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Bonnie And Clyde

Bonnie And Clyde  

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  1. 1. Does "Bonnie And Clyde" belong on the AFI List?

    • Yes
      6
    • No
      7

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  • Poll closed on 03/01/19 at 08:00 AM

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Paul and Amy touched on this a little bit in the episode, but not only was Clyde supposed to be bisexual, there was supposed to be a menage a trois scene with Bonnie, Clyde, and their "strapping male getaway driver."

 

I know, but I was referring more to how that behavior seems to presage her need for something new. It doesn't seem to matter that her life is full of bank robberies, gun fights, and dramatic escapes. If she's gravitating toward dumb drivers with tattoos again, it seems like her life of crime has become just as mundane as her life as a waitress.

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Something tells me movie Blanche is such a spoil sport she's not drinking any.

 

You're so right. Buck also ordered a quart of milk.

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I know, but I was referring more to how that behavior seems to presage her need for something new. It doesn't seem to matter that her life is full of bank robberies, gun fights, and dramatic escapes. If she's gravitating toward dumb drivers with tattoos again, it seems like her life of crime has become just as mundane as her life as a waitress.

 

Oh ok. This reminds me of the scene where B&C are talking about marriage and Bonnie fantasizes about what they would do if a miracle happened and they could walk away and start their lives all over again. Clyde doesn't miss a beat and says he would live in a different state so that he could rob banks in the next state. His answer destroys Bonnie (because that's not what she was asking at all) and Clyde doesn't even realize it at first. Even in his fantasy life, he's robbing banks, FFS. One of the things I loved about this movie is the way heartbreak and suffering were often presented in parallel with the absurd and funny. There are many examples of this, but the one that struck me most is that scene.

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God yes, Hell or High Water is maybe my favorite Texas set movie, and tbh it has a lot to do with one certain part and it's when Ben Foster goes into the gas station and then comes out yelling about how they don't have Dr. Pepper. That right there is literally all it took for me to believe that this was Texas, because that's SUCH a Texan fuckin thing to say.

 

I'm not a Texan, but people who are tell me that Richard Linklater is good about getting Texas right, particularly in Bernie.

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Great episode and great movie. I really enjoyed the Robert Benton interview as well. I do feel like, and this is a real nit to pick, that content is getting pushed a little above form on the discussion, which is part and parcel of the format I think (and I am really enjoying the podcast as a whole.)

 

Amy did mention the editing and Dede Allen briefly and the New Wave was briefly addressed. I feel like this excerpt from the wonderful documentary "The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing" does a pretty good job of explaining the synthesis of previous rule breaking being presented to American audiences in an American film.

 

 

You can get that doc on the Blu ray of Bullitt by the way, probably my favorite special feature of all time.

 

Mark Harris's "Pictures at a Revolution" is also a big recommend for some more historical context.

 

This is not a film history podcast per se and the crux is the conversation between Amy and Paul and they are doing a great job, so I don't expect them to bog it down in a deluge of film facts, but I thought it was an interesting clip.

 

Keep up the great work!

 

Also, for a very interesting movie check out "Mickey One" an earlier collaboration between Penn and Beatty that has even stranger tonal shifts...

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I'm not a Texan, but people who are tell me that Richard Linklater is good about getting Texas right, particularly in Bernie.

That's true, he does. I haven't seen Bernie yet, but in both Dazed & Confused and Boyhood there is a specialty to them that you would only truly get if you were from Texas.

 

I also just remembered that in HoHW the beer they drink is only Shiner, which is a big Texas beer and is typically what most Texans would say is their favorite. (I say most because I know Fister and I have gotten into heavy debates about what the best beer in Texas truly is lol.) It's little details like that that may seem like something frivolous but to a Texan those are huuuge things because they are generally taken so seriously here. Which is why I do appreciate the DP mention in B&C.

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What I will say about Texas in movies, and they make a point to say this, is that people will cover stories in Texas that is specifically set in west Texas because then they can film in New Mexico or Arizona and get away with the landscape (I believe HoHW was filmed in NM for example). So while the story itself may accurately depict Texas life, the setting is still trying to blend those state lines. That's why especially with Linklater he does get Texas correct too, because he films IN Texas and not only that but in central Texas where everything is boring and flat (save for the Austin hill country).

 

I love that they focused on what the terrain of Texas would look like in the areas that Bonnie & Clyde genuinely went through and didn't just try and fudge it, because that part of Texas looks so specifically boring that it truly mimics how boring they thought their lives were. Fantastic detail!!!

