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Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!

Rick Fielding 14 Mar 01 - 02:12 AM
Seamus Kennedy 14 Mar 01 - 02:50 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 14 Mar 01 - 04:03 AM
Sourdough 14 Mar 01 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 14 Mar 01 - 05:50 AM
Banjer 14 Mar 01 - 06:07 AM
Banjer 14 Mar 01 - 06:10 AM
John P 14 Mar 01 - 07:41 AM
Naemanson 14 Mar 01 - 08:08 AM
Mr Red 14 Mar 01 - 08:31 AM
SINSULL 14 Mar 01 - 08:57 AM
Big Mick 14 Mar 01 - 09:13 AM
Grab 14 Mar 01 - 09:14 AM
Wesley S 14 Mar 01 - 09:30 AM
wysiwyg 14 Mar 01 - 09:41 AM
catspaw49 14 Mar 01 - 09:48 AM
Allan C. 14 Mar 01 - 09:55 AM
Whistle Stop 14 Mar 01 - 09:58 AM
catspaw49 14 Mar 01 - 10:04 AM
Jeri 14 Mar 01 - 10:07 AM
catspaw49 14 Mar 01 - 10:16 AM
Sorcha 14 Mar 01 - 10:21 AM
Justa Picker 14 Mar 01 - 10:30 AM
Kim C 14 Mar 01 - 10:32 AM
Giac 14 Mar 01 - 10:57 AM
mousethief 14 Mar 01 - 11:06 AM
RWilhelm 14 Mar 01 - 11:18 AM
Bert 14 Mar 01 - 11:45 AM
Peter T. 14 Mar 01 - 11:53 AM
Wesley S 14 Mar 01 - 12:07 PM
Bat Goddess 14 Mar 01 - 12:12 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Mar 01 - 12:31 PM
Mr Red 14 Mar 01 - 12:41 PM
Jeri 14 Mar 01 - 12:45 PM
Whistle Stop 14 Mar 01 - 12:57 PM
Bert 14 Mar 01 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Les B. 14 Mar 01 - 01:06 PM
Bert 14 Mar 01 - 01:12 PM
catspaw49 14 Mar 01 - 01:22 PM
Bert 14 Mar 01 - 01:27 PM
Kim C 14 Mar 01 - 01:29 PM
SINSULL 14 Mar 01 - 01:44 PM
Steve Latimer 14 Mar 01 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Bruce O 14 Mar 01 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Les B. 14 Mar 01 - 01:54 PM
Naemanson 14 Mar 01 - 01:55 PM
wysiwyg 14 Mar 01 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Pete peterson at work 14 Mar 01 - 02:20 PM
Bert 14 Mar 01 - 02:22 PM
Lonesome EJ 14 Mar 01 - 02:37 PM
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Subject: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:12 AM

Yeah, it's true. Mea Culpa. I don't necessarily mean folk music, 'cause after all, I'm a city boy who loves rural music, most of it learned from recordings, and I play and sing the way I play and sing....hardly authentic, even though I've done a lot of homework, and I try not to mess the songs up too badly.

BUT....I can't bear to see movies where they don't pay attention to detail!! Like....

"Bound For Glory", where Woody is 6'4" and plays a Mossman Golden Era (without a case yet!)

"Midnight Special", showing Leadbelly and Blind Lemon playing VERY jazzy hot leads on a train. Get serious!

"Matewan", (a serious attempt) showing immigrants playing little Hohner Harmonicas, while the sound track is that of a CHROMATIC harp!

Countless Westerns with circa 1930s (and much later) guitars, and it's supposed to be 1860.

"The Color Purple" where every spontaneous musical moment seems very carefully rehearsed (and with perfect voices)

The most authentic music movie I've seen is "The Fabulous Baker Boys". Didn't whine or complain about a darned thing in that one.

Well I guess I'm an authenticity nurd when it comes to Bluegrass (I hate the term "Folk Nazi"...it implies something much deeper than having a bit of fun with our music likes and dislikes). I'm simply a sucker for "the traditional sound, the traditional look...and sad to say...the traditional instruments (well, dobro's fine, so I'm not completely narrow minded)

My paranoia also runs to "bad edits" in films, boom mike shadows, and to make matters worse, I'm always asking Duckboots where the plot is at! Probably missed an important detail while I was wondering how a five string banjo was coming out sounding like a four string one on the soundtrack.

