That was excellent and eye opening to a severe degree.
Season finale of FARGO season 5 is tonight. Personal opinion: this season is in contention for 'best' of the 5 seasons so far. It'll depend upon whether or not it sticks the landing tonight. Even if it whiffs the finale, it's been a great and fun ride up until now.
If you've never seen the show, you're really missing out on something special.
Ja ... 😁
I'd recommend the Arena thing on Orson Welles last night but it's not on iPlayer. Episode 2 is, but not the first one. I only intended to watch 10 minutes or so but stayed for the two hours. Welles is interviewed and he's on top form, but boy did his movies go through the wringer in post-production, at the hands of the studio bosses. The Magnificent Andersons being the first, where they deleted half an hour or so and shot a new ending. Welles was away in Brazil to film the carnival on a movie aiming to help joint cooperation with the war effort so he couldn't intervene, and that film got junked anyway. There were a few like that, but I enjoyed the story he told of how he came to film The Lady from Shanghai - he offered to make any film to fund the costumes on a New York Shakespeare play which badly needed paying a night before opening, and asked the receptionist where he was phoning for the name of the paperback she was reading just to come up with the name.... he did change the name of the book but the pulp fiction thing she was reading was actually filmed as written, or so he claims - it's too good a story not to air.
His filming of Othello - taking around two years - is up there with Terry Gilliam's efforts. Even then someone messed up the sound mix - if Peter Jackson wants a project to work on now he's off the Beatles, remixing the sound on that via AI might be a start.
Welles had plenty of reason to be bitter but seemed not to be - he jovially claimed, or matter of factedly claimed that you know what you're dealing with with Hollywood, though it used to be more fun. Though big and bearded, flashes of the twinkly eyed, mocking Harry Lime sometimes resurfaced.
Ep 2 deals with his acting more than his direction. It's got The Third Man in it.
The couple next door (2023)
This British mini-series is about a couple moving into suburbia and befriending another couple. The other couple are living in an "open relationship" and the husband is a policeman who's open for corruption professionally and privately. He's played by Sam Hueghan of Outlander and Bond-rumour fame. What can I say? He's doesn't have Daniel Craig's acting skills, but neither did most of the other Bond actors. Heughan is a good actor for the type of roles he chooses, he just isn't a great actor. The question is if a Bond actor needs to be a great actor.
When it comes to looks Hueghan really qualifies as a Bond candidate, but he is 43 only a few years younger than Moore was when he became Bond. Moore looked great in the role for years, though.
Elinore Thomilson plays the woman in the other couple. She's mainly known from Poldark, and she definitely has the looks and talent to be a Bond girl.
Back to the TV-series. It's thriller with a lot of sexual tension. Like Heughan's acting it's not great, but gets the job done easily.
MASTERS OF THE AIR started with the first two episodes dropping on Friday. So far, it's excellent.
I've been eagerly awaiting Masters of the Air for a long, long time and so far I'm very pleased with the series. I have a reasonable amount of familiarity with the story and some of the characters - I read the Don Miller's book of the same name a few years ago, and in December I read the personal account of Harry Crosby which has been quite a central focus of the first two episodes and I think will continue to play a large part in the content of the series going forward. I think the aircraft and aerial battle scenes have been well represented so far, with only a few shots where I felt the artificiality of CGI was noticeable. The biggest challenge for audiences with this series is probably going to be the sheer number of characters, and individuals pilots and crewmen being only briefly introduced and then going into the combat with much of their faces covered and then being a bit confusing to keep track of if you're not on your toes. It's not quite the same level of character continuity and character bonding that Band of Brothers offered to viewers. I'm determined not to compare too much with BoB (my favourite ever TV production) though. Comparison is often the thief of joy when it comes to comparing a new film/series against an older beloved one.
BAND OF BROTHERS was in another league for sure, but MOTA is at least on the level of THE PACIFIC so far.
