date.


2008ImageImageImage
The German version, so far the most recent adaptation, has only Christian Petzold credited as writer. When you learn that Petzold's writing credits number 13 and his directorial credits also number 13, you won't be surprised to learn that they are 100% co-incident. At this writing I have seen both Jerichow and The State I Am In. His film Yella is in my queue. Petzold's films are popular enough, at least with the finance and awards people, that he has a 2013 release announced. So far, Petzold has met with success at film festivals, but hasn't had a huge international hit. IMDb intimates that the closest he has come is with his latest release, Barbara (2012).




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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 charulata » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Whoa, I missed most of these while I was out on vacation but this is such a treat to come home to :heart: . I'm in the process of catching up and will respond to these soon!
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:58 pm

charulata wrote:Whoa, I missed most of these while I was out on vacation but this is such a treat to come home to :heart: . I'm in the process of catching up and will respond to these soon!
It's kind of as if I'm one of those WB cartoon characters who has to windmill his legs in place for a few seconds before taking off at a run. :D

I didn't even intend to post the Writers tech post today, I was only getting it ready for later. But it was done, so what the hell? I still have to rewatch the '81 and 2008 adaptations, and write their reviews.
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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 Jul 15, 2013 9:58 pm

Image

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
At the Helm
Image
At least each of these films has one clear director! Each one has an awards table page on IMDb. Two have died, the other two are still at work in the industry. All have credits in multiple areas of filmmaking. All four have Writer credits. Two of these men wrote the screenplay for his adaptation of Postman. For one, it was his first gig as Director. Three also have Producer credits.

1943
Luchino Visconti. Born November 2, 1906 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. Died March 17, 1976 (age 69) in Rome, Lazio, Italy. Awards. Has 20 screen credits as Director. Has 17 screen credits as Writer.

Ossessione was Visconti's first film as director. He directed in other venues besides film, having quite a reputation as the director of both theater and grand opera. His films became known world-wide, but not due to any influence from Ossessione, for which he nearly gave up his life and liberty at the hands of the Fascists in Italy. According to IMDb
His film Ossessione (1943) was based on James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice. Because of copyright issues, it was not shown in the United States. The picture also engendered the ire of Benito Mussolini's censors who had Visconti thrown in jail. He was to be executed and only survived because of the timely arrival of American troops. Ossessione was later hailed as an early example of Italian neo-realism.
Once again, some hail the film as the first Italian neo-realist work, others as an early example. Which proves that no one knows. But Visconti is credited as one of the directors who developed the style. His last completed film is L'innocente (1976) which has themes similar to Ossessione. Several of his films deal with forbidden love. Visconti was born into Italian aristocracy. His international influence was great enough that he worked with stars from many countries, often in the same film.


1946
Tay Garnett. Born June 13, 1894 in Los Angeles, California, USA. Died October 3, 1977 (age 83) in Sawtelle, California, USA. Awards. Has 74 screen credits as Director. Has 57 screen credits as Writer.

The Postman Always Rings Twice was Garnett's 34th outing as director. He started calling the shots in 1924, after writing short films for four years. He continued to write silents, and moved into sound films as they developed. In 1928 he directed his fourth film, and first feature, entitled Celebrity. In 1952 Garnett began to move into the dawning television industry where he worked consistently until 1970 when he returned to features for his final three screen credits as director.


1981
Bob Rafelson. Born February 21, 1933 in New York City, New York, USA, Still living. Awards. Has 19 screen credits as Director. Has 13 screen credits as Writer.

Bob Rafelson's first directorial credit is for the TV series The Monkees. He directed 6 episodes of the series between 1966 and 1968. Rafelson was selected as director of the Monkees movie, Head. Meanwhile, "Robert Rafelson" was the producer of the entire TV series, all 58 episodes. His third directorial credit was for a film I saw at the drive-in theater in 1970 as a newly-minted high school graduate: Five Easy Pieces. This was the last time I was impressed by Jack Nicholson. The Postman Always Rings Twice is Rafelson's seventh motion picture as director, and his last as producer. He and Nicholson have worked together several times. From Wikipedia:
Rafelson and Nicholson have been collaborators for over forty years. Nicholson and Rafelson wrote and produced and Rafelson directed Head, starring the Monkees, in 1968, followed by Five Easy Pieces. In subsequent years, Rafelson directed Nicholson in four more films, including The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), Man Trouble (1992), and Blood and Wine (1996).
Somehow the author of that paragraph left out Easy Rider (1969), perhaps because Rafelson wasn't credited as producer, although the film was produced by RayBert Productions, the company that Rafelson and Bert Schneider created. Their first project was that TV series about the band. Somewhere I read that Rafelson, along with other directors, including Bogdanovich and Coppola were the nexus of New Hollywood in the 1960s. His 1970 film was nominated for two 1971 Oscars, but did not win. The 1981 film is not listed for any nominations.

2008
Christian Petzold. Born September 14, 1960 in Hilden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Still living. Awards. Has 13 screen credits as Director. Has 13 screen credits as Writer.

Petzold worked in various roles in films from 1990 to 1992, when he got the chance to direct a 31-minute short film called Das warme Geld. Three years later he directed a TV movie. His first theatrical feature, The State I Am In was released in 2000. Jerichow was his fifth theatrical feature, and Petzold is still writing and directing feature films. In 2011 he directed the first episode of a 3-part television series, Beats Being Dead (Dreileben, in German). Petzold's career is young, and is still awaiting a big international break, apparently. His directorial style seems to me to be rather maverick. At times he uses his own cinematic language, which requires the viewer to "learn a foreign language" in order to watch his films. His work is popular with critics. In a cineaste.com online article and interview the writer states
Petzold's films are almost always concerned with characters who are on the move—usually against their will—and who are driven by the double desire to find their way home and to maintain a certain amount of independence and autonomy.
I suppose that describes somewhat my notion of his films. His latest film, Barbara, made greater inroads into whipping up international notice than his earlier works. At Rottentomatoes his adaptation of Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice has an 88% rating with the critics, but ordinary souls like us can take it or leave it. With 16,113 votes, the film is at 49% with viewers. Maybe Christian Petzold is a critic's director. His latest film, though, does better with viewers. Barbara scores a 93% on the Tomatometer, while garnering a 77% from the audience, although from only 2,428 viewer votes.


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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 YouTookMyName » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:42 am

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) dir. Bob Rafelson
Image

IMDb link 6.5/10 with 11,698 votes -- RT link Tomatometer 82%; 9,510 viewers vote 59%

Year: 1981 Director: Bob Rafelson -- Cast: Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, Michael Lerner, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, Chuck Liddell
Length: 122 min. -- Color/Mono

Bob Rafelson, as you may know from the Director tech post, started out directing episodes of a TV series his company was producing: The Monkees. Now, people my age used to make sure we were near a television set on Monday nights when these guys would come walking down the street, because almost everyone I knew loved the show. And all my friends tried out the Monkee-walk. I didn't buy the records, but I didn't have to because my little brother bought them all, and I had the only stereo record player in the house!

I think this fact has strong bearing on every Rafelson feature film: the first motion picture he ever directed was an episode of The Monkees. His first feature film was Head, the Monkees movie. But he produced Easy Rider, and directed Five Easy Pieces (which was nominated for Best Picture). So Rafelson is no slouch. My main problems with this film center on the casting. Specifically the casting of Frank and Cora. Clearly, Rafelson was not concerned with keeping either of his main actors in line at any point. To what extent he simply allowed them to run with it, I can't say. It is, without a doubt, unfair of me to base my objections to the film on the performances of Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange, but I don't care for them in these roles, and I can't help that. I could write something false if I wished to do so, but I'd rather speak truthfully about my own reactions to the film, and let the chips fall where they may.
Image
If you love this film, perhaps you should submit your positive review to the thread! For my money the American adaptations take a wrong turn by making the tale a horror show. This is true horror, at life itself and at what people can do to one another. There are no jump scenes. No hairy monsters or lizards. But the story is told to leave us feeling aghast at what Frank and Cora decide to do. Yeah, they're bad cookies. But the novel lets them be people. The two American films turn them into monsters. Visconti manages to make them look misguided and immature at worst. Perhaps Visconti is wrong to do that; perhaps Harry Ruskin, Niven Busch and David Mamet see the kernel of the story more clearly than I do.

The story works as a noirish, horror tale. Rafelson told Jack Nicholson that he should read the Cain novel and see the Garnett movie because he (JN) was the epitomy of the anti-hero that Frank Chambers is in both versions. This is in a background information text slide on the DVD of Postman that I bought. The conversation took place while they were filming Five Easy Pieces, which says that Rafelson had this film in mind for a decade before it came about. And he always wanted Nicholson for the Chambers role.

Be prepared. There's the signpost up ahead: Watch For Ambivalence. Here are some aspects of the film that I like (mostly):
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Like: Although they share no major personnel, this film and Bonnie and Clyde (1967, Arthur Penn) share a visual language. There are expansive rural landscapes, and intimate close-ups, and every shot length in between. The colors are never flashy, even when they are bold, but they invoke the kind of color that those of us who view the past through mostly grayscale images would imagine. I suppose that color palette evokes more realism than bright colors would. George Jenkins' production design also serves to create a sense of being present in 1934, when the original story is set. An occasional anachronistic item shows up, but it may simply be my ignorance of what designs were actually in use back then, rather than a truly misplaced prop.

Like: There is very little gunplay in this movie. In fact, there isn't any in the novel, or any of the three earlier versions. The only gun that is fired is discharged during a struggle, and the bullets don't hit a person. Fists hit people, but bullets do not, in this story.

Like: Although Jack Nicholson is terrible in the first half of this movie, he does manage to give Frank Chambers a change of heart and persona. So, I have to give him that. If he had been less JN and more FC for the first half, the film would have been much, much better. In other words, he turns in his typical over-the-top goofball crazy creep performance until after he is put on trial. Then he is more like the Frank Chambers I imagined for the entire story when I read the book. More or less subdued, and dumb, rather than cocky. I made a note while watching the film again that Nicholson actually does a good job of seeming to be dumbfounded and cowed after Nick is dead. And his weeping at the very end of the film seems almost real.

Like: It is with incredible disbelief that I watch Cora P. get hot and bothered at the car crash site, but that is a scene that sets this film apart. Cora doesn't go quite so far in the novel, yet she is kind of into rough sex and such. So, this is one aspect of Lange's Cora that is in line with the story. Although, she isn't naive enough in this film, she has the same kinky sexual tastes as the Cora P. on the page.
Image
Like: The score. For the most part it is well-wrought music. I have to say that it seems misplaced at times (see the section below with the things I don't like about the film). But as a collection of orchestral pieces, it is very nice.

Like: As with the 1946 version this film recasts the bumbling, murderous love story of the novel into a horror film. Now, the idea behind the novel is pretty horrific: murder is used to remove an impediment in the form of an older husband. Whereas the novel can sidestep the horror aspect, maybe it's more difficult for a film to do so. I can see why the writers and directors of the American versions would turn the story into a horror film noir. I have to give David Mamet and Bob Rafelson credit for doing that well, even though I don't see that as the way to take the story.

Like: The ending of the film allows me to fill in what happens to Frank after that final scene. The 1943 and 1946 films show me what happens to him. Unfortunately, as one critic of this film wrote, it robs us of hearing Frank's explanation of the title. Unless we know that old story on our own, we miss the point of the title altogether. Not that the story makes much sense in either the book or the 1946 film, so far as that goes!
Image
Like: The film has moments of whimsy, most notably when a large Cub Scout pack descends on the restaurant while Frank is there by himself.

