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About RobertSelth

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  1. RobertSelth

    A Concert Films Vs. Episode

    I know, it might seem like an intuitively bad idea, but hear me out. Concert movies are a huge part of the documentary genre, they play a huge role in the way we experience music and broader pop culture, and despite the seemingly limited nature of the form, they attract a lot of great directors. Sure, it would mean talking as much about music as about cinema, but I think the Decline of Western Civilisation and Hard Day's Night episodes have shown that Devin and Amy are just as opinionated and well-informed when it comes to music. And doing it as a Vs. episode would give more scope for them to talk about the concert film genre as a whole. I'd suggest that one of the two would have to be Stop Making Sense, the Talking Heads film by Jonathan Demme. It's considered the greatest concert film ever made by a broad consensus of both film critics and music critics (and they're dead right - it's ASTONISHINGLY good). For the other one, maybe one of the Baby Boomer landmarks like Gimme Shelter or Woodstock; or if that would cause too much trauma after the Beatles episode, something more recent and more edgy. Thoughts?
  2. RobertSelth

    Episode #88: A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

    Agree hard with other commenters on the turn-around from the Homework thread. Seeing the comments in that one really bummed me out last week - a couple of people just being dismissive because it's a pop band movie (that's what their arguments boiled down to, anyway), and even the movie's defenders only praising it for capturing a moment in time or being historically significant - not for simply being a joyous, funny, exuberant, exciting comedy that's bursting with creativity and raw power. I got a massive rush of delight when I heard Amy and Devin being so sincerely positive and enthusiastic about the film, and it's great to read a couple of people here saying that they were won over or found a new perspective because of this podcast. Hard Day's Night is pure fun, joy, and optimism. This week's episode felt like it reflected that spirit. And I personally have given up on trying to argue with people who say the Beatles are stale or overrated. It's like people who say Shakespeare is boring. They're as close to being objectively wrong as it's possible to be in the arts, and you're probably not going to change their minds.
  3. RobertSelth

    Episode #87: THE GENERAL

    I notice somebody has already remarked on this, but watching The General again after many years, I was struck by the structural parallels with Fury Road. Both movies rest on a chase in one direction, followed by a chase back along the same path in the other direction - simple, economical, and yet open to endless possibilities of variation and elaboration. It makes me wonder about the detractors who claim Fury Road is mindless or basic or dumbed-down because of that streamlined frame - would they have said the same thing about The General if they saw it in 1926? For what it's worth, I think Fury Road takes that structure to greater heights. The General is extraordinary for its inventiveness, its technical and logical ingeniousness, but I'm with Devin: it's just not that funny. I admire it for its cleverness, but it just doesn't "take off" for me. Fury Road takes off with all the power of a fighter jet. Still, I voted yes. The General is enough of a great accomplishment that it deserves to be watched and marvelled at forever, even if it's not the silent film we turn to for the most laughs. (And now my first-ever post in this forum is a comment saying a hallowed silent classic is inferior to a Mad Max film. Guess I'm firmly in the heretics' camp.)