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Episode 226 - Body of Evidence: LIVE!

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On the subject of house boats vs. float homes and why single ladies might be drawn to them.

While it does seem that house boats in Portland are referred to as float homes in real estate listings the fact is that in all of my 10 years of living in Portland I only, ever, heard them referred to as house boats.

When I was looking for a place to live after liberating myself from an unhappy marriage I seriously considered renting a HOUSE BOAT. Rent was often cheaper for a place floating on the river than comparable houses on land, a big plus for one surviving on restaurant wages such as I was. Also, I dreamt it would be freeing to feel the rush of the river beneath me,  bringing the promise of strength and boundless possibility. But, alas, it wasn't to be because I was not childless and decided it would be too stressful to live in a house surrounded by water with a young child.

So, I get you single ladies of the 80's and 90's.

 

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12 hours ago, Blast Hardcheese said:

The 90's-era neo-noir with Linda Fiarntino Jason was trying to remember is The Last Seduction, and it is an underrated and amazing film. It's a must-see along with Red Rock West , A Simple Plan, Devil In a Blue Dress, and One False Move.

Insert your own "dream of the 90s" joke here.

But yes, wonderful movies all and I would add Romeo Is Bleeding to that list (though I think like Red Rock West, it was made in the 80s). The Last Seduction costars the interesting actor and director Peter Berg and has an amusing and memorable supporting role for Bill Pullman too.

Edited to add what I meant to add in the first place: a much better 90s channelling of classic Double Indemnity/Postman Always Rings Twice style noir is the also underrated film of The Hot Spot, based on the pulp novel by Charles Williams (who also wrote Dead Calm), directed by Dennis Hopper, starring Don Johnson, Virginia Madsen, and Jennifer Connelly. It's not quite Body Heat quality, but it's well worth checking out, especially since it used the same "woman fucks her partner to death" device, albeit in a different way.

Edited again to add more information about The Hot Spot and to consistently italicize film titles, because OCD.

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1 hour ago, theworstbuddhist said:

Insert your own "dream of the 90s" joke here.

Yeah, yeah. That show... We're all really fond of it around here and what it's done for our community.

1 hour ago, theworstbuddhist said:

But yes, wonderful movies all and I would add Romeo Is Bleeding to that list (though I think like Red Rock West, it was made in the 80s).

Romeo is Bleeding is pretty good, but the finale meanders a bit.

Red Rock West came out in '93 and was a direct-to-video and cable release that caught a lot of buzz at TIFF that year. After a nudge from a San Francisco theater owner by the name of Bill Banning (who arranged for a select screening of the film), Tristar sent it out on a national art house tour.

Another great neo-noir from this era is John Sayles' Lone Star, which has one of the most quietly fucked-up and "yeesh"-inducing twist endings in cinematic history.

Speaking of my all-time favorite movie, Double Indemnity, have you seen the television remake from the 70's? It came with the two-DVD set a couple of years ago for some unfathomable reason, and is as fuckin' unintentionally hilarious as it is a gutless and hollow. The "speed limit" scene in this made-for-television disaster is HDTGM-worthy all on its own.

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2 minutes ago, Blast Hardcheese said:

Red Rock West came out in '93 and was a direct-to-video and cable release that caught a lot of buzz at TIFF that year. After a nudge from a San Francisco theater owner by the name of Bill Banning (who arranged for a select screening of the film), Tristar sent it out on a national art house tour.

Another great neo-noir from this era is John Sayles' Lone Star, which has one of the most quietly fucked-up and "yeesh"-inducing twist endings in cinematic history.

Speaking of my all-time favorite movie, Double Indemnity, have you seen the television remake from the 70's? It came with the two-DVD set a couple of years ago for some unfathomable reason, and is as fuckin' unintentionally hilarious as it is a gutless and hollow. The "speed limit" scene in this made-for-television disaster is HDTGM-worthy all on its own.

