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Musical Mondays Week 38 The Singing Detective


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#21 Cam Bert

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 03:53 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 07 May 2018 - 10:37 AM, said:

So his mother. I get that she had an affair with one of her husband's coworkers. Dan Dark witnessed this and told his father about it, his father beat both, and Dan and his mother left. What I'm not sure about is the repeated scene where his father hits a car with a dented wrench. Is this supposed to mean he beat them with the wrench? and then when Dan Dark's mother couldn't find a job, she turned to prostitution, right? Was it stated that she was killed by one of the Johns? And why was she one of the dames in the noir fantasy?

I kinda want to watch that part again because I am of two minds about the wrench. One one hand I think it's just showing that his father was angry at his wife and a possible resentment and distrust of women which Dan Dark displays later on. The boiling rage simmering beneath the surface rising to the top. I don't know if he beat them with it though. She left with Dan Dark but her lover wasn't there and the dad seemed upset with them leaving. So him hitting her and that being the final straw would make sense too.

As far as his mom and her death goes I think you are right about her death but no idea why she is just a random lady of the evening in his fantasy. Surely it would have made more sense for her to be the one that is murdered and dumped. That would play into the whole "my noir world is a metaphor for my past and all the characters are stand ins for real people and events and feelings that I try to repress" a whole lot more.
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#22 Cameron H.

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 04:00 PM

Here's my (admittedly half-formed) take on the lip-syncing thing.

A big part of the movie is that Dan doesn't realize that the characters are subconsciously based on people from his own life. As he comes to terms with this fact, he also starts to realize that he is, in fact, the hero of his own story. The way I viewed it was that TSD was Dan Dark's aspirational self. He was sexy and smooth and didn't take any shit from anybody. Conversely, Dan feels like a monster and that the whole world is shitting on him. Even though we see that RDJ is playing both parts, Dan Dark doesn't see it. He can't fathom that he might actually be The Singing Detective, and because of that, TSD doesn't have Dan Dark's voice. He has a different voice - a "better" voice.

It's also important to note that RDJ - as Dan Dark - does sing in his own voice at one point. And, not only that, when he does sing, it's pretty good. As he comes to terms with who he could be, his recovery follows suit. This continues on until the very end of the movie where the "monstrous" Dan Dark is transformed (killed off) so that he can literally become TSD.

(I'm not sure if any of that made any sense...LOL)

Maybe I can illustrate my point a different way. It's been awhile since I've seen it, but there's this movie called Mumford which- as I recall - is (kind of) about a small town psychologist. In it, there's this character that comes to see him every so often who always describes these kind of noir-ish, sex fantasies. Now, the patient himself is this kind of overweight, middle-aged, balding dude, but in his fantasies, he's this completely ripped, young, and sexy hunk. At one point, the psychologist guy (I want to call him Mumford, but that might be the name of the town) says, "I want [this guy] to be able to see himself in his own fantasies." I feel like Dan Dark is kind of like that. He's so busy feeling sorry for himself that he can't even see himself for what he already is.
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#23 Cameron H.

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 05:00 AM

View PostCam Bert, on 07 May 2018 - 03:41 PM, said:

Also, the two feds/hoods were they guys he saw on the bus for real or is that him putting his characters from his mind into the memory?


This is was my take. I think that there were based on real people, but their role in his life/story is more based on the fact that they were present during a significant moment in his life rather than any real significance in and of themselves. For example, Dan Dark can't even remember if they were present on the bus ride to or from his father's service station, but he still remembers them. They are the tiny details that stick out in your memory that really don't mean anything. Consequently, in his book, they are these kind of amorphous, poorly defined characters. He feels like they are important, when in fact, they really aren't.

As for an answer provided in the movie, I'd say they are just there to be an enigma. A thing for us to question, but never get an answer. Or as Dark puts it, "All solutions and no clues, right? 'Cause that's what the dumbheads want. They want a serious novel, right? Plus descriptions of the goddamn sky. I want it the other way around. All clues, no solutions, 'cause that's the way things are."
Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
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#24 taylor anne photo

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 05:49 AM

View PostCam Bert, on 07 May 2018 - 03:53 PM, said:

As far as his mom and her death goes I think you are right about her death but no idea why she is just a random lady of the evening in his fantasy. Surely it would have made more sense for her to be the one that is murdered and dumped. That would play into the whole "my noir world is a metaphor for my past and all the characters are stand ins for real people and events and feelings that I try to repress" a whole lot more.

