Transcript: Roma (2018)
Transcript of 70mm’s Roma (2018) Episode.
SLIM Heeey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday, I’m joined by famous artist, Danny Haas.
DANNY [Danny wheeze/laughs for 6 seconds]
SLIM And spiritual advisor, Protolexus.
PROTO There’s a scene where there’s William Hurt, fully nude, with Kathleen Turner, fully nude. Both of them sopping wet. They’re fully nude! This is real!
SLIM Later in this episode and continuing Latin American Movies Month, we’re talking about Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma from 2018. Will any hosts openly weep during the recording of this episode? Find out… now.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM Before we get into the big show, this is a big show, Latin American Movies Month. Roma is our feature prezzo later in the show. There was a review that popped across my feed from Danny this week.
SLIM Stopped me in my tracks.
SLIM 1953 Roman Holiday. Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.
DANNY My goodness.
SLIM And the art that you put on Instagram also stopped me in my friggin tracks.
SLIM Was this is a date night movie? What happened?
DANNY It was! Why did I pick it? I think it was kind of like, I picked the last one, it’s your turn to pick. And so, I had been thinking about watching Roman Holiday for a bit. And I just remembered it this time. Fired it up with Casey and it’s a delight. Like it’s just a delightful film. I loved watching Audrey in this, she’s pretty, she’s just adorable. I had a great time watching her and Gregory Peck is just funny, and I don’t know. I just had a great time watching this film. I have not seen many Audrey Hepburn films actually. I think I’ll move on to other ones. I actually — I haven’t seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s so I might do that soon.
SLIM That feels like a 70mm ep, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
DANNY I know. That’s why I’ve dragged my feet on some of them. So it might be. We’ll see.
PROTO That poster.
SLIM How about that scene where she holds her nose for jumping in the water?
DANNY Oh my gosh.
SLIM What a movie magic moment.
DANNY Also I want that barber in jail. That’s what my review said. I want him jailed. What he did to her hair. Like I know she can pull off anything. But that first look. I’m like, sir, someone call the police.
SLIM Sir please. This is Marcie in chat’s favorite movie. Roman Holiday. Amazing.
DANNY She should have picked that for her council pick.
SLIM Oh my. Innaprop. Cut the stream. [Danny laughs]
PROTO Too soon. [Slim laughs]
*SLIM Boy, we have to say hello to some new friends this week that joined our Patreon at 70mmpod.com. Robert, Greg and Walter all joined. So if anyone’s keeping tally of how close we are, to the Road to Harry Potter. At 200 we start doing the Harry Potter movies just for our supporters. They enter the 70mm vault of exclusive episodes. We’re at 193.
DANNY Oh no!
SLIM My Dinner With Andre was number 10. I think that just hit the vault. “First episode drops the day we hit 200 right?” says Forrest. [Slim laughs] No, but it will be very soon. In fact, we’re doing The matrix episode next Tuesday for folks in Discord. Tuesday night is going to record next week. So The Matrix is the next exclusive 70mm vault episode. That’s gonna be hittin’ real quick.
PROTO I think we’re pairing the release of the Harry Potter with the mailing of the Solo print. [Slim laughs]
DANNY Oh, oh, I see.
SLIM Proto’s going in hard to start this episode. Should we get legal on the horn? Do we needed an arbitrator to sort out in this conversation? If you join our Patreon you get access to the VHS Village Discord, get discounts on Danny’s gorgeous prints that you can buy at VHSvillage.com. And like I said, those exclusive episodes. Proto, what’s the movie you watched this week?
PROTO I went back and vindicated myself.
DANNY Excuse me?
PROTO Because, you know, we’re all going on the Noirney, or the Noir Journey in the village. And I got a lot of grief because I skipped one of these movies back two months ago. The first month, I didn’t watch Body Heat. So this was a movie from 1981 — Yes, slim —
SLIM I was the one griefing you. I will cop to my griefing.
PROTO Two different episodes, you griefed me. [Slim laughs] So I went and I righted a wrong, I watched it. And I’m glad I did. I actually started it with my wife but she dipped about half way through the first —
SLIM Too sexy.
PROTO I watched it over the course of two nights. So which is yeah, maybe for the better. Because you know it is a little bit of a drag. It’s kind of a slow movie I thought. You know, it works well as a Noir, like definitely fits that with like the mood it’s going for. But man, I mean it’s directed by Lawrence Kasdan and I don’t really like his directing at all in this.
SLIM The Kas Man.
PROTO There’s really not much to look at in this movie. And for a movie that’s this slow, it needs to be beautiful, I think. But as everyone talked about, there is a lot of sweat. A lot of sex. I’m saying sex. There’s a scene where there’s William Hurt, totally nude, with Kathleen Turner, fully nude. Both of them sopping wet. Like she is laying on top of him. And like she’s down his like lower abdomen and then she like scooches up. They’re fully nude! This is real! [Danny & Slim laugh]
*SLIM You don’t think that they are wearing some kind of skin colored —
PROTO They don’t have nude pantyhose on at all. Nothing. [Slim laughs] No socks.
SLIM Don’t they wear like stickies or something? Like skin colored stickies?
DANNY Jock straps.
PROTO A skin wig? [Danny & Slim laugh]
DANNY Can we move on?
SLIM That is the worst phrase I’ve ever heard!
DANNY Don’t ever say that again! Oh my god.
SLIM I’ve never heard those words combined and I don’t know how I feel about it. [Slim & Danny & Proto laugh]
PROTO That’s not a theater term?
SLIM They didn’t say it in My Dinner With Andre so I don’t know. He was also nude in Altered States, William Hurt. He was post-coitus with his gal and they were sitting next to a couch. He was on his butt, but he had his knee up so it was hiding his business.
PROTO I will say though, this has an amazing final act. I love the end of this movie. It is so good. Like man I wish the rest of the movie was this good. I think this movie should be remade, because it’s a great script. It just needs better actors and better direction.
