Snyder, Bergman Pass; Ebert Returns

I read that Tom Snyder was a television pioneer, spending a hour with a single guest. I guess he was sort of the spiritual godfather to Charlie Rose, Ted Koppel, Tavis Smiley and a host of others who seem to value the power of the long form. All I know is that I watched him often in his first incarnation (1972-1982), “Tomorrow with Tom Snyder”, pretty much until Rona Barrett showed up as a co-host near the end. I’m sure I watched the John Lennon and Charles Manson pieces. People who only know him from Dan Ackroyd’s wicked parody on Saturday Night Live missed how well he could seem very laid back and yet was probing without necessarily feeling confrontational. He was replaced by some guy named David Letterman, who later got Snyder to follow HIS show on CBS. So I guess I’ll “fire up a colortini, sit back, relax and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air.”
Tom Snyder’s Greatest Hits:

Also, see ADD’s personal recollections and Fred Hembeck’s July 30 post.
***
I’ve only seen a handful of Ingmar Bergman films that I recall: Fanny and Alexander (1982); A Little Night Music (1978); The Magic Flute (1975); The Virgin Spring (1960); and Wild Strawberries (1957); the latter two I saw in a museum theater when I was in high school. I think Strawberries, in particular, was important to me personally at that time; the message was that I needed to fight against what one reviewer described as “how life can become atrophied and sterile”.

But my favorite Bergman film, not so caught up in life and death and sex, was The Magic Flute, which put me THERE inside the gorgeous performance. Here’s a blog that has compiled some of Bergman’s best scenes.
***
I was really excited to see on Ebert & Roeper that starting Thursday, August 2, there will be 20 years and over 4,000 video reviews from Siskel & Ebert and Ebert & Roeper, searchable by title, actor and director, including special segments, at the At The Movies TV.com site. Moreover, Roger Ebert will introduce the archive and hold a live online chat about the site and “whatever other questions you want to ask” that evening at 8 pm Eastern (7 pm Central, 5 pm Pacific). I expect that it’ll be a very busy, and I may not participate, but the database is very exciting. Roeper and guest host Michael Phillips thought the fashion statements alone would be worth checking out.
SISKEL & EBERT on LETTERMAN:

ROG

I Have Been Tosyed AND Coshed

“Here you are Roger,” said Tosy and Cosh. Questions carefully crafted for my consumption.

1. Which of your daughter’s innumerable wondrous traits and abilities makes you smile the most?

Her desire to be helpful. It’ll serve her well in life for her to be outwardly thinking. That picture of her bringing the newspaper from last week – she does that all the time, even the heavy Sunday version; this week, she helped with the garbage.

2. Where stand you on the question of libraries filtering the Internet on their public computers, to protect kids?

I prefer actual people doing it. So many of those software programs filter useful information: BREAST cancer, SEX education, ASS (as in donkey)…well, you get the idea. (Hey, if I put those words in my labels, what bizarro traffic will I get?)

3. You must (not can, but are forced to) eliminate one musical genre from the face of the earth. Which is it?

I don’t really hate it, but I heard way too much of it growing up in Binghamton, NY. So, reluctantly, it’d have to be polka music.

4. Who is the most underrated actor working today?

I never know how to answer that question, because its definition is so sketchy.
The first person who came to mind was Tobey Maguire, who had a good, varied career, but will probably be best best known as a human arachnid.
But I guess I’ll say Jeffrey Wright on the theory that anyone who’s primarily a stage actor will be largely overlooked by the general public. I’ve liked him in everything I’ve seen him in: “Basquiat”, “Broken Flowers”, “The Manchurian Candidate” remake, and the TV version of “Angels in America”.

5. What job do you wish you had?

I heard about a job just this week in the MPAA library that I’d love. Of course, that would mean moving across the country. I’d like to write questions for JEOPARDY!, but that’s on the other coast as well. More likely, working at the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, if Gladys Knight needs another Pip, I’m there.