I also feel like having his mother in that spot in the noir fantasy sheds a bit of a light onto an Oedipal complex. I think it just really shows how effected he was by seeing/hearing his mother have sex at such an early age that he puts her into a former lover category in his story.
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Posted 08 May 2018 - 05:54 AM

View PostCameron H., on 07 May 2018 - 04:00 PM, said:

(I want to call him Mumford, but that might be the name of the town)

Was it Mumford's son?

Spoiler

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#26 The Triple Lindy

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:43 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 07 May 2018 - 10:37 AM, said:

What I'm not sure about is the repeated scene where his father hits a car with a dented wrench. Is this supposed to mean he beat them with the wrench? and then when Dan Dark's mother couldn't find a job, she turned to prostitution, right? Was it stated that she was killed by one of the Johns? And why was she one of the dames in the noir fantasy?

View PostCam Bert, on 07 May 2018 - 03:53 PM, said:

I kinda want to watch that part again because I am of two minds about the wrench. One one hand I think it's just showing that his father was angry at his wife and a possible resentment and distrust of women which Dan Dark displays later on. The boiling rage simmering beneath the surface rising to the top. I don't know if he beat them with it though.

Pretty sure that beating someone with a wrench that big would just kill them. I read it as the sound-and-fury of white guy rage. I'm sure he's punched a few holes into the walls of the house, too.

My question is, after they lived in LA and had to move back, where were they moving back to? Surely they wouldn't go back to Dark Sr., and they don't seem to have anyone else in the town. We never really see that part of his life ... they leave LA, go "back," and the next time we see the mom, she's washed up on shore somewhere after drowning herself.

#27 The Triple Lindy

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:48 AM

View PostCam Bert, on 07 May 2018 - 03:41 PM, said:

Also, the two feds/hoods were they guys he saw on the bus for real or is that him putting his characters from his mind into the memory?

View PostCameron H., on 08 May 2018 - 05:00 AM, said:


This is was my take. I think that there were based on real people, but their role in his life/story is more based on the fact that they were present during a significant moment in his life rather than any real significance in and of themselves. For example, Dan Dark can't even remember if they were present on the bus ride to or from his father's service station, but he still remembers them. They are the tiny details that stick out in your memory that really don't mean anything. Consequently, in his book, they are these kind of amorphous, poorly defined characters. He feels like they are important, when in fact, they really aren't.

I'm not sure that they're based off of real people. I agree that they probably weren't on the bus, but I took them for ambiguous manifestations of his paranoia, which he refers to constantly in his sessions with Dr. Gibson and shouting matches with Robin Wright. Feds and mobsters are always the most paranoid movie characters, and stylistically they stand so far afield from anything Young DD is familiar with. There is that line on the bus about how LA is just full of gangsters, which of course is how any bumpkin views the Big City, so I figured that was the inception for his noir-style writing a la The Singing Detective.

#28 taylor anne photo

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:50 AM

View PostThe Triple Lindy, on 08 May 2018 - 06:43 AM, said:

My question is, after they lived in LA and had to move back, where were they moving back to? Surely they wouldn't go back to Dark Sr., and they don't seem to have anyone else in the town. We never really see that part of his life ... they leave LA, go "back," and the next time we see the mom, she's washed up on shore somewhere after drowning herself.

I thought I saw something that said Topeka, but I think that the point is the mom never made it back. I think she was murdered in LA and Dan goes back on his own.
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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:52 AM

View Posttaylor anne photo, on 08 May 2018 - 06:50 AM, said:

I thought I saw something that said Topeka, but I think that the point is the mom never made it back. I think she was murdered in LA and Dan goes back on his own.

OH. I totally didn't get that.

#30 SaraK

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:57 AM

View Posttaylor anne photo, on 08 May 2018 - 06:50 AM, said:

I thought I saw something that said Topeka, but I think that the point is the mom never made it back. I think she was murdered in LA and Dan goes back on his own.


I thought she committed suicide rather than go back. But in his fantasy life, she was murdered instead of leaving him.

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:59 AM

View PostThe Triple Lindy, on 08 May 2018 - 06:52 AM, said:

OH. I totally didn't get that.