SLIM Lawrence Kasdan directing wise, he’s done the Big Chill. I remember that being a very popular movie when I grew up. Never seen it.
SLIM Ctcher has that at five stars. Ctcher has been social media dark since Cinenauts went on hiatus.
DANNY We need a wellness check.
SLIM I hope one day both can return. Who can say? Dreamcatcher he also directed, remember that movie? Stephen King.
PROTO Oh my god. Yes.
SLIM Thomas Jane, Morgan Freeman. I remember seeing that in theaters and I was gonna be like a hardcore Stephen King fan and I thought it kind of stunk.
DANNY Your fandom for Stephen King hung on Dreamcatcher?
SLIM You mean the master of horror himself, Stephen King? He doesn’t put his name on the things that don’t hit the level that it needs to hit. Name 20 properties that aren’t great with Stephen King’s name on it. You can’t do it. [Danny laughs] Proto, did you watch anything else this week?
PROTO No, that was really it. That’s all I had time for. Body Heat.
SLIM Danny, what else did you watch this week? Sneak anything else in?
DANNY I did. I got two other five bangers to talk about real quick. One was a rewatch of one of my favorite Jet Li movie, I watched Hero. And I love Hero so much. I don’t know if you guys have seen it. I don’t think you guys either logged at least. But hero is a really — just a rad story. And visually it’s stunning. And I want you guys to see it. We need to have a Jet Li Month. Martial Arts Month.
*SLIM Can we do some marketing, brainstorming to fit his name into a month at the same time?
PROTO Dale, write down Martial Arts Month.
SLIM Dale, you getting that in the studio?
DANNY Dale’s nodding.
SLIM He’s already got it down.
DANNY Then because of our discord and friends and Letterboxd, Sorcerer kept coming up, and I’ve been meaning to come around to watch it. And William Friedkin? Friedkin? How do you say his name?
SLIM William Friedkin.
DANNY And this is an insane movie. There are moments in this film — there’s a moment in the beginning of this film when there’s an explosion and I’m pretty sure people died in real life. [Slim laughs] It looked way too real. And I had to go back and watch it again to see if bodies exploded. But then there’s an amazing, the bridge scene everyone talks about is pretty impressive. So there’s just so many practical sets. And this is a fun film, it was lot of fun to watch. And I saw that it was a remake of an older French film that is on the Criterion and I think it’s also on HBO Max that I might watch as well.
SLIM Did you get the blu-ray of Sorcerer? Is that how you watched it?
DANNY That was Proto.
SLIM Oh my god.
*DANNY Proto gave me the chills today when I shared my Letterboxd review and he pulled out of his desk drawer Sorcerer, the blu-ray. He had it waiting.
SLIM This is ridiculous.
PROTO Yeah, yeah, that did happen.
DANNY When did you buy it?
PROTO This week.
SLIM You went on a blu-ray buying kick, right? Didn’t you buy The Long Goodbye only to find out it was a region locked?
PROTO We all make mistakes. [Danny laughs] I didn’t realize I was in region B!
DANNY What region are we? A? C?
SLIM I don’t remember how it works. But so there’s like a ton of Carpenter blu-rays that I wanted, that are international ones but it doesn’t really matter. I think all the — well, the 4Ks you don’t have to worry about region locking, they’ll play on your player. Even if 4K like region B or whatever it’s called.
DANNY It’s stupid.
PROTO I’m now considering getting a region free player for The Long Goodbye because everyone knows how I feel about that movie. And I mean, I don’t think — I was like do I return it? Or do I take the next step?
DANNY You can’t return it.
SLIM There’s no returns on region B.
DANNY You can’t do that walk of shame.
SLIM The podcast godfather himself, Matthew, from Letterboxd in chat says B is UK and Australia. Australia and New Zealand. I almost snagged up a 4K, what was it? Oh no, what did I buy? I think I bought that Citizen Kane from Criterion.
DANNY You pre-ordered it?
SLIM That doesn’t ship until November I think.
PROTO I was gonna almost get a Videodrome, it’s from aerofilms as well because that’s not streaming anywhere. And that’s a Cronenberg I want to see.
DANNY Wait, I thought Videodrome was a Criterion as well?
PROTO Yeah, but it’s like $45.
DANNY Gotta get that Barnes & Noble sale.
SLIM Not every Barnes & Noble is still open to close and have a closing sale. [Slim laughs]
DANNY They do their twice a year sale! Come off it.
SLIM All the Barnes & Nobles around me closed. They’re long gone. Yeah, I think we’re getting like an Amazon Fresh.
*SLIM We talked about Matthew in chat from Letterboxd. We have a fancy new custom landing page, customized to the 70mm podcast right now.
DANNY Excuse me?
SLIM We’ll have a link in the episode notes to check it out. It’s gorgeous. Love it. Spotlighting some movies that we’ve covered recently, some of our faves, has a gorgeous Aliens backdrop. So, a perfect place to sign up and get that discount on Letterboxd Pro or Patron status. Get that backdrop on your profile and your reviews. See where your movies are streaming and get your fancy stats at the end of the year and pretty much whenever you want to check them out. We have a link at the bottom of that page but also at 70mmpod.com if you want to get 20% off. The winner this week for a free year of Letterboxd Pro on Twitter, @johntypesthings. Just won a free year of Letterboxd Pro. Congrats, John. Big call out to John’s Twitter, he has Raven from ECW on his avatar.
DANNY Oh, okay.
SLIM That’s pretty cool in my opinion.
DANNY That’s So Raven.
*SLIM Remember how I told you I used to tape ECW matches on my VCR back then?
DANNY Hell yeah, dude.
PROTO The look you two just gave each other. [Danny & Slim & Proto laugh]
SLIM It was like an understanding we had on physical media. Like we’re better than others. Like we all knew. that.
DANNY Mhm. Mhm.
