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The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

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The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Old 05-27-13, 10:11 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by davidh777
Time travel should be saved for the next Leap Day challenge in 2016!
Since I have nothing to do with that challenge...sure! :P
Old 05-27-13, 12:13 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

I don't get what's so hard and requiring all the deep thought I've read so far. What I get from reading the rules is really pretty simple:

War film - No problem with any era/film.

Western - Just like War films.

Documentary - All are OK as long as IMDB lists "documentary" as the genre.

"Costume Drama" - OK as most (all?) offer a glimpse into another era even though it might be a fictional account.

Adaptations of "Classic" literature - Same as "Costume" films. Just make sure it qualifies as a "period piece".

Exclusions to all: If IMDB or AllMovie lists either SF or Fantasy as a genre on the film it's ineligible even if it meets all other criteria.

I re-read last year's discussion thread and didn't come away with anything that would make me *not* want to participate. While it took away from film discussion a bit there were some valid points made and, from what I've read so far this year, the updated rules take care of everything nicely which should allow MinLShaw to actually watch films and participate in discussion rather than answer a constant barage of "is this one OK?" questions.

I'm with nton (and probably MinLShaw too)... "Historical" *shouldn't* be so hard.
Old 05-27-13, 12:23 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
I don't get what's so hard and requiring all the deep thought I've read so far. What I get from reading the rules is really pretty simple:
You were always my favorite, Bob.
Old 05-27-13, 01:08 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Teacher's pet!
Old 05-27-13, 03:20 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
[Master Shake voice]Time travel is forbidden![/Master Shake voice]
Fair enough.

Although that would exclude Quantum Leap, which is (almost) educational and fairly historical, even if it is Sci-Fi/fantasy..

Oh, and since you're ruling that the same - sensible - logic discounts the deliberately-fantastic past (e.g. Conan), what about the fairly-ludicrous past (e.g. One Million Years B.C.)? Since I think it's been mentioned that myth and religion are OK, even though those could be said to be fairly "fantasy" in nature.

Last edited by ntnon; 05-27-13 at 03:27 PM.
Old 05-27-13, 09:13 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

As someone who championed the "Zeitgeist" films of the past, I'm feeling the heat a bit here. For me, it was never about allowing X-MEN FIRST CLASS or HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, but rather carving out a place for REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE or SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER both of which are unique and reflective of their time. I remember when TV shows were discussed in the first year of the challenge someone brought up HAPPY DAYS. My reaction was that that show, particularly as the seasons went on was not as indicative of America in the 50's as LEAVE IT TO BEAVER was (plus, LITB was a much better show). The measuring stick I always used was if I were to teach a class on films and history (my brother teaches such a class), could I justify the inclusion of this film. X-Men FIRST CLASS and SEX AND THE CITY 2 wouldn't cut it. I think it's interesting how the 1956 and 1978 versions of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS are uniquely indicative of their times (1956: the pod people are coming are coming and it's shocking; 1978: the pod people are coming, but it's San Francisco and no one notices), but I ain't gonna go there. I can also think of films that perfectly portray what it's like to live in a city at a certain time: BETWEEN THE LINES; Boston in the 70's; THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1,2,3: New York City in the 70s, but I'm not going to pursue them (I might save them for a make your own challenge one of these days). So I'll abide by the new rules. Let the challenge begin.
Old 05-27-13, 11:02 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
That was never the case, and I've said so a zillion mothersmurfing times already.
Hey now, let's watch the language.

Old 05-28-13, 05:03 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

As promised, here's your 2013 Checklist (more or less). I've streamlined some things that seemed redundant (i.e., "Recreation of specific historical event") and eliminated some others, replacing them with what I hope will be interesting storytelling areas to help promote diversity.

There are a total of 40 checks to be had, but of course many of them can be doubled up, such as the Century and Country categories. There are no specific checks to be had for watching a documentary. Instead, it's up to each participant to decide his or her interest in doc content - though some areas might be more interesting and easier to complete using documentaries than looking for dramatizations.

The one area where I feel the checklist needs some fleshing out is Western. Right now, I only have eight of ten check marks there (you get to choose five out of seven subgenres). I'm still working on the last couple ideas for that section.

We still have a few days before the challenge starts, so if anyone has any further suggestions or requests to be considered, now's the time!

