Our 2014 Canon, Part 2: Films 31 - 1

Our 2014 Canon, Part 2: Films 31 - 1

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We continue this epic rundown of our favorite films! It’s so damn long! But really really good. Listen in!

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.

Download The Episode Here!

Original Release Date: June 14th, 2014

Episode Timeline:

00:00:00-00:00:29 Disclaimer and theme song

00:00:30-00:02:58 Bad jokes, introduction, and awkwardness

00:02:59-00:08:43 Margaret (presented by Reuben), we already did a podcast on this, Lisa tries to deal with grief in “cinematic” ways, slowly goes from a “movie moment” to real world processing, would’ve watched the long cut (unreleased), one of the few post 9/11 films that deals with responsibility/guilt as opposed to just sadness and loss, even small details relate to the themes, best ensemble acting ever according to Reuben, extremely small and extremely global at the same time

00:08:44-00:10:53 Basil thinks it’s one of our best podcasts, Ilya likes the podcast but hasn’t watched the movie, Reuben didn’t spoil the movie for Ilya (or the listeners), more talk about spoilers

00:10:54-00:16:19 Certified Copy (presented by Basil), Basil describes the opening shot in detail, overlaying of Certified Copy in multiple languages at the same time, you feel like a person in the audience waiting to hear this speaker, film is a copy of reality, talks about all performances and representation (gender, personal), how film informs or reflects our lives

00:16:20-00:21:33 Abbas Kiarostami is good, Ilya and Reuben agree, Reuben thinks Basil should see Close-Up, Reuben didn’t see what Basil said in Certified Copy but wants to rewatch it, would make a nice pairing with Margaret, Basil thinks it turns cliches into real full lived moments, Ilya didn’t like the interviewer of Kiarostami when he saw this movie, Reuben compares Ilya’s experience to a fictional experience in Chocolat proving Basil and Kiarostami’s thesis, Basil is frustrated by the level of discussion on this movie, Reuben’s got jokes

00:21:34-00:26:47 Night & Fog (presented by Reuben), Reuben doesn’t like the orgiastic moment of despair, You don’t know what it’s like through watching a movie, Resnais keeps you from having that moment, the theme of this movie is shut up because you have nothing to say that adds to these horrific events, the music doesn’t provide the emotional release you might be seeking, Reuben didn’t finish this movie the first two times he tried to watch it, the film denies being conclusive

00:26:48-00:27:26 Ilya thinks Reuben described the movie very well without describing it at all, Reuben’s glad the next movie is next as opposed to the one after that

00:27:27-00:32:01 Elsa la Rose (presented by Basil), Basil tends to hate documentaries, modern documentaries are about convincing you of something they already believe as opposed to legitimately exploring a topic, this film doesn’t pretend documentary and reality are the same, one of Basil’s favorite parts is the reenactment because it is both sweet and cinematic and highlights that film is in its own way a memory, film never fully captures what a person is, not knowing is OK

00:32:02-00:33:39 It’s not just me and Basil the whole time!, it’s not just discussions about the intersection of film and reality!, Reuben’s favorite part is that the narrator reads the poems faster than the subtitles can go, romantic poems become noise but is still beautiful

00:33:40-00:39:04 Showgirls (presented by Basil), Basil’s favorite movie and therefore the hardest to talk about, too uncomfortable to take seriously, questions why you find so many things in movies happy or sexy or appealing, Basil used to not like this, “I thought it was smarter than Showgirls but Showgirls was smarter than me” - Adrian Martin, Basil likes to acknowledge that he doesn’t know anything and can be wrong, Roger Ebert refused to change his mind, but Basil will change his, wish he had gotten to write the book about Showgirls

00:39:05-00:40:56 a Canadian wrote it though!, get some good American film criticism, Patrick’s got references, the greatest moment in letterboxd history

SPOILERS 00:40:57-00:45:33 Time Indefinite (presented by Patrick), wait how do you pronounce McElwee?, Ross is a weirdo who always has a camera, captures pretty amazing moments, Patrick describes some moments he liked, existential but not cynical

00:45:34-00:46:57 Sherman’s March is cynical but Time Indefinite isn’t, but Reuben thinks you should see both to see the arc, McElwee has an interesting way of “editing,” Burt Reynolds

00:46:58-00:50:31 Hi, Mom! (presented by Ilya), Ilya doesn’t remember when he fell for DePalma, but now he’s one of his favorites, doesn’t really have a story, De Niro tries a couple different things then joins “Be Black, Baby!” when is when the film hits its stride, Ilya says the angriest a director has ever been at an audience, while De Palma made bigger more expensive movies but this affected Ilya the most

00:50:32-00:52:20 Basil thinks of this movie as a parody of Taxi Driver before Taxi Driver came out, both about Vietnam vets trying to find a place in NYC, wait did we say a year?

