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A.V.

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About A.V.

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  1. this is weird. i totally want to throw my favorite movie (see avatar) into the fray but in a group head-to-head that's likely to only have one winner, i don't think it's going to fare well. so i guess i'll request movies i love but don't necessarily intertwine with my personal identity. the overarching theme of these i guess is people talking to each other about normal stuff, but with wit sparkling the shit out of the dialog. any one of these would be fun to battle: —metropolitan (1990) —friends with money (2006) —they all laughed (1981) or... maybe a documentary? —sherman's march (1985)
  2. A.V.

    Episode 159 - Caddyshack (w/ Alex Schmidt)

    i remember the first time i saw it. 14 yrs old. with my 2 friends and both of one of their parents. MAN did i want the couch to swallow me away during the golfball polishing scene. didn't quite get the humor till i was in college. and even after it still kept growing on me. now al czervick is a go-to halloween costume of mine. whoa, somebody step on a duck? i vote yes even though i like meatballs better. and easy money. and maybe foul play. but those didn't impact the culture of nerdy impromptu quote sessions and reach near-monty-python levels. and maybe that's a metric worth including. so yeah.
  3. when is saw the epp title i was pissed. i was all, NOOOOO — i love both these movies! you can't battle these two!!! but i ended up coming fairly squarely with an unconflicted vote decision. even after the prickly conversation. meanwhile, lukewarm take: this was the wrong pairing. it shoulda been grease vs hairspray (2007). these are parallel. similar trajectories toward their screen versions, starting from something great, getting watered down audience-friendlied by committee, both with original music, and there's travolta to tie them together. but the movies we're actually dealing with? on the surface they're a pair. but... it's been said above all the ways they aren't. i'm gonna set that aside and deal with them individually i guess. my big revelation on this is that as much as i love grease, it is actually a big mess in a tangle, held together by really, really fun music that allows you to excuse a lot of shortcomings. and that if it weren't for having seen it in the 70s and glommed onto it in my youth, maybe i wouldn't really hold it in regard. many of what adam was pointing out as thematic mileposts in it, and how disparate they were, i kept thinking, yeah, you can see that in the movie, and i guess you can put them together to interpret something out of it too, but you can also find the same number of other elements and put them together differently and get something else entirely. but that's what happens with messes. it has a little something for everyone and if (the music keeps you plugged in) you sort through them and come up with something. and you're still left to deal with all the WTFs by either excusing or ignoring them (sandy's vamp look, disco themesong for a 50s movie, just examples). as for it being a genre-defining moment... yeah, squinting i can see that? but as a musical movie in the late 70s... it still falls somewhere between the wiz and rocky horror, and all three of these clearly beneath the muppet movie. full disclosure, i took my SATs at rydell high and was well aware of it walking up the front steps. though they were calling it venice high school that day. hairspray tho! totally one of my favorite movies. saw it again about two weeks ago. it has intent. it's way funny. it has amazing, if not forgotten at least under-played, music. all sorts of winking cameos. it's coherent. it's delightful. it deals with unusual topics. and has a great message (which, btw, i take it to be more about tracy's development than about social justice — she's going through her journey toward an identity and desegregation happens to be her movie-ending conflict. like, we wouldn't say rocky is about boxing championship matches, it's about rocky. but yes, we can't deny that journey leans on social justice from a POV of white protagonism, even if it's ruth brown teaching the white children how to do the bird). so that's my vote. greasagation never! hairspraycanonization now!! and... YES AMY, it is camp. i mean, just try and say "our little tracy's a clean teen" in any way that isn't campy... IT CAN'T BE DONE! and i wonder if you are resisting this because it sounds like a dismissal or something that lessens the artistic value, which it doesn't. also full disclosure, my cat's name is penny. and i often tell her she's permanently, positively punished. (it does no good.)
  4. A.V.

    Episode 153 - Cry Uncle! (w/ Lloyd Kaufman)

