thirty movies hath november – The treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

you don't have to spend too long in teh internets to find tons of accolades for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre:
John Huston's greatest film!; a triumph; Bogart's finest role; Walter Huston is a revelation; 
and so on.

the powers that be agreed: Treasure… won three Oscars and was nominated for Best Picture.

all that praise misses one thing.  the one thing that makes Treasure… special

Fred C. Dobbs
the greatest character (and character name) in movies.  self-delusional, to boot:

" I know what gold does to men souls"

don't you love foreshadowing?

one of the greatest dialogues in American film.  referenced in dozens if not hundreds of movies and TV shows:

Gold Hat: We are Federales… you know, the mounted police.
 Dobbs: If you're the police, where are your badges?
 Gold Hat: Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!

check it

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thirty movies hath november – Three Kings (1999)

Three Kings takes place in a far away place a long time ago: Iraq and 1991.  the (first) Gulf war has just ended officially but there is still much chaos on the ground.  as American soldiers disarm some surrendering Iraqi soldiers, the American soldiers find a document. 

a war movie that is a heist movie that is a comedy movie. 
a sharp critique of Bush I war, its victims, and those who became victims after the war.

great dialogue.  check

"Archie Gates: Sit down. What do you see here?
 Chief Elgin: Bunkers, sir.
 Archie Gates: What's in them?
 Troy Barlow: Stuff they stole from Kuwait.
 Archie Gates: Bullshit. I'm talking about millions in Kuwaiti bullion.
 Conrad Vig: You mean them little cubes you put in hot water to make soup?
 Archie Gates: No, not the little cubes you put in hot water to make soup.


we have all wondered how cows manage during wartime

what a gunshot does.  NOTE:  this kind of scene is commonplace now in CSI shows and others. but this was the first

a great, funny movie.  'tis sad to consider that at the time it was made, the Gulf war was a fast receding memory

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thirty movies hath november – Crumb (1994)


instead of a tagline it looks like an equation, no?  weird sex + obsession = comic books
and it could easily be, if your subject is
R. Crumb

its been about 15 years, and Crumb remains remarkable for its candid  approach to documentary biography.. 
R. Crumb
, his wives (current and ex-), children, mother, brothers (his two sisters refuse to participate), friends, girlfriends, all agreed to sit with writer/producer/director Terry Zwigoff.
what results if a portrait of the artist as a deeply fucked up man from a deeply dysfunctional family  – yet the most touching moments focus on R.'s older brother, Charles, profoundly psychotic and unable to leave his mother's house. as the brothers talk, we see some of the drawings and comix they made while growing up; and we see that Charles was by far the most talented.  'tis heartbreaking to watch.


I have a personal mystery about Crumb:  when we went to watch the movie, the concessions stand was selling Devil Girl choco-bars with a wrapper designed by the man himself.  I kept that bar for years, and one day it just *vanished*.
no one would admit eating or stealing it.  it remains a mystery.

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thirty movies hath november: South Park: Bigger, longer and uncut (1999)

it was like the 7th time I looked at the DVD cover that I *got* the "bigger, longer and uncut" part. [hangs head in shame].  considering the battles M. Parker and Stone had with the MPAA, it's surprising they allowed that bit to stay.

musical numbers, animation, war, satire, 'social issues', death, the afterlife all tied up in a ribbon = SP: B, L, U

excessive profanity?   yes, please


"Uncle Fucker" from Asses on Fire

the school is concerned

who to blame, who to blame… 
of course!

(is not like it's a real country anyways)

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happy turkeymas, y’all!

remember:  if you is not overeating, you iz doing it rong.

we'll be heading out to the hinterlands ( hinterlands = dial-up connection) here in a bit, so see ya when we get back to the land of plenty and DSL.

this is what I'm hoping for:

I'm hoping it for y'all too.

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thirty movies hath november – Once were warriors (1994)

Once were warriors is a New Zealand movie, notable among other things for the number of Maori people involved in its production – the director, Lee Tamahori, the entire cast.  the movie was very successful in New Zealand and got recognition around the world.
based on the 1980 novel of the same name, Once… narrates the struggles of a family living in Auckland. not quite living  in poverty but getting there, the father, Jake Haka, has lost his job and spends most days and nights drinking at the pub. his wife, Beth, is the usual victim of Jake's rages.  each of the children is getting lost in their own way.  it takes a series of incidents, up to a tragic one, for Beth to finally decide to leave Jake and take the children back with her to the Maori village she's from.
the movie is remarkable for its representation of the violence in the Haka household, the alienation of the Maori from the majority white society, the efforts of some to use traditional Maori history and customs to instill pride and responsibility on the young men.


