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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
Jenny the T 14 Mar 01 - 02:38 PM
Bat Goddess 14 Mar 01 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 14 Mar 01 - 02:50 PM
GUEST 14 Mar 01 - 03:04 PM
catspaw49 14 Mar 01 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,Jenny the T 14 Mar 01 - 03:22 PM
Jeri 14 Mar 01 - 03:26 PM
SINSULL 14 Mar 01 - 03:27 PM
Don Firth 14 Mar 01 - 03:31 PM
Don Firth 14 Mar 01 - 03:33 PM
LR Mole 14 Mar 01 - 03:38 PM
wysiwyg 14 Mar 01 - 03:43 PM
Hollowfox 14 Mar 01 - 04:27 PM
Hollowfox 14 Mar 01 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 14 Mar 01 - 04:37 PM
Ebbie 14 Mar 01 - 04:51 PM
mousethief 14 Mar 01 - 04:55 PM
mousethief 14 Mar 01 - 04:58 PM
mousethief 14 Mar 01 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 14 Mar 01 - 05:21 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Mar 01 - 05:51 PM
Bert 14 Mar 01 - 05:58 PM
GUEST 14 Mar 01 - 07:12 PM
Don Firth 14 Mar 01 - 07:38 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 14 Mar 01 - 07:43 PM
Bugsy 14 Mar 01 - 07:58 PM
Irish sergeant 14 Mar 01 - 08:00 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Mar 01 - 08:19 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 14 Mar 01 - 10:45 PM
Mark Cohen 15 Mar 01 - 01:57 AM
Rick Fielding 15 Mar 01 - 02:00 AM
Seamus Kennedy 15 Mar 01 - 02:37 AM
Naemanson 15 Mar 01 - 03:39 AM
Gervase 15 Mar 01 - 04:50 AM
bassen 15 Mar 01 - 05:54 AM
Peter T. 15 Mar 01 - 08:37 AM
Whistle Stop 15 Mar 01 - 08:46 AM
Hollowfox 15 Mar 01 - 10:35 AM
Wesley S 15 Mar 01 - 11:01 AM
Kim C 15 Mar 01 - 11:35 AM
Bert 15 Mar 01 - 11:42 AM
Jenny the T 15 Mar 01 - 12:00 PM
Rick Fielding 15 Mar 01 - 12:08 PM
mousethief 15 Mar 01 - 12:13 PM
catspaw49 15 Mar 01 - 12:14 PM
Bert 15 Mar 01 - 12:18 PM
Naemanson 15 Mar 01 - 12:28 PM
Don Firth 15 Mar 01 - 12:39 PM
Kim C 15 Mar 01 - 12:48 PM
mousethief 15 Mar 01 - 12:54 PM
Mr Red 15 Mar 01 - 12:59 PM
mousethief 15 Mar 01 - 01:00 PM
catspaw49 15 Mar 01 - 01:06 PM
Wolfgang 15 Mar 01 - 01:13 PM
Bardford 15 Mar 01 - 01:35 PM
Bardford 15 Mar 01 - 01:40 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Mar 01 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Les B. 15 Mar 01 - 01:59 PM
Whistle Stop 15 Mar 01 - 02:26 PM
Kim C 15 Mar 01 - 02:44 PM
catspaw49 15 Mar 01 - 02:53 PM
mousethief 15 Mar 01 - 03:03 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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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Jenny the T
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:38 PM

I've been interested in aviation history since I was little, and bad process-screen simulations of supposed aerial doin's drive me crazier than anything else movie-related, unless it's using unbelievably wrong aircraft to portray others. I felt Spaw's pain when he wrote:

>>The use of stock footage also gets ridiculous......Japanese Zero (played by a "Kate" instead) shoots down Corsair but oddly enough a Hellcat crashes. <<

Yeah, and the thing is, the Zero and the Kate are both dressed-up AT-6's, and they're still flying and available for filming. No excuse at all.

>>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? <<

Well, that's a B-24, but yeah--how dry are they going to milk that same old disaster?

Somewhat off topic:

A couple of my _favorite_ aviation-related movies:

1.The Great Waldo Pepper. Not really the greatest story ever told, but all the flying scenes were filmed in the air--Robert Redford actually got out there on the wing, with yawning death below him, no net and no parachute. When he looks scared, he ain't acting. And the Jennies are real Jennies, and the Curtisses are real too, and (miraculously) so are the Sopwith Camel and Fokker Triplane--reproductions, but accurate full-size ones, with real rotary engines. Frank Tallman, bless his departed soul, did the air-work, some of the best ever done.

2. Wings--a silent epic, the very first oscar-winner, and for all the same reasons as above--a hokey story, but when you see it in the air, it's in the air, folks. Hair-raising scenes, 'cause you know you're looking at the real thing. And they really did find some fool pilot to crash that Fokker D-VII into the house, and he even walked away from it.

Jenny the Amelia Earhart wannabe


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:40 PM

I've always wanted to write a story that takes place in the mid-1800s in the shadow of a mountain that looks like a 1939 Packard.

