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Found 35 results

  1. My wife and I are heading to London to celebrate President's Day. OK, not really a celebration, but what the hell, we have it off, so why not take advantage of it. It has been a while since I have been. Does anyone know of any hidden gems?
  2. Similar to how I was inspired by John McGiver, I was watching an episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (S03 E34 - "The Crocodile Case") which featured Denholm Elliott in a rather fiendish role, and realized that, like McGiver, Elliott is often considered a "character actor" whose face you recognize like an old friend, but whose name you just don't know. Although most of us will recognize Elliott as Dr. Marcus Brody in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," his career is long and storied, having become interested in drama in the thick of World War II. His film career began in the late 1940's, and he received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the 1985 Merchant and Ivory period film, "A Room With A View." I hope people will feel free to post their memories of Elliott here, preferably with a picture of him in the role. Here's one of him with Harrison Ford, in the role of Dr. Camby in "Raiders":
  3. "Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death ... But surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did—if we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using these powers to kill their neighbours or drive them mad or bring bad weather—surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did? There is no difference of moral principle here: the difference is simply about matter of fact. It may be a great advance in knowledge not to believe in witches: there is no moral advance in not executing them when you do not think they are there. You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mice in the house." -- C.S. Lewis, from "Mere Christianity"
  4. This is truly hilarious. "Banksy Artwork Shreds Itself after 1-Million Pound Sale at Sotheby's" on bbc.com
  5. I started watching this show because I tend to enjoy British TV (the shorter seasons generally make for a higher quality per episode product) and because it came recommended by some sources I trust. I also tend to like spy stuff. I think the conceit is that it's about domestic spies in England with a focus on how difficult it is to live a normal personal life when you are in the business of deceit. Overall, I think the pluses of the show are the great acting, and surprisingly high production values for a British series, and the willingness to kill of any main character at anytime, which lends a sense of urgency. There are some characters that I particularly like, such as the Tom Quinn character. It was almost a science experiment of things they could put him through the see if he would eventually break down. Other characters, like Zaf, are just poorly drawn shells of humans. My biggest beef with the show, however, is the sheer carelessness with which some episodes are written. It's painfully easy to tell at times that the writer was in a corner and had to throw in a convenient mechanism to get out of it. For instance, there is one episode where the protagonists had no leads until a government official attempted to sneak out of a meeting with several files, and subsequently admitted treason within ten seconds of suspicion being placed on her. There also another episode where one of the protagonists was framed by another branch of the security services. This was done by a recording from a subway ("tube") security camera showing her standing next to a guy that eventually jumped in front of a train, framing her for his murder. At the exact moment of him jumping, the "security footage" cut to a closeup of two hands pushing someone. The spooks were nonplussed as to how to disprove this damning evidence. I have an idea: Maybe tell the authorities there is no security camera in the world that zooms in at random times. I'm currently on season six (of ten seasons) and feel as if I should see it through.
  6. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) was founded in 2003, and is an English hotel conglomerate owning such brands as Holiday Inn, Kimpton, Staybridge Suites, Crowne Plaza, as well as several others. They're based in Denham, Buckinghamshire, England, and currently operate over 5,000 hotels worldwide, most of which are franchises. Believe it or not, the origins of the company can be traced back to 1777. Practically speaking, being an IHG Rewards Club member (the IHG Rewards Club is the world's largest hotel loyalty program) can result in many unwanted emails unless you're pro-active in preventing it - I just now changed my subscription preferences. I suggest using a "secondary" email account with them (I personally have a secondary email account that is used exclusively for things "such as this," but even that needs to be weeded out from-time-to-time, in order to prevent so much unwanted spam that it's unusable). Nevertheless, if you can control the spam, or don't mind the spam going to an email account used for this purpose, it's a worthwhile group for special offers and discounts (that said, I don't think I've ever taken advantage of one).
  7. ... as featured in "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" (1841) by Charles Mackay
  8. There is the artist, and then there is the man. The Little Tramp and the Refugees Who Loved, Then Loathed Him, by Dove Barbanel, December 29, 2017, on nytimes.com.
  9. It's funny how one thing leads to another. Because of Jim's post, I'm watching "Rain Man" for the second time in my life. (By the way, this film is a whole lot deeper than I thought it was.) All because I was thinking about Daniel Tammet, and there's one thing I don't understand: In his Wikipedia entry, it says that Tammet: --- In his mind, Tammet says, each positive integer up to 10,000 has its own unique shape, colour, texture and feel. He has described his visual image of 289 as particularly ugly, 333 as particularly attractive, and pi, though not an integer, as beautiful. The number 6 apparently has no distinct image yet what he describes as an almost small nothingness, opposite to the number 9 which he calls large, towering, and quite intimidating. He also describes the number 117 as "a handsome number. It's tall, it's a lanky number, a little bit wobbly".[9][32] In his memoir, he describes experiencing a synaesthetic and emotional response for numbers and words.[9] --- What I don't understand ... is it the actual, mathematical quantity that Tagget finds ugly/beautiful, or is it the look of the Arabic Numerals that he finds visually repulsive/attracitve? My guess is that it's the Arabic Numeral representations - I can see the numbers "117" and "333" as being "beautiful," and the number "289" as being "ugly," but only in their Arabic notation; not as a string of bits. I distinctly remember Tagget telling David Letterman that he looked like a "117" - Letterman is tall and lean, and this would be intuitive. I'm pretty sure 117 is a prime number, and mathematically speaking, I can't imagine what's so beautiful about that as opposed to, say, 113 (which I'm guessing is also prime) - it must be the Arabic representations, right? Does what I'm saying make sense? More than anything else, Tammet comes across to me as a genuinely nice person - I've seen him on numerous occasions, and have paid close attention to what he does, says, and how he acts - he is just an all-around good human being, and that's what impresses me about him the most.
