Welcome to The Mercado Lounge, where the critical mind may relax unencumbered by the rash arguments of the populist unwashed. Original critical minds are welcome. Auteurist theories will be checked at the door. Nor are followers of Ebertism welcome; those who canonize the digit-challenged, television-based “reviewer” who undermines all that is valuable in the Critical Establishment. This is a club intended for original thinkers only please. For first time visitors there are a few house rules which we ask you to follow and which are strictly enforced by our crack professional staff who are here to make certain your stay with us is a pleasant one. We ask if you see someone engaged in blatant infractions of the rules, to tell one of our staff immediately so that the offending party may be ejected from the premises so that their behavior might not disturb the others. Our staff thanks you for your anticipated cooperation.
This Evening’s Hostess: Miss Margarita____
RULES OF THE HOUSE
Though reservations are not necessary, to avoid disappointment it may be advisable to call ahead to make certain there is sufficient seating for you in The Mercado Lounge on any given day. After all, it is certainly worth erring on the side of caution, and there is no downside in avoiding discomfort and delay in admittance by simply using the nearest convenient telephone.
The staff of The Mercado Lounge is here only to service your every need. If there is an occasion where you find there is an amenity that needs altering, please don’t hesitate to advise our closet staff member. Be it extra stationery or luxurious seat or foot cushions, remember your complete comfort is our main objective.
While visiting The Mercado Lounge don’t forget to take advantage of our full service valet parking facilities and our modern state-of-the art car detailing services, where our expert staff will buff, wash and strip down your vehicle to conveniently portable black market resale items without disturbing a moment of your stay with us. Just one of the many amenities we provide free of charge at The Mercado Lounge. And don’t forget to get the complimentary validation of your parking slip.
Here at The Mercado Lounge, your safety is almost as important as our welching on insurance liability payments. So, while we are fitted with state-of-the-art security and safety equipment, this does not relinquish our guests from familiarizing themselves with the locations of all nearby safety exits, fire stairs and evacuation procedures. In case of an emergency, please exit as quickly from the premises leaving behind your jewelry, wallets, watches and other easily pawnable personal items. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Now that you’ve acquainted yourself with some of the features of The Mercado Lounge, why not get out of the nasty weather, get out of that wet Mack and into a Hot Toddy, relax and peruse the multiple facets of what The Lounge has to offer? Don’t forget, there’s a money back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with your stay. Management would also like to remind you that you didn’t actually pay anything to visit here so you might want to take that into consideration when we chuckle at your request for a refund. And with that happy thought in mind, we welcome you into the World of Wonder, the Palace of Fascination, the Xanadu of Cinema Culture that we humbly call The Mercado Lounge. Oh, just come on in, and close the door behind you. Air conditioning doesn’t pay for itself, you know.
Sign-In Registry: THE 47 FILM RONIN
Please follow Mila to the front desk where you will be asked to solve a puzzle to prove that you are indeed a cinema maven. The task is quite simple. In the following letter jumble are hidden the names of 47 international film directors. Your task is simply to identify all 47 directors.
r e x a d i t n o c s i v o n i h c u l e a n
o l d a r i o a r g e n t o f r e d n i b l o
y l a s e r z o r b l e e l g n a t o l u a t
n i v e w i i g n a l z t i r f r o r a t d h
n m i r a r t r e g e a n n p e l m m p e s c
n e d g y t r e l y w m a i l l i w i e x e i
a d n e a e u l n a n o f l r o l y r g a r r
m b o i r p c t o r o n t l l h u l a r v g c
y l y e s o l h p e s o j e p t o l n o e i s
n i l i a i e a t m r o u f m r h a a e r o e
o c a s l l a w o l o n w o a u a n i g y l l
h e n e o e h a i u u r y c a r l d r e y e r
t c o n h a c n r b t a m i f r a y u r u o a
n o t s c e i f s e u f m r i o s w e f i n h
a r i t i n m i e g r l a e w g h a r n i e c
w y m e n a u t l a q h t d r e b r o a d s o
d a v i d l e a n x t f e e n r y t e v a i n
n w r n o r v k r o o s g r d c t o n a l w s
a a r t i m c a d n k s v f x o r o o b u t e
l h a r h a a b a w r a e a p r o p a o p r l
l t o m p u r r a i l h y r u m a w h i i e i
a a y r e o r h c g y l e i t a d o m r n b a
l h a i w a d p u h a m o r i n a m e a o o k
a y p n f r i e e p i j e f f r e y o m s r a
c r i x a o s s r n o t s u h n h o j a f r z
r n y w n t r p g o n e l l a y o o o w i o a
g e o r g e s e a t o n o r i a l c e n e r n
o h r e x d r o f n h o j k e e l e k i p s a
If you found the letter puzzle exhausting, here’s a happy clue to the solution. The following names are not included in the mix: Otis Criblecoblis, Stubby Kaye, William “One Shot” Beaudine, Andy Sidaris, Topo Gigio, Max von Mayerling, Alan Smithee.
