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PBS, Masterpiece: Murder on the Orient Express

June 2, 2011

I cannot stop watching the most recent version of Agatha Christie’s, Murder on the Orient Express. Although I know if I were to see a behind the scenes DVD of the train shots, I would probably learn that the snow and all the rest of the background is all green screen. It looks so cold. Note the purple lips when people are standing in the cold. I can just imagine being on that cramp train stuck in a snowdrift with all of those characters and the only worry is how to warm the water for tea. Add that to the delicious fact that there is a murder, the murder of a horrible horrible child-killing murderer. Plus, a few deserving guffawing moments at hearing the various put on accents by actors playing characters from countries other than their mother countries.

I suppose one could say this is how camp is formulated.

The whole catholic sensibilities and guilt can be easily dismissed as the delusions of typical raving papists who land writing jobs. The same can be said for the Jews and Protestants when they have pen in hand. So droll. I suspect, but wonder if this religious claptrap is the work of Christie or the contemporary television writers. I will have to get my hands on a copy of the original novel.

Moreover, please spare me Poirot’s hypocrisy. When an alleged adulterous woman is stoned to death in the streets of Istanbul, he cannot bother to ignite sympathy and/or empathy. However, when the thought of twelve people getting together and murdering a for real for real child-killing murderer materializes, it is all “HOW DARE PEOPLE TAKE THE LAW IN THEIR OWN HANDS!” There is always a different standard when the “victim” is male. Paraphrasing Poirot, the “tainted” Istanbul woman should have known better. She understood when she broke the law, yet, what? The child murderer did not understand when he broke the law? Whatever Poirot. Tell it to your two equally sized boiled eggs.

  1. Mary Sunshine permalink
    June 2, 2011 9:32 pm

    Canadians aren’t allowed to watch it from that link, but I’ve found a torrent. 🙂

  2. la redactora permalink
    June 4, 2011 5:49 pm

    Even worse, occasionally people in NH will not be able to access, because they are “not in the country.”

    Some general thoughts:

    1. Even though this was hardly a recommendation, I will watch it and comment here on it afterwards.
    2. I have never really understood “camp” or its appeal. Once, in a conversation with friends about such things, I said that it was loosely associated with gay men, and they thought I was taking them for a ride. It was only after I showed them the Wikipedia article that they (barely) believed me.

    • June 5, 2011 12:19 am

      Many gay men have made camp exclusively about them. They want to be marked as the witty ones in society. They want it bad, so bad. It is not good enough to be considered witty as an individual, they want the moniker as a class. I haven’t met a gay man ever in my life who didn’t think he had “keen wit,” or “acid wit,” or “_____ wit.”

      When you have to sell it honey, …………..

      It affects me the same way as when individual mothers attempt to own (inflict upon others) the “mama bear” label. No, you do not turn into a mama bear, you just turn into a person that no one wants to be around.

  3. la redactora permalink
    June 4, 2011 5:49 pm

    Also, *nothing* is more important than tea ;-).

  4. la redactora permalink
    June 5, 2011 1:30 am

    In my experience gay men aren’t witty, but cruel.

    • June 5, 2011 1:37 am

      My experience as well. There seems always to be a verbal sparring match whether you want to be part of it or not. It is as if a typical or tame conversation cannot take place. It has to be throwing shade or nothing. I haven’t witness the same when those same gay men talk to heterosexual men.

      It is similar to Joan Rivers’ humor. She can only deliver a joke at the expense of someone else, —usually a female.

  5. jilla permalink
    June 12, 2011 1:48 am

    la redactora I think we can agree.

    The latest Murder on… Kitty? Is it on now, and where Mary is a “torrent” and is that something I could use, free/

    I have here just watched Downton Abbey on your suggestion, followed by the new Upstairs Downstairs, and I have to say, Downton took it. I don’t know what the writers were doing in the last 30 mins or so of USDS, It was like a speeded up parody of trying to tie all the ends together. None of it believable. None of the characters made me care about them.It all seemed a rehash of the Elizabeth suffragette episodes, and the downstairs stories the same.

    Made me want to run out and rent the original again, but I’ll wait until the first blizzard. Although, maybe not then either, because the copies are so bad, unfocussed and faint that it really takes away.

    I did watch sometime during the last blizzard, The Duchess of Duke Street, and The Jewel in the Crown. PDG.

    (heads to freezer for piece of chocolate left over from Easter).

    • June 12, 2011 2:22 am

      Upstairs Downstairs (2011) was so bad I couldn’t bother even mentioning it. I did see the original from a library loan and the quality was pretty good. I also watched The Duchess of Duke Street which was okay enough to watch but frustrating from time to time. Her determination was unbelievable at times.

  6. Mary Sunshine permalink
    June 12, 2011 2:51 am

    Hi Jilla,

    It’ll probably be best if I do this with you tomorrow. It involves having a torrent-downloading app installed (bittorrent or microtorrent.) Then you go to a torrent search sight like isohunt or pirate bay. Search for the name of your movie. Then …. I’m too sleepy. I’ll do this with you on email in the morning.

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