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Generally, when writing about a movie in a newspaper or some other medium, it's accepted as common courtesy that one does not give away key elements of the story, and most definitely not the climax of the plot.  Yet that latter action is exactly what an American academic did recently in a blog post for a major newspaper across the pond, in discussing a recent Oscar-winning movie.  The academic actually raised a very important topic of interest in the post, but for whatever reason, bloody-mindedness, selfishness, malice, or just plain stupidity, committed that cardinal sin of discussing movies in a public forum, and thus ruined the movie for anyone who hadn't seen it.  More, though not all (....), below the flip....

First, here's the salient information to allow you to find the article in question, without me actually giving away the giveaway:

1. Major newspaper across the pond: The Guardian (which other did you expect from 3CM?)
2. Author of the blog post: Margaret Morganroth Gullette
3. Film in question: Amour

So for those of you who have seen the film, I've now given you enough information to search on the website of The Guardian for Gullette's write-up.  If you haven't seen the film, but want to see it, then please do NOT do this search until after you've seen the film.

Gullette teaches at Brandeis University.  Her web page is here.  From reading it, she's obviously a scholar on aging and what is now called age studies.  She has a pretty decent academic pedigree (B.A. from Radcliffe, M.A. from the University of California - Berkeley, Ph.D. from Harvard).  She may even vote Democratic, or even read DK.  She undoubtedly has book smarts, which I certainly respect.  

What I do not respect is her high-handed arrogance in disclosing the climax of the story, where, as one comment to the blog post put it:

"The spoiler and content of this article indicate that the lady wants to score political points and prevent others from 'enjoying' the film."
The 'charitable' interpretation is that Gullette was so incensed at what she found disquieting about the story that she disclosed the plot climax without thinking about it.  But I rather doubt that, because of the article's overall tone, and I'm with the commenter above, that Gullette wants to 'ruin' the movie for others.

I will grant that Amour is hardly "light entertainment", and that director Michael Haneke's films have been characterized more than once as "sadistic".  The only other film of his that I've seen is Caché (where actually, come to think of it, the NYT review came close to spoiling the end, albeit in a much subtler way), which does come off as often emotionally cruel to the leading character, Georges Lambert (played by Daniel Auteuil in Caché).  In Amour, the depiction of the aging process is harsh, but perhaps that's as a necessary corrective to a Hollywood-ized On Golden Pond type of movie about aging.

BTW, this much I will 'spoil':  the name of the old husband in Amour is also Georges Lambert.  Not sure why the same names would occur in two Haneke films.  In fact, the names of the wives in both Caché and Amour are the same, Anne Lambert.

So, as a parting shot, an open memo to Dr. Gullette, even though she will never read this:  you may be a scholar.  You may be very smart in your chosen field.  But you need a lesson in basic courtesy, not to mention common sense, since book smarts don't always translate to street smarts.  You could have raised the important issues that you wrote out without ruining the plot for those who haven't seen the movie.  You owe readers an apology for that spoiler.  (I also noticed that you didn't reply to any of the commenters in the article.)  In short:  

When you spoiled the movie, you did a very dumb thing - big time.  You should not have done that.  

I repeat:  you should not have done that.  

One more time:  you should not have done that.

So, meaningless vent done, time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week......

Originally posted to chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 08:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  yup, yet another autobot posting (19+ / 0-)

    Will hopefully be back not too long to reply to comments, if any, and spread mojo, as per usual.

    So, from here:  was (re)-doing my taxes, and caught a major error that cuts the refund by quite a sum.  OTOH, I suppose it's not that loser that I caught it now, before filing, rather than after filing.....

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 04:50:31 PM PDT

  •  "Spoilers" (10+ / 0-)

    I think the article would have been okay if the spoiler wasn't in the title for the article, and there was a warning at the beginning of the article that a huge plot point was going to be discussed. From reading the review, I think the reviewer didn't like the movie, and the message she thinks the movie conveys, and because of that had no problem throwing the spoilers around.

    I remember that when 'Basic Instinct' was released, many gay groups were upset by the depiction of Sharon Stone's character. Some of them picketed movie theaters, holding signs that revealed the identity of the killer in the film.

    •  True... (5+ / 0-)

      But you could have changed the ending and made the killer somebody else and it would still have basically been the same movie.

