Transcript: Opening Night (1977)

61 min readJan 30, 2023


Transcript of 70mm’s Opening Night (1977) Episode.

SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers just like you. Every Monday, I chat about recently watched movies with my close friend and artist, Danny Haas.

DANNY Insane cast — Carrot Top!

SLIM And my close friend and movie insider, Protolexus.

PROTO [gibberish] Come on! I’m the movie insider. C’mon baby.

SLIM Every month, we have a new theme that guides our featured presentation for that episode and this time around, we’re ending 70s month with Gena Rowland’s in Opening Night. That movie was chosen by our guest, West Coast Editor at Letterboxd, Mia Vicino.

MIA I saw John Cassavetes in Rosemary’s Baby, and I was like, “Who is that? Hubba, hubba! What the heck?”

SLIM Is Gena Rowland’s the most underrated actor of our time? Do we all fear becoming old? Let’s find out… now.

[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

SLIM Right off the bat, we have to start. People are listening to this episode and their podcast apps and they’re seeing something fresh, something new. It’s been three years since we started the podcast and Danny you decided it was time to switch it up.

DANNY You know I did, because I get to the point where, normally I hate looking at my art anyway. But I feel like after three years, it’s time to just change the vibe a bit for the show. And what better nights to do it on then when I can spotlight general ones. So here it is. You’re looking at it now.

SLIM Can we get some some insights or some like some design insights? Into that rectangle? Right, you were telling me?

DANNY The part where you’ll see the art this time, it’s the dimensions of a 70 millimeter film strip. So where you see Gena now. And then I just wanted to give it some, you know, movie poster vibes. Like what are they called, lobby cards, like a good lobby card from back in the day. So yeah, time for some new art.

SLIM Gorgeous. Mia, have you ever stolen a lobby card from a movie theater?

MIA Stolen a lobby card? Ah, this is embarrassing. Can you tell me what a lobby card is?

PROTO Thank you for asking. Yes, I have no idea. [Slim & Proto laugh]

DANNY Okay, so if you Google like lobby cards, it’s basically the movie posters shrunk down to like an 8 x 10, or like an 8.5 x 11. That they just left in the lobbies that you could take. Usually it was before the movies were coming out to have like advertisement of upcoming movie. Now if you it’s something that I’ve wanted to collect, and my wife is rolling her eyes about me collecting another thing in my life. But lobby cards are amazing. They’re super expensive. Like if you look back, like the 2001 and the Star Wars ones, and like the big name movies are really expensive to collect. But I just love lobby cards.

PROTO Oh my god, these are so cool. I’ve never seen these before.

SLIM Did you just Google — what movie did you Google for a lobby card? E.T.?

PROTO Well, he said 2001.

DANNY It’s a lot of like maybe like a like a great screenshot of the movie, some of the posters. But there’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of great art that you wouldn’t have normally have seen coming from older movies.

MIA Okay, these are looking familiar, because when I worked at Amoeba Music, people would sell these to us and resell them. So now it’s all coming back to me. And yes, these are something that I would have stolen. [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM Okay, so we have a guest, as I mentioned at the top of the show, and as you just heard, there’s some thievery, potentially in some lobbies, but Mia Vicino, welcome to the podcast for the first time ever.

MIA Oh, thank you so much, Slim. It’s been a long time coming, huh?

SLIM Yeah, a long time coming. You know, maybe people have heard we work together very well. On the Weekend Watchlist podcast. You just are now the anchor for Best in Show at The Letterboxd Show. So things are moving and shaking, it’s the award season, So you’re very busy right now.

MIA Oh, yes, yes, I’m very busy. But of course I’m making time for my 70mm crew. [Slim & Mia laugh]

SLIM So Best in Show launched on The Letterboxd Show feed and full disclosure like we were talking about wanting a new pod for The Letterboxd Show. And I told everyone’s like, I don’t know anything about awards. I don’t know anything about it. So maybe we should like gear this podcast for noobs like me at a certain level. And I think you guys are doing very well that because I edit it, but I also you know, had to listen to it for workforce too. But I would listen to it otherwise because it is there’s like explainers like Brian Formo was on there. And he everyone does a great job of explaining to me the dullard of the company. Like what the hell was Sundance like, son, and we’ll talk about Sundance right now. Right. That’s Robert Redford. Didn’t he start that?

MIA Yes, he did. And he’s very handsome.

DANNY Oh yeah.

SLIM There was there any vibes that he was there in attendance in the shadows.

MIA See, I wasn’t there. So it’s hard for me to tell but best believe that if I were there, I would be on the freakin hunt. That’s why they’re not sending me.

SLIM What would you do if you saw Robert Redford on the slopes at Sundance while you were there?

PROTO Oh, I’d chase them down. You know, Hey, Robert, it’s Proto. It’s me. It’s the movie insider. I’m just I’m a dullard as well, because I was in Salt Lake City this week. And I had no idea that Sundance was going on. So movie insider, everybody.

SLIM I mean, we haven’t even talked about this, like even privately perot was like on a plane that said this week, while he watched nine movies, we’ll get to in just a bit. It’s like more than Proto’s watched in the last like six months in one trip. He’s like, leapfrogged all of us. We’ll get to it in mere moments. So when we have a guest we real quick go through their four phase on letterbox together get a feel for their movie tastes. And the first one on your account Mia — by the way, 100,000 followers on Letterboxd. I don’t even know —

DANNY Excuse me. What?!

PROTO Whaaat?

DANNY That’s so stressful.

MIA It is. Ohhhh, thank you for sayin g so. People have a lot of false conceptions about what it means. They think I’m getting like 1000s of dollars a month for this.

DANNY You’re rich!

SLIM You’re just getting 1000s of comments that you probably would never read on your review.

MIA Yeah, I haven’t had notifications on since 2018, is kind of the way I have to live. Not that I’m complaining. But it’s a little weird.

SLIM The price of fame.

MIA Ohhh, it’s sooo difficult… [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM So number one on your four faves is Mikey and Nicky which I actually was wondering if you’re going to pick from Elaine May. Why does that one make the number one because your boy is in it?

MIA My boy. Yes. My husband, John Cassavetes, we are married despite his death in 1989. And that hasn’t stopped us. [Danny laughs] So my kid Nicky’s up there because like so I discovered this kind of later like in 2019 because it was just like not released until criterion restored it in 2019. And I watched it like so many times. As soon as I saw it for the first time like I immediately wanted to watch it again and I almost never had it never happens to me. So there’s something special there. Plus it’s directed by Elaine Mae who I want to rep and want to kind of spotlight I want more people to discover her work. She only made four films. But I have thought about switching out Mikey Nikki for opening night many many many hi I want to say I’m always on the verge of it but I’m like if I do that then I won’t have any lady directors of my top four and you know, I got to wrap them. So opening night is the alternate but Mikey and Nikki is great. And if you have heard my four faves episode on Letterboxd, which Slim, you have interrogated me about Mickey and Nicky on there.

SLIM We did great that episode, if I can be honest.

MIA I think so, it got me a job. [Slim & Danny laugh] So yes, Mikey and Nicky. Check it out.

SLIM I’m trying to find Proto’s review… I wanted to spotlight.

DANNY Oh no. This is dangerous. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Never a good way to start a thought. I’m trying to find Proto’s Letterboxd review. We’ll get to it later but Peter Falk is in Mikey and Nicky.

MIA Damn right.

SLIM Proto is on record, quote, “Peter Falk is my sleep paralysis demon.” [Danny & Proto laugh]

MIA No! Stop! Why! What! He’s nice!

SLIM Proto, care to elaborate on that?

PROTO Listen, so we did A Woman Under the Influence on this show. And that was other than Colombo years. I haven’t watched Columbo in years and years since I was like a kid. But that was like that was this was like my first experience with Peter Falk as an adult. And I mean, he’s quite a performance in that movie. And you know, I think coming away from that, the who that guy was and just like his relationship with his wife and his kids, it just like, irked me and like stayed under my skin. So for him to appear in this moment in this movie for just a miracle. Oh man as like this cool, you know, like, here’s everyone’s celebrating and the like, I don’t even know how to like be like standing there. But he’s like so gnarly and like, just started in about him.

SLIM I don’t even remember that scene. I must have blinked and missed Peter Falk stairwell.

MIA He’s standing on a stairwell near that. Yeah, near the end when it’s opening night. He’s just standing there. And I don’t know when I was like, he’s not he’s literally.

SLIM I missed it. And I remember thinking of pros review, and I was like, wait a minute, do pro reference Peter Falk. I miss it. So the whole thing is very fascinated by next on your list though. Down with Love from 2003 Peyton Reed, Rene Zellweger and Ewan McGregor.

