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FictionIsntReal

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  1. FictionIsntReal

    Tokyo Story

    I binged the so-called Noriko trilogy a couple years ago in order of release, as my first exposure to Ozu. Like most Americans, I prefer Kurosawa and would rather one of his films were in the capsule. Your note about assuming directors must be very liberal reminds me of this recent fact-check on "Mank", which assumes he was a supporter of Upton Sinclair despite all evidence to the contrary. Like most people, I haven't actually seen that, but I did find the distortion of history to make the protagonist a standin for modern attitudes in "Lost City of Z" to be particularly annoying. AEI is the American Enterprise Institute, a think-tank known more for things like advocating the invasion of Iraq. Not that I would dismiss out-of-hand people writing on more domestic matters. At any rate the quoted bit didn't actually indicate that Hughes had ever seen Tokyo Story or acknowledged Ozu as an influence.
  2. FictionIsntReal

    The Thing

    I'm not convinced this movie is more deserving than Alien, even though it is quite good. And Ripley isn't the only woman onboard the Nostromo: Veronica Cartwright played Lambert. I don't believe this movie is about A.I.D.S. I usually hear that line about Cronenberg's remake of The Fly, even though he stated explicitly that his film was inspired by seeing his parents age. Carpenter's film is a quite faithful adaptation of the source material from 1938 (prior to the Cold War, and thus less likely to be an allegory for communism). Even 1982 strikes me as a bit early for that much awareness of AIDS.
  3. FictionIsntReal

    Ganja & Hess

    This is very much a niche curiosity. Perhaps interesting as a palate cleanser, but not one of 100 films to put on a spaceship. I'm also less certain that Jonathan Glazer saw it prior to making "Under the Skin". That struck me as more indebted to Kubrick.
  4. FictionIsntReal

    Unghouled Suggestions

    The Terminator (a perfect movie, unlike the sequel) has a hopeful ending. Alien 3 is considerably more nihilistic. And Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is even more miserable than that.
  5. FictionIsntReal

    Night of the Living Dead

    This film is one of the few that can compare with the Exorcist as one of the most influential of all time. And it still holds up today. If we're going to send the aliens one tiny-budget movie, I think it should be this. I think in 1968 Vietnam was more salient than civil rights. LBJ didn't run for another term because his handling of the war was so controversial. The CRA & VRA had been passed in 1964 & 1965 (respectively). Also, this was filmed in 1967 and McGovern didn't announce himself as a presidential candidate until August 1968 (RFK and later Gene McCarthy were the "dove" rivals of LBJ and later Hubert Humphrey for the nom). Since he only reluctantly threw his hat in the ring and his candidacy was brief, I wonder if that commercial isn't from the 1972 election (when he actually obtained the nomination). So I'm inclined to think Romero is giving an accurate account of how the film was made. He didn't shy away from politics in later films. I agree with Amy on "horror" films with unlikable characters whose deaths you root for. That's not scary. This is related to why most "horror-comedies" are just comedies in horror garb rather than actually working as horror movies.
  6. FictionIsntReal

    Unghouled Suggestions

    I'm a fan of "May", but don't know if it's top 100 films of all time quality. The horror film I'd like to recommend to others is Zulawski's "Possession". That also probably wouldn't make it on, but people should still check it out.
  7. FictionIsntReal

    The Babadook

    Australia is an English-speaking country, so there was no need for an English-language remake. Amy is wrong about the American remake of Let the Right One In, but that was already litigated over at the Canon. The linked video explains how that remake screwed things up, but there's another American horror film which could be considered a sort of remake of LtROI, but since it's not officially a remake was able to be consistent in its deviations: Justin P. Lange's 2018 film "The Dark". It's not actually great in its own right, but it is coherent in having a story about a boy who is NOT a budding serial-killer but still chooses to befriend a monster. This might be the best horror movie of the 21st century. Is that enough to be one of the 100 films shot into space? That's a higher bar.
  8. FictionIsntReal

    Frankenstein

    I dislike Bride of Frankenstein right from the intro scene with Mary Shelley. The real Mary Shelley had enough artistic integrity not to retcon character deaths in order to churn out a sequel. And don't get me started on how poorly Dr. Pretorius and his tiny people fit into this world. The scene with the blind man is decent, but that's basically the only worthwhile bit it adds on top of the original. I'm a soft no because this is an important film, but not one of 100 films to be shot into space. You guys mentioned Get Out, and that was really a surprisingly well-made horror movie for a debut director known for comedy, but it's not really comparable to something like The Exorcist.
  9. FictionIsntReal

    Cooley High

    This movie is too much like American Graffiti. No films of that ilk (including Last Picture Show) are worth sending into space.
  10. FictionIsntReal

