January 28, 2017

At Bad Lieutenant's Café...

... fine.

There.

You satisfied?

110 comments:

traditionalguy said...

And we also demand coffee in our coffee house!

Scott said...

Is Bad Lieutenant in Saxony?

Bad Lieutenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bad Lieutenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bad Lieutenant said...

Oh don't whine, you got ad money from the clip (right?). But thank you, yes.

Sir John Hurt
1940-2017
We shall not again soon see his like.

I often think of him as the Randian/Hughesian billionaire in Contact, and also as rogue CIA agent Lawrence Fassett in The Osterman Weekend. (Of course he was everywhere, thankfully.) But freak, emperor, Everyman or wand seller, he left it all out on the field, every time.

rhhardin said...

Owing to many consecutive overcast days, the 12v battery in the basement that's there to give my sideyard 15w solar panel something to do, has descended into a state of discharge.

I temporarily have added 150w worth of solar panels, which collectively now are supplying 9.3 watts of power. With a MPPT charger (maximum power point tracking).

Bear that in mind when you read "Works even on cloudy days" on solar panel promos.

The only advantage of the battery arrangement is that it permits running in ham contests that require that you be entirely on solar power, the "e" category.

Bob Ellison said...

John Hurt did a terrible movie in 1982 with Ryan O'Neill called Partners. That's the first I saw of Hurt. He was the only good thing in the film, where he played a gay cop who had to work against his attraction for the O'Neill character.

Good actor who apparently worked hard and kept at it, even in crappy films. Gotta respect that.

EDH said...

Not to beat a dead horse, but does CNN's own gigapixel image during Trump's inaugural speech support Trump's argument with the media?

(Swing right to the National Mall and zoom.)

Although it may not be a "all-time record number," the image does seem to indicated those other photos showing huge swaths of empty white in the crowd pens all the way down the National Mall were early timed and not accurate.

...Sean Spicer was correct. The crowd grew significantly just as the event began. Yes, this was mostly due to the crowd being intentionally delayed from attending. Yes, tens of thousands of people could not get through the screenings. Yes, the federal workers and DC Park and Security leadership made attendance more difficult than any previous inauguration.

Yes, every imaginable tool and technique was utilized last week to provide the maximum level of crisis and discomfort….


From a reddit page with multiple links.

Ann Althouse said...

"Oh don't whine, you got ad money from the clip (right?)."

Are you kidding? You think when I embed someone else's video and there's an ad that somehow the money is sent to me?!

Ridiculous.

What an old sourpuss you are!

Bad Lieutenant said...

No, seriously, you don't? Okay, sorry; but you should look into that.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I figured you got at least a taste.

Ann Althouse said...

That's not how it works.

Ann Althouse said...

John Hurt was in an awful lot of movies but somehow I've managed not to see ANY of them... although I think he was a voice-over actor in 2 things that I saw (Romeo & Juliet and one of the Lord of the Rings movies).

He was in a lot of TV things, none of which I have seen.

The only performance of his I know is the filmed play "Krapp's Last Tape."

Ann Althouse said...

"one of the Lord of the Rings movies"

The one was the 1978 cartoon version.

Ann Althouse said...

Which I did not see.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, and the Romeo & Juliet was some cartoon thing that I didn't see.

That settles it. I've seen ZERO John Hurt movies.

Quite a feat.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Not an enviable one.

Ann Althouse said...

I am just not an Anglophile.

All those dreary dramas... the accents...

Ann Althouse said...

Things like "I, Claudius" on PBS.

Never felt any interest in watching that sort of thing.

Bleh.

Michael K said...

I should see "Contact" again. The movie was not as good as the book but still pretty good.

EDH said...

Althouse said...

Are you kidding? You think when I embed someone else's video and there's an ad that somehow the money is sent to me?!

"You should let me wet my beak a little."

Ann Althouse said...

Wait. He was in "Contact"?

I saw that.

