Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Another set of briefs, June 9-10, 2015

So I watched the Movie Camp intro to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and never got around to commenting on it. The first thing I noticed had nothing to do with the commentary, but with the latter-day production values. Would it hurt filmmakers/TV production people to do a static shot of two people talking, with one talking at a time and we can se the other person standing there silently waiting for his lines? Barring that, show one person talking with him being the only one in the shot, and then cut to the other person. But no, there were several instances where they would show the first guy talking, and then pan to the other guy for his comment. It came across like one of those panned-and-scanned movies that show up in the letterboxing featurette. It's irritating when it's done in a panned-and-scanned print, but it's just as irritating when it's done for "artistic" purposes.

TCM is running another of those Bobby Jones golf shorts again, this one called How to Break 90 #3: Hip Action, tomorrow morning at 8:34 AM, following I'm No Angel (7:00 AM, 88 min). Golf technology has advanced so much since the 1930s, but I can't help but think golfers would still get a kick out of these shorts.

Later tomorrow morning, at 10:15 AM, TCM is running Operator 13. This one is a Marion Davies film set against the backdrop of the Civil War, in which she plays a Union spy. I thought perhaps I might have seen this one before, since the plot sounded vaguely familiar. Then I realized that it must be a remake of some other movie, as I remember a Civil War spy film from the beginning of the sound era. Thankfully, I was able to remember the star of that earlier film was Richard Dix, so looking things up shows that the earlier movie is 1930's Secret Service and that the two are not the same story. Marion Davies often doesn't get the credit she deserves, supposedly because of Citizen Kane and the belief that it was mocking the relationship between her and William Randolph Hearst. That's a shame, because Davies wasn't a bad actress.

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