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TheFanon

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  1. TheFanon

    Episode 160 - Tommy (w/ David Fear)

    This is an interesting take/interpretation and I respectfully disagree with most of it. I also heard the record before I saw the film, and I have always interpreted We're Not Gonna Take It as showing that Tommy's followers were definitely rebelling against him, capitalism, religion, authority, etc. They now recognize that he does not have the answers they seek and they throw him to the wolves. With the song Welcome we get a sense that Tommy's ambition to help everyone is getting out of his hands ("Excuse me sir, there's more at the door!"). Then, with Tommy's Holiday Camp, we know that this is starting to become a terrible scam ("I'm your Uncle Ernie and I'll welcome you to Tommy's Holiday Camp! The camp with the difference, nevermind the weather, when you come to Tommy's, the holiday's forever!") The point of view of We're Not Gonna Take It can be confusing. I've always interpreted it as Tommy saying "Hey you gettin' drunk, so sorry, I got you sussed, hey you smokin' mother nature, this is a bust", then his followers, realizing that this has become a religion, saying "We're not gonna take it, gonna break it, gonna shake it, let's forget it better still". I've never interpreted this as a critique of anti-capitalism. I've always interpreted the last section of the album as critiques of religion and capitalism. I can understand you being bummed that Tommy was no longer a sympathetic character in that moment, but I believe that beat has always been there. But, then again, it's all interpretation. You could be right and I could be wrong. Edit: My bad, I forgot that Townshend and Entwistle sing as Tommy's followers in We're Not Gonna Take It. I think this illustrates their intent even further: Townshend originally intended the song as a rebellious song against fascism, but in the context of the album, it was repurposed to be about the followers rebelling against Tommy and what he has become. I think the song can be enjoyed with both meanings, with and without the context of the opera.
  2. Edit: If I had to choose just one film to be discussed on the show, it might be This Is Spinal Tap. Its affect on modern comedy cannot be understated. Other suggestions: Videodrome, Paris is Burning, Persona, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (We've heard Amy mention BVD so much that I figure it's finally time to hear her discuss it for an hour long episode)
  3. TheFanon

    Episode 160 - Tommy (w/ David Fear)

    I am on the same page as many voters last week. Tommy is in my personal canon, but I'm not sure it is worthy of the capital-C Canon. I'm leaning towards a yes for the general Canon as I think it is a culturally important piece of '70s pop-art. Ken Russell is an essential cult filmmaker, and GOD DAMN does his visual interpretation of Tommy pack a wallop. It is somehow even more outrageous and wildly satirical than the double album it's based on. It is in my own Canon as a 2 hour music video of passionately surreal and campy imagery. When it comes to movies like this, many people ask "I enjoy it but is it good?", and when it comes to my own personal taste, I could not give less of a fuck. My (sober!) senses are overwhelmed and I could not be happier. Semi-related: If you liked this, I highly recommend Russell/Daltrey's follow-up film Lisztomania. It's available via the Warner Archive. The last 30 minutes contains some of the most bugfuck crazy things I have ever seen from a studio film. It's truly one of my favorite films of all time.
  4. TheFanon

    Episode 159 - Caddyshack (w/ Alex Schmidt)

    I've always thought Caddyshack was 2/5ths of a funny comedy. Dangerfield and Murray make me laugh (maybe with the exception of Spackler's misogynistic shtick); Chase, Knight, and O'Keefe don't. Even as someone who loves quite a few messy 80s comedies, Caddyshack has never been one I want to revisit. I wish that I found the film as funny as others. If I were to watch a rambunctious 1980 comedy with SNL alumni, I would prefer The Blues Brothers by far. Sorry, but I have to go with no.
  5. TheFanon

