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Cameron H.

Best of 2018: Listener’s Picks

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Paul & Amy round out the Best Of 2018 miniseries with an all-star lineup of callers talking about their favorite films of last year! Guests like Damon Lindelof, Lucia Aniello, Leonard Maltin, Reggie Hudlin, Casey Wilson, Chris Gethard and the wonderful Unspooled listeners evangelize their favorite films, from Free Solo and Shoplifters to Searching and Mamma Mia 2. Plus: we briefly preview the Academy Awards this Sunday, and finally talk about Green Book.

Next Thursday we’ll be discussing The Graduate, but tune in Monday for a special post-Oscars bonus episode! We’ll be livestreaming it online starting at 10am PST (watch our Twitter for the link), then releasing the episode on our podcast feed later that day. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, get more info at unspooledpod.com, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts. Photo by Kim Troxall.

This episode is brought to you by Caavo (www.caavo.com code: UNSPOOLED), Mubi.com (www.mubi.com/unspooled), Black Tux (www.blacktux.com code: UNSPOOLED).

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I really like that a forum favorite, Monster Trucks, gets a shoutout. Why isn't Monster Trucks on the AFI list?

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2 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

I really like that a forum favorite, Monster Trucks, gets a shoutout. Why isn't Monster Trucks on the AFI list?

Holy shit! I have to listen to this episode right now! #MonsterTrucks4ever

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32 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Can we call Adam Scott every episode?

Paul & Amy probably don't want to bother him at work though

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I'm glad no one called in to support Green Book and I'm disappointed in Paul and Amy for glossing over how problematic it is. First, it's not a movie about Don Shirley and his white driver. It's about Tony Vallelonga and his story about driving for an African-American pianist in the South. Those are two very different films. Green Book was written by Vallelonga's son. The Shirley family has come out strongly against this movie for its inaccuracies, such as Shriley's alleged estrangement from his families, and even for the movie being made at all, which Shirley turned down during his lifetime. From indiwire:

"I remember very, very clearly, going back 30 years, my uncle had been approached by Nick Vallelonga, the son of Tony Vallelonga, about a movie on his life, and Uncle Donald told me about it,” Edwin said “He flatly refused.”

Edwin and Maurice said they heard from Mahershala Ali shortly after they spoke about their issues with the film on NPR in late November. “I got a call from Mahershala Ali, a very, very respectful phone call, from him personally,” Maurice said. “He called me and my Uncle Maurice in which he apologized profusely if there had been any offense.”

“What he said was, ‘If I have offended you, I am so, so terribly sorry. I did the best I could with the material I had. I was not aware that there were close relatives with whom I could have consulted to add some nuance to the character,’” added Edwin.

Vanity Fair talks about how Mahershala Ali didn't even get a chance to meet the Shirley family prior to shooting. 

Aside from any racial feel-goodness this might give a white movie-going or Oscar-voting public, you can't talk about this movie without talking about its overwhelming problems. If this film wins any Oscars, I won't be shocked, but I will be pissed off.

Also, the "Green Book" isn't a book of music, it's a travel guide for the Jim Crow south. Per Wikipedia: 

"The Negro Motorist Green Book [was] an annual guidebook for African-American roadtrippers, commonly referred to simply as the Green Book. It was originated and published by New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966, during the era of Jim Crow laws, when open and often legally prescribed discrimination against non-whites was widespread. Although pervasive racial discrimination and poverty limited black car ownership, the emerging African-American middle class bought automobiles as soon as they could, but faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences along the road, from refusal of food and lodging to arbitrary arrest. In response, Green wrote his guide to services and places relatively friendly to African-Americans, eventually expanding its coverage from the New York area to much of North America, as well as founding a travel agency."

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58 minutes ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

Also, the "Green Book" isn't a book of music, it's a travel guide for the Jim Crow south.

Not defending any of the other problematic stuff, but I will say that this much is made clear within the film.

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5 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Not defending any of the other problematic stuff, but I will say that this much is made clear within the film.

good to know! I wasn't sure about that, and the way Paul talked about the availability of the music made it sound confusing, and I've heard it confused before. 

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14 hours ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

good to know! I wasn't sure about that, and the way Paul talked about the availability of the music made it sound confusing, and I've heard it confused before. 

There's also a doc coming out on Monday on Smithsonian about the actual Green Book and the black Americans that had to use it.

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3 hours ago, taylorannephoto said:

There's also a doc coming out on Monday on Smithsonian about the actual Green Book and the black Americans that had to use it.

And if you (like me) prefer to receive all information in podcast form, 99% Invisible has a good episode about the Green Book from 2016.

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Really disappointed in this podcast.  This episode that is.  I would think listener picks would be from, I don't know, listeners.  Nope.  Mostly industry insiders, critics, writers, actors, etc.  This should have been a separate podcast.  I'd like to know what "real" people liked and didn't like which was why I looked forward to this episode. 

