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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
I'd only had the chance to read Hothouse by Brian Aldiss so far, but loved its vision of a future ecologically transformed Earth turned parasitic jungle where humans are just one part of the ecosystem, and perhaps not the most important ones. That's a vision of what Avatar could have evolved into if it took its cues from that rather than Ferngully! (Though I like to imagine the main character being taken over by a 'morel' or parasitic fungus, is alluded to in Futurama with the brain slug! Where Fry only is only saved from being taken over because the slug starves to death for want of any brain activity in its host!)


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:27 pm
Thomas Meehan


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
John Abercrombie


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Philadelphia via Chicago
Jay Thomas

You could spend a few good hours looking up hilarious interviews with Howard Stern or David Letterman. Jay always had great stories.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:11 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm
Always enjoyed him on Murphy Brown growing up


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
The classic Lone Ranger story.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Jay Thomas had the only other radio show that's currently airing on the Howard 100/101 channels on SiriusXM, and now that those stations have become so excellently curated with Howard's current and older shows instead of specials and one-offs (like the also deceased Riley Martin's show, Jackie Martling's show, etc), it's always jarring to hear Jay Thomas' voice instead of Howard's when I turn on the radio in my car. I guess that won't be the case anymore, which is sort of a strange thing. Always was incredibly vibrant and seemed to be having a great time, even if I personally didn't listen.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Philadelphia via Chicago
Jay always had this Charles Grodin like quality. I loved when he would angrily throw Shuli and others out of the studio.

Abe Kanan from 101 has pretty hilarious podcast if liked his show...


Last edited by bearcuborg on Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Rich Piana


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:10 pm
Tobe Hooper


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
I'm very sorry to hear that. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an amazing, shattering film. Its strange to think of the low tech, grubby setting in the context of Hooper's later films, especially in the 1980s where the phantasmagorical special effects became so much the focus. Poltergeist was probably the turning point, but that pulls off almost the perfect balancing act between a grounded sense of a well defined family unit versus all of the special effect sequences later on (the later sequences only being so powerful because of the relationship built up with the family over the early section of the film). For all of the rather unnecessary 'who directed it?' questions, Poltergeist does feel like its in the same tradition of Texas Chain Saw Massacre in its big themes about an older way of life coming back to prey on the modern, rather clueless as to the history of the area they've moved into, characters. Its probably the ultimate film about callous urban development and the way that it relies on its inhabitants having an acontextual sense of their own place in the world, let alone historical context. With people more deeply rooted in the area being seen almost incomprehensible monsters! (His TV mini-series of Salem's Lot is also excellent, and features a lot of the same themes)

After that, and with the Cannon Films, things got a little too broad and goofy for my taste. Though I am starting to warm up a bit to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (especially the Dennis Hopper scenes!) and its complete 180 on tone and style, foregoing the ultimate in gritty and harrowing tension with surprisingly little onscreen bloodshead for broad, goofy neon-tinged comedy and graphic gore everywhere. Its such a tonal whiplash that its quite audacious, but I remember really not liking it at all for the longest time.

Plus of course there's LifeForce, which is similarly overblown but played with a straighter face ("What about the bodies?" "Collect the pieces and watch them!") a fantastically entertaining almost comic-book take on an apocalyptic Quatermass-type story, even if it feels a bit like three or four different films bolted together! At the very least it features Patrick Stewart getting slapped around before his most memorable screen kiss!

The problem with going so far into special effect spectaculars is that you have to keep upping the ante, and after LifeForce (and Invaders From Mars) pushed things to such an extreme, there seemed nowhere left to go. After Cannon and its crazily huge budgets, Hooper had to scale things back to mixed success, and the lack of budget to simply power through the sillier moments really showed up the flaws in the high concept ideas (and he unfortunately wasn't able to pull it back with a big success, as Wes Craven managed with the Scream series). There were still fun moments though such as in the return to the TV movie genre with 1990s I'm Dangerous Tonight (about a possessed cloak!), featuring Anthony Perkins. The Toolbox Murders is a pretty average slasher film and quite badly harmed by taking on the recognisable name of a really good 1978 film for no particular reason (I sort of bracket it in with that House of Wax remake from around the same time). Called anything else and it might have been able to be assessed on more of its own terms.

