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Posts posted by gene_shallot

  1. A highly highly regrettable event in his past (that we need to remember is not proven)...

    I don't see why Devin deserves special treatment when it comes to these types of accusations. Plus there were never any repercussions - it would have been just as heinous if it were 100 years ago. It doesn't matter anyway because Devin took responsibility for his actions. End of story.


    People are talking about discounting his old opinions now and being happy he's gone, and that I just can't understand.

    True, some may disregard all of Devin's creative output (I'm not of that camp). There's no denying much of it will be cast under a different light now; that's inevitable.


    Charles Manson makes some fairly good music, and he's an abhorrent human being, moreso than Devin by far. Jordan Belfort wrote a major best selling book that became a fantastic film. And people are able to look past the crimes somewhat to see the art or entertainment they create, and people publish their work regardless (maybe because of) their past.

    Yeah, I mean who wouldn't want to be compared to Charles Manson? If you're arguing that if Devin continues working he'll become more famous because of his past... well that might true, but I'm guessing that's not how Devin wants to be known, or the type of fans he wants.


    If you're saying bad people sometimes make good art - I agree, but it's up to the individual if they want to consume it; I certainly wouldn't begrudge anyone who decides not to.


    I don't know what the future holds for Devin at this point, but I truly hope he's okay and has a future in film criticism when the dust settles

    Look, I get it. I really do. We feel like we "know" Devin (to the extent that you can know a nearly complete stranger across the internet). We listen to him on the podcast, maybe read his articles. But we don't know her. For some fans of Devin, it may be easier at first to empathize with Devin than a seemingly random person (and that is one of the many obstacles that a victim must face). We don't fucking know him though. This was certainly possible.


    If Devin fought back, I'm sure he would have had his defenders. But he didn't. He owned up to it and stepped down, on hiatus indefinitely. It may not seem like it, but even for the most devout of Devin devotees, this is the best-case scenario from his standpoint. You think his legacy is tainted now? Every second he continued working, his every action would be tarnished, as would anyone working with him by association, even if unintentionally. And imho his only real recourse is to genuinely make amends, self-reflect, listen, learn, and change. Only then can forgiveness even be on the table. And some may never forgive - and that's fine, it's their decision. (sorry, got a little rambley there - and I know it seems like I'm also making it mostly about Devin, but it's hard not to in the context of this forum)


    I ALSO hope the victim can find peace after what must have been a traumatizing experience. That said, I look forward to the Canon continuing and I hope they can find someone to provide a good balance with Amy, like Devin was.


    • Like 3

  2. A person can be a jerk, an asshole, or a bully and not sexually assault someone (and vice-versa), so I'm not going to grab a pitchfork for that particular witch-hunt.


    I'm conflicted because the Devin I'm familiar with (starting with The Canon and from there Birth.Movies.Death.) was sometimes a jerk/asshole/bully whom I often disagreed with, but also a smart, insightful writer on cinema who frequently espoused pro-feminist, pro-LGBT, anti-racist causes (all of which will be tainted now, but that's how it goes). So learning about his past and his transgressions is total whiplash for me, to say the least...


    That being said, it seems Devin has owned up, and the victim - no question the protagonist here - I'm sure lives with a pain and scars I'll never understand, but at the very least seems to have come to an "amicable" (not sure if there's even a good word for it) conclusion with those involved, and seems ready to move on. I'll do the same.


    That being said, I'm also 100% on-board with an Amy-led Canon if she's up for it, but totally understand if not. To end on a positive note, check out Amy's Skillset podcast. It's fantastic.

    • Like 4

  3. The fact that "Earwolf Admin" started the Face in the Crowd thread and not Devin seems odd.

    Now that y'all mention it, I noticed Devin also hasn't tweeted since earlier yesterday (and it looks like he usually tweets a lot). Also it seems Birth.Movies.Death hasn't updated since yesterday as well.

  4. Well, apparently here's another trekkie also voting 'no'. Star Trek should get voted into the tv or pop-culture Canon, no question.


    Wrath of Khan is indeed fun and relatively accessible, but the fact that it's not even my favorite Star Trek movie makes it tougher to vote 'Yes' on, being edged out by The Undiscovered Country (which is less accessible or iconic, but more satisfying cinematically to me in almost every department). For me the main appeal has always been the series, which none of the films hold a candle to.

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  5. Good movie. A really good movie. But is it Canon-worthy? That's what I like about this pick - does an extremely solid film rate in your personal Canon? I'm more waffle-y on this than expected. I kinda wish it leaned more into either being very funny, or very dark (or even both). Instead, it's kinda funny - but not hilarious - and kinda dark but not, say, Ellen Burstyn's character arc in Requiem For A Dream-level (which really has shades of Pupkin, in retrospect). Loved the performances.