Spoiler:
GENERAL
WHEN
Watch a film that takes place during five different centuries prior to the 20th Century (Note Century of setting):
--- Movie 1 (Century)
--- Movie 2 (Century)
--- Movie 3 (Century)
--- Movie 4 (Century)
--- Movie 5 (Century)

WHERE
Watch 5 movies about historical events of different countries (Note Country of setting).
--- Movie 1 (Country)
--- Movie 2 (Country)
--- Movie 3 (Country)
--- Movie 4 (Country)
--- Movie 5 (Country)

WHO
FOLKLORE & FAITH
--- Film about prehistory [it's probably best to look for a documentary here]
--- Film about mythology of Antiquity (i.e., Greek gods, dramatization of Homeric poems, etc.)
--- Abrahamic religion (based on either recorded historical events or fables arising from Judaism, Christianity and/or Islam)
--- Other religion (based on either recorded historical events or mythology pertaining to a specific religion that is not part of the Abrahamic faiths)
--- Film about a folk hero

HEY, THEY WERE THERE, TOO!: A LOOK AT MARGINALIZED PEOPLES
(Focus on prominent figures from history and/or depictions of their minority group's oppression, etc.)
--- Film about Women's History
--- Film about Race Relations
--- Film about the LGBTQ Community
--- Film about Religious Minority
--- Film about Immigrants

WAR
--- War film that was produced *during* that war (i.e., Zero Dark Thirty for War on Terror)
--- War film that focuses on civilians
--- Film about war criminals
--- Watch at least two movies about the same war/battle/event where each movie is from a different army's perspective (1/2)
--- Watch at least two movies about the same war/battle/event where each movie is from a different army's perspective (2/2)

Watch 5 movies that take place during different wars. (Trojan War, American Civil War, World Wars I or II, Viet Nam, etc.)
--- Movie 1
--- Movie 2
--- Movie 3
--- Movie 4
--- Movie 5

WESTERN
Watch at least five Western Subgenres - taken from Frank Gruber's list on Wikipedia
--- The Union Pacific story. The plot concerns construction of a railroad, a telegraph line, or some other type of modern technology or transportation. Wagon train stories probably fall into this category.
--- The ranch story. The plot concerns threats to the ranch from rustlers or large landowners attempting to force out the proper owners.
--- The empire story. The plot might involve building up a ranch empire or an oil empire from scratch, a classic rags-to-riches plot.
--- The revenge story. The plot often involves an elaborate chase and pursuit, but it may also include elements of the classic mystery story.
--- The cavalry and Indian story. The plot revolves around taming the wilderness for white settlers.
--- The outlaw story. The outlaw gangs dominate the action.
--- The marshal story. The lawman and his challenges drive the plot

--- Western not produced in America
--- Western based on a book, either fiction or non-fiction
--- Western told from the perspective of Native Americans

ZEITGEIST WILD CARDS
Because an argument can be made that some movies which fall outside the "obvious" scope of our challenge really are consistent with its spirit, you're permitted to watch and check off up to three optional movies of your choice.
--- Zeitgeist Wild Card #1
--- Zeitgeist Wild Card #2
--- Zeitgeist Wild Card #3
Old 05-28-13, 06:57 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
As promised, here's your 2013 Checklist (more or less). I've streamlined some things that seemed redundant (i.e., "Recreation of specific historical event") and eliminated some others, replacing them with what I hope will be interesting storytelling areas to help promote diversity.

There are a total of 40 checks to be had, but of course many of them can be doubled up, such as the Century and Country categories. There are no specific checks to be had for watching a documentary. Instead, it's up to each participant to decide his or her interest in doc content - though some areas might be more interesting and easier to complete using documentaries than looking for dramatizations.
What about adding a specific documentary check in the war genre?

Perhaps also suggest a general check for a pairing of a fictionalized and documentary take on the same event/person.

(If you did want to add a Documentary subsection, you could suggest - although it might be difficult - a pairing of documentaries on the same event produced by two different countries; a doc featuring original period footage; one that's essentially a talking head lecture..)

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
The one area where I feel the checklist needs some fleshing out is Western. Right now, I only have eight of ten check marks there (you get to choose five out of seven subgenres). I'm still working on the last couple ideas for that section.
Actors, directors or characters, maybe? Johns Wayne and Ford, Buffallo Bill or Annie Oakley, etc.

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
We still have a few days before the challenge starts, so if anyone has any further suggestions or requests to be considered, now's the time!
I like ticking off items from the 12-14 decades of film - and there's the Death of Mary, Queen of Scots for the 1890s.

That reminds me of another idea: two (or more) different films about a single historical person (and/or event); either identical to or separate from two films from different decades about the same person/event.

Maybe there could even be a minor check for a 'real' documentary produced to accompany a film - i.e. a 'truth behind the story' type of feature, or one of the Lucas documentaries made for the Young Indiana Jones DVDs.



EDIT: Since you have a 'marginalized' section - some of which items I may need advice from people here about qualifying films - I've just thought of another possibility (albeit one that could be open to MUCH debate!): a film dealing with a little-known - but important - person/event. i.e. something that isn't taught much in schools.*



*This would be easy for the British amongst us, since most of our history classes focus so disproportionately on the Tudors and WWII that almost anything else would count as little-know..!

