Our 2014 Canon, Part 1: Films 63-32
Rather than discuss one movie here we talk about a bunch of our favorite films of all time. We called ourselves Loose Canons, so we decided to release our own very loose canon! The episode is broken into two parts, which is good because it’s four hours long! It would have been eight if we hadn’t done that!
These early episodes are not available on Apple Podcasts anymore, so I’ve taken the liberty for anyone who wants to listen of making sure the archive.org links still work. You can listen right here on the website or download the MP3 below.
Original Release Date: June 7th, 2014
00:00:00-00:00:29 Disclaimer and theme song
00:01:58-00:05:32 Fun facts about the canon!
SPOILERS 00:05:33-00:08:54 His Girl Friday (presented by Basil), Cary Grant is a jerk, women can only choose either the job they love or the man they love
00:08:55-00:10:50 Patrick’s favorite part, Reuben’s favorite scene (The Apartment spoilers?), Ilya’s thoughts, not a RomCom?
00:10:51-00:14:28 By the Bluest of Seas (presented by Ilya), no one has heard of this movie, Loose Canons is so typically American, the plot doesn’t matter as much as the feeling it creates
00:14:29-00:17:32 Reuben’s idea for our canon, Basil was just being snarky, Ilya loves America, Basil describes a shot he likes, Ilya talks about the spell that Russian directors can cast on him, Reuben talks about his dad’s definition of “greatness,” Basil hated fishing with his dad but liked Hemingway
00:17:33-00:21:18 Princess Mononoke (presented by Patrick), Hayao Miyazaki’s take on war, everyone is a jerk, Ashitaka is an impartial observer and the audience’s entry point into this world
00:21:10-00:25:08 Reuben’s got jokes, Both sides think of themselves as “good” for helping their own marginalized people but not the other side at all, Billy Bob Thornton makes Ilya feel weird, Reuben’s got more jokes (too complex), Take that Cameron Crowe!
00:25:09-00:28:39 Los Angeles Plays Itself (presented by Basil), why this narrator?, using movies to comment on movies, what Basil usually doesn’t like about documentaries, the fictional aspects of documentary and the documentary aspects of narrative film
00:28:40-00:31:33 We forgot to say release years, Reuben compares Los Angeles Plays Itself to San Soleil, Moves from the very minor complaints to the more serious and meaningful complaints about how Los Angeles is presented
00:31:34-00:32:05 Quick recap of release years and directors
SPOILERS 00:32:06-00:35:31 Ugetsu (presented by Basil), commentary on samurai culture through the stories of two men who don’t really have anything but an empty fantasy, male vanity at the expense of society and especially their wives, critique of the gender imbalance in society
SPOILERS 00:35:32-00:42:53 High and Low (presented by Reuben), not a lesser work of Kurosawa, how High and Low combines many of Kurosawa’s themes and techniques into one film, the weird beliefs of the police, really unique structure, police as personal vengeance, nonsensical actions become sensical when you’re poor, Gondo denied heroism
00:42:54-00:47:57 Tangled (presented by Basil), who cares about these directors, Disney responding to its own history, styling is a step forward (isn’t indulging lascivious dads), narrative is Rapunzel’s and love story is ancillary, Flynn’s arc is learning to step out of the way, best wordless performance maybe ever, doghorse
00:47:58-00:53:29 The Iron Giant (presented by Ilya), Ilya hasn’t seen it a long time but left a deep mark, one of his more emotional experiences in a movie, strange to watch as a Russian an American perspective on the Cold War, not enough people got to see this, celeb stunt casting gives surprising performances
00:53:30-00:54:10 What Vin Diesel brings to the table, Reuben’s future career
SPOILERS 00:54:11-00:58:21 The Science of Sleep (presented by Reuben), Gondry undercuts everything you expect for him here, romantic love is a form of vanity of finding someone to “complete you,” invading a woman’s privacy multiple times is not romantic, yet still manages to achieve sympathy for Stephane, patriarchy creates two victims, false happy ending
00:58:22-00:59:30 Patrick says thanks for addressing my question!, man pursuing a woman not about their relationship but about what it would mean to the man to “get” her
00:59:31-01:02:29 Doppelganger (presented by Reuben), this film necessitates the context of the director’s other work, is horror just “supernaturally scary” or something else?,Doppelganger “most pure horror film” in Reuben’s opinion, exposes particular fears and then points out their ridiculousness, Reuben likes to keep the surprises
01:02:30-01:03:00 Patrick loves that robot, Johnny 5 is alive!