Oh, and I’m supposed to offer to do questions for your blogs again.
***
When Jaquandor was busy dissing Albany, more or less at my request, he did say nice things about the band Hair of the Dog. In this Times Union article, Rick Bedrosian, the founding bassist of Hair of the Dog, “the popular Irish band that has been packing houses around the Capital Region and beyond for 15 years” is asked five questions. He is leading a Magical Mystery Tour of Beatles’ historical sites November 10-16; it costs around $2K. He also has a movie podcast that I think is worth listening to, and I discovered he used to go out with the ubiquitous Rachael Ray, and still thinks of her fondly.

ROG

Oscar-Worthy Films I've Seen: 1936

The Nominees:

Picture: “MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY”, “Alice Adams”, “The Broadway Melody of 1936”, “Captain Blood”, “David Copperfield”, “The Informer”, “Lives of a Bengal Lancer”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Les Miserables”, “Naughty Marietta”, “Ruggles of Red Gap”, “Top Hat”

Actor:VICTOR MCLAGLEN in “The Informer”, Clark Gable in “Mutiny on the Bounty”, Charles Laughton in “Mutiny on the Bounty”, Franchot Tone in “Mutiny on the Bounty”

Actress:BETTE DAVIS in “Dangerous”, Elisabeth Bergner in “Escape Me Never”, Claudette Colbert in “Private Worlds”, Katharine Hepburn in “Alice Adams”, Miriam Hopkins in “Becky Sharp”, Merle Oberon in “The Dark Angel”

Director:JOHN FORD for “The Informer”, Michael Curtiz for “Captain Blood”, Henry Hathaway for “Lives of a Bengal Lancer”, Frank Lloyd for “Mutiny on the Bounty”

The one I did see was Munity on the Bounty, albeit on commercial TV many years ago, which, I suspect, did not do it justice. I’m guessing that perhaps three actors vying for the Actor Oscar from Munity helped McLaglen win, though it won for Director as well.

As far as the omissions: the Marx Brothers were slighted for A Night At The Opera, which I’ve seen on TV; Alfred Hitchcock’s The Thirty-Nine Steps, which I haven’t. I’ve seen scenes from
Top Hat, which was nominated for Best Picture, neglected its performers and its directors. You may have seen the great dance finale of “Lullaby of Broadway” or “The Words Are in My Heart”, with 56 grand pianos coming to life.
***
AFI 100 greatest movie quotes (montage)

***
Win a SPARKY Award and $1000! Contest details.

“The Internet gives new meaning to the notion that, by sharing ideas, we build a better understanding of the world around us. If you use YouTube or Wikipedia, exchange gaming tips on the Internet, or have a blog, you probably well understand the value of sharing information, ideas, and knowledge.

Sharing can also be a vital tool in helping to address complex problems that challenge society – like disease, hunger, global warming, and economic disparity. The sharing of ideas gives us ways to discover, collaborate, and create in unprecedented ways.

The SPARC Discovery Awards challenges you to illustrate in a short video presentation what you see as the value of sharing information. Use your imagination to suggest what good comes from bringing down barriers to the free exchange of information.”

Spread the Word!

ROG

Oscar-Worthy Films I’ve Seen: 1936

The Nominees:

Picture: “MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY”, “Alice Adams”, “The Broadway Melody of 1936”, “Captain Blood”, “David Copperfield”, “The Informer”, “Lives of a Bengal Lancer”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Les Miserables”, “Naughty Marietta”, “Ruggles of Red Gap”, “Top Hat”

Actor:VICTOR MCLAGLEN in “The Informer”, Clark Gable in “Mutiny on the Bounty”, Charles Laughton in “Mutiny on the Bounty”, Franchot Tone in “Mutiny on the Bounty”

