Daft Punk’s Electroma

tn_electromaDaft Punk are those two French guys who played the robotic club DJs in TRON’S LEGACY, and as long as they were on set Disney must’ve figured they oughta get them to record the score that for me at least made that stupid movie sort of awesome. They are better known as musicians and makers of cool music videos than as actors or filmatists, but this here was their feature film directational debut.

ELECTROMA is a movie with no dialogue, no human characters, and no Daft Punk music. It does star the two robot-masked Daft Punk characters (with their band logo studded into the back of their leather jackets), but apparently they’re not even played by the actual guys.

It has little moments that remind me of other movies that I happen to love: a drop of THEY LIVE, a slight whiff of HOLY MOUNTAIN. But mostly it reminds me of BROWN BUNNY remade with robots and no blowjob. There’s about 10 minutes of plot stretched into 74 minutes of movie. It’s not for everybody, or most, or very many. I thought it was great though.

The movie (or “movie”?) begins with a bunch of long shots of rocks. Then a car sitting in the desert for just a little bit longer than you would normally want to show something like that in a movie that you were planning for people to sit and watch. Then the two robots get into the car. Then they drive around on roads for quite some time.

It’s out in the desert, there are no other cars or people/robots seen anywhere, just this one car driving and driving and driving. Alot of different shots. Inside the car, outside the car, helicopter shots, etc. If you were hoping to get a good look at this car driving around, this is your lucky day. You are gonna see it pretty good.

By the way, the license plate on the car says HUMAN. But it looks like they’re not humans, I’m pretty sure they’re robots. Write that down, it’s gonna come up later.

Eventually they come to a small town and you finally see other lifeforms. It’s all the type of people you would see in a picturesque town: kids playing, old men watering their lawns, businessmen on their lunchbreaks, cops on the beat. But they’re all robots, wearing the same masks as the Daft Punks. That’s the part that reminded me of THEY LIVE.

mp_electroma(I wonder – since this is a world of robots, does that mean it’s in the future? I hope so because it would mean Daft Punk survived that explosion in the Tron movie.)

But the Daft Punks think they’re cool with their leather jackets and their love of humans, so they strut on through, they’re too big for this town. And they go to some weird laboratory or something. It’s just them and two chairs and two machines in an otherwise entirely white room. A room of negative space. They sit down and are approached by technicians who are completely white silhouettes, and are invisible except when parts of them pass in front of the machines or the Daft Punks. They cover the robots’ bodies with aprons and begin to pour latex on top of their helmets.

Up until this point it’s been very dry and intentionally uneventful, but the next scene, where the Daft Punks return to town now made into “humans,” gave me the biggest laugh I’ve had in a while. Definitely a weird visual joke for the record books, hilarious and kind of sweet and kind of sad, and quickly it turns more sad.

And since it’s a movie where nobody’s yammering and not alot’s happening you get plenty of time for the images to float around in your brain and soak in the thought fluids and with its simple themes I think there’s alot of poetical type ways to read it. I think these two robots are endearing because of the way they strut around together, they have a sort of kneejerk rebellious and individualistic spirit, but one that they enjoy the comfort of backing each other up on. I don’t fit in here, and neither does my friend. I am a loner, and so is my friend. They dress the same and walk almost in rhythm together and they seem to be on the same page about what they want in life, where they want to go, where they want to drive or walk.

I mean, alot of this movie is just these two walking through the salt flats for a long god damn time. And they don’t have to think about it, they just walk, confident in their agreed destination, or lack thereof. And when one of them gets sad and slows down walking the other one senses it and stops to wait.

In their dream of being human I see reflections of some of us white people who become fascinated with black culture. This interpretation is underscored by the use of Curtis Mayfield’s “Billy Jack” for their triumphant walk through town. And by the suspicious looks they get from the robots on the sidewalks and sitting on their porches. These two love this idea of humans and they create their own ridiculous caricature of it. And it’s kind of pathetic but also you root for them because fuck those townrobots giving them the stink eye. Or stink visor or whatever. You could argue that they’re not being themselves by wearing those faces, but you could also argue that they are being themselves. They don’t want to be like everybody in town. And they should be able to be who they want to be.

“Human” doesn’t have to represent a race or a culture. It also could be a symbol for anybody that dreams of being something, anything, that other people might not want them to be, or tell them they can’t be. They are like Icarus flying too close to the sun, or at least Darkman wearing his artificial skin outside for more than 99 minutes. Destined to fail but god damn it I give them credit for trying. Because they want it and they go for it.

ELECTROMA is a strange little experimental arthouse robot movie, but if you can succumb to its slow hypnotism it’s pretty great. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s about the human condition, it’s about robots.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 3rd, 2011 at 1:58 pm and is filed under Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

97 Responses to “Daft Punk’s Electroma”

  1. Great review, as a Daft Punk fan I have been wanting to check this one out. I also recommend Daft Punk’s anime musical INTERSTELLA 5555. As a side note did you know Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk did the music for IRREVERSIBLE?

  2. “…and no Daft Punk music.”

    Wait, seriously? These guys made their own movie but didn’t even do the score for it? Daft Punk’s “Discovery” would, no question, make it on my list of all-time favorite albums, and TRON just proved that they know how to make a film score (albeit, with lots of help from a professional composer).What gives? Kinda makes me less likely to seek this one out.

  3. “Darkman wearing his artificial skin outside for more than 99 minutes” SHOULD be the new “Icarus flying too close to the sun”, in my opinion.
    Also, didn’t Daft Punk do a soundtrack for an anime or something once?

  4. Stu: No, someone did an anime to their music (INTERSTELLAR 5555: A series of anime music videos, to each track on their DISCOVERY album, which form an ongoing story about an alien band that gets kidnapped and brain washed by an evil record company.)

  5. one guy from andromeda

    January 3rd, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Sounds like Vern got high before watching this.

  6. I’m perplexed. This makes as little sense as a Kiss movie with no Kiss music starring 4 random actors in the Kiss makeup instead of Gene Simmons, et al. (Or insert your favorite costume-wearing band, Gwar/ICP/Residents/Ramones/Banana Splits/Die Antwoord/whoever.) I’m fine with everything except the lack of Daft Punk music. “Does not compute”, or as a human would say “the fuck??”

    So if there’s no Daft Punk music, is there any music at all?

  7. Actually, I can think of at least a dozen movies I’ve seen besides ELECTROMA that have no Daft Punk music in them at all and are still good. Maybe more. Enough so that I’m no longer certain that a movie needs Daft Punk music in it to be good.