01:03:01-01:05:47 Raising Arizona (presented by Patrick), this film is a Western, also a discussion of what defines masculinity, macho and evil and unloved are all equated, Coens’ wit
01:05:48-01:08:24 Not unless round is funny, Holly Hunter’s song is good, makes comedy of poverty without making fun of the poor, best performance by Nicolas Cage’s hair
01:08:25-01:11:55 Rules of the Game (presented by Basil), the most canonical movie on our canon, Basil discusses a scene that has pointed commentary on colonialism, Renoir points out how people are phony in really unique ways, sadly many of the things Renoir is commenting on are still in vogue today
01:11:56-01:14:42 Just a good plane, Fiction becomes truth in vine form!, declaration of love is immediately undercut, world isn’t about you heroes
01:14:43-:01:18:29 Gremlins 2: The New Batch (presented by Ilya), why the sequel?, Joe Dante had to fight Chris Columbus and Steven Spielberg’s tendencies, Gremlins 2 is all Dante, a complete takedown of sequels and offering “more of the same,” is as loose as our canon, more relevant now than maybe it ever meant to be
01:18:30-01:21:43 Reuben was taken in by Spielberg’s speechifying, Rosenbaum (smart dude) points out how different gremlins might be making fun of Star Wars and toyifying, or even just film icons?, gremlins also want Susan Sontag
SPOILERS 01:22:44-01:28:29 Three Times (presented by Reuben), Reuben doesn’t know what film he is going to see, Reuben appreciated not just the lack of expectations but the wrong expectations, each story is a representation of what we think that era is like (through cinema) and its romantic relationships were like but those are just our expectations, and you should go into romances thinking they are porn musicals and then learn what they’re really about, this is how cinema thinks we should view these time periods and these relationships but not how they actually were, Reuben gets real wide with it
CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT (spoiler): Qi Shu is cheating on her girlfriend with Chen Shang, Chen Shang is not the one cheating
01:28:30-01:33:56 Ilya finds it easier to be exploratory in life than with movies, Reuben’s got jokes, Basil’s got jokes, Patrick talks about how he saw Three Times, three very different movies, from a practical standpoint very impressive, Patrick and Reuben are the only ones who loved the third section best, take that Kar-Wai Wong!, texting!
SPOILERS 01:33:57-01:40:19 The Apartment (presented by Ilya), Ilya feels ambivalent about some things about Wilder, but Lemmon and Maclaine help save the script from rote cynicism, explaining the suicide attempt and the movie’s heart/humanity, Baxter eschews his more masculine traits to become more respectful and deserving of love
SPOILERS 01:40:20-01:45:03 Reuben wants to talk about The Apartment as well, Fran as a consumer for RomComs, Sheldrake as the archetype of “man” in those movies, Baxter attempting to “makeover” himself into a “man,” but learns to make himself over as a “mensch,” there is another best picture Oscar winner!, Reuben’s got jokes, Basil’s got jokes
01:45:04-01:49:17 The Young Girls of Rochefort (presented by Reuben), Lola/Umbrellas of Cherbourg/The Young Girls of Rochefort is a trilogy, weirdest of the three, maybe the only musical with an ax murder, self-aware musical, recontextualized Umbrellas
01:49:18-01:50:29 Basil agrees, Umbrellas like Romeo & Juliet is a satire in our opinion, Patrick loves puns
01:50:30-01:55:46 A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (presented by Ilya), Ilya gives a personal history of his initial response to A.I. and also to Kubrick, on rewatch his initial ideas were trashed, how people think of Spielberg lead them to misinterpret this film, this is not a happy ending, that Spielberg made this film impresses Ilya more
01:55:47-02:00:04 The casting of Haley Joel Osment, no avenue of success for child stars, inherent dishonesty about fairy tales, Spielberg’s apology/confession, Patrick hasn’t seen this movie
02:00:05-02:04:22 Black Cat, White Cat (presented by Ilya), not at all like A.I., one of the most euphoric films Ilya has seen, this movie is to be experienced, Ilya describes the structure in a very accurate but funny way, great soundtrack!