We have a friend who is a fact checker for films. He says the studios really don't give a damn about historical or any other kind of accuracy -- but if it's a LEGAL matter that they could possibly get sued over, they stand up and listen.

Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 02:50 PM

SINSULL, the Levy sheet music collection has Work's "Marching through Georgia", 1865, but GIFs only of later issues. My great-great grandfather was in the march, and I have some eyewitness account, found and distributed by the family historian. I read "Last Confederate Widow" but didn't think much of it.

In Seattle abou 1656 I went to a movie double feature; first "I am a Camera" then a cowboy and Indians one with Lloyd Bridges as the hero. More mistakes in that than I've seen altogether; blond Indians, and others obviously Italian and Arab, the camera car's shadow on the asphalt road on the other side of the trail, and just about everthing one could think of. One couldn't hear the sound track because the audience was howling so loud (it really took off after the first few boos and hisses).


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 03:04 PM

Aw, gee, I see I have double-posted. It was an accident--my apologies.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 03:05 PM

Jenny, The B-24 is a shot from above, slightly ahead and to the left. The B-17 is a shot from slightly above, a good bit behind, and slightly left. I think the Lib was shot from another bomber, but the Fort looks like fighter footage.

.......And I liked "Waldo" for the same reasons....

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Jenny the T
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 03:22 PM

Hey Spaw,

I think I know the shot you're talking about now--the "flaming wing" thing put me in mind of that poor Liberator with the wing folding up about it.

And don't forget "The Battle of Britain" (1970?) for good airwork. Pitiful acting, but wonderful realization of mass aerial battles--fighter pilots I've know call them "furballs," and this movie show the fur flying, all right.

The Stukas are models, though. Obviously.

Jenny, who is wishing she was in the air at this very moment.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 03:26 PM

I don't suppose anyone wants to ask Bruce what he was doing watching movies in Seattle in 1656...

I met a man Native American man who had once been an actor, and had been in in numerous westerns with the likes of John Wayne. They would never give him a speaking role (although I think I caught him in Broken Arrow) because he'd been raised in England and attended Oxford and had the accent to prove it.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 03:27 PM

Bruce-O, It wasn't the historical inaccuracy of "Marching Through Georgia" that annoyed me. It was the idea that anyone would honor Confederate war dead by playing it. Your GGGrandfather was a Union soldier, right?


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 03:31 PM

I used to fence -- although how I managed to fence after having had polio at the age of two is much too long a story to get into here, nevertheless, I was able to fence in competition with able-bodied fencers -- and spurred by my interest in the art of swordsmanship, I learned a lot about historical swords and the techniques of handling them.

Movies! Oy Vey!

In the movie "Excaliber," yet another King Arthur epic, the armor worn is circa sixteenth century. I had to keep saying to myself, "Lighten up! This is supposed to be a fantasy!"

In the 1952 "Ivanhoe," with Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor, the chain-mail armor worn was authentic for the period, and in the final Trial by Combat, the weapons (battle ax and mace-and-chain) were authentic, as were the techniques that Robert Taylor and George Saunders used. A rare occurrence. Subsequent film versions of "Ivanhoe" haven't done nearly as well.

What causeth me to wail, moan, and rend my garments is when a couple of guys in a period movie go at each other with heavy, armor-hacking broadswords and they parry with them. The actors (if they carry shields at all) block about two blows with their shields, then throw them away and start handling the broadswords either like baseball bats or like modern Olympic fencers with light-weight fencing sabers (I've heard that sometimes the prop folks make the broadswords out of aluminum). No-no-no-no-no!!! Getting nicks on the cutting-edge of their swords was something that knights and such avoided like the plague. Once nicked, the blade could easily break at that point, which would be: a) damned embarrassing if it happened in the middle of a fight; and b) damned expensive to replace. Buying a good broadsword was about as expensive in those days as buying a new automobile is now (peasants carrying broadswords just didn't happen -- sorry). Using the sword itself to block blows and to parry with wasn't developed until around the early seventeenth century, when thrusting with the point was seen as more deadly than cutting with the edge. Until then, they relied on shields for defense. When firearms made armor obsolete and the sword became lighter, eventually evolving into the rapier (a primarily thrusting weapon), defense was relegated to a small shield called a "buckler," or a fairly long "main gauche" dagger with a hand-guard, held in the left hand. (The term "swashbuckler" came from bellicose types who would walk with a swagger, causing their sword and buckler -- usually hung on their left sides -- to clatter together, indicating that if anybody wanted to give them any crap, they were ready for a fight).

The 1940 movie, "The Mark of Zorro," with Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone was anything but authentic in that the weapons used were modern, light-weight fencing sabers (you could buy them out of a fencing equipment catalog) and the technique that Power and Rathbone used was the modern Hungarian-Italian style used by most Olympic saber fencers in the 1920s and '30s (the period portrayed was early eighteen-hundreds in California). But, as far as I am concerned, it had, by far, the best duel scene I have ever seen in any movie. Unlike Errol Flynn, who had a lot of verve, but he was strictly a movie fencer, both Power and Rathbone had done some competitive fencing, both were really good swordsmen (especially Rathbone) and, other than the usual slipping on rugs and tripping over the furniture, they went at it hammer-and-tongs, and their form and technique was really good. When the swordplay is that good, I can forgive a few anachronisms.

