Transcript of 70mm’s The Exterminating Angel (1962) 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 Listen, I watched this film twice. I don’t even think I fully understand this film. I’m gonna be honest.
SLIM And spiritual advisor, Protolexus.
PROTO Loving this movie Brian De Palma did called Snake Eyes. I was aghast at how awful this movie is.
SLIM And together as friends forever, we discussed recently watched movies. Later in this episode, kicking off Latin American Movies Month, we’re talking about The Exterminating Angel from 1962, streaming on the Criterion Channel. Deep symbolic metaphor for eating the rich? Or did it all just go over our heads? Let’s get into it… now.
[70mm theme song ramps up, plays alone, fades out]
SLIM We’re back.
DANNY You’re back.
SLIM We’re back. We took two weeks off.
PROTO Never left.
SLIM We had a special Lampoon’s Vacation episode with our producer emeritus, Dale. It was a big hit if I can be frank with the both of you.
DANNY Was it? People liked it?
SLIM I was pulling the numbers and the little ticker tape machine was — beep beep beep beep. I was pulling the numbers. Big hit.
SLIM And we’re so close to the Harry Potter goal of our Patreon, that we thought we need to up the anti a little bit. [Slim & Danny laugh] And there’s been a lot of buzz on the internet about this trailer that’s dropping. Big time. You see this trailer?!
PROTO The one.
DANNY I mean, I saw it.
SLIM The Matrix Resurrections, I think it’s called. I don’t know the full title.
SLIM Matrix 4. M4. We thought why not, we amp it up even more for our supporters and we start doing The Matrix series just for our supporters.
DANNY The MCU. [Slim laughs]
SLIM That’s not what it’s called.
SLIM People were chomping at the bit, so in two weeks we’re going to do The Matrix One, just for our supporters and then we’re eventually go through the line. Proto even even suggested that we have to do The Animatrix. You remember that?
DANNY Ugh. Do I?
PROTO Changed my life.
PROTO It’s probably my first anime.
SLIM Gatekeeping. Actually gateway. I didn’t mean to say gatekeeping. [Danny laughs]
DANNY The gatekeeping drug. [Slim laughs]
SLIM And then eventually we’ll do The Matrix 4 in between Lord of the Rings month, just round the corner. Believe it or not.
DANNY There’s some confusion in chat. We’re not taking away Harry Potter. We’re giving you Matrix sooner.
SLIM Marcie! What is Marcie talking about in chat?
PROTO I want her gone.
SLIM So we thought it would be cool to get more episodes in the exclusive 70mm vault trademark. We’re gonna start with The Matrix. Harry Potter is real close. We’re real close to doing those.
DANNY We give and we give! [Slim laughs]
SLIM Proto watched eight movies since we last recorded. Can you confirm or deny this?
DANNY My god.
PROTO I can confirm. I got another one 50 percent watched.
SLIM What is the best one that you’ve seen since our mini break?
PROTO Ohhhh, best movie? Let me look. Let me look what I got here. I’m gonna say the movie I enjoyed the most was the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple.
SLIM My god, that feels like a month ago you watched that. [Danny laughs]
DANNY I have not seen blood simple.
PROTO It was over a week ago. I watched the 29th of August. Oh man, what a movie. I’ve never, you know, I’ve never seen it before. And the Coens for me, they rarely miss. It’s just, their movies are just so fun. I don’t think I’ve seen one that I didn’t like. So this, I don’t know if it’s their first movie but it’s pretty early on. 1984 you know, it’s a, neo-Noir, we got murder. We got miscommunications between lovers. We got we got blood on the floor. It’s a great time. I loved it. That was probably the best movie I watched.
SLIM There’s a lot of facts being dropped in chat. It is their first feature, Paul says. Seantana says Frances McDormand’s first movie.
PROTO Oh yes, so young, Frances.
SLIM And then Sophs talks about a podcast that hasn’t put out an episode in what feels like six months. The Cinenauts covered that in the past.
PROTO Are they still thing?
SLIM I like Blood Simple. I liked it a lot. Gorgeous film. Danny, have you seen that yet?
DANNY No, god no. Coens? Please. He lost me on Miller’s Crossing. [Slim laughs]
SLIM God talk about an eternity ago.
DANNY It was an eternity ago.
SLIM Most people listening today probably didn’t even know we did an episode on Miller’s Crossing. [Danny laughs] What else Proto?
PROTO Um, so that was the best movie I watched. How about the worst movie I watched?
SLIM Get into it.
PROTO Brian De Palma. [Danny laughs]
SLIM Oh no.
PROTO People who I call my friends, loving this movie Brian De Palma did called Snake Eyes. [Danny laughs] I was aghast at how awful this movie is. What is Brian De Palma doing? It was like a middle schooler shot this movie. Horrible mood, horrible lighting, idiotic script. I mean and then Nick Cage acting ridiculous. You know we all know Nick Cage is off and on and he is so off in this.
SLIM How many movies and Nick Cages have you seen that Snake Eyes is the limit?
PROTO I mean everyone’s seen at least 100 of his movies. I mean, he’s got about 500. [Slim & Danny laugh] so I have enough experience with him to know, you know, what you get. And he has some stinkers but this, this might be the worst. Gosh, he’s bad in this.
SLIM “The worst Nicolas Cage movie” quote, Proto. I want to be clear that this is not me speaking on this podcast.
DANNY The other Slim.
SLIM This is not me, this is Proto. He’s saying Nicolas Cage’s worse movie that he’s ever made is Snake Eyes.
PROTO I would never say that. But you can quote me on it. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM I feel uncomfortable hearing these words and seeing that review when it came in. But it felt like a Proto moment. You know, you can never guess where a Proto rating is going to come in at, a review. And this is just one of those times where you got it from Proto.
PROTO Yeah, there’s a moment where Nick Cage — I mean, I guess it’s a little bit of a spoiler.
DANNY It’s not.