    Rebel Without A Cause

    I don't think this film really belonged on the AFI list, so I'm fine about it getting removed. It's famous because James Dean died so young, but he wasn't really adding anything new on top of Brando and the film isn't nearly as "rebellious" as it markets itself. I think softening it and turning away from the original premise of sociopath delinquent (which I think Brando could have played) frankly results in it being mistitled. Dennis Hopper would go on to make a film which not only was more indicative of what the rebellious younger generation was actually like, but was made in a very different style and helped bust open the studio system for a "New Hollywood" containing independents, so I say he got the last laugh on Ray. I would only call it "the Streetcar ending" if Blanche DuBois had been shot to death by the cops.
  11. FictionIsntReal

    The 400 Blows

    I always read people saying this film is about how oppressed this kid is by the adults, but the adults came across as fairly reasonable to me. Most of the time when he gets in trouble, he really is in the wrong. I can still enjoy him raising hell, just as I enjoy the lead in "Her Smell" being awful for most of the movie, but that doesn't require me to sympathize with him.
  12. FictionIsntReal

    Stand and Deliver

    I remember hearing that even while Stand And Deliver remained popular, the real Escalante was unpopular with the school system. And looking him up, he lost his chairmanship of the math department just a couple years after the film was released, and he left Garfield the next year. Shortly before listening to this podcast I was reading the thoughts of a former teacher who joined Teach for America because of stories like Escalante's and more specifically movies like this. And perhaps because he taught some needier kids he retains more of the idealistic attitude toward public education than me (my own experience as a student was just of an enormous amount of wasted time), but I know he'd also agree with Freddie de Boer's new book The Cult of Smart against the idea that any student can do anything as long as teachers try hard enough. I agree with Amy that there are too many coming-of-age films, and that the personal stories of these people are not interesting. I do seem to be on the somewhat extreme end in being uninterested in the vast majority of stories about young people without real responsibilities. The next film we're to discuss has been widely recognized as a classic, but the rest of these "Back to School" films really seem like a waste of time if we're making some top 100 films ever list.
  13. FictionIsntReal

    Mean Girls

    I'm baffled at Paul's claims that the characters aren't wealthy (the audio clip in the episode has them discuss Gretchen's family's wealth, and Regina's enormous house is marvelled at by Cady), or that the performances are "grounded" given how ridiculously broad Amanda Seyfried's is (that's not a complaint, the movie was going more for comedy than realism). Maybe he has an entirely different idea of what "grounded" means. The giant free-for-all brawl that breaks out is not attempting to be "realistic", it's textbook "heightened". The term "Karen" is not used to mean "crazy" but "entitled" or "bitch". People who use it want to present themselves as "punching up", typically by highlighting how the "Karen" is white/middle-class. I don't think we can assume Lindsay Lohan has behaved a certain way BECAUSE of people talking about her. There's a lot less attention paid to her nowadays, but as far as I know that hasn't changed her behavior. Rather than saying it's "not just a lover story", I'd see it's not really a love story at all. At best there's an infatuation subplot. And one way in which he's not "perfect" is that he's perfectly aware that Regina is awful to other people, but he's fine with taking her back as long as she's not awful to HIM. I don't know why Paul used Breakfast Club as a counterexample where relationships are more important, because that's a genuine ensemble film without a single protagonist and nobody has dating as a major motivation (it takes place during a single day where they can't go anywhere and are just stuck together). I haven't seen Pretty in Pink or Sixteen Candles, but my impression is that dating is more central to those. I'm with Anthony Lane: I would also rather see a movie about the teachers (and not just because some are played by SNL alums). Teenagers typically have neither of the factors in the saying "With great power comes great responsibility". This makes their lives an uninteresting wait until adulthood. Exceptions are movies like Winter's Bone where the teen must take on adult responsibilities. Admittedly, I only saw this now and not when I was in highschool and the film originally came out, but I didn't care for teen stories then and was thus never really the target audience.
  14. FictionIsntReal

    Casablanca

    If anyone wants to read the original play, this scan isn't great but was the best I could find in a short time of searching.
  15. FictionIsntReal

    Casablanca

    Casablanca's general release was in 1943. Mrs. Miniver had already come out as essentially advocacy for America's intervention in the war in the summer of 1942 (it had been filmed prior to Pearl Harbor). Miniver swept the 1942 Oscars (Casablanca won Best Picture the next year), which only seems explicable for non-artistic reasons, as hardly anybody remembers it nowadays compared to Casablanca. The stage play was much more like a noir, with a less sympathetic protagonist. It still ends with Isla & Laszlo escaping together (even without the Hollywood Code prohibiting a woman leaving her husband), but Rick's one virtuous act at the end is rewarded with being captured by the Germans. Dali was a Spanish citizen, Vidor was an American, so I don't see why either needed Portugese visas.
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