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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:19 pm 
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lacritfan wrote:
I realize this is a totally regional celeb - Huell Howser. Truly one of my favorite personalities on television. Non-SoCal folks who still watch The Simpsons might rememeber that he graciously played himself literally falling off the turnip truck.
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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:55 am 
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Nagisa Oshima 1932-2013. Appreciation and obituary thread here.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:54 am
Conrad Bain

As a child of the 80s, this one hurts.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Looks like Czech illustrator/animator Vladimir Jiranek was missed.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:54 am
Robert Chew

You might not recognize the name, but if you're familiar with The Wire, then you probably saw his amazing work as Prop Joe.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:13 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Damn, one of the many great actors on the show. At least he left a legacy as East Baltimore's Number One


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:15 pm 
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Location: SLC, UT
Those memorable quotes are priceless. R.I.P.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:54 am
I had no idea until I read the AV Club's obituary, but he was an acting coach in Baltimore. Apparently over 20 of his students ended up on the show including all of the amazing kids that starred in season 4. What a talent!


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:47 am 
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Location: Rollin' down Highway 41
I'm kind of at a loss for anything to say. Always loved his work and I'm sorry that he's gone.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:03 pm 

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
Earl Weaver


Last edited by Drucker on Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:54 am
Drucker wrote:


And now Stan "The Man" Musial as well. What a terrible day for baseball.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:18 pm 
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bamwc2 wrote:
Robert Chew

You might not recognize the name, but if you're familiar with The Wire, then you probably saw his amazing work as Prop Joe.

This is terrible news. He was a true standout in a show brimming with great character actors, and he did a lot more behind the scenes that most people realize.

Although my favorite Wire quote will also be Stringer's "Ni***, is you takin' notes on a criminal fuckin' conspiracy?," Prop Joe's "Look the part, be the part, motherfucker" and “Ain't easy civilizing this motherfucker,” are two of my other all-time favorites, and I still try to use them whenever I can. Plus, his scenes with Marlo (if you've seen them, you know what I am referring to) are among the series' best.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Michael Winner.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Liz Renay.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:47 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:

In 2007.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
I shall inform the Facebook friend that I got that off.

Incidentally, I'm highly amused by the total lack of reaction to Michael Winner's death round here - to say that it got quite a bit of coverage in the UK media is something of an understatement. But over the last two decades in particular he was far more famous as a general-purpose celebrity than he was as a filmmaker.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Yeah, I'm only aware of Winner's celebrity second hand, mostly through references on British comedy shows, guest appearances on Have I Got News for You and such. Elsewhere he's known, if at all, as a bygone hack director - and his name doesn't even register as a metonym / shorthand for 'hack director' the way it does in the UK.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:28 pm
Location: Rain City, USA
MichaelB wrote:
Incidentally, I'm highly amused by the total lack of reaction to Michael Winner's death round here - to say that it got quite a bit of coverage in the UK media is something of an understatement. But over the last two decades in particular he was far more famous as a general-purpose celebrity than he was as a filmmaker.


I do get the impression that he was reasonably ubiquitous in UK media, but in what way did he most prominently stand out over there in the last couple decades? Had I not been discussing The Big Sleep (the book and Hawks version) with somebody the week before Winner's death & having his remake come up from the person I was talking to, I honestly wouldn't have even known who he was.

Looking over his filmography, the only Michael Winner film I've seen is The Sentinel (which is actually kind of fun in a ridiculous horror movie way, albeit a total rip-off of Rosemary's Baby and even weaker films like The Mephisto Waltz). The Mechanic and Death Wish have fairly large cults, though. I believe all of these were on the American television stations TNT and/or TBS quite a lot in the 90s, so the titles may be evocative to somebody of my age set (mid-late twenties). Beyond that, he just isn't known over here.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
I was being quiet because of the maxim that if you can't find anything good to say and so on! I suppose we should at least credit him with giving Jeff Goldblum his film debut as 'Freak #1' in the first Death Wish.

Winner is probably most famous in the UK these days less for his films and more for for his terrible over-acting in his insurance adverts, which later became notorious for having its "Calm Down, Dear!" catchphrase used by Conservative party leader David Cameron against a female politician during a debate in the Houses of Parliament.

____

I'm more upset by Jon Finch's recent passing, as you noted earlier Michael. I'm about twenty plays into that massive BBC Shakespeare box now (it's taking a while!) but I broke off to go through the Richard II/Henry IV plays again, and will have to re-watch Polanski's Macbeth again soon, a film I haven't seen in at least fifteen years.

I had not noticed him during a recent viewing of Sunday, Bloody Sunday, but apparently he is in there somewhere too. And for anyone still tackling the horror list, he turns up in the 1990s in 'the Welsh Wicker Man' film, Darklands.

There's a nice tribute to Finch here


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Location: Worthing
Dylan wrote:
I do get the impression that he was reasonably ubiquitous in UK media, but in what way did he most prominently stand out over there in the last couple decades?

