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Hikari

Detectives
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Everything posted by Hikari

  1. Hikari

    Dr. Watson's mustache

    Well, good for that young man in over- rather than under-dressing for his first day of work. I'm sure he felt self-conscious but not as much if he would've had he turned up in khaki shorts and a polo shirt and tennis shoes, and the rest of the office dressed in three-piece suits and wing-tip shoes. If one must be out of step, it's preferable to look better rather than worse, than is required. Had he continued to dress in his interview suit every day, he might have been labeled a poseur and been harassed, but hopefully on his first day, they cut him some slack. It just boggles my mind that individuals with graduate-level education would not realize on their own that Grunge is not suitable interview attire.
  2. Hikari

    Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

    The critic I read who posted a scathing review of 'Holmes and Watson' called it 'Possibly the worst movie I have ever seen." I tend not to think it was hyperbole, and that guy sees way more movies than I do. I am taking his word for it and staying well away. I can't think of any circumstance where I would *willingly* watch this movie. There'd have to be like, an actual gun to my head.
  3. Hikari

    Dr. Watson's mustache

    I don't know if it's a regional thing or an age-demographic thing, but my experience has been the opposite. In the last few years, I have observed that beards and mustaches, but particularly beards, have made a major comeback. It mostly seems to be among younger men, aged about 18 to 40. Aka, the Millennials and the Post-Millennials. Along with a general decline in grooming/hygiene in general among this age group, both male and female. Now, I do work in an urban public library in a disadvantaged community, so my observations will reflect this. I wouldn't expect to see so many scruffy-looking people if I lived in, say, Hartford, Connecticut. But I am not really including our patrons here, many of whom are indigent or else living at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, where housing and amenities are tenuous at best. This trend toward a lax attitude toward appearance seems pervasive. My boss had to speak to one employee about her noticeable body odor, and this person was 26 years old, with a master's degree. Another candidate in her late 20s with a masters' turned up for her interview wearing a tight, way too short, plunging mini dress that looked like club attire and accessorized this with chipped neon-blue nail polish and bare legs. It was hard for me to believe that anyone would think that that was a good look for a professional interview, even in today's more relaxed sartorial culture. I realize that neither of those examples are relevant to beards, but among men under 40 that I see on a regular basis, I'd say beards are outpacing clean-shaven by 3-1. And today's beards are not the carefully (nearly obsessively) groomed stubble/goatees of the '80s and '90s. Nope, these are face-tufty, matted, got pieces of food or lint stuck in them Chia pet facial growths, untouched by razor or comb and often accessorized by black-framed hipster glasses. A lot of the men I see seem to be emulating the mountain man Duck Dynasty look, or maybe ZZ Top. For what it's worth, that's what I see from here.
  4. I had Sherlock's permission to start a thread on other notable detectives of fiction, so long as I buried it in the 'Miscellaneous Musings' thread where it might go undetected by the greatest number of people. Sherlock Holmes hates to have his thunder stolen. If we reassure him that he is Detective Prime, I'm hoping we can use this space to explore other detectives of popular fiction, both in print and onscreen. Detectives of any nationality are welcome here! Over the weekend, I read a cracking good and seasonally appropriate mystery which was not Sherlock Holmes related (shh.) "Nine Carols" is the latest installment in the Josephine Tey Mysteries series by Nicola Upson. Upson puts the real-life historical playwright and mystery novelist (A Daughter of Time) into a series of cases . . Miss Marple meets Patricia Highsmith, and far more stylish than either. October, 1937: a grisly discovery is made in the churchyard of a small village church. A local music teacher who also served as the parish's organist is found to have been entombed alive in a crypt and had worn his fingers down to the bone trying to scrabble out. There are other horrifying injuries on the body. In the crypt with the deceased is a photograph of an anonymous stately home. DCI Archie Penrose of Scotland Yard catches the case. In coming weeks, two other men will expire in creatively horrible ways, each found with a cryptic note and some reference to the same stately pile. An earlier death which had been dismissed as an accidental fall down some stairs is reopened when it is discovered that all the victims shared a connection: they had all been at Kings College, Cambridge, and members of the famous chapel choir, in 1913, just before the outbreak of WWI. The modes of death all differ, but each murder seems to have been staged according to a horror story written by noted ghost story author M.R. James, who was Provost of Kings College at the time, and who liked to invite select choristers to his rooms for the annual Christmas unveiling of a new original story. Archie deputizes his longtime friend Josephine Tey to be his woman-on-the-ground in Cambridge. The celebrated authoress has moved recently from her home in Inverness to Cambridge to be with her lover, Marta, and help with the renovations on the home Marta has just purchased. Jo is able to dig through mounds of old Cambridge newspapers from the period, and her investigations are crucial in uncovering the reason all the former choristers are being picked off one by one. Meanwhile, in an unrelated spate of crimes, a rapist is stalking the streets of Cambridge, preying on young women who are living alone, which Jo is at the moment because her lover is in California with her employers, the Hitchcocks. As Cambridge gears up for another Christmas, an ancient crime and current events make for very little peace or goodwill for our heroine and her friend the Chief Inspector. This was my first foray into this series and I really enjoyed it. Author Upson is herself a Cantab and she writes the atmosphere of Cambridge like the reader is there, walking those streets and byways. Highly recommended for those who enjoy Agatha Christie or the current BBC offering 'Grantchester'. Upson makes the pre-war period surprisingly modern, aided by her thoroughly modern heroine. All the bucolic charm of a Miss Marple story, but with more bite. I've checked out three more installments.
  5. Hikari

