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Episode 230 - Fateful Findings: LIVE! (w/ Rob Huebel)

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7 hours ago, FrancisRizzo3 said:

It was mentioned in the episode about the shirt ripping that goes on, and that maybe that's Dylan/Neil's fetish, but it feels like feet are a much bigger fetish on display in this film, There are so many inexpiable shots of feet in this film, most notably during the car accident scene, when we linger on feet for a good long while. That foot focus leads to a fun mistake where, during the shirt-ripping sex scene, where Dylan is on the left and his wife is on the right, but when they cut to their feet, the feet on the left have bright red toenails. Now, from the color of the jeans it's obvious the shot is backwards, but it's enjoyable to add "paints his toenails bright red" to Dylan's unique traits.

Also, looks like Dylan really liked his hospital stay, as he had the same blinds and carpet installed at his house.

AtCKmOj.jpg

 

 

In one of these scenes, the wife also says "It's late, come to bed," but (given that all of these scenes must have been shot at the same time) you can clearly see sunlight peeking through the blinds. Unless they live in Alaska, it's definitely not "late."

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55 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Unless they live in Alaska, it's definitely not "late."

that's all the proof i need, it def took place in the Arctic summer

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11 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

that's all the proof i need, it def took place in the Arctic summer

This means the "holy spirit" we saw was really just Aurora Borealis.

da1.jpg

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I was at this show in Seattle and it was an amazing live event (and despite Paul’s insistence that this is a superhero movie, I honestly think this is what happened when Neil Breen tried to make a David Lynch/Stanley Kubrick film and failed. Epically.)!

Unfortunately, the terribleness/brilliance of this film is so visual that when Paul and everybody try to analyze what’s going on, there are points where the episode is almost impossible to follow. There are a LOT of “look at this” moments that I don’t even remember, AND I WAS THERE. It has been fun to listen to this episode to relive that night, but the episode could have benefitted from an introduction that laid out the characters and events a bit more clearly. Note:I’m not saying it would make the film more coherent—there’s no way that that’s possible—but it would ground the podcast listeners in the absurdity of the “plot” and “characters” a bit more.

I know all the live episodes have elements of the visual issue not translating to audio, so maybe I’m alone in feeling this episode had a lot of them. What did y’all think?

P.S., I hope they release their episode of The Visitor soon. I was there for that one too and it was great (and that movie is a lot of fun)!

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19 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

This is the best advice.

This is an insane movie for sure but it is sloooooooooooooooooooow. It's not so bad if you are watching with a group and can all talk about what's going on. Maybe that was his intention. Make it so batshit confusing and then long silent scenes that add nothing so people can just talk and catch each other up. Watching this alone at regular speed is Herculean task. 

I did watch this alone for the show, but I don’t know if that still counts as Herculean because I don’t normally get stoned and watch movies, but I’m pretty sure I did with this one.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

 

Edited by GrahamS.
I fucked up and replied too many times.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

 

Edited by GrahamS.
I wish I could just delete these blank spaces.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

 

Edited by GrahamS.
But I can’t, so I profusely apologize.

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19 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

 

Edited by GrahamS.
Goddamn technology.

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Ok, I HAVE SOME GENUINE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MOVIE:

In the opening—as I remember it—child Neil Breen and his future love interest find the magic stone/mushroom/whatever, but she eventually moves away. The cars that appear in this segment are MODERN DAY CARS (this is a very important detail to my eventual questions. Hang on. they’re coming. I’m laying the groundwork).

The rest of the movie takes place when the characters are on their 30, 40s, or however fucking old Neil Breen is. The style of the cars HAVE NOT CHANGED. Neither have the houses, streets, wardrobe, etc.

So my questions are these: is the bulk of the movie supposed to be set in the future, since it opens with modern day settings and vehicles, then proceeds to have its characters age decades? If so, why does everything look the same? Is this supposed to be some sort of commentary on how society doesn’t change, or how Neil Breen/Dylan is stuck in the past? Is that why none of his computers—or any screen in the movie—ever look like they’re on? Continuing down the rabbit hole, Did the magic open up some alternate universe where people dress in 90s jeans and carpet their ERs? Is this Neil Breen’s version of Brazil (the film, not the country, but I dunno, maybe both)?

