Author Topic: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?  (Read 19536 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2017, 09:53:57 pm »
Nebraska is getting to be trendy and famous, thanks to Alexander Paine. Did you read the recent article about him in the New Yorker? Apparently he continues to live in Nebraska even though he's now an acclaimed film director. I watched the movie "Nebraska" starring Bruce Dern when I was hanging out at Mt. Elbert Lodge recently. It was not quite as bad as having dental work done.

I actually like movies and books set in rural places. But I'd rather them not be as bleak, dystopian and sad in the endings. I'd prefer more of a Jane Austen in the countryside type of story.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2017, 10:50:03 am »
Well, maybe there's more there than just Uncle Otis. You could at least get an article out of it--and send it to The New Yorker!

I don't think it's quite the New Yorker's type of thing. But I have already published one essay about it in a literary journal called River Teeth. You've never heard of it, I'm sure, but actually as obscure literary journals go, it's pretty well respected.

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Is it far from Council Bluffs?

31 miles. North on I-29, NE on US-30.



Nebraska is getting to be trendy and famous, thanks to Alexander Paine.

Well, that's kind of like saying Fargo, N.D., got trendy and famous thanks to the Coen Bros. Of course, they don't live anywhere near there/here, so it's a little different. Maybe someday Chanhassen, MN, will be trendy and famous thanks to Prince. Well, Prince (along with the Replacements and other critically beloved bands) did lend some trendiness and fame to Minneapolis.

My parents lived briefly in Omaha when I was a baby. My brother was born there. Then, thankfully, they returned to Minneapolis. I think Omaha has some hip neighborhoods and the like, as every city does these days, but ...

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I watched the movie "Nebraska" starring Bruce Dern when I was hanging out at Mt. Elbert Lodge recently. It was not quite as bad as having dental work done.

I loved Nebraska. I didn't find the ending sad. I'm sometimes put off by bleakness, but it has to be bleaker even than that.

Requiem for a Dream, Leaving Las Vegas and Platoon are my bleakness triad -- well-made movies that I actually wish I hadn't seen. One good rule of thumb is that if the soundtrack includes Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, stay away. Unless it's used ironically, in a comic context, to satirize movies I should stay away from. According to Wikipedia, a lot of comedies have done that -- notably Seinfeld in the '90s. It looks like for about the past 15 years it has been used pretty much exclusively in comedies.

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I'd prefer more of a Jane Austen in the countryside type of story.

I have nothing against Jane Austen. But generally I like grittiness, especially in accounts of periods when life could be very gritty, at least for some people. I never saw Downton Abbey, and I'm pretty sure if I did watch it I'd get sucked into the plot and start liking it. But I read an article about how prettified it made that time period and situation seem, compared to the actual gritty reality in the lives of servants in those days.

I loved The Nick, a two-season TV series about a hospital in 1900, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owens. It featured clumsy early surgical experiments gone wrong, incredible racism and classism and sexism, and all sorts of other gruesome stuff.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2017, 12:01:18 pm »
I don't think it's quite the New Yorker's type of thing. But I have already published one essay about it in a literary journal called River Teeth. You've never heard of it, I'm sure, but actually as obscure literary journals go, it's pretty well respected.

I dunno. Over the years they've run stories about some pretty odd people.

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31 miles. North on I-29, NE on US-30.

My parents lived briefly in Omaha when I was a baby. My brother was born there. Then, thankfully, they returned to Minneapolis. I think Omaha has some hip neighborhoods and the like, as every city does these days, but ...

At the risk of sounding like an East Coast snob, Omaha has always sounded so ... Middle America to me. Like Peoria. Or some place Sinclair Lewis would write about.

On the other hand, I do feel an odd attraction to the place, or at least to the name, because, of course, the Union Pacific began to build from Omaha. Also, for some reason, I don't know why, the locomotive of my first HO train set, going back to before I was even in kindergarten, had "Omaha" on the side of it.