    Sherlock Holmes disguises

    There's a new Sussex Vampyre in town. Thanks to this thread I have a new moniker for the Duchess of Sussex, our erstwhile American export to your shores. That's good. I was getting tired of the others . . "Sparkle" . . "Me-Again" . . my own invention of 'Preghan". . . I briefly considered "Markle Stewart" upon hearing that she's promoting eco-friendly organic gardening at Frogmore . ."Sharke", "Farkle" . . I've heard so many. The Sussex Vampyre works a treat!
  6. Hikari

    Sherlock Holmes disguises

    I would have loved to be able to hear Jeremy Brett say, "Watson, say you're not hurt!" Not to mention, "If you had killed Watson, you would not have left this room alive."
  7. Hikari

    Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

    One wonders what Sir Arthur would have made of Jeremy's portrayal of the Great Detective. Brett used the Canon as his Bible, and it's very evident that he viewed playing Holmes as both the greatest privilege, and greatest burden, of his or any actor's career. Carol is right when she says Jeremy *became* Holmes . . it seems at times during his illness that Brett himself could not distinguish himself from his most famous character. Definitely a symbiotic relationship there. I wouldn't call this a quibble, merely an observation as to why JB might not be some people's visual representation of Holmes . . I think he is in fact pretty spot-on insofar as Conan Doyle's description, with a much more pleasing baritone voice than the 'reedy, peevish' register described by ACD. Imagine having to tolerate all of SH's irritating quirks and imperiousness AND an irritating voice too. It'd be very like living with Sheldon Cooper (love Jim Parsons and I love Sheldon, but *that* was the voice for SH--barring the slight Texan accent) that I believe ACD heard when he was writing SH . .anyway, despite JB's impressive 6-foot height (6'1" maybe, Herl would know) and classically trained thespian pipes, he does not quite project the aura of size one expects of SH. Maybe because David Burke was such a strapping specimen. JB feels a bit more will o'the wisp at times. When I envision Holmes, he has many of Jeremy's characteristics, the voice to be sure and his agility, and the patented twitchy smiles and barking laughs. My Holmes is a bit more . . relaxed in himself, I suppose. Maybe it's all the fussy Victorian clothing JB was forced to wear. His SH is at times a bit . .well, fey. In my Mind Palace, SH's ears do not stick out making him resemble a bat., either, though one could argue that Sir Arthur might disagree. The most elusive quality in SH are those extraordinary gray eyes . . it's hard to find an actual representation of them in the real world. Jeremy's eyes were blue but a very interesting changeable blue, sometimes nearly green. I think Shaun Evans of "Endeavour" has actual grey eyes. Not for nothing is he playing a modern riff on Holmes. I think Basil's eyes were brown, weren't they? Black and white film makes everything appear more mysterious and otherworldly. A bit more strapping-framed, was Basil.
  8. Hikari

    Where is everybody from?