*SLIM Danny, you’ve been wanting me to watch Exit Wounds, right? On the Steven Seagal journey — I’m almost finished. I’m not sure if he made movies after this. But I finally watched Exit Wounds with DMX and Steven Seagal.
DANNY How good is that film?
SLIM Are you effing kidding me?
DANNY Thank you.
SLIM With this movie?
SLIM I need to throw out my disclaimer, Steven Seagal, questionable individual at this point in his life. Maybe done some really bad things, so it could be a bad man. With that said I need to experience these older films before turned to shit. And Exit Wounds, 2001. I just want to call out real quick. This movie — Fast and Furious came out and spawned 15 movies. Exit Wounds should have its own franchise. [Danny laughs] They could have been printing money with Seagal and DMX taking down corrupt cops. It was unbelievable. Talk to me Danny, please.
DANNY I mean, Seagal, DMX, Isaiah Washington and Anthony? I mean, it’s the scene where he buys a Lambo. I love that scene so much. Just — it’s such a good movie. I haven’t seen in years I want to rewatch it now. I love that film.
SLIM It’s on Tubi baby. Free Tubi TV.
DANNY That was like — that was in the mix when I was watching like Cradle to the Grave. It was like Cradle to the Grave, Exit Wounds, all these — I don’t know.
SLIM Romeo Must Die, same director.
DANNY Romeo Must Die! Oh my gosh. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
SLIM So I went and I was like man, the same director did all these movies? What’s he up to these days? And then I did like a, pulled my tight collar, as I looked at his filmography recently. Kind of stopped after this. But Steven Seagal, he cut off the ponytail in this movie. I was gobsmacked.
DANNY DMX made him.
SLIM He looks like he got back in shape for this movie. And yeah, I have a vague recollection of owning the DVD of this I think when I was a kid. Because I remember the car buying scene. When the white guy gives DMX the keys to the Lambo and he peels out of there. He’s got a bag of cash. Holy smokes. Loved it. I think it ends after this though. I think the Seagalassance goes downhill. Maybe it’s time from Roma right now. My pick for Latin American Movies Month. Just reminder, we’re gonna get to Proto’s pick later in the show. We don’t know what it is. Could be a curveball. Could be a big one. I don’t know. But we need to talk about Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma from 2018 streaming on Netflix right now. Proto, please.
PROTO In the early 1970s, Cleo is a housemaid for the family of Antonio and Sofia. In the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. She gets the four children up and dressed for school, make sure they have their breakfast, cleans the house, washes the laundry, buys the groceries and loves the children as a second mother. There is a silent rhythm to the home and family, which is up ended when Sofia faces the reality that Antonio plans to leave her and Cleo discovers that she is pregnant. Around them, the city is in turmoil as protests explode in the streets, and the ground beneath them moves from earthquakes. The future for Cleo and Sofia is uncertain, both abandoned by the fathers of their children. But there is a silent rhythm to their new life. Some things are the same. And some things will never be the same in Roma.
SLIM Danny, do you remember hearing about this movie when it hit Netflix couple years ago?
DANNY Yeah, no one would shut up about it. [Slim laughs] Just Roma this, Roma that. On the header of Netflix.
SLIM Sweeping the Oscars, Roma!
DANNY The sweep. And I never watched it. [Danny laughs] Probably because of that. All the hype around it. I just didn’t bother. So yeah, here we are.
SLIM The hype train has stopped and we’re ready to board. Our time. Proto, what about you? Do you remember?
PROTO What time of the year did this come out? 2018? I’m looking.
DANNY October, I think.
PROTO Was it October?
SLIM December, Marcie says In chat.
PROTO December? Okay. Oh, that sounds familiar.
SLIM What were you doing December 2018?
PROTO I was watching Roma! I mean, I watched it when it came out. I feel like I watched it around Christmas. I think that makes sense.
SLIM I didn’t see a log for this! Is this BLB?
DANNY Two years ago.
PROTO Yeah, this is BLB. But yeah, I have it as watched on Letterboxd. I have seen this movie before. That’s true. All of it. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Stupid ass. Alfonso Cuarón, I’m on record is saying I would follow him directly into the sun if I had to. After I watched Children of Men. Holy god.
DANNY Did you watch Gravity?
SLIM I love Gravity. I loved it. That was BLB. So I’m not sure if I’m ready for that or not. But do I want to rewatch Gravity? Because remember that being a pretty stressful movie.
DANNY There’s no way to recreate that right now.
SLIM No. First note on Roma. So first of all, I started to watch Roma, I think like last year, and I think —
DANNY Then you realized you don’t speak Spanish?
SLIM I shut it off because I can’t remember if I subliminally thought this might be a good 70mm movie, or might be a good movie to watch with Amanda, my wife, I can’t remember. Made me stop. But I started to get vibes that like, oh, I probably should wait on this. The first note that I have, maybe we talk about the black and white. The black and white choice for this film takes place in the 70s. And he made a very distinctive decision to keep it in black and white. And modern black and white, I really do not like in Mank, the Gary Oldman as a 20 year old movie, but I really enjoyed it here loved it here. Danny, what did you think?
DANNY I’m a big fan of black and white films, and I did not like it on this film. Just wasn’t feeling it. iIt really bugged me. And I don’t know why I tried to figure out why it bugged me. And I think knowing that it’s a newer film just kind of frustrated me with the digital aspect of the black and white because I missed the kind of — because I expect the grain of like an old film. But then I think what really kind of bugged me was knowing where this is placed in Mexico and how vibrant some of this would have been. The colors of the city and the town and the beach and the ocean and that forest and the mornings in the kitchen. And when I got a little bit more frustrated was after I watched this film, I watched the Road to Roma documentary. So that obviously is a documentary that’s not going to be in black and white and so when I’m seeing the house and I just got more frustrated. Because this the like tile floors are in black and yellow and there’s red tile here and the warmth of the like all those bookshelves and I just got bombed that this was a black and white film. Now, the cinematography is gorgeous. The images itself are fine. Like it’s a gorgeous film, but I just didn’t like the black and white.
