Cinecast Episode 108 – The Privilege Stick

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Episode 108:
The top ten is here! But before that, we tackle Revolutionary Road, Doubt, The Wrestler and Wendy & Lucy.
Thanks again for listening!

Click the Audio Icon below to listen in:

Below the fold are the Show Notes…

Show notes for the Cinecast Episode 108:

  • Intro Montage: :00 – 2:22
  • Music (cont.): 2:22 – 2:22
  • Opening crap: 2:23 – 3:04
  • Introducing MorePop!: 3:05 – 7:26
  • Revolutionary Road: 7:27 – 28:17
  • Doubt: 28:19 – 41:44
  • The Wrestler: 41:45 – 57:18
  • Wendy & Lucy: 57:22 – 1:14:53
  • Top 10 films of 2008: 1:14:55 – 2:51:22
  • Honorary Diane Lane worst films of 2008: 2:51:23 – 2:59:13
  • DVD picks: 2:59:13 – 3:03:37
  • Closing stuff: 3:03:37 – 3:05:21
  • Outro Music:3:02:37 – 3:07:05

Bumper Music (with iTunes links) provided by:

Stevie Ray Vaughan
“Little Wing”
AND
Bruce Springsteen
“The Wrestler”


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Announcements:

Check out RowThree’s latest venture, MorePop, which is a place to talk music, literature, TV, tech, video games and all other facets of pop culture. Still in the third row, just on the end talking about other stuff. Stop in right now!:

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Revolutionary Road:

Michael Shannon

Andrew’s review

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Doubt:

Meryl Streep Phillip Seymour Hoffman
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The Wrestler:
Mickey Rourke

Kurt’s Review
Terrific Rourke interview

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Wendy & Lucy:
Michelle Williams

Trailer / discussion

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Top 10 Films of 2008:
(titles link to IMDb profile)

Andrew:
10) Man on Wire
– – – – Cinecast review with Matt Gamble
– – – – Cinecast review (again)
9) Silent Light
8 ) My Blueberry Nights
– – – – Cinecast review
7) Let the Right One In
– – – – Andrew’s review
– – – – Cinecast review
6) Elegy
– – – – Andrew’s review
– – – – Cinecast SPOILER review
5) Doomsday
– – R3view
– – – – Cinecast review
4) Blindness
3) The Wrestler
2) Rachel Getting Married
– – – – Mike Rot’s review
1) 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
– – – – Andrew’s review

– -honorable mentions: Frozen River, Boy A, Snow Angels, Wanted, 4Bia, Dear Zachary, Slumdog Millionaire, Revolutionary Road, Happy-Go-Lucky
– -forgot to mention: Hunger,

Kurt:
10) Boarding Gate
9) Pontypool
– – – – Kurt’s review
8 ) The Wrestler
– – – – Kurt’s review
7) Let the Right One In
6) Che pt. 1 / Che pt. 2
5) White Night Wedding
4) Blindness
– – – – Kurt’s review
– – – – Mike Rot’s review
– – – – Marina’s review
3) Rachel Getting Married
2) Tokyo Sonata
1) Synecdoche, NY
– – – – Mike Rot’s review

– -honorable mentions: Redbelt (Cinecast spoiler review), Happy-Go-Lucky, The Reader, The Dark Knight, Man on Wire, The Sky Crawlers, My Blueberry Nights, Wall E, Tears for Sale, Vinyan.
– -forgot to mention: Burn After Reading

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Honorary Diane Lane worst movies of the year:

Nights in the Rodanthe (prepare to vomit):

Untraceable (Saw 9 meets The Net):

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DVD Pick(s) for Tuesday, January 6th:

Kurt:
Eden Lake
Eden Lake

Blu-Ray
The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor on Blu-ray

Andrew:
Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.0
Battlestar Galactica season 4.0

Blu-Ray
Pineapple Express
Pineapple Express on blu-ray
Andrew’s review


Comments or questions?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or email us:
feedback@rowthree.com (general)
andrew@rowthree.com
kurt@rowthree.com

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Goon
Guest

I have a top 20… there's only a few others I will be able to see in the near future that are alleged contenders. ie. I'm about to go see Frost/Nixon – I have quite an interest in it, don't mind Ron Howard actually, and even rented the Frost/Nixon interview DVD to learn more in advance.

2007 festival movies are inserted with a "–" where they would have placed.

