Friday, July 23, 2004

To Bloop or Not To Bloop?

One of the many pleasures of watching Charlie Chan is deciding how to do it!
 
So many ways . . . so many movies . . . so little time!
 
Among other decisions is to whether to watch for technical details or not.
 
This actually became a sticking point for me when I was watching movies as a child.  (I have carpenters on both sides of my family and remember my father building his own boat.)  The architecture was way off but nobody else noticed.
 
How many houses have you seen that had rooms with corners that were more than 90 degree angles?!  Not to mention a fourth wall that was virtually non-existant?  Howard Huges was brilliant and clearly could make millions of dollars to buy his own studio but never understood where the "fourth wall" was!
 
It wasn't a stretch for me to start noticing things like the actors would change positions and stand closer in close-ups then they did for long shots or what the word "continuity" meant.  Or, rather, didn't mean in some cases!
 
So I started questions.  Sometimes I got answers that I found out had a name besides plain old mistakes that we have all come to know and love to varying degrees:  Bloopers.
 
So I started watching The Feathered Serpent.  Yep, I came up with a few questions.
 
One incident turned out to be standard operating procedure even today.  Professor Stanley is murdered early in the film with a knife in his back.  I wondered, looked and, yes, I was right.  The knife wasn't his back.  If you looked carefully you would see the knife sticking into a block of wood between his shirt and back.  A blooper?  Maybe not but a technical detail, surely, for those who know to look for it.
 
I started wondering again when the Chans started on their expedition.  Did Lee and Tommy bring their camping clothes with them or get them locally?  If they brought them, where were Charlie's and Birmingham's?  Was Birmingham stuck as chauffeur in his uniform?  If Tommy and Lee didn't bring their camping clothes, was there a fully-equipped camping store in San Pablo?!
 
That night, did Birmhingham quit helping wash the dishes twice or did it just look like he tried twice?!
 
Fortunately, The Feathered Serpent only had a handfull of bloopers.  In the future, I may not only include bloopers but assorted bonus questions as well!
 
Bye for now!


1 Comments:

Blogger Chris M. said...

Well done, Virginia! I previewed the movie myself for Monday, especially our discussion about whether or not Lee referred to Charlie as Dad or Pop. This is something you may want include sometimes. In Serpent, Lee calls him Pop just like Tommy (Jimmy). In Sky Dragon, he calls him Dad on board the plane when they are drinking coffee. Perhaps when Lee is by himself, he call Charlie, Dad. He did call Oland, Pop when we are first introduced to Lee in Paris but I believe he referred to his as Dad or Father more than any other offspring. Food for thought!

Chris

23/7/04 1:48 PM  

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