EPISODE 469: MOVIE TITLES

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30 Responses

  1. monolith94 says:

    When I think of the title “Brazil” I think of the Kink’s album “Arthur,” more specifically the song Australia. Brazil is a song about a place faraway from Britain, an idealized vacation spot, a place in the British mindset as fundamentally different from foggy, grey, damp England. It allows the status quo to continue because hey, if it is really that bad, there’s always Australia to go to, or Brazil. It ties in with a lot of the propaganda posters that you see in the film. Of course, it’s a cruel distraction. We’ve seen with the recent Syrian crisis what it takes to get people to move en masse from one country to another: civil war and mortal danger. The sort of blasé horror depicted in the film does not cross the threshold into immanent danger in the minds of most people who live there.

    I really wish you guys would post the bp movie journals so we could comment on those as well. I wanted to comment on how I’m glad you guys turned me on to Kansas City Confidential. As someone who’s interested in film history I really enjoy hearing your reactions to great old movies. Filmspotting’s “blindspotting” episodes are always my favorite of those. It was hard for me to believe that David hadn’t seen The Man With a Movie Camera full-through until recently! And now I find out that he hasn’t seen Grand Illusion? I’d love to hear you guys respond to the Adventures of Prince Achmed as well.

  2. Juhani Kenttä says:

    Only Lovers Left Alive is a recent favorite title of mine.

    Regarding Apocalypse Now, the title was something John Milius had come up long before writing actual screenplay. He saw people protesting the Vietnam war wearing buttons that had a peace sign and the text Nirvana Now on them. Milius noticed that when turned sideways, the peace sign kind of looked like a fighter jet. So he modified the sign a bit and wrote Apocalypse Now on his button.

  3. Scott Nye says:

    Four things on movie titles:

    1) DAYS OF THUNDER – I know I’m the only person who likes this movie, but that’s an incredible title.

    2) Films noir have a reputation for great titles, and granted, they often are, but so many of them are so interchangeable as to lose all meaning entirely.

    3) Speaking of interchangeable, Ozu’s habit of naming films for seasons, or periods of seasons (LATE SPRING, EARLY SUMMER, etc.), made for some great titles, but just try recommending any of them to anyone ever. No thanks.

    4) I recently saw a movie called YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY, and all other titles lose forever.

  4. dbsweeney says:

    Your discussion of ‘Chinatown”s title as referring to a geographical location in the film reminded me of an anecdote (which you may already know).

    Robert Towne’s original draft never had any scenes set in LA’s Chinatown but just had the famous exchange:
    ‘What did you do in Chinatown?’
    ‘As little as possible.’

    Originally Towne just wanted the title to be a metaphorical reference (much like ‘Brazil’) to a ‘state of mind’ or state of confusion.

    I now defer to the *quality* reference that is Wikipedia, which states that:

    ‘He [Towne] took the title … from a Hungarian vice cop who had worked in Chinatown and explained to the writer that the complicated array of dialects and gangs in Los Angeles’s Chinatown made it impossible for the police to know whether their interventions were helping victims or furthering their exploitation.’

    It was Polanski who set the conclusion (indeed, famously rewrote the entire ending) in the geographical location as he thought the film’s title may otherwise confuse viewers.

  5. Dan Roy says:

    I’m surprised you guys didn’t mention the original title of Legend

  6. Alexander Miller says:

    Out of the Dollars Trilogy I think For a Few Dollars More is my favorite (not being contrary) it’s a terrific film that straddles that perfect line between epic and regular scope.

    Morricone’s score might not be as iconic as Good the Bad and the Ugly but it’s amazing, and in my opinion one of his best.

    And I agree, Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is some of Roger Deakins best work.

    Great use of the word “bloviating” Tyler, and David, you owe it to yourself to see Grand Illusion!

    Great show!

  7. Beth says:

    Here is the real bit from 30 Rock about Krang (because we can always use more 30 Rock)
    https://youtu.be/Oq-HMmiqitU

  8. João says:

    I love the english language translation of Bergman’s 1961 masterpiece, THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY. I have no idea if that’s what the original title means, but this translation just sounds great, and works very well for the movie.

