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Saturday, June 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (June 2019)

The 2018-19 TV season is history, so here’s [Deadline’s] annual list of summer premiere dates for new series and new seasons of returning shows. It covers hundreds of broadcast, cable and streaming series bowing from mid-May through August in various dayparts.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 01, 2019 at 07:30 AM | 1297 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   801. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:46 AM (#5852733)
Wrong because dinosaurs do have clavicles, or wrong because their lack of clavicles doesn't make it impossible?

Because dinosaurs do, in fact, have clavicles.
   802. PreservedFish Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5852735)
I learned about the Therizinosaurus in a book I bought for my kids. Sometime's it's depicted as an absurd elephant-sized chicken-looking thing. New fave!
   803. Davo Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5852739)
Ha! I also just picked up a book about dinosaurs on Sunday!

Fly Guy presents: Dinosaurs
   804. PreservedFish Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5852741)
"Yezz"

The dino book I have is the Angry Birds guide to dinosaurs, which is surprisingly good.
   805. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5852742)
Sometime's it's depicted as an absurd elephant-sized chicken-looking thing


with gigantic claws on its hands!
   806. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5852746)
I learned about the Therizinosaurus in a book I bought for my kids. Sometime's it's depicted as an absurd elephant-sized chicken-looking thing. New fave!

They have casts of the arms from the holotype of a therizinosaur on display at the American Museum of Natural History. They are absurdly huge!
   807. Nasty Nate Posted: June 17, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5852749)
Closest living relatives are the Tasmanian devil and the numbuts.
Some of my closest living relatives are numbnuts too.
   808. Davo Posted: June 17, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5852763)
I saw actress Amy Seimetz's directorial debut Sun Don't Shine last night, starring indie darlings Kate Lyn Sheil and Kentucker Audley in a "young lovers on the run" story, though we don't learn until over halfway through what it is exactly that they're running from (Sheil murdered her abusive husband and his body has been in the trunk of their car--they're trying to make it to the Everglades to dispose of it.)

Slots up next to Lee Daniels' The Paperboy on the list of best depictions of Florida as an unlivable hellscape (you feel the sticky heat, and the only colors that exist in the palette are gray and garish turquoise/hot pink) and gets approval from me for keeping all the acts of violence (2 murders!) off-screen, which isn't just showy, it's appropriate, because the toxic relationship of the two leads is the real subject of the movie (through her interactions with Audley, we have no difficulty imagining both how she wound up in an abusive relationship with her husband, and also how she exacted her murderous revenge on him--the elision strengthens the character study).

Recommend!
   809. Davo Posted: June 17, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5852765)
   810. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 17, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5852766)
Every morning I jog past a life-sized brontosaurus. It's not a real brontosaurus (sadly), but it's still better than not jogging past a life-sized brontosaurus.
   811. Davo Posted: June 17, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5852794)
The 50 Most Disgusting Films

I’ve only seen six. (Martyrs, Trouble Every Day, Three Extremes, I Spit On Your Grave, Irreversible, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). I am insufficiently disgusting.
   812. Davo Posted: June 17, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5852796)
If the names in 808 aren’t familiar, you should note they’re all part of the MUMBLECORE/MICROBUDGET EXTENDED CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

Amy Seimetz was the director of Sun Don’t Shine, starring Kate Lyn Sheil.

Seimetz is also an actress. And she’s acted with Sheil on 6 other movies (The Sacrament, The Zone, You’re Next, Autoerotic, Silver Bullets, Gabi on the Roof in July).

And Kentucker Audley was also in the first 3 of those movies. And he’s also directed Seimetz in Open Five and Sheil in Open Five 2.

Open Five 2 also featured in the cast Sophia Takal (who’d directed Green, starring Sheil) and Dustin Guy Defa (who directed Bad Fever, which stars Audley). And etc etc etc.

They all trace their origin stories back to Joe Swanberg, who’s directed like 30 of these movies.
   813. BrianBrianson Posted: June 17, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5852805)
Still, that's rather a lot. I've only seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (by far the most "mainstream" of that bunch, I think?).
   814. PreservedFish Posted: June 17, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5852813)
I think I've only seen Pink Flamingos.
   815. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5852816)
I've seen 3, which is 3 too many.
   816. Lassus Posted: June 17, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5852834)
I'm not entirely sure how Pink Flamingos makes that list.
   817. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 17, 2019 at 02:23 PM (#5852836)
I've somehow missed all 50 disgusting films.

Once I tried to rent Slaughterhouse 5. The place kept the actual tapes behind the counter, in identical sleeves, so I mistakenly walked out with a slasher film called just "Slaughterhouse." I lasted maybe 10-15 minutes before packing it in. Looking online now, I see it was a comedy.

Returning it raised some conflicts. The first is that the high school girl behind the counter has no idea what Slaughterhouse 5 is, so when you try to explain the mistake they made she assumes you've already seen the nauseating film in your hand, plus its first three sequels. The second is how to initiate a light conversation with the manager that begins, "I don't believe in censorship, but I think you should consider, uh, censoring this."
   818. Davo Posted: June 17, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5852843)
Continuing the Mumblecore Extended Universe gag:

Joe Swanberg wrote and directed and acted in 6 movies in 2011. Among them:

Silver Bullets: Starring Kate Lyn Sheil, Amy Seimetz and Ti West.
Art History: Starring Josephine Decker, Adam Wingard and Kris Swanberg (his wife).
Autoerotic: Starring Amy Seimetz, Kate Lyn Sheil, Josephine Decker, Adam Wingard (also the co-director), Ti West, Frank V. Ross, and Kris Swanberg.
The Zone: Kentucker Audley, Kate Lyn Sheil, Dustin Guy Defa, Lawrence Michael Levine, Sophia Takal, Adam Wingard, Kris Swanberg.