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

    There might be room in the Canon for sleazy sexploitation, but this ain't it. Not even close. This is one of the worst films ever nominated for the Canon. I admire its ambition to elevate itself above the typical soft-core film of its time, but the comedy just doesn't land at all. Also, for all the discussion of the complicated feminism of Cora's character, I'm surprised the rape scene and the necrophilia were never mentioned in this episode (Every time Kaufman earnestly described Masters as a Capra-esque hero I wanted to force him to rewatch the film Alex DeLarge-style). I didn't see the film as having feminist elements at all; to me it seemed like a knee-jerk reaction against second-wave feminism. Most female characters in this film read like Avildsen was saying "Can you really trust these broads? They're out to get you! At least they've got good tits though!" Anyway, I hope a Russ Meyer film is eventually discussed on the podcast so we can have a serious debate about the merits of a sexploitation film.
  6. (Abstaining from voting until I can rewatch Mary Poppins, which I haven't seen since I was around 5) I guess I am in the minority here, but I was disappointed that My Fair Lady, a three hour film about an upper class misogynist treating a lower class woman like garbage, has so little to say about class disparities outside of manners and accents. It doesn't really work as a fable or as a satire of the British upper class. This is best exemplified in the horribly tone-deaf scene where Eliza's father reveals how torturously boring his life is now that he is no longer poor (come the fuck on). I was not expecting a modern 'prove how woke you are about class issues' scene, but I guess I hoping for something with a little more substance.
  7. TheFanon

    Episode 138 - Harold and Maude vs. Being There

    (Embarrassed Sigh) Harold and Maude is my favorite movie, but I completely understand Amy's criticisms with it. For me, it is the perfect example of a great New Hollywood film (an era that I know Amy doesn't always care for), while also transforming the cynicism of most post-Vietnam cinema into something more hopeful. It succeeds because of its heart, surrealism, messiness and dark comedy. That being said, I'll reconsider naming it as a fav movie if I ever have to be on a dating site again.
  8. TheFanon

    Episode 134 - Love Actually (w/ Michael H. Weber)

    Love Actually is such a phony, bullshit film; a genuinely childish and hammy look at love with some really horrible sexual politics and a thousand loose ends... but I was never bored by it. Richard Curtis is trying his absolute damnedest to warm our hearts, and much to my chagrin, it sometimes works. I still think it's a bad film, but not the torturous experience I expected.
  9. TheFanon

    Homework - Suspiria (1977)

    I was lucky enough to see the new 4K restoration a few weeks ago. It's gorgeous. I wish it was available for rental so first time viewers won't have to rely on questionable sources.
  10. TheFanon

    Episode 123 - Martyrs (w/ Adam Egypt Mortimer)

    My reaction toward this film reminded me a lot to my reaction to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in that it left me more thoroughly depressed than scared (which, of course, isn't a bad thing).
  11. TheFanon

    Episode 122 - The Tingler (w/ Witney Seibold)

    Immediately after seeing William Castle's introduction (including the floating screaming heads!) I became both very excited and very concerned. Could the rest of the film live up to the promise of the zany opener? Well, the answer is yes and no. A few sequences build up to schlock gold, including the theater scene and the bathtub reveal. I also love the moral ambiguity of Vincent Price's character and the candid use of LSD. It's definitely better than most low-budget horror films of the 1950s. It's equal parts ridiculous, fun, confusing, and charming. That being said, it's a soft no for the canon. One thing I would like to mention is the idea of the Percepto gimmick being external to the film itself. Percepto is not a requirement for watching the movie. Therefore if The Tingler is included in the Canon, are we including just the film or Castle's preferred theatrical experience that only a fraction of viewers have seen?
  12. TheFanon

    Homework - The Tingler (1959)

    This is also currently streaming on Shudder.
  13. Two great 1967 films about murderous duos on the run. The two stories are presented in very different ways. I think this would make for a great discussion
  14. I am usually a proponent of cultural impact influencing which films belong in the Canon, but I can't put aside how profoundly obnoxious I find Top Gun to be. It's a big slab of military propaganda and machismo pornography. The only thing I find interesting about TG is its homoerotic undertones. I would never want to make another person watch it. Minority Report gets my vote for being an OK movie.
  15. TheFanon

    Homework: Top Gun (1986) vs. Minority Report (2002)

    Yeah. Maybe Tom and Abe brought these movies for discussion and didn't know there was already a MI episode.
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