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Found 24 results

  1. I just rewatched the series finale from "Breaking Bad," and had no previous knowledge of either the final song played, or its very existence. "Baby Blue" was on Badfinger's 1971 album, "Straight Up." I only remember Badfinger because of the single, "Day after Day," which had its 45 on Apple Records - the same label as The Beatles.
  2. The famous Concert for Bangladesh was in 1971, but most people don't know about the Bangladesh Famine of 1974 which was one of the worst famines of the 20th century, worldwide. Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world that isn't an island or territory, i.e., with a population of over 10,000,000 (its population is over 160,000,000).
  3. I used to joke around with brian about the Third Church of Christ, Scientist: and Brutalist architecture in general, saying how ugly it all was. He had sometimes written about this church, and I was giving him what was intended to be a good-natured ribbing. And yes, I *do* think it's ugly - in fact, it's an absolute eyesore; on the other hand, Brian is an expert at architecture, and I am nothing but a curious layman whose knowledge is barely above zero. When we first began talking about it, I remember that I was surprised to find out it was designed by I.M. Pei (who I suspect is taken seriously by real architects, but also becomes annoying since he's one of about five names (along with Frank Lloyd Wright) that people like me mention, because we don't know enough to mention any others). And then, I remember driving by it one day about a year ago, and seeing this: and, out of the blue, I became extremely sad - I wasn't even sure why. I've since looked into the building, and realize that it was considered by many respected architects to be - not an eyesore, but an important work. Yet, the businessmen and the bureaucrats apparently didn't listen to the architects and historians, and sacrificed this building forever in order to become another generic, glass-windowed office building. Shifting to something I have more expertise in (classical music), whether or not a piece is "pretty" or "beautiful" is of little importance to me in terms of assessing its value. I can't even begin to list the masterpieces which, to an untrained ear, might sound "ugly," "like noise," or "just plain boring," and yet, these pieces are not only appreciated, but positively cherished by me and most people with a music education. Example (*): I don't know the back story behind the church's demolition, but the thought of brain-dead government officials ignoring experts in order to pander to the masses makes me want to evolve towards Fascism. If this building was a masterpiece, even if I can't see it, then damn it, it's a masterpiece, and it's up to me to bring myself up to speed so that I can recognize it as such. What other works of importance are going to be sacrificed for the almighty dollar, and because the public wants something "inoffensive to the eye?" I may not be sophisticated enough to know that this was an important building, but I'm wise enough to recognize that experts, who know a whole lot more than I do, think that it was. If I were in a position of power, I would listen to what they had to say, public opinion be damned. (*) [Emphasis mine] "Early in 1943, I received the score of the Seventh Sonata, which I found fascinating and which I learned in just four days (**).... The work was a huge success. The audience clearly grasped the spirit of the work, which reflected their innermost feelings and concerns. (This was also felt to be the case with Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony, which dates from more or less the same period.)... With this work we are brutally plunged into the anxiously threatening atmosphere of a world that has lost its balance. Chaos and uncertainty reign. We see murderous forces ahead. But this does not mean that what we lived by before thereby ceases to exist. We continue to feel and love. Now the full range of human emotions bursts forth. Together with our fellow men and women, we raise a voice in protest and share the common grief. We sweep everything before us, borne along by the will for victory. In the tremendous struggle that this involves, we find the strength to affirm the irrepressible life-force." -- Sviatislov Richter (**)
  4. About 15 years ago, we lucked out in an eBay thing and came in second place to buy an All-Clad (MasterChef pre the show, wonder what the trademark BS must be) set. These are probably the best pans I have worked with. Any tips on finding more at a reasonable price? Not loving the idea of paying $200-$400 per pot that I want to get.
  5. "Straw Dogs" is a divisive film that, well, stars Dustin Hoffman and Susan George (it's unlikely that you can name a second film that Susan George was in), but regarding the film, *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** suffice it to say that Director Sam Peckinpah's nickname was "Bloody Sam." A very typical early-70s filming of a gorgeous, cinematic, English landscape, the inevitable denouement being something you can see coming, but not necessarily something you want to see happening. Note Peckinpah's rapid-fire cuts coming into being once the cat is found. *** END SPOILERS *** "Straw Dogs" was remade in 2011. PS - I'm pretty sure that John Niles (Peter Arne) was the inspiration for Anton Chigurh. Also, the red nose during the break-in is *exactly* like the false nose during the break-in during "A Clockwork Orange."
  6. Plenty of asparagus and strawberries floating around Eastern Market, not sure how local they are...otherwise nothing has really taken off yet.