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I have nothing against Jane Austen. But generally I like grittiness, especially in accounts of periods when life could be very gritty, at least for some people. I never saw Downton Abbey, and I'm pretty sure if I did watch it I'd get sucked into the plot and start liking it. But I read an article about how prettified it made that time period and situation seem, compared to the actual gritty reality in the lives of servants in those days.

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who never saw Downton Abbey. Before it debuted, I thought it just sounded like a rip-off of Upstairs, Downstairs, except with Maggie Smith. Then it became a sort of cultural phenomenon, but I never watched it because I figured by then I'd have no idea what was going on.

Does everything British have to have that Upstairs, Downstairs element? Even Victoria has it.

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I loved The Nick, a two-season TV series about a hospital in 1900, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owens. It featured clumsy early surgical experiments gone wrong, incredible racism and classism and sexism, and all sorts of other gruesome stuff.

I would have liked to have seen The Nick, and not just because of Clive Owen.  ::)  I can't say off-hand now why I didn't. Possibly I don't receive the channel on which it was broadcast.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2017, 03:26:59 pm »
At the risk of sounding like an East Coast snob, Omaha has always sounded so ... Middle America to me. Like Peoria. Or some place Sinclair Lewis would write about.

At the risk of sounding like a snob in a nearly neighboring state, I feel similarly. Whenever funding for some cultural thing is threatened in Minneapolis, people always say that without it we'll turn into a "cold Omaha."

Of course, I would not use "Middle America" as a pejorative, although in this case it's geographically correct. Sinclair Lewis is from, and wrote about, Minnesota. I can't remember if he explicitly mentions the state in his novels or just implies it. And his attitude is definitely pejorative.

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I would have liked to have seen The Nick, and not just because of Clive Owen.  ::)  I can't say off-hand now why I didn't. Possibly I don't receive the channel on which it was broadcast.

You probably don't. It was on Starz. I think it's the only thing I've ever watched on Starz, and now that I know The Nick isn't being renewed, I'm going to cancel it. You might be able to find it somewhere on Amazon or Netflix or something like that, though.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2017, 03:56:12 pm »
At the risk of sounding like a snob in a nearly neighboring state, I feel similarly. Whenever funding for some cultural thing is threatened in Minneapolis, people always say that without it we'll turn into a "cold Omaha."

 :laugh:

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Of course, I would not use "Middle America" as a pejorative, although in this case it's geographically correct. Sinclair Lewis is from, and wrote about, Minnesota. I can't remember if he explicitly mentions the state in his novels or just implies it. And his attitude is definitely pejorative.

I've never actually read Lewis, only read about Lewis, but I picked up the idea that he wrote pejoratively about small-town Middle America.

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You probably don't. It was on Starz. I think it's the only thing I've ever watched on Starz, and now that I know The Nick isn't being renewed, I'm going to cancel it. You might be able to find it somewhere on Amazon or Netflix or something like that, though.

That would explain it. I don't get Starz.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2017, 07:29:49 pm »
I've never actually read Lewis, only read about Lewis, but I picked up the idea that he wrote pejoratively about small-town Middle America.

Well, I guess I can't say for sure about his whole oeuvre. I read Main Street years on years ago, and it was pretty clearly Minnesota, as I recall, because it was snowy and the people were of Swedish descent, I think.

But I haven't read any of the others, and I always get him confused with Upton Sinclair.

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That would explain it. I don't get Starz.

Oops, I guess it was Cinemax. Looks like you can go to their website and watch at least some episodes. I didn't investigate thoroughly enough to see whether they're all on there somewhere. But if you get a chance, you should try it -- I think you'd really like it.

http://www.cinemax.com/the-knick/



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2017, 09:44:03 pm »
Well, I guess I can't say for sure about his whole oeuvre. I read Main Street years on years ago, and it was pretty clearly Minnesota, as I recall, because it was snowy and the people were of Swedish descent, I think.

But I haven't read any of the others, and I always get him confused with Upton Sinclair.

I gather Lewis' great subject was hypocrisy and small-mindedness in small-town America.

