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Thelma and Louise Transcript

To listen to the podcast visit https://www.thecinephiliaclounge.com/podcast/ep-4-thelma-and-louise/

Pat:

Welcome to The Cinephiliac Lounge. I’m Pat O’Connell

Scott:

and I’m Scott Kilroy.

Pat:

And we’re two guys who like to talk about movies over a couple of drinks today. We’re talking about Thelma and Louise Scott. Could you give us a brief breakdown of the film?

Scott:

Sure.  Warning spoilers ahead. Directed by Ridley Scott and written by Callie Khouri.  Thelma and Louise tells the story of two women who tried to go on a fishing trip only to be forced to be on the run from the law. When Thelma is almost raped and Louise shoots and kills the wood be rapist, the two have various misadventures while attempting to avoid the police with the goal of sneaking into Mexico. Eventually the two find themselves being chased by the local police, as well as the FBI, rather than surrender the two decide to drive off a cliff to their deaths. 

Before we get into the movie, pat, what are you drinking tonight?

Pat:

I am drinking something I was unaware of. It was a recent gift from my friend Blake. It is Michter’s small batch, Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.

Scott:

Oh, I’ve had that. That’s good.

Pat:

Yeah. It’s distilled in small batches, according to the Midwest pre-revolutionary war quality standard dating back to 1753.  91.4 proof. I’m going to try this baby for the first time. Let’s see the nose.  Well, I guess it’s kind of like a Amber color, like most bourbons, the nose kind of light the smell smells like corn subtle.  I’m going to take a nice little swell here. Kind of like a honey and vanilla. And I guess it’s got to get it subtle, but it’s got a little heat and spice at the end. Like a little peppery. 

Scott:

Nice.

Pat:

Yeah, definitely liking it. What do you, uh, what are you drinking today?

Scott:

I’m drinking something new today as well. I’m drinking 1792, small batch bourbon. It’s produced by the Sazerac company for the Barton distillery. It comes in a bottle that looks like it should hold perfume. And it’s at 93.7 proof and its tagline is, goes well with ambition. So let’s see if that’s the case, the color it’s got a kind of straw golden caramel color. Nose,  I’m getting a lot of vanilla and a bit of Carmel taste. Wow. There’s a lot of rye spiciness in this and I’m also getting some caramel and the finish is vanilla and a lot of rye.  It kind of reminds me of Buffalo trace, but it’s a little more subdued overall. Not, not bad, but nothing really stands out. There’s also a 12 year expression and a single barrel expression that I was unable to find, but I’ve heard those are a little better. I also find it funny that I’m not a big fan of rye, but he gives me a high rye content bourbon, and I really ended up liking it.

Pat:

I, uh, I, I’m very deficient on anything rye.   I think that’s the next thing I got to try it. I got to try some kind of rye bourbon.

Scott:

Yeah. It’s not bad. I just ended up going back to bourbon is what I find. So what were you drinking during the movie?

Pat:

Okay. So the movie, I was a little bit all over the place. I was just drinking coors, when I was drinking because I watched it. I watched the film a couple of times and I watched the film with have the DVD. So I watched a couple of times with commentary that one with the stars Susan Sarandon ran and Geena Davis and the screenwriter Callie Khouri.  And then I had one withRidley Scott. So I had sat down with this movie a couple of times and so had my typical just go to Coors or whatever beer drinking. Then one night I was like, oh, you know, I want something nice. And I, for whatever reason, not that it goes with the film at all. I made a vodka martini with olives. And then at some point I was like, you know, this movie, what I should have been drinking was either some sort of tequila, everybody drinks, Miller.  Well, most of the bad men drink Miller.  Miller is a big part of this movie. So Miller or  tequila. But the thing that surprises me and I’d forgotten, cause it seems to me many times before was Jean Gina Davis. She’s obsessed. She gets obsessed and just starts drinking wild Turkey throughout the film. So at some point when I was watching it, I, I, I had to, I went and dug up what I had left of the, uh, wild Turkey 101. So I was drinking that with the movie.  What about you?

Scott:

I was drinking something new for me as well as the small batch bourbon I’m trying now I tried something called green spot. I don’t know anything about Irish whiskey. I’ve only had Jamison’s, but this is a new Irish whiskey that just came out and it got a lot of really good reviews. I saw it in the store. I was like, I’m going to give it a try. And I have to say, it’s pretty good, very different than bourbon. It’s really smooth has some really nice flavors, but they aren’t in your face. I definitely want to review it like for real in a in a future podcast.

Pat:

Sounds good. I only had Jamison myself. So yeah, that sounds pretty awesome. We should definitely, definitely do it for a future episode.

Scott:

Yeah. And Jameson’s not bad. It’s just, it’s kind of run of the mill. I don’t, I don’t think there’s a lot of flavor in there. So I just always had this impression of Irish whiskeys as being kind of boring but that’s not the case apparently.

Pat:

Okay. Well, I’m going to take another swell of a Michter’s, small batch pre-revolutionary war recipe, and then let’s, um, let’s dive in.

Scott:

So do you remember where you saw this first?

Pat:

I looked through my archives. You know, we had a conversation earlier about how I have a lot of stuff. I have a lot of stuff. Just ask my wife who often gets annoyed with just how much space I take of this apartment with my junk. And I could’ve sworn, I had a newspaper ad to try and look to, to remind myself of the actual theaters that I saw as it cannot. But I definitely saw some at the movie theater. I saw it many times. I think I saw it four times. I saw this, I think as many times as a tombstone, which was about four times, I think most of them were all in Brooklyn. Don’t know. But I do know for certain, I mean, I might’ve saw it at the Marlboro theater, which no longer exists, which was on Bay Parkway. I saw almost all eighties films there because I lived at the time four blocks away from it.  So I was happy as a pig and that I would only be four blocks away from the theater. I lived at that theater, but as I there, or there’s another theater on 86th street, which was also gone, which was called the Oriental. But I definitely know the last time I saw this film on the big screen was it was at Sheepshead bay at the UAE theater there. And this is definitely a film that needs to be seen on the big screen because the landscaping, the landscape and the scope of the film, it really adds to the majestic quality, especially by the end of the film. If you see it on the big screen, when did you see it? Did you get to see it on the big screen?

Scott:

I’m really embarrassed to admit this. I haven’t seen it until two weeks ago. I totally missed this. When it came out, I don’t know why I wanted to see it. I remembered making plans to seeing it and they fell through. And the next thing I knew it was out of the theaters and I, I had not ever seen it until you recommended it to me.

Pat:

Oh, well, that certainly happens. No one could get to it all. Now there’s plenty of films. Same as for, for me. I thought, you know what a Ridley Scott fan, what a mark I am for him. So I had to see this on the big screen.

Scott:

No, I understand. I wish I had seen it on the big screen. It looks great. And it’s, it’s kind of a departure for him. I don’t think I can think of any other movie he’s done that looks like this.

Pat:

Yeah. The cinematography did this. Adrian Biddle was the cinematographer. Very good. And again, it, it really, it, you really can see it when it, when it’s on the big screen, I watch it on DVD. I’m like, oh, I need, I need a 4k restoration or a 4k on this movie because you know, the watch on DVD. And I’m like, ugh, like watching on Laserdisc, which I own this movie on laserdisc. Of course. Yeah. The cinematography on this film is fantastic. It, everything.  All Ridley Scott  and Tony’s Scott films, whether they’re good or bad, they always look polished and great. They always have great cinematographers. And yeah, this film is really beautiful. It’s done so well, the stuff that they had to do to light certain sequences, they had shots of them. There’s a lot of night shots in this film where you’re there, they’re driving and you see it’s all the trucks and highway. They had to have cars with lights on the cars to follow the cars so that the cars could be lit as well as they are.

Scott:

Oh Wow. That’s interesting. Yeah. The towards, I don’t want to jump around too much, but towards the end, there’s all those scenes where they’re in the, they’re in the canyons that are just lit beautifully. I mean, it just, I just imagine as the cinematographer, it must’ve been an equal part hell, but like fascinating and like really fun to like those scenes. 

Pat:

No, absolutely. 

Scott:

So one of the things I wanted to mention, I was looking into the, kind of the notes about the making of this movie. Ridley Scott didn’t want to direct it at first.

Pat:

Callie Khouri, this is her first scriipt and she had a friend. I think she had a friend, someone brought it to scot-free productions and he initially they brought it to them. Her friend got it too to scot-free to see if they could find someone that might be interested for foreign backing financial backing.  And then they read the script and like, this is actually kind of good and then really read it. And he was like, this is really good. And he decided he wanted to produce it. And he was looking for directors and stuff like that. And in the there’s a making of, on the DVD. And he explains that he spoke to a lot of different people. Some of them, some directors, he just felt did not get the material. There were some people that he seriously considered. I know that Richard Donner was kind of in lead wouldn’t, you know, Richard Donner would have done a fantastic job as well. Cause he’s done plenty of fantastic movies.

Scott:

Yeah, That would have been really interesting. Am I in my notes, that was the that’s underlined Richard Donner.

Pat:

Richard Donner can do the man can do action. Uh, you know, the guy did lethal weapon, doing Thelma and Louise, the film would have been, would have been good. It would have been funny. It would have been action packed. We certainly do a great, great job know guy did Superman. He did countless movies. I think, I think what you said before that Ridley at some point said in the documentary that people kept asking him or people were leery, I thought was funny. People really were like, this is so great. Why don’t you want to direct it yourself?  xAnd so at some 0.1 of the actresses that he was talking to said the same thing, and he just kind of said, okay, you know what, maybe I should, maybe I should do this. And Ridley Scott proved with alien and blade runner and legend. He does a man who could he create a world, a foreign world, a future world, an alien world. He can do that. This film showed that he could make the American landscape seem at once entirely familiar because they filmed parts of this. They filmed, they didn’t actually make the journey that the characters do in the film. They shot a lot of it in like Bakersfield, California, and near LA. They did shoot in Utah. They shot in Moab desert, which is close to monument valley. So a lot of the stuff at the very end of the film feels, feels familiar because it is, we’ve seen those locations and countless other films, especially westerns.  And that lends something to the film itself, using those locations in Utah. But the fact that he was an Englishman who did this American road picture, his perspective was a little bit different. And he, he really focused and was inspired by things that an American and American director might not think twice about like telephone poles. He went on to say that, you know, he was fascinated by these long stretches of telephone poles, but even by 91, so much of them had been gone and he found this one strip that is a shot in the film where it’s kind of like kind of hazy, but you see, you know, this stretch of telephone poles on either side for, as far as the eye can see, he worked really hard to find that location to get that shot.

Scott:

Oh, interesting. Okay. Very cool. Yeah, it definitely has, has a Western feel to it by the way I was looking at who they were, some of the original cast that were considered really weird. I don’t know if you looked at that.

Pat:

I did the, you want to bring up some of the names cause I saw we have some notes that we talked about. You had some names, but I had another set of names that you might not know about. So you go first.

Scott:

Okay. So the ones that I found out about were Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster, which should, that’s like the most realistic of them that I found. I found another another, uh, they were considering Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, which I honestly can’t envision that at all.

Pat:

Yeah. Both of those would have been very different films. And it’s interesting that Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster is a weird mix. It could’ve worked. What’s especially interesting about that is that fell through, right?

Scott:

There were scheduling conflicts or something. Yeah.

Pat:

But Jodie Foster then went on to do silence of the lambs instead, which came out the same year as Thelma and Louise and all three Jodie Foster and Gina Davis and Susan Sarandon. And we’re all up for best actress awards at the Oscars. And she wound up winning for Silence of the Lambs. So it’s very, very interesting that it fell through for, and yet wound up the way that it did sounds a lamps, phenomenal movie as well. So yeah, I think, I think it worked out the best it could for film.

Scott:

Yeah. I think you’re right. So who were some of the people you heard about?

Pat:

The interesting thing that I came across was Callie Khouri, uh, the audio commentary and in the making of, she talks about how she, initially you have to give it to her. This was her first screenplay. So talk about hitting that out of the park first time at bat because the script is, is great. She, but when she brought it to, when they brought it to Scott free, the whole idea was that she was looking to get some backing because she wanted to direct herself and in the commentaries and making of, you could see that it kind of still eats at her a little bit because she brings up, oh, you know, I wouldn’t do it. If I would’ve done it, would’ve been very different though. I would never have had that money. Like in the auto commentary, every time something comes up, just like you see, you see how many, like jet helicopters and that jet, if I had done it,  that wouldn’t be, I wouldn’t be able to do that same. Cause I wouldn’t have that money. I wouldn’t have that money. But the thing that she brought up is she was thinking Holly Hunter and Francis McDormand. 

Scott:

Huh. 

Pat:

Which that would’ve worked, that

Scott:

Would have worked. Yeah. I’ll give it to you that that definitely would have worked

Pat:

The film as it stands, I think works beautifully with the two actresses that got the parts. Both of them, both of them are, are great in the film. They’re fun. They’re smart. They’re on point everything. It’s so moving, it’s bizarre in the sense that it is, this, it is a very, it is a very, it is on the one hand, a very mainstream film. Right. Right. But on the other hand, it’s not in the stuff that attends, you know, one of the things, one of the things that I liked about the film and was this movie at its heart, this is a seventies movie and I love seventies movies. I, this is a seventies film that’s wrapped in a glitzy nineties mainstream package. It does not a Hollywood ending for that night for that time period. 

Scott:

Not at all. 

Pat:

It was a seventies film ending.  And I, I adore seventies films because of how gritty, fun and fucked up and depressing many of the films of the seventies are. But I, I re I really respond to that. And it’s funny when I told, I told some people that we were doing or had conversations about doing this film for the podcast. And I brought it up to a friend of mine, George, and also Gina. They were, they were a little shocked or taken aback that when I said that I, that I love this movie. I don’t know why it was like, really like, kind of like confused, like really that movie. I’m like, no, it’s great. Yeah. I mean, it looks phenomenal. It’s like, why wouldn’t you understand that? I mean, I’m a Ridley Scott Guy, uh, and this is Ridley Scott. And, uh, going back to what we were saying, this is Ridley Scott , visually being the visual stylist that he always in, his always is in his films. And that helps to elevate the material to a certain state. If it had been done as a smaller film, like Callie Khouri had envisioned the issues of the sociological issues, the feminist issues or concerns that the film has problems and issues that they’re addressing, they would all still be there, but it would feel very different.

Scott:

Yeah. Yeah. I have trouble imagining how would, you know what she was, she imagined the movie would, it was going to be because it just works so well is what it is. And it’s really funny. It’s one of those movies when I was writing the synopsis for it, the plot for this is actually kind of Elegant. Like it’s simple, but like in an elegant way, you know what I mean? Like it, it’s not convoluted at all. It’s, it’s, it’s very much like in the, in the vein of a typical buddy road movie,

Pat:

Absolutely. It is a buddy road film. It is a outlaw film just happens to have two women in leads. Instead of the typical two men. As I said before, it feels like a seventies film. The premise, the plot that you have a Thelma is this childish, innocent, naive housewife whose husband Daryl is a philandering asshole to her. And Louise has her like waitress best buddy. And they go to the Hills, have eyes. They go, they, they, it, not exactly horror, but they, they go to, to have a weekend getaway. And it turns into this whole other thing. And the mood, the mood does shift in the film. Like once they, once they go get a drink and they wind up at the silver bullet restaurant and the scene where the guy Harlan has gotten she’s drunk and dancing and kind of flirting or whatever. And then he brings her out and then he starts to try and like kiss her and make something happen.  It gets fucked up and scary. There is a moment where he’s hitting and you’re like this, it gets, it gets a little hard to watch.  And it’s amazing that they could do that. And then Louise stops them because Thelma has taken Daryl’s gun because she’s taken everything. But the kitchen sink with them, they need that for the story obviously. But the fact that it gets very dark because she stops him, you think that’s it. And he just has to push it and say like, she tells him in the future when a woman’s crying like that she’s not having any fun and he can’t help, but be an asshole. I was like, oh, I should have gone ahead and fucked her. And she just loses her mind is what you say and shoot him the fact that they are able to turn it and then you’re able to have comedy 10 minutes later is, and for it to feel organic is pretty amazing.