HATED it.

rhhardin said...

Never buy a British DVD without closed captioning.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I can see why you hated Contact. Science, no stupid costumes, atheist woman hero...

EDH said...

My favorite line from "Contact":

"I find it convenient to keep my interests... mobile."

Carol said...

Whoever it was here got me reading Anthony Trollope, thank you. I read the Way We Live Now and starting the Palliser books.

Reading Phineas Finn right now. Just about as relevant as it gets!

Bob Ellison said...

Omigoodness. Contact was atrocious. How did they think to spend such money, and hire such talent, for such a terrible movie?

How did I think to spend, idunno, maybe eight bucks on a ticket, and tickets for my sons?

Maybe we learn from seeing bad movies. I learn from listening to bad music from time to time.

Big Mike said...

IMAO Hurt was a better actor than Streep. Why she gets the awards and not him is a head scratcher.

Michael K said...

"How did they think to spend such money, and hire such talent, for such a terrible movie?"

I kind of liked it. It was not as good as the book, though. I thought it was a very clever science fiction treatment of an interesting idea. The ending was not very good but it resembled the ending of "Gravity."

rehajm said...

Never buy a British DVD without closed captioning.

I was a hero when I turned on closed captioning because Mrs rehajm couldn't watch Broadchurch.

Sally327 said...

I confuse John Hurt with Ian McKellen. And I thought he was the actor in Person of Interest, the one who deployed Samaritan to battle the Machine, but that's an actor named John Nolan.

I didn't think Contact was a bad movie. But then I like the idea of some intelligent life out there in the universe that isn't just looking to invade earth to exploit our resources or turn us into zombie slaves or something. I guess I'd be one of those idiots up on the roof waving a welcome sign, like in Independence Day, just to get eviscerated by the death ray beaming down from the mother ship.

TBS has a new series, People of Earth, it's pretty funny, about a group of average citizens who believe they've been abducted by aliens.

It has another series, which I recently binge watched, Search Party, nothing to do with extra-terrestrials but interesting and occasionally funny. It gave me insight into the millennials, who kind of seem like aliens to me so there is that connection.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Big Mike said...
IMAO Hurt was a better actor than Streep. Why she gets the awards and not him is a head scratcher.
1/28/17, 10:57 AM


Easy. He had no tits. None. Flat as a board. Of course, you are perfectly correct.

CWJ said...

Bad Lieutenant's Cafe?

Oh great! Now everyone will want one.

Bad Lieutenant said...

EDH,

Then there's:

Why buy one, when you can buy two for twice the price?

Sara D said...


I thought he was great in "the naked civil servant" 1975

GrapeApe said...

Ann, he also voiced the dragon in the BBC series "Merlin."

Michael Fitzgerald said...

why is John Hurt getting a Bad Lieutenant tag? Harvey Keitel was Bad Lieutenant.

EDH said...

"First rule in government spending: Why build one when you can have two at twice the price?"

tim in vermont said...

There are many worse movies than Contact produced each and every year.

EDH said...

Hurt So Good

Hurt so good, come baby now
Come on baby make it Hurt so good
Sometimes love don't feel like it should
You make it Hurt so good


Ann Althouse said...

"Omigoodness. Contact was atrocious. How did they think to spend such money, and hire such talent, for such a terrible movie?"

And why -- in the story of the movie -- would the government spend all that money to build that elaborate device that we're supposed to feel was worthwhile because it gave the Jodie Foster character and opportunity to work on her personal psychological issues?

Ann Althouse said...

"IMAO Hurt was a better actor than Streep. Why she gets the awards and not him is a head scratcher."

He competed in the men's division.

Michael K said...

But then I like the idea of some intelligent life out there in the universe that isn't just looking to invade earth to exploit our resources or turn us into zombie slaves or something.

I like "Close Encounters" for the same reason but it gets tiresome with all the buildup for the Richard Dreyfuss character.