"The Duellists" (1977, with Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel) probably had the most realistic duel scenes of any movie I've seen. Two guys circling each other like cats, suddenly rushing in for a couple of frantic jabs, then scurrying out again, obviously scared spitless!

But my favorite (non-fencing) movie howler of all time occurred in a Forties movie called "Destination Tokyo" with Cary Grant. American submarine slips into Tokyo bay and lands a group of guys with a radio on the beach to guide Doolittle's B-25s in to bomb Tokyo. The Japanese pick up the radio signal, locate its source, and send several truckloads of troops out to do mayhem. Big suspense, developed by series of quick cuts between the radio crew on the beach and a shot of the front of one of the trucks speeding a bunch of Japanese soldiers toward the source of the signal. And then you see it! On the front of the Japanese army truck, there is a California license plate!

I saw the movie again about five years ago on TV (AMC channel, I think), and I guess someone else spotted it too, because they had cut the shots of the front of the truck.

Picky, picky, picky. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 03:33 PM

Miss the gizmo after parry. Sorry!

Don Firth


Stuck the gizmo in. --JoeClone


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: LR Mole
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 03:38 PM

I don't mind movie gaffes so much, but if they're going to give ad models guitars, couldn't somebody at least tell them that the picking hand isn't sort of spraddled all over the general direction of the strings?Are they, waving, or spanking, or exhibiting their manicures?


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 03:43 PM

Ya know..... we just all ruined these movies for each other.

Ooops!

Sort of.

They will certainly seem different now though than they might have otherwise!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Hollowfox
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 04:27 PM

Having had it pointed out to me in childhood that it was really hard to fight indians for two hours or so without having so much as your wig out of place (must have been watchinh Last of the Mohicans), I've usually taken a bemused, if superior, attitude to this sort of thing. It's fun noticing them and pointing them out to friends (choose wisely who you go to the movies with). Rick, Jeri, I doubt that those Scottish parts were entirely accurate. Unless there was a mad moyle who performed a mass bris in the vicinity a few years before the battle. I'll have to check the video out of the library to be sure.
Ah, Excalibur, the movie that had a metal plate in Merlin's head, and it showed. I could understand a lot of the plot choices, after all, they had to condense centuries of sometimes conflicting story lines into a two hour movie. And I have a certain affection fro the armor that looks like it was made out of chrome automobile bumpers. But who can forget the Lust Scene where Lancelot was in full armor? Ouch, that pinches just to think of it!


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Hollowfox
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 04:34 PM

Oh, yes, it did warm my heart to notice in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" that the horses ridden by the bandits were NOT quarter horses, thoroughbreds, standardbreds, or Arabians.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 04:37 PM

Sinsull, correct. I forgot about two sides. That was GGGfather's favorite song (long after the march). I'm from a later mixture of both on my mother's side, the men being all Union and some women southerners.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 04:51 PM

Remember in Raiders of the Lost Ark where the hero runs for his life, gold statuette held high, while a huge, rolling boulder gains on him- and it's going to mash him flat? In reality, the statuette would have weighed more than the boulder- he wouldn't have been running with it...

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 04:55 PM

Hmmm. Not sure if I buy the statuette weighing more than the boulder. That boulder was what -- 7' high? perfectly spherical? And the statuette was what? about 6" high? Maybe a foot at the most?

Don't buy it. Gold is heavy but not THAT heavy. Unless the boulder was made of styrofoam. Boulders so rarely are.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 04:58 PM

Well if you don't want to know why MAV is about as welcome here as a hot dog vendor at a vegeterian's convention, I guess that's okay, as long as you don't denigrate those who have had to put up with his putrescence and are angry that they can't get the smell off their hands. That's all.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 05:01 PM

Oops. Wrong thread. Proving that even the righteously indignant can make total asses of themselves occasionally.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 05:21 PM

mousethief, wrong thread is nothing. I once posted a long blurb to the wrong newsgroup.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 05:51 PM

I love this thread. I, too, am an authenticity nerd. (By the way, I consider "nerd" to be the authentic spelling, and I cite "Revenge of the Nerds" as my authoritative source. According to IMDb, there have been 17 movies with "nerd" or "nerds" in the title, but none with "nurd" or "nurds.")

Many years ago, as a college student, I went to see "Lord Jim" with a friend who had grown up in Thailand and India. (His parents were missionaries.) He pointed out several glaring (to him) errors. The plot involves a ship taking a load of Muslim pilgrims from (I think) India to Mecca. He said, "Those [extras] aren't Muslims. They're Sikhs." He could tell by the way they were dressed. In another scene he said, "That's a Cambodian village," where the locale was supposed to be some other country. He recognized the way the houses were built and arranged. It was an enlightening experience.