Actress:BETTE DAVIS in “Dangerous”, Elisabeth Bergner in “Escape Me Never”, Claudette Colbert in “Private Worlds”, Katharine Hepburn in “Alice Adams”, Miriam Hopkins in “Becky Sharp”, Merle Oberon in “The Dark Angel”

Director:JOHN FORD for “The Informer”, Michael Curtiz for “Captain Blood”, Henry Hathaway for “Lives of a Bengal Lancer”, Frank Lloyd for “Mutiny on the Bounty”

The one I did see was Munity on the Bounty, albeit on commercial TV many years ago, which, I suspect, did not do it justice. I’m guessing that perhaps three actors vying for the Actor Oscar from Munity helped McLaglen win, though it won for Director as well.

As far as the omissions: the Marx Brothers were slighted for A Night At The Opera, which I’ve seen on TV; Alfred Hitchcock’s The Thirty-Nine Steps, which I haven’t. I’ve seen scenes from
Top Hat, which was nominated for Best Picture, neglected its performers and its directors. You may have seen the great dance finale of “Lullaby of Broadway” or “The Words Are in My Heart”, with 56 grand pianos coming to life.
***
AFI 100 greatest movie quotes (montage)

***
Win a SPARKY Award and $1000! Contest details.

“The Internet gives new meaning to the notion that, by sharing ideas, we build a better understanding of the world around us. If you use YouTube or Wikipedia, exchange gaming tips on the Internet, or have a blog, you probably well understand the value of sharing information, ideas, and knowledge.

Sharing can also be a vital tool in helping to address complex problems that challenge society – like disease, hunger, global warming, and economic disparity. The sharing of ideas gives us ways to discover, collaborate, and create in unprecedented ways.

The SPARC Discovery Awards challenges you to illustrate in a short video presentation what you see as the value of sharing information. Use your imagination to suggest what good comes from bringing down barriers to the free exchange of information.”

Spread the Word!

ROG

Oscar-Worthy Films I’ve Seen: 1936

The Nominees:

Picture: “MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY”, “Alice Adams”, “The Broadway Melody of 1936”, “Captain Blood”, “David Copperfield”, “The Informer”, “Lives of a Bengal Lancer”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Les Miserables”, “Naughty Marietta”, “Ruggles of Red Gap”, “Top Hat”

Actor:VICTOR MCLAGLEN in “The Informer”, Clark Gable in “Mutiny on the Bounty”, Charles Laughton in “Mutiny on the Bounty”, Franchot Tone in “Mutiny on the Bounty”

Actress:BETTE DAVIS in “Dangerous”, Elisabeth Bergner in “Escape Me Never”, Claudette Colbert in “Private Worlds”, Katharine Hepburn in “Alice Adams”, Miriam Hopkins in “Becky Sharp”, Merle Oberon in “The Dark Angel”

Director:JOHN FORD for “The Informer”, Michael Curtiz for “Captain Blood”, Henry Hathaway for “Lives of a Bengal Lancer”, Frank Lloyd for “Mutiny on the Bounty”

The one I did see was Munity on the Bounty, albeit on commercial TV many years ago, which, I suspect, did not do it justice. I’m guessing that perhaps three actors vying for the Actor Oscar from Munity helped McLaglen win, though it won for Director as well.

As far as the omissions: the Marx Brothers were slighted for A Night At The Opera, which I’ve seen on TV; Alfred Hitchcock’s The Thirty-Nine Steps, which I haven’t. I’ve seen scenes from
Top Hat, which was nominated for Best Picture, neglected its performers and its directors. You may have seen the great dance finale of “Lullaby of Broadway” or “The Words Are in My Heart”, with 56 grand pianos coming to life.
***
AFI 100 greatest movie quotes (montage)

***
Win a SPARKY Award and $1000! Contest details.

“The Internet gives new meaning to the notion that, by sharing ideas, we build a better understanding of the world around us. If you use YouTube or Wikipedia, exchange gaming tips on the Internet, or have a blog, you probably well understand the value of sharing information, ideas, and knowledge.