 This is some mind-blowing shit, right?

 

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13 hours ago, Elektra Boogaloo said:

If she was 17, can we have someone prosecuted? 

Age of consent is apparently 16 in Washington state, so I guess not.  One of the things about this film is that it was made in and around Seattle, I think?

Fun fact, Neil Breen is 62! Also, from IMDb:

Quote

Although not acknowledged as such, this film is actually a remake of Double Down (2005), Neil Breen's first feature film. Both feature Breen playing a super hacker tackling national and international corruption while pining for lost love.

 

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So I may now have a copy of Double Down, and about ten minutes in we have this moment.

dd_breen.png.ba5d8b55bd46500e02f016d43cb4c6c1.png

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7 minutes ago, theworstbuddhist said:

So I may now have a copy of Double Down, and about ten minutes in we have this moment.

dd_breen.png.ba5d8b55bd46500e02f016d43cb4c6c1.png

THAT IS TWO LAPTOPS TOO MANY!

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Honestly unless it's a Real Housewife ( or better yet a HotWife) or someone who is a catty camp queen like Joan Collins, I would 100% shoot someone for throwing a drink on me. Like I'm terrified of guns but fuck that bullshit. Fuck that bullshit straight to the horrifying black box trash bag hell!

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4 hours ago, theworstbuddhist said:

Age of consent is apparently 16 in Washington state, so I guess not.  One of the things about this film is that it was made in and around Seattle, I think?

Fun fact, Neil Breen is 62! Also, from IMDb:

 

This played at SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) but was NOT shot here. It’s so cheaply made that I’d guess it was shot around Vegas, where Breen lives.

Also, here’s an essay from Scarecrow Video’s blog (Scarecrow is a non-profit video store that has the nation’s largest collection of videos) analyzing Fateful Findings, for anyone who’s interested. It does an amazing job of summarizing the film for those who haven’t seen it:

The Glorious Discomfort of Fateful Findings

by Andre Couture

It’s usually hard to begin sorting out your thoughts when it comes to cinema that challenges your understanding of how ideas are communicated through film. It is even harder to sort out those thoughts when the film in question is Fateful Findings. The film was written, directed, edited, stars and is distributed by Neil Breen, a man whose creative process proves enigmatic to many — even those who have been following him since 2005, when he released his first feature-length film Double Down. Fateful Findings, Breen’s third film thus far, has picked up traction as one of his most popular, and one of the most across-the-board eccentric storytelling experiences ever committed to film. And, of course, it’s his most accessible film. Remember this.

The film opens on a boy and girl playing in the woods. The boy kneels in front of a mushroom and shows his friend. The mushroom turns into a box with a stone cube inside. The boy takes the stone believing it to be a lucky charm, where the girl comments that “you can’t leave a box empty, it’s bad luck!” and grabs a handful of gems that were somehow lying right next to the magic mushroom-box to fill it back up again. The children bury the box and run off. We then see the boy and girl parting ways, as she and her family are moving. The next sequence is a horribly drawn-out series of shots showing the boy and girl pretending to wave as if they were extraterrestrials miserably attempting to calibrate their limb movements to the gravitational pull of this strange, miserable planet. Later we learn the boy grows up to become our main character, Dylan, a brilliant novelist played by the talented Neil Breen. We first see him exiting a building, on the phone. He seems to be talking to someone, but he says nothing whatsoever. His wife is on the other end, talking to him. She acts as if he is conversing with her, but he is not saying anything. There is a feeling of a bizarre dreamlike state here, which leads Dylan to start crossing the street in front of the building. He stops and sees a car coming towards him slowly. He stands still. The car hits him. It’s hilarious.

Welcome to the first 6 minutes of Fateful Findings.

The story and order of events really don’t make any sense (another reason this movie is hard to write about). However, watching it unfold in front of you proves an entertaining unraveling of Neil Breen’s psychological tapestry. Breen’s films follow a main character that runs through mostly the same routine: misunderstood for his noble attempts to improve humanity and expose and/or overthrow the corrupt government establishment, the main character gains god-like powers to aid in his quest to restore the inner workings of the United States government and dole out true justice to the American people while achieving a celebrity status, to the satisfaction of all American people. Fateful Findings is a main offender to this formula, but I didn’t spoil the movie for you. Far from it. I’m merely warning those reading about the vague political messages conveyed throughout the film. So if you would feel offended by implications that the U.S. government would ever display unsatisfactory ethical behavior that some or most would contest or challenge, I would recommend avoiding this film.