Scott:

Yeah, absolutely. And that it does turn, I, I did, like I knew about the movie, so I knew certain things were going to happen, but I was not prepared for her to shoot him at that point. I don’t know what I thought was going to happen, but I was very surprised when she, when she shot him, I was like, holy shit.

Pat:

Gina. I think Gina Davis describes in the, one of the making of our watch. She said that she, she would sneak into theaters in the back of, they just cause she, she was really, she was really psyched about this movie. She’s just like really loved this movie. She loved shooting it. She loved being part of it. She loved watching audiences react to it. And she said, she went to cannes with Ridley Scott and they’re showing the film and it’s just, it was quiet. And they started to get nervous. You know, maybe it is so quiet. We’re bombing here. It got to that scene. And when, when Louise shoots Harlan in the chest, the theater erupted at cannes, like they just lost their mind. So it, it certainly taps into a primal feeling for, for, for women and for men, if their heads are screwed on straight.

Scott:

Yeah. It’s really funny because looking at this and then looking at birds of prey, we’re like, we picked two movies where like there, well, this movie does have one good male character in it, which I’ll come to in a minute, but we pick movies where there’s really nobody. Um, and, and, and Thelma and Louise, of course, Hall Slocum played by Harvey Keitel is the only man in the movie that has any sympathy towards these women. Like her, any understanding of what they might’ve gone through.

Pat:

I disagree. You’re forgetting about Michael Madsen. Jimmy. Jimmy is the coolest ass cat.

Scott:

But yes, Jimmy is a cool ass cat, but he does not follow directions. He was told to leave the money. And this is something I didn’t catch this on the first, first watching, I caught this later, it’s not really spelled out, but he gives them up. They know that he brought them, he brought the women $6,000 because at one point Harvey Keitel’s character says when they catch JD and he’s got the $6,000 on him, he says, oh yes. Which Jimmy had told us he had brought the women so they could just skip to Mexico. So he’s not, he’s not as good of a guy as he is. You would think.

Pat:

Okay, point takent, I think I would have to rewatch it. I read, I watched deleted scenes and outtakes as well. And I, and they do have a scene of them interrogating Jimmy. And I think that they arrive at, I don’t want to go on record for the record. Anyone who’s a thumb Louise expert, please. Excuse me, if I’m incorrect. But I think in the, uh, one of the outtakes or the deleted scenes, they, the cops arrive at the they’ve figured out the amount of money that he’s found with corresponds to the amount of money taken out or something. Yeah. So I get what you’re saying.

Pat:

Yeah. The film, as it stands, you, you would have to think, well, yeah. You know, Jimmy, Jimmy is picked up by the cops and J D Brad Pitt’s character, J D is picked up by the cops. So they figured it out from the two of them. Yeah. But, but for the most part, he’s, he’s, he’s not a perfect character. He’s a flawed man, but he’s at, at his, it’s not like, 

Scott:

I know you’re saying 

Pat:

he’s, he’s not like a birds of prey where there’s no one there. I mean, there is not one man in birds of prey that it’s worth a fucking damn.

Scott:

No, no, I, I hear you. It’s he’s not that bad. It’s just, I dunno. I always any, any movie where there’s the law involved, I kind of slip into this like mode of, um, like I’m a character from Goodfellas or something like you don’t talk to the cops.

Pat:

Don’t fucking  rat you don’t rat snitches get stitches. Yeah,

Scott:

Exactly. So I saw, I saw Jimmy’s betrayal is I saw it as a betrayal, probably more than the normal person watching this movie would

Pat:

No, I hear ya. I hear ya. It’s a valid point. It’s a valid point. But he, he, he does go out. He does. He does. He tries to do the right thing. 

Scott: 

Fair enough. Yeah, he does. 

Pat:

He tries to do the right thing.

Scott:

 By the way, I got to mention one side note, as you know, I know the listeners probably don’t know, but as you know, I’m a huge Harvey Keitel fan love him and everything, but God he’s trying that accent out. It was killer. I don’t know where the hell he was supposed to be from, but he was, it was like Brooklyn, by the way of the deep south.

Pat:

No, it’s just like when he did a last temptation of Christ where everybody was just like, yeah, yeah. It’s 2000 years ago. But we talked like this. That’s how we talked to 2000 years ago in  Jerusalem. It’s the thing I get what you’re saying.

Scott:

But he was great. I mean, I love Harvey Keitel he’s, you know,

Pat:

There’s a sequence in there which cracks me up that is completely hidden. Well, two things in the scenes where he’s laughing at Chris MacDonald being Daryl that’s really just him laughing like yeah. Chris MacDonald was apparently cracking Harvey Keitel, the fuck up  in this movie and Gina Davis, it seems like everybody loved everybody. Loved Chris MacDonald. And this movie Yeah. Gina Davis points out. I came across Gina Davis in the commentary. It talks about how, how good he is as Daryl and have fun or whatever. I think that they used to date, like they were like ex-girlfriend and boyfriend and wound up in this movie,

Scott:

But weird. Huh? Yeah. Cause said he’s a bastard in the movie. He plays a bastard in the movie. 

Pat:

It is interesting that Darrell is such a douche bag in the film. But the, as you said, the actor, everyone seemed to love. In fact, Ridley apparently loved to use accidents and privatization and really, really encourage a free, willing freewheeling air in the, with the actors. But apparently that scene where he comes out of the house to get into his car when he leaves Thelma in the morning, and then he kind of slips on the wood and he’s like, God damn it. I don’t need to in the morning. It’s like you get out of here by two, like three, not by two. That was the first take. He actually fell and like bumped his head pretty good. And everything that he said in that particular scene was completely ad-libbed. 

Scott:

Oh, that’s funny. 

Pat:

It seems completely like organic and was written or, or plant, but it absolutely was not. Oh, that’s

Scott:

Really funny. Yeah. Yeah. Hats off to him. I mean, he, he played a complete jackass, like you ha there’s no sympathy for that character at all. He’s like a jackass from the second he comes on the screen to the last thing he said,

Pat:

He almost redeemed. He almost seems like he gets it in that last shot towards the end of the film where they kind of Dolly into him, like about to cry in his living room next to that. Did you notice the set design? His movie is fascinating and amazing. He was about to say what he’s about to cry. He’s next to that. They have a lamp that have goldfish in it. Did you catch that?

Scott:

Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Pat:

And like, uh, in a seventies pinball machine, because like I said, this movie at its heart really is a seventies film. Yeah. Christopher McDonald, Christopher McDonald. I mean, everybody was, was great. I agree with you on Harvey Keitel kind of is a little bit of a stretch for him to be from Arkansas. Yeah.

Scott:

Just a little, but he, you know, that’s fine. I, I could accept it, you know? Sure.

Pat:

He, he does something, oh, there’s a couple of things. Uh, and I always do this where we talked for a little bit and then I re remind I’m reminded of something I want to go back to. There’s a sequence that he, speaking of happy accidents or improvisation, there was always, when he goes to, when Hal Slocum Havey Kietle’s  tells character breaks into Louise’s apartment, he checks there’s this whole thing about, have you seen the movie how fastidious Louise is and how everything has to be perfect and clean. And he like checks to see her table is like, you know, spotless and clean. And he looked and he picks up a photo and he said, and they’d always cracked me up. And apparently he totally ad-libbed it where he picked up a photo, which is really a photo of Susan Sarandon at that age, he says, happy birthday lady.

Yeah. And going, by the way, he reminded me of how obsessed I am with blade runner apparently, really is also because there’s a good portion of the commentary for Thelma and Louise where Ridley is talking about blade runner. Fascinating. Really? Okay. I’ll have to pick this up. Yeah. You have to listen to it’s great. But he talks about, because he talks about how much fun he had on this shoot. Like he’s like he really had a great time shooting this film. Like he, he, he, he was paranoid at how well it was going and how everyone was enjoying themselves. And he says like, it’s the complete antithesis of the set for blade runner. And the only reason why I’m bringing this up, because, you know, one I’m obsessed with blade runner, but two that sequence, when he picks up the photograph of Gina Davis and he was happy birthday lady, they do this audio thing of children laughing. So they kind of make you think, or you kind of hear, or there’s this weird, subtle thing of somehow hearing her as a child. And it something that he does in blade runner when Rick Dechert looks at Rachel’s photograph and for a split second, the photograph, the light moves like it comes to life and you hear sound the subliminal sound of what the experience was or what was going on at the moment when the photo was taken. And that’s also in Thelma, but he doesn’t touch upon that, which I also found fascinating.

Scott:

Oh, that’s a cool, that’s a cool effect too. Wow. Huh? Yeah. Oh, so one thing I did want to bring up JD Brad Pitt. Yeah. That was his first acting major role. As far as I know, I know he was in 21 jump street in the background, but I don’t think it was in any movies until this point.

Pat:

If memory serves correct. At one point they wanted, I think they wanted Michael Madsen to play the initially one of Michael Madsen to be Harlan and he was “I don’t want to play that guy”. And he got to play Jimmy and I may be messing this up. They had someone else in mind to be JD. I think I, I think George Clooney tried out for thar role.

Scott:

Okay. I had the notes I found was that it was originally going to be played by Billy Baldwin, which I guess, I don’t know, not a big Billy Baldwin fan.

Pat:

No. That my bread is buttered on that side or anything. But if you, if you’re going to talk about who’s man, prettier, Brad Pitt from then it’s gonna win. Okay. Yeah. And that sexy he gets with Thelma like Jesus and that six pack is ridiculous. By the way. I think Gina Davis, I think was abs was smitten with Brad Pitt. I don’t blame her. Yeah, sure. Why not? And there’s a, there’s a, in the making of, like Ridley Scott was like, oh, at some point he’s he’s like, oh, we gotta do this sexy love scene. And so he started interviewing body doubles and Gina Davis was like, what, why are these people like coming to your trailer or whatever. And Ridley Scott like describes as like, it was a very bizarre thing to cast it because it’s like, okay, well I was cast the body, but double it, it seemed like it was like weird.  It was like, oh yes. Um, would you mind taking off your shirts? And we see how you look naked. Right. Hollywood, baby Hollywood. But Gina Davis apparently was got hip to this. And she’s like, what are you doing? And he’s like, oh, I’m casting body double. And she’s like, you don’t need to do that. Well, hell no, I’ll do it myself. Probably because she thought that Brad Pitt was pretty attractive, you know? Yeah. Why the hell? Not when I saw the outtakes of stuff that they didn’t use crazy. I’d read something. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I read something really quickly. I think it was today. I came across that the outtakes of the sex scene, apparently once some sort of soft porn prize, I don’t know if that or not. Alright, we’ll have to look into that. Well, it must be explored.

Scott:

Yeah. We, we need to know the truth behind that.

Pat:

but I thought he was very good. He was perfect for the role. If you’re going to have, if you’re going to have the lone drifter guy that Thelma is going to be into it, he would have to be attractive. And you have to, it’s amazing in this film is it’s 1991. And at the end of the film, I wrote that down somewhere. But when the cops are chasing her, the FBI, you hear their date of birth. And even though the Louise very much seems much older and very much at the outset of the film, it’s very much a mother daughter relationship, even though they’re best friends with Louise and Thelma the only like a year apart. So there was a scene and watch it. And it seemed smooth many times, like I said, four times, at least in theater owned them. laserdisc own it on DVD.  I’ve seen this movie many times, but caught this time that it, or at sank in when JD asks or in the car, you know, he bought, at some point, he’s asking her, how come you, you know, you’re married, why don’t you have kids? She, she mentioned that she, she got married at 18 and she had been dating Daryl for four years. Right. So it’s like a seventies film. It’s like, oh yeah, I met him when I was a 14. And then we got married. So not really an emotionally or that makes that you could see that why she’s not as developed in her personality as maybe Louise is, if she’s been with Darryl since she was 14.

Scott:

Yeah. I, I got to tell you, there were points in the movie where I would get genuinely mad at her because she would just do something really dumb. And then I would have to kind of remind myself, wait, she’s really sheltered.

Pat:

She’s really sheltered. She’s really naive. I mean, I, I agree with you, uh, everything transpires in his film because,

Scott:

Because she does stupid,

Pat:

She, she continually does stupid things or stupid, naive make stupid and naive mistakes, which propels the, the, you know, the plot and the story forward. But if she had, if she had not done, if she had did one less mistake  movie, the, the end result could have been different.

Scott:

Yeah. Yeah. It was funny. Cause I, I kept going, it was, it was really funny. I would get mad at her and then I kept remembering. I don’t know if you ever heard Sam Rami talked about making movies and he said, you can’t have a movie unless someone does something stupid. Yeah. I guess, you know. Yeah. And I was like, yeah, I guess, I guess I kind of tracks,

Pat:

Well, this movie, she does several stupid things.

Scott:

Leaving the money with JD was hard for me to like forgive her for

Pat:

Yeah. That was, that was one expensive orgasm, $6,600 worth. But it seemed like by judging by her face, when she goes to see Louise at the diner right after, I guess it was worth it, I guess. So, um, what else, what is it about

Scott:

It might be jumping around too far, but I could tell you one thing I didn’t like about the movie, the end were turned into the Dukes of hazard for a few minutes. Like the car chase, where the cop cars are just crashing and

Pat:

You don’t like that. 

Scott: 

I didn’t think it needed it. 

Pat:

I, I didn’t mind it. I enjoyed it. First of all, it looks, it looks great when they’re going through and they clip that one cop car and uh, the, the side mirror goes flying and slow motion. It’s got some good shots in there. And the, the, the, the, that overhead kind of crane shot where you see them going towards the top of the screen, and then slowly you see the 14 cop cars trailing behind them as a way of, it’s a way of bringing action toward put another action sequence without having, um, people die or get shot at or something to explode. I didn’t mind it. 

Scott: 

Okay. No, fair enough. But, uh, but I love, I love smokey and the bandit . I could watch smokey and the bandit every day. That’s the, this goes back to what I said. This movie is a seventies film. See, that’s a seventies thing to do.

Scott:

Yeah, You got a good point. There it is. Right seventies.

Pat:

It is very seventies. And the, the, the, the extended chase sequence, the action sequence of cars, that is a very seventies thing. Smoking abandoned any number of things. And it also ties into other road, other road films that also have fucked up weird endings. And this is what I like. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen movie dirty Mary, crazy. Larry. No, that’s a good one. And vanishing point. It’s also an extended road movie. That’s ends up in a seventies. up ending. 