PROTO But 1998 and it’s terrible. Who cares? I mean, Nick Cage gets beat up pretty bad. [Proto laughs] And his face is just — it was the way I was feeling in this movie. Like he was just like fat lip, both eyes black. [Proto does what is supposed to be a Nicholas Cage impression] You got snake eyes! And that’s the way I felt watching this movie. Horrible.
SLIM It was worth it just for the Nicolas Cage impression, though, being honest.
DANNY I think so too.
SLIM I do at least appreciate that.
PROTO I just can’t believe anybody would like this movie. It’s just really hard to image.
SLIM It’s a great movie. It’s fun. You know, there’s those long takes, those long tracking shots. And a lot of other stuff. Gary Sinise, one of the finest actors of our generation.
PROTO Shoot him into space. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM Beks in chat — let’s change gears. When is Proto watching Emma.?
DANNY Your queen.
PROTO Oh, yeah. With the up and comer.
SLIM Anya Taylor-Joy.
PROTO The up and comer. You know, I’m just waiting for her to, you know, really have a breakout role to really put her on the map. Something where we can say wow, she’s good. She’s a good actress. I think she’ll get there. You know, she’s still pretty young. She’s maturing. So I think, I think she could get there. So maybe, you know, we’ll see.
SLIM Didn’t you watch The Queen’s Gambit. Didn’t you watch that?
PROTO Yeah, I did watch that. Yeah, I gave it three stars. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM My god.
PROTO May have been held back by the lead.
SLIM In chat looking for a fight for some reason with Proto tonight. But sometimes it just happens.
DANNY My gosh!
SLIM We might just need to switch hosts, just for a moment to get the spotlight off Proto. Danny, what did you watch on your time off? I saw one review that I’d love to talk about.
DANNY Ohhh! Okay, well, I know what it is. We had a lazy-ish weekend day. And Casey picked Vanilla Sky.
SLIM Casey picked it?!
DANNY She picked it. And I think there was a quote at one point, “Slim loves this movie. We should watch it.” Or something like that. We both had seen it but it’s been easily 10 years. I don’t know how long. So we watched it. It’s still a five banger. I love this movie. I forget how amazingly good it is. I also forget how good Penelope Cruz is in this movie. I think she’s a vision. Tom’s so good. There’s just so much cool story in this film. I love the back and forth from the timelines and stuff like that. It’s just great. It’s just a great movie.
SLIM Thank you Casey. Happy birthday Casey. What was Casey’s rating on that movie? I didn’t see a review for it.
DANNY We can probably get a live star review.
SLIM Can we get a live star rating, Casey, in chat?
DANNY I’m gonna assume five.
SLIM Four stars. I’ll take that. Tom’s hair in that movie. Tom’s body in this movie.
DANNY Tom always has this — Tom always has these shots of him in his body where he has a belted pair of jeans around his waist with, he’s topless. Right? And it makes — it’s just interesting to me.
SLIM It’s sexual. Because he knows how good he looks in that. Yeah, this movie I think made me want to get a money clip as well. He had a money clip in this movie.
DANNY Did he?
DANNY I missed it.
SLIM Oh my god. I didn’t miss that. [Slim & Danny laugh]
DANNY Tell you what.
PROTO Cant’ believe he was 38 in this.
SLIM Everyone knows my thoughts on this movie.
DANNY Wait, how old? He was 38 years old in it?
SLIM He’s like almost 60, I think.
PROTO He’s 59! Wow, god bless.
SLIM 59?! Tom Cruise is 59?!
PROTO Yeah. July 3rd. Turned 59.
SLIM He looks great. I’m excited for his like Robert Redford era, minus the wig. Whatever Robert Redford has going on on that scalp. I need CGI. I think it’s ILM on there. This is the last I’ll say about Vanilla Sky, everybody. I think it was The Letterboxd Show episode where I talked about this for time, but there’s a bonus feature on the DVD of Vanilla Sky that I was always enamored with. Cameron Crowe filmed in like with a dv cam while they were filming that movie, a behind the scenes thing of like, like a family vacation style. So there’s footage of Tom and Penelope at like a birthday party of hers with her family there and they’re dancing in front of her family. It’s just like footage you never see today of like, really high profile celebrities, especially Tom all that stuff like under lock and key. So it’s like a really cool time capsule. And then the video ends with Tom Cruise leaving Cameron Crowe voicemail quoting the movie as a gag.
DANNY Oh my gosh.
SLIM And it’s like Cameron filming the the voicemail machine — [Slim laughs]
DANNY The voicemail machine? [Danny & Slim laugh] Keep going, Slim.
SLIM So it’s just Tom like, cracking himself up on the tape and it ends. It’s just like, you know, it’s a rare glimpse into celebrity life that’s kind of gone.
PROTO I remember you play that audio on Interview with a Podcast Vampire podcast. The retrospective of Tom Cruise that you do. Yeah, the love in Tom’s voice for Cameron Crowe, that stayed with me.
SLIM Really genuine.
DANNY Was there more than that and Jerry Maguire, the two of them?
SLIM No, just those two. He said on the press tour for Vanilla Sky, he thought it was the best movie he’s ever done. I don’t know how true that is. But it was interesting to hear him say that.
DANNY Woo! My goodness.
SLIM Any other movies?
DANNY That’s one of eight that I watched as well. [Slim & Danny laugh]
SLIM Two our episode, we’re coming for Dune Pod right now.