    •  I'll admit that the movie is rather..... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, Youffraita, Rimjob, cfk

      .....disquieting, and not obviously "likeable" in the touchy-feely conventional Hollywood sense.  According to the comments in that blog post, Haneke also discusses the subject that she put in her header in separate interviews, but I've not seen any of those articles or TV footage.

      I vaguely rememeber those protests about Basic Instinct.  I'll admit that I've never seen the movie, but no worries; I have no plans to :) .

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:06:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read the NYT review (3+ / 0-)

        of Amour & while it didn't give away any GASP endings, it certainly did imply that someone was gonna die before the end of the film.  I mean, that's what the film is about.

        I admit I didn't search for the Guardian piece.  I don't intend to watch Amour (and don't expect it will come here anyway -- we barely had Beasts of the Southern Wild, and I DO want to see that one).

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:38:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, it's certainly more to it than that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Youffraita, cfk, RiveroftheWest

          BTW, have you seen any Michael Haneke films?  He's definitely an acquired taste, from what I can tell.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:22:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No...he did Amour, right? (3+ / 0-)

            No, I don't often go to movie theaters, and in any case where I live there just isn't much access to foreign and art-house films.  Or even Beasts of the Southern Wild.

            Blockbusters, we get.  Also,  I did go to a matinee of Woody Allen's latest w/a friend of mine: To Rome, With Love.  It was terrific.

            It's also the last time I was in a theater.

            Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

            by Youffraita on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:52:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yup, "Amour" is directed by Haneke (0+ / 0-)

              His other films include Funny Games and The White Ribbon.  My general understanding of MH is that he's a Germanic Hitchcock/De Palma, but taken to psychological extremes.

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 11:05:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Biggest loser story of the week (7+ / 0-)

    goes to Cyprus.

    The banksters are going to confiscate the savings from Cyprus banks one way or another -- and one day when they come for our hard-earned money we will look back on this day as the beginning of the end.

    We all know that the Russian gangsters who launder money through Cyprus won't be touched because they can afford to hire hit men.

    It's the little guys who will be fucked.

    And one day it will be the rest of us bending over as well.

    •  It really does feel like they are trying this (7+ / 0-)

      thing on for size. Freakin' Shock Doctrine on steroids. I pulled my paltry sheeite out of Wall Street. Now it's in CD's in small local banks. If not there - where? Folgers can in the back yard?

       I am now thinking that the local vet who has been calling for folks to get into metals and stock food may not be wrong! Just shoot me!

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 08:38:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  in this case, it's a case of..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Youffraita, RiveroftheWest

      ......size mattering as well, since Cyprus is an extremely small nation and thus easy to pick on.  Larger nations, mob or no, a bit tougher.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:36:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, they're stuck with the Euro. (5+ / 0-)

        Iceland had pretty much the same problem, but had its own currency, and had the political will to let the banks default (I think; see Krugman's column in Friday's NYT for the details).

        Iceland had one other major advantage: it's not a tax haven.  Cyprus is.  And (again per Le Krugster), Cyprus would like to continue to be a tax haven -- so there is probably not the political will to let the banks go belly-up.

        Having one's own sovereign currency, as it turns out, is enormously helpful when the banksters implode the economy.

        Of course, keeping banks small and requiring depository banks and speculative banks to be separate entities (per Glass-Steagall) is the best policy of all.

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:47:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  obviously the Euro is working out to be..... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Youffraita, cfk, RiveroftheWest

          ......a bad idea, sentimental past semi-nationalist reasons aside for keeping one's own nation's currency.  And I like Europe, on the whole, just not how the EU is behaving now.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:23:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not saying the Euro is a bad IDEA (3+ / 0-)

            ...but perhaps in practice it's way trickier than planned?

            "The operation was a great success!  Unfortunately, the patient died." -- kind of thing?

            Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

            by Youffraita on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:47:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  perhaps; I've generally thought that..... (0+ / 0-)

              ......with people doing so many transactions via credit card/plastic in general, all the currency conversions could be electronic and worked into the credit card/debit card/ATM fees.  It's a better system for each country in Europe to have its own currencies, because of the wildly diverse nature of the countries' different economies.

