Transcript: The Red Shoes (1948)

SLIM Hey, it’s your old pal Slim and this is 70mm, a podcast for film lovers. Every Monday, I sit down to talk about recently watched movies with my dear friend and artist Danny Haas.

DANNY When we get to the actual performance of The Red Shoes ballet, if I’m watching this at 40, I’m thinking magic is real.

SLIM And our own spiritual advisor, Protolexus.

PROTO I could not get over that this was 1948. I felt like I was having like an existential experience of almost like peering into the past, just knowing that these people made this movie at this time.

SLIM Later in this episode, we’re talking about one of the most beloved classics to ever be covered on this podcast, The Red Shoes from 1948. We answer the age old question, which would you choose between your desire to dance and your desire to love? Enjoy!

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

SLIM You know what we could start with?

DANNY Let’s do it.

SLIM Proto watched two — he has two logs for a movie on Letterboxd.

DANNY Log jobs.

SLIM I thought this was going to be potential Proto pick for this month, remember we’re doing no theme this month. Everyone’s sweating their A off. Mainly just me.

PROTO A sweats.

SLIM Getting hardcore A sweats. But I picked The Red Shoes. That’s our episode tonight. And I saw Proto watch The Green Knight twice in the last week!

PROTO I did.

SLIM I thought that was a potential pick. But no! Personal pick.

DANNY Stay tuned.

PROTO Yeah, I wanted to do this movie back when it was coming out. And then I didn’t get to the theater. And then I think every other human on the planet solid. Yeah, so it kind of just killed my motivation. But now that you know, this movie came to me. It was my moment. And I loved it! I had a great time with The Green Knight. This guy you know David Lowery, he might be my most anticipated director. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

SLIM What!

PROTO Yeah, I really had a great time watching this. It was so beautiful, I thought the story that I wanted to, I like threw it on the background, like the next day. I was like, I want to watch this again. Like there was enough meat on the bone. [sings] Meat on the bone. I had to go back in for more.

SLIM Is that a real song?

PROTO Yeah, it’s a song. It’s called… Mean on the Bone.

DANNY He’s got a Disney live action coming out. Peter Pan.

PROTO Yes!

SLIM There’s a Peter Pan movie that comes out every six months, I feel like. Pan, Peter, Wendy, Peter Pan.

PROTO But none of them have mattered.

SLIM I’ve just named 10 movies that have come out in the last five years.

DANNY Lowery’s gonna make it matter. [Slim laughs]

PROTO This is gonna put Peter Pan on the map. [Slim laughs]

DANNY It’s time, Disney.

SLIM Danny, you talked about this movie on TAPEDECK podcast, Cinenauts. That was a big shock drop, a lot of DMs flying around, our internal reaction to you doing The Green Knight on another podcast.

DANNY You were pissed. [Slim laughs]

SLIM We had to have a TAPEDECK legal conference call. But do you have fond memories looking back on The Green Knight now that Proto’s watched it twice?

DANNY Yeah, I mean, I knew he’d like it. There was no way Proto wasn’t gonna like this film. And I am just happy I’m right.

SLIM How about Danny’s art for that episode? Danny did Cinenauts art.

PROTO Oh my gosh.

SLIM Remember that font type kernelling?

DANNY I didn’t do the font. Ctcher did the font.

PROTO That was a collab.

SLIM That was a collab.

DANNY Our first, not our last.

SLIM I knew right away that Danny did not watch any movies this week. So Letterboxd, just did their Letterboxd wrapped, we get like, here’s the actor you watched the most, here’s the director. So I started scanning both yours Year in Review on Letterboxd? I have this insane stat that I’m going to reveal right now on the show.

DANNY Oh no.

SLIM Both of you have watched the same amount of movies in 2021.

DANNY Legitimately?

PROTO No!

SLIM 201 entries. [Danny laughs]

PROTO What!

SLIM I thought it was a bug. I was like, maybe I just have Danny’s page opened twice but no, 201 diary entries from the both of you.

DANNY We’re a dyad.

PROTO Mind dyad. Movie watching dyad.

SLIM Danny’s first film of the year that you watched was Waterworld. Remember that episode?