Sharing can also be a vital tool in helping to address complex problems that challenge society – like disease, hunger, global warming, and economic disparity. The sharing of ideas gives us ways to discover, collaborate, and create in unprecedented ways.

The SPARC Discovery Awards challenges you to illustrate in a short video presentation what you see as the value of sharing information. Use your imagination to suggest what good comes from bringing down barriers to the free exchange of information.”

Spread the Word!

ROG

Presidential QUESTIONS

ADD notes a “website that lists all the major candidates and their stands on the issues; at least, the issues as designated by whoever created the site.”

1. Based solely on the issues, not silly things such as “electability”, which candidate best represents your positions on the issues? For me, wide-eyed liberal that I am, it’s Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who I voted for in the 2004 Democratic primary. Second is former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska.

2. Yet I’m disinclined to vote for Kucinich, or for that matter, Gravel, because they are unelectable the way the system is set up. Call that a self-fulfilling prophecy, but there it is. Then who? Let’s do this by process of elimination. Not all issues are the same in my mind. Gun background check (in favor), the death penalty (against), the war in Iraq (against), torture (against), and the same-sex constitutional ban (against) provides a pretty good litmus test. By that standard, I disagree at least thrice with Brownback, Cox, Giuliani, Huckabee, Hunter (a perfect 5 for 5), McCain, Romney and Tancredo. Thompson doesn’t have enough known positions, surprise, surprise. Who’s on your “no way, no how” list?

3. So who am I leaning towards? The person who just might have enough money to actually win whose position is closest to mine turns out to be Obama, who I still wonder about, experience-wise. How about you?
***
One of those bizarre political stories involves former Congressman John Sweeney, who represented the Congressional district adjacent to Albany. He was one of those Republican thugs who helped get the 2000 recount in Florida stopped. His 2006 re-election bid was stopped, in no small part, by allegations of domestic violence against his second wife Gayle (or Gaia) in December 2005. The Sweeneys denied it, claiming it was a smear campaign by his opponent, Kirsten Gillibrand. Now, he’s saying that there WAS domestic violence, but that HE was the victim, and that he’s even gotten a judge to give him an order of protection. Gayle, who said in television commercials last fall that there was no violence, now claims she was coerced to say so, and that she was the victim. Now John’s first wife has entered the fray, stating that he was never physically violent towards her.
* John getting a restraining order against Gayle doesn’t prove that Gayle was the aggressor. He’s been a very powerful man, politically.
* Wife #1’s claim that she never experienced domestic violence from John doesn’t mean that wife #2, who was considerably younger and, in her own words, “in awe of him” in the beginning, wasn’t experiencing abuse.
* In most iterations of this story, there’s a lot of alcohol mentioned.
As I said, very bizarre
***
Meanwhile, the new member of Congress, Ms. Gillibrand, had a press conference this week announcing a bill to increase the tax deduction on day care costs. She had it in an Albany daycare that is not even in her district. But then I remember that her district, that runs from Washington County to Delaware County (note to non-New Yorkers: a big chunk of territory) without including any of the cities (Albany, Schenectady, Troy); it was gerrymandered to be a safe Republican district, mostly rural. I’m sure it’s easier to get the Capital District press to come to Albany than the countryside.

ROG

50 Things I Love About the Simpsons

OK, Tosy did this 100 Things I Love About the Simpsons last month. Then Jaquandor did the same, but said it wasn’t a meme. Now, in honor of the opening of the only summer movie I’m really interested in seeing, I’m doing it, too, but it’s only 50 things. So, is it a meme yet?