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 11:07:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Naked Capitalism says Cyprus is very transparent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chingchongchinaman

          and not a tax haven.

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:55:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This is the definition of a no win situation (4+ / 0-)

      There is no successful way out of this mess.
       Every approach causes more upheaval and destruction.
      And thats why the entire EU bureaucracy is freaked out, disproportionate to Cyprus' tiny size. They thought they were clever enough when designing the EU that nothing like this could ever happen.

  •  A very good day. (10+ / 0-)

    Eldest Son came over (he is 18) and helped me do some cleaning that I had rather been delaying on, and we went into The Basement of Horrors and discussed how to clean it out.

    He is willing, indeed eager, to bring over his buddies and clean out our basement and our garage that have got passively hoarded up, and has managed to do it without hurting either my or my husband's feelings. I'm impressed. In return he wants to do some D&D at my house, because it's centrally located. Twist MY arm, lol.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 08:27:26 PM PDT

  •  I'm 180 degrees away from you on this one, CCC. (3+ / 0-)

    I think every review should have spoilers.  I think not revealing the "surprise" ending is a truly stupid and counterproductive rite.  I have several reasons for feeling this way.

    1.  If I read a review, I want to know whether it's something I should bother wasting my time with.  The good will voucher of the reviewer means nothing to me.  I'd like to know what it's about.  If the whole film depends on the surprise effect of some twist without which the rest of the movie collapses, I'd rather know that in advance.

    For instance: The Crying Game.  It turns out that the love interest in The Crying Game, the chick... is not really a chick.  Big SURPRISE!  However, knowing that surprise makes the difference in whether it's a movie worth watching or not.  I'm sure a great many people, hearing that, said, "Aw fuck, I do NOT want to see that."  OTOH, it made me want to see it, where otherwise it would have sounded like another dreary British movie about the IRA.  The rest of the film depended on that, but it still stands, even after you know it.  (Or, you know you would walk out, which is fine, too).

    2. Most things that can be ruined by a spoiler are crappy story-telling and shouldn't be defended.  A detective novel, for instance, where, once you know whodunnit, you don't care anymore -- that's not a good detective story.  However, just as Little Jack Horner thought the whole purpose of the pie was that plum, there are people out there who have such a limited focus that the books and films they consume are just consumables.  Once you know whodunnit, why would you still want to see it?

    I'm using the example of the whodunnit mystery (take Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, for example) as the worst case scenario.  A whodunnit mystery so devoid of other redeeming value that it's not worth considering once you know who did it probably isn't a very good mystery.

    Still... Ten Little Indians.  The first time you see it, it's probably more entertaining if you don't know the ending.  That makes sense.  But there is a big difference between that, the worst case scenario, and other big spoiler no-no's, like the chick in the Crying Game.  The Crying Game only really gets started once you discover that the guy's new girlfriend is transgendered.  

    3.  There are some spoilers that just don't really matter a hell of a lot because they are extraneous to the story.  Example that I gave above to Rimjob: Basic Instinct.  My argument is that you could easily have changed the ending and it would have still been the same film.  At the end, as a kind of humorous flip, it is revealed that Sharon Stone REALLY is the killer.  But it could just as well have been other people with almost no change to the film.  There was no compelling logic that required that it had to end with Sharon Stone as the killer.

    This happens more often than you may have considered:  The mystery killer in a whodunnit is somebody whose name could have been drawn out of a hat at the last minute.  Big loss of a spoiler for that.  I, for one, if I'm reading a review, would like to know if it's that kind of film.  I don't give a shit if it's Sharon Stone or not.  I just wanted to see her flash her snatch.

    I've actually got more reasons than that, but that's just for starters.  I despise people who respect spoilers in their reviews.  I feel like I've been cheated by their review.

    •  well, we agree to disagree on this one (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, RiveroftheWest, Youffraita

      Most movies, at least US movies, are plot-driven, even when the plot is lame.  Thus revealing major surprises in advance is inappropriate the overwhelming majority of the time.  If a film has other redeeming features in its craft and overall construction, those will be revealed more on repeat viewings, where plot is less of the concern.

