Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stand by Me (1986)

Who doesn't love a good Stephen King adaptation? Stand by Me, directed by Rob Reiner and starring a quartet of child actors who would all become notorious in their own way (Wil Wheaton--current geek god; River Phoenix--current tragic martyr; Jerry O'Connell--current "I got hot and married a model" inspirational tale; Corey Feldman--current only surviving 80s Corey). The four play childhood friends who go on a quest to see a body. One might even call it a hero's journey. The four encounter a gang of antagonists headed by Kiefer Sutherland (they usually are), but mostly story-tell, male bond, and throw off some classic one-liners. The Rob Reiner film won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay (from the aforementioned King novella The Body), has a killer soundtrack, and has gotten a lot of love from the AFI since its release. It's a poignant bromance that I'm looking forward to rewatching, though I'm still going to avert my eyes at the pie-eating-contest memory.

Cool Hand Luke Chat

Tracy: I'm ready to talk Young, Shirtless, PN.
Tracy:  So I was struck the entire time by how much this movie reminded me of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Not sure which came out first, but we have this anti-establishment hero that wins over this group of institutionalized men (and objectifies women), and then is broken by the institution, but lives on in stories. And then I just kept thinking of movies it clearly influenced: Shawshank, Full Metal Jacket, Girl, Interrupted, etc. etc. That didn't hit me as hard when I watched it the first time. Probably because I was distracted by Young Shirtless PN.
Natalie:  The book actually mentions One Flew Over: "Compared to Nicholson's scenery-chewing performance in the oddly similar OFOtCN (1975), Newman in CHL is all subtle, knowing smiles and beaming confidence. Short on soliloquies, Newman's Luke doesn't telegraph his every move or even clarify his motives. He seems to almost have sought out prison as an arbitrary challenge, inviting a conflict with the system just to see if he can win." CHL is earlier, 1969, but Kesey's novel is 1962; the source material for CHL is 1965. So, it seems era-specific in terms of anti-establishment/anti-authoritarian and these men who both need and despise the system.
Young shirtless Paul Newman is distracting which made me think: Question: Does Paul Newman appear in any movie at the height of his career in which he keeps his shirt on and buttoned-up?
The Long Hot Summer (1958)--shirtless
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)--shirtless
The Young Philadelphians (1959)--sweaty wifebeater (close enough in the 50s)
Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)--shirtless
Harper (1966)--shirtless
Cool Hand Luke (1967)--shirtless most of the movie
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)--I can't remember . . .
Tracy:  Yeah, I was talking to my dad about this movie, and it seems like no accident it was in the late '60s and early '70s that anti-establishment movies struck a nerve. But it seems that now, if you're not a teenager, that strain has kind of dropped, and we're back to establishment heroes. I haven't really thought that through, but do you agree? Oh, and the Coen's clearly loved this movie -- O Brother has all sorts of nods to it that I didn't catch the first time. It's like CHL redone as comedy.
Hah! The studios knew their audience! But all of those were ultra-serious and complicated performances as well. He wasn't playing Jacob the Wolf. Is it possible to be shirtless and serious in the same way now?
Natalie:  Huh--I'd have to think more about establishment heroes . . .  Do you have examples? Oooh--O Brother is absolutely CHL as comedy minus the shirtless but with the sparkly-eyed, mischievous, handsome leading man.
Tracy:  And the dude with the mirrored glasses! And the having to get the chains cut off! Why didn't they replicated the shirtless? Sigh.
