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Treadmill Theater: Trudging Through the Classics #9 - Sunrise (part 2) - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
May 6th, 2010
08:50 am

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Treadmill Theater: Trudging Through the Classics #9 - Sunrise (part 2)
So, the last we left our story, our farmer and his wife were getting their picture taken.

Next thing you know, they're at an amusement park. Like you do, right after you have your picture taken. The farmer was throwing balls at targets, but instead of dunking a clown, pigs were involved. Seriously, pigs. One of them got loose, causing all sorts of ruckus. The farmer, being a farmer (hey, that character development came in handy) managed to catch the pig. And all the people said "hooray".

Ok, let's go over the events of the day so far. Tried to kill the wife, check. Chased the wife to town, check. Bought flowers, check. Barged in on someone else's wedding, done. Picture, taken. Balls, thrown. Pig, recovered. That's everything on our list, time to go home. So, now in the middle of the night, let's sail back home.

You'll recall that it was a sailboat that started this whole thing. The farmer was going to drown his wife and make it look like an accident.

Maybe I shouldn't give away the ending, but I'm just saying that a local farmer, going for a sail, at night, in eel-infested waters - that's got to be bad.

But! The real surprise ending, which I don't mind giving away, is that NetFlix has the running time wrong. It's not 173 minutes, it's more like 94 minutes. That should make the movie less intimidating, if you were thinking of watching it. I'm not going to push you one way or another - it could be the best movie from 1927 that I've seen. I guess.

Your Bonus Feature

I'm trying to get an hour of treadmill time a day, and since Sunrise ended early, I filled in the remaining time with Episode 1 of The Electric Company. It's been a while since I've seen it, but it was nice to see the old gang back together - Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, Judy Graubart. (What's she been doing since then? Not much, I guess.)

The old favorites are there, like "do you like my new GIGGLES?" "you mean GOGGLES." "No, that's what people do when they have a sore throat." and Fargo North, Decoder. (Complete with his optospectrometer. Eat that, CSI.) And there was a bit where Bill Cosby was tending an ice cream cart, smoking a cigar. This was cutting edge educational television in 1971. I expect I'll be getting to Tom Lehrer singing about "silent e" soon enough, and Spider Man, not to mention the Short Circus. Oh, I get it now.

Coming Soon to this Theater

In chronological order of release date, not necessarily the order I'll get to them:

  1. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
  2. King Kong (1933)
  3. Wuthering Heights (1939)
  4. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  5. A Place in the Sun (1951)
  6. Shane (1953)
  7. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
  8. Doctor Zhivago (1965)


Not far to go now.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:johncomic
Date:May 6th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)

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“it could be the best movie from 1927 that I've seen”

Cuz you haven't seen It yet...
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From:tsmaster
Date:May 6th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
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There you go, putting movies in my NetFlix queue.

And, to cleanse the palate, I've also added Whip It, which ties in lexicographically to the Clara Bow pic, and has Drew Barrymore in the director's chair, instead of just in my head.

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From:johncomic
Date:May 6th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
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I'm not saying It is a great film by any means, although it does of course have the wonderful weirdness I see in all silents... but man, Clara Bow! Anything with Clara Bow in it is worth it cuz she's Clara Bow! Yowza! It probably has more Clara Bow in it than any other film, though, and it's easiest to find...
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:May 6th, 2010 11:04 pm (UTC)
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Now, I won't say I'm familiar with Clara Bow's work, but the name's familiar, and this is another one of the desired outcomes of this project - there are people and movies that I've felt I've had only a passing knowledge of - never having seen Easy Rider until recently, for instance.

Now, Clara Bow is a little more obscure than Dennis Hopper, but still in the realm of "I should be more aware of her work".

And "The It Girl", that by itself is a meme that's come and gone, and maybe come back. So I should see it for that piece of cultural relevance.

Hm, now I want to go on a pronoun binge.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047573/
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From:scoreboard
Date:May 6th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
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Supposedly, you should also pick up Intolerance, which Griffith made after catching hell in certain circles for The Klansman^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HThe Birth Of A Nation.
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:May 6th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
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Turns out, I watched that last May. That only gave me more hesitation to watch Birth of a Nation.

Coming up soon here on my queue are DVDs of MacGyver, Airwolf, and Greatest American Hero. I may not enjoy watching them again, but I won't enjoy them on a whole different level.
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From:rechercher
Date:May 6th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)

Um....

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Did you watch a different movie than the one on IMDB? Was everything symbolic or were you just having fun?

If none of the above, I really think you ought to post on IMDB. I'm just...wow. The movie you describe has no plot coherence and the movie in IMDB everyone gushes over. So what am I not getting?
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:May 6th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Um....

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All evidence suggests that I was watching the 1927 Murnau silent film. But one thing that my "best movies" project has shown me is that the stuff I enjoy in films isn't the same as what the film authorities use to evaluate good film.

Some of the comments (probably on NetFlix) suggest that plot wasn't the point of Sunrise, which I guess is OK, but without plot, I'm left without much to grab onto. What else do we have? Sex? Violence? There's suggested infidelity, and the farmer nearly kills his wife, but that's not enough.

Some people write about the achievement in cinematography, but that's really hard for me to appreciate from my vantage point of digital spaceships and Tom Hankses.

Maybe I'm an outlier, and most reasonable people could sit down and enjoy Sunrise. Or maybe you have to be a fan of German Expressionism already to get in the door.

I suspect that if most people are going to appreciate Sunrise, they're going to find it important, like johncomic suggested. As opposed to, say, entertaining.
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