And the last film by Hooper that I've had a chance to see, 2005's Mortuary, sort of encapsulates that problem that Hooper had after the 80s. Its not a bad film and is about a family moving to a house with an old funeral home in it and then having to fight off hordes of reanimated zombies and the monster of one of the previous family members who has been festering in the basement (very Poltergeist or Salem's Lot-esque, but blunter). It actually has a pretty good action climax, and its great to see Denise Crosby (the ill fated Tasha Yar from Star Trek: The Next Generation) in a rare starring role there as the mother. But its a really silly premise for the action, especially when compared to the care taken compared to the incredibly grounded and believable set up of Poltergeist. The themes are the same, but Mortuary is in a more generic horror film world - I like Mortuary, but I'm thinking of it more in context with something like Lucio Fulci's The House By The Cemetery! Or even Phantasm, but without Phantasm's dream-like quality. And while that appeals to me as a horror fan, that's very far away from capturing the zeitgeist in the way that Texas Chain Saw Massacre or Poltergeist did. But to have left us with two classics that defined their respective decades in horror (plus Salem's Lot, which uses its longer mini-series running time extremely well to create a slow burning tension and invest the audience into the characters; and LifeForce, which I'd argue anyone with a sense of humour, and a curiosity about naked space vampires, should see!) is still a fantastic achievement! Just think of how differently toned just those four 'successful' features were!


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
I think the best "Tobe Hooper" film since Hooper's own heyday is Aleksey Balabanov's Cargo 200 - it's one of the very few films I can think of that manages to recapture that same sense of clammy, grubby panic that infuses The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and some other Hooper films (but very, very few others), to the extent that it works brilliantly as a horror film even if you're not the tiniest bit interested in the political background.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain
Mireille Darc, actress and Alain Delon's companion


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
rohmerin wrote:
Mireille Darc, actress and Alain Delon's companion

Most famously appearing as the handbag obsessed, mutually murderous wife of the jaded couple at the centre of Godard's societally apocalyptic "film found on a garbage dump/adrift in the cosmos" Weekend. The perfect film for a Bank Holiday getaway weekend!


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Károly Makk, by any yardstick one of the greatest of all Hungarian filmmakers, although since his films were much less flamboyant than those of Miklós Jancsó, István Szabó et al, they tended to be appreciated more by connoisseurs prepared to make the effort of seeking them out. But the masterly Love (1971) has been a fixture on Best Hungarian Films lists for almost half a century, and with good reason.


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 Post subject: Re: 4 Love
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:28 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am
RIP Károly Makk.

It is with sadness we report the passing of another great filmmaker - the renowned Hungarian director and screenwriter Károly Makk has passed away at the age of 91.
Second Run have had the honour and pleasure of working with Károly Makk as we released several of his works - including one of our favourites: the exquisite LOVE (Szerelem, 1971), which Derek Malcolm also selected in his 'Century of Films'.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:02 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:59 pm
Sad news about Makk, one of the true greats. Aside from the abortions that Facets put out and Second Run's releases, are any of his films available in English-friendly editions?


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Fiery Angel wrote:
Sad news about Makk, one of the true greats. Aside from the abortions that Facets put out and Second Run's releases, are any of his films available in English-friendly editions?

I have very good Hungarian DVDs of Love (a more recent transfer than Second Run's) and A Very Moral Night, both from MaNDA.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Framingham, MA
Richard Anderson


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Shelley Berman


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:30 am
MichaelB wrote:
Fiery Angel wrote:
Sad news about Makk, one of the true greats. Aside from the abortions that Facets put out and Second Run's releases, are any of his films available in English-friendly editions?

I have very good Hungarian DVDs of Love (a more recent transfer than Second Run's) and A Very Moral Night, both from MaNDA.


SZERELEM has been restored in 4k, hopefully a Blu-ray from outside of Hungary will come soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England
Walter Becker.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
I really like Steely Dan, especially those first four albums. Saw them twice this past year (the only times I caught them live), and Becker didn't look like he was in good shape, but he was very merry.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Philadelphia via Chicago
Donald Fagen on Walter...

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We liked a lot of the same things: jazz (from the 20's through the mid-60's), W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, science fiction, Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Berger, and Robert Altman films come to mind. Also soul music and Chicago blues.

I love almost all of those things largely in part because of Steely Dan. Their last two albums are real treasures to those who mostly know the classic stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:31 am
John Ashbery


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