A disclosure beforehand: I don't care for either Nicholson or pre-1999 Lange in nearly any performance I've ever seen from either of them. Needless to say, that negatively colors all my reactions to this film! Keep that in mind while I complain about a few aspects of this film:

Don't Like: Jack Nicholson. For much of the way through he ruins this film just like he ruins everything I've ever seen him in (besides Five Easy Pieces, where his personna fits the character because he is the character). From above: "his weeping at the very end of the film seems almost real." Trouble is, Nicholson's acting never seems like anything but crafty acting. And if you can see the acting, it isn't good cinema acting as far as I'm concerned. Stanley Kubrick would disagree with me. There is a story on the commentary track (or in a making of feature) for The Shining in which someone (don't recall who) reveals that Kubrick asked him on the set of the film to name some great actors. It seems this is because the man had said something about Jack's performance being too over the top. This man named three or four actors whose work he admired. Kubrick said, "You didn't name James Cagney." To which the speaker replied that he didn't think Cagney was a very good actor. And Kubrick responded that he thought Cagney was a great actor, and that's why he liked Nicholson's performance in The Shining. So, Kubrick wouldn't agree with me about Jack Nicholson...but I don't agree with him, either! And Nicholson had just come off playing Jack Torrance when he portrayed Frank Chambers.

Don't Like: Jessica Lange is Dwan. Wait, wrong film. Same performance, though. In both films she falls in love with the big brute, but isn't really sure she should do that. I get to complain about her again in the King Kong Rematch! Oh, God, I have to listen to her screaming again. Oh, noes. Oh noes!!!! When Cora Papadakis looses it in this film (twice) I keep expecting a dozen guys in white coats to come and slap her into submission before putting on the strait-jacket. But, no one does. Losers. Of course, this is a horror movie rather than a twisted romance. The twist in the romance provides the horror. So her screaming is probably just a signal that she is out of control. I'd rather rely on inference, thank you. Geez. Anyway, at last we know that King Kong's Dwan was just the rehearsal for Cora.
Image
Don't Like: As in the Tay Garnett version, this film completely avoids (or maybe it only sublimates) the dumb-ass aspect of the thing between Frank and Cora, and once again makes them creepy individuals who are evil to the core. Which might play perfectly into the horror noir aspect that Rafelson seems determined to bring about. Except, I have to admit that they aren't quite as pro-actively evil as Frank Chambers and Cora Smith in the 1946 film. That means they are a touch closer to the novel's main characters. But not close enough to match Ossessione's take on them.

Don't Like: The film stretches out some sections that possibly don't deserve as much screen time as they get, and that requires shortening of parts that probably should be longer. But something has to be left out when you include ten minutes of steamy sex scenes. Right? I don't mind the sex scenes, per se, but the point about sex scenes is that (like battle scenes in movies) they get the whole point across in the first few seconds. "Okay, I get it, that army is loads bigger than this one, and they're gonna whup up on 'em," for example. Everything else is just padding for time and showing a lot of humping or exploding. Dramatically, there is no point (I submit the screwing scene on the stairs in A History of Violence as an example) but there is titillation (don't mind titillation, either) and not much else. As Axel Foley says to Billy Rosewood in the strip joint, "It's okay if your dick gets hard." But, still, that's not dramatic. That's merely your amygdala taking over. I rarely watch a movie to get my amygdala cranked up.
Image
Don't Like: From the first, the music seems to be about the business of telegraphing what you should think about the scenes you are watching. The first chords make you think you're about to see Bigosaur Attacks the Sydney Opera House in 3D or something. Perhaps this is fitting, since the Mamet-Rafelson pairing has turned the story into a horror movie. The opening strains certainly dial-in that mood. So, if film music is meant to be mood music, and if it's meant to communicate what kind of film/scene you are watching, then this does its job.

Don't Like: Movies that constantly make me feel frustrated for/by the main characters. That's why I hate Meet the Parents. Perhaps this is going on in the James M. Cain novel, and I just don't see it because I'm always inside Frank Chambers' head, and he doesn't see it. But being made to stand outside his naive view of himself and the world changes everything. And I don't like the way in which it changes things. Maybe Visconti had already done the naive character thing. But I'll guarantee you that Garnett set off on the horror tack on his own (Luchino's little movie was locked up over in Italy). So Rafelson remade Garnett's film. Hmmm. So, what I dislike about one I dislike about the other, in a sense.
Image
Don't Like: The message communicated by the "don't touch me" struggles that Cora undertakes, before she gives in. I have the same complaint with the 1946 film (and I honestly don't recall this happening in the novel, where she just goes for him from the start). It perpetuates the "No means Yes" delusion that so many guys have about women. At least in one of these scenes she spits in Frank's face rather than submitting to penetration. (Go, Cora.) This playing out of such scenes legitimates the Conservative's twisted view of rape, as far as I can see. "You can force yourself on her because that's what she really wants. Thus, it isn't really rape." Maybe it's meant to be part of the horror. But it's talking to the amygdala, not the cerebellum. The cerebellum is what keeps you out of jail.

Obviously, neither Jack Nicholson nor Jessica Lange with their millions give a shit whether I like their performances or not. In this movie or any other. I know that. And a lot of you might like the characters. But maybe it's all because Rafelson started out directing The Monkees, and never lost his taste for beyond the pale, over the top, crossing the line, going a step or ten too far, etc. This is not a terrible film. In fact, I'd guess that if you hadn't seen any other adaptation of Cain's novel, and hadn't read the book, you might well like this. Especially if you're a Nicholson or Lange fan.
Image
And, maybe, Rafelson's 1960's New Hollywood counter-culture career of bucking the system, warping traditional cinematic ways of telling stories led him to favor the horror-show aspect of Tay Garnett's version of the novel. Maybe he never saw Visconti's version until after he made his film. Maybe he saw it but didn't agree with its tone. Maybe he just wanted to have hot sex scenes on screen.

And maybe I don't like some major aspects of this movie, but it sure did elicit a lot of words in 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 dreiser » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:56 am

What did you think of the expansion of the Audrey Totter role in the 1981 version (Anjelica Huston)? Seemed like a lot more screen time to me.

Re: Nicholson and Lange, not the biggest fan of either myself. It really irks me how Nicholson seems to get an Oscar nomination every year regardless of the work quality. He's the Meryl Streep of male actors. However, he is capable of delivering some pretty iconic performances. I love him in Carnal Knowledge and A Few Good Men as two examples. If you haven't seen Jessica Lange in Frances, you should. She is brilliant in that movie.
"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 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:17 am

dreiser wrote:What did you think of the expansion of the Audrey Totter role in the 1981 version (Anjelica Huston)? Seemed like a lot more screen time to me.

Re: Nicholson and Lange, not the biggest fan of either myself. It really irks me how Nicholson seems to get an Oscar nomination every year regardless of the work quality. He's the Meryl Streep of male actors. However, he is capable of delivering some pretty iconic performances. I love him in Carnal Knowledge and A Few Good Men as two examples. If you haven't seen Jessica Lange in Frances, you should. She is brilliant in that movie.
Yes, Ms Huston is on the screen much longer than Audrey Totter. The role of "that woman" in the novel is larger still. Frank and she go to Mexico. In the film versions it is never clear how much time Frank spends with her. Osessione shows Gino with Anita for more screen time than Madge is with Frank in either American film. But for Cain, this diversion Frank takes in Cora's absence is an important thing. The term probably wasn't around when Cain wrote his book, but he is showing a man with intense impulse control issues! A wanderer, a philanderer. Has problems with loyalty. :D
In the book, as in the 1946 film, he drops Cora off to go see her dying mother, and in the parking lot of the station he finds Madge having trouble starting her car! He waits exactly that long to find a Cora substitute.
Will put those films you recc'd in my various queues. Thanks. I saw A Few Good Men when it first came out on VHS. It didn't leave a very strong impression.

EDIT: Nicholson wasn't all that bad in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I like the early Jack better than the later Jack. Kind of the same way about Elvis Presley. But when I saw Cuckoo I realized that Nicholson is one of those actors who has a schtick that he always uses. Of course, I may not be seeing his full range, because of an aversion toward the "regular" performance. I used to hate Joe Pesce until I saw him in a role that wasn't like the one he plays in Raging Bull and Goodfellows.

As for actresses, Hollywood has a terrible fixation on one sort of woman, and there are dozens of clones of her. Meryl Streep at least has her own look! I find Angelica Huston and Audrey Totter much more interesting than Lana Turner or Jessica Lange.

Put those three films in my lists at teh Flix, and I'd already rated A Few Good Men. Frances sounds very interesting. I'd read about it before, but never had angled my eyes toward seeing 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 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:43 am

YouTookMyName wrote:The term probably wasn't around when Cain wrote his book, but he is showing a man with intense impulse control issues! A wanderer, a philanderer. Has problems with loyalty. :D
In the book, as in the 1946 film, he drops Cora off to go see her dying mother, and in the parking lot of the station he finds Madge having trouble starting her car! He waits exactly that long to find a Cora substitute.
He's a real cad.
YouTookMyName wrote:I find Angelica Huston and Audrey Totter much more interesting than Lana Turner or Jessica Lange.
So do I.
YouTookMyName wrote:Frances sounds very interesting. I'd read about it before, but never had angled my eyes toward seeing it.
It's about the tragic life and career of Frances Farmer. Talk about having one of the worst mothers in the history of humanity.
"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 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:49 am

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
Jerichow (2008) dir. Christian Petzold
Image

IMDb link 6.9/10 from 1,140 users -- RT-link 88% from the critics, 49% from viewers with 16,113 votes

Year: 2008 Director: Christian Petzold -- Cast: Benno Fürmann, Nina Hoss, Hilmi Sözer -- Length: 93 min. -- Color/Stereo

The director is one of those young German filmmakers that are lumped into The Berlin School. Obviously, all these filmmakers have some kind of basic similarities; rather their films do. But I'm not sure what they are, since, to my knowledge, this is only the second product of The Berlin School that I've ever seen, and both films are from the same director.

The title of the film is the place where Ali Özkan's snack food empire is centered, and where he lives. "Jerichow is a town in the Jerichower Land district, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is situated on the right bank of the Elbe, northwest of Genthin." According to Wikipedia the population is 7,702. This is a rural area like the part of California where Cain's novel is situated. As adaptations of James M Cain's novel, both the Italian film and Petzold's version have far more undercurrents than surface features. The American films are not equally deep, wearing their intentions very near the surface of the screen. They tend to show everything, whereas Visconti and Petzold tend to think things through behind the scenes, and merely show the surface of what's going on with their characters, leaving the audience to contemplate their way into understanding. I had to do that. Of course, I'm always in a hurry to get something posted, so it helped when I watched the 30-minute Making Of feature on the DVD.

The director and cast explain that Thomas and Laura are in a situation where they feel as if their lives have ground to a halt and they have to start over. Like 16-year olds they choose to start over with one another, but like teenagers they don't know quite how to do this. Petzold is clever in his choice of what to keep and what to change or drop from the Cain story. He says that he sees a parallel between the "Post-Fordian" situation in Germany in 2008 where he says there are no real jobs left, and the Great Depression in the USA in 1934 when the book was written. Desperate people will do desperate things, he reminds us. He retains the childish nature of the protagonists, even having their hiding places for their cash-stashes be something that a kid might think of. While he purposely has Thomas and Laura playing everything low-key and emotionally close to the vest, that choice doesn't work well for me. I can understand his rationale for writing the characters as he did, and still find it unsatisfying as a viewer.
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The truth is that their love is a fantasy, and what they have at the moment is better than what they are daydreaming about. Laura says in the film that "You can't love if you don't have money. That's something I know." This is actually an idea that Petzold finds in Cain's original book. He sees that story as being one of class warfare. He also points out in the documentary that the Greek in that story only wants to have a business, drink some and laugh, but Frank and Cora see him as the Opressor and the enemy who must be done away with. In Petzold's film, though, Ali Özkan is jealous of his younger wife. He follows her around trying to catch her in infidelity, but the only infidelity he uncovers is a financial one. She has been skimming the profits of his business for a little mad money of her own.

Like Nick Papadakis he hits his wife. Unlike Nick, Ali was brought to Turkey at age two, so he doesn't recall anything about the country. His notions of his homeland are as inaccurate as Thomas and Laura's notions of running off together to make a new life. And his desire to control things leads him to inadvertently press the younger pair together (insisting that they dance on a beach outing) in a way that will be his undoing.