And now without further ado and fanfare…
Welcome To The Mercado Lounge
A Reminder: We are Open 365 Days a Year
Being a nonsectarian institution, we eschew Sunday church schedules and never close our doors, with the exception of holidays, illness, the circus being in town, ball games, laziness and court dates under indictment. Those seeking spiritual guidance may seek our Chaplain who is a Reformed Maidenformist and worships at the Altar of Mamie Van Doren.
The Mercado Lounge Directory: a cinema tour in 16 stories
a Find the Film visual brain teaser
The object of this puzzle is easy. Simply identify the title of the film from which each of the following sixteen images came from. The staff of The Mercado Lounge are not liable for any injury you may sustain while attempting to solve the puzzle.
Image One:Image Two: Image Three: Image Four: Image Five: Image Six: Image Seven: Image Eight: Image Nine: Image Ten: Image Eleven: Image Twelve: Image Thirteen: Image Fourteen: Image Fifteen: Image Sixteen: FIN PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Mercado Lounge is a non-profit organization, not by choice, it’s just that we’re very lousy at accounting and are still actively pursuing a CPA named Phil somewhere in the Caribbean Islands as we speak. Still, the staff is a civic minded bunch and as such we present these helpful, and court-ordered, announcements for your perusal. We hope they will not only enhance your stay but also keep those pesky inspectors away who failed to notice on their last kitchen inspection that odd…well, never mind. To better serve our patrons we have engaged the services of a nationally recognized polling organization at great financial expense (let’s just hope they don’t try to cash the check too soon) which will assist in accessing your critical needs and finding the best way to accommodate them to the fullest. We are happy to announce the polling results [see below]:
“5 out of 6″?? Now, not that we want to get picky or anything, but there seems to be a fly in the ointment here and just what is it that you greedy, ungrateful, selfish little———-
The Mercado Lounge is grateful for the participation of all of it’s patrons. Thank you – the Management
ALERT! FOR AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: this just in
The Mercado Lounge in cooperation with the Film Studies Program at Smarterin U., have joined forces to initiate a series of instructional seminars on the proper way to effectively communicate through Critical blogs, thinking and calculating service tips. The program, entitled “The C.F.U. Mentaling Programme” is designed specifically for
those who don’t realize they have nothing to say but should say it anyway- and as floridly as possible- and lack direction in their Critical Thought process, which is good because we’ll tell you exactly how to think, how to express what you’re not thinking and how not to think about what you’re not thinking about but do it with pride and self-respect.
With “The C.F.U. Mentaling Programme” you’ll soon be the whiz kid on the block, writing arcane, trivial blogs to the amusement of yourself and the ire of many. We’ll teach you that research is an elitist term for “sucker” and that there is no useless detail which does not require the creation of a twelve-part series.
You’ll learn that criticism of your work is merely a form of jealousy. Remember, not everyone can write 30,000 words on “Post-World War II Movie Cufflinks and Their Importance to Pre-Civil Rights Cultural Inclusion”. With
our Mentaling Programme, you’ll find that hesitation and editorial judgment are crutches for the weak, and the only self-awareness that is important is the awareness that your self with respect to self-respect is aware that that’s the most you’re going to get, with all due respect.
