Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Movie Club #2: Gimme Shelter and Duck You Sucker

0:00 - 1:40 -- Intro/Role Call
1:40 - 55:35 -- Gimme Shelter
55:35 - 1:30:10 -- Duck You Sucker
1:30:10 - 1:33:53 -- Outro

» Download MP3 (64 MB)

Gimme Shelter (1970)
Directed by: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin

Duck, You Sucker (aka A Fistful of Dynamite) (1971)
Directed by: Sergio Leone
Starring: James Coburn, Rod Steiger, Rick Battaglia



Primal said...

Awesome discussion on both movies. I totally agree that Duck You Sucker is Leone's craziest movie. To add to the insaneness, did you guys know that Juan is the spanish translation of John also?

I am not sure if you neglected to mention Juan's sons, but I like how he, although seemingly proud of having them from different mothers, treated them like litter of puppies. It appeared that he even adopted a father into the mix.

There was also one scene in the movie where a bunch of the revolutionaries have a secret meeting. I couldn't help but think that Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth was influenced by this movie especially when he had his own revolutionaries meeting with a doctor doing an amputation.

I thought this movie was a really macho film. I think it's ridiculous when people say movies like Fight Club and 300 are very manly films when essentially most of Leone's films easily trumps them.

Looking forward to the next installment of TMC podcast!

Kurt Halfyard said...

One thing we really didn't dig deep into was the schizophrenic nature of the Juan/John dynamic. Yes, on some level the two gentlemen at the heart of the picture are two difference sides of the working-man personality perhaps. At least they both seem to agree on Anarchy, a running subtext of the entire film.

ALSO Please anyone reading this, feel free to offer any sort of constructive criticism or comments on what can be improved with our ongoing little collaborative experiment. I have to admit that recording and interacting with this particular group of people is a whole lot of fun.

TheSnowLeopard said...

Good show.

Better than last month because I will add these two movies to my DVD queue. Your discussion on Ghost Dog left me ambivalent about seeing it.

I had problems with the audio. Some comments faded in and out or were difficult to hear. This seemed to affect Kurt mostly.

Things I liked:
1. Singling out individual scenes for special mention
2. Research. Introducing a quote from another film reviewer (Pauline Kael) or other interesting info from other sources
3. Using music from the movies selected (the Morricone was especially awesome)
4. Humour (The "You can't always get what you want" gag)

Things I liked less:
1. Film Introduction. I think this could be more formal (i.e. some statistics about the movie, cast, crew, etc, plot synopsis, maybe some historical context) before the discussion. Tidbits of info about the movies were scattered throught the podcast, but I really didn't get a handle on what Duck You Sucker was about (in terms of plot).

2. Star Rating. Not sure if this podcast is meant to be a panel review of the movies or just a discussion about the movies (with the assumption you all either like or consider it important enough to discuss). When Andrew offered some negative comments about Gimme Shelter it added some energy to the discussion and interesting comments. I think selecting a movie by vote is better because then you would feel less hesitant to offer a negative comment about a movie that is obviously beloved by the person who chose the movie.

3. Humour (the "Juan me over" gag)

Anyway...I look forward to Episode 3!!

Kurt Halfyard said...

"but I really didn't get a handle on what Duck You Sucker was about"

Heh. You may not after you've watched the film either! It's the kind of film which somewhat defies easy synopsis.

Drewbacca said...

Hey Snowleaopard. EXCELLENT feedback. i think all of the points you mentioned about things we could do better are spot on.

Let me address three of them:

1) Sound quality. I know, this pisses me off too. We're not sure what to do about it. It seems to be a Skype issue, but haven't found voice messenger software that allows for a "room" full of people.

2) Film introduction. You're right and thinking back on it, we SHOULD be setting up the film we're going to talk about a little better. I promise this will be fixed for the next episode.

3) Picking apart individual scenes. Totally. This is a club that assumes everyone in the discussion and everyone listening has seen the film. I tried to mention a couple of specific scenes that really are worthy of discussion. We should definitely focus on this a little bit more. I think this is because we're so used to not mentioning spoilers on our home podcasts, that it's ingrained into our heads not to do so. So we'll work on this. If we get to do "Lady in the Water" for episode 4, there are about 100 individual scenes I'd like to mention.

thanks again for the fantastic feedback. It will really help the show get better and better I think.

~Andrew James

Tuan Jim said...

I haven't listened to this episode yet, but a quick question - what DVD edition of "DYS aka FFoD" is that? It looks like it says something about a 4 disc SE and I've never seen one listed for that (I have a 2 disc German R2). Upcoming R1 re-release?

Marina said...

If I'm not mistaken, the particular version of "Duck You Sucker" that Sean used for the DVD cover (and the one I saw) is part of the Sergio Leone Anthology but it's also available on it's own on its own.

Sean said...

Snowleopard: Something else I had thought about doing was adding sound clips from some of the scenes that are mentioned. I think it would add a lot, it just means a bit it would take a bit longer to edit the show. Thanks for the feedback!

Primal said...

Have you guys ever been on a Ventrilo server? It's mainly used for gamers to handle 40+ people who need to communicate to each other, but the sound quality is excellent. Of course this is not free, but its not expensive. I think the minimum is $5 a month.

Drewbacca said...



One scene that I did want to mention about "Duck, You Sucker" and we just didn't have time:


Was at the end when Coburn gets shot. I love his death scene. He's wincing in pain as he goes down, but his facial expression is priceless. He looks more angry than hurt. One of the better "death reactions" I can remember.