    I agree that empowering girls and young women to be able to stand up for themselves against unwanted attentions is a good thing. I hope moving forward from now that will be a positive development. Because what I feel the majority of the accusations against high-profile men have accomplished so far is to give the accusers a few minutes of instant gratification social media attention over allegations of incidents that occurred years ago. In some cases, decades ago. That doesn't make it OK that they happened, but it makes it very hazy to downright disprovable in recollection, years after the fact if the alleged behavior 1. actually occurred 2. if it did, if it was actually unwanted/non-consensual at the time, or considered any sort of real problem 3. If the accuser stands to gain (or thinks she does) by making these claims now. A great many of these accusers cast doubt upon their own veracity when it turns out that they admitted to tolerating unwanted sexual or off-color behavior expressly in order to be cast in a big picture or retain job in said big picture or otherwise burnish their careers or bank accounts. It's the casting couch, and that predates the movies by a few hundred years, or however long we've had theatre. Again, it's not right if what they said occurred did occur . . . .however, short of being forcibly restrained and/or sexually assaulted, nearly all the women whose stories I read *did* have a choice to walk away, to speak up, etc. What they feared most was not physical harm, but losing a juicy part in a film that would make them a star . . or else an opportunity to be the poster girl du jour for a societal movement with distinct political overtones that was sure to garner them a lot of attention in the press. (Cf. the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.) In today's Instagram culture, one's provocative 'information' is the currency they need to stay relevant for however long that lasts. The whole social media overtone to this thing, down to the Twitter-friendly #MeToo hashtag and frankly juvenile-sounding name, like a bunch of girls swapping stories in a junior-high bathroom, Me, too! Me, too! just smacks of this digital generation's incessant craving for social media standing. It's like a drug. It demeans true victims of horrific brutal assaults when their stories are crowded out in the Twitterscape by #MeTooers chiming in about the time their boss told them they looked pretty in that dress or a co-worker stood a bit too close at the office Christmas party and smiled at her boobs. In Twitter culture, there is little sense of proportion or the gravity of one situation outweighing something innocuous. People today feel entitled to posting their grievances in a public forum every time someone does something They Don't Like. Causing someone to Not Like Something has become a federal crime, and a cyber-lynching without due process the go-to sentence. We don't need courts when we've got Twitter followers.
  9. Hikari

    Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

    That is a good one, Herl. I don't think Bas had a bad shot as Holmes, really. https://www.google.com/search?q=rathbone+holmes&rlz=1C9BKJA_enGB704GB704&hl=en-GB&prmd=nimv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiP3Yih9LThAhWDqHEKHdgKC9oQ_AUoAnoECAwQAg&biw=1024&bih=1257#imgrc=KycEq7BhK3G1nM: I can totally get why David Marcum is a Rathbonian; he grew up on these movies. His issue with Jeremy Brett is, as I recall, 'too neurotic'. Mr. Brett had the advantage of the opportunity to do a more fully-rounded portrayal, with time to develop SH's character, as opposed to running around via a time machine catching Nazis and otherwise playing silly buggers. Basil Rathbone cut a fine figure as Holmes, though. I"m sure Sir Arthur would complain that both he and Jeremy Brett were far too handsome. Maybe if Jeremy Brett had played SH on the big screen, some of the neuroticism would have dissipated.
  10. Hikari

    Where is everybody from?