SLIM KK was typing for a brief moment. KK I think gave this like one star in our Discord. Just scandalous stuff.
DANNY I don’t know, it just felt a little too forced.
PROTO I think —
PROTO Some modern movies in black and white, it can be kind of a struggle because it doesn’t — it feels less black and white and feels more grayscale, where, you know, a lot of things are lost. But this movie being sentenced in the 1970s. I mean, we all know the past is in black and white. So I think this movie, I think the black and white gives it almost like a nostalgia or sentimentality that worked for me. And I also think that, you know, when you’re setting a movie in the past, that it has scenes that involve so much of like the landscape like there’s a lot of scenes of them going through the city. I think sometimes you can break the immersion of feeling in a time and place if it’s like not done perfectly. And with color, I think removing the color, it just makes it more believable that you’re in the 1970s. But I also think it’s just — I thought it was gorgeous. I think it works for like the mood and the pace. Like this is a very, you know, slow, methodical paced movie. And there’s something I think about the black and white that works well with that.
SLIM Yeah, I personally, obviously love the black and white and I felt that it kind of forced you to concentrate on the characters themselves. Like it refused to let you focus on the surroundings, so to speak. Except for the piles and piles of dog poo, that Cleo would and her team would run He has to clean up. Why would they not clean up that dog crap?
PROTO You got a lot to do in a house with four kids, though. I mean, if you can put anything off, I think I’m putting off the shoveling dog crap.
SLIM The smell in that thing wafting throughout the house though. Come on! Let’s wake up!
DANNY The waft alone.
SLIM You know, the waft is real. Proto, what’s on your list for Roma? What’s your first note?
*PROTO First note, the typeface of Roma.
PROTO Very sexual.
SLIM Five star typeface. The kernalling on those letters.
PROTO Blew me away. Yeah, that’s my my first note. First scene that I love, is the dad. the doctor coming home and pulling the pulling the Ford Galaxy into that garage? What a car! What a scene. If there is a soundtrack to this movie, it’s probably waves and the purr of an engine? Because dang the engine sound good in this.
SLIM Yeah. I mean, even the the audio of him putting the cigarette out while that music is playing. And him waiting, his family waiting, till he heard that right moment. Holy cow.
[clip of Roma plays]
PROTO See, that’s the thing, in a past life, I was a taxi driver in Roma. I think that’s why I connected so much with this because I lived that life.
SLIM The way the camera moves in this movie is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a film. The way that it’s just kind of placed in a room and the family and the characters move around. And it just slowly tracks them. So often. There’s one scene with a stone staircase that in you know, maybe any other movie, any other director — less talented director — would follow those two walking down the stone staircase, maybe like real close up or something or not even show that scene. But it should the whole thing of them walking down there and then going to the party. My God. Alfonzo, I’m walking with you hand in hand into the sun during this movie.
DANNY That’s my first note two is the panning shots that he does there just something special. Just even watching Cleo doing the mundane of going from room to room on that second floor. And it’s just turning and panning with her as she just slowly picks things up. And it’s just, it’s what you want when you go to a film, you want something special to stick out like that and his panning shots do that for sure.
SLIM Paul just posted a screenshot. I mean, look at that screenshot. You know? Alfonzo on another level.
PROTO Yeah, the panning shots are amazing because it moves so slowly. And you’ll be fixated on what’s in the foreground. And then but as it pans, it’s almost like magically, there was a whole other action going on in the background that you weren’t noticing at first. And then suddenly, it’s the main emphasis as the camera had slowly shifted over the whole shot. And there’s a lot of moments like that where there’s just like this amazing just structure and planning and in movement to the scenes that feel so natural and real of all of these organized bodies. I think of the scene when she goes to find her — what’s his name? Fermín? And he’s out in the field and there’s like this — when they’re talking. And he turns and he runs and the truck is already going and then it just like follows the truck. That whole scene just like one shot and just looks amazing.
SLIM Yeah. Agh, I’m looking at the screenshots in chat. So many. I mean even when the fire at night after the party when they’re trying to put those fires out at night? Like stop it right now. [Danny laughs] Paul is on point in chat tonight! Danny, what else is on your list for Roma?
DANNY Oddly enough, my next note says “Excuse me. Dog heads on the wall.”
SLIM Yep, yep, yep.
PROTO Oh, yes.
DANNY It this a thing?
SLIM I don’t know.
DANNY Do the wealthy people do this with their dogs throughout the years?
SLIM It was a disgusting display. Maybe it is a local thing. Maybe they keep the previous dogs and they’ve owned and then they stuffed their head and put it on the wall like a deer. But I’ve never seen that before.
DANNY I had never seen someone do their pets like that. And I was disturbed.
PROTO What a beautiful honor. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Proto, do you have any dogs on your wall? Or will you?
PROTO I’ve never had a dog.
PROTO Never had a dog, but I like the idea of keeping them with me. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM Let’s see. The lover, the fighter.
DANNY The boyfriend.
SLIM Father. Firm. Call him Firm for short. The famous scene that some people thought that Danny was going to turn into the art was the scene in that bedroom, where he’s putting on that shirt that shower rod. Paul got it. Another beautiful shot. What a moment. I mean, I loved her reaction in that moment. You know, kind of like holding the blanket up, watching him and kind of like being entertained. I thought it was a cute moment between the two of them. Unfortunately, it goes south for their relationship. I love that scene. I loved him kind of showboating and doing that like coq of the walk dance. Pardon the phrasing. But it worked in that moment. I thought it was beautiful.
DANNY I liked his story, his reasons why he did martial arts, like his upbringing. I think it was the death of his mother and he was with — he was just in a bad place.
PROTO Yeah, his cousins.