      One recent case that may fit more with your general idea is Argo, where the movie was pretty well constructed in the manner of a thriller, even though in retrospect, given that it's nominally based on true events, the outcome isn't in doubt.  It speaks to how well Ben Affleck and his crew treated/manipulated the events in their movie that the pace is nonetheless gripping.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:17:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm reminded of Hitchcock's use of (3+ / 0-)

        "The MacGuffin."  The MacGuffin is whatever the thing is that the characters in one of his movies are tearing their hair out trying to get.  Hitchcock felt that it was really irrelevant what it was and he often designed his films not knowing for sure in advance what the MacGuffin would be because it didn't really matter WHAT it was.  

        A spoiler that is about a macguffin, then, is no big deal.  For instance, in Umberto Eco's, The Name of the Rose, people are killing each other over a MacGuffin that is revealed, finally, to be lost writings of Aristotle.  OOoooookay.  It could just as easily have been a nude portrait of the Pope, and probably more entertaining, but, whatever, fine.  I never read the book, only saw the film, but my reaction, upon seeing it, was, "Okay, so what?"

        Is a spoiler that reveals this spoiling the film?  You wade through the rest of the movie with the other characters wondering what it's all about.  Finally you find out.  Okay.  

        I'm going to be a little arrogant here, I guess, and say that for many less mature film goers, that is vitally important.  Knowing that it's about lost writings of Aristotle, the anxiety of the film's characters about this is no longer capable of being appreciated.  Thus they are no longer able to immerse themselves in the film.  

        I can understand that, but I don't feel like I have to respect that.  

        This is kind of like, "I don't want to hear Beethoven's Fifth again.  I already know it ends with a Triumph movement."  Yup.  If there was ever a symphony that could be spoiled by somebody telling you that it ends with a triumph or tragedy movement, that would be a symphony not to waste your time listening to.

        •  BTW, I have the book of...... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Youffraita, Dumbo, RiveroftheWest

          .....The Name of the Rose.  I haven't read it.  That aside, in comparing to music, music is different because music doesn't work in a 'narrative' sense the way as literature does, because there's no conventional story in music the same way, as a rule.  Even knowing the idea of a journey from darkness to light in a piece of music in advance isn't a big deal, because the point really isn't the end, but what happens along the way.  

          However, I'll admit that for a newbie to one particular piece of music, it would be criminal to spoil the ending in advance.  I'm thinking of Mahler 6.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:51:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dumbo has an excellent point, though. (3+ / 0-)

            "The 1812 Overture ends with cannons."

            "Well, you've just spoiled it for me!"

            -- ridiculous, no?

            In any well-crafted movie or well-written book, I don't care whether I know the ending in advance b/c I enjoy the journey.  This is why I can reread old favorites, or rewatch for that matter.

            I don't care whether I know the ending.  If I am entranced while getting to it, then it is a successful work.

            Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

            by Youffraita on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:58:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you for agreeing with me, (3+ / 0-)

              although we're probably going to be in a very small minority on this.

              I take the position that it's BECAUSE we know how it's going to end that we enjoy it, even when we don't know the particulars of the ending.  

              •  the point is that for anyone's 1st experience..... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Youffraita, RiveroftheWest

                ......of a given work of art, where narrative is involved, as a general rule of thumb, do not spoil the surprises for those who don't know in advance what's coming.  Once that first experience is past, then work on the depths.

                "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                by chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:25:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I disagree with you about narrative (2+ / 0-)

                  in music, so we're at loggerheads over that.  Perhaps opera might make a hybrid analogy because it is both music and text narrative.  Knowing that Madame Butterfly's going to kill herself doesn't make the suspense of waiting for it less interesting the second time.  In fact, I can't think that the first time you see it that it could possibly be better because of the surprise.

                  I think this whole concern about spoilers is overblown.  If you don't want to hear a spoiler, don't read reviews.  Otherwise, you're forcing the rest of us to dumb down the discourse, like parents talking in code about Christmas presents.

                  •  opera is a different beast, because of the.... (0+ / 0-)

                    .....welding of music with the story, and because the story of a given opera is not the sole element in its construction.  In the context of movies, I guess we are at loggerheads (but at least we both know that) regarding spoilers, since the job of a review is to discuss the quality of the film, but without giving away the major elements of the plot.  It's like when I was discussing in BF that I was reading Les Miserables, since that made reading it a bit more of a challenge, knowing how it was going to end, and the very general plot points along the way.  What I got as surprise, besides the overall experience of the novel, was all the details that obviously didn't get into the musical, the details from the novel that I did not know in advance.

