film


First thing, I assure you that I will not be including audio of that cloying song from the Disneyland/world/place/spot ride. The one that everyone loves to hate. I do hope that something appropriate occurs to me by the time I finish the post, because I’m really enjoying adding the audio tie-ins.

This isn’t exactly groundbreaking material in the on-line universe (I first encountered the phenomenon last November), but it’s been infesting my thoughts lately, so I may as well write about it.

Eiffel tilt-shift II

from AnarBi's flickr photostream

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moviegoerOne of my secret pleasures is seeing the “buried” comments in the film reviews of the current staff of The New York Times. After the body of the review but before the pragmatic details of the cast and crew listings, release dates and runtime, etc., there’s a short italicized segment that’s very easy to elide over. I suspect its inconspicuousness is intentional for it allows the reviewer, if he or she desires, a succinct and sometimes snarky way to augment the main review.

I refer to the part of the article where the film’s MPAA rating is disclosed. After this, there’s a haiku-like “explanation” of which elements of the film necessitate that rating. Here are some examples from films currently in theaters:

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Just about anyone who’s spent any time wasting time on the internet has probably come across one of those collections of photographs showing similarities between celebrities, objects, and so on. They’re usually called something like Separated at Birth? or Twins?  Here’s a pretty good example that I came across recently, just in case you (a) have no idea what I’m talking about or (b) can’t get enough of them.

It’s spurred me to share one of those comparisons that’s plagued me but I have yet to come across without the benefit of actually searching for it. Tell me what you think:

mars-laurie-comparison-01

If you’re having a little trouble making the connection, I’ve taken the liberty of Photoshopping a couple of minor variants to aid in your perception:

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Back in early August, there was a furor over the rights to publishing the first photographs of the newborn twins of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt, in case you’re interested). The UK’s Hello! and North America’s People paid an estimated combined $15 to $20 million (nevermind that the proceeds went to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, dedicated to providing aid for humanitarian crises around the world). The madness was much commented on even in the mainstream media, almost as if biting the hand that feeds only discover that it’s one’s own hand.


I couldn’t have cared less about the photographs themselves, but the whole brouhaha registered in my midconscious (that’s what I call the back of the mind: not subconscious and not actively being thought about; another submission to the lexicographic powers-that-be is probably necessary). The thing festered and fermented and finally emerged as the question (with apologies to Thurber and White): Are Celebrities Necessary?

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I’ve never seen the film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), but I’ve known the title for ages, and been vaguely aware of the premise for almost as long (swinging couples in the midst of the Sexual Revolution). Nevertheless, there’s one thing that’s consistently irked me about it.

One of the title characters seems not to belong. That’d be Ted. We have Bob, we have Carol, we have Alice. That’s A, B, and C. Why isn’t the fourth participant named with a D? It would make for a more compact grouping. Maybe, not having seen the movie, I’m unaware that in fact Ted is a bit of an outsider and the whole thing’s symbolic. I don’t know. On the other hand, if his name started with a D, then it would be Bob & Carol & Dead & Alice, and that wouldn’t be too good, unless it was a Weekend at Bernie’s-type story. But what about Bob & Carol & Dan & Alice? Or Dave?

I think I’m more confused now than when I started writing this post.