MIA Wow. Yes. Well first off it’s directed by Peyton Reed of the Ant-men series. He directed Bring it On and Down with Love before he took on Ant Man world so world I know. It’s absurd. But I love down with love. That’s another one that I discovered later on in life. When I was thirst watching you and McGregor’s entire filmography I had never heard of this film. The synopsis was something about like it’s very it’s very screwball rom com it’s very like it’s like the sex comedies of the 1950s as well and I really liked those older rom coms because the the leads actually have like a spark and chemistry these days. Don’t get me started on modern rom coms. That’s a whole other episode. But this one is just so fun. It never gets old and Ewan McGregor and Renee Zellweger get to sing, there’s a musical number.

PROTO Slim loves when he sings.

SLIM I’m not —

DANNY Mia, brace yourself.

MIA Slim…

SLIM If we did a Moulin Rouge! episode we might lose —

DANNY We might get canceled. [Slim laughs]

MIA Wait, do you think he’s a bad singer? Be Real.

SLIM I think Moulin Rouge! is not great. And I also might think that he’s not —

DANNY Gere we go.

SLIM He’s not in my top 500 favorite singers.

MIA Well, okay, that’s fair.

SLIM Yeah. I mean, maybe maybe people watch a few clips of Moulin Rouge! with Ewan singing and you get back to us. Get back to us in the comments and in our Discord.

MIA Go listen to Elephant Love Medley, go listen to Your Song, go listen to his song at the end of Pinocchio. Did you hear that, Slim? What’d you think of that one?

SLIM Yeah, that was better. I think he was going to, he tried to go too hard in Moulin Rouge, like he was like an opera singer.

MIA Yeah, he was doing too well. [Slim laughs] He put too much effort into his work.

SLIM One last thing I’ll say about Peyton Reed. Peyton Reed is in my good guy list because he’s appeared on an On Cinema Oscar Special. And he went along with the bits like he’s a funny, he knows funny.

MIA Well, he’s allied. He’s allied with Tim Heidecker and Greg Turkington! Well he keeps putting them in the Ant-man.

SLIM Greg is in his movies. Yeah, he’s a Greg head. So Smiley Face from 2007 is your next one. And I had never heard of this. Before you came on to the podcast, Greg Araki, but this is like a hardcore stoner movie, but it follows Anna Faris. It’s not like she’s a girl. Yeah, so it’s very different.

MIA What a girl. Yeah.

SLIM So yeah,

MIA I mean, we are dearly lacking stoner girl representation. This is a serious issue plaguing America, plaguing the world. And this one is a step in the right direction. And it’s just relatable. She’s in LA. She gets too stoned. And she has to do like kind of trivial tasks, just like her chores almost. And it’s really hard. And I really, chores are hard man. Anyway, and I think Greg Rocky is such a talented and interesting filmmaker. He’s one of my favorite who tours as as you may, as you may call them. John Krasinski,

SLIM Adam Brody’s past top.

MIA Yeah. So Adam Brody’s playing her drug dealer. Reds too to the white guy with dreads and it’s just like, everyone’s kind of against type. It’s so interesting. There’s a great monologue about Garfield the cat and lasagna. Like it’s really really funny. I’m laughing the whole time. Hard to track down though. So

SLIM it is yeah, it’s on. It’s on to be right now to be army rise up. Thank God for Toby. Casey in chat says that’s my Friday Night Movie sorted. So it sounds like he just won over Casey. Yes, we’re

MIA already getting more people for the smiley face army. Part of what’s your favorite

SLIM Anna Faris movie?

PROTO Oh, gosh, there’s so many Brokeback Mountain of course we did that on this show.

MIA I forget she’s in that I always forget she’s in that.

SLIM I can’t believe you just rattled that off. Are you on her page right now? Get your glasses right now. Final movie, which coincidentally, next month’s theme for this podcast is the VHS village. best films of all time that top 100 as voted by our supporters, and this is on there to Kill Bill Volume One Tarantino dying. Did you see that in theaters? Or when was the first time you saw Oh, I

MIA was small. I was too young to see it in the theaters not to give away my age. We weren’t I, my first I would see it. When I was like a kid at Hollywood video, I would just see the cover. And I was like, That looks cool. But you know, I’m like, nine, maybe it’s like that you should not be watching. And then when I when I was 16, I ordered it from DVD Netflix. And that’s the film that got me in to film. So like, I was like, the first time I was like, what movies can do this. And then Lucy Lou’s performance specifically, like that role was just extremely important to me as like somebody of mixed Asian heritage. It was just really cool to see her on screen being so badass. So yeah, this is just a very very special movie to me. I feel like I can’t ever take it out of my top four because of these reasons.

SLIM What a picture one picture. Thank God can you imagine us doing a Kill Bill episode?

PROTO God well, you know, no, I’m I’m rethinking because I I was pretty sure I had what my pick would be next month. But now seeing this new format of the art. I think I might have to rethink

SLIM oh my gosh, you imagined Danny Kill Bill art. I feel

DANNY like we’d have to do both movies to double Azure.

SLIM We’ll just have to do. Damned that will be really cool. Okay, so that’s the top four sort of, so I think folks listening probably have a good indication. Based on that as what to expect with our opening night discussion later in the show. Use your chapters to zip around if you so choose. But let’s say hello to some new patrons Chelsea, Daniel and Daniel to Daniels this week. We have a lot of Daniel Daniels.

MIA We got the Daniels Academy Award nominees.

SLIM I can’t believe they decided now was the time after all the nominations will appreciate it. They got access to the VHS village discord, Danny’s prints with a juicy discount. And all the episodes in the 70mm vault the exclusive episodes available to supporters. Wait, do we need to hear from Proto about Greta.

MIA Gerwig.

PROTO she’s this rising star, actor, director. She does it all. And I you know, I decided to watch this little picture this week. It’s been on my watch list for a while Frances Ha. Frances Ha, you know, I don’t know if this movie would be for everybody. But it was definitely for me. One thing I loved about it, it’s about she plays Frances she’s in her mid 20s And this movies from 2012 So at that time, I was a similar age as her and even though my life is was much as much different than hers was at the time just knowing that this movie was made at that same time as like where I was and you know you’re the things that happened in your mid 20s As you’re you know sometimes forced to transition to adulthood your relationship to your friends who you thought might be your forever friends kind of changes your circumstances change you’re forced to do things you might not want to all those things that this movie goes over it and. But Greta is just — I think she’s just magic in this. I fell in love all over again. I mean, I fell in love with her in watching White Noise the week before and I fell deeper! I’m in deep now with Greta. [Slim laughs]

MIA I love Frances Ha. I love when she goes to Paris and sees Puss in Boots in theatres.

PROTO Magical moment.

MIA Yeah, I’m glad you liked it I just want to say that’s a great film and it only gets better upon rewatch for me like the first time I watched I was like oh it’s good that I watched again when I was like in my mid 20s And I was like oh my god that got me that got me

SLIM a few comments on your review proto cover. This is in caps cover one of her movies on the pot I beg Jake also says Did someone say Greta month

PROTO there’s a lot of groveling in our in our comments nowadays.

SLIM I think that might be in the VHS village top 100 And I think about it

MIA it makes me weep

SLIM yeah time this could be a big month for us a huge month February. What about labyrinth Prado you also

DANNY I was one Wondering if you bring it

PROTO so this is my first movie that I watched on the plane. You know, I’m scrolling through United Airlines, their, their filmography, they’re seeing what’s available. And labyrinth, you know, I’ve always wanted to watch it. I watched a legend for the first time and for whatever we legend in Labyrinth, they’re like in the same category to me. So I was like, Oh, let me let me bang this one out. I’m hanging out. It’s, I mean, what can you say? This? This movie is not good.

MIA That’s what you can say. I guess.

PROTO It’s fascinating of like, the time and you know, taking David Bowie and putting him in this movie. I mean, I love Jim Henson. I love his work. There’s some great creature design that in this, but he like, was he on acid or something while designing or designing ledges? It’s, some of the designs are unreal. And you know, not advisable. I mean, the kids who saw this in theater they’re probably all dead now. Maybe make it to adulthood? I don’t think it is that disturbed. And these children I mean, do you need to see what uh, the anatomy of a full grown man that up close for an hour and a half? I don’t think

SLIM this library review the end of the year. How about David? How about David Bowie soundtrack from far left like this was when I read your was it your Ninja Turtles review. couldn’t get through. But if we ever need a 3d model of Bowie’s scrotum we’ve got what we need. I have never sat through labyrinth. I think I watched the first five minutes with Amanda like years ago and I shut it off for something else. But yeah, Labyrinth is one of those nostalgia movies for people. There’s labyrinth fans out there.

MIA I only I started watching it when I was in college. I think it got an hour in but I was too stoned and fell asleep. I don’t know what happens. I don’t know when she gets out.

SLIM Danny, what about you and labyrinth? You have any nostalgia for this?

DANNY I don’t. It fell into the my hate of Muppets category. So Muppets as a kid terrified me. And there was no way I was watching it as a kid and I don’t unless you have nostalgia for this movie. I don’t think you’re going to enjoy it in your 30s 40s for the first time.