    To me the best argument for its inclusion is its commentary on the nature of celebrity, but I'm not sure if that's enough for me to vote 'yay'. Is this underlooked & underappreciated? Definitely. I'm going the softest of "no's", but any given day even a hard glance from Sandra Bernhard could tilt me the other way.

  6. Voting out Chi-Raq will not make those other movies magically appear in The Canon! I'm just not a fan of the "there are better/more important alternatives, so forget about this one" argument (essentially what guest Michael Lerman was saying in defense of Antichrist, if I'm remembering my episodes). I think it's great late-period Lee. But whatever, agree to disagree. Just know if it gets voted out I'll have a stern (yet lyrical) rhyming monologue of disappointment ready to go.

    • Like 2

  7. I'll be curious to hear from people who aren't familiar with the show, or aren't fans of it. I wonder how enjoyable the movie is if you're not. And even then, will this still get voted in just because Star Trek is so culturally significant? If so, a part of me will be disappointed (and I say this as a big TOS fan); I believe Canon-inductees should be able to stand on their own as great films.

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  8. It feels weird to nominate Pennies From Heaven & Stand By Me since they just got voted in so recently. I would say the same about Re-Animator, but that had some *ahem* extenuating circumstances (and who's to say Devin wouldn't do the same again ??)


    Chi-Raq is interesting because it was the year-end episode vs Creed, but votes were significantly divided by write-in candidate Tangerine. But I actually voted for Chi-Raq, and I ain't gonna flip flop now (a flawed film for sure, but I still love the ambition & chutzpah, and how funny and entertaining it was). 'Best of the year' episodes are weird anyways since we're trying to guess if a super-recent movie will stand the test of time.


    I'm more in favor of other inductees that have had a while to breathe and settle in, and now we can truly recognize the funky smell they've left behind - I second the suggestions of Cannibal Holocaust, Clerks, Animal House, Two-Lane Blacktop, & Antichrist (in order of preference).


    ...and, knowing full well I'm in the minority, quiet votes for Seven and Battle Royale.

  9. You know it's been a disappointing year when even the Coen Bros film doesn't really rank. Indies truly have been the saving grace (but LOTS of potentially good stuff looks to be in store).


    As far as mainstream films, yeah, Zootopia was surprisingly great. Laughed a lot at Popstar. I guess, uh... The Nice Guys was pretty fun?

  10. Most of the films you've listed, I've never seen. Including American Psycho, which I have heard so much about over the years (for all the talk of satire, it still feels so toxic, I'm certain I'd hate it), but not until now did I hear it was directed by a woman!

    It's SO good.


    Speaking of Kathryn Bigelow (K-Bigs), not 100% sure it's The Canon but I've always thought Strange Days was underappreciated. But it's not 80's, so...


    Another solid one from the 90's forgotten by time is Eve's Bayou by Kasi Lemmon (so again, not sure if it's Canon fodder since it had such little impact, but a great film).


    A few other suggestions -


    Clueless by Amy Heckerling


    A Dry White Season or Sugar Cane Alley by Euzhan Palcy


    (in the "probably too soon" category):


    Winter's Bone by Debra Granik


    Me and You and Everyone You Know by Miranda July


    Wadjda by Haifaa al-Mansour


    Fish Tank by Andrea Arnold


    A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night by Ana Lily Amirpour


    I'm tempted to also suggest others like Wayne's World by Penelope Spheeris or Appropriate Behavior by Desiree Akhavan but I'm likely straying into "films I really like, but not necessarily Canon"-territory, if I haven't already.

    • Like 2

  11. It means most podcast listeners are in their 20s and 30s and most podcast listeners like to download episodes that are about movies they know and they have an affection for movies from the 80s.

    It's the Stranger Things of podcasts! *ducks*

  12. I like the movie but agree it's not great. I do wish there were more like it to choose from (but alas, Hollywood)... at least the hosts are taking a vague step in that direction next week with Labyrinth (not by a woman, but a girl's coming of age tale that was actually formative for a generation of girls).

  13. These are 2 of their worst films. I don't get why some people love them so much.

    Like many Coen movies, they improve with subsequent viewings.


    But gotta admit never engaging with A Serious Man (so far) on the same level as I do with Inside Llewyn Davis, as well crafted as it is. I wouldn't begrudge it being in The Canon though (and Inside is easily worthy imho).

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    I know it's all a matter of taste, but what about it hasn't aged well? I watched Shrek and Shrek 2 earlier this year and still love both those movies.

    Fair enough. I can go pretty deep into this, for anyone bored enough to read, but... for me, the movie references (there were a couple extended ones for The Matrix, if I recall) and the music (ugh so much Smash Mouth, and I think I remember some Baha Men?) are pretty dated. Plus the overall pop song-ification of family movies post-Shrek was annoying too, but that's another story.