It's tough being "anal" when you wanna be loose!

'course when it comes to clothes, cars, health, mortages, tax forms, and most "adult" things, I couldn't care less!

Anyone else who sometimes can't see the forest for the trees?

Rick


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:50 AM

Rick, how about movies set in the Highlands of Scotland, where the sound of the pipes echoing over the braes is the sound of Uilleann pipes? I've always wanted to see an Uilleann Pipe Marching Band in a St. Patrick's Day parade, with thirty or forty pipers bent over, shuffling down the street like Quasimodo on his way to work, their elbows pumping like hell as they try to keep in step with the tempo. Don't suppose I ever will, though.

All the best.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 04:03 AM

Ignorance is a wonderful thing, saves me fretting too much over these, as I miss most of them. However, when I DO notice (altos on screen, tenors or baritones, sax that is, on soundtrack; full orch. on soundtrack, small group on screen) I DO get annoyed.
I love that scene in Blazing Saddles when the cowboys gallop by to the off-screen music of Count Basie, come round a corner and there's the full CB Orch. playing in the desert.
I enjoy corny musicals but always annoy Herself by banging on about the fact that the numbers you see them rehearse throughout the film are never the ones they play when the show opens. Not to mention the Busby Berkeley dance routines that no-one in the audience could see except the man on the overhead camera!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Sourdough
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 04:57 AM

I remember talking to someone at a studio who had to handle letters from people who wrote about flaws they had found in a movie. One complaint that stands out was about a movie set in England in the fifteenth century, perhaps about a Crusade. This sharp-eyed person had noticed that the arrows used by the knights and yeomen were fletched with turkey feathers. Since the New World was yet to be discovered, unless Leif Erickson or one of the other unsung pre-Columbian visitors happened to bring home a very large flock of turkeys, this was an impossibilty. It struck me that this search for authenticity had gone a bit far when this man complained that the inclusion of turkey feathers had "ruined the movie" for him.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 05:50 AM

I get that way with archaeology in movies - anachronistic bits and pieces that just didn't/couldn't have worked or been like that. It annoys me, but it probably annoys the people I'm watching with even more.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Banjer
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 06:07 AM

My pet peeve, and it may have already been covered above is when the two lead characters are out in the woods or other desolate area and he decides to sing into her nose, or visa versa (she into his) and what we hear is a full studio version of the song complete with a whole symphony backup. They are out there miles from anywhere, where did they hide the music? My wife just suggested it is the echoes from within their respective noses that we hear!

The second pet peeve is the low budget films where the wagon train, car or other conveyeance has traveled for countless miles and keeps passing the same landmark...


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Banjer
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 06:10 AM

Rick, I forgot to mention...This feeling of finding these things doesn't, in my opinion, make anyone an authenticity nurd. It is human nature to feel that one has more intelligence than what the director or other pesonell responsible for continuity, etc of a movie give the viewer credit for. Sort of an insult to our intelligence if you will. That may be why I haven't bothered to go see a movie for years and except for some oldies that I have on VHS, don't watch much at home either.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: John P
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 07:41 AM

The ones that bother me the worst are movies that show a musician playing music but don't even try to make it look real. All those fingers flopping around aimlessly on the fretboard. Remember Gerard Depardieu in "Tous les matins du monde". Such beautiful music, so stupidly presented.

One movie where they did a good job of showing a musician playing was "Truly Madly Deeply" with Alan Rickman as a dead cellist. For the music playing scenes they had a real cellist hide on the floor behind him and reach around him and actually play the music. They managed some great realistic-looking scenes of Alan Rickman's face, hand (or so we thought), and cello neck all being on screen at the same time.

John


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Naemanson
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 08:08 AM

Nope! No problems for me. I recognize that Hollywood is staffed by the same kids who, 10 years ago, couldn't find the US on a map of the hemisphere (and have no idea what a hemisphere is). Also, I don't have the musical ability or ear to be able to tell the difference between Hohner and Chromatic harmonicas, five string and four string banjos, etc. That plus a very low threshold at which I suspend my disbelief makes me a perfect candidate for watching these movies.