    There was that 1990s movie, Disclosure, starring Michael Douglas & Demi Moore as his man-eating boss that first opened the woman-on-man harassment dialogue, goodness, 25 years before #MeToo. I liked parts of the movie a lot but it suffered from 1. having Michael Douglas as the male lead . . I don't know about any other women here but MD has never been a sexually desirable target for me, and 2. tried to mash together sexual politics with . . very primitive virtual reality technology and it just didn't really work. It was kind of like an attempt at a '90s update of Hitchcock set in the PACNW and just not terribly good Hitch . .but I digress . . My issue with the current whistleblowing climate is two-fold . . 1. Not all infractions are created equal. 2. When it comes to sexual misdeeds, an allegation seems as good as proof. For generations, victims of real brutal sexual assaults have been afraid to come forward and report a crime because the ones who did were victimized all over again by a system that called them liars or else loose women who were asking for it and hence, complicit in their own assaults. Now the pendulum has swung the other way completely and it's enough to try someone in the kangaroo court of public opinion and throw away the key by announcing on Twitter that X 'made a sexually suggestive remark to me at a party in 1987.' Done and dusted, that man's toast. While systematic and pervasive threats of unwanted sexual attentions are nothing that anyone should stay quiet about, guys (let's just say guys for now, since so far it has just been guys) are all being tarred with the Harvey Weinstein brush and that is hardly fair. Once upon a time, there was such a thing as an innocuous joke or kidding around, but now in the #MeToo era, there can not be any more innocuous kidding around. Nada. No mas. Not ever. Because one can just never tell the magnitude of the psychic trauma that can be inflicted upon a young woman by having a banana waved at her from *across the room*. That kind of thing could require years' worth of very expensive therapy. In the case of Craig McLachlan, 41/2 years elapsed between the alleged incidents during a 2014 tour of the Rocky Horror Show and the involved women actually filing a lawsuit in January of 2018. The plaintiffs did not seek any legal remedy for their assertion that they had been violated by Mr. McLachlan, nor did they start using terms like 'sexual predator', oddly enough, until Craig's post-Rocky Horror Show project, the Dr. Blake Mysteries, was well-established and highly received, making Mr. McLachlan an even more high-profile and wealthier star in Australia than when the alleged incidents took place. One cannot help but be skeptical as to the timing, no?
  11. Hikari

    Where is everybody from?

    I suppose from the point of view of the defendants, CM meets the definition of 'a particular man who goes way overboard and just won't stop'. But in the current atmosphere, bringing allegations of sexual misconduct is like shooting fish in a barrel. I too want sexual predators outed and punished. However, I guess I have a more stringent definition of sexual predator than is currently fashionable. It also seems like the people who have been brought down by allegations of this misconduct are to a man, well, . . men. And high-profile celebrities at that. Because there's just not much remunerative value in bringing a lawsuit against a regular guy who works at Home Depot or somewhere. And, if we *really* are going to put our money where our mouths are vis. sexual equality, we need to see some powerful women brought to account for their sexual harassment. Fair's fair. I'm not sure these women are able to prove that Craig's objectionable behaviors were *him* or his character in the show. Her Honor doesn't appear to think so, either.
  12. Hikari

    Where is everybody from?

    Hi, Douglas, and thanks for the reply. Craig has launched a counter-suit and he does indeed have good legal representation because so far, the judge has ruled in his favor in all the pre-trial motions I have been able to find. The defense for the women is basically using 'Everything and the kitchen sink' approach to bolster their case, including dredging up alleged incidents with women that happened 30, 40 years ago. The judge has ruled those inadmissible. Perhaps you haven't heard any more about it because it's been dismissed. I need to clarify that the allegations against Craig involve verbal remarks, pantomimes with fruit, one or two of the women said 'He tried to kiss me', not that he succeeded. This is all pretty sophomoric stuff. The women have not accused him of actually having sex with them, asking for sex, grabbing any of their body parts or the R word. I am probably biased on account of being one who wouldn't mind a snog from Craig McLachlan, but it feels like mountains out of molehills to me. I get the feeling that these young women who were supporting players in a traveling theatre troupe are not very flush with cash and they banded together to target somebody who is in hopes of a payout. Craig is high-spirited . . perhaps he was also high during these incidents. But for these women to equate some backstage hijinks with sex crimes like rape makes me ill. I don't condone what he did if he did it, but it seems to me that in the wake of #MeToo, we have lost all sense of proportion. In the current climate it is now possible to destroy a man's life and career by saying, "He looked at me funny and I didn't like it." Whatever happens in court, Craig is out of the Doctor Blake show, which is a shame, because Dr. Lucien Blake deserves to stand alongside Morse and Poirot and Sherlock Holmes as a unique detective of popular culture, and Craig created him. You can find Craig singing several numbers on YouTube from his dressing room on set. P.S. Craig's magistrate is a woman, btw, which I find very interesting. One supposes that if there were indeed merit to the evidence for these allegations, she'd have been keen to make it stick, but so far she's shot down all of the defense's motions. I think it is advantageous for Craig to have a female judge. She is not part of the old boys' network, but so far she has not been impressed by the tales told by these young women.
  13. Hikari

    Where is everybody from?