I think we are going to find living creatures under the sand on Mars but they will be like Archea and not "intelligent life."

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, he also voiced the dragon in the BBC series "Merlin.""

He did a lot of voice work.

Anyway, I didn't see Merlin.

BBC isn't really a source of watchable material for me.

I'd have to look at a list of BBC things to see if anything has every appealed to me.

I tried to watch the British version of "The Office" — and I like Ricky Gervais -- but I could not understand enough of the dialogue.

EDH said...

"I've had a long time to make enemies, doctor. So many governments, business interests, even religious leaders that would like to see me depart this Earth.

I'll grant them their wish soon enough.
."

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I tip my hat to you. If I had one, anyway.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's a list of the 80 best BBC shows of all time. I've watched only:

Absolutely Fabulous
Pennies From Heaven
That Was the Week That Was
Monty Python

Liked all of those.

Attempted to watch "Fawlty Towers"... didn't work for me. Also, as mentioned above, "The Office." Couldn't hear what they were saying.

Michael K said...

BBC is not the source of stuff I enjoy from British TV.

"Doc Martin"

"Foyle's War."

There are a whole bunch of crime dramas that I watch.

Michael K said...

Even Sigourney Weaver is getting a role in the Doc Martin series.

It's watched in 208 countries and has run 11 years.

Sally327 said...

"And why -- in the story of the movie -- would the government spend all that money to build that elaborate device that we're supposed to feel was worthwhile because it gave the Jodie Foster character and opportunity to work on her personal psychological issues?"

I think we got the Mexicans to pay for it.

Carol said...

You definitely need closed captions for Brit TV. I really liked Waiting for God, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Fawlty Towers, and Ab Fab of course. Way in the past and so I'm mostly over Brit TV now. Especially with all the hamhanded diversity-mongering they do now. Worse than our TV.

Sydney said...

Liked Doc Martin the first season, but thought it jumped the shark the second season and haven't watched since. The pilot for the show was very good, too, though the characters were a little different than they were in the series.
The BBC has many good recent shows- much better than available on ours. Some of my favorites:
The Crown
Call the Midwife
The Dectorists
Foyle's War
Endeavor
Grantchester
Broadchurch - (first season, didn't care for the second season and stopped watching)

mockturtle said...

I remember him most for his role in Alien. Probably not his fav.

Sydney said...

That should be "The Detectorists"

Sydney said...

Also want to thank Carol for pointing me Lessing's The Golden Notebook. Much better than her science fiction. She is very good at describing the mentality and emotions that lead someone to join those empty political cults. I am thinking of reading The Good Terrorist next.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Things like "I, Claudius" on PBS.

Never felt any interest in watching that sort of thing"

"I, Claudius" is great. Both the Grave's book and the MT TV series. Especially the book. You really should read it, Althouse.

Sally327 said...

There are lots of British TV shows I think are good. I tend to the TV detectives / mystery ones:

Scott & Bailey
New Tricks
Hinterland (set in Wales)
Luther (starring the great Idris Elba
Waking the Dead
Line of Duty

I really like Foyle's War, would also recommend The Bletchley Circle.

And then there's "River" on Netflix, very good and then the funniest thing I've seen in a long while, "The Wrong Mans", which I saw on Hulu but is probably watchable elsewhere. The first season more than the second.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Sydney,

The Good Terrorist nails the mentality of the Golden Shower Left exactly. You won't be able to read it without thinking of pussy hats.

JPS said...

Michael K, 11:47, re archaea:

I've thought that for a long time. SciFi and the popular imagination present hyperintelligent beings, always far more advanced than us, but the odds of finding some simple extremophile that manages to eke out an existence seem much higher.

WilliamHR said...

Wonderful programs, but "DEFUND PBS!"

sane_voter said...

I really liked Contact. 100x better than that insipid Interstellar.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Ann Althouse said...
"Omigoodness. Contact was atrocious. How did they think to spend such money, and hire such talent, for such a terrible movie?"