Natalie:  I don't think it's possible to shirtless and serious in the same way. Action heroes get to be shirtless but if Clooney had taken off his shirt in Descendants we would think it silly
Tracy:  As far as examples, I'm thinking of soldiers and cops being the heroes.
Natalie:  Oh! I read your sentence wrong and was trying to think of teenagers who were heroes within the system. But, yes! There are a ton of establishment heroes now.
Tracy:  Do you think it's because he was doing all these TN Williams plays where it was hot?
Natalie:  Maybe--filmmakers think you just keep your shirt off in the South.
Tracy:  Which is true, but it's usually the wrong people doing it. You know, I think Cormac McCarthy also owes something to this archetype--the man who will stand up even though the system will ultimately destroy him. Do you think Dragline deserved his Oscar?
Natalie:  That's hard for me to answer because the other nominees were in movies I've not seen save Cecil Kellaway in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. The others were: The Dirty Dozen: John Cassavetes, Bonnie and Clyde: Gene Hackman, Bonnie and Clyde: Michael J. Pollard.
Tracy:  Well, I think just about everyone in Bonnie and Clyde was overrated, and I can't remember that character in GWCtD. I thought he was fine, but I was surprised he won and not PN. I also liked the idea of passive resistance--when they beat the man by doing the job (tarring the road) super fast. I bet you could do a Foucouldian number on this flick.
Natalie:  The major sin is that Newman didn't win an Oscar until 1986 (Honorary). He won for acting in 1987 as Leading in Color of Money and Humanitarian in 1994. He was nominated 9 times; 3 times before this nod.
Natalie:  Nominated nine OTHER times, besides the win in 87
Tracy:  My dad thinks that the Color of Money was a make-up Oscar because he should have won for The Verdict but they had to give John Wayne the "you're about to die" Oscar that year.
Natalie:  HA! Well, they could have solved ALL of that by giving Newman the Oscar in 59 for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at his first nod. David Nivens won for Separate Tables.
Tracy:  Separate Tables? Is that even a movie? And you know, and brace yourself, I've never seen Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Or read it.
I hope we can still be friends.
Natalie:  Apparently. And it has all sorts of people  in it--Deborah Kerr, Rita Hayworth, Burt Lancaster--but who knows what that is now? I only know because I just clicked on the link in imdb. SIGH. I don't know if we can be friends. Description: :) You should at least watch it--especially since the list is STUPID and doesn't include it. Seriously, a million Busters and we don't get a classic Newman/Taylor?
Tracy:  It's not on there? Then I'll totally watch it! I was just waiting for its number to come up!
Natalie:  NO! The book doesn't include it. I'm shocked every single time I figure that out--but, remember?, we looked for it for the Taylor thing. So, basically, the book includes this one because of Newman. Seems it's as enamored of his shirtlessness and pretty eyes as we are (and, yeah, that the man could act).
Tracy:  Heh. The shirtlessness and pretty eyes transcend editorial (or sexual) preference. My dad (who's making a lot of appearances in this post) said "That man was good looking his whole life. I hate him."
Natalie:  HA! He was absurdly good-looking his entire damn life. And nice and good to people which makes it worse for the men-folk. It's interesting which movie chats your dad pops up in. I'm pretty sure my dad told me (forever and ever ago) to watch Cat and that got me hooked on Mr. Pretty Eyes Newman
Tracy:  Dads and Paul Newman. Both of our dads sort of remind me of Paul Newman. Not in a disturbing Electra kind of way, but in a bone structure kind of way.
Natalie:  Ha! I've never seen your dad in person but, yeah, seems both dads have the same sort of facial structure and leanness--and mischievous streak