DANNY Okay I’ve been amassing a collection of criterion movies, blu-rays, as I am, my travels, so I wanted to spend the week while you were gone in my evenings with no Apex watching these movies. I watched Persona for the first time. Ingmar Bergman. And it’s a five banger. That movie was something special. I really enjoyed that film. I love the story. The cinematography is, it hurts, it’s so good. So many great shots of these women. In Proto’s review, he talks about seeing influences in modern cinema. And I was getting the Portrait of a Lady vibes so much in watching. And then I saw it in Proto’s review and I’m like, yes. Like there’s just so much about how it’s shot of these two women on a beach, just I don’t know, getting those vibes. You know that Céline Sciamma was definitely influenced some way by this film. Love that. Watch the Criterion Breakfast Club. And then I watched Kurosawa’s Dreams, which was eight 20 minutes short films that he did of reoccurring dreams that he had as an adult and a kid. And it’s really cool. Like I gave it five stars just because it’s artistic. And I just enjoyed each one immensely. And then there’s a random one where Martin Scorsese plays Vincent van Gogh. And it’s just, it’s really cool. It’s a really cool film. And he’s, as a character, Kurosawa is in each — they’re obviously his dream. So it’s like there’s a kid Kurosawa, and then there’s like teenage adult Kurosawa. And he’s just kind of going through these scenes of life. And it’s pretty killer. So I really enjoyed that as well.
SLIM Mikey P, friend of the show, I think went on a Kurosawa journey. Watched everything in the course of like a year or so.
DANNY Yeah, yeah.
SLIM One of the last ones had Richard Gere in it.
DANNY And then just under the radar, I finished last month’s Noirney. I watched The Long Goodbye. And that was an easy, easy five banger. I love that film. Had a lot of fun with it. I love Elliott Gould in that film. After watching it, I had so many questions about that location where they were at the apartment. Like I wanted to know more about all these areas they were at. Like the beach, the house on the beach. This little community. I ended up having more questions about locations, then the actual story of the film. But I really loved it.
PROTO That back patio onto the beach. Are you kidding me?
DANNY Right? What the hell? [Proto laughs]
SLIM I gotta watch this movie. I gotta see this. You guys were going on about it in our DMs while I was catching a tan.
DANNY We’ve moved on.
SLIM I think there was a Long Goodbye talk happening on loop. I admittedly am very behind in the Noirney.
PROTO It’s okay, Steven Seagal can’t wait. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM He cannot wait for any man. A lot of movies we’re talking about this week. Any movies that we didn’t cover, Proto, that you wanted to talk about before we continue on?
PROTO Oh, I just wanted to mention I watched one of the director of tonight’s feature — I don’t know how to pronounce. Luis Buñuel. I watched one of his other movies, Belle de Jour, which is I think on Letterboxd, it’s considered his most popular movie on there. So I watched that earlier this week. And I gave it three stars. I enjoyed it. It’s fascinating. It’s about a woman who is a young woman. She’s married to a doctor, really well off they live in Paris, but she’s kind of dissatisfied with her life. In the movie, you see a number of her dreams. And she ends up becoming a sex worker. Like on the side when her husband’s at work. And it was really fascinating. And kind of a movie, you know, I thought it was cool because I was just thinking about it. Most movies, sex work is kind of portrayed at least I feel like in American cinema, as like, you know, Matthew Broderick is walking on the street and somebody in fishnet stockings is trying to seduce him. And that’s like, what you see mostly, so seeing this from a completely different angle was really cool.
SLIM I watched that movie, Jeanne Dielman. French movie. It’s like three and a half hours long about a mother who’s like, bored with her life and she’s a sex worker during the day one like her son was at school or something.
PROTO They’re out there.
DANNY They exist.
SLIM They exist. It’s a job. Danny, any other movies?
DANNY I watched Hot Rod for the first time. Because of Dale and our vacation episode. I jumped into that.
SLIM Walk us through it.
DANNY It’s exactly what I thought it would be. Sandberg and his goons having fun, and it was funny. Love the story. It’s just silly.
SLIM When are you watching Wet Hot American Summer now?
DANNY I gotta track it down!
SLIM It’s not streaming?
SLIM Netflix doesn’t have that?
DANNY Maybe I can buy it streaming but it’s not like streamable.
PROTO I thought you posted a picture of the VHS.
DANNY Yeah, the VHS from 2001 or something. I gotta find — I didn’t purchase that VHS.
SLIM I thought that was from your personal collection.
DANNY I can’t —
SLIM Casey’s listening. Everyone be cool, please.
DANNY I don’t know where to find it, I guess I gotta buy it somewhere.
SLIM We should spotlight some of our new friends these past two weeks on our Patreon at, 70mmpod.com or patreon.com/70mm. Four bucks a month, get access to exclusive episodes that aren’t available on the regular feeds. Such as The Matrix which is coming soon. Dinner with Andre recording next week, for Kev, that was his pick. For the limited tear that was available. Murdock, Francis, Chandler, Daniel, David, Jordan, Andy and Robert.
DANNY Oh my gosh!
SLIM All joined since we last recorded. We’re at 189 right now. And you also get access to our VHS Village Discord, which I think is probably the biggest perk, IMO. There’s a Dune book club happening tonight. You guys heard about this?
SLIM In the discord.
PROTO The things that go on, that we have no idea about. [Slim laughs]
SLIM The Discord is our legacy at this point. I don’t even know if most people in our Discord even listen to the episode and they pay to be here. Who knows? [Danny laughs]
PROTO We’re supplemental to the Discord at this point.
SLIM When will three white men get their due in 2021? That’s what I want to know.
DANNY Yes, please.
SLIM This week’s winner for a free year of Letterboxd Pro, if you share the show on social media, tell your friends about it. Which by the way, if you’re listening right now, the best way to share the word about the show is to tell your friends. Kinsfilms on Twitter just won a free year of Letterboxd Pro.
SLIM And if you want to support Letterboxd, maybe you didn’t win. Maybe you’re feeling unlucky. And you want to support them and sign up for Pro or Patron status at 20% off, we have a link, fancy little link and a page on 70mmpod.com that you can use to upgrade right now. The biggest perk is the friends we made along the way, Beks says. Can we get that on a mug? Some kind of tee?
PROTO Put it on mug on a shirt. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM Oh my god, that was amazing. I did wear my joggers tee on my first day in Hawaii. So on Maui, I think I turned a few heads.