We've covered Kate Lyn Sheil and Amy Seimetz. So let's focus on the actors in here who would later become directors:


* Ti West would direct a bunch of "mumbleGORE" movies, including a couple you have have seen (The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers are both great, and he's also done parts of the anthology series V/H/S and The ABCs of Death, which I think STF has championed).

* Josephine Decker got a ton of acclaim for directing the great Madeline's Madeline last summer. Her two previous films are both great too (Butter on the Latch and Thou Wast Mild & Lovely, which stars Joe Swanberg).

* Frank V. Ross was already a mumblecore director at this time, having made Hohokam and Present Company at the time (both of which star Joe Swanberg).

* Adam Wingard is another mumbleGORE director, who, like West, worked on the V/H/S and ABCs of Death movies (after having first worked on A Horrible Way to Die, which starred Amy Seimetz and Joe Swanberg). But unlike West, he's moved on to mainstream stuff, including the Blair Witch remake and, um, whoa, he's apparently making Godzilla vs Kong next year!

* Lawrence Michael Levine has made a bunch of mumblecore movies, including Gabi on the Roof in July (which starred Seimetz and Sheil and Sophia Takal--his wife--but also Lena Dunham!), and in 2014 he made Wild Canaries, which again starred him and Sophia Takal, but then also featured Alia Shawkat and Jason Ritter cuz oh yeah my boy has made it big-time.

* Sophia Takal directed Green, which stars her and her husband Lawrence Michael Levine, plus Kate Lyn Sheil, but also features Alex Ross Perry, who's hit it big-time as a director himself (he made the Her Smell movie New Leaf talked so much about. And also wrote Christopher Robin cuz you gotta make that dollar sometimes). Perry's previous movie came out in 2011 and was called The Color Wheel, which featured in its cast Bob Byington (who would later make Registered Sex Offender, which features Andrew Bujalski, who basically started the whole Mumblecore movement with Swanberg) and also Ry-Russo Young, who before moving on to mainstream Hollywood stuff made You Won't Miss Me in 2009, which features Aaron Katz in the cast, and Katz is the best of all these mumblecore dudes, having made Quiet City and Dance Party USA).

It's all a rich tapestry, you see.
   819. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5852849)
I'm not entirely sure how Pink Flamingos makes that list.

Fucking a live chicken to death doesn't disgust you enough? At least in those other movies the gore is fake.
   820. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: June 17, 2019 at 02:59 PM (#5852854)
I've seen 3, which is 3 too many.


13 for me; possibly 14, actually, but I'm not sure about Cannibal Ferox.

The disgusting thing about The Girl Next Door, of course, is that it's based on a true story (or more specifically based on a novel that's based on that true story). Another movie about the same case came out around the same time -- An American Crime, starring Ellen Page.
   821. Davo Posted: June 17, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5852858)
Carlos Reygadas’ Japón is the only real movie so disturbing I couldn’t finish watching it. By like the 5th scene of animal torture in the opening 30 minutes I finally decided I had seen enough of this ####-head’s movie.

Reygadas defended these scenes, as well as the explicit sexual encounters in Batalla en el Cielo, saying, "If you think about it, what’s so outrageous about a naked obese woman? There are plenty of astonishing images in other films with flying cars and such… What you see in my films, you can see it any ordinary day: a gas station, a hunter killing an animal, people making love. I’m not trying to impress anyone with those images; they make sense in the context of my films."[6]

   822. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: June 17, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5852863)
I'm surprised that the majority view is that the movie goes too easy on Fletcher - while he doesn't get an explicit comeuppance, the final number seems implicitly quite humiliating for Fletcher.
Loved Whiplash.

I find it hard to see the end as humiliating for Fletcher. Yes, Miles turns the tables on Fletcher's plan to humiliate *him*, but he does so by playing with a virtuosity he had never previously reached, which I do believe is Fletcher's real aim, whatever you think of his methods. His smile at the end has "I won" written all over it.
   823. Davo Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5852881)
I felt bad for not sharing any movies I like here.
   824. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 17, 2019 at 05:36 PM (#5852939)
Kentucker
Seriously?
   825. Davo Posted: June 17, 2019 at 05:41 PM (#5852944)
824- Stage name. (He’s from Kentucky.)
   826. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 17, 2019 at 05:43 PM (#5852946)
"You know how I know I don't like you? Because you choose to go by 'Kentucker.'"

That guy can't not be in hipster movies.
   827. Davo Posted: June 17, 2019 at 06:45 PM (#5852963)
Audley has done a ton of great work in the mumblecore/microcinema community. His website (NoBudge.com) has been a godsend for filmmakers seeking visibility and distribution. (To say nothing, of course, of all the great movies he’s made or acted in on his own.)
   828. Omineca Greg Posted: June 17, 2019 at 07:06 PM (#5852965)
Once I tried to rent Slaughterhouse 5. The place kept the actual tapes behind the counter, in identical sleeves, so I mistakenly walked out with a slasher film called just "Slaughterhouse."

One time I tried to rent "The Last Emperor", and they gave me "Last Exit to Brooklyn" instead.

And I'd already read the book!
   829. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 17, 2019 at 07:10 PM (#5852966)
Audley has done a ton of great work in the mumblecore/microcinema community. His website (NoBudge.com) has been a godsend for filmmakers seeking visibility and distribution. (To say nothing, of course, of all the great movies he’s made or acted in on his own.)
<< makes people call him "Kentucker."
   830. Greg K Posted: June 17, 2019 at 07:52 PM (#5852979)
I'm surprised that the majority view is that the movie goes too easy on Fletcher - while he doesn't get an explicit comeuppance, the final number seems implicitly quite humiliating for Fletcher.
Loved Whiplash.