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Broadcast News Chat

Tracy:  So I think James L. Brooks might hate women.
Natalie:  Yeah. There's not much good about the women in this one.
Or for the women.
Tracy:  And As Good As It Gets wasn't good. Neither was Spanglish, or Terms of Endearment, really. It's just so stereotypical: Here's the go-go 80s Working Girl, who can't figure out what she wants. And I'm not sure how I feel about everyone thinking a story on date rape is a fluff piece.
Natalie:  Can't figure out what she wants and can't get it herself anyway. The date rape piece wouldn't be fluff now but it would have given the time frame. There was no such thing as date rape then. But, I think that dates the film (one of many ways).
Tracy:  That's true. But it still felt like sort of a cheap shot--I mean, it seems it's a story that needed to be told, since it is a thing now. But anyway, it did very much have the look of the late 80s. And it shows you how long Qaddaffi has been a problem! I remember liking it, but didn't enjoy it as much the second time around. Though I still love the Albert Brooks’s character. And I think the line "If I were the devil, you're the only one I would tell" is a pretty good definition of love. Did you think that William Hurt's betrayal was that deal-breaking?
Natalie:  I want to back up to James L. Brooks for a minute--I think he's stuck with writing women. He was one of the creators of the Mary Tyler Moore show which, of course, did a lot for women on TV and showed her in a professional setting. But, Holly Hunter's character can't get past that late 60s/early 70s trap women were in. Brooks can't seem to update women and women's roles. I'd not seen this one before and I did not enjoy it. I felt both "romances" were thin and baseless--so, no, there was no deal-breaking betrayal because I didn't see where there was an actual deal. William Hurt's whole character was a problem for me. They wanted to make him noble and all I won't talk about things I know nothing about but then they made him fall into the superficial I'm pretty and a talking head trap without any pressure. There was no actual conflict there. IF there had been more of a conflict and Hurt was actually pushing a LOT to make sure he was in the field or reading books or looking at old footage or really hounding people in the newsroom to KNOW things, I might have bought Hunter's character falling for him. Otherwise, she's just falling for the shiny new boy and that doesn't work in the narrative.
Tracy:  I agree. For as much as he writes women, he doesn't seem to get how a woman like Holly Hunter would work. She might not love Brooks, but she wouldn't fall for Hurt either. And I know the big break is supposed to generate from that speech she gives at the beginning of the film, but that philosophy or value system isn't reinforced any other time, so it ended up making her look hysterical and unreasonable, since Hurt is pretty much this blank placeholder the whole way through. And I guess it's fine to feed him information from Brooks? I think the movie was trying to be too many things--this romance and also this commentary on television news, and ends up doing neither particularly well. Though I do love the sweating scene. Which again, I remembered as being much longer.
Natalie:  And the crying at her desk (and other random places) every day? Without any explanation (which could have worked) that just seems like he wants to make women the hysterics. Between that and Joan Cusack (brilliantly) running though the newsroom, all of the physicality of the film is left to women, which would be fine if it weren't all absurd.
Tracy:  That was a classic run! And I usually really like movies about the business of the news (All the President's Men, Network, even The Paper), but this wasn't. Not really. Does the book have any account that we could buy? As I recall from writing the blurb, it was pretty much showered with nominations.
Natalie::  I do, too. I liked what I've seen of Mary Tyler Moore and other newsroom TV/movies but this one couldn't decide that it was actually about the news. No, nothing we can buy. It starts with, "An invitation to the 1984 Democratic Convention inspired the hectic spirit of James L. Brooks’s fast-paced 1987 media romance. A former CBS television newsman himself, Brooks puts a career twist into the classic concept of screwball comedy." I find that problematic because there are about two scenes one could describe as screwball (sweating and running). And continues, "A film about love, it is also about lovers who think that the only safe love affair is the one they have with their work" which also doesn't work because both men end up in long term relationship at the end while she has only been in one for three months. And ends with, “As ‘news’ itself has become the show business of which Altman was so fearful, the earnestness and time devoted to TV stories seems to issue from another age. But the laughs are still there, and anyone who has ever been turned down for someone less intelligent will never forget Aaron’s quip, ‘I say it here and it comes out there,’ when he calls the newsroom to update Grunick, his romantic nemesis, in an emergency broadcast.” And that's just kind of weak.
Natalie:  OH! There may be another source of our women-hating problem. When James L. Brooks was at CBS, I bet no women were in any position but secretary.
Tracy:  Jeez. It's not screwball at all, and you know this better than I, but don't screwball films tend to feature powerful, complicated women? I'm thinking Bringing Up Baby, but are their others? And no one is married to their work! They all want to be in relationships. I don't know if I've ever been turned down for someone less intelligent, but I got no particular zing of satisfaction from that line. I did think that Brooks did a good job writing the sort of shorthand that very good friends have ("I'll meet you at the place near the thing we went that time"), but didn't really go into why their friendship didn't translate into romance. The Paper is a ton better at capturing the frenzy that it seems he was going for. I really can't think of a justification for keeping this in.
Natalie:  Screwball films do include a lot of powerful, complicated women--especially ones who can keep pace with the men without any aid. Bringing Up Baby (well, almost all of Katherine Hepburn's comedies and those like them with Cary Grant, et al) and His Girl Friday are what I can think of now. But, yeah, they start with a premise of equality and are actually funny and include more physical humor. I got no zing from that line either and it seemed like he might have said it even if he and Hunter were happily married with a picket fence because he, unlike Hunter, stuck to his guns about his professional morals. The shorthand of good friends was great but was almost too rehearsed--like that's just what they say instead of that happening to be what comes out because the name of the place has slipped and the other person just knows what you're talking about. I've not seen The Paper but I don't think this one needs to stay.
Tracy:  Agreed. I think you'd like The Paper! It seems people go nuts all over Brooks's films and I never get it (like As Good As It Gets, which I pretty much heartily despised). But you know what I don't despise? Young Paul Newman.
Natalie::  MmmHmmm. I can't despise Paul Newman one bit.
Although I could do without the eggs.
Tracy:  Yeah. Quease. But it should be fun to talk about it. I haven't seen it in years.
Natalie: I guess I haven't seen it too recently either--at least a few years.
Tracy:  Definitely looking forward to it. 

