Talking Movies

March 22, 2020

You Have Been Listening To… : Part IV

As we hunker down and wait for the inevitable lockdown to finally be announced the radio show is on a slight hiatus. There has been a lack of reviews by me of new releases on 103.2 Dublin City FM this year, and what was personally an injury-enforced sabbatical from studio and cinema has now been made a general cinema sabbatical for all. But if you’re eager to explore the back catalogue here’s a round-up of links to editions of Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle and a list of the films we discussed since our Christmas countdown, as the segments morphed into an A-Z of Great Moments in Film that attempts to tip the hat to films that have an anniversary of some kind in 2020.

 

December

Review of 2019 (Free Solo, Non-Fiction)

Review of 2019 (The Mule, Apollo 11)

 

January

Review of 2019 (Balloon) + That Was The 2010s

Preview of 2020 (Tenet, Fast & Furious 9, The French Dispatch, Bergman Island)

TV Choice Terminator 2 + Classic Thunderball

TV Choice American Made + Classic Rebecca

 

February

Great Moments in Film – Groundhog Day

Great Moments in Film – Spartacus

Great Moments in Film – All About Eve

 

March

Great Moments in Film – Back to the Future

Great Moments in Film – Cast Away

Great Moments in Film – Les Diaboliques

Great Moments in Film – The Empire Strikes Back

January 19, 2020

Top Films of 2019

5) Free Solo

Alex can’t look down

Cameraman can’t look up

We can’t look away

 

4) Non-Fiction

Assayas returns

to skewer pretension and

patch some broken hearts

 

3) The Mule

Clint’s OAP Mule

Safely outruns the police

And  gives them sage words

 

2) Apollo 11

Just NASA footage

Cinema verite set

to soaring synth score

 

1) Balloon

Stasi Kretschmann hunts

daring young East Germans bent

on hot air escape

December 8, 2019

You Have Been Listening To… : Part III

It is time to discreetly begin to draw the curtains for Christmas. There will be no more reviews by me of new releases on 103.2 Dublin City FM this year. But here’s a round-up of links to the previous editions of Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle and a list of the many films we discussed since June if you’re eager to explore the back catalogue.

JUNE

X-Men: Dark Phoenix + Classic Ghostbusters II + Classic The Matrix
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/9619-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Balloon + TV Choice The Accountant + Classic Dr Strangelove
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/16619-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Brightburn + TV Choice Dial M for Murder + Classic Mean Girls
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/23619-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Yesterday + TV Choice Casino Royale + Classic Superman II
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/30619-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
JULY
Apollo 11 + TV Choice Bullitt + Classic Rear Window
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/7719-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Stuber + TV Choice Jaws + Classic Ma Nuit Chez Maud
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/the-sunday-breakfast-show-film-review-14719
The Current War + TV Choice Arrival + Classic Gone with the Wind
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/the-sunday-breakfast-show-film-review
AUGUST
Hobbs & Shaw + TV Choice The Guest + Classic It Happened One Night
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/the-sunday-breakfast-show-film-review-1
The Art of Racing in the Rain + TV Choice Patriots Day + Classic Phase IV
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/talking-film-on-the-sunday-breakfast-show
Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood + TV Choice Dirty Harry + Classic Army of Shadows
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/talking-film-on-the-sunday-breakfast-show-1
Pain and Glory + TV Choice White House Down + Classic Little Women

 SEPTEMBER

Crawl + TV Choice Gone Girl + Classic Whiskey Galore!
IT: Chapter 2 + TV Choice X-Men: Days of Future Past + Classic The Italian Job
https://soundcloud.com/patrickseandoyle/talking-film-on-the-sunday-breakfast-show-2
Extra Ordinary + TV Choice Batman Begins + Classic Ghostbusters
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/15919-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Ad Astra + TV Choice Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me + Classic The Godfather: Part II
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/22919-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Ready or Not + TV Choice L’Avenir + Classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/29919-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
OCTOBER
Joker + Judy + Classic White Heat
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/61019-the-sunday-breakfast-show-with-patrick-doyle/
Gemini Man + TV Choice Now You See Me + Classic Fight Club
Dark Lies the Island + TV Choice Good Night, and Good Luck + Classic Crimes & Misdemeanours
Countdown + TV Choice The Shallows + Classic Them!
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/the-halloween-show-with-patrick-doyle/
NOVEMBER
Doctor Sleep + TV Choice Kingsman: The Secret Service + Classic Girl, Interrupted
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/101119-the-sunday-breakfast-show/
Le Mans ’66 + TV Choice Funeral in Berlin + Classic Rio Bravo
DECEMBER
Marriage Story + TV Choice World War Z + Classic Field of Dreams
https://www.mixcloud.com/patrickdoyle/

July 7, 2019

Notes on Apollo 11

The visually stunning Apollo 11 was the catch-up film of the week much earlier today on Sunday Breakfast with Patrick Doyle.