Sinclair Lewis = Main Street, Babbitt, Elmer Gantry

Upton Sinclair = The Jungle

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Oops, I guess it was Cinemax. Looks like you can go to their website and watch at least some episodes. I didn't investigate thoroughly enough to see whether they're all on there somewhere. But if you get a chance, you should try it -- I think you'd really like it.

http://www.cinemax.com/the-knick/

Thanks. It was Cinemax. I just looked it up.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2017, 11:28:31 pm »
I gather Lewis' great subject was hypocrisy and small-mindedness in small-town America.

Sinclair Lewis = Main Street, Babbitt, Elmer Gantry

Upton Sinclair = The Jungle

Thanks. I didn't quite mean I literally couldn't distinguish them. I meant I read one name and briefly think of the other. Upton Sinclair -- didn't he write about small-mindedness in small-town America? Sinclair Lewis -- didn't he expose horrific health practices in the meat-packing industry (or something like that -- I haven't read him)?

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Thanks. It was Cinemax. I just looked it up.

Even if you can only watch some of the episodes it might be worth it. Yes, there are ongoing plotlines, but there are also stand-alone stories. If you happen to see the one where a woman walks into the hospital wearing glasses -- oh my God, let me know. That was possibly the most horrific one among a lot of horrific ones.

Or the one where Clive Owen checks himself into rehab (he's a brilliant doctor but also a cocaine addict -- that's established right at the beginning of the series) and they offer him a special medicinal cure developed by the Bayer Company (based on historical facts you may be familiar with, in your line of work, but it was news to me). Or the one where ... oh, but there are so many good ones.




Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2017, 09:29:29 am »
Thanks. I didn't quite mean I literally couldn't distinguish them. I meant I read one name and briefly think of the other. Upton Sinclair -- didn't he write about small-mindedness in small-town America? Sinclair Lewis -- didn't he expose horrific health practices in the meat-packing industry (or something like that -- I haven't read him)?

That's The Jungle.

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Even if you can only watch some of the episodes it might be worth it. Yes, there are ongoing plotlines, but there are also stand-alone stories. If you happen to see the one where a woman walks into the hospital wearing glasses -- oh my God, let me know. That was possibly the most horrific one among a lot of horrific ones.

A lot of series seem to do that, these days. Even that Musketeers series that I'm obsessing over did that; each episode in each of the three series can stand alone, yet there is a plot line that runs through the whole series and is wrapped up in the last episode (I'm using series in the British sense here; we Yanks would call it a season). I've noticed the same thing in Bones (last episode of the series aired this week), Hawaii Five-O, and N.C.I.S.: New Orleans, although in the case of these three shows, the ongoing plot may not have lasted the entire season.

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Or the one where Clive Owen checks himself into rehab (he's a brilliant doctor but also a cocaine addict -- that's established right at the beginning of the series) and they offer him a special medicinal cure developed by the Bayer Company (based on historical facts you may be familiar with, in your line of work, but it was news to me). Or the one where ... oh, but there are so many good ones.

Did they give him aspirin? I think I read somewhere outside of work that Bayer invented aspirin, but we really don't deal in medical history where I work.

This is another series that I've read about but never seen. There are too many notes shows and channels from which to choose.  :(
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2017, 10:20:37 am »


How was the Brontė movie?

Just now getting back to you on this question. I was frankly PO'ed that four of the five headlining actors in the movie were male, in a film about the Brontės! What's up with that? The acting was overall very good and the scenery was spectacular. There wasn't much grittiness, at least not period grittiness.

It gets off to a very unpromising start but 17 minutes later picks up. One thing I did like was that there was no romantic pining after any Mr. Darcys. The Brontės were spinsters and they were okay with that. Their lives did not quite suffer the privations that the Austen characters did, although they all seemed to suffer and die from tuberculosis in the end.

I also was not ready for a three-hour movie, I thought it would be a one-hour first program of a series. Thus, I had to watch it in two parts.
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