  7. A Clockwork Orange is great but I can only see it once, I'm afraid. I read the book first in a Lit class in college. The movie is a chilling adaptation! For Kubrick I prefer Dr Strangelove, Spartacus, Paths of Glory, Barry Lyndon. You wouldn't believe it but I have never seen Full Metal Jacket or 2001: A Space Odyssey! I don't know HOW but I haven't! I am sure I will, and it won't be on a cell phone!
  8. Well, hey, I saw "Willard" when I was 10-years-old (this is the only flaw my dad had - taking us young kids to movies that we weren't old-enough for). I saw it again, after 47 years! And I thought it was very close in spirit to "Harold and Maude," and I mean that for real - this was in the Harold and Maude category of films, starring Bruce Davison as "Willard" in a very "Harold"-like role, making friends with rats, particularly one named Socrates, and specifically, another named "Ben." ("Ben"" is also the sequel in which you'll hear Michael Jackson sing the theme song). Willard is a lot like Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate," and also a lot like "Harold" in "Harold and Maude" - this is a screwed-up cult film that is very disturbing if you choose to take it literally. And yet, it's the precursor to "Ben," in which Michael Jackson seems the eponymous theme song. Damn, there are two scenes in this film that are difficult to watch, regardless of how hard you've become.
  9. Who knew that "Soul Train," with legendary debut host, Don Cornelius, had a 35-year run?! Just look at Michael Jackson's early version of the Moonwalk (technically, "The Robot") at around the 1:20-ish mark of this video - I saw The Jacksons in person once (even sitting directly behind The Jackson family!), and I can vouch that very few people in this world had body control on the dance floor like Michael Jackson did. Wow!
  10. Some people might not know that the Washington Senators of Walter Johnson fame were a different franchise than the lovable losers we had playing here during the 1960s - the original team (which played 1901-1960) became the Minnesota Twins, while this franchise (1961-1971) became the Texas Rangers (*). These Senators' highlights were Frank Howard, and Ted Williams - who managed them to a winning season in 1969 (unless you want to include Ed "Big Stick" Brinkman, for whom Mark Belanger was grateful (*)). Here's Richard Nixon throwing out the opening day ball in 1969, with Teddy Ballgame also in the picture (the Yankee is Ralph Houk; behind him stands the owner, Bob Short, who outbid Bob Hope (!) for ownership of the team): <--- See the guy taking a picture at the top-center? He could have featured prominently in this photo; now, he's forever anonymous. Season 3, Episode 8 of "Dragnet" (which aired on Nov 14, 1968), had this sequence when the President (who was actually Lyndon Johnson at the time of airing) came to visit Los Angeles - Gannon and Friday are addressing the press corps: (*) Actually, they weren't the original Washington Senators: Believe it or not, there were two other Washington Senators teams (making a total of four) that played around the fin de siècle, but weren't in the Major Leagues. (**) It should be noted that Brinkman, whose *best* batting average from 1961 through 1968 was an abysmal .224, worked on his hitting with Williams in 1969: That year, he batted a relatively amazing .266. Remarkably, he played on the same high school team as Pete Rose, and Brinkman was considered the better prospect by a fair margin. I still remember this baseball card:
  11. Some people might recognize Thomas Gomez, né Sabino Tomas Gomez, because he has one of "those" unforgettable faces - never on display more prominently than in the "Twilight Zone" episode, "Escape Clause," in which he played The Devil himself, complete with a Sebastian Cabot-like chortle (recall Cabot's role as "Pip" in "A Nice Place To Visit"). However, Gomez was primarily in films, after getting his start in theater. Although it's bittersweet that Gomez is perhaps most notable for being the first-ever Hispanic-American actor ever to be nominated for an Academy Award (for Best Supporting Actor in the 1947 film, "Ride the Pink Horse"), his talents should carry the day in the long run. In "Escape Clause," he's just about perfect in his role, and I'd love to learn more about him by watching his films - which extend over a period of decades.
  12. Yep. It's been so long, though, that I can' really comment on it. I remember it fondly, but am afraid if I revisit it I'll hate it. Some memories are better left alone.
  13. Did you know that Memorial Day was originally known as "Decoration Day," and observed on May 30? It has fuzzy beginnings that differ in the North and the South (with the American Civil War, and related issues, being a major influence). The name wasn't formally changed until 1968, by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act (note also this proclamation by President Lyndon Johnson), and beginning in 1971, the act officially stated that it was to be observed on the final Monday of each May. There's a lot to read about it - you can spend five minutes, or five years, studying its history. For many, Memorial Day and Labor Day mark the beginning and end of summer; for me, they are (as well as being serious commemorations) convenient placemarks for the French Open and the U.S. Open: two slices of bread that sandwich Wimbledon, the Australian Open being the pickle on the side of the plate.