DANNY Cousins. Right. Right. Right. And how fast you connected with him. And it was annoying, because you’re like, oh, man, Cleo’s got a good one. Right? And then he knocks her up and disappears in that theater. And I felt it too. Right? You felt like oh, he’s not coming back. When he said, this is good news, right, or something. I was like, that felt weird. Like, you do something was up. And I just felt for her so much.
SLIM And then when they see each other in the field, and he calls her a servant. And he does that like, fighting stance. Ugh.
DANNY I mean, I couldn’t have taken him but I wanted to punch him.
SLIM Yeah, we could have taken him together.
SLIM I think I could grab his legs.
PROTO Yeah, what I what I liked about that, though, and I guess you could, it depends how you would want to interpret it. But I saw it as you know, less of a fear of like having a child or not wanting to be with Cleo, but like the fear of having the life that he wants new as somebody like living in a slum. And he didn’t want that. Because I feel like in that moment, he saw his life flashed before his lives. It’s like, I’m going to have this woman, I’m going to have this baby, I’m going to be living the life that I was trying to escape or I’m not going to be able to provide, we’re going to be living out here in a slum. And that’s gonna be my life. And like his fear drove him away from her in that moment. So he seemed like this really tough guy who just abandoned her, but to me, I felt like he was just really afraid of what his life could hold. Whereas, you know, Cleo has no choice. You know, she’s really afraid as well. She’s terrified, but she doesn’t have that, you know, the ability to run.
SLIM Maybe he needs to keep it in his pants. Maybe that’s what he needs to do. Tell you what. Proto, what else is on your list?
*PROTO God, some of the just like the locations in this. How about the theater marque outside?
PROTO Gorgeous. And the theater inside? Oh my god, that theater!
DANNY I really wanted to watch Phantom Menace in that theater. Can you imagine?
PROTO A theater with like the balcony or the second level. Oh my god.
DANNY Are we going to Roma?
SLIM What if we go to Roma, we watch Phantom Menace, we record us watching Phantom Menace. [Danny laughs] Put that out as a patron only episode watch along. We need to catch your name and watch along see if we can brainstorm. Think about it. Speaking of Patreon, Pat just commented on the $12 tier. “Any chance to open this tier back up in the near future?” We do. Danny, another note from your viewing of Roma?
DANNY My next note under the dog head note was “this felt like the most stressful Christmas party ever.” With the guns and the running of kids and the drinking, no one just caring got all. And then the Goblin that runs through. [Danny laughs] Whatever the troll that comes to the house. It was fascinating. I was kind of taken back. But then I had a question. Did I miss it why the fire started? Or was it started from people mad about the land ownership or something? I couldn’t remember. The fire seemed like a big deal. But then it wasn’t.
PROTO Well, earlier they talked about, I think when Cleo goes down to have that drink, she points out to the one villager says, oh is the son that was killed? So I think there was a dispute between the villagers and the people they’re staying with. And I think the assumption is that they lit the trees on fire.
DANNY But also it looked like a party putting out the fire. They had a lot going on.
SLIM I would be S’ing my pants if any part of my property was on fire, I would have no clue what to do. Might as well let it burn, I don’t know what to do!
DANNY Yeah, just passing pots.
SLIM I wouldn’t even know how to pass a pot! I don’t know how to do that. [Danny laughs]
PROTO And then Grandpa is coming over, just belting the tune!
DANNY In Norwegian.
SLIM We should talk about the pregnancy, giving birth scene. She goes to pick out a crib in the town, there’s this dangerous situation where there is rioting happening. And it gets to the point where there’s gunshots in the store and she goes into labor. And they’re stuck in traffic, they can’t get to the hospital for her to give birth. And there is the entire sequence of her giving birth. And I’m almost positive that’s all one take. And they pull the baby out, the baby’s not breathing, they try to resuscitate the baby, all in the same shot, she can see everything next to her to the point of her giving birth, and then pronouncing the baby dead. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that in a mainstream film, all in one take. And you’re like, like we said earlier, you’re kind of a silent observer. I’ve never been a silent observer in a moment like that. But it feels so real and so visceral and uncomfortable. Proto, what did you think of that scene.
PROTO It’s really powerful, and how it’s how it feels — again, like there’s multiple things going on at the same time. You know, that the baby comes out, they’re trying to resuscitate it, but then they’re also speaking to Cleo, you know, they’re trying to clean her up the you know, she’s she’s still giving birth, you know, after that, and her baby is not breathing there. And then this doctor gives her like 10 seconds to hold her baby.
DANNY Oh my gosh.
PROTO I mean, it’s just, it’s a really powerful scene. And it’s gorgeous the way it’s shot, like the way that we’re you know, you’re seeing the profile of Clep and then you see the table where the baby is. And the scene that I love earlier in the movie is where she goes to see the doctor for the first time. You know, for her first like, checkup or whatever. And she goes to look at the babies, I forget why. But they’re saying like, you know, stay here and she’s looking in the windows at the newborns. And there’s just like, amazing moment where this this little girl is seeing her baby sister for the first time and she’s like pointing at it. And you can just tell that like Cleo is just like, everything that she’s feeling in that moment of like oh my god, this is this is my future, I’m going to have a baby. And then the love but like anxiety and fear that you could all be feeling at once. And then an earthquake happens and like part of the ceiling falls down on one of these babies, like the boxes that the babies in. And it’s just like a crazy great foreshadowing of everything that’s ahead of for Cleo. And just yeah, that that being tied in with with that scene in the birthing room. Yeah, it’s an amazing scene.
DANNY So you guys should — you should definitely check out the Road to Roma, because that scene, he talks about filming it and everyone in that room is not an actor, they’re all actual doctors and pediatricians and Gynecologists. And it’s because he wanted the way that they handled that entire scene to be accurate on how they would have handled in a real situation. Even to the point of the actress that played Cleo, she didn’t know that the baby was going to be stillborn.
SLIM My god.