I find it hard to see the end as humiliating for Fletcher. Yes, Miles turns the tables on Fletcher's plan to humiliate *him*, but he does so by playing with a virtuosity he had never previously reached, which I do believe is Fletcher's real aim, whatever you think of his methods. His smile at the end has "I won" written all over it.


That movie made me think of the article Patrick O'Sullivan wrote for the Player's Tribune. O'Sullivan's father regularly beat him as part of his "training regimen".

A few years later, his dream finally came true. I was selected in the second round of the 2003 NHL Draft. The NHL assigned me an entire security team for the day, but I knew it was useless. He made sure he was seated right where I could see him.

So when my name was called and I pulled on the Minnesota Wild sweater, I knew he was in the building watching, and it made me absolutely furious. Not because of all the pain I endured. But because I knew that he believed, in his heart, that all his abuse was validated. He thought he was the reason I made it to the NHL. The ends justified the means.


EDIT: I definitely get the sense that JK Simmons' character feels like O'Sullivan's dad at the end. I can see people being unhappy that the movie would give him that moment, but I think it's a stronger movie for it.
   831. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: June 17, 2019 at 08:55 PM (#5853000)
I’ve seen 3 from the disgusting list, Der-GF (horror buff) has seen 17 and said most of those were terrible (I am inclined to believe her).
   832. Lassus Posted: June 17, 2019 at 09:16 PM (#5853007)
and they gave me "Last Exit to Brooklyn" instead.

Oh lord. I saw that in college. Just the saddest film in history. Bleak, and very affecting.
   833. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:47 AM (#5853071)
I find it hard to see the end as humiliating for Fletcher. Yes, Miles turns the tables on Fletcher's plan to humiliate *him*, but he does so by playing with a virtuosity he had never previously reached, which I do believe is Fletcher's real aim, whatever you think of his methods. His smile at the end has "I won" written all over it.


EDIT: I definitely get the sense that JK Simmons' character feels like O'Sullivan's dad at the end. I can see people being unhappy that the movie would give him that moment, but I think it's a stronger movie for it.


I see the point, but I look at it another way. Miles doesn't just shine, he usurps Fletcher's position as the leader in the band. Miles chooses the song - specifically contradicting Fletcher's "and now we're going to slow things down a bit" line, not only by interrupting him, but by starting up a piece that is especially pointed out as the fastest arrangement of 'Caravan' Miles has ever seen, thus making Fletcher look particularly stupid. Miles calls the tune, he counts the band in, and when Fletcher tries to assert control at the end of the song, Miles runs right through his direction to twist the knife. All Fletcher can do is to try to assert some claim to Miles' solo.

So it's definitely a turning of the tables, but in addition, every other member of the band - who we see early in the movie being cowed by Fletcher in all ways, even those who are stable parts of the core - knows who's in charge. I can definitely see that as a 'what Fletcher was going for all along', but I don't think it makes sense in context. If Fletcher was happy to torpedo his own reputation in public, and in front of the rest of his band, in order to bring out Miles' talent: why would he wait until bumping into Miles randomly at a jazz bar Miles happened to be walking past one night, to invite him? I would think he would seek Miles out to try to tempt him back. Instead, I think it makes more sense if Fletcher encounters Miles opportunistically, seizes on the chance to try to humiliate him, and is both surprised - happily! - but also chastened by the result.
   834. Greg K Posted: June 18, 2019 at 07:21 AM (#5853076)
So it's definitely a turning of the tables, but in addition, every other member of the band - who we see early in the movie being cowed by Fletcher in all ways, even those who are stable parts of the core - knows who's in charge. I can definitely see that as a 'what Fletcher was going for all along', but I don't think it makes sense in context. If Fletcher was happy to torpedo his own reputation in public, and in front of the rest of his band, in order to bring out Miles' talent: why would he wait until bumping into Miles randomly at a jazz bar Miles happened to be walking past one night, to invite him? I would think he would seek Miles out to try to tempt him back. Instead, I think it makes more sense if Fletcher encounters Miles opportunistically, seizes on the chance to try to humiliate him, and is both surprised - happily! - but also chastened by the result.

I think all of that is correct, but I think throughout the movie he sees himself more as a creator of great musicians, more than a creator of great music. He may look foolish as a band leader, but it's worth it if he has created another musical genius.

I think the scene (and much of the movie) is about his delusion, about himself and about how "great men" are formed. In his mind, what he's just seen reinforces and validates his life's work. Even getting fired might have been worth it, since it created this performance.

EDIT: So I guess I'd quibble with chastened. I think he's surprised and humiliated...until he realizes the performance that's happening. Then he's happy to take credit for it in his own mind.
   835. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 18, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5853091)
I suppose I see it more of a 'torch has been passed' moment, and Fletcher's recognition of that fact, but also that (at least in my head-canon) there are no more torches for him to pass. Fletcher's hold over his band, his reign of terror, if you like, should no longer operate. You just ignore the old bald man and play. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but hey, if the movie's going to leave me room to craft a happier ending, why not?

I'm a little curious whether the movie, by giving Fletcher such an unambitious performance on piano - I'm no expert, but his gig in the bar stands in an enormous contrast to the pieces we see him pick for his band, and an awful lot closer to 'Starbucks jazz' than anything else in the whole movie - is meant to nod to the "those who can't, teach" concept. I mean, he's obviously not incompetent at the piano, but are we meant to read that he's mellowed, or that he's pretending to have mellowed, or that he's personally satisfied that all he needs to do is noodle, or that he's by inference a hypocrite, or some combination? Or maybe that it's just the music that happened to fit the scene, of course. I'm uncertain.