DANNY What a great ep.

SLIM God!

DANNY Where’s my sequel? [Slim laughs]

PROTO We had Trador Brandon on!

DANNY Yeah, special guest.

SLIM Paul was listening to that episode today. Proto’s first movie of the year was The Emperor’s New Groove. [Danny laughs]

PROTO Ah! What a flick. Who’s gonna pick that?

DANNY Banger.

SLIM Yeah, I was thinking that too.

DANNY Is it time for another animated?

PROTO Which Councilman will pick that movie for us?

SLIM Council person.

PROTO It’s their pick.

SLIM Danny’s number one actor for the year, you watched, this is the most amount of movies for this person. At 10 films, your number one actor for the year is Tilda Swinton.

DANNY Yeah. Big time.

SLIM I didn’t know you watched that many.

DANNY I watched sooo many of her films. And I’m happy I did it. She’s incredible. Her filmography is disgusting, how good it is. I don’t even think she missed once.

PROTO She’s Danny’s Gladeril.

DANNY Oh my gosh. My queen.

SLIM Proto already knows his most watched but it’s Harrison Ford at eight films.

DANNY Eight films?!

SLIM Eight films.

PROTO He snuck in to that Gene Hackman movie, he was in A Conversation. He’s great in those little movies.

DANNY Was Apocalypse Now this year too?

SLIM Apocalypse Now, that feels like five years ago.

PROTO Oh gosh. Yeah, he’s great in that too.

SLIM My number one as as everyone knows, was Steven Seagal at 15 movies.

PROTO You got up to 15? How many did you have left?

SLIM He probably had like 50 more! I bailed on that journey.

PROTO It’s an ocean out there.

SLIM I don’t want to swim in it. I’ll drown in that ocean. Never come back out. There was another set, let’s see what else I was looking at. Your highest rated star, Danny, for the year was Natalie Portman, averaging five stars.

PROTO I wonder why.

SLIM I wonder why. [Danny laughs]

PROTO You watched it five times.

SLIM I don’t even know who this person is that Proto’s rated — oh my — what? This is Proto’s highest rated actor, Stephen Dunlevy and I had to click through.

PROTO Can I get a link? [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM Stephen Dunlevy has made two movies that you watch this year one of which he watched twice, Matrix Resurrections and Mad Max: Fury Road, so I don’t know —

DANNY Oh my!

SLIM I don’t know who they played. I’m looking through your list of stars just to recognize a name. And you have a bunch of people tied at five, Sam Neill is also at five stars.

DANNY Oh, baby.

PROTO Possess me. [Slim laughs]

SLIM Dave in chat, everyone is now out of Cinephile. We have a Cinephile game night happening soon. Another thing I wanted to spotlight to is your most liked review on Letterboxd for the year. Danny’s was Spider-Man 2002. ‘’It’s sad to me that someone reading this right now is lying to themselves by thinking this movie doesn’t slap.’’ [Danny laughs]

DANNY I’m not wrong.

PROTO Strong words.

SLIM Proto, do you have any idea what your most popular review is for 2021?

PROTO 2021?

DANNY You know it.

SLIM He probably knows.

DANNY You have to know it. I know it.

SLIM It’s not Tenet.

DANNY It’s not Tenet?!

SLIM That was last year.

DANNY Ohhh.

SLIM It’s Don’t Look Up. ‘’McKay makes a McKay and it’s mmmkay.’’ [Danny laughs] ‘’What you have seen is what you get and it’s funny like a dad joke but still a good time, three stars.’’

PROTO I wrote that?

SLIM You wrote that.

DANNY My gosh.

SLIM My number one review is my Spider-Man: No Way Home review.

DANNY Oh, that was a good one.

SLIM Thank you. Three stars.

PROTO Oh, man, the bleeding heart in that review. You could feel it. [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM We have to say hello to some new Patreon friends. New friends on Patreon. Karis, Shariq, Philip, Griffin, Joe and Richard all join this past week at 70mmpod.com. On our Patreon get access to the VHS Village Discord, you know, we’re having a Cinephile game night with our friends in Discord. Four teams, this is a tournament. No one’s ever done this before. Discounts on Danny’s prints. 22 episodes in the 70mm vault. There’s a Mamma Mia watch party happening next week in Discord. And if you want access to the episodes in the 70mm vault, you can also become a supporter on Apple Podcasts or Spotify if you so choose. Maybe real quick, I’ll talk about a movie that I watched.