And I’m not keeping the film’s politics vague in order to maintain a neutral standpoint here; every film of Breen’s is devoid of details in the political realm. Each “startling discovery” consists of the unveiling of “secret documents” hidden from the public concerning “controversial issues.” I may have gotten more specific than Neil Breen ever has, at least in Fateful Findings’ case. But the film isn’t about the politics at all in the end. It tells its story while weaving through mysticism, alcoholism, and true love.

How exactly Dylan earns his powers is a complete mystery, and one that you’ll likely give up on ten minutes into the movie. The strange stillness in spaces visited by characters evokes the same dreamlike quality from that first six-minute segment and makes you stare at the screen until you feel uncomfortable. Many shots include characters just standing there, waiting to recite a line. The aforementioned uncomfortable moments apply here as well, almost in a sneaking way, since we don’t know when this actor or actress is supposed to speak. In its moments of incompetence, it surprises us on a level of human spontaneity and indeterminacy, mixed largely with indecision. After a while, the movie makes you watch it in a different way, one that challenges you to accept the bizarre atmosphere as normal. Even if this happens, you still find moments that just make you want to claw your brain out.

I have to be careful not to destroy a genuinely brand-new filmgoing experience by spilling too many details, because almost every other moment in this movie is pure gold. Long story short, the girl from the beginning of the movie grows up to work in the hospital that Dylan stays in after a car crashed into his face. This leads to a hilarious Phantom of the Opera-esque wound dressing, topped off by a mask and nose respirator on top of his half-face cast. His mystical stone powers allow him to heal and leave the tiny hospital for home, where he takes a shower with his wife. Much, much later in the film, Dylan speaks in front of the White House during a press conference (which only five or six very important people are attending) about what he has found in his solo government hacking project. This makes the five or six very important people ashamed that the American people know the truth, leading each to commit suicide one by one. Even when you least expect it, batshit insanity lurks behind every creative corner in Neil Breen’s masterpiece.

There is a fascination to be had here about Neil Breen and his films. The most important thing to get across about him and his movies is that he truly is passionate about what he does, and each film he makes he tries to make better than his last. Jean-Luc Godard himself said “In order to criticize a movie, you have to make another movie.” Breen truly wants to make the best film he can make and he’s proving it to his fans and new filmgoers alike. It would be easy to watch just one of his movies and dismiss him as the next Tommy Wiseau or put him in a category of filmmakers who purposefully make midnight movies, but the difference in Wiseau and Breen is one of drive and passion and not desired commercial success or brand recognition. I for one am hanging on Neil Breen’s latest developments, truly curious to see what he comes up with next. It’s totally fine if it involves a formula that is 95% similar to his previous films. But in that other 5% lies the creative variety that Breen thrives on and excels in, the true unpredictable nature of his ordering of events.

In Fateful Findings, you’ll find yourself strung along as you witness seamless links between a fatal accident, strong spiritual mystic powers, a failing marriage, true love decided at eight years old, a love triangle, another failing marriage, a drug overdose, a murder conspiracy, a social justice hacker discovering the truth by hacking the government’s mainframe via numerous blank-screened 20-year-old laptops, and a hyper-successful novelist gaining even more notoriety by appearing before the American people delivering a statement (presumably on live television?) denouncing the political system. Neil Breen has crafted a true American classic by masterfully melding everything great about American dramas, political thrillers and god-like super-powered character narratives.

No wonder this film did so well at SIFF last year. So do yourself a favor and watch Fateful Findings. You can currently find it in Scarecrow Video’s Midnight Madness section, which is part of their Best of SIFF collection.

André Couture is a known nerd living in the great city of Seattle. He watches ungodly amounts of failed cinematic works, writes music, self-produces the terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE Hamburger Theatre podcast, volunteers at the great Scarecrow Video, eats occasionally, reads incessantly, edits video & audio, plays way too many tabletop games, and sometimes goes to work.

