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Episode #88: A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

  

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  1. 1. *crashing guitar chord*

    • Yes
      81
    • It should be sleeping like a log
      13


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Boo hiss. I'll be over here in the corner, stirring my boiling pot of dissenter's brew. Just two pages of this fawning praise is enough to make me want to strangle a baby boomer.

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Well, I'm pleased. That homework thread was headed in an ugly direction.

 

When, early in the podcast, Devin preempted the naysayers by talking about the people who always come in with their boredom and comments about the Beatles being "overrated", I figured that would change things. I think I squealed with delight. That's a pointless/frustrating argument I've had too many times to count. And people ALWAYS complain about the early music being too simple. Which tells me they probably haven't heard the best early Beatles stuff. I don't even think of myself as a huge Beatles fan but they are undeniably important. And this movie was a landmark and fresh and all that. But the thing where music fans can't separate what they like to listen to on a daily basis from what's important to history mystifies me. I rarely want to listen to a Chuck Berry single, but I am damned sure he's not overrated.

 

When I watch A Hard Day's Night, I can't help but look for young Phil Collins in the audience--ever since he talked about it on MTV.

 

(both bands are before my time but I was more of a fan of 1960s/early 1970s Rolling Stones -- which doesn't matter. It's not an either/or thing. And the Rolling Stones wouldn't be the Rolling Stones without the Beatles anyhow)

 

I was ready to be disappointed but I was delighted with this week's podcast. :)

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Well, I'm pleased. That homework thread was headed in an ugly direction.

 

When, early in the podcast, Devin preempted the naysayers by talking about the people who always come in with their boredom and comments about the Beatles being "overrated", I figured that would change things. I think I squealed with delight. That's a pointless/frustrating argument I've had too many times to count. And people ALWAYS complain about the early music being too simple. Which tells me they probably haven't heard the best early Beatles stuff. I don't even think of myself as a huge Beatles fan but they are undeniably important. And this movie was a landmark and fresh and all that. But the thing where music fans can't separate what they like to listen to on a daily basis from what's important to history mystifies me. I rarely want to listen to a Chuck Berry single, but I am damned sure he's not overrated.

 

When I watch A Hard Day's Night, I can't help but look for young Phil Collins in the audience--ever since he talked about it on MTV.

 

(both bands are before my time but I was more of a fan of 1960s/early 1970s Rolling Stones -- which doesn't matter. It's not an either/or thing. And the Rolling Stones wouldn't be the Rolling Stones without the Beatles anyhow)

 

I was ready to be disappointed but I was delighted with this week's podcast. :)/>/>

 

I can't tell you how much I love this post. This is almost exactly what I was thinking and feeling going into this episode. I saw the direction the homework thread was going (as you mentioned) and braced myself for the kind of arguments that, like you, I've been pushing back against for years, but they (for the most part) never came, and for that I'm really pleasantly surprised.

 

I also really appreciate the preemptive retort that Devin made against the naysayers - the difference between "overrated" vs "I don't like it ." As a 28 year old guy who's been listening to this band for over 10 years I'm obviously a little biased, but I really think it's hard - almost impossible - to argue that the Beatles are overrated - that is to say - that they're held in higher importance than they actually deserve, because, in terms of acts that changed what pop music is and can be, you'd be very hard pressed to find a bigger and more important band.

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Boo hiss. I'll be over here in the corner, stirring my boiling pot of dissenter's brew.

I'll take a pint of that. I was ambivalent towards the Beatles before watching Hard's Day Night and the viewing didn't do anything to change that. I did enjoy some of the jokes / scenes, but felt like it really lost any steam after that first 45-60 minutes and I just wanted the thing to be over. I was curious to see in this thread if there was anyone else who wasn't really a Beatles fan who may have still enjoyed the movie. Anyone?

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That's awesome! I'm actually from Portland! I wish I had known about this, I totally would have gone! Do you happened to remember which theater it was? (Perhaps the Hollywood Theater? - https://en.wikipedia...ortland,_Oregon))

 

It was absolutely that theater! I live in Connecticut, and I deeply wish that we had a theater like that: where you can buy a beer, see a classic/cult movie in a packed house of enthusiastic moviegoers. Sometimes I wish I could teleport to CineFamily in L.A. for one of their many cool events. But that theater in Portland was awesome; the Portland locals are lucky to have it.