00:52:21-00:57:15 Ivan’s Childhood (presented by Ilya), changed how Ilya loved movies, , unique film in Soviet history compared to jingoist war films, even changing the title tells what Tarkovsky was interested in, stylized memories/fantasies, sad that Ivan lost his childhood, one of the most impressive films visually of all time, Ilya loves horses eating apples

00:57:16-01:01:26 Does anyone else remember their “more than entertainment” movie?, Reuben: The Conversation, Patrick: A Clockwork Orange (doesn’t like it anymore though), Basil: A Clockwork Orange (that was what he thought did it) but really Certified Copy for real, for Patrick it was all about the visuals, Kubrick looks cool in Patrick’s opinion, Ivan uses seeds and leaves to show German position, which is reappropriating things in a sad way

01:01:27-01:06:35 Nothing But a Man (presented by Patrick), Reuben can’t communicate, SPOILERS for Black Girl, an inverse of that movie, which ends in suicide, this movie ends in a declaration of life, about an everyman who refuses to be held down by others, there’s domestic violence here (but well handled), racism is institutional and among white people and black people, there are no white women, only white men and they all want to push Duff down, “they don’t sound human do they”

01:06:36-01:08:57 Ilya says white people are “the other” in this movie, Malcolm X’s favorite movie, Michael Roemer racism to the Holocaust, talks about other writer, Ivan Dixon made a social justice/exploitation film,

01:08:58-01:13:50 Speed Racer (presented by Patrick), Patrick likes this model of Blockbuster movie where it’s unreal, has a great lovable family unit as opposed to snarky single dudes, gets what a cartoon world should be like, works on many levels (critique of films, sports, business, everything!), “it doesn’t matter if racing ever changes, it matters if you let racing change you,” very visceral movie for Patrick, simple and complex at the same time

01:13:51-01:15:09 this is a Buddhist movie, find your path, this movie helped Patrick feel good when he was feeling bad

01:15:10-01:20:43 Love and Anarchy (presented by Reuben), Reuben likes the look of this film even though he normally likes the Speed Racer look (candy coated, high saturation and contrast), but this film is dreary looking in its beauty, like wallpaper in a cheap hotel, feels like a bit of a response to Antonioni and Fellini (beautiful bourgeoisie apocalyptic despair), Wertmüller presents a “less attractive” view of poverty and destruction, actors extend this aesthetic as well, lead looks like a boy instead of a man, a movie that feels dead from the start, Reuben compares it to Buffy (his favorite thing)

01:20:44-01:21:33 Basil was reminded of Jean Renoir and how they both laid out space very well

01:21:34-01:27:57 Resident Evil: Retribution (presented by Reuben), Reuben doesn’t need a long time to decide if it’s canonical, this film goes on the attack on your expectations almost immediately (unlike the sequel in Reuben’s opinion), Paul Anderson (the good one) goes further than you would ever expect in terms of being dumb or strange, early scene is Dawn of the Dead remake copycat scene but better, announces that it has nothing to say immediately and then challenges you to sit through it, most video game movie of all time (divided into levels, death is meaningless), Reuben did not expect this at all, indulges in and comments on action movie ideas, so hyper unreal that Reuben can separate it and enjoy it more and take it more seriously in a strange way, Reuben likes being a punk

01:27:58-01:29:10 Patrick likes when we challenge people, non American directors are better at approaching American genre films and understanding them with detachment,Point Blank?

SPOILERS 01:29:11-01:34:01 The Conversation (presented by Patrick), “I’m not afraid of death, but I am afraid of murder,” Gene Hackman as Harry Caul is the best performance ever (according to Patrick), the non comedy version of Ron Swanson, Caul is weirdly religious, fed up with people’s thoughtlessness, paranoia, Reuben yells, Patrick doesn’t normally like mental descent but he does here

01:34:02-01:38:32 Reuben says we have to cut Parks & Rec footage into The Conversation trailer, Basil thought we were gonna all bug each other, Reuben used every movie to talk about movies and filmmaking for a long time (maybe still), likes that Patrick didn’t talk about what Reuben would’ve talked about, Basil thought/hoped this would be insider baseball but Patrick didn’t talk about the sound design, now he will though! (and the cinematography, Walter Murch baby!, Sofia Coppola should remake The Godfathers but about teenage girl cliques

01:38:33-01:43:45 Starship Troopers (presented by Ilya), the movie Ilya has liked longest, very in your face, Ilya wants to see this film on a giant screen with a live orchestra playing, Total Recall makes fun of you for enjoying it, Starship Troopers indulges and comments on propaganda and military industrial complex, Beverly Hills 902010, ridiculous and overly serious as well