1. The Wrestler

2. Synecdoche New York

3. Man On Wire

4. Rachel Getting Married

5. Let the Right One In

6. Speed Racer

— Paranoid Park

7. Burn After Reading

8. The Dark Knight

9. Son Of Rambow

— 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days

— The Visitor

10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

11. JCVD

12. Bigger Stronger Faster*

13. WALL-E

14. Kung Fu Panda

15. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

16. Doubt

17. Hellboy II: The Golden Army

18. Milk

19. Cloverfield

20. Role Models

rot
Guest

I have only listened to the Revolutionary Road review but I would recommend spoiler warning, its pretty heavy, you go over every beat of the film essentially.

As to the acting in the film, I think it is natural, whats unnatural is the environment and the cadence of social interaction, but this is a pretty familiar perception of fifties living that it is in its own way naturalistic.

I am going to repost my comment from the RR thread here because it serves to counter Kurt’s points as much as it does Goons.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

Couldn’t disagree with you more, Goon. I cannot get the film out of my mind, it has a sad inevitability to it that I believe is the point (criticism of predictability means nothing to me because of this). The unshakeable coldness of the film, the ferocity with which some of the characters try and rage against the serenity around them, the conspiratorial aspect of Paris as that one last vestige of opportunity they attribute to escaping their monotony, I consider these attributes not detractions to the film. How best to depict the still perfection of suburban lifestyle than impeccably staged… its exists as a counter to the Wheelers every quiver and squirm from it. The near final shot of April at the window is chilling (yes cold, yes impeccable, THAT IS THE POINT!) its like seeing a wounded animal in a cage, a monkey chocked full of antibiotics in a science lab, its ghastly to see, if you have any kind of sense of moral decorum you may even want to look away. What entirely makes the film is the sense of inevitability for me, its a sublime idea to depict, it hurts to think about it, about how all of us are more or less second-rate, all of us would give up Paris for a bit more comfort.

I suspect the people that dislike this film have philosophical differences with the premise underlying their superficial criticisms. Maybe comfort and compromise is not entirely a bad thing, its more nuanced then this story would have us believe, and I think that is a valid opinion. RR is stylized, its playing sharply with contrasts but it uses as a foil our nostalgic ‘Idea’ of fifties America, so its stylization has a kind of natural logic to it. Its a real life Edward Hopper painting, its something still but if you look at the small details, the inflections of April’s smile at the breakfast table say, or the way she wrestles always with processing the information Frank tells her (how many times does she say ‘Just shut up I need time to think’, I’m sorry but that is how female anger operates, from my experience, this lag time of rationalizing what is happening while the emotions flare, its very convincing, and done over and over again). The film does indulge in the explosion of emotions, but its like a kettle getting ready to whistle, think of Frank’s confrontation with Michael Shannon’s character, and even during, April remains stoic, tremors happen underneath the stillness and than reach a critical mass and explode… it is amazing to watch.

Put that aside, and just think about the story for a second, this is about as tragic a story as I can think of. Rachel Getting Married has the obvious tragic stuff, but think of how the Wheelers go from optimistic to tragic, there is no evil in the world to blame, no easy pat answers for things, its a sequence of small acts that snuff out hope… the idea of hope is planted, it in turn empowers the Wheelers, they find a strength, that strength sets in motion their undoing (Frank finally doing some inspired work at the office that baits him with promotion, and April finding new eroticism in her husband leading to an unexpected pregnancy). Equally poignant is this notion of neighbor’s living vicariously off people participating in the same self-delusion, the lowest common denominator factor I came railing on about, I cannot think of a better depiction than Shep and Marilyn, they are parasitic in their relationship, what constructs this world more than anything is fear of difference, the fifties America in Revolutionary Road is people protecting one another’s weaknesses in an unspoken oath that no one will aspire for anything more. Its what Thoreau was talking about, men living in quiet desperation, and here, our heroes, much like Winston Smith in 1984 strive to rise above it but in the end our subsumed by it. hopeless emptiness. The Victorian ethics has not gone away no matter how many play stations we have and how available pornography is, we are still a society of stunted people surrendering Paris under the pressure of convenience and acceptance.