    Vern, you might want to check out GERRY if you haven’t already. It was apparently a big influence on ELECTROMA. I remember one of the Daft Punk guys describing ELECTROMA as “GERRY with robots.” Though the two humans walking around the desert in GERRY are not trying to be robots. That would have been pretty sweet though.

  8. I also recommend Interstellar 5555 even if you don’t like anime the music is great. I like Daft Punk they do the only techno\electronic music I enjoy.

  9. That’s a pretty good point, Jake. Just seems weird to me. I’d think the average viewer would be justified in assuming the presence of Daft Punk music in a movie with Daft Punk in the title that stars the Daft punk characters.

  10. But isn’t having a Daft Punk movie with no Daft Punk soundtrack and no Daft Punk playing the characters so Daft Punk?

    Both Vern’s review and the words “GERRY with robots” make me want to see this movie

  11. The brilliant “not much happens” tag makes me want to see this thing.

  12. Well, I saw ELECTROMA months ago and hated it. I was enthused when I received it, and certainly didn’t approach it without wanting to enjoy it.
    I love POWAQQATSI. I love BARAKA. I’m all for slow hypnotism. I’m all for movies where “not much happens”, because that always seems an easy explanation for movies that cram a lot into individual shots. Just because there are low takes doesn’t mean shots are empty. POWAQQATSI, BARAKA, KOYAANISQATSI are all packed with beautiful, fascinating shots. And let’s lump in ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD and a number of other movies with that.
    But ELECTROMA felt indulgant, with very few dynamic images and no dynamic soundrack. Of course it would have helped if Daft Punk provided some music to illustrate the images. How much better are PRIME TIME OF YOUR LIFE, AROUND THE WORLD and TRON with their music?
    Above all, ELECTROMA felt bloody lazy. And if it is some feisty vision of “us against them” the whole second half of the movie (I’ll avoid the spoiler) is just plain dim. It feels more like the robots desperately want to fit in, then give in when it doesn’t work out. Rosa Parks would flick the finger. These robots are weak and childish.
    But, hey ho, I’ll stop going on. Check out the movie regardless. It’s nice to know more people will check out anything that doesn’t play in cinemas.

  13. No, you guys, you NEED Daft Punk music for a movie to be good. Like Tron and… the other one. Short Circuit II I think.

  14. I wonder if Lloyd Kaufman knows about this.

  15. Bryan – Yeah, like everyone else I had just assumed they would be doing the soundtrack too. When I found out they weren’t it actually made me more interested to see the film since they were going the unexpected route.

    Gwai Lo – Your comment reminds me of something some guy said at the midnight screening I went to. He thought it was just like Daft Punk to make people spend money on this practical joke of a film where there was none of their music and the whole point was to bore audiences to tears. I got the sneaking suspicion he did not enjoy it as much as I did.

  16. Jake- After my kneejerk reaction, and your response to same, I have to admit I reached the conclusion that a 90-minute (?) Daft Punk movie starring Daft Punk, about Daft Punk, and with near-constant Daft Punk playing in the background would have seemed like horrible wankery to me. So yeah, I confess, now I’m more inclined to want to see the film. The fact that they HAVE to know this is going to confuse and confound most people does make me like it that much more.
    So thanks for Devil’s Advocating right there.

    Re:Jake Re:Gwai Lo I dunno, but whenever I experience audience anger like that at the end of a film it always makes me like it more retrospectively- even if I hated the viewing experience myself. Am I a dick for that? I think I may be.

  17. Vern, glad you realized they are robots. I rolled my eyes so far back in my head I fell over.

    I love Daft Punk. I’m going to check this out.

  18. Okay. I just watched this movie. I understood it, but I think it would have been much better with some of their trademark techno.

  19. Bryan – While I’m devil’s advocating I feel I should also stick up for horrible wankery. I just recently got around to watching Kanye’s 30+ minute Runaway video and I was very impressed. That guy is really good at being self-obsessed. Video is here if you haven’t seen it:

    Re: You Re: Me Re: Gwai Lo – I sort of know what you mean with the negative audience reaction. I don’t think it makes me like the films more but I do sometimes feel a little like, “I totally GET IT. Not this guy though, he doesn’t GET IT at all. I must be way more awesome than he is.” And then I high five myself in my mind.

  20. If anyone hasn’t seen Michel Gondry’s video for “Around the World”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ6Y_jErC9c. Thing is hypnotizin’!

  21. I went to the Telluride film festival as part of a student symposium a few years ago where I got to meet Solomon Rashdie, David Fincher, Paul Schrader, and shared a gondola down a mountain with the writer/director of Waltz with Bashir and his whole family just after the US premiere.

    But the coolest thing I saw there was a screening of an experimental projector screening an 8K copy of Baraka. I had been up for like 20 hours at this point, and I had no idea whatsoever what the movie was when it started. But my god. I have never seen something so beautiful. And the 8k, super high definition…it doesn’t just look better than film, it makes film look like a shitty VHS from the public library. It was one of the few things in my life that I have ever considered to be similar to a “religious experience.” It was that good.

    If, for any reason, there is ever an excuse to see something in Super-High-Def…DO NOT MISS IT. I would drive 100 miles, each way, to see even just one reel of that movie in 8k again.

  22. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    January 4th, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Fuckin’ robots giving me the stink visor, I’m sick of it.

  23. Yaeversee CHRISTMAS ON MARS featuring The Flaming Lips? Kinda like this movie, maybe more plot, but it just takes its slow time unfolding. And weird. But I believe it does contain Flaming Lips music, though…

  24. There’s a ten minute edit someone made of the movie on youtube, if you care to look for it, and it’s set to a couple of Daft Punk tracks. I totally get what Vern means by the scene of them as humans being funny. I haven’t laughed that spontaneously since Vern revealed the box art for NINJA VENGEANCE in his review.

  25. Wait…Daft Punk ARE dj’s, yes? And they selected and mixed the music for this movie, yes? So, how is that not Daft Punk music? They made a silent film and then did a dj set to to.