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

I should just let the poster speak for itself. One thing it would certainly say is that both Docs on Films girls will be re-watching this late '60s classic. The prison drama stars Young Paul Newman as a man who refuses to be institutionalized, and is an important text in defining the anti-establishment cinematic hero that was all over American cinema in the 1970s. There are, it seems, dozens of iconic lines and scenes in this film. Plus, did I mention Young Paul Newman??? I think we're both looking forward to revisiting and discussing this shared favorite.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Broadcast News (1987)

Hey remember the '80s? When William Hurt was sexy, Holly Hunter was in movies, and Albert Brooks was nebbishy and not forking people in the eye? Next week, we'll be watching Broadcast News, aka, Network-lite. This romantic dramedy was produced by James L. Brooks, so you know it'll have a few laughs and not much bite. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including a well deserved nod to Brooks for Best Supporting Actor, I imagine largely due to one memorable sweating scene . . .

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Special Feature: Occupy 1001

As Tracy mentioned, after watching 49 films (plus the rejects) we got a tad mouthy and decided to nominate movies for inclusion and movies that we'd like to take out back and shoot.

Natalie:  Ready to Occupy 1001?
Tracy:  We ARE the 99%.
Or rather, the .000001% who would ever watch all of these.
Natalie:  Ha! You beat me to it :)
Natalie:  So, this is out 50th watch since I can't count and we've decided to replace a film of our choosing each--what are you' taking away and what are you' adding?
Tracy:  All right. It was easy for me to pick which movie I wanted to add. But the subtraction ended up being more difficult. So I'm going to add . . .Breaking Dawn Part 1!
It's Twilight.
Natalie:  Ha!
Tracy:  Kidding! I am adding Todd Haynes's genre-busting Dylan biopic I'm Not There, and taking away . . . .
Natalie:  Brilliant choices all around. I'm taking away a Buster Keaton, any Buster Keaton. I have no stake in which one and kind of wish I could take away more than one.
And I'm adding Get Low, probably the most overlooked film of 2009
Tracy:  I wish you could take away all the Busters we haven't seen yet, because I'm pretty sure we've "seen" them all after watching the first five minutes of Steamboat Bill Jr. or whatever. So what is your argument for subtracting BK? (Though I'm pretty sure I can guess.)
Natalie:  At least one BK needs to go because with FIVE directed by Keaton (no clue how many more may be lurking that he only acted in) we have an overabundance of 1. the same damned movie, 2. a single director doing the same damned movie. So, it's not like two directors have different takes on the silent slapstick or Keaton does different things with his own movies. They're just the same thing over and over and over--even within an individual film. I'd allow ONE Buster just because they did set precedent but we don't need five (or even two, really).
And, you're taking away Avatar because . . . .
Tracy:  Agreed. It's true--you can be groundbreaking precisely once. So I loathed Avatar. It's hyper-derivative, pseudo-philosophical, and facile. But the one reason I thought it needed to be seen was that I felt it did do new and interesting things with 3D. Now, with Hugo, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Pina, and even the possibility of something like Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby using 3D in ways that are thematically resonant and conceptually smart (not just "oooh, the glowy floaty things look cool), I don't think just the technological advance warrants its inclusion. Just watch Dances with Wolves again if you want the story, and any of the films I mentioned if you want the tech.
So sing me the praises of Get Low!