But there are things that annoy me. This includes obvious gaps in logic and circumstance such as the wagon train going by the same landmark throughout the movie. In Star Trek Voyager they seem to vacilate between whether or not you can beam someone through the shields.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 08:31 AM

Steel Magnolias

At the Gloucester Cajun Fest (end Jan) the dance workshop leader was amazed at the one dance move in the film and paid 20 quid to have each frame slowed down to a second and guess what? The film was spliced.

Knot good?


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 08:57 AM

Shogun - made for TV. It opens with an overhead shot of Richard Chamberlain and his ship. Anyone else notice the shadow of the helicopter on the water? For the whole shot, not just a brief glimpse. Drove me crazy.

"THe Last Confederate Widow Tells All", another made for TV travesty. At the ceremony honoring Confederate war heroes, the band is playing "Marching Through Georgia". With all the money they spend on making these epics, why can't they get the simple things right?


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 09:13 AM

Seamus, that absolutely makes me crazy, with the Uillean pipes. And it would be so easy to just use a smallpipe. And how about a huge blockbuster movie about a Scottish national hero in which all the men are running around wearing a kilt at least 3 centuries before the Scots were wearing them in the style and manner portrayed. I crack up when I see the re-enactors dressed as Wallace/Gibson. Wasn't that way, fellas, but you do look cool.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Grab
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 09:14 AM

The green Beetle in Bullitt, as a followup to Banjer's pet peeve.

Musical-wise, it annoys me when they either (a) overdub with an obviously studio-recorded soundtrack, or (b) they get a different person to do the singing. The change in voice and tone is very jarring.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Wesley S
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 09:30 AM

Yeah - I hate seeing the "guitarists" who look like they're holding a baseball bat as opposed to playing chords. That's why I was so suprised that Audrey Hepburn was making with real chord shapes during "Breakfast at Tiffinys" { SP? }. The same thing with Kirk Douglas in "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea". I doubt that either performed on the soundtrack but at least someone taught them how to fake it well.

But I've always loved the contrails during Biblical battle epics.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 09:41 AM

Well Rick, admitting you have a problem can be a big first step.

You say you want to loosen up... well I thought that the word was always spelled [nErd]... so given your own association of this with being overly anal... could you bring yourself not to spell it [nurd]? Strictly to loosen things up I mean.

*G*

My own movie continuity peeves are more low class I'm afraid. Gidget runs through the piazza of Italy chased by the cops, with Moondoggie. She has a very silly hat obscuring her view before they start out, and removes it. As she runs through about four minutes of film, though, it's off, it's on, it's off-- after she has defintiely removed the hat, and there is NO WAY she could have gotten it back on while racing up and down steps and around corners! Bad edits. And her HAIR? She has perfect, tightly-flipped hair in one shot, and a moment later it's fallen nearly straight? Well, maybe, that CAN happen, but in a movie with industrial-strength hairspray?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 09:48 AM

Anybody see the old "Columbo" episode where Johnny Cash plays a guitar lick that he never could have played?

And Grab, yeah the Beetle, but the classic is seeing the Charger go out the other end of the gas station after it has blown up.

The more you know about something the worse this gets too. Although I catch most of the musical ones, I completely missed Rick's "Matewan" faux pas as Rick's ear and ability is far better tuned to that than mine. If its a subject you know well, the frustration gets worse. I watch racing movies for the laughs. The only one that has ever come marginally close is "LeMans" and it too had its humorous moments.

The use of stock footage also gets ridiculous......Japanese Zero (played by a "Kate" instead) shoots down Corsair but oddly enough a Hellcat crashes. And how many times are we going to see that B-17 with the wing on fire and breaking off as it drops out of sight? Also, does that German pilot who bails out of the 109 get any royalties? The poor guy and his flaming 109 have played Brits in Spits, Japanese in Zekes, and Americans in everything.........Actually, I always wonder if he survived.

I used to get a lot more worked up, but anymore its all just a form of humor and a game......."Find The Foul-Up".........After you see ol' Ed Wood's "Plan Nine From Outer Space" you realize that anything is possible!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Allan C.
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 09:55 AM

I am always amazed, in those scenes in which the stars spontaneously burst into song, at how quickly the bystanders learn the lyrics and even sing heretofore unheard verses! Add to that the unlikelihood that bystanders would even bother to sing at all in real life. God knows how difficult it is to get an audience to sing along when you want them to.

Five-string banjos appear in many portrayals of historic scenes long before they were created.