Last edited by ntnon; 05-28-13 at 07:09 AM.
Old 05-28-13, 08:11 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by ntnon
What about adding a specific documentary check in the war genre?
I briefly considered adding a specific documentary check to each section, but ultimately my feeling was that it's best to leave it up to each participant to decide the mix of fiction to documentary that suits him or her. You could theoretically complete the checklist with no documentaries, or nothing but documentaries. It was the subject that I felt mattered more than the style of filmmaking. That was my reasoning, anyway. I'm plenty open to revision on this point, though. Anyone really gung ho about expanding documentaries as checkmark items?

Perhaps also suggest a general check for a pairing of a fictionalized and documentary take on the same event/person.

(If you did want to add a Documentary subsection, you could suggest - although it might be difficult - a pairing of documentaries on the same event produced by two different countries; a doc featuring original period footage; one that's essentially a talking head lecture..)
This is kind of the idea behind watching "at least two movies about the same war/battle/event where each movie is from a different army's perspective". By not having a specific requirement of documentaries, each participant could elect to pair a dramatization with a documentary. There's wiggle room, though, for those who simply aren't into docs - or for anyone who goes on a documentary kick.

Actors, directors or characters, maybe? Johns Wayne and Ford, Buffallo Bill or Annie Oakley, etc.
Wayne and Ford were both checkmark figures in the previous years. I wanted to break away from that and do something new this year. I penciled in James Stewart in lieu of The Duke, but for whatever reason it just seemed out of place to require a specific actor for the Western section when there's no such requirement anywhere else.

I like ticking off items from the 12-14 decades of film - and there's the Death of Mary, Queen of Scots for the 1890s.
Yikes! My personal feeling as a participant is that that works better for a challenge like the Oscars (though, obviously, only dating back to the late 20s there) or Criterion in part because the scope of those challenges is so specific in the first place. We could add "One movie per decade of film", but that seems pretty burdensome to me unless we maybe dropped the Five Centuries section to help offset it.

That reminds me of another idea: two (or more) different films about a single historical person (and/or event); either identical to or separate from two films from different decades about the same person/event.
I had to read that three times before I understood it. I do like the idea of at least two films representing different perspectives on the same person/event. I think maybe that merits being adapted and taken out of the War section and put into the general section. Then you could pick any person or event from all of history, rather than having to focus on a specific war-related person or event.

Maybe there could even be a minor check for a 'real' documentary produced to accompany a film - i.e. a 'truth behind the story' type of feature, or one of the Lucas documentaries made for the Young Indiana Jones DVDs.
I'd definitely encourage participants to pick some "fact checking" content throughout the challenge, but a lot of it is really just DVD fluff content rather than independently produced material. That kind of content has almost always been excluded from DVD Talk challenges, though of course we're not required to abide by the same rules as any other challenge.

I hesitate to make that an official checkmark, but there is an entire series called The Real Story of... that I guess maybe A&E or someone has been producing over the last few years. I've gotten a few episodes of it free from iTunes (James Bond, Pirates of the Caribbean and maybe one more?). I would certainly recommend scoping out that series - even though the films covered by it aren't really eligible. That is, you could watch The Real Story of "Pirates of the Caribbean" but you couldn't actually watch any of the POTC movies.

EDIT: Since you have a 'marginalized' section - some of which items I may need advice from people here about qualifying films - I've just thought of another possibility (albeit one that could be open to MUCH debate!): a film dealing with a little-known - but important - person/event. i.e. something that isn't taught much in schools.*
That's another area where I feel it's best to just leave it up to each participant to decide what areas he or she wishes to explore. There's certainly no shortage of lists of movies out there, online or in books and magazines, that could help guide you to more obscure subject matter.

Remember also that the discipline of History is, at its heart, storytelling. Which stories are considered important enough to tell - and how they're interpreted and told - change with the times. When I was younger, American history was invariably structured around the presidency. Today's teachers emphasize the general public and their myriad experiences in different eras, often neglecting to even make note of who was president unless his administration was particularly important. It'd be hard to discuss the Civil War without Lincoln, but you can cover the Roaring 20s without a solitary word about Harding.
Old 05-29-13, 06:34 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

List thread is up, y'all.
Old 05-29-13, 06:43 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

You'll also find a few last minute tweaks to the checklist from the version I shared here a few posts back. There may be another minor revision (I'm still taking feedback into consideration!) before we officially start on Saturday, but if I don't have it in by midnight on Friday then whatever version is up will be the one we use. Sound good?
Old 05-29-13, 08:30 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

I'm looking forward to this challenge! The new checklist is great! I have quite a few documentaries, bio-pics, war films, and western box sets to get me through June. Hopefully, I will get to watch more than I was able to in May. Paper grading, end-of-the-semester activities, and traveling kept me away from the television for long periods of time.
Old 05-29-13, 08:59 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