Already, many of the participants of our earlier trial instructional seminars are actively engaged in the high profile field of publishing- reading as many free magazines and newspapers they can absorb before being ejected by “jealous” café baristas.
Some of the topics covered in the seminars include:
* Substance Abuse- a study on how “substance” is an abused, overused option in elitist writing.
*Deconstructing syntax & punctuation as an inconvenient suggestion.
*Winning Respect Thru Intimidation.
*Deflecting Jealous Criticism, with Advanced exercises in Synchronized Eye Rolling and Impatient Exhalations.
*Sleep learning and the newest techniques in Sleep Writing.
*Enough Already!: Is There Really a Good Reason to Have to Remember All of Those Vowels?
Why keep saying, “I could of”, when you could be saying, “I did of”? Take a seminar today and let everyone see you’re really more “Mental” than they even suspected. Ask a Lounge staff member for an application now!
CRITICAL FAILURES UNITE!
JOIN “THE C.F.U. MENTALING PROGRAMME” TODAY!
STOP! BEFORE YOU TAKE ANOTHER STEP…
The Mercado Lounge invites you to take a simple test that will determine your suitability for “special patron” status. Simply place the tips of your index fingers in the indicated circles below and watch the film in the center rectangle:Thank you for your participation. We will let you know if the results meet our standards. You will now forget you’ve never taken this test.
__________________________ -sponsored by The Parallax Corporation__
The Mercado Lounge Complaint Dept.Here at The Mercado Lounge we are sensitive to the complaints of our patrons. If there is anything at any time that displeases you about the services and amenities of this facility, please let us know. Simply follow the following protocol for our Complaints Dept. so we may attend to your concerns in as expedient a manner as possible. Protocol for the Filing of Complaints: Why don’t you just go away and leave us alone?
Tall, Dark, not So SilentThe myth of the men of the frontier was that they were a taciturn bunch, grunting out their expression in a few monosyllables and pretty much letting the guns do the speaking for them, when in fact some of the choicest of Western dialogue comes from these same Men of Iron who can shoot off a quip as well as a bullet at a moment’s notice. Following are eight quotes from notable Westerns, each the line of dialogue spoken by the character before the shooting starts. See if you can identify the actor who said the lines and the films they spoke them in.
1. “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”2. “Now that you’ve called me by name?”
3. “I’ve heard that you’re a low-down Yankee liar.”
4. “Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!”5. “Call it professional courtesy.” 6. “If they move, kill ’em!”
7. “Go on home to your kids, Herb.”
8. “Ride on.”_________________________________________________________ ENJOY A MATINEE MOVIE APPETIZER BEFORE YOUR MAIN COURSE
Nothing beat the excitement of going to the Saturday Matinee movie, where for a mere two-bits you would be bombarded with cartoons, short subjects, perhaps a serial chapter and if you were very lucky, a double-feature bill with such exotic treasures as “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter” and “Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula”, all brought to you in somewhat grainy but vivid color and cranked up loud enough to hear over the excited buzz of an auditorium full of Cola sated, Sugar Daddy infused kids just waiting for the rise of the next full moon or the next masked bad guy plunging the hero and heroine into the dangerous perils of his nefarious enterprises. Relive just a tiny taste of those days here. Choose from a yummy assortment of cartoon and spook show clips that will surely whet your appetite for the days of oversized buckets of popcorn, Milk Duds, outsmarting power crazed teenage ushers who liked nothing better than to catch you in a “feet on the seat” infraction that labelled you a social pariah for days, singing cowboys and pesky mummies chasing young Hollywood starlets.
THE WHINE LIST
Discussion of the impact on German filmmaking emigrants from National Socialism to the Hays Office: the extension of the subverted Ideal, and why the French suck.
Of big teeth and Coke-bottle glasses: the humor of Jerry Lewis and the translation to Franco-Gallic culture; why the French may be right but they suck anyway.