Natalie:  I'm right there with you loathing Avatar. I hated every minute of it. Get Low! I had to see this in a tiny theater off the beaten path in Santa Monica with about 4 other people because it wasn't released wide and then none of the awards picked it up as even close to viable. Why I don't know. The actors are perfect (and I don't always love Bill Murray), the dialogue is hilarious ("Ooooh, Hermit money!") and poignant at the same time as is the story of a self-loathing hermit who wants to throw a funeral party so he can confess his greatest sin . . . while the rest of the town believes him horrible for many many many lesser sins. And, I can't think of another movie that does the same things.
Tracy:  I agree. I was one of the people who missed it (even though you told me to see it and you were so right), so I just watched it a couple of months ago. It's not easy to balance that kind of understated humor with that depth of feeling. Duvall got robbed.
Natalie:  And it's not easy to balance those two things with such a bizarre premise. Curmudgeonly dude wants to have a funeral party while he's alive? That's super easy to make absurd and slapstick but not so easy to make funny and heartbreaking. So . . . . . I'm Not There . . . another film I had to watch in an odd theater but this one was more recognized. Why do you love it?
Tracy:  I also loved the costumes. So first of all, I love the audacity of INT--it takes what seems to be a pretty gimmicky premise--we're going to get six different actors, including a chick!, to play Dylan--and uses it to make a pretty compelling argument. The film takes the idea of a biopic, and posits that our access to celebrity identity (and perhaps any identity) is always provisional, and therefore our understanding of famous people is always partly fictional. For that reason it makes sense to pick Dylan, who reinvented himself so many times. And I also love how the movie's amalgamation of forms, styles and genres then makes the case that multiplicity and heterogeneity aren't this disastrous hollowing out of the idea of an artistic self, but rather they produce the best, most liberatory kind of art. Which is sort of Haynes patting himself on the back, but I think it worked so well, he deserves it.
Natalie:  It worked amazingly well. When I think of that film, I don't immediately separate the parts into Cate did this and whosit did this, I just think of Dylan and a story being told about him. But, yes, it could have been a horrific failure. I'm amazed that the book didn't pick these two when they revised. Well, sort of, since the book seems to like to curry favor to Oscar winners/nominations despite the lack of inspiration in some of the recent choices.
Tracy:  Exactly. I almost picked Black Swan to boot simply because I don't like the way the book seems to be pandering to whatever was popular last year rather than what seems to have (or has proved itself to have) staying power. I did check for Crash, though, and was gratified that it, at least, wasn't in there. And I assume we would also both go to bat for Eternal Sunshine. Can't BELIEVE that got overlooked.
Natalie:  And to put Black Swan on the cover . . . sigh. I think Crash was in there but was booted at some point? Eternal Sunshine's lack of presence continues to baffle me. We could add all of these films just by kicking out the extraneous Keatons.
Not to mention the other terrible choices, like Avatar.
Tracy:  And I would like to register the visceral revulsion that Performance invokes in me, but since it seems to still have pop culture moments, I shall let it stay.
Natalie:  Ha! I know you were upset to have to let that one be. Yep, Crash was just booted in the most recent revision (because they seem to only be able to boot movies from the last 15 years or so).
Tracy:  They beat us to the punch.
Natalie:  But, the book should set a standard of sorts. The editors SHOULD be able to discern what will be brilliant in 20 years. We figured that out, why can't they?
Tracy:  Yeah--it seems like the book is now just a collection of essays about the latest Academy Award winners. Which fine, but that is not what the book markets itself as. And yet, on we merrily watch!
Natalie:  Merrily merrily! Do we have anything else to add or is it onward to Broadcast News and Cool Hand Luke (swoon)?
Tracy:  I think onwards and upwards! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Occupy 1001