OMISSIONS DEPARTMENT: Reuben said that Streets of Fire made him want to dance
02:04:23-02:07:24 Everyone loves that pig, the meaning of every moment in this movie is joy, if Ilya were a gangster, If Reuben were a villain (Charlie’s Angels spoilers), haha brevity
02:07:25-02:11:55 Commando (presented by Basil), augments and dismantles Arnold as hero, the accent oh boy, goofy backstory, Arnold’s masculinity and Reagan’s political policies, intentional or not?
02:11:56-02:18:04 Someone please explain Arnold’s ridiculousness, wishing Arnold had been an accountant, the iconic scene?, eating green berets for breakfast and overt commentary, satire on commentary?, making men out of Ilya and his brother
02:18:05-02:23:40 Rio Bravo (presented by Ilya), machismo, John Wayne’s most feminine role, Hawks and Wayne wanted to remake High Noon, people help Wayne because he needs it even though he doesn’t want it, reminds Ilya of good scenes in worse movies
02:23:41-02:24:56 Vin Diesel and the Sphinx, dual use of music in Rio Bravo
02:24:57-02:29:04 Harlan County, U.S.A. (presented by Patrick, great music, music is a way people connect, woven into their lives, emotionally driven documentary, perfect capsule of time period
02:29:05-02:30:43 well researched documentary without the usual tricks, these corporations ARE evil, different movie from her follow up
02:30:44-02:35:51 Halloween (presented by Reuben), John Carpenter is a history buff, a suburb is an erasing of history and individuality, takes the thing most important to a community’s survival and make the thing that will destroy it as the villain, Michael Myers represents the true promise of the suburbs (not safety but a lack of empathy), this movie gave Reuben nightmares, very different structure than horror films
02:35:52-02:37:11 modern horror directors have to learn from Carpenter, Basil thinks rewatching is a good thing
SPOILERS 02:37:12-02:41:38 The 400 Blows (presented by Basil), one of the few movies about what Basil’s childhood was like, the battle with Maurice reminds Basil of his own childhood and its importance and insignificance, another false happy ending?
02:41:39-02:43:44 Patrick agrees, the music doesn’t provide a conclusion, the shot doesn’t provide a conclusion, it’s not a happy ending, Ilya likes the dripping pen scene
02:43:45-02:48:50 Rushmore (presented by Patrick), deconstruction of the “high school movie,” Max can’t handle the reality of sex, his wish fulfilment is different, Magnus as a more typical “man”
02:48:51-02:51:44 rich people never see themselves as rich, Good Will Hunting parody, “he’s one of the worst students we’ve got,” Max uses his powers for good
SPOILERS 02:51:45-02:56:25 E.T.: The Shark Jaws (presented by Reuben), the failure of the mechanical shark being used to prove the show don’t tell thesis of horror, but what about when the shark does appear?, ignoring the disappointment ignores the Western tropes of the final segment, how do the horror & western & masculinity all tie together, only J Dubs moment Reuben likes
02:56:26-02:57:00 The Onion is good y’all
02:57:01-02:59:32 Footloose (presented by Reuben), the double agent film, uses a town without dance to stand in for the familial loss of a son, Reuben sometimes watches movies for bad reasons
02:59:33-03:02:07 The loosest movie we selected, is your expected dislike because of Footloose remake, it is because it set the precedents for everything I dislike about modern dance movies, John Lithgow and Lori Singer are killing it, tractor race is way more awesome than it has any right to be
SPOILERS 03:02:08-03:06:52 Spider-man 2 (presented by Basil), most consistently emotionally affecting movie Basil has seen, “He’s just a kid” always makes Basil cry, superhero movies are silly but this movie recognizes that real heroism is recognizing people’s humanity, the villain isn’t even evil (genuinely wants to help people), Doc Ock saves the day because Spider-man reminds him of his humanity, Peter Parker is the real person, great impotency metaphor
03:06:53-03:11:56 Doc Ock will not die a monster, everyone is removing their masks in this movie, “go get em tiger,” call back to The Apartment, ambivalence to the ending, Patrick talks about the newest Spider-man, Patrick loves puns