Director Todd Douglas Miller, who doubles as his own editor, revisits the Apollo 11 moon landing 50 years on with the help of restored archival footage from NASA and the results are visually stunning, utterly immersive, and imbued with a great generosity of spirit. This is a documentary of a rare sort: no talking heads, little editorialising beyond notes of speed distance acceleration and people where relevant – what are you watching is simply footage of the time overlaid with sound of the time. Walter Cronkite’s TV narration laid over helicopter footage of the crowds gathering at Cape Canaveral, the hum of Mission Control as the camera tracks along the interiors crowded with NASA personnel. And this 4K restored footage looks incredible, some of it from neglected 70mm footage shot at the time. There is a 1969 quality to the footage, undoubtedly, but it is so crisp you’d swear it was shot yesterday. The ravages of time have not affected this film footage; unscreened, undamaged, almost a capsule of 50 years ago waiting for rediscovery.

Listen here:

June 23, 2019

Any Other Business: XXXIII

What is one to do with thoughts that are far too long for Twitter but not nearly long enough for a proper blog post? Why round them up and turn them into a thirty-third portmanteau post on matters of course!

Ancient Aliens: I don’t want to believe

I had the misfortune recently to come across a paean to Erich Von Daniken on the History Channel, a special of their disgraceful Ancient Aliens series. Erich von Daniken, author of Chariots of the Gods?, was, probably tongue-in-cheek, used by Roland Emmerich as an adviser on his preposterous 10,000 BC. His patented pig-swill has popped up in everything from Battlestar Galactica to Stargate to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to Prometheus. And as it doesn’t seem to show any signs of going away it can’t be treated as the joke it is anymore, it’s become harmful. The memorable verdict of the court psychologist looking into Erich von Daniken’s mental status after his epic embezzlement had got him jailed was that the man was a pathological liar and his book was a marvel of nonsense. It is a marvel of nonsense. It should be obvious to anyone who reads it why. There are some very clever Biblical reinterpretations like Lot’s wife being got by the flash of an atom bomb, but there’s the rub. Everything that the ancient aliens do on earth is from the technology of von Daniken’s time. They dress like the Apollo astronauts. They set off atom bombs. But, Erich, we barely made it to the moon at that level of technology, if these bozos travelled here from a far-off galaxy which we can’t detect why did they apparently travel dressed in vintage couture? Could it be that because von Daniken lacked the imagination or understanding for futurism that his aliens only had the available resources of 1968? Odd that they don’t have the internet, or wi-fi, or cell-phones, or quantum devices. Odd that humanity has developed so much since that book was written, and yet people are still, and perhaps increasingly, under its spell; which has the stupefying message that humanity cannot advance without alien assistance.

Worth waiting for? Probably, not.

When you play the game of thrones, you watch or you win: Part II

Previously I compared the reaction to Game of Thrones’ finale to the eerily similar meltdown everyone had in 2010 at LOST. I’d like to tease out the perils of serialisation. I remember reading a piece about LOST which suggested the flashbacks gave just enough of a narrative hit, of a story told within an episode, to keep those plebeians who watch network shows coming back for more; despite the frustrations of a never-ending story that flailed around for 6 years, and ultimately revealed it was always insoluble. I also think of an episode of Boardwalk Empire, where the episode ended with Nucky looking at his footsteps on the carpet, and it occurred to me the episode could have ended at any point in the previous ten minutes and it would have made no difference. But it was bad of me to think that, because there is an almost secular theology at work – the virtue of pointlessness. A story that gets wrapped up in an episode?! That’s for muck savages! The sort of NASCAR-attending mouth-breathing trailer trash who’ve kept NCIS on air since 2003. No, sophisticates only watch serialised shows, where nothing ever gets wrapped up in an episode. They are above needing a narrative hit; they are doing their penance thru endless pointless episodes for their reward in the future of a grand finale that makes it all worthwhile. I think that in serialised television, if there’s no episode by episode hit of story begun and concluded then the stakes get dangerously high that the end of the show must provide the meaning that makes all the perennially delayed narrative gratification worth it. And when everything is in service of a grand ending, there never is a grand ending. People howled at the end of The Sopranos, LOST, Game of Thrones: How many times can this three card trick be played before people get wise to it? It may not even be possible to play that trick, even if you have the ending up your sleeve. Smallville’s ending was clearly something they could’ve done at any point for the preceding number of years because it was an ending that made sense but was totally disconnected from anything immediately leading up to it. LOST and The OC ended with cutesy call back to the pilot imagery which pleased only other TV writers. [LOST writer Brian K Vaughan’s pointless Y: The Last Man ended with an image he said he knew from the beginning, the problem being it was literally an image, and the comic could have ended years earlier with it.] How I Met Your Mother stuck to the original ending, not realising that too much time had gone by with the story under its own impulses to bolt that ending on without enraging everyone. It’s a Kierkegaardean paradox: stick with your original ending and ignore the life the story took on of its own volition, or do not stick with your original ending and do not ignore the life the story took on of its own volition – you will regret it either way. When I think of shows that ended well, they tend to be network or basic cable: Buffy ended with a Mission Accomplished, Angel ended with a screw you cliffhanger and a quip, Veronica Mars ended with a bittersweet exit into uncertainty, Justified ended with a character moment after an episode that wrapped up its plot surprisingly early. Their Whedon X-Files model in common? Every episode a story, every season a bigger story – complete.

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