Cinecast Episode 198 – Pickle

 

Two films, different colours in the title and vastly different tones in the filmmaking. Kurt and Andrew dig into relationship (and American Ratings Board) dysfunction with Blue Valentine before Gamble saunters in to talk Michel Gondry and his Green Hornet; a film which takes almost nothing seriously but nevertheless comes across as sporadically entertaining (hmmm, echoes of this podcast). Then Gamble gives a preview of the ‘mildly funny time waster’ No Strings Attached. Other things watched include a little Martin Scorsese, a little Edward Zwick, a little David Mamet magic (featuring Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants), some Motorohead and Anime before closing with the war in the parking lot, as the goofy yet delightful documentary, The Parking Lot Movie, makes it to Netflix Instant. As always, DVD picks, tangents and other loquacious frivolities await on the Row Three Cinecast.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_11/episode_198.mp3

ALTERNATIVE (no music track):
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_11/episode_198-alt.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…



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IN-HOUSE BUSINESS:
The Movie Club Podcast
The MatineeCast


MAIN REVIEW:
Blue Valentine (Rot’s review)


OTHER REVIEWS:
The Green Hornet (IMDb)
No Strings Attached (sneak peek review)


WHAT ELSE WE WATCHED:

Kurt
The Last Temptation of Christ (IMDb) | (Netflix Instant)
Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants (IMDb)

Andrew
– “American Masters:” Jeff Bridges (IMDb)
Defiance (IMDb) | (Netflix Instant)
The Parking Lot Movie (IMDb) | (Netflix Instant)

Matt
– British Television Advertising Awards
Lemmy (IMDb) | (Netflix)
Summer Wars (IMDb) | (Netflix)


DVD PICK #1:
        ANDREW:

Buried
(IMDb)
(Netflix)

        KURT:

Animal Kingdom
(Jandy’s review)
(Netflix)

        MATT:

Paperman
(Marina’s review)
(Netflix)

DVD PICK #2:
        ANDREW:

Freakonomics
(IMDb)
(Netflix)

        KURT:

Down Terrace
(Kurt’s review)
(Netflix)

        MATT:

Sam Fuller Criterion Blu-rays
Sam Fuller – (IMDb)
Naked Kiss – (Netflix)
Shock Corridor – (Netflix)


OTHER DVDs NOW AVAILABLE:
Stone
Jack Goes Boating
Takers
Lebanon


OTHER STUFF MENTIONED:
Nuremberg: Reconstructed (trailer)
New High and Low Brow Podcast


NEXT WEEK:
Another Year
The Way Back
(?)
The Company Men(?)


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

 

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Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Brain Hiccup: I totally forgot to mention just how awesome David Bowie is as Pontius Pilate in Last Temptation of Christ. Totally owns an unconventional portrayal of the Roman who orders Jesus’ crucifixion. As it stands, a David Bowie cameo is a 100% reason to watch any movie or TV show (cf. Extras, The Prestige, Basquiat, Fire Walk With Me,)

alechs
Guest

I find it amusing that Summer Wars is almost identical to the first two Digimon movies but is structured around family drama.

Darcy McCallum
Guest

you guys responded to my twit, which was more about which films you stayed till the end of the credits for, I did so for only Black Swan & Blue Valentine in 2010, though BV’s credits are much better.

Another Year is at the Uptown expecting that for show 199
& that to be followed by ‘top ten film podcasts’ maybe for S200

rot
Guest

listening to this now, just wanted to say Michelle Williams’ father in Blue Valentine is McNulty’s boss in The Wire.

Also, I caught Blue Valentine with my wife and we both loved it, not sure what that says about us 🙂 I think if you are not entirely comfortable with one another, yeah I guess an unromantic look at marriage could be a hard watch together. I agree that I think the film shows the wife in an unusually unflattering position, and against type makes the husband sympathetic. I disagree with the issues of the doctor scene being obvious or clunky… it too goes against type… Dean is ‘playing’ the angry husband when Cindy says he needs to be a ‘man’… he keeps asking ‘is this being a man?’ as he goes through the motions of what is expected, and while playing he even counts down to punching the doctor in the face, which of course he does, not out of aggression, but almost like he is still playing the part. I can’t think of another scene in a film like it. If you just look on the surface, sure Dean looks like just the guy the nurse at the front desk thinks he is… but he isn’t, and how he acts, while it ends to the same outcome, is actually more sympathetic than you would expect normally.