Whether Paris is a valid option or not, is another debate, that we do not try is what gets highlighted in RR, its an indictment of our cowardice, and I think, maybe not all, but a lot of the negativity towards the film is not being able to fess up to that indictment. Its an ugly film, I admit, its not for everybody, it hurts to think about it, but that is what I look for in cinema, not the feigned emotions, the stinging ones.

rot
Guest

Kurt's notion that the event in the film that changes their minds isn't that big of a deal, I do think you are supposing more of these characters than you would of yourself, and in addition, supplanting a modern notion of the ease with what back then was already a difficult social decision to make (as per everyone's puzzlement to their announcement). It seemed a foregone conclusion that there was no choice, and it happens how many times, everywhere, people sacrifice their dreams to newfound responsibility.

I find April entirely sympathetic and not the sort of selfish vacuous person you suggest. She is living an unfulfilled life and makes one valiant attempt to change her life… that is something 90% of us would never do. When problems arise she confronts it with the appropriate level of disappointment (we are talking about someone's life here, about her resigning to a housewife identity, to be much like that breakfast table scene eludes to). If anything, April is someone with an abundance of life that built everything into one chance and with the prospect of it being crushed she acted as I expected.

rot
Guest

stoked the flames and skipped town huh. figures.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Sorry fellas. I may check in once or twice if I find internets, but otherwise, I'm lost in the Jungles of Tobago until the 20th. Have fun.

@Rot, i see what you are saying with The Wheelers, but yea, I did expect more of them, because they seemed to be smug enough to be 'above it all' and then can't live up to their arrogance.

"Give me convenience or give me Death!" The motto of the 'burbs and much of modern life in the Western world these days (and obviously in the 50's too.

Goon
Guest

I don't even know if I'm capable of debating Revolutionary Road anymore, since I've now forgotten the vast majority of it.

rot
Guest

Haven't finished listening but I am shocked, Andrew that Revolutionary Road is nowhere on your top ten. You gave it 5/5 no?

rot
Guest

I find Man on Wire a bit too overhyped… its a well done film but it is a lot of telling you how great something is, I didn't feel it naturally.

rot
Guest

I am baffled by the lukewarm opinions of Revolutionary Road here, I really do not like Mendes films generally but this, to me, is this year's No Country for Old Men. Its a perfectly made and executed film… in fact the final shot of it reminds me of No Country how it just cuts as it does on the close-up, summating in something seemingly benign part of the crux of the whole story.

Jonathan
Admin

It's in my top 3.

Goon
Guest

a few notes on this ep as i listen (hour one):

I share Andrew's initial enthusiasm for King Kong. While I still love it, it has faded a little. I was so pumped after the first time seeing it I immediately bought that Peter jackson production diaries set and the original movie which I had never seen at the time, which had its glorious rerelease at the same time.

If Kurt is going to keep pimping the Station Agent every week, there is no excuse for not having seen The Visitor yet- same writer/director.

Listening to you guys talk about Doubt makes me like it even more. It is a funny movie as such as catty acting wars are funny – the Contender comparison is spot on, but I also get the same vibe watching it as I do Dangerous Liaisons and to some degree, the House of Yes and Glengarry Glen Ross – melodramatic plays made into movies always give me that feeling. Normally I wouldn't consider Doubt a good enough movie that I'd buy it when it hit DVD, but I sense it in so much rewatchability that I will probably do just that – I imagine it getting funnier each time, maybe even taking on campy qualities that weren't intended but exist merely because of the acting/writing style.

Goon
Guest

So… in other words, that over-the-top ending and the pillow feathers that we criticize now, will eventually be something to look forward to and love.

labby
Guest

Just wanted to comment that after listening to several episodes, I've really enjoyed Kurt's insight. I'm a film-talk junkie and digest a lot of film podcasts (Film Spotting and The Treatment are my faves), and I really respect Kurt's articulate and thoughtful opinions. Does he have a broadcast or communications background? Anyway, thanks for the podcasts and happy new year!

Matt Gamble
Guest

Doesn't articulate imply Kurt is capable of correctly pronouncing words?

Goon
Guest

When I heard Kurt say "Asia Argento", I was so used to him fucking up obvious words (like Igor) that I thought he found yet another one.

But yep, indeed it is AZ-YAH Argento and not the continent Asia. Go fig.

Kurt
Guest

Yea, Goon for every 20 I fuck up, I get one right. Thanks for the props. Ditto on Labby. No, I have a science/chemistry background. Go figure, unless you are being ironic (and text can hide that well), you are being very generous here. I just like to hear my own voice. heh.

Kurt
Guest

(If anything ANDREW sounds like he has a radio background)

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