Automobiles, telephone lines, jet trails and even mountainside firecuts (those clearcut lanes that help to prevent the spread of forest fires,) all appear as anachronisms in the backgrounds of many movies.

And when is Hollywood going to catch on that the Old West was not all White and in fact had a HUGE Black population of cowboys, etc.? (This is most certainly a rhetorical question - I know the answer!)


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 09:58 AM

Yeah, I'm the same way, Rick. I couldn't get past the flaws in "Bound For Glory," either (although I missed the chromatic harp in "Matewan" -- loved that movie). I seem to recall having a similar reaction to Jane Campion's "The Piano" -- bounce a piano over the high seas in a 19th-century sailing ship, have it survive being offloaded and left on an Australian beach, and the thing still plays perfecly in tune! And there are always plenty of movies with actors playing musicians but not having a clue about what to do with their hands. I also agree with you that "The Fabulous Baker Boys" was an exception to the rule -- in fact, I thought it captured the life of a working musician pretty well.

The thing that really gets me has nothing to do with music, though -- it's movies that try to show a war without showing appreciable amounts of blood and gore. Not that I necessarily want to see blood and gore, but war isn't really believable without it, you know? One of the worst of these (in recent times) was Ted Turner's "Gettysburg"; mass slaughter on a truly monumental scale, yet scarcely a drop of blood to be seen.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 10:04 AM

Let's talk "Titanic".............The list of accuracy screw-ups is endless, but there is also the "reality break" you are asked to take when the guy and the girl make about two thousand trips from one end of the ship to the other, covering at least 9 deck levels.........while its bow down and listing..........and they're barely even winded!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 10:07 AM

The whole Scottish movie thing was a royal mess, Seamus. And yes, I did notice all the lovely Uillean pipes in movies like Braveheart and Rob Roy.

Now let's talk about Braveheart. Great movie because it's got Mel Gibson in it, but historical accuracy went straight to hell. The scene that was supposed to be at Stirling Bridge had no bridge in it. Wallace usually wore suits and armor in battle, not a kilt, although there wouldn't have been any good bum shots if he'd had armor on, and that whole scene where the Scots waved their private parts at the English would have become a lot more complicated. A friend pointed out the swords were from the wrong place and time - German I think.

The thing with details is, once you notice something not-quite-right, it seems to nag at you and be impossible to let go.

Brett, I notice stuff in Star Trek as well. If somebody's body gets messed up, why not use the transporter to beam them somewhere in their un-messed up body? They did it way back in Kirk's time - did they forget about it?


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 10:16 AM

No Jeri, they just realized that beaming them about resulted in weight gain and a bad rug.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 10:21 AM

From "North and South".......these are the only two I remember, but I'm sure there were more. In the ballroom scene, one of the extras swigs out of a Pepsi can, and in a scene shot on a front porch, the outline of a car is visible through the vines at the end of the porch.

Let's see if this works: Google results for movie goofs. Should be lotsa clickies....


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Justa Picker
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 10:30 AM

When they say "new" and "improved" taste in cat food....how do we really know?


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Kim C
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 10:32 AM

Let's talk about "Buffalo Girls." Entertaining movie, historically a piece of crap, based on the bogus diary of a woman who claimed to be the daughter of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok.

Reba McEntire played Annie Oakley in this movie. Basically she was Reba in an Annie Oakley costume. She still looked like Reba, she still talked like Reba... even though Annie was from the Midwest (i.e., no Oklahoma accent) and had Long Straight Brown Hair. I thought the purpose of Acting was to Convince People that You Are The Person You're Trying To Portray. How foolish of me.

Mister is one of those people you hate to watch movies with. "They didn't make that pistol until 1875." "They're not shooting black powder. The smoke isn't right." "Civilians wouldn't have had that gun until blahblahblah."

My favorite historical movie: The Long Riders. Sticks to the facts better than any other I have seen, and the soundtrack is pretty darn good too.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Giac
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 10:57 AM

Twister - Although there were many goofs, the most obvious was when the heroes were in a truck and being assaulted by a funnel. A piece of farm equipment meets with the windshield on the passenger side, breaks the glass, complete with breaking glass sounds. Cut. Next scene, conversation continues, but with whole windshield.

