Thursday, February 28, 2019
How often do we roam the channels looking for titillation?
Not pornography, but exciting interesting.
Roaming often produces sweet screen results.
Several weeks ago I found Ozark which I happily binged for some nights.
But yesterday, while roaming, I came across the three-episode series called Five Came Back.
It has opened many doors.
First is the series itself.
A unique way to learn some history.
Then comes the focus on five terrific directors, and seeing them involved in world events.
And then comes a list of thirteen documentaries that I will definitely watch.
Television isn’t what it used to be.
Thank God for that.
Thursday, February 28, 2019
My 322nd consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
Time is 12.01am.
On Thursday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 30* with a feels-like temperature of 23* and flurries always possible.
We should be walking around on a beautiful snow cover of 3” in Boston.
Dinner is burger at the Four Seasons’ Bristol Lounge.
Love the service and the elegance.
Tick Tock : Tracking Time, Marking Calendars, and Deep Weather thoughts
322 posts to date.
Today we’re at the 6.44% mark of my commitment,
the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.
The 5,000-posts commitment will take 13.69 years, taking me to a new phase of my life.
We will see thirteen “Winter-Spring Shoulder Season Calendar, Feb 14 to April 7,” before that happens.
But it will.
Today our winter-spring shoulder calendar features cold weather. Cold, as in ‘Shoulder season? my elbow.’
As in the dead of winter.
As in yesterday as well.
The end of days below 40* is nowhere in sight.
Darn depressing if you ask me.
Question of the Day
What is Five Came Back?
Elephant jokes to tell at a bar:
Who lost a herd of elephants?
Big Bo Peep.
Love your notes.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
From Edward Mclaughlin re: the Robert Kraft posting
What a timely, thought provoking narrative. Dom, well done, well done, indeed
Web Meister Responds: Thanks Ed. The encouragement is important.
Answer to the Question of the Day
Five Came Back is an American documentary based on the 2014 book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by journalist Mark Harris.
It was released as a stand-alone documentary in New York and Los Angeles, and as a three-part series on Netflix, on March 31, 2017.
The documentary focuses on five directors – John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens – whose war-related works are analyzed by modern filmmakers, respectively Paul Greengrass, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, and Lawrence Kasdan.
Meryl Streep, who serves as narrator, won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Narrator for her performance.
John Ford (February 1, 1894 – August 31, 1973) was an American film director.
He is renowned both for Westerns such as Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), as well as adaptations of classic 20th-century American novels such as the film The Grapes of Wrath (1940).
His four Academy Awards for Best Director (in 1935, 1940, 1941, and 1952) remain a record. One of the films for which he won the award, How Green Was My Valley, also won Best Picture.
In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Ford directed more than 140 films (although most of his silent films are now lost) and he is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers of his generation. Ford's work was held in high regard by his colleagues, with Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman among those who have named him one of the greatest directors of all time.
Ford made frequent use of location shooting and long shots, in which his characters were framed against a vast, harsh, and rugged natural terrain.
William Wyler (July 1, 1902 – July 27, 1981) was an American film director, producer and screenwriter.
Notable works include Ben-Hur (1959), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), and Mrs. Miniver (1942), all of which won Academy Awards for Best Director, as well as Best Picture in their respective years, making him the only director of three Best Picture winners as of 2018.
Wyler received his first Oscar nomination for directing Dodsworth in 1936, starring Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor, "sparking a 20-year run of almost unbroken greatness."
Film historian Ian Freer calls Wyler a "bona fide perfectionist", whose penchant for retakes and an attempt to hone every last nuance, "became the stuff of legend."
His ability to direct a string of classic literary adaptations into huge box-office and critical successes made him one of "Hollywood's most bankable moviemakers" during the 1930s and 1940s and into the 60's.
Through his talent for staging, editing, and camera movement, he turned dynamic theatrical spaces into cinematic ones.
He helped propel a number of actors to stardom, finding and directing Audrey Hepburn in her Hollywood debut film, Roman Holiday (1953), and directing Barbra Streisand in her debut film, Funny Girl (1968).
Both of these performances won Academy Awards.
He directed Olivia de Havilland to her second Oscar in The Heiress (1949) and Laurence Olivier in Wuthering Heights (1939), for his first Oscar nomination.
Olivier credited Wyler with teaching him how to act for the screen.
And Bette Davis, who received three Oscar nominations under his direction and won her second Oscar in Jezebel (1938), said Wyler made her a "far, far better actress" than she had ever been.
John Marcellus Huston (August 5, 1906 – August 28, 1987) was an American film director, screenwriter and actor.
He wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951), The Misfits (1961), Fat City (1972) and The Man Who Would Be King (1975).
During his 46-year career, Huston received 15 Oscar nominations, won twice, and directed both his father, Walter Huston, and daughter, Anjelica Huston, to Oscar wins in different films.
Huston was known to direct with the vision of an artist, having studied and worked as a fine art painter in Paris in his early years.
He continued to explore the visual aspects of his films throughout his career, sketching each scene on paper beforehand, then carefully framing his characters during the shooting.
While most directors rely on post-production editing to shape their final work, Huston instead created his films while they were being shot, making them both more economical and cerebral, with little editing needed.
Some of Huston's films were adaptations of important novels, often depicting an "heroic quest," as in Moby Dick, or The Red Badge of Courage.
