Do You See
The second episode of our fortnightly silent sound film comparison podcast. This week our topic is political poets, or poets who have been exiled for their politics (though in one case possibly for his terrible poetry too). Our poets are Pablo Naruda, subject of Pablo Larrain’s recent Naruda, and Francois Villon, portrayed by John Barrymore in 1927’s The Beloved Rogue. Our modern film is playfully metatextual about its subject and delivery, but that isn’t to say that silent film is a simple as the romantic swashbuckler suggested on poster.
Myself and Pamela Hutchinson talk politics, poetry, lens flare, crabby acting, snow and inevitably facial hair as we play our cinematic game of top trumps to determine which movie is the best. And your FreakyTrigger correspondant might say the word “interesting” a few too many times. Subscribe on iTunes here:
Or listen on Silent London here: https://silentlondon.co.uk/2017/04/16/sound-barrier-neruda-the-beloved-rogue-1927/
Presented in association with SOAS Radio.
So for a while myself and Pamela Hutchinson, of Silent London fame have been talking about doing a more regular podcast. And while we love talking about silent films, we also like new films too. And so The Sound Barrier was born over a Campari Spritz or four, we take a new release and we contrast it with a silent antecedent. And we were extremely lucky with the release dates as just released was The Lost City Of Z, about Major Percy Fawcett’s hunt for a lost civilization in the Amazon. And this seemed to compare perfectly with The Lost World, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s pulp, in which Professor Challenger (based partially on Percy Fawcett) searches for a lost plateau of ancient creatures. . We talk exploration, beards, special effects, not so special acting and we may even, for a bonus mention The Smurfs: The Lost Village.
You can listen to it here on Silent London:
Here on iTunes (usual give us a review plea to bump us up search function)
And any suggestions for future pairings let us know, or just come back in a fortnight for the next one. Enjoy.
“Hi I’m The Brave Little Toaster, star of the 1986 film The Brave Little Toaster and its direct to video sequels The Brave Little Toaster To The Rescue, and The Brave Little Toaster Goes To Mars. You know, the late 80’s was a brilliant time to be a Toaster, we were flying all over the place on screensavers, being fancipantsed up by Duralit, and then there was me, an honest to god appliance hero for a consumer age. These days though, you’re all in tha cloud, and there is no room for toast in the cloud, so I have been told. So I sit with my friends, Lampy, Air Conditioner and Two Faced Sewing Machine and watch Entertainment Centre and all the great films that came out last year like these ones. I mean, I assume I got back from Mars, I have to admit I didn’t watch it, it seemed far fetched. ”
Cheers Toasty, and you should just be proud that as a Toaster you got your own film franchise. The mind boggles. Anyway here is the top ten:
“Hi I am Elliot from Pete’s Dragon. I suppose you could call me Pete’s Dragon, except Pete clearly doesn’t own me, we are just buddies who hang in the woods. And yes, I am the proper Pete’s Dragon, not that godawful 2D drawn travesty from the 70’s. I’m the Pete’s Dragon from the much better 2016 film Pete’s Dragon, which I expect will pop up on this list of best films of 2016.
Oh, just looked below. Must be in the top ten. Well these are all pretty good too I guess. Not elegiac and majestic like some sort of kids film made by Malick in the 1970’s, not good like Pete’s Dragon, but good. ”
Thanks Elliot, but I have some bad news for you. Pete’s Dragon just missed our list at number 42. I know, it was a travesty. Don’t blow fire on me. I’d have voted you higher, except you weren’t as good as Mustang. Which is…
“Hi I’m Godzilla. No honestly I am. I know what you’re thinking, that doesn’t look like Godzilla, he stands up on his hind-legs and stomps Tokyo. Well firstly who are you calling a “he”. Godzilla, ie me, is a lady. And secondly, that Godzilla is stupid – I’m the kind of more realistic Godzilla that people were crying out to see in the 90’s.”
“They didn’t? What even with Matthew Broderick? Jean Reno? What about the twist of my babies? Jamiroquai? His song is the best bit? Well that just makes me angry, makes me want to destroy Manhattan with my atomic breath.”
“I don’t? Well nuts to that.”
“Sorry about that, it turns out that I’m not the crowd pleasing monster I thought I was, instead I am a punchline to a number of jokes and I have been assigned to one of the great flops of history. Well just as well I spent last year watching the ten films which appear to come in between #30 and #21 in the FT film poll.”
Thanks rubbish 90’s Godzilla and that is a remarkable coincidence isn’t it. Well here’s what I thought of this run of movies.
Hi, I’m Dr Zaius smoking a cigarette from The Planet Of The Apes. You know the proper Planet Of The Apes from the sixties where people acted as apes, rather than Andy Serkis wearing ping pong balls and making a fool of himself. OK it meant that Charlton Heston got a bit too personal about our personal hygiene but the allegory more or less worked. I also turned up in Beneath The Planet Of The Apes, which was surprisingly good despite Chuck ducking out and an even heavier handed Nuclear War Allegory. Since then I’ve been pretty quiet here in the potentially nuclear destroyed future, I didn’t travel in time to Escape From… and they didn’t get me back for the Tim Burton travesty and I think it is a bit early in the new cycle of Apes films for a doddery old Doctor type to turn up (though I must go see my agent just in case). Nevertheless all of this spare time has allowed me to look at the best films released in the UK in 2016, and help curate the Freaky Trigger Top 41 (because there are two number 40’s).