Scott:

Yeah, no, I haven’t seen that either. I do, but I, I’m not as versed on the seventies movies as you are. Oh God. I love,

Pat:

I love him. I just, the thing that’s amazing. The, the vain of seventies insanity is so rich. I’m still mining it. I I’m still come across. I still find, I still find seventies movies. I’ve never even fucking heard of before. I’m just like, holy. This is great. Love it, love it. Cool. But also the other way, that’s movies, very seventies, and I love it. And it’s there two sequences where it’s used very well is Zoom ins this movie brings back the seventies zoom because there’s a sequence when Thelma, it cost her six, $6,600 to have the orgasm and learn how to be, how to be how to Rob convenience stores and liquor stores from JD once discovered, and she can Louise loses it and she takes control. And it’s like, okay, I’m going to fix this. And she stops by roadside and you don’t see, you stay with Louise and she’s in the car and she’s been crying and she’s just all up.  And she’s now she’s in the passenger seat. You know, Thelma is the one who’s driving the story and the car now, and Louise, she takes lipstick and she’s about to like put it on. And she, she looks, she looks across the street to the house or whatever. And in the window, there’s this slows zoom-in of this old woman, two old women. Do you remember this? 

Scott: 

No, I don’t. This is weird. 

Pat:

Okay. So yeah, this, this scene always resonated with me and I loved it. I knew there was just something about it that I love. She’s Louise is sitting there and she just sees these two, a woman through a window, and it’s a slow zoom in not a Dolly zoom into them. And the old woman got a wig and she’s kind of should look sad. And she kinda zooms in, and she kind of almost imperceptibly tries to smile at Louise it’s, it’s a haunting shot and you don’t need it.  You don’t need it. You could take it out. And someone would, but it, it adds it layers something to the film. And I always, after watching so many times, I always thought of it as Louise looks, she almost sees into the future because she’s, she sees two women. And you almost think like, oh, this is what Louise, if they didn’t, if they didn’t have this happen to them. And they went back to fucking bumfuck Arkansas, where they were, and she went back to asshole Daryl, and she went back to not, you know, to, to, to being just dating Jimmy for another 10 years, they would wind up being these two old women with too much makeup, just like sad, lone would empty lives. And she, when she added to that, then she goes to put on lipstick and she like, looks, she just gives, and she throws the lipstick away. 

Scott:

Oh, wow. I got to watch this again. I kind of remember the scene, but it didn’t have that effect on me that it did on in

Pat:

You. And they build upon that scene in my opinion later. And we’ll get to it about when Louise start has that barter sequence with the old man for her jewelry, for the hat kind of thing. And it continues on something that when we start talking about themes and motifs, that I’ll touch upon, but it certainly builds the movie that the script is very good because they didn’t change the script. They didn’t bring other people. They didn’t. The only thing that happened is they cut stuff out, but they didn’t fuck with the script as it was, which is also very amazing and hats off to Callie Khouri. So, you know, they just nipped and tucked. They didn’t change anything, they just cut back. But so the zoom and the other time that the zoom in is used, and it’s also very important is at the end of the film, when they decide, fuck it, let’s just keep driving.  Right, right. You got FBI helicopters. There’s no way out of this. And they seventies, it. Let’s just drive. Are you sure? Yeah. And they, they have it’s that sequence, it shot beautifully. It’s great. Also the filming of that, they did two takes and they were losing the light and the, in the second take that he got and he’s like, okay, I think we got it. He said, cut. And Gina Davis, Susan Surandon claims that the sun literally went out. Like, it just like, it turned as soon as they were done shooting that sequence. Wow. She was like, it was almost like, it was like, it was meant to be. So it’s pretty fucking great. But that sequence we’re just like, okay, we’re going to do this. And she, she gives that beautiful. Non-sexual just like, like last kiss of life to her friend before they’re gonna drive off the cliff.  And when they grab each other’s hand, there’s the zoom into the hands. And then there’s a zoom into the original Polaroid that they took together, which also shows how much they trick there’s movies. When I get two themes and motifs transformation is a very big part of this film. And you see that what’s supposed to be that first Polaroid that they take at the beginning of the film, which is used for the poster and also the stuff for the marketing of the film. And you see a zoom in, as you see that one photo fly out of the car. So there’s actual, there is a piece of remnant of the legend of Thelma and  Louise that that will stay with history in that photograph. So he uses zoom ins for important, very subtle and psychological things like with the old women, but then for very important things at the very end of the film, love the Zoom in.

Scott:

No, I totally caught the end of the film. I did not catch the thing with the old woman, but yeah, I, I totally see what you’re getting at with the at the end.

Pat:

The other thing is there’s so much in this movie that I like, and I mean, it, it is a female buddy road movie, and it does, it has a very modern Western feel. You know, there are two female Desperados on the run, New Mexico. And I also like it has important and relevant issues and a modern feminist feminist perspective, but it never, it never succumbs to being militant or a diatribe whatsoever. Oh, it managed to keep a balance. It keeps an amazing balance between being serious and being funny and always being entertaining, always looking gorgeous. The movie looks gorgeous and the editing is amazing. There’s, there’s a sequence. Uh, I love this. The editing sequence, the editing in this film is fucking spot on as is the there’s is the score. Um, you gotta give a shout out to Han Zimmer who has become one of my favorite guys.  He’s always does solid work, but he does an early one by him. And it’s great. The score that he did. And, but going back to the editing, uh, Tom noble at the film, and there’s a sequence that I particularly like where following that sequence, I talked about the two old women and she throws the lipstick way. And then Thelma comes running like Louise draft, get the help. Cause she’s just fucking  robbed the place she jumps in. And just like, what the do you? She’s like, I robbed. And she’s like, oh my God. And she’s like, well, what you say? She’s like, well, I just walked there. And then I said, and then hard cut to Harvey Keitel or, you know, Hall Slocum and Daryl and Stephen Tobolowsky is max. The FBI guy. They’re watching the surveillance footage. Right. And Thelmar picks up from there. I was like that. I was like, that was great. I was like editing the editing, just added to the humor and advanced the storyline immediately. So well done with one cut.

Scott:

Yeah, that was very cool. 

Pat:

Oh, one Thing I wanted to talk about, what is, I said, what I liked about this film or find interesting is, and I may have said this before, but people, people are surprised that I, I, that I, that I love this movie so much for some reason. And, and even Gina I think was, was a little taken back, like, you know, w w you know, wanting to know why I respond to this. And I, and I came across a couple of things. Like I respond to this film because it is a film about regular blue collar people finding power and freedom from the chains that society has put on them. Not just, not just women, like it is about women. But what I responded to is th is, is that for people in general, I mean, that’s what people want. That’s what people find liberating and fun and outlaw films.

Pat:

In my opinion, it is that freedom. And then Callie Khouri, I saw it said something in the other commentary that pointed to that, or, or, or elaborated on what I thought, why I responded to this film so much. And she said, it is a way of finding outlaw, films are its way of finding justice in a world where there is no justice, which I thought was a very succinct way of, of putting it. Huh? You a part of the reason why I love this film so much, and then also Ridley also said something in an audio commentary that I was like, yeah, you know, that, that must, that must be what it tapped into me, he said that in a way, the film has a hugely attractive quality. He thinks because the story and the way the film came out, which is really about, 

Scott:

yeah, yeah. I could see that. Totally. 

Pat:

You know, we should talk about 1991 in general, when this movie came out, because there was something going on that year, there was, it was really a good year for strong female leads in action films. And reelers, you know, there are a bunch about escaping or eliminating abusive and dominating men see, have lists.

Scott:

Yeah. What came out. I don’t even remember what came out that year

Pat:

Looked into. Cause I remembered that obviously someone’s, the lambs came out and that definitely connected to this film between the Oscars Oscar race and the fact that Jodie Foster was going to be in Thelma and Louise at some point. But there are a number of films. There was that Sally field movie, not without my daughter where she’s trying to escape her abusive husband and they go back to Iran or something and she’s trying to escape from him. And then they had sleeping with the enemy. Remember that one?

Scott:

I didn’t see it, but I remember

Pat:

It. I’ve seen it on VHS back then. I’ve watched a lot of stuff, stuff that I would never bother with today. Just like, ah, I don’t have time for that, but yeah. So just leave it now without my daughter came out in January the night, sleeping with the enemy in February, then LA femme Nikita, luc besson film that came out March. And that was awesome. Yeah. That was a lot of fun. Yeah. I never bothered with the TV show, but the original film I loved, I saw that at the Angelica. I think that’s where I started to then. Oh, there was the Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, one mortal thoughts was also about Bruce wills as the asshole husband and her and her friend. I forgetting the actress at the moment, but then of course there was terminated to judgment day, which came out in July.

Scott:

Okay. That was a big one. 

Pat:

Yep. That’s the big one. And this wasn’t a big, you know, particularly big one, but it still fit into a woman action leader, vi warshawski with the, uh, Kathleen Turner film. 

Scott:

Oh, was that any good? 

Pat:

I saw it on VHS. I don’t think I saw it in the theaters on VHS. Do not remember a single fucking thing. Yeah. But, but whatever it is good or bad. Oh, here’s a funny one. I’m not even on my list, but I did see this. I actually put it in a paper. It did a paper for a class. So had fiction class called the female automatons and the scifi film. I examined blade runner metropolis cherry 2000. I don’t know if you know that one. No. Oh, of Melanie Griffith. It’s like a cheapo, like almost like straight to video kind of, but good low budget, independent film of a future where most men have robot girlfriends or wives and his, his cherry 2000 breaks down.  But in order to get parts, he has to go into the wasteland and he has to get a guide. And that guide is Melanie Griffith. Weird. Yeah. So that, and then the other film I included in the, in that paper was Eve of destruction was a  Gregory Hines film, where there was the female robot that looked human, but I don’t remember why, but for whatever reason she goes rogue and she has a nuclear weapon inside of her 

Scott:

as most robots would. Sure. 

Pat:

Most robots do. Yeah. And in case, I don’t know what was in the water in 1991, but I guess it was time for women that try and have their day, uh, at least on the big screen.

Scott:

Wow That’s really interesting. Yeah. I didn’t even realize silence of the lambs came out at the same year until we started researching Thelma and

Pat:

Louise. Yeah. When I love dons and lambs, it’s great. That also had a time versary that came out February 14th. Okay. There were a couple of notes ahead about some, some anecdotes behind the scenes stuff that I thought was, was interesting and then various other commentaries and the making of that was on the DVD. The car of course is very important there in that car for most of the film, the 1966 cream Thunderbird, the T-Bird convertible. They had a bunch of those, but one of them caught fire within the first couple of days of shooting three were actually thrown off the cliff and apparently two of them. And it’s funny in the commentary withSusan Sarandon and Gina Davis and Callie Khouri, they talk about it. They’re like, oh, I wish I could have one. Like, oh yeah. Well those two, what the Ridley sons. So Ridley Scott sons each got a 1966. T-Bird on it.

Scott:

Nice to be a nice to be one of his kids.

Pat:

Yeah The other thing, the other thing that was very interesting and it ties into the impact that the film had socially and culturally, but sexual politics of is it Ridley Scott, apparently the Earl, the gross can truck driver that, that they keep coming across. That’s driving in that giant phallic symbol, Chrome tanker truck. So his hat and his glasses Ridley, Scott bought them, both of those items from an actual trucker. Oh really? That’s what he claims. He claims he saw. And he’s like, I got to have that hat and he saw the glasses on some other guy and they didn’t find it. And he just, he bought it off some real truckers. So he’s wearing that actually what’s worn by truckers. That’s hilarious. Yeah. And then also, cause there’s a, there’s this looking at this time, the, you know, the, the Earl’s hat that she gets takes after they blow up the, the tanker and it’s kind of like a, you know, her, her trophy is the take his hat and they both have the, both of the women have sequences where they literally take the hat like a symbol power from a man.  One is done by one is done by bartering purposefully, and one is done violently. So the, the truck driver had both the tank and then Thelma grabs it when they circle around him Apache war path when they circle around with kick up dust. But his hat is interesting because it has an American flag and it has a pin of the mudflap girl that, that is on his back of his truck that they’re like, oh my God, why do they do that. But the, the American flag is, is on that hat. And there’s a sequence when Louise is walking, she, she gets off the phone with ranging with Jimmy, you got to wire me get me this money. And he tells her to go to the vagabond hotel and she’s walking and it’s just throwaway shot, but it’s just some random dude. And he’s got no shirt, totally gross, drinking them, drinking a Miller.  Cause all dudes drink Miller in his movie and he has the, he doesn’t have a shirt, but he does have an American flag bandana. So it’s these, all these weird things about America and asshole men are associated. Oh, weird. And there’s actually an article that you sent me last night and I was looking through it. It mentioned something like, oh yeah, that’s right. And in the sequence where they go to the diner, there’s a lot of the color scheme in the background or whatever. There’s a lot of red, white and blue. So there’s a little weird infusion subtle or not so subtle. But the other thing would say is, and it’s tied to another little anecdote that I thought was interesting is when they go to town and Louise, is she making the strips Jean strips to be like, almost like a BOLO tie and weting it down like a noose around her neck.   And she sees a really old dude sitting there and she walks over and she takes the jewelry or whatever she barters for his hat. So Louise gets a hat through divesting herself of the rings and jewelry and stuff like that. And Louis takes a man’s hat. His symbol of who’s wearing the hat in violence. But that dude, that all cute old like Muppet man that they, that she goes to, he doesn’t say anything. She just says, hello. That guy lived in that town, apparently where they shot it was a uranium mining town and he was 95 and had Scott said talking to him and he said he had stopped mining uranium at fucking 90. Wow. Stop. I just thought that that really tickled me pink.

Scott:

Yeah, it has. It has a long career, right? Mining uranium. Then it gets to be in a movie. Yeah, I bet.

Pat:

Oh, really. If you read other things like shoot a blade runner and how controlling he is and how he’s more, he was more concerned about visuals than anything else. He’s apparently it was very different on this set or at least people said he, that he had told you how he loved to use the accents and pressurization and Christopher McDonald. But he also would just, he would be inspired stuff that rastafarin did you see that’s on the bike that comes along and blow smoke into the trunk at the cop is trying to escape. That was not in the script whatsoever. He had seen a dude cycling through where they were shooting in the Moab desert and he just thought that was great. And he just added that in as a afterthought as just the joke. And this movie shows when he wants to, he’s actually quite good at comedy

Scott:

I mean, that’s, it’s hilarious. You know, you see the guy go over and you’re like, you’re not sure what he’s going to do. And they just blow smoke though.

Pat:

Yeah. I love it. It takes its time to get there too. Yeah, he doesn’t, he doesn’t go up to the car immediately. He’s just chilling, listened to good stuff. Every time I sat in a theater, everyone always laughed at the same beats and that was one of them. Yeah. That’s hilarious. There was a couple of things watching it this time. Oh. But one of the Ridley Scott and I don’t know. Have you ever seen Terrance Malik’s Badlands? 

Scott:

Oh yeah. Love Badlands. 

