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Everything posted by AlexChristianLovendahl

  1. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Future of the Show?

    I don't think that's true at all. We've still voted those films in as a community. Guests who have nothing to do with the show long term, like Bobcat Goldthwait, have nominated films. I think it's fine.
  2. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Future of the Show?

    The extended silence and general strangeness regarding how this has been treated should be enough to indicate that it was not a sarcastic reply.
  3. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Future of the Show?

    Agreed. So long as we maintain respect and keep to the rules of these forums, and so long as no one expect that anybody involved in the making of this podcast take any opinion, majority or minority, as mandate, this seems like the place to discuss this. I trust Earwolf and those involved in the production to make the right decision regarding their podcast, even if it means I will be leaving its audience.
  4. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Future of the Show?

    I would simply like to say that I have no intention of listening while Devin is still hosting. Should Earwolf or Amy like to continue the show without Devin, I would be interested in that pursuit. I like this show, this community, and am sad at the idea of saying goodbye to it, but I have no expectation that things must change, regardless of whether or not I would like them to change.
  5. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Knock Out Poll (Unofficial!)

    I have nothing against Cannibal Holocaust's presence (again, haven't seen it!) but I also would say there's probably room for both. Chi-Raq is FASCINATING, and there are incredible conversations to have about that film, but I'd have voted in Creed or Tangerine in over it if I'd been around to do so.
  6. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Knock Out Poll (Unofficial!)

    I haven't seen Cannibal Holocaust, but this is easily solved by inducting the phenomenal Texas Chain Saw Massacre into the canon. I'm okay voting out Working Girl despite the diversity argument because it isn't even representative of women's voices, it's a fairly sexist Mike Nichols movie. Let's get in some (more?) Sofia Coppola, Ava Duvernay, Agnes Varda, Kelly Reichardt, Lina Wertmuller. Hell, while we're talking Nichols, let's get Elaine May!
  7. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Homework: The Bad Seed (1956)

    Sadly not at my local library. I've not even heard of this film! Curious!
  8. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Episode 94: THE KING OF COMEDY

    Belongs in the canon simply because it's a really great movie. Sure, okay, it's not his most iconic work, but by the same token, the literary canon would lose Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, or Hemingway's In Our Time. The same way that canon would lose a lot by not having Melville's Redburn or Pierre, even if they're thematically very linked to Moby-Dick, we'd lose a lot here by not having one of Scorsese's very best and most distinct. There's so much to dig into here, on the script, on the set, and on the screen. It's one of those cases where because nobody's done the work to make the analysis of this movie super easy to digest (maybe this podcast will help it get there!) there might be a concern that it's not as thematically rich as something like Taxi Driver, but that's bupkes. Escorting The King of Comedy into the canon (maybe by inducting it into The Canon) will reveal this movie's greatness, especially as film professors get sick of reading the umpteenth undergrad essay comparing Taxi Driver to Drive. (I also think the movie that most echoes it in our current film scene, Nightcrawler, would still be a great canon choice, partly because it divorces Lou Bloom's work from his personality, and partly because Gyllenhaal's youth by comparison heightens the tension that some day he might be running it all. These are distinct movies for sure, and I hope people don't get reductive in the thread about that fact!)
  9. AlexChristianLovendahl


    I actually am on board with this sentiment, though I've been pretty vocal about rooting for Blair Witch Project. I want to see the canon-worthy movie built off Labyrinth (though the Canon audience determined that was Pan's Labyrinth some time ago!) but simply accepting a movie is the best of the style, theme, or content so far isn't enough to guarantee canon-worthiness. If that style's all the way dead, that's one thing, but I wouldn't count any genre or style out for long.
  10. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Loud Theater Audiences

    The only time an audience was able to turn me against a film was Payne's NEBRASKA. They were laughing their heads off while I was sitting there thinking the dialogue was some of the worst I'd ever heard.
  11. AlexChristianLovendahl


    But that's the thing, the structure of the lore, the camerawork, the performances (especially by Heather and the townspeople,) and all the things discussed in the episode are other things the film offers than "a gimmick" and "scares." You can say none of it works for you - that's fine, I feel the same way about A Clockwork Orange and American Beauty - but there are too many elements to this film that have been laid out both in the episode and the thread to reduce it to a gimmick.
  12. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Homework: The King of Comedy (1982)

    I'm rolling this one out for the first time and already I kind of can't believe that this movie exists and I hadn't seen it yet, wowza. EDIT: Just finished up; this is probably my favorite movie I've watched to keep up with The Canon. (Blow Out competes for favorite new-to-me Canon movie.) Really looking forward to the episode.
  13. AlexChristianLovendahl