  26. Reading what you guys have to say about this movie and others that could be described as “not having much plot” or “hypnotic” makes me wonder how people who enjoy this type of movie determine if one becomes too plot-less, or too hypnotic (assuming a film could be) or too indulgent, like Slim said about ELECTROMA. For example, I feel like I have a pretty high tolerance for watching not much happening on screen; I’m usually still interested when other people are complaining about being bored, but when I watched GERRY I definitely felt like there were indulgent elements to it because I couldn’t tell what was being accomplished by drawing things out so slowly. Maybe it has to do with how you as the audience feel the film is succeeding at communicating to you. In KOYAANISQATSI, I gradually interpreted the series of images into a greater whole, in GERRY I had more of a feeling of parts with no sum. Even though there are real similarities between ELECTROMA and GERRY, ELECTROMA is immediately more compelling to me because of the simple but strong comment on humanity or maybe what it means to be human. So maybe I think a movie is indulgent when it shows things that I don’t sense are contributing to a greater whole, because then it seems like there’s not a reason to be filming and releasing it in a feature film format.

  27. As a massive Werner Herzog fan, I am a big supporter of movies that make you stare at them in a daze and soak up their audiovisual experience. I am also a recreational drug user, not sure if that has any bearing.

    On a related note, does anyone think that Herzog would make a hell of a TRON movie? Trippy visuals, expert use of hypnotic music, philosophical meanderings on the nature of God and man… Can we make this fucking happen, please? What if we all used The Secret at the same time?

  28. Jez Perkins – I personally don’t think these kind of movies can be too indulgent. Though I still haven’t seen SATANTANGO yet. Maybe seven and a half hours of this kind of thing will change my tune.

    For me these kinds of films are more about the experience, not necessarily about some greater point they are supposed to be making. I think a lot of that effect comes from excellent cinematography. Which is why I like ELECTROMA a lot but I didn’t like CHRISTMAS ON MARS too much because of the digital video.

    It’s kind of like the experience of laying in a park on a sunny day just relaxing, letting the day slowly pass by. (Or what I imagine that to be. I’m usually too busy watching slow-ass movies to actually go out and do some actual park-laying.) No one ever complains that a day relaxing in the park was too slow-paced. “My trip to the park had no third-act revelation. It totally sucked.”

    But really, I’m not sure I think any movie can be too indulgent. It’s always puzzled me when people describe a movie negatively as “masturbatory.” It seems like every auteur movie can be described that way so I don’t see how that term can really mean anything.

  29. Mr. Majestyk, I am visualizing it now.

  30. Funny Herzog story, I have friend who works in TV and film that attended a panel about filming reenactments in TV and film (like the nonsense you see on the history channel and crime shows) that Herzog was on and I guess he offended everyone else on the panel. He pretty much shit on all the other speakers and said that what they were doing was a waste of time and void of any artistic integrity. Herzog keeps it real even if it means hurting some feelings.

  31. Hunter,

    I mean, yeah you could call them DJs, but even though they (sometimes) use samples in their music, they also actually write original compositions and perform actual instruments. So they are also a band. Picking a killer soundtrack of other people’s music may take skill (or good taste), but it’s not the same thing I think of when I think of “Daft Punk music.”

  32. Jake – “My trip to the park had no third-act revelation. It totally sucked.” Man, that one sentence just nuked film theory. Seriously. I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  33. Two sentences, even

  34. Jake,

    I too am not a fan of the overuse of the phrase “masturbatory” when talking about films/art, but to be fair I think what most people mean when they say it is that not only is the director self-serving/indulging themself, but that the director is demonstrating little to no effort in serving anyone else either. People often dislike movies if they don’t feel like they’ve been given an entry point in which to make sense of it.

    This gets to a problem I have with a lot of discussions about film, one that I frequently am guilty of myself: too much focus on the “point” of a film and the intentions of the filmmaker. At the end of the day, I’m a different person than the filmmaker, I do not live in their head, and I can never really know what they were thinking or what they intended. talking about “intent” is just speculation, even taking into account comments the filmmaker may have made about the film. It’s more beneficial to discuss the RESULT of the film rather than the perceived intention.

    Of course, I also get frustrated when people talk too much about their personal reaction to a film and not enough about the objective content of the film itself. It’s weirdly ethereal and pointless, you can’t argue with someone else’s emotional reaction to a film. So obviously there’s a middleground that I’m seeking. I find that the most insightful writing/discussion about film tends to involve talking about the the viewer’s perception of the film but that references objective details about the film as “evidence” of whatever point the writer/speaker is trying to make.

  35. Jake- I appreciate what you are saying. For me, I evaluate movies by a different set of expectations than going to the park. They might both cause a similar response at times. I guess I think that if they do, I want it to be because the person making the movie wanted to cause that experience, not because they were trying to do something else and I start getting relaxed because I’m not fascinated and I sense they wanted me to be. I’m all for slow-paced movies, but I don’t think that I can separate my evaluation of them from the idea of the parts contributing to the whole. Otherwise, it’s just a series of shots that happened to be seen in succession. It might evoke a reaction, but since if it’s not an attempt at communication of expression (not necessarily through words, maybe like you said through beautiful cinematography) it seems to me to be outside what I would define as art at that point.
    Maybe this is too Art Philosophy 101, I’ve never studied this stuff at school, but maybe other Vern readers would have some more informed input.

  36. I can always rely on this place for thought-provoking, skillfully-communicated, and respectful discussion. How did this happen? How did you create this oasis for rational thought in the swirling chaos of the internet, Vern? Whether it was by accident or design, well done, sir!

  37. Dan – Yeah, I think you’re right about those critics complaining more about the director not letting other people in but really what they are complaining about is the director not letting THEM in. A friend of mine referred to ENTER THE VOID as “masturbatory” (don’t worry I made fun of him for it) since it seemed to be made for only one person on the planet. I asked him if he meant me. With a movie like that, or KILL BILL, or whatever, that clearly many, many people are getting something out I don’t see how it can be called self-indulgent. Yet these are the kinds of films which tend to get that sort of critical response.

    Jez – Yeah, the park metaphor isn’t great but it’s the only way I can come up with to describe the enjoyment I get from watching two guys walk across a desert for 8 or 9 minutes while the sun rises. And I have to assume that reaction I have, whatever it is, is at least part of what Van Sant was going for. Otherwise why film two guys walking for 8 or 9 minutes?

    However I do think Van Sant has more than just pretty pictures going on in that movie. Largely because of the ending though I can see how you might find the rest of the film not really leading up to or having too much bearing on that. It certainly isn’t as obvious in it’s thematic intent as ELECTROMA or the QATSIs. I’m a fan of both approaches but I can see why you might prefer the one. Though I am gonna selfishly wish for Van Sant to return to the artsy, slow stuff. RESTLESS looks good but it seems like he may have half-assed the artsiness. I want him to go back to using his full ass like he did with GERRY and PARANOID PARK. Actually, what I really hope is that he takes out a lien against his future ass and one-and-a-half-asses his next movie.