01:43:46-01:48:22 Ironside’s character is same as book, did Verhoeven read the book?, Reuben did :(, Reuben’s reason for liking it changed over time, Ebert’s reading of it was superficial, Reuben talks about a repeated type of moment, Ilya thinks Jake Busey’s face is a gift, Reuben wants every Busey to look like Gary forever, we talk about how long we’re going to go and Patrick doesn’t cut it out (whoops)

01:48:23-01:51:37 Rosemary’s Baby (presented by Patrick), crazy this was made in the 60’s, twists expectations of upward mobility and women, Polanski makes the mundane malicious, neighbors capture this perfectly, they start off goofy and become extraordinarily creepy, John Cassavetes looks stressed and anxious the whole time, Patrick loves Mia Farrow’s je ne sais quoi

01:51:38-01:55:17 Ilya loves her haircut, people ask for it now, movie ended up being weirdly prescient of Mia Farrow’s situation with Woody Allen, Reuben is upset that Mia Farrow plays this character in this movie and then lives it, the remake would be Christians forcing her to have a baby, Ilya also points out it was prescient about Sharon Tate as well, this movie made Ilya’s girlfriend’s stomach hurt

SPOILERS 01:55:18-01:59:40 Black Girl/La noire de… (presented by Patrick), certain kind of defiance in death, lead is whiny, leaves Senegal to be house mistress for white French family, only seems whiny if you don’t think about her circumstances from her perspective and the French family’s inhuman treatment, her “whinyness” is a comment on colonialism and racism and how they don’t let people in worse situations change their situations, the end has a comment on reparations as well, you should live with your actions and their consequences

01:59:41-02:00:22 Reuben’s got jokes
02:00:23-02:04:50 Singin’ in the Rain (presented by Basil), our most canonical canon pick, so Basil will talk about the part everyone likes the least (the long extended medley part), a history of the musical through MGM’s eyes, then a history within that history (historception) of dance and Broadway and film, movie frames this sequence in a goofy self referential way, joyful movie for all the reasons people already write about

SPOILERS 02:04:51-02:07:15 Reuben doesn’t like a different part of the movie (the cruelest part), Basil would like that part better if it admitted its cruelty

02:07:16-02:12:03 Down With Love (presented by Ilya), if this is a love letter to Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies, Peyton Reed sees a lot better films than Ilya did, another film that subverts and indulges tropes, this movie could be sexist (but Ilya doesn’t see it that way), Ilya loves the long monologue and the ending, Ewan McGregor and Renee Zellweger are perfect and way over their heads at the same time, Ewan McGregor is super beautiful, Renee Zellwegger: miscast? who cares!, Ilya loves the dance scene

02:12:04-02:13:14 Basil watched this movie twice in the same day, Basil won’t speak for Betsy because that would be sexist, Patrick thinks some other men are more beautiful

SPOILERS 02:13:15-02 Do the Right Thing (presented by Patrick), not Spike Lee’s first joint (but his first joint that got him really high), Patrick thinks the scene where everyone spews racial epithets is really interesting, Samuel L. Jackson’s radio host represents the pacifist who calms everyone down but doesn’t change anything, the streets still erupt in violence, revolution is still necessary, things don’t change with peace, every side has right and wrong

02:17:09-02:19:03 the quotes show you what Patrick is talking about, Malcolm X isn’t your grandmother’s social justice warrior!, “Fight the Power,” Spike Lee wrote this very quickly and then we canonized it, Reuben’s got jokes

02:19:04-02:23:24 Sherlock Jr. (presented by Patrick), our only silent film!, Keaton makes himself the butt of his own jokes, Chaplin is more biting, Lloyd more mean spirited, Keaton gives away all his money to jerks, Keaton makes awkward situations funny, this acknowledges the fantasy of film (in 1924!), has a female love interest with agency

02:23:25-02:26:09 Ilya loves the scene where he jumps through a window and comes out an old woman, Patrick likes when he jumps through the briefcase, Basil thinks Keaton is good at juggling multiple comedy styles, Basil likes the scene in Go West! when Keaton sells his dresser

02:26:10-02:30:07 The Earrings of Madame de… (presented by Ilya), most movies that talk about love treat it as the most important thing, who cares about love if you’re a dick according to Ophuls, their marriage is only superficially superficial, he doesn’t care for the role he’s been asked to play, these moments capture love better than anything else according to Ilya, the person who is losing in the love triangle is worth something too, 2nd most beautiful b&w movie according to Ilya

02:30:08-02:32:34 Reuben loves the moment Ilya mentioned A LOT, made him deeply sad, Reuben talks about Keaton a bit (and compares him to Stanwyck), WELCOME TO THE TOP TEN

SPOILERS 02:32:35-02:36:38 25th Hour (presented by Ilya),  Ilya’s favorite Ed Norton movie, a movie that asks questions?, we all got jokes (we’re tired), should drug dealers go to prison?, we never see Monty deal drugs really, the repetitive hugs show how time can work differently, the ending blew Ilya’s mind