DANNY Yeah, yeah. There’s no possums in Hawaii, so. [Slim laughs]
SLIM “Is that a possum wearing a hat?” I think that’s what a few people said. [Slim & Danny laugh] What do I want to talk about? Just a reminder, The Exterminating Angel, 1962, Luis Buñuel. Check the tapes for correct pronunciation.
DANNY That was good.
SLIM That is our film this week. We are doing this month, for Latin American Movies Month. Thanks for the inspiration from our dear friend Ismael. And I think we have a VM from him later. So the movies we choose this month will be guided by his Letterboxd list, we can go outside that list for our picks for this month. So I’m very excited. I’ll be announcing my pick, later this episode. I’m going through my diary right now on Letterboxd to see if there’s something I want to talk about. [Slim laughs] Steven Seagal movies. I watched The Human Condition II on the plane.
DANNY Oh, yeah.
SLIM I did.
DANNY You needed to sleep on the plane? [Slim laughs]
SLIM This is a movie that everyone says you got to watch all nine hours of it. So the second part is our lead actor in the army, in the military. Remember, in the last movie, he got kind of drafted. I started to get kind of bored with the general the story of Gob aspect. You know, he just can take so much shit constantly before I started to kind of tune out like How bad is it going to get for our boy here? He’s not winning. He’s not like, you know, his way of life of humanism still hasn’t worked out for anyone. But I had to kind of sit through two and a half hours of that for him to figure that out. Looks amazing. The last act of the movie is, you know, kind of like a battle almost at night. So if we love the night scenes in the first part, some gorgeous stuff. So kind of okay, three stars. I know a few people rate that even higher than the first one. But I don’t really agree, unfortunately.
DANNY When you gonna watch the last one?
SLIM Probably in a month or two. Gotta complete the journey.
DANNY He’s got a busy schedule.
PROTO We’ll make it work.
SLIM We have a busy schedule that we have not released officially. A lot of exclusive eps coming out. So stay tuned. I want to talk about one more movie.
SLIM For Ian, so he doesn’t yell at time.
DANNY For Ian.
SLIM I finally watched the French movie Climax. You guys heard about this movie?
PROTO I have heard of this.
DANNY A24, right?
SLIM It might be an A24 movie. I’m not sure. Climax is a French movie that had come out — Paul confirms A24.
DANNY Ouais. Ouais.
SLIM [Slim in a questionable french accent] Ouais! Oauis! Bon soir! And this movie takes place at a rehearsal from a group of dancers who are doing their third day of rehearsals, and they celebrate with some sangria. But the sangria has been laced with LSD.
DANNY Sounds like suspiria.
SLIM This is an intense movie. I do not recommend anyone just kind of watch it. If you loved Hereditary, you should enjoy this. I compared it in my review to, like Hereditary was about grief and cults. And this is about drugs and dancing. So there’s a ton of long takes in this movie, like the first shot the movie I think is like 20 minutes long. And it’s this like, it starts with them doing the dance routine. It’s gorgeous. And it’s just like this party kind of like filters out from there. The camera does moves and follows people having conversations. It is unreal. There’s so many long takes in the movie. It’s so cool. So if you like Snake Eyes, you might like that, but if not — just throw that out there. But I felt so uncomfortable during the moment where this mother who made the sangria, her small like nine year old boys also at the rehearsal banquet, whatever. So he’s hanging out. She realizes that the sangria has been laced with LSD. And everyone’s just kind of like freaking out, who did this. They realize it like slowly as it’s kicking in. So the mother is like, my God, my son is here. And we’re all on LSD. About to just who knows what is going to happen. So she like locks him in a room.
DANNY Excuse me?
SLIM And it’s extremely stressful. She like panics. She’s freaking out. She puts him in the room. Because right before she puts him in the room, she sees him holding a glass from the punch bowl.
DANNY Excuse me. [Slim laughs]
SLIM It’s insane.
DANNY Mother of the year.
SLIM It’s insane. And the rest — it is all in French. The rest of the movie just goes from there. It’s crazy. There’s a lot of like experimental filming happening with the way the camera moves. So I was really in love with it.
DANNY Is it horror?
SLIM It’s horror in the way that like the first half of Hereditary is horror.
DANNY Okay. Okay, gotcha. I read you.
SLIM Yeah. So it’s just like a drama that makes you want to just jump out the window. [Danny & Slim laugh]
PROTO Sounds great.
SLIM Yeah. [Danny & Slim laugh] The Exterminating Angel, 1962. This is Danny’s pick for the first week of Latin American Movie Month. I had never heard this movie. Streaming on the Criterion Channel right meow. Proto, can you guide us into this journey?
[music from The Exterminating Angel fades in]
PROTO Have you ever been to a party that went bad? Have you ever overstayed your welcome? Or dealt with a guest that wouldn’t leave? In The Exterminating Angel, there is a lavish party in a grand manner. There is caviar, tuxedos, mink furs and a pet black bear. The guests have their fill of food and delightful music, but find themselves unable to leave. The hours roll on, and now it is morning. Still, they cannot leave. What is stopping them? The music room of this grand house becomes a prison. Where there once was formality and luxury, there is now superstition, hunger and death. Can they escape this hell? Or will they succumb to their darkest instincts? The Exterminating Angel.
SLIM Danny, what jumped out about this movie in your exhaustive research?
DANNY Two things. The poster caught my eye. I’m a big fan of a good movie poster. And I watched the trailer. I’m pro-trailer, one of the few of us left. The trailer was excellent. And the story kind of was gripping. It reminded me of like — I don’t know. I was getting like Clue vibes, trying to figure out they’re stuck in the house and I was excited for it. It just seemed interesting. It was a wild trailer. Kind of Hitchcockian, kind of feel to it, black and white cinema. I mean that was what kind of drew me in.
SLIM Proto, what were you vibing on when you found out this is gonna be the pick for the week? Did you watch the trailer or you go in blind?