In many films, different groups of people, while struggling toward a common goal, would become doomed, forming "destructive alliances," giving the films a dramatic and visual tension. Many of his films involved themes such as religion, meaning, truth, freedom, psychology, colonialism and war.
Huston has been referred to as "a titan", "a rebel", and a "renaissance man" in the Hollywood film industry. Author Ian Freer describes him as "cinema's Ernest Hemingway"—a filmmaker who was "never afraid to tackle tough issues head on.
Frank Russell Capra (born Francesco Rosario Capra; May 18, 1897 – September 3, 1991) was an Italian American film director, producer and writer who became the creative force behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s.
Born in Italy and raised in Los Angeles from the age of five, his rags-to-riches story has led film historians such as Ian Freer to consider him the "American Dream personified."
Capra became one of America's most influential directors during the 1930s, winning three Academy Awards for Best Director from six nominations, along with three other Oscar wins from nine nominations in other categories.
Among his leading films were It Happened One Night (1934), You Can't Take It with You (1938), and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939); Capra was nominated as Best Director and as producer for Academy Award for Best Picture on all three films, winning both awards on the first two.
George Cooper Stevens (December 18, 1904 – March 8, 1975) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter and cinematographer.
Among his most notable films are A Place in the Sun (1951; winner of six Academy Awards including Best Director), Shane (1953; Oscar nominated), Giant (1956; Oscar for Best Director), and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959; nominated for Best Director).
In 1934 he got his first directing job, the slapstick Kentucky Kernels.
His big break came when he directed Katharine Hepburn in Alice Adams in 1935.
He went on in the late 1930s to direct several Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire movies, not only with the two actors together, but on their own.
In 1940, he directed Carole Lombard in Vigil in the Night, and the film has an alternative ending for European audiences in recognition of World War II, which at the time the U.S. had not yet entered.
During World War II, Stevens joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps and headed a film unit from 1943 to 1946, under General Eisenhower.
His unit shot footage documenting D-Day—including the only Allied European Front color film of the war—the liberation of Paris and the meeting of American and Soviet forces at the Elbe River, as well as horrific scenes from the Duben labor camp and the Dachau concentration camp.
Stevens also helped prepare the Duben and Dachau footage and other material for presentation during the Nuremberg Trials.
In 2008, his footage was entered into the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as an "essential visual record" of World War II.
One result of his World War II experiences was that his subsequent films became more dramatic.
The motion picture I Remember Mama from 1948 was the last movie that he made with comic scenes.
He was responsible for such classic films as A Place in the Sun, Shane, The Diary of Anne Frank, Giant and The Greatest Story Ever Told.
He ended his directing career with the 1970 film The Only Game in Town with Warren Beatty and Elizabeth Taylor.
In the same year, he was head of the jury at the 20th Berlin International Film Festival.
In 1973 he was a member of the jury at the 8th Moscow International Film Festival.
These were the five US Military directors, the Five Came Back.
The five directors return to Hollywood after the war but are forever haunted by what they saw. Ford goes on a drinking bender after filming the carnage at D-Day.
Stevens is wholly unprepared for the horrors of Dachau and realizes he is not there to film propaganda but to capture evidence of crimes against humanity.
Wyler, who lost his hearing during the war, fears his career is over.
Huston chronicles soldiers suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder in the film Let There Be Light, only to have it suppressed by the U.S. government.
The filmmakers studied more than 100 hours of newsreel and archival footage, and more than 40 documentaries and training films created by the five directors during the war.
They also reviewed 50 studio films by the directors and more than 30 hours of raw footage from their war films.
Director Laurent Bouzereau, who has extensive experience documenting films and directors, introduced the idea of interviewing five current directors for the project.
Episode 1: "The Mission Begins"
March 31, 2017
The series looks at the backgrounds of the five directors as World War II begins and their motives for helping the war effort.
John Ford's The Battle of Midway was approved directly by President Franklin D. Roosevelt while Frank Capra fights to get Why We Fight made.
Episode 2: "Combat Zones"
March 31, 2017
The directors learn their vision for the films is not always permissible by the U.S. government. Wyler is shocked by the racism he encounters against African American soldiers and refused to make a film recruiting black soldiers.
Meanwhile, the films' racist depiction of the Japanese versus human depiction of the Germans causes worry for the War Department, which at that time planned to redistribute the Japanese-American population from internment camps into towns across the United States.
Episode 3: "The Price of Victory"
March 31, 2017
Netflix is also streaming the 13 documentaries discussed in the film:
The Battle of Midway (1942, John Ford)
Prelude to War (1942, Frank Capra)
The Battle of Russia (1943, Frank Capra)
Undercover: How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines (1943, John Ford)
Report from the Aleutians (1943, John Huston)
The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944, William Wyler)
The Negro Soldier (1944, Stuart Heisler; produced by Frank Capra)
Tunisian Victory (1944, John Huston)
Know Your Enemy: Japan (1945, Frank Capra)
The Battle of San Pietro (1945, John Huston)
Nazi Concentration Camps (1945, George Stevens)
Let There Be Light (1946, John Huston)
Thunderbolt (1947, William Wyler)
Good Morning on this Thursday, the 28th day of February.
We talked about roaming on television and time, the calendar, the weather, burgers at the Bristol Lounge.
We posted a comment from Ed Mclaughlin and another elephant joke.
And then talked about the series called Five Came Back.
And now? Now gotta go.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.