  10. Would someone give me a classic game that's on the internet to watch, and tell me who/what to be looking out for? (I'm not oblivious to soccer; my knowledge of the actual players, teams, and leagues is close to nil.)
  11. Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy are the relentless and everlasting core. These guys were my lost soul of my late 80s period. They rock far louder, but this down tempo song really resonated with me. The gents player Lisner Auditorium if you can believe it. Brother Wolf and Sister Moon:
  12. Peter Gabriel left Genesis mainly because he got tired of clashing so much with Tony Banks. He went on to do some pretty good things. "Humdrum" (1977) "Games Without Frontiers" (1980) "Wallflower" (1982) "San Jacino" (1982) This just scratches the surface....Still, I think the tension of Genesis made for something unusual. But I do love what Pete's done on his own.
  13. Steve Hackett is a rather underrated guitarist. Enjoy. From 'Foxtrot' - 'Horizons' From 'Nursery Chryme' - 'Return of the Giant Hogweed' From 'Voyage of the Acolyte' - Hackett's masterpiece 'Shadow of the Hierophant' From another solo work 'Spectral Mornings'. Perhaps one of his most singular iconic pieces he's ever written.
  14. When I was in my teens, I had one, and only one, favorite rock singer: David Bowie. He was the solo act which twisted, and turned, and seemed the most complex to me, while at the same time being just a pleasure to listen to, and he was there at the right time. Rest in peace, David.
  15. Today is Virginia Woolf's 136th birthday. She has been a great inspiration to my style of writing (when I begin a sentence, I almost never know how I'm going to end it), and I owe her a debt I could never repay. Google has a doodle to commemorate this great writer's 136th birthday here. Please feel free to chime in with your own Virginia Woolf stories and inspirations.
  16. Oops, and I've even been to the Tate Modern - I saw the coolest bottom-floor artwork there (I also saw "Whaam!") It was called "Marsyas" (etymology) by Anish Kapoor, and was, by *far*, the largest indoor piece of art I've ever seen - it was literally impossible to see the entire thing at once. To say it was "awesome" doesn't do it justice. <--- That's a person standing on the left.
  17. Lawrence Harvey was a South African who was born in Lithuania. 1962 - as Raymond Shaw in "The Manchurian Candidate" - Feb 30, 1972 - as Mr. Macy in "The Caterpillar" on ""The Night Gallery" - I've been saying this since I was a child, and have still never seen anything more chilling on TV: Oct 30, 2015 - "Night Gallery's 'Earwig' Episode Might Be Greatest Horror TV Episode Ever" by Julian Spivey on thewordwebzine.weekly.com
  18. I am kind of shocked there is no Queen thread just yet. A great body of work (mostly). Most people know all of their biggest hits, and I was a sucker for "Under Pressure" (1981) from the first moment I heard it. Enjoy.
  19. If you've ever wondered what the oldest film in the world is, as far as anyone knows, it's the two-second clip known as "Roundhay Garden Scene," filmed by French inventor Louis Le Prince. Click on the title, and the film - which you'll miss if you blink - is on the top-right of the Wikipedia page. There's also a wealth of information there - the film was shot in Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England.
  20. Considering how many threads we have on both our Film Forum and our Television Forum by the Master of Suspense, the great Alfred Hitchcock, it's absurd that he doesn't have his own thread. To date, we have threads for: 1927 - "The Lodger - a Story of the London Fog" - (Ivor Novello) 1934 - "The Man Who Knew Too Much" - (Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre) 1940 - "Rebecca" (Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine) 1941 - "Suspicion" - (Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine) 1943 - "Shadow of a Doubt" - (Joseph Cotten) 1946 - "Notorious" - (Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains) 1948 - "Rope" - (James Stewart) 1954 - "Rear Window" - (James Stewart, Grace Kelly) 1955 - "To Catch a Thief" - (Cary Grant, Grace Kelly) 1956 - "The Wrong Man" - (Henry Fonda) 1956 - "The Man Who Knew Too Much" - (James Stewart, Doris Day) 1958 - "Vertigo" - (James Stewart, Kim Novak) 1960 - "Psycho" - (Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Janet Leigh) 1963 - "The Birds" (Rod Taylor, Tippi Hendren) 1964 - "Marnie" - (Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren) 1955-1962 - "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (very much of a work in progress) 1962-1965 - "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (this thread will be split into two one day) 2015 - "Hitchcock/Truffaut" (Documentary about the 1962 interview between the two directors) And, for your amusement: Alfred Hitchcock, Lee Meriwether (Miss America 1955!), and two other guests on "What's My Line?"
  21. Ha! I will have you know that I LOVE Jethro Tull, and just the other day was practicing "Too Old To Rock and Roll, Too Young to Die" for future karakoe opportunities. I am especially fond of the faux-Robert-Burns era. Someday I will refine and publish my explanation of how you can tell a lot about a 50-ish white USAian man by what proggish rock group he will admit to having loved. Rush people, Tull people, Yes people, King Crimson people ...
  22. In what is one of the biggest upsets in all of sports in 2016, Sam Querry - an American, which seems almost doubly impossible - has beaten Novak Djokovic, 7-6 (6), 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5). "American Sam Querrey Stuns No. 1 Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon" on espn.go.com
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