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Hard Day's YES. Seen it many times and still find it as energetic and joyous as ever. Besides being an iconic look at The Beatles as they entered their peak, it's just an incredibly vibrant and sharp piece of filmmaking. For Anglophiles like myself, its also a great portrait of English culture in the early 60s.

 

Great hearing you two get along on this one. Contentious episodes may have more drama, but harmonious ones provide wellspring of interesting details and trivia on the works in question.

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For me this film is fun, absurd, energetic, influential, it captures the cultural moment, and it is very cinematic. Easy yes.

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It was absolutely that theater! I live in Connecticut, and I deeply wish that we had a theater like that: where you can buy a beer, see a classic/cult movie in a packed house of enthusiastic moviegoers. Sometimes I wish I could teleport to CineFamily in L.A. for one of their many cool events. But that theater in Portland was awesome; the Portland locals are lucky to have it.

 

I thought so!! I adore the Hollywood!. I think, that what I appreciate most, besides the cool aesthetic and fun atmosphere is the fact that it gives me the chance to see movies I'd otherwise probably not be able to see on the big screen. One of the first things I saw here was Close Encounters of the Third Kind..hearing that brilliant John Williams soundtrack blaring in a packed auditorium of enthused moviegoers was worth the price of admission alone. Oh, and the movie is fucking incredible too..

 

 

Since then, I've had the chance to see everything from the 54 Godzilla to Freaks to Birdman to Bride of Frankenstein to Singin in the Rain there, and Ive had an amazing experience every time.

 

Anyway, back to a Hard Day's Night.. Lol

 

Sorry I hurt your thread, mister...

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I have to say upfront that I'm really not a fan of the beatles. Just never got it, I don't know whether that's because I'm 24 and they don't seem as groundbreaking, but outside of a couple of songs (A Hard Days Night being one) I don't see what all the fuss is about.

 

I then also need to say the first time I saw this film was about 8 years ago during an A-Level film studies class (that's qualifications you take right before university in the UK) and I really hated it. I saw nothing but some overrated musicians having a jolly. There was only one part I enjoyed, and that was Ringo laughing at his own joke

 

However, after watching it for the first time since then for this, I might have done the hardest 180 on a film I ever had. I was swept up in the propulsiveness of their antics, and I laughed at a lot more than I ever did before. I certainly never appreciated the cinematography before, which is absolutely gorgeous.

 

So it is a yes for me, but still not a beatles fan. And the scouse accent still makes my ears bleed.

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Agree hard with other commenters on the turn-around from the Homework thread. Seeing the comments in that one really bummed me out last week - a couple of people just being dismissive because it's a pop band movie (that's what their arguments boiled down to, anyway), and even the movie's defenders only praising it for capturing a moment in time or being historically significant - not for simply being a joyous, funny, exuberant, exciting comedy that's bursting with creativity and raw power. I got a massive rush of delight when I heard Amy and Devin being so sincerely positive and enthusiastic about the film, and it's great to read a couple of people here saying that they were won over or found a new perspective because of this podcast. Hard Day's Night is pure fun, joy, and optimism. This week's episode felt like it reflected that spirit.

 

And I personally have given up on trying to argue with people who say the Beatles are stale or overrated. It's like people who say Shakespeare is boring. They're as close to being objectively wrong as it's possible to be in the arts, and you're probably not going to change their minds.

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First, scouse is an accent? I had no idea what the Monkees song title Randy Scouse Git meant until this prompted me to look it up!

 

Secondly, yes this movie is great because of its absurd British humor. I am thinking of doing a backyard party with a double feature of Holy Grail and possibly A Hard Day's Night. I just wonder if people would be interested or dismissive.

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Such a funny film, fast-paced, and inferred/revealed a lot of interesting stuff for Beatles fans.

 

I'm not sure how'd it go to non-beatles fans, but I wish I'd watched this as a kid! I was introduced to the Beatles at about 8years old, mainly through Yellow Submarine. In that and Hard Day's Night there's such a childlike quality to a lot of the humour and activities onscreen- wonderfully bizarre and almost dreamlike logic and structure that I kind of accidentally really enjoyed as a kid.

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Boo hiss. I'll be over here in the corner, stirring my boiling pot of dissenter's brew. Just two pages of this fawning praise is enough to make me want to strangle a baby boomer.