MIA I was also afraid of the Muppets. Really? We exist. We exist. We exist.

DANNY Thank you. I would have horrible nightmares of sweetums the giant full grown muppet. Eddie would mess me up. I can’t do I can’t do Muppets not even as an adult

MIA muppet. Yeah, we’re all furiously typing. That was scary. That one is really I was also scared of this one.

DANNY It’s not a hand in there. It’s a full grown human.

MIA Oh my god.

SLIM Tell me that part. No, you’re not upset about Muppets. But what is the thing that you’re fearful of the like Henry Anderson subhumans? Yeah, Harry and the Hendersons. You can’t deal with that.

DANNY Cancel Harris.

SLIM I did find protos Ninja Turtles review. I’m gonna just not try to read it. It’s too good. I put it in chat. If anyone has time to read it later. It’s one of my faves. We give out a free year of litter box pro every week to a friend that shares the show on social media or tags their reviews 70 mm pod. Brit Barnum on Twitter, quote, so I started listening to 70 and pot I’m loving it so far. It’s such a list. It’s such a fun listen. Poor art of Danny anytime they rip into a Star Wars film because they do not hold back. Their episode on Rogue One was fantastic because of those different perspectives. In my opinion, though, so you just want to for your letterbox Pro. Any any comments on how we treat you in Star Wars episodes.

DANNY I’ve always said I love watching Star Wars with friends and talking about Star Wars of friends. So I’m happy that we don’t agree on Star Wars all the time. We if we agreed on Star Wars all the time, we’d be like just like every other Star Wars podcast. Right. Okay. Yeah, we can always agree. But regrown is perfect.

SLIM Oh, well, yeah. Let’s see if we do it a third time. We changed

DANNY our mind. We do it one more time.

SLIM Danny, you’ve gone back into the bond journey.

DANNY Officially the bond. Yeah, we talked about last week. I watched that documentary on amazon prime the sound of double oh seven. And now I am back in I’m now into the Timothy Dalton era of James Bond which it’s so good. Timothy Dalton, as bond is. He’s just perfect. He’s already a perfect actor. I love Timothy anyway, but him his bond is just he feels he feels right after coming off of Roger Moore. But then watch Living Daylights and the ACT Shouldn’t felt real? The gadgets aren’t over the top. There’s not It’s not super, like Roger Moore felt like a parody of James Bond. So it feels good to be back in the bond era again. So, yeah, that’s where I’m at. Yeah. Time for license to kill license to kill. So that’ll be next week. Yeah, I’m excited. That’s the revenge

SLIM one right? Where he goes. He quit mi six. No, it’s never been done before.

MIA I’ve I’ve never seen a single bond film. No one. No. Which one would you? Which one would you recommend for me? Who doesn’t know shit?

DANNY Well, I would start with their Daniel Craig journey. Okay, Casino Royale. Casino Royale is still my favorite bond. And there’s there’s a couple of duds in there for Daniel. But as a whole, it’s a great journey with Daniel.

MIA And yeah, we’re talking about

SLIM last week, man. There’s just so much junk in the Bond franchise, but people just choose to ignore it and love it. Any other movies you want? Talk about Danny.

DANNY Um, I had it up one second. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. As looking at smiley face,

MIA as you should be. You won’t get in trouble for that.

DANNY We watched Casey had never seen we were looking at protos review of what was the movie about the gallows. He watched elevators to the gala Elevator to the Gallows. We were going to watch an older movie. But I had remembered that I had wanted to watch notorious the Hitchcock movie with Casey. I had seen it before. I wanted to watch it with her for the first time because I loved that movie I loved anchored in that. And I gave it another five stars again. And letterbox is an incredible Hitchcock. It’s so weird to because the movie takes it starts and it just goes and it’s there’s no beat to pause. But also it’s a weird slow burn as well. And it has an amazing third act. Ingrid and Cary Grant are magical in it. It’s just it’s a gorgeous movie too. I just I love notorious so much. Do you have the disk for this? I don’t have the criteria. And I’ve been meaning to get the blu ray from them. But But yeah, notorious is it’s just, it’s a lot of fun.

MIA It is great. I become afraid when Cary Grant isn’t being nice. You’re like it in the movies when you watch. Like, I don’t believe I don’t believe this. I don’t think that would do that. Actually. No, but it’s great. It’s great. Yeah,

DANNY it’s absolutely great.

SLIM Casey liked one of my, I guess my notorious review and it’s always cracks me up when I get a like on a random review. Yeah, that’s what they’re watching tonight. Pro I did mean to ask you about elevators to the gallows. Yeah. You had a great time watching that. Oh,

PROTO yeah. Yeah, that was that’s that’s, I mean, it’s a great movie. And it felt it felt like very modern. The movie and you know, the black and white movies. I always I always I still feel hesitant at times to put them on. I think that’s what kept me away for so long. But it’s it’s a great story. I mean, I think I said it might be my favorite nor ending ever. Like I was just floored by how that movie ended. It was just perfect. Nice.

SLIM Louis mele nailed it. The director of that film, that step kicked off my journey of his after I watched that couple years ago, started tracking down some of his films. very worthwhile journey, IMO we’re running out of time, just real briefly. I did watch the Banshees of Initium bringing this up. brought it up. You know, the vibes are real good right now. We don’t want to spend a whole lot of time on and we’ll be peaceful. We we were all friends here. This is a safe space. It wasn’t for me. That’s all say it wasn’t for me. Yeah. Yeah, it was great. You know, this is one of the things because I knew I was going to set off a firestorm. Like as I had the app open I was like, do I want to log this with a rating? What if I just don’t give it a hard no rating? Will that convey what I wanted to convey? No. To me give it three stars to avoid any kind of like so there’s all this was going through my head and I was like you know what, eff it I’ll just give it a two and a half stars.

DANNY Imagine having 100,000 followers on letterbox and writing review.

SLIM I only I have three. That’s what I go through. Like I would not even buddy know if I would post anything if I had 100,000 followers. But you loved it.

MIA I you know what? I wouldn’t say I loved it. But I did quite I did like it. I didn’t like it and I am rooting for Colin. Oh, nice. Yes, he’s he’s one of my many, many husbands. I just I have and I think this could be his year. I think he could I think he could finally become an Oscar award winning An actor so for that reason I am very pro banshees because it can do this for him and my priority is Colin,

SLIM always. Of course of course. Okay, I think it might be time to get into our feature presently to

MIA my other priority Johnny cassette tapes

SLIM so this is the last episode of 70s month. This is me as pic and we’re about to get into it just real quick. So pro what is what is this movie about?

PROTO Myrtle Gordon is a beloved film and stage actress with a new play the second woman about to debut with longtime collaborators. But during a rehearsal night a young woman is killed outside the theater and the accident haunts Myrtle. As the plays debut grows closer, Myrtle struggles to perform her role and begins to see the dead woman in increasingly vivid ways. Opening night arrives, but Myrtle is nowhere to be found. With no recourse the producers cross their fingers and hope their star finds a way to the stage at night,

DANNY and Candice

SLIM Pardo Have you ever heard of this film like we’re not huge cassava cassava it is cassava said heads but when we started our best last year or whenever we did a woman on the influence that opened our eyes but had you heard of this film Pardo

PROTO I probably only clicked on it after we did A Woman Under the Influence because you know I didn’t I think I gave A Woman Under the Influence three stars. But I I wanted to give cassette tapes another shot. So you know perusing looking around but yeah, didn’t really know anything about this one.

SLIM Danny any indication?

DANNY No the exact same. I remember clicking on it on letterbox and seeing the banner image of of Jenna and John on stage which changed I did change God because that was such a bamboos low res I was like, Oh, this is a this is a stage play. What is this movie? I don’t know if I want to watch this. So no, I haven’t I hadn’t even thought about

SLIM this film. So me uh, what was your first knowledge of this movie? Like, were you into the journey for cassette tapes, and discovering everything like what was your first kind of memory of this movie?

MIA So I had seen A Woman Under the Influence in college. And at the time, I was also kind of lukewarm on it. Because my I was still developing and still figuring stuff out. But I was also like, let’s give cassette tapes, another chance. And then I Oh, no, this is what happened. I saw John Cassavetes and Rosemary’s Baby. And I was like, Who is that? Hubba hubba. Ah, and then I was like, oh, he’d like that movies on college. Like I should watch more of his stuff. And so this another one I ordered off DVD Netflix, in like 2019. I was on DVD Netflix for a long time. And this one is tough, because on first watch, you don’t really understand the tone. Like it gets funnier and funnier. Each time I watch it to meet now it’s like almost a comedy. But the first time I watched it, I was like, Is this supposed to be funny, like the slapping scene, you know, like, there are all these things that go on for so long. You can’t tell like what the point is. And then it then it ends and you’re like, oh, and then you it’s kind of like a little puzzle. At the end. I like movies that are a puzzle that like you just can’t stop thinking about and that there are so many different interpretations and themes that are swirling around in there. Like I just rewatched this last night with my friend to prep for this. And we talked for so much afterwards, just like about all of our different interpretations of the ending of Myrtles character. I think it’s a very rich text.