Anyone who loves movie goofs should love IMDb. You can bring up any movie and then click "goofs." For example, here's their list of goofs for Gettysburg. IMDb does a good job of separating matters of verifiable fact from matters of opinion or artistic judgment. They don't list "not enough blood" as a goof.

Even TV nature documentaries have never been the same since I learned that the sound tracks are usually created by Foley artists. Of course! When the pictures of mating toucans (or whatever) are taken from 100 yards away with telephoto lenses, how else would you ever hear the delicate sound of ruffling feathers?

And on those exploration documentaries, does it ever strike you as odd that when the spelunkers enter the cave for the first time (or the divers enter the sunken wreck, or the mountain climbers arrive at the peak) there is somehow always a camera set up there to capture the moment?

A friend of mine who works in construction hopes PBS will do a special program of "This Old House" outtakes, during pledge week. But I don't think they'll ever do it because it would destroy the illusion that the show is unrehearsed. They do a good job of creating the impression that they're just casually wandering around a construction site and asking spontaneous questions, but how come you never see them make a mistake, even a trivial one? I'd like to see Steve Thomas walk up to somebody and ask, "Say, I understand you're using a new kind of grout on this project, right?" and get the answer, "Who, me? Nah, I'm not the grout guy. I'm just takin' a cigarette break here. The grout guy is over there, takin' a shit."


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bert
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 05:58 PM

I saw a documentary on boat building once and the caulker was actually holding the caulking tool correctly. They get it wrong with caulking tools and cold chisels so often that it was worthy of comment.


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

http://www.moviecliches.com/ Worth exploring.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 07:38 PM

Out-takes! I love 'em!

In the filming of all of the incarnations of Star Trek, the same thing keeps happening. The doors. Gene Roddenberry was unhappy with all the actual automatic door openers they tried because they didn't operate fast enough, so he had stage hands behind the doors operating them manually. They hear the cue, then yank open the door, fast! There are miles of footage, some of which I've seen on Star Trek anniversary specials and that sort of thing, of Kirk, Picard, Riker, Mulgrew, and at least half of the rest of the various cast members uttering an exit line, then turning around and crashing into the door. Stage hands missed their cue.

It's gotta hurt, but at the same time I can't help but rolling on the floor, howling. Light-years funnier than a pie in the face.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 07:43 PM

Keep an eye out for Robin Hood movies in which Alan-a-Dale (or whoever) plays a 6- or 8-course lute. Such scenes depict low-probability events since (a) the short lute seems generally to have had 5 strings through most of the 1400s; according to Grove's Dictionary, 7 courses weren't common until late in the 16th century; and (b) 12-14th century minstrels seem to have preferred the fiddle to other instruments.

T.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bugsy
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 07:58 PM

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

Well, they know because they have human "Tasters".

My father was a human taster for cat food for many years. Unfortunately he is no longer with us. He was sitting on the matle licking his balls, when he fell off and broke his neck!

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 08:00 PM

Movies, you gotta love 'em. I watch for these things particularly in Aviation flicks and T.V. I always got a hoot out of watching Corsairs etc. taking off to fight the Japanese from Angle decks. Carriers didn't have angled decks until 1947 and later. Most of the zeros and kates you see in the movies are AT-6 Texans. Pick your John Wayne flick: Great escapist fare but officers didn't wear the inch and a half trouser stripe. I do however want one of those neat non-reloadable six shooters he had/ Kindest reguards, NEil


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 08:19 PM

When you see a boom mike in a movie, it's usually the projectionist's fault. Film is manufactured to a certain standard size and aspect ratio (ratio of width to height of image), but directors often want to use a different aspect ratio for artistic reasons. To achieve this, the projectionist is instructed to mask the top and bottom of the image. Assuming the projectionist will do his job correctly, the film editors don't need to worry about images that appear in the part of the film that is supposed to be hidden by the mask.

Click here for an illustration.

Click here for more information.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 14 Mar 01 - 10:45 PM

I ususually watch the tele with the sound off. The most remarkable thing happens when this is done. The actors become glaringly obvious... the expressions just don't match the intended meanings often enough. They become overpaid people pretending to enjoy their work...

For years my pet peeve was car chases on dirt roads... complete with the sound of squealing tires! But as time passes, and I hear that squealing sound again and again on those dirt roads,... I am beginning to wonder if maybe I was misinformed all along... 2+2=5
ttr


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 01:57 AM

Just found this thread, and it's wonderful! My favorite story along this line has to do with complementary expertise: In 1976 as a third year medical student I had a summer job teaching CPR to Philadelphia firemen, and also riding with the rescue squads. (Now THAT is an experience every doctor should have...but I digress.) The guys in one station loved to watch this show called Rescue 911 -- it was their favorite show after The 3 Stooges. So we'd all be watching this show, which combined paramedics and firefighting. At some point I would say something like, "Hey, you can't give those drugs in an IV!" and soon afterwards one of the firemen would say, "Hey, you'd never take a two-and-a-half-inch hose into a building like that, gotta be at least a 3-1/2!"