The Atomic/Godzilla paradox and anti-militarism in modern Japanese cinema: why it doesn’t alter the fact the French suck.
Thumbsucking: A definitive history of Ebertism and the evolution of the thumb as a substitution for critical clarity.
A fizzy discussion on French actor Gerard Depardieu, and how one may be loutish, ill-bred, possessed of a Cyrano-worthy honker and be of a heft that would generate it’s own tidal pull, yet still be regarded as a romantic charmer. Additional seminars on opthalmic disssociation in European women are included at no additional charge.
Bubbly Scandal: A definitive study of the classic Ealing comedies with particular emphasis on robbery, murder, thumbing of noses and heinous but hilarious skullduggery all done while maintaining a stiff upper lip and a rigorous devotion to afternoon Teas. Field trips will include, the Tower of London and , dredging the Thames for fashionable corpses and a blind taste testing of several varieties of scones. Interested parties are expected to bring their own gravedigging spades and SWAG satchels.
THE MERCADO LOUNGE FINALLYEXPANDED! VISIT OUR EAST WING TO EXPERIENCE THE JOY, RAPTURE AND ODD CHAFING SENSATIONS THAT ONLY A VISIT TO THE MERCADO LOUNGE CAN BRING. IT’S JUST A CLICK AWAY. SO JOIN THE CELEBRATION!
And the only reason why Chandler is nice to you is because you agree with him.
“Critical minds”= people who agree with Chandler Swain and will not refute him and his golden throne, but as many at the Classic Film Union know, the throne is a toilet scene and nothing comes in and out that isn’t shit.
I have overstayed my place here with my last comment. the last two were meant to be my final “contributions” here, and while they are better set for private messages, having had that experience before with Chandler, I would just be taken for stupid and see him take no personal responsibility for his slanderous and libelous words, so, I will take my “Populist” yokel self and mosey on back to the Classic Film Union. See you too again when Chandler tries recruiting people back to his site because he only has 51 followers and only that.
Katharine, clearly you have some strong emotions and opinions running here and even though the language used occasionally crossed over into indelicate territory (we do try to keep it clean here), I have a policy of allowing free expression at this site which seems a more important concern than imposing censorial duties. Your comments are noted. They will be given all of the consideration they merit. By the way, no one overstays their welcome at this site. Come back any time.
You know what? Just saying “fuck off” doesn’t seem like a reasonable morsel in which to scavenge from, even for the likes of your elitist smug, write that editorial. See who responds. Everything you accuse others of doing, you do yourself. Everything you criticize are your own criticisms of self, and since you cannot deal with that, you express it outwardly because you are not responsible for yourself and acknowledging that you have faults of any kind. The truth about you is you are everything you claim to despise, and just because I speak what many people think of you in this moment, doesn’t mean that if they weren’t condescended to and made to feel stupid because of their interests and expressions due to the likes of you and others who do nothing but sit on their thrones and expect a kiss of the hand before execution, mean that they don’t also think and would say it to your face if given the chance to. You are a pretentious snob who makes a mockery of film and hurts the same films you want other people to know about with your elitist bickering and whining, and while you demean others for actual cases of victimization, you are so quick to paint yourself to be the real victim, even though it is all but imagined out of your own ego, and the most unfortunate thing is that people buy it.
Sorry to feed your Trollishness, since you will probably use this as ammo for your editorial and Ebert your way into public sympathy, but don’t think I will give you the satisfaction in engaging you any further, and that is a shame that such profound intellect and knowledge is wasted on someone who never left playground politics in their youth.
I have found Chandler to be a welcoming addition to my blog. His feedback is always insightful, critical, sometimes tongue in cheek but never abrasive or demeaning (at least not to me, he might be abrasive or demeaning to the picture, but some movies are just asking for it).
His work on wordpress has helped me a lot. When I needed help with my site, Chandler was there. When nobody else commented, Chandler did. And his own reviews, theories, quizzes and commentary have helped create a greater awareness to films, stars and merchandise (his dvd reviews are extremely helpful), all things that I look for when reading a blog.
