Tag Archives: movies

bambi-2

The Sung Dynasty Roots of ‘Bambi’

Why Bambi is do visually disctintive: Chinese immigrant Tyrus Wong.

 

“He got the job on the Bambi project by taking a bit of a gamble. He was a young artist employed by the Disney studio, but tasked with the entry-level job of finishing off the work of the animators and crafting the “in-between” animations that completed the characters’ movements. Wong had learned that studio executives were creating a film from the new novel, Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten. Tom says the young artist read the book and without consulting his supervisor, “took the script and painted some visual concepts to set the mood, color and the design.” His sketches recalled the lush mountain and forest scenes of Sung dynasty landscape paintings. His initiative paid off. Walt Disney, who was looking for something new for the film, was captivated and personally directed that Wong be promoted.”

How Disney’s 1942 Film Bambi Came to be Influenced by the Lush Landscapes of the Sung Dynasty Chinese-American Artist Tyrus Wong’s Brush With Destiny

Image from The Pastel Illustrations of Tyrus Wong That Would Inspire the Movie ‘Bambi’

Found via Reddit.

 

nightmare-before-christmas

Jack Skellington and Cultural Misappropriation

Explaining culture misappropriation with The Nightmare Before Christmas:

When I explain cultural misappropriation to children, I use the example of The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s effective because especially for children, who don’t have enough historical context to understand much of the concept, you can still fully grasp the idea.

There was nothing wrong with Jack seeing the beauty and differences in Christmas town, it’s when he tried to take what is unique about Christmas town away from those it originally belonged to without understanding the full context of Christmas things is when everything went wrong.

When Jack tries to get the folk of Halloween town to make Christmas gifts for children, etc., children understand that the Halloween town folk do not have the full context for the objects they are making, and they are able to see that the direct repercussions and consequences are very harmful.

Full post.

princess-leia-disguise-boushh

On Slave Leia

From a Metafilter discussion about Disney retiring Slave Leia collectibles:

“Yes. I was a kid when I first saw it, and it wasn’t the sexy that bothered me, it was seeing my Lone Representative of My Gender, who also happened to have proven herself a badass, (a rare thing!) get degraded for yuks.

“You may not know this, but until very recently, if you were a girl who admired a girl character in a media property, you also repeatedly experienced the sinking, shaming sensation of seeing your hero turned into a tits n’ ass parade at some point, or otherwise having her female status used to make her Less Heroic than male characters.

“Has Captain America yet had his turn onscreen in nothing but a chainmail banana-hammock and fetters, being slobbered over by a repugnant slavemaster who appears to want to rape him, until a fully-clothed group of female heroes rescues him? No. And outside of fanfic, he won’t, because it’s upsetting for men to see their heroes treated that way.

“It’s not about prudery.”

Full discussion http://www.metafilter.com/154467/Disney-To-Retire-All-Slave-Leia-Merch#6274851

Movie still from Return of the Jedi.

james-bond-veser-shower-scene-casino-royale

How Casino Royale’s Ending Turns Bond Into Bond

A commenter on Reddit:

“For years after Casino Royale came out, the most common gripe about the movie was the last 20 minutes and how much it dragged compared to the rest of the film.

“The whole point of the film is the last 20 minutes. Everything that precedes that in Casino Royale is just Bond on the clock:

  • International terrorists.
  • Guy who’s financing them.
  • Find a way to stop him from making a ridiculous amount of money off a short-sell.
  • Follow him to wherever he’s going next.
  • Have a run-in with some very unhappy bad guys armed with a machete.
  • Win the poker game.
  • Get rescued (huh?) when the Evil Banker kidnaps you and Vesper.
  • Keep M happy despite a few fuck-ups along the way.

“If the movie ends there, it’s a fine but unremarkable action movie. … The whole point of Casino Royale is to get Bond to the last 20 minutes and then shatter him. So now Vesper’s in the picture and Bond starts to have those first niggling thoughts about what his life might have been like outside government service. … It’s not too late for him to leave MI:6 and do something else if she’ll have him. The last gasp of the old Bond is in the torture scene. Remove Vesper from it entirely and Bond’s modus operandi is fairly straightforward: Torture me, don’t torture me, kill me, don’t kill me … you’re not getting the money either way so fuck you, who cares. Up yours, frogface. The only point at which he evinces actual concern over the proceedings is when he hears Vesper begin to scream. Now he has a reason to care about the outcome, but he passes into unconsciousness without knowing that Vesper’s already cut the deal that saves his life.