SPOILERS 03:11:57-03:14:42 Rear Window (presented by Reuben), Reuben’s got jokes, dick jokes, Jeffries can’t see anything but through a lens, his neighbors become little movies for his own enjoyment, his obsession with Mrs. Thorwald’s disappearance isn’t about justice, Hitchcock confessing his own dickishness?, distance through a lens can foster emotional investment, how Jeffries’ feelings for Lisa change when she becomes a “star”
03:14:43-03:17:38 Nothing to add, the actors are good, Reuben tore up a chair watching this movie, Jeffries defending himself with flashbulbs is one of the most tense scenes of all time, actually only one leg broken
SPOILERS 03:17:39-03:20:37 Ratatouille (presented by Patrick), highest rated animation (for real this time), sees the importance of both artistry (in Remy) and reality (in his father), values cooperation (in Remy and Ego as well as others), the role of criticism bolstered in a way it usually isn’t in art, anti-Disney?, don’t mass produce and dumb things down for people, real ease to the story
03:20:38-03:22:55 Reuben has talked about this movie A LOT, people are surprised this is Basil’s favorite Pixar movie
SPOILERS 03:22:56-03:2 The Lady Eve (presented by Reuben), everyone got their favorite movie but Reuben (wait, what about Patrick?), Reuben thinks maybe this is the best movie he’s ever seen, Reuben reveals the process of making this podcast a bit, Basil’s question, Reuben’s background with this film, everyone should read what James Harvey has to say about The Lady Eve, Reuben reverses the question, Shakespearean comedy’s view of marriage, undoes the sexism of the Adam and Eve story, Hopsie’s stupidity is balanced with Jean’s untrustingness, Pike’s doubling romantic speech, Hopsie and Jean need each other, knowledge and faith need each other
03:28:09-03:31:53 Basil explains why he asked that question, smart women can choose what they want says Ilya (including dumb guys), Preston Sturges writes the best dialogue, so many levels of who is the butt of the jokes, Henry Fonda as a parody and indulgence of Capra heroes, speculating about roles Henry Fonda played, Basil says we reveal our own stupidity, Are Snakes Necessary?
03:31:55-03:36:57 What Time Is It There? (presented by Basil), Basil flip flopped on this film, this movie isn’t fast but good, old Basil was dumb (didn’t even get jokes), the unbreakable watch, call back to Nickelodeons?, movies never truly fulfill the connection that we seek by watching them, The 400 Blows, as a contemporary society we are losing our ability to connect with each other
03:36:58-03:38:20 Reuben fails to pronounce Apichatpong Weerasethakul, no one has seen Tsai except Basil and Reuben, Reuben DID see The Wayward Cloud
03:38:21-03:44:22 Fargo (presented by Ilya), did NOT win best picture, Ilya is right, shut up, Ilya still wants his favorite films validated by institutions he hates, this is a movie Ilya has liked for a very long time (he watched it way too young), switches noir tropes, the humanity of Marge and her husband guide us through a very dark movie, Ilya loves Marge from the moment she doesn’t trust Lou’s police work, understood the scene with her Asian classmate on rewatch
03:44:23-03:54:49 Reuben loves the duck painting comfort moment, Coens literalize the importance of small things, Marge rules the film and still gives the important accomplishment medal to her husband, we’re all taken in by the tenderness of their relationship, Marge is motherly and profoundly disappointed by the “noir” world, Coens are at their best (according to Reuben) when the humanity overcomes the cartoonishness of their scenarios, William H Macy scraping ice off the windshield is a great moment, the music sounds very dramatic and Western but is just accompanying endless plains of snow, Paul Bunyan statue shot in a bunch of different ways, Basil explains how Fargois sort of a reverse noir, Reuben adds his how example, Basil’s got jokes, Reuben’s got (mean) jokes, ok not everything they did in the 2000’s was bad, Coen Brothers’ Avatar?, Coen Brothers’ Star Wars?, Patrick hates this writer team, Reuben makes fun of George Lucas
03:54:50-03:55:35 Reuben makes the joke he will run into the ground, soon
03:55:36-03:56:17 Thanks for listening! Part 2 coming soon! Patrick waves, Ilya loves waving, theme song