SLIM Yeah, yeah, for sure that man with the dreams sitting there talking about a movie. It’s like put on ice and Porsche blade on fire in Philadelphia, in our city. We need to go back. So

MIA I also want to say I have the same portrait shirt that you’re wearing Danny and that I know slim also has.

SLIM How’d you go? Yeah, I think she Yeah, I think she got it from Thomas as well. Oh, wow. Believe it or not? Portrait gang. Six Degrees of portrait.

PROTO Got lost in the mail?

SLIM At Thomas in chat. So in this segment, each host writes down three things that we try to cover in a roundtable format. And usually when we have a guest, we’ll have a lot of overlap. So we might go faster through that discussion. So kind of connected to me as thoughts when we watched Mikey and Nikki for your episode. And I think what was the I don’t think I had seen another one of his but his style of AI Oh, yeah, I mentioned to you in that episode that I thought that He had directed Mikey and Nicky because it had that kind of loose acting. A camera’s just kind of running. And we’re gonna get we’re gonna get and that’s going to be in the movie that we saw in I think, his other films. So that was like brand new to me. I was like, Well, this is weird, like the 70s were weird, but unlikely that I was wondering like, why haven’t I heard more of him? But I think it’s interesting how everyone’s kind of like film journey progresses at a certain point. And then you start to discover some like these actors and film. So I’m always fascinated by that. So Mia, your first, what’s your first thing that you wanted to kind of just touch on in this discussion for this film?

MIA That’s a good question. That is a good question. I think the one of the things that I love most about it is the meta textual ness of it of Cassavetes and Rowlands together because they are like this power couple. I don’t know how familiar you are with John Cassavetes and Gena Rowland’s partnership and their marriage and everything. But I think this is what Okay, well, he is the ultimate wife guy. They got married, like young ish, they were together his entire life, like until he died. And they were so in love. And he wrote this film for her as a little gift. Yeah, just a little gift. You know? Like, show normal. So he I just think it’s so romantic that he writes her this big, meaty, complicated role that is so so so interesting. I think there are so many layers to it. It’s so thorny, she’s like, not a likable character. And I just think it’s, it’s such a treat for her to perform. So that romance aspect is very neat. To me. I think it’s very romantic is also the fact that he like casts himself as the supporting role who’s like, pining for her her kind of? It’s like some it’s some true like, both alpha and beta shit of him.

SLIM Yeah, the metadata of the MIT there’s the meta textual this of it, I feel like as you could say, it’s like everywhere to not just like inside their marriage, but even the like the play aspect. And then you kind of as the viewer them like unwrapping the, what she’s going through via the play, and the discussions like that, I thought that was pretty fascinating. perogy think.

PROTO Yeah, I thought the relationships between all the characters, there’s it feels like so muddy, a lot of it like you’re not really sure of what the relationship is. Even though the her relationship with Manny the I guess, was he you see, like the producer, or does the Director Oh, he was the director, right? So like her relationship with Him even it just leaves so much room for you to you know, come to kind of like your own conclusions as to what it’s about. So I thought it was in some ways, it’s kind of It can be frustrating because when you watch a movie, and as humans you want to find the patterns and just figure out, ‘what is this movie trying to tell me?’ But then I think the best movies are the ones that just leave the book open a little bit.

MIA Yeah, it’s not spoon feeding anything to the audience. It really wants you to figure it out for yourself and have your own take on it, which is really one of the more refreshing things, I think, about 70s cinema in comparison to modern cinema.

SLIM How do you pronounce his last name is it because era is Zara? Zara I believe about Ben bizarre the sex icon in 1970s. Can you imagine that head I wanted to gag When he kissed her on the cheek in front of the mirror when they like spent, like spent the night together but he don’t know what they were. He says CD. That’s why in my review, I jokingly said that this was like a roadhouse prequel, because it almost feels like a natural progression to what that character in Roadhouse became like he maybe he like flamed out in New York and went to go buy this bar become this like magnate in the south and wherever the hell they were.

MIA I kept seeing Yeah, you guys were putting Roadhouse references in your reviews and I was like, I haven’t seen Roadhouse. I didn’t know Ben bizarre is in Roadhouse. Now I gotta watch it.

SLIM Yeah, watch that right after opening night and all the sense in the world. But also Danny, your review pointed out that you thought he was what’s his face from Indiana Jones. I’ve heard the same thing Bremen.

DANNY I kept thinking he was the the head. The bad the opposite? No, no, he’s the ologists that was always beating in detail all the punches. I kept thinking that was him. I’m like, Why did these guys look exactly the same? And then I just had to look up the names and it wasn’t Paul at all. It was Ben’s Chinese. Dude. Completely different guy.

SLIM Yeah. Danny What’s the number one on your list to discuss?

DANNY My number one note was, Gena Rowlands scares me. I thought about this too when I was watching A Woman Under the Influence. She has an ability to just encapsulate a role where I can’t take my eyes off of her. She is so — even just saying she’s so good is just not even the right words to use, because she’s brilliant. Like there are just moments where people are doing something and I just can’t stop looking at what Jen is doing on screen she’s, she’s just kind of intoxicating when she’s performing. And it almost bugged me to the point where for so long in Slyke my tiny cinema life I hear the names like Meryl Streep, and all these names aren’t but I never hear people talk about Jenna rowland’s the way they talk about other top actresses cuz I don’t remember another actress that affects me like these two movies of Jenna I’ve seen and she’s just kind of incredible.

SLIM me why do you why do you think that is that does she you know her filmography better than we do but she does she never have those kinds of like big budget studio tentpole like for your consideration movies.

MIA For the most part, she pretty exclusively worked with John Cassavetes, and he you know, like he funded all of his films on his own. They all pretty much flopped because he you know, he doesn’t have any distribution deals like you’ll notice that this movie starts and it doesn’t have like any of the, you know, like studio logos or anything. It’s just a straight Tyrion channel and Janis films and then it just goes into it because John Cassavetes funded them all from the money he would make from acting. So like it was a conscious choice of her to be like, I want to collaborate with my husband and my friends, Peter Falk and Ben Zara and all these people. And she just like kind of valued that over a words acclaim and fame and everything which is very admirable. And also a lot of like contemporary actresses. Shout her out is a big inspiration in interviews like Cate Blanchett has gone off about how much she loves Jenna rowland’s, and you can see it in her work in my opinion. Like I feel like a lot of Cate Blanchett performances are very general and influenced. Yeah. But yeah, that would that would be my guess is that they just like they were just making it for the passion of filmmaking and not for a claim.

SLIMI can picture the two of them Jen and John being like the pot smoking teachers that run drama club or something and like, put on their own shows down the street at like the lower budget houses.

DANNY Yeah, Casey texted me after watching. She said John Cassavetes, the only man to direct his wife to two Oscar nominations. Only five other people have done it once for their wives. See, like, and they

MIA they didn’t have like the money for these awards campaigns or anything, but they still were able to, to make it just because she’s so damn talented. She’s your daughter. Like, that’s why in an opening night, like everybody’s putting up with Myrtles bullshit, because she’s such a great actress.

DANNY And I watched an interview with Gena. It was more recent, because it was a little older aged of her and it was up with Tiff. And she was just talking about how her and John did theater together, or she was on stage and I was like, man, just to be able to see Gena perform live on a theater. I mean, that would have been something special.

MIA I’m so jealous. So like they they filmed a lot of the theater scenes and opening night in like the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and they just had people come in and watch like those are just audience members. If I had a time machine, I would absolutely go back. Yeah. So that theater and just like watch them improv and like figure it out because he’s also so improv based. I think of opening night as Pro improv propaganda. The ending is pro improv propaganda.

SLIM It’s totally

DANNY Harvey Keitel in the front row there,

SLIM that guy back, I would would have bet money. That guy was Harvey Keitel would look just like the long hair. It was so unsettling to me. Proto first on your list.

PROTO So last week, I said that I was excited to launch another Cassavetes because when I when we did A Woman Under the Influence, I felt like I couldn’t get a handle on what this movie like the tone of it or what was really going on. And it kind of like threw me off the whole viewing. So seeing another one I was like, I was excited for it. And I kind of felt the same way. I like halfway through this movie. You know, I’m kind of like you know, like what’s what’s what’s going went on, like, you know, what is the tone here with, but it was like, Alright, this is maybe just his thing, this is how the movies are. But you know, I’m sitting there. And I just found this so funny that I’m sitting there thinking this and you know, I’m like looking to my left and my right while I’m watching this movie alone, like, what is going on in this movie. And it was so great, because at that moment there, it’s like after the second performance that they have, and they’re all back in the dressing room. And they’re having a conversation about her performance. And I think it’s Cassavetes, he says, does that does anybody know what’s going on here? And they’re like, No, I don’t I have no idea. So I just thought it was so funny. Like the reaction I was having with this movie. The actors playing the part like the characters are having the same reaction as well. So it kind of was like, Alright, I guess I’m okay. Like, I’m not lost, right?