    I've seen this movie twice; once in 2012 at around 2 in the morning in my dorm room alone, and once in 2013 at midnight in a theater. The first time, it terrified me. The second time, I found it tragic, if not especially scary. Both times, at the movie's ending, I turned cold as death. I walked out of the theater shivering and stunned. I could barely speak. It was like I'd seen a ghost. My comment was that there was something powerful and evil in The Blair Witch Project, something uncanny. Hard yes for the canon; this is a film with some sort of power over me, years divorced from zeitgeist and meta-campaigns. Heather is fantastic. How about the editing? ...I'm kind of due for a rewatch this October, but I think I'm gonna put it off a year.
  14. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Episode #91: LABYRINTH

    I wanted to throw in a quick thought on the nature of representation in The Canon as it's very much been a focus of the thread. In essence, the claim that there is an unfair bias towards men's films over women's is a valid one. I don't think it's necessarily The Canon that's at fault, though; rather, years and years and years of unfair representation, and underfunding of films depicting the underprivileged, have ultimately resulted in the collection of minority groups' films strictly by the numbers offering less Canon candidates. Again, to be clear, I'm not saying that the candidates are any less great or worthy, but there are more films about, by, or for straight white cis American men than at least almost any other group on the planet (I'm not sure how Bollywood output compares or competes with the pre-Bollywood period.) I don't think that means we should lower our standards for those films which have more even representation. Rather, I think we should hold the history of film accountable for not doing well enough as it's being written. Now, I will filibuster till I'm blue in the face in saying that The Tale of Princess Kaguya and Only Yesterday are the superior Takahata films to Grave of the Fireflies for aptly discussing the treatment of girls and young women by the cruelty of patriarchy, and I'm a firm Beasts of the Southern Wild fan over Stand By Me (and I loved King as a kid!) But if a film doesn't get in because it isn't meeting our standards for canon-worthy, rather than be mad at the standards for the canon, we should be mad at a film industry that so underserves its people. Or, y'know, the (very reasonable) argument that Working Girl sometimes feels like a movie that hates women. Recognizing the Canon's insufficiencies should serve as inspiration to fill in gaps. Now, as for Labyrinth? I think T.D. and his quotation from fursa saida both eloquently state why Labyrinth itself is canon-worthy, partly because it tells a woman's story, but more importantly because it tells that story with some goshdarned brains, tact, and thematic resonance from its details to its importance.
  15. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Homework: Pennies from Heaven (1981)

    Curious; do people think the 1930s film of the same name (Bing Crosby!) informs this movie at all? Should we try to dig up the '78 BBC series (Bob Hoskins!) that inspired the film we're looking at? I literally know nothing about this movie and am fairly confident I won't get to watch it this time (busy week ahead) but when I get around to it, I want to know what there is to know.
  16. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Episode #89: BLAZING SADDLES

    The "Could You Make Blazing Saddles Today" conversation is perhaps the only omnipresent movie conversation more inane than "superhero fatigue," especially with Tarantino making a spiritual successor in Django Unchained so recently, with The Cleveland Show having just run four seasons. It's the worst conversation you can have about movies. Even the TRAILER for Chris Rock's Top Five is more transgressive than this movie; but, of course, people say you "can't make this movie" when you mean "white people don't make these movies," as though Chi-Raq and Dear White People aren't just in our rearview. HOWEVER. Nobody makes movies like Mel Brooks did anymore. There's a flippancy to the comedy that makes it feel broader than it is, and he does include jokes that ultimately lead to some nine year olds watching a movie where someone mouths "motherfucker." Woody Allen used to kind of make movies like this, too, when he was more Love and Death and Bananas and less Manhattan. Blazing Saddles is Brooks at his most dramatically satisfying, meaning those who don't find it that funny (myself included) will still enjoy it just fine. I am happy to elect Blazing Saddles as the representative of this kind of comedy, as I think it goes beyond the later Airplane! model of constant punchlines and expands the role of this sort of comedy more than any other I can think to mention.
  17. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Who is your favorite Beatle?

