Mamo #280: Sparkle Boner

In which we consider Twilight Breaking Dawn and its fanfic-frenzied fandom; the highways and byways of Leos Carax’s festival darling Holy Motors; and whether Star Wars: Episode VII can truly be Star Wars: Episode VII without the death of Han Solo. Grab your opinions and join us!

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo280.mp3





53 comments

  1. Here’s the infographic Matt Price mentioned in the episode:

    http://www.deadline.com/2012/11/directors-cut-how-to-get-a-hollywood-greenlight/

    And here’s my review of HOLY MOTORS, also discussed:

    http://www.thesubstream.com/html-review-holy-motors.html

  2. My wife salutes your continuing christ-ification of Mr. Lindelof.

    On Holy Motors, which I quite enjoyed (and also thought of Cloud Atlas but HM had way better use of its makeup and its ‘everyman’), although completely agree that it never, ever achieves any emotional or even visual transcendence due to continually backing off from any sort of crescendo (Intermission Accordion tracking shots aside.) The go-to for me was Funny Games where Heneke keeps putting you in the Drama then pulling you out by 4th wall breaking.

    I also found some of the nearby ‘reactions’ (by my movie loving companion) to the film distracting, but god bless she knew as little as anyone what we were all getting into…and she quite enjoyed the film in the end. Suffice it to say that Holy Motors is a film that ceases to surprise or shock after a certain point because it becomes predictable in its craziness. I still dug the film quite a bit, but wanted an emotional response (see: Goodbye Dragon Inn) – with HM I was merely happily entertained for the two hours (not to shabby, but as said in the podcast, not up to expectations either…It is telling that I had just as much fun in the OSS117 sequel which we ducked into immediately following HM.)

    Accordions mentioned in the show:

    • Rick Vance

      The smile on my face when that bit started was huge.

      That film is full of small moments I love in a story that doesn’t pull together.

    • I didn’t want to call her out specifically, and I don’t bear her even the remotest amount of malice. Her reactions were engaged and genuine and had I been more engaged by the movie itself there would have been no problem. Sorry if it came off otherwise in the show.

      • No it didn’t come across as bad in the show – you were (and always are) all class.
        I was aware that it might have been a minor issue during the screening, but again reactions were genuine! — nothing wrong either way! And no, she wouldn’t be offended (we’ve all got tough skin) even if you had (but again, you guys are classy enough not to do so!)

        Zero worries. No harm no foul.

  3. Kurt Halfyard

    And the original R.L. Burnside song (sans accordions, but equally amazing):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueQGgqzuWQ0&feature=related

  4. “CARAX WAS DEEP INTO PRE-PRODUCTION ON ANOTHER FILM WHEN HIS PARTNER AND MOTHER TO HIS CHILD DIED IN PRIVATE CIRCUMSTANCES (IT WAS AN APPARENT SUICIDE). CARAX HAS NOT TALKED ABOUT IT, NOR SHOULD HE HAVE TO. HIS ANSWER WAS TO SIMPLY GO OFF AND DEVELOP A NEW IDEA. A STARKLY PERSONAL SURREALIST EFFORT ABOUT EVERYTHING HE WAS GOING THROUGH. A FILM THAT IS NOT SO MUCH ABOUT DEATH, BUT THE WAY DEATH INSPIRES A REFLECTION ON MORTALITY AND THE LIFE THAT HE HAS LIVED.” – Film Critic Hulk
    http://badassdigest.com/2012/09/22/fantastic-fest-review-holy-motors-is-perhaps-one-of-the-best-films-hulk-has/

    • THAT’S GREAT BUT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CONTENT OF THE MOVIE. NOT BEING AWARE OF THIS INFORMATION, IT DOESN’T INFORM THE EXPERIENCE. NOW EXPLAIN TO ME WHY BLOCK CAPITALS MAKES THIS COMMENT SOMEHOW “CLEVERER.”

      • Rick Vance

        BECAUSE BLOCK CAPITAL LETTERS MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER.

        HOLY MOTORS IS PURE CINEMA ACTING VIGNETTES LINED UP AND SHOWN TO YOU THAT IS ALL IT IS.

        • Except that (and I won’t be engaged by the siren song of all caps on this) the acting is essentially not strong enough to support the premise. I’m not sure there is acting that exists that would be strong enough when the premise is so difficult to overcome.