  38. Also, Jek Porkins, sorry for consistently misspelling your name. The sad truth is that I am illiterate.

  39. It seems like my 2011 is going to be great for watching movies and absolutely nothing else.

  40. Most directors have to explain their point with the movie while making it, explaining it to producers, cinematographers, actors, screenwriters etc, in order to get the movie financed and realised. It`s pretty difficult to get thousands of details to fit together in order to make a coherent story without some sort of point or vision. But the point of the movie usually changes in the making of the movie. It`s my (quite limited) experience that the director figures out the “real” point of his movie a couple of years after finishing it.
    My goal as a (struggling and not very succesfull) filmmaker is to make movies that are truthfull according to my feelings, not my mind, like David Lynch, but it`s almost impossible to get a movie financed if you refuse to explain it to the financers. So, most directors (imo) have to have a point with the movie while making it (ranging from “it`s suppossed to scare you” to “it`s about realizing the beauty of life when loosing it” or some deep shit.)

    Anyway, I only know of a couple of directors who purposefully refuses to explain the point of the movie to themselves, their crew and the financers (directors like David Lynch, Tarkovsky and Takashi Miike comes to mind). Weirdly enough, they are the among the few directors who actually make movies there seems to have some sort of profound point or meaning to them.

    I read a brilliant book about Lars Von Trier a couple of weeks ago. I`ve always percived him as a director who tries to make some sort of intellectuel statement about human nature with his movies. According to the book (and himself), he doesn`t have a clue what his movies are really about. There`s no hidden meanings in his movies. He just makes movies about stuff he thinks are exciting or interesting.

    Anyway, my point (I guess) is that a movie with a profound point is a product of emotionel honesty, not awareness or intelligence, which must be the reason that so few profound movies gets made nowadays. When they do, like A Brown Bunny, they get ridiculed and accused of being mastubary. Which is true, but imo also the beauty of them. I guess I would rather see a director mastubating than jerking off millions of spectators in order to buy a new ferrari.

  41. dna,

    I didn’t mean to imply that I don’t think that directors ever have a “point” in mind for their films. I’m sure you’re right that most filmmakers have to spend a lot of time justifying their vision to their financiers or producers before they can make their movie. I just mean that (and I’m as guilty of this as anyone else) on the viewer/reviewer/critic/discussion side of things, we have a tendency to focus too much on speculation about the “intent” of the directors, or on the “point” of their film. It’s hard not to, sometimes, but I think ultimately it leads to too many unhelpful, unenlightening conversations, because everybody just starts shooting in the dark. Plus, as you alluded to in your post, a director’s intention and what is actually communicated in their film can be two very different things.

    Which is why I think discussion on movies needs to try to focus itself more on the final product then on guesswork about intentions or theses. We need to look at the final product and analyze what’s actually on the screen, and try to minimize the speculation.

  42. And I should add, I think it holds doubly true when discussion movies we find difficult or confusing or alienating. There’s a tendency to frame the conversation with “I have no idea what the filmmaker was going for” or to make accusations that the filmmaker isn’t trying to communicate anything, the emperor has no clothes, etc etc. And at the end of the day, those kind of arguments just don’t spurn useful discussion. In fact, it’s kind of a discussion killer. I think it’s best to try to honestly describe the actual content of the film, what you believe the effect or result is and why. Not that the filmmaker should be left out of the conversation, just that it’s better to grapple with the objective reality of the content of the film than to have esoteric arguments about what may or may not have been going on in the filmmakers’ heads at the time.

  43. Jake- As long as my name’s spelled correctly on the walls of the Massassi temple of Yavin 4, I’m good.

    dna- When you put it that way, I also would prefer to watch a director masturbate than to have him jerk me off. Unless perhaps it was Sofia Coppola?
    I think it would be cool to have the ability to just film stuff I’m interested in and have it come out a good movie. But I also think that shifting the process of finding what is interesting from intellect to feelings does not change the idea many of us–as audience members–have that we expect a film to communicate meaning to us. For sure there can be strength in not explaining the point of something that you are making to anyone, because really if it can be verbalized totally, then the purpose of putting it to film is in that way moot. And that meaning might be something that we are not totally conscious of nor able to articulate, especially immediately after viewing, and especially if the filmmakers had more to offer than a movie that could be summed up by a one sentence tagline. So I think great movies can be made that rely more on the instincts of the filmmaker than his explanations, but either way the movie is still a social work that people watching are going to interpret in some way.

    Dan-I agree that we can tend to judge a film by our speculations about somebody else’s intent, and that can be done in an unfair way. I don’t think I feel quite the same tension between this and my personal experience of a film as you describe. I guess I think of it less like a dichotomy of subject/object and more like a sequence of smaller to greater meaning. The people making the movie had something they thought should be accomplished through the film, and that intention has meaning, which is grown to the extent that they do the work of creating it (and letting it thereby change and grow along the way), and then people watching the film add to its meaning by how we interpret and are changed by what we watch. We assume that the director knows this and is going to guide his film to produce a specific experience, so it is valid for us to say, “This is what was communicated to me through this film, therefore I think it is good/bad.” The director WANTED to communicate something, which has meaning, but what WAS communicated is also part of the meaning of the film, and to the extent that we sense that the two overlap, we consider the filmmaker to be good at his trade. To the extent that we also VALUE the meaning thus communicated we believe the film to be “good”. If the filmmaker makes something that expresses what he deeply values, the opportunity for the meaning we add to it as an audience is greater than if he makes something that does not express what he values, since then it probably won’t matter to anyone else very much either. I think I just described the graph that Robin Williams has all his students tear out of their books at the beginning of DEAD POETS SOCIETY. Well, fuck that. He should have left it in. If the kids had that graph to add to their experience as a way to evaluate meaning, maybe that one kid wouldn’t have killed himself, who knows? So anyway, I see what you’re saying about us not being able to actually know what a director was thinking, even though we talk like we do. But I think in a way that doesn’t matter because what we believe he meant becomes a part of the meaning of the film itself. It’s a way for us to acknowlege that there was meaning in the film before we saw it, but also a way for us to contrast that meaning with our own experience. So I think that like all language it’s a kind of game, but can be useful in talking about films.

