Ruggles of Red Gap


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Disguise -- Drama. Restaurateurs -- Drama. Comedy films. Film adaptations. Feature films. Leo McCarey. Arthur Hornblow. Walter DeLeon. Harlan Thompson. Humphrey Pearson. Adolph Zukor. Charles Laughton. Mary Boland. Given its narrative involving a Jewish man pretending to take reactionary Southern values seriously, Sword of Trust at times suggests a kind of sketch-TV version of BlackKklansman. The filmmaker comes very close to suggesting that everyone has their reasons, even hateful fanatics—a potentially explosive implication in itself that, in this context, deflates the satire.

The whale in question is the vaquita, a dolphin-like creature endemic to the Gulf of California. Not a target of hunting themselves, the vaquitas had the bad luck of swimming in the same waters as the heavily fished totoaba and dying in the nets meant to catch their more valuable neighbors. The vaquitas are ultimately collateral damage in an illegal fishing scheme driven by greed, economic insecurity, failing security apparatuses, interstate organized crime, and more. The business continues to flourish despite what looks like an unprecedented deployment of Mexican naval assets to stop the now-illegal totoaba trade.

They have their own destroyer-sized vessel, which they use to pull up nets threatening the vaquita, and also alert the navy to illegal fishing boats out hunting for totoaba at night. The latter is the more dangerous of their missions, as the fishing boats often bristle with heavy weaponry and their rock-throwing crews are brazen enough to face down the Mexican marines in a hard-to-believe riot that the cameras catch in broad daylight.

In between the crisply dramatic night-time maritime chases and episodes of dark cartel violence, much of it shot with a glistening aerial wide-angle cinematography that evokes some of the work of Matthew Heineman, are explanations as to why this one particular whale matters so much. Many of those arguments center on the vaquita as symbol of what needs to happen in order to arrest the rising levels of species extinction on the planet. Sea of Shadows can come close to feeling hyperbolic. Fortunately, Ladkani keeps an eye on the plight of the fishermen themselves, many of whom are essentially forced to keep up with the illegal fishing because they need to pay off corrupt officials or are massively in debt to the cartel bosses they have to buy equipment from.

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The film follows a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a warrior in order to spare her ailing father from war. The film follows a young Chinese woman Yifei Liu who, after the Emperor of China Jet Li issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial army, disguises herself as a warrior in order to spare the life of her ailing father Tzi Ma.

It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father. The film is defined by its straight-faced attachment to outmoded ideas about masculinity and law enforcement. Stuber imagines Vic as working-class superhuman, his hypermasculine, extralegal excesses justified by the logic that, as a cop hunting a drug peddler, he is ipso facto a good guy—perhaps the best guy. The humor that revolves around Vic concerns chinks in his aging hard-body armor, like his fading eyesight, or the thought that—gasp—such a man might accidentally end up in a male strip club.

More than its violence, the film is defined by its vileness, its straight-faced attachment to outmoded ideas about masculinity and law enforcement.

Instead of letting his character become a simplistic villain to draw our ire, he plays Christian in such a way that frustrates rather than outright antagonizes. Midsommar has all the trappings of a major breakout for the American-Irish Reynor, thanks to his nuanced rendering of contemporary masculinity. He and the rest of the cast first saw Midsommar just a day before A24 began screening it before crowds, and, as he expressed, some of the fervent responses caught him off guard.

We discuss plot points from the third act in generalities, but those looking to avoid any spoilers for Midsommar might want to bookmark and return to this interview after seeing the film. What was the verdict? I think almost half the people put up their hands instantly, in a very tellingly reactionary fashion. But it needs some real thought. Ultimately, the reason I wanted to do the movie was because I felt like this character was not one-dimensional.

Ari never wanted him to be that way.