Next week will feature a Very Special Post from the chicks at Docs on Films. We have reached a milestone here at our little Sisyphean project: 50 movies from the latest edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die officially watched! That, plus the rejects we felt compelled to view for comparison's sake, has left us feeling a little mouthy. So we're going to take a break from our overlords at 1001, and each make an argument for a film that we feel should be included in The Book, along with what we think should be axed to make room.
Neither of us will be nominating V for Vendetta. It's a metaphor for rebellion.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Out of Africa (1985) Chat

Natalie:  After I marry Paul Newman, I'm going to marry Robert Redford
Tracy:  A solid plan. While young Paul Newman is busy walking around in a wife-beater, young Robert Redford can recite "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" whilst shampooing your hair. Swoon.
Natalie:  Best day ever.
Tracy:  In my mind that hair-washing scene was like twenty minutes long. It was one of the two things I remembered about the movie. The other was the end. I was surprised this time around at how much it reminded me of The English Patient--an ex-pat living in Africa who has all these issues with ownership, impending war, even a bi-plane, for God's sake.
Natalie:  I was SO surprised that the hair-washing scene was so short! That's really all I'd heard about the film--how wonderful and sexy that is but it's like 2 seconds long. I guess women have better imaginations. Yes! It did resemble EP a bit. I love how beautiful everything was. I don't have any desire to go to Africa but I could see film of it's nature all day.
Tracy:  It was gorgeously shot. And unlike other epics famous for their scenery (ahem, Dr. Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia), the landscape shots didn't feel self-indulgent. What did you think of the way the Western influence on Africa was metaphorized? I liked the way that on the one hand there's this seamless connection between Denys and the land, but on the other, he's constantly interrupting it with his guns, his plane that scatters the flamingos, his gramophone on the savannah, etc.
Natalie:  Right--there was a good reason for the scenery (Good god, Dr. Zhivago. THAT's one I'm not watching again). I liked the way it was handled. It seemed thoughtful but realistic. This is not a "white people solve racism" film and it doesn't shy away from the way some of the colonizers are racist, sexist, raging womanizers, entitled idiots, etc. So, while we're talking about that, the book brings up a point that we should chat about. It says, “[p]roduced as a memoir’s translation to big screen, Out of Africa also sidesteps charges of racism with fidelity to its source.” I’m not completely sure what that sentence means. 1. Yes, it’s an adapted screenplay (won an Oscar for that before that was the category’s name) but what does “produced as” mean? 2. The film would be racist if it were racist regardless of the source material and fidelity to it . . . . But I don’t think the movie is racist. I’ve not read the book but the movie seems to engage the complicated questions of race, ownership of people and things, imperialism, etc.
Tracy:  That's interesting. Yeah, I think the book seems to be suggesting that Pollack sidestepped any possible racism charges by saying he was just putting the words on the screen. But agreed--that doesn't excuse anything if it were racist. And I don't think it's racist either, but not quite for the same reason. For me, the movie didn't seem terribly interested in widening its scope beyond this woman's story, and her relationship with this man and this particular space. I agree that ownership is definitely at issue, but it seems the Africans themselves seemed largely unknowable, because they didn't want to be known completely by the colonizers. And the movie seemed respectful of that distance. Karen (never read the memoir, but movie Karen) definitely has for-real relationships with some of the Africans surrounding her, but I guess I thought the movie was smart not to try to be more progressive than the material or the people were. I mean, they weren't anti-racist crusaders, nor were they oppressors, so making them that way would be inauthentic and counterproductive. Does that make any sense?
Natalie:  It does make sense. And the issue of ownership is complicated and tied up with more than race because Karen owns all of this stuff and wants to marry Denys so she'll have someone "of her own" so the ideas presented in the film aren't solely tied to race, or gender, or any other multi-culti buzz word. It seems there may have been some charge of racism against the film and the book has failed to actually engage the argument. But, I think this is one of the most poorly written entries we've had to deal with.
Tracy:  They should have just stuck to writing about the shampoo scene. In any case, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a really  cool origin story for a writer--I loved the scene where she took that first sentence and ran with it.
Natalie:  Ha! They should have stuck with that. Instead, they fail to mention it altogether. I really enjoyed it, too. I liked the story and how it unfolded; I liked the scenery and the animals; I liked the story-telling aspect; I liked the romance. I did not like that Denys died. Why does no one ever tell me when people die?! I did like that the lions liked his grave spot and that someone wrote her a letter to tell her that.
Tracy:  And it kills me when she reads "To an Athlete Dying Young" at his funeral. It's a great romance. I love how it's totally clear why these two people would be into each other. Other than the whole young Robert Redford factor. Oh, I also want a little fuzzy owl as a pet.
Natalie:  Yeah, I was done at that point. But I didn't see him dying coming at all. Of course! It's clear from the first minute she picks up his books in his room while thinking she's flirting with the other guy. Um, yeah! That was a super cute fuzzy owl! I also liked the last scenes with the African who was closest to her--Farah? That she was going ahead to light a fire for him to follow.
Tracy:  Ouch. And of course it's right after his "you've ruined solitude for me" speech. Stupid movie. Stupid bi-plane. I loved that metaphor as well. I wonder if anything happened. It seemed fairly ominous that the last line of the movie was "Karen never returned to Africa again." Do you think we're meant to feel it was because that place was too tied up with Denys for her?
Natalie:  Of course! The "you've ruined solitude" speech has to be one of the most romantic things ever. Mmmmm. I didn't think about that--I was too busy trying not to cry about the damned lions on his grave. I think too tied up with Denys and too much upcoming change. With it being an actual colony, there would be more British influence and less of the Africans she loved and fought to get land for before she left and that's not the Africa she loves.
Tracy:  That's true. I've never read anything by her. I kind of want to now. Freaking lions on the freaking grave.
Natalie:  I was looking to see if I could find anything in her bio about why she never returned but couldn't. I've never read anything by her either.
Tracy:  So are we both on board the "keep Out of Africa" train? Though that sounds like some sort of command.
Natalie:  Ha! Yes! I'm on that train as long as I don't have to go from Denmark to Africa on a train.
Tracy:  Hah! No kidding!
Natalie:  With ALL of your possessions.
Tracy:  Knowing me, they'd still be in the Pod back in Denmark.
Natalie:  HA!
Mine, too
Tracy:   I'm excited about our Occupy 1001 Movies Book installment next week.
Natalie:  Yay yay yay! That's a funny name for it.