Christian Petzold's film is a good examination of three people in a particular situation making choices that most of us would not. But it is a more internalized film than either of the eponomously titled films. That is, we seem to be inside the characters more than outside them. Not as closely fused as we are when reading the novel, naturally, but much more than we are while watching the Garnett or the Rafelson.


Here are some aspects of the film that I like:

Like: Petzold subverts the well-known ending twist of the original story and all the other movies, and devises an unexpected finish that makes you realize that Shakespeare's observation about best-laid plans is right on the money. And in this case, while everything seems to be pretty much set right for Laura five minutes from the end of the film, the ending itself is a big rug-yanker.

Like: The surprise is good enough that I won't spoil it much, except to tell you that it's there. The other film by Petzold that I've seen also has an "everything is finally worked out," ending that goes bad. That film also involves a lot of driving in cars scenes. But I must admit, when I first watched this movie after having seen Ossessione and the two Postman Rings adaptations, the ending condition took me by surprise. Of course, it won't do that in rewatches.
Image
Like: The choice of locations always makes or breaks most films, and they make this one. There is a contrast between the rural poverty of Thomas' life (his mother's old house is falling down around him, but he is determined to stay there) and the rural luxury of the Özkan's farm. This yields some really eye-catching photography, and beautiful natural or near-natural lighting schemes. There is nothing wrong with a film having super-sweet eye candy.

Like: There is some music in the film that I really like. One of my favorite musical themes is in the Francis Poulenc Concerto in D minor for 2 pianos and orchestra, just hinted at the end of movement 1, but at 9:41 in this recording it makes its entrance during the second movement. The theme returns at about 13:00 in. The melancholy theme was selected by composer Jean Constantin for François Truffaut as the heart-wrenching theme that plays whenever young Antoine Doinel is facing his many troubles in The 400 Blows. His soundtrack is built around it, in fact, interweaving the melody and variations with another theme of Constantin's own devising. Stefan Will also adopts and adapts the Poulenc theme for Jerichow, keeping its rhythm but changing the notes here and there so that it becomes both a disturbing theme, and one that seems familiar at the same time. The theme recurs throughout the film once the illicit affair between Thomas and Laura begins.

Like: Thomas doesn't have much of a back-story (but neither does Frank Chambers) and in the course of the film we learn only three things about him: his mother has just died, his business partner comes to collect a debt because Thomas just walked away from their business, and he received a dishonorable discharge from the army following his service in Afghanistan--why? we don't learn that. So to an even greater extent than Frank or Gino, Thomas is a man of deep mystery. Also, Petzold retains the child-like thought processes of Frank and Cora in the novel, rather than going for the Garnett-Rafelson "these people are so obviously evil" approach.
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Like: Laura's confession to Thomas about her history is very similar to Cora's in the novel, but also trends toward Frank's past. Her reason for marrying Ali is pretty much lifted from the novel and transported to Germany. This is because her story is international in scope and possibility, and totally human in its underpinnings. You can believe that someone like Cora or Laura would do that kind of thing, while at the same time you wonder how they could be so short-sighted as to do that kind of thing!

Like: The road noise of the traveling delivery van seems to be tuned to a particular pitch. Is this the Mercedes vehicle, or Dirk Jacob, Petzold's sound designer at work? I rode in a dozen Mercedes vans in Turkey during three weeks last summer, and I don't remember them running with true-pitched sound, so I lay this to a clever sound guy! He can take credit, even if I'm only imagining this.


There aren't any aspects of the film that I have a strong negative feeling about, but there are some that don't really set well with my sensibilities:

Don't Like: Driving. Driving! Driving! Auughhhh! Even though it sooo fits with the context of the movie. I kind of get jaded from being in the car. This is despite the fact that one of the best scenes between Thomas and Laura takes place while he's driving the delivery van, and she's hiding from any prying eyes in the floorboard on the passenger side at the time. So not only do talky scenes take place in this film, most of them are played out within the confines of the interior of vehicles. Yet, this is part of Petzold's style! It's just taken really far in this film about a man who gets a job as a delivery driver.
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Don't Like: Laura and Thomas seem to have the least passion toward one another of all the couples in these four films. Perhaps it's because they are German. Maybe this is what love is like in Germany. I wouldn't know. Maybe this was Petzold's idea, coitus interruptus in feature length? It would seem so from his comments in the Making Of documentary, but I still find that a bit disconcerting as an American viewer. The passion in the American films is overdone, though. In this film it's underdone. I find the level to be most appropriate in the Visconti film. That doesn't mean that Petzold's choice is wrong, simply that it doesn't please me as well as Visconti's choices do.

Don't Like: Thomas is so laconic that the world seems to operate on him, rather than him having any influence. Perhaps that's the point Petzold is trying to get across. He says that he made Thomas a character without a history. But no one exists without a history. Sure, he's starting over, but for the viewer where he came from is at least a little more important than Petzold lets on. Conceptually it's a fine idea; practically, it doesn't work as well for me. We know one basic fact about Frank Chambers: he's a wandering man, and then we learn a couple other important facts: he's been in and out of jails all across the country, and he has a hot temper. Cora is trading one hot-tempered master for another, but she doesn't seem to recognize that. Thomas never hits Laura, though. It might be nice to know a little more about him and maybe where from he gets the good heart that Ali recognizes.

Jerichow, on balance makes four films that aren't bad, all created from a single novel that strikes so many chords with humans all over the world. Of course, I still prefer Lucino Visconti's version, but it's followed by Petzold's, and then Rafelson's, with Tay Garnett's film at the bottom. But the bottom doesn't mean dragging the floor. Watching all four of these movies and comparing them for yourself would be a worthwhile way to spend a bit of time, I think. Not a one of them is a waste of time, although the 1946 American film is hampered by the "decency" of the times in which it was made, and the 1981 film is hampered by being a remake of that film rather than Visconti's. I've noticed that most films get better with a rewatch, although some get worse and worse. I don't usually give those films a second chance, anyhow. Maybe my liking of all four to the degree that I like them is the result of gaining a deeper understanding of each film as I see it 3-5 times in the course of the thread-building.
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Unless you're fluent in German, Jerichow requires you to read subtitles (as does Ossessione unless you understand Italian), but if you can get through that you'll probably enjoy the film. It isn't terribly fast-paced, which is good, because you need a little time to absorb what you're seeing. It isn't all spelled out for you. It's only an hour and a half. Petzold makes his plot-detour happen early enough that the last third of the Cain story isn't necessary, yet he still gets his points across.




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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 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:10 am

YouTookMyName wrote: Like: Petzold subverts the well-known ending twist of the original story and all the other movies, and devises an unexpected finish that makes you realize that Shakespeare's observation about best-laid plans is right on the money. And in this case, while everything seems to be pretty much set right for Laura five minutes from the end of the film, the ending itself is a big rug-yanker.

Like: The surprise is good enough that I won't spoil it much, except to tell you that it's there. The other film by Petzold that I've seen also has an "everything is finally worked out," ending that goes bad. That film also involves a lot of driving in cars scenes. But I must admit, when I first watched this movie after having seen Ossessione and the two Postman Rings adaptations, the ending condition took me by surprise. Of course, it won't do that in rewatches.
Yeah, the ending is fantastic. I still prefer the American versions over this one and the Visconti. Lot of it has to do with the acting talent involved.
"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 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:23 am

dreiser wrote:
Yeah, the ending is fantastic. I still prefer the American versions over this one and the Visconti. Lot of it has to do with the acting talent involved.
:D If your faves are cast in a film it makes it much harder to dislike, I'll admit. Also, to us Americans the cast of the Italian and German versions are unknowns.

BTW, I had never seen a film with John Garfield before Postman (1946), which I watched last year when deciding on Rematches for Rounds Two and Three. So I recently went looking at archive.org to see if he's in anything over there that I could see for free, and I found They Made Me A Criminal (1939) in which he costars alongside the Dead End Kids, and Gloria Dickson as his new farm girlfriend. He plays a sufficiently different character so that I can tell he at least puts some effort into characterizations. I wonder what he's truly good in. Let's see, he was nominated for Oscars for Body and Soul (haven't seen it) and (whoa! I've seen this one) Four Daughters. Maybe I'll queue up Body and Soul soon.

As for your preference for the American versions, at least you watched the other two in order to decide!
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 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:46 am

Body and Soul is a solid movie even though I loathe the Dead End Kids. I really like Force of Evil and Humoresque as well.
"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 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:02 pm

In the Garfield I watched, the Dead End kids weren't "The Dead End Kids" if you know what I mean. Their schtick wasn't yet formed up and Huntz Hall hadn't decided to be a comic. I was very surprised by this.
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 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:03 pm

Image

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
Behind the Lens

It won't surprise you to know that the photographic styles of these four movies are different! Only 3 years, but half a world intervene between Ossessione and the 1946 The Postman Always Rings Twice. But another 35 years worth of animated calendar pages fall off the wall before the Rafelson version is made. And then 27 years and the dawn of a European Union pass before Jerichow is ready to project. The earlier pair are black and white (grayscale, actually), while the later pair are in color. Widescreen processes, most notably 65mm film existed in 1943 and 1946, but there were few theaters that could exhibit widescreen, so the 4:3 aspect ratio ruled. Within a decade after the Garnett film premiered, almost all theatrical films were made in some widescreen format. Here are the names that get cinematography credit for these four films:

1943ImageImageImage
Domenico Scala & Aldo Tonti whose credits read Photographed By. Scala lived from 1903 until 1989. Tonti was born in 1910 and lived until 1988. Tonti has the longer list of credits, and his are somewhat international. He is known as a neo-realist cinematographer according to IMDb. Ossessione was his 24th screen credit as photographer. Scala's DP career took off in 1931, four years before Tonti's. The Visconti was his 33rd screen credit. I have not found any source to explain why both men worked on the Visconti film.


1946ImageImageImage
Sidney Wagner (director of photography). He lived from 1901 to 1947. He was credited with three more films after The Postman Always Rings Twice. Although he only lived 46 years, he photographed 70 titles between 1924 and 1947. Wagner was behind the camera for Boy's Town (1938), A Christmas Carol (1938), and Cabin in the Sky (1943).


1981ImageImageImage
Sven Nykvist got credit as Cinematographer on the Rafelson film. Nyqvist won two Oscars a decade apart for two Bergman films: Cries & Whispers (1974) and Fanny & Alexander (1984). All told his film work garnered 21 awards, and 8 nominations. He worked as a director of photography from 1943 until 2001. Nyqvist worked with many of the top directors of his time. His lighting style is one that looks as if he is adding no light, very naturalistic for each scene. But it wasn't something he knew how to do immediately upon becoming a DP. "Today we make everything so complicated. The lighting, the camera, the acting. It has taken me thirty years to arrive at simplicity." It is Nyqvuist's work that creates (for me) most of the memorability of the 1981 adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice.


2008ImageImageImage
Cinematography by Hans Fromm. Fromm is younger than your presenter, born in 1961. He got his first DP credit in 1986 at age 25. Fromm has worked with Christian Petzold on 10 of his 13 films, plus enough other directors and projects to make Fromm's total credits 38 titles. Hans Fromm's work has won nominations and awards.

Of the four DP's represented in this Multimatch, only Fromm is still working. It doesn't seem likely that he will equal Aldo Tonti's output, or even Sidney Wagner's, although 70 titles is more attainable for a man his age than 136 titles. Only Wagner's camera work seems to be pedestrian most of the time. Perhaps it is because his work on Postman was mostly set-bound, and the style of the day was to make everything visible, rather than challenging a viewer's eyes to find things in the frame.