Wow, as late as '93? Huh. I should really check that one out again (and a lot of the pictures mentioned in this exchange, many of which I haven't seen in 10-20 years)

I did watch Lone Star again not long ago, and it is still one of the best pictures I have ever seen. Sayles is a hell of a talent, I wish he was better known to the general public. It drives me nuts that Lawrence Kasdan was able to rip off Sayles not once but twice and enjoy great commercial success with boomer shitfest The Big Chill (following Sayles' The Return of the Secaucus Seven) and Grand Canyon (after City of Hope).

I don't think I have seen that remake of Double Indemnity but it sounds glorious, thanks for the recommendation. I'm sure you are aware of the remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice starring Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange from the late 70s. That one has its defenders but it certainly pales in comparison to the original, or in comparison to the likes of Chinatown for that matter.

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1 hour ago, theworstbuddhist said:

I  don't think I have seen that remake of Double Indemnity but it sounds glorious, thanks for the recommendation. I'm sure you are aware of the remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice starring Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange from the late 70s. That one has its defenders but it certainly pales in comparison to the original, or in comparison to the likes of Chinatown for that matter.

In my opinion, that remake stacks up against Body Heat or the 80's remake of Out of the Past called Against All Odds fairly well. Nowhere near as great as the original, but it's a prime example of the noir revival coming out of the 70's and early 80's.

Noir is pretty cyclical that way; being revived every 10-15 years or so. I'm not a huge Ryan Johnson fan after Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but his debut, Brick, hit all of those noir notes perfectly, but in a new and inventive way.

Have you seen The January Man starring Kevin Klein and Alan Rickman? It's not a great film (25% on RT!), but for a hard-boiled detective send-up, it's not half bad and at least it's trying to do something new. The "twist" ending has a real "why hadn't anyone done this up until now" moment. Again, not a great movie (oh, no), but the ending is a clever enough device.

Also, if you haven't seen Fitz Lang's 1945 remake of 1931's La Chienne (The Bitch), Scarlett Street, I can't recommend this insanely bleak, convoluted and disturbing film enough. I'm pretty sure Scarlett Street alone inspired the Hayes Code. I'd love to see HDTGM review this film.

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5 hours ago, Blast Hardcheese said:

Yeah, yeah. That show... We're all really fond of it around here and what it's done for our community.

It's one of my favorites, but regardless I would love to hear about the fallout from Portlandia.

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1 hour ago, PollyDarton said:

It's one of my favorites, but regardless I would love to hear about the fallout from Portlandia.

Let’s just say all that quirkiness you see on the screen is steadily being sanitized away. If you told me Powell’s Books was getting bulldozed to make way for more lofts nobody I know can afford to live in, I wouldn’t be surprised.

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Was anybody really confused seeing Joe Mantegna show up in court as a DA? Am I alone in this? I thought he was a detective up until that point. I mean maybe I need a lawyer in here to correct me but I'm pretty sure most DAs are far to busy to be showing up at crime scenes before there is even a suspect or before all the evidence has been collected. Not to mention following an investigation through every step of the way with the police and even conducting witness interrogation. Here I thought they sat in their office until a suspect had been arrested and evidence gather. At this point the case would be assigned to them and then they'd begin working on. Who am I to argue with this air tight and thoroughly researched script.

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I know the nipple clamps were mentioned but that one cop is just staring at them and asks "Hows this thing work?" It's right there in the name. They are nipple clamps, they clamp nipples. They work by opening them and then closing them on the nipple thus clamping the nipple. What part of this is hard to understand or follow? He didn't ask "Why would somebody enjoy these?" or "How do you use these in sex?" which might have deeper more nuanced answers. No. He simple wants to know how something that looks like a clothes pin and called a "nipple clamp" works. No wonder Madonna got off with stellar cops like that.

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When Paul was wondering if he saw a vagina, I half-wondered if he was going to mention the giant flowing curtains that parted suggestively as DaFoe's character was staring at the houseboat. I think that sequence must have been storyboarded by Georgia O'Keefe.

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On 11/9/2019 at 2:34 PM, SlidePocket said:

Nope. The trailer even lists it as "Not based on the novel by Patricia Cornwell".