Jake, Jake the Muss

the soundtrack uses traditional Maori songs alongside modern Maori sounds.  an example of the later is What's the time Mr. Wolf?

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thirty movies hath november – Olympia (1938)

Olympia is Leni Reifenstahl documentary of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  it was released in two parts: Olympia Fest der Volker (Olympia Part One Festival of Nations) and Olympia Fest der Schonheist (Olympia Part Two Festival of Beauty)

OlympiaOlympia volkenOlympia schonheit

Olympia was controversial from its release – and with reason.  funded by the Nazi party Propaganda arm, and even with no overt Nazi content per se, the images of greater-than-life godlike athletes have been interpreted as supporting the 'superior race'.  Frau Reifenstahl herself always denied any overt or covert Nazi alliances. 

a very good documentary on Frau Reifenstahl's life and work is The wonderful horrible life of Leni Riefenstahl; in addition to exploring the Nazi question,  The wonderful… also delves on the reasons why Riefenstahl is one of the great directors of the 20th century and the innovations she brought to film:  the sudden cut, extreme close-ups, cameras on rails to pan over distances, an editing craftwomanship never seen before and rarely after her time.


the prologue to part one of Olympia, which takes place in Greece.  the music is by Vangelis and added later

again from part one, the running of the Olympic torch to the stadium

btw:  while the lighting of the Olympic flame at the stadium began for the modern games at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, the whole shebang of lighting the torch in Greece and running it to the stadium through different countries and all that was invented for the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  this one.  ….the more you know

towards the end of part two.  the fantastic diving sequence.  breathtaking

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unintended consequences, law of

earlier today the talented and lovely val pointed us to the recent Pearl Jam concert at Austin City Limits.  the show was pretty good ( I did get the throwaway bit, val.  lovely)
once in the site one tends to peruse among the available shows. saw an enjoyable bit from me man Elvis C,

when I saw a double bill by Andrew Bird / St. Vincent, I had to click through: several VOXer friends like Mr. Bird, and at least one has mentioned St. Vincent favorably.

weels.  no offense, but those of you who like Mr. Bird, I don't share the sentiment. at all. I mean wtf.
he is kinda cute, in a broken-baby-bird sorta way, but as music?  no. and red pants.  no, no, no

St. Vincent was a better experience.  I've already replayed their segment a couple of times.

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thirty movies hath november – Cidade de Deus (2002)

English title:  City of God

many large cities in the developing world are surrounded by large slums . Rio de Janeiro is (in)famous for the sheer size of these slums, ( favelas ).  the larger favelas often have limited access to electricity and water, and barely any sewers or paved streets.  there is no police presence, and residents are accustomed to having to fend by themselves. the largest and worst favela in Rio is Cidade de Deus (City of God), where the movie takes place.

Cidade de Deus main characters are Busca Pé (Rocket) and Zé Pequeño – they are close in each, and while not exactly friends, they know each other and are interrelated in several ways. Busca Pé, who narrates the movie, is shy and ill at ease; from an early age he's trying to get out of the favela.  Zé Pequeño is, we learn early on, very different

during ~ three decades we see the two young boys watch their older brothers and cousins engage in petty crime. one night comes along as a lookout.
jump a few years – Busca Pé has acquired a camera and is documenting the world around him. Zé Pequeño is quickly becoming the top dealer and boss of the favela.

is not an uncommon story, here  told  via cinematography and editing. in several scenes the camera jerks and bobbles as it follows a character or another through the narrow passages of the favela. there is an open exploration of 's character, his fear of women, his inadequacies, how jealous he is of handsome, popular fellows. 

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musical intermission

posting about The Blues Brothers movie has had a bit of a consequence:  the Definitive Collection has been in my car CD player since soon afterwards.  sure the Bros. couldn't exactly sing, but goodness gracious what a band.

and in the words of brother Elwood –

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Universal Amphitheatre. Well, here it is, the late seventies going on 1985. You know, so much of the music we hear today is all pre-programmed electronic disco, we never get a chance to hear master blues men practicing their craft anymore. By the year 2006, the music known today as the blues will exist only in the classical records department of your local library. So tonight ladies and gentlemen, while we still can, let us welcome, from Rock Island Illinois, the blues band of Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues, the Blues Brothers."

with the exception of"disco", Elwood was right on.  sadly.

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