PROTO Please.

SLIM Carlito’s Way.

DANNY Oh my gosh.

SLIM Al Pacino.

PROTO You’ve watched this before.

SLIM I have Carlito’s Way. I gave it a five banger on Letterboxd. And I put a disclaimer, I was like, please don’t watch this movie based on this rating. I think I’m the only person, maybe one of three people that look great this movie five stars. I mean, there’s a GIF in chat right now. That’s Sean Penn dancing with Al Pacino. Sean Penn is unrecognizable in this movie. He plays Al Pacino’s lawyer.

DANNY His hair.

SLIM So Al Pacino plays Carlito Brigante, just out of prison. You could almost say this is like Scarface if he survived and tried to like, go straight in 20 years. So he comes out prison tries to set his life right. And Sean Penn is his lawyer, who gets him out of prison. But in the time that he has been in prison, Sean Penn has made a bit of a name for himself. Also, he’s addicted to cocaine. But who wasn’t back then? And so it’s like an Al Pacino noir, directed by — unfortunately, Proto cover your ears — Brian De Palma. So right off the bat, I think Proto’s out on a high rating for Carlito’s Way.

PROTO No, no, no, he deserves another chance. I have enough friends who vouched for him on his behalf. He deserves at least another look.

SLIM I’m mentally ready for Proto to give Carlito’s Way a one star, it’s fine. That’s not going to affect me at all. You know? My love is true.

DANNY What did I give it?

SLIM Three and a half.

PROTO You wouldn’t be talking about it, unless it wasn’t going to affect you. Like that’s why you would even bring it up.

DANNY I gave it three and a half?

SLIM I think you gave it three and a half. But I love Al Pacino. This is probably my favorite Al Pacino role. I love Heat. But Al Pacino in this movie, he’s just got a vibe about him in this movie. He’s got a strut. He’s got, you know, charisma out the ass.

PROTO When are we doing a Pacino movie?

SLIM Oh, you know, he was in the running for my pick for this week.

PROTO That means we’re getting closer.

DANNY We’re getting real close.

SLIM We’re getting close.

DANNY Is this what you sent screencaps of of him looking like Oscar Isaac?

SLIM Yeah, didn’t he look like Oscar Isaac? It was crazy!

DANNY Yeah, looked just like him.

SLIM Boy oh boy. So this is one of my all time faves. I think I first saw it at West Coast Video when I was working there as a kid. Yeah, you mean OI? Traynor says in chat.

DANNY That’s not sticking.

SLIM Proto already forgot that he called him OI too. [Slim laughs] So every week we give out a free year of Letterboxd Pro. If you share this show on social media, you get entered to win. Gets rid of third party ads. And you can see all those stats that I just mentioned for your own account that I just called out for us three on Letterboxd. And this week’s winner is cojarter on Twitter. So you just want a free year of Letterboxd Pro. They said on Twitter this week, quote, my watch list is growing substantially thanks to 70mmpod.

PROTO We did it.

SLIM Also there was another stat I looked at Danny’s Year In Review.

DANNY Oh no.

SLIM You want to guess how many movies Danny added his watchlist this year?

PROTO Five.

SLIM Yes. He’s got five — no, he added two and he watched five movies on his watchlist. Danny has zero films on his watchlist right now! What is going on here?

PROTO Imagine how many movies he scrolls through and just thinks, “Nah, I’m never gonna watch this.” [Slim & Proto laugh]

SLIM It’s sickening to me. It’s sickening.

DANNY I don’t use it. It’s not a feature for me. I don’t watchlist things. I live in the moment.

SLIM Oh my god.

PROTO What if you sit down at night and like you want to watch a movie? How do you find what you’re looking for?

DANNY How do you think Natalie Portman gets five stars on my list?

SLIM He just rewatches Phantom Menace!

