Posts Tagged ‘movies’

Blogger in Marathon, Texas.

By John Ruberry

“There’s no law west of Dodge and no God west of the Pecos.”
James Pepper (Ben Johnson) in Chisum.

“The devil in hell, we’re told was chained
A thousand years he there remained
He neither complain nor did he groan
But was determined to start a hell of his own

Where he could torment the souls of men
Without being chained in a prison pen
So he asked the Lord if he had on hand
Anything left when he made this land

The Lord said yes, there’s a plenty on hand
But I left it down by the Rio Grande
The fact is ol’ boy, the stuff is so poor I don’t think you could use it as the hell anymore

But the devil went down to look at the truck
For after lookin’ that over carefully and well
He said this place is too dry for hell
But in order to get it off his hands

The Lord promised the devil to water the land
So trade was closed and deed was given
And the Lord went back to his home in heaven.”
Johnny Cash, Mean As Hell.

Earlier this month Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I spent ten days in Texas, mostly West Texas. And yes, there is law there and there is a God west of the Pecos too.

I covered my economic and political observations of our Texas trip, including what I noticed in the boom towns on the Permian Basin, Midland and Odessa, in a post at Da Tech Guy that is available here. 

Our first stop on note was on the oil producing basin, Monahans Sandhills State Park, where we found the type of dunes you’ll encounter on the Sahara. 

Our first West Texas overnight stop was west of the Pecos, in Fort Stockton, home of what was once the World’s Largest Roadrunner, Paisano Pete.

Then of course we had to visit Marathon, after all, I am the Marathon Pundit. Parts of a sadly overlooked movie, Paris, Texas, were filmed there.

Then it was on to Terlingua, a former mercury mining settlement, turned ghost town, which is now the closest thing to a tourist gateway town to our main destination, Big Bend National Park, where you will discover desert, mountains, and lots of thorns, Cash discusses “thorns” later in his spoken word Mean As Hell piece that I excerpted above.

Big Bend was our main destination for this trip, a gorgeous but little-visited national park because of its isolation. Perched on the border with Mexico on the Rio Grande, it is a seven-hour drive from Dallas and a five-hour drive from San Antonio.

To the west of the national park is Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas’ largest state park, where we kayaked and spent our last day in the Big Bend region. It’s a beautiful park too and well worth at least a day of your time.

The biggest dud of the trip was our attempt to witness the Marfa Lights. Well, we were in Marfa, where much of the George Stevens’ classic Giant was filmed, and the lights, which some people compare to the will o’ the wisp, were not to be found, as is usually the situation every night, despite a viewing stand. Marfa is a leftist outpost where we encountered a human thorn. When picking up a pizza, Mrs. Marathon Pundit was scolded by a cashier in because she was not wearing a mask. In Texas! But my wife held her sandy ground. 

On Easter Sunday it was on to pentagon-shaped Jeff Davis County; yes, it’s named for Jefferson Davis, the president of the confederacy, where we toured historic Fort Davis, a frontier fort that seems to be a time capsule from a John Ford western movie. And we drove on the Davis Mountains Scenic Loop, among the sites of worth there is the McDonald Observatory.

On our way back to Dallas-Fort Worth, we met a Facebook friend in Sweetwater. 

The next day we were back in the Chicago area, the home of grifters, high taxes, and high crime. 

And many human thorns.

Related post:

Texas is success and Illinois is failure.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Via Wikipedia

The Oscar winning 1941 Movie 49th Parallel was available on Amazon Prime this month for free. Despite it being a famous movie and a WW 2 picture I had never seen it. The Basic plot is a German U-Boat is sunk in Hudson Bay but a landing party had been sent ashore to get supplies and so five sailors and an officer are stranded in Canada. It’s 1941 and the US hasn’t officially entered the war so if they can get across that 49th parallel they are safe. The story is about how they encounter Canadians on the way from a Trapper (Laurence Oliver) to a group of German immigrants of a religions sect including a young girl who lost family when a U-Boat sunk their ship ( Glynis Johns ), to a Professor studying the Blackfeet Indians (Leslie Howard) to a Canadian Soldier who has stayed behind his leave (Raymond Massy).

It’s a commentary on the character of Canada and free government vs the Nazi way.

As I watched this picture the portrayal of the Canadian national character that was portrayed was very familiar to me but I was surprised at how familiar the portrayal of the Nazi character was because it was what the Canadian, Australian and in many states run by Democrats, American character is becoming.

What’s horrible is that these nations that stopped Nazism have fallen so far and are so ignorant of what they were and are that they would not likely see what I saw.

What’s even worse is that I suspect a lot of people actually would see how far they have fallen but are too cowardly to acknowledge it because it would require them to act.

That’s the real tragedy here.

Closing thought along that line Manchin and Simena saved the filibuster yesterday in the teeth of their party.

The Wonder isn’t the Manchin and Sinema were willing to save the Filibuster the wonder is that the democrats have fallen so far that two were publicly willing to stand up for it.

Update: OK maybe not such a shock:

Nearly Half of All Democrats — Who Claimed to #Resist Fascism — Support Actual Internment Camps for the Unvaccinated

By John Ruberry

Every once in a while I come across an article on the internet that makes me want to scream in disbelief. Such as is the case with a piece on Salon by Carolyn Hinds with the headline, “Hollywood, please stop adapting K-dramas. It’s not just unnecessary, it’s racist.”

Wow, look who is woke.