  44. Off-topic, but not really, even if one didn’t care for TRON LEGACY, can’t be denied how well Daft Punk’s soundtrack has sold in the marketplace. Opened at #10 on the Billboard 200, slid into the 20s/30s, but week 4 its gone up to #6.

    Gold Record seems assured at this rate. At the least.

  45. I recently saw a trailer for a new little-girl-raised-as-murderous-assassin-movie (forgot its name) and the trailer ended with the big announcement: “Featuring an original score by The Chemical Brothers”. I guess we can thank the success of the Tron Legacy score, that they get such big advertising. I can’t remember Trent Reznor getting any big credit in the SOCIAL NETWORK trailer. Or BT in the trailer for GO. Or The Dust Brothers for FIGHT CLUB!

  46. Porkins,

    “But I think in a way that doesn’t matter because what we believe he meant becomes a part of the meaning of the film itself.”

    I think there’s truth in that, and you make plenty of fair points. In a lot of ways, when people say things about the intention of filmmakers, what they really mean is that this is what the film meant to THEM (the audience/critic). It’s a sorta shorthand that’s become commonplace and often unavoidable. Where it becomes a little pernicious, I think, is it can be a distraction or means of avoiding dealing with the film itself.

    It seems to rear its head most often during discussions of films that people have found difficult. Like when those reviews for Godard’s FILM SOCIALISME came in from whichever film festival that was. I haven’t seen the film myself, so it could very well be terrible and/or worthless, but it seemed like a few too many critics obsessed over what was going on in Godard’s head, or on insisting that Godard didn’t have a point or wasn’t bothering to communicate. And the problem was, whether those critics were right or wrong, it came off as more of a way of avoiding actually talking about the film. The most helpful parts where when they tried to describe the film in objective terms, but then it seemed to me that the critics tended to just idly speculate about Godard’s motives or lack thereof, instead of taking their descriptions to the next level by discussing the final result (i.e. the film) and analyzing it.

  47. Jareth Cutestory

    January 6th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    CJ Holden: Back when FIGHT CLUB was released they still used the phrase “from the makers of SEVEN” more than they used the phrase “a film by David Fucking Fincher” or even the more current version of “from the director or FIGHT CLUB.” Marketing considered the people who knew about things like directors and soundtrack composers to be a small, select group. They still do. But the reputation of the director is slowly entering into public consciousness.

    Having said that, I distinctly remember the Dust Brothers score being a reason for enthusiasm among the hip crowd who looked forward to the film, so the information got out there somehow.

  48. Jareth – That’s because some directors become “brand names” after a slew of critical/box-office hits and become celebrities in their own right. For example, any movie doesn’t need explain what “A Steven Spielberg Film” means since everybody knows he made JAWS and so forth. Same with QT.

    Or quite frankly, I think Christopher Nolan is up there now. Same with Fincher.

  49. – jek

    Nicely put and I agree with you. I believe you can express a lot more with movies than with words.

    – dan

    I guess I agree with you that discussing a directors point with a movie usually makes a tepid discussion, but I often experience that I have to be positioned to a movie in a certain way to get the right (or intended) experience.
    I once showed “This is spinal tap” to a group of friends without telling them it was a mockumentary. I just said it was a documentary about my favorite rock`n roll band. They didn`t laugh even once. Not even when the drummer exploded.`

    I`ve recently had the same experience with Marie Antoinette. I kind of expected a historic biopic (like everybody else) when it got out and found it terrible boring. Most audiences (and me) appearently didn`t get the point with the movie. Later I watched a featurette on the dvd with Louis XVI showing off his crip, filmed and edited as a mtv-show, and kind of figured out that Sofia Coppala maybe had another agenda with telling the story of Marie Antoinette than I thought. I`ve rewatched it several times over the last couple of months and it has become one of my favorite movies. When I recommend it to my friends (who hate the movie), I can`t justify them rewatching it without trying to explain the point of the director (as I understand it, off course), in order to position them in the best possible way to enjoy what I think is a brilliant masterpiece.

    Another good example might be Cape Fear. A brilliant movie that turns into bad cheese at the end, with Juliette Lewis explaining the point of the movie to the audience in a voiceover (something with hanging on to the past is dying, therefore the family never talked about that night where an ex-convict tried to rape and kill them). The voiceover is put over a picture of the traumatized family crying and hugging in mud, slowly zooming in on the daughters terrified eyes. Is the director trying to tell me that the family are alright now they murdered a man? Is the daughter in denial, possibly insane? Or did some executive decide that the audience needed a happy ending? Why can you hear thunder and girls screaming at the end of the credits? What`s the frigging point with the movie? What? Is it a coincidence that the final fight pays a visuel homage to The Hills Have Eyes (twice) ? Is Cape Fear some deep subversive shit that I don`t get?

    On the other hand, I also watched Tarkovskys Stalker, which was quite boring, but still had a tremendous impact on me, and I couldn`t care less what the point of the movie was. I guess prefer not to know what the point of a movie is, as long as it works. I think my favorite experience when watching movies is feeling that I understand them, without being able to explain why. That`s almost a religious experience.

  50. …which makes David Lynch, Takashi Miike, Lars Von Trier, Andrzej Zulawski and Andri Tarkovskij cinematic gods. All directors who claims they doesn`t have a clue about what they are doing, but creates canvases where the audience have to find the meaning with the movie within themselves…

    Gee, I get the feeling that dropping acid on NYE wasn`t a good idea after all…

  51. dna,

    Again, I’m not saying that all movies don’t have a point, just that they don’t always need one, or at least one that can be summed up easily in a few words. And like you said:

    “I guess prefer not to know what the point of a movie is, as long as it works. I think my favorite experience when watching movies is feeling that I understand them, without being able to explain why.”

    That’s true for me too, at least some times, and honestly I think it’s true for most other people. The whole “what’s the point” argument only seems to come up when someone doesn’t like or doesn’t “get” a movie. I mean, what was the “point” or message of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK? Or a million other beloved mainstream movies? Why is it important that some movies have a “point,” when we don’t look for, don’t care about, or even actively ignore the “point” of movies that we love?

    It’s my highly unscientific opinion that when people use the “I don’t get the point” argument when talking about a movie they didn’t like, it’s just a deflection, a way of not dealing with the movie itself. I don’t want to turn this into another longwinded rant like I did on the ANTICHRIST boards here, but that movie is a great example. No one watches HALLOWEEN or NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and says “Well that was awesome, but what was the point?” So why blame ANTICHRIST for not having one either? Why is that standard suddenly important now? If you thought it was a bad horror movie, then THAT’S the argument worth making.