Pat:

Well, Ridley said that when he was doing this film, he very much related to while he was shooting and thinking of Terence Malik’s Badlands, which kind of makes sense. It’s they’re not exactly the same kind of film, but he brought up something about how, like, he, he was fascinated about how you could get people who are doing wrong things and yet still be so likable. You can get the audience to empathize in Badlands. They really, I mean, they killed her, the girl’s parents and yeah. So because in this film, if you want to be technical, they did, I think he deserved it, but they do kill. You know, you could say they killed Harlan and cold blood. She had stopped them. Yeah. It’s not exactly as vicious and crazy as as badlands. But I thought that was very interesting that he did. He was very much by and thinking of turns Malik’s Badlands.

Scott:

I could kind of see it. I could see that. And you’re right. They, I mean, Harlan wasn’t really a threat at that point. I mean, he was a threat earlier in the, in the scene, but at that point he was pretty much under control. He just had to be a wiseass and opened his mouth. And if he, if he kept his mouth shut, he wouldn’t have got shot.

Pat:

Yes. And it doesn’t excuse it, watching the film. And you realize towards the end of the film that the film tick gets to, in my opinion, it explains a lot of Louise’s behavior when Thelma figures out that the reason why she refuses to go through Texas is because she was raped in Texas. And once you know that something, and you could see that she’s still not, she still has not come to terms with it because she w she refuses to discuss the matter. Even with her best friend. She’s like, I’m not going to talk about that. And she shuts it down. Like immediately, she doesn’t have a whole like, crying. Like, she’s like, no, I’m not talking about this, but I feel that the movie and very subtle or not so subtle ways does explicitly talk about it once you know, that that happened to her and you watched the movie again, I caught some, what I thought were like, oh, that’s a telltale sign.  So him saying that and pushing her she’s lashing out because she’s still has never gotten over, which is completely understandable, but she’s never gotten over what happened to her in Texas. So it is understandable. At least to me, it wasn’t a, we’ll get to it later, not to some critics, but to me, and I think you, but there’s a lot, there’s a lot of stuff going on here that I like when I looked at it, this is, this is a, a female outlaw film. It’s a, it’s a buddy film, but in a lot of respects, it is a modern Western. And there are a lot of, uh, obvious and not so obvious illusions and nods to westerns like louise’s  outfit at the very beginning, when they’re getting to go, she’s going to meet, I’m going to pick her up to go on this fishing trip outfit is very Western.  She has, she has like a very Western bolt, Bolero jacket and shirt, neck tie. And, um, she’s a little more, she’s more dolled up in and gussied up. Then they become more natural as the film progresses, going to the t-shirt. But by the end film, she’s still just in a Thelma and Louise there almost like a lone ranger and Tonto because Louise always has those sandals, like moccasins sandals, and Thelma has the cowboy boots. Oh, right. Yeah. Or Louise Louise by the end is a cowboy. She’s got her hat that she bartered for. And she’s added the neck tie, Jean jacket  it strips and watered. And the cowboy hat and Louise is kind of like her chemo Sabi, but she’s also becomes much, you know, with her, with her t-shirt and hat, she becomes a trucker. Yeah. That’s a good point. The bar that they go to is the silver bullet bar.  When Lee’s, when JD wants to ask, if he could get a ride Louise saunters into the frame, and she’s got a Twizzler in the corner of her mouth, like the man with no name, like it’s a, cigarrillo. She gets a very Western hero swagger once they, uh, on the road and decided to make their way to Mexico and the whole, the whole fascination throughout the film, they are the train, the railroad, the sound trains always around. So, and like I said, circling the truck driver with their car, like an Indian war raid after they blow up his giant Chrome penis. I also come out of the things that there’s a real theme of either the inversion of sexual roles or confusing generals with family rules or changing roles, because a parent, child, wife, father, husband, they all get jumbled and reassigned in this movie a lot by action. Or the dialogue Thelma is very much, she’s very childlike and naive at the beginning of the film. I love that, that, that has a, she’s eating the candy bars. She keeps putting in the fridge like a child, like a child hiding the candy. She’s not supposed to be eating or almost like acting like if she’s gonna get in trouble between either Darryl or Louise and Louise asked them at the beginning, is he your husband or your father? And then later Thelma tells Daryl on the phone outright that he is her husband, not her father, and then tells him to go fuck himself.

Scott:

Yeah and she definitely differs to Louie, to Thelma, definitely differs to Louise a lot where she definitely is letting her make the decisions. Yes. So it is, it is very much like a child parent relationship until towards the end.

Pat:

Yeah. I’ve got it up until I would say up until JD steals the money because DAMA totally idolizes, the wheeze, you know, it was very much a mother daughter relationship, even though they’re like a year apart, Louise is like, get your feet off the, off the dashboard. And when she’s crying, she’s upset and has blood. She wipes her face down and she, she, she tries to like, you would a child when she’s upset and hotel, I’m just like, you know what, why don’t, why don’t you go? Why don’t you go take a swim? What that’d be great that we should get rid of her the adults are in Jimmy. The adults can talk a lot of weird stuff. Like Carlin asked Thelma, she’s like, oh, your name’s Harlan. I have an uncle named Harley like, oh, is he a funny uncle?

Scott:

So creepy. 

Pat:

Yeah. But yeah, there’s just a lot of versions of roles. You know, other with family of confusion is a lot of stuff where the adults are acting childish or being childish. And that goes across the board when JD is in the hotel room with her, when they do that hard cut. And he’s like jumping out, down, up and down on the bed, like a six-year-old. Right. Yeah. It’s just, there’s a lot of stuff between children and adults acting like children. The ties to that, that stuff ties into there’s a recurring theme of role-playing and transformations are also a big part or concern in the film. One of the things with the, because they play a lot with societal roles or gender roles of when men behave like children or women are behaving, women are acting like a man would, for instance, I love that shot.  When Thelma sees JD, they see G D J D for the second time. And he’s lounging on that thing with the, I don’t know if it was a sink or whatever, and there’s the house in the background that it’s a total homage to James Dean’s iconic shot in the George Stevens film giant. And it looks beautiful because really makes it look beautiful. But Thelma does that weird thing of, they refused to take them earlier in the film and they come across him again. And she kind of looks at Louise and she just starts doing that weird thing winter, like, oh yeah,

Scott:

I forgot about that. Yeah, that was weird.

Pat:

I think it is to, just to be funny, but, but then it also occurred to me watching this time. I was like, well, men are the ones that are typically referred to as being the hound dog or the dirty dog, like chasing after the opposite sex. And here is a scene where thumb is physically doing that because she’s, she’s begging her to pick up that hot dude by the side of the road by acting like a, like a old hound dog. Oh. And to go back to a saying about role-playing transformations, Thelma, she starts off. And she, when they first take off, she, she takes a cigarette which is not lit and plays act that she’s smoking a cigarette and Louise looks at her like ‘what are you doing?’  And she’s like, I’m Louise. Like she physically pretends to be Louie. So she pretends to be her. And then the funny part is that once she has good sex, and once she discovers that JD has stolen her money and fucked her over and Louise falls apart.  And it’s almost like when a kid sees like mommy or daddy crying and they’re like, oh fuck, like I gotta fix this. You know what I mean? Yeah. And that’s what happens. And she, all of a sudden, it’s like, don’t worry about it. I’m going to fix it. And then she’s the one yelling at her, come on, we’ve got to go. And she totally totally switched roles where she takes control and takes range because of what happened. And when she sees Louise lose it, she’s like, well, I have to step up. And she was drinking before that. But then after that is when you see her drinking and she actually smokes. Okay. Huh. But yeah. And JD, uh, in terms of role-playing JD pretends that he’s pretending to be a college student needing a ride. And then he tells Thelma there’s one line that really stood out to me.  He tells them, uh, when they’re at the vagabond hotel and he’s jumping up and down, like I said, like the little kid and she’s like, just like, actually, who, who, who are you? And he says, I’m the great and powerful Oz. Who do you want to be?  It kind of stuck out. It’s like that one little line, which I’ve seen many times. It was like, oh, it’s like, you can reinvent yourself. You can be whoever you want with great powerful laws. And then I could be a convenience store robber. And he even play acts using the hairdryer. Is that, or is that gun to show her the technique and stuff like that. So, so it’s pretty layered. That stuff is it’s, it comes up a lot. And the characters, I mean, they really change in the course of like four or five days. 

Scott:

Yeah. They go through a lot, they go through a hell of

Pat:

A lot. Yeah. Going back to the there’s transformations. And it’s also tied something with Louise’s trauma that she experienced, that she refuses to actually speak to anyone even Thelma about when you see that article, you pointed out to me that we were talking about like, oh, look at how differently they’re packing. And at the very beginning of the film, you see that Louise is her fastidiousness is almost psychotic, which she’s got to put everything in the Ziploc bags. And she has still cleaned that one glass perfectly and leave it. And that article you sent me, they, they were just, they took it as, oh, her her life was so empty that she has to do that. And I’m like, no, I think got that all wrong. I think the fastidiousness in Louise is this desire to be clean. Like almost like a lady Macbeth kind of thing.  This thing, this thing happened to traumatics and catheter, she feels dirty and sullied. And so she’s when Harvey Keitel’s character Slocum breaks into her house. They even have a shot of him running his fingers over her table. And she hasn’t been there in days and it’s spotless. Right. There’s a lot of, so, and there’s also a lot, there’s a lot of water imagery in this film. You have not noticed?

Scott:

That I didn’t catch.

Pat:

It’s constantly raining when it’s not super sunny. There’s a lot of water image imagery where when Thelma first bumps into JD Brad Pitt JD his character, I don’t know what the fuck is doing, but it looks like he’s just Jacqueline water everywhere. Cause she bumps into him. It’s just like, I don’t know what he was doing with this rubber hose of water at the gas station, but people are in rain or getting caught in the rain or running through the rain a lot in a scene, the hotel Louie’s taken showers. And at one shot when they go to the roadside gas station bathroom. And when Louise sees that tiny speck of Harlan’s blood on her cheek and she flips out.

Scott:

Right? Yeah, I think you’re right. I think have something there, by the way. I just want to mention, there’s an article that pat and I have mentioned sharing, uh, I’ll put it in the show notes. It’s a pretty, pretty intense review of, of Thelma and Louise. No, I was gonna say it’s like a five-part series and I think they did it. The people did it, did it as they were watching the film. So I’ll add that in the show notes. It’s pretty interesting. 

Pat:

Good. Definitely. I enjoyed it. I liked the handoff between reviewers. It’s very fun and they’re very funny. They’ve got a lot of observations go back to transformations and the cleanliness thing, but you know, who is, you know, has those, the crate, you know, as the, the fastest transformation is that, that Nazi state trooper, huh? When they’re pulled to the side by him towards the end of the film and he’s got the mirror classes and Louise like, oh my God, he’s a Nazi. And he’s all like super stern, super macho. And then within like two minutes, he’s reduced to a blubbering crying pleading for his life, baby. 

Scott:

Yeah. That’s a good point. Huh. 

Pat:

And that, by the way was that was that comical transformation is the quickest one. And that was the actor. Jason Peggy, or beg B E G H E. That was all his idea to be reduced to this puddle of a man after starting off. Like he’s like Johnny Law.

Scott:

Oh, that’s funny. That’s a good call on his part.

Pat:

Yeah. Oh no, it totally works. It’s very funny. It works thematically with the stuff going on in the film. And there is a couple of things that are, I almost think they like visual asides or contemplations that I talked about when Louise sees the two old women. There’s a, I don’t know if you caught this, but when Louise refuses to pick JD up the first time, she’s like probably not a good deal. Yeah. She gets in the car and she’s like, all super cool. And she just guns. The car full speed in reverse. It goes backwards straight into the gas station. And you’re talking in the corner. Did you catch the two? Some totally random it’s it’s like cartoonish, machismo of commentary. There’s this total Venice beach muscle beach dude with headphones on tight shorts and like a muscle shirt. And he’s like a big like wrestler dude. And he’s just doing curls.

Scott:

 Oh yeah. I did.  I remember thinking at the time, like, what the hell is that guy? What the hell’s with that guy.

Pat:

Yeah. And the fact that no nothing’s done with it. It’s just, it’s just like, no, that dude, that dude just happens to work out right there at the gas station. So crazy.

Scott:

Uh, one thing I wanted to mention, I, I’m sorry I’m jumping all over the place. This should have been come up earlier. I was really amazed by how unfazed the waitress was when, how Slocum Harvey Keitel is interviewing her. And she’s just like, yeah, Heartland’s dead. Yeah.

Pat:

Not only is she unfazed, there was some criticism about how Thelma’s character could be okay. And have sex with JD or be excited by him. But she’s not the only one. Not only is she unfazed or doesn’t give a about what happened to Harlan. Cause she’s like, whatever. I hope it’s his wife. I’m the one that hope did it. She’s telling the audience like this guy was a. Yeah. I knew him. She probably grew up and went to school with his and could give a that he died was like surprised it didn’t happen sooner. But the best part is the even more interesting part is she’s using the opportunity to try and kick it to SSlocum.  She’s like, oh, you just cut me out. You’re not going to have a drink or like, come on. You just want to ask bumb questions about that asshole?  The girls on the Mekinist movie, they don’t care. They’re like I got, I got stuff to do.

Scott:

Yeah. No, that’s a good point. It’s funny though. It’s just like Harland was not going to be missed.

Pat:

No, I mean, and I think it comes, I forget it’s either it’s close to the, a shot of classic. Ridley Scott  it’s night, the concrete is wet. So it reflects different lights. There’s smoke, zip up the body bag. She’s like, yup. He deserved it. Really. You’re not going to get a drink with me. You’re missing out Harvey Keitel. Yeah, no, she was great. He’s uh, I, I didn’t, I haven’t seen Jane Jane, I believe she’s a Nat and she seems to have been in many films after that. But that part I got it

Scott:

Yeah I Thought it was pretty funny. I should have mentioned it earlier. I just, I just thought of it now. It’s like, yeah, that was great.

Pat:

The reviews were, had people loving it or downright pissed off the needles swinging so far across and both male and female critics were vehemently praising it or panning it, the critical and cultural debate and the controversy that this film created and gendered is really fascinating. And I think it’s a really big part of the whole mystique and the reputation that the film has in pop culture consciousness even today, especially today. And it continues. It is an important part of discussing the film is just how much, just how much people were really up in arms and debating it.

Scott:

Yeah. And I think still to this day, they still do. I mean, it’s still, it’s still a movie you could, you could talk to non movie people about and they’ll they’ll have an opinion about it.