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 02:00 AM

MY GOD!! I am far from alone, when it comes to being an authenticity nerd/nurd. But "Human catfood taster"? I am discombobulated, ferranablasted, and downright Gobsmacked. That joke goes in my repertoire immediately.

....another thing... how about magazines who feature beautiful creatures on the front cover...and you KNOW they've all had face lifts because they look twenty years younger than they did twenty years ago!!! That doesn't neccessarily fit "the authenticity" bit, but I'm glad I got it off my chest!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 02:37 AM

Hey, Don Firth, for fencing, how about Basil Rathbone and Danny Kaye in the Court Jester? Or Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin in the Princess Bride? Totally unrealistic, but thoroughly enjoyable.

All the best

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Naemanson
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 03:39 AM

Rick, if you want to talk about beautiful creatures in magazines and authenticity you will be opening up another whole line for discussion. Some of those women have attained a level of beauty (?) so far above the rest of humanity that you can't even think of them as being sexy no matter how little they wear. Real people don't look like that.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 04:50 AM

What's sad is when the crew makes a huge effort, but the editing and post-production team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Way back I did some work as an extra on a lamentable BBC costume drama, By the Sword Divided, starring Tim Bentinck (better known to most of as as David Archer).
We were brought in because we knew how to do musketry drill - firing by introduction and extraction etc - and gunnery drill, which they needed for the battle scenes. (which was nice because, as specialist extras, we got far more than the usual Equity rate for odd-jobbers and crowd fillers).
The wardrobe, props and make-up people went to extraordinary lengths for authenticity (I've never seen so much fake grime aerosolled over people before, or been given so much black powder to play with).
The make-up people were particularly keen. For one of the battle scenes a bunch of us had to be mercilessly mown down in a point-blank fusillade from the gateway of Rockingham castle, and thus we were given the most wonderful wounds - almost as convincing as in Saving Private Ryan, inspired by the most gory post-mortem and scenes of crime photographs pinned up beside the mirrors in the make-up trucks. But, being the BBC, everything was done by the book.
Thus, at noon precisely, we stopped in mid make-up to queue for lunch (the catering was phenomenal - vast quantities provided in an operation that would shame the Army). I remember standing behind a friend whose brain was tumbling down the back of his neck (or at least a very convincing sponge, latex and goo version of it), while others had various bits falling off or in states of disarray.
And, during all external scenes, a crew of about 15 - linked by radios and working with the Notts police - would stop all traffic on two tiny roads about a mile away which could be seen from the castle. Must have made the locals far from gruntled, but the crew wanted authenticity.
We all did our best - and the finished programme, when broadcast on Sunday nights on BBC1, was complete pants. There were the most awful howlers in the studio-shot interior scenes, and the exterior battle scenes shot and cut dreadfully. And I never even got to see the full gamut of wounds, eviscerations and amputations...


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: bassen
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 05:54 AM

I emerge from lurkers' twilight to engage in my own pet authenticity rant

Barrels are not held together with rope!
Barrels are not held together with rope!
Barrels are not held together with rope!

Any Mudcatter who is interested is hereby granted a free course in splitting and shaving withy hoops (or hazel, or birch, or hawthorn, or whatever) for barrels. The course will be held in Kristiansund, Norway when at least ten 'catters have applied...bring your own drawknife.

bassen


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Peter T.
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 08:37 AM

Natalie Davis, the medieval historian who wrote The Return of Martin Guerre tells the story of being the technical advisor on the film, and they did everything they could to make it authentic. At one point the Director turned to her and said, how authentic does the village look? She replied that in the 16th century everyone was about 5 foot tall, most people had pockmarks, and there were crippled people everywhere. Everyone was just too healthy.

Speaking of "Ivanhoe", I have never for a moment been convinced that Elizabeth Taylor was a medieval Jewess -- married to Lord Edward Fisher perhaps? -- but she was unbelievably beautiful in that film, at her absolute peak (until WAOVirginia Woolf, when she had a different sort of beauty). It is hard to imagine people in that film not falling down whenever she walked into a room, and converting instantly. Hebrew God did that? Where do I sign up?
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 08:46 AM

Well, I still think that "not enough blood" is the most glaring error in "Gettysburg". Think about it -- so many thousands killed and wounded, by bullet, canister, and bayonet, in one of the most horrible battles ever fought on American soil, and yet you hardly see any blood (to say nothing of severed limbs, bashed in heads, and all the other pleasantries of war). In my opinion this is a much more significant error than a tan line from someone's wrist watch.

Gettysburg error number two on my list (no, I'm not a Civil War expert, just have a mild interest) would be casting Martin Sheen as Robert E. Lee -- one of the greatest military leaders our country has ever produced, yet Sheen plays him as a wooly-headed and uncharismatic fuddy-duddy. Really atrocious. Error number three, again, is that everyone was so clean and well-dressed; armies that had been in the field for as long as these had, and through so much hardship, just didn't look that good.