True Grit - Fort Smith, Arkansas, and its immediate environs are flat as a flitter. Yet in the movie one sees huge snowcapped mountain peaks (Arkansas mountains are rounded). Kim Darby frequently made reference to being from Dardanelle in Yell County. If she were, she would not have said, in a clipped voice: Dar-da-nelle in Yell Coun-ty. She'd 'a said Dardnail in Yale Canty, just like the rest of us.

Babe - Pig has muddy feet. Next shot, Pig has clean feet. Next shot, Pig has muddy feet.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 11:06 AM

As a charter member of NERD (Nerds Enraged at the Republicans and Democrats), I am glad you spelled it "nurd" because, not being a word, this is not our acronym and thus you weren't claiming to be member of our group.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: RWilhelm
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 11:18 AM

I can usually live with Hollywood musical inaccuracies (unless the film is about an actual musician) because I know the general audience doesn't really care. Occasionally, though, it can be downright distracting. I love Scott Joplin and "The Sting" is an otherwise great movie, but why ragtime in a movie about the 1930's?


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bert
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 11:45 AM

Some are just too outrageous, like the square dance caller in Giant who turns around and talks to someone behind him and all the time the call is coming out over the speakers and the dancers are still dancing.

And then there are the mandatory climbing through the ventilation duct scenes. There are two things wrong with those, that EVERY movie & TV show gets wrong.
1. The duct outlets in every room are rarely larger than 8 inches and often much smaller.
2.Sections of duct are screwed together with lots of sheet metal screw that have very sharp points, which protrude through on the inside. Even if you were small enough to squeeze through the vent you would certainly get torn to shreds on the screws.

And lets not talk about cutting torches, I've never seen a show where anyone ever really cut a piece of steel. They just wave the flame around a little and the piece falls off, always just in the nick of time of course.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Peter T.
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 11:53 AM

The ones I hate are ones where a really good movie is wrecked by a moment of total implausibility. Like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" where Indiana Jones takes a ride on a submarine conning tower -- hey, what if they decide to submerge? No, they are going to cruise along so you can make it to your destination dry. Come on.

The one that has me really worried, though I haven't seen the film since, is someone pointed out that the "letters of transit" in Casablanca don't make any sense at the end because who are they supposed to give them to? No one in Lisbon cares. There are no customs/guards at Casablanca airport. Why doesn't everyone just get on the plane and go? I haven't yet worked out if this wrecks the whole movie for me.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Wesley S
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 12:07 PM

Peter - I always thought that the scene you mentioned in "Raiders" was a tribute of sorts to some of the escapes that Jack Armstrong the All American Boy made on the radio. Once on a Friday the writers got him into an impossible situation { On a ledge in a pit with the enemy above and snakes at the bottom }. They couldn't think of a way to get him out so the only thing they could do on Monday was start off with "After Jack escaped....."

What my wife loves is in a movie like Twister when someone is in danger and the chacter yells "Run !!" As if the option is to stay put and die.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 12:12 PM

Curmudgeon's the stickler for early weaponry and we both spend a lot of time yelling at the screen about historical matters (which usually drowns out the dialog which would only upset us more). Sigh. The problem is the people who get their (wildly inaccurate) history from movies.

Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 12:31 PM

ARGHHHH!

That damn piano!! (In "The Piano") My mother got her's tuned every month, and it NEVER took an ocean voyage. The worst "outback" damage it suffered was my toy soldiers running all over it.

How 'bout a little authenticity in dying? Mel Gibson is having the last bit of Haggis torn out of his innards, and he still manages a smile, thinking of his ladyfriend? Or how 'bout those wisecrackin' Ozzies, waiting to be used as target-practice in "Breaker Morant"? Now I can accept Sidney Carton waxing poetic (T'is a far....) before his final haircut, 'cause that's Dickens, but Dirk Bogarde was positively Gleefully noble at the prospect of croaking. I think I prefer (as legend states it) Pancho Villa's exit line (while lying in a pile of vegetables) "...tell them I said SOMETHING"!

Hey Mouse', I'm enraged at Republicans, Democrats, and ALL political parties that take handouts, too. Can I be a member of your group?

By the way, one thing that REALLY annoys a couple of friends of mine, is my constant use of self-deprecating humour (such as referring to myself as a "nurd"!)

Bert, you win the "Golden Rectum" award for "Air-vent anal retentiveness".......although, in the back of my mind a little voice occasionally DID say "can you REALLY crawl through every prison air-vent?"

Yeah, Roger...Altos, tenors....I notice it too.