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1 hour ago, mjbok said:

Really disappointed in this podcast.  This episode that is.  I would think listener picks would be from, I don't know, listeners.  Nope.  Mostly industry insiders, critics, writers, actors, etc.  This should have been a separate podcast.  I'd like to know what "real" people liked and didn't like which was why I looked forward to this episode. 

Did they not take your call?

I'm also not sure if listeners of this podcast would give an accurate reflection of "real" people anyway.  (As a point of reference, the 4 American-made 2018 films on the IMDb top 250 are Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseAvengers: Infinity WarGreen Book, and Bohemian Rhapsody.  Personally, I feel like hearing someone give a 5-star review of Bohemian Rhapsody would have felt a bit too much like a certain HDTGM segment.)

I thought it was a nice episode, and I'm glad they touched on things like Searching and Shoplifters and even A Simple Favor which was certainly enjoyable if not cinematically important.  I would have liked a Hearts Beat Loud shoutout or maybe some talk about Minding the Gap, but I suppose I should have called in then!

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6 hours ago, mjbok said:

Really disappointed in this podcast.  This episode that is.  I would think listener picks would be from, I don't know, listeners.  Nope.  Mostly industry insiders, critics, writers, actors, etc.  This should have been a separate podcast.  I'd like to know what "real" people liked and didn't like which was why I looked forward to this episode. 

Isn't that what the forums are for tho?

 

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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7 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Don't worry, folks. In five years we'll all forget that Green Book won.

I'm even angrier that Skin wron beat live action short. It was even less socially aware, related to race movie than Green Book.

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16 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

I'm even angrier that Skin wron beat live action short. It was even less socially aware, related to race movie than Green Book.

Yes! That was easily the worst of the live action shorts, and we're talking about a group of films that includes multiple child deaths. Maybe all the older white Oscar voters had inclusivity exhaustion from Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman

ETA: Reminder that exactly 20 years ago Shakespeare in Love swept the awards and took Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan.

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7 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Don't worry, folks. In five years we'll all forget that Green Book won.

Are you saying Green Book won't join the hallowed legacy of such greats as Crash, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Chicago, Oliver!, and Driving Miss Daisie?

 

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One of the best things about the Oscars is complaining about the Oscars. Looks like this year again will not disappoint.

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2 hours ago, ol' eddy wrecks said:

Are you saying Green Book won't join the hallowed legacy of such greats as Crash, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Chicago, Oliver!, and Driving Miss Daisie?

IlliterateCheeryKingfisher-small.gif

And honestly, the last few years had kind of set me up to think that this was a new Academy ready to make more adventurous selections: The Shape of Water, Moonlight, Spotlight, and Birdman. Regardless of what you think of those individual movies, they're not exactly "typical Academy fare." Spotlight probably comes closest, but even that is a quiet journalistic procedural movie that's kind of a downer. Usually the kind of movie that gets nominated but does not win.

But this year? With some actual interesting, adventurous stuff among the Best Picture nominees? Oh boy, they reached way back for some old-school Oscar nonsense.

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3 hours ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

Yes! That was easily the worst of the live action shorts, and we're talking about a group of films that includes multiple child deaths. Maybe all the older white Oscar voters had inclusivity exhaustion from Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman

ETA: Reminder that exactly 20 years ago Shakespeare in Love swept the awards and took Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan.

I think there were probably a lot of voters who simply thought these were progressive choices because they dealt with race (and LGBTQ issues with Green Book). They probably thought they really nailed it and these choices are the most Oscars So White choices they could have awarded. That's a real shame to say because people of color were recognized this year.

It's been said a lot but Green Book is the Driving Miss Daisy of 2018.

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4 hours ago, grudlian. said:

I'm even angrier that Skin wron beat live action short. It was even less socially aware, related to race movie than Green Book.

I'm just going to remember that Krysten Ritter arrived on stage to present and announced she was pregnant instead.

(I love her so much I've been considering changing my Kate Bishop icon to a Jessica Jones icon.)

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7 minutes ago, taylorannephoto said:

I'm just going to remember that Krysten Ritter arrived on stage to present and announced she was pregnant instead.

(I love her so much I've been considering changing my Kate Bishop icon to a Jessica Jones icon.)

Her husband/partner is awesome too, one of the best guitarists alive!  Bummed Netflix has cancelled Jessica Jones, but hoping it can live on some other way

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23 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Her husband/partner is awesome too, one of the best guitarists alive!  Bummed Netflix has cancelled Jessica Jones, but hoping it can live on some other way

I've still not listened to War on Drugs and I really need to remedy that. Also heard that there's a small possibility Hulu will pick it up, since it has a deal with Disney, before they launch their own streaming platform, buuuut I also heard that if Jessica Jones gets to live on it won't ever be with the same cast and crew. To me that defeats the whole purpose because what I love about this show is what these specific people brought to that table. Krysten will forever be my Jessica.

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