        • “Pure cinema” was the term that struck me, too, when watching the film. Actors performing scenes without context, for no in-movie audience, solely for us, as unmediated as possible. It fascinated and repelled me simultaneously while watching it, but I can’t get it out of my head, and that’s worth something. I’m hoping to see it again when it opens in LA soon.

      • “NOW EXPLAIN TO ME WHY BLOCK CAPITALS MAKES THIS COMMENT SOMEHOW “CLEVERER.”

        HEY, IT IS NOT MY GIMMICK. THOUGH I LIKE HIS ANALYSIS, I ALSO FIND IT ANNOYING THAT HE WRITES WITH UPPERCASE LETTERS. BUT THEN AGAIN, I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE NEVER GAVE HIM A CHANCE BECAUSE OF HIS ASSOCIATION WITH DEVIN FARACI AND BADASSDIGEST.

        AS FAR AS LEOS CARAX’S PERSONAL LIFE GOES, I JUST FIND IT INTERESTING…THAT IS ALL. HE IS AN ENFANT TERRIBLE… FOR EXAMPLE, LEOS CARAX IS ANAGRAM OF HIS REAL LIFE NAME (ALEX OSCAR) AND CAN BE TRANSLATED AS “THE OSCAR GOES TO X.”

        • There are some meta-elements going on with the sewer dweller character that features in Carax’s TOKYO! anthology short called “Merde” – which Lavant plays the same character, and when he opens the file in HM for his next assignment, he sighs and mutters, “merde.”

          • That character is actually listed in the credits as M. Merde.

  5. As for films like Cloud Atlas and Holy Motors where actors/actresses play different roles, my favorite is Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Three Times.

  6. I guess for me there were enough guideposts, and while nothing is fully explained, I give any film huge bonus points for refreshing originality. I think that’s mostly where my initial reaction came from. It was basically “OMG, I’m not sure what I just saw but it was crazy and unpredictable and that’s awesome!”

    I do wish we were given a bit more of what’s hinted at during his conversation in the limo with “the man with the birthmark.”

    The 2nd viewing helped a bit, but also brought up a few more questions. I’ve drawn my own conclusions, and I appreciate what I think it was trying to say and achieve.

    (Also, I agree with Price that there has to be some reference to previous characters in Episode VII, just want that on record.)

    • And no, there was no reason for uploading a Pixies jpg.

    • I’m by no means saying there should be no *reference* to previous characters in Episode VII. I’m saying that having an Episode VII with septuagenarian Luke, Han and Leia as its *principal* characters is a mistake, as is making a movie that includes the death of the most popular character in the Star Wars universe.

      I fully expect at least one cameo, if not all three, from the original trio. But to take it further than a cameo is problematic at best.

      • I’m glad you’re clarifying as I came here to talk about your idea that there is no story that can be told with the same characters is preposterous. It was called the Thrawn Trilogy. And the Jedi Academy Trilogy. And the hundreds of other books I gave up on following those two trilogies.

        Not saying that I want those stories to be made or even that they could be made (the age of the actors prevents it – and it would be a MAJOR mistake to cast new actors with the same roles). But clearly there are stories, good stories, that can be told with the same characters. And I agree with Price that it technically can’t be Episode VII if you’re not at least telling some part of the Skywalker legacy. Otherwise, like he said, it’s just “Star Wars: Episode NEW Shit We thought up in the same universe.”

        I do like the idea of Han’s death. Then Episode VIII becomes a Chewbacca (who is still relatively young in Wookie years) revenge flick. :) – with the help of Lando, menopausal Leia, a geriatric Jedi, two droids and NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

      • OK, that’s fair. I thought you’d originally said you see it taking place way past the lifetime of Return of the Jedi. I’m hoping for some familiar characters, not an obscure spin-off into the adventures of Nien Nunb. Although I agree that I don’t think anyone wants to see Han and Leia out on an adventure. Their kids, maybe.

  7. A Brief History of me and the Twilight Saga.
    By Sean Kelly

    TWILIGHT
    I didn’t want anything to do with this film when it first came out. I eventually decide to watch it on the Movie Network and found it…watchable. This leads to…

    NEW MOON
    I was getting to know this girl, who was a big Twilight fan. I figured that New Moon would be a guaranteed date. I was immensely bored during the film. I never had another date with that girl.

    ECLIPSE
    After that failed experiment watching the Twilight films theatrically, I began watching Eclipse on the flight home from a trip to Calgary. In what can only be deus ex machina, my in-flight entertainment conks out mid-film. I never finish it.

    BREAKING DAWN
    Fuck this series.

