It’s always a good idea to have a Plan B

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Plan B came to the rescue. Club member David Garmaise was prepared to present another of his interesting and entertaining video themes at the Pattaya City Expats Club meeting on Sunday, May 31. But David’s philosophy is also that if you are going to make a presentation that depends on technology such as slides, photos and videos, it is a good idea to have a Plan B.

David’s prepared presentation was entitled “Good Movies That Did Not Win Best Picture at the Oscars.” However, his presentation was interrupted by technical gremlins less than 10 minutes after it started. David was able to switch gears and revert to his Plan B, which was to show two short compilations he had prepared based on video clips downloaded from YouTube.

Club member David Garmaise provides his PCEC audience with background information surrounding Oscar nominations for best picture for the year 1951.

Before the gremlins struck, David talked about the year 1951 when three of the nominated films were “A Place in the Sun,” “An American in Paris,” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.” About half of the audience thought that “An American in Paris” had won the Oscar (they were right) while the other half thought it was “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Most people agreed that it should have been “Streetcar.”

“An American in Paris” is a music and dance film starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. It features songs such as “I Got Rhythm” and “Our Love is Here to Stay.” But it is probably best known for its dance numbers, including one 16-minute sequence set to Gershwin’s “symphonic poem,” also called “An American in Paris.” The film won six Oscars. Few people in the audience had heard of “A Place in the Sun.” The film is about a working class guy who gets entangled with two women. It starred Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Winters. It also won six Oscars.

MC Richard Silverberg presents the PCEC’s Certificate of Appreciation for David’s interesting and entertaining presentations.

“A Streetcar Named Desire” received the most nominations (12). Now considered an iconic film, “Streetcar” was based on a play by Tennessee Williams. The characters are familiar to many people, as are the actors who portrayed them. Marlon Brando played Stanley; Kim Hunter was Stella; Vivian Leigh played Blanche du Bois; and Karl Malden was Mitch, Blanche’s suitor. They all won acting Oscars except Brando. Today, many critics say that Brando’s performance was the most influential one in the history of American cinema. It has been widely credited for being one of the first performances to introduce “method acting.”

David showed three scenes from the movie: one where an angry Mitch confronts Blanche about her relationships with other men; one where Stanley first meets Blanche; and the last scene in the movie where a psychiatrist escorts Blanche from Stanley’s and Stella’s apartment and she says to the psychiatrist, “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

David was about to show some scenes from “The Longest Day,” a 1962 movie about the invasion of Europe on D-Day, 6 June 1944, when the technical problems occurred. By the way, David said “Lawrence of Arabia” won the best picture Oscar that year. When David went to show the film clips, the gremlins struck so he had to cut his presentation short.

Member Ren Lexander interviews David about his presentation and his interest in creating film clips with themes about movies. To view the interview, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs2I-cphyRg

In its place, David showed two medleys of YouTube videos. The clips included young contestants performing on talent shows, a “speaking” dog, a kitten giving another kitten a massage, and a spectacular juggling performance. One of the clips from “Thailand’s Got Talent” showed a young lady who started out singing in a feminine voice and who, after a few verses, switched to a much more masculine voice. She turned out to be a lady boy, much to surprise of the judges and the delight of the audience. In another of the clips, Matt Damon tearfully breaks up with his toilet after promising not to go to the bathroom again until everyone in the world has access to clean water and sanitation. Although the original presentation was cut short, the audience was not disappointed as the YouTube clips were entertaining and well worth watching.

Club member Pat Koester gives highlights of a planned one day excursion she is arranging with a travel agent for the benefit of PCEC members and guests. The excursion is entitled “The Secret Trails of Thonburi” with stops at several interesting places. A description and details can be found in the PCEC Newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/bpp2TD

After the presentation, MC Richard Silverberg brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and called on Roy Albiston to conduct the Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.

For more information on the PCEC’s many activities, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.