  14. "Harold and Maude" is not at all what I expected it to be. The film's opening sequence is shocking--dark, twisted and surprisingly funny--and it sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Young Harold, brilliantly portrayed by Bud Cort, is an 18-year-old man obsessed with death, desperate for the affection of his self-absorbed mother. Vivian Pickles is wonderful as Harold's detached mom, and the scenes involving the two of them are laugh-out-loud funny. Harold's mother repeatedly tries to set him up on dates, with hilarious, disastrous results. While attending a stranger's funeral, Harold strikes up an unlikely friendship (and later, an even more unlikely romance) with Maude (portrayed by Ruth Gordon), a quirky, 79-year-old woman, who teaches Harold how to live life fully. The scenes portraying their blossoming relationship are well done, believable and touching. A good amount of madcap humor is thrown in, as well. "Harold and Maude" was written and produced by Colin Higgins and features the music of Cat Stevens. It was critically and commercially unsuccessful when it was released, but later developed a cult following, and in 1983 began making a profit. "Harold and Maude" is ranked number 45 on the American Film Institute's List of the 100 Funniest Movies of All Time. I think this film was ahead of it's time when it was made. "Harold and Maude" is extremely amusing, but the funniest scenes are also the darkest. Perhaps film-goers and critics of the early '70s were not prepared to see campy humor arise from bleak sources, like attempted suicide. The humor is "Harold and Maude" is dark, rich and delightful. This film made me laugh, and it made me cry. It made me think, and it touched me deeply.
  15. Okay, I'm watching the end of Brian's Song for the first time since I was a kid. No, those things in my eyes aren't tears; my contact lenses are bothering me. A pretty endearingly funny line though: Piccolo is on the phone with Sayers after his second operation. "They told me you gave me a pint of blood yesterday - is it true?" Piccolo said. "Yeah," Sayers replied. "That explains it then." "Explains what?" "I've had this craving for chitlins' all day."
  16. I was recently reintroduced to this famous or infamous paragraph from Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. For some it would be appropriate for the "Intrepid Traveler" For others it would be far far off base. In any case its a terrific paragraph ...and its about traveling....... Its a good thing he included the case of Bud, to help take the edge off.
  17. It is unbelievable that during my lifetime the "Trusty System" (*not* "Trustee System) of prison administration was legal in the United States, but not much about this country's institutions surprises me anymore. It wasn't until "Gates v. Collier" was decided in 1971 that the Trusty System was abolished. Essentially, the inmates were running the asylum - for real (read the Wikipedia entry above, and your jaw will drop). I'm rewatching "Brubaker," and that's the only reason I've even heard about this crazy method of prison administration. I feel so sorry for prisoners in the South, and the further back in time you go, the worse-and-worse it must have been for them. God only knows how many human beings were violated for illegal, personal gain. Anyway, I was completely unfamiliar with the term "Trusty System" (where the appointed inmates were called "Trusties," not "Trustees.") - and I didn't pick up on it when I first watched Brubaker, long ago. Chalk one up for the internet - the greatest educational tool ever invented.
  18. Indeed. I hope this doesn't leave anyone Monon, but: TO REMOVE THAT MUSIC FROM YOUR WEBSITE! (Doesn't anyone see how cool this website is going to be? Help me get it started, by posting as much as you can, about as many different topics as you can, while I'm still around to point everything in a general direction. I already know it's going to be big (so if I get hit by a train, you don't need to say, "I wish he could have been around to see it"), but it *would* be nice to see things start growing during my lifetime.) Cheers, The Atomizer
  19. There are a handful of films that "I want to see, despite not dying to see them," mainly because they're such staples of American society that I feel like I'm missing out by not having done so - "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was one of them (until about thirty minutes ago). goldenticket will disembowel me for saying this, but I "liked" it without loving it. I realize it's 44-years-old (the time elapsed between "The Wizard of Oz" and this was only 32 years, if that puts the age of the film into perspective), and I'm glad I saw it while at the same time wishing it would end just a bit sooner. I really didn't know anything about the movie going into it, so it had nothing to do with me knowing the plot in advance. That said, I can easily see this being considered a children's classic, even though "children's" must be put in quotes, like a Grimm Fairy Tale. I also liked the ambiguity of the children's fate - this film was not condescending at all. Loved the Oompa Loompas! There is absolutely an overlap between these two songs (and it's ironic that Johnny Depp was in the remake). Whether or not it was "inspiration," "borrowing," or something more than that, I'll leave up to the readers: Circular
  20. Stairway to Heaven, generally acclaimed as one of the great rock and roll songs of all time; a rousing anthem. In this 2012 rendition at the Kennedy Center, we see it performed by Heart. A rousing version. Watch for the Obama's and Yo Yo Ma as they rock out!!!