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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 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:51 pm

Image

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
Cutting Classy

Just think, for the first three of these movies there was no digital intermediate. The editors were actually cutters, who sliced out desired sections of workprints until they got the film the way they wanted. And then negative cutters would conform the working copy of the negative to the frame numbers in the workprint. It was a very intense process. Fade ins and outs and dissolves had to be timed in the printer. Color timing was just exactly that, with a single frame taking a while to print up. The conformed negative was spliced together for invisible edits by A/B roll printing each scene onto a master negative from which release prints were made. I always worked in video except for student projects, so my adjustments were visible as I went, and when I got something edited the master was the master. But it was never the same quality as film. Jerichow is the only one of these four films that was done the modern way, with a digital intermediate and electronic editing. Here are the people who are responsible for selecting the shots we see:


1943ImageImageImage
Mario Serandrei edited Visconti's realistic portrayal of Italian poverty in 1943. You might want to sit down before you read this: Serandrei has 236 film editing credits! He started in 1931 and worked through 1966 when he died. He has two editing credits for releases in 1967 and 1976, though. In 1943 Ossessione was one of 11 films that he edited. It was his 32nd screen credit as film editor, so there would be another 204 gigs for him before 1966. Now, I produced over 350 instructional titles, so I might have edited the same number as he did, but a lot of mine were only a few minutes in length, and only one of his titles is accompanied by the word "short" while another is a "segment'." This man edited 234 feature films in his career! I am impressed. Cutting blocks and cement were his tools.

All his films were completed during the sound era. But remember that all Italian films for decades were shot MOS (without sound) and the picture was edited, then various foreign and domestic language tracks were recorded and built; all the audio was post-sync. The idea of cutting dialogue when you can't hear it seems frightening to me. I am in awe of Mario Serandrei. Maybe he got the post-synced sound to use while editing. It seems like that would be the only way. Now, it's interesting to note that for some American films he had pseudonyms. For Mario Bava's The Road to Fort Alamo released in 1964 (a spaghetti western) he was "Wilson Dexter." And for The Long Hair of Death (also 1964) he was "Mark Sirandrews." He used that name two years later for his work on Hired Killer. This guy may turn out to be the most interesting of the film editors involved in this Multimatch. As nearly as I can tell, Ossessione is the only Serandrei work that I've seen. Wikipedia


1946ImageImageImage
George White, who lived from 1911 until 1998, has 56 credits as Editor. He was adept enough to garner a 1948 Oscar nom for the 1947 release Green Dolphin Street. The Postman Always Rings Twice was White's 12th editing credit. I have seen a few of his titles: The Naked Spur (1953), The Young Guns (1956), Mutiny in Outer Space (1965), and I tried to watch Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966), but I couldn't make it through. This was not because of bad work by White. Others had destroyed this film before he ever touched it. Wikipedia


1981ImageImageImage
Graeme Clifford is an Australian who directed Jessica Lange in the film Frances in 1982. He directed episode #2.5 of Twin Peaks in 1990. He has directed a number of made-for TV films since 1994. He has 2 producer credits, and 7 film editor credits, the last of which is Bob Rafelson's The Postman Always Rings Twice. You may or may not know that his third and fourth editor outings were for The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). His editing work on Don't Look Now (1973) garnered him a BAFTA nomination, and he was nominated for the Golden Prize at the 1983 Moscow International Film Festival for Frances. Clifford's latest credit is for directing a 2007 TV movie. He was born in 1942, so he may have chosen retirement by this time. Wikipedia


2008ImageImageImage
Bettina Böhler is our only woman featured as editor of one of these films. She has worked with Christian Petzold on several of his other films. Her first editorial credit appeared in 1985, and to date she has 69 credits in that field. She is currently in post-production on a slated 2014 release. She has been nominated for and has won awards, a number of which are for Petzold films. Ms Böhler is currently 53 years old, which should give her career at least another decade or two if she wants it. Remember that Hans Fromm framed up the pictures we see in Jerichow, but Ms Böhler selected the takes and made the film what we see (along with Petzold, no doubt).




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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.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:45 pm

Ah, me! (One of my grandmothers used to say that when she was facing an unpleasant situation)

I ordered a Blu-ray of The Thirteenth Floor along with the Blu of The Devil's Backbone. The order was placed on Tuesday, and I thought because the items said "In Stock Ready to Ship" that I'd get The Thirteenth Floor disc before the QuickMatch starts on the 16th. But as bad luck would have it, the discs won't ship until August 19th, and the match is liable to be half over before I receive them.

I already have 4:3 frame grabs from the DVD I got from the library, but the movie is 2.35:1 aspect ratio. So I worked out a scheme whereby I could record segments temporarily to some AVCHD clips and grab the frames I wanted from them, then erase them. The quality will suffer a bit, but at least the entire frame composition will be on screen.

Even that isn't likely to happen unless I make graphics, leave holes for what I want from the remake, and then put them in after I get the disc. But that would require creating and posting double graphics for the essays and for one of the reviews. Gort and I don't like that idea. So, I might just spread out the Quickmatch behind getting ready to compare the three Godzilla films. Not sure. But it's my call, and I'll think of something. ;)

The Quickmatch idea seemed good when I was planning all these things, but piling 14 posts into 15 days really means I have to work way ahead on them (which--harumph-I have not been doing) so it's a real rush job with this one coming up.

If you're curious about the status of the Postman Multimatch (and who wouldn't be, so long as they were in their right mind?), I have 7 posts left on it. The essays are 3/4 written (that is I've written 3 of the remaining 4) and I still have to do the 3 longish tech posts that I always leave until last because they take so long.

The end of Postman may overlap a bit with the Quickmatch for the Fassbinder and its remake. And the Quickmatch itself might overlap with the daikaiju Multimatch.

But I don't care, if you don't. :D
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 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:34 pm

WOO HOO! (That's something one of my grandfathers used to say when he was looking forward to a situation)

I opened my email this morning and was greeted by a message from B&N saying that my discs have shipped! All but one of my prior B&N purchases were either electronic downloads, or in-store purchases, so maybe I can expect this each time I order online. I didn't pay any attention to whether this happened with the 4 Criterions I bought last month. If it had I probably would have noticed. Maybe it was just a burp. Maybe they didn't want to promise an earlier date in case the promised shipments didn't arrive at their warehouses. Who knows?

Anyway, I should have the disc of The Thirteenth Floor in time to get stills, now.

Yay.

[relieved sigh]
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.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:19 am

Good news.
"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 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:01 pm

dreiser wrote:Good news.
I actually giggled with glee when I found that email. I was the only one in the building where I work at the time.

That's a sexy avatar.
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 Aug 03, 2013 7:02 pm

Image

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
Lines You Might Like

I worked up the quotes for this Multimatch from transcripts that I found on the web for each of the American films, and by using English subtitle files for the Italian and German films. This allows me to use longer quotations to give you a better sense of the writing. Of course I have to put in character names and action cues. But it should be a better format.

1943 OssessioneImageImage
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Gino: (walking into the roadhouse where Giovanna is at the counter)
Do you serve food here? -- I'm asking if you serve food here. -- Look, I'll pay for it. (shows that he has money)
Giovanna:
Okay, but in the other room. -- Wait, I'll bring it to you in the other room.

(Gino goes into the kitchen and sits down at a table)

Gino: (when he begins eating)
It's good. Do you have anything to do with that potbelly outside?
Giovanna:
He's my husband.
Gino:
He's lucky to have a woman like you, one that cooks so well.
Giovanna:
You're exaggerating. I am not a cook. (She begins to leave, and he tries to follow) Wait for me there.
Gino:
It's hot in here, by the stove.
Giovanna:
You're built like a horse. What's a little heat to you?

(Giuseppe Bragana calls from off-screen)
Giuseppe:
Giovanna? We've caught a chicken thief hiding on a truck. He must still be around here. You never know what those guys are up to.
Giovanna: (to Gino)
Why have you stopped eating?
Giuseppe: (enters the kitchen)
He may try something. You hear so many things these days. Here, it's even in the paper. I hope... (to Gino) Just the one I was looking for. Who told you could come into the kitchen?
Giuseppe: (to Giovanna)
Are you crazy? He could even steal the dishes. (to Gino) Let's go, boy. Thank goodness my brain still works.

(Gino leaves)

Giuseppe:
Well, princess, you do your nails every day and let my house go.
Giovanna:
Don't get mad at me. You're really smart. You talk and talk and let him go without paying.
Giuseppe:
Without paying?
Giovanna: (even though Gino actually paid her)
Yes. Without paying.
Giuseppe:
Why didn't you say so before?
Giovanna:
Because--
Giuseppe:
I'll take care of him.

(Giuseppe comes out onto the road behind Gino, who is walking away)

Giuseppe:
Hey! You! Wait a minute! (Gino stops, and Giuseppe walks up to him) I told you, nobody can fool me. Where you come from, do you eat without paying?
Gino:
What are you saying?
Giuseppe:
Don't play dumb. You didn't pay. The wife said so.
Gino: (Realizes that he's been had by Giovanna)
Your wife told you that?
Giuseppe:
Yes.
Gino:
That's a good story.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Giovanna:
When did you notice I liked you?
Gino:
Right away. When I asked for something to eat...and you didn't answer.
Giovanna:
Now you'll never leave me, right? Not even to go back on the road?
Gino:
No.
Giovanna:
Perhaps I was wrong about you. You'll go boasting to everybody.
Gino:
Some things I keep inside.
You're the first woman I've been with in a long time. I didn't have much of a social life in the last few months--longshoreman in Trieste, mechanic when I found work.
So who could I tell about this? I don't know anybody around here.
Giovanna:
Then...We'll get along.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Gino:
Now I know why you didn't want to come away with me. It was this money--
Giovanna:
No, Gino. You're not thinking straight.
Gino:
I'm not ? Now I know that you used me. You needed someone to help you.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


1946 The Postman Always Rings TwiceImageImage
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Cora:
Frank... I wasn't going to Mr. Sackett tonight.
I was running away...for good. So that you wouldn't ever see me again. Me or....
Me or....
Frank:
Cora.
Cora:
Oh, no, don't, Frank. I've got to tell you all about it.
We.... We took a life, didn't we, Frank? Well, now we can give one back. Then maybe God will forgive us...and maybe it'll help square us.
Frank:
Maybe it will.
Cora:
Maybe it'll help. We've been all mixed up.
Oh, Frank, I couldn't turn you in to Sackett.
I couldn't have this baby and then have it find out I'd sent its father...into that poison gas chamber for murder.
Frank:Was...? Was the baby the only reason?
Cora:
No.
Frank. Please, there's one thing I have to be sure of. No, don't ask me any questions.
Just take me down to the beach. We've been so happy there. And let's be happy again...just once more.
And then I promise that everything will be settled, one way or the other...before we come back.
Frank:I'll get the car, Cora.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Frank:
Father, do you think she knows the truth?
Father McConnell:
We can hope.
Frank: We got off to a wrong start,
and somehow or other...we never got back on the right track. But I didn't kill her.
I loved her so much, I tell you, I would have died for her!
Kyle Sackett:
I just talked to the governor.
Frank:
But, I.... I didn't do it. -- I didn't do it, I tell you!
Kyle Sackett:
Wait a minute!
All right, suppose you didn't do it.
Frank:
Get me a new trial. I'm not gonna go in that gas chamber for killing her!
Kyle Sackett:
Suppose you got a stay of execution, a new trial, acquittal of killing Cora.
Then what?
Last night they auctioned off the fixtures at the Twin Oaks. A man who bought the cash register found a note in the back of the drawer. He brought it to me. It's addressed to you. Cora wrote it.
It's a very beautiful note, Frank...written by a girl who loved a man very much. I imagine it was written earlier the very night she died. A note of farewell, isn't it?
Frank:
She did try and run away that night.
Kyle Sackett:
And since she had no idea anyone would ever see that note but you...it therefore has just enough of a confession to convict you of helping her kill her husband.
So if you were to leave this room because you didn't kill her...you'd soon be back here again
for helping her kill Nick.
What's the use?
Frank:
Then.... Then what's gonna happen to me is not because I killed her?
Kyle Sackett:
No, laddie, for killing Nick.
Frank:
You know...there's something about this that's like....
Well, it's like...you're expecting...a letter that you're just crazy to get...and you hang around the front door...for fear you might not hear him ring.
You never realize that he always rings twice.
Kyle Sackett:
What's that?
Frank:
Well, he rang twice for Cora...and now he's ringing twice for me, isn't he? That's about it.
The truth is, you always hear him ring the second time. Even if you're way out in the back yard.
Father. You were right. It all works out. I guess God knows more about these things than we do.
Somehow or other...Cora paid for Nick's life with hers. And now I'm going to.
(to Father McConnell)Father...would you send up a prayer for me and Cora? And if you could find it in your heart...make it that we're together, wherever it is.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

1981 The Postman Always Rings TwiceImageImage
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Cora:
He would have found us anyway. You don't know him, Frank. He would've followed us, and he would have found us.
Frank:
Don't lose sleep over it, Cora. I'm just disappointed. I thought we had somethin'.
Cora:
You just don't know what it's like. Bein' a woman, trapped in this kind of....
You don't, you don't know.
Frank:
There's always a way, Cora. If we stick together.
Cora:
I didn't know what to do.
Nick: (hollering off-screen)
Cora!
Cora:
I've got to have you, Frank.
If it was just us.... If it was just you and me.
Frank:
What are you talking about?
Cora:
I'm getting tired of what's right and wrong.
Frank:
They hang people for that, Cora.
Nick: (hollering)
Cora! Come here!
Hey, Frank, it look good from here, uh?
Frank:
Yeah. It's a hell of an idea you had.
Nick:
Hey, neon, huh? Neon.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Frank:
We'll get somebody to look at you.
Cora:
No, I'm fine.
Frank:
Hey, you listen to me.
Cora:
I just want to go home. Really, Frank.
Frank:
I'm gonna have you looked at.
Cora:
I just felt a little funny.
Like I strained something.
That's what I mean.
Frank:
Feelin' a little better? Huh?
Cora:
Feel great.
Frank:
Yeah?
Cora:
Yeah.
Frank:
Good.
Cora:
Yeah.
Frank:
You do?
Cora:
Why shouldn't I?