I've been to jazz in similar settings to Fletcher's - Jean Pierre Mas in Paris, Charlie Peacock in New York, a few others - and for someone determined to turn Caravan into his own personal flux capacitor, Fletcher's own performance is not pushing any comfort zones.
   836. Davo Posted: June 18, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5853097)
Peter Lovesey on his Prince of Wales mysteries
Nine years later, I came across a book about Fred Archer, the foremost jockey of the nineteenth century, the rider of more than 2,700 winners. At the high point of his career, aged 29, he spoke his last words—“Are they coming?”—put a gun to his head and killed himself. Any crime writer would find such a scenario irresistible. Why did poor Fred do it and who were the mysterious “they”? Horse racing was a sport I hadn’t considered as a setting when I was writing the Cribb series. How about writing a Victorian version of a Dick Francis thriller? But I couldn’t see Sergeant Cribb as the protagonist. I needed a new detective.

The largest wreath on Archer’s coffin when it was driven through Newmarket to the grave had been from his royal patron, the Prince of Wales. In one of those lightbulb moments I pictured Bertie as my sleuth. There were clear advantages to having the future king on the case. Obviously, he must have taken an interest in the mystery. He could call on Scotland Yard for help if needed. Equally he had the power to send them packing. He knew about racing and he had limitless time to devote to an investigation. But would he be any good?

Probably not.

At this stage of his life, in 1886, he was 45, more renowned for indulgence than intelligence. He had a sense of his own destiny and a liking for ceremonial affairs, but his mother, the queen, denied him the opportunity of reading state papers and he frittered much of his life away in gambling, shooting game and being unfaithful to his long-suffering wife, Princess Alexandra. I couldn’t imagine him as a serious investigator, but he would relish the chance of playing private detective.

Bertie as an inept sleuth intrigued and inspired me. This would be his case and his book and his voice would tell the tale. Up to then I hadn’t written a book in the first person. Already Bertie was taking over.

I promised myself I would portray him as truthfully as I could, allowing that there was no evidence he had ever investigated a crime. The scandals, the mistresses and the gambling, were well-known. But the qualities that eventually made him a successful king were evident as well. He was confident, good-humored, a fine organizer and far more forward-thinking than his mother.

I finished the final book in the trilogy last night and...man I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed any books as much as I enjoyed this series. So much fun!
   837. Greg K Posted: June 18, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5853105)
I'm a little curious whether the movie, by giving Fletcher such an unambitious performance on piano - I'm no expert, but his gig in the bar stands in an enormous contrast to the pieces we see him pick for his band, and an awful lot closer to 'Starbucks jazz' than anything else in the whole movie - is meant to nod to the "those who can't, teach" concept. I mean, he's obviously not incompetent at the piano, but are we meant to read that he's mellowed, or that he's pretending to have mellowed, or that he's personally satisfied that all he needs to do is noodle, or that he's by inference a hypocrite, or some combination? Or maybe that it's just the music that happened to fit the scene, of course. I'm uncertain.

That's how I read it. Of course, for me Fletcher was the centre of the movie, I barely paid attention to the drummer. For me, the movie was primarily about teaching, whether great men and women need to overcome struggle and adversity to become great. And more specifically about the teachers who think they need to be that adversity. Fletcher's kind of sad old man that knows he can't directly contribute to humanity through music, but thinks he's carved out this niche where he's contributing to the betterment of humanity, sacrificing his own in the process. He gets to feel all noble for it, but maybe at the back of his mind he knows he's just getting pleasure out of torturing kids who have more talent than him.
   838. Davo Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5853110)
   839. Lassus Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5853118)
The palette's a choice. Be annoyed with the choice, but it might be simply to prepare people for the remake and the finished product may not be in the mid-century filter.

I'm actually more than a bit disappointed it wasn't modern staging instead of a a rehash of the old one, but that's a risk the studio probably didn't want to take.

It will be dull, but hopefully saved by the dancing.
   840. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 18, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5853125)
I'm actually more than a bit disappointed it wasn't modern staging instead of a a rehash of the old one, but that's a risk the studio probably didn't want to take.

You'd have to do a major re-write to have it work in 2019. And then it would just be another modern Romeo and Juliet, not an actual re-make of West Side Story.
   841. BrianBrianson Posted: June 18, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5853128)
I don't see why. Change the place names, the gang compositions, the tech references, and you're in 2019. Sure, it evokes Romeo & Juliette, but West Side Story is a R&J ripoff, so that's unavoidable.
   842. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 18, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5853134)
I don't see why. Change the place names, the gang compositions, the tech references, and you're in 2019. Sure, it evokes Romeo & Juliette, but West Side Story is a R&J ripoff, so that's unavoidable.

I'm assuming they want to use the same music, no?
   843. Lassus Posted: June 18, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5853135)
I'm with Brian. You should know there have been many, many successful modern re-stagings of operas.

FFS, given today's atmosphere and tensions? It could have been a relevant slam-dunk. A shame.


I'm assuming they want to use the same music, no?

Yes, but so what? I do differ in that I don't think that the gang compositions needed to change at all, what with the paper-towel-thrower in change.
   844. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 18, 2019 at 12:35 PM (#5853136)
That's how I read it. Of course, for me Fletcher was the centre of the movie, I barely paid attention to the drummer. For me, the movie was primarily about teaching, whether great men and women need to overcome struggle and adversity to become great. And more specifically about the teachers who think they need to be that adversity.


Interesting! I followed Miles much more closely; his adoption of Fletcher as a father figure - and his quickly declining interest in the affection or admiration of anyone who wasn't Fletcher - was pretty compelling to me. Which improved the final scene for me, because I felt like Miles was playing for his self-respect rather than for his father or for Fletcher. I found it notable that, to lull Miles into a false sense of security in his first practice, Fletcher suggests to throw in some fills; i.e., Miles is at his best when he's being creative, rather than when he's trying to doggedly follow instructions. (Reference also the emphasis on his sight-reading, turning pages, and precisely meeting Fletcher's tempo.)