I just fisnished watching the two first episodes of a Swedish crime series called "Detektiven från Beledweyne " or "The detective from Beledweyne". I like the premise since it's fresh and interesting. A teenage girl goe smissing and her bisycle is found close to a locked detention center of asylum seekers. One of the asylum seekers The refugee tells his lawyer that he can help find the girl, but he can only do this if he isn't sent back to Somalia in a couple of days. The layer is a former public prosecutor who was fired because of some scandal. She isn't too smart, but she is morally flexible, shameless when it comes to gettting public attention and her career back on track. He is a man who was a criminal investigator back in Beledweyne, Somalia, who exposed his commanding officer for a crime he committed and as a result had to flee the country and seek for asylum in Sweden. This is smart, calmly calculating and very observant man. Have you ever heard of any TV detectives remotely like this?
I really liked the Somalian-born lead actor, Nasir Dhagole. He has only done thatre before this TV series, but he has a striking look and you can see the inteligence behing his eyes. The Bond producers should look for good actors and striking faces like him for everything from extras to parts like Q:
I've been watching re-runs of Steptoe & Son - the sitcom about the rag and bone men - on That's TV or channel 55. They're on nightly, they're the very old black and white ones from around 1964 (Wilfred Brambell was already a household name due to Steptoe then, as he popped up as Paul's grandad in A Hard Day's Night.) Thing is, Brambell was only in his early 50s and about 13 years older than his 'son' Harry H Corbett - bit like the age difference between Connery and Ford in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
The sitcoms are pretty good but shown nightly are a bit depressing - same goes for a lot of the others of that era, such as The Likely Lads. They were meant to be weekly. Some of the subplots show up in the later colour episodes, which did seem to be better - Harold talks about separating the home so they don't have to see each other, this became the basis for a much later episode, The Partition, which was one of the very best. You do need to avoid repeats it seems - perhaps the attitude of the Bond producers in the 70s - to ration reshowing of old Bond films at the cinema or it's a case of familiarity breeds contempt. People may see it as money for old rope.
I absolutely LOVE Steptoe & Son…it’s possibly my favourite ever sitcom…the writing and acting are just so hard to beat…but you are correct, they did ‘repurpose’ scripts later on.
I've just watched the entire 3 series run of Detectorists - it’s a beautifully observed gentle comedy 😊
MONSIEUR SPADE has been excellent.
In tonight's episode of S&S - in which Harold accompanies his war veteran father to France - Goldfinger is referenced!
Talking of Steptoe & Son, take a trip back in time:
I think some posts have disappeared - perhaps some members cancelled their account - which is why some like @Loeffelholz and @emtiem seem to be talking to themselves!
This is terrifying.
Seriously though, that Steptoe thread was during my post-2005 hiatus from AJB so I didn't contribute.
Yea, I recorded it and watched it later…still funny…the bit on the plane was reminiscent of an old Hancock show…same writers🤔
Another, different episode of Steptoe and Son goes out on That's TV2, I think it is, channel 65 around 10.45pm.
Didn’t know they had another channel 😳 thanks 🍸
Famous 12-part drama about two students in Ireland who get it on, despite his being a footie star with a gang and her being a bookish loner. This was a big hit in lockdown but I missed it because I was at home with my sister looking after Dad and it had a lot of sex in it.
It's good, understated. What is amazing is that the lead is the guy in the more recent Aftersun - here he's playing a teenager, in the film I recently reviewed he plays a man who is plus 30 and a father. His acting is therefore amazing, though I guess there's a four year gap between the two. Seems amazing that lockdown hit four years ago - that's right isn't it?
One odd thing is that the female lead is in the script described as ugly when the actress is not. It's arguably a bit flawed, though in fairness just as teenagers could often look older than they do 10 years on - bad dress sense, jacket and tie school uniform and so on - which allows the male lead to pass himself off as younger, it's also true that teens can seem ugly when in fact they are just under a cloud and have been tarnished with that brush though being luckless. It reminds me of a male critic who got into trouble for pointing out that an actress wasn't good-looking enough for the role she was meant to play in a film - a seductress or something - I mean, how far can we go with this? Craig got it as Bond, should he have, given that many women found him attractive. Nobody minds if a black man plays Shakespeare's Henry V - well, I don't - but of course a white man playing Othello gets a different response. Another snag like this was in Schindler's List were the doctor points out to Amon Goethe that he is in poor shape and overweight - well, he was in real life but as played by Ralph Fiennes , he had a bit of a pot belly but that is all.