DANNY She knew that there was a secret. And she thought that Alfonzo was going to have her meet a live baby for the first time. And she thought she was going to bring out a live baby. So the news of her finding out that the baby was dead. That’s her real reaction to finding out about the dead baby. The scene, like when they say cut, the embrace that her and Alfonzo do, cuz she’s just, she’s bawling still. I mean, it’s just, it’s a real emotion and to be able to watch this on film, like, it’s incredible. I mean, it’s quite perfect. And it’s hard to watch, it’s magic. It’s movie magic.
SLIM Ian in chat “one of the best on film ever.” That sequence, quote, disgraced producer. So after this, I’m gonna get to my main point of this movie. Let’s just get into it. The beach. She is kind of like, you know, still grieving. [Slim laughs] Starting to get choked up already just thinking about it.
DANNY We’re here for you.
SLIM The beach scene in this movie. Effing five star movie right now. Okay? So this beach scene, they invite Cleo, come on out Cleo, come to us at the beach. And the kids go out, the mom leaves to watch the kids, make sure they don’t go in too far. The effing kids go in too far. They get caught in the current, they get pulled out. The whole shot of her yelling — [Slim laughs] — I can’t believe what I saw on the screen. She’s yelling to the kids. I’m losing it. I start like, losing it when she’s just standing there. So when she starts walking, the camera is just moving following her into the water. I’m bawling immediately. The whole thing is one take, she rescues the kids. The second kid looked like he was legit drowning. Like you lose him for —
DANNY Way too long!
SLIM It felt like like a minute. I was like Alfonzo! She pulls both kids out to the beach, the outside of the water. And you get that shot of the family coming in hugging her. And then she finally is able to grieve from her own guilt and say that she never wanted the baby in the first place. And she’s crying and the family is embracing her. I’ve never experienced a scene like that in the film in my life. I was I was in tears. I was stunned. I feel like an idiot for not watching this movie! Until now! [Danny laughs] Proto, what about you? Your thoughts on the final main sequence of the film?
PROTO Ah, yeah, I mean, so I’d seen this before and I got so much more out of it the second viewing. I know there’s, I think some people struggled with, you know, what is his movie even about is it slice of life, it doesn’t really have a plot. It’s kind of slow and meandering. But to me this movie is, is really about like these two women, these two mothers, and how they’re both going through the same thing, but kind of on just different ends of it. You know, Cleo is abandoned with a pregnancy and then Sofia is abandoned with four kids that are grown, or you know, in like their middle years. And they’re both trying to make sense of like what this new life means. And so well, like Sofia was there for Cleo, like she you know, she’s gonna buy her crib. She’s gonna take her to her her doctor’s appointments. She’s gonna take her to the hospital. She’s gonna help care for this baby when she brings it home. But of course, she never brings it home. And but then, you know, Cleo was there for Sofia, where her two kids are drowning. And Cleo pulls them out of the ocean. And you know, Sofia couldn’t save Cleo’s daughter. But Cleo could save her kids. And it’s just like, this movie is just like life. Like it sounds stupid. But that’s all I kept thinking about. I was like, this movie is just like someone’s life. And it feels so real. And amazing. And I don’t know how — I don’t know how he did this. Like I don’t know how he made this movie. [Proto & Slim laugh] It’s real!
*SLIM It’s unreal. I mean the shot of her walking into the water and coming out of water. I mean that could be the most beautiful shot in the history of film. [Danny & Slim & Proto laugh] Like I can’t believe it! There’s no way that Alfonzo is not one of the greatest living directors. Like it’s unbelievable. Danny, what did you think?
DANNY At this point of the film, you’ve already grieved the loss of one child. And when she first says, I don’t know how to swim, when they first get to the beach. I’m like, nope. I just had that like, spider sense. My dad sense peeked up like, oh, no, she can’t swim. Something’s going to happen. And when she’s when the mom leaves, I’m like, if another kid dies in this film, I’ll lose it. [Slim & Proto laugh] And then when she gets into the water, I’m like, how many kids went in? Was it two kids? Was it three kids? Was it all four kids? Who went with the mom? She only grabbed two. There’s two more somewhere else. I was freaking out! I’m like what is happening? And then I was like, please don’t drown. I don’t need Cleo to drown too. It was just, that whole scene is just stress inducing. And it’s emotional. It’s unreal. It’s unreal. What you can capture in one dolly shot into the ocean and out and her performance and the kids in this film and the mom and the embrace on the beach with that sunlight behind them it’s just, it’s magic.
SLIM Oh my god, the Photoshop that Seantana just posted. [Slim & Proto laugh]
SLIM I cannot remember the last time that I sobbed watching a movie. I’m in my basement. It’s just — I’m a mess. So yes, stunning, stunning, stunning. Again, I made my comments about Alfonzo and they still hold true. But you mentioned Sofia, I mean, how about her telling the family at that meal? Like at the restaurant? Right? Is that where she told the kids that their dad wasn’t coming back? Oh my god.
DANNY And her face, too. Her emotion. Because she was pretty emotional, obviously through the film, as she realized the father was not returning her crashing the car and buying a new car and coming home drunk. And the way that she responded or talked to the kids. It was impressive.
SLIM Any other notes Proto, that we didn’t hit on for Roma?
PROTO Yeah, I feel like yeah, the only other thing, I mean, really just how well this just portrays life is really like my only other thought. There’s so many little moments. I love the moments when she’s up on the roof with the little boy. I think it’s Pepe. Their little conversations about, you know, him having died and, and his life in the future that he, you know, he’s dreamt of and that he’s lived.
SLIM Sorry to interrupt, I was gonna say when he puts his arm around Cleo, when they’re watching the movie. Start the movie. And she’s just like sitting with the family enjoying what they’re doing.
PROTO I love that because they’re watching — oh, no, I’m thinking of the other scene where you see the guy who pulls the car with his teeth. And the announcer says “you are witnessing an incredible feat!” And I love that like you could say that about this movie with Cleo, like you’re witnessing an incredible feat of what she’s about to just undertake and experience. You know, what she’s gonna live through.
