Saturday, November 12, 2005

And Then She...

Ann Coulter writes about the quality of the courage of Edward R. Murrow while ripping George Clooney a new terminal orifice (with a Hat Tip to Hog On Ice):

As even liberal reviewers have noted, it was hardly an act of bravery for Edward R. Murrow to attack McCarthy. The New York Times was attacking McCarthy, The New York Post was attacking McCarthy and The Washington Post was attacking McCarthy. Every known news outlet was attacking McCarthy. McCarthy was in a pitched battle for his life, his career and the fate of the nation. Murrow merely jumped on the liberal bandwagon -- and rather late in the game. (You want bravery? Try sitting all the way through "Solaris.")

I own the DVD of Soderbergh's version of SOLARIS. I usually play it with the commentary track on because I found the conversation between Steven Soderbergh and Jim Cameron on the making of the movie to far more interesting than the film itself.

For real bravery in sitting through a movie one should try viewing the orginal Soviet version of SOLARIS in one sitting. Of course Andrei Tarkovski's version of SOLARIS was by Soviet standards a good film, having not been cut in any way by the Soviet censors. Of course being (Les affects a Russian accent here) a good Soviet film, it was not subject to the aesthetic and editorial standards that were common outside of the Soviet Union. My personal theory on the origin of the film was that Mosfilm Studios was short about two hours and forty minutes in the science fiction quota in the current Five-Year Plan and turned to Tarkovski to fill the gap:

"Comrades, we are short one-hundred and sixty-five minutes in our science fiction quota! What shall we do?"

"Have Tarkovski fill it for us."

"But Tarkovski makes really dense and boring films!"

"Comrades! We must make every effort to heroically fulfill the goals of the Five-Year Plan!"

Or something like that.

Granted, the cinematography (apart from the cheesy effects sequences) was well done and Miss (or I suppose at the time, comrade) Natalya Bondarchuk comes across as being more talented and visually interesting than any of the current generation of Hollywood glamdroids, the original Soviet version of SOLARIS was just too damned long. A properly edited version would more closely resemble the Soderbergh version, except that the actors would actually have talent and would lack any visible signs of a trip to the plastic surgeon. (Something about Natascha McElhone's lips just says collagen injection with big ugly letters, this is something that just ruins a movie for me.)

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