PROTO Oh, no, I went in blind. I didn’t even think to watch a trailer. Honestly with some of these movies, yeah. But yeah, I thought the cover is really cool and the title, The Exterminating Angel, like what does that even mean? Very cool. And then just the concept, you know, the description on Letterboxd just says, you know, they’re unable to leave a room. And then, you know, of course Luis Buñuel is like a really well regarded director. You know, he’s famous, people love him. So it was like, wow, you know, this sounds great. A lot of wins right there.
SLIM The win column stacking up for this movie. One of my first notes was that I got like, really strong Twilight Zone vibes, in this kind of plot, it is a short movie. And it feels like the plot of a Twilight Zone episode. I guess I can say that about like a lot of horror movies. I think I said also about like Planet of the Apes, that felt like some brainchild of a failed Twilight Zone episode. What about you, Danny, when you’re watching it?
DANNY I mean, the beginning, I got very — when they first walk into the house and it does the doubletake where they’re looking for the guy to get their coats. And the two housemaids — I think they were maids there in the kitchen, tried to leave and then the crowd comes in a second time. And it’s the same shot from a different angle of the same crowd coming in again. And I was like, oh, man, we are in for a ride. Because that’s — it felt so weird. And so surreal. It kind of set the tone of what to kind of not expect, but um, I got pretty excited.
PROTO Yeah, that was my first note to that scene, where they come into the house. And then it repeats. And the thoughts that go through your head of like, did I just black out and go back in time somehow? Is there something wrong with this version of the movie? Like, am I the first one to see this? Has no one else said this to anyone before? You know, was this just a bad editing job? And then you kind of realize like, oh, you know, in movies sometimes you have, you can’t trust the the narrator but this is like you can’t trust the director because he’s kind of screwing with you. And there’s a few other scenes like that. There’s another one, I think the two most obvious ones, is that one in the beginning and then the one at the dinner table where the host, I think he like says the same thing twice to the guests. But you can tell that he kind of realizes that something’s off as well. So it’s like, all right, it’s not just the director playing with us. It’s also something going on in this world as well.
DANNY And they don’t respond to him again, the way that they responded after he spoke the first time. And yeah, you just feel like, oh this is this is intentional. And this is something — I like how the double takes stopped being obvious. And then you kind of have to catch what’s going on behind the scenes of the people talking. And there’s a lot of moving parts in this one room.
SLIM I look great with this photo with my hair. [Proto laughs]
PROTO Is this a picture of you with your eyes closed that he has? Like this is amazing.
DANNY This is from Hawaii. [Slim laughs] This is him in a hammock.
SLIM This is my series of videos that I’ve done with my son where we eat spicy foods.
PROTO Ohhh yes.
SLIM And I think I was eating a Flaming Hot Cheeto. We’re basking in its glory at this moment.
SLIM Yeah, the repeating scenes. So the first one that I caught was the entrance and I was like wtf is going on here. And I think Proto you had linked to an article where the director talks where there’s like a deep dive essay on this director and the meanings of this film. So did you, Proto, catch any other ones? I only honestly I think I saw the those two, the toast and the entrance of the coat stuff.
PROTO Yeah, I mean, those were the two big ones that were like very clear to me. I feel like there was another one that I caught. I mean, there was like stuff — I don’t know if I’d call them repetitions. But at the end, there’s this stuff with the sheep, you know, going into the room, then they go also into the church. That one’s pretty obvious I guess. And then of course the way they get out of the room is the — and you know, they’re even talking about it is how they, just everyone is in the same place that they were at the end of the song.
SLIM What’s on your list for Exterminating Angel, Danny?
DANNY I think — well. [Danny laughs] One of my biggest notes was what you had said in your review is how bad that room had to smell. [Slim laughs]
SLIM Or even just them in general.
DANNY I couldn’t stop thinking about how long — like when I first watched it, I didn’t realize how long they were actually in that room. And then the second time watching, I was kind of thinking like, this is a few days in this one room and they’re just walking in and doing their business in a closet that’s like right there. A closet bathroom. I don’t know what it is. They don’t show it, but someone talks about flushing and something. I don’t know. I don’t know.
SLIM They do have a bathroom in there, though, right?
DANNY It is a bathroom, because she talks about seeing down a mountain or something when she looks down the flushing of a toilet. I don’t know. She’s already hallucinating at this point.
DANNY And then the man dies on the couch that they hide in the closet.
SLIM Oh yeah.
DANNY And then the couple who are doing it in the closet kill themselves. I mean, there’s just that on top of human filth. Anyway, sacrificial lambs.
SLIM Proto where do you think they pooped? [Danny laughs]
PROTO I mean, if there wasn’t a bathroom — I didn’t really catch that there was a bathroom. But I’m thinking maybe the baby grand piano is the way to go. [Danny & Slim laugh] You know, there’s a curtain to block it off. You can get up there and, you know, you put your feet on the keys. Let everybody know what’s going on. You know, depending on the size of the load, it’s like the deeper the notes. [Proto laughs]
SLIM I wish Seantana was still here, photoshop Proto making that face with his feet up in a seat in a suit on the piano. [Slim & Proto laugh] Art says “they’re pooping in those vases in the closet, right?”
DANNY Yeah but then she like unlocks the door. But then takes the key and goes behind her but — are they pooping in the vases?
SLIM Nobody knows.
DANNY I thought the lady said she was flushing something. [Slim laughs] I need to watch it again.
PROTO The director was asked this question specifically and he refused to answer. [Danny laughs]
SLIM The Criterion essay has three paragraphs to the bathroom question. Sophie in “love coming to these recordings for the intellectual conversations that happen.”
DANNY I watched this film twice and I don’t even think I fully understand this film. I’m gonna be honest.
SLIM I think that is one clear theme in that — [Slim laughs] Amanda just told me the dog left me a present upstairs.
DANNY D minor?
PROTO I’m chilled up. [Slim laughs]
SLIM What are the chances the dog goes number two upstairs right now?
DANNY I’m chilled up right now!
SLIM I got goosebumps!
DANNY I’m chilled!
