Transcript: The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959)

49 min readJul 19, 2021

Transcript of 70mm’s The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959) Episode.

SLIM Heeeey, 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 I don’t know if anyone’s reviews have yet to mention how absolutely horrible Florence Pugh’s Russian accent is.

SLIM And spiritual advisor Protolexus.

PROTO IYKYK. Is it the greatest? That’s an open question, but because I’m asking it, I think you know the answer.

SLIM And together as friends for ever, we discuss recently watched movies. Later in this very episode, we’re talking about a film that has been called a historic achievement in Japanese cinema. It’s The Human Condition Part One: No Greater Love. Is the hype real? We’ll find out… together.

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

SLIM Proto, we usually have a journey that you set forth for us in the VHS Village Discord, where you set a theme or a director or a thing. And once a month, we all watch a movie and chat with it in a special channel. This is your brainchild.


SLIM This journey. What were some previous journeys that we’ve done in the past?

PROTO Well, the first journey, which we started because of our dear producer, Dale, he inspired me. He was going through the whole Alien franchise. And I remembered, you know, I hadn’t seen two of them. And I was like, you know, this seems like a great idea! So that was really the impetus for the journey. We did that one, which was huge success, love, love the Alien journey. And then we said, you know, when that was done, so why don’t we just keep doing these, because there’s a lot of movies out there. I don’t know if people know this. But there are a lot of movies to watch. So, the next we did the Lean journey, David Lean, because I hadn’t seen any David Lean pictures. So I wanted to watch some. And we did I think it was five of those which we ended with Lawrence of Arabia a few weeks ago. Not as popular of a journey. [Danny laughs] That’s okay. Because, you know, it’s, it’s the materials a little harder to get into, you know, it’s three and a half, four hour movie run times.

SLIM Four hour minimum in that journey.

PROTO Minimum. So now, as you know, it’s time to start another one. So we finished the the the Lean journey, in this month of July. But I was so excited for this next journey. Then I said, let’s not even wait till August. Let’s start it now in July. And things just started coming together. You know, and I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna say what it is. We’re doing a Noir Journey.

SLIM Ooooh.


PROTO For the rest of the year. [Proto laughs] Thank you Kev, yeah, noirney — [Slim laughs]

SLIM Can we trademark that? Dale, if you’re in the studio can you call legal get on that?

PROTO Yeah, a Noir Journey. And not just, we’re going to do something a little different here. Because I think, you know, there’s a lot of classic noir out there that is really great that I’m excited to watch. But you know, maybe old movies aren’t your bag. So maybe you want to watch some newer stuff. And I saw recently that on the Criterion put together a really cool Neo-noir list of movies. So what we’re going to do this time, it’s going to be a choose your own Noir Journey, where each month between July and December, there’s going to be two movies on the list. It’s going to be a classic noir movie, as well as a Neo-noir movie. So, so you can watch one, or you can watch both, whatever floats your boat. But just to get an idea for the month of July. We’re gonna start with Double Indemnity, which is a, I think it’s Billy Wilder, which in this movie is like on the noir list as like the number one noir movie, which I think you’ve, Slim, right?

SLIM One of the horniest movies of this era that I can remember seeing. The emotions between those two leads. Unreal. Loved it.

PROTO That gets me excited. And you know, maybe if that’s not your thing, the movie that’s paired with that is going to be Body Heat.

SLIM Oh my god! [Danny laughs] Holy cow.

PROTO Which is a Lawrence Kasdan picture from 1981. So, we also got another movie I’ve been dying to see is The Killing, Stanley Kubrick. Ever heard of him?

SLIM This is unbelievable.

PROTO This is, this is one of his early movies. So there’s — and then we got we got, I got, I squeezed in some Bong Joon-ho on this list. We got the Maltese Falcon. There’s some Brian De Palma on this list.

SLIM My king.

PROTO I mean, it’s got everything. So I am like, you know, I watched Sunset Boulevard last week, and I was just ready. I need more noir in my life. And I think everyone else does, too. So this is where we’re going. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun too, where you just can, you know, more than one movie to pick between.

SLIM Wow. We’ll have a link in the Episode Notes to that list that you’ve created. Join us. And if you want to join us on the journey, what would you say? Choose your own journey? But you missed an opportunity. Choose Your Own Noir Adventure. We’ll workshop that.

DANNY Noirnia.

PROTO Slim, producer, change out my words. [Slim laughs]

SLIM We’ll work on that in post. But if you want to join us on this journey in Discord, we have a channel called #journeys, where everyone can chat about movies that they’re watching, you can join that, have a link on our website and in the Episode Notes. And we have some new friends this week. That will be joining us on this journey. Sander, Paul and Brandon joined this week. And McKenzie is in chat tonight. I wanted to call out, McKenzie left us a very nice Apple Podcast review. And she is launching a new podcast August 1 called ON LYNCH. I know for a fact there are some quote unquote, “Lynch heads” you know, in the Village. I just air quoted that, I’m not sure if it was necessary. But if you are a Lynch fan, Twin Peaks, I have a link to that podcast. By all means check it out August 1 when it comes out. I’m excited, those movies are unreal that was on that list. I hope people are aware.

DANNY I might watch them all.

PROTO And there’s a ton more, like that Criterion list. I wanted to watch all of them. There’s like 20 movies on there. And they all sound amazing.

SLIM Speaking of the Criterion, this episode we’re going to be talking about the big one, The Human Condition Part One: No Greater Love. Three and a half hours. It’s on the Criterion app right now. Considered to be the greatest achievement in the history of Japanese cinema. And we watched it and we’re going to talk about it at the bottom of the hour. Stay tuned. Danny’s got a S eating grin on his face right now.

DANNY No! [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM Danny, what did you watch this week? Anything good?

DANNY I did watch a couple things. Casey and I watched a big one this week. Have you heard of this director? Ingmar… Bergman.

SLIM I’ve heard tell.

DANNY We watched The Seventh Seal. And uh, Max von Sydow. It was really good! I found it really interesting. It was filmed, it’s like it’s incredibly filmed, black and white. It looks incredible. Cinematography is nuts. And it was actually had a lot more like comedy bits than I was prepared for because it seemed like it was going to be such a serious movie. And it does have very serious like existential type questions that Max von Sydow character’s going through. He’s playing chess with death throughout this whole movie, and, but there’s so many funny comedy bits. The side characters in this film, were actually impressively funny. But also good. They were a good part of the story. And I gave this four and a half stars on Letterboxd. And I had a blast watching it. It’s an incredible film.

SLIM What made you choose that? To watch it?

DANNY Casey picked it.

SLIM Oh my, Casey!

DANNY I don’t know. I don’t know why she picked it.

SLIM What’s going on over there?

DANNY She loves watching these old movies. And she just kind of said it. And I’m like, you want to watch this? And we did. So yeah, it was great.

SLIM Sorry. I was gonna say I think I cut it out of our Last Action Hero — [Slim laughs] How did he make that so —

DANNY That was fast.

SLIM Photoshop of Danny. That is, your forehead size is a little bit unsettling.

DANNY No, it’s about right. [Slim laughs]

PROTO Yeah, that is where your hairline starts.

SLIM The hairline is like at the nape of your neck in that photo! I was gonna say I think I cut it out of our Last Action Hero episode, but there is that homage to The Seventh Seal in The Last Action Hero. So what did you, did you harken back to that movie watching it?

DANNY I thought about it right away when I saw Death — oddly enough the Photoshop, that’s like the first thing image of the movie. And so that’s exactly what I thought of was Death walking around with Arnold in the kid in Last Action Hero. So yeah, it was amazing to think about that.

SLIM Max von Sydow also a stud in Minority Report, remember that? When he’s in that movie? Tom Cruise?


PROTO Ohhh yeah!

DANNY I only remember him from Force Awakens.

SLIM And that scene towards the end where he talks to Tom’s wife and he’s like, [Slim in Max von Sydow voice] Why don’t you come to the cottage? Come to the cottage. It’s my Max von Sydow.

PROTO Nailed it.

DANNY That was a good von Sydow. I’m impressed.

SLIM Go on.

DANNY I watched that in the Criterion. And while I was there, I came across a movie called The Hot Rock. And I watched it because it’s a heist movie with Robert Redford. And it was actually a lot of fun. I gave it three and a half stars. It’s about —

SLIM Death sentence.

DANNY Yeah, I mean, they, Robert Redford’s character is like a serial, like burglar heist man, that’s hired for these gigs and he gets breaking out of like, he gets out of prison in the very beginning of the film and gets hired for like one last gig and it just is like, it’s funny. It’s like a funny, fun heist movie that Robert Redford does an amazing job in. And it’s, I feel like no one talks about this film. It’s sitting in the Criterion and had a lot of fun watching it. It’s really good.

SLIM What’s his hair look like in that movie? A lot of rumors of him wearing a wig in his old age.

DANNY No, he’s not old in this film. This film is from… let me check… 1972. Peter Yates.

SLIM Oh, pre-wig.

PROTO What’s going on with you and Robert Redford? You kind of, you’ve been sneaking in a lot of Redford movies this year. And I’ve noticed.

DANNY I must have. I really, I mean, I love Robert. I mean, it’s hard to not love Robert Redford. Do you disagree?

SLIM He’s a good looking man. Great actor.

PROTO No, you know, I mean, I came out of my relationship with Gene Hackman last week. And I’m just wondering if like you’re in the same place with Robert Redford?

DANNY I probably am. There’s something about that man. He’s a vision. Amazing actor. He really honestly every time I watch him, he reminds me of Brad Pitt.

SLIM Oh yeah.

DANNY It’s like, it’s like what Brad Pitt is becoming like he’s this older actor. Like when you watch like, what’s that Quentin Tarantino movie?

SLIM Once Upon a Time.

DANNY Yes. Brad in that reminded me of Robert Redford. A lot. So I don’t know. I just I really liked Robert Redford. And he’s great. I wish he wasn’t in the MCU.

PROTO Have you seen spy game with Robert Redford and Brad Pitt?

DANNY Yes. Yeah, yeah. But it’s been forever since I’ve seen that. I need to watch it again now. So that was about it. And then I gave, I gave the old college try to Black Widow and stopped watching about halfway in and it’s absolutely garbage. [Slim laughs] I don’t know how any one’s reviews have yet to mention how absolutely horrible Florence Pugh’s Russian accent is.

SLIM @Marcie is typing in chat. She, I think her phone, she just cracked the screen of her phone she’s typing so fast.

DANNY I just, this is, visually it’s terrible. I could not get over how bad this movie is.

SLIM Florence Pugh, I like Florence Pugh. But she’s in one of those spaces where she’s like untouchable right now. And if anyone comes out and says something negative about Florence Pugh that persons are going to get shadow banned. And maybe canceled. So you better be careful.

PROTO She may be the Timothée Chalamet.

SLIM That’s a good comparison to be honest. Wait until the backlash. [Slim laughs] Savvy says ‘cancel Danny time’. Well, we’re going to be looking for a new third host probably on this show. And preferably someone with some artistic talent, I think after this episode. [Danny laughs] Because we’re gonna be in trouble.

PROTO Marvel does it again.

SLIM Proto, what about you? What did you watch?

PROTO I was able to get to one movie, movie that’s been on my radar for a long time. Back to Bong Joon-ho I watched Memories of Murder. Which came out in 2003. One of his, so it’s an older flick of his, almost 20 years now. Yeah, so many, so many people have watched this. A lot of love for this movie.

SLIM A lot of love.

PROTO I, man, the thing that he does with the the comedy in his movies is really something else. I feel like no one really can do what he does, like most of his movies are drama, you know, Parasite and Okja is like very serious content. But, and this movie, of course, it’s you know, it’s about a serial killer and detectives trying to find that serial killer and you know, some gruesome stuff in this movie, but it’s also very funny. And I can’t really think of a director that really nails humor in a movie like these kind of movies the way that he does. So it was great. I gave it, I gave it three stars.

SLIM Three stars. Wow.

PROTO Really funny. Yeah, and I had a great time.

DANNY Is it like dark humor?

SLIM They’re chasing a murderer.

PROTO Yeah, there’s, it’s not really dark humor. It’s just it’s very subtle.

SLIM Art in chat quote “three stars is great”. I think the scale has been changed slightly based on Proto’s comments here.

PROTO Uh, Slim producer. [Slim laughs] Three stars is good. So it was a good movie. I had a lot of fun watching it. Yeah, I know. There’s a lot of love for this movie, but I felt like tonally it was, in some parts of it kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Or like I don’t know. It didn’t totally stick the landing for me all the way through. And you know, depending, you people might love how it like you know, wrapped up. I didn’t really care for it. I felt a little confused with some of like the resolution. So yeah, that I wasn’t blown — my socks were still on my feet. [Danny laughs]

SLIM Firmly planted. First Black Widow and now Memories of Murder. I’m not sure if anyone was expecting this back to back job in this episode.

DANNY Mine should not be shocking.

SLIM Just a reminder, The Human Condition Part One is our main topic this episode, just around the corner, everyone get ready. If you weren’t shocked by Black Widow and Memories of Murder ratings, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

DANNY I will say, I’m in the middle of a movie right now that I wish I hadn’t started in the evening after Apex because it’s fantastic. And I noticed that the two of you both gave it very high stars.

SLIM What is it? Tell me. Just us.

PROTO Just mouth it.

DANNY So, La Samourai.

SLIM Ohhhhh.

PROTO Oh okay.

DANNY So I was still in the Criterion and after watching The Hot Rock or whatever, and I saw this and I’m like man, I did this little poster for Letterboxd with it and I’ve been really wanting to watch and I clicked on your reviews and I’m like dang, these guys loved it. So I’m like halfway through it and it’s very good.

SLIM Yeah. Anything else you watch, Proto? You wanna talk about?

PROTO Oh, I just want to mention I finished Adventure Time. [Danny laughs]

SLIM God bless.

PROTO And then I watched the limited series on on HBO max Distant Lands. IYKYK. [Danny laughs] Is it the greatest? That’s an open question but because I’m asking it, I think you know the answer. [Slim & Danny laugh]

SLIM Every time that — we have this show on loop all the time at our house. Every time that final episode comes on, instant waterworks, it’s just perfect. Perfect stuff. Love it. If you haven’t watched Adventure Time, start the journey. It’s worth it. I’m looking forward to Danny rating La Samourai on Letterboxd. And every week we give away a free year of Letterboxd Pro to friends that share the show on social media, spread the word about the show. You know, people wondering ‘how do I help out 70mm?’ You know, tell your friends about the show. And this week’s winner for free year of Letterboxd Pro, get yourself access to stats. Find out where movies are streaming, so you can plan your week ahead. 1980sfanboy on Twitter, just won a free year of Letterboxd Pro. Congrats.


PROTO Congrats.

SLIM And if you want to support Letterboxd at anytime, maybe you didn’t win the free year of Letterboxd Pro, you can upgrade to Letterboxd Pro or Patron status, get that fancy little backdrop behind your reviews and your page. You can do so at 20% off at There’s a fancy link you can use right there.

PROTO I would like to know, can I just ask? There’s a movie on your list you didn’t give stars to but just between us, I would like to know.

SLIM Yeah.

PROTO I would like to know, how many stars would you give Master and Commander? I saw you watch that. Can we just get a star rating for Russell Crowe?

SLIM I’ll elaborate a little bit more on my comments last week. You know I’m grateful and humbled to be the co-host of The Letterboxd Show this season, our dear friends at Letterboxd, we interview people about their top four fav movies. So I didn’t feel it was right to for me to rate movies that I’m doing for that show. And Master and Commander is our next guest’s, it’s in his top four. And I think I will rate movies, looking back. I think I rated Strictly Ballroom five stars. If it’s five stars, I’ll probably give it a rating.

DANNY Oh no.

SLIM So this is probably four and a half stars, Master and Commander.


DANNY My gosh!

PROTO I was I was sensing that from your review.

DANNY It smelt like it.

SLIM It was very, it was very good. It was good. I recommend if you’re able, seek that out and watch it because Russell’s hair is in prime form in this movie. [Danny laughs] It’s like Redford level lush.


SLIM It’s good. Also, this is the Vision isn’t it? That actor?


SLIM Vis? What’s that guy’s name?

PROTO Paul Bettany?

SLIM Paul Bettany is in it, he plays the doctor in that movie. He’s like best friends with Russell Crowe. I loved it. Seek it out. Does that scratch your itch, Proto? That secret rating that I won’t reveal on Letterboxd?

PROTO That does it. Thank you. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Can we get into the big show here? The Human Condition.

DANNY We can keep delaying it if you want.

SLIM It’s time. I, let me go back to last week, I said I wanted to feel something. You know, I think we should, we’re all pretty aware that we are, we have, we’re lucky enough to have a good percentage of the audience checks out these movies that we pick for the movies. And I was looking back at our last few weeks, months, and it was looking extra white. And I was like, I think we got to branch out a little bit here. Let’s watch something else. Something we don’t usually watch. And The Human Condition popped up on my list. Let’s go pinkies out, you know, check this movie out. Nine hours, the OG trilogy, the thing is nine hours long. But Part One is three and a half hours long. So let’s just start with that on the Criterion app and see how it feels.

PROTO This is the trilogy that inspired George Lucas. [Danny laughs]

SLIM Who would Alec Guinness play in this movie you think?

PROTO Oh god.

SLIM Alec Guinness, the master of disguise himself. Proto, can you take us through The Human Condition: No Greater Love Part One.

[music from The Human Condition fades in]

PROTO Kaji, a young, somber idealist is commissioned by his employer to be a labor chief at a Japanese mine, whose workforce is composed of Chinese prisoners. Desperate to treat the prisoners humanely, Kaji battles against the accepted practices of brutality that the Japanese deliver to the prisoners. He stands alone for the rights and fair treatment. But he is criticized and hated by his peers for his sympathies, while also being hated by the prisoners for failing to end the suffering that they have come to expect. When the military officer responsible for the prisoners seeks to punish an escape attempt, Kaji’s words and actions will be put to the ultimate test. Suffering will come. But Kaji must choose who will endure it. No Greater Love.

[music from The Human Condition ramps up, plays alone, fades out]

SLIM Does it again. Unreal. You know, I didn’t realize when I chose this movie, I actually went in pretty blind to the plot of this and even the cast, but the lead, Kaji is Tatsuya Nakadai, he played the dude with a gun in Yojimbo. The squirrely dude that had that pistol.

PROTO Oh wow, yeah!

SLIM I had no idea, because I was sitting down watching this and I was like, wait a minute, who is this guy? And also he plays the lead in movie that Torin, who has chosen for his camp counselor pick. There’ll be a patron exclusive. He plays the lead in Harakiri. Which I also had no idea. I thought it was a different answer completely. And yes, McKenzie says he’s also in Seven Samurai. So he’s, he’s in these like, huge movies, as well. So this guy, is like the Robert De Niro right now, of the 60s?

DANNY De Niro. I like it.

SLIM Now I think off the bat, none of us really knew anything about this movie ahead of time, right? Like you’d never heard about this movie. Growing up, this was, this is out of our wheelhouse, right Danny?

DANNY Completely out of my wheelhouse. And even coming into this podcast and diving in more and more to movies, it still never really came up until our Village, until Torin brought it up. So it really was never on my radar. And then to say that it’s nine hours, it was never going to be on my radar. But knowing that it’s broken up into three films, makes it a lot more accessible.

PROTO Yeah, had known nothing of this. I might have seen it on like a greatest list at some point. But well, maybe not. I don’t even know, does it have a list like a single listing on Letterboxd?

SLIM It used to, but I looked earlier and I couldn’t find the collected version of it. I’m not sure if it’s still there.

PROTO Yeah, yeah, that you know, that’s another reason. But yeah, just even reading anything about this, I remember when it was brought up in the Discord and just yeah, you know, three movies, nine hours. But then it wasn’t until this week that I saw that it’s each one is broken up into two parts. So that makes it a little bit, you know, easier to watch. You know, I like that when movies, like these older movies that are really long have intermissions, like right in the middle. Makes it easier.

SLIM Yeah, I compare this to Seven Samurai because you can be kind of like a movie fan, movie lover like we are and you know, watch movies and you’re like, you know of Seven Samurai. Like oh, yeah, that’s on everyone’s list. I haven’t seen it yet. I’ll get to it. But Human Condition. I’m like, What the eff is this? Nine hours? What? Ge outta here! I mean, is there any American equivalent to a nine hour like journey like this, like Lord of the Rings? Maybe? I mean, this is also based on a book.

DANNY It was based on one book, so I don’t know if there’s, there’s anything like this in American cinema.

PROTO The only thing I can think of is there’s, you know, Gettysburg is like four hours and Gettysburg did have a sequel Gods and Generals that was four hours that I saw in theaters, and there was an intermission at like the two hour mark. So that’s the only thing I can think of that’s even close to this.

SLIM God, the vibe in that theater seeing Gods and Generals. [Slim & Danny & Proto laugh] Is everyone in there over 60 at that point? Holy cow. First note, in my list here, obviously, we’ll probably talk about the length at a certain point, but the photography in this movie, holy moly! The setting of the minds, the outdoors, the night shots, everything in this movie, I thought just looked absolutely dynamite. Like the cinematography is out of sight. Danny, what did you think?

DANNY Yeah, I mean, you could, you could probably go frame by frame of some of these scenes, and you could print them out. I mean, they’re just something you’d hang on a wall. And there’s, there’s actually really some, not only are like, long, wide shots, especially the beginning. I mean, the snow scene is absolutely gorgeous. I mean, the two of them having their lovers, not really a quarrel, but just trying to figure out their next step in life. But that snow shot, the marching of the soldiers. The just the dark blacks in that scene. It’s just it looks absolutely incredible. And then there’s, there are moments where, I just thought about it. There was, it’s so ridiculous. But there’s the scene towards the end when, I’m jumping way ahead, but I don’t know why I keep thinking about it, where he calls, he’s trying to call off the the executions. And he’s on the phone in the office by himself. And he hangs up the phone, and the camera just sits for like maybe five extra seconds on that phone on the desk. And I’m just like, damn, that looks good. [Slim laughs] It is just, they’re just really smart, long shots of really well, just well produced, well set up sets in this film, and it’s beautiful.

PROTO Yeah, yeah, there’s some beautiful shots, especially the outdoors. One of my favorite shots was when the train comes to look to deliver the prisoners. And this might be the biggest train I’ve ever seen. This train looked like it was two storeys tall! [Danny laughs] And it was huge! I mean, the engine of that train was just amazing. I wish there was like more of that but it’s like close to the tracks and it’s coming. I feel like there’s a lot of shots where like the cameras like lower to the ground and kind of just created like an interesting perspective especially when something’s moving towards the camera like the train was. So like that those scenes of just like you know, you know this wide open landscape was really cool. And then there’s yeah, some of, there isn’t a ton but there’s some moments inside the mine that were really cool. And then also when they’re, I think they called it the pit where there was you know, the prisoners walking in line and that you know, you would see you would see a trail of prisoners going one way up and then in the back like much further back there’d be a trail going the other way and it was very beautiful the way that it was like set up and just the movement that was going on.

DANNY There was like two other shots but it’s of the shots of the actual like, like power plant where it’s just like the coils.

SLIM Oh my god, yes!

DANNY The coils in the rain.

SLIM It was a porno, see that! It was unbelievable!

DANNY I mean, I don’t know what about it but man! I really, it really got me.

SLIM It’s the most attractive electrical room in the history of film. [Danny & Proto laugh] I don’t know what is going on in that room, but I was like licking my lips. I was like, yeah, put the rest of the movie in this room for God’s sake! Torin says this has the same cinematographer as Harakiri. So we might be in for a treat.

DANNY Good to know. That’s awesome. I don’t have a huge list, oddly enough for the scale of this film, but I wanted to talk about Kaji himself. Not so, I mean, the character and the actor, because there is I mean, he carries this whole, I mean, I mean, I haven’t seen part two and three, but obviously, he carries this entire story, kind of on his back. And I think Tatsua — I don’t know how to say his name real name. Apologize. But he’s just incredible in this film. He conveys like the scale of emotion, like brilliantly throughout this entire film. And another one of my notes, like kind of referring to him is, this film is is exhausting watching his story. And I’m not really talking about the length, just following this man who is trying to change the system of like, the way that humans are being treated, and to watch him go from almost succeeding to failing, almost succeeding to failing. Like, I got exhausted watching his journey. And it’s just the first part of the story. But I just feel like he’s, he’s a brilliant actor, I loved almost every time he was on the screen.

PROTO I didn’t really care for the character of Kaji too much. I don’t know.

SLIM Let it out.

PROTO I feel like my thoughts aren’t like, fully formed about this, but I don’t think I was totally vibing with this character and how he was written, if he was like, totally believable. And it’s really hard to, I think talk about it. Or know, like, to me, he just seemed, you know, that he’s putting this movie as being like, having high ideals. But then also seeming to be like really naive.

SLIM Extremely naive.

PROTO But it doesn’t seem to make sense that he would be this naive. If this is like what he’s grown up in, and like, this is like his culture. So I felt like there was like a little like, disconnect there for me where it seemed like he was this way only in service of the story rather than like it being realistic.

DANNY For me, there’s a bit of maybe just not understanding, so I don’t, I didn’t understand when after the he talked about his thesis and his leftist ideals, and they give him the position of being in charge of the labor at this other smaller mine. I didn’t understand why he just wasn’t in charge. Like I don’t know what he was actually sent there for, it felt like everyone was like, he just still was like this grunt still reporting. But I don’t know why they said that he’d be in charge of labor when he didn’t seem like he was at all.

SLIM Yeah, to Proto’s point, they really focus on obviously, his humanist background, which is a word that I feel like I haven’t heard and maybe 20 years, or like, are people just not even use that phrasing in mainstream culture anymore? Proto, do you hear that phrase or like the terminology anymore?

PROTO Not really, I mean, only if someone’s really talking about philosophy, I feel like. Not in like daily life or like, you know how you’re living.

SLIM Yeah. So I actually had to Google what a humanist belief even was, full disclosure, my bravery right now. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings emphasize common human needs and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems. So I watched this twice. Another disclosure. Thank you very much. And the second viewing, I started to view this from a like, probably in a bad way, but like an American lens, I was like, if they made this in this era in America, this would be Jimmy Stewart, working against, you know, maybe like some corrupt military officials. And when you have the Jimmy Stewart version of this character, he’s just a nice guy, you know, he’s trying to do good. They don’t really back the humanist tendencies with the character as probably as much as this movie. So I try to view it from like, okay, he’s just kind of like a good guy who thinks if he does good things, the right way, it’s just gonna work out. So in that respect, I can kind of see where he’s naive. You know, he just like thinks the power of positivity are really gonna help the situation in the war. And that obviously was not the case. And without any of us knowing what happens in the next two movies, so hopefully if anyone has seen them, maybe don’t drop anything, oh, it gets worse it gets worse. But I am interested to see how this goes on for him because he tries his hardest, it sort of works. But it obviously backfires and just gets real bad for him in this movie. And to Proto’s comments about him being naive, it was kind of tough, a tough pill to swallow, because at some point, you want to slap him around and be like, why don’t you wake the eff up, bro? You’re in a war. And all these people are corrupt. And this military guy that’s going to behead everybody, like this is real dude! [Slim laughs] Like you need to splash some water on your face right now.

PROTO Yeah, the amount of times like he, like his eyes are bugging out of his head. Like in complete shock. It’s like, dude, this is like the 20th time we’ve been down this road. It’s like why are you shocked right now?

SLIM Yeah, my first viewing I kind of was like, God, another escape, like, Kaji wake up. But on the second viewing, it felt more slow, drawn out. Like he’s trying to work with the prisoners. And something just keeps popping up. And that’s like kind of stifling his plan. So next on my list is the character of Chin, who is this young kid who is kind of tricked into opening things up for potential escapes. Like there’s some kind of scheme where if you allow these prisoners to escape, some of these cronies that are working the camps get money. So he gets tricked into doing this. He thinks he’s doing the right thing by freeing them, but he’s really just a pawn in this entire scheme. I felt so bad for Chin in this movie that I started to like feel sick. Every time he was on screen and getting tricked by the women, or the woman who was leading the, I don’t know what they would call that, a commune, that were just there to serve as the men. And the dude in charge. And Chin’s death. Are you kidding me? When he leaps into the electrified fence? And there’s no audio? Holy shit. Unreal.

PROTO The funniest part of the movie. Probably. [Slim & Danny laugh]

SLIM What did you think of Chin in this movie, Proto?

PROTO Oh, yeah, his character is is tough because he, you know, he’s trying to do right by his countrymen. You know, he’s Chinese. But he’s in a position where he’s, you know, he, he’s considered I get, you know, kind of like a turncoat because he’s working with the Japanese. But at the same time, he’s, he’s trying to do his best to help his people. But then he’s seeing this opportunity, where he really is just getting totally outplayed by the woman, I forget her, I forget what her name is, who’s like the leader of the prostitutes. Um, and yeah, he gets involved. And then before you know it, he’s just in too deep, where then he has no way out, where they have him trapped now where, you know, he’s, you know, he’s damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t. And you just, you just see him that he’s like, just like, you know, he’s stuck in a corner. And he knows that there’s, there’s no way out for him. And that was really, really like, when he’s when he’s going back and forth of like, you know, do I turn the power off? Do I not turn the power off? You know, do I go? Do I go, like, help Kaji, who’s been so good to me. Or do I try to help my people, you know, and just knowing that whatever’s going to happen to them, you know, is gonna suck and it’s, it’s kind of a nice foreshadowing of, you know, Kaji’s, you know, decision at the end of the movie.

SLIM I love the lack of audio when they’re getting electrocuted in that fence. [Danny laughs] Sounds depressing to say, but I thought it was stylistically was a brilliant choice in the movie.

DANNY Yeah, it keeps it jarring for sure. And you expect, it’s so weird, because there was a moment where, at least where you can turn and you just are waiting for the hammer to fall on Chin like, he wasn’t gonna survive this film, or to the end of whatever story because he was only being used by everybody. Even it felt like even Kaji after he hit him. There was just a change of like, he couldn’t trust anybody, but he was still being used by everybody. And it was, it was interesting. Also found that interesting, the length of this film and the amount of side characters that are in this film, I, I could never keep them straight. Because I felt like they were in and out so fast, and none of them were really fleshed out for me to understand each character. Like the only one that I feel like I got to know the most was his partner, Okishima that he worked with that his camp the most, but then I just, I kept, not under like it just the amount of time in this film when people have screen time without actual kind of fleshed out stories. I just didn’t, I couldn’t keep up with everybody.

SLIM Yeah, it’s funny because you would think three and a half hours would be enough time for you to be like, okay, I remember this character from earlier. But I felt the same way on my first viewing where I was like, I think I might need to watch this again. And that’s like, mainly the reason why I did watch it again, because I felt like, I missed too much in a three and a half hour movie where you could probably still cut out maybe 45 minutes or more and not lose the central crux of the movie.

PROTO Yeah, I mean, I was just thinking about, yeah, it does feel like a movie, that it’s, it’s a lot to swallow. And I feel like I don’t have like, fully formed thoughts about this movie. Like, there’s still things that I’m like, ruminating on, I just finished it, you know, the last hour last night. And yeah, it’s a movie that you kind of want to, you know, sit with and think about and maybe just be able to watch again, to kind of try to absorb, and almost, I, you know, there’s a lot in terms of just, like philosophical questions in this movie, that in order to I think, you know, kind of come to any resolution in your own head, you really have to spend time thinking about, and I think watching it, you know, so like, as you’re watching it, it’s like you’re trying to keep up with the characters, the plot, but then also the subtext. And it’s a lot to do over the course, of the of the runtime to try to like, you know, absorb all of that at once. So I feel the same way. And I can see why, you know, you would watch it twice.

SLIM Torin in chat says it’s only the first third of a really well known book. Can you imagine watching all nine hours of this and trying to get a grasp on it? I feel like I would be worse off from sitting and watching nine hours of this. Like, I would have to sit with it for like a month to try to piece together what I kind of sat through and experienced almost. I don’t know.

DANNY I don’t think I could have done nine hours straight from my first viewing. I don’t think it would have, after how I feel about this first film, I would have probably been a little bit not as frustrated, but I feel like I would write it off and never want to revisit it if I watched that in one nine hour stretch, I’d be like, no, this isn’t for me.

SLIM There were the philosophical lines, I did enjoy. There are a few quotes I wrote down ‘man can be as strong as he wants, he only needs to find the cause of his unhappiness.’ When his wife pretty much asked him to ‘promise to share your joys and sorrows with me.’ I thought their interactions were really good. And also Chin saying, after he got slapped. He’s like, ‘he’s Japanese. I’m Chinese. It’s that easy.’ Proto, what else is on your list for Human Condition.

PROTO Another theme that I really enjoyed in this movie was the premise of the struggle between words and actions. And there was like the main, one of the main Chinese prisoners, I think his name was Kô, who was in, who had the love affair with the other woman. And just how, like, he was never trusting of Kaji at any point, even when, you know, Kaji was simply, you know, very sincere, and you could see that he was different and doing things, you know, all that he could for them. You know, and he never trusted him because he says, you know, you know, your Japanese are all the same. You know, things always go one way, you know, they always go south at some point. But then it seemed like, you know, that was really just a, like a vicious cycle. Because, in some ways, it seemed like they always go south, because the prisoners also would never trust them. Of course, this is like a new scenario having Kaji this guy who was actually, you know, willing to follow through on his words, but the prisoners don’t know that. So they continue to try to escape and get away. When you like, the whole time you’re thinking of like, guys just trust Kaji. Like, you know, if you just wait it out, you might be okay here, you know if he can because you know, if he does well, like they got the increased performance, the 20%. Kaji, you know, he’s getting, he’s getting metalled here, like they’re going to implement more of this, like you’re going to do well, but like, they are so conditioned to know like to not trust the Japanese, that they’re just, you know, they’re going to, they’re going to take the knowledge that they have in the past and past experiences and just do what they think they need to do. And that’s so heartbreaking because I feel like you can even apply that to so many things of, you know, you know, just people who kind of fall into the same, you know, traps and can’t really get a leg up in life because they, you know, they keep believing the wrong things. So I feel like this is kind of like a really universal theme that you can apply to so many things and it’s so well played out here. But but also so heartbreaking.

SLIM Average rating on from our patrons, you can join at, four and a half stars right now. Grant ‘what a picture’. ‘What’s more important the ore or the workers’ Throwbridge. I think throwbridge gave it five stars. Danny, what else is on your list?

DANNY Around the time when it’s just before, this is my favorite part of the movie, there was just before the execution of the five prisoners, it’s five or seven, I can’t remember. But he has a moment where he kind of talks to the lead Chinese prisoner through the barbed wire. And he has this kind of amazing discussion where they’re talking about his choices he can make and how he asked the questions like what would you do and they’re talking about what I would do on this side of the barbed wire and stuff like that. There was, I’ll read it, there’s some great responses, he says ‘you’ll either be revealed as a murderer wearing the mask of humanism, or one worthy of a beautiful name as man.’ And he’s like, I know that. He says ‘you have less faith in man than you try to believe. Regardless of how you feel true men always find kindred spirits.’ I was like, man, this conversation was like next level. I mean, there’s a lot of good moments in this film. But I felt like this is the one that I actually connected the most with, the two of them having a conversation. The Japanese man, the Chinese man, both on other sides of barbed wire, but both kind of trapped in their own scenarios of trying to do the right decision. So it was an amazing scene. And then it goes into the executions, which is another crazy part of this film. But yeah, the shots of them behind the barbed wire. It was almost, it was a really cool juxtaposition because it just was framing both of them. Just kind of in the same position. Even one being a free man and one not.

SLIM The execution scene. How about that prick of a soldier? Oh my god, that guy was in his role, though.

DANNY Yeah, he was. I mean, he played a great, you just wanted to strangle the life out of him. I mean, every scene, not even just that scene anytime he was on screen. I hated that man so much. It just made me so mad. But yeah.

SLIM Yeah, after they hit rough after the, quote, escape attempt, they need to make an example. And they going to behead the men that allegedly tried to escape, they didn’t really escape, it was made up. And he forces Kaji to witness the execution. I started to get like you know, the Patience of Job story like stories you would hear growing up, I saw, I just kept thinking of Job with Kaji in this movie. Like how much can one man take? You know, the, he didn’t really have, I guess faith per se. He was humanist I guess. But also, I started to get hardcore Terrence Malick, what was the movie I just watched. I wrote it, it’s in my list here. A Hidden Life, I started to get crazy, A Hidden Life vibes also in this movie. Not so much from the wide lens stuff, but just the sticking to your moral ground. And what you thought was right. But at this point at the movie, the execution scene was where you start to really get some crazy stuff with his eye twitching during the stress, I think was the scene. But I started to feel like really bummed and I’m guessing this plays into the next movie, and did at the end, but he did not save Kô, the one guy who was you know, in love and wanted to marry one of the prostitutes. I just felt so bad that he didn’t act like right then to save him. I felt like annoyed. I was like, come on, man. Do it like a minute sooner and save his life.

PROTO Yeah, I think it was kind of, you know, thinking about it now. I think it’s kind of cool. Because you know, Kaji had a choice to make in that moment. Or maybe he didn’t think he had a choice to make. Maybe he thought like it was already decided. But once they started to be executed, like his, you know, the inner term turmoil within him just kind of like bubbled out and he had no choice but to do what he could in that moment to try to save them. Yeah, and it yeah, it sucks to see like, you know, there’s seven guys there and three of them get beheaded and he saves four but it’s like what about the other three? You know if he acted sooner, but it’s all almost like he needed to see what like the reality of this to be able to make that choice and to stand up for them and knowing what it would lead to.

SLIM And I feel like, you know, we don’t, we’re not in that position. You’re like making the decision like, okay, I’m ready to die to save the remaining people. Like obviously it’s a decision most of us will probably never have to make. So it’s not that simple. But Danny, what did you think about the execution stuff?

DANNY I mean, I have, I don’t enjoy, not that people enjoy watching the scenes. It just, this is a part of like war film that I just, it’s so hard to watch because it’s real. It happened. I mean, this this isn’t just like, good guys versus bad guys. This is based in racism and, and a lot more kind of deeper problems. But I hated watching the scene. But something about the prisoners chanting afterwards, kind of it just felt, I mean, I was like, just attack them. Like I wanted them. Like, it’s like five guys with guns you guys can just like, but then I’m like, why do I want them to murder more people? Like it’s just, it’s just, it’s such a real, like, turning of the stomach kind of situation. And that’s the chanting part really was great. It was hard. It was just, it’s such it’s such a hard thing to watch. Yeah, it’s frustrating.

SLIM The whole movie. I mean, it’s from this point on, during my rewatch, I was like, oh, man, I’m starting to get towards the execution scene, I still have like 90 minutes left. Like they’re like this, this portion of the movie is very long. Torin says that’s exactly the response Kobayashi wanted to create in a Japanese audience. So at this point, he gets kidnapped and tortured. And at the end of the movie, he’s reunited with his wife, I think they’re married. Yeah. And finds out that he did not get the exemption, you’re going to war now. Like, it’s about to get real worse for you. And then the movie ends, or this this portion of the nine hour journey ends. And that is The Human Condition. Anything else in your list Proto that we missed?

PROTO I think one of the things that it kind of rubbed me the wrong way is, you know, we, I like the themes that are talked about in this. But I also felt like some of it is a little too on the nose for me. And this is more of like personal preference. But like the movie basically starts with Kaji and his boss and his boss is like ‘ah Kaji, you’re that humanist ideal guy, right? You read all those Western books huh?’ And in the amount of times that like the like, human, like, it’s spelled out so clearly. Like, there’s the one line when I forget, I forget his name again. But like the it was kind of like the other manager who was at like, Kaji’s level, who sent away and like, as he’s on the truck, he says, ‘I’m boarding this rundown truck, but you’re trying to catch the train of humanism before it’s too late.’ It’s like, dude, that is bad. That’s a bad line. [Proto laughs] And there’s so many lines like that, where like, it’s just not needed. And that always rubs me the wrong way where things like are said when they just don’t need to be where it’s, it feels like the you know, the writer is kind of like hitting you over the head, like, do you get it? Do you get it? Let me just say it in the movie rather than, you know, watching the movie, and you know, picking these things up. So I felt like there was a little bit too much of that for me.

SLIM I’d be curious to know, when I read manga, and we translated manga into English, you really had to work with a right translator that understood the work. So I’d be curious what the process was in choosing the subtitles, there was a few comments in chat about the translation. I agree. Some of the stuff was a little too on the nose. Like maybe I would have wanted, like a better translation in some of those conversations. And I wonder what they would come out as if they were done today. Danny, anything else on your list?

DANNY No, we kind of went through it, we kind of talked about everything. There was another quote I had written down from Okishima, he’s speaking to Kaji, he says ‘I’m boarding this rundown truck but you’re trying to catch the train of human humanism before it’s too late. You seem willing to pay the fare no matter how high.’ And I thought that was a good line. At least translated line I guess. [Danny laughs] But that’s about it.

SLIM What’s your final thoughts and rating for No Greater Love Part One?

DANNY Final thoughts are I found myself enjoying, enjoying as quote unquote, not like loving the story. But I did think the story was really well done to follow. I don’t know if I enjoyed every performance in this. So, I don’t know, it just felt like some things fell a little bit flat. I think the cinematography is gorgeous. I love the actor that played Kaji, and it was compelling enough for me to want to continue to, to watch the rest of Kaji’s story. And The Human Condition. I don’t know when I will.

SLIM After Ninja III.

DANNY Not after Ninja III. So for me, I think I’m gonna hover around right at like three and a half stars for this right now.

SLIM Mmmm! Mmm. Mmm.

DANNY And maybe it just needs a second watch. And I think that’s with a lot of older subtitled movies. That’s how I felt with some Seven Samurai. It just, it takes a little bit more to settle in for me with these older movies.

SLIM Also, let’s let’s be real here, it’s 2021. We watch movies at home. How many times on an English speaking movie do we pull our phones out? Be honest with each other right now. You’re listening on your podcast app. How many times do you pull your phone out to watch a movie at home? One false move, you’re out of the game. You’re out of the game!

PROTO Speaking from experience.

DANNY And for me, I’m such a visual person, like I get caught up in things that I shouldn’t get caught up in. So I’m looking obviously, like I said, I’m looking at a telephone on a desk. And I’m in love with it. So it’s like if I miss something, that I miss a beat of the story and or something. So there is a bit of you know, being an American watching these old Japanese films that has its downfall. I know it’s important. And I think this is a gorgeous film. And I would love to watch it again. But I want to continue the story before I do that, I think.

SLIM Proto, your final thoughts?

PROTO My final thoughts. As we’re talking about this movie together as friends, I’m liking it more. And I think you know, as we said before, there’s there’s a lot of meat on on the bone here. So it deserves the talk. I am fascinated with this period of history. I’m a big fan of Hardcore History, which is another podcast where Dan Carlin covers history, I think I’ve talked about this before. And right now he’s going through a series called Supernova in the East where it’s about Japanese imperialism, basically between like, like the mid 19th century through World War Two, and why the Japanese you know, how they got to this point, and their ambitions and goals and what set them apart from other nations to you know, accomplish these things. And also really, like the horrific stuff they did to the Chinese and other countries where they really wanted to colonize places, but they really had no mercy with any other people group. And it’s really, it was some of the like, I can’t remember that, like, I’m not gonna try to, you know, say, you know, give any facts now. But I really recommend that series of like, this is fascinating to you. And just seeing that, he has a great line, he says over and over again. He said, like, he says the Japanese are just human, but more so. Or something like that. It’s just, it’s such a great line, and a really great series. So I’m fascinated by this period. And I’m, you know, I’m compelled to continue on because, you know, I’m just thinking about it. You know, there’s a great line by that the military officer when he drops Kaji off in the field randomly, that was such a weird thing where he just drops him off in it, and he’s like, see you later. But he says, like, you know, wherever you go, you know, I’ll be there. So it felt like a tell that they’re going to run into each other again. But then there’s also the thought that you know, this Chinese prisoner Wang escaped when Kaji thought he was dead. So I have a feeling he’ll show up again. So I’m really, I’m interested just to see where the story goes. And like what happens with these characters? Um, but I’m kind of where Danny is. I wasn’t, I don’t know. I wasn’t totally vibing with this from the beginning. I think some of the things, you know, just weren’t working for me. And as I said, I’m liking it, the more we talk about it, but I think this initial viewing I’ll give it three stars.

DANNY Bring us home Slim.

SLIM Boy, The Human Condish. Gorgeous, I bought the blu-ray. I have all three discs waiting for me at my desk. And to be perfectly frank on my first viewing I was like, what am I missing here? I was also probably hovering around three and a half star, so I did want to watch it again because I wanted to just give it a fair shake, which seems strange to give a three and a half hours, that should be a fair shake. To watch it again, just because, you know, maybe I did miss some things. So I did have a better experience on second viewing, any kind of confusion I had in the first viewing was gone for the second viewing. So I’m at four stars for the second viewing. It does, like I don’t like when people say watch it, like not when I love it when Proto says it, but when people tell you to watch that movie again, you’ll get more out of it, you know, I should be able to get enough out of it in the first viewing. But for me, I definitely got more out of it the second viewing, so if anyone is, you know, lucky enough to join us on this journey. By all means, watch it, devote your full attention to it. I think you’ll enjoy it. So I’m glad we did it because I am definitely continuing on the journey. I’m popping in disk two this weekend. And with any luck, we’ll be popping in disk three this weekend too.

PROTO Yeah, it definitely feels like an epic. I mean, there’s so much that happens in this first one to think that you have six more hours of the story is pretty cool. So yeah, I don’t know when, but I want to watch it too.

DANNY Casey said while watching, she wanted to see an over, an aerial map of this area, the town. Because like it felt so, I was so baffled by how it was laid out, where the camps were, where the mines were, where this town was with the prostitutes in the village and it just seemed like I’m just gonna walk into town real quick. But outside we have these massive mines with it just felt like yeah, I needed to see a layout of this landscape.

SLIM We have to get into some letters this week. You can write us a letter, we have links on there. And we have to talk about, maybe we talk about next week’s movie right off the bat.

DANNY You want to?

SLIM Next week, we needed a palate cleanser. It’s related to the theme for next month. We’ve never done this before. We’re gonna announce the next month this episode early. That’s how big this month is.

PROTO Art, can you sit down please?

SLIM I need Art — where’s Bonnie? I need Bonnie to get a wet towel, put it on Art’s forehead right now. Next week, you know we’ve we lost someone special in cinema last week. Dick Donner. We need a palate cleanser from The Human Condish, streaming on HBO Max. Superman The Motion Picture is our next movie next week.

DANNY It’s time.

PROTO I just got chills.

SLIM It’s time! [Slim laughs] Drowning Pinocchio has been posted in chat. So we’ll get into the theme for next week in just a little bit. But we have some letters to. Subject line Lawrence of Arabia. Also, I meant to say I did see some similarities with Lawrence of Arabia storyline with this one, kind of difficulty connecting with the main lead and their journey. “Hi guys, greetings from Australia. A great episode on Lawrence one of my very favorite movies. I remember seeing it in 1963 with my family. My father was a student of history and certainly was able to give me a good background on Lawrence which aided my understanding, as I was only 10 years old at the time.” This guy is out flexing Haitch, no one has ever out flexed Haitch in the history of this show. But Bernard, you are, you win the award. We’ll see if we can get you something special. Maybe some Letterboxd Pro. “Lawrence made me a lifetime devote of David Lean, some of his older films you try and see are In Which We Serve, Hobson’s Choice, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist in parentheses some may view today is anti semitic in the depiction of Fagin. The Happy Breed. I’ve seen Lawrence 30 to 40 times over the years and never tire of its grandeur. The restoration that was overseen by Robert Harris is superb and is the basis for the 4k. In my view, Lawrence is the perfect combination of visuals, acting, directing, writing and music. In my humble opinion, this is a five star movie, my view has never changed in the many years since I first saw it. I’m so happy that you discovered it. Thank you for the very informative podcast.” And that comes from Bernard.

PROTO Thank you, Bernard.

SLIM Thank you very much, Bernard.

PROTO 30 to 40 times?! Oh man.

SLIM That’s one Human Condition viewing. [Danny & Slim laugh] Gosh, so many movies still to check out from David Lean. Where will we find the time when we have two more discs to watch? Oh, Grant, don’t give me that eye roll emoji. We’re all having fun here Grant. I think Grant might have even left us a VM now that I think about it. We have one more letter to get to before we get to Grant.

DANNY Delete it.

SLIM It’s a long VM too Grant. I’m not gonna call anybody out here. Ask for 90 second limit FYI. Subject line: Thank you. This comes from Diamond King. “Hey guys, it’s your old pal Diamond. I just want to send a thank you to Slim, Danny and Proto for creating such an engaging, smart and funny podcast. It opens me up to more films that either haven’t seen before or heard of which has put in binge mode listening to all the episodes. Continue doing great things to this podcast. I’m a fan for life. Take care, Diamond.” McKenzie, I was talking about the nine hour journey okay? McKenzie, I will ban you tonight.

PROTO Time is relative when watching movies.

SLIM What’d you say Proto?

PROTO Time is relative when watching movies. It’s not the literal runtime we’re talking about. It’s a feel!

SLIM Everyone has a moment in their, in their Patreon journey where we cover your favorite movie and it goes well or doesn’t go well. Okay? We’re all there.

PROTO Thank you Mike, the literal fun time. That’s exactly what I was trying to say. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Alright, let’s get to our VM for this episode. Let me pull up our VM machine. Shrek 2 you cowards. What would it take for Danny to do Shrek 2 on this podcast? [Danny laughs]

DANNY I’m not doing it on this podcast. [Slim laughs]

SLIM 300 patrons by the end of next week, Danny will do Shrek 2.

DANNY You have 10 minutes. [Slim laughs]

SLIM The Rise of Skywalker, Caleb has made an appearance in chat. I feel like we were talking about doing The Rise of Skywalker. I can’t remember where we were talking about that.

DANNY I don’t know if I have that in me, Slim. [Danny laughs]

SLIM Alright, let’s get to this VM. Enough TROS. Trash.

[voicemail plays]

VOICEMAIL Hey, everyone, its Grant. I’m gonna try not to rant this time about anything. We’ll see how it goes. I just wanted to share how much I enjoyed this week’s film, The Human Condition Part One: No Greater Love. It’s very dialogue driven. I didn’t know how, as I was watching it, I didn’t know how I felt about it. But after I’d finished both parts to it, I can’t stop thinking about this movie, every day, I keep thinking about it. And there’s only a handful of like really intense moments, you know, most of the movies very dialogue driven. But those handful of movie moments are so shocking and compelling. Like the prisoners getting off the train, the prisoners running into the fence, the execution scene, you know, all those moments are just so intense. And the specifically the moment I keep thinking about that really just keeps turning my heart. And my stomach. I keep thinking about when the prisoners who weren’t trying to escape, but were imprisoned, and were accused of trying to escape and were set to be executed the night before the execution Kaji is in his house. And he is just literally writhing on the floor in pain over what to do, to save them to not save them. And it was just such a powerful moment, thinking about this moment. And I just feel such sad for this man who knows what he should do. But he can’t do it. Because there’s just all these other circumstances surrounding him that he can’t just do whatever he wants, he has a wife to worry about. He has a future to worry about with his wife. And it’s such a powerful moment, and the whole movie is just beautiful. And I thought I needed to watch all three parts of The Human Condition before I can give any of them like a rating you know, but like I can’t keep thinking about this movie. I can’t stop thinking about the first part to the human condition. And so I’m saying that right here right now for all of you. It is a five banger film all by itself. And I cannot wait to finish this one guys. It’s gonna be fantastic. Alright. Much love. Peace and love. Peace and love! I’ll see you guys later.

[voicemail ends]

DANNY Love you Grant.

SLIM Thank you Grant so much for your journey with us this week. Five banger. A lot of five bangers from our community this week for The Human Condish.

DANNY Yeah baby. Only the hosts bring it down. [Danny laughs]

SLIM I think our most recent or maybe one, or maybe the earliest one where I some of us disagreed with the average was In The Mood For Love. Remember that?

DANNY Yeah, we always got burned at the stake for that.

SLIM Who’s favorite movie is that?

DANNY Everybody’s. [Danny laughs]

SLIM Is that Ben? Sean as well.

PROTO Average three star rating from us.

SLIM I think that was Sean’s first week in Discord too. And when we did like In The Mood For Love. He was so excited for it. Listen, three stars is good. Or great depending on which host you’re listening to. Is it time to talk about next month? Next week is Superman. And August you know, the summertime is here. Summertime is here. And it’s everyone goes to theaters to see these big bombastic blockbusters. Last summer, we went and did some of our favorite blockbusters. Jaws, we hit the beach with producer at large Dale. Esquire, and Independence Day, another blockbuster. It’s time to go back. Summer Blockbusters Part Two. August. And we’re only containing the movies to the 21st century. 2001 and on that’s the theme for the month of August. I’m telling you, we were looking at some Letterboxd lists.

DANNY There’s some bangers. Absolute bangers.

PROTO Get ready to bang. [Slim & Danny laugh]

SLIM I’m not saying, I’m just gonna start naming these movies, Spider-Man 2 was on that list.


SLIM Inglorious Basterds is on that list.

DANNY There’s so many.

SLIM Dark Knight. Batman movie is on that list. These are just some of the, some of the movies that are on that list. There’s a lot of classics in there. So it’s the summertime. We need to celebrate the summer heat.

DANNY It’s time.

SLIM With some more blockbusters. Proto, what’s your vibe going into August?

PROTO I mean, I already know what I’m gonna pick.

DANNY Me too. [Danny laughs] Yes!

PROTO I already know. I’m ready. I can’t wait. I’m so ready for August. Oh man. Superman leading into this month? It’s gonna be quite a month. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.

SLIM Has anyone checked in on Art after we announced Superman? [Danny laughs] I haven’t seen him. Can we get a pulse check on Art? please!

DANNY Someone text Bonnie.

SLIM So that’s August. It’s jam packed. We had a lot of fun last summer. So let’s do it again for August. Get ready. And then we have some other stuff cooked up for patrons coming real soon. So take us out, Proto, any closing thoughts for Human Condition wrapping up, Freedom Month is officially over as we lead into the month of August. It’s so jam packed. We have to start in July.

PROTO You know, this movie, Part One No Greater Love. I gave it three stars. But I’m glad I watched it. And you know, you might say like, oh, he gave it three stars. That’s not like that hot. But I think people should watch this movie. You know, to take a chance on a nine hour trilogy, I think is worth it. You know, to take chances. You know, I’m gonna watch the rest of them. I think, I think it’s worth it. And like we’re saying, you know, this conversation there’s there’s a lot to unpack and dig into and a lot of good conversations to have so take a chance. Take a chance on me. [Slim laughs]

SLIM See everybody next week for Superman.

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

SLIM 70mm is a TAPEDECK production featuring original artwork provided by Danny Haas. Spiritual guidance and VGER, the robot who loves movies created by Protolexus. Producer emeritus Dale_a. Prints and other merch are available on This episode was mixed, edited and produced by me, Slim. You can 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 Goodbye!




A podcast for film lovers, inspired by Letterboxd.