  21. I'd never seen the full movie of "Dirty Harry"; only a few clips from it, e.g., "Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" This line happens very early in the film, and serves two purposes: as character development of the protagonist, Harry Callahan, and as a memorable clip for posterity (*) - so if you watch it, you won't have spoiled a thing. It's also somewhat clumsily acted, and isn't representative of Eastwood in this film - he otherwise does a fine job. Somehow, he manages to inject a boyish smile into the gravest of situations here: A couple other notes: It isn't like there was anything at stake here - even if the bad guy had reached the gun, he wasn't going to get a shot off, and he certainly wasn't going anywhere. This is a great example of a scene contrived to become a classic - think of "I'll have what she's having" in "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) - probably the all-time greatest one-liner in movie history (which, by the way, took place at Katz's Delicatessen (which just made me think ofMark Kuller, God rest his soul)). Also, this is an unfortunate time in our lives to be glorifying such a scene, but I can assure people who haven't seen the film that Harry Callahan - icy-cold bad-ass though he might have been - was a good guy through-and-through, and someone all viewers would want to pull for. This was a very good police thriller, with a certified looney-tunes villain very well played by Andy Robinson (as an aside, it isn't often a movie of this popularity doesn't even have two actors that most people could name, although the Mayor of San Francisco is played by none other than Dean Wormer himself, John Vernon). Clint Eastwood was (and still is) a damned handsome man. This movie also goes a level deeper than just being a cops-and-robbers crime film. Roger Ebert has a *great* line about the movie - one which you really can't argue against: "I think films are more often a mirror of society than an agent of change, and that when we blame the movies for the evils around us we are getting things backward. "Dirty Harry" is very effective at the level of a thriller. At another level, it uses the most potent star presence in American movies -- Clint Eastwood -- to lay things on the line. If there aren't mentalities like Dirty Harry's at loose in the land, then the movie is irrelevant. If there are, we should not blame the bearer of the bad news." "Dirty Harry" was both directed and produced by Don Siegel, which would be more than enough for an entire career, but he also worked on four other Clint Eastwood films, as well as the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"(1956), "The Shootist" (1976), and many others. On a personal note, Siegel directed two episodes of "The Twilight Zone: "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross" and "Uncle Simon" - I love the fact that, with a little time and effort, Hollywood is closing in on itself, and I'm starting to recognize heretofore obscure names and other things: I guess that, like with anything else in life, a little perseverance eventually pays off. By today's standards, "Dirty Harry" is easy-going violence, with much of it implied (the young boy, for example, who got half of his face blown off). For those who don't know, The Zodiac Killer, who was the inspiration for Scorpio - the antagonist in Dirty Harry - was very much of a real person, although the movie itself is entirely fictional. If this is one of those movies you've always intended to watch, but have never gotten around to doing so, I decided to watch it on a whim last night, finishing it today, and I'm glad I did - it was $3.99 (HD on Amazon Prime) and 102 minutes, both well-spent. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** When they hauled the teenage girl out of the hole, I was wondering how on earth there was 40 minutes left in the movie; the decision to let Scorpio go seems implausible, so at that moment, the movie lost credibility with me (could they not have done a handwriting comparison with the first note that Scorpio wrote? Oops!) However, it's interesting how closely that scene is related to the Ticking Time Bomb Scenario and Alan "The Needle" Dershowitz as pertaining to this one particular issue. In this regard alone, Dirty Harry is an important film that's ahead of its time, although I have no idea whether it was the first movie to directly address this scenario (I'm sure there were variations on this theme that occurred before 1971). Miranda v. Arizona was tried five years before, in 1966, and was surely an inspiration for this. The school bus scene was extremely powerful. I can't imagine what the driver must have been feeling, driving along while the children are singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" - the contrast was painful to watch. But flying away with the kids as hostages? Come on, that's ridiculous. Still, this whole sequence was brutal - however, when Callahan jumps on the bus, the movie turns into something resembling "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981). (*) Oh, by the way, there may have been a third purpose as well.
  22. What in the world was the pitch for this TV series? "Hey dude, we have this hilarious script about a loveable ragtag bunch of captured Allied soldiers in a Nazi internment camp. Whadaya think? It'll be a hoot!" Anyway, say what you will about the unfortunate premise and the uh... peculiarities of Bob Crane, but I didn't know the stories behind the cast. Many of them were not only Jewish, but actually spent time in concentration camps. Hogan's Heroes The story behind Robert Clary is especially interesting.
  23. When it comes to classical music involving pieces highlighting the Violin, a favorite performer of mine is Gil Shaham. One of the pieces I have listened to many times and seen live with him playing (I think twice) is Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor (#64). Here are each of the movements-- 1. Allegro 2. Andante 3. Allegro molto vivace A treat.
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