Do You See
“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:
“Hi, I’m a Super Panavision 70mm camera, in fact I may well be the last one in existence. Which sure makes me feel lonely. But what is this, Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan both eulogising me as a symbol of a golden age. Both trying to use myself and new fangled cameras to show stuff in Super Panavision? Oh look, they are scrapping over me, like two suitors in a 1950’s beach movie not realising that seeing two grown men fight over a camera is going to put me off of both of them. Oh, it appears Quentin Tarantino has won, and is going to use me.
“Hi I’m Harrison Ford, the silent movie star with a somewhat unusual name, welcoming you to the first ten films in the Freaky Trigger countdown of the top movies of 2015. Now, truth be told I haven’t seen any of these films on account of being dead for 58 years. I am however pleased in perusing this number forty to thirty one list that no films with my coat-tail dragging namesake turn up – a man whose acting is a wooden as his carpentry. Which is to say it is wooden, as that is what carpentry is; I was a silent movie actor and I am still not all that confident with my words, especially since my death. So sit back and see what talkie nonsense people seem to rate these days.”
Thanks Harrison and I daresay if we were doing the 1928 poll Three Weekends with you and Clara Bow would have made the list. But we aren’t and having had a charitable 24 responses we can call this inaugural film poll a success. Just a reminder that to make the list a film had to receive more than one vote (in the case of a tie, a film with more votes was place higher). Films with an (*) I haven’t had a chance to see so I will semi crowdsource an opinion from those who did…
This is about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You should not read it if you plan to see the film, care about spoilers, and haven’t yet. I haven’t spelt out what happens but you’ll work it out.
“Hi I am Kevin Costner, star of Waterworld and The Postman, but in this instance from the poorly German Dubbed Version of Swing Vote, here to sell to you the concept of the FreakyTrigger Movie Poll 2015. I have been drafted in (though Draft Day is a different movie) because everything I do is insanely popular: they still do the Waterworld Stunt Show at Universal Studios Tour. And there is a suggestion that this new intiative may not be popular at all. Well Swing Vote was all about voting and elections and so is this nonsense so it made sense a few minutes ago.
Can I go now, my gills are getting itchy.”
Thanks Kevin, and nice hat.
For the first time ever, in a democratisating way, we are running a FILMS POLL. We’ve never done one before because the sense was that generally the FT readership gave less than a stuff about movies, but what kind of reason is that? We should put this to the test with a real actual call for submissions. More importantly if we are only going to get five or six entries, your vote will really really count. Thumbs up or thumbs down, but pull your finger out.
There is a new James Bond film out, and so I emailed a select cadre* of FT writers to tell me their favourite a) BOND FILMS and b) BOND THEMES. The idea then being that I would write about these things. But a problem arose! It turns out that the only James Bond film I have definitely seen all the way through is Goldfinger, and that scenes from ‘other Bond films’ I remembered with fondness were, in fact, also from Goldfinger.
So I haven’t written about them. Well, not much. But here is the Top Ten List as voted for in an exclusive film critic*’s poll. Later in the week I will put up the themes, which I will give (even) more critical consideration to.
“Hi I am Lorelei Linklater and I am here to present the top five Freaky Trigger Not A Poll movies of 2014, even though it is well into 2015. I am delighted to be here because I am certain that a film I was in will appear, and perhaps I will finally get my due, cos my Dad told me for twelve years that the film would be called Girlhood and frankly I have been pissed with him for the last twelve months. That Oscar is MINE. Frankly he could have shot a few extra scenes. Just recut the damn thing. Its not like there aren’t plenty of home movies of me doing goofy stuff as a kid that he couldn’t have bulked it out with. And then he wouldn’t be getting hit with the completely appropriate “boring white boy coming of age movie” criticism. Where is my Oscar nomination for best actress? Or even best song (I killed it with “Ooops I Did It Again”, and when I sung it it was before Britney released it so it counts as an original song or something). Anyway, Ethan Hawke smells, and my Dad owes me big time.”
Thanks Lorelei, and yes, you aren’t wrong with your prediction. You are in this list, but where….
Fans of long, chronological blog projects will know that when one actually finishes it’s cause for no small celebration. Phil Sandifer’s TARDIS Eruditorum reaches its final entry today, an essay notionally about the 2008 episode “Silence In The Library/Forest Of The Dead” which serves, recursively enough, as a handy digest of his entire blog project to date. It’s just under 100,000 words long, which must have a decent shot at being the longest blog post in the history of the medium.