I can miss a tan line or an inaccurate placement of a regimental flag, but these large-scale errors just destroy the realism for me.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Hollowfox
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 10:35 AM

NBC just broadcast a miniseries called the Lost Empire this past week, based (somewhat) on the Chinese classic Journey To The West. For all its shortcomings (let's not even start), it was a joy to see the costumes (especially the headgear) in the Celestial Court (Jade Emperor, Goddess of Mercy) worn with ease, not as though the actors had never worn them before that morning.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Wesley S
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 11:01 AM

My wife pointed out to me as we were watching "Saving Private Ryan" that it was the first D-day movie she had seen that had dead fish lying on the beach from all the bullets that were flying around. I'd never thought about it before but it sure made it a little more realistic for me.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 11:35 AM

Oooh, Gettysburg! My favorite part was seeing Ted Turner get shot.

I had reservations about Martin Sheen but I think he did pretty well. Having read about Lee I don't have too many doubts that he was sort of fuddy-duddyish, to a degree. In his day he was an old man and he suffered from heart problems. Not only that but by the time Gettysburg rolled around, he was really tired of the war, and still getting over the loss of his right-hand man, Stonewall Jackson. (talk about a fuddy-duddy!)

Sam Elliott's part wasn't big enough. Sam Elliott's part in ANY movie is never big enough to suit me. I love Sam. I don't know if this is true or not but I heard he refused the official costume maker's costume and had his own made because he didn't like the quality.

The thing I hated worst abou Gettysburg, though, was the AWFUL FAKE BEARD on Tom Berenger. Have you EVER seen such an obviously FAKE piece of facial hair? And in this day and age? There was no excuse for that. And his awful hat too.

About Marching Through Georgia... our local Mattress Warehouse used this tune as a backdrop for their President's Day Sale commercial. Heehee! In my opinion, this is one of the most brilliant tunes ever written. It's jolly and the melody moves very well, which is why I think people like it. Hardly anyone hears the words anymore so I guess people just don't know the history of the song. But it's one I really enjoy playing, when I can get away with it!

Oh Thanks A Lot to whoever it was that reminded me about Harvey Keitel being Totally Naked in The Piano. I was trying to forget about that. If I want to see a naked man in the movies, lemme tellya, IT AIN'T HIM. ;)


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bert
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 11:42 AM

Kim is thinking but not saying "But if it had been Sam Elliott"


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Jenny the T
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 12:00 PM

I completely agree about Sam Elliott *sigh*

--both the "like him an awful lot" sentiment and the "but not as much as if he were naked" sentiment.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 12:08 PM

OK, one final bit of heresy (other than to agree with Peter T. about Elizabeth T. in Ivanhoe...OY VAY!)...I know that everyone one on the planet thinks that "Citizen Kane" is the greatest movie ever made..yada yadda...

I've seen it three or four times and I think it's simply awful. I've tried so hard to appreciate anything in it beyond the German-inspired camera work, and I simply don't get it. Other than Welles' reasonably restrained performance, I think the acting is terrible...with every emotion and nuance exagerated to the point of being a charicature, and if I've seen worse "ageing" make-up, it must have been in a "Carry On" film. Talk about "not authentic". If Kane's opera singin' gal pal was a bad as portrayed, no newspaper chain in the world could have kept her career going for a week. Like everything else in the film (in my opinion) her character seemed impossible to believe.

So glad to hear that Ivanhoe was reasonably authentic. I LOVED that flick!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 12:13 PM

I love the Princess Bride and I don't care if it's not authentic.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 12:14 PM

When we were discussing historical accuracy in films on another thread, I brought up a series that I thought had done a good job putting together a composite "picture" of an event. The series was the 6 part "Piece of Cake" on the Battle of Britain. For all its faults, which were inevitable (one squadron could not possibly have had all those situations), as a composite piece of history, it was very well done. They also achieved high marks in the use of real aircraft and limited stock footage.

Although the Hurricane bore most of the load, at that time and since, the Spitfire with its somewhat roamntic image and inherent beauty, got much of the credit and the series followed a Spit squadron over a one year period prior to the most of the action in August/September. They didn't have a lot of Spitfires but they made good use of them and the costuming and "lingo" were very accurate....easier I'm sure since it was recent history. Attitudes, the changing tactics, relationships with the French and Americans, politics etc, were all pretty well done. There were a number of other planes used from restoration societies and they too made the "authenticity meter" go up considerably.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bert
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 12:18 PM

And I love the "Carry On" films - I'm certain that every one of them is 100% nauthentic.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Naemanson
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 12:28 PM

Spaw, was that series the one where the pilot made a point of always wearing his parachute but when he jumped the chute was on fire? I loved that series.

It was, as you said, unreasonable about what that squadron did. I think the host said something about the series being and example of what the squadonS dealt with during the Battle Of Britain.

"Not enough blood..." is a problem with any movie that supposedly depicts a battle scene. Braveheart tried but was, in my opinion, still too tame.