I plan to just watch what I feel counts and enjoying the challenge. Ignoring any potential drama that comes up, and just focusing on my list.
Old 05-30-13, 09:06 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by shadokitty
I plan to just watch what I feel counts and enjoying the challenge. Ignoring any potential drama that comes up, and just focusing on my list.
My thoughts exactly. Although everything that i plan to watch should and will fit nicely into the challenge criteria without any issues. I don't even have a list to go by, I just watch what I feel like watching and it all will fit nicely.
Old 05-30-13, 09:46 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Incidentally, I forgot to mention this already but select Cinemark theaters will screen Schindler's List on Sunday, 23 June and Wednesday 26 June as part of their Cinemark Classic Series. Something to consider as you make your plans for the month.

June's theme is Spielberg. The other three movies in this wave are Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. You can get one pass for all four movies for $20, which ain't bad since each individual movie here runs around $10. Just thought I'd pass that along.
Old 05-31-13, 10:22 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Thinking of starting off with some Audie Murphy tomorrow.
Old 05-31-13, 10:30 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by JOE29
Thinking of starting off with some Audie Murphy tomorrow.
He played Jesse James and Billy the Kid in the same year, 1950: KANSAS RAIDERS and THE KID FROM TEXAS, both very good films. I esp. like THE KID FROM TEXAS, because it's one of the few Billy the Kid movies that depicts him with some accuracy, and Murphy is just right for the part.
Old 05-31-13, 02:32 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
He played Jesse James and Billy the Kid in the same year, 1950: KANSAS RAIDERS and THE KID FROM TEXAS, both very good films. I esp. like THE KID FROM TEXAS, because it's one of the few Billy the Kid movies that depicts him with some accuracy, and Murphy is just right for the part.
I actually don't have any of these. I was thinking of To Hell and Back or Apache Rifles. Which are the two DVD's that I have of him. Oh yeah, i also have 40 Guns to Apache Pass.
Old 05-31-13, 02:51 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Old 05-31-13, 10:44 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
He played Jesse James and Billy the Kid in the same year, 1950: KANSAS RAIDERS and THE KID FROM TEXAS, both very good films. I esp. like THE KID FROM TEXAS, because it's one of the few Billy the Kid movies that depicts him with some accuracy, and Murphy is just right for the part.
I watched Kansas Raiders for the challenge two years ago and remember enjoying it quite a bit. Murphy is very charismatic in that All-American way.

One of the problems that I have with westerns (or similar genres) is distinguishing between them. Of course, I'm always going to remember the plots and other elements of Shane or The Searchers, but looking over my lists from the past two years I don't remember much about the plots or particulars of a lot of the westerns I've seen.
Old 05-31-13, 11:58 PM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

To be clear... if all westerns and all war movies count then samurai films are totally fair game; right?!? 13 Assassins here I come; Harakiri next.
Old 06-01-13, 01:06 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

I know you don't want a ton of "does this count?" questions, but I have a Disney Parks: Where Dreams Come True (The Secrets, Stories and Magic Behind the Scenes (Walt Disney World Resort: Behind the Scenes / Disneyland Resort: Behind the Scenes / Ultimate Walt Disney World / Disney s Animal Kingdom / Disney Cruise Line / Undiscovered Disney Parks)) set that I think qualifies for a documentary.

Has anyone watched it? Sometimes they are more of a travel thing trying to get you to come to the park, but these sound more like behind the scenes type thing.

Thanks.
Old 06-01-13, 03:15 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

Originally Posted by LJG765
I know you don't want a ton of "does this count?" questions, but I have a Disney Parks: Where Dreams Come True (The Secrets, Stories and Magic Behind the Scenes (Walt Disney World Resort: Behind the Scenes / Disneyland Resort: Behind the Scenes / Ultimate Walt Disney World / Disney s Animal Kingdom / Disney Cruise Line / Undiscovered Disney Parks)) set that I think qualifies for a documentary.

Has anyone watched it? Sometimes they are more of a travel thing trying to get you to come to the park, but these sound more like behind the scenes type thing.

Thanks.
I'd go by IMDB and my gut. The 2 Behind the Scenes and Undiscovered Disney Parks list as Documentary so they're "safe". The description of Ultimate Walt Disney World sounds more like a travel thing (fans give tips on how to go through the park) but it could still be docu type stuff. Even if a few episodes are more travel/sales oriented they'll still fit here better than anywhere else. Since there's no watch count, etc. watch them anyway and just don't put them on your list if you feel they're "iffy".
Old 06-01-13, 07:57 AM
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Re: The Fourth Annual Historical Appreciation Challenge...Now with More Appreciation!

[QUOTE=davidh777;11712825]

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