DANNY Hmm, how about the chaos of the riot breaking out? And how that was filmed? Like, there’s, I mean, I’m all for watching the making of’s and The Road to Roma documentary really does an impressive job on, you know, showing what Alfonzo is trying to portray. And the building that they’re in is a building where this happened and that they filmed on the streets where this riots took place. And he was talking about how he had just these images burned into his brain as a child seeing these things. And he actually went back to these locations and filmed there, which is amazing. And it’s just, it’s brilliant. He’s a brilliant director. And he had a great quote in the documentary. Where he said, I feel like for the first time, I feel like I’ve created my first movie. And so he just talked about like how he just feels like these are the films he wants to create and make. And it’s exciting to know that what his, what’s he’s doing next and then the next film in the next film.
PROTO That protest scene, you know, Fermín says to Cleo, he says, “If I ever see you again, I’ll kill you.”
DANNY And he’s holding a gun.
PROTO He’s holding the gun looking into her eyes. And what’s crazy is that I mean, you could argue that because I mean, that experience is what put her into labor and is the reason her daughter died, which is nuts. Great writing.
SLIM This is one of the best nights in history for Paul. Paul has had every scene that we called out in his arsenal, in the Rolodex, ready to be pasted. Final thoughts, Danny, and rating for Roma?
SLIM Uh oh.
DANNY This film is a five star masterpiece. I know I had my comments about black and white and it’s just aesthetic for me. I know I would prefer this — I would give it six stars if it was in color, but the black and white doesn’t take away from the masterpiece that this film is. I don’t know if I want to sit through another watching of it anytime soon. But I know it’s a film that I will watch again. I know the importance of this film with, just not famous actors and the amount of extras and who will still benefit from this film and what doors is open for other people, films like this. So yeah, this is five stars for me.
SLIM I went on Amazon as soon as I was done this movie and started looking up the blu-ray.
SLIM The Criterion Collection edition. I didn’t buy it yet. I gotta move some money around. But this is one of the greatest movies I’ve ever seen in my life. I can’t remember having an experience like this watching a film ever. I’ve never seen a film like this before. Never felt this way. This might move into my top four when all is said and done this week when this episode posts. I don’t know what I’m going to kick out. Do I have to kick out Ninja III: Dominion for Roma?
DANNY If you leave Ninja III over Roma, Slim, we might have to end the show.
SLIM I gotta think about this. I gotta think about this. Because you know Vanilla Sky starring Tom Cruise is not leaving there. So something’s gotta give.
DANNY I can understand that.
SLIM This is five stars. This is the best movie I’ve seen this year. It’s probably the best movie I’ve seen in a decade. I don’t know. Proto, final thoughts and rating?
PROTO Yeah, this is a masterpiece. It’s five stars. I was moved deeply. And I didn’t feel this hyped about it the first time I watched it. So I think this movie just benefits from multiple viewings. There’s some like — we didn’t really talk about it. But there isn’t a score to this. You know, there’s just something like very meditative and like, I think even though it deals with some like really no real hard things. But in some ways, it’s like very comforting to me. And I see myself watching this, you know, more. Maybe watching it with my kids someday. Like this is a movie it’s like man, I can’t wait till my kids are of the of the age to, you know, watch movies like this. Because it’s a masterpiece. It’s a masterpiece.
SLIM Should we watch this next week as we’re on the beach? Should we put on Roma on the beach as the water is coming in?
DANNY Does everyone know we’re gonna be on the beach with each other next week? [Slim laughs]
SLIM Spoilers, we’re going on vacation together next week.
DANNY Oh, baby.
SLIM We have a voicemail from a dear friend of ours who helped guide us on this journey. Let’s play that right now.
VOICEMAIL We’re watching Roma today and on Mexican Independence Day. A great five banger pick from you, thank you Slim. Welcome right to the chase, Slim, I saw your review and I’m excited. Danny, you asked if it was a sad movie, then I saw your review and I you found out. Turn that sob knob way up. Proto, just be gentle please. It was an absolute tour de force from Cuarón here. People say that it’s his most personal film. And though I agree, I also think that is really a rumination of that time in his childhood, rather than any particular moment in his childhood, as we see Alfonzo as a kid, but he’s only really a periphery character. I can go on about this movie, but I’ll just hit some key points. That cinematography is banging. That scene in labor. My gosh. The scene in the beach, heartbreaking. The beauty and tragedy in everyday life. The father trying to park his car in their spot, all the beautiful long shots and the karate training scene. I’ll leave you with a moment that I had when I first watched the movie with my mother. When we see Cleo on the bed after she was with her boyfriend, my mom said, why do they always put women naked in movies? Why does it always have to be the woman bare naked? Why don’t they have men do that? And then immediately the guy’s junk is on the screen. And she says “oh” that was the end of that conversation. Anyways, thank you guys for doing this again.
DANNY What did he say about us?
SLIM Sounds like he just won an election there and he’s like, talking to his constituents and in a way because we did have Latin American Movies Month. That’s right, Matthew in chat and he’s a Letterboxd intern.
SLIM Ismael, thank you for helping guiding us because, you know, I would never have probably watched Roma. So what a sick world that would have been if we never experienced this maybe.
PROTO And happy Mexican Independence Day which is today, the day we’re recording.
SLIM The timing.
SLIM Has this timing ever happened? Temporal resonance happening right now. Let’s see. We got a letter from him as well. “Forgot in my VM. Some quick pairings of the movies. Does our podcast to pairings? Is that a different podcast? “A good pairing for The Exterminating Angel is the Holy Mountain.”
SLIM “An absolute surreal double feat. A good pairing for Roma is the Guatemalan film Each Canole which is available on Kanopy. Love y’all. Gracias. Ismael” Roma letter from Ismael. We just got another letter of Holy Mountain related. You can shoot us letter at 70mmpod.com, there’s links on there if you want to shoot us a VM or a letter. We don’t discriminate. Scott’s back. Remember Scott’s email last week about Holy Mountain?