I mean all of that is "I think" cause I could definitely have missed something as well lol
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#32 Cam Bert

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:11 AM

Here's another question, not as serious as the rest, why did they put Mel Gibson in the bald cap? I mean this is still when he was a sweet heart and darling so there was no need to hide him. Did they think it was a funny joke? Did they think the doctor couldn't be handsome? If that's the case why cast Mel Gibson in that role. You already had RDJ in special make up so was this an excuse for the two of them to spend time together in the make up trailer?
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#33 The Triple Lindy

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:11 AM

View PostCam Bert, on 08 May 2018 - 08:11 AM, said:

Here's another question, not as serious as the rest, why did they put Mel Gibson in the bald cap? I mean this is still when he was a sweet heart and darling so there was no need to hide him. Did they think it was a funny joke? Did they think the doctor couldn't be handsome? If that's the case why cast Mel Gibson in that role. You already had RDJ in special make up so was this an excuse for the two of them to spend time together in the make up trailer?

I'd say he was trying to do a "Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder" thing, except TSD came first. Perhaps Cruise was inspired by Gibson on that front.

Which is funny because someone has already mentioned that this movie was part of RDJ's comeback, and I'd always held Tropic Thunder responsible for that.

I think there are multiple ways we can blame TSD for the existence of Tropic Thunder.

#34 tomspanks

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:37 AM

View PostThe Triple Lindy, on 08 May 2018 - 10:11 AM, said:

I'd say he was trying to do a "Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder" thing, except TSD came first. Perhaps Cruise was inspired by Gibson on that front.

Which is funny because someone has already mentioned that this movie was part of RDJ's comeback, and I'd always held Tropic Thunder responsible for that.

I think there are multiple ways we can blame TSD for the existence of Tropic Thunder.


Gibson totally reminded me of Cruise in Tropic Thunder!

View PostCam Bert, on 08 May 2018 - 08:11 AM, said:

Here's another question, not as serious as the rest, why did they put Mel Gibson in the bald cap? I mean this is still when he was a sweet heart and darling so there was no need to hide him. Did they think it was a funny joke? Did they think the doctor couldn't be handsome? If that's the case why cast Mel Gibson in that role. You already had RDJ in special make up so was this an excuse for the two of them to spend time together in the make up trailer?


I think Mel Gibson was one of the producers, so it was probably his choice. Why, we will never know.

#35 tomspanks

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:45 AM

View PostCameron H., on 07 May 2018 - 04:00 PM, said:

Here's my (admittedly half-formed) take on the lip-syncing thing.

A big part of the movie is that Dan doesn't realize that the characters are subconsciously based on people from his own life. As he comes to terms with this fact, he also starts to realize that he is, in fact, the hero of his own story. The way I viewed it was that TSD was Dan Dark's aspirational self. He was sexy and smooth and didn't take any shit from anybody. Conversely, Dan feels like a monster and that the whole world is shitting on him. Even though we see that RDJ is playing both parts, Dan Dark doesn't see it. He can't fathom that he might actually be The Singing Detective, and because of that, TSD doesn't have Dan Dark's voice. He has a different voice - a "better" voice.


But then why is everyone else also lip syncing in his fantasy? :blink:

#36 The Triple Lindy

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:53 AM

Who wore the bald cap better?

Posted Image
Posted Image

EDITED TO ASK: What the hell is wrong with just shaving your head?

#37 tomspanks

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 11:02 AM

View PostPollyDarton, on 07 May 2018 - 03:06 PM, said:

So... I watched it....

My favorite part was the sex scenes. They were disturbing, sad, unsexy and - best of all - way too long.


Jeremy Northam is ruined.

#38 grudlian.

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 11:06 AM

View PostThe Triple Lindy, on 08 May 2018 - 10:53 AM, said:

Who wore the bald cap better?

Posted Image
Posted Image

EDITED TO ASK: What the hell is wrong with just shaving your head?

The most logical reason is an actor may have another role before they have time to grow their hair back.

I suppose they could wear a wig to cover their shaved head but they are stuck with months of growing their hair back in real life.

#39 tomspanks

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 11:08 AM

Ok, I don't know how much of this is true, but from the imdb trivia page:

Quote

At one point, David Cronenberg was in line to direct the film, with Al Pacino in the lead.

Dustin Hoffman was initially attached to the role of Dan Dark when the film was in development.


The Cronenberg/Al Pacino version could have been so good. I think.

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 11:31 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 08 May 2018 - 10:45 AM, said:

But then why is everyone else also lip syncing in his fantasy? :blink:

This was the only lip syncing I could actually understand cause he was hearing these really famous songs and just imagining they're actually coming out of the people around him's mouths.
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