    Hi, Douglas, Maybe we can distract ourselves from our pet losses by discussing another topic, and you are well-placed to offer your perspective, being from Down Under. I am a fan of The Doctor Blake Mysteries and have bought all the seasons. I was particularly captivated by Craig McLachlan's transformation into Doctor Blake, because Craig is such a very different sort of bloke. The producers of the show almost refused to give him a reading for the part because of his body of work, "Neighbours"/Dr. Frank N. Furter, being deemed too lightweight and/or scandalous and also owing to his extraordinarily youthful appearance. Craig is my age, 53, which is appropriate but out of character he does not LOOK his age, at least in the common mind. More recently he's started to look it. I'm sure you've heard of Craig's Troubles viz. the sexual harassment lawsuit he is now embroiled in, brought against him by three actresses from the Rocky Horror Show. Further fuel to the fire was added by corroborating statements from three actresses who appeared on Doctor Blake. Before discovering this show, I hadn't heard of Craig, but I now know that he is/was? a huge star in Australia and a quadruple threat . . acting, singing, dancing and songwriter/guitarist. Any thoughts or updates? It's hard to get much news Up Here. My take is that Craig most likely is guilty of inappropriate touching/remarks toward these women . . he likes the sheilas, obviously and he tends to be handsy . .even the buttoned down Doc Blake is always touching people. I just hate to see a brilliant career derailed over such items as 'He tried to kiss me' and 'He made suggestive gestures with a banana." This is the musical theatre, not an investment bank. These girls willingly signed on to a bawdy musical sex comedy which calls for them to roll around in a bed with a large man wearing fishnet tights. To be so prim and complain about some touching in this context seems to me like taking a dip in the ocean and then complaining that they got wet. Have you got any news from the bush telegraph?
  14. Hikari

    Loss of a Beloved Pet

    Douglas, In the space of a year, from October 2017 to August 2018, I lost three cats. They were all around the same age and they all developed kidney failure and I had to have them put down. After the first one was gone, I think the other two pined away from missing her and it hastened their ends. I still cry often, but I have finally got to the point where I'm not crying every day. I have been inconsolable and it's been a very dark time. Prior to becoming owned by cats, I've had three dogs over the years who have all crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I share in your sadness and know how hard it is. I hold onto the hope that I will see my pets again after I cross that Rainbow Bridge too. You will never stop missing your little buddy but it gets more manageable over time. I have another cat now, who showed up looking for a home just a few weeks after my final bereavement. I was not ready to take on another pet so soon and tried to harden my heart against her . . but she's living with me now, so I folded like a souffle in the rain. Having her around has helped, since I'm not the only living thing in the house. I had never been alone in my current house in the 15 years I lived there because I moved in with one cat and collected two more. When I was rattling around by myself trying not to look at the empty food bowls, it was a bad time. My kitty care routine has resumed, which is both good and bad. A break from cleaning the litter boxes was the sole upside to my losses. That and no more vomit on my carpeting. The current resident and I are still getting used to each other; she's not a cuddler and will ignore me for hours at a time. As I tell her often, she is never going to replace the ones that came before her. But having her around is a bit of comfort anyway. Maybe eventually you and your wife will feel ready to open your hearts again. Best.
  15. Hikari

    Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

    I think Basil is looking particularly Sherlocky here.
  16. Hikari

    The Johnlock Conspiracy

    I think BBC Sherlock seriously dialed down on John Watson's intrinsic optimism and warm/outgoing nature with people. Their version of Watson is quite an angry, maladjusted and isolated little dude who does not seem to enjoy his calling as a medical man very much. ACD's Watson did, of course, respond to the excitement and danger of being a close associate of Sherlock Holmes, and he thrived on their dangerous adventures together. But the notion that John is so intrinsically damaged himself that he is only attracted to dangerous and damaged individuals is Mofftiss's invention. Mofftiss's rebuilding of Mary from a quintessentially nurturing and proper Victorian wife into a callous ninja assassin was particularly inventive. There's the line where John, devastated by the reveal of his wife's true identity asks Sherlock, "But why is *she* like that? (ie, 'dangeous'). Sherlock's reply: "She's like that because *you chose her*" This statement does not hold up the evidence of the two preceding episodes since we met Mary. John was completely blindsided by her lethal past and skill set because he'd had no evidence of it in all the months, or years he had known her. Amanda Abbington herself was just as blindsided by Mary's true colors as John was . . and why? Because, the writers hadn't put anything like that *in*. Okay, so she knows what a skip code is and has a good memory for details like hotel room numbers. Many people do. I knew what a skip code is and I never trained with the CIA. I just like to read espionage thrillers. My feeling is, between the introduction of Mary in Ep. 1 and her 'reveal' in Ep. 3, the decision was made to change horses completely on her character. John Watson has Sherlock Holmes for all the danger, excitement and unpredictability he craves. Which is precisely why he would not have to seek it out in a potential wife, not even subliminally. Mary is supposed to represent the well-ordered hearth and home Hobbity side of Watson, while his escapades with SH illustrate his swashbuckling ex-soldier side. Moftiss's version of a Watson who continually gravitates to dangerous, imbalanced people for his primary relationships makes JW on some level, unbalanced . .which I think strays far from the original intent.
  17. Hikari

    Oscars 2019

    Post any thoughts/reactions/gossip about this year's Oscar race, nominees or telecast here! The Oscars lost their shine for me years ago (1998 to be exact) . . but it's still Hollywood's Prom and the red carpet event of the year. Even for those who still love and follow every show, every year sees some glitch or controversy marring the proceedings, sometimes before they even get underway, and this year is no exception. Found this on Yahoo: https://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/oscars/oscar-nominees-furious-over-exclusion-from-telecast-another-slap-in-the-face/ar-BBTvsWF The Academy has announced that in an effort to keep the telecast to a 'brisk 3 hours' (yeah, this is what they shoot for every year and fail) four awards will be issued during what for the viewing audience will be commercial breaks, in order to trim broadcast time. The awards selected for obscurity are: Best Hair & Makeup (combined into one award); Best Action Short; Best Film Editing and . . .Best Cinematography. While most of the viewing world may not give a hang about 'Best Action Short' . . . this decision represents a major snub to two of the major cinematic awards and one artistic award. The cinematographer (or DP) functions as the director of a film's whole visual look, and the Best Cinematography is therefore equivalent to a Best Director for a DP. This we are going to shunt off to a commercial break? Six-time nominee (also this year), Caleb Deschanel argues, "Movies started with a guy cranking a camera--a cinematographer!" Veteran DP Roger Deakins finally won last year after multiple nominations and received a standing ovation for what was considered the highlight of last year's show. So of *course* the logical thing to do is to remove the Cinematography award from the viewing public the following year! Here's a thought, Academy: Cut out 4 of the 6 or so excruciatingly painful musical numbers and reinstate these awards! Not that I will likely be watching, unless I tune in to see how 'A Star is Born' fares.
  18. Hikari

    Benedict Cumberbatch News

    https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/03/amal-george-clooney-buckingham-palace-prince-charles?mbid=nl_ryl_5c8a782114d0712d223ee7e7&CNDID=44567819&utm_source=nl&utm_medium=email&utm_brand=vf&utm_mailing=vyf_royals_news_201980314 (1)&bxid=MTUxNDY0NDMxNDM4S0&hasha=114e2238477a77d5c13ac42428ba1ce7&hashb=95b8a3dfe6e3a8d5be04ad3ab7db3ed55f89b092&spMailingID=15289836&spUserID=MTUxNDY0NDMxNDM4S0&spJobID=1601120812&spReportId=MTYwMTEyMDgxMgS2 When Ben was up to right before his polar bear plunge . . Meeting the Prince of Wales and the Clooneys, with some other lesser luminaries at Buckingham Palace.
  19. Hikari