“And that’s why Vesper has to die. Past the torture scene, there’s no way to salvage the relationship between them (even though they’re not even in a relationship at that point anyway). She’s handed over the money, extracted a promise to keep Bond alive, and sold out her country for the benefit of a man she believes is going to die if she doesn’t. Fleming knew what he was on about. “Vesper Lynd” is an intentional and close relative to “West Berlin,” the unhappy city with such divided loyalties during the Cold War and no way to fully resolve that division.

“If she lives, the relationship is over, because Bond will never fully trust her again. The small moment after M calls wanting to know what the hell happened to the money is instructive; instantaneous rage, how-dare-she, I-got-played. Alternate-universe Casino Royale is where he rescues her from drowning but writes off the entire experience as “Bitches, man!” He asks himself what the hell he was expecting and go back to doing what he’s always done (albeit in a fouler mood than before). He learns nothing, doesn’t change, and there’s basically no character development of any kind in the film.

If she dies … well, that was the ending we saw.

Casino Royale is the story of where James Bond begins as a character, but he’s clearly been knocking around the business for a while before we enter the narrative. So Bond doesn’t start with the job; Bond starts when the love of his life shatters him for a completely understandable and even somewhat honorable reason and then dies for it. That is the origin story of the empty suit and the dead eyes and the reliance on alcohol just to get through the day. The nihilism and descent into sociopathy comes from his realization of just how trapped Vesper was, and how she felt the only way to expunge the guilt and shame of what she’d done was to take it to the grave with her.

“And then in Quantum of Solace he finds out that she died for nothing.”

Full discussion https://np.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/3qenef/daniel_craigs_james_bond_has_drunk_the_most/cwet3si?context=5

alien-ressurection

Weyland-Yutani Bioweapons Division’s Plans for the Xenomorph

From the ‘all things Aliens’ sub-reddit /r/LV426:

“Imagine that Weyland-Yutani has a military contract for a bioweapon that can wipe out a population in a very short amount of time. They provide a specialized military unit a clutch of eggs (now engineered), including a queen, and a civilian handler who works for the Company.

Now, there are these rebels on some assbackward planet who don’t like how Earth is exploiting them. So they’ve taken control of the planet and it’s only now, after months of self-governance (since it’s so bloody far away), that they’ve become complacent; they think that they’ve won. Within a month, they’re all dead.

The clutch of eggs was brought into the city using a compromised supply shipment. The eggs infected the a few dockworkers and flee underground to became a hive. The hive begins abducting people from the city until it reaches a critical mass, then it begins attacking in large, organized raids. Hundreds become new Warriors and Drones every day. One hive becomes several. The independent colonists fight back, but they have no military hardware; only construction tools and light arms. Soon, there is no one left. Lacking the presence of the pheromones live human emit into the air, the hives become dormant, as per the creature’s engineering. A week later, the hive self-terminates; the queen dies and all of her subjects; any remaining eggs self-abort.

The army shows up shortly thereafter with flamers and cleans up. There’s some acid damage here and there, but what would have taken months, massive amounts of munitions, and dozens of human lives is over in mere weeks. The only reason the Marines didn’t invade personally is because the orbital guns were taken intact and there are highly defensible bunkers.”

Full thread https://np.reddit.com/r/LV426/comments/3epj8t/so_what_happens_when_weylandyutani_finally/cth9u24?context=3

Image is a screencap from Alien Resurrection

george-maria-lucas

George Lucas’s Bitter Legacy

From a discussion about the quality of the Star Wars prequels:

“Here’s the thing. George Lucas has been simmering with anger for most of his career. His wife was one of the most talented story editors in the business. Bar none. She made concrete changes to the story that really saved the first movie, and had a significant impact on the entire franchise.

Credentials? She worked on Taxi Driver. She worked on two other Scorsese films. She helped Lucas with THX 1138 and American Graffiti and all three Star Wars films, and even pitched in a bit on Raiders. Of the six Oscars Star Wars won, one was hers for editing Lucas’ mess.