MIA Yeah, no, that’s like kind of what I was saying. Oh, man, I lost my train of thought. But like it’s yeah, the tone where the tone is just like, What is this? Like? The first watch is like, am I supposed to be laughing? Am I spelling huh? But yeah, the more I mean that I’ve seen it four times now and yeah, each time it falls more into place like I you just get more it’s kind of like I don’t know like rewatching Mulholland Drive you understand so much. Is that relatable watched. Nevermind. That exam. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, the bar, the bar here.

SLIM I’m still just thinking of promo laughing to himself and talking to John Cassavetes on his TV and he’s alone in the house. And that just cracks me up. So my my first note is, like the first thing I thought of when we were talking about doing this movie, I was like we mentioned earlier with the backdrop, a call man this backdrop is terrible. It doesn’t entice me to watch this movie.

MIA Me I just want to say it sounds like it. That’s junk. So how to use that part at

SLIM least worked for you. So I went and I opened up like the criterion because I wanted to change it before I like dropped the link in the discord and I was scanning through the movie to see like what could potentially be a beautiful shot because you me I had mentioned there’s like a bunch more other options that work listed on TMDb for a backdrop potential and just FYI, all the backdrops on letterbox are all done manually. It’s not like an automated thing. So I was scanning and I saw this one scene with Jenna in front of a mirror. And I was like, Oh man, this gorgeous. And then I was like missing the shot that I wanted to screenshot. So I kept rewinding. So I just sat there and watched the scene not having started the movie at all. And I was like, What the eff is going on in this scene? I was blown away just by that 45 second scene, having zero context of the movie. So when I went back to watch it, I was like, Oh, hell yeah, here’s that mirror scene. And man that, in my opinion, is the scene of the movie. It’s so weird. It’s so tense. It’s so gorgeous, because you’re like sitting there with her. And by this point, the her fan had been killed. And she’s kind of like on edge, you know, you’re kind of just like she’s maybe on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She’s got a whole lot of BS going on in her head. And she’s just sitting there and like looking at the mirror and you’re just with her there in this moment of unease and like personal tension, I thought it was stunning that entire sequence and then this is almost like the beginning of her with the the dead the quote dead girl or depending on how you interpreted her youth coming and her just kind of battling with the end of her youth. And I thought that whole sequence was stunning. Like that was like the best Cassavetes anything that I’ve seen so far. Yes. What did you think of that scene?

DANNY No, I completely agree with you. I I think it is the scene of the movie. I would lean a little bit towards the end performance where she just drunk but I when I it took a minute for me to connect that this was the dead girl that she was battling and that once it clicked I’m like, Oh my god. This is this is brilliant.

MIA When she shows up to the funeral, and everyone’s like, why are you here? You don’t have children? Because if you did, you would not be here right? Like Myrtle you are delusional. Love you.

SLIM Your wacky friend Myrtle up to her old trick.

MIA Everyone’s like so sick of her when she like bangs up her face in the doorway and the writers like she needs to go she is crazy. Like we have to get her out of here.

SLIM Yeah, and then Manny the whole the whole movie many that kept the end. I’m jumping ahead but like many refusing to cancel, he’s like, let her let her let her walk leave her alone. The shows happening. Like are you crazy? In what world is this show happening tonight? She’s a star. And it did go on pero any thoughts on that scene or the the views The Dead Girl following her,

PROTO I will be honest, I have no recollection of His mercy and that you’re talking about

SLIM well said, well said, yeah. Me what’s next on your list?

MIA Well, we keep talking about the ending and keeps being brought up. Because that’s my personal favorite scene of the movie. And one of my favorite scenes of all time, like in all of cinema history. This is just a person like it’s not because I think it’s like, objectively great. It just very much speaks to me. It’s specifically like that last scene with her and John Cassavetes. And they’ve gone off script, and they’re just like, improvising all this random stuff. They’re being very random XD on stage together. And he’s like, yelling and being like, I’m Superman, and she’s like, You make me feel old and weird. They’re just like going back and forth. And it’s so natural when they’re like shadowboxing. Like, their chemistry is just, it’s so magical and interesting to watch. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Well, not we what are we fighting about? We are. What are we fighting about? Marty, we are absolutely different people than we were. When I look at my face in the mirror when I’m shaving in the morning. You know what I see. I can see that in my face. It’s hard to cover it up. Something deeply cynical about my face

MIA it’s hard to cover it up. Graduate graduation, it’s hard to cover it up. It’s very hard to cover it. By heart. That ending scene to me is what makes the whole thing fall into place. Because you know, like the whole time Myrtles like this play isn’t funny. There’s no hope there’s no levity. And then she like ended by doing improv comedy. With her scene partner, and it’s a hit, the audience loves it. And I just I think that’s a really interesting message. And it’s one that you don’t really expect from this movie. It’s like, oh, that’s one of the messages. Weird But True. Yeah, sense of humor is important.

SLIM Josh left a comment in chat religion vibe with the movie, and then that scene hit and everything clicked. Yeah, like when that scene was happening. My first interpretation was like, wait a minute, was the entire play a comedy and that’s like part of the thing. And then John started laughing. Like in some of the scenes that I was like, Oh, this is they’re just going off script in a very real way. You have the scenes with him like cracking up and laughing I thought were just so weird, but because you don’t see like it’s such a strange ending for movie. Oh, yeah. The main like very weird ending. And, you know, what? not known at the time was a mainstream movie. But now to me, I could consider this like a popular criterion mainstream movie pearl. What did you think?

PROTO I liked it as well. I like how it kind of connected back to I think the seat the slap scene, where, you know, this is like the scene that she’s really struggling with. And it’s very scripted. And they’re like, giving her direction like, No, it has to be this way. You really have to hit you, you have to fall down. And it’s very much by the, by the numbers part of the script. And, and I kind of place all the things but isn’t that kind of was that like, what that scene was replacing? Because it seemed like you see this scene a few different times. And like it was supposed to segue into that. But instead they kind of went off script and did their own interpretation of it. And it felt it felt very fitting and in like in a very meta way as well of just you know, I guess just the way like Cassavetes does his movies so in a way and just knowing like you’re saying Mia like their history, husband and wife, he wrote this for her. And here they are, you know, kind of like improving the the end of the movie as well. It’s it’s really cool. I’ve never, I can’t think of anything I’ve seen like that before.

SLIM But their secret handshake with the leg. He’s like telling her

MIA like, that would be so hard to do. While she’s that drunk. She has to do a hand eye coordination movie. Like right? Yeah,

SLIM she basically sobered up in a 90 minute play. blackout drunk to now nailing improv and the play.

MIA I just remembered when we’re thinking about the ending that fell into place for me this time May I share? Share on this watch what I noticed so earlier in the film, Myrtle saying if I can just reach one woman in the audience who who feel who relates to the character then I’ve done my job and the moon movie ends with her embracing the woman who’s like thanking her. And it’s like, thank you so much like I, I love the performance and the end it’s like her and she looks so happy and I’m like, oh my god, she did what she wanted to do. And she had to do it by going off script and making it up like I think that’s so I think that’s so neat. And we’ve just added another layer like every time I watched him like it’s just more masterful and it’s more put together than you think because like on first glance, you’re like, This is messy. Why is it go on so long? You know?

SLIM So this this is in the criterion? Yes. Does this do you have the disk for this? Mia? Does this one have any likes? It’s

DANNY also a nurse.

SLIM She just put in front of the camera can’t tell

MIA Yeah, I have I have my John Cassavetes box it flexes not to flex. This is my prized possession. So yes, it’s one of the films in it along with the killing of a Chinese Bookie, A Woman Under the Influence faces and shadows.

SLIM Yeah, our friends at the center knots podcast traversing the Criterion Collection, they did the killing of a Chinese Bookie, and then is the lead in that movie, right? He’s the star of that movie. So I was just like, I had no idea because I didn’t watch that along with them. But now I don’t know if he was an asshole not to.

MIA I think that this is probably I mean, I haven’t seen Roadhouse, but this might be closer to the Roadhouse role. This is pure conjecture, the Roadhouse.

SLIM Bizarre. Danny, what was next on your list?