The whole Patricia Cornwell-novel disclaimer is a little weird. Movies and books share titles often enough without inclusion of that kind of fine print, so it's odd that this disclaimer exists. But it is true that Patricia Cornwell was and is a best-selling novelist, known for a series of books starring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, the second of which was also entitled "Body of Evidence." Although her books have not (yet) been made into movies, she seemed to be particularly "hot" as an author in the 1990s, so maybe at the time she was able to get that disclaimer in there so as not to confuse or complicate any movie potential being pursued for the Kay Scarpetta series.

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4 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

Was anybody really confused seeing Joe Mantegna show up in court as a DA? Am I alone in this? I thought he was a detective up until that point. I mean maybe I need a lawyer in here to correct me but I'm pretty sure most DAs are far to busy to be showing up at crime scenes before there is even a suspect or before all the evidence has been collected. Not to mention following an investigation through every step of the way with the police and even conducting witness interrogation. Here I thought they sat in their office until a suspect had been arrested and evidence gather. At this point the case would be assigned to them and then they'd begin working on. Who am I to argue with this air tight and thoroughly researched script.

I'm so glad you said this. I definitely thought he was a detective and assumed I had misremembered him being at the crime scene. I could see a lawyer visiting a crime scene but it seems very unlikely they would visit at the time of discovery. They were still bagging evidence and I'd think a lawyer could easily contaminate everything.

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I stand with June.  If this man was SO unhealthy that strenuous sex could kill him he would know that. It's then his decision to take part in that possibly deadly activity.  While the cocaine in the nosespray ultimately played a major role in his death, he would have to know that he was taking his life in his own hands . To be that unwell you would have to know your health risks. 

To some extent he knew and accepted that he might die, much like an extreme sports fan.  It didn't keep him from his activities but he had to acknowledge that fact. 

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8 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

Was anybody really confused seeing Joe Mantegna show up in court as a DA? Am I alone in this? I thought he was a detective up until that point. I mean maybe I need a lawyer in here to correct me but I'm pretty sure most DAs are far to busy to be showing up at crime scenes before there is even a suspect or before all the evidence has been collected. Not to mention following an investigation through every step of the way with the police and even conducting witness interrogation. Here I thought they sat in their office until a suspect had been arrested and evidence gather. At this point the case would be assigned to them and then they'd begin working on. Who am I to argue with this air tight and thoroughly researched script.

This is an amazing point that I hadn’t thought of at all. The DA would not be going to a crime scene like that I’m fairly sure. 

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9 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

Was anybody really confused seeing Joe Mantegna show up in court as a DA? Am I alone in this? I thought he was a detective up until that point. I mean maybe I need a lawyer in here to correct me but I'm pretty sure most DAs are far to busy to be showing up at crime scenes before there is even a suspect or before all the evidence has been collected. Not to mention following an investigation through every step of the way with the police and even conducting witness interrogation. Here I thought they sat in their office until a suspect had been arrested and evidence gather. At this point the case would be assigned to them and then they'd begin working on. Who am I to argue with this air tight and thoroughly researched script.

Oh ya, that's mostly right. A DA definitely would not be at the crime scene or interrogation; generally the point of criminal trials is to answer "did the police do their job correctly?"; while the police answer "who did it?" Thus, the lawyer should and would let the police do their jobs in investigating and interrogating.

A lawyer may advise at the station sometimes though (with donuts). "Can this go to trial yet?" may be something DAs and police discuss mutually. I never worked in criminal law, but I think that's in their arrangement. They're not entirely independent of each other.

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On 11/8/2019 at 10:09 PM, muttnik said:

I've never gotten why the elevator door opens and closes at the end of this scene. I always forget how this movie ends and assume someone important sees them screwing or that it'll be crucial to the plot but no, just phantom doors opening and closing. Maybe it's the phantom person who keeps cluing Julianne Moore into Dafoe's whereabouts.

This all gets to the thing that most bugs me about this movie: the sex scenes between Madonna and Dafoe serve no narrative purpose whatsoever. No one else really catches them, and the only person who has an inkling that it's going on (Julianne Moore) seems to instantly dismiss it and forgive him. There's no threat of Dafoe being disbarred or removed from the case. Madonna doesn't need to convince Dafoe to help her, because he's already interested in taking the case. She never tries to kill him or threaten him or anything. Their sexual relationship never comes up in court or affects the case at all.