But she left George for another man, and somehow he got Hollywood in the divorce. She flips property now.

George Lucas didn’t even direct anything between A New Hope and the prequels. (My theory is there was a divorce settlement that ended around 1996 or so.) In between, his entire career has been milking Star Wars and Indy, both gifts to him from his wife.

So the prequels (and the changes he made to the original) were supposed to prove that he was the genius. To undo some of the influences that Marcia Lucas had on his films and show the fans “the movie I wanted it to be” . In his mind, he had to show that Star Wars belonged to him, and him alone. But the fans hated it. They hated the changes. They hated the Prequels.

Lucas was so salty that he retired and blamed the fans for it. He flat out said there’d never be another film, because he had no ideas. He claims that he always wanted to make documentaries anyway.

Then along comes an even better solution. Disney comes up with just stupid money for the entire fucking thing, so much he can’t pass that up. It’s perfect, sell it all… lock, stock, and barrel, and then give away all the money. Forget passing Star Wars down to his children.

For almost 20 years, this has been his life. And when he finally did “choose to run”, he just ended up proving to the world what he’d known in his heart all along. He was a better filmmaker when he was working with the woman who ripped that heart out.

No. It’s easier to burn it down and salt the earth. To disavow any interest (personal or vested) in the franchise and pretend like the entire thing was a lark he never cared about.

via jayman419 comments on Nicholas Cage Praises Hayden Christenson’s Acting In The Star Wars Prequels.

Image of George and Maria Lucas from The Secret History of Star Wars and Marcia Lucas.

diane-freeling-poltergeist

Diane Freeleng, Feminist Horror Movie Icon

My sister and I are HUGE HUGE HUGE fans of Poltergeist. It was one of the movies that played 24/7 the summer that we had cable as kids. Schlock Corridor makes the case for a feminist reading of Poltergeist (1982) – focusing on JoBeth Williams’s portrayal of Diane Freeleng as the take charge one:

“While Steven has a mock gun battle with his neighbor, Diane is giving Carol Anne her first understanding of mortality, creating an almost Egyptian-level sarcophagus for the corpse of Tweety.

“This is the first time the film presents us with one of its themes: only women can get things done. Throughout the movie it’s female characters who are forced to actually effect change, and it all begins with Diane’s tender ceremony for Tweety. Later Dr. Lesh (Beatrice Strait) is the glue that holds the parapsychology team together, then Tangina is the key to the final rescue of Carol Anne – which Diane must do herself while Steven can’t even hold the rope correctly.

She’s a cool mom who seems to understand where Dana is coming from as she goes through her adolescent angst – possibly because she was around Dana’s age when she got knocked up. She’s also a stay at home mom. In 2012 this character probably couldn’t exist – she would have to be a writer or a painter or sell crafts on Etsy because the modern movie world doesn’t truly respect stay at home moms. But for all of her fond remembrances of ‘the old days,’ Diane doesn’t seem unhappy to be at home with the kids. Steven’s adulthood has turned him into a person he doesn’t truly recognize – it’s turning him into James Karen, in fact – but adulthood has been better to Diane.

I like to think that it was Carol Anne’s birth that started it all, though. It certainly fits thematically with what comes later – her closet turns into a huge vagina, and she is returned from the Other Side in an ectoplasmic birth caul. The rescue of Carol Anne is a rebirth, almost quite literally when she and Diane aren’t breathing in the tub. It also helps explain why The Beast is interested in the girl. It seems unlikely that the Freeling’s pool is the first serious digging in Cuesta Verde, but it is plausible that Carol Anne was the first baby born on the development. That makes Carol Anne’s rebirth a cleansing new start, a reclamation of the birth process.

“Carol Anne as the focus also feeds into the film’s essential feminism. The Beast wants to use Carol Anne as a beacon to attract the souls trapped between this side and the other; it’s her life force – something that comes from the feminine – that attracts them. The Beast is specifically said to be male – a male entity that is abusing the warmth of femininity to devour innocent souls.

The diminutive psychic is the final element of the film’s feminist trilogy – the cool mom, smart doctor and tough as nails medium seem to make up the life cycle of childhood.”

Here’s the trailer for the new remake (with a male psychic – boo!!!):