Ruggles of Red Gap. Directed by Leo McCarey | MoMA

Both of these characters represent the human condition, the things we can all relate to, in all of our relationships, be it with a parent, a family member, a friend, or a romantic partner. Just as we have experienced emotional needs and those needs not being met. These are all parts of the human condition. So that, for me, was the really interesting thing to portray. Ultimately, the purpose of something like Midsommar is to challenge people to acknowledge the fact that they can relate to both of these people. And, ultimately, we do find ourselves in alignment with Dani at the end of the movie.

This is a movie about her liberation from a toxic relationship and the catharsis that comes with it, albeit that the catharsis is confusing, painful, complex and not entirely clear. I was interested in giving extra layers of dimensionality to Christian and challenging myself to empathize and relate to a guy who, on the surface, is just an archetypal toxic alpha male. But he finds himself literally stripped bare in this humiliating, exposing place, which is absolutely terrifying.

That allowed me to get into the character, looking at him and acknowledging there are plenty of elements of that character that are in me and every single human being on the face of the planet. I totally agree, dude. I might have been a little bit reactionary myself to the audience! Some scenes that supposedly showed Christian in a more sympathetic light were left on the cutting room floor—obviously, what makes the most sense for the film is what should win out, but is there a part of you that wishes people might see the fuller picture of the character you created?

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Partly, but then it would have been a very different film. If the scenes where Christian exhibits more compassion and provides her with stuff she needs in the moment had been left in, the film would be even more divisive and polarizing for an audience than it is. How do you approach those moments? But I wanted to play this guy, further to your point, on his worst day.

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When you pitch the character there for yourself and allow the character to do questionable things, I think it gives context to everything. I think to base the character as someone who means well but is acting out their worst aspects of their character in this moment is how I got into it.

You never really know completely. Ari in particular is someone who I thought his short films were visionary when I watched them, because I never got to see Hereditary before I signed on to do this movie. The script was really interesting, but what he wrote goes far beyond the words on the page. The conversations I had with him prior to signing on to be a part of the film were definitely incredibly encouraging for me.

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We have a common admiration for a number of quite obscure filmmakers, but some of the best filmmakers who ever lived, nonetheless. To me, that was a sign that this was something I wanted to be a part of and this was a director who valued the artistic merit of the project above all else. Watching movies with an eye to your own development as an artist? In the next few months, I'm gonna try to turn my YouTube channel into a more serious place dedicated to Old Hollywood and its history. I'm hoping to highlight movies that might not be that well known, gems that I think deserve more love. If you're interested in checking out my four picks for December , you can watch it here: youtu.

Please consider that this is the first time I've tried this, so it's not perfect. Either way, I will continue to do more stuff of that kind, if I get an audience of like My Classic Watchlist - Ruggles of Red Gap is an under-seen film that I probably wouldn't have seen for some time had I not watched this video. I always love seeing favourite films of people in the industry, as that tells a lot about their style and character, and in the case of one of my favourites Edward Norton, I was quite keen on checking this out.

I gleamed with joy when it was revealed to me that Charles Laughton was the leading actor in this, a man I was so fond of in Witness for the Prosecution. In this he plays an English butler by the name of Marmeduke Ruggles who when taken to America, goes through a…. Not quite what I expected, I think I thought it would be somewhat broader and more of a culture clash with Laughton encountering the old west, whereas it isn't exactly subtle or restrained but does seem to want to say something about the American dream and social mobility.

Laughton mugs for the camera of course, that's what he does, but it remains amusing throughout and his romantic thread with ZaSu Pitts is surprisingly sweet.

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Most of the laughs for me actually came from Roland Young who really delivers in his short screen time. In fact Young and Laughton together discovering America might have made a funnier movie. I ordered this through interlibrary loan, and they sent me the book. So I read the book and ordered the movie again. There are several differences between the book which is too long and the movie, but the basic story line is the same. The American cowboy Egbert doesn't want a valet, but his wife, Effie, really does. Somewhat tedious yet sometimes hilarious, there are some genuine timeless comedy present in this film.


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Charles Laughton was busy in

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