Fletcher's rigid instructions and requirements weren't making Miles better, nor were they driving him away from the band, but they were inducing obsession and mania. It's when Miles ignores his instructions that he reaches his best. I guess 'that's all part of the lesson' is always a possible interpretation, but I think it can be read both ways. Anyway, or either way, highly absorbing.
   845. Lassus Posted: June 18, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5853139)
I want to be clear, it would be a MASSIVE risk (and therefore reward), more suited to Miranda or Cuaron than Spielberg.
   846. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 18, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5853140)
And then it would just be another modern Romeo and Juliet
Which, after that Baz Luhrmann atrocity from the '90s, we can hope never to see again.
   847. Greg K Posted: June 18, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5853142)
Fletcher's rigid instructions and requirements weren't making Miles better, nor were they driving him away from the band, but they were inducing obsession and mania. It's when Miles ignores his instructions that he reaches his best. I guess 'that's all part of the lesson' is always a possible interpretation, but I think it can be read both ways. Anyway, or either way, highly absorbing.

Oh yeah, to bring it back to that O'Sullivan article, the thing that drives O'Sullivan nuts is that his dad thinks its the beatings that make him a great player, when O'Sullivan knows full well he's succeeding DESPITE of his dad, not because of him.

I think for Teller, the final scene is redemption, and putting Fletcher in his place. Fletcher just doesn't realize that.

I have perhaps spent too much time conflating O'Sullivan's story and the movie, but the great frustration for both Teller and O'Sullivan is that they can prove to themselves that they achieved their success in spite of what they went through, but they'll never be able to stop Fletcher/Dad from taking credit in their own minds.
   848. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 18, 2019 at 12:47 PM (#5853146)
Yes, but so what? I do differ in that I don't think that the gang compositions needed to change at all, what with the paper-towel-thrower in change.

There just aren't any of the merely delinquent/mildly criminal street gangs anymore. You can't use that music and set it against a MS-13/Aryan brotherhood face-off. The modern version would be much, much darker.
   849. Lassus Posted: June 18, 2019 at 12:58 PM (#5853150)
You can't use that music and set it against a MS-13/Aryan brotherhood face-off. The modern version would be much, much darker.

Yes, it's MS-13 or choirboys, Nazis or Vassar students. The world is not so binary as you would want.
   850. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 18, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5853157)
Yes, it's MS-13 or choirboys, Nazis or Vassar students. The world is not so binary as you would want.

????

I think it's just a fact that gangs have become far more violent since the early-60's, with their massive involvement in the drug trade. "Turf gangs" that normal, working class kids would belong to for a few years and then grow out of, aren't really a thing anymore.

Are there any exclusively white gangs out there that aren't neo-Nazis? Are there any street gangs that aren't involved in drug dealing, and routinely committing murder?
   851. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 18, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5853158)
Certainly, though I guess they wouldn't call themselves "gangs", or make the news, for the reasons you describe.
   852. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 18, 2019 at 01:12 PM (#5853163)
"Last Exit to Brooklyn" instead.

And I'd already read the book!


Could not finish that book. One horrible, repulsive scene after another. Gives me the willies just thinking about it.
   853. Davo Posted: June 18, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5853164)
I just want it to be colorful.
   854. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 18, 2019 at 01:14 PM (#5853165)
   855. Greg Pope Posted: June 18, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5853195)
Wrong because dinosaurs do have clavicles, or wrong because their lack of clavicles doesn't make it impossible?

Because dinosaurs do, in fact, have clavicles.

On occasion I click on the last page of long threads just to see what's going on. This being the first post on this page is... well, I don't know what it is, but I'm imagining someone coming here for the first time and seeing this under a headline about TV shows.
   856. BrianBrianson Posted: June 18, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5853203)
I think it's just a fact that gangs have become far more violent since the early-60's, with their massive involvement in the drug trade. "Turf gangs" that normal, working class kids would belong to for a few years and then grow out of, aren't really a thing anymore.


Uhm, you know West Side Story has multiple murders and a gang rape in it, right?

Of course, that probably does fit better in the 1950s than today - might be wiser to have them belong to differnt World of Warcraft guilds ...
   857. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: June 18, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5853214)
I think for Teller, the final scene is redemption, and putting Fletcher in his place. Fletcher just doesn't realize that.
Boy, I don't know.

Yes he launches into the song of his choice. Then mouths the \"#### you" at Fletcher, sure. Brushes Fletcher away when he approaches. Does his own thing to kick off the solo. All granted.

But by the end? He takes Fletcher's direction completely on closing things out, going down then back up with the solo before bringing the band back in for the finale. And the look between them--by both of them--right before they finish...I have a hard time reading that without seeing some portion of mutual respect (if not quite gratitude). He might still think Fletcher is an abusive #######, but I think he can't shake the idea that maybe he *did* need that push.

The whole last performance is basically an exact reprisal of Fletcher's story about Charlie Parker's "creation" by Jo Jones:

Terence Fletcher: I told you that story about how Charlie Parker became Charlie Parker, right?

Andrew Neiman: Yup, Jo Jones threw a cymbal at his head.

Fletcher: Exactly. Parker's a young kid, pretty good on the sax. Gets up to play at a cutting session… and he ##### it up. And Jones nearly decapitates him for it. And he's laughed off-stage. Cries himself to sleep that night but the next morning, what does he do? He practices. And he practices and he practices with one goal in mind: never to be laughed at again. And a year later, he goes back to the Reno... And he steps up on that stage and he plays the best ############# solo the world has ever heard. (beat) So imagine if Jones had just said: "Well, that's okay Charlie. Eh... that was alright. Good job." Then Charlie thinks to himself, "Well, ####. I did do a pretty good job." End of story, no "Bird." That, to me, is... an absolute tragedy.


