Reading the 20th Century discussion

79 views

Comments Showing 1-50 of 90 (90 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
Have you seen a 20th-century film which casts an interesting light on the period when it was made? Or a new film which takes a look back at a period from the century? This is the place to discuss it.


message 2: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
At the weekend I saw the new film The Death of Stalin - , a black comedy/satire directed by Armando Iannucci. It's based on the graphic novel The Death of Stalin by Fabien Nury.

Has anyone else seen this? I won't post spoilers, but I thought it was very funny, disturbing and clever, portraying Stalin and his henchmen as a band of gangsters. Now I really want to know how much of it is what really happened, so I will need to read something about the real death of Stalin!


message 3: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 146 comments Slightly off topic (but it has to do with films) - I came across this site the other week. I had been looking for a way to track my movie experiences. It is kind of like a GR site, but without the groups. I use it as a movie diary and I suspect that some of us would enjoy it quite a bit.

https://letterboxd.com/


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9868 comments Mod
Re: The Death of Stalin, Judy, I really enjoyed a novel I read this year, The Zoo The Zoo by Christopher Wilson

Here is a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 5: by Pip (new)

Pip | 15 comments Judy wrote: "At the weekend I saw the new film The Death of Stalin - , a black comedy/satire directed by Armando Iannucci. It's based on the graphic novel The Death of Stalin by ..."

I'm really looking forward to seeing this one; comedy-wise, I've heard it to be everything you could hope for from Armando Iannucci. I believe some reviewers have questioned the appropriacy of making light of such a serious subject, although I haven't read said reviews beyond the headlines for fear of spoilers. I tend to think most things can/should be laughed at if treated in the right way, but it might make for an interesting point of discussion in the group!


message 6: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 9409 comments Mod
I agree Pip and, like you, am really looking forward to seeing 'The Death of Stalin'.


message 7: by Pages (new)

Pages | 112 comments I’d like to watch that. I was listening to the Empire podcast and heard Jason Isaacs interview.


message 8: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
I will be interested to hear what you all think of it. Pip, I'm surprised to hear that some reviewers have questioned whether it's appropriate. I didn't feel the black humour did anything to minimise the horror of the regime, any more than say Catch-22 makes light of WW2.

Must look up some of the reviews! But yes this could make for some interesting discussion after more of us have seen it.


message 9: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 320 comments Let's see, of note for this period I've recently-ish watched Loving, Five Came Back, Quiz Show, The Founder, Christine, Florence Foster Jenkins, Hidden Figures, Jackie, The Imitation Game, and then Carol and Howard's End.

Most of them were pretty good, though I didn't really care for Jackie, Christine, or Carol (weird that they're all the ones with women's first names...). I really like anything related to movies, so Five Came Back was really interesting.

I haven't even heard of the Stalin film, but it sounds interesting. If things don't come to streaming, I'm unlikely to know about them these days.


message 10: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
That's quite a batch of films, Bronwyn. I really love Howard's End (both book and film) and I remember liking Quiz Show. More recently I really enjoyed both Hidden Figures and Florence Foster Jenkins (lovely to see Hugh Grant get such a different role in the latter).


message 11: by Judy (last edited Oct 25, 2017 10:46AM) (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Re: The Death of Stalin, Judy, I really enjoyed a novel I read this year, The Zoo The Zoo by Christopher Wilson

Here is a link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...."


Wow Susan, this sounds like a very interesting book, showing Stalin from a different angle. Great review. I'll be adding this to my TBR.


message 12: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 320 comments Judy wrote: "That's quite a batch of films, Bronwyn. I really love Howard's End (both book and film) and I remember liking Quiz Show. More recently I really enjoyed both Hidden Figures and Florence Foster Jenki..."

I had a lot of time while I was on maternity leave. :)

Yes, Hugh Grant was really good in FFJ. Quite the different character for him, indeed. I still need to read Howard's End.


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9868 comments Mod
Bronwyn, so lovely to hear you recently had a baby. Can we ask whether you had a little boy, or a girl? Congratulations.


message 14: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 320 comments Thank you. :) I had a boy on July 18. It's been quite the experience!


message 15: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
Congratulations Bronwyn, that's lovely news.


message 16: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 320 comments Thank you, Judy! :)


message 17: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
On Hugh Grant, I think he has tended to be underrated as an actor because of being typecast as a romantic comedy lead, plus the fact that he puts himself down in interviews. But earlier in his career he did a greater range of roles and it's nice to see him getting more scope again - I think quite a few actors move more into character roles a bit later in their careers.