 

http://blog.scarecrow.com/the-glorious-discomfort-of-fateful-findings/

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I know they joked about being part of a Disaster Artist-like film for this, but this won't work as Breen is very much more up his artistic ass than Wiseau ever was. While Wiseau has at least softened over the years to what The Room actually is compared to what he wanted it to be, Breen has been unapologetic about what he's made, standing firm that it's a great movie and that critics don't understand it, and how it should be distributed, hence why it's no longer available on Prime like it was a couple years ago. It's also odd in that all of his other movies follow a similar plot of a guy who is amazing at everything being pulled into some gigantic conspiracy, all while shitty green screen effects and local theater actors abound throughout the film. I will say looking to see if this was available to rent on Prime and found a litany of Breen based products like shirts on how to hack the government like Breen and coffee mugs featuring his nodding off scene.

 

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6 minutes ago, GrahamS. said:

This played at SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) but was NOT shot here. It’s so cheaply made that I’d guess it was shot around Vegas, where Breen lives.

 

Yeah it was clearly the suburbs around Vegas and the industrial areas where the local businesses are at. I do remember reading that a couple of the nicer cars were actually Breen's and that others were donated because he was a member of some autoclub in Vegas.

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Ok so according to a source ( the boyfriend of the roommate of a girl I was seeing and the person who introduced me to this film early last year) Neal shoots with his own Ferrari/ cars and at his house in every movie he does or almost every one. The foyer of the psychiatrist is his house and maybe that pool party area is his backyard? I haven't been able to get any solid proof of this though. I will keep digging! I interacted with a child recently and am now, of course, ill so I'm not strong enough to watch his entire oeuvre to check. 

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On 1/3/2020 at 12:59 PM, FrancisRizzo3 said:

Done.

Any way for me to get to see this? Trying to watch with some friends tonight

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I only watched the 18 minute “best scenes” clip on YouTube because the full movie wasn’t available. I still have like 23,508,319 questions, but the main one is- How did Neil get computer files on his magic rock/jewel/Jed Clampett-inspired buckeye from his childhood? I mean, there’s your story. 

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4 hours ago, RyanSz said:

I know they joked about being part of a Disaster Artist-like film for this, but this won't work as Breen is very much more up his artistic ass than Wiseau ever was. While Wiseau has at least softened over the years to what The Room actually is compared to what he wanted it to be, Breen has been unapologetic about what he's made, standing firm that it's a great movie and that critics don't understand it, and how it should be distributed, hence why it's no longer available on Prime like it was a couple years ago. It's also odd in that all of his other movies follow a similar plot of a guy who is amazing at everything being pulled into some gigantic conspiracy, all while shitty green screen effects and local theater actors abound throughout the film. I will say looking to see if this was available to rent on Prime and found a litany of Breen based products like shirts on how to hack the government like Breen and coffee mugs featuring his nodding off scene.

 

i wonder if it’s available to rent from Netflix? Just a random thought (not stream—actually rent a disc).

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Regarding Dylan saying "I know it was you" after Emily commits suicide: 

My impression is that has to do with Emily telling the boardroom therapist about Dylan's research into the world's most secret secrets in exchange for drugs. Ultimately, her guilt about this betrayal is what leads her to kill herself. 

I think this is also why Dylan lies to boardroom-therapist about seeing close-talking-folding-chair therapist — boardroom-therapist is an agent of the government and corporations, whereas close-talking-folding-chair therapist seems to be aligned with the stone-spirit. 

The actors playing those therapists are Gloria Hoffman and John Henry Hoffman and have no other credits on IMDB. Seems like there may be some more research in order!     

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In all fairness, they really need to cover Double Down, where Breen is a super covert secret agent, and Pass Thru, where he's a Messiah type character who comes to Earth to wipe out a percentage of bad people in order to start world peace. The funny thing about the latter is the number he's looking to wipe out is around 300 million people, which while is a large number it still leaves a large percentage of the current population on the world, and there are sure to still be a few assholes left over that would upturn the world peace apple cart. It's sort of like Dr. Evil demanding a ransom of $1 million from world leaders in the 90s when that's a now minute amount of money compared to a few decades prior.

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