And why -- in the story of the movie -- would the government spend all that money to build that elaborate device that we're supposed to feel was worthwhile because it gave the Jodie Foster character and opportunity to work on her personal psychological issues?
1/28/17, 11:45 AM

So let me get this straight, Ann, because I don't want to put words in your mouth: you're telling us that you didn't understand the plot?

And somebody was supposed to put scarce resources into making you a girl scientist?

tcrosse said...

There's a British show called Fleabag, available on Amazon, which is absolutely filthy and hilarious. I looked in vain for the name Laslo Spatula in the writing credits.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Cuz I'm not denying that you're reasonably intelligent, but you obviously don't have that type of intelligence, and that's okay, but I don't think we should upend STEM education to grind you down into, say, an process engineer. It's not your gift. Most likely it's not the gift of most of those six year old girls. And there's nothing wrong with that, and there's nothing wrong with them.

Roughcoat said...


Not a fan of Brit TV shows. On a metta level they're all the same, all boring.

Not sure what I mean by "metta level."

But the same goes for Jodie Foster movies. Hated Contact. Foster plays a variant of the same character she's played in every movie. Metta level stuff.

sane_voter said...

I need to read Contact. BTW the book came out 12 years before the movie.

harkin said...

Althouse, re I, Claudius

The BBC mini-series has some of the best acting in TV history and is based on one of the finest novels ever written, although the content is a tad deeper than That Girl.

Watch the first three episodes and if you aren't hooked then just stick to AbFab for your Brit fix.

William said...

I don't know if John Hurt actually had bad teeth, but he projected bad English teeth in some of his roles.. And they were probably nicotine stained too. He really knew how to project an intelligent man caught in a dreary life. He was just ideal for the role of Winston Smith in 1984.

tcrosse said...

I Claudius features Patrick Stewart with a full head of curly hair.
Also Brian Blessed with a more-than-full set of teeth. John Hurt's Caligula must have been great fun to play. The series was a full-employment project for British Equity.

Danno said...

Blogger Bad Lieutenant said...Not an enviable one

I quit the Hollywood habit way before Althouse. Maybe you should too. Think of all the money you send their way by attending movies, subscribing to HBO, etc., only to have these idiots berate you and tell you how to lead your life.

William said...

Downton Abbey was the biggest crock I have ever seen. Nonetheless I got hooked and watched every episode. I can't tell you the self loathing watching that show inspired. It's was like being a drug addict and waking up in soiled sheets, but I kept going back.....Next season in Game of Thrones, I'd like to see the Red Witch cast some kind of spell and cause one of the more wicked Lannisters to travel to Downton and perform acts of barbarity, carnage and lust on the the good citizens of Downton.

exhelodrvr1 said...

When are the Oscars going to start having tran- and cis- awards, instead of being stuck in the past with just male and female brackets?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Oh, Danno, sure, I hardly ever see anything anymore. But I remember what I used to see.

Also I had a friend, a dear friend who I can't go on about enough - alas - but we spoke once and I told him how I regretted all the time I wasted on television - his family didn't watch television.

He said, not at all, I wish I were better attuned to the culture and better informed on the current cultural references that arm one's speech these days as, once, the novels of Richardson and Goldsmith, the poetry of Shakespeare and Milton, did that of the English people.

So I felt better;)

Bad Lieutenant said...

perform acts of barbarity, carnage and lust on the the good citizens of Downton.


Maybe there could be some extended formats where, say, the elder daughter shows us just how she killed the Turkish diplomat with her booty. Laslo?

Roughcoat said...

I, Claudius is nonsense, both the series and Graves's novel, is nonsense of a particularly British sort. Another instance of Brits imposing British types, culture, and behavior on a Roman template. Everybody in I, Claudius talks and behaves like modern Brits. It's Brits acting British (English, actually) dressed up in togas. This is the great and most common flaw in British historical dramas, literature, etc. The real Romans were not English and they didn't talk or behave like 19th-20th century Englishmen.

