All Movie Talk, Episode 21

Posted in Episodes at 5:00 am by Sam

Show contents, with start times:

  • Film Style Spotlight: Neo-Noir (1:38)
  • Trivia Question: Footloose or Flashdance (13:44)
  • Oscar Watch 2006: Final Speculation (15:53)
  • Top 6: Movies We’ll Never Be Able To See (24:05)
  • Fact or Fiction: The Oscars (48:43)
  • Closing: Trivia Answer, Preview of Next Week (53:54)

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Show Notes:

Film Style Spotlight: Neo-Noir

Neo-Noir is a fancy way of saying “new noir.” If noir is a broad term for a style or movement of the ’40s and ’50s, neo-noir is an even broader term for movies since that period that deliberately evoke the mood of classic noir films. Some key neo-noir films:

Chinatown (1974), by director Roman Polanski, is one of the most celebrated neo-noir films. About a private detective in pre-war Los Angeles, the film is a direct callback to the great noir films. It even has director John Huston in a supporting role: Huston directed the classic proto-noir film The Maltese Falcon (1941).

Joel and Ethan Coen are perhaps at the forefront of the neo-noir movement. Their first film, Blood Simple (1984), is a noir-inspired thriller. Fargo (1996) is another film in this vein, and its stark imagery of red blood on vast white snowscapes is reminiscent of the black and white photography that so marks classic noir. The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) is a noir done entirely in black and white.

Brian DePalma is another director closely associated with noir in the modern age. His latest film is The Black Dahlia (2006), a crime story set in 1940s Los Angeles. Noir themes run through much of DePalma’s work, from his early Hitchcockian thrillers to his gangster-derived thrillers such as The Untouchables (1987).

Curtis Hanson also followed a similar career arc, starting with Hitchcockian thrillers and ultimately directing one of the best of the modern noir films, L.A. Confidential (1997).

Even a director like Quentin Tarantino, who has a style all of his own, has dabbled heavily in noir. Both Pulp Fiction (1994) and Reservoir Dogs (1992) have large doses of noir styles and values in them.

Trivia Question: Footloose or Flashdance

Footloose and Flashdance are pretty tough to keep apart. Which of these two flicks do the following songs come from?

  1. Holding Out For a Hero
  2. Maniac
  3. I Love Rock and Roll
  4. Let’s Hear It For the Boy
  5. What a Feeling
  6. Dancing In the Streets
  7. Waiting For a Girl Like You
  8. Footloose
  9. Lady Lady Lady
  10. Love Theme From Flashdance

Oscar Watch 2006: Final Speculation

Have you entered the Academy Awards Prediction Game yet? The Oscars are this Sunday (Feb. 25), so you’ll want to be sure you’ve listened to Episode 18 and have your entry code so you can be eligible to win a number of great DVDs.

Also stop by RinkChat during the actual ceremony, where you can track your game scores, comment on the show, make fun of people’s costumes, etc, as the show progresses.

Top 6: Movies We’ll Never Be Able To See

See our separate Top 6 entry for more information about our picks.

Fact or Fiction: The Oscars

  1. Did a streaker interrupt David Niven’s introduction of Elizabeth Taylor by streaking across the stage at the 1974 Academy Awards ceremony?

    Wikipedia tells the story.

  2. Did Marisa Tomei win her Best Supporting Actress Oscar when presenter Jack Palance read the wrong name?

    Snopes to the rescue.

  3. Did a write-in vote win cinematographer Hal Mohr an Oscar in 1936 without being nominated for it?

    Doesn’t seem possible, does it? Wikipedia and the IMDb get down to the truth of things.

  4. Did an engraving error label one of Spencer Tracy’s Oscars as belonging to “Dick Tracy”?

    Stephen’s guess was that he sure hopes so. The IMDb makes good on his hopes or dash them to pieces. One of the two.

  5. Did an impostor falsely accept Alice Brady’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar on her behalf, then abscond with the thing, never to be seen or heard from again?

    It certainly sounds like an urban legend. Here’s the IMDb’s report of this oft-repeated anecdote.

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  1. Grishny (156) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 9:59 am


  2. Stephen (221) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 10:03 am

    I should note that if some of the audio in this episode sounds a little worse than normal, that’s because we had some technical issues with this episode. So if I sound a little funny in a segment, my apologies.

  3. wintermute (157) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 10:03 am

    I’m not sure I got the point of the Footloose / Flashdance trivia question. I was hoping the answer was going to be that all 10 songs appeared in both films.

  4. Stephen (221) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 10:23 am

    I think it’s one of those things where if I tried to explain it, it wouldn’t be funny.

  5. Grishny (156) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 10:50 am

    It was funny, see, because Stephen got every answer right except the two painfully obvious ones. And because Sam said “Flanchdance.”