(They have a near miss with another car. Frank swerves. Cora falls out onto the shoulder of the road. Frank crashes the car into a post. When he gets to her it is all over but the crying.)
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


2008 JerichowImageImage
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Employment Office Woman:
Thomas...You don't need to come here in work clothes.
Thomas:
I'm renovating.
Employment Office Woman:
At your own house?
Thomas:
Otherwise it'd be illegal employment.
Employment Office Woman:
Harvest helper, starts June 25th.
Thomas:
Harvesting what?
Employment Office Woman:
Cucumbers, on a machine.
Thomas:
And until then? -- I have absolutely no money left.
Employment Office Woman:
We have to check that.
Thomas:
When?
Employment Office Woman:
We'll send someone on Monday.
Thomas:
I can prove my bank account is at zero right now.
Employment Office Woman:
You own a house, we have to estimate its value.
You were in Afghanistan. Didn't you receive a discharge bonus?
Thomas:
I got a dishonorable discharge.
Employment Office Woman:
Why? (he doesn't answer)
I have to fill out your profile.
Thomas:
For a cucumber harvester?
Employment Office Woman:
Yes.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
(Ali, his wife Laura, and their employee Thomas are at the beach, with a blanket, and a boombox playing Turkish music.)
Ali: (notices that his liquor bottle is totally empty. Tries to get Laura or Thomas to dance with him.)
Come on. -- Come on, Thomas. -- Laura, come on.
Thomas:
You dance like a Greek.
Ali:
How'd you know, how a fucking Greek dances?
Thomas:
From Zorba-the-Greek.
Ali: (walks over to where they are on the blanket)
Assholes.
Show me how the Germans dance. -- Come.
Come on, Laura. -- Come on German Thomas, dance. Show me how the Germans dance.

(He starts different music. They stand and Ali nudges them into slow-dancing position)

Ali: (placing Thomas' hand on Laura's back)
Put your hand here.
Relaxed, not so stiff...and listen. You can do it.
(Ali watches them dance, but they are not really into it.)
Keep dancing. I'll be right back.

(Ali walks away. Thomas and Laura keep dancing. When Ali is out of sight Thomas kisses Laura, who returns the kiss. Finally she pulls apart.)

Laura:
Damn, a nice friend you are. -- Why don't you help him? He's completely plastered.

(Thomas goes to find Ali.)

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::




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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 Aug 03, 2013 7:04 pm

Wow, that was my content post #357 (magnum). ;)
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 Shieldmaiden » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:21 pm

I’ve seen two of the four in the Postman matchup (the Garnett and the Petzold), but I’ll definitely watch Ossessione now that I’ve read this match-up. Of those two, I prefer the German one. I appreciated the suppressed passion you disliked, and that ending is hard to beat! I do want to mention that, while I’ve only seen two now by Visconti (The Damned and Senso), it’s enough to make me absolutely positive there was no beginners luck involved. He’s a master, maybe the most engaging director I can think of offhand. I don’t mean they’re my favorite movies, but just that he has a way of absorbing me completely. I don’t think about watching them as I watch them. I don’t second-guess motives, or check the clock. I just watch.

Oh, and I should have The Thirteenth Floor from Netflix on Wednesday, so I’ll be ready for that one.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:06 am

YouTookMyName wrote: That's a sexy avatar.
:up:
"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 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:35 am

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)

Image
Banned in Boston

"Banned in Boston" used to be a good marketing tool. People in other cities wanted to read whatever the Boston City Fathers had deemed too salacious for human consumption. The thing is, it was no ruse. Boston did ban books and movies and plays that contained objectionable content. This practice stopped in Boston in 1965 after a battle over the book Naked Lunch.

They were not the only city to do this, of course. Through the late 1960s and even into the early 1970s there were hundreds of towns and cities where the government intended to look out for the morals of the locals, whether the locals wanted to be looked after or not. Basically the idea was that if I didn't want my morals watched over, that made it extra important that these people protect me from bad influences. Obviously, if I objected to their nannying imperatives I didn't have a sliver of an idea what was and wasn't good for my brain! There was a film that in Memphis, TN was made "adults only" simply because a dolphin said an "excreta word." The Memphis censor board was made such gleeful fun of over that, that they didn't bother banning anything else. Ever. As far as I recollect. I think the film in question was Day of the Dolphin, but I'm not sure.

S. Macdonald writes in a brief article at spinetinglermag.com
The thing that struck me was how sexy this book was for the time it was written. It seems tame in comparison to today’s standards but back then lines like “Rip me, Frank. Rip me like you did that night” were scandalous. Having characters, especially female characters, react so passionately, to be completely overwhelmed and consumed by sex was almost unheard of. Couple that with the fact that the violence in Postman was displayed as being clinical and efficient, without any moral ambiguity, caused the book to be banned in Boston and the movie to be banned in Indonesia, Switzerland, and Spain; all in spite of garnering critical praise in both forms.
It is just that thing that makes the novel so powerful: the amorality of the protagonists. But that's only in the novel. In both American films Frank and Cora are not so much amoral as immoral. It's the difference in how America perceives certain things, and part of the general atmosphere that made possible the Comstock Law and other notions that had people trying to control artworks for so long in this country.

Still, the fact that the movie was banned in other countries shows that America doesn't have a lock on Puritanical impulses. Remember that Visconti's film Ossessione was also Banned in Bisceglie and the rest of 1940s Italy -- by the Fascists in Italy, and he was threatened with death because he had dared make such a film. It was no doubt spurred by more than merely the politics that you can infer while analyzing the movie. The amorality of Gino and Giovanna is completely above board, and hangs out there for all to see. The conservative Fascists didn't care for it.

But it is Cain's ability to look without flinching (much) at the sad condition of people who get themselves into untenable situations, and what they might try in order to extract themselves, that originally set the book up to be the perfect topic for Italian neo-realism! There was no doubt a struggle in Hollywood about how to make such a monster best-seller into a movie in the era of Banned in Boston. I read that it took ten years to get a screenplay tame enough to pass the censors. The changes made are not all good. I suppose within the context of the moral atmosphere of the time Tay Garnett did the best he could. But it is not quite a movie of the book. It has the same title, but warps nearly everything into a watered-down version of what Cain wrote. By that I mean the amoral climate of the adultery is swapped for a more "acceptable" immoral series of immoral acts by two people who are evil at heart. Visconti kept the original feel of the book when he put his film together. Permission or no permission. He sublimated the horror, while Garnett's version took that same horror and elevated it into the creative purpose of the film. Thus, the subtle noir novel becomes blatant film noir, but in doing so, and by shifting the perspective to external from internal, it alters everything and how it looks and feels to the audience.

I won't say that Garnett and his writers and producers didn't understand the book, or that they didn't understand America. They understood both quite well! And that's why they gutted the story when they made their film. They knocked the wind out of it, and tossed the limp balloon that remained into the ring in American theaters. I won't say it's a bad film, only that it is not a rendering of the tone of Cain's best-selling book.

Unfortunately, Rafelson and his gang were remaking that film, rather than starting fresh with the novel (about 46 years old when production began). Thus, they retained the basic essential flaws that Garnett's film has.




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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 Aug 07, 2013 9:46 pm

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Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
Design and Such

There are so many names associated with the production of each of these films, I decided to select up to five interesting-sounding people from each crew list and see what I can learn about them.


1943ImageImageImage
Maria De Matteis was the costume designer for Ossessione. Her career took her into international exposure, and brought her some awards. Perhaps one of her highest profile films was the joint Italian US production Barabbas(1961) for which she was nominated for her costume design work. The film was shot in Italy, which gave Ms Matteis the opportunity to work on it. She was born in Florence, Tuscany, Italy, and died 90 years later in Rome.
Gino Franzi served as both art director and set decorator on the 1943 film. But it was the last film credit he would receive. His career lasted only from 1936 to 1943. Yet he lived to be 72 years old, which was 28 years after production wrapped on Ossessione. As nearly as I can tell from my web search, Franzi left the movies and became a rather successful architect! Most of the pages I found about him are in Italian, so we'll wait to hear from Jedi if I'm writing about the same man. The birth and death dates match what IMDb shows, though. So maybe someone else confused this man with the architect.
Giuseppe Rosati was the composer of film music that was heard in nine films released between 1938 and 1951. But like the other crew members on this film, there is little to be gleaned from an internet search about the man.


1946ImageImageImage
Irene Lentz, always credited simply as Irene was the Costume Supervisor for this movie. That means she is the one responsible for over-dressing Lana Turner. Irene was also the costume supervisor for The Picture of Dorian Gray the year before this. Irene received two Oscar nominations for her work in films. Her career was based on her designs for evening gowns for the starlets of the films, mostly at MGM from 1942 to 1949. She also ran some successful boutiques. She is probably the only person in this list who died of suicide.
Eugene Joseff is probably the only person in this post who designed and manufactured metal parts for missiles and planes. He was also the jeweler for the Postman film, so he was partly responsible for Lana Turner looking nothing like Cora Smith would have. He only lived to age 43, and his widow continued to operate his two businesses (aircraft parts and Hollywood costume jewelry) until her death. Joseff has 1022 listings in his IMDb filmography, but very many say (uncredited) out to the side. The mid-1940s seem to have been boom years for his jewelry business, with too many films listed for each year for me to count.
Douglas Shearer was involved with what you can hear in this film. His credit says "Recording Director" which may mean anything, but beneath his name is a list of sound recordists and engineers. He is probably the only person in this list who won seven Oscars. That was out of 21 noms total. He didn't only work with sound: he was nominated but did not win for special effects on The Wizard of Oz (1939). He received nominations for sound and special effects on Green Dolphin Street (1947), for example.
The music for the 1946 adaptation burst from the mind of George Bassman. This was the man who wrote the orchestral and vocal arrangements for the music in The Wizard of Oz. IMDb says he worked on the scores of 120 films, but again his work was rarely credited on screen. That was pretty chronic in the 1940s and earlier, before more complete credits began to roll at the conclusions of movies. Bassman was born in 1914 and lived 83 years, receiving music credits in 1995, two years before his death. Bassman received 39 screen credits as composer, one of which was for The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). No awards or nominations are listed at IMDb.