Oops, I missed the REAL award winner! Giac....muddy pig feet? Holy Moses I feel normal!!

Jeri, were the "Scottish Private parts" authentic? Anyone care to speculate?

Peter, I've heard the "letters of transit" thing before (was it from you) but you bring up another good point. People are always pulling revolvers on other people, who then willingly do their bidding. Strikes me as maybe one out of a thousand people (who aren't already in the murder business) would actually KILL someone, considering the obvious repercussions. If someone dressed in a trench coat who's whole life was running a successful niteclub, with all it's mundanity, pulled a "piece" on me, I think I'd TOTALLY surprise them by simply saying "not today, thanks" and walking away.

Susan. You're right. From now I'm going to add a little European spice to my "nurdness". I will call myself a GNURD, or perhaps a KNURD. "To urr is human to......"

Rick


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 12:41 PM

Death Wish (who cares which one anyway?)

Baddie climbs out of a window wearing nothing but black draws and in the next shot he is wearing yellow ones.

I personally rate a film on the continuity errors. If haven't seen any I am usually so absorpbed in the film that it was worth the effort of watching. Like Jane Campion's "the Piano".


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 12:45 PM

Rick, I honestly can't tell you. I agree it's an important detail in the film's authenticity, and I felt compelled to investigate. No matter how much I enlarged the freeze-frame of that scene, I failed to determine if the private parts were historically accurate. As far as I could tell, Mel's bum was completely authentic.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 12:57 PM

I think the significance of the errors depends on whether the film is truly attempting authenticity. Indiana Jones doesn't bother me -- those movies were just intended to be dumb fun anyway, kind of like James Bond. But Gettysburg, Matewan, and other films that aim for historical accuracy should be held to a higher standard. And then there are all those historical dramas in which everyone is so damn clean, well-dressed, and healthy (at least until they die romantically, always somehow managing to eke out a poignant last quote before gently expiring).


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bert
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 12:58 PM

Well Rick, it's as Spaw says...The more you know about something the worse this gets ...

I spent many years as a metal worker and many happy months making ducting - If they were to get it right just ONCE.

Perhaps we should comandeer the Mudcat Sitcom thread and do an episode where everything is right for a change.
The hero takes of the grill and finds that he can barely get his arm in the duct - he reaches inside and gets his hand caught in the first joint - after much struggling and screaming he manages to extract his hand and it's dripping with blood.

Oh, and by the way has anyone EVER seen a room in which the walls move in?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:06 PM

Some very astute observations here!

As a former small format filmmaker and now as a film exhibitor, I must mildly protest. It ain't all that easy! Remember, it's entertainment/fantasy that sells tickets - documentaries have never pulled their freight in the exhibition business.

You're seeing in 90-minutes what took a group of 20 to 80 people, all of whom consider themselves "artistic," three months to shoot and another six months to edit and release. There's bound to be differences of opinion which lead to errors. (Read some of the threads in this forum about the woes of working with bands which contain only 3 to 5 members -- and then increase that pressure by ten fold!)

For example, an aquaintance worked as a tech advisor on a big budget Western (I think "Dances with Wolves") and had the Indians and their villages set up as historically accurate as he could make them. The art director arrived, didn't like the teepee poles and had them all replaced with green foliage still at the tops (totally inaccurate) because it looked "prettier"! The art director had more clout with the director. Guess which poles they used.

Most directors go in with the objective of making the best film they can, and are sometimes very well read on the history they're trying to portray. But, when it comes down to making a decision on a set, with high-priced actors and crew standing by, and time racing by at thousands of dollars per minute, guess which is going to take precedence - authenticity or dramatic impact?!?

Likewise, when the director gets in the editing room toward the end of the project (assuming the studio hasn't yanked it from him/her already), the producer will be pushing for a "commercial" look and sound to please paying audiences. With millions at stake, and his career and reputation on the line, the director may cave in and add a full "Celtic" orchestra instead of just one set of pipes.

So, it is lamentable that dumb errors creep in, but it's the nature of this dreamworld beast.

What really gets me, given the nature of how film fantasies are fabricated, is how often I hear on TV and read in the papers about people saying "It was just like in the movies!" Ex-President Bill Clinton made that comment about some incident in the past year, and recently a woman who had to lie on the floor of an airline terminal while gunmen sprayed bullets around, said the same. Life is NOT a film, and films are NOT reality - but we really really like to think they are !!