I don’t know either of you, I just stumbled across this post during a google search (hahah, just kidding :), no, but really. I think you both have lots you’d like to say about films.
I think the personal attacks maybe are better suited for a private message??
I’ll go fuck off now 🙂
Okay, I’m hepclassic, and I meant every word I said to you on the Classic Film Union page. I just think it’s sad that you can criticize all you want about films and lack of cultural taste by your definitions of them, as well as criticizing people’s means to appreciate film as an art form, but when it comes to you, you avoid introspection and make it look like the person who brought you to the point has attacked you for causing those thoughts in your head. For gosh’s sake, you are not infallible, but you are a sick individual with narcissistic personality disorder and you need to get help. I feel so sorry for you.
A NOTE TO THE READER: I was planning on writing a follow-up to last year’s editorial (On the NOTES FROM THE CRITICAL ESTABLISHMENT page.) concerning the cultural atmosphere at the TCM Classic Films Union website and their past resistance to both new ideas and an expanded outlook of world cinema, however, I believe these new communications from the self-appointed membership “leader” speak for themselves and talk more about the regressive cultural climate at the site than anything I could add.
Fuck you you arrogant asshole.
One of the things I have noticed in exploring the content of the Classic Film Union is that people go there to share and express their appreciation for classic movies, but I also have seen that people comment and follow individuals who challenge their context of which they have shared by offering new and undiscovered insights into an actor, a director, a studio, a producer, and the film itself. I understand your need to objective analysis and criticism into the nature of what makes a film appealing to the person watching it, but I have found a couple of discussions there that do pose the questions also. But, in your recent posting, I still see the perennial question of “this site isn’t offering me anything that I like, so I will pry and state, do you think they will engage after I do that?” Do you respect the people on the site? I ask not because I am picking up on the personal affronts, but just in general observation of what you contribute.
Katharine. I find your last communication truly puzzling, and have a few questions of my own before continuing. First, in the most recent posting you cite, the observation was raised that the site is in a creative funk (it is), leading to the absence of many highly creative people from year ago (true) and inquired as to suggestions from the general body for how to improve the site. How is this threatening to the CFU? (If it is, the situation is worse than anticipated.) Second, what personal affronts are you referring to, please be specific. And third, what has been the material in my contributions to the site since my return that indicates a general disrespect? I was under the impression I was flying under the radar. I didn’t realize my voice was that important at the site. (In fact, I assume I’m completely irrelevant.) In your opinion, should I remove myself from the site?
I don’t know much of the site’s history let alone your history on it, but I will answer your questions based on what your current post said and how it was interpreted. It is not that it is threatening to the place as a whole, it’s just the way you said it made it seem like people there aren’t creative in their contributions and that the absence of a few members who voluntarily left, which I can assume due to taste difference and squabbles, is cause for your interpreted “blandness.” In your last posting, it seems a couple members responded feeling offended saying that they like the site the way it is and that to change it to be the equivalent of what IMDB or MUBI is would take away the site’s uniqueness which draws people to it. Another person who felt affronted said that certain things they would like to change, but you cannot please everybody so why try? What pleases one might not please the other. Since your sarcasm, at least from what I see and read on here is an acquired taste that people need to make an extra effort to understand, not to mention most people find sarcasm rude anyway (not that that reflects my opinion of you because there is intellect I appreciate underneath it), those responses pick up a feeling of disrespect that people shy away from. Why engage with someone who makes you feel bad and insults your intelligence? I sense that the Classic Film Union does value every voice so long as respect is reciprocated. I think you should do what you feel is right to do fo. r yourself.
I find it interesting that you would proclaim all these things about the Classic Film Union, as I have checked you out on there too, and yet I wonder why you’ve returned there if you think so negatively of the place.