1981ImageImageImage
Richmond L. Aguilar was the man responsible for getting his crew to set and arm lighting instruments to fulfill the bidding of cinematographer Sven Nyqvist. The job title is "Gaffer" but that comes from the pole (gaff) that lighting guys use to set lighting instruments on an overhead grid. Even after lighting was more often mounted on floor stands the name stuck. Aguilar has performed lighting duties on 102 title. He was born in 1931, and is still alive. His last screen credit was 11 years ago on Two Weeks Notice. If you scroll down his list of films, that go all the way back to 1966, you'll recognize many titles. Aguilar was also the cinematographer on two films, which appear in his IMDb filmography.
If you look at Production Designer George Jenkins' filmography you see that he created the look of 21 titles. Many of these are memorable films. Jenkins also was art director on 16 titles and directed 2 television shows in 1952. He won an Oscar for All the President's Men (1976). On a number of his gigs he served as both production designer and art director.
Brian L. McCarty often was the boom operator on motion pictures, but for the 1981 Postman film he was the guy who sat at the (probably) Nagra and shouted "Speed!" a few seconds after Bob Rafelson shouted "Roll 'em!" His credit on this film is Sound Recordist. McCarty worked in the sound department on 20 titles, and in the music department on 26. On The Big Lebowski he is the music playback operator. I'll leave it up to you to decide what that job might entail. He was the uncredited music coordinator on The Rocketeer according to IMDb. Many of his filmography entries bear the accursed (uncredited) notation.


2008ImageImageImage
Ires Jung has been the assistant director on several of Christian Petzold's films. She had his position on Yella before Jerichow, and most recently worked with Petzold on Barbara. On her second credited film she was AD on Suck My Dick, a German film about a man who dreams that a character from his latest novel has taken his penis. That's the kind of title that just leaps out at you from a filmography. I had to look it up. Not the genre of film I expected, at all.
Digital Colorist Vera Jeske Younan has 46 credits in the visual effects and editorial departments. Of these four films, Jerichow is the first that needed, or could have had a digital colorist. Her job might appear in either department, depending on the film. All her credits are for some form of color manipulation.
Reinhild Blaschke worked as location scout on Jerichow. This person is responsible for all the places you see on the screen being selected. She went to look at many possible physical locations first, photographed them, and let Christian Petzold look them over to select which ones he would use in the film. The process is actually not as simple as I describe it. Blaschke has been Production Designer on 10 films, location scout on only four. She was also the location scout for Barbara (2012).
Björn Friese has worked on 55 films, and in many of them you might not have noticed what he did. For example, on Jerichow he was in charge of special effects. What special effects? You might be tempted to ask. How about a man falling, after the soil of a cliff he is standing on falls away unexpectedly? That probably required co-ordination with the stunt crew.



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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

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 Aug 10, 2013 10:18 am

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)

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The Main Parts

Frank Chambers, Cora and Nick Papadakis are the main characters of the novel, and of all the film versions. They are not always called by those names. In the Italian film they are Gino, Giovanna, and Giuseppe. In the first American version the married couple are the Smiths, not Papdakises. In the German version they are Thomas, Laura and Ali. Nick is an immigrant, a Greek man who has made a mark with a small commercial success in southern California. It isn't clear whether Giuseppi Bragana is an immigrant to Italy. Maybe he's Spanish, maybe native Italian. Ali Özkan is a Turkish immigrant to Germany, although he was brought by his parents as a 2-year old. The Papadakises, the Smiths and the Braganas run roadside restaurants and taverns. Ali has 45 snack shops around Germany.


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Frank Chambers and his Analogues: Gino Costa, Frank Chambers, Frank Chambers, Thomas
Frank Chambersin the novel has "itchy feet" that like to carry him away to new places and people. Keep in mind the going to new places takes you to new people and away from things you wish you hadn't done, and people who you find irritating. Christian Petzold planned to make Thomas disaffected. We don't know why he got a dishonorable discharge...it's just something that he carries with him silently. He has moved back to his late mother's house, and wants to fix it up. He is trying to re-establish roots; he is on the move in a way similar to Gino and the Franks, but not because he wants to be.

Massimo Girotti plays Gino with all his shaggy body hair in place. A modern actor would have had his body shaved in order to look less of a country bumpkin. Girotti can by turns appear to be vulnerable and wicked. But his wickedness seems to stem from a lack of brainpower. John Garfield's Frank Chambers is pretty flat throughout the film. He is a drifter, looks like one, walks and talks like one, but he has a streak of self-serving greed that is a bad mixture with Turner's Ice Bitch. Plus, he doesn't think "no" means "no," and in her case it doesn't, so he more or less forces himself upon her. I think Cora Smith is trying to live in line with her marraige vows, but she's just weak enough that Frank's presence shatters her resolve. This is true again with the Jack Nicholson Frank, whose first half performance is one of the worst I've ever seen the man give, but after the murder he's fabulous! Scared, disoriented, vulnerable, and human. Thomas is played by Benno Fürmann, a Petzold regular. This actor has a kind of wild look because of rather round eye openings. He plays Thomas as disaffected, directionless, and numb. Although I've written that I don't particularly care for the emotionless relationship between Laura and Thomas (something that Shieldmaiden finds a plus), the low-key nature of the romance reflects the place in life that Thomas occupies during the story.


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Cora Papadakis and her Analogues: Giovanna Bragana, Cora Smith, Cora Papadakis, Laura Özkan
Cora Papadakis married an older man because she was desperate. She wants to be respectable and to be wealthy, and he seemed to offer a chance for that. But he drinks, and hits her when he is drunk. The story is the same in all the analogs for all four movies. Giovanna, both Coras, and Laura had reasons to need money. Only Laura is given crushing debt that Ali can help her overcome. But there is a prenuptial agreement that if she leaves him she regains full responsibility for her debt. These charcters all feel oppressed by their husbands and by his wealth and age, as if it is a weight that they bear every second of every hour.

Giovanna is surly because of it. It takes her a while to warm to Gino, and when she does she goes over the edge with him. Clara Calamai plays Giovanna without makeup and often with the addition of poverty-row dirt and shaggy hair. But she did this for her art, even though she was known to Italian audiences of the day as a beauty on screen. Lana Turner's agent kept her from doing anything near a decent job with her part as Cora Smith. She's a clothes horse, and a total bitch, even after she's in love with Frank. She had to be unlikable, I guess, to get the script past the Hays Office. But Jessica Lange's Cora Papadakis is equally repulsive. At least she doesn't go for the glamor as an actress, allowing herself to appear less than fetching at times. She is very alluring in the sex scene that takes place on the kitchen table while appearing to be the bad news sort of woman that any good 1930s American man worth his salt would avoid. I suppose there is some subtlety to Lange's performance, but it didn't come through for me on first viewing. Nina Hoss plays Laura as if she is a woman in a holding pattern. She is good at playing surprise and disappointment together, as well as getting the point across that at times Laura is being flat-out pushy with Thomas. Yet, at the end she is able to convincingly spin on a dime and change directions without having the audience say, "Oh, come on!" I believe three of these actresses are skillful at playing the women they portray. Turner was simply cast in this film to draw people to theater seats. It worked, and it's proof that the movie moguls of the day (like those of the 21st century) were interested mostly in the bucks. They didn't care whether the movie was really well-made or not. Maybe they felt oppressed by the idea of artistic integrity.


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Nick Papadakis and his Analogues: Giuseppe Bragana, Nick Smith, Nick Papadakis, Ali Özkan
Nick Papadakis just wants to enjoy his life, in the novel. Part of this is enjoying his wife who he treats well when he's sober, and who he hits when he's been drinking. But, hell, Cora wants Frank to bite her lip, so she apparently likes her romance rough. She seems to have no complaints about Nick until after she meets Frank. In the novel Cora falls for Frank immediately, yet stands by her vows to Nick. Or tries to. Giuseppe is a down-to-earth rural businessman who sings opera well enough to win contests. Perhaps he would have liked to sing professionally, but he gained success with his diner and cannot leave it. Both Nicks have made a go of their rural businesses, and they make every effort to enjoy life. Nick Smith plays the guitar. Nick Papadakis goes to parties where Greek music is played. Ali Özkan clings to his Turkish heritage, but he has grown up in Germany since he was 2 years old, so he isn't really Turkish at all.

Juan de Landa was an opera actor, but he appeared in 49 Italian films. As Giuseppi he has a flair for the abrupt, but he comes across as generous, nonetheless. Nick Smith, played by Cecil Kellaway, is a fun-loving older man who enjoys playing guitar at night for his wife, and sometimes dancing with her. When Frank comes to work with them he asks Frank to dance with Cora. Both Nicks like to get soused. John Colicos is perhaps a bit more ironic in his portrayal of the Greek immigrant in the 1981 adaptation. He is slightly less generous, although he lets Frank live in the service station house, and take all his meals with Nick and Cora. He seems to be a bit more lucid on the night of the car accident than Nick Smith is. Ali Özkan in the hands of Hilmi Sözer becomes a man whose pluck has made him wealthy, and whose watchfulness keeps his business associates from horning in on his turf. However, he is also abusive to Laura at times, and is jealous to the point of sometimes spying on her in the middle of workdays. Ali seems unsatisfied about something; perhaps he can see that his Turkish heritage is only a figment of his imagination, and that unsettles him. Or, perhaps, he senses that he is not well. Sözer makes Ali a sympathetic character. In fact, in all four films the audience is left wondering why Frank and Cora and their analogues want to do him in. He doesn't seem to be genuinely harming anyone, although we could always do without the wife bashing.


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DA Sackett and his Analogues: L'agente di polizia, D.A. Kyle Sackett, D.A. Sackett, none
In the novel D.A. Sackett is out to get Frank and Cora for attempting to murder Nick, but here isn't any evidence--except to the contrary. After the actual deed is done, he shows up immediately to sow discord between Frank and Cora, suspecting that they had offed Nic for his new life insurance policy. In Ossessione his analogue is probably L'agente di polizia who cannot prove anything but suspects that Giovanna and Gino are up to no good at the scene of Guiseppi's fatal accident. In the 1946 American film Frank gets a ride to the diner with Sackett. Rafelson introduces Sackett in Jack Nicholson's hospital room with a form ready for Frank to sign accusing Cora of attempting to murder him. There is no counterpart to this character in Jerichow.

Leon Ames plays Kyle Sackett in the Garnett production. He seems as political and slimy as the main characters do. You kind of cheer when the slimy defense attorney bests him in the courtroom. William Traylor plays Sackett in the second American film. Once again he comes across as a scumbag who has gotten elected to public office. These actors are required to be threatening, at which they succeed. They need to appear untrustworthy, at which they succeed. The role is more or less a glorified bit part. These guys do with it what they can, and help to move the plot forward with their efforts.


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Lawyer Katz and his Analogues: none, Arthur Keats, Mr. Katz, none
Arthur Katz is shrewder and more imaginative than Sackett in Cain's novel. He uses the insurance ploy against the D.A. merely to get even with him in a career sense. This is carried over into both American films, where it is abbreviated but still effective. Because of the different way in which Italian law works (or worked in the 1940s) there is no need for a defense attorney in Osessione. Jerichow ends before Thomas and Laura need a defense lawyer.

Hume Cronyn portrays Arthur Keats in the 1946 movie. He seems powerful for his slight stature right from the start. A bit more clever than anyone around him. He plays the part with gears turning in his head. You can tell that he views Cora and Frank as pawns in the game he wants to play against Sackett. For them to get away with murder is nothing compared to his getting revenge on the D.A. Cronyn makes his relatively small part one of the most enjoyable to watch in the entire film. Michael Lerner as 'Mr. Katz' in the 1981 film doesn't have nearly as much fun with his part, and as a result we don't have as much fun watching him as we do watching Hume Cronyn. As far as effectiveness is concerned both men do a fine job of inhabiting their roles.

Casting is rarely the problem with any of these films. The directors and casting directors did a good job of selecting humans to pretend to be the characters we see on the screen. Where some of the films fall short is in the use made of the actors in the roles. None of the films actually suck overall, and different viewers like different ones of them best. I could find little quarrel with the acting in most of the parts, even bit parts. But I still don't think Lana Turner is as effective as she could have been if she had consented to look like a regular dame rather than a move starlet while playing Cora Smith. Just another mark against that film as far as I'm concerned.