DANNY I just rewatch Star Wars. [Danny & Slim laugh]

SLIM Alright, I think we covered everything this week. The Red Shoes. This is my pick for themeless month, no theme, we’re free to pick whatever the heck we want. And I gambled a little bit on this one. Streaming in a bunch of places. Big time gamble. Proto, what is The Red Shoes?

[music from The Red Shoes plays]

SLIM Wow. I posted a YouTube link this week in our Discord about the restoration process. Either of you watch that video?

DANNY Of course.

PROTO Yes.

SLIM Proto, your thoughts on that restoration?

PROTO It’s truly a blessing that there are people out there doing this work. It’s amazing what they did for this movie, they show that the side by side comparison of the old footage with what the restoration was able to accomplish is amazing. I was blown away in that. It was only like, what, four or five minutes?

SLIM Yeah, it wasn’t long.

DANNY Yeah, it’s absolutely stupid how good it is. And it blows my mind that I can watch this film in Technicolor and I feel like it was just released. It’s so gorgeous.

SLIM And it looks better than most movies that are out right now.

DANNY And we stopped using Technicolor in like the 50s! I get it. I mean, I get it. It’s gotta be such an expensive process. It’s three films of color being shot at once. Like, excuse me, like who thought of this? But it’s worth it! Like it completely is worth it. Like this is my first talking point, is the color in this film. When you announced last whatever week last week, that you picked a 1940s movie. I was, I verbally was like excited. But inside I’m like, oh God.

PROTO This is Wings all over again.

SLIM Another Wings moment.

DANNY I liked Wings. It’s just It’s just I it’s it’s old. And they had to be mentally prepared for this film. But you I mean, you said you get five minutes into this movie. And it is like, excuse me?

SLIM It’s like you’re on drugs.

DANNY I can’t get over how good it looked. I think I think I just expected how bad Wings looked. And I just kind of expected that I didn’t really know what to expect, really, but I thought was just be older. This didn’t feel old at all. Like it really felt new. And I’m not really well versed in ballet, obviously. And I’m still not I’m not I just don’t really enjoy it that much. But this film kind of made me enjoy it. I mean, I had a great time. But this color, the color sequences reminded me of Disney’s Fantasia, there are so many ins and outs, especially when you get to the ballet segment. But I just the what they were doing with Colin, this film and how they like sparsely used red throughout it, as you kind of start picking out the red shoes and all this little bits of red and the backgrounds and stuff, I just was mind blown.

PROTO Yeah, I could not get over that this was 1948. I felt like I was having like an existential experience of almost like peering into the past of just knowing that these people like made this movie at this time. Like it just felt like a window because of how it looked. It was like so incredible. Like I was I was seeing so far back into the past that I hadn’t seen in color before. Because even like I always thought of like 50s, oh, everything’s black and white. And it’s not until the 60s that every like thing started, you know, to be color. So for this movie to see it as like in 1948 look like this. I was just, I couldn’t get over like how this was me just with the technology that they had the editing that was done in this just without like the I can’t even comprehend how they put a movie together at this time. It just blows my mind. Just the editing process of this alone. Not to mention just you know shooting all of it.

DANNY And the fact that they hired Hein, he was just an oil painter to design this film. He was just he did like some opera stuff. But he had never worked on a film before or knew how to design a film and he had it was like 200 and something oil paintings to lay out this entire movie and it’s absolutely insane. And he won the Oscar for our direction for this film. And it’s just, it’s incredible like a lot of the the backdrops for the segment of the ballet, The Red Shoes ballet, his paintings and stuff like that. But if you go back and look through, there’s a you can find his actual layouts for this film and it’s insane

SLIM Gudi in chat says Cardiff should have won an Oscar for the cinematography, the cinematography also is insane. There’s so many shots of, you know, just close up to the face as they’re having these conversations that were really well done. So the format of this segment, you know, we’ll go through our top three, each house picks three things that we really want to focus on, we won’t go too heavy on to the plot. My number one thing and I kind of jokingly quoted it in my Letterboxd review, is their you know, their initial conversation between Vicky and Boris. Why do you want to dance?

[clip of The Red Shoes plays]

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70mm

70mm

A podcast for film lovers, inspired by Letterboxd.