Leaving aside whether there's any truth to that story, that's not an accident. Fletcher achieved the equivalent of that moment with Andrew, whether it was because of or in spite of him. Of *course* he feels vindicated.

(ps Sorry if I introduced the error on the character's name: Miles Teller is the actor, playing Andrew Neiman.)
   858. Davo Posted: June 18, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5853218)
By popular demand....

Davo lists the Mumblecore/Microbudget American indie movies worth watching.

ABSOLUTE MUST-SEES, AMONG MY FAVORITE MOVIES OF THE LAST 20 YEARS, THE MOVIES THAT GOT ME INTERESTED IN MOVIES AGAIN

Beeswax (2009, Andrew Bujalski)
Bellflower (2011, Evan Glodell)
Soft in the Head (2013, Nathan Silver)
Momma's Man (2008, Azazel Jacobs)
Littlerock (2010, Mike Ott)


GREAT
See You Next Tuesday (2013, Drew Tobia)
Dance Party, USA (2006, Aaron Katz)
Nights and Weekends (2008, Joe Swanberg & Greta Gerwig)
The Puffy Chair (2005, the Duplass Brothers)
Madeline's Madeline (2018, Josephine Decker)
Mutual Appreciation (2005, Andrew Bujalski)
Exit Elena (2012, Nathan Silver)
Daddy Longlegs (2009, the Safdie Brothers)
Uncertain Terms (2014, Nathan Silver)
Thou Wast Mild & Lovely (2014, Josephine Decker)
Lake Los Angeles (2014, Mike Ott)
Medicine for Melancholy (2008, <yes that> Barry Jenkins)
Christmas, Again (2014, Charles Poekel)
Pearlblossom Hwy (2012, Mike Ott)
The Heart Machine (2014, Zachary Wigon)
The Dish and the Spoon (2011, Alison Bagnall)


GOOD, BUT A SLOT BELOW EITHER BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT QUITE AS GOOD OR BECAUSE I'M STRETCHING THE CATEGORY DEFINITION TOO FAR BY INCLUDING THEM
Quiet City (2007, Aaron Katz)
Frownland (2007, Ronald Bronstein)
The Pleasure of Being Robbed (2008, the Safdie Brothers)
Sun Don't Shine (2012, Amy Seimetz)
Heaven Knows What (2014, the Safdie Brothers)
Funny Ha Ha (2002, Andrew Bujalski)
Open Five (2010, Kentucker Audley)
The Unspeakable Act (2012, Dan Sallitt)
   859. JJ1986 Posted: June 18, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5853220)
I've seen The Puffy Chair which is pretty good, Nights and Weekends (I love Greta but this just struck me as people putting their personal #### on screen) and Madeline's Madeline which could not be less of my kind of movie.
   860. Davo Posted: June 18, 2019 at 03:17 PM (#5853246)
I should have included The Battery, the first mumblecore zombie movie.
   861. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 18, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5853284)
The whole last performance is basically an exact reprisal of Fletcher's story about Charlie Parker's "creation" by Jo Jones:

Leaving aside whether there's any truth to that story, that's not an accident. Fletcher achieved the equivalent of that moment with Andrew, whether it was because of or in spite of him. Of *course* he feels vindicated.


See, I view that differently. Fletcher already did throw the cymbal (or chair, or music stand - I forget) at Andrew's head, earlier in the movie. And slapped him, and verbally abused him. It didn't work. Andrew already took his craft seriously - but then, when he crashed out of the band (and Fletcher got fired), his kit got put away. He stopped practising. Finally, when Fletcher invites him back for the gig, Andrew's performance in 'Caravan' doesn't come out of having gone away and practised until he becomes great. His performance comes out of '**** you, I don't have to listen to you any more', and he takes control. (I also see the solo as Fletcher glomming on to Andrew's performance and helping him to the finish line, but little more than that.)

At least, to me. Agree that Fletcher's last eye contact with Niemann suggests that Fletcher's content with how things worked out, but they haven't re-enacted the Parker story the way I see the narrative. Arguably, they've debunked it.
   862. Davo Posted: June 18, 2019 at 06:50 PM (#5853330)
Anyway. Those movies are all wonderful and we are lucky they exist.
   863. PreservedFish Posted: June 18, 2019 at 07:23 PM (#5853336)
I should have included The Battery, the first mumblecore zombie movie.


First of how many?
   864. Davo Posted: June 18, 2019 at 07:40 PM (#5853343)
First of 1. So far.
   865. Davo Posted: June 18, 2019 at 08:26 PM (#5853367)
But it’s very good.
   866. PreservedFish Posted: June 18, 2019 at 08:50 PM (#5853382)
What characterizes it as a mumblecore flick? Do the zombies improvise their lines?
   867. Davo Posted: June 18, 2019 at 09:14 PM (#5853396)
There’s no Mumblecore Manifesto or anything, and thus no universally agreed upon criteria, but I’d say it has most of these qualities:

* Extremely low budget
* Heavily improvised script
* Shot on digital
* Use of non-professional actors (or actors from the Mumblecore Troupe, from posts 812 and 818 above)
* Naturalistic acting style
* Realistic settings and characters
* Thinly plotted
* Concerned with the romantic and creative lives of 20-somethings
   868. BrianBrianson Posted: June 18, 2019 at 09:23 PM (#5853400)
Watching Jessica Jones, my wife failed to recognise Callum Keith Rennie as the guy from Due South.

I recognise my ethnic programming, however. So ... Ha!
   869. JJ1986 Posted: June 18, 2019 at 09:50 PM (#5853409)
* Realistic settings and characters

mumblecore zombie movie.