    “4) I recently saw a movie called YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY, and all other titles lose forever.” — that’s one of my favourite titles. I also like THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS WARDH, by Sergio Martino as well, and I even think it’s a better movie. These titles just let us know from the start how sleazy they’ll get.

  9. Jon Munn says:

    I’m pretty sure that “Feeling Minnesota” comes from lyrics in the Soundgarden song “Outshined”: “I’m looking California, but feeling Minnesota.” Agree that it’s not a good title, but I think that’s its origin. Great episode, btw!

  10. Wood's Hole Oceanographic says:

    Monolith94 has it right (above)about the escapist nature of the song Brazil. At the end when Sam has been finally broken and “..got away from us Jack”, he is left bound to the chair with a dopey, happy and wistful smile on his face and he gently hums ‘Brazil’ echoing up the cooling tower. What could be plainer?

  11. andy says:

    There’s a gillion films starting with ‘The’ but I’ve always been very fond of ‘The Fountain’. That and ‘Battletruck’

  12. max says:

    You guys have twice made reference to the comment section for your last BP episode, which briefly concerned Tyler’s neighbor. See BP Movie Journal 3/10/16 and BP Episode 469: Movie Titles. Is this going to be a thing? Is this going to become like the need to mention that you went to Columbia College in Chicago whenever you have a guest, as if that is noteworthy? Listeners had to suffer through that bullshit for like 5 years. We still have to deal with the fact that Tyler doesn’t know how to ask a guest a question. Please don’t make some vapid internet comments a thing (even if they unequivocally demonstrate the nonsensical nature of David’s opinion).

    And please watch “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” I think that no movie is a better exploration on what it means to make a choice. It would be a great film to discuss within the context of your forthcoming episode about movies concerning the Cold War. I recommend watching the movie with the wives. Like “The English Patient,” chicks dig “ULOB.”

    • Battleship Pretension says:

      Uh… thanks for listening?

      • Nick says:

        Sorry for douches like this. The show’s fantastic, and we all (hopefully) appreciate the many hours of entertainment. Talk about whatever you want!

        • max says:

          Nick, they hold themselves out as critics. They should be able to deal with a little criticism. If I’m douche then all critics are douches. They’ve shit on plenty of filmmakers to make their little shows. They can deal.

          • Dan Roy says:

            Is this criticism or just expressing how much you hate these guys five years strong? “Think of the shitty filmmakers!”

          • Max says:

            Dan, there is no sport in listening to people with whom you like and agree? That’s just masturbation. “You are so right… So big… Your opinions are so insightful and important… My inner goddess is about to sway in a gentle, victorious samba. Yup. That’s the spot.” To be fair though, writing in comment sections is also just masturbation without the cleanup. “My thoughts are so witty… My vocabulary so engorged… They’ll all think I’m important… They’ll all think I’m important. My inner goddess is about to do the dance of the seven veils. Amen.”

          • Ryan says:

            Wow. What is even happening? Did I accidentally stumble into the YouTube comments?

  13. Nick S. says:

    With all due respect to Tyler, the worst movie title ever is “A Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia.”

    I’m pretty sure I’ve already posted a similar comment on this site, but I don’t care. Never forget.

  14. Scott Nye says:

    For bad titles, I’m especially fond of Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season.

  15. Ryan says:

    Awful titles include “The Constant Gardner”, which just makes me think Ralph Finnes is forever puttering around with his begonias, and “Infinitely Polar Bear” which is grammatically grating and far more cutesy than “Me Earl and the Dying Girl”.
    The best Simpsons movie joke was when Lisa saw a billboard for the “Yahoo Serious Film Festival”, and said “I know all those words, but that sign makes no sense”.

  16. Ray (@RaySquirrel) says:

    BLADE RUNNER

    That is a great title, because you don’t know what it refers to. It sounds enticing, it sounds dangerous, and it makes you want to see the film it’s attached to.

    You may know the story of how that name came about. The film was originally going to be called ‘Dangerous Days’ which is the most generic title you could imagine. You couldn’t name the film after the book, ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’, because that makes it sound like a science fiction comedy. The name ‘Blade Runner’ came from a rejected sci-fi script written by William S. Burroughs, about a future where people smuggle illegal medical equipment.

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