SLIM Oh my god. The theme is the director has no desire to explain any of these things, then it’s up to you to kind of get your own interpretation of it. Which I think is what my view of it is, I also had no clue how to interpret it. You know, my exhaustive research, I checked out the Wiki for the movie. Roger Ebert wrote a quote, his interpretation of the film symbolism. which I liked, the dinner guests represent the ruling class in Franco’s Spain. Having set a banquet table for themselves by defeating the workers in the Spanish Civil War, they sit down for a feast only to find out it never does. They’re trapped in their own bourgeois cul-de-sac, increasingly resentful of being shut off from the world outside, they grow mean and restless, their worst tendencies are revealed. Which I thought was a pretty cool interpretation. But I guess after that, they still they showed the church and people get stuck in the church. So my first interpretation of the movie was, it was almost kind of like some weird supernatural thing that she didn’t finish after the sonata that she called out. They’re like, oh, I have to finish the song. And then we’re free. But then I was like, oh, then why did the church going people get caught? Proto, do you have a take and overall vibe?
DANNY Lead us.
PROTO Ah, you know, honestly, not really. Because there really isn’t much to go on in terms of the why or the what. And there isn’t really — at least I didn’t see anything, because I was looking around, you know, for an explanation of, you know, the title. It almost feels like something supernatural, The Exterminating Angel. And I didn’t find any kind of connection to what the title means, how it is important to this movie at all. And there really isn’t much to go on as to you know, why or what is happening in this. I think I found it frustrating that you’re not given anything about that. But I guess in some ways it is, you know, it does leave it open to interpretation, as you know, as much as possible where people can glean what they want, from this. And really, my notes — I don’t really have many notes like comments about the movie. I really just have like, questions of what does this mean, what did that mean? And it seems like it I guess it is kind of like a conversation you can have of like, you know, what did you think it meant?
SLIM Yeah, it’s funny you said because right before we started tonight, I put my notes together, I write my notes down on in an app when I watch it, and then I like copy them over somewhere else. So I went to go find my Exterminate Angel notes. And I have like six lines. And I was like, did my notes not save or is this all the notes that I took for this movie? So I also didn’t take a ton of notes. But again, the movie takes place in one room pretty much for the whole scene. There’s no real shifts. It’s just these these rich people coming to grips with they can’t leave a room for some reason. Danny, do you have any thoughts on the overall symbolism?
DANNY No, well, kind of. Watching it twice, I think kind of helped a bit just because I knew the questions I had that I wanted answered. And I went looking for answers. And I believe I didn’t get any. Because like Proto said, it does feel like you’re supposed to just kind of take interpretations. So then I started leaning towards how much religious, kind of, Luis is doing. So there’s just so much symbolism when it comes to this film. I mean, the biggest for me was them barely holding on and surviving. hunger and losing their minds. And then the sacrificial lambs kind of come through and give them a second wind when they sacrifice the lambs. I struggled with trying to think like, is there like a some sort of story being told with salvation or damnation? Are they stuck in this kind of purgatory type situation? Because there’s just — there’s a moment where everyone starts kind of — not everyone. There’s a few trippy scenes where people start hallucinating. And the big one is when she sees the hand come out of the closet, and it’s choking her and she tries to stab it and ends up almost stabbing someone else’s hand. I loved that scene. It was so wild. And so out of place. And then I’m just like, well, then I’m lost in this film. I’m just like, I’m not I’m not understanding what is happening at all, but I’m still enjoying it somehow. Which is kind of weird as well.
SLIM Yeah, one of my other notes was, you know, when the lambs walk in, they instantly realize that like, oh yeah, we do need to eat. So let’s cook these lambs, slit their throats or whatever, and eat them. How did they not die of smoke inhalation? [Danny laughs] They make a fire out of wood. They cook a lamb to eat in that one room. Imagine doing that in your living room? With all the windows closed?
SLIM You’d be dead. They’d all be dead.
PROTO Well, I even thought of like, alright, well, they’re ripping up floorboards. They’re trying to bust through a wall. Why aren’t they, you know, think to try to just keep busting through the wall? Like maybe you can get out a different way. But then, of course, it’s like, well, you know, like that that’s not going to happen. Like this movie is kind of jettison any kind of reasoning. Because you have no explanation for why they can’t even just walk out of the room. Like they don’t even really talk about that that much.
SLIM Yeah, I was actually waiting. I think there’s one scene that teased it, where I was like, waiting as I was watching, I was like, oh, great. Someone’s just gonna push someone through the entrance. Like what’s going to happen? Just if you can’t go through, just kick someone in the rear end and push them out the door. That didn’t happen, unfortunately. I felt like would have happened. And I think that’s probably something that I need to like, stop thinking about when it comes this movie. That like, there are certain blockers in place that isn’t just going to — like any sound reason as to them getting out of the room doesn’t work. Because even on the outside, there’s like a press line forming. And there’s cops outside. Like, why? How did they even get there? To find out the people are stuck in there? How do they know that? And there’s multiple instances of that where like, you know, I’m not going to get those answers from this movie. So maybe it’s just not worth while thinking that it doesn’t make sense.
DANNY There’s also a point where I think the cop, one of the head cops, say that they tried to get in. They send like a squad in but the police couldn’t, they just kind of did the same thing where they talk their way out of not going in, just like people talk their way out of not leaving the room. So there definitely was like something supernatural happening.
PROTO One of the just the observations that I made was that the representation of the many seasons of life that were in the room. There were lovers, there were people engaged, there was people cheating on their spouses, there was a pregnant woman, there was a doctor, there was a conductor, a singer, a virgin. So there was like all these many different walks of life, all these, you know, people who were, you know, different careers, and just different states. So it seemed like a way of showing just like representation of all these different periods of life. So that, I think what that might be saying is, I don’t know, it’s just kind of like universal to everyone. Other than that, I don’t really know. But I thought that was kind of interesting.
