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heavenstoetsy

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About heavenstoetsy

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  1. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 83: KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE

    I'm glad someone mentioned Ozu. Kiki's lacks the themes of generational conflict that I associate with him, but tonally, there's a lot to be gained from reading the film as really well done animated version of that sensibility.
  2. heavenstoetsy

    Any Conservative films deserve to be in the Canon?

    Scorsese's The Age of Innocence's ultimate message is "class structure and traditional social mores prevent us from accidentally destroying the Good because we really wanted to pursue the Beautiful, and the Beautiful would lose its power if we obtained it anyway," and that's a fairly socially conservative worldview. It's also a near-perfect adaptation.
  3. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 83: KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE

    Yes all the way. One of my favorite movies, and definitely my favorite of the movies this podcast has covered so far. I see a lot of comments considering this a lesser Miyazaki, but I actually think Kiki's is one of the most subtly and effectively managed expressions of the director's favorite themes. He loves putting female characters (usually girls) in the middle of a conflict between the human world and the world of nature/spirit. Kiki, as a witch who lives among non-witches, is very much in that line. But whereas most of Miyazaki's movies emphasize the spiritual/magical side of that divide, I think what makes this a more powerful story is that Kiki's connection to the supernatural is slight and ultimately very fragile. There's a real risk of losing it, and even when Kiki's powers are regained at the end, it's not a complete recovery, which hits me hard. I think a lot of Miyazaki (Nausicaa, Laputa, and Ponyo as a few examples) go out of their way to impress us with the majesty and strangeness of the spirit world, so we grieve its loss as human society encroach upon it (which is great!), but Kiki's does a marvelous job of finding beauty in the mundane human world as well. It's a more humane environmentalism than you usually see in his films. The flying motif is my favorite instance of this: presented as an experience of beauty (and risk of danger!) achievable by both magic and human technology, it's a really creative and surprising way to bridge the gap between the two realms. It's also just really charming and makes me cry and laugh every time I see it.
  4. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 80: GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES v SOME LIKE IT HOT

    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for the win! I think it's pure joy. It's bright, consistently hilarious, and navigates the sincere/cynical balance better than Some Like It Hot. It's my chicken soup movie. I liked that Amy brought up the movie's connections to the novel the stage musical was adapted from. The book is written in first-person (as Lorelei's diary entries), and it's a lot more cynical about her than the movie. Amy and Devin both noted how open and generous Lorelei is in the movie, and how she really seems to like her marks and not just for their money, but that's not at all how she comes off in the book. Which makes me wonder—is Lorelei written very differently between the two works, or is it all in Marilyn Monroe's performance? I think it's the latter, which is a testament to Monroe's incredible charisma and smart line readings. The viewer gets as conned as Lorlei's beaus do, and we really want to believe she isn't all greed. The scene with the child aristocrat is funnier if you know the novel too. His name, Henry Spoffard, is taken from Lorelei's main love interest in the novel. If an audience member in 1953 was even passingly familiar with the book, they would have expected that character the moment his name is read from the registry, so the reveal that it's actually just a little kid hits even harder.
  5. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 69 - The Christs

    I completely agree with my co-religionist here. I actually teach religious studies at a very traditional Catholic university, and I recently had the pleasure of introducing undergrads to this film in a course we're doing on the life of Christ. (Not a single student had heard of it beforehand. The movie intrigued them—though like with Amy, the music kind of ruined bits of it for them.) The film/book's attempt to portray the fully human nature of Jesus is a fascinating one. I think it ultimately fails, and I find its ideas less enlightening than Amy and Devin do. Like most works of art about Jesus, it tells us waaaaay more about the spiritual lives of the artists behind it than it does provide a convincing portrayal of Jesus. (Jesus is pretty opaque figure in the Gospels, after all). That said, the movie puts so much intelligence and creativity into the investigation, I really admire it. ETA: Devin, maybe this was addressed somewhere else, but there's no canonical teaching on the eternal damnation of any individual person, Judas included. There are canonized saints in Catholicism, obvs, which involves the Church's official recognition that all signs indicate a person is among the blessed. But no canonized sinners, happily.
  6. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 56 — Young Griffin Dunne

    This guy was great. Thanks, R&B, for bring him on!
  7. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 62 — Joyful Noise


    This movie is truly baffling, and I love that HDTGM took it on. But guys, the choir is clearly not Catholic. I think at least twice people called them Catholic (and someone--maybe June?--called a church service a "mass"). In movies, there are only two kinds of Christian church services: super-traditional Catholic (with priests in black cassocks and dark confessional booths) and black, probably Baptist, churches with gospel choirs. I'm pretty sure this movie was going for the latter, with a bit more racial diversity thrown in.
  8. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 51 — Old Fashioned Kitchen Timer

    I 100% agree, Robin. Ronna & Bev has been one of my very favorite podcasts since I first heard about them via their appearance on Comedy Bang Bang. LOVED this episode, by the way. Such a great rapport with the guest--loved it when they tried to nudge into his personal life and he got kind of uncomfortable.
  9. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 59 — Spice World

    I LOVE this movie. Spice World is so nostalgic for me. I was ten when this movie came out, a big Spice Girls fan, and I was in a theater on opening night. I loved the energy, positivity, and wackiness! I still remember my dad taking my sister and me out of the theater when the backup dancers turn around with the backsides of their costumes cut out. It has been a long time since I have seen Spice World, but isn't it a goofy comedy with lots of absurd humor? I feel like that got lost in the show's critique of it. You guys seemed to want to take it a little more seriously than it was meant.
  10. Thank you so much for posting! I love these live episodes.
  11. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 55 — The Devil's Advocate: LIVE!

    Julie Klausner: a gem
  12. And also, Timothy isn't a tree. This was one of things that bugged me when they discussed the end on the podcast; someone (I forget who) kept saying they expected Timothy to turn into a tree at the end. But Timothy sprouted from the "box of dreams" the parents planted in Cindy's garden. He's more akin to the fruits and vegetables his mother grows there--which, I think, is actually a pretty sweet symbol for motherhood.
  13. This may be the first HDTGM movie I've actually seen. ...And I loved it. It's a beautifully shot movie, the actors are all great, and the emotional scenes pack a wallop. Genuinely could not believe that they chose it for the podcast. But the episode was a lot of fun, if a lot milder than most episodes. But then my favorite episodes are when the movies are so terrible the hosts are genuinely baffled.
  14. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 195 — Making the Snow Angel

    Oof, this was a hard one. I love Billy, but Matt Besser is pretty unpleasant in this episode. I was hoping for Bjork and got Pope Benedict instead.
  15. heavenstoetsy

    Episode 108 — Jersey Brawls

    Jessica St. Clair is the ideal guest. I thought the episode was going to peak early after the genius-bonkers Connivers story, but it never slowed down, even though it was extra long. Terrific episode, folks!
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