Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What Are Some Of Your Favorite Fictional Characters?
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz : So many fictional characters to like!
Jane Austen’s Emma, “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”
Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, the original. When other kids were reading Nancy Drew, I was reading Sherlock.
Amor Towel’s Count Alexander Rostov of A Gentleman in Moscow. A man to love.
Guy de Maupassant’s George Duroy of Bel Ami, spiritual ancestor to Mad Men’s Don Draper and Bonfire of the Vanities’ Peter Fallow.
The entire cast of Casablanca. Every character stands out.
Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Leave out the action scenes and you find a human being.
Emma Peel of The Avengers as interpreted by Diana Rigg. She took care of Mr Steed in great style. I want to be Emma Peel when I grow up.
Rob Miller : OK, here we go…the short list…Bart Simpson, Alice Kramdon, Chaplin’s Tramp, Odysseus, Vulcan sex kitten T’pau as played by Jolene Blaylock, Rufus T. Firefly (Duck Soup), Bugs Bunny, Yojimbo (in the Kurosawa film of the same name), Edwina and Patsy from Ab Fab, Sherlock Holmes, Guy Hamilton and Jill Bryant (Aussie journo and his love object in The Year of Living Dangerously), James Bond (the book one, not the movies), Larry Darrell in ‘The Razor’s Edge’ (book version) Jay Gatsby (ditto, the book), Ian Rankin’s detective John Rebus, Suzy Wong (both the book and the film) The Man With No Name, Col. Jock Sinclair (Tunes Of Glory), Chio Chio San from Madama Butterfly, Lucy Warriner in The Awful Truth.
Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the WoW! Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Who Are Your Favorite Film Makers? Why?
Fausta Rodriquez Wertz: Joel & Ethan Coen.
My first Cohen Bros. movie was Fargo, followed by The Big Lebowski, and I’ve been a big fan since.
I haven’t watched all their films, but I greatly enjoyed, in addition to the above,
– their musical version of The Odyssey (O Brother, Where Art Thou?)
– Miller’s Crossing‘s gloominess
– No Country For Old Men, with Bardem as the scariest villain this side of the Rio Grande
– Burn After Reading, which made me laugh out loud
– Bridge of Spies on the Cold War
– and Hail Caesar! on the Hollywood communists.
Bookworm Room : I don’t have a favorite director, but I do have a favorite producer: I love musicals made under Arthur Freed’s aegis. Here are just a few of the dazzling movies he produced during Hollywood’s golden years:
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Strike Up the Band (1940)
Cabin in the Sky (1943)
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Yolanda and the Thief (1945)
Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
Good News (1947)
The Pirate (1948)
Easter Parade (1948)
Words and Music (1948)
On the Town (1949)
Annie Get Your Gun (1950)
Royal Wedding (1951)
Show Boat (1951)
An American in Paris (1951)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
The Band Wagon (1953)
Silk Stockings (1957)
Bells Are Ringing (1960)
While I don’t have a favorite director, I definitely have a least favorite director. I hate Steven Spielberg movies, which I find clunky, predictable, and subordinate to special effects and fancy camera work. I also invariably dislike his characters and their thought processes. I’ve been watching at HBO production about Spielberg and it’s given me an insight into why I dislike his characters: I don’t like him.
The one good thing about Spielberg is that his Holocaust work has been exemplary. I don’t like how he directed Schindler’s List, but it educated a generation about the Holocaust. His Shoah project is also something very important and I admire his complete commitment to that work.