    It may have to do with high expectations after hearing from all angles how amazing these films were at the time (I didn't see the first Shrek until maybe the 3rd one was out), and it ending up just being... fine? There's some well done adult humor sprinkled in, which I mostly liked (except the oft-touted "Lord Farquaad" (can they even SAY that?! *cue monicle drop*) half-entrendre... it doesn't resemble an actual name someone would have in reality or a fairy tale, so where's the riff?), but once the 'shock' wore off you're left with a fairly rote story at its core, Mike Myers rehashing his Scottish accent for the umphteenth time, and a surprisingly grating Eddie Murphy.


    The movie cleverly twists fairytale/fable tropes and archetypes, which is what I enjoyed the most, seemingly building up to the subversion of the roles culture pigeon-holes us into. Could the (traditionally) beautiful princess ever really fall in love with someone as outwardly ugly and socially unacceptable as an ogre? Yes! Oh wait... no. She's an ogre too - so I guess better to be with your own kind, I guess? That was disappointing to me. A twist too far, and ultimately the less brave decision.


    But as you said - it's a matter of taste. I don't dislike them (and I think I enjoyed Shrek 2 better than the first; it's been a long while) but feel they lost some of their luster over the years. That, or I'm just a joyless curmudgeon... I'm fine with that possibility too.

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  15. I'm pretty dang fond of some of these - especially How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda (which no fellow adult will believe me when I say it's surprisingly well done), but I can understand them not necessarily being Canon-worthy.


    Shrek is maybe the one I could see the most argument for, in terms of influence at least, even though I've never been a fan of the franchise and hoo boy even that first one hasn't exactly aged well.

  16. Growing up, Mel Brooks informed my comedic sensibilities more than anything else (that, and probably The Simpsons), so this is predictably a huge yes for me. And jokes aside (comedy is subjective after all) - and even if you're not into Westerns - there is so much to appreciate about this film, which Amy + Devin nail.


    I don't have much else to add except that as much as I love Cleavon Little's performance, it would've been fascinating to see how different the movie would've been with Richard Pryor as the sheriff, who was Mel Brooks' original choice.

  17. Devin described Holly as the proto-MPDG. I almost consider her the anti-MPDG. One of the hallmarks of the MPDG is that she "saves" the brooding and miserable artist. Something I love about Holly is she really doesn't give a damn about saving or influencing the wet blanket (aside from buying him the type ribbon). She isn't quirky, she's a mess and somewhat of a conscious mess.

    YES, glad someone pointed this out. Holly Golightly: Manic Pixie - definitely, but "Dream Girl"? The MPDG concept, at least as defined by its originator, Nathan Rabin, is a criticism of a very specific archetype - the savior, as you mentioned, and who also generally has no interior life of her own. In this case, the glove doesn't fit.


    EDIT: Also, agreed with Head Spin on the "historicity" sentiments - I generally find it (along with "iconic-ness") a boring angle to take for inclusion in The Canon (even though it's totally valid; this is just me and my hang ups); if a movie can't stand up on its own as a great film, I don't vote it in. Even so, Breakfast at Tiffany's just clicked for me; the positives far outweigh the negatives.


    Regarding Micky Rooney - my mother is Asian and speaking as someone who identifies strongly with both of my parents' cultures, this is a truly painful performance to watch. That being said, it's a document of its time and superfluous to the film, so didn't really factor in for me as far as Canonicity.


    And finally, and most importantly - what's with all this anti-Peppard talk?! His performance was fine.

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  18. Haven't listened to the episode yet or read the comments, so hopefully this isn't too repetitive - but watching this just now for the first time I was surprised how much I liked it. Maybe even loved it (still mulling things over).


    I also recently watched Roman Holiday for the first time and wasn't impressed (though it's possible I'm just not the target audience for that one) so expectations were low, and this one started off none too promising (UGH is Holly Golightly a proto-Manic Pixie Dream Girl??!), ... but I was so glad to be wrong.


    Sure it's not perfect - that need to spell everything out; feeling just a bit too long; the urge to gauge my eyes out during every Mickey Rooney scene. I kinda wish it had the guts to carry the ending the direction it seemed to be going, but hey it's Hollywood. Also wasn't sold Holly loved Paul the same way he did her.


    But Breakfast at Tiffany's works in every way Roman Holiday for me didn't - the story, the dialogue, the humor (Mickey Rooney notwithstanding), the direction. And I finally see what the Audrey Hepburn hub-bub is all about. She's amazing here. And this boasts side characters more interesting than anyone in RH - hello Patricia Neal! Plus escorts, strip clubs, a laissez faire attitude towards crime, and Freudian goings-on bubbling under the surface? Quelle surprise. (I'm guessing it's only a hint of Capote's original, though, which I haven't read)


    Anyways, enough of the stream of conscious - this is a big "yes" for me.

  19. Not sure I can add to the great comments already made. All I can say is both are towering cinematic achievements. My heart says Boogie Nights, but my brain says There Will Be Blood. But part of my brain also says Boogie Nights. I'm going Boogie Nights.