Much like Nagisa Oshima (ironically enough), he had a great many irons in the British media fire - he was an extremely high-profile restaurant critic for the Sunday Times, had various other newspaper columns, and was rarely out of the public eye when it came to appearances on chat shows and game shows, incredibly annoying insurance commercials, etc.

It's probably no exaggeration to say that as far as the UK was concerned he was (until yesterday) the most famous living British film director - even the likes of Ken Russell fell into comparative obscurity in his last couple of decades, but Winner actually became more famous after he abandoned filmmaking in 1997 (with Parting Shots, reputedly one of the worst films ever made, although he'd have to go a long way to top - or bottom - 1990's Bullseye).

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Had I not been discussing The Big Sleep (the book and Hawks version) with somebody the week before Winner's death & having his remake come up from the person I was talking to, I honestly wouldn't have even known who he was.

He was actually quite an interesting director half a century ago, largely for the likes of West 11 (1963) and his films with Oliver Reed (The System, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whats'is'name), but from the mid-1970s onwards he was more or less synonymous with terrible films.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Location: Aldershot, Hampshire, UK
MichaelB wrote:
It's probably no exaggeration to say that as far as the UK was concerned he was (until yesterday) the most famous living British film director - even the likes of Ken Russell fell into comparative obscurity in his last couple of decades, but Winner actually became more famous after he abandoned filmmaking in 1997 (with Parting Shots, reputedly one of the worst films ever made, although he'd have to go a long way to top - or bottom - 1990's Bullseye).

Quote:
Had I not been discussing The Big Sleep (the book and Hawks version) with somebody the week before Winner's death & having his remake come up from the person I was talking to, I honestly wouldn't have even known who he was.

He was actually quite an interesting director half a century ago, largely for the likes of West 11 (1963) and his films with Oliver Reed (The System, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whats'is'name), but from the mid-1970s onwards he was more or less synonymous with terrible films.


I never saw Bullseye! but I did see Parting Shots at a press show. It's pretty bad, but not the worst film I ever saw at a press show - which has to be Love, Honour and Obey for me.

I saw I'll Never Forget What's'isname on Channel 4 in the late 80s, in a version which had Marianne Faithfull's F-word (one of the first spoken in the mainstream cinema) bleeped out. The bad-taste commercial at the end is one of the best-sustained sequences I've ever seen in a Winner film, if I remember rightly - though I do realise that that is damning with faint praise.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:52 pm 
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Bullseye! was so legendarily appalling that it generated something of a meme avant l'internet in which mischievous critics reviewed it as though it was a serious art movie to rival Bresson's output, presumably in the total certainty that their readers would recognise the sarcasm upfront.

That said, I did sit through the whole thing (on telly: I wasn't daft enough to buy a ticket), because it was so terrible that it was strangely mesmerising. It felt as though a British film director had been cryogenically suspended in the 1950s after writing a pretty feeble caper-movie script and then thawed out in 1990, given major stars like Michael Caine and Roger Moore, and told to go ahead and make the film exactly as he'd originally envisaged it.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:53 pm
MichaelB wrote:
...with Parting Shots, reputedly one of the worst films ever made, although he'd have to go a long way to top - or bottom - 1990's Bullseye).


Having seen both Bullseye and Parting Shots, I can say with some confidence that Parting Shots is worse. (I nearly typed 'Parting Shits' - many a true word &c). I've seen Dirty Weekend too. That left me feeling unclean.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:16 am 
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Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
The idea of Winner being 'the greatest living British filmmaker' is utterly gobsmacking, yet most likely true. Although with the best will in the world Winner wasn't really famous for his films (which shows just how disconnected 'celebrity' is from producing anything worthwhile), and in a parallel universe Ken Russell's Celebrity Big Brother stunt would have turned him into a similar 'national treasure'!

Who will take Winner's place now? My money is on Nick Love.

Bullseye! struck me as an attempt to cash in on the 'charming robber' genre that had just been repopularised a couple of years before with Buster.

I actually find Bullseye! to be one of his few watchable films, but that's damning with faint praise I know. I also always used to get the title confused with the one for that other terrible film, Bullshot, and as with Rev. Powell's example, it is only a short step from there to the word that perfectly describes both of them!


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:50 am 
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colinr0380 wrote:
The idea of Winner being 'the greatest living British filmmaker' is utterly gobsmacking, yet most likely true.

Just to be absolutely clear, I said "Britain's most famous living filmmaker" - which I believe was unarguably true up until Monday (so much so that I'm struggling to think of a runner-up: Ridley Scott, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and Danny Boyle are probably all famous enough to trigger recognition of their names even among non-film buffs, but I suspect all four could walk down the street with a reasonable chance of not being recognised, which certainly wouldn't have been true of Winner).

But I don't think anybody, least of all Winner himself, would lay claim to him being great!


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