OK, I'll quit now.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bert
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:12 PM

And Indians (Native Americans) are always much amused by the long chase scene in Stagecoach - In real life the first thing the Indians would have done would have been to shoot the lead horse.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:22 PM

I know a lot of movies are not accurate in detail and are mainly for entertainment value. In the normal Hollywood treatment of anything, its a necessity to have several sub-plots, a love interest, etc. Most will hire a tech advisor or two for realism and in the main, they're decent movies, some better than others even with the glaring errors. Hopefully you just overlook them and enjoy. When the enjoyment is gone because of the errors, that's a real problem.

Now I'm sure that the people who made "The Piano," without the benefit of tech advisors, had some idea how ludicrous the concept of a washed up piano was, but I could still live with it. A few years ago, someone made a movie about America's Cup Yacht Racing. Now I love racing sailboats but let's face it folks, if you're not a sailor and have never raced, no knowledge of any of it, wouldn't know a spinnaker guy from Guy Wolfe...........well, frankly, its about as exciting as watching grass grow.

So they cast this thing, buy some 12 Meter boats that had been eliminated (and were no longer used in Cup racing anyway), and hired at least 50 people in the racing community to help train and advise on the picture, named "Wind" (although "Passing Wind" would have been better). During the filming, the producer made great noises about the "realism" and "authenticity" of his movie. It was complete crap of course and beyond belief in the sailing scenes. I mean, not even close!!!

If your intent is to entertain, than why hire so many tech advisors as this movie did? Others do it too. Huge staffs of tech people who are never listened to aren't needed to make schlock. In "Wind" there was a lot of gossip about that floating out of the advisors in the sailing mags, but the general consensus was that its tough to make a living sailing, so why not milk these guys for all they're worth and not worry about whether or not they listen.

So YOU are the tech advisor on a movie in a field you are expert in............Do you get pissed and quit or take the money and run?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bert
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:27 PM

It's great fun when they make a movie and deliberately make these mistakes. Just loved "Robin Hood - Men in Tights".


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Kim C
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:29 PM

I didn't like The Piano simply because I thought the story was downright hateful. I didn't think the idea of transporting the piano was all that ridiculous because pianos had to travel somehow. They weren't all bought in the same town where they were built. The being in tune part, yeah, that's a little odd. But just moving it all that way, that didn't flummox me much.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:44 PM

Watch Captain Kirk carefully as he looks painfully through the glass at the dying Spock and then tell me why does he keep opening and closing his coat?

I was bored to tears by Braveheart. Mel Gibson just doesn't do it for me. Plus I saw it with a Scotsman who is also an amateur historian. He grumbled through the whole thing and became enraged at the blue painted faces. Guess they were a few centuries out of date. Glad he wasn't a musician too or I would have had to beat him with my popcorn.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:44 PM

The remake of Cape Fear was ridiculous. it was filled with impossibilities. The most glaring being when DeNiro travels quite a distance strapped by his belt to the driveshaft of a Jeep. Wasn't the Driveshaft turning while the vehicle was moving? And the scenes with houseboat in the water. Ridiculous, given the speed the river water was moving the boat would have been destroyed in seconds, and I guarantee you that anyone who had gone off the boat could have in no way returned to it.

The other thing that gets me is that in almost every hockey movie I've ever seen the goalies have the pads on the wrong legs more often than not, and that's a 50-50 shot for someone who has never seen a goalie pad. The goalies are often wearing regular hockey skates, not goalie skates.

Don't even get me started om "The Mighty Ducks".


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Bruce O
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:54 PM

Did I get swindeled by a diploma mill? My license to practice says I'm a NERD. Should I have tried for NURD? At any rate nerds/nurds don't have much time to watch movies, and I know only a few mentioned above.

In historical novels characters are often singing songs that haven't been written yet.

Even academics can get fouled up. 'Sources of Irish Tradition Music', 1998, has many tunes from the Lights' undated books of music for their invention, the Harp-Lyre. SITM #2982, date estimated as 1790, is "Kate Kearney" which Sidney Owenson (Lady Morgan) wrote about 1804-5. SITM #3240, c 1795, is "Remmember Your Vows" to the tune of "Eveleen's Bower", the latter being by Thomas Moore in 1807. There are others of such curious inverted history.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:54 PM

There's that old caveat about film - "willing suspension of disbelief".