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Another thing - Amy mentioned in the episode that Ginger Rogers sang "We're in the Money" backwards, but she was actually singing it in Pig Latin. Apparently one of the executives overheard Ginger goofing off in rehearsals and he liked it so much he asked her to sing it that way in the movie.

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Oh ok. This reminds me of the scene where B&C are talking about marriage and Bonnie fantasizes about what they would do if a miracle happened and they could walk away and start their lives all over again. Clyde doesn't miss a beat and says he would live in a different state so that he could rob banks in the next state. His answer destroys Bonnie (because that's not what she was asking at all) and Clyde doesn't even realize it at first. Even in his fantasy life, he's robbing banks, FFS. One of the things I loved about this movie is the way heartbreak and suffering were often presented in parallel with the absurd and funny. There are many examples of this, but the one that struck me most is that scene.

 

I totally agree. You can just see how crushed she is when he says that.

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What I will say about Texas in movies, and they make a point to say this, is that people will cover stories in Texas that is specifically set in west Texas because then they can film in New Mexico or Arizona and get away with the landscape (I believe HoHW was filmed in NM for example). So while the story itself may accurately depict Texas life, the setting is still trying to blend those state lines. That's why especially with Linklater he does get Texas correct too, because he films IN Texas and not only that but in central Texas where everything is boring and flat (save for the Austin hill country).

 

I think this is why some Texas folks were so interested in Bernie: Linklater actually shot it in East Texas and called out the specifics of where it was set.

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I think this is why some Texas folks were so interested in Bernie: Linklater actually shot it in East Texas and called out the specifics of where it was set.

I'll have to jump it to the top of my watch list then! I went to school out east so I'm now hella interested in this!

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I'll have to jump it to the top of my watch list then! I went to school out east so I'm now hella interested in this!

 

It's shot in semi-documentary style where characters speak at the camera about the story that's happening. Some of them are actors (obviously -- one is Matthew McConaughey), but some are also just local townspeople. There's a hilarious bit where one older man lays out the various regions and sub-cultures of Texas (People's Republic of Austin, Houston's Carcinogenic Coast, etc.). I loved that part.

 

And now . . . back to Bonnie and Clyde.

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It came VERY close to being my number two, as well. I have to admit, as much as I admire 2001, I really do prefer a plot with a strong narrative. And in that respect, I enjoyed B&C more. I also preferred the range of emotion found in B&C to the cold stoicism and existentialist dread of 2001. However, in the end, I just couldn’t dismiss the ambition behind 2001. While both have been influential, I found 2001 to be the more groundbreaking of the two. As much as it can get up it’s own ass, I feel like 2001 really tried to bring legitimacy to a genre that was - more or less - frowned upon. For me, B&C just took their genre to the next level. If it hadn’t been B&C, some other movie would have come along and done the same thing. I don’t know that I can say the same for 2001.

 

All valid points. I'm more of a reader of fantasy fiction than sci-fi, but one thing that struck me during my recent viewing of 2001 is how it's probably the most accurate representation of how weird and thought provoking reading hard sci-fi really is. Of course, 2001 (wisely) doesn't provide the same internal dialogue that's possible on the written page, but Kubrick is a director that can get all of that stuff across to his viewers on the screen, often in utter silence. I think this is the primary reason I'm still in love with 2001 even though it lacks the traditional fun movie stuff that sent Bonnie and Clyde into my #2 spot. I could easily see making a change at some point - especially if that elusive 70mm print ever makes it to Kansas City.

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Just have to take issue with one thing as a fellow Texan, though: the idea that they never get Texas right in films. I'm always on the lookout for movies that do interesting things with a Texas setting.

 

I keep thinking about the portion of the Benton interview where he speaks about the importance of visiting Texas to ensure they got the people and setting right on film. It just seems like this kind of care isn't exercised enough these days. As a Missourian, one recent example that's still stuck in my craw is Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. Watching this I never got the sense that the filmmaker once set foot inside Missouri, or even an rural American town for that matter. My wife tells me the Missouri part is incidental and not worth getting hung up on, but I believe filmmakers should do their homework if they want to get that specific with their settings. That being said, I doubt I would have enjoyed the film if it was titled simply Three Billboards, or Three Billboards outside Ebbing as the characters and dialogue were equally ridiculous.

 

Apologies - I've gone on a bit about an unrelated movie. Just wanted to let all of you Texans know I share your frustration.

 

And in case I haven't been clear - I hate that movie with gusto.

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Apologies - I've gone on a bit about an unrelated movie. Just wanted to let all of you Texans know I share your frustration.

 

No apologies necessary! I love tangents :)

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There a new Netflix movie “The Highwaymen” coming out soon - the B&C story told from the viewpoint of the lawmen who pursued them.

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