Kurt
Guest

“as he goes through the motions of what is expected, and while playing he even counts down to punching the doctor in the face, which of course he does, not out of aggression, but almost like he is still playing the part. I can’t think of another scene in a film like it. If you just look on the surface, sure Dean looks like just the guy the nurse at the front desk thinks he is… but he isn’t, and how he acts,”

I get this, and agree with you, but it also seems like the film is having its cake and eating it too. I think Kelly Reichardt does this better, not feeling so stagey, particularly with Wendy and Lucy.

And the Guy from Blue Valentine and the Wire pops up for 2 minutes in THE COMPANY MEN. I really like this actor.

rot
Guest

I think when you see what gets you to that scene, when you understand what makes this character tick, I don’t think it is stagey at all, it is how the character would react. Maybe we have really bland lives that never veer into the dramatic, but I can say when an argument gets heated in my house it is bigger than life at times, and I have never had any arguments worthy of theatrics like Dean has in that particular moment. The only minute of footage in the entire film I didn’t quite believe and wish was not there was the doctor trying to pick Cindy up.

There is an implied assumption in some of the critique on the show that our lives are not dramatic and films that try to capture it must be subdued. I don’t entirely buy that. It is a matter of degrees, but unless you are a very boring person, I think the heightened emotional states that are represented in films can exist in your lived experience, and it is not a deficiency of a film like Blue Valentine if it gives into that familiar territory, for me, it seems even more believable that it is not trying to be constrained.

I love Wendy and Lucy (I am probably watched it 6 or 7 times now) and I do enjoy that kind of disciplined minimalism too… but it fits that story, it doesn’t fit a story about divorce… you need to throw things, the situation calls for it 🙂

rot
Guest

it is “one of those scenes” like it has never been done before. Show me another scene where the ‘aggressor’ is pantomiming what is expected of his role.

Kurt
Guest

Rot, I’ll actually think on that, there seem to be a few examples on the tip of my tongue…Fight Club might actually be one, albeit that is far more of a satire than a drama. I’ll give you that scene for the moment, and now focus on the ‘Mom arrives just at the end of Child’s school performances’ – that has to equal the sort of awkward Doctor tries to pick up Michelle Williams. Or how about the ‘framing story’ of the dog dying. Some of this is admittedly heavy handed (certainly more heavy handed than my above example, Wendy & Lucy), but it is very forgivable because the performances are off the charts excellent.

But I’m totally nitpicking a movie I really, really, really like, especially for the lead performances, and the conviction that the director doesn’t pull his punches or offer pat explanations at the end….of course he does ‘end’ the movie, whereas in my minds eye, this sort of conflict (especially over their child) would necessitate many more encounters between the two of them. Blue Valentine 2: Custody Time and Visiting Rights, anyone?

Jandy
Guest

I saw Blue Valentine with my boyfriend of four months, and we both loved it. So…heh. Honestly, as painful as a lot of it was, I could’ve kept watching it for another two hours – it was depressing, but not, like…I don’t know how to describe it. It was still beautiful, somehow.

I agree with you that the film kind of put more of a burden on Cindy’s shoulders, but I definitely didn’t feel like I was all on Dean’s side – I also understand how hard it is to be ambitious and feel like your SO isn’t (even though I’m not particularly ambitious), or feel like you’re taking all the responsibility and feeling resentful for that (which is something I tend to do). For her, it wasn’t even so much like he wasn’t making anything out of his career, but even that artistic things that he’d previously seemed to care about (music, etc.) he’d totally dropped. He may have been happy, but he also seemed like he was drifting a bit, and that kind of frustrated me – certainly I could understand why it was frustrating her. But like you guys said, it’s tough to come up with logical reasons or arguments WHY she was frustrated that would overcome his speech about being happy being with his daughter – which was one reason they weren’t able to communicate. Ultimately, Kurt’s right – the devastating thing about the film is that there ISN’T an easy thing to blame any more than there’s an easy solution. It’s a very noncommital film in that way, and I really liked that.

I do wish someone else would watch Two for the Road (1967 Stanley Donen, with Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney). I need to rewatch, but it strikes me as really similar in story and style to Blue Valentine, though not nearly as raw or real. Blue Valentine is better, for sure, but I’m curious to compare them.

rot
Guest

I am of the belief that parents do occasionally show up late for school performances… which came first, the movie or the situation? I have a high tolerance for familiar tropes in a movie so long as it doesn’t hang on them (some of my issues with Tarantino films is they tend to hang together on them like a patchwork). It is not like an entire conversation about being late was built upon that scene, it’s a look and they talk about the dog. You are inevitably going to have familiar scenarios if you are looking at something specific like the dissolution of a marriage. I didn’t find anything between Dean and Cindy played up unbelievably, it felt true to who these people appeared to be.

rot
Guest

Jandy, I still plan to check Two for the Road.

rot
Guest

by the director of Singin’ in the Rain… interesting.