To me a film is successful if it has "tone" - a mood or feeling that is established visually, and through the acting, from the get-go and maintained throughout. Also very crucial is the internal logic. It can be improbable, but if it makes sense within itself, it works.

I liked "The Piano" alot and saw it as more of a fable than a historic re-enactment. If you've seen many of director Jane Campion's other films, you'll recognize that she definitely sets up an "altered reality" in most of her outings. Like Harvey Keitel, she lets it all hang out !


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Naemanson
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 01:55 PM

Peter, the Indiana Jones part is even worse than that. There is a very quick clip showing him in the control room in a German deck Officer's coat. As if he could hide on a crowded sub where everyone knows everyone else.

And Bert, about duct work, when have you ever seen it so clean? Duct work isn't even that clean when first installed! And there are large ducts but they are round in cross section, not square or rectangular. I liked the bit about the sheet metal screws. I'd forgotten about those.

I have a friend who was an assistant to the prop director for Message In A Bottle. That film was largely filmed here in Maine. One day they needed a coffeepot for a scene. They sent her off to a local antique store where she bought three in variuous states of condition. They chose one based on its age and appearance. Another time they were discussing what kind of table a boatbuilder might have at his boat launching and who he might have to cater the affair. She had to tell them that a boatbuilder would have a pot luck dinner nad throw some planks on to a couple of saw horses for a table. Then he might cover it with an old tarp for a tablecloth. So they set out to design a couple of saw horses and sent her out for a fancy tablecloth...

She used to laugh about the movie people. The had a whole different idea of what was meant by pot luck...


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:12 PM

Well, Rick, actually-- I believe that if it pertains to something you heard, it should be spelled neard. Just as certain brown trout splash louder than others when they leap, and are by rights knows as teards.

You can take my weard on it, FWIW.

Perhaps the suspension of disbelief varies by sense... some things should be seen, by certain folk, but not heard? And vice versa.

We laugh at how clergy are represented in the popular media, BTW. And at how hospital ERs are portrayed when it comes to death notifications.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Pete peterson at work
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:20 PM

I'm lurking but gosh, I am enjoying this.
This one was pointed out to me: In the opening scene of Citizen Kane it is pointed out to you that Kane, despite all his power, died COMPLETELY ALONE. . . in that case, who heard him say "rosebud?"


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bert
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:22 PM

Les, It's OK. so suspend belief for a fantasy, and I love Sci-Fi however outrageous the theories. But the movie should not jerk you back into reality with stupid mistakes. Once you've been thrown back into your living room or movie theatre it takes quite a while to get back into the movie. You're enjoyment of the rest of the movie is interrupted with thoughts of 'Get Real'.

"A square dance caller turning around and talking at the same time as he is calling." How can you suspend belief for the rest of the movie? Just doesn't work. Now if it had been a Sci-Fi movie where people DID have mouths in the backs of their heads then maybe we could go along with it.

Naemanson, you're so right about the dirt, rub your hand on the inside of a duct and it comes off black. Years ago all the ducting we made was rectangular, but you may be right about now. I haven't been in the industry for while.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:37 PM

The Indians suddenly appear on the surrounding ridges. The music swells BA buh BUHBA-BUM BUM. What the hell is that song, anyway? Is this the orchestral version of a Sioux War song? Anyway, here they come. Even though the scene is ste in the desert southwest, with those ever-present rock spires in the background, the Indians are a motley crew indeed. Full-feathered headresses (that's how you know the Chief) Plains style, leather fringed shirts and pants north-eastern forest tribe style, and Apache and Navajo cloth shirts and concha belts. Just in time, the wagons are circled, and the Indians do what they always do...they ride in endless circles around the wagon train while they are mowed down by the dozens. Why did the Indian Wars last so long, when they lost 30 or 40 in every accidental wagontrain encounter?

And Combat! I love the reruns, great stories and acting...but why do the Germans always, when they are safely hidden behind trees and rocks, charge? According to my count, Sgt Saunders and his 6 guys disposed of over 1000 Germans, mainly due to this strange German prediliction for foolish attack.

In the second Austin Powers movie, he and his girlfriend are driving down what is obviously the Pacific Coast Highway and he remarks "Amazing how the British Countryside looks not at all like Southern California!"


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