“Hi I am Red Skelton, exceptionally annoying star of the 40’s and 50’s – trust me there was no comic turn I could flatten, or subtle humour I couldn’t mug into submission. Named Red due to my bright red hair often showcased in the black and white films I starred in. Trust me, I was terrible, just watch me in Neptune’s Daughter, or any number of comic MGM musicals I was shoehorned into to ostensibly make funny, but actually made the subbest of par. I can but have dreamt of being in a film nominated for the Freaky Trigger films of the year, partially because I was rarely in a good film, but mostly because I would have loved to have lived so long to see 2016. How are the jet packs?”
It worked so well last year, so what the hey, let’s spin the bottle on another Freaky Trigger movie poll. If we learnt anything last year its that the block vote of everyone who sees Pixar films will out. I wonder if everyone rushed out to see Finding Dory though or if something else has filled that hole? Batman vs Superman perhaps (hmmm).
The rules are the same as all of the other FT polls. Vote for UP TO 20 titles IN ORDER and send your vote to ftfilmpoll AT gmail DOT com. As long as the film was properly released in cinemas (VOD / Multi-Platform) 2016 in the UK it will be counted. I might tap you up for a write up or some words if your choice makes the list, so consider your responses. And if you only saw five films this year and still want to vote for Suicide Squad then do so.
I think it has been an interesting year for movies, and I’ll have no trouble identifying twenty great films, and there are loads I am catching up with over the next fortnight, as should you! Its better than Turkey with the family. Feel free also to use the comments to query methodology, remind people of a film that came out in January, question every aspect of this project… Votes will close on 11.59pm GMT on 5th January 2016 (to all a little catchup…)
– The order of your top 20 is important! Your #1 will be allocated more points than #20.
– If you can’t think of 20 films then 10 or 14 or 1 is just fine.
And see you for the rundown in January.
*Cos to qualify at lest two people have to nominate it.
“Hi, I’m Gongy the Rank Movies Gong, who you might know from the intro to any Rank Movie you’ll have seen between 1935 and 1980. And when I wasn’t being banged by an oiled up muscled bodybuilder I liked nothing more than settling down to watch the movie I prefaced. Now working for J Arthur meant I didn’t always get to see classics, but I think I put enough time in the cinema to judge the odd movie, and am in a perfect position to hand out the -ahem – Gongs in this poll.
I do miss getting banged though. Do people not “get it on” in 2015? Are there no vaguely racist kung fu movies I can cameo in to instigate a fight? Roll uncontrollably down a hill? A Gong gets restless in retirement. All the Gongmen are dead.”
Cheers Gongy, and I hope you enjoy this batch of pretty decent reasons to spend time in front of a screen. But not right in front of the screen Gongy, cos we won’t be able to see the films.
“Hi I’m Mr Narwhal from Elf, you may remember my loveable show-stopping turn in what has now firmly become part of the Christmas canon. There goes Buddy the Elf, leaving the North pole and up I pop saying “Bye Buddy, Hope you find your Dad!” And time was that I thought my scene stealing appearance would spin off into a film of my own, say The Amazing Adventures Of Mr Narwhal. I even wrote a treatment Mr Narwhal Goes To Washington, a nautical remake of Mr Smith Goes To Washington, where I would fillibuster to stop deep sea Atlantic dredging. But sadly it wasn’t to be, and John Favreau stopped returning my calls around the time he made Iron Man 2 (I know King Shark is a DC character and I’m not a shark but give a narwhal a break). So these days I can be found doing Harry Nilsson covers on Thursday nights in The Red Lion on Glendale.
And of course I am here to present the FreakyTrigger 20 – 11 countdown of movies. I don’t get out to the movies much (its the nose), but I’ve seen half of them on screener and they would have all been improved by the appearance of an anthropomorphic Narwhal. Damn my agent.”
Cheers Mr Narwhal, and I too can definitely see you fitting in our first film here.
Last night, in my commitment to not kowtow to the critics, I decided to watch 2014 flop comedy Let’s Be Cops. It was, I believe, reviewed particularly harshly because it came out just after the Ferguson shooting. The plot of Let’s Be Cops is two emasculated shlubs dress up as cops for a fancy dress party, and then get mistaken for actual cops, where suddenly with their new found authority they exploit and bully their neighbourhood remorselessly for cheap laughs. The cheap laughs are not in the film, and I get the sense that the public did not want to see people pretending to be cops getting away with figurative murder when there were actual cops bullying and intimidating a community and actually getting away with murder.
I let the movie roll though, and as I had been thoroughly distracted let the entirety of the credits roll too. Past the best boy and the gaffer. Past the music credits. Past even the Technicolor roundel thingy. And at the very end, where “James Bond Will Be Back” would be in a Bond movie was this message: