Third Eye Cinema / Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine podcast
Weird Scenes 9/19/19: Al Pacino - An Actor’s Actor

Weird Scenes 9/19/19: Al Pacino - An Actor’s Actor

September 19, 2019

Born in, of all places Harlem and raised in the Bronx, forced to leave an already broken home when he made the choice to pursue acting, Al Pacino was born tough and lived it as well (being known as a troublemaker and fighter in school)

He actually won the “triple crown” in getting not only an Oscar, but an Emmy and a Tony for work across film, television and stage…which is a fairly rare achievement, to say the least. He did study under Strasberg and the hated Method, but he graduated to that after honing his craft at another New York based theatrical school, which may account for his rising above the usual mumblypeg and borderline schizophrenic “I AM the devil” absurdities you see in folks like Brando, De Niro or Pitt…and which took down more fragile egos like Dean and Monroe.

Impressing Francis Ford Copolla enough to get cast in what wound up being three Godfather films in the pivotal role of Michael Corleone (perhaps appropriate, as his family hailed from that city in Italy), Pacino wound up starring in several films that were touchpoints of a generation: Serpico. Dog Day Afternoon. And Justice For All…all of which featured him as a sort of counterculture antihero, standing up to a corrupt system at great personal cost.

Alternating his later career between various mob film roles trading on his Godfather cachet and more interesting oddities like Cruising, Sea of Love and even the much beloved Scent of a Woman, join us as we talk one of the greatest, most intense yet nuanced actors of our time, the one and only Al Pacino!

Week 72: An Actor's Actor - Al Pacino

 

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Weird Scenes 9/5/19: The Muscles From Brussels: An Evening With Jean Claude Van Damme

Weird Scenes 9/5/19: The Muscles From Brussels: An Evening With Jean Claude Van Damme

September 5, 2019

From a local child prodigy in karate and competitive bodybuilding to one of the first and most influential kickboxing film stars, tonight we talk a man who supposedly inspired the entire Mortal Kombat series, whose oft referenced but seldom imitated balletic approach to full contact martial arts is positively legendary.

Starring in a number of films whose tropes were copied and repeated in other, often lesser films and series within the nascent kickboxing genre (the futuristic Cyborg-style, the Bloodsport/Kickboxer “fight your way through increasingly dangerous proto-MMA challenges to avenge a fallen brother/friend” template, the time traveling and/or fighting videogame crossover), JCVD seemed positively unstoppable for a full decade…before lawsuits and personal issues brought the man down for the count.

Only recently starting to regain some of his former standing and respect among fans, join us as we delve into the rather bipolar career of Belgium’s best, the truly nonpareil homme du cinema karate, the one and only Jean Claude Van Damme!

Week 72: The Muscles From Brussels: An Evening With Jean Claude Van Damme

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Weird Scenes 8/22/19: Do You Believe in Bronson?…Because You’re About to Meet Him!

Weird Scenes 8/22/19: Do You Believe in Bronson?…Because You’re About to Meet Him!

August 22, 2019

When it came to movie tough guys, Eastwood was your strong silent type, Stallone your streetwise paisan, Schwarzenegger your jokey bruiser…and Bronson the hard ass, vindictive son of a bitch nobody wanted to deal with.

Making his way up from decidedly humble roots in Pennsylvania coal mining and a veteran of WWII, this unlikeliest of action heroes came to prominence well past accepted Hollywood vintage (his first notable ensemble roles came when he was in his forties, and his earliest European headlining roles a decade after that!), working his way through several major western, war and even a belated beatnik film with Liz Taylor before finding success with a quartet of Euro crime pictures…and a long, solid run of hardline American ones that stretched from 1972’s much beloved The Mechanic straight through the dawn of the 90’s.

While his no-nonsense gruffness (and a few major successes) tended to pigeonhole him in the gritty revenge film ghetto, he still proved capable of many a “stretch” project, which resulted in his stony visage in everything from period dramas to contemporary spy films and even a neo-noir along the way.

Equally beloved and reviled for his body of work during his lifetime, modern audiences tend to appreciate them for their grittiness and uniformity of tone, with his long run as a pillar of the Cannon Films line being the locus around which fans gravitate.