Um...
   870. PreservedFish Posted: June 18, 2019 at 09:53 PM (#5853411)
* Extremely low budget
* Heavily improvised script
* Shot on digital
* Use of non-professional actors (or actors from the Mumblecore Troupe, from posts 812 and 818 above)
* Naturalistic acting style
* Realistic settings and characters
* Thinly plotted
* Concerned with the romantic and creative lives of 20-somethings


I don't have anything against this trend at all, but when you lay it all out like that, it just reads like "bored kids with cheap cameras make lazy movies." Particularly the last one.
   871. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 18, 2019 at 10:27 PM (#5853426)
"bored kids with cheap cameras make lazy movies.
I've seen a few of the films on the above list, and...ding ding. Although you left out "self-indulgent."
   872. Swoboda is freedom Posted: June 18, 2019 at 10:40 PM (#5853435)
I cannot stand Greta Gerwig and Frances Ha was a horrible movie. Noah Baumbach should be banned from ever making another movie.
   873. Lassus Posted: June 19, 2019 at 07:37 AM (#5853492)
Naturalistic acting style

Is there a non-snarky definition of or exposition on this?
   874. PreservedFish Posted: June 19, 2019 at 07:54 AM (#5853495)
Although you left out "self-indulgent."

This part doesn't bother me really. Many artists are somewhat self-indulgent, I think. It's kind of part of the deal.

I mean, mumblecore doesn't bother me at all, I think it's great that people are doing something new and fans enjoy it. I find the veneration of lack-of-craft to be curious, but then again, I prefer Johnny Ramone to Eddie Van Halen, so I get it. Bold amateurishness can be a much needed corrective when the mainstream has gotten ridiculous.
   875. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 19, 2019 at 08:57 AM (#5853498)
Bold amateurishness can be a much needed corrective when the mainstream has gotten ridiculous.
Yeah, fair point. And I suppose the bottom line is that mumblecore has at least made me curious enough to see a few of the films, which is more than I can say for any of the comic book/zombie/squealing tires/explosions franchises.
   876. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: June 19, 2019 at 09:11 AM (#5853501)
* Concerned with the romantic and creative lives of 20-somethings


Gag unto me with a spoon...

   877. jmurph Posted: June 19, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5853506)
I cannot stand Greta Gerwig and Frances Ha was a horrible movie. Noah Baumbach should be banned from ever making another movie.

Counterpoint: Gerwig wrote and directed Lady Bird, which was great. And Baumbach has done numerous really good movies.

(I also didn't like Frances Ha.)
   878. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: June 19, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5853507)
At least, to me. Agree that Fletcher's last eye contact with Niemann suggests that Fletcher's content with how things worked out, but they haven't re-enacted the Parker story the way I see the narrative. Arguably, they've debunked it.
I can see what you're saying, and "exact reprisal" was probably an overbid, though I do think it's more similar than not, timeline aside on throwing things and practicing. The key thing to me is that, even in your interpretation, what brings out the transcendent performance from Neiman? Fletcher and his behavior does. And that fits his goal, even if he didn't expect it to happen at that moment.

Here's what Fletcher says just before the Parker/Jones story I quoted above:

The truth is I don’t think people understand what it is I did at Shaffer. I wasn’t there to conduct. Any idiot can move his hands and keep people in tempo.

No, it’s about pushing people beyond what’s expected of them. And I believe that is a necessity. Because without it you’re depriving the world of its next Armstrong. Its next Parker.


(That's from an online version of the screenplay, might differ a bit from what was actually onscreen.)
   879. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: June 19, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5853509)
I can see what you're saying, and "exact reprisal" was probably an overbid, though I do think it's more similar than not, timeline aside on throwing things and practicing. The key thing to me is that, even in your interpretation, what brings out the transcendent performance from Neiman? Fletcher and his behavior does. And that fits his goal, even if he didn't expect it to happen at that moment.


Totally agree with this. I can imagine a different version of the movie where Neiman very explicitly gives up and walks away after the first piece, then turns back and launches into 'Caravan' when he sees his dad watching, making it a rejection of Fletcher as a role model, but that's not the movie I saw, and probably too cheesy for the rest of the movie.

We re-watched Mad Max: Fury Road for my wife's birthday yesterday. Still great.
   880. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 19, 2019 at 10:17 AM (#5853513)
* Extremely low budget

Neither feature nor bug, so long as you can actually see and hear what you are supposed to and it doesn't pull you out of the experience.

* Heavily improvised script

Bug. You can make a good movie with an improvised script, but it is harder. Much harder.

* Shot on digital

Who cares?

* Use of non-professional actors (or actors from the Mumblecore Troupe, from posts 812 and 818 above)

The quality of acting matters. Generally professionals are better than amateurs, so minor minus. Also, why do some professionals get an exemption? Kid of lame, but whatever.

* Naturalistic acting style

Yeah, I also need an explanation what this means.

* Realistic settings and characters

Neither good nor bad. Fantasy (used as a generic opposition to reality, not elves and ice dragons) can be a fabulous tool for examining reality, but still OK.

* Thinly plotted

Huge minus for me. I love plot, like muchly. And if the plot is scant then I really demand great dialogue and characterization (which doesn't go with amateur actors and an improvised script). Without plot, script or actors and with realism you ave, well life. And for that I can look up from the computer screen and look around, why do I need to go to a movie for that?

* Concerned with the romantic and creative lives of 20-somethings

Neither positive nor negative. Every generation has stories to tell and those topics have been staples of story telling since humans started chatting around a fire cooking up gazelle for dinner.
   881. Davo Posted: June 19, 2019 at 11:01 AM (#5853529)
Naturalism is simply performing in a “realistic” way (ie, the way these characters would behave in real life).