So basically the sex scenes are there just so the movie has sex scenes. That's why this seems like a porno.

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45 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

This all gets to the thing that most bugs me about this movie: the sex scenes between Madonna and Dafoe serve no narrative purpose whatsoever. No one else really catches them, and the only person who has an inkling that it's going on (Julianne Moore) seems to instantly dismiss it and forgive him. There's no threat of Dafoe being disbarred or removed from the case. Madonna doesn't need to convince Dafoe to help her, because he's already interested in taking the case. She never tries to kill him or threaten him or anything. Their sexual relationship never comes up in court or affects the case at all.

So basically the sex scenes are there just so the movie has sex scenes. That's why this seems like a porno.

They don’t really get caught, yet they are not really subtle about their relationship either.  I mean, why exactly is he going to dinner with Madonna? This happens very early in the case, so they have no reason to celebrate yet.  I know this is pre-social media and even pre-OJ trial, but I have to believe that a lawyer going to dinner with his client, who is accused of killing her millionaire lover, would attract some attention.

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On 11/10/2019 at 4:36 PM, theworstbuddhist said:

Insert your own "dream of the 90s" joke here.

But yes, wonderful movies all and I would add Romeo Is Bleeding to that list (though I think like Red Rock West, it was made in the 80s). The Last Seduction costars the interesting actor and director Peter Berg and has an amusing and memorable supporting role for Bill Pullman too.

Edited to add what I meant to add in the first place: a much better 90s channelling of classic Double Indemnity/Postman Always Rings Twice style noir is the also underrated film of The Hot Spot, based on the pulp novel by Charles Williams (who also wrote Dead Calm), directed by Dennis Hopper, starring Don Johnson, Virginia Madsen, and Jennifer Connelly. It's not quite Body Heat quality, but it's well worth checking out, especially since it used the same "woman fucks her partner to death" device, albeit in a different way.

Edited again to add more information about The Hot Spot and to consistently italicize film titles, because OCD.

I can't believe that I forgot to mention the Wachowski's Bound! 90s noir with lesbians and Joey Pants!

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9 hours ago, grudlian. said:

I'm so glad you said this. I definitely thought he was a detective and assumed I had misremembered him being at the crime scene. I could see a lawyer visiting a crime scene but it seems very unlikely they would visit at the time of discovery. They were still bagging evidence and I'd think a lawyer could easily contaminate everything.

He even starts off with a line like "Why did you call me? This is a suicide." which sounds like something a homicide detective would say to the regular cops that are just bagging and maintaining a crime scene. I guess the tell is that he's not wearing a police badge, but I'm pretty sure nothing is mentioned about his job ever. 

5 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Oh ya, that's mostly right. A DA definitely would not be at the crime scene or interrogation; generally the point of criminal trials is to answer "did the police do their job correctly?"; while the police answer "who did it?" Thus, the lawyer should and would let the police do their jobs in investigating and interrogating.

A lawyer may advise at the station sometimes though (with donuts). "Can this go to trial yet?" may be something DAs and police discuss mutually. I never worked in criminal law, but I think that's in their arrangement. They're not entirely independent of each other.

Totally, right? I mean while the police and district attorney are similar is the sense of upholding the law they are two separate entities. The need to check and balance each other out that is why the show is called Law AND Order.

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Maybe somebody could help clear this crucial plot point up for me. So at the very end of the movie we find out that Jurgen Prochnow and Madonna were working together to kill the old man and take his money. So much so me made false threatening phone calls to be used in the trail to prove his ulterior motives and give further evidence she was innocent. Okay, but why? I mean wouldn't it have been easier for him to just not get involved at all? Yes the guy who died was his patient and Madonna "left" Jurgen for the victim in their story but why didn't he just lie to the police in the first place? Like he could have easily been like "No, I never introduced her to the victim.  I'm not sure how they met. Yes we dated briefly but it didn't work out for personal reasons." Why get all tangled up in the trail?

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I just came across a site that contains a full early draft of Body of Evidence that includes several things that got changed once they actually filmed the movie including:

Madonna filming one of her lovemaking sessions with Willem Dafoe and using the tape to blackmail him.

