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His parents' child
third man
nmg

The garklet and I were slightly late picking ias up from her weekend desk duty this lunchtime. Why? He was watching something on the television, and refused to leave until he saw the end. Nothing special about that, you might say, but what had captivated this particular two year was Carol Reed's 1949 film The Third Man.

When we collected ias, he then regaled her with an description of the chase through Vienna's sewers.

Attaboy, kid.


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You have one of the coolest kids going.

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Can't argue with his taste.

Here's to your parenting skills.

It's always nice to see good genes in action.

Excellent! Does he have an opinion on Citizen Kane or Casablanca yet?

They'll both come in time, I'm sure.

I'm ashamed to admit that I've never seen Citizen Kane all the way through in one sitting. I've even projected it twice, but tending machinery and peering through a small window at the screen doesn't really lend itself to an in-depth appreciation.

Hmmm. I might show him the Palm Beach Story - nothing like a good screwball comedy.

I have to confess that Citizen Kane is one of the movies that's hard to justify out of if its original context. Unlike say, Psycho or let's pick a movie that's literally contemporaneous but which everyone's familiar with, Dumbo.

Kane's breakthrough technical work doesn't look like anything in 2009. The pacing, which was probably right for the period, feels slow (this is true in Dumbo but it matters less), and his audience needs to be led by the hand more of the time. I watched the (terrible) GI Joe movie last night, and it uses so many conventions that just didn't exist in 1941, regardless of whether they were technically possible, it's able to keep things moving at a relentless pace, knowing the audience will keep up even as they throw popcorn at the screen and make fun of the dialogue.

Anyway, the story also seemed a lot more relevant when it was made, and that doesn't help. I don't care about the apparent threat of Hearst and the press barons very much in an era when newspapers are dying, and the distance of history softens them into people - recently for example I learned that without Hearst there might have been a very different and uncomfortable period in the career of Ambrose Bierce (Hearst seems to have liked him very much and basically allowed Bierce to do what he pleased so long as he wrote for Hearst's newspaper)

I don't care about the apparent threat of Hearst and the press barons very much in an era when newspapers are dying

Newspapers may be dying, but Murdoch (the closest we have to Hearst nowadays) is still doing very well indeed, thankyouverymuch. It's only the medium that has changed, not the outlook.

Let's do that again, with less fail this time.

I am reminded of this brilliant SomethingAwful article (std NSFW risk disclaimer), pointing out the stupidity of TIME mistaking Web 2.0 for "the people" fighting off "the man".
"It's about the many wrestling power from the few? MySpace is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp you journalistic clown."

Also amusing to me because I also got sucked in to watching The Third Man yesterday when I stumbled across it. Had forgotten what a great film it is :)

It's one of my top five films, for certain (the exact list varies from day to day, but The Third Man is a permanent entry).

Wow. We're still on daily repeats of Sesame Street's Count on Sports, although Katie seemed to respond to Babylon 5 with Adam yesterday.

Wait until he sees Dr Strangelove!

I showed him the opening and closing sequences about a year ago.

I dare say that contains too many cultural references to be appreciated fully until you've had time to learn about 20th century history. And the great taste of Coca-Cola®.

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