DANNY We’ve gone through so much I listened to there’s a great I wanted to hear. John talk a bit about the film. And there’s a great 45 minute interview on YouTube. You can listen to John talk about this film. And one of the things I found incredibly crazy about his writing is they were talking about writing a play for a movie. And he was saying one of the guy interviewed was asked why you just pick a play that existed. And he was like, Well, I had to write a bad play. And he was like talking about the fact that he while creating this movie had to create a play, but also he had to create a play that sucked for, you know, Jenna’s role to hate the play. So we also had to not to not like this play, which I found like, incredibly brilliant and like just big brain John Cassavetes, because in the beginning, like proto said, it’s like, what is going on the play? It just sucks. Like, you can’t get into it. You’ve got your ex,

SLIM and they do just beat up his entire family.

DANNY Yeah, that whole segment like the like, if I’m just thinking, oh, yeah, he really had to create a play that really was a stinker. For us to really have that sense of why am I watching this film? It’s exactly how you’d feel in the, in the audience of that play, like what is going on in this play. And I just thought it was kind of brilliant. I don’t know much about John. Because of, you know, my lack of cinema knowledge, but this just makes me want to watch everything he’s done. Because he just feels like someone who was just being true to himself as an artist and a creative and he just did. He just did it with his own money. Whether anyone liked it or not. He was creating his art and we get these amazing vignettes of life that him and Jenna can just create together and it’s pretty crazy.

SLIM I don’t see a rating from you, Mia for faces on letterboxed once last time, you saw that,

MIA well, slip. Oh, make me admit. The last Cassavetes movie that I have not seen. I’m like kind of saving it because once I watched this, I’m like, oh my god, I’m done. Like he’s not making anymore. He’s been dead for decades. I’m kind of saving it. I’m scared to watch because it’ll be

SLIM out. Poster two. It’s on HBO and criterion right now. And

MIA I have it I have it on Blu ray right there. Waiting.

SLIM It would ever be opened. Who knows?

MIA Who knows? One day one because I’m gonna have to wait. I’m just not gonna watch faces come out and grow up

SLIM all of these have well designed posters. It’s another just very simple. They’re very simple love strings from 1984 Oh, they designed these things.

MIA Yeah, my God before I want that opening night poster so bad. It’s so expensive on poster Yadi or it’s like 100 Is that how you say it? poster at poster? Rottie

SLIM poster Totti poster, a top thing? Yeah,

DANNY I almost fired up husbands today that love very interesting

MIA and heavy. That’s a rough that is a rough watch.

DANNY I read the reviews. It seems rough.

MIA It’s yeah. It’s hard to just kind of throw on like

DANNY that good to know. Yeah.

SLIM What about Gloria from 1982? posters Awesome. Yeah,

MIA that’s what I did. I do with most verheyen as, as I was kind of mentioning earlier we were talking about lobby cards. I don’t remember if we if that was on the air before we started recording. Sorry, I don’t remember. But yeah, this was when I used to run the poster department in amoeba music for some reason. They let me do that. And I nabbed this one night that’s nice. Yeah, it’s like a vintage one. It’s like from the time it says to destroy it. Oh, my God, the bottom it’s like, Please destroy after using it for exhibition. Now. It’s

SLIM like Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega not for resale. Remember the tag that? That original box?

PROTO Kind of gives me Austin Powers vibes.

SLIM Sonic or Gloria?

PROTO Gloria? Just her stance. They’re

MIA badass. She’s

SLIM very fierce. Okay, I think it’s my turn. Let’s see. I’m pretty much exhausted everything I had, but I did want to call out her glasses. Her sunglasses? Yes. Oh my god. I mean, if she wore a different pair of sunglasses, it’d be a different movie. Like, these were incredible sunglasses, in my opinion.

PROTO I love the scene where she’s in the car with Manny. And she takes them off and he’s just like Jesus Christ.

SLIM It does cover up like 45% of her face. Yes, sunglasses. They were not part of what’s next on your list.

PROTO I was not expecting the stuff with the dead woman. And her appearing and the way she did appear. I found those scenes so compelling. Because I felt blindsided. I don’t even know what they’re call that. You know, I guess. I guess I would put this like those scenes. I can like call it like a psychological thriller. You know, it feels like that. bleeding into reality. You know distorting reality. You’re not sure what’s real. But that scene where she’s in the room with the medium and she basically gets attacked by her and she’s yelling at her. God those those that moment was music. Yeah. The music

are you

PROTO oh it means I’m no fucking spirit. What is that? What chill me. Incredible. And then the there’s at one point, I can’t remember when Myrtle says it. But even think about I get chills. But I think she’s arguing with someone about it. And then she says I can make her appear or disappear at will. And then the scene just ends. And it was just like, it kind of just shook me because in that moment, it’s like, alright, this woman is like, may have thought she had issues before. But now you know for sure. Like she is. She is pretty unhinged. Yeah. And just the way that builds I thought was fantastic. Yeah,

MIA that’s around the scene where Cassavetes is like what is going on. It’s around that part. Yeah. It’s see unless it’s like, it’s funny in a weird way. Also, like once it’s like both horror. It’s both horrific. But again, like I know, I keep saying this. Watch the mortgage. Like it’s like watching them like tar. You know who tar heads anyone?

SLIM I’ve seen it. Okay, tar. Where you’re like, Is

MIA this funny?

SLIM Are you supposed to laugh? Yeah. Is this like what I look like? And I Oh,

MIA yeah. It’s like, I don’t want to be like laughing at this poor woman who’s right, right. Like, especially in opening night. It’s like, I don’t want to like laugh at this when he was obviously going through something. But it’s kind of funny that she’s like yelling like, no, like, here are the rules of this ghost everybody. Like, here are my rules of the ghost. I can make her disappear and appear real at will. But also she’s not real. But also she is real. And everyone in the room was like okay, oh, how

SLIM about Frank? Was that Frank the bar hop from Return of the Living Dead? Do you notice that? pearlescent I think that was fragra Yeah. But yeah, that scene I remember she’s fighting the woman and like she’s punching her and I was always I was really that was like where’s the punch audio? Like she’s learning punches but it’s just like totally silent. And then it cuts to the medium just like watching her like fighting a plant. You know, she’s plant like there’s nothing there. her trainer says the worst edited fight scene ever. I mean, how do you edit a fight scene of a woman who’s on the verge of a breakdown and fighting nothing?

DANNY Those scenes felt very David Lynch Twin Peaks. Yeah,

MIA I felt like Isaac to yeah, yes.

DANNY Oh my gosh, every time the she saw the vision of the girl, I was like, Oh, this feels definite David Lynch,

SLIM for sure her like speeches in those scenes where that role is kind of telling her how much she loved the theater. And so that at that point, that’s where I started to interpret the girl. Pretty much as being in her mind about her her fading youth, where I started to think like that’s that’s you? That’s you at a young age that you’re talking to. That’s the the young you.

MIA Yes, yes, exactly. Because Myrtle has to make everything about herself. So it’s like this woman dies. And she’s like, how can I make this about me? And why you die?

SLIM Right? Because she even says I had an earlier she’s like, I have this dead girl. Yeah. And then you can always see that as like, the possessive that I’m going to use that to make sure that this happens. And when she first remember when she gets the writer, the writer tells her like, I’ll take you to this seance this woman, I know, the spiritualist and I started cracking up, I thought a proto. And like two hours, two hour drive. They stay there for two seconds, and she leaves I wouldn’t be so pissed if I’d made that two hour drive. So in my head, I’m thinking about like, what a waste of a trip. But then I remembered that, that’s where you start to get into her head, where she says the second woman is, is not about like a physical second woman in a relationship. It’s like my, my older self, like I, my youth dies. And then I become the second woman as I age, which I thought okay, so it wasn’t a wasted trip, because now the writer is getting that insight into her psyche, which I thought was fascinating.

MIA Yeah. And that’s funny the way she leaves to like they’re about to start. She’s like, Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t do this. She’s not real. I’m sorry, I by

SLIM God, Cannot I would not even be able to be around a person like that. No. And then she

MIA has to sit in the car for two hours.

DANNY So if you had told me that this film would have connected with Smokey and the Bandit that there’s two trans AMS transit, transit from like, almost exactly like smoking the band that I would have said, You’re crazy. There’s no way

SLIMsmoking abandoned prequel to write so many movies that branches into it’s insane. Yeah, anything left on your list that you wanted to bring up? For opening night?

MIA Anything left? I mean, we have really, we’ve you brought up another thing that I wanted to bring up, which was that whole aging theme, the second woman being the woman who takes over when you age, and like, part of the reason why she keeps freaking out near the beginning, whenever she has a freakout, I noticed that it’s when somebody tells her she’s not a woman, like people keep telling her like, You’re not a woman to me. You’re just a professional. And she’s like, Oh, am I not 16 anymore? Right. And I think I just think it’s such an interesting commentary on being a woman aging in the entertainment industry and how it’s a trap. And like, I love that scene where she’s like, I can’t play this role well, because then I’m only going to get matronly roles. Yeah. And she’s like going off about this big trap. I think that’s really prescient. I think it’s just like very wise and true and authentic. And it’s something that every actress has every single actress will deal with. And it’s a completely different way than the way that actors deal with it in aging. Like it’s, it’s kind of fine for actors to age, you know, they like they become a weathered and handsome and then people just discard older women. So it’s like, it’s this. It’s this meditation on Aging, while also being about finding humor, while also being a psychological horror. Like, it’s just so many smash things at once that you’re like, how does this this shouldn’t work? Almost, but it does very, very well. Yeah, it’s just very ambitious will also be in on kind of a smaller scale.