Sames goes for that awful movie "Nicholas and Alexandra." A Russian Tsar and Tsarina displaying all the reserve and repression of English aristocrats and none of the tempestuous passionate highly sexualized emotionalism of Nicholas Romanov and the German-born princess he married.

Disney does the same with the females in its animated features. Every girl is an asinine precocious smart-mouthed 21st century American teenager. Case in point, Pocahontas.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Roughcoat, do you think the modern stuff like "Rome" or "Spartacus" is better done?

harkin said...

Roughcoat: dial down on the caffeine.

I suppose some prefer Gladiator where Crowe runs up a hill in Germany and comes down the other side in Spain but I'll stick with Robert Graves.

Quaestor said...

John Hurt voiced Aragorn in the animated LOTR.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I reviewed the BBC list. Somehow it leaves off "Midsomer Murders," probably because it's an ITV show and not BBC. "Murders" is set in the fictional but deadly British county of Midsomer and featured John Nettles as Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby and then lately Neil Dudgeon as his nephew DCI John Barnaby. It has been running continually since 1997, and if you ever get a chance to see an episode on PBS you'll understand why. WETA, the Washington PBS station, bought a few episodes and runs them over and over again -- with two decades of episodes to choose from and their continual whiny fund-raising you'd think they could and would buy more.

Another British TV series that we get to watch on WETA is "As Time Goes By," starring Judi Dench (yes, that dame Judi Dench!) and Geoffrey Palmer (himself a knighted actor) as a pair of lovers separated by the Korean War and a misdelivered love letter, but unexpectedly reunited 38 years later in modern London. Philip Bretherton as the smarmiest of smarmy book publishers is hilarious. The show ran for 9 seasons and the wife and I have seen every episode on WETA at least twice.

I don't know how you missed "Civilisation" or "Ascent of Man" or "Life on Earth." Wonderful, classic series.

You missed "I, Claudius"??? There goes your claim to be civilized and educated.

My car fanatic son never missed a single episode of "Top Gear," but I could never get into it myself. Some of their stunts were just too crazy (like discovering that even after sideswiping a Toyota HiLux (Tacoma in the USA), run it full speed into a tree, submerge it for many hours in the Severn Estuary, and finally put it on top of a high rise apartment building undergoing demolition so that it's buried the rubble, that the Toyota pickup still starts and still runs. Amazing, but nuts.

I've only seen "Walking with Dinosaurs" episodes on YouTube. I love the scene of the cgi T. Rex roaring at the camera, causing the lens to be covered with cgi spittle. Marvelous series.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Agree. The Brit TV crime stuff is good, mostly.
..The original Foyle's war was very good. The newev, postwar, version os too political and too predictable.
..Midsomer Murders was nice for a while, but became tiresome when there was always
....no fewer than three murders
....Barnaby rushing in at the last moment to personally prevent the last murder
....the perp then calmly volunteering why he was obliged to commit each of the murders.
..Inspector Lewis was good, particularly those with DS Hathaway.
..Jack Frost was good; more real-life locations, not lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Anymore, Netflix and (sadly) Amazon Prime have less of this; more of their own productions, not individual plot episodes but long running series featuring 25-30 year olds
..clicking keyboards and hacking into whatever they want (always at the last moment);
..running down streets or hallways, breaking into buildings wearing full combat gear, all to suspensful loud background music;
..yelling or mumbling drecky dialog, if there is any dialogue at all.

We need stuff to watch while we are on the exercise machines in the evening. Looks like it will be YouTube history and documentaries.

mockturtle said...

William confesses: Downton Abbey was the biggest crock I have ever seen. Nonetheless I got hooked and watched every episode. I can't tell you the self loathing watching that show inspired. It's was like being a drug addict and waking up in soiled sheets, but I kept going back..

