11/21/2006

All Movie Talk, Episode 8

Posted in Episodes at 5:00 am by Sam

Show contents, with start times:

  • Second Take: Casino Royale (1:34)
  • Trivia Question: Lillian Gish (10:39)
  • Film Buff’s Dictionary: Jump Cut (11:12)
  • Best of the Year: 1927-1939 (14:24)
  • Top 6: Disappointing Movies (28:38)
  • How To: Survive an Action Movie (43:11)
  • Closing: Trivia Answer, Letters, Preview of Next Week (56:41)

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Show Notes:

Second Take: Casino Royale

It’s a slimmed-down, darker, more realistic Bond. And it works really well.

But at this point, how much more about Bond can we say? We both liked this movie quite a bit, and it’s a good bet even if you weren’t a fan of earlier Bond movies, though you may appreciate some of it more if you understand its heritage. Luckily for you, your favorite movie podcasters have talked all about Bond for the last several weeks. Hear the rest of our James Bond series: Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Trivia Question: Lillian Gish

Lillian Gish’s last movie was quite a bit later than Night of the Hunter.

Film Buff’s Dictionary: Jump Cut

The jump cut is ridiculously hard to describe without seeing it in action. It’s a jarring edit where the middle part of a continuous action is cut out. As with so many editing techniques, Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein helped define the jump cut. It was brought to prominence in modern film with the start of the French New Wave with the release of Breathless (1960) by director Jean-Luc Godard.

It is used in television a lot, especially in police dramas (those scenes where the cops are roughing somebody up in the interrogation room and everything looks choppy are achieved through jump cuts), and in reality TV shows to show progression, often with the added help of time-lapse photography.

Best of the Year: 1927-1939

Top 6: Disappointing Movies

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

How To: Survive an Action Movie

Sam and Stephen are experts at surviving action movies, having lived a combined 21 hostage situations, 43 Mexican standoffs, 96 high-speed chases, and no fewer than 201 last-minute bomb defusions. Listen to their advice closely or else you run a real risk of being the comic relief.

 
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11 Comments »

  1. ThePhan (128) said,

    November 21, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    -Well, we talked about Birth of a Nation/Intolerance and Eisenstein in class, but several weeks ago.

    -Huh. I’ve only vaguely heard of a jump cut, but it sounds… confusing. Although I suppose it would have its place and such.

    -And my reaction continues: I was confused by the sample jump cut, because when Sam said the last half of “seven” I thought he said “eleven” and I sat there thinking, “But he’s only counting to ten!” :-) I think I get the idea now, though, and how it might look/feel. Not quite as confusing as before.

    -I’m listening to this in the AMT player, but whenever I pause I think I’m listening to it in ITunes, because I usually do. So I keep accidentally playing my music library when I’m TRYING to get back to your show.

    -I love love love the idea of the “Best of the Year” segment.

    -Oh, I do want to see The Passion of Joan of Arc. And that is an AWESOME anecdote.

    -I watched “Un Chien Andalou” in class last week but didn’t like it at all. I was mostly just profoundly disturbed. Heh. Which, I suppose, might have been the point of the whole thing. In which case, it worked.

    -I ran into a review on Flixster where some girl complained that The Adventures of Robin Hood was “too medieval.”

    -My goodness. 1939 *was* an incredible year. I saw The Rules of the Game in film class.

    -That action star segment made me laugh. Good stuff. :-)

  2. Ferrick (140) said,

    November 21, 2006 at 12:52 pm

    The type of jump cuts that come to mind are ones where someone is doing a bunch of business that is normally boring if nothing out of the ordinary happens. For example, doing business in a bank. Whether normal business or someone going in to rob the place, if nothing happens while inside other than the expected plan, then what we often see is a person going into the bank and then a cut to him walking out. It saves time and we know what happened while inside.

  3. siochembio (82) said,

    November 21, 2006 at 5:38 pm

    Big shout-out for Love Me Tonight! I should have mentioned that in last week’s Top 6 thread about movies that impressed. I didn’t really know what to expect when I put that one in my DVD player, but I was just blown away by it’s utter charm and Pre Code sizzle.

    Really like the Best of the Year section. Over the past eight months I’ve been focusing on seeing a lot of earlier cinema, so I liked hearing your takes on movies from that era.

    I really should watch The Passion of Joan of Arc again. I was tired when I watched it the first time.

  4. Ferrick (140) said,

    November 21, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    Hmmm, now that I look at it, is my example of a jump cut accurate or is it something else? The examples that I keep seeing make it seem like the cut has to be jarring in some fashion and my example definitely doesn’t make you completely change gears.

  5. Sam (405) said,

    November 21, 2006 at 6:51 pm

    Ferrick: It depends. If it’s a single shot of a guy going into a bank, then coming out, and the cut is accomplished by removing the middle section of footage, then yes. But in theory it could just be a regular cut.

    I think the more typical example is, you see a guy walking down the road, and he’s walking in a continuous motion for a moment, but then suddenly he snaps to a spot further down the road, and then you see him walking continually for a moment more. So, they filmed the guy walking the whole length, then snipped out the middle section.

    ThePhan, I guarantee you you’ve seen many, many jump cuts before and just not realized. Now that you’re aware of the general idea, my prediction is that you’ll start to see them all over the place.

    They’re common on TV, as the show notes say. They’re also common in flashy, modern crime thrillers. Increasingly, they’re used with a number of other techniques to portray disorientation, like if the main character has been drugged or knocked out. They’re also increasingly common in trailers, because you can get across the gist of a shot in less time.

  6. Ferrick (140) said,

    November 21, 2006 at 7:07 pm

    Another Bond link:

    http://www.cracked.com/index.php?name=News&sid=1303

  7. KTSlager (55) said,

    November 21, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    The pontificating about trucks and where they keep their gallons and gallons of explosive fuels in the Action Movie bit this show reminds me of “Waterworld” and that wonderful shot in which two tiny jetskis crash into each other and a gigantic mushroom cloud of flame and fire results.

  8. LaZorra (60) said,

    November 26, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    So what if you’re a nerdy chick in an action movie? I am afraid there is no hope for me. I shall make a point of staying away from bombs with digital timers, I think.

    The info about jump cuts was really interesting. I’ve been studying that in my video class (and been told not to use them — argh) and this really helped clarify it for me.

    The Wild Wild West is more disappointing to me as an interpretation of the old TV show than it is a movie in general. I think if it had been made under another name, I would have just thought it was weird and mediocre instead of horrendously, glaringly bad.

    Also, I did a total double take at the end, heh. Dork that I am, I was all, “Wait, that’s me!”

  9. Sam (405) said,

    November 26, 2006 at 8:06 pm

    Hmmm. ARE there any nerdy chicks in action movies? If that’s what you are, it’s entirely possible the whole matter is moot, and you’ll never find yourself in an action movie anyway.

  10. LaZorra (60) said,

    November 26, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    In that case, I hope that street vendor takes returns on handguns.

  11. Sam (405) said,

    November 27, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    FYI, Dave noticed that the end of this episode was missing the customary “Cut!” sound that have closed all our episodes to date. This was an oversight that I’ve just corrected. The episode now ends with the “Cut!” sound.

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