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9868 comments Mod
What wonderful news, Bronwyn. I am so pleased for you :)


message 19: by Pages (new)

Pages | 112 comments Hi Bronwyn,

I watched Howard’s End. It’s charming. I still haven’t read the book but adored Passage to India so it’s on my watchlist.
I like Hugh Grant. He’s sort of come into his own as he has aged. No longer prancing around with Elle McPherson though I didn’t mind that film :)

I recently watched Bridge of Spies. Mark Rylance is brilliant and Tom Hanks is well tomhanksy. It was really interesting watching the politics play out like a game board. I often watch films like that and think if only they had more women in power back then. Too many men playing the game all by themselves.


message 20: by Pip (new)

Pip | 15 comments Farrah wrote: ".I recently watched Bridge of Spies. Mark Rylance is brilliant and Tom Hanks is well tomhanksy. It was really interesting watching the politics play out like a game board. "

I second this recommendation - it's a wonderful film.


message 21: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
I've just seen The Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, about the famous tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in the 1970s - and also about the fight for equality in women's sport. I really enjoyed it, poignant and with a lot of humour. I used to watch a lot of tennis on TV in the 70s and enjoyed watching Billie Jean.


message 22: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikeynick) | 332 comments Another thread has referred to The Quiet American by Graham Greene, where France's involvement in Vietnam.
I recall in Apocalypse Now (Redux version) there are about 45mins of additional film including a scene where a French family discuss the issues.
I often wonder how much more edits from films we as the viewer would have kept in?


message 23: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
The BFI has put together a 1918 on Film collection which is free to watch on the BFIPlayer:

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/collec...

It includes a lot of short films, many of which are news items to do with the end of WW1, but also films about things like cheese making and May queens, and a full-length 2-hour biopic of Lord Nelson.


message 24: by Pip (new)

Pip | 15 comments Judy wrote: "The BFI has put together a 1918 on Film collection which is free to watch on the BFIPlayer:

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/collec...
"


Wow! What a fabulous resource. I will be wasting a lot of time spending loads of time better educating myself with this. Thanks, Judy!


message 25: by Pip (new)

Pip | 15 comments I don't know if we're including TV in this thread, but somebody somewhere at some point mentioned they were watching Babylon Berlin. Has anyone else seen it? As well as reviving my moribund German, I thought it was really top quality telly. Apparently, the most expensive non-English-language series ever made, and it shows for all the right reasons.
I got The Chap a copy of the book it's based on, Babylon Berlin, for Xmas - though we sort of share a Kindle account, so it was a present for me too ;-) - and I wonder how it fares in comparison.


message 26: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9868 comments Mod
I haven't seen the show, but I picked up Babylon Berlin on kindle ages ago, when it was reduced to 99p, Pip. I must get to it one day, as I have heard good things about it and I like books set in that era and city.


message 27: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
I watched the first couple of episodes of Babylon Berlin but didn’t really get into it - may give it another try though.


message 28: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 320 comments It comes to Netflix here at the end of the month. I'm looking forward to it!


message 29: by Story (new)

Story (storyheart) My local art house cinema recently had a Merchant Ivory festival and we went to re-watch Heat and Dust and The Remains of the Day. Both have aged well, especially Remains.

I'm looking forward to Babylon Berlin too.


message 30: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 9409 comments Mod
The Remains of the Day is both a wonderful book (which I reread recently) and a superb film. I love them both.


message 31: by Story (new)

Story (storyheart) Nigeyb wrote: "The Remains of the Day is both a wonderful book (which I reread recently) and a superb film. I love them both."

I'm looking forward to reading it. I just finished and loved his When We Were Orphans and have decided to try to read all of his books over the coming months.


message 32: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
I love Kazuo Ishiguro and have read all his novels - Storyheart, I also really liked When We Were Orphans. As you enjoyed it, you might also like the Merchant-Ivory film The White Countess, which is also set in 1930s Shanghai and has an original screenplay by Ishiguro - I thought this was excellent and was sad there isn't a book.