While acknowledging adaptation of motion pictures from one culture to another is commonplace, Hinds, who begins one sentence with, “As a Black woman, cultural appropriation is behavior I’m all too familiar with,” unloads on the wave of Hollywood remaking South Korean movies. And she spews this awful offal, “Instead, I’m referring specifically to how Hollywood seems to be making a concerted effort to focus on South Korean – as well Japanese – content, for the sole purpose of remaking the stories to appeal to American audiences, i.e. white audience.”

But as Mark Levin so often responds on his radio show to a recording of some liberal, “Oh, shut up you idiot!”

Hinds calls the Asia-to-Hollywood artistic transfer “whitewashing.”

There are plans in Hollywood to remake the Korean thriller Parasite, a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed and one that I felt was deserving of its Best Picture Oscar. In her Salon piece Hinds brings up other movies from South Korea that were remade by Hollywood, including Oldboy, another fabulous film. The flat American version (or so I’ve heard, I haven’t seen it) was directed by Spike Lee. Il Mare was redone as The Lake House, which starred Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Moving beyond South Korea, Hinds notes that Martin Scorsese’s The Departed was inspired by a Hong Kong flick, Internal Affairs.

No society exists in a vacuum, not even North Korea, which is it should be. Culture crosses borders, as does science as well as political notions. The modern version of democracy comes from the European Enlightenment. The greatest form of government is utilized not just in the United States, but also in South Korea and Japan.

Another South Korean film I enjoyed is The Good, the Bad, the Weird, which as you probably guessed is a remake of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. And weird it is–instead of an American Civil War setting, this Western takes place in Japanese-occupied Manchuria in 1939. Hinds ignores this specific cultural transfer in her Salon piece. The soundtrack of The Good, The Bad, The Weird includes an instrumental rendition of the Animals’ 1965 hit “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” The original was recorded by Nina Simone, an African-American woman.

Moving on to television, do you know that there is a Korean version of the American television series, Designated Survivor?

What about Japan, which Hinds mentioned earlier. The stellar collective of writers here at Da Tech Guy is known as Da Magnificent Seven, a tip of the hat to the 1960 Western that starred Yul Brynner and many others. That film is an acknowledged remake of Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai. The first movie of Leone’s “Dollars Trilogy,” A Fistful of Dollars, is an unacknowledged remake of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo.

Kurosawa, who named John Ford as one of his major influences, filmed a Japanese warlord version of Shakespeare’s King Lear, a brilliant epic, Ran.

So now you know why I called Hinds an idiot.

Dan Bongino on his radio show often notes that the unhinged left run will run out of enemies, so it is doomed to devour itself.

Hey Hollywood: Remake more South Korean and Japanese movies.

Hey South Korea and Japan: Remake more Hollywood movies.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

There are the people in my neighborhood

One of the interesting things about having part of a movie shot in your neighborhood is the number of people who turn up, both your neighbors who you end up talking to and people from around the area. While I went outside a couple of times my wife spent most of the day outside getting up very early and taking photos and videos with the camera I usually use for interviews (which have been few and far between due to work and COVID although I had a pair of Catholic ones this week, more on that tomorrow). She pretty much shot a bunch of one minute clips and a fair amount of photos till she came home tired around 2 and crashed. The biggest take away I got from them was that despite the better pay a lot of acting, at least in movies which aren’t on the same deadline as a weekly TV show, is that like any other job there is a fair amount of tedious repetition.

Because she took so many shots I’m only uploading a few plus three videos. Be aware that the date on the Camera was set wrong. While the shoot had been scheduled for the 7th it was actually done on the 8th.

There are plenty more but I think this gives the gist of what is going on with the police controlling the crowd and traffic and the guys in charge letting people know when to be quiet etc.

I figured the Diner would have done pretty well with these folks but alas for Ed because there were three different days when the shooting might have taken place his regulars stayed away those days and he only got a quick burst of business when they called lunch the day of the shooting which didn’t make up for it.

Anyways here are the three videos here is one with a shot of their car pulling out

My wife shot a lot of those, didn’t upload the others since they were pretty much the same. DaWife says they did it about five times. Each time they pull out, when Clooney calls cut Affleck backs up and they get ready to do it again.

Here is another shot of Clooney joking with the kid and Affleck before another shot. This would be just visible from my front yard.

And finally here is a 3rd shot of him directing the kid before another shot and then the shot itself. The antique cars were parked in the neighborhood for about a week before the shoot but then again I’m old enough that to me they don’t seem like antiques they’re just the cars I remember from the 70’s. In fact my 1st two cars were a 67 Barracuda and a 75 Buick LeSabre both convertables.

My chief interest in all of these is how the work is actually done as I’m not experienced in it. Granted it’s not work in the sense that my dad worked or that I or my sons or my wife do but it’s work and it takes them away from their homes for long periods of time. Granted it would have been cool to get Clooney to sign the season 1 of ER that I bought my wife 20+ years ago and my son had hoped to get a Batman comic signed by both as they each (Clooney meh, Affleck actually very good) played the role but there was none of that.

And frankly in an age of cancel culture where people are looking to bring down folks for saying or doing the wrong thing the last thing you really want to do is mix with a bunch of strangers with cameras any one of whom might hold a grudge and be looking to get their 15 min of fame by giving you grief. That realization precludes Jimmy Stewart’s old advice to Raquel Welch about fans and autographs these days and must be a pain in the neck, particularly if someone happens to be affable by nature who previously enjoyed meeting the fans.

At least the pay is good.

As I said there are a lot more pictures and a lot more video but they seem too repetitive to upload to youtube and given how close to the vest things have been around here I can’t justify the extra bandwidth charges to put them all up. Feel free to hit DaTipJar to offset those costs.