    I really honestly shift with the times. I'm a Paul guy until Rubber Soul; a John guy until The White Album; a hard George guy for the last three albums; a John guy again for the post-Beatle period. Ringo is maybe the best throughout the career. Paul and Ringo are vitally great instrumentalists, who play incredible support accompaniment without being selfish. Pay attention to Ringo's gorgeous fills on A Day in the Life; they're unreal, so spare and so lush. John is, in my opinion, the real melody man, and George is the jammer.
  18. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Episode #87: THE GENERAL

    This PTA superfan is still around! But I've also been voting since Slacker.
  19. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Homework: A Hard Day's Night (1964)

    Shot by Gilbert "He Shot Repulsion, Strangelove, And Star Wars" Taylor, this is one you don't wanna miss. Pure cinema, this movie is more fun than half The Beatles' records. As the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips would say, "it's a pip!"
  20. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Episode #87: THE GENERAL

    I'd love to see three Keatons in The Canon at least! Sherlock Jr. is an unbelievable work in editing, Steamboat Bill Jr. is an unbelievable work in special effects, and The General is an unbelievable action setpiece. Honestly, as many Keatons as we can agree upon is probably best. Firm yes.
  21. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Your Indulgence Picks

    Fairly confident this is the half of your list that could be called indulgence picks; Treasure of the Sierra Madre is AFI Top 100 royalty, and Seven Samurai makes most global top ten lists! Truthfully, I think the only one of these that isn't almost a gimme eventual episode is Quadrophenia, just because Tommy and The Wall have become more popular classic rock, "rock opera" movies. I also kind wish it were John Waters' The Wall and not Roger Waters; Divine as Mother could be spectacular!
  22. AlexChristianLovendahl


    How so? I've never heard an argument for these things as remotely impactful. In my experience, both are only impactful in that they have lasting theme music by Mancini and Panther spawned a cartoon that went on to have more lasting cultural relevance. People think the Pink Panther is a fine, fun movie, but I've never heard them argued for as historically important. That's not to say they aren't! But I've just never encountered argument in their favor as historically relevant, so I'm gonna need to get a justification of some kind as to why or how they're so impactful. Meanwhile, Tiffany's didn't just impact film, it impacted culture and created an honest to god icon for women that still is a de facto poster sold on campuses worldwide today and still serves as a "bellweather" for men like Devin and some of our commenters. It's culturally relevant, I just don't think the movie itself is necessarily good enough to be canon. (Broader note, I don't think a canon-worthy character inside a non-canon story is usually enough for a canon-worthy movie, and I experienced something similar voting no against Re-Animator and Herbert West.)
  23. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Episode #87: THE GENERAL (1926)

    I watched this one for the first time a year and a half ago and liked it, but didn't love it like I fell for Sherlock, Jr. or Steamboat Bill, Jr. over the next year. I've since grown to really, really enjoy Buster Keaton even in simpler stuff like Convict 13, so I'll probably rewatch The General and try to "find the movie" for real. For those who haven't seen Keaton and are put off by a feature length silent (though a trim feature) I recommend either One Week (an iconic short, and under a half hour) or Sherlock Jr. (56 minutes, Keaton really discovers some sorcery in the editing room.) He's the original action hero and comedian; think of him like a deadpan Jackie Chan who always does his own stunts.
  24. AlexChristianLovendahl


    Oh, I voted no, for reasons I posted a couple pages ago. I actually haven't seen the Pink Panther movies. My favorite Edwards is probably still 10, and I'm not saying other Edwards films couldn't be nominated for reasons of quality. But, for example, one of my top fifty movies ever is Inherent Vice, and that movie is sitting near the bottom of most charts of PTA movies, and is generally ignored in considerations of the decade's best. That one honestly might never matter the way I think it deserves to matter, totally regardless of my sense of the film's quality. And that's PTA we're talking about! I'm just saying that the argument for why we need to acknowledge historical racism, especially in major creative authors, becomes less meaningful when the creative author's only major, canon-level societal impact contribution is a work that suffers from that same racism. We don't gain anything from knowing Blake Edwards could make something racist if we don't know who that is and the only reason most anyone would know the name is because he made Tiffany's. But, again, there's an argument that Tiffany's has had enough cultural impact that it's irreversible anyway, but then why is this a poll? Tiffany's is a good movie, in my opinion, despite a weak supporting cast, racism souring the tempo of the first half hour, and an ending weaker than what came before. It survives due to strong camera work, a great lead performance and character, and some great dialogue. But I think most people watching the movie will be put off entirely by the racism or a little disappointed it's not something more, with regard to the storyline or supporting cast. It may be a total Eyes Wide Shut situation where a fantastic movie is getting overlooked for the catchy one-sentence pitch that makes you want something different, but I just wanted something, anything to catch my imagination in Tiffany's other than Holly.
  25. AlexChristianLovendahl

    Your Indulgence Picks

    This is a great indulgence answer because it's a near-forgotten western, probably most popular now for inspiring Tarantino, but it is quite a good movie, and it's full of details that make it at least up for discussion. And, man, that theme song is electrifying.