    Or, what do you all think? Am I wrong? Do movies that you don’t find traditionally entertaining require an obvious point to be good?

  52. – dan

    Hold your horses! I never said a movie requires a point to be good. But if one of my favorite directors makes a movie that I don`t love like everybody else, for exampel A History of Violence, then I try to find out what I don`t get. Or if somebody slams a movie I enjoy, like Domino, then I try to convince them that they have to watch it from another perspective. But if the content or style of the movie makes them nausios, then it`s a matter of taste and not “not getting the movie”.
    I found Antichrist underwhelming as a horrormovie and was quite disapointed. Then the newspapers started accusing Lars Von Trier for hating women and making a movie about how evil they are, which wasn`t my impression when I watched it. I rewatched it, this time with Lars Von Triers relationship to women in the back of my head and suddenly thought the movie was brilliant.
    Also, I love A nightmare on Elm Street, not only because it is brilliant put together, but actually has a cool subtext. But, as an aspiring filmmaker, I tend to enjoy analysing my favorite movies in order to figure out what makes them work, and it`s seldom just because they`re funny, scary, actionpacked etc. It´s because they have a brilliant subtext, that most people connect with, even if the audience doesn`t realize it.

    Sorry I keep rampling, but as a screenwriter, I find this subject very interesting. Take Starwars, for exampel. It has a lot of subtext, psychological and political and what not. Was George Lucas aware of that when he wrote the screenplay or is it just an extension of his persona? Did he plan to design a movie that millions of people connect with subconsciesly or was he just truthfull while using his personal feelings and worldview in a spaceopera for kids? How on earth do you write a screenplay that connects with as many people as possible, and get somebody to finance it, if you`re ignorant about it`s true meaning? My theory is that you can`t be completely honest if you`re conscious about the subject you`re basing a story on, but on the other hand you can`t make a good movie without a strong vision, so.. what do you do..

    Anyway, that Hannah movie with music by The Chemical Brothers looks badass. Kick-ass might have started a new trend with little girls beating up grown men. What`s the world coming to, eh?

  53. I`m pretty sure that there is no hidden point to Evil Dead 2, but it`s still a masterpiece in my book.

  54. I have long said that the EVIL DEAD movies are the only truly great horror movies ever made with absolutely no subtext whatsoever. There’s no metaphor lurking beneath the surface like DAWN OF THE DEAD or THE EXORCIST. They’re exactly what they look like, and that’s what makes them work. There’s nothing to “get.”

  55. Mr. Majestyk, I would generally agree with you. Evil Dead, 2 Army of Darkness are all very shallow movies. However, they do function as a parody of morality. Good is always punished, selfishness, cowardice and evil is always rewarded. Movies are supposed to show us a “moral world” (or, that’s become a Hollywood trope thanks to the Hayes Code) and Evil Dead is funny because it shows us an exactly immoral world.

  56. At the other end of the spectrum, we get something like Miike’s AUDITION, which some might say is over-stuffed with subtext. It’s a credit to Miike that the movie is still terrifying.

  57. – jareth

    Auditon is my favorite movie, one of those movies that I refuse to analyze or have explained to me. Yes, it`s overstuffed with subtext, but I never have to rationalize it in order to “understand” it. My brain just turns off and my emotions take over. I think Takashi Miike made it the way I watch it, with his heart, which is properbly why it`s his best movie.

  58. Sorry dna, I didn’t mean to ascribe any of those views to you. My bad if that was unclear.

    And yes, EVIL DEAD 2 is a great example of a great movie that doesn’t need a point or, as many have pointed out, any real subtext or depth.

  59. Dan: I’m willing to propose that ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN don’t have any subtext as well. But I should probably watch them again before I commit to that position.

  60. dna: No argument from me. AUDITION is one of my favorites. It amazes me how every single conversation in the movie, and so much of the incidental business, is staged to comment on gender relations. And yet the film isn’t pedantic at all. The characters and the way in which Miike depicts trauma transcend a schematic reading.

    Also, apparently AUDITION made more money during its brief run in New York than it did during its entire theatrical run in all of Japan. So Majestyk was right to brag about his city.

  61. As soon as I`ve finished my Hunter S. Thompson and Jim Thompson binges, I`m gonna read all I can by Ryu Murakami, the author of Audition. I read PIERCING, very similar to Audition and pretty good.

  62. dna: COIN LOCKER BABIES is by far his best book. Fans of FIGHT CLUB will get a kick out of it. ALMOST TRANSPARENT BLUE is okay too.

    The others were just okay. Maybe they’ll work better for you if you enjoy that slacker narrative voice that he likes to employ. I find it annoying.

    Haruki Murakami, on the other hand, is a genius.

  63. – jareth

    I just bought In the Misosoup, but I`m still fighting my way through Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail `72.

    Have you seen Ryu Murakami`s Tokyo Decadence? Pretty good movie.

  64. “What’s the point?” You don’t say that after RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK because you were entertained, that was enough of a point to be satisfied. But after I saw I’M STILL HERE I genuinely didn’t understand what they were trying to do by making it. I didn’t hate it, thought it was semi-interesting, a good acting performance, and had a few very small dry laughs. But was it just supposed to be all-out funny and it failed? Was it trying to make a point about celebrity? Yes, maybe, not entirely sure. So “what’s the point?” can be a legitimate question. But yes, sometimes it’s frustrating when people say it about a movie just because it’s a little outside of normal.

  65. Jareth Cutestory

    January 7th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    dna: I didn’t mind TOKYO DECADENCE, though it really lacked the focus and that special punch Miike brought to AUDITION. Like Phillipe Djian, author of the novel Beineix’s BETTY BLUE was based on, I think Ryu Murakami’s stuff works better when a real visual stylist gets his hands on the work.

    Vern: After a screening of ENTER THE VOID, the guy sitting next to me said, “this movie made me wish for the old days when I’d ask what the point was of any given art film. ENTER THE VOID wore its point like cheap perfume.”

  66. I`m really looking forward to Enter The Void.

    (SPOILER!!) I read a funny discussion on imdb, where an angry viewer wanted to know why Casper Noe`s brilliant directors cut only got shown once in his town, since the directors cut made more sense regarding the death/rebirth-point of the movie. It turned out that the “directors cut” was the result of the projectonist showing the reels in the wrong order.