    yes. and so far, i'm alone in that. which is fine. loved this movie. and i'm thankful to amy for providing the platform that let kaufman introduce me to it. it's exactly why i listen intently to a ton of movie pods, for the rare chance that something i'd never heard of before will tickle me so much. yeah, it's a silly comedy full of gratuitous sex. which is exactly what it sets out to be and succeeds wildly in achieving. why it belongs in the canon is for its historical place at a crossroads when porn hadn't been defined yet and was about to develop out of the nudie-cutie and the nudist colony documentary, and into the mafia-profit monster that deep throat ushered in. the comment that ubiquity of sex via youtube renders this movie as unnecessary, well, let's flip that and say that it was necessary at one time for nudity to surface in film, and you can see this movie figuring out how with aplomb and hilarity. so i say yes because this movie is a top example of that moment.
  5. loved the idea for this epp. i read ringwald's piece in the new yorker when it came out and found it so thoughtful. rewatching hughes gets tougher and tougher as time goes on. i totally get being able to judge art (mostly) according to the norms and thinking available to its creators at the time the art was made but still... even in 1984 a gong to intro long duck dong? blech. what we can do though is check our feelings as we rewatch to see just what has changed and by how much. and that's where hughes is so useful. especially if you grew up with these movies — i was a sophomore when breakfast club came out and i remember my typing teacher (yeah typing... on a selectric with, like, paper) started class one monday after she'd seen it to talk about it with us. and breakfast club makes me very uncomfortable now. not just because of the assaulty inappropriateness, but because the resolution is so facile, just identifiable stereotypes clunking against each other, albeit in mostly fun and funny scenes led by great acting (AMH FTW), and all of the sudden they're coupled off. yeah, let's see how long they last together the following monday. so i'm struggling. i want hughes in the canon, somehow. those movies went right to my heart at one point. and i still put them on from time to time. but i have no clear way to pick one; none are perfect (maybe bueller, but i'll get to that in a sec). it'd have to be for some cultural merit rather than the movie in and of itself. 16 candles, well, the gong, the handing off of the girlfriend from one guy to another, plus the probable date rape. breakfast club has all the shortcomings already mentioned in the pod. pretty in pink, i used to love. but as i age, i find duckie an asshole. (also, that my real soulmate in the movie is iona. never saw that coming...) then again, i loved ringwald's point in the new yorker article when she mentioned that duckie is based on her real-life best friend, who turned out to be gay, and hadn't come out yet at the time of filming. maybe through that lens, duckie is redeemable. ...here comes another rewatch. (can't speak to some kind of wonderful ATM because it's been forever. maybe that one has a clear trajectory? even with that ending...) then bueller. ok, funny movie. i'll give it that. but i FUCKING HATE ferris. it's like, the whole movie is a rich white male privilege how-to or something. and there's no arc. just, keep being a dick ferris, you'll never face consequences. so, maybe a hot take here, but... is weird science the most socially redeemable of the bunch? yeah, the premise is sexist. but once lisa is on the scene, she has all the power. the two boys do have a learning arc to sort of earn their coming of age. and chet, well, you know what happens to chet. (ok, we may have to bracket the bar scene, because i'm not sure if the boys are talking like that because they are drunk or because they think they are on a par with the black old timers.) and that's it, right? (of the teen angst hughes, anyway. i'm not getting into the john candy stuff here.) bottom line for me, no on breakfast club. will have to watch weird science to see if there's any unsavoriness i forgot. and if i absolutely have to, will lean toward sixteen candles even through the really blatant issues, just because it was the ground breaker that allowed the rest of them. though maybe it wasn't hughes's credit so much as the utter charm of ringwald and michael hall.
  6. I don't want to vote till I re-watch these, mostly to see how their politics may/may not seem too fusty to survive a retro look from here — though I'm not entirely convinced that's how we should do evaluation of previous works. But this is a very close versus epp, and I will cling to any way I can find to give one movie the edge over the other. A word should be said about the scriptwriting choices, if artistry should have any merit in the canonization process, and if it helps anybody else make their choice. HGF was purposely written to pack words/minute. Extra words were added to the front and end of the lines precisely so they would overlap and create a sense of frenzy. In an interview with Peter Bogdonovich, Hawks explained, “I had noticed that when people talk, they talk over one another, especially people who talk fast or who are arguing or describing something. So we wrote the dialog in a way that made the beginnings and ends of sentences unnecessary.” * TPS was adapted from its stage script via a recording of one of the performances, allowing the screenwriter to keep the big laughs and reactions. * I've always thought both of these as singular techniques that just capital-letters Make their movies work. Sad that I have to pit one over the other. OTOH, what if we give both these a tie to canon level, and throw Arsenic and Old Lace under the bus? No wait, I like that one too... -- Also and btw, Traci Lords did choose her name from pop culture, but she did it via Jack Lord.
  7. amy! still listening to the episode, but had to interrupt myself because you went to a boca game at the bonbonera and (naturally) had a blast! i mean, best stadium in the world IMO. but i'm an argentina-born boca fan living in oakland so i miss it so much. here's the breakdown on calling someone a chicken in argentina. it is actually not that big a deal. typically. however what people were surely telling you is not to invoke that name while at the stadium because the archrivals of boca is river plate, and *their* nickname is the chickens. so basically, they were saying if you tell a boca fan that you think he or she is a river plate fan, that's fighting words. river plate fans have taken on the insult and made it their own, so if you call them a chicken they would ignore the meaning of coward and say, yeah, that's right, i am a chicken. in return, boca fans are known as bosteros. this dates back to pre-car times when the neighborhood was populated by people whose jobs were to go up and down the city picking up horse dung (bosta) so people who picked up dung were called bosteros (i guess dung-ers?). and again, it's an insult if said in one way, but a word of pride if used internally. and yeah, it's tragically true that a fan got killed recently for basically rooting for the other team. as you said, because of issues with violence only the home team fans are allowed in. but visiting fans want to see the game too, so they dress in the other team's jersey and go into the lions' den that way. this guy got found out (i believe he was wearing his own team's colors under the sanctioned ones) and he was receiving a beating on the stands, so he tried to jump from the 2nd tier to get away, and fell to his death. it was horrible. you, or any other regular visitor, would not be in danger. you'd have to go into the area reserved for "la barra brava" (the hooligan gangs) and make yourself stand out somehow. so i would encourage any tourist to go ahead and go see a game in the regular stands. the atmosphere is amazing. and you'll be fine. anyway, thought i'd elucidate. and now, back to... back to the future.
  8. A.V.

    Episode 113 - Putney Swope (w/ Seth Stevenson)

    slightly disappointed there was no mention of beer (1985), loretta swit, rip torn, kenneth mars, david alan grier. not sure it's better or worse than swope, but it's its closest parallel in terms of advertising world, and TV ad sendups at a similar period of time. it may not be as groundbreaking but it's certainly more together, so it'd have been interesting to hear a comparative discussion.
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