SLIM Yeah, Art in chat, maybe proving that I’m not getting the symbolism as well. “They say they set their mind to leaving the room and they get distracted, like their own inertia is the only real imprisonment, failure to progress.” Art, you don’t have to flex on me like that, so hard, okay? Groogruxdave on Letterboxd: watching off the human shed the skin of civil society in the hopes of their own personal salvation. Game on. Four stars from Dave, this movie. Danny what else is on your list for this film?
DANNY Honestly, that’s about it. I didn’t take a lot of notes, I was really kind of into this film a lot, just trying to figure it out in my own headspace and really actually enjoying the photography in it. The black and white is gorgeous. I enjoyed a lot of the choices that Buñuel took. There was a lot of really cool — I don’t know — a lot of cool shots, a lot of cool conversations, a lot of interesting ways to — I don’t know, it just felt kind of like going against the grain of what kind of 60s films were doing. You know, this doesn’t feel like anything else in that era, that style of filming. And I really enjoyed that. It kept me kind of on my toes. Just because I didn’t know what to expect. So I have a lot of respect for Luis and his direction.
PROTO Yeah, I wonder what the response was to this when he came out. You know, had people seen something like it before?
DANNY Yeah, definitely. And Slim just tried to crack a joke. Let’s try again. Let him try again. [Slim laughs]
SLIM I was listening to my own failed attempt to ask how horny that couple was. They had just met that night. Right, didn’t they? And they went through the entire journey of meeting, loving and then dying.
DANNY The dream.
PROTO That’s life.
SLIM That is life.
DANNY I think when it happened, Casey leaned over and said that would have been us.
SLIM Oh Casey says they were engaged, I thought. Maybe I’m thinking of a different couple.
PROTO I thought they were engaged too.
DANNY I think she was engaged to someone else.
SLIM Ah ha!
PROTO Whaaat?Oh, wait, are you talking about the couple that died in the committed suicide?
SLIM Wasn’t there are a couple that met and were like really hot for each other?
DANNY Yeah, those are the one’s that killed themselves in the closet.
SLIM I’m gonna trust Danny on this, he watched it twice. Bek’s left a four star review. Has anyone really tried getting in? I fully felt like a dummy the first 45 minutes this film, before the theme surrounding class hit me smack dab in the face. I’m going to do something we don’t usually do. But I’m going to play a voicemail early.
DANNY Let’s hear it.
SLIM From our dear friend who has put together this guide for us. This is a two banger. Two minutes, so we’ll allow it. This is a big kickoff for this month.
VOICEMAIL First off, I’d like to thank the hosts for celebrating Latin American History Month by cinematically traveling to Mexico, your bravery. And it means a lot to me. Even though I bugged all three hosts for months on end. Thanks for that mug, by the way, Danny. So we started off with El ángel exterminador, fantastic start to this journey. Where we see Luis Buñuel making fun of the bourgeoisie in Mexico, though he originally wanted to production in London. So I guess high class in general. I love how he writes them so silly and so shallow. Like when the doctor is being flirted with by his patient, and someone asks him “what about her cancer?” And he replies “It’s terrible. I don’t even give her three months until she bald.” Then also when Buñuel is just going after how ridiculous this high classes by with their customers and being perceived as polite. Whether it’s the guests who don’t leave when they say why are we here? And they respond nobody decided to leave? Or if it’s the host when they say aren’t they going a bit far taking off their tuxedo jackets? I’m sure they’ll be ashamed when they see how they acted. And then the host replies, let’s do as they do to make their full policy obvious. This seems to be just as a high class trying to be seen as polite. I don’t know. It’s insane. And Buñuel makes it very clear when he says it seems too strange or perhaps too normal. Even though it’s surrealist to nature also, it’s great how even though the director places things there for himself or for no rhyme or reason, one can bring out so much meaning from them. Like bringing in the three sheep only for three people in their party to die. So when the people in the church and their rituals are stuck inside, so many sheep go into the church. And why use sheep? Just saying. Anyway, this VM is going too long. Thank you so much for watching. And I don’t know what the scores will be, but KK already gave it five stars alongside me, so I see this as an absolute win. Mucho gracias.
SLIM Mamma Mia. What a VM.
SLIM KK did give it five stars. My final thoughts in the movie I love these kinds of weird no explainer supernatural episodes of The Twilight Zone. Amanda and I had a long period of time we were just watching like every episode of The Twilight Zone for a while. Generally the episodes just you could say the the main storyline could be chalked up to dementia of old people, that could be just why the episode is so weird. But this one didn’t really land for me. I don’t know why. I think it was probably because of the nebulous symbolism. So I’m three stars for Exterminating Angel. Had fun watching. It wasn’t a five bagger for me. I’m glad I did. Danny, what about you?
DANNY Yeah, for me, both times watching this film coming out of it, I enjoyed it a lot. I had a lot of fun watching it. It’s just interesting. It makes you think, it’s a beautiful film. Buñuel is doing just kind of killer stuff. And I want to watch more of his films. I watched on the Criterion, there’s an interview with a gentleman just talking about Luis’s journey as a filmmaker and coming up in Mexico and I think Spain and France and all those kind of international films he’s done. And I just kind of want to kind of take a little journey of him through some of his film. So for me, I had a great time watching this, both times. Left the film, enjoyed it. So I’m gonna give it four stars.
SLIM Did you drop that art yet? That art official yet? Are we getting an early preview?
DANNY I didn’t drop it. Let me put it in there. Do I have it?
PROTO So my final thoughts on this movie. Yeah, we all said how, you know, so much of it isn’t explained. And I thought about it, you know, in this movie, you have the who, and you have the where, but there really isn’t any how, or why or what is, you know, happening. And it’s clear that the director is doing that purposefully. He’s removing those factors of the story to really just kind of more communicate ideas and the symbolism and the themes. But I really struggle with that in movies, because I feel like that’s pretty lazy storytelling, because I feel that you can do, you can explore anything you want in a movie, you can explore themes. But you can also tell a good story. To me, there really isn’t much of a story here. It’s really people stuck in a room. And the questions that you want answered, are never answered. And like, you can answer those questions, you can have reasons for why this is happening. And still, you know, do the same, you know, tell the same kind of story. So to me, I really struggle with these kind of movies and I just think it’s bad storytelling. It’s bad movie making. This is the same exact reason why I really did not like the movie mother! I thought that was terrible. Where you just kind of jettison the idea of giving your viewers a good story. It just feels incredibly lazy to me. So this is a one star movie for me.