Amazing what a great cast, superb direction and an intelligent script can accomplish. I was hooked, too. First and only serial I ever got suckered into.

ken in tx said...

I saw the 78 cartoon version of LOTR in the base theater at Clark AB in the Philippines. Don't remember John Hurt's voice. I do remember that it was crummy. The art work was muddy and hard to figure out what was happening. Of course, it was also too short to cover the whole story.

mockturtle said...

Well, I also remember The Six Wives of Henry VIII. My favorite British programs were the comedies like Monty Python, Two Ronnies, Ripping Yarns and Faulty Towers. My husband watched the later Britcoms like Keeping up Appearances and As Time Goes By but I found them very unfunny. And the canned laughter seemed to amplify the fact.

Sean Gleeson said...

Althouse never saw a John Hurt movie! This is mind-boggling.

Sure, he was in a lot of stupid films, and I can understand eschewing all the English productions. But, how do you live through the 80s, and 90s, and avoid seeing Alien, or The Elephant Man, or 1984, or Rob Roy?

I'm not being critical, just kind of amazed. It's a sort of accomplishment, something like writing a short story without the letter e. So, kudos.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"I, Claudius is nonsense, both the series and Graves's novel, is nonsense of a particularly British sort. Another instance of Brits imposing British types, culture, and behavior on a Roman template. Everybody in I, Claudius talks and behaves like modern Brits. It's Brits acting British (English, actually) dressed up in togas. This is the great and most common flaw in British historical dramas, literature, etc. The real Romans were not English and they didn't talk or behave like 19th-20th century Englishmen. "

Yeah, inexplicable that it wasn't in Latin. You're joking, right?

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Carol said...
Whoever it was here got me reading Anthony Trollope, thank you. I read the Way We Live Now and starting the Palliser books.
-----------------------------

I've always enjoyed a little trollop at bedtime.

Big Mike said...

Since this is a café, I'll respond to Lyin'PB regarding what he said Joe Rogan had to say about aikido.

A couple points of information so you know where I'm coming from. To me, karate, kung fu, and ju jitsu are martial arts. Aikido is a defensive martial art derived from ju jitsu by eliminating grappling, kicks, and punches, and emphasizing counter attacks and gracefulness. Judo, taekwondo are sports derived from karate and ju jitsu, respectively. Boxing is also a sport. So is Olympic wrestling and so is MMA. If there are rules, if there is a referee, it is a sport. Joe Rogan might quibble, but I don't much care.

The use of aikido in the octagon is insane. You can't properly attack with that martial art, and there is no grappling. I think if some aikidoka wants to do MMA he or she would be best off finding a good ju jitsu school and supplementing what they know about throws with the ability to attack and to grapple. OTOH, an aikidoka knows something about slipping punches and getting your head out of the way of a punch, which is knowledge Rhonda Rousey could have used in her last two bouts.

Some ju jitsu dojos teach defense against knife attacks, which is good, but I don't know whether any teach defense against simultaneous attacks from multiple attackers. If not, then bonus points to aikido. But you might note that karate only works if you're facing a single opponent and the only karate dojo I've ever been in that taught defense against bladed weapons was explicit that the techniques they taught came from ju jitsu.

If I was setting out to compete in MMA, I think I'd train with a mix of Gracie Jiu Jitsu for the throws and grappling, and some martial art like karate or muay thai for punching and kicking. But I'm not interested in MMA, not even to watch.

Anyway all of the MMA fighters would lose to a certain elderly gent I know, provided he was allowed to bring his tools. The man is Jerry Miculek, and you do not want to attack him if he has a loaded gun holstered at his side.

Ann Althouse said...

"But, how do you live through the 80s, and 90s, and avoid seeing Alien, or The Elephant Man, or 1984, or Rob Roy?"

"Alien" came out in 1979, when I was very busy being a law student. I remember the posters in the subway, but it didn't seem particularly important at the time. I did see "Aliens" and whatever Alien 3 was called.