PROTO Yeah, I thought it was really fascinating. Just the, just that idea of aging. And it being such a central element to this because, you know, at this point, you know, of course, I’m a guy I don’t, I don’t really, like think about it as much or even just like, you know, what people say like, oh, to be young again. Like, that’s not really like a thought that like comes to my like, to my mind, much like, Oh, I wish I was younger. But it makes so much sense for an actress, and I think an actor as well, especially in terms of like their career. Because you can even think of actors when I think of just, I always just think of like when like when the Al Pacino like took his first comedy. It’s like, alright, he gave up. You know, it’s like alright, now he’s in this other category of movie. Of course he’s done other things. And then but it almost like it it does kind of shift your, like your view of an actor or an actress when they when they take different roles and like how that would affect affect them and just like how they think and maybe it’s just different because you know, we’re not in that in that world so we don’t think about it as much. Yeah,

DANNY I’m kind of sad we’re never gonna get the Daniel Day Lewis Meet the Fockers area for him.

SLIM Yeah, he retired before that.

MIA I don’t feel I I think he’s gonna come back someday. Of

DANNY course. He’s gonna come back. Gotta

PROTO the big one. Yeah.

SLIM A seven box production. Johnson stabs him at a retirement theme. I know he needs another hit after the DCU stuff

MIA fell through. Oh, like oh my gosh,

SLIM any final point for opening night.

DANNY Final point, I think my favorite. My general favorite thing about seeing this film for the first time is it a scene after scene after scene is unexpected. I don’t know where this movie is going the entire time. And then it turns. I mean, you go from stageplay to Jenner having a girl get killed in front of her and then it goes to mediums and she’s seeing the girl and she’s haunted. And it’s like, this film takes so many twists and turns. And I was honestly just along for the ride. I mean, it’s intoxicating to watch Jenna perform this entire film. I don’t know where I was at with woman on the influence. But for me this is an easy five star film Oh

MIA oh, when for the Cassavetes army, we got another member

SLIM incredible. Yeah. Wow. I

DANNY love this film. I had a great time watching it.

SLIM Huh? Let’s see. I think it’s officially my turn. So I’ll go through some maybe my honorable mentions. raincoats last art of wearing a raincoat I don’t know anyone that has a raincoat. They used to wear like this. Also wearing a suit coat over your shoulders like Manny did. What? Oh, yeah, we need to bring that back. I want to I need to bring that all the coats

MIA in this movie. were incredible. I want to add every single coat like she wears like a bobcat coat made of like 12 Bobcats it looks like and it has like a hood. It’s like oh my god. Apartment. Oh, I was just gonna say God Yeah, weird. It’s so weird.

SLIM It is very strange.

MIA It’s like the penthouse of a hotel because she’s staying in right Connecticut at something I like didn’t realize until this watch but it’s like this is a hotel that she’s like this like a huge loft with like a bed in the corner. I mean, I definitely read Yeah, no, no, no, absolutely. Like 12 landlines

SLIM to answer you could write you could rock a suit coat. Oh, no shoulders. If I saw you walking down the streets of Philadelphia wearing that outfit. Oh my god.

PROTO Get out of his way. Please. Let’s make it happen.

SLIM A cold compress with a little brandy. I love I love everyone’s like, fixes for someone who is obviously going through some kind of mental trauma. Cold compress with a little brandy.

MIA Right trying to make this alcoholic woman drink throughout the entire drink. It’s like guys,

SLIM God. Also the one guy who’s like almost sold job was getting her the brandy. I didn’t realize she like took a swig of it. I remember he like he put the bottle on. He like looked at it to see how much he drank. And before he put it away.

MIA There’s that guy who’s like, Listen, I’ve seen a lot of drugs in my day, but I’ve never seen anyone is drunk.

SLIM Yeah, he was like, You are amazing. Like, oh my god, biggest enabler in history.

MIA Is baby that is

SLIM the is the ex husband seen? What an awful just experience if that happened in real life. You want to hide in a corner when they show the actual play towards the end? Oh, yeah. So that’s pretty much everything for me. So I think I’m at four and a half stars for opening night. Yeah. The the weird mishmash of genres I thought was very intriguing. It ending with an improv scene. So weird, so bold in my opinion. And the mirror shot the mirror saying that proto was good at making himself look good. I love that. And I was thinking to myself, I’m generally against remakes, but I would love to see a modern version of this. I’m like HBO or something. We’re a play, man.

MIA I’m kidding. I’m kidding. I

PROTO love it. Man.

MIA I would love to see like opinions at once or something Yeah, like I hate it and I love it like, so funny.

SLIM I wonder who you would cast as like, who? Who would be the modern day media for John and Jenna? Like what would that? Do you have any like dream casting if you were to if you were it was a new opening night.

MIA Oh, Christmas Cena is John Cassavetes. This is something I’ve

SLIM thought about as a quick casting.

MIA Yeah, I’ve thought about this. I think he should play him. And then for Jenna, this is tricky because I bet every frickin blonde actress in town is gonna want that role. Cate Blanchett is gonna be gunning for it. And I think that’s tricky for my very tentative is Kate and Chris Messina. I think that would be neat. I think she’s probably taller than him which is true about real life too. John Cassavetes famously a short King 5656 Yeah, it is. I read his

SLIM Danny’s five one all right. Danny standing up right now

MIA okay. In like John interviews, he’s always saying like, I wanted to play basketball, but I was too short.

SLIM That’s pretty good. Guess I just had to google Christmas scene and he looks like an alternate universe John Cassavetes.

MIA i Yeah, he’s Italian excellence and you can never know you can make Italian and Greeks it’s Mediterranean. I think it could work. I don’t think anybody would be too mad.

SLIM No. Well,

MIA someone will be mad. Yeah, tell me I should not speak for the Greek community. I’m overstepping. I’m speaking for the Italian community

SLIM will have to publish your report your public apology to the Greek community goes out to the Greek community. Further What about you final thoughts reading for opening night.

PROTO Final thoughts. Another scene I liked that was was strange at the beginning where Manny is talking on the phone to Myrtle and his wife is there on the bed flopping around. He’s trying to convince her like Marilee you got to just be you know, being slapped by man. It’s not a big deal. You can do it and there she is, like, up on the bed like bouncing. It was like kind of bizarre, but like it, it added like this. This realness I think to see a like, you know, a person just being weird alone like that. I don’t know if it meant anything. If it was trying to say anything. I still don’t understand, like, what their relationship was the way like Manny was all over Myrtle. But then like, his wife was always around, like, very strange why she

MIA was around I yeah, I really liked that scene in the beginning, because it’s like, oh, man, this woman is like, competing for attention. But like, of course Myrtles gonna get the attention of she need the attention. She’s like, Yeah, of course she’s, you know, but this poor wife, she’s like, it’s 430 in the morning. Why are you talking to this person? Like, I’m your wife pay attention to me and you won’t and she’s like, trying so hard and doing all these different things to get him to pay attention. And he won’t. So yeah, I think I think that’s very, very interesting.

SLIM He probably went on an archaeology dig branch for that to battle Indiana Jones. Like two hours here to get to catch a cargo plane. Cargo.

MIA He is always in cargo planes. Ha, man. What’s

DANNY your stance on Indiana Jones?

MIA I fucking love him. He’s so hot. Okay. Yes. I am very pro Indiana Jones. Okay, favorite Spielberg? Like I yeah,

DANNY what’s your favorite one?

MIA It’s hard because I love the first I love the third in very different ways. But that’s such an obvious answer. Like the first and the third of the best. It’s like the

DANNY temple is grown on me and through the years but Raiders is my favorite.

MIA I mean, yeah, I have to go with the first one but I temples so silly. It’s tough because that’s the one where he looks the hottest. Like he’s so sweaty. As his like sleeve ripped off. It’s like, why did he have to look the hottest and the racist one. I do appreciate them all in different ways. But I mean, you can’t. First one is great. It’s amazing.