                    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                    by chingchongchinaman on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:02:46 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Not quite, Dumbo: (3+ / 0-)

                My opinion is slightly different from yours:

                I take the position that it's BECAUSE we know how it's going to end that we enjoy it, even when we don't know the particulars of the ending.
                Last fall I signed up with Netflix & I'm working my way through the better selections there.  One auteur I've long been interested in watching is Ang Lee, and they have some of his work.  I didn't know where /how the endings would be, but will gladly rewatch all of them b/c they are so powerful.

                Same with the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy (they have the Swedish films, subtitled).  I'd already read the books twice but wanted to see how the movies handled them.  Excellently: but I didn't love them because I knew the ending, I loved them b/c the auteur presented already-known material so wonderfully.

                "Spoilers" don't spoil anything, even in murder mysteries, if the book/movie is brilliantly crafted.  That's the impression I get about The Crying Game too: it was just so wonderfully filmed, it didn't matter whether you knew in advance (although the NYT review was careful not to reveal the surprise ending).

                D'ya see the difference?  I don't CARE if I know the ending or not, as long as the journey is spellbinding.

                Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

                by Youffraita on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 11:40:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm rereading Diana Gabaldon's (4+ / 0-)

                  outrageously long Outlander series.  I said I was going to quit after I reread the first three (they're about a thousand pages each), but I went into OCD mode, I guess, because I started on the fourth one.  I know pretty much everything that's going to happen, but I'm enjoying it as much or more because I know "okay, this next part is going to be good."  The fourth and fifth books particular I gave a shit review of on bookflurries because the third was so good the next two were a let down.  But... ah, reading it again!  I know enough to not be let down from too high expectations and can just enjoy the flow of the story.  It's not a better book because of it, but I am enjoying it more.

                  ... And if CFK ever shows up tonight I want her to know I've got tomatoes on the vine.  I found the first ones last Sunday.  They're a little smaller than my thumb joint.

                  •  Hurrah for tomatoes...yum (4+ / 0-)

                    I crashed and burned early last night at 8:30 my time.

                    This night owl is having problems lately.  Maybe because I am a hibernating bear for a few more weeks.

                    It is 23 degrees going up to 39 later today with small chances of snow on Monday and Tuesday.  I guess a big storm is going south of us, tonight, or something, but it can snow like crazy and not show on the radar at all as we found out last Thursday.

                    But we are nearly done with March and April is usually more gentle.  

                    Best wishes!

                    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

                    by cfk on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:02:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  with respect, I'm afraid that spoilers..... (0+ / 0-)

                  .....do spoil something, namely the surprise inherent in what should be a suspenseful narrative, where the reader doesn't know everything in advance and has to put things together in the course of reading the book.  Otherwise, there's not much point in reading anything.  So we just have to agree to disagree here.  I am with you, though, that a really high quality thriller in terms of writing and imagination does transcend mere plot.

                  "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                  by chingchongchinaman on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:04:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I'm going to go watch my DVR'ed (3+ / 0-)

    episode of The Americans after I get off of here.  The American's is my pick for the best show on TV this year.  Keri Russel and Matthew Rhys play the part of two Soviet spies, sleeper agents who have been living undercover as a married American couple in the US.  Forced to marry as part of their job, before they are moved to the US by the KGB, they have raised two perfectly normal children who know nothing about what mommy and daddy occasionally have to do.  

    It sounds like a premise for a bad sitcom, but it's not.  It's a realistic spy thriller, and it's based (probably a little loosely, admittedly) on real events.  By the time the story begins, Reagan has just become president, and the Soviets are becoming paranoid that war is imminent, so they are suddenly burdening the two with an increased number of risky and degrading missions. Meanwhile, we also get to see the insides of the FBI office that has its own problems... and the agents from the two pass each other occasionally like ships in the fog without sensing each others presence.

    One really great thing about this show: An Afghani actress named Annet Mahendru.  I am head over heels for her, such a knock out.  They had beauties like her in Afghanistan under those veils?  Oh wow.  Annet plays a secretary for the local Soviet embassy who has been turned and blackmailed into spying for the American CIA agents.