I avoided "The Elephant Man." That was 1980. Again, I was very busy. I went to the movies, but was interested in edgier things. That was a costume/historical drama. It was promoted as a prestige film. We had artistic scruples against that sort of thing.

"Rob Roy" -- 1995 -- well, that was a period when I saw a LOT of movies, but I don't remember that one at all. Did it get bad reviews? Looking at the poster for it, I assume it was romantic bilge.

Movies I actually went out and saw in the theater that year: "Batman Forever" (HATED it... had young sons I took to see it), "Species," "Clueless," "Babe," "Get Shorty," "Leaving Las Vegas," "Casino," "Sense and Sensibility," "Nixon," "12 Monkeys," "Dead Man Walking."

I have a clear favorite in that set of movies. Maybe you know me well enough to guess which one it is.

mockturtle said...

We had artistic scruples against that sort of thing.

Hwah, hwah, hwah, hwah, hwah!! ;-D

Limited blogger said...

Casino is one of my all time favorite movies. I love everything Scorsese directed.

Kristy Camas said...

How can British TV be talked about by this crowd without someone mentioning "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister"?! It's great satire of the power-struggle between an elected official and the entrenched government bureaucracy.

I particularly recommend episode 6 of "Yes Prime Minister", called "A Victory for Democracy". Still timely after 3 decades, and especially relevant now.

My family also likes the episode of "Yes Minister" about the hospital with no patients, but 500 staff members who are "extremely overworked".

Sydney said...

My guess of your favorite is "Sense and Sensibility."

Kristy Camas said...

From "Yes Minister":
James Hacker: "Fortunately Bernard, most of our journalists are so incompetent that they have the gravest difficulty in finding out that today is Wednesday."
Bernard Woolley: "It's actually Thursday, Minister."

Tell me that is not almost exactly what happened this week with the crowd- estimate issue.

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roughcoat said...

Roughcoat, do you think the modern stuff like "Rome" or "Spartacus" is better done?

"Spartacus" (the Kubrick movie) was very bad. Haven't seen "Rome."

Yeah, inexplicable that it wasn't in Latin. You're joking, right?

The movie version of "I, Claudius" would have been much improved if it had been presented in Latin with English subtitles. I have great admiration for Mel Gibson's "The Passion" for just that reason, and also for "Apocalypto" for much the same reason. If the actors in "I, Claudius" had delivered their lines in Latin, I submit that this alone would have significantly bent their performances in the direction of something approaching verisimilitude--language, quite mysteriously, has a way of doing that. Of course the actors would probably have still shouted and hammed it up in the scene-stealing tradition of the British stage, and the story that Graves wrote--which was nothing more than an allegorical tale of decadence in the British ruling class--was fundamentally irredeemable. Still...

My larger point goes the art of translation. E.g., Richmond Lattimore's translation of the Iliad surely suffers somewhat in comparison to the Classical Greek original, and the Classical Greek original is probably not as magnificent as it surely was when performed by poets speaking in the old Indo-European Mycenaean Greek (so-called "Linear B") language -- a language that, like all the old Indo-European tongues, was practically made for the purpose of describing war. But Lattimore was a true genius and artist in the craft of translation, and his renditions of Homeric verse are, according to scholars whom I respect and trust, a reasonable facsimile of the originals.

English actors in productions like "I, Claudius," however do not even attempt for a reasonable "translation," or whatever the actorly variant of the literary art of translation is called.

As for "Gladiator": lots of fun, but, historiographically, sheer nonsense; campy, even.

Roughcoat said...