1. Mayor Quimby: Now wait just a minute! We’re twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville! Just tell us your idea and we’ll vote for it! (It’s “monorail!”)
2. The evolution of the drawing style from the Tracy Ullman Show.
3. Phil Hartman ‘s many voices.
4. Homer: It takes two to lie, Marge. One to lie and one to listen.
5. Homer: Oh, so they have Internet on computers now!
6. Homer catching Apu “lying in song”; he HATES that.
7. Homer: Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
8. Homer discussing with his brain how $20 can buy LOTS of peanuts. Actually, any debate with Homer and his brain.
9. McCartney, Harrison, and Starr all showing up, separately.
10. “Baby On Board”, with Barney not getting the “Let It Be” reference.
11. Marge: This is the worst thing you’ve ever done.
Homer: You say that so often that it’s lost its meaning.
12. Teen Marge with her hair down.
13. “Hello. I’m Leonard Nimoy. The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It’s all lies. But they’re entertaining lies. And in the end, isn’t that the real truth? The answer is: No.”
14. Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner.
15. Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!
16. Bart as “The Raven”.
17. Maude Flanders’ absurd death at a sporting event.
18. Sideshow Bob: Because you need me, Springfield. Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic, but deep down inside you secretly long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king. That’s why I did this: to protect you from yourselves. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a city to run.
19. Homer to Billy Corgan (of the Smashing Pumpkins): Thanks to your gloomy, depressing music, my children no longer hope for the future I can not afford to give them.
Corgan: Yeah, we try to make a difference.
20. Grandpa: I’m an old man, no one listens to me.
Lisa: I’m a young girl, no one listens to me.
Homer: I’m a white male aged 18 to 49, everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are.
21. Lisa: Why are you dedicating your life to blasphemy?
Homer: Don’t worry, sweetheart. If I’m wrong, I’ll recant on my deathbed.
22. Proctor: All right, here’s your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?
Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter–
Proctor: Wait, wait… just say slavery.
Apu: Slavery it is, sir.
23. The classic A Streetcar Named Desire musical.
24. The Itchy and Scratchy theme song.
25. Homer: To start, press any key. Where’s the ANY key?
26. “Everything’s coming up Milhouse.”
27. “Mmmmmmm…” Whatever, donuts, initially, but just about anything that’s unhealthy, unsafe or ill-advised.
28. The various end theme variations
29. The three-eyed fish.
30. Homer: I love these lazy Saturdays!
Marge: But Homey, it’s Wednesday.
31. Bart: I never thought it was humanly possible, but this both sucks and blows.
32. Homer: I was working on a flat tax proposal and I accidentally proved there’s no God!
33. The opening credits when they all rush to the couch in so many different ways.
34. Kent Brockman’s Eye on Springfield montage.
35. Lisa’s wedding.
36. Lisa’s birthday – Bart DOES love his sister.
37. Tony Bennett’s Capital City song.
38. Homer: It’s wonderful, Marge. I’ve never felt so accepted in all my life. These people looked deep within my soul and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined.
39. Jerry Ford inviting Homer over for beer and nachos.
40. Apu: An all-syrup Super Squishy? Such a thing has not been done!
41. Bart gets a nice photo of himself made for his mom for Christmas; indeed, any time Bart’s dressed up.
42. “Who keeps the metric system down? We do! We do!”
43. The Krusty Comeback Special.
44. Homer: Marge, I’m not gonna lie to you. Well, goodbye!
45. Marge’s flirtation with her bowling instructor.
46. Maggie’s first word, unheard by anyone else.
47. Homer: And how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?
48. Homer: I’m normally not a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me, Superman.
49: Ralph: Me fail English? That’s unpossible.
50. Bart: Your half-assed underparenting is a lot more fun than your half-assed overparenting.
***
Tosy returns with his Top 10 episodes. Gordon is looking forward to the movie, too.