Good question Katharine. Call it a professional curiosity. (“Checked you out”- sounds rather ominous. I am happily intrigued.) I was interested if in the interim, there had been any movement toward a more progressive and expansive perspective toward the Cinema as a whole- a movement that had scattered seeds of members anxious for progress in days past. Alas, many of those members are gone, and there seems to be a self-imposed “leadership” which stifles any genuine renaissance toward fulfilling the ultimate capabilities of such a resource. A member leadership is a fine idea, but one that has the capability of promoting a constructive leap forward in stimulating insight to the cultural form in question, to the useful benefit of all of the members, regardless of their interests, and not simply one to push it’s own personal agendas. To clarify: I don’t feel negatively about the site (if there are some there who cannot take a ribbing- too bad) but I can never find a path to respect a cultural entity which deliberately buries it’s head in the sand. Now, perhaps a more interesting question to be posed might be: Why is a major site which supposedly deals with (even in a generally Populist sense) critical evaluation of a major art form, itself so thin skinned and childishly defensive over any hint of criticism or suggestion for improvement (Heaven forbid we hint the site may not be practically perfect in every way!) that members turn on each other like rabid dogs? Where is the disciplined critical acumen?
I rarely check out things on that site, but in my Google searches, a lot of interesting things pop up that do criticize film as an art form, and do present disciplined, but also individualized acumen of films in general. I question whether or not you are really looking outside of your own comfort box to really see this or if your pride was hurt to the point that you are blind and offended by efforts made that don’t appeal to your sensibilities. I am simply thinking critically here, so hopefully the inquiries will be accepted as such.
Katharine, you misunderstand what I said. When I refer to a disciplined critical acumen, I am speaking of a critical perspective tempered by a disciplined temperament that easily dismisses emotional responses of a personal nature- in other words, one that is resistant to verbal or written accounts which may be aimed directly at the critical individual or their opinions. Whereas there is material that is interesting in nature, and some extremely valuable, at the site in question, I do question whether certain individuals who show a great promise are encouraged to travel in directions in which their talents might flourish more prominently? (By way of suggestive encouragement naturally, I do not believe in the bully pulpit approach to anyone’s abilities.) But I do see (and it’s not my imagination, a recent posting answered by several highly defensive calls to maintain a neutral course bears this out) a general call to lethargy at the site which I personally find dispiriting and sad for those members who would genuinely enjoy higher and more flexible standards.(And they are legion, simply bullied into submission, something that has been discussed at length to me by many of the members.) As far as criticizing film in the context of a true art form, I’m afraid I disagree that the discussions ever reach that stage at the CFU in it’s current state. And that’s also disappointing. How may budding cinephiles explore all that is out there to absorb if perpetually surrounded in an atmosphere of a “Golden Age” aesthetic stasis? The “classic” designation of the site, a mere- but effective- marketing tool by TCM has been taken to heart and run completely amok, certainly not benefiting an appreciation of continuously expanding cultural film heritage that is wastefully retarded by the fervent misapplication of an advertising title. As far as a “comfort zone” goes, I’m afraid you’re on the wrong path with that as that doesn’t exist with me, and I am willing to discuss, be critical of- and in turn be criticized about – almost any subject. As it says on the front page of this site: all comments, suggestions and criticisms are welcome. Can the same be said of the CFU? Or MUBI? In that spirit, your comments and criticisms are not only accepted but naturally welcome. The door’s always open.
Wow! That is an exciting slant.
Always happy to hear from a satisfied patron. I’d like to think that although free, the Mercado Lounge is still worth every penny paid for admission. (Hey, wait a minute…)
the source of Chandlers’ discontent and satire!!!
8 positive comments…
I was laughing my ass off!!!
Film, Criticism and Crank: perhaps you’ve written my epitaph there? As far as the Winter of my discontent, it seems that when targets for humor present themselves so willingly it’s virtually a show of bad manners not to take advantage of the invitation.
looks really good so far…
much better than any website I have…
I have you bookmarked under FILM, CRITICISM and CRANK!!
Hey there hi there ho there Doc,
Glad you stopped by. Hopefully, as soon as I figure this whole place out here- my computer skills are still equal to those of a springer spaniel- I’ll have this little venture operational in no time. I wanted to have had the Art House Film page already up but then the director of the film I was writing about died, so I suppose I should say something about that as well. Chores…chores…chores.