Pat:

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I mean, you had Janet Mason near times, loved it and throw his grade Roger Ebert. Then there were those that felt it had strong feminist overtones, Kenneth Turan called it a Neo feminist road movie. But then you had the flip side where even you had peoples, we had critics claiming that it wasn’t, that wasn’t the case. Interestingly, the daughters of Thelma Louise, Jessica Enval argue that the film is an attack on the conventional patterns of chauvinist male behavior towards females. In addition to exposes the traditional stereotyping of male female relationships and Los Angeles film critics, Sheila Benson said that objected to the characterization. The film is feminist arguing that it’s more preoccupied with revenge and violence than feminist thous it, the list goes on and on, but it was such a big deal. This movie, Thelma and Louise made the cover of time magazine on June 24th, 1991.  And on the cover it said, why Thelma and  Louise strikes a nerve? And I told you all habit. I, it took me four hours, if not more to frind my copy for this, for this recording. But the interesting thing is that the main article was written by Richard Schickel, who wrote the autobiography of Clint Eastwood that we discussed and our outlaw Josey Wales podcast. Oh wow. Okay. And some might think, oh, well he probably didn’t like it. His article is gender bender over Thelma and Louise  a white hot debate rages over whether Thelma and Louise celebrates liberated females, male bashers, or Outlaws. And he’s, he starts off the article with, you know, giving you a taste of the different kinds of things. Being said. It is the pan to transformative violence and explicit fascist theme, a small hearted, extremely toxic film about as morally, intellectually screwed up as Hollywood could get.  And I was written by a social commentator, John Leo, for us news and world report. It justifies armed robbery, manslaughter, chronic drug, and driving’s exercises and consciousness raising charges. New York daily news comes from Richard Johnson. And again, then Sheila Benson said that it has has to do with responsibility, quality, sensitivity, understanding, not revenge retribution or sadistic behavior. I just went on and on. But his take was that Thelma and Louise is a movie whose scenes and themes lend themselves to sort of provocative of discussions. And it did so in 1991. And I learned looking at things for his podcast still does today because he defended it. He thought that for those parts that just of his, his article was that those people that were really getting upset were missing the point. And he quelled a lot of what male bashing criticisms level that the film and that it supported, uh, violence basically Schickel was, was saying what you and I have been talking about and agree that it remains an intriguing movie.  back then and stirs imagine stirs one’s critical imagination. And it continues to do so. In the same time magazine, they also had a woman of female critic. Margaret Colson say, is this her article was, is this what feminism is all about by playing out a male fantasy? Thelma and Louise shows, Hollywood is still a man’s world. So it was a big deal then. And it still is. I mean, the sexual politics and, or the perceived special sexual politics made this film, the zeitgeists that it was. And I came across that for the 25th anniversary, Kyle Smith at the New York Post did an article for the, for the anniversary to sit as a feminist film, Thelma Louise fails miserably. And at around the same time, Harper’s bizarre had a celebratory 25th anniversary celebration lauding in his groundbreaking. It’s kinda, it’s kind of crazy. I, I am more in Richard Schickel camp.

Scott:

Yeah, it would be true. I’d agree with that. And

Pat:

Gina Davis points out something that for all this talk and bluster about how awful it is. And she finds out that three people die in this movie and two of them are Thelma and Louise, right. It’s considered a great movie. It won, won Oscars. It won Oscar for best screenplay category won a golden globe writer’s Guild award, rotten tomatoes. It’s 85% tomato meter, 7.5 out of 10 on IMDB. So it’s still considered a good, a very good film. And I agree.

Scott:

Yeah, I totally agree. And it holds up, I mean, I think a lot of the points that makes are still as relevant today as when it came out.

Pat:

That’s interesting. Cause you, you hadn’t seen it before, so seeing it 30 years later. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good point. But yeah, there’s so much, there’s this movie it’s such a lot of fun. I think if we haven’t seen it and we ruined some things for I’m sorry, but you should definitely see it if you haven’t seen it. There’s a couple of things I want to say. It’s funny. The marketing campaign for this movie is so bizarre because I I’ve been driving myself crazy, trying to find, I have this old video store standing that I loved and I don’t know what I did with the fucking thing, but I also, last night I came across, I have the original press kit for the film and I might have the poster, but the marketing for this film is the one thing that I was like, wow, this is really shitty. You see this movie, you know what the, you know what the, the, the tagline of the poster was no idea. It said, somebody said, get a life. So they did.

Scott:

Geez, isn’t it. The thing he ever heard that would not make me want to see this movie.

Pat:

I mean, I mean, the marketing department really should be ashamed about that. It  is so fucking bad. It’s not what the movie is about at all. No, they did this, this company did this really beautiful poster that came out like a year after. It was very limited and it was very retro. It was done the way like thirties posters were done and it looks great much better. The tagline is that. And for the day put on that poster is one of the lines. That is one of my favorite lines of the film. It’s just Louise at some point says to Thelma, you get what you settle for. And that’s the tagline used that. And that line is so simple. And yet it’s so insightful. I think those words, those are words to truly live by, in my opinion, you get what you settle for. It’s true.

Scott:

Yeah. Totally true. Yeah. That’s much better. Wow. That’s uh, uh, yeah, I did not know that was the tagline, the original one. That is horrible.

Pat:

One other thing that I, Callie Khouri says something in the audio commentary and I think it’s very great. And I just want to add this. I have so much to say, but I feel like I’ve been oral diarrhea this entire podcast, but no, it’s a great Callie Khouri said in the order of commentary, it was the most liberating thing that ever happened to me. And it untied me from every bit of insecurity or fear I had ever had my life about trying to accomplish something. All of a sudden I felt, if you can think it, you can do it. That became true. And that changed my life. I thought that was awesome. And, and I think it’s very inspiring, right. For everyone. Yeah. That’s very cool. Yeah. Very cool. Because for me, while this movie is about women and it’s about women finding their power and, and I agree 100%, but I took it to where it was inspiring for everyone, in my opinion. That’s what, that’s what I really want connected with it.

Scott:

Yeah I think it’s a great movie. I had a really good time watching it. Definitely going to watch it again. You brought up a lot of stuff that I’d missed. So

Pat:

A little bit to be fair too. There I’ve seen it many more times than you get. What one other final thought I wanted to bring up to? Are you aware of the Bechdel test or the Bechdel Wallace? I am

Scott:

Aware of it, but maybe you should explain what it is.

Pat:

Okay. So Alison Bechdel had this strip and, uh, we, when, when I worked at St Mark’s comics, we sold a lot of these it was very popular. It was a strip called Dikes xto watch out for. And in one of those strips, it has two women who are talking and one states that she only sees a movie. If it satisfies its three basic requirements and then states the three rules, one, it has to have at least two named women in it too. Who talked to each other three about something besides a man, this film, I believe certainly passes the Bechdel Wallace test. Yep.Thelma and  Louise because they, well, they do talk about men a lot. There are lots of conversations where a man does not come into it. The other thing I wanted to say, that’s very interesting to me is that in the original strip, the woman replies, the two women were talking, she explains the three rules. And one, one woman says something along the lines like, oh, it was pretty strict rules. And the woman who’s described what it is says, no kidding. The last I was able to see was alien. Wow. So Ridley Scott did it at least twice people, least twice. And it’s even in the original strip. That’s pretty cool. Just want to make sure I mentioned that for this podcast.

Scott:

So you want to, you think we should wrap things up then?

Pat:

Yeah. Yeah. Yup. Yup. Well, that’s all the time that we have want to join the conversation, come and visit us at www.thecinephiliaclounge.com.

Scott:

And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where, where thecinephiliac and on Twitter, you can find us at the thecinephiliac1.

Pat:

Thanks for joining us. Next time we will discuss the Denis Villeneuve film Arrival. Thank you so much.

Scott:

Looking forward to that. Thank you everyone.

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Vote for your favorite quote – The Outlaw Josey Wales

The Outlaw Josey Wales - Vote for your favorite quote

  • Get ready, little lady. Hell is coming to breakfast. - Lone Watie (67%)
  • Dyin' ain't much of a living, boy. - Josey Wales (33%)
  • Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining. - Fletcher (0%)
  • To hell with them fellas, buzzards gotta eat, same as worms. - Josey Wales (0%)
  • Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie? - Josey Wales (0%)
  • Well, Mr. Carpetbagger. We got somethin' in this territory called the Missouri boat ride. - Josey Wales (0%)
  • Sometimes trouble just follows a man. - Josey Wales (0%)
  • Whupped 'em again, didn't we Josey? - Jamie (0%)
  • If we try riding instead of thinking, we'll end up hanging by a rope by nightfall - Josey Wales (0%)
  • If I don't make it, I want you to know...I'm prouder than a game rooster to have rid with you. - Jamie (0%)
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Vote for your favorite quote – Birds of Prey

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Birds of Prey

  • Six bucks for tap water with a f**king cucumber stick in it? That’s crazy. I’m not shopping at this store. I’m robbing this store. Consider this your first lesson. Paying is for dummies. – Harley Quin (43%)
  • I’m sorry, kid. And I’m sorry I tried to sell you. That was a d*ck move. For what it’s worth, you made me want to be a less terrible person. - Harley Quinn (29%)
  • It’s not a f**king bow and arrow! It’s a crossbow. I’m not twelve. - Huntress (14%)
  • Okay, I feel like I've just walked in on something I don't give two shits about. This guy's dead, so I'm just gonna get outta your hair. Cool? - Huntress (14%)
  • Luckily for me, I have all my best ideas drunk. - Harley Quinn (0%)
  • I’m telling you, if you want boys to respect you, you have to show them that you’re serious. Blow something up. Shoot someone. Nothing gets a guy’s attention like violence! – Harley Quinn (0%)
  • Psychologically speaking, vengeance rarely brings the catharsis we hope for. – Harley Quinn (0%)
  • Back the fuck up. Get away from me all of you! You, put that stupid-ass Robin Hood piece of shit down! - Cassandra Cain (0%)
  • Kid, if that burrito doesn’t make you sh*t, I don’t know what will. - Harley Quinn (0%)
  • Does she always talk like a cop from a bad 80's movie, or is that just me? - Huntress (0%)
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Twelve Monkeys

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12 Monkeys

  • "Hey, I'm the innocent victim here. I was attacked by a coked-up whore and a, a fuckin' crazy dentist!" - Wallace (50%)
  • "The freedom for Animals Association on Second Avenue is the secret headquarters of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys. They are the ones who are going to do it. I can't do anymore. I have to go now. Have a Merry Christmas!" Dr. Kathryn Railly (30%)
  •  "It's just like what's happening with us. Like the past. The movie never changes. It can't change, but every time you see it, it seems different because you are different. You see different things" James Cole (10%)
  • "There's the television. It's all right there. All right there. Look, Listen, kneel, pray. The commercials! We're not productive anymore. Don't make things anymore. It's all automated. What are we for then? We're consumers, Jim. Okay, okay. Buy a lot of stuff, you're a good citizen. But if you don't buy a lot of stuff, what are you then? What? Your mentally ill." Jeffrey Goines (10%)
  • "Ah, fuck the bozos!" Jeffrey Goines (0%)
  • "There's no right, theres no wrong, there's only popular opinion." - Jeffrey Goines (0%)
  • "No, I shit you not. Life is really weird. A monkey and a roast beef sandwich" - Agent No. 1 (0%)
  • "Stocks! Bonds! Purchase! Sell! Yes! No more Monkey Business!" - Jeffrey Goines (0%)
  • "Proliferation of atomic devices, uncontrolled breeding habits, pollution of land, sea, air, the rape of the environment. In this context, isn't it obvious that Chicken Little represents the sane vision, and that Homo Sapien's motto of "Let's go Shopping" is the cry of the true lunatic?" - Dr. Peters (0%)
  • "She's not honey babe. She's a doctor. My psychiatrist. Understand?" - James Cole (0%)
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12 Monkeys La Jetee transcript

Scott:

Welcome to The Cinephiliac Lounge. I’m Scott Kilroy 

Pat:

and I’m Pat O’Connell 

Scott:

and we’re two guys who like movies. Every episode, we discuss a movie over a couple of drinks today we’re discussing 12 monkeys and its inspiration, the short subject film. La Jetee a warning for listeners. There will be spoilers, but before we get started, maybe you should talk a little bit about us and why we’re doing this.

Pat:

Yeah, we met a few years ago, you know, just for and giggles because I knew I wouldn’t remember anything off the top of my head. I found a copy of my Brooklyn college transcript to try and figure out when we might’ve met. I’m looking at spring of 1990 language of film.

Scott:

That sounds right. I don’t know. I don’t, I have no recollection of us actually meeting. Maybe we didn’t.

Pat:

That is very funny because I don’t, I don’t know either much, much like 12 monkeys and La Jetee, the subjective memory. I’m not sure when we actually back, I just feel like we’ve always known it.

Scott:

You, you were one of those guys.  I caught on really quick was one of the more creative people in the school. And I figured I could hitch my trailer to this guy. And when he’s a big shot in Hollywood, I’ll come and crash on his couch.

Pat:

I’m still working on that.

Scott:

Yeah, that was, that was definitely my first thinking. Yeah. So we’ve known each other a long time.

Pat:

Yes. Yes. And, and we’ve often sat around at an actual lounge or bar and discussed whatever it was that we’ve just watched or watch separately or watched at home and always enjoyed it. And you came to me with this idea. You want to talk a little bit about the Genesis of it?

Scott:

Yeah. I just always thought that our conversations about movies were interesting. I thought that you always had a lot that you brought to the table and you brought a lot made me kind of be a little more creative, uh, to try to keep up with you. And so I, I always thought we had fun time, a fun time to talking about this stuff, and I thought, you know what? Maybe an audience would like it. And, uh, I’m a computer programmer by trade and it was pretty easy to set up a website and a, here we are.

Pat:

Yeah, no, it’s been awesome. It’s been a whole lot of fun looking forward to tackling our inaugural episode. First one 12 monkeys.

Scott:

Yep. We picked a good movie to start. 

Pat:

Mean, it’s, it’s funny. It’s almost creepy. Just how, how relevant and how weird it is that this film to 25th anniversary of 12, 12 monkeys this year, even though the film was released, had an early release in December of 95, it’s general release across the U S was January 5th, 1996. So we’re talking about this very close to the actual 25th anniversary of this film, which is pretty awesome. And the inspiration La Jetee came out in 1963. And so it’s very rich material, a lot to lots to get through. I guess the first thing for our listeners who may, I’m sure that people already have, have seen this film, if you haven’t, you must. It’s absolutely fantastic. I’ll give a quick synopsis. Terry Gilliam’s 12 monkeys written by David Webb, Peoples and Janet Peoples. As the opening credit spell out 5 billion people will die from a deadly virus.  In 1997, the survivors will abandon the surface of the planet. Once again, the animals who ruled the world, James Cole is a prisoner in a post-apocalyptic future of 2035, where humanity lives underground. James Cole is haunted by recurring dreams of his childhood memory, of being in an airport with his family and witnessing a traumatic scene of a very upset and beautiful blonde woman chasing after men who’s ultimately shot. He is offered the chance at a pardon. If he would go back in time to find the army of the 12 monkeys who they believe are responsible for a man-made virus, so that they can get a sample of the pure virus to find a cure for humanity in the future. Chris marker’s La Jetee is a short French film that inspired the 12 monkeys. It is a story of a prisoner in an underground society in the aftermath of world war three, because of his strong recurrent childhood memory of witnessing a traumatizing incident involving a beautiful woman and a man at airport, he’s offered a chance of a pardon if he will be the subject of a series of time-travel experiments into the past, which he has a strong connection to and the future in an effort to reach food, medicine, and energy.

Pat:

So those, those are the synopsis of the two films we’re going to discuss. The first thing I’d like to ask is, do you remember the first time you saw 12 monkeys and where did you see it?

Scott:

I do not remember. I remember seeing it. I don’t think  I think I started on video. I don’t think I saw in a theater and I have no recollection of it other than enjoying it. My brain just drew a complete blank where you brought it up. I was like, yeah, I love that movie. And I’m like, I don’t know why, but so watching it again was great. And it really came back to me. I don’t know. I must’ve seen it near when it was released on video. Cause I remembered it being kind of a big deal amongst like the film nerds at school.

