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JulyDiaz

Episode 14 — Shocking Ways Reality Is Based on Movies

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Jack O'Brien calls up Executive Editor Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) to have a discussion about tropes in crime procedurals affecting jury deliberation, movies like 'Wall Street' changing the behavior of stockbrokers, and some of the other subconscious ways in which we let fictional versions of reality in film and television affect how we think and act in real life.

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This one was another really good deconstruction of seemingly normal notions. I think about the themes from these podcasts a lot, and I think that eventually, you will be able to have a common theme running through them. It would be awesome if you guys kept dismantling everything that people kind of take for granted as the "way things are."

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Really enjoy these podcasts, guys! Excellent casters!! Would buy again A+++!! Anyway, as far as the foreign language enunciation trope goes, I stumbled across a Laurel and Hardy-style comedy short from 1936 called "Midnight Blunders" which has a scene where two bank-guards, on the trail of a body-snatching Chinese scientist with a wooden leg (a frighteningly common occurence in Roosevelt's America) are interrogating a resident of Chinatown. One of the guards asks for information in stereotypical slow, broken, pidgin English and the man replies, in a posh British accent, something along the lines of "Sir, I have absolutley no idea what you are saying." So not only is the trope of linguistic enunciation itself extremely old, the idea that it is racist and non-sensical dates back to at least the era just after the advent of the talkies. The rest of that movie is pretty racist itself though, so, you know... perspective or whatever. Anyway, thanks & etc.

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At the end, you mention Pacino's movies influencing pop culture, but I think you had a better example sitting right there that didn't really get talked about as much as I was expecting, because "Wall Street" brought to mind several other films that Oliver Stone wrote and/or directed that have shaped particular cultures and the way we look at real-life things, the most notable being "Scarface", with "Platoon" (there's war looking awesome), "JFK", and maybe stuff like "Natural Born Killers" also molding our idea or view of things to a lesser extent. Also, I'm convinced that barbarian culture HAD to be exactly like it was depicted in "Conan"...

 

Does anyone remember when MTV had the show "Cribs", and nearly every rapper's house they showed had a "Scarface" room? I think if I was a famous rapper, I'd devote a room in my house to almost any other Al Pacino flick, because really, why not? Seriously, "Bobby Deerfield" is the shit.

 

This reminds me, I've seen talk of a possible remake on the horizon of "Scarface" that would take place in contemporary time, which begs the question, will Scarface HIMSELF have a "Scarface" room in his house?

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Maybe I missed it because I was listening while working but another example is the idea that gangsters are sharp dressers. I don't remember all the details, but I remember hearing that gangsters dressed rather poorly until movies came out where they were dressed like business men (possibly because there were certainly gangsters in positions of power and people probably associated gangsters with corrupt politicians who's crimes are essentially those of gangsters (Tammany Hall). Unfortunately, I can't find citation for this so I could be WAY off or remembering incorrectly. Does this factoid ring a bell for anyone or am I nuts? Or both?

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Speaking of CSI and DNA evidence and everything, movies and TV have taught me that no matter what you do, no matter the kind of crime you commit, your jizz is going to be everywhere, and it will come back to haunt you. You blow up a building without ever even entering it? Your jizz will be there. Shoplift a Snickers bar from your local convenience store? Jizz EVERYWHERE.

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Maybe I missed it because I was listening while working but another example is the idea that gangsters are sharp dressers. I don't remember all the details, but I remember hearing that gangsters dressed rather poorly until movies came out where they were dressed like business men (possibly because there were certainly gangsters in positions of power and people probably associated gangsters with corrupt politicians who's crimes are essentially those of gangsters (Tammany Hall). Unfortunately, I can't find citation for this so I could be WAY off or remembering incorrectly. Does this factoid ring a bell for anyone or am I nuts? Or both?

 

I've heard it too, but I don't remember where. I heard something along the lines of, before The Godfather mobsters wore slacks and golf shirts all the time.

 

And speaking of Oliver Stone changing perceptions, people's perception of Jim Morrison and The Doors seems to have been pretty much defined by Oliver Stone.

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I hope this is a real thing then, otherwise I'm one of those guys who spreads old wives tales like "people eat spiders in their sleep all the time."

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I kept waiting for them to mention The Act of Killing, which is about a truly shocking way in which reality was based on movies.

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