The Lydster, Part 40: She Don't Need No Education


This may be obvious to those of you who have had children, or who have worked with kids, but that wasn’t me. Even with five nieces, I didn’t see them nearly every day, so I’d failed to pick up the subtleties in their changing language skills.
For instance, in the last few months, Lydia has picked up the notion of the past tense. My wife, the English teacher, explained to me that, just by listening, they pick up the general rules, in this case, the -ed suffix. Then later, they, at least native speakers with people around them who give them examples of standard English, will pick up on the nuances in the language. So, I needn’t necessarily correct Lydia when she says throwed when she means threw, except to reply with the proper form. And I’ve noticed that this is working with growed and grew already. An interesting scientific laboratory in the home.
Meanwhile, she’s doing her numbers, though she seems to skip 14, for some reason. And she prints her name. The L she’s got down pat. The Y looks like an I with a little arrow quiver on the top. The D resembles a paramecium. The I is good. The A is fine, too, but then she augments it with little dots; maybe it’s an artistic statement.
As they say, Reading Is Fundamental. And we do read to her a lot. They are often the same stories, so that memorization often takes place. My favorite book to share with her is Madeline:
“In an old yellow house in old Paree”
“Paris!”, I’m corrected.
And later, I read “again” to rhyme with “rain”, and I’m corrected, well, again. One of these days, I’ll get it right. Or maybe not.
ROG

The Lydster, Part 40: She Don’t Need No Education


This may be obvious to those of you who have had children, or who have worked with kids, but that wasn’t me. Even with five nieces, I didn’t see them nearly every day, so I’d failed to pick up the subtleties in their changing language skills.
For instance, in the last few months, Lydia has picked up the notion of the past tense. My wife, the English teacher, explained to me that, just by listening, they pick up the general rules, in this case, the -ed suffix. Then later, they, at least native speakers with people around them who give them examples of standard English, will pick up on the nuances in the language. So, I needn’t necessarily correct Lydia when she says throwed when she means threw, except to reply with the proper form. And I’ve noticed that this is working with growed and grew already. An interesting scientific laboratory in the home.
Meanwhile, she’s doing her numbers, though she seems to skip 14, for some reason. And she prints her name. The L she’s got down pat. The Y looks like an I with a little arrow quiver on the top. The D resembles a paramecium. The I is good. The A is fine, too, but then she augments it with little dots; maybe it’s an artistic statement.
As they say, Reading Is Fundamental. And we do read to her a lot. They are often the same stories, so that memorization often takes place. My favorite book to share with her is Madeline:
“In an old yellow house in old Paree”
“Paris!”, I’m corrected.
And later, I read “again” to rhyme with “rain”, and I’m corrected, well, again. One of these days, I’ll get it right. Or maybe not.
ROG

The Lydster, Part 40: She Don’t Need No Education


This may be obvious to those of you who have had children, or who have worked with kids, but that wasn’t me. Even with five nieces, I didn’t see them nearly every day, so I’d failed to pick up the subtleties in their changing language skills.
For instance, in the last few months, Lydia has picked up the notion of the past tense. My wife, the English teacher, explained to me that, just by listening, they pick up the general rules, in this case, the -ed suffix. Then later, they, at least native speakers with people around them who give them examples of standard English, will pick up on the nuances in the language. So, I needn’t necessarily correct Lydia when she says throwed when she means threw, except to reply with the proper form. And I’ve noticed that this is working with growed and grew already. An interesting scientific laboratory in the home.
Meanwhile, she’s doing her numbers, though she seems to skip 14, for some reason. And she prints her name. The L she’s got down pat. The Y looks like an I with a little arrow quiver on the top. The D resembles a paramecium. The I is good. The A is fine, too, but then she augments it with little dots; maybe it’s an artistic statement.
As they say, Reading Is Fundamental. And we do read to her a lot. They are often the same stories, so that memorization often takes place. My favorite book to share with her is Madeline:
“In an old yellow house in old Paree”
“Paris!”, I’m corrected.
And later, I read “again” to rhyme with “rain”, and I’m corrected, well, again. One of these days, I’ll get it right. Or maybe not.
ROG