In my opinion, one of the most accurate portrayals of military life in Roman times was provided by the movie "The Eagle," a small but impressive effort starring Channing Tatum, of all people, as a Roman Tribune in Britain. The performances by Tatum and the other actors were admirably restrained and the movie itself had a calm center that at once belied and underscored the violence depicted between occupying Roman forces and the native Celtic tribes with whom they were in conflict. The message that the two "Others" in the film (Roman and Celt) had a great deal in common even though each thought the other to be barbaric savages was well communicated. Overall the movie created a convincing illusion of verisimilitude, which is after all what verisimilitude strives for.

mockturtle said...

I liked Rumpole of the Bailey, too but it usually had a leftist spin to it.

Sean Gleeson said...

[Althouse: "Rob Roy"... Did it get bad reviews?]

No! Ebert gave it ★★★½ just for instance. And it is one of my favorite movies ever.

[Althouse: Looking at the poster for it, I assume it was romantic bilge.]

Yeah, I can see where the poster might give that impression, with the huge smoochy faces in the sky. Eeeeew. But no. It is an historical adventure. Sword fights. Honor. Betrayal. Man stuff. I am absolutely not going to say “You really must see this movie,” because I think you tend to resent such imperative comments. But I will tell you it is quite good, in my opinion, since you asked. You sort of asked.

[Althouse: I have a clear favorite in that set of movies. Maybe you know me well enough to guess which one it is.]

Maybe. I know my favorite of that set is Get Shorty, which I just re-viewed last month. Great fun. But for you? I guess Nixon. What do I win?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Roughcoat said...
Roughcoat, do you think the modern stuff like "Rome" or "Spartacus" is better done?

"Spartacus" (the Kubrick movie) was very bad. Haven't seen "Rome."


No, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, a STARZ original cable show. Stars included Lucy Lawless as the lanista's wife. Their diction among makes one feel they are translating from the Latin as they speak. Rome is also a modern cable show.

rhhardin said...

Maybe I'll rewatch King Ralph, speaking of British.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Ann's favorite: Clueless

Christy said...

My favorite BBC show is probably Red Dwarf, a sci-fi comedy full of gross boy humor, which I normally hate, but the whole package is so good I can handle it. Didn't like Downton Abbey at all. Midsomer Murders lost me during season 6. I very much enjoyed The Politician's Wife and the original House of Cards.

Of course, for me, Doctor Who is in a league of its own.

rcocean said...

Ann's favorite: 12 Monkeys.

My Favorite British Shows:

Singing Detective
Black Adder
Yes, Prime Minister

mockturtle said...

Rcocean, I plumb forgot Black Adder! Great series! Baldrick and his 'cunning plan'.

Ann Althouse said...

Rcocean wins

Michael K said...

There's a British show called Fleabag, available on Amazon, which is absolutely filthy and hilarious.

I got the Rome series and the first episode shocked me that I haven't watched the rest.

I like porno but that was pretty frank. More so even than "The girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

stever said...

Keeping Up Appearances

Bad Lieutenant said...

Actually Ann that was my first guess but then I thought haha Law School! But that was Legally Blonde wasn't it. Oops

Bad Lieutenant said...

There was a show a few years ago called Touching Evil that was pretty good. Honestly we slag the Brits all the time but they kind of have this media thing down. books, movies, music, they're pretty good at it. Hey let's not forget The Prisoner!

Quaestor said...

My Favorite British Shows: ...Black Adder

Couldn't agree more, though Jeeves and Wooster and Monty Python's Flying Circus are more than runners-up.

The best of that series was Blackadder the Third, which was set in the 18th century. The Blackadder family had fallen from the aristocracy and consequently gone into service. Edmund is the "humble" valet to HRH the Prince of Wales (Hugh Laurie). The absolute best of Blackadder, IMAO

Heartening to know that 18th-century actors were as moronic and overstuffed as our ludicrous Hollywood denizens are today, though they at least knew how to dress.

Blackadder II had its moments, particularly the urine-drinking bit. That and the discovery of purest green.

Blackadder Goes Forth, unfortunately, was unrelievedly dull and stale. Blackadder and his schemes were by that time well past their sell by date.