Frank Langella’s bisexuality being discovered during cross-examination of him, not during Madonna taking the stand.

Anne Archer confronting Willem Dafoe in the parking garage after the trial, high on cocaine, yet giving him information that makes him realize that Madonna was guilty.

There’s also a scene where Willem Dafoe(who was named Dulaney in this early draft) tries having rough sex with his wife and here’s the dialogue from that:

Quote

 

SHARON You used to like to touch me -- to make love to me.

DULANEY It's more involved than that.

SHARON It was a place to start.

DULANEY You think that's the answer? Sex? Is that what you want? You want me to make love to you?

SHARON I don't want our lives ruined because of this. I love you, Frank. I want this to work -- but you have to help me. You have to come back from where ever it is you are.

Dulaney's confusion and emotion begins to surface. She kisses him, softly, gently. Dulaney closes his eyes. He kisses her harder - and harder. His passion builds -- his anger grows. He runs his arm over his desk, brushing everything to the floor. He grabs her and firmly pushes her down on the desk. He kisses her forcefully, his lips pressed hard against hers. She struggles against him. His hands tear at her blouse. It is rough, angry sex and it frightens Sharon.

SHARON (screaming) Frank -- stop it! Stop it!

DULANEY Is this what you want -- huh? Is it?

She is crying now -- struggling futilely against him.

SHARON Let me go! Godammit, Frank let go!

MICHAEL (OS) (racked with fear) Daddy -- stop it!

Dulaney stops and looks. Michael is standing in the doorway, his face filled with fear and incomprehension. Tears streak down his face. Dulaney freezes as the full power of his actions overwhelm him. His face floods with anguish as he tries to grasp the total effect of his behavior.

DULANEY (softly) Oh -- Jesus.

Filled with pain and embarrassment Dulaney runs from the room.

EXT. BAND SHELL, PARK - NIGHT RAIN falls in sheets.

Dulaney sits inside the small structure, huddled against one of the pillars. He is a tragic figure, desperately trying to claw his way back to the world he once knew. 

EXT. DULANEY'S HOUSE - LATER - NIGHT RAIN continues to fall.

Dulaney is standing across the street, staring at the house. He crosses over and is half way to the door when he stops. He starts to leave. The front door opens and Sharon steps out onto the porch.

SHARON Frank?

He turns around slowly. He can't bring himself to look at her. She walks out into the rain. He lifts his head. Tears flow down his face and he cries. When she begins to cry with him he breaks down.

DULANEY (ashamed) I'm sorry. God -- I'm so sorry. He slowly drops to his knees -- holding on to her as if she were a strong tree in a wind-storm.

DULANEY Help me. Please -- help me.

 

It’s a full script, so it’s a long read, but for anyone interest in the process this story went through, it’s worth checking out.

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It's been a hot minute It's time for...

How Did This Get Named?

Well this is a pretty straightforward one with a bit of a twist. So the phrase "body of evidence" is idiomatic and does translate into other language with the serviceable body double meaning. So do you call it that language's equivalent phrase and ignore the body reference? Nope. You double down on it. So in Japan Body of Evidence is simply...

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQjsf-4GNQA8svBTSV8v1i

Body

Simple and to the point right? Where is the interesting twist? Well the following year Madonna had another movie come out, Dangerous Game, and you do you want to know what that movie was called in Japan? Why Body II of course!

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRoknvszhbCrvAIC_Yw3JO

There is no connection between the two movies other than a starring vehicle for Madonna. Just riding that high of popularity. It should also be noted the title "Snake Eyes" which is an alternate name for the movie anyway is the sub-title of the film making it "Body 2: Snake Eyes"

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On 11/11/2019 at 7:03 AM, DannytheWall said:

When Paul was wondering if he saw a vagina, I half-wondered if he was going to mention the giant flowing curtains that parted suggestively as DaFoe's character was staring at the houseboat. I think that sequence must have been storyboarded by Georgia O'Keefe.

I was a bit perturbed at the extended conversation about possibly seeing Madonna's vagina.

Unless you are using a speculum, you can't see someone's vagina. The vagina is inside the body.

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