    Oscars 2019

    Sounds interesting, Carol. Indiana had to be a tad more welcoming than the Deep South, if only just. Even in places as theoretically progressive as New York City, African-American performers were not allowed to dine in or stay at the deluxe supper clubs and hotels where they were the marquee-billed talent. They weren't even allowed to use the front entrance, but had to sneak in and out of a service door like criminals. Ironic, no? My mother relates the time, as a young-20something office girl in the late 1950s, going to Florida with some friends from work, and how they were absolutely mortified when a white bus driver ordered some black passengers to get up and move to the back so the white tourists could sit down. They tried to demur, insisting they were absolutely fine to sit anywhere, but the driver wouldn't move the bus until the black passengers complied. My mother and her friends all hailed from a tiny Michigan town and they had not seen segregation in action because there were no black people there. Their eyes were opened.
  20. Hikari

    Oscars 2019

    The Favourite is being called 'an historical black comedy' centering around the brief reign (1707 - 1714) of Queen Anne, the daughter of James II and the last Stuart monarch. Anne was frail, ultimately succumbing at the age of 49 to the ills that had plagued her all her life. The movie depicts a frivolous woman who has a bunch of weird hobbies and would rather play with her 17 pet rabbits than govern, and who gets embroiled in a homoerotic lesbian love triangle with two of her courtiers. This would seem to be a disservice to Anne, who was said to have had a great interest in statecraft and the arts, as well as being very popular with her subjects. But playing her as a neurotic froot loop garnered Olivia Colman an Oscar and it's past time Colman was rewarded for her talent. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne,_Queen_of_Great_Britain
  21. Hikari

    Oscars 2019

    Wow, well, the Oscars have come and gone. I was so uninvested this year I didn't even realize they were happening last night. I spent the evening watching 'Big Bang Theory' episodes and a retread of 1992's Last of the Mohicans, the Director's Cut. It was a more entertaining evening than I would have had watching the Academy Awards. The evening was a mixed bag, with the major awards spread around fairly evenly. No one film dominated. I guess this is a good thing, but the big winners were all news to me. Roma? Green Book? I had not heard of either of these two movies before today. Not a surprise: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper won Best Original Song for their 'Shallow'. It was the only award 'A Star is Born' received, after some heavy pre-Oscar buzz for Gaga and for Cooper's directorial effort. Surprise: Gaga was not a factor in the Best Actress race. Olivia Colman edged Glenn Close for that honor. I'll be watching 'The Favourite' at my first opportunity. I'm glad for Colman; bit shocked that the veteran multi-nominee Close didn't win, after tying with Gaga at the Golden Globes. Not a surprise: Black Panther, a Best Picture contender, did not win. It won for Best Score, so that's something to comfort the Marvel fans. Its nomination was a surprise in the first place, but in the end, the Academy couldn't bring itself to be quite that populist. Surprise: Rami Malek winning for his turn as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. No offense to him; I fully expected Christian Bale to win for Vice. After some mild controversy re. the airing of certain awards, this year's telecast turned out to be pretty non-eventful. ************************ Here is the full list of 2019’s Academy Award winners: Documentary (Feature) — Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Free Solo Actress in a Supporting Role — Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk Makeup and Hairstyling — Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia Dehaney, Vice Costume Design — Ruth E. Carter, Black Panther Production Design — Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart, Black Panther Cinematography — Alfonso Cuarón, Roma Sound Editing — John Warhurst, Bohemian Rhapsody Sound Mixing — Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, and John Casali, Bohemian Rhapsody Foreign Language Film — Alfonso Cuarón, Roma Film Editing — John Ottman, Bohemian Rhapsody Actor in a Supporting Role — Mahershala Ali, Green Book Animated Feature Film — Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman Animated Short Film — Domee Shi, Bao Documentary Short Subject — Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton, Period. End of Sentence. Visual Effects — Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm, First Man Live Action Short Film — Guy Nattiv and Jamie Ray Newman, Skin Best Original Screenplay — Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, Green Book Best Adapted Screenplay — Spike Lee, Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele, BlacKkKlansman Original Score — Ludwig Goransson, Black Panther Original Song — Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt, “Shallow,” A Star Is Born Best Actor in a Leading Role — Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody Best Actress in a Leading Role — Olivia Colman, The Favourite Best Director — Alfonso Cuarón, Roma Best Picture — Green Book
  22. I was looking for the thread "Marvel Movies" and I can't find it. Am I losing my mind or has it been removed? Anyway, I found this in my Net wanderings. Knock yourselves out! https://www.cnet.com/how-to/marvel-cinematic-universe-timeline-order-avengers-4/
  23. Hikari

    Whats Your Favorite Case?