Pat:

Yes. But unfortunately I have the same kind of story where somehow, you know, when we were in film school, I, I managed to watch, I try to watch everything. I saw so much garbage. That’s a lot of good stuff, you know, obviously, but I would watch anything that changed as I got older where I became, I didn’t go to see everything. And then, you know, these days, you know, before the pandemic, uh, I probably saw three films a year and you know, of the five that I wanted to see. But back then I would go to see everything. I would be at the movie. I live at the movie theater, but somehow, and it’s, I don’t know how, because I love Terry Gilliam. I’d loved Brazil. I loved time bandits and, and reside scene in theater. But somehow some way I did not see this film. So by first viewing of this film was renting it on VHS during film school. And I’ve always, you know, going back to it, especially this last time, like, you know, I really messed up this. I really should have seen this one on the big screen.

Scott:

Yeah. I would’ve loved to see this on the big screen. Cause I don’t think I did.

Pat:

Let’s go to the other part of this podcast. What, uh, what are you, what have you chosen to drink for this discussion?

Scott:

Oh, okay. Well, I’ve just, I’ve decided to drink the very appropriately named appropriately, uh, monkey shoulder which is a, uh, it’s a Speyside, scotch. They, they recommend you mix it use it as a mixer, but I like it straight. And it’s pretty good. What about you?

Pat:

That’s awesome. I am drinking. It was a gift from a dear friend, Gabe Macallan, 12 years old, Sherry Oak cask. 

Scott: 

Nice. 

Pat:

So I’m also drinking scotch. So solu. All right. Take care now. You’re, you’re, you’re a little bit better at describing. I’m very, I’m very good about just drinking the drink. Not so much about discussing the drink, dial it. You go first. How was your day?

Scott:

Okay, so I get a lot of like Berry flavors and I get a bit of like a little hint of butterscotch and if you’ve ever had Glenmorangie, it’s very similar to that. It’s um, and the one interesting thing about the scotch is it’s a blended scotch, which means they could use grain whiskey, grain, alcohol in it, but they don’t. It’s a pure scotch, even though it’s a blended scotch.

Pat:

That sounds great. Listen, what I want to say something that I don’t think I’ve told you before. One of the personal goals in doing this podcast is to get better at appreciating and describing and critiquing what I’m drinking. Because as I said, very, very good at just drinking it, not so good at breaking it down. So I’m going to try, I’m going to try with this instead of the bouquet, the Ambrosia, the Sherry cask, it’s quite spicy. I like it. I don’t know why I probably will be told, but guys out there, if anyone’s listening, I obviously, I’m not an expert. I I’m kind of a little bit of caramel. I don’t know why.

Scott:

Okay. That’s valid.

Pat:

Hmm. So 12 monkeys, La Jetee, which, which, which one do you want? You want to just tackle 12 monkeys first and maybe,

Scott:

Yeah. Let’s talk about 12 monkeys. I have to admit La Jetee was a little bit of a chore to get through. I mean, I thought it was really interesting just so if you don’t know the art for the audience’s sake, La Jetee takes a series of still images. There’s only one moving shot in the entire movie with a narrator kind of explaining what’s going on. And sometimes the camera zooms in or zooms out, but it’s, it’s just still images. It was a little tough to get through. I got to admit, I liked it when I finished like, when it ended, I was like, wow, I could really appreciate that. But there were points where I was like, I want to turn this off. Cause I’m just sick of the still images.

Pat:

Well, I to, to be a nerd about it, I’m going to point out that when the movie starts, it’s also, it’s a, it’s a short film Donald about 28 minutes. The film, when it opens, it tells you clearly  Chris marker doesn’t really consider this a film. He refers to it too, as a photo ramon. So he considers it a photo novel, which, which is actually extremely interesting. And I can see that it is, it takes a lot of patience and focus, but I can, I can see in those black and white still images and the voiceover narration, there are some, there are some things that I could see are very influential design. The thought, even though I thought that 12 monkeys or Terry Gilliam, might’ve been inspired by the latte when he was doing the film, because La Jetee has a lot of, lot of images of the scientists wearing all sorts of weird like glasses or, you know, glasses that are like bizarre glasses that like lenses on top of lenses kind of thing. And I was, I was, Oh yeah.

Scott:

And that he totally got that in 12 monkeys

Pat:

He has an, a 12 monkeys, but he, you know, I watched a documentary recently and he claims that he actually, he did not watch La Jetee before he, while he was doing 12 monkeys that he consciously avoided it. So I think it’s very bizarre and funny that La Jetee has this, that you, if you watch the two films, he watched you guys sit down and watch La Jetee and you watch 12 monkeys. You’re going to think like, Oh, there’s some obvious visual like references or, or, or obvious homogenous, because that’s what I thought. But apparently that’s not the case, which is makes it very, very cool and very weird in a lot of ways.

Scott:

Yeah. That that’s weird. Cause I, I would’ve, I would’ve assumed the same thing that he, he obviously liked La Jetee. It took certain like elements from it, but he didn’t that they just kind of turned out to be similar. That’s kind of weird

Pat:

La Jetee and 12 monkeys, all of the major beats in La Jetee are used in 12 monkeys because you have, it has a similar beginning. You have a, you know, now since it’s a photo ramond and not a film, a story told through still black-white still images, but it, it points out this, this, this is a story of a child who who’s obsessed with this one traumatizing event. So it starts at an airport. Now the airport’s very different than watch. La Jetee’s, it’s almost like a peer. I think, I believeJetee French means peer.

Scott:

Yes, it does. I believe it does too.

Pat:

The airport is very interesting anyway, the fact that there’s a, a, like a long, because it’s a long pier and then people are above watching planes below that. Go ahead and take off. Like, it’s not an enclosed airport, it’s all open air. So it’s very, very cool and very different, but it starts at an airport. It tells a story of this prisoner underground. He gets chosen, and it’s promised some sort of pardon. If he will do this, go through his experiment. He goes to the past and turns out that the end of the film, I won’t say it now because we’re going to discuss 12 monkeys. The same exact beat is hit in 12 monkeys where it begins and ends at that airport around this one particular event. The other interesting thing, and most, very important thing is La Jetee and 12 monkeys, the linchpin, it’s almost this linchpin that they’re both very tied to their referencing of Alfred Hitchcock’s vertigo.

Scott:

Yeah. That is interesting that they both have that. Especially considering that Terry Gilliam didn’t watch you La Jetee. Um, I’m I’m sorry. I’m still kind of like blown away by that. Yeah. One of the things I loved about 12 monkeys that I like all the Terry Gilliam’s movies, I could even like, even like the Fisher King, which wasn’t, I don’t want to say it was bad. It was not my favorite of his, but he has a great way of just making the audience feel uncomfortable and the way start the way it starts out. Bruce Willis is his character is in a, in a cage and there are other people around him. Like it’s obviously some sort of prison and just the way that a claw comes and just grabs him and picks him up. And just everything about that just makes you feel like I don’t like it. Yeah.

Pat:

It’s, it’s, it’s like the vending machine crane that just picks out people for quote, unquote voluntary service. It’s like Brazil. And some definitely like Brazil where it’s this total technocratic world where humans are not really in control of their fate, their mere cogs in a machine. So yeah, it definitely starts off with, with that. It starts off with the memory. It starts off with the image of, uh, of, uh, of, of a young boy, his eyes, and then the dream. And then he wakes up in that environment that you brought up. And then once he, once he has to, to get ready for quote unquote volunteer service, which is, he has to prepare for going up into the surface world, which he has to, he has to get like, COVID safe for this surface world. The, the, the, that that get up is just amazing. Cause he’s has to put on like a whole condom suit. Then he puts on his deep sea diving kind of apparatus. And then it’s like, he’s, you know, covered then with bubble wrap and like a clear plastic hazmat suit on top of that.

Scott:

Yeah. It’s, it’s definitely, it’s, it’s definitely freaky. And then, then when he, you know, he, after he goes up on the surface, when he comes back, the next shot of him is naked being scrubbed down. And it’s like, you know, you go from this ridiculous costume of like that. I can’t even imagine how you could move in that thing. And then, uh, you know, he’s immediately, you know, just stripped bare and, you know, some weirdos just hosting him down with us with a brush.

Pat:

Yeah. They’re like, yeah, there’s, there’s, you know, this movie was one for the ladies, you know? Cause there, there is no gratuitous nudity or anything, but there is lots of man ass in his film. Lots of, and lots of man as like dripping and like Milky white, like, so it is ridiculous. It’s funny. It’s great. Like Bruce Willis, he has two different scenes of, of him like being like washed deloused and then Brad Pitt also moons, the, the audience and make spray every woman who saw it’s heart swooned when he he’s in the, a mental institution and shows his. So lots of man in 12 monkeys.

Scott:

Yeah. I also think it’s interesting. You’d never find out what Cole was in for. Like what, what crime did he commit? Yeah.

Pat:

Yeah. I was, that’s funny. I, I went back and I was looking at it and I was like twenty-five years and he’s there for 25 years. And it’s just like for being disruptive, not paying attention to authority, I’m freaking out the top of my head. But the thing that, that stuck out to me because the design and look of this film is very close. It’s much like Brazil, but it’s also very close to one of my favorite films of all time blade runner. So does this retrofitted look of the future where the future is cobbled together from bits and pieces of, of the past. And so I, I immediately kind of thought about blade runner in those respects, but in that scene where he’s first brought to before the scientist, after he’s been scrubbed down to show his man ass, they say they call him an anti-social six, which immediately made me think of nexus six. Oh, interesting. Okay. Oh, next six is, is the Roy batty and PRIs the model number of the replicants in Berlin.

Scott:

Oh, okay. Sorry. You, you know, a lot more, I think your knowledge of blade runner is insanely deep compared to mine. So

Pat:

Yeah, that one, that one I’m completely obsessed with. But um, going back to this, so I don’t know, I don’t know precisely what he did. They never, they never say exactly what he did, but it might’ve had notes somewhere, but it was basically like he was a problem in his future society, the future society after being underground, I know that we’re seeing a INAUTABLE we will, we only see a prison, but it’s completely oppressive in every way. And it’s very odd that the scientists somehow are the ones that seem to be running, everything like that, that you never, there there’s no talk of a president or anything in that society. Now it could be that they we’re only focusing on that portion, but it’s still from what we’re seeing, the film, it’s a very autocratic technocratic world where only, only science, the guys who possessed that kind of knowledge are the ones that are somehow in control because of the promise that only science science created the problem. And the future scientists have somehow seized control by claiming they’re the only ones who can fix that.

Scott:

Yeah. It’s and they, they don’t look like a stable bunch. If you, if you look at them individually, they’re, they’re pretty creepy. Yes. They, they

Pat:

Look pretty much like permutations of each other. They’re just, they’re mostly all dudes. They’re supposed to be like, there’s a zoologist, a geologists and astrophysicist, I’m forgetting some of the others, but it’s almost all men. And that the one woman who is very important to the entire film and a story at the end of the film, she, her name is Jones, but yeah, and also the scientists and the film in the future, everybody is covered in plastic. Like no matter what they do, theirs, they have their clothing or whatever, everything, the paper, the map that he’s given to like finding the, you know, the surface world where he’s going out to get specimens and runs across. And that that’s when you see how animals have taken over the surface where you didn’t counters scared by a bear. And that’s a, that’s a motif throughout the entire film.  It comes up in a lot of different ways. Some of which is very funny when he’s in the day room at the mental institution, he, he sees a commercial about, you know, uh, a bear for the commercial. My favorite one is after a couple of jaunts, he winds up back in the in the future and they’re like, Oh, you did such a good job. You know, now we’ve figured out where the, you know, army of the 12 monkeys is they’ve covered him in a bear blanket. The movie is just, it’s so layered. And it’s, it’s, it’s um, it’s designed that it, this recurring, it’s a huge motif in the film or theme is, you know, animals. Yeah,

Scott:

Yeah. It’s yeah. I would say, yeah, animals, definitely. And also just like what re what, you know, kind of subjective reality where you have Cole, who who’s his character questioning his own sanity. It multiple times when he’s in different parts, when he’s in the future, when he’s in the present, you know, him thinking he’s crazy and the other in the other scenario, and then you have the, the psychiatrist who sometimes seems like she’s questioning, you know, her, her sanity, you know, where they, they refer, they, you know, one of the cops tells her, you know, maybe have Stockholm syndrome because she’s siding with Cole, you know, who kidnapped her basically.

Pat:

Yeah. As I said, it’s very layered. There is. There’s a lot of, there is a lot of technique in the story and in design, trying to make sure editing in every way, trying to make sure that the audience, as well as Cole questions, his sanity and whether or not what’s happening is actually real. Or if he is, as one of the patients says mentally divergent, there’s a lot of referencing in the film. Like, Oh, you’re only thinking about that. You, you, you’re saying that because, you know, you, you, you think this is about a virus because you happen to have met goings in, in the hospital. And, um, he, he, he mentioned that his father was, uh, you know, studied or was an expert in viruses. So everything is, there’s very overt ways that they do this. And then there’s very, very subtle ways, which, you know, this film much like blade runner and the films that I tend to really get narrative or obsessed with, or the films that are so dense.

Pat:

So layered that every time you watch it, you, you recognize or see something new and 12 monkeys, uh, you know, getting ready for this podcast. I watched it, I had seen it a little, you know, year before this and caught some things and watching it for this podcast. And I watched it again a couple of years ago. Every time I catch more and more, and some of the things that he does, it’s very subtle where there’s a point where he has a guard. There’s the guard from the future has blonde hair. And he’s the one that’s like, Oh, when he brings coal before the scientists in 2035. And he’s the one that says, you know, are you going to be a problem? When he tells him it’s time for voluntary duty, there’s a sequence when Cole escapes with the help of goings from the day room.

Pat:

And he is, he’s, he’s totally drugged up. And it’s very hard. He gets out and he’s trying to make himself, he’s making his way to this elevator to escape. And you see a, you see a security guard. And when he first looks at him, the actor is the actor. Who’s playing the guard from 2035 with the blonde hair. And he looks at the, he looks at the elevator and he sees people coming out and turns around. He looks back and he sees, and it’s a completely different actor sitting in the same spot, reading, reading. Actually, I caught this also in both instances, the person, the security guard is sitting here reading a world news, like, like inquire. There was like an Inquirer kind of a tabloid. Yeah.

Scott:

I remember the weekly world news with no with Bat Boy. Yes. That’s something that I, unfortunately, I think a lot of people didn’t get to experience, but we were lucky enough to be at the time where we know what Bat Boy is

Pat:

That ties into soup this whole, this whole notion that the film is, is, is completely packed to the gills with this, this theme of where teeth of the subjective nature of memory and perception. Can you, can you trust the world that you’re in? So it’s almost like Philip K Dick paranoia, so subjective nature of memory. And it’s one also is very it’s, which is also the subject of La Jetee but 12 monkeys takes it to subjective memory and subjective, like cinematic memory and pop culture memory, because the, the film is, is riddled with referencing throughout of other films or using clips from TV and films to reference time and stuff like that. Uh,

Scott:

Oh yeah. And I mean, one of the things that blue that really surprised me was the film starts out and you’re, you’re totally disoriented because Terry Gilliam and the script writers assume that the audience is going to catch on. Eventually they’re not spoon feeding you, you know, what’s going on. And so you feel kind of disoriented at the beginning. And then by the time he gets to the insane asylum and he’s in the day room, you thought you were disoriented before, and now you’re completely disoriented. Just the way some of the people are acting and everything. Like, I don’t know how anyone could go through that and be sane.