02:36:46-02:41:04 My Own Private Idaho (presented by Patrick), Patrick loves Keanu Reeves’ acting here, Patrick thinks Reeves and River Phoenix are supes hot, this movie finds the beauty and uniqueness in perversion, pansexual!, compares with cynical adult structure, Reeves has two fathers in this film, no stops aesthetics (cabins falling from the sky!), Patrick likes Udo Kier

02:41:03-02:43:21 Ilya likes Udo Kier in this, combines high class and low class stuff seamlessly and non judgmentally, Patrick likes the documentary style scene

02:43:22-02:47:44 Once Upon a Time in the West (presented by Basil), strange way to present a Western, pushing the limits of credulity, Claudia Cardinale’s performance makes the movie weirder, she remains impressed with the men throughout the whole film, refuses to acknowledge their mythicness or machoness, offers her the chance to reshape her agency in a horrifying situation on her own terms,

02:47:45-02:48:00 The Loose Canons motto

02:48:01-02:51:38 Noriko’s Dinner Table (presented by Basil), the least fun movie on the list?, Buddhism :(, an extreme extension of Buddhist philosophy, losing your entire individuality, reminds Basil of a sad Cary Grant story, that is also very seductive (starting over), but also destroys everything, consumerism and capitalism is the path we’re on

02:51:39-02:52:31 did we say all the info?, Ilya is dreading watching it, we’re in an intense stretch of the canon

02:52:32-02:56:57 Fat Girl/A Ma Soeur (presented by Patrick), violent presentation of the awful situation of women, focuses on details that make everything worse, Patrick doesn’t want to ruin the ending, people don’t make a big deal about the coerced anal sex but a ring that was given to her, Patrick had to take a break after he saw this film because he recognized the patriarchal framework very clearly afterwards

02:56:58-02:57:42 Patrick and I are bad at picking movies to watch in groups

02:57:43-03:02:55 Martin (presented by Reuben), Reuben loves this movie for two reasons, there’s a certain romantic notion of how art is made, but you can also make great art out of garbage, this film feels like the side character in a more epic story, ties into the protagonist who is a weird socially awkward maybe vampire, Reuben feels like an “other” through the act of watching this film, this is cynicism without narcissism, this makes its personal apocalypse more salient than the Dead films

03:02:56-03:06:29 Trouble in Paradise (presented by Ilya), this is the ultimate Lubitsch film, Ilya can feel Lubitsch being excited about making this movie while Ilya watches it, declaration of love is fun and joyful and pragmatic and adult at the same time, what makes love and sex fun can also turn it bad, Lubitsch and Sturges get it, pick me up movie for Ilya

03:06:30-03:06:50 Basil and Reuben are old

03:06:51-03:10:09 The Thing (presented by Patrick), John Carpenter = Howard Hawks + HP Lovecraft, this movie is cool, the best jump scares of all time, BLOOD ATTACKS SOMEBODY AT ONE POINT, practical effects still look real good today, Keith David and Kurt Russell!!!!

03:10:10-03:11:01 Reuben does Wilford Brimley, surprise Hollywood bust, it’s every genre but to the extreme

SPOILERS 03:11:02-03:15:41 Touch of Evil (presented by Basil), this is being rerecorded, what is often perceived as the worst part of the movie is the most interesting (Charlton Heston plays a Mexican), blackface/brownface never OK, Welles switched the races of Heston/Leigh from the source material, using Heston draws a distinction between him and the other local Mexican actors, presents the idea that the less Mexican you look the more you fit into American ideals and colonialism, replacing one form of corruption with another (fake happy ending)

03:15:42-03:16:23 Reuben compares this to Y Tu Mama Tambien, Basil likes it now

03:16:24-03:22:18 Marie Antoinette (presented by Reuben), also rerecorded, I pushed for this movie to be #1, a very loose canons movie, represents some of our goals and how we in particular think about and discuss movies, we’re not universal, we’re not scientists, part of what Reuben likes about this movie is that some people hate it, the movie invites the type of criticism that people would level at Marie Antoinette (the person), what others might call poor casting Reuben thinks is intentional casting (commenting on Americanization and digestibility for a consumer public), Reuben likes Dunst in it, to achieve empathy for a “poor little rich girl” is impressive, doesn’t have to convince everyone of its greatness

03:22:19-03:26:29 Basil didn’t like it at first, Basil wanted Marie Antoinette to be a jerk, Ilya liked the anachronisms, movies that remind Reuben of their own unrealness is something Reuben likes, blink and you miss it (Chuck Taylors), Coppola said Marie Antoinette reminded her of a punk/new wave kid thus the soundtrack

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The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

Our 2014 Canon, Part 1: Films 63-32

Our 2014 Canon, Part 1: Films 63-32