    Found a pic of Annet Mahendru:


    •  sure, there are lots of.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, Youffraita, RiveroftheWest

      .....attractive women all over the world :) .  It's sad that she probably would get killed back in Afghanistan if she tried to work there anything like here.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:30:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. I think about that every time I watch the (3+ / 0-)

        show.  It's somewhat R-rated.  She would be in big trouble.

        Speaking of beautiful women everhwhere...  The new Miss Israel is black and she is SMOKING hot.  I'm impressed with her and with Israel.  Apparently she's a Falasha Jew (a native Ethiopian sect).

        I just saw a partially firewalled article saying that Israeli officials were injecting Falasha Jews with contraceptives to keep their numbers down.  Sigh.  

  •  The difference between a review and a critique (3+ / 0-)

    I don’t think the review of a movie, which might appear within a week or two, should include spoilers (THE BUTLER DID IT! JAMES BOND’S WIFE DIES AT THE END! HE FALLS IN LOVE WITH A WOMAN WHO’S REALLY A MAN! THE USUAL SUSPECTS INCLUDED A DUMB GUY WHO WAS REALLY THE MASTERMIND!)

    The point of a review is to say if the movie is good or bad. Thumbs up or thumbs down. A spoiler ruins the movie for people deciding if they want to see it.

    On the other hand, a critical essay by a film historian about a movie that’s more than five years old can include spoilers. Rosebud is the sled in “Citizen Kane.” The main character drinks himself to death in “Leaving Las Vegas.” Or whatever.

    Just my opinion.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:53:25 PM PDT

  •  A slow week in The Loo? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita, chingchongchinaman
  •  I am sorry about the tax error (2+ / 0-)

    but I am glad, too, that you caught it in time...sigh.

    I used to do ours for many years, but a few years back decided to let the tax preparer have all the fun.

    My stress levels are so much lower, now.  :)

    I could not stay awake last night.  It has been happening a lot lately.  I need spring and green grass.

    Best wishes to you and to all here!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:06:52 AM PDT

  •  Okay, I read the "spoiler" article. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman

    And personally, I think that a thoughtful discussion of how this film does not reflect the actions of most caregivers and also promotes some ideas that are a little frightening is more valuable than making sure potential viewers of this movie don't have their viewing of it "spoiled."

    Grow up, chingchong. This is a movie. An illusion. A fake world.

    Having the ending spoiled is grounds for a shrug....and a yawn.

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:24:17 AM PDT

    •  again, I've no problem with MMG's discussion.... (0+ / 0-)

      .....of the issues, which are important.  I still strongly stand by my assertion of her ruining the movie for others in the course of her discussion, so as with Dumbo above, we'll just have to agree to disagree.  Yes, movies are an illusion, but they're powerful illusions.  Granted, with this as a non-English language film, the impact is lessened than if this were an American or UK production.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 11:17:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Spoiler" dilemma (2+ / 0-)

    Yesterday I saw "Admission" (I know, the 180 of Amour).   There was a hilarious moment that I'm sure hardly anyone under 45 - other than very political people - will get.  So it's a spoiler for some but an enhancement for others. And it's not revealing any plot twist -  just a wonderful exclamation point for Lily Tomlin's great character.

    So. What to do?

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:48:02 AM PDT

  •  in the minority (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman

    also

    it depends on 'how' the spoiler is treated

    sometimes, if thoughtless, then yes, i am offended

    but, coming as someone who just isn't into too much surprise and suspense, i don't mind knowing the ending

    if the movie or book is good enough, i will be carried along just fine

    i am notorious for reading the endings of books, first

    as a parent, i also have to be in the 'need to know' business side of things

    •  again, in the context of the plot...... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shari

      ......the events build up to the climax in any given story, if it's a story well told or at least reasonably told, so spoiling the climax taints the tension of the plot build-up.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 11:19:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...studies show we prefer things we know to surprises.

    I myself, personally get more enjoyment out of anticipation than surprise.

  •  What I find annoying about that "review" ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... is the implication that audiences are too stupid to consider the points she raises about the decisions and turning points in the movie.

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:03:34 AM PDT

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