Pat:

Yeah, no, the, the film is, is throughout, it maintains a level of controlled insanity within the storyline and within the characters, because there are points in the film where there’s a lot of direct referencing by the inmates as to who’s crazy the inmates or, or society. There’s a lot of movies, very, um, anti-establishment, anti-consumerism in, in, in, in many of the things that the characters are saying and pointing out.

Scott:

Yeah. And then, and I also think it’s interesting that, you know, going to seems like Jeffrey Goins, which is Brad Pitt’s character, who seems pretty, pretty, not mentally well, but a lot of what he says is true, ends up being true. Like he talks about his father, like his father’s an important man and everything, you know, and you think, Oh, that’s just the part of the gibberish that he’s throwing out there, but then you find out, no, his father is really important and really wealthy. And you know, this, this brilliant scientist, you know, which, what else was he saying? That was true. That didn’t seem it at the time.

Pat:

Yeah. His father played by Christopher Plummer, which as a side note, how awesome. And how ridiculous is it to see Christopher Plummer with this Foghorn Leghorn Southern accent?

Scott:

Yeah. It was weird. I, the accident really threw me. He did an okay job with it though.

Pat

Oh, no, absolutely. I just, it really, it really made me chuckle seeing him, seeing him do that effect, knowing that he’s British and to be able to affect that Jeffery. And like, when, when he’s, when he’s giving his speech at the house, when they’re back in 1996, and Cole has, has put Katherine Riley in, locked her in the trunk, we don’t know that till after. So he can go and try and confront Goins. And it goes to the Christopher Part. I wrote it down because it just, not only does it speaks to the way that it references other films and pop culture, because there’s a lot of referencing, but also pointing to the traditional science fiction, cautionary tale, but just he he’s up there. And he’s like, nah, nah, I don’t have to tell you that. The dangerous aside. So a Taiwan threat from Prometheus stealing fire from the gods of the cold war era of Dr Strange love terrors. The fact that he’s referencing Dr. Strange love. It’s very layered. Like I said, it’s the referencing of like monkey business and time travel. But, and even in that same scene would, would when Christopher Plummer doing this whole thing and references Dr. Strangelove going says to call, he’s like, Oh, because there’s a question of whether or not he remembers who he is. And he’s going to tell his bodyguards to throw them out. And then when they’re walking, you know, by themselves, the guy knows who you are, the great escape, 1990. So the movie, the last time I watched it was like, this movie is just packed with references to other movies as well, which ties into the vertigo thing.

Scott:

Yeah. That’s totally true. Oh, I also wanted to talk about David Morse for a little bit.

Pat:

Creepo.

Scott:

He’s a guy that pops up in movies. Like he’s never been a big star. He’s like very rarely started in anything himself, but he’s, he’s a great, like secondary or third, you know, third character and, uh, the way they make them up in this with the blonde hair, like, even though he’s got, probably got a minute and a half screen time, every time he’s on the screen, you know, there’s something wrong with this guy.

Pat:

Oh yeah. Definitely. When, when you first see, you first see him, I think at Catherine Riley’s signing

Scott:

Yup. At the signing. And he starts going off about, you know, apocalyptic stuff. Yeah.

Pat:

He said something along the lines that crack, there was like, Oh, you know, pretty much saying like, Oh, humans are, you know, responsible for, you know, desecrating and destroying the planet. And he says, he says something along like, Oh, you’re going to give alarmists a bad name. And more of the anti-consumerism anti-establishment of like the, the, the homosapen motto of let’s go shopping or something. He’s so creepy. Like he’s just smiling the entire time saying the weirdest stuff and yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. She, yeah, it’s, it’s a, it’s a really good casting choice. I have to say the cast of this movie was great. Yeah.

Pat:

Everyone is completely solid casting against some extent casting against type. I mean, Bruce Willis was know diehard and he was at that point, like the man’s man action star, and this is a very different role and it shows a very different side to himself and he got a lot of, he got a lot of good, critical response for the way he approached this character.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I have to say, I have a hard time with Bruce Willis alone. I do. I I’ll admit that I love die hard, greatest Christmas movie ever made. I have not. And he was really good and pulp fiction, but a lot of movies that he, I just feel like he plays the same character to a certain extent.

Pat:

Yeah. I mean, I mean, the same can be said for a lot of actors that we like, or I particularly like, but I thought there was something a little bit, there was a little bit, it’s a little bit of a difference in how he is in this role. It’s more the first half of the film.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. No, I, I agree with you. I think, I think he works in this, but I think it’s, it’s playing against the typical Bruce Willis. Yes. Yeah. The fact that he’s so confused and he doesn’t know what’s going on and that’s something, you know, in a way it kind of makes it very vulnerable.

Pat:

He’s, he’s, he’s absolutely vulnerable. Like both emotionally and physically, because even though, even though he’s described as someone who’s like, like, uh, a beast, which goes to the animal theme, Cole is a beast. He can, he even, even drugged, he can, he can like crack the skull of like two officers of five that are trying to wrestle him down. I mean, he’s a, he’s a monster, right. Physically. Oh, yeah. But he’s always, he’s always, he’s always bloody. He’s always up. He’s always, he’s always like drooling on himself.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a different, it’s a different take than I think he’s, I don’t think he’s ever played anything similar to this before or after. No.

Pat:

So for alerts also, like when the only films where he’s he’s the hero, but he doesn’t, he doesn’t make it, you know, and

Pat:

That’s also very divided Brad Pitt wasn’t. He got, he got a, he got an Oscar nomination, but he didn’t win that, but he did get a golden globe award for this. And I think he deserves it.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah. You believe he’s crazy. I mean, you, you believe he’s, it’s like Brad, Pitt’s, he’s kind of, it’s kind of hard to watch movies with him sometimes. Cause he, you know, you just see him and you’re like, Oh, he’s a big star. And in this, I totally dropped that. Like I was just like, no, this is a crazy person that he’s talking to.

Pat:

Yeah. They had him working with someone to try to get that, that, that frenetic pace any, and he, it it’s really good. He does. He does. He does an excellent job and you know, watching it, there points when he’s in a day room, when you first meet him, he’s kind of like in his own clothes he’s wearing, he’s wearing his pajama pants over his, over his regular tan pants. And then his pajama bottoms underneath, like, like it’s layered different visual. Like the costuming is showing that he’s, he, he can hide his own insanity in some ways. Cause he’s very well-spoken for someone who’s, Schicho crazy.

Scott:

Yeah. I mean, what are you saying? Does it, you know, sounds just, it’s completely nuts, but yeah, he, he’s not, he’s not like hard to understand at all, but yeah. I, I loved his character. I mean, even when you see him later, when he’s at his dad’s house and he possibly could be on medication at that point, cause he’s not as manic, but he’s still a little off. He’s still not totally there.

Pat:

Yes. I wanted to, I wanted to point out something I saw and I didn’t read about it and maybe it’s obvious, but I figured out why he, he, he looks so insane every time you see him as he’s got, he obviously has he seen, he has a, uh, contact his left eye to keep one eye stationary.

Speaker 3:

Oh, weird. I, you know, I, I didn’t notice that at the time, but now that you say it, I like thinking back on it. Yeah.

Pat:

It’s subtle, but it’s, it totally works to have one eye that’s completely cockeyed and it’s a one eye is moving and the other is not really because it’s a contact. Oh, interesting. Okay. And also the first time you see him, when he pops his head out of what he was wearing is there’s a cartoon noise, especially in the day room. Everything is associated with Goings is accentuated with a sound by cartoon noises. Even if there isn’t a cartoon on, huh? I want to, I wanted to talk a little bit about it’s really, it’s really weird having watched this film about a pandemic while we’re in an actual pandemic.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. It’s pretty uncomfortable

Pat:

At some point. Like there’s a lot of things like watching with COVID colored lenses, some things that would not have stood out to you when the film first came out or when we saw it on VHS ha takes on completely other meanings or as much more important or salient now.

Scott:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s interesting. I mean, it’s a, it’s an interesting movie to watch during the, during the pandemic and being inside, it’s eerie

Pat:

In some of the, some of the ways that it it’s eerie to watch because it actually is happening. And so certain things that you wouldn’t have thought that wouldn’t mean the same thing back then, like when James Cole is brought back from the dude comes back and he’s, you know, deloused from being up on fall on tier service. The first thing that the blonde security guy says when he brings them to the, the, the cabal of scientists is James Cole cleared from quarantine. Quarantine means something. It has a lot more resonance now than it did back. Oh yeah, no, you’re right. And there’s other weird stuff. Like, I mean, you know, that, that wall that he’s in, when he gets in that weird chair, I love, I love that in that weird interrogation briefing room that they have with that chair, that slides up into the ceiling.

Scott:

Yeah. Another, just one more thing to like set, like just one more thing to knock you off base.

Pat:

And then they have that. They have that wall that they, they keep changing. They keep posting putting like, um, pictures and other information and headlines. One of the headlines that I caught last night, Watchers shows a clipping, shows up Christopher Plummer and it says, clock ticking, no cure yet. Which made me go, Hmm, it’s very, very COVID-19. Or, or the other thing that I laughed out loud, going back to, uh, creepy David Morris, trying to talk to Catherine Riley at the signing when they first cut to it. There’s just this non-sequitur of this guy who just got his book signed, but Catherine and, and he’s like, I’m going to right now to get vaccinated.

Scott:

Yeah. It is creepy thinking about it, these in these times, uh, also like just seeing Pittsburgh, like devoid of people is not very comforting.

Pat:

Right. Um, I also want to talk about the weirdness of the interrogation ball. So if there’s so, Oh yeah, you have this ball and it’s got video screens and each scientist and Cole is on that ball. And then you get the weird stuff where they’ve got lenses or whatever, but it made me chuckle the last time I watching it. Cause it was like, wow, this movie predicted zoom meetings.

Scott:

Yeah. Kind of did. Yeah.

Pat:

Yeah. Just, just as, just as off-putting and invasive, to be fair to the 2035 future of 12 monkeys, there are a lot less glitches than actual zoom. No one freezes up when they’re talking to call. Yeah.

Scott:

Yeah. You don’t have to tell people you’re on mute.

Pat:

And one other, one other COVID thing or recent thing that I was like, this is so bizarre. You know, it’s very, it’s a S it’s a quick part in, uh, in, in, in the film, but, and it’s mostly, I think, through a headline, but there is a clipping when he’s at the animals. So freedom for animals association headquarters. And I see something, or maybe it was in the interrogation slash briefing room in a future where they show a clipping of goings. And it’s, it says senators rattled, because they had invaded the Capitol and let he let loose a hundred snakes.

Scott:

Oh, wow. I didn’t catch that. That’s crazy.

Pat:

And I was like, that’s kind of creepy gone the way that current events and the events of 12 monkeys bizarrely mirror.

Scott:

Yeah. That’s a little frightening. Yeah. It definitely adds another layer of the move. Yeah.

Pat:

You can have layers. How’s how’s your drink? Doin? 

Scott:

My drink is gone. 

Pat:

Your drink has gone. Have I, you know, I I’m still working on mine. I obviously I’m talking too much. 

Scott:

No, no, no. You’re doing good. 

Pat:

I better drink more.

Scott:

Yeah. I didn’t pour a huge, huge amount. I just did a little, you know, this being Sunday at all. Try and to, uh, trying to be good. I didn’t go crazy.

Pat:

I understand. I had a question actually. So when you watch the film or watch films in general, do you have a drink when you watch the film? 

Scott:

Yeah, Usually. Yeah. Usually I do. How about you?

Pat:

Oh, I always do. I mean, to be quite honest, I’m not very sophisticated. Most of the time when I’m watching it, most of the time I’m very like Cobra, Kai, Johnny Lawrence. So like just like, Oh, to watch a movie, I’m going to bring up the old core’s banquet.

Scott:

No, I usually I’m usually drinking bourbon. I it’s, it’s funny that I have scotch in the house. Cause I usually don’t through watching 12 monkeys. I was drinking, um, Henry McKenna. Ten-year-old bottled in bond, which is a great bourbon. My good friend, Tommy gave it to me and I finished it off before the podcast. That was what I was supposed to drink for the podcast. But that went gone.

Pat:

That means it was good.

Scott:

It was just too good. Yeah. It was too good to sh not hold on to,

Pat:

We didn’t talk about Frank Gorshin how do we not talk about Frank Gorshin because he’s, he’s so amazing. And Gina had never watched it. No. Gina had actually seen the film before. Okay. And for the audience who doesn’t as Gina is my wife and she recounted a tale of, it was a horrible date that she had watched the film on. And so I think that colored her, like remembrance of the film, she just was like, Ugh, 12 monkeys. But I made her watch it with me and she really enjoyed it. Oh good. No, she, she was, she, she was, she was very impressed and sh and she liked it and, and said, yeah, I don’t know why I thought it was very difficult to follow and I just wasn’t into it because of the situation I was in, which brings up, uh, I forget. What was that article you sent me about? The 25th anniversary was kind of like talking to David peoples and Terry Gilliam.

Scott:

Yeah. And, um, yeah, it was interesting. He, he didn’t hold any punches wasn’t um,

Speaker 3:

And I’ll, I’ll add this, I’ll add the link to it in the notes. So podcast, if anyone’s interested, but, uh, it didn’t seem like he, he just kept talking about Bruce Willis making an ass face. Uh huh.

Pat:

I think, I think the words pincher was used.

Scott:

Yeah. Uh, which I just thought was hilarious, you know, after, after making this great movie and just having all these layers to it and then like, all you want to talk about twenty-five years later is Bruce Willis, his face not being what you wanted,

Pat:

But in, in that article, they bring up how difficult the material was for people. So they, David peoples and Janet peoples did this. They, they got the permission from Chris marker who through, through, uh, through a dinner with Francis Ford Coppola. Cause Coppola was friends with Chris marker. And, and he just kind of mentioned off the cuff, like Janet and David would like to do this, this film based on your La Jetee.  I think you should let them do it. And Chris Mark was like, Oh, okay. And I thought it was gonna be a big deal. The, the, the, the article goes on to describe how difficult difficult it was. Like Terry Gilliam saw it and he got it and was interested. He had another film I can’t remember was that he was supposed to be working on at the time and pass, and then they couldn’t get other, other directors would look at it and they didn’t know what to do with it. And I think John SEDA,

Scott:  

No. And then they dumbed it down. At one point, they like tried to like put more stuff into it to explain what was going on, which Terry Gilliam, when he found that when he got back version of the script hated and asked them to go back to the original. But what were you going to say?

Pat:

I was going to say that the article says that John SEDA, who, who plays, um, he plays the, the, the other prisoner that’s in the cell next to him. Jose. I’m sorry. He’s thank you, Jose. He, he, he said that it, he says in that article is something along the lines. Like, I didn’t understand that until I watched the film and, and the more I watch it, the more I understand it. Yeah.

Scott:

Yeah. It’s a weird film. I don’t think it would get made today.