    Herl, Re. Athelney Jones (another of Conan Doyle's inventive monikers . . .he came up with 'Athelney' but failed to give Holmes's favorite Yarder, G. Lestrade, a first name . .somewhat quizzical, no?) I was surprised to see him given a starring role in Anthony Horowitz's Moriarty. He is described in the Canon as being antagonistic to Holmes . . . but Horowitz amplifies this character, giving us a touching portrait of a man who has dedicated his life to emulating the methods of Sherlock Holmes, to an obsessive level, so much does he admire the Great Detective. Any animosity in their exchanges is due to the inferiority which Jones feels in the presence of his idol. Jones's hero worship of Holmes is creating tensions in his marriage and his work. We pick up with Jones post-Reichenbach, and he's gone a bit to pieces thinking that Holmes is dead. This has come to me just now as I was typing the above, but I can't help but wonder if Mofftiss were inspired by Athelney Jones when creating 'Phil Anderson'. I'm pretty sure of it.
  24. Hikari

    Whats Your Favorite Case?

    As with the much later "The Lion's Mane", the murderer is an exotic zoological specimen and it's hiding in plain sight in the title. I need to re-read the story, but I'm thinking that since Holmes possessed Helen Stonor's dying declaration as to the identity of her killer, all that remained was to figure out how it got into her room to kill her. The true villain of this story is, of course, the evil stepfather, Dr. Grimsby Rylott. The snake did the deed, but it was only an animal behaving according to training and nature (well, the behavior of this snake is somewhat unnatural for its species). But we can't really blame the snake for the death of the women any more than we can blame the gun that delivers the fatal bullet. For that we have to blame the shooter, and this snake was the gun under the control of Rylott. As a method of homicide (pseudo infanticide, since the girls were under the alleged care and protection of their stepfather) it's definitely inventive.
  25. Hikari

    Whats Your Favorite Case?

    Carol, I suppose the appeal of 'The Speckled Band' has to do with the innate fear and repulsion for snakes that most people possess . . .BAND has more of those horror elements that draw people to scary movies--reading about the snake slithering down the bell rope to attack an unsuspecting sleeper provides a delicious vicarious thrill. Unlike many of the other cases whose solution proves to be more cerebral, this case is a true boys' adventure in every sense, showcasing Holmes and Watson doing their gritty detecting work in truly creepy, sinister conditions. It appeals on a primal level, and contains all those elements of Holmes which are so associated with him. It's consistently ranked as readers' favorite story, though Conan Doyle himself rated it somewhat lesser, though still in his top 5. Wonder if Sherlock would deem it his favorite? The scientific elements of the story do not hold up to scrutiny, of course--an exotic pit viper that lives in an airless safe and drinks milk is a fantastical creation, as is the idea that person's hair could turn completely white overnight. That ploy wasn't convincing when Victor Hugo tried it on in Les Miserables. As one of the fairly early Adventures, and probably the one Holmes story that even non-readers of Holmes might have read (it's featured in English textbooks for middle graders as a prime example of the locked room mystery), BAND is one of the more accessible stories for young readers, being high on the thrills. Those images are indelible. It's exciting and horrifying, but I don't think in the end it challenges Holmes very much. It appealed to the Victorian craving for the Gothic, and doesn't seem to have lost its popularity since. It's always been a bit too recherche for my taste. ******* Of these two, I prefer Red-Headed League, on account of the extremely humorous character of Mr. Jabez Wilson & his extraordinary commission . . Dr. Watson is practically cracking up as he narrates the encounter at Baker St. with Mr. Wilson, and the Granada series cast rose admirably to the occasion, featuring one of the best scenes of domestic humor between David Burke and Jeremy Brett, and the crackerjack guest turn by Roger Hammond as Jabez Wilson. Then the tone shifts abruptly as we encounter the villain of the piece, John Clay (played superbly by a young Tim McInnerney), who is revealed as a Moriarty henchman. I would have liked LEAGUE better if Prof. Moriarty had actually been in it, but as the story of a humorous con turned into a deadly serious bank heist, I do think this is one of Conan Doyle's better ones. I'm not sure it's in my top 10 but it's probably in my top 20.
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