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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 Aug 10, 2013 3:36 pm

I'm catching up a bit with the thread here, but the Banned in Boston entry was a really interesting read. It's amazing to think about how things like that happened so frequently.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:09 pm

Love the character/actor comparison!
YouTookMyName wrote:Although I've written that I don't particularly care for the emotionless relationship between Laura and Thomas (something that Shieldmaiden finds a plus), the low-key nature of the romance reflects the place in life that Thomas occupies during the story.
Ha. Thomas is interesting because he's so reserved, in situation after situation that would seem to call for emotion. (And Fürmann's strange look doesn't hurt, either.) I don't think their relationship is emotionless or low-key, though. I think it's suppressed, with plenty of desperation and attraction under the surface. That's what that hallway sex scene means to me, anyway.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:07 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:Love the character/actor comparison!
Thank you. It was fun to write, but the graphics took 2 hours to create. It's good to hear some positive feedback!
Shieldmaiden wrote:Thomas is interesting because he's so reserved, in situation after situation that would seem to call for emotion. (And Fürmann's strange look doesn't hurt, either.) I don't think their relationship is emotionless or low-key, though. I think it's suppressed, with plenty of desperation and attraction under the surface. That's what that hallway sex scene means to me, anyway.
I can't disagree with a thing you say here. The hallway sex scene (coitus interuptus, if you recall) reminded me of two teenagers going at it in Dad's house or something. Overcome by passion, but it still seems empty to me, because both Thomas and Laura are in desperate situations. They want something, but I don't get the idea that they actually have it. That's what makes Petzold's altered ending so ironic and crushing!

I watched the making of feature on the DVD that I got from teh Flix last year, but since I now own the DVD, I watched it again while writing these reviews and essays. I think it's very important to understand what a film-maker intends, because there are a large number of people influencing the making of a movie, but only one person (you) sitting and watching it. Isn't that why we discuss film, so we can learn what others saw that we didn't? Therefore, I don't think the creators of the movies we watch should be left out of the discussion if they can somehow take part, even if by DVD commentaries or making of features. Maybe that's why I often watch the extras first, and then the 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

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 Aug 10, 2013 5:17 pm

Hank wrote:I'm catching up a bit with the thread here, but the Banned in Boston entry was a really interesting read. It's amazing to think about how things like that happened so frequently.
People don't have the same sensibilities as artists do. The 'average person' may be a whole lot less curious about the world.

And certain personality types think that if something disgusts them you shouldn't be allowed to talk about it, watch it, paint it, film it, or otherwise subject them to the possibility of being disgusted. They don't want to accidentally be exposed to it, either, so that means getting rid of all the potentially disgusting things. There is also the issue of "corrupting children" by exposing them to these disgusting things. It's weird (to me). As a parent I made sure my kids knew about the world as it seems to be, not as some sugar-coated ideal that doesn't exist. I didn't expose them to bad things on purpose, mind you, but when they found out about things I didn't try to deny that they exist, or always use the dodge that it's evil and those people will be punished...as some parents I knew of would do. Even if I believed that it would happen, I can't see how telling a son or daughter that those "evil" people are going to Hell will make the child feel assured at all. I think kids are more in the moment than that. What happens to someone after they die is beyond the ken of reassurance, it seems.

There are also those people who believe that they are honestly charged with protecting you from your "vices" as they see it. It comes from an internal perspective. I think they honestly believe that they are doing right when they censor things and so forth. But I don't think they are. We disagree on that issue, me and them. :)

This leads to the Banned in Boston type of reaction, but perhaps we are seeing less of that these days. Not in all countries, of course, nor in all areas of any given country. At least the kinds of paintings you do aren't likely to run afoul of that type of person. :up:
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 Aug 10, 2013 5:30 pm

Progress and Regress Report:

Regress is there because I noticed this morning that I've been typing "Ossessione" with a single 's' at the beginning (Osessione). That's pretty stupid of me, and I feel like I have to go back through all the posts for this Multimatch and correct it! [EDIT: got these corrections made on 26 August 2013.]

I have the final 3 posts finished, and will put them up over the coming few days. My temperament makes me want to post them all right now and get it over with, but I'll rein myself in a bit! Ha ha.

I've started working on the next Quickmatch. My technique for capping stills from the Blu of The Thirteenth Floor will work (I tested it out). Too bad I can't take direct captures from Blu-ray the way I can DVDs. There is some way to do it, because I see screen shots at Blu-ray.com. But I'm not into spending money for these Rematches beyond buying the movies on discs of some sort. I don't bit-torrent them or anything, but if the owners are so freaking terrified that I'm going to make stills out of their videos, it kind of makes me wonder where their heads are. The Blu-ray player software for my computer actually turns off the "Print Screen" feature of the OS when I watch a Blu!

When I make stills and write in here, I'll bet some people are moved to actually purchase some of these films for themselves. The MPAA ought to give me the software to do the caps, and pat me on the head and lick my feet while they say "Thanks."
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 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:04 am

Image

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)
Other Information on teh Netz

Image We always begin with the Wikipedia.
The James M. Cain Novel:
The Novel.
James M. Cain.

1943 Ossessione:
The film.
Luchino Visconti director of Ossessione.
Italian Neo-realism.

1946 The Postman Always Rings Twice:
The Film.
Tay Garnett director of the 1946 film.


1981 The Postman Always Rings Twice:
The film.
Bob Rafelson director of the 1981 version.


2008 Jerichow:
The film.
Christian Petzold director of the 2008 film.
The Berlin School.





Image NEWSY sorta LINKS:

Lana Turner turning burgers. 1951 Photo by Earl Theisen for Look magazine.
Lana Turner and Daughter. 1951 Photo by Earl Theisen for Look magazine.
Lana at Home. 1940 Photo by Earl Theisen for the Look magazine article "Lana Turner and Artie Shaw at Home."
Rehearsing. 1940 Photo by Earl Theisen for the Look magazine article "Lana Turner and Artie Shaw at Home."
1946 and 1981 Versions of 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' Dated for Blu-ray. Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:00 PM ET. "This November both the original 1946 film and the 1981 remake will arrive on Blu-ray. -- In an early announcement to retailers, Warner Brothers will be releasing 'The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)' and 'The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)' on Blu-ray on November 13." Yeah, I ordered my 1981 Blu, but it won't be to me in time to use for this Multimatch. Char to the rescue!




Image ACADEMIC sorta LINKS:

Haunted frames: history and landscape in Luchino Visconti's Ossessione.(Critical essay): An article from: Italica. This costs $9.95 to download and read. Obviously, I skipped their kind offer.
Ossessione Essays and Term Papers. Damn; I missed out by being born too early. Back when I was in school I had to write my own essays.
Desiring desire in Visconti's Ossessione. I take back my earlier thought that the $9.95 article was over-priced.
Fascism in 'Ossessione'. Would students actually be able to get this past a teacher? Maybe. I guess if the teach didn't have the presence of mind to Google passage, or just by luck didn't find the right keywords.
60 Free Essays on Analysing Ossessione. Carefully read the offered essays. Not a one of them seems to have anything to do with Ossesione. I wonder if any kids have fallen for this, thinking that the web browser was smarter than they are.
the postman always rings twice essay. Okay, I've learned that the sneaky student could find almost anything available on the internet. I've read about this but never took a stroll through the possibilities until today.

I think that's enough. I didn't find the kinds of articles that I have for other Rematches here, but it was kind of fun looking into the new possibilities of academic plagiarism. On the other hand, if the student uses these for quotes and support and cites each of them properly, I don't see any harm in using them. After all, I used to reference essays and tracts printed in books and magazines. With citations, what's the dif?




Image REVIEWS and INFORMATION:

Ossessione (1943). A NYT Critics' Pick. "Ossessione caused a sensation not just because of its lurid subject matter but also because Visconti's realist style makes you practically feel the heat and dirt and sweat of the film's environment." ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
Ossessione (1943) Luchino Visconti. By John Greco, posted at his blog Twenty Four Frames Notes on Film by John Greco, on July 11, 2009. "Unlike the MGM version, Visconti’s protagonist are unglamorous, Cora (Lana Turner) in “The Postman Always Rings Twice” is blonde, wears stylish clothing, Turner never making you forget she is a Hollywood star. On the other hand, Giovanna who is dark haired, just like Cain’s character was originally written, and wears more appropriate clothes you would expect someone in her position to have. Clara Calamai, an attractive actress of her day was forced by Visconti to dress down, wear drab clothes and no makeup. When she first saw herself on screen, she apparently broke down and cried. Lana Turner would have not accepted these terms and the MGM version suffers for it."

THE SCREEN; 'The Postman Always Rings Twice,' With Lana Turner in a Star Role, Makes Its Appearance of the Capitol. Written by Bosley Crowther. Published: May 3, 1946. "Too much cannot be said for the principals. Mr. Garfield reflects to the life the crude and confused young hobo who stumbles aimlessly into a fatal trap. And Miss Turner is remarkably effective as the cheap and uncertain blonde who has a pathetic ambition to "be somebody" and a pitiful notion that she can realize it through crime."
Overview for the article linked above. "Even so, the 1946 version of The Postman Always Rings Twice is infinitely more satisfying than the no-holds-barred 1981 remake, directed by Bob Rafelson with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange."
Postman Always Rings Twice, The (1946). A review of the Blu-ray release at DigitalBits. By Joe Marchese, posted Mar 20, 2013. "Warner’s new 1080p BD presentation is finely detailed with natural grain. The video quality isn’t as eye-opening as some other films of similar vintage from the studio. But the blacks, grays and whites in this tense noir drama are well-rendered." Yes, Marchese also reviews the film.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). Written by Steve-O. Posted 26th January 2007 by Steve Eifert at Film Noir of the Week. "The Postman Always Rings Twice has one of the most famous character introductions in the history of film. John Garfield, playing the drifter Frank, arrives at a roadside diner on a hot summer day and orders a burger. The owner of the diner, Nick, runs out to pump some gas leaving Frank alone in the diner. Suddenly a lipstick rolls across the floor towards him. Frank (and the camera) looks back to see where it came from. All you see is a bare set of woman's legs."
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) Garnett. By John Greco, posted at his blog Twenty Four Frames Notes on Film by John Greco, on May 3, 2009. "Only after plans are set in motion to kill her husband do Cora’s outfits all turn to black, visually symbolizing the good and evil of her character. This visual imagery was used almost fifteen years later by Alfred Hitchcock in “Psycho”, with Janet Leigh’s white and black bras and half-slips." Hmm. I didn't notice that.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981). 'A NEW 'POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE' By VINCENT CANBY, Published: March 20, 1981. "The characters in Cain are not fancifully third-rate, as they are in Martin Ritt's ''Back Roads.'' They are the genuine article. They snarl like cougars, sometimes just for the hell of it. They don't just put plates on a table - they slam them down. They exchange banalities at a fever pitch." -- "Mr. Rafelson's 'The Postman Always Rings Twice,' which opens today at Loews State 1 and other theaters, looks terrific - too terrific. It was photographed by Sven Nykvist, who never overemphasizes the period detail - everything from automobiles to old-fashioned packages of Philip Morris cigarettes - but who cannot make these details appear to be anything but exotic."
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) / Drama-Thriller. Qwipster's Movie Reviews, review by Vince Leo. Posted in 2004. "Other than the aforementioned bad ending, perhaps the largest flaw of this remake comes from the fact that the two would-be murderers decide that murder provides a more logical alternative than just running off together, perpetuated by Cora's belief that Nick would find them no matter where they go. Personally, I'd rather worry about Nick than the cops breathing down my neck the rest of my life, although there is a subplot involving a life insurance policy that neither party claims to know anything about, further confusing the motives." Well, Mr. Leo, that subplot about the insurance is right from the novel.