    • This is better than twinkie

    • That’s a great breakdown of the series. I saw the first one with my wife (who had read the books) when it dropped on DVD (I picked the disc up from the Library so as to not add any further blood money to this film.) – Oh and at least with the film Thirteen I was a fan of ‘slightly-hysterical-Hardwick’ the director. After seeing how shitty the film was in craft and pacing a dialogue and all that basic stuff required to make a movie, I was done. Then on a flight from Trinidad to Toronto they showed the 3rd film which I watched in a half-awake-half-sleeping daze with the volume off, and it still was not improved (even if the craft edged slightly towards what a ‘real movie’ should look like…)

      That’s as far as I’ve gotten with the films, and other than the crazy box-office numbers here, I’m not in any way intrigued with this franchise.

      • The irony with Eclipse is that it was directed by someone who made (in my opinion) a GOOD vampire movie – that being 30 DAYS OF NIGHT.

      • Simon Tarses

        Considering the ‘blood money’ that you’ve most likely paid to see movies that many people considered just as crappy way back when (Monster Squad, The Goonies, Explorers, etc) I don’t see how seeing Twilight would have been any worse; after all, one day, people will be nostalgic about the Twilight series, and what will all of the haters say then?

      • Simon Tarses

        Considering the ‘blood money’ that you’ve most likely paid to see movies that many people considered just as crappy way back when (Monster Squad, The Goonies, Explorers, etc) I don’t see how seeing Twilight would have been any worse; after all, one day, people will be nostalgic about the Twilight series, and what will all of the haters say then?

  8. Thunderous estimates for BREAKING DAWN 2, edging out Part 1 on the domestic weekend while still falling marginally shy of NEW MOON’s record.

    http://www.deadline.com/2012/11/breaking-dawn-part-2-sells-out-showtimes-as-final-twilight-saga-releases-at-midnight/

  9. I am interested in hearing/reading Goon’s thoughts on Holy Motors.

    • We shall endeavour to have him on the show this Tuesday if he is willing. Maybe bring in McNeil too.

  10. Hate to spoil the party but from:
    http://popwatch.ew.com/2012/11/02/stephenie-meyer-more-twilight-books/
    “I planned out where it would go for a couple more books,” she [Stephenie Meyer] said. “So, I knew exactly what would happen,” of the storyline that involves Jake, played by Taylor Lautner in the films, and Renesmee, played by Mackenzie Foy, following the end of Breaking Dawn.

    “There are other characters who I think would have a lot of voice in those coming stories,” she said.
    —–
    However, the article also mentions that she doesn’t plan on writing them right now but doesn’t know how she will feel in 5 years time. Still, I don’t think like say Harry Potter that we have seen the last of Twilight.

    • Marina Antunes

      From a fan… this comes as a bit of kick in the ass. This is the first I’ve ever heard Meyer even mention the possibility of other books in the series and frankly, don’t think they’ll capture what Twilight did.

      It’s over. Time to move on to the next thing. Bring on Mortal Instruments.

  11. Like the Mamo lads stated in this podcast, I am grateful for the popularity of Twilight. It success has led to Hollywood studios to take a chance on blockbusters that primarily target the female demographic.

    While I was not the hugest fan of Hunger Games, it is at least a proper blockbuster…better than most superhero blockbusters.

    • Simon Tarses

      While I was not the hugest fan of Hunger Games, it is at least a proper blockbuster…better than most superhero blockbusters.

      How so? Hunger Games was a sci-fi movie, the superhero movies are…superhero movies. Two completely different genres.

      • Superhero is not really a genre. It is more like a sub-genre of the action and/science fiction genre (or sometimes even horror).

        • Matt Gamble

          Superhero is an archetype, not a genre. Jesus is a superhero, but I don’t hear anyone lauding the superhero “genre” because of the existence of The Last Temptation of Christ.

          It this basic misunderstanding that leads Halfyard to constantly attempt reducing the superhero “genre” into the “superhero comic book action sciencey mainstream blockbuster movie” genre all so he can find a way to rip on a very small portion of films he doesn’t like, while ignoring the ones that would refute his argument.

      • YOU’RE THE GRANDSON OF A ROMULAN, TARSES. DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN.

  12. So, I literally saw HOLY MOTORS and I can say I liked it.

    A film that kept popping into my head in relation to this film is Luis Bunuel’s 1974 film THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY.

    Perhaps it’s because they’re both weird vignette-based French films.

  13. It’s official: Skyfall has out grossed The Dark Knight Rises.

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