SLIM Oh my god. Snake Eyes all over again. Ismael just rolled snake eyes!
DANNY My gosh.
SLIM That’s a dice reference.
DANNY Thank you. [Slim laughs] Wowowow.
SLIM Of course Sophie is the first to tag him after that rating. Soph looking for a fight tonight. I don’t know how many White Claws deep she is, but starting to read between the lines a little bit. That is Exterminating Angel. I’m glad I watched it. I loved the art. And I’m glad Danny picked it.
DANNY Thank you. I’m ready for our journey to continue, Matt.
SLIM Thank you for saying that. But I’m not ready to reveal my pick yet. We have a letter to get to before we do so. Oh my god, the size of this letter from Scott. I’m looking at the text right now. Holy moly. This is like —
DANNY Read it. [Slim laughs]
SLIM I didn’t read it until just now. All right, Scott emails in. “I decided to watch our Alexandro Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain. This is my description of the film, while watching I have a feeling this would be crazy out there episode for your Latin American Movie Month. It’s filmed and produced in Mexico. The Holy Mountain IMDb states in a corrupt greed fueled world a powerful alchemists leads a messianic character and seven materialistic figures to the holy mountain where they hope to achieve enlightenment.” Proto, you ever seen this? Sounds like it’s right up your alley. [Danny laughs] I feel like Proto has gone to a mountain to achieve enlightenment at some point.
PROTO Not many a mountain.
SLIM “In the first 10 minutes you get frogs, rats, two chicks get their head shaved by what looks to be Father Sarducci, a no legged half armed man giving a joint to a guy who looks like Jesus who peed himself while being covered in flies question mark. Then horse carcasses on crucifixes. So much bizarre imagery and it doesn’t stop. Very odd opening, but very colorful. Lots of male genitalia hanging out there too. Guy with a glass eye gives to a little girl who is hanging — “
DANNY What film is this?!
SLIM I don’t — I can’t read the rest of this.
SLIM This is a long thread. This is a PG-13 rated podcast. Okay? We can’t get into all this stuff that’s in this email. Let’s see. “It’s just effed up. There is a major animal count here. I found it on the Hoopla app.” [Danny & Slim laugh] Can someone link to this? Paul, thank you. We need people to figure out the rest of themselves. Sincerely Scott. Letterboxd Smarvel_ the13th. So Scott, I think might have peaked a few interests for the Holy Mountain 1973. Proto, what do you think based on what your brief description you’ve heard?
PROTO We’ve talked about this movie a little bit in the past. I think somebody watched this. Was it Ian? Oh Haitch watched it. He gave it three stars. I don’t know man. I don’t know. This sounds like maybe a little too far out there. Like I don’t know if I want to go out there.
SLIM This sounds X-rated if I can be brutally frank with you.
DANNY Thank you.
SLIM Can you imagine that the Haas household watching this movie Friday night? [Danny laughs]
PROTO His children watching this.
SLIM You go right to church right after viewing. Get saved my friend.
DANNY I won’t be able to leave the room. Stuck in the room.
SLIM Emergency baptism happening in that bathtub. [Slim laughs] Male Genitalia Month when? Art wants to know. It’s a real good question. We’ll have to check with TAPEDECK legal on that. Thank you for the email Scott. I think that’s all our letters this week. And next week is my pick, okay? I have a pic in place right now. I’m really excited about it. This movie came out a few years ago.
DANNY Oh it’s new?
SLIM Set the world aflame. I don’t know if either of you have it logged on Letterboxd.
SLIM I started it a while ago and I never got back to it for whatever reason. I pulled a Proto Farewell job on it.
DANNY Oh god.
SLIM 2018 from one of the greatest living directors, Alfonso Cuarón.
DANNY Oh gosh!
SLIM Streaming on Netflix right now.
PROTO Okay, okay, okay. Netflix.
SLIM This is the big one.
DANNY This is it.
SLIM This is a 4.1 average on letterbox. The amount of four and a half star averages, five stars of people I follow, it’s off the charts. Danny’s mouth is agape.
PROTO He’s never heard of this movie.
SLIM He doesn’t even know how to react. [Slim laughs] Y tu mamá también was a second place pick for me but I don’t think that’s it’s available streaming easily anywhere. And this is on Netflix and I’ve been waiting to watch this, have a reason to watch this. So Roma, your boy Alfonso.
DANNY Is this sad? Is it a sad movie?
SLIM I don’t see the word sad in the description but it’s possible it could be sad. Are sad movies allowed on this podcast?
DANNY I’m just ready to be sad.
SLIM Marcie saying yes.
DANNY I mean a lot of the descriptions of Ismael’s list, there were some heavy storylines in Mexican cinema.
SLIM The description for Roma: 1970s Mexico City to domestic workers help a mother of four while her husband is away for an extended period of time. Get ready.
DANNY That’s my question whenever I go into a film, is this gonna be sad? I got to know.
SLIM We’ll check the sob knob status after the episode.
PROTO We’ll settle it next week. [Danny & Slim laugh]
SLIM Proto, the journey we’re on has been kicked off, Latin American Movie Month. We’re one down. We have a few more to go before we’re out of the woods, changed forever. Can you say good night to us all as we venture out for the week?
PROTO You know, Luis Buñuel, he did not give us a reason for The Exterminating Angel.
DANNY Give you.
PROTO Give me. And everyone else. But we do have a reason for 70mm. And the reason is you. [The Reason by Hoobastank fades in] Slim, producer, please kick in Hoobastank right now.
DANNY Thank you. [Danny & Slim laugh]
[The Reason by Hoobastank 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!