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nickperkins

Homework: Pennies from Heaven (1981)

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Available for digital rental on Amazon & Vudu. I can't find it streaming anywhere else; please comment if you know of other legal sources. :)

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I voted no against Devin's indulgence pick- so I have no qualms voting this down.

 

The musical that hates musicals. A ridiculously unpleasant film with a moronic conceit.

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I've yet to watch the film, but I think it's only fair that Amy solicits votes from outside the listenership for this one.

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I voted no against Devin's indulgence pick- so I have no qualms voting this down.

 

The musical that hates musicals. A ridiculously unpleasant film with a moronic conceit.

 

It's been a long time since I've seen Pennies from Heaven, and I don't even remember if the music is any good (I'm sure Bernadette was good, at least). Based on fresher memories, though, I wonder if I'll get flashbacks to Russell Crowe's Javert.

 

Oh, Amy. However I end up voting, you're still the cool one.

 

EDIT: Oh wait...they're all lip-synching? So....what's the big worry? Just that the leads aren't dancers?

 

Actually, now that I'm reading up (I really didn't remember much), this sounds like a mash-up of Purple Rose of Cairo and Dancer in the Dark. As a conceit, that sounds pretty interesting.

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EDIT: Oh wait...they're all lip-synching? So....what's the big worry? Just that the leads aren't dancers?

 

Actually, now that I'm reading up (I really didn't remember much), this sounds like a mash-up of Purple Rose of Cairo and Dancer in the Dark. As a conceit, that sounds pretty interesting.

Whoops- I misspoke- by conceit I meant Thematics (I think... yeouch, this isn't helping my argument)

I meant the musical numbers being the imagination of the characters- and at complete odds with the content of the film. I needed something more than "The 1930's weren't that great, people!"

and I was totally fine with the lip-syncing

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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.

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Pennies From Heaven is terrific. As much as I begrudge Amy for forcing a modern musical in the form of The Rocky Horror Picture Show upon us, this is a legitimately excellent film, and I'm really excited to hear her thoughts. As was the case with Devin and Re-Animator, this has got to be a really special picture if Amy's a fan.

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Just finished watching it. Pretty sure I'm going to being absentmindedly singing pennies from heaven for the rest of my week.

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I picked up mine at the library.

 

I'd seen this once before. A friend of mine who wrote movie reviews for a bit said it was her favorite movie. I hated it back then.

 

Now I'm watching it again and ... is much better than I remembered. Might comment more in a bit, but I'll need to know the rules on spoilers.

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Whoops- I misspoke- by conceit I meant Thematics (I think... yeouch, this isn't helping my argument)

I meant the musical numbers being the imagination of the characters- and at complete odds with the content of the film. I needed something more than "The 1930's weren't that great, people!"

and I was totally fine with the lip-syncing

 

The idea of folks retreating into song to escape ... How often had it been done by 1981? Upon this rewatch, I picked up a giant "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (the story, not the movie) vibe that I didn't get before. I know, that's really the point of the film, but I was not ready for that idea back then. I wonder if your argument regarding the theme comes from a modern perspective; we're used to seeing this idea of escape presented in movies to avoid reality.

 

Or, more specifically, I guess I see the theme as what we do to deal with misery and how humans have used pop songs and the movie to transport themselves away from those problems. It's an ode to the power of cinema, especially musicals.

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The idea of folks retreating into song to escape ... How often had it been done by 1981? Upon this rewatch, I picked up a giant "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (the story, not the movie) vibe that I didn't get before. I know, that's really the point of the film, but I was not ready for that idea back then. I wonder if your argument regarding the theme comes from a modern perspective; we're used to seeing this idea of escape presented in movies to avoid reality.

 

Or, more specifically, I guess I see the theme as what we do to deal with misery and how humans have used pop songs and the movie to transport themselves away from those problems. It's an ode to the power of cinema, especially musicals.

An what an odd thing to say about the power of cinema than 'this is all a lie to hide in during our sadness'-

In a musical no less!

I think my problems with it are almost certainly a thematic thing- I couldn't enjoy any musical numbers because of the underlying sadness within them- like a horror film playing a children's song ironically.

 

I also heard in a previous episode (and it may be brought up during this episode) about Amy loving the fact that Steve Martin and co dance like normal people during this- first of all- I didn't get an iota of that- they're all quite impressive at dancing- but if they were- wouldn't that ruin the idea of it? That they are involved in this fantasy?

 

I don't know- I get quite antsy with these aggressively nihilist films- so much effort placed into ironically being passionate about something.

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It's at the top of my Netflix queue, so I'll get it before next week. Just to get to see Bernadette Peters perform, I'm already going to be a little biased towards this. I love her as an actress, especially in singing roles. [...and I'll try to hold back my personal grudge for people hating on Re-Animator.]

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I haven't watched this yet, so I don't know how I'll be voting. However I vote, though, I'll be kind of sad for Amy if it doesn't make it in, while Re-Animator did (which I voted a big yes on, just sayin').

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That was...interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Kind of reminded brought up thoughts of "Brazil" at first, with the escapism, but then went way off into its own thing, and ended in "Dancer in the Dark" territory. Interesting that Steve Martin followed this up with "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid", another movie with old timey things spliced in with Martin.

I'm leaning soft-no, but I'll wait to hear the episode. I was swayed for "A Hard Days Night", maybe I'll be swayed on this as well.

 

Speaking of, Devin and Amy don't give us much credit, saying they were "worried" and "discouraged" by comments in the AHDN homework thread. I think most of us are fairly open minded, and if we're leaning one way or the other, it seems as though the tendency is to wait and listen to the podcast before definitively making up our mind. Especially when we're on the fence (like I am now).

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I love Dennis Potter's concoctions of fantasy and dark realities, like The Singing Detective, and the Hollywood version of "Pennies from Heaven" has always been an unsung masterpiece for me. I've loved both Devyn and Amy's indulgence picks, and I hope Amy has the ability to bring in some ringers to vote for it.

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