DEATHS ; Notable Passings; The Thread to Pay Last Respects

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Lady Day, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

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    Chinese born American architect, Leoh Ming Pei, (貝聿銘) died yesterday (16th) aged 102.
    His most famous (or infamous) work is prehaps the glass pyramide in the courtyard of the Louvre, Paris.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey Practically Family

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    Pei designed several buildings in Dallas including thr city hall building.
     
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Celebrity feline Grumpy Cat has died of complications from a urinary tract infection at the age of 7. Before she was an internet meme, she was "Tardar Sauce," the beloved pet of a family from Arizona, who was born with a rare form of feline dwarfism. That gave her face the distinctive sour expression that garnered millions of clicks, sold millions of novelties and struck a deep chord among fed-up people all over the world. She had been retired from large-scale personal appearances since 2016, but continued to preside over her Internet empire. She is one of the few cats ever to earn the distinction of an obituary in the New York Times.

    I'll miss Grumpy. She was, all too often, the only thing on the Internet that made a damn bit of sense.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Herman Wouk.
     
  5. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    That one really hurts, even though it was a good long time in coming. Wouk, aside from his long career as a novelist, was the last living link to my favorite radio show, Fred Allen's "Town Hall Tonight," for which he was a contributing writer for several years in the late thirties. His main assignment was the "People You Didn't Expect To Meet" feature, in which Allen interviewed New Yorkers with unusual jobs -- and the sharp eye for personal absurdity Wouk displayed in writing up these segments was an early indication of one of his finest traits as a novelist.

    Wouk and I also shared a birthday, which was always something I was oddly proud of.
     
  6. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Wouk is one of my favorite authors. He has too many wonderful novels to list them all here, but I'd note "Winds of War" as a particular favorite and an example of historical fiction that entertains and informs. And there's this - even his not-as-good books are still enjoyable reads. I'm glad he lived a long, productive and, seemingly, successful life.
     
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  7. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

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  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    My favorite Wouk novel is one of his smallest and lightest, "City Boy." It's the story of a fat, shlubby, unpopular Jewish boy growing up in the Bronx in the 1920s -- a book Wouk freely admitted was autobiographical in many ways. It's a great kids' book, even though it wasn't specifically written for young readers and it is, in that subtle early Wouk way, very very funny.
     
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  9. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Like Lizzie, I have an early Wouk favorite - "Aurora Dawn" which (I think) was the first Wouk book I read. Too long ago for me to remember much about it (I don't have Lizzie's super brain), but I do remember it being short, insightfully sarcastic and very "New Yorky." I read it as a young, just-out-of-college kid trying to find my way in NYC - a really good book read at that perfect time in one's life.
     
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  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I enjoy Aurora Dawn a lot -- it's also got a lot of autobiographical elements drawn from Wouk's years in radio and his observation of the Boys From Marketing in their natural habitat.

    I also enjoyed "Marjorie Morningstar" a lot, until the very end, when I threw it across the room with frustration at the ending. (SPOILERS) I suppose it was realistic for Marjorie to end up a faceless suburban doctor's wife in spite of all her dreams, but after watching all she'd gone thru that was the last fate she would have truly wanted.
     
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  11. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Agreed on MM - really good book, not great ending. It shows how many really good books he's written as I had all but forgotten about that one.
     
  12. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Wouk possessed an uncanny ability to draw his audience in and maintain their interest long after the book
    had been finished. The television series for both Winds and Remembrance nicely dovetailed his books.
     
  13. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion One Too Many

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    Enjoyed his Winds of War and War and Remembrance, but The Caine Mutiny is one of my favorite historical novels. The photocopied texts of Barney Greenwald's drunken speech to the celebrating offices of the Caine, Queeg's Strawberries testimony, and a couple of large steel ball bearings, have made for a much appreciated gift to a former Navy officer friend.

    "Ah, but the strawberries, that's, that's where I had them, they laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the ward room icebox did exist, and I've had produced that key if they hadn't pulled the Caine out of action."
     
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  14. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    That whole strawberry bit is a classic example of Wouk's absurd sense of humor. It comes at the moment of the book's greatest dramatic tension, and it's so utterly and inappropriately *stupid* that you have to laugh out loud. And the fact that it's "frozen strawberries" is just perfect. It could have been anything -- maple syrup, pound cake, whatever -- but that it was something so completely and hilariously incongruous as frozen strawberries that sends Queeg over the edge shows that Wouk's comedy judgment was still sharp even when he was writing a serious book. Every time Queeg says "frozen strawberries" I laugh louder. It's a beautiful sequence.
     
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  15. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Agreed with all and, while great writing, Bogie absolutely kills it in the role. It is one if his best performances in a career chockablock with best performances.
     
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  16. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion One Too Many

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    Goes without saying that the book is usually better than the movie, but in this case the book makes it a lot clearer that Wouk- in his alter ego Lt. Barney Greenwald- views Queeg as a hero. The film misses the point of the Jewish lawyer- turned - aviator rendering tribute to professional military types being there to stand up to an evil that was very personal to him. Perhaps a reality of 1950's Hollywood, but the film fails to address that aspect.


    "'Scuse me, I'm all finished, Mr. Keefer. I'm up to the toast. Here's to You. You bowled a perfect score. You went after Queeg, and got him. You kept your own skirts all white and starchy. Steve is finished for good, but you'll be the next captain of the Caine. You'll retire old and full of fat fitness reports. You'll publish your novel proving that the Navy stinks, and you'll make a million dollars and marry Hedy Lamarr. No letter of reprimand for you, Just royalties on your novel. So you won't mind a li'l verbal reprimand from me, what does it mean? I defended Steve because I found out the wrong guy was on trial. Only way I could defend him was to sink Queeg for you. I'm sore that I was pushed into that spot, and ashamed of what I did, and thass why I'm drunk. Queeg deserved better at my hands. I owed him a favor, 'don't you see? He stopped Hermann Goering from washing his fat behind with my mother. "
     
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  17. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Bye, Niki! :(

     
  18. seres

    seres A-List Customer

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    He was a remarkable man. RIP, Niki
     
  19. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Eons have passed since I saw the film but I recall Greenwald bluntly remarking that he would rather prosecute
    than defend his client. Later, after trial he shows at the wrap party to deliver a further word, which summed his
    personal take on the second officer played by Fred MacMurray; whom I believe was not charged.
     
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  20. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Noted swing clarinetist Sol Yaged has died at the age of 96. A devoted disciple of Benny Goodman since his early teens, Yaged was coached and mentored by Goodman himself as he studied his instrument, becoming an adept classical clarinetist on Goodman's advice. But Yaged's heart was in swing, and while he never achieved the national fame which went with a featured role in a big-name band, he was a fixture for many years in the jazz clubs of West 52nd Street, when that neighborhood was the capital of the swing world, and performed alongside most of the great artists of the time. Yaged also tutored actor Steve Allen for his role in "The Benny Goodman Story," teaching him how to mime the correct fingerings to the music of the real Goodman on the soundtrack.

    Yaged was still carrying the flag for swing well into the 21st century, continuing to perform around New York into the current decade.
     
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