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Archive for the ‘80’s’ Category

I have been a huge fan of Robotech ever since I was a kid. It’s actually a bit of an obsession. Today I was having a conversation about Princess Leia’s hair when suddenly I realized that maybe George Lucas inspired Minmay’s haircut. Don’t judge me too harshly for this post.

1. Minmay from Robotech in 1982.

2. Princess Leia from Star Wars 1977.

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And apparently it’s true that they are reuniting.

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The Pogues – Dirty Old Town

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Interview with John Milius

Rumor has it the Coen Brothers fashioned character Walter Sobchak played by John Goodman in The Big Lebowski after John Milius. With quotes like these, it’s easy to see why:

You know that line in “Dirty Harry” in which Clint Eastwood’s Harry Callahan describes the power of the .44 Magnum? John Milius wrote that line.

Remember the line in “Jaws” when Robert Shaw, playing the shark hunter, talks about his buddies being eaten alive by sharks during World War II? That was Milius.

How about the line in “Apocalypse Now,” when Robert Duvall, playing a surf-loving Army colonel, says, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning”?

Milius again.

And he hasn’t lost his bold way with dialogue — including his own.

For example, here’s Milius on stopping murderous drug traffickers in Mexico: “We need to go down there, kill them all, flatten the place with bulldozers so when you wake up in the morning, there’s nothing there,” he said in a phone interview. “I do believe if you have a military, you use it.”

It’s funny that I read this today because John Milius has been on my mind the last few months. My friends and I have a movie club where we pick movies to watch together. We first chose Red Dawn and we were tasked with deciding whether or not the movie was fascist. I think in the end we found it to be very pro-NRA with elements of fascism certainly but possibly not entirely fascist. I recommend watching it again with a critical eye and you’ll surely see the moments where Patrick Swayze argues against democracy and a gun is literally pulled out of a dead guy’s hand in front of a bumper sticker that says “I’ll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands.” Ah, subtlety.

We had so much fun watching Red Dawn that our next movie was Milius’ Conan the Barbarian. A far better movie than Red Dawn, Conan still has the Milius’ touches like the line spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.” I think he was saying he liked doing that.

The DVD extras for Conan were a little sad for Milius. He envisioned a trilogy and created many of the mythological aspects himself. Perhaps it could have been a pre-Lord of the Rings mythological trilogy, but due to Dino DeLaurentiis (the producer’s)  idiocy the sequel was wrested from Milius  when DeLaurentiis thought he could create a child’s movie like Star Wars complete with  Conan toys in the stores. That pretty much killed any hope for a trilogy. It’s not really surprising considering that DeLaurentiis was stupid enough to give away the character of Hannibal Lecter away free to Jonathan Demme who made a fortune off The Silence of the Lambs. Realizing his mistake, he then tried to cash in making such stupid films like Hannibal and Red Dragon . But I digress.

The article about Milius is a good one, so I recommend reading it in full. He’s an interesting guy. I may not always agree with him, but he’s certainly a hoot.

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The Salaam Bombay children

Salaam Bombay took the Cannes film festival by storm in 1988 and made director Mira Nair famous; however, I’ve noticed that when I mention this film and compare it to Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire most people have never heard of it.

The similarities in the films are startling. Salaam Bombay‘s main characters are Bombay’s street children. The hero of the story is also a chai boy. But India is an altogether different character in this film. It’s not the tech capital that it was  in last night’s Oscar winner.

As I watched the kid stars of Slumdog Millionaire go up on stage last night, I thought about the special features on the Salaam Bombay DVD. Usually director commentaries are a bore, but perhaps because Nair is a professor she has a way of giving out interesting information that you actually want to know about the film. There is also a commentary done by the cinematographer which I also enjoyed. But most importantly, there is a special documentary revisiting the children of the film.

The experiences are wildly different. The child who played the chai boy has not really gone on to make anything else despite his awards for Salaam Bombay. You get the idea that classism is rife in Bollywood and this award means little. The girl in the film is married though Nair expresses a wish that she did not marry. There is a backstory there clearly. And one of the street kids in the film was adopted by the cinematographer and now is also a cinamtographer in L.A. where he enjoys surfing. He seems just like any American and you wonder if he even remembers the hard life he led for those few years. What will become of the Slumdog Millionaire kids? If the Salaam Bombay children are any indication, it will be an uphill battle.

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Remember Hooked on Classics?

Get ready for some cheese.

From wikipedia.

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For whatever reason I was thinking about the making of the birthday cake in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

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