I didn't think his most recent book, The Buried Giant, was very good, but apart from that I've loved just about all of them.


message 33: by Story (new)

Story (storyheart) Judy wrote: As you enjoyed it, you might also like the Merchant-Ivory film The White Countess, which is also set in 1930s Shanghai and has an original screenplay by Ishiguro - I thought this was excellent and was sad there isn't a book.

I didn't think his most recent book, The Buried Giant, was very good, but apart from that I've loved just about all of them. ..."


Thanks for telling me about The White Countess. I'll check it out.
I didn't love Buried Giant either but it did linger with me for days after reading so I may try it again as an audiobook.


message 34: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
Pip wrote: "Judy wrote: "The BFI has put together a 1918 on Film collection which is free to watch on the BFIPlayer:

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/collec...
"

Wow! What a fabulous resource. ..."


Thanks, Pip - glad it appeals. I also intend to spend quite a bit of time watching these!


message 35: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4538 comments Mod
Thought I'd share this article from The Guardian by Simon Jenkins, where he voices his concern over dramas "inspired by reality", such as TV series The Crown and some scenes in the new Churchill biopic Darkest Hour.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentis...

I wouldn't go as far as Jenkins, but I do often find when watching something like this that I'm wondering exactly what is true and what isn't - and if something is obviously made up, like the Tube scene he mentions here in Darkest Hour, you have to ask how much of the rest is true?


message 36: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 9409 comments Mod
Thanks Judy - that's a v good point that Jenkins makes


message 37: by Sue (new)

Sue (mrskipling) | 221 comments Judy wrote: "Thought I'd share this article from The Guardian by Simon Jenkins, where he voices his concern over dramas "inspired by reality", such as TV series The Crown and some scenes in the ..."

Judy thanks so much for posting these links. The article is interesting in itself but I also like the sound of a couple of the books he has written. Mission Accomplished? and Thatcher and Sons: A Revolution in Three Acts.

I'm currently reading If Only They Didn't Speak English: Adventures in America - The Most Foreign Land on Earth and I'm finding it illuminating to read a longer account of a journalist's point of view instead of the 'sound bites' we usually get.


message 38: by Pip (new)

Pip | 15 comments Judy wrote: "I watched the first couple of episodes of Babylon Berlin but didn’t really get into it - may give it another try though."

I imagine it is quite a love/hate series. I did find parts of the story quite confusing, despite having a reasonable knowledge of the time period. But the actors and the cinematography are a joy to watch. I learnt to let the more complex 'mystery' side of things wash over me and just enjoy the ambience!


message 39: by Pip (new)

Pip | 15 comments Judy wrote: "Thought I'd share this article from The Guardian by Simon Jenkins, where he voices his concern over dramas "inspired by reality", such as TV series The Crown and some scenes in the ..."

I've only just skimmed through the article and haven't had time to fully absorb it yet; but one sentence towards the end stands out for me: "I am sure historians will one day find time to correct Hollywood’s version of history: they have spent four centuries trying to correct Shakespeare’s."

For me, this sums up the whole misunderstanding that both artists (including film-makers, novelists etc), their audiences and historians have of historical fiction.

Bearing in mind that the past is already somebody's interpretation of it - that's what makes history so interesting in my opinion! - when I watch a film or read a novel based on real historical events, I KNOW they are further embellishments of not "the truth", but of certain historians' understanding of it. I do get annoyed when factual inaccuracies creep in, but I find interpretation and exploration of the facts fascinating.

I've got a bit of a problem lately with the rash of patriotic British film/tv that's come out recently, mostly if I'm honest as a knee-jerk reaction due to Brexit. Dunkirk was a prime example. The Crown too, possibly, but I haven't seen it.
I haven't seen the Churchill film either, but will do at some point if for no other reason than loving Gary Oldman's performances.

But anyway - whether you're watching Shakespeare's Richard III or reading Josephine Tay's The Daughter of Time, it should be fairly evident these days that we're experiencing a literary theory of what actually happened during the reign of Richard III. Maybe the problem with Churchill et al is that they're still too close to home?