Did anyone see The 13th Warrior? I had some serious armor issues with that film but I still enjoyed the story. And the vessel they used to get where they we going was properly a knarr rather than a longship.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 12:39 PM

"My name Inigo Montoya! You keel my father! Now, prepare to die! . . . (Ga-a-a-a-ck!)

Right, Seamus! And there was a movie (late 40s or early 50s) called "Monsieur Beaucaire" about a barber (not a fencer) who, for some forgotten reason, had to impersonate an aristocrat who was reputed to be "the best swordsman in France." Toward the end of the movie (and the whole purpose of the movie) was when the barber gets forced into a duel with another famous swordsman (who also happens to be the villain). The barber was played by Bob Hope. The resulting melee contained just about every conceivable duel scene cliché. Up and down miles of stairways, chandeliers everywhere to swing on, acres of carpets to slip on, and several forests of candles to hack at. At the end, the real Monsieur Beaucaire bounds through a window and saves the barber (Hope), who was actually doing quite well up until that point by keeping his opponent totally bewildered by his "unconventional technique." Great slapstick!

And Peter T., I'm with you. In "Ivanhoe," Elizabeth Taylor as Rebecca was breathtakingly beautiful, and Rebecca was a woman of action who knew what needed to be done and did it. Joan Fontaine as Rowena wasn't a bad looker by any means, but Rowena, as I recall, was pretty wimpy by comparison. The movie followed a condensed version of the novel fairly well, the acting was good, and the combat scenes were remarkably authentic. But what strained my "willing suspension of disbelief" was that -- faith notwithstanding -- Ivanhoe preferred Rowena to Rebecca. (sigh)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 12:48 PM

Aw, Bert, you got me. Reckon my daddy was a glassmaker after all. :-)

Princess Bride is a really good movie - and being a fantasy, as far as I'm concerned, it can be as unauthentc as it likes.

Okay, here's another one.... Burt Lancaster in Valdez Is Coming. "You tell them..... Valdess.... ees comink."


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 12:54 PM

If I'm looking for authentic, I don't watch movies. I read books. Movies are for escape. Just me, I'm sure.

I think the continuity inconsistencies in, say, Raiders of the Lost Ark are a hoot. Like when they're in the high school gym and there's that gigantic book on the table with the metal straps. The camera looks at the book, then you see the windows and Jones' face, then it looks back at the book, adn the straps are fastened differently. It's fun to find stuff like that. But does it ruin the movie? Not in the least! It adds another LEVEL of pleasure -- looking for the glitches.

But what do I know?


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Mr Red
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 12:59 PM

Longfellow poem has sunlight streaming through a glass window, coloured. In the court of King Authur? In a castle? Thatched wooden walls in the middle of a marsh more like.

At least these lack of authenticity things have a long and illustrious pedegree.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 01:00 PM

And the pundits that scratch their arses about it have a long and illustrious pedigree too, only some of them know how to spell "pedigree".


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 01:06 PM

hey Brett....Yeah, you're thinking of the right series. And speaking of blood and guts, that series also delt pretty accurately with that. There were a lot of severe burns and deaths of Spit and Hurri pilots because of the placement of the fuel tanks made cockpit fires all too common. Plastic surgery made great advances during that time out of necessity and a large number of candidates. But they also showed many of the other ways things happened. The original squadron commander slipped off the wing of his plane and died of a skull fracture.

AND......Is there anyone who doesn't like "Princess Bride?"

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 01:13 PM

I'm more bothered by impossibilities in books than in films. I cringe when a writer writes about walking in the light of the new moon at midnight. I get mad at a children's book illustrator when my daughter asks me why a railway car was lost just because the illustrator didn't care about how many cars she was drawing. I'd love to see a single children's book which gets the curvature of the moon correct when moon and sun are displayed in the same drawing.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bardford
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 01:35 PM

I guess Samuel Clemens was an Authenicity Ne(u)rd too.Mark Twain took exception to Fenimore Cooper's linguistic liberties in a biting and wonderful essay which was published posthumously in "Letters From the Earth." I found a website with the full text:

Click here

Authentically yours, Bardford
Also, while I'm here - bodhrans on the Titanic? Come on. Then again, if they put one there, why couldn't they put them all there?


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Bardford
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 01:40 PM

Yikes. Authenticity Update: "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences" was first published in the North American Review (July 1895).
Cheers,Bardford


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 01:40 PM

Maybe I am the only person in the world who notices and is annoyed when actors wear glasses that don't have real lenses in them.

This happens because most actors wear contact lenses, if they need corrective lenses at all. Then, if they need glasses for dramatic reasons, instead of going to an optician and having real lenses made, someone in the prop or costume department whips up a fake pair. Those guys don't know how to make glasses look real, but they think no one will notice.

It's rare to see eyeglasses in movies. It generally happens only when the actor portrays (1) a pathetic nerd - like Eddie Murphy in "The Nutty Professor," or (2) a beautiful but cold and unapproachable woman who will, at some point in the story, take off her glasses, let her hair down, and get romantically involved with the hero - like Helen Slater in "The Secret of My Success," or (3) a real historic character who wore glasses - like Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison in "JFK." These stereotypes irk me too, but that's a whole 'nother issue.