So join us tonight as we load our piece and take on the scum that fills our streets with the grimmest of filmic avengers, the one and only Charles Bronson, only here on Weird Scenes!

Week 71: Do You Believe in Bronson?…Because You’re About to Meet Him!

 

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Weird Scenes 8/8/19: Elliott Gould: The Dark Side of Humor (a very 70’s sex symbol)

Weird Scenes 8/8/19: Elliott Gould: The Dark Side of Humor (a very 70’s sex symbol)

August 8, 2019

Notable for playing nebbishy if likeable everyman types, the former Elliott Goldstein was something of a unique type who could pull off comedy and serious melodrama equally believably.

Born and raised in the heavily Italian immigrant neighborhood of Bensonhurst Brooklyn, he spent about five years working in theater before being given his first film role. Interestingly, it took another five years before his defining turn in 60’s sexual revolution dramedy Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, which followed by his part in yet another generation touchpoint, M*A*S*H* led to a memorable run of quirky films throughout the 70’s that saw him becoming something of an ersatz sex symbol alongside arguably similar if lesser types like Richard Benjamin and Alan Alda.

With a propensity towards darker, more loaded and nihilistic comedies offset by cheery, lighthearted takes on heavier genres like war, crime and noir, Gould straddled a middle ground shared by very few actors of his day, the sort who could (and did!) darken a Disney film, but on the flipside, brighten up the grimmest of scenarios.

Staying active in more recent years with recurrent parts in much beloved 80’s drama ER, 90’s yuppie lodestone Friends and the Ocean’s Eleven series and surviving not only a brief marriage to Babs Streisand, but two consecutive marriages to the same woman (!), join us as we talk perhaps the unlikeliest of sex symbols and most nihilistic (yet amusing!) of everymen, the inimitable Elliott Gould, only here on Weird Scenes!

Week 69: Elliott Gould: The Dark Side of Humor (a very 70's sex symbol)

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Weird Scenes 7/25/19: You’re Simply Not Tough Enough for This Show: The films of Chuck Norris

Weird Scenes 7/25/19: You’re Simply Not Tough Enough for This Show: The films of Chuck Norris

July 25, 2019

From humble roots in the dust bowl of Oklahoma, Carlos Ray Norris took his post Korean war-era stint in the Air Force and turned it into what became a black belt in three separate disciplines (Korean karate, Brazilian jiu jitsu and judo) and international karate championships, where he met and trained further with the man, the myth: Bruce Lee.

Tapped by Lee for his Way (nee Return) of the Dragon, he shortly found his way into film, starting with the trucker and CB craze hicksploiter Breaker! Breaker! and parlaying his success into a chain of strikingly unique and philosophical karate-based action films: Good Guys Wear Black, A Force of One, An Eye for an Eye and Forced Vengeance.

He single handedly kicked off the international ninja craze of the 80's with The Octagon and crossed over into the contemporaneous mania for slasher films with the strikingly bizarre Silent Rage, before signing up with the legendary Cannon Films, where he shifted into a strangely jingoistic run of over the top oddities like Lone Wolf McQuade, the Missing in Action films and the Delta Force series...not to mention the deliriously hilarious action/paranoia flick Invasion USA.

Peppering this run with a few attempts at a broader acceptance (cop potboiler Code of Silence, likeable Indiana Jones knockoff Firewalker and minimalist Silent Rage throwback Hero and the Terror...even the weird cartoon iteration, Chuck Norris' Karate Kommandos!), Norris would give himself over to the televised cheese of Walker, Texas Ranger and a decade or more hucking home fitness equipment before turning into a tongue in cheek all powerful meme in the internet age...

Join us as we contemplate the uniquely introspective and philosophic early films...and over the top right wing cheese that came thereafter! of the man who can apparently do anything, the inimitable Chuck Norris!

Week 68: You’re Simply Not Tough Enough for This Show: The films of Chuck Norris

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/third-eye-cinema-weird-scenes-inside-the-goldmine-podcast/id553402044