PROTO My one of the things I thought the I felt like the play suddenly made sense when she was drunk. You know, so when she’s finally performing in front of everybody, it almost felt like all of those scenes suddenly made sense of her like trying to get into this apartment, you know, can barely stand up and like the guy chasing her out or x which I thought was funny like it kind of like suddenly all clicked and it’s very, I agree. It’s so weird. The whole alcohol stuff. You know, just like this woman is an alcoholic but there’s people offering your drinks and it’s like, funny at times, but you’re like I feel like I shouldn’t be laughing Yeah, but you know I overall with Uh, watching this, you know, my second go around with Cassavetes I felt like I had a handle on what was going on so I really enjoyed it and I feel like now that I kind of understand his approach and what he’s going for it’s it’s it’s easier to consume it you know, it’s kind of like a you have to submit a markup you got to expand your palate, a little bit overs, you know, you gotta get matured with the cassava tree so I’m at four stars. Oh excellent. That’s great.

SLIM If there was any question me Is it five stars I feel like it was but

MIA I want to I want to share that the first time I watched it I was also a four and a half.

SLIM There you go. Did evolve over time and lens. Yes,

MIA I sat with it. I watched again and I was like, Okay, this is this is a five star actually. But I also just want to agree with ya the first Cassavetes I watched Woman Under the Influence it takes getting used to because you don’t you there’s not really any other movies like these ones to be honest. Like, yeah, I’m with you on that journey. I’d love to rewatch Woman Under the Influence knowing what I know now about his so true.

SLIM Yeah. Great pack. Mia. Great. Yes, ladies.

MIA So relieved that everyone’s joy because it’s a weird one, as we discussed

SLIM very, very, very mixing of genres. So before we hear from Danny, Danny is going to announce his pick for next week’s episode. Yes, from the VHS village top 100 movies of all time. Those are the only movies we can select for the month of February. We do have two letters to get to. Oh, you can leave us a letter at 70 Mm And this one comes from Andrew about opening night. Andy here aka xanthum on the VHS village discord, shout out to my fellow villagers if you aren’t part of it yet. What are you waiting for? Welcome Mia. Oh, my wife Hillary got me hooked on letterbox, which led me to the letterbox show, which led me to 70 millimeter. And that led us to today. Opening Night is my first John Cassavetes film. Thanks for this episode. Thanks to this episode. The way it’s all put together makes for an incredibly engaging viewing experience. There are shots that feel closer than a close up. Watching this film. I also couldn’t help but notice how much it predates certain storytelling techniques we often see today for example, the depiction of rehearsals going awry once upon a time in Hollywood or Babylon showing bad takes leading up to a good one. Or when a scene abruptly cuts to the next something used a lot and don’t look up which I liked me a loved

MIA influence of Cassavetes on don’t look up his strong

SLIM Brace yourselves but watching the play come together reminded me so much of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where they try to do a Seinfeld reunion and we see bits and pieces of the episode but never see the full thing. What a season that was I’m sure there are countless other examples and I’d love to know more about how opening night has possibly influenced what happens in front of and behind the camera today. Thanks for introducing me to cassette tapes and that’s from Andy

MIA oh it’s an honor I’m so glad that it’s finding more of an audience and everything because I think it it made it did not really make any money at the box office upon release it was such a flop it was like critically panned like yeah, I was really too bad so it’s just very nice to see it finding it continuing to find an audience even like so many years later it’s just it’s just very neat. I also appreciate the Babylon parallel because the friend I watched it with was like that I could not something about Babylon the whole movie like she’s so Nelly Leeroy and then the writer character was very who hears if you guys seen it? Well, nevermind. Okay, I’m gonna stop. I’m gonna stop there. But there are Babylon parallels that is very valid. Okay, there. I can’t wait

SLIM for that to hit peacock or Paramount with whatever. Great, great email. Yeah, we have a VM but some technical shenanigans. I’m just going to read a transcription of it. So we have one coming in from Daniel Hello 70 mm Podcast. I’m Daniel. This is Daniel. I recently discovered the podcast and listening to the In the Mood for Love Episode. Oh my and boy I really love the show. It’s really good makes me laugh a lot. I really enjoy all the analysis. I did just listen to the Rogue One episode. Oh, baby. We got to mention one episode in this one. Yeah, and I’m going to have to hard disagree on a lot of the things you guys say. But I still enjoy listening anyway. It’s just really fun podcast that I enjoy a whole lot. And I can listen to a while again, which is what I’m doing right now playing fortnight.

MIA No way I’m

SLIM going to stop so I can so I don’t die. Can’t wait to hear you guys. Opening Night episode y’all rule. So that comes from Daniel. Thank you

MIA for Hello fortnight or

SLIM do you have the Robocop skin and fortnight? What’s your best skin? The I have Indiana

MIA Jones I have the I have the one with the ripped sleeve shirt.

PROTO You gotta go.

MIA Yeah, that’s like my prized fortnight skin is my Indiana Jones. A lot of work to get that one I had to, we had to grind, you know? It was worth it.

SLIM I told me this story, but I can’t remember what I got a text from James one day asking to be picked up from school and he walks like his bus takes him to his elementary school and he walks like 15 minutes home. I was like, it’s not raining. I was like, Why do you want to be picked up? He’s like, I have to grind. I’m gonna have to

MIA pick that I gotta grind through. I understand that.

SLIM Yeah, it’s real. The grind is real. All right, so it’s time for Danny to announce the first movie of the VHS Yes. Top 100 movies of all time month.

DANNY This is a movie that I watched in the in the midst of the beginnings of our podcast, and I wanted to do it for our show for a while. So I was hoping that it would make the list and it did. And we are going to do 1940 two’s Casa Blanca, whoa, yes. The 4k just released for the 80th anniversary. And it’s a movie that I’ve wanted for us to do for a while. It’s a big one. It’s a big one. So it’s time. It’s time for cost of God

PROTO in 4k. My God.

DANNY Yes. Yes.

SLIM Here’s looking at you, Sam. That’s a famous line. Yeah. So it’s streaming. Play it again in grid, the famous scene, HBO max right now. So if you want to skip the hard release the physical 4k, I might need to either check my paypal credit balance, right. I gotta check things before. Yeah. Wow. Babbitt

MIA from Cassavetes to Casablanca. Oh,

SLIM it’s kind of beautiful stars

DANNY and the stars. Very excited. This was top 13 There’s a number 13 on the top 100 of the VHS. Holy cow, because someone can fact check me

SLIM maybe I don’t remember. I don’t even know if I’ve seen this. As an adult. I have this BLB watched. I haven’t rate starting. I just removed it because I don’t even I haven’t recently watched it.

MIA Same. I watched it in film school in films. No, I watched it a film class in high school. Probably how long ago and at the time, I didn’t I didn’t give a honk. I was I was a teenager. I’m like, You want me to watch a black and white movie?

DANNY It’s so true. It’s how I felt for so long. It’s like Casa Blanca, and Citizen Kane are just like, top tiers. And I’m like, I don’t want to watch these movies. Who cares? And then like 2020 I was like, let’s just do it one week in case and I watched them and of course, they’re great

SLIM wilin out that CRT was awesome. VHS right. Didn’t I think Citizen Kane came out of the top 250 on letterbox person boots kick that kick that guy out citizen came out of the top 250

MIA The important thing is opening night is still in there at number 200 So Oh, as long as we can keep that

DANNY we get a chance to rating so yeah

SLIM Casablanca is number 143 on the letterbox top 250 But way higher on the VHS village one

DANNY let’s see if we can get an opening night bump after this episode drops

MIA the bobby watching the data

SLIM scouring over the data. Will Mia thank you so much for coming on. It was a flight. I hope everyone tries to listen to Best in Show if you’re a noob like me or if you’re a vet you love award season. I think it’s a perfect fit

MIA and the checkout and we can watch list is coming back slim. Aren’t you excited?

SLIMYes, very sweet. This post will be back Thursday spoilers the three of us are going back in the studio together to go back we have the first time all year. So everyone follow me on letterbox listen to the pod I will have links to all that in the Episode Notes and promo Do you have any closing thoughts for this week?

PROTO Yes, you know this movie. I think it falls into a special category for me. This psychological thriller starring a female lead that really is in its own category. So I just made a list on letterbox for me for myself to kind of try to capture those movies because these movies are special to me and they kind of like really have shaken me unlike a lot of other movies. So I only have four on there right now but it’s my list women melting my brain. So it has it has opening night Black Swan repulsion and Perfect Blue. Those are those four movies. I think there’s another one that I’m not thinking of but these four for sure. Change change me.

MIA This one definitely had black swan vibes opening night and Black Swan and then of course it has black swan vibes and it has perfect blue vibes together

DANNY I kept thinking about red shoes watching this movie too. Oh

MIA yeah.

PROTO Yeah, that’s it too.

MIA So you know the stage and performance and blurring reality and the work yeah, yes, definitely. What

SLIM is probably going to watch thar

PROTO I know is that coming on?

DANNY via streaming right

MIA You can rent it but I don’t think it’s streaming for like free because I keep trying to get my parents to watch and they’re like not until it’s free on something.

PROTO You’re so close.

SLIM Alright, we’ll see everybody next week for Casablanca.

[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]




A podcast for film lovers, inspired by Letterboxd.