  67. Vern,

    And I guess my counterpoint is that, while wondering what the point is may be a valid emotion, it’s not really a very helpful question in terms of criticism or discussion.

    In discussion, because it tends to end conversation. If you’re trying to argue the merits of a movie, and someone counter’s “well, the director has no point,” it’s kind of a conversation killer. If someone told me they hated RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK because they didn’t understand the point of it, or claimed that it HAD no point, I would be hard pressed to say something to keep the discussion going.

    In criticism, because it’s too speculative and doesn’t enlighten the audience. I feel disappointed when I read reviews or articles from someone who felt mystified by a movie and decides to focus “not getting it” or, worse, making claims that the filmmakers didn’t have a point. And, again, I’m guilty of this sort of thing myself all the time, but I’m trying to work on it. I think at the end of the day, it’s more enlightening to your readers and more fruitful to discuss not to obsess over intent, or motive, or message, or whatever. Ignore all the speculation, just focus objectively on the content of the film itself, and try to analyze what the film does and doesn’t do.

    I haven’t seen I’M STILL HERE, so I can’t comment on that one myself. I can understand why people might want to know what’s going in Affleck’s head or what he was going for, but ultimately that’s something we CAN’T know (and interviews with Affleck make it sound like he doesn’t know, either). So rather then waste brain power trying to guess at what he intended, it’s better to just tell us what the result is, REGARDLESS of the intention.

  68. And I’m not doing a great job explaining my point of view, so my apologies for any time I’ve wasted on my long winded posts.

    re: ENTER THE VOID/Jareth. I get what that guy was saying, but weirdly enough it’s exactly what I liked about the film. It didn’t convey a lot of layered meaning or inspire a lot of deep thoughts in me. But it’s so deeply committed to its crazy, over-the-top style that its general lack of anything like subtlety or ambiguity seemed like it worked in its favor.

  69. Dan P. – I like you mate, but ENOUGH. What’s the point of life? What’s the point of God? What’s the point of farting? What’s the point of flipping burgers? What’s the point of say trying to save people from a fire because we’re all drop eventually?

    Movies are made for a few reasons, sometimes they overlap. Money, artistic vision/ambition, ego-stroking, political propaganda, etc.

    There, those are the “points.” THE END.

  70. RRA,

    I think you’re actually saying the same thing I was saying.

  71. – RRA

    I was gonna disagree with that, but what`s the point anyway… Hey, why are we even discussing this movie-nonsense? What the hell is going on?

  72. Jareth Cutestory

    January 7th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Dan Prestwich: I kept trying to figure out if ENTER THE VOID was Noe’s attempt to be even more literal than Nolan, something I thought was impossible.

    And even though I hated Noe’s use of the first person camera perspective, I have to admit that ENTER THE VOID at least had style and gusto in abundance, the very things I wanted more of from INCEPTION.

  73. dna – Its one thing to provoke discussion, you know bitch and shit. Its another just to whine for its own divine sake. Its an intellectual dead-end. Like Marxism. Yeah economics drove alot of history, but its not the only narrative.

    How did we get off topic AGAIN?

    Dammit Vern, we need message boards. I believe that is why us intellectually horny mother fuckers are splooging all over these threads. We need to get laid somewhere without wrapping up a DAFT PUNK discussion into the specifics of ENTER THE VOID or wondering why I got conceived that day instead of the day before or after?

    Hell if you don’t mind Mr. Vern, if you don’t mind I can create message boards over at pro boards. Not that I know anything about such things, but dammit looking at the Internet and most message boards…surely even I can do that?

  74. “I kept trying to figure out if ENTER THE VOID was Noe’s attempt to be even more literal than Nolan, something I thought was impossible.”

    Hahaha, quote of the day. They should have put that on the poster.

    To give Noe and the film a little credit, I think there’s just a tiny sliver of ambiguity in his film in that it’s implied that SPOILERS everything might just be the drug induced hallucinations of a dying man, who is drawing on his recent experiences (i.e. discussing the Book of the Dead with his friend) in the way he perceives the afterlife. But even this (slight) ambiguity is handled by having a scene where a character literally explains that the chemicals in the drugs that Oscar has been taking are similar to the chemicals released in your brain when you die… hence death is the ultimate trip.

    Point being, this teensy amount of ambiguity deserves as much consideration/debate as the final shot of INCEPTION. Which is to say, not much at all because what’s being said it’s pretty obvious.

  75. – RRA

    Sorry, didn`t mean to make fun of you, but discussing movie-critisism on a site about movies, in a thread about a seemingly pointless arthouse movie without a score by the daft punk didn`t seem that pointless as you made it sound. I enjoyed this discussion anyway.

    I`m afraid I don`t really have anything to add to a discussion about Daft Punk. I`ve had Homework for years and never managed to get through it. I like Gondrys and Spike Jonze`s videos, though.

  76. dna,

    If you know anyone who has Daft Punk’s “Discovery,” I highly implore you to give it a spin. It’s one of the most purely enjoyable albums I own, and (at least for me) was the key that helped me understand and enjoy “Homework” (although it’s still inferior), which I previously had not enjoyed. Conversely, though, it’s greatness makes the follow up album “Human After All” seem even worse than it already is. So take that for what it’s worth.

  77. – Dan

    I`ll check it out. I`ll take the chance to recommend Sabres of Paradise`s Haunted Dancehall. It kind of reminds me of Daft Punk, just way more progressive. One of my favorite electronica-albums.

  78. I think I said it already in the TRON discussion, but DISCOVERY is the best album to, well, discover Daft Punk. It’s their most commercial, without sounding like a sell out album, that bears no resemblance to the “real” Daft Punk sound.
    Then I would continue with their first album HOMEWORK, which is a little bit less radio compatible than DISCOVERY and way more club* oriented, which means despite being now trained, you can still be surprised by some seriously noisy sound collages.
    And then of course, if you are still interested in Daft Punk, you can carefully move to HUMAN AFTER ALL, which sounds like it was made to scare all the kids who used ONE MORE TIME as ringtone away, by risking to also alienate some of there real fans from day one. I think there are only three or four people in the world, who really love it and I’m one of them, although I won’t judge anybody who doesn’t.

    *I don’t mean the American Top 40 clubs, where Lady Gaga is sold as house music, but the real Techno clubs.

  79. Was the IMDb guy in Seattle? I haven’t seen the movie but one of my buddies saw it and found out when he was leaving that the reels were out of order.

