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More media babbling...
OK, I have a confession to make. Until this afternoon I had never watched Citizen Kane. Yeah, I know. Greatest movie of all time and all, at least according to many. I was familiar with the history, with the fight with Hearst, how it damaged Welles's career, etc. I just never got a copy of the movie and watched it. Well, sometime in the past couple of days my main TiVo grabbed it off TCM, where it was aired without commercial interruption. And this afternoon I sat down and watched it. So I can finally say that I've seen it. And yeah, it is a good film. Being a tech geek I noticed a few obvious uses of rear projection, matte paintings, and backdrops, but for its day I'm sure it was high tech shit. :-) Definitely a good movie.

Then in the evening I finally went to see Disney/Pixar's Cars. I never did get around to seeing it last week. I was trying to see it with someone but it didn't come together, so I decided to catch it this week before it was out of theaters. I'm glad I did. z_gryphon, I think you'd like it. The underlying story is really about Route 66 and the old towns bypassed by the highways. I know that's near and dear to your heart, having driven The Mother Road across country. In the end credits there is a thank you list of places on Route 66 that inspired the film makers, and I recognized a few from your tales - like The Big Texan. Oh, and do stay through the credits. The bit at the end is pretty good. ;-)

I got a kick out of a lot of the NASCAR cameos too, even though I'm only a casual race fan at best. All the characters are cars, of course, and there is a blue Plymouth Road Runner with #43 on the side called 'The King' - voiced by Richard Petty. The race commentators are Bob Cutlass and Darrell Cartrip - Bob Costas and Darrell Waltrip, of course. And there are other neat cameos - Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is 'Junior', a rookie #8 car. Michael Schumacher and Mario Andretti also do voices. I didn't figure out while watching the movie that George Carlin is Fillmore (a hippy VW bus), but in retrospect I should've caught it. It was his 'hippy-dippy weatherman' persona. Overall a fun movie and worth seeing. Technically great work too.

Current Location: 42.30894N 71.79531W
I am: tired tired
Current Media: quiet

j_b From: j_b Date: June 26th, 2006 06:06 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
In the "movies to see" category, check out District B13 if it's playing in your area, if you're into action films.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: June 26th, 2006 06:21 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, I've pointed it out to other people but I haven't seen it playing reasonably close by.
ardaniel From: ardaniel Date: June 26th, 2006 06:09 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Greg Tolland, the cinematographer on Kane, advanced the state of the art in ways no one else had even considered to that point; it's well worth your time to do a little reading on his work.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: June 26th, 2006 06:21 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, I've seen some specials on him and Kane - they always emphasize that long shot over the roof in the rain that continues down through the skylight and into a close up of the woman as being ground breaking.
wedgex From: wedgex Date: June 26th, 2006 08:45 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Not even so much the effects as the techniques and how they're used to drive the narrative, which seem normal to us now. The main thing that was driven into our heads in film school about it was the use of deep focus, and the only way you achieve that is by having a high aperture setting on your lens, which means a lot of light. Which means, in 1940 terms, a LOT of light. (This being the time where the primary movie lighting equipment were carbon arc lights, I'm sure it was a spectacular thing being on that set) It's interesting to watch to see just how many things we take as not even commonplace but mandatory in our films today.

A similar experience, and one that's a little more interesting to me, can be had watching North by Northwest, as it's the basic blueprint for all of the high-concept actioners we all gre up on, only 30 years sooner. Watch it and then compare with, say, Die Hard. Good times.