~Andrew James

ReelFiend said...

I stumbled upon this podcast while skimming through the filmjunk site and was pleasantly suprised. I enjoyed the book club-type format that allows you to give a good 40 minute discussion of the films. Although I do enjoy other movie podcasts I was getting a little tired of the 10 minute face value reviews that I get from the majority of them. You guys have succeeded in scratching the itch I had for an in depth view on movies.

One of the strengths I found was your chemistry. You have a nice blend of personalities that all seem to bring a varity of thoughts and opinions. I only wish that Marina would chime in more, she had some interesting things to say and I would like to hear more of what she thinks. However, I realize it is only the second episode and alot of that could be a result of still getting comfortable with the whole setup. In any case You guys do seem to mesh well together. The only other complaint I had was already touched upon by thesnowleopard.

All in all good job and I'm interested in seeing where you guys take this is in the future. Hopefully you will keep it as a monthly thing, that will give me time to get my hands on some of these movies and watch them beforehand.

mike rot said...

First off, great show, really top-notch insight coming from everyone.

I made my vote on the side poll for Bloody Sunday, which is a favorite of mine but probably will not win the vote here, but oh well.

I would like to recommend another film though, only because I think it could sprak some serious debate, both morally and cinematically. That is the documentary 'Deliver Us From Evil'. This movie affected me deeply, and it is sure to spark debate about organizaed religion in society, but it is also interesting because the evil incarnate at the center is a willing participant of the film, something rarely seen, and it is unnerving to say the least. but also, I know some of you have particular ideas of what 'cinema' is and this is one of those examples, at least for me, where the notions of what makes good cinema no longer seem relevant... but that is of course up for debate.

there are lots of films to use, and I do not consider this the greatest film, but it is one that sticks with you, something more than technique.

Marina said...

Excellent recommendation Mike. "Deliver Us from Evil" is one of those films that few people saw (I think it was overshadowed by the unrelated but also church /religion doc "Jesus Camp"). The fact that journalist/director Amy Berg manages to get O'Grady to speak so candidly is both eye opening and fear inciting.

mike rot said...

'Deliver us from Evil' was the last time I actually cried in a theater, no small feat for me. It hurt me in a way I didn't even know I was vulnerable (I am not even Christian, and for the most part am a jaded realist about most things). When I showed it to my wife on dvd, we actually had to stop it a couple of times, and her reaction was the same as mine, and even after a second viewing that emotional impact remained.

I enjoyed Jesus Camp, 'Deliver' is not a film you enjoy, it is something that, at least for me, changes you. O'Grady has become a symbol of recognition for me of the kind of dissociative evil that lurks in the world, individual and corporate.

Kurt Halfyard said...

Wow! Strong words. We should put this on the voting agenda for Episode #5! I've not seen in personally, I recall reading a bit about it at release time. But I'm all about a movie that engenders and walloping emotional punch in a thought out intelligent and thorough manner. That is actually quite rare these days (and those days too!)

mike said...

my interest would be to see how everyone deals with the question of whether or not 'Deliver' is a great film, because like I said technique is overshadowed by content, and may make some interesting debate as to what you value in cinema.

Marina said...

And "Deliver" certainly does that. I'm not sure if Jay's seen it yet but I'd love to get his take on it.

Kurt Halfyard said...

Pssst. I'm a total sucker for formalist technique. A movie like MILLERS CROSSING (and much of the Coen Brothers library) has always 'done it' for me when they have left other cold for their highly stylized technique. Gus Van Sants 'death' trilogy I charish, likewise Peter Greenaway's THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE, AND HER LOVER or for that matter 'icy' filmmakers like Kubrick, Haneke and wkw.

mike said...

'Deliver' is very conservative with technique, if you are approaching the work with a technique-oriented aresenal of criticism you will find lots to criticize. But I guess what I am interested in seeing is who among you can attest to 'something else goin' on' in the film... who feels it 'despite' these drawbacks.

I don't dare claim there is some objective quality that everyone must see in it, I just wonder who relies on technique to discount the importance, and who can wrestle with the moral issues of the film head on.

I am of the habit of thinking of technique as a catalyst for the story, the real sweet meat of a film is the story, I can scarcely care in what way it gets to me if ultimately it affects me. I mean it is interesting but it is not the determinating factor of value, at least not consciously. you can have great technique, that could earn a place in the cult museum of technique, and still feel disconnect from the actual story. I treat 'acting' the same way, there are some great showy acting but my opinion of great acting is when I hardly notice it and all there is is the character.

btw, I guess as this is a thread about this episode of the podcast I should say I really enjoyed gimme shelter, and I wrote a lengthy comment on Jay's documentary blog about 'cinema verite', and how I think people Like Herzog too easily discredit it as artifice when I think it denies our ability to appreciate art on multiple levels simultaneously, that the 'performance' element of the verite subject in front of the camera is part of the reality, that we understand, there is still that raw moment before you. a lot of cinema verite takes long uninterrupted passages to show reality, and I think there is really something to say about 'reality' being captured in them.

Kurt Halfyard said...

Two more suggestions for Next Voting Cycle (Episode #5) that are a tad more controversial - Cannibal Holocaust from Jay for the dicussion this would generate. I nominate Punishment Park by Peter Watkins although I'm not sure we are ready for another counter-culture doc after Gimme Shelter, the intensity and 'fakery' going on here is a wicked combo.

TheSnowLeopard said...

I would like to hear a discussion on Straw Dogs.