 

Haha, I kind-of wish I had kept maintained my "soft no" (but don't regret voting "yes"). Still there is way to much of what I worried about, people voting yes simply because it's The Beatles. "...but...it's Disney"

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Haha, I kind-of wish I had kept maintained my "soft no" (but don't regret voting "yes"). Still there is way to much of what I worried about, people voting yes simply because it's The Beatles. "...but...it's Disney"

 

Actually I don't see much of this at all. If we were talking about Help! it would be a big fat "no" from me because I genuinely don't think it's canon worthy. Just because people talk about their admiration for The Beatles in their response to a movie STARRING The Beatles that is ABOUT The Beatles does not mean they're voting "just because it's The Beatles". So give people a little more credit.

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This is a no-brainer. Even if you don't like the movie, I think it's impossible to count out its vast influence on cinema and culture, which makes it canon. That being said, I do love it and will never forget my first time seeing it (in a theater!) and being blown away by the dialogue, the variety, the tone, and the beautiful camerawork. I walked back to my car on a huge high from watching this masterpiece.

 

I also love the scene between John and the woman in the hallway, but to me it's never felt like a flirtation scene (aside from "what have you heard?"), just a bit of absurdism about celebrity and an exercise in vague conversation.

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I also love the scene between John and the woman in the hallway, but to me it's never felt like a flirtation scene (aside from "what have you heard?"), just a bit of absurdism about celebrity and an exercise in vague conversation.

Duddddeeeee, it's so flirty I can't even imagine not reading that into the scene. It's the only time John kind of vaguely opens up in the film as well- which is great.

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You know what, I think I had an episode where my brain refused to accept that the joke was from the movie I had just watched. Sometimes when I watch the movie right before taping I don't process everything,

 

Devin, there's a variation of that joke in the movie (where the woman falls into a big hole), but I think you're thinking of a Laurel and Hardy bit. There's definitely a clip of Laurel and Hardy where a woman steps off a curb onto a mud puddle, and her whole body sinks into it.

 

The way the bit with Ringo is framed, you see him put his jacket down outside of the shot and the woman falls into something (but it is the third time we've seen him put his jacket down, so we can assume it's over another puddle). Laurel and Hardy place their jacket down on a mud puddle that is clearly in the shot, and when the woman steps on it, she doesn't fall out of frame (like in HARD DAY'S NIGHT, but sinks into the puddle)

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A definite yes.

 

Not only is this movie incredibly fun to watch, it also breathes with the effortless cool of the French New Wave. That a vehicle for a pop group could be so experimental and energetic is a nice counterargument to the cookie-cutter approach to modern pop film making. Plus, it still amazes me that such top notch musicians could also be good actors. That doesn't happen often.

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Definite yes.

 

In the episode Devin and Amy talked about how Frank Sinatra was the progenitor for Beatlemania, but really the earliest example I can think of with the phenomena of fan adoration taken to the next level would be with Franz Liszt. Beatlemania is a term probably coined after the term Lisztomania, though I don't know that for certain.

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Beatlemania is a term probably coined after the term Lisztomania, though I don't know that for certain.

The use of "-mania" as a suffix word indicating "totally crazy for" has a usage that predates Lizst, back to the 16th century. Words like nymphomania, megalomania, etc. Although Lizst is a wonderful precursor to modern pop star swooning! Handsome guy in his youth, not surprising.

 

362px-Franz_Liszt.jpg

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Too intense of an August for a lengthy response, and the thread has pretty much covered it. The episode, too, was one of the more packed-with-fun-analysis installments in a long while.

 

I enjoy the Beatles, but have never been into their early stuff. Maybe that's why I'd never seen this movie before. But man, this movie defied my expectations a hundred times over. I expected some time-capsuley, light, fun fare and found a great deal more. It's a spell as much as a movie, and it transports you into a contradiction of sweaty realism and absurd fantasy.

 

I absolutely felt early on as some "no" voters did; It can be hard to get over the dad jokes and now-extinct comedic tone. But about halfway through the film clicked in a huge way, so much so that I immeditaely started the film over and watched it through from the beginning. I can't describe its magic better then Devin and Amy, but the moment when the magic struck me was an unforgettable movie moment. Easy, easy yes.

 

You know, Blazing Saddles is next, and I must say I'm loving the run of slam-dunk episodes more then I thought I would. It's fun to just gush about obviously great movies, especially after some of the more angsty votes and versus episodes.

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