Jerichow (2008). "Money Is the Fourth Party in a Romantic Triangle" By A. O. SCOTT Published: May 14, 2009. "Mr. Petzold, whose previous films include “Yella,” a prizewinner in Germany in 2007, respects the lean and pulpy genre requirements of the story and does not burden it with self-conscious artiness or metaphor mongering. The plot is simple, with just enough kinks and coincidences to keep the audience a little off balance as we await the dreadful developments that seem to be lurking around every corner."
TIFF Review: JERICHOW. From twitchfilm. By Kurt Halfyard. September 12 2008, 2:50 AM. "Things take a decided turn when he encounters Ali, a well off owner of a series of falafel huts, with a penchant for drinking and driving. After finding Ali and his Range Rover in the Elbe River, he lies to the police about who was driving. This leads to Thomas getting gainful employment as a driver for Ali as he collects from all his shops. Ali, a wealthy self made Turkish immigrant, doesn't trust anyone, and Thomas physical presence comes in handy for keeping his shifty franchisees in line. Thomas quickly becomes close to both Ali and his gorgeous German wife, played exquisitely by the über talented Nina Hoss (one of the best (and beautiful) actresses currently working in German cinema)."
Review: “Jerichow”. Variety, Derek Elley. Posted August 28, 2008 03:13PM PT. "From the opening Steadicam shot, following the back of the main character, Thomas (Benno Fuermann), at a funeral, it’s clear for those who know the director’s work that the pic could only have been made by Petzold. Hans Fromm’s rich (but not ripe) lensing of the east German countryside, and the way in which the camera plunges the viewer straight into the psychological heart of the action, are instant trademarks as the film steers the viewer through a no-flab 91 minutes with absolute precision."

Subtitles file for Ossessione.
1946 dialogue transcript.
1981 dialogue transcript.
Subtitles file for Jerichow.





Image MISCELLANY and TRIVIA:

Autos in Ossessione.
Autos in the 1946 film (also contains a list of international titles for the film).
Autos in the 1981 film.
"The Postman Always Rings Twice" J.M. Cain. A trivia quiz about the novel, created by itsfun4u2c.
Ossessione Trivia Test. Created by Luis_15. Seven questions you can probably answer even if you've never seen the film.
Quiz on Ossessione Trivia. Created by Grace_2. Seven more easy questions about the movie. Apparently Luis_15 and she shared some question ideas.
Jerichow Quiz. Created by Movie_Lauren51. Seven questions about Petzold's film.

1943 trivia page at IMDb.
1946 trivia page at IMDb.
1981 trivia page at IMDb.
No 2008 trivia page at IMDb.



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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 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:11 am

I have no idea whether people like the technical posts or not, especially the weblinks posts. I'm going to omit the Production, Weblinks and possibly the Quotes posts from the Welt am Draht Quickmatch to make it go faster (for me).
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 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:17 am

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)

Image
Not the Sharpest Knives

As the saying goes: Frank and Cora are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. They concoct an elaborate murder scheme, that works, but goes farther than they had ever thought of. They must have believed in their own fantasy notion that with things the way they were at the scene of the "accident," investigators would buy their story. (Read below for Visconti's twist on this.) The pair never thought they'd actually be tried for murder, so when they wind up on trial their alliance, based on passionate sex alone, falls apart. She turns on him and then he turns on her. It's a prosecutor's dream. But the defense attorney is shrewder than the prosecutor.

But that's the novel. Nothing about the sexual affair is ever explicit in the novel, but it's written in such an elegant, austere style that your brain fills in a lot of blanks. Movies cannot help but be more explicit than books. In films you have to see. That's the whole point. So when Tay Garnett had to leave off the screen so much of what you only see in your mind's eye as a reader ( in order to persuade the moral watchdogs of the Hayes Office from quashing his little movie), the whole thing was gutted. I've read that it took a decade to get a script for what became the 1946 release, just in order to get the story details past the censors!

In 1980, for his 1981 release, Bob Rafelson put back many of the things that the Hayes office wouldn't have approved in '46. Trouble is, the hot, steamy sex is the glue for the 1934 novel, but it's not the central aspect of the story. Rafelson's version sometimes threatens to leave out the story. But Sven Nyqvist's photography makes up for whatever might be missing from the tale itself. Rafelson remade the Tay Garnett film, basically, using the Hayes-skirting add-in that Frank and Cora are evil-hearted schemers. Add the unexpressed idea: Not like the rest of us. The two European adaptations don't put that into the mix.
***
Both Ossessione and Jerichow cling to Cain's original story, not in terms of characters or settings or details, but in terms of meaning. They also let the lovers be accidentally evil. The schemes to murder arise out of desperation and out of a sense of being oppressed (Christian Petzold brought this to mind for me in an interview) by the woman's older husband. But Gino, Giovanna, Thomas, and Laura all share the "now-centric" mindset of Cain's originals.

Frank and Cora are people who live in the moment and for the moment. Even their dreams are transitory. If they manage, either one of them, to think a few days down the line, something uncomfortable about "right now" will dissuade them from whatever they thought they wanted to do. After they murder the Greek and are on trial for it, things are strung out too far in the future for them to comprehend. They don't know how to handle something that is really going to take weeks or months or years to unfold. Cora has already shown her lack of stamina when she ran away with Frank for the first time. After a few sweaty yards down the road she was ready to go back, and did. Without Frank.

In Ossessione, because of the Napoleonic Code in use in Italy in the 1940s, an accused person is guilty unless he/she can prove their innocence. This leads the investigators to thoroughly question Gino and Giovanna at the site of Giuseppe's death accident, and to be satisfied that it was merely an accident. In the Italian version there is no trial. But neither is justice served (not that it is served in the novel or the American films). If the Italian justice system is flawed, so is the American system, as Cain shows in the seminal work. In both stories there is a prosecutor who has continuing suspicions.
***
Historically, this mix of in-the-moment personalities (even Nick Papadakis is sometimes like that, but has a long-term outlook), lust, misplaced caution, and misinterpreted fantasies of a better way to live has proved a very compelling story. It plays best in a setting where times are not the best (another insight I owe to Christian Petzold), so that the characters can be shown to be both short-sighted, and to feel that they are devoid of any tractable future. In other words, they think they have nothing to lose. Most of us don't carry that feeling as a chronic thing, but once in a while, for even a few moments, we may feel that way. It is that part of the human condition that all these versions of the story (and, I assume, the French and Hungarian adaptations) address. And it is that aspect of being human that fuels everything that happens, and all that we respond to in these movies.



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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 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:44 am

Ossessione (1943), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946),
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) and Jerichow (2008)

Image
International Touch-up

Ossessione is solidly set in the Italy of the 1940s. Jerichow is solidly set in the Germany of the 2000s. Each film bears the marks of its national origin, and that is good. But each film also has the ambiance of its time frame. In all, both films try to follow Cain's story closely. The German film deviates the most from the Cain. On first viewing, it seems that nearly half the film is spent with the camera inside a moving vehicle. But the murder weapon in the novel is an automobile, so that more or less fits.

Visconti's film is an early work of the Italian neo-realist school, which attempts to strip away as much cinematic puffery as it can. There is no attempt to make everything beautiful. There is no attempt to make life come out well for the characters. Petzold is one of the directors who are said to be part of the Berlin School of film-making. His characters are on a quest, perhaps why they spend so much time driving around. They are hunting for something, and that something always seems to be elsewhere. I'm not sure whether it is Petzold himself, or the Berlin School that hones in on "the grass is always greener" aspect of life.

Italian neo-realism came into its own following WWII, when everyone in Italy was poor and traumatized. The Mussolini government had fallen, and no one was sure how things were going to be. Visconti's 1943 film was not widely circulated during this time. As I wrote in another post somewhere here, I learned that Visconti was arrested by the Fascist government in 1943, for making Ossessione and was sentenced to die. He was saved by the Allies. But his film had been locked up. I believe Visconti saved a print, but the film was never exhibited widely until the 1970's after Visconti already had an international rep as an auteur.

In 1934 America James Cain's story was unthinkable. Of course, a huge number of people thought about it as they read it. But not legally, in Boston, MA where the local government banned it as immoral. And I'm sure everyone was talking about what terrible people Cora and Frank are. In 1934 in most places this would be seen as a true statement: amoral=immoral. Yet the novel is told from Frank's perspective, so his naive way comes across very well, and we have to personally add in our revulsion at the murder, because Frank doesn't seem to have any. Murder without remorse was unheard of in polite circles in that day, and that must have been why the book was such a scandal.
Image
In 1943 Italy somebody was already giving a war, so murder in the guise of killing enemies of the State and of the Nation was already going on all around. Ossessione doesn't seem to be set in war time, or in a Fascist state. But the purported audience for the film would likely have seen the murder of Giuseppe as very similar to what was going on in real life at the time. Someone is in the way, disagrees with you, so "let's knock him off." Get him out of the way so we can do what we want to do. Whether Visconti saw the murder, done so casually and with childlike abandon in the film, as a metaphor for war time killing and purges of political enemies, I can't say. But the detachment with which Gino and Giovanna carry out the automobile "accident" and the cheek with which they put it across to the police investigators, is chilling. And it is meant to be. The perpetrators' naive approach just adds to the goosebumps (as it does in the novel).

This is not to say that murder was okay in Italy at the time, but there was a lot of it going on. Passolini's Salò is set at the end of those times, and although it isn't real, it uses the 1970s notions of what that time was like to disgust and chill us. The authorities under that government had power, and they used it as an excuse for immoral behavior. But the local police authorities ostensibly had that right, and they decided whether a matter should come to trial. In Ossessione, the authorities come and look, and buy the explanation that Gino and Giovanna offer. (Remember, in Europe at least at that time you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent, so getting off at the scene of the crime is about your only chance.) We know what went down. But the authorities don't dig, don't press, don't really care. And they turn and look the other way (all but one of them--he has a doubt). It seems to be a social statement from Visconti, but it isn't blatant. It was suggestive enough, though, that the Fascists arrested the director and sentenced him to die.
Image
Petzold's film comes from one of the war countries where such things were going on, too. But his comes sixty years after the war. If modern Germans are numb to murder it is only by way of cinema whether theatrical or televised. The country has long been rebuilt in Jerichow. People are not dying left and right in some political campaign. Yet, the film opens with a funeral. Thomas' mother has died, and there is a thuggish former friend of his who wants his money back. Creditors have come to call, and they depart with all that Thomas has. This renders him vulnerable, and that's how he winds up with Laura in this movie.

Petzold takes the spine of The Postman Always Rings Twice, and many of its ribs, and pieces together quite a different story. It walks with a different gait from the novel and from the other three films that we're looking at. Yet, at the heart, it's the same tale. But Petzold likes a twist, and everyone knows the twist of the earlier films. So he twitches it into something different. The murder plot is hatched, and rehearsed, and because of cinematic tradition you know that things are not going to turn out the way Laura and Thomas have planned on. You know this because you have the details of their murder plot.

Jerichow, according to its author and director, springs from a German economic period in the mid 2000s that closely matches the 1934 period in America, the time when the novel was penned. There is not an exact match, but the ambiance is much like that of the Great Depression. Petzold even goes so far as to say that the post-Fascism period in Italy was in that same economic state; the kind of times where people seem to be getting nothing for their efforts, and become desperate for a hint of success. I suppose it is easy in such times to become discontent with everything, or any particular thing. We play the blame game, we humans, and want to find someone who is to blame, and make them pay for their malfeasance.

Petzold seems to be saying that when it is hard to find anything to gain, many people feel as if they have nothing to lose.



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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 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:52 am

Another Rematch done!

I will ask Charulata if she has anything she'd like to post as a sixth essay for this Multimatch (formally in a PM) and if she does there will be another post, but officially The Postman Always Rings Twice has been compared in this thread. I would have loved making this a 6-way Rematch, but two of the films aren't available via my resources. I have a Mubi account, and the Hungarian version isn't available on this here continent. The French film isn't available (wasn't when I checked) in Region 1.

I hope you think I did well.

The next Rematch will be the most virtual Rematch or Quickmatch we've had in here so far. Based on a novel by Daniel F. Galouye, these two films delve into the same realm of cogitation that is occupied by the Every-child's question: How do I know you're not just a figment of my imagination?
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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