You might read that and say “Doesn’t that describe all acting?” And that’s fair! It’s the dominant style!

But there are many types of movies that do *not* use naturalistic acting style. They don’t want actors to mimic reality at all; they’ve use *heightened* or *expressionist* acting. Actors in silent movies, for instance, or melodramas, or in, like, every Hollywood movie prior to about 1952.
   882. PreservedFish Posted: June 19, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5853536)
* Shot on digital

Who cares?


I do, when that means that the image is of lower quality.
   883. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 19, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5853545)
Fair enough, but for some movies lower quality images fit the story, so it is not always a problem.
   884. Davo Posted: June 19, 2019 at 01:04 PM (#5853590)
Re: the actors in mumblecore, different directors have different preferences. Some have relented and used famous Hollywood stars to get more publicity for their films (Joe Swanberg’s last couple movies have starred Anna Kendrick and Brie Larson; Andrew Bujalski’s two latest had Regina Hall and Guy Pearce, etc).

They’re just guidelines. No dogme 95 inflexibility!
   885. Davo Posted: June 19, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5853594)
Or some have a mixture of professionals and amateurs in the same movie.

The Safdie Brothers’ Heaven Knows What stars Arielle Holmes, a woman with no previous acting experience (at the time they met her she was homeless and living on the streets in NYC; the film is based on her life story.) But the male lead was Caleb Landry Jones, who’s one of the X-Men!
   886. Davo Posted: June 19, 2019 at 07:40 PM (#5853796)
* Shot on digital

Who cares?

It’s of interest to people who care about what movies look like.
   887. Davo Posted: June 19, 2019 at 08:50 PM (#5853824)
And how they’re made.
   888. Davo Posted: June 19, 2019 at 08:51 PM (#5853825)
@CJ_Prin
You bastards did it, you finally leaked La Flor online

@CJ_Prin
It must have taken intense dedication to film all 14+ hours of La Flor in a theatre, as I assume this leak is a cam rip and not a screener because screeners never existed for La Flor, excuse me I have to drink this 4 litre mug of coffee
   889. Davo Posted: June 20, 2019 at 10:15 AM (#5853978)
Disney announced this morning that its Pixar film for next summer is Soul. The studio already had June 19 RSVP’ed on the 2020 calendar for an untitled Pixar movie, and this is it.

Soul will be the second original Pixar film next year after Onward, which bows March 6.
   890. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 20, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5853983)
If Mumblecore featured the problems of 20 somethings that was mostly because the movies were being made by 20 somethings. As these filmmakers get older, I'm sure the focus will shift to older characters. That just seems natural.
   891. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 20, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5854004)
"Shot on digital" matters because you can do it for cheap, with a much smaller crew and a lot less equipment than film and with much better results than video. Digital is more a precondition for something like mumblecore than a feature of it. There could be mumblecoreish movies without digital (and early ones like "Funny Ha Ha" were shot on film), but there couldn't be so many of them.

(It's sort of like how home recording of music has become ubiquitous in the era of laptops with fast processors and USB connections. In the '80s and '90s you could record something that sounded bad on your Tascam PortaStudio, and before that maybe you knew someone with a reel to reel eight track. But it's vastly easier now.)
   892. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 20, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5854009)
No dogme 95 inflexibility!
I always thought that Dogme's greatest problem was the mindset of its filmmakers. They mostly seemed to want to expose something awful about the human condition. Sometimes this had great results (Festen), but it was often just tedious. The wonderful Italian For Beginners showed that you could make a Dogme romantic comedy, but no one else picked up that ball and ran with it.
   893. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 20, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5854010)
If Mumblecore featured the problems of 20 somethings that was mostly because the movies were being made by 20 somethings. As these filmmakers get older, I'm sure the focus will shift to older characters. That just seems natural.
I eagerly await 90 lo-fi minutes of Kentucker's musings on his enlarged prostate.
   894. PreservedFish Posted: June 20, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5854012)
If Mumblecore featured the problems of 20 somethings that was mostly because the movies were being made by 20 somethings. As these filmmakers get older, I'm sure the focus will shift to older characters. That just seems natural.

Well, yes, but also because they're primarily casting their buddies, and obviously not making much of an effort to explore other stories or other perspectives. Which is fine, totally fine, "write what you know" and all that. There's more than enough space in the world for a huge trend of hipster navel-gazing cinema. That sounds snarky but I'm serious, I have zero problem with mumblecore. I just find Davo's obsession curious - his assumption, basically, that lack of artistry is somehow actually true artistry.
   895. Davo Posted: June 20, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5854015)
892- Indeed, and I suspect a factor there was Trier’s outsized influence in Dogme’s creation; the others all felt the need to echo his misanthropy and brutality.

It actually does kinda connect nicely with Mumblecore, in the sense that there’s no inherent reason these movies should be about aimless 20-somethings, but after Swanberg and Bujalski got the ball rolling, their aesthetic followers seemed to sense “Okay, so I guess this is what these movies have to be about.”
   896. Davo Posted: June 20, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5854027)
(Caveat—I’ve not seen a ton of Dogme 95.)
   897. manchestermets Posted: June 20, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5854033)
Mumblecore sounds to me a lot like the young people concerned are trying to emulate Mike Leigh on a low budget. Which is no bad thing of course.
   898. Davo Posted: June 20, 2019 at 12:04 PM (#5854039)
897- Yep. And Cassavetes is another guy frequently mentioned as an influence.
   899. Lassus Posted: June 20, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5854050)
It's only been a hundred years, and was only like a film and a half - I feel like I should revisit Cassavetes to see if it has held up for someone like me.
   900. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 20, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5854054)
Genius!
Misogynist!
Genius!
Misogynist!
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