Crikey, that was a right waffle....


message 40: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 9409 comments Mod
Pip wrote: "I've got a bit of a problem lately with the rash of patriotic British film/tv that's come out recently, mostly if I'm honest as a knee-jerk reaction due to Brexit. Dunkirk was a prime example. The Crown too, possibly, but I haven't seen it."

I agree that these films, at this time, feed into a troubling and unhelpful narrative, but, on the other hand, if the films encourage people to investigate and try to make sense of the past for themselves it could be a more positive thing. I am not sure to what extent that happens for the majority though.


message 41: by Pages (new)

Pages | 112 comments I just watched The Darkest Hour. I thought it was very good. The makeup of Gary Oldman is brilliant- you completely forget that it’s Gary Oldman at all.
I’m watching The Crown on Netflix, I think it’s very well done.

If films like these encourage viewers to find out more about history, I think that is a good thing.


message 42: by Bronwyn (new)

Bronwyn (nzfriend) | 320 comments Pip wrote: "Judy wrote: "I watched the first couple of episodes of Babylon Berlin but didn’t really get into it - may give it another try though."

I imagine it is quite a love/hate series. I did find parts of..."


I watched Babylon Berlin over the long weekend. I really liked parts of it and others not so much. I was definitely a bit confused at parts, so I'm glad it's not just me! I liked the main actors. I wanted to see more of the club Lotte worked at. I don't know how it was there, but it's all as one season on Netflix, but you could tell where the original season break was, and I'm looking forward to what happens after these 16 episodes.


message 43: by CQM (new)

CQM Anybody else here become infatuated with Talking Pictures as much as I have?
http://talkingpicturestv.co.uk/
It's superb, a selection of rarely seen old movies and the odd old TV show with occasional little segments called glimpses featuring old educational shorts (I watched a particularly intriguing one in which Charles Hawtrey, among others, teaches you how to refuel your motorbike correctly) and BFI snippets.
It's absolutely ace and I'm sure those of you here who can pick it up will enjoy it.
Best of all it's run by three people... Read about it here.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/lon...


message 44: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 9409 comments Mod
Sounds wonderful CQM - I just need to work out how to get it. It's not on my Virgin (basic) package which is weird seeing as it's on Freeview. My TV is so archaic that I can only get TV through my Virgin box. Sometime I need to upgrade my telly and I guess, once I've done this, I can get this spiffy sounding channel.


message 45: by CQM (new)

CQM Nigeyb wrote: "Sounds wonderful CQM - I just need to work out how to get it. It's not on my Virgin (basic) package which is weird seeing as it's on Freeview. My TV is so archaic that I can only get TV through my ..."

It's most definitely ace!
I'm fairly certain you'd love it.
When It first appeared on freeview a few months back I had to retune to find it.


message 46: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikeynick) | 332 comments Talking Pictures is a great channel.
My mother loves it and occasionally I need to retune her TV and Digitial Receiver.
Some well films on their too.
ah films with story.


message 47: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikeynick) | 332 comments Nigeyb - you can buy a separate freeview decoder for well less than £50 from high street retailers rather than £450 on a new fully HD 42 inch TV with built in everything.


message 48: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 9409 comments Mod
Thanks Michael - that sounds like a good option


message 49: by Sue (last edited Feb 22, 2018 04:08AM) (new)

Sue (mrskipling) | 221 comments CQM wrote: "Anybody else here become infatuated with Talking Pictures as much as I have?
http://talkingpicturestv.co.uk/
It's superb, a selection of rarely seen old movies and the odd old TV show with occasion..."


Thanks for posting this - I'd never heard of this before but it's brilliant! I've just looked at the schedule for this week. I would have watched The Winslow Boy (sadly already aired) as I have the version with Jeremy Northam / Nigel Hawthorne but this is the Robert Donat one which I haven't seen. Never mind though, at tea time today is The Magnificent Two - a couple of hours with Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise is a fine way to spend the afternoon!


message 50: by CQM (new)

CQM Sue wrote: "CQM wrote: "Anybody else here become infatuated with Talking Pictures as much as I have?
http://talkingpicturestv.co.uk/
It's superb, a selection of rarely seen old movies and the odd old TV show w..."


Glad to have been if assistance!


« previous 1
back to top