DANNY He went in on Holy Mountain. I couldn’t listen.
SLIM He went in hard. I had to do the little, you know, the on stage hook. Had to pull myself off stage. Scott’s back. “Hey 70mm, I appreciate you taking a moment to even ponder the idea of reading the email I sent last week about Holy Mountain. That flick is something you can never unsee, it took me two sittings to get through.”
DANNY Oh gosh.
SLIM Can you imagine if Proto picks Holy Mountain for next week? What if? I don’t know what his pick is. “In between the viewings as a palate cleanser I watched 1986’s Thrashing. With a hunky skateboarding Josh Brolin. Back to the Holy Mountain, it was like borderline creepy, weird porn film, but in some circles seen as artistic. Nonetheless, it was on Hoopla, which is actually a public library streaming site for films, books and audio. Different areas have different names for their public library streaming sites. Anywhos, thanks again for your time and consideration. I look forward to every 70mm ep. Ps. Thanks for not unfollowing me with your cell phone nose drop, Slim.” And that’s from Scott.
DANNY No one forgets.
SLIM Thank you, Scott. What if Proto chooses Holy Mountain? What if? Is it time to hear Proto’s pick?
DANNY I think it’s time.
SLIM To close out Latin American Movies Month. It’s time, Proto.
PROTO Yeah, I’m not picking the Holy Mountain. [Slim & Danny laugh] I did feel like, you know, it was kind of, when I saw this list that Ismael put together for us. I did feel like it was kind of my role to pick Jodorowsky’s other movie, El Topo, which is on that list.
DANNY What a poster.
PROTO You know, what a poster. And like a Western. It was like, wow.
SLIM Is this your pick?
PROTO No. [Danny & Slim laugh] I watched the trailer and it looked pretty weird too. And I was like, man, you know, I don’t want this right now. Especially after —
DANNY You got to follow Roma.
PROTO Slim, yeah, I have to follow Roma. [Slim laughs]
DANNY Yeah, there’s nothing you can pick.
PROTO I can’t fail, you know? So if I’m not gonna fail, and if Slim goes big and I have to try to go bigger. There’s only one thing that I thought I could do. And, you know, we have two Mexican movies that were picked so far. But I thought why don’t we branch out a little bit? Why don’t we go to Brazil, and why don’t we watch the movie City of God?
SLIM Oh my god!
DANNY Ohhhhhhh noooo.
SLIM Wow, Matthew called it in chat. God, I was hoping one of us would choose this movie. I have never seen this movie.
DANNY My goodness.
PROTO Yeah, I’ve never seen it. But this is a movie that where the cover has haunted me my whole life. I remember seeing this cover in Blockbuster.
DANNY It’s a five and a half star average on Letterboxd.
SLIM It’s four and a half. [Slim & Danny laugh]
DANNY This is always at the top of lists. Always.
SLIM 4.4 average on Letterboxd. Almost 300,000 people have logged this. Excuse me? Holy moly. Will he one up Roma?
DANNY I’m glad I started the month. [Danny laughs]
SLIM Have we ever done back to back 15 bangers on this podcast? If we were like a sports game, they would say like “after the 70mm rates a 15 banger, the average rating of the next movie is 10” or something like that. Can we get gabb on that? Run the numbers?
DANNY What is VGER looking at right now for our villagers?
SLIM Someone kick VGER.
DANNY What’s the average?
SLIM Hold on, let me pull up VGER. The super computer who loves movies.
DANNY Talk to us.
SLIM City of God is sitting — are you ready? 4.5 average with members of our village.
SLIM Speak of the devil, Ian, disgraced producer, five stars. Sophie Shin who does the transcripts every week and is a co-host of the Film Hags podcast a review quote, “Holy shit.”
DANNY Wow. That’s a hag review right there.
SLIM Ian’s review, “One of the best movies I’ve ever seen.”
DANNY What? I’m getting slimfluenced.
PROTO Right up there with Armageddon for Ian. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM And Face/Off. His other five bangers. So use that information for what you will. So I’m excited. This looks like it might be a purchase. I’m not sure if this is streaming.
DANNY It’s not streaming?
SLIM I’m not sure, unless it might be on some library services. I don’t have the library services enabled on mine. Let me see.
SLIM It’s a rental on Amazon and Goog.
PROTO Rent on faith.
SLIM Remember when Protoo said that phrase when he was talking about Body Heat?
DANNY Can we not say it again? [Slim laughs]
SLIM I’ll never get that phrase. I’ll never get over it. What a show. Oh, the artwork. One of Dany’s best I works ever. If we’re being honest with each other. I’m buying that one. I’m buying that jawn. Put that money right back in the TAPEDECK bank accounts. Well, I’m glad we watched Roma, glad we’re on this journey. I’m excited for City of God, finally knocking this one off the list. Proto, are you ready to take us through the evening? One final time.
PROTO One final time. I really don’t have anything to say other than if you haven’t — if you’ve gotten this far and you haven’t seen Roma, please watch Roma. It’s a beautiful film and your life will be enriched by seeing it.
[70mm theme ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM 70mm is a TAPEDECK production with original artwork provided by Danny Haas. Spiritual guidance and VGER, the robot who loves movies created by Protolexus. Producer emeritus Dale_a. Transcript provided by Sophie Shin. Prints and other merch are available on 70mmpod.com. This episode was mixed, edited and produced by me, Slim. Support our Patreon for access to the VHS Village Discord to talk movies with new friends, access to exclusive episodes, discounts on merch, and a physical membership card mailed to you. To check out other TAPEDECK podcasts, find the link in the episode notes. And if you’d like to support our friends at Letterboxd and upgrade to Pro or Patron status, you can do so with a 20% off discount using the links at 70mmpod.com. Goodbye!