Pat:

Great. Because it, it doesn’t dumb anything down. Like you either get it or you don’t, and there’s, there are more questions in there are answers and it’s, that’s, what’s interesting too, to me, is that when you think about it, it doesn’t hand you everything on a silver platter, which I think is great.

Scott:

I mean, yeah. You could still have tons of questions about that. Any, you could take any 15 minutes of the movie and do you feel like you want more knowledge of what’s going on in that scene?

Pat:

No, definitely watching the film, you know, Catherine Riely when she’s giving her, her speech or a presentation on her book and talks about, you know, this character from the 14th century that spoken a different dialect and, you know, warned about the dangers of, of a plague 600 years later, I thought that it was cold, but then I remembered, wait a minute. They’ve had, they had, they’ve had other people who’ve they’ve sent out before. So at first I thought it was him. And then, then I was like, Oh, wait, no. So the referencing on some of these things, some of it is coal. Like the world war, one stuff that she discusses. But some of it probably was someone else because the, I thought it was cold, but the, the illustration shows someone who had a beard and stuff like that. And then there’s stuff off the cuff. Like, I don’t remember the CA I don’t know what the character’s name is, but the, the, the, the raspy voice guy that he keeps hearing, he’s like, Hey, Bob, you gotta prep a job.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. There’s that guy really exists. Or is that just in Cole’s head? I don’t know,

Pat:

Because at the end, when you think of everything through it, doesn’t quite add up because you think maybe he’s in it’s cold head and that’s supposed to like make Cole and the audience question, the validity of what’s going on and reality, whatever. But then he does, he does some stuff where that, I think that character is, is, is I would point to, is one part of the film where you really just don’t know. Right. Because he, he says stuff that it’s like, Oh, you got it. He shows that he’s taken us teases. Like, that’s how they, that’s how they can follow you through the, you know, the transponder and your teeth, which, you know, leads Cole to becoming what the dude, by the way, they do two plays. The pimp that comes in at, towards the end. I’m pretty sure he’s the bad guy and long kiss goodnight as well.

Scott:

Oh, really?

Pat:

When he says like, Oh, the crazy condensed this, when he’s taken out his teeth and then, and then he turns on a dime where then he acts like, he doesn’t know what’s going on. And when, when Catherine goes to Cole disappears, after he’s gone to the mansion to talk to goings, and he disappears when the cops show up and she’s by herself, she goes to the, the, the animal, the freedom for animals association by herself. And that, that guy, that raspy guy comes up to her. And he’s like, you gotta be careful that taking photos, which he says something, and it’s obviously true. And then he acts like, he’s completely, because in the scene previous, you see that they show, they put up new photos in the interrogation slash briefing room that says like, you know, cause at 5 million die, like, is this the source of the virus? And then you see her actually do it.

Scott:

Right? Yeah. So I don’t know. It’s it’s yeah. Like it’s very hard to figure that part out. I don’t think you’re supposed to be able to. Yeah.

Pat:

There’s, there’s a couple of things. There’s a couple of questions. I mean, there, you know, there are lots of, there are a lot of themes and motifs in the film. Like I said, there’s animals, there’s the theme and motif of eyes, which agree perception and, and bodes of spying and seeing like Coles, always being spied on. But one of the things that I thought was really interesting was glasses. Now, glasses, it seems to me that glasses somewhat a symbol of power or authority in this film because you have the scientists and you know, of the seven, the seven that he’s, I may be wrong in numbering, but of the scientists that he’s constantly talking to, that that keeps sending him back into the past. Only one scientist doesn’t wear glasses. That’s the woman. And like the scientists and Alicia Tio is wear glasses. And I thought it was funny, the, the, the power ball, zoom meeting ball that comes the, the video screens also have like some, some of them have like monocles and glasses on top of that. Like, it’s, it’s almost ridiculous. And cartoon is just how much attention it gives to them. Yeah.

Scott:

I didn’t really catch that. That’s a good catch.

Pat:

So when Jeffrey is back at his father’s house, he has the long hair, which is supposed to con confuse the audience as well as cold thinking that he’s the one in Cole’s memory in the airport, because now he has long hair, but in 1996, because he’s back with his father and he’s back in, in like not in a mental institution and he’s back grounded, supposedly in the real world with his father in the rich environment, goings wears glasses. Didn’t wear glasses in the, the asylum.

Scott:

Yeah. Wow. You’re right. I, you know, I, I didn’t piece that together until you mentioned it just now, but yeah. The glasses is a big, is a big part of this.

Pat:

And the last thing I’ll bring up is Christopher Plummer, because this one made me crack up as Jeffrey is upset. And he’s like, my fault was given a, give a very important address when they’re taught, when his body guards like, there’s this dude who showed up, he says, he knows you. And he doesn’t have his shoes on for some reason, which cracked up and he’s sleeping. And he goes, and Christopher Plummer notices. And as he notices that Jeffrey is kind of being escorted out, he takes out of his pocket, the craziest here’s this, he takes up this, this crazy, like spring loaded, flip opening set of like opera glasses on a chain to like, look at Jeffrey. Like it’s very bizarre.

Scott:

Oh, weird. I didn’t catch that at all. Well, I’ll tell you one thing that I didn’t think work in this, the love story angle, Catherine Madeline stoves character, like at one point she like kisses Cole. And I was just like, I guess, I don’t know. I didn’t see it.

Pat:

Apparently. You’re not the only one. The test audiences didn’t see it either. And yeah. And this ties into some, this ties, this brings us back to vertigo. Okay. So the end of the film, they wind up in a theater, the Senator theater in Baltimore, I believe, and gorgeous theater from at least the way the movie makes it seem. And there, they just happen to go to the, is having a 24 hour Hitchcock marathon. And so when they first go in, you’re talking and Cole says, and this, this leads up to what you were talking about. But Cole Cole says, says a line that struck me to my core as a, as a, as a Cinephiliac he’s watching it, the vertigo. And it’s a scene where Judy dressed as Madeline is with Jimmy Stewart, Scott and Scotty. And they’re looking at this cross section of a tree and she’s like, and she points like here I was born and here I die.

Pat:

And that’s, that’s referenced in La Jetee when he points to the woman and says, Oh, I am from here. And he does that whole thing with the, with the tree and the rep in that point, logically it was a direct referencing to vertigo because Chris marker was apparently a numbered and obsessed with vertigo. And it ties to his whole theme. [inaudible] memory is major theologically. It’s also interesting with 12 monkeys. But with Cole says, that struck me to my core is he says, it’s just like, what’s happening with it. He said something like, I’ve seen this movie for. And it’s, it’s just like, what’s happening with us? Like the past the movie never changes. It can’t change. But every time you see it, it seems different because you are different, you see different things. And that, you know, going back to, we were talking about looking at this film through COVID colored lenses and during a pandemic, it’s like, Oh, we see different things because we are different because we’re actually in a pandemic.

Pat:

And so going back to what you said that you didn’t believe the love story, the test audience didn’t either. So what they decided to do was in that scene, after he, he falls asleep, she, she glues the fake mustache and the hair on him. He falls asleep and he wakes up and birds are on, right. Hitchcock’s the birds. And he goes out, he sees Cathern Reilly and she’s just ordered tickets for the plane, but she’s now the Hitchcock blonde. And what, the thing that struck me when I was watching is that it plays this music. Now. He obviously just left from watching the birds, but the music is specifically from vertigo. And I, the nerd in me had a bug up my where I was like, this has got it. So I looked at the soundtrack and I believe, and I, you know, there are others who maybe I am not an expert in vertigo and I’m not an expert in 12 monkeys. And so we may got people telling me that I’m wrong, but when I looked it up and I listened to the track, the track that they chose for that scene of them, like trying to bring this romance together is, is the track is called the past. And the woman, which I thought was amazing. And I try to use music to in imbued this scene with this, this kind of romance and aura of mystery. So you’re not the only one who had that issue, obviously.

Scott:

Yeah. That’s interesting. Yeah. I, I mean, I love the movie. It’s, that’s my only real criticism of it is that I felt like that was just tacked. I, there wasn’t much leading up to that. Like, if anything, they were kind of somewhat adversarial until that point.

Pat:

Well, I, I w I wanted to ask you from watching film. So, you know, Catherine rarely keeps saying like, uh, I felt, I felt like I met, you know, I’ve, I’ve met you somewhere before I’ve seen you before it’s throughout the film until she, until that scene, she’s she straight out says, I remember you like this. I felt like I’ve known you before. And I, I feel like I’ve always known you. And I don’t quite, I don’t know if I’m not getting, I wasn’t picking up on clues or something. Why does, why do you think Catherine really has this, this sense throughout the entire film that she’s known or met Cole before? Cause she’s the interesting thing is she’s not the one who can time travel,

Speaker 3:

Right? Yeah. She, she shouldn’t have those opinion basically. I don’t know. I, yeah. I mean, I thought, I thought that those, like her mentioning that stood out to me, but I, I just kind of accepted, it was never going to get resolved.

Pat:

I don’t have an answer either. I mean, it just I’ve been racking my brain to try and figure. I was like, well, did Cole maybe have, did Cole have Johnson to the past that he doesn’t remember? Or we haven’t seen, or, but I said, but that still doesn’t make any sense because it would only make sense if, and also we should mention, I don’t know if you’re aware, I know nothing about it, but they did do a TV series on 12 monkeys.

Speaker 3:

I, I, I saw that I’ve never seen the TV series. I don’t know if it’s any good or not.

Pat:

I don’t know. But you know, if I ever do watch it, which we quite a commitment, I wonder if they address that in some way, maybe, maybe in a TV series, they do something where coal winds up in the past, uh, before 1990, where he meets Catherine. Right.

Speaker 3:

That would make a lot of sense. Although it would be, it’s weird that he doesn’t remember it.

Pat:

Doesn’t remember it. Yeah. I don’t know. I, again, I don’t have the answers or maybe it’s completely supposed to be a metaphysical, like they were made for each other kind of soulmates. I don’t know. I have no idea, but I did. That’s why I asked you specifically since you, you were, you know, and, and again, I, I, I get your point a hundred percent. It’s not completely organic. It’s not totally terrible, but it’s not completely organic.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. It just seems, it just seems like it, it just, it just struck me as the one thing in the movie that I was like, I don’t know if I buy this in a movie that has a lot of things that you could say that about, right? Yeah. So it’s kind of weird that the one thing that I couldn’t accept was like the most conventional part of the story.  You want to talk about the ending?

Pat:

Cole says something earlier in, in, in the film when he’s in a day room and he’s kind of, he’s drugged out and he’s trying to write a love letter to Katherine with a crayon. And they’re showing stuff on the TV screen of experimentation on monkeys and rabbits. It just, he says off the cuff too going is like, look at them. They’re just asking for it. Maybe the human race deserves to be wiped out. And the end of the film kind of proves that Cole is right, because the end of the film cold makes a call to the carpet company or whatever, which goes saying, Hey, am I going to come back? And then Jose pops up and all these guys pop up and they, they give them a gun. Like you got to do this thing. Uh, you, you gotta stop. But you know, I’ve said this time, you gotta follow, you know, do what you’re supposed to do.

Pat:

If you don’t, if you don’t come back, you know, we’re, we got to shoot the lady and Cole’s as I’m like, Oh, so this is, this has nothing to do with the virus. This is about following orders. And that’s they, the scientists after, you know, after all that Cole has done all he wants to do, is he just, he just wants to chance it happened. It’s and now, you know, it may be not viable or the best, you know, I don’t know how he could exist in his own timeline. You know, that obviously scientifically wouldn’t be good, but still their solution is to punish them by giving a gun to that so that they know that he will be killed. They set them up to be killed because he didn’t follow orders. They didn’t have to do that.

Scott:

I mean, they had enough information that they could have sent because I said the whole team of people pack at that point, if they were where if they really wanted to stop the virus. Yeah.

Pat:

So after, after he does all this and there, you know, the scientists who are fighting to help save humanity, sentence, this man to die, just because, you know, he didn’t follow order. So he it’s up that at the end of everything. Maybe now they, you know, they have the, the, the pure virus, they have the cure for humanity, but humanity, of course, they don’t learn. They never learn. Like they still commit a crime against

Scott:

Humanity. Yeah. It’s a pretty dark ending. It’s

Pat:

Extremely cynical. I mean, his films tend to be, you know, time, bandits, time. Bandits is another time-travel film of his that I love, which oddly enough, we’re, we’re discussing this film for its 25th anniversary, but time bandits came out 1981, like in November. So we’re approaching the 40th anniversary of time bandits. Oh, wow. That also touches upon a lot of the same things where it’s, this movie begins and ends on the eyes of a child, eight year old child, that film deals with, I think the kids 11, it’s very cynical and it’s very dark, but it’s more comedic than 12 monkeys and fun. But it also plays with this whole idea of perception since Sean Connery plays both Agamemnon and the fireman at the end of the film, when he suppose when he returns home. And it also has all the anti-consumerism antiestablishment themes that are in, in this film, but it ends with he, he comes back through that adventure and he’s left and he’s his, his parents touched the wrong piece of, uh, you know, in the microwave and, and they’re just, they’re killed. He’s made an orphan at the end of the film. So the classic cautionary tale about science and meddling with the thing, you know, man, meddling with the things they are not meant to, if you do go through time, whether it’s to have adventures and steal stuff with a bunch of midgets or to try and stop a pandemic, you have to pay, you got to pay, right. So cold dies. And that kid gets his, his, his parents.

Scott:

Yeah, that’s true. By the way, just side note, my mother took me to see time bandits. I was pretty young. She hated that movie.

Pat:

Jena hates time bandits with a passion.

Scott

Really? I see. I like it.

Pat:

I own time. Bandits. I own the criterion time bandits. I own the arrow video, like 12 monkeys. I love that shit.

Speaker 3:

Okay. Yeah. I thought it was a great movie. And I thought the ending was really shocking to a little kid for a kid’s movie. It was pretty bold

Pat:

It’s and that’s why Gina didn’t like it. Cause it’s fucked up. Just like the ending of 12 monkeys is fucked up.

Scott:

Yeah. I re I read something. He said that someone asked him about happy endings and he said, my characters don’t have happy endings. If they’re lucky they survive.

Pat:

That’s pretty spot on and pretty bad Terry Gilliam and his films are like the way the world is right now is bonkers. And he’s obsessed with crazy people because they make more sense.

Scott:

Yeah. So overall, overall though, I have to say it’s a pretty good movie.

Pat:

Yes, definitely. I think it’s infinitely watchable. Uh, you learn something, you grab it. I think it’s holds up on its own.

Scott:

Right? It doesn’t seem dated at all. No,

Pat:

I enjoyed it. It was a pleasure revisiting again and again, the future is history, as it says, and it’s just it’s jam packed with so much. So there’s so much stuff that there’s more stuff that I’m sure you could say, or I could say, but, um, I guess, I guess we should wind down.

Scott:

Yeah. You hear the theme music. So that means we’re kind of coming to the end.

Pat:

That’s all the time we have for today. Thank you for listening. Our next episode is going to be quite different, especially in its tone and where it’s going to be a hoot. We were going to be discussing, continuing with the theme of animals from 12 monkeys. We are going to discuss birds of prey and the fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn. Thank you so much for listening. We appreciate you joining us for our first podcast.

Scott:

Yep. And if you feel we got anything wrong or just want to say hi, or want to check up on any notes, come to thecinephiliaclounge.com.

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