Speaking of Steptoe, I just saw this on Facebook:
On Thursday, in the UK, BBC4 is showing the 1961 television version of ANNA KARENINA with Sean Connery in a big pre-Bond role as Count Vronsky. I will be recording it as I am working.
I think Anna Karenina must've been the last job Conery did for TV. After DN he was a movie star. The BBC made the drama to comemorate 25 years of TV in Britain so it's a prestige production, and Connery is the male lead.
BBC's 25th anniversary in 1961?
I thought there must be a mistake in the math, but wikipedia gives this history. I wonder who was watching a bit of telly in 1936?
Experimental television broadcasts were started in 1929, using an electromechanical 30-line system developed by John Logie Baird. Limited regular broadcasts using this system began in 1932, and an expanded service (now named the BBC Television Service) started from Alexandra Palace in November 1936, alternating between an improved Baird mechanical 240-line system and the all-electronic 405-line Marconi-EMI system which had been developed by an EMI research team led by Sir Isaac Shoenberg. The superiority of the electronic system saw the mechanical system dropped early the following year, with the Marconi-EMI system the first fully electronic television system in the world to be used in regular broadcasting.
The things you don't know...
Anna Karenina is on BBC4 at 10.15pm on Wednesday @chrisno1 and finishes at 12.5am. It's preceded by Claire Bloom Remembers.... Anna Karenina at 10pm.. Similar to an evening in which Steven Berkoff recalled Hamlet.
It's Dr Zhivago that's on BBC4 on Thursday at 10.10pm preceded by The Red Shoes at 8pm. That's a long evening
My great uncle on my father's side actually worked to John Logie Baird as he was the London editor of the Belfast Telegraph, a newspaper Baird owned. About 15 years ago my older brother appeared in the local press with a newspaper clipping as my great uncle was apparently one of the first to see Baird's new invention, the TV. The BBC was founded by Lord Reith in 1922 and was solely on the radio (or wireless) at first and I think it wasn't until about 1936 that TV broadcasts were regularly made. I believe the early transmitters only broadcast as far as the London area. Few people back then outside of the most well off could afford a TV set anyway. My own house didn't get a TV set until the 1970s. The lack of an electric supply prior to that made viewing a TV rather difficult. 😉
thanks for further info, @Silhouette Man
I knew the technology was being developed quite early, but assumed it wasnt til after the war there was a consumer market for teevee to make it worth actually broadcasting anything. the earliest TV shows I usually see mentioned are circa 1948
so, to stay close to topic: was there anything good on TV in 1936?
I have a feeling it was pretty limited in those days - perhaps the news, coverage of Royal and other important events. I recall my late father saying that the first thing he ever saw on the TV when he was working at someone's house was the Trooping of the Colour. Up until about 1971 in the UK channels were only allowed to broadcast for a limited number of hours a day by law. They showed the test card between the gaps in programmes. So there was perhaps a bit less scope for making loads of programmes in the earlier days.
Had a rare full weekend off from my semi-crappy day job for the girlfriend's birthday on Saturday. Yesterday, we had a decadent and lazy Sunday in front of the television...and we binge-watched all seven episodes of Hijack on Apple+, starring Idris Elba (who also produced, as is so often the case with marquee actors these days). For anyone who doesn't know, it's about the hijacking of an Airbus 300 belonging to the necessarily fictitious Kingdom Airlines, flying from the Middle East to Heathrow, with a flight time of approximately seven hours.
What a cracking good show - nice production value, good performances, tension like a guitar string. At first, we wondered how such a concept would stretch into a limited-run series, but once we realized that the plot was essentially unfolding in a semblance of 'real time,' we were in for the duration. I've always been a fan of Elba, but my respect was enhanced by this show. He is an interesting cat to watch as his character thinks. Which he does quite a lot here.
Before that, I watched three episodes from Season 2 of the brilliant original Mission: Impossible television show from the late '60s. A very enjoyable day.
The new iteration of SHOGUN started tonight with the first two episodes dropping on FX and on Hulu.
This is excellent. Everything you've heard about how great this is is true. It takes a lot of liberties with the source novel but in the best possible ways. I'm a massive fan of the book and of the 1980 mini-series but I've gotta say, if all 10 episodes are as good as the 2 that aired tonight, this is going to be something that is revered in the same manner that the 1980 version is revered.