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Author Topic: FilmStruck
Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 20, 2018, 13:38
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This place?

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 20, 2018, 13:42
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That's the place. It was never so dazzlingly white until they renovated the place.

At one time there was a bar with pool table, in which a tiger was supposedly shot. I believe I have seen a picture of this somewhere.

Being a fan of Somerset Maugham, you might be interested to know that he, as well as Kipling and other famous authors, spent time at the Raffles.

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 20, 2018, 14:51
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From the photos on the home page, it looks like a grand place. And it says they are now commencing phase 3. It’s so fortunate that they didn’t tear it down.

It reminds me of my ideal British spot. In “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” movie, there is a hotel (“Britannia Club”) in some corner of Africa (the set was built in the Czech Republic) that Quatermain calls home. It’s a quaint old place. I’m sure there’s a lion rug on the floor, etc. For film purposes, the front of the Rudolfinum in Prague is the stand-in for exterior shots.

Timothy-
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Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 20, 2018, 15:10
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So basically they now have a typical modern hotel with a very famous name. I can't remember exactly what it looked like in the photo our Singapore artist sent us, but I don't think it was that dazzling white, so it would have been pre-renovation (and perhaps even pre-rundown).

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 20, 2018, 16:11
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They kept the basic facade of the front and some of the side rooms. But they did make major interior changes.

If anyone likes this type of hotel, the Sarkis brothers, who owned the Raffles, also built the E&O (Eastern and Oriental) in Penang, Malaysia and I believe they built the original Orange Hotel in Surabaya, Indonesia. The Oriental, in Bangkok, is another one of these period hotels.

We stayed in the E&O before it was "renovated" and loved it. I have some photos of it somewhere. We also stayed in the Orange, but it had been reopened by some other group.

I have stayed in so many beautiful hotels, when prices were much lower, that it is hard to say which was the best. But if I had to chose the best, I would probably say the Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 22, 2018, 12:15
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Today’s movie is/was I'm All Right Jack. This is the kind of movie I would never have found on my own. And I’m not altogether sure I should have found it.

It’s a light British comedy starring Ian Carmichael and Peter Sellers. It’s leans more toward unsubtle juvenile farce than something with more style and wit. But it does have its moments.

Stanley Windrush (Ian Carmichael) is an honest, if not terribly successful, member of the English aristocracy. He’s an idle man and his uncle, Bertram Tracepurcel, has it mind for him to get a job. And here’s where I got a bit lost. Windrush tries out for a number of executive positions (he’s an Oxford man, after all, and this opens all doors). But he’s ill-suited to any of the companies if only because he won’t settle down into his role to shut up and manage and not think too much about things.

I’d have to return to the beginning of this movie again to figure out how this plot element was inserted. It seemed rather ill-formed at the time. But it becomes the idea after multiple failures in his job interviews to get Windrush a position amongst the common workers and forget about a management position.

Windrush gets a job at a factory that makes missiles and that has just received a large order from an unnamed Middle Eastern country. (Looks like Egypt.) Windrush, who is actually a competent man of at least average intelligence, does not fit in with the union workers. Windrush can’t quite get used to the union ways of doing as little as possible.

It turns out that Windrush has (I think) been intentionally placed at this factory as a means to cause a strike. The head of the missile factory is conspiring with the owner of another factory and with the Middle Eastern buyer. If they can get a work stoppage they can get the contract moved over to Richard Attenborough’s factory and the three will split the extra rush charges of 100,000 pounds. The subtle ways they bait Sellers (the union boss) into calling a strike are some of the best moments.

Although you could say the movie balances things with parodies and send-ups of both the unions and management, it’s the unions who take most of the spoofing. Sellers, as the sober-suited union boss, chooses a low-key approach which is sometimes very funny. But mostly this is the type of movie where you’ll get a low chortle at times and that’s about it. The one exception was the one union worker with the stutter. He would be appearing to try to stutter out a very bad word but instead of “fu- fu-“ being what you think is coming, it finally comes out “photograph.” He does this a couple times and it’s hilarious.

There are also some good lines interspersed such at the line about Seller’s gorgeous built-like-a-brick-shithouse blonde daughter. He tells his wife how she isn’t fully developed. “Not fully developed!” exclaims the wife. Sellers tells her he is talking about her intellectual development.

The movie ends fairly badly. Actually, it does have an ending with Windrush telling off both sides on a British “argument” program. But then it proceeds to something else that, I guess, circles the picture back to where it started and into meaningless farce. It makes some sort of sense but it lost the opportunity to be concise and witty. Still, this is a pretty good example of that certain style of low-key slightly juvenile British comedy that I don’t know the name for. There are classic elements to it and film aficionados might want to take this one in.

Timothy-
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Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 22, 2018, 13:12
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Ian Carmichael famously played Lord Peter Wimsey on Masterpiece Theatre in the various novels not featuring Harriet Vane. According to wikipedia, Sellers's union leader was a Communist, which may have significantly affected the union aspects of the plot. Apparently Windrush tossed away the bribe money on the program, causing the audience to riot -- which leads to a short prison stay for him (the only one to face charges despite all the corruption).

Brad-
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 22, 2018, 13:23
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According to wikipedia, Sellers's union leader was a Communist, which may have significantly affected the union aspects of the plot.

They were brave enough to show the obvious. Yes, he was a Communist sympathizer, at the very least. Indistinguishable from Obama and the various Progressive monsters who now use another name for it.

There is a scene or two in this movie when for a moment the movie raises above the level of farce. There’s a scene where the aunt of Windrush visits the wife of Peter Sellers. (I don’t quite remember why they met.) Both of them were averse to people who were too quickly trying to change things in England. Mrs. Kite (the wife of Sellers) said something like, “After all, what would be left?”

The two ladies — one a furred aristocrat, the other the common wife of a working man (to the extent you could say that Mr. Kite actually worked) — shared a cup of tea and showed a remarkable commonality. But little is made of this as the writers had no time to weave a complex and meaningful theme. They had farce and satire on their minds. Couldn’t interrupt that.

The riot at the end was funny. That money was the money that Richard Attenborough had used in the green room of the TV station to try to bribe Windrush to quit his job (which would then solve the strike which the management now wanted to end). In a display of disgust, Windrush announces on live TV something like “And this is the root of the whole problem, people trying to get this for doing nothing.” He dumps the carpetbag of cash on the table and dismissively knocks if off the desk. The studio audience then begins fighting each other in a mad dash to scoop up the money, thus proving Windrush’s point about the problem being people trying to get something for nothing.

This is the kind of movie that is only semi-realized, that tries to get by without being clever and meaningful with just almost random displays of farce. Comedians, in particular, need discipline. As English actor Edmund Kean is said to have stated on his deathbed, “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.”

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 22, 2018, 14:20
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One amusing aspect including in the film is the bubble car that Windrush is seen driving a couple of times. It’s a Heinkel Kabine to be exact. You can see Windrush driving it here in this still from the movie.

Kung Fu Zu
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Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: FilmStruck
on: February 22, 2018, 14:37
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Sellers's union leader was a Communist, which may have significantly affected the union aspects of the plot.

Here is the actual face of a very infamous British union leader who Thatcher broke in the 1983-84 miners strike.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Scargill

I also remember the buildup to the 1974 miners strike which chased Heath out of office. I visited friends north of Manchester for Christmas and New Year vacation.

Thatcher learned from this earlier strike and was prepared to crush the communist miners' union in 1984. It was a major turning point, for the better, in the U.K. economy.

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