Real lenses can be recognized by their shape, and their shape can be inferred from the shape and motion of the reflections you see in them. Real lenses almost always have a convex outer surface. Rarely, the outer surface is perfectly flat, or nearly so, but this happens only with very nearsighted people whose lenses are very thick around the edges and thin in the center. Those lenses can be recognized easily by the obvious distortion of anything you see through the lenses, like the outline of the wearer's cheek.

Flat lenses in movie glasses are always a giveaway that the prop man used a flat piece of Plexiglas or something similar (hopefully not window glass, for safety's sake!) to make fake lenses.

Sometimes you see no reflections at all in the glasses, which betrays that the frames are empty. This is common in TV shows and old movies, but not in recent movies. I think this is because sets of many TV shows, especially sitcoms taped before live audiences, are very brightly lit, and the designers aren't trying to achieve realism as far as lighting is concerned. They are probably more concerned that there will be too many reflections. This is understandable, and forgivable in that context.

By far the worst glasses I ever remember seeing were those worn by Kevin Costner in "JFK." His lenses were made from a thin, flexible sheet of plastic, and in forcing them into the frames, someone had left them badly warped. Whenever Costner moved his head, the reflections in his glasses wobbled and twisted like the images in a funhouse mirror. The effect was made worse by the ultra-realistic lighting. Some indoor scenes were very dimly lit, and the light from a nearby window, or from a TV, was so contrastingly bright that reflections were very prominent.

The solution is simple: have real lenses made by an optician. If an actor needs no visual correction, they can supply "blanks." This is commonly done for people who need correction for one eye but have perfect vision (or are blind) in the other. (You don't see many monocles out there, do you?) If an actor with perfect vision needs thick glasses for dramatic reasons, an optician could even supply contact lenses and glasses that cancel each other out!

And by the way, I am NOT an optician.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 01:59 PM

Rick et al: In regard to Citizen Kane - it always seems to appear on Top Ten lists, and you're right, in comparison to more recent films it seems a bit slow and stodgy.

But, in it's day it was a breakthrough piece. Use of sets with ceilings because of the low angle shots, deep focus lens designed by cinematographer Gregg Toland, innovative sound work, and the courage of Welles to take on a major media figure - William Randolph Hearst. Hearst was so pissed at the not-so-veiled reference to him and his paramour, Marion Davies, he tried to buy and destroy the negative, and his nationwide newspaper empire successfully prevented the film from achieving any sort of commercial success.

As far as the aging of Welles in the Kane role - yeah, it wasn't great, but Welles was only 26 years old then. So taking him up to a 60-year old was a challenge. (Even with the available excesses of Tinsel Town - booze, women, drugs and power !!!)

The comment on the Rosebud scene, which begins and ends the film, reminded me of the supposed femminist philosophy question: "If a man says something in the middle of a forest, with no one else around, is he still wrong ?!?" :)

There is some interesting scuttlebutt about the Rosebud scene. It is apparently one of the scenes that really incensed Hearst. The writer who co-wrote the film with Welles knew Hearst and his lover, Davies, very well and used some of his knowledge to embarrass them. Supposedly the word "Rosebud" was Hearst's pet word for a very private part of Davies' anatomy. When Welles trotted this out in the first scene of the film it sent old man Hearst's blood pressure through the ceiling !


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 02:26 PM

The other thing that gets me -- and this is not really anyone's fault -- is movies about recent historical figures. Whether it's Anthony Hopkins playing Nixon, or Jack Nicholson playing Jimmy Hoffa, or whatsisname Carradine playing Woody Guthrie, I can't get past the fact that I know what this guy looks/talks/acts like, and that isn't him up there on the screen. In a couple of cases the portrayal was so convincing that I didn't mind (Gary Busey playing Buddy Holly, or Denzel Washington playing Malcolm X). But most of the time I could do without these. It's particularly bad in the made-for-TV movies about people like Elvis, the Beatles, Judy Garland, etc. -- which tend to be pretty awful anyway.


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 02:44 PM

We rented the Bela Lugosi "Dracula" about a month ago figuring we'd be scared. Mister and I both loved Dracula as a novel (although I think he read the Classix Illustrated but I'm not sure!).

It was the funniest damn thing I've ever seen that wasn't supposed to be funny. And of course, it was set in the time period in which the movie was made, instead of the period in which the novel took place.

Everytime Bela did his Hyp-Mo-Tize stare, we cracked up.

That's another thing that bugs me. Movies based on books that don't follow the books. I love Stephen King novels but the movies always suck. (I heard The Green Mile was really good, though.)


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 02:53 PM

Regardless of the book, "The Green Mile" is worth seeing and interestingly, they discussed the non-authentic things like the uniforms. Good flick no matter what and I am not a big King fan as far as movies go.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Confessions of an Authenticity Nurd!
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Mar 01 - 03:03 PM

This thread, although fascinating, is overlong. Here's a new one on the same subject:

blicky


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