December 2010: The films of John Waters

Hell Is For Hyphenates – December 2010

Film critic Tara Judah joins the December edition of Hyphenates to talk over that month’s films, heatedly debate a contentious blockbuster, and check out the filmography of the Pope of Trash: John Waters.

3 thoughts on “Hell Is For Hyphenates – December 2010

  1. Adam

    Regarding Tron Legacy: I challenge Lee to get the same appreciation of Empire Strikes Back without seeing Star Wars. Also, not only was Tron a flop when it was released, but so were Blues Brothers and Blade Runner. So you can’t assume nobody’s seen the original. I really enjoyed that film, and for all the tacky dialogue and cardboard plotting, I found that was in keeping with the original. You’re not going to get Tarkovsky’s Solaris as a sequel to Last Starfighter, their intent is completely different. For me TL delivered an amazing, immersive visual world. One last point, which nobody seems to have raised: Daft Punk’s score was good but NO WHERE NEAR as amazing/innovative/memorable as Wendy Carlos’ original score. A brief reference to the theme somewhere in the sequel would have been great, I still remember it from when I was 5! Good work Hyphenates, see you in hell!

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  2. Lee

    The point isn’t that I haven’t seen the original, nor is it that people shouldn’t go into a film without first tracking down the flopped original that came out thirty years previously; it’s that the film itself assumes everyone’s seen the original, which is going to leave 99.9% of its audience in the dark. And you can blame the audience all you like for not seeing the original first, but they’re the audience. That’s why they’re called the audience. (Since you brought them up, a LOT more people have seen Blade Runner and Blues Brothers since they were re-evaluated as classics, but even a Blade Runner sequel would be ill-advised to leave its audience behind if it hadn’t seen the first.)

    References to the original and the continuation of the story is fine, and wouldn’t have bothered me at all. What destroyed the film was the sheer amount of back stories and flashbacks and more back stories on top of that, endless talking when the film came to a grinding halt on more than one occasion… and I still didn’t know what the hell was going on! It’s astonishingly poor storytelling by any standard.

    Your suggestion that I was expecting Solaris is quite the straw man argument. I love a good, fun, basic, schlocky action film as much as anyone — Paul cites my loves of Avatar in the podcast, for instance — and I judge a film based on what it’s trying to be. Was Solaris trying to be a fun action ride, it would have been a complete failure. T:L was aiming to be a fun, visually-stimulating rollercoaster adventure, and — to me — it failed.

    But thanks for listening! :)

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