  6. Sam (405) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 11:41 am

    The funny thing about that is — well, obviously Stephen got the two obvious ones wrong on purpose. But the fact that he got the other eight right was not planned at all. I didn’t tell him in advance what we were even going to be doing for that trivia question (I never do), and it just so happened that the combination of knowledge and good guesses got him through all eight. It really couldn’t have worked out any better than that.

  7. famous (8) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Good episode, guys.

    Question: Isn’t Tomei pronounced “Tome-aye”, not “Tome-eye” as Sam kept saying? Just curious.

    You mention that you were surprised about the Academy allowing write-in votes and you weren’t sure if they still did or not. They don’t. Both the links above mention that the next year the Academy eliminated the write-in rule.

  8. Sam (405) said,

    February 20, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    famous: Looks like you’re right about pronouncing Tomei. Also, thanks for clarifying the write-in thing. I did notice that after that recording session, but then I forgot to mention that in the Show Notes.

  9. Jeffrey (84) said,

    February 21, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Loving your work, guys. Thanks for doing the segments about film noir and neo-noir as they’re my favourite film style/genre.

  10. K.T. Slager (55) said,

    February 21, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    I thought that Flashdance/Footloose thing was quite humorous, thank you — I usually listen to podcasts with my headphones on, so people often see me randomly laughing to myself in the middle of class or when I’m at my desk.

  11. K.T. Slager (55) said,

    February 22, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    Man, I seem to have some sort of talent at killing threads.

  12. WearetheMovies.com (5) said,

    February 22, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    I enjoyed the 6 Movies You’ll See Segment. Although — while listening to the podcast — I was left a little confused when you didn’t mention the Zack Snyder involvement. Infact, had I not known about his confirmation to direct “Watchmen” at Paramount, or even Paul Greengrass’ earlier involvement with the project, I will have never guessed that this comic book had the possibility of being adapted. Stephen, curious to know why you chose to leave out these two guys out. (And, yes, a Gilliam adaptation would kick all sorts of ***, alas, that’s never going to happen now, as your selection rightly proves.)

  13. WearetheMovies.com (5) said,

    February 22, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Oh, and cheers for your coverage of neo-noir. I’d only add John Dahl to the list considering the man’s built his career on this style…

  14. Rifty (64) said,

    February 22, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    I’ve got a question about the Movie Buff’s Dictionary.

    Are you eventually going to cover different parts of the crew, and what the jobs are?

    For instance, what, exactly, is (and is the difference between) a gaffer, a best boy and a grip?

    I know what a director does in regards to stage plays, but what, exactly, does he do in movies, and what’s the difference between him and the director of photography?

    What’s the difference between a producer and an executive producer, and what do they do, actually?


  15. Stephen (221) said,

    February 23, 2007 at 10:12 am

    WeAreTheMovies: My point isn’t that the movie will never get made (though unless 300 turns out be a lot better than it looks I hope Snyder doesn’t make it), but that Gilliam will never make it.

    Rifty: It’s something we’ve talked about before. I imagine we’ll either cover crew in the dictionary or possibly in another segment devoted just to that point.

  16. WearetheMovies.com (5) said,

    February 23, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Thanks, Stephen; I’m with you on “300″ — so far it’s looks like all style, no substance, and lots of screaming! Snyder’s a visualist, and although I quite like his remake of “Dawn of the Dead,” the Watchmen material deserves a little more than just eye candy. With Znyder locked in as director, I’m really hoping “300″ confirms the man’s capabilities extend beyond film form.

    Before I go (relating to your neo-noir discussion) just got back from Carnahan’s “Smokin’ Aces.” What a clever little film this turned out to be! A lot of people have called it Tarantino-esque, but that’s an unfair label. Carnahan’s has ported over the themes of loyalty and friendship and love from “Narc” to create a dazzling, expressionistic film featuring ugly-beautiful imagery. Interestingly, the plot conceit will be very familar to those who’ve seen Carnahan’s BMW short.

  17. ThePhan (128) said,

    April 30, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Listened to this one! Not a whole lot of thoughts on it though, except I did enjoy the neo-noir segment.

    And I only know the Broadway musical version of Footloose (and have not seen either movie). So I only knew half the answers - the obvious two, the two I knew from the show, and “What a Feeling,” which I have no idea how I know.

  18. Sam (405) said,

    April 30, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    There were two obvious ones?

  19. Nyperold (116) said,

    April 30, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Well, yeah. “Footloose”, which is obviously from Flashdance, and “Love Theme from Flashdance”, which is obviously from Footloose. Of course.

  20. Stephen (221) said,

    May 1, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Sure, obvious to you guys, maybe. I didn’t do so well on those two.

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