  80. I think so, his name is boop422 and he saw it at NWFF

  81. Jareth Cutestory

    January 7th, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    We can all agree, I’m sure, that it’s pretty awesome that Troy Guy was finally allowed to see the new TRON film wearing all his gear.


    Dan Prestwich – I think there is also some further ambiguity with the ending since the woman we see out-of-focus at the end is not his sister, but his mother. Which could imply he his reliving his own life from the start or could be further evidence for the theory you mention, i.e. he is just having one last flashback to his birth at the moment of his ultimate death. Also there is the title which to me sort of supports that theory as well.

    I have to admit I don’t get the complaint about the film wearing it’s point like cheap perfume. If ever there was a film where the point is the actual viewing experience itself, it’s ENTER THE VOID. To me it’s like claiming Splash Mountain is too obvious in it’s intentions.

  83. Jareth – I wonder if the people sitting behind him and his light suit thought it was awesome. Makes me wonder what the midnight screenings were like on opening day. I mean, I find cellphone lights in theaters to be annoying. I can’t imagine how annoying it would be to have a theater full of glow-in-the-dark geeks.

  84. With apologies to those who are tiring of this discussion-

    I think that all movies do have a point, and that asking what that point is can be valid under the condition that I have done my damndest to approach the movie openly.
    I’m glad you kept going Dan, because it made me realize that a weakness in how I described meaning being added to movies by the audience is that it assumes that the audience is going to grow the meaning of the film, and not shrink it. An audience can rob a movie of meaning by approaching it without being willing to do any intellectual work to understand it, or by defending their own prejudices at the expense of the film. The problem I think you keep picking at about how we all sometimes demand a point from a movie, saying we don’t get it, is that it can be a lazy way of putting all the work of meaning on the director. It’s not fair to say, “Your movie has failed because you couldn’t make it understandable to me” if I don’t understand something because I haven’t thought about it or paid attention or been dismissive of it because of personal distaste. For example, I realize that one of the reasons I don’t much like GERRY is not only because I don’t sense the necessity of meaning in all the parts, but also because of the mental baggage I have from hipsters gushing over Gus Van Sant. I could choose to at least try to set aside that tendency, and think about the movie alone, or I could indulge it by demanding that Van Sant do a better job of explaining his point to me, when I’m just in a bad mood. However, if I do my best to watch a movie conscious of my tendencies to be reductive, and try my best to engage my focus on it, and I still don’t feel I understand the movie, I think it’s time to ask for additional information on it, which could come in the form of speculating about what the director’s idea was for the point of the film. Like Vern said about I’M STILL HERE, it is legitimate to question the point of the movie once he’s watched it, trying not to be too slanted by the hype around it, and has an ambiguous feeling about the film that does not seem to be worth creating by watching the movie. When this happens, we can either decide that our lack of understanding WAS the point, or decide that we are missing something about the film that the filmmakers failed at communicating because they did a bad job. If I assume that I am competent at watching movies and know that I have been honest at doing my best to take in a film, and still feel like it doesn’t justify it’s existence then it is fine to ask what the point of this movie was anyway. And one of the reasons I always come back to Vern is that he strives for excellence in this area.
    We may be playing with semantics here; I think that often when asking “what’s the point” has been used so far, it’s in reference to a short verbal summary of the purpose of a film. I agree that not every film can or should have a thesis sentence. I do not agree that all films can be reduced to a few categories of points that they make. I think that every film makes a specific, unique point that is not static or reducible to written or spoken language. As dna and Dan mentioned, one thing I think everyone who loves movies gets out of them is an understanding that goes beyond what can be put into words. That is because words are just one language of movies, like the sounds or the visuals or however else you want to break it down. The proportions of the ingredients always vary, and we’ve probably all seen movies we really like that lean heavily on certain categories and don’t need as much of the others. But I think that “the point” of a movie should the meaning that we receive and add to by viewing it. This meaning can later be pulled down to some extent into the realm of discussion and language, but by it’s nature since discussion is a different form of communication than film, it’s not going to be the same thing. We can come up with rational descriptives for why we liked or disliked ELECTROMA after the fact, but the initial way it is communicated to us is greater than only rationality. I’m not meaning to get all mystical and shit, but a lot of this is for my own benefit in trying to understand means of evaluation. And you guys help. So anyway, I would say that HALLOWEEN and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK still do have a point, but since people don’t have to do intellectual work to believe they get it, they don’t demand to have it revealed to them. I do think that a movie can decide to value the communication of a message so much that it fails at being a good movie. If a movie CAN in fact be thoroughly described in a thesis sentence and leave out nothing of interest, then it’s propaganda. We’ve all seen movies like this too, where the point can be reduced to a proposition that ought to be in a term paper or a journal rather than on a screen. But for me, this is not the same thing as a movie having a point. A movie’s point can and should be always beyond words, and the best ones tend to use words well in their place, but then sort of swallow them up in a much larger effect that gives us something much more than we can describe.
    Thanks guys.

  85. Jareth Cutestory

    January 7th, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Jake: When I made the comparison to cheap perfume I meant that I find ENTER THE VOID heavy handed and obvious. Some people are going to like lyrics like “war/what is it good for?/absolutely nothing” and some people are going to prefer something a little more nuanced, like, say Tom Waits’ “Soldier’s Things.” It’s largely a question of personal taste.

    EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP is really obvious too – all of Banky’s stuff is – and I’m a big fan.

    At the end of the day, I’m glad Noe is out there getting his freak on. Tron Guy too.

  86. That was wonderful, Jek Porkins. You both challenged some of my arguments in a thoughtful way AND refined and improved some of my thoughts AND gave me some new ideas to toy with. Thank you.

  87. Whoops. Ignore that “both.” Turned out I had more than 2 nice things to say.

  88. Im fan of Daft Punk, some new version od olf school Jean Michell Jarre

  89. Vern- I can’t believe you didn’t mention the extended shot of a vagina in Electroma. It is the final shot of the montage to “If you were my man”.

  90. Well, what is there to say? They’re walking in some rocks that turn out to look like a place where a human would be born.

  91. Late to the party on “Get Lucky,” but I’m happy DP got themselves a monster hit song. (#10 in US, #1 in UK, etc.) And a deserving one at that, IMO.

    *=Not to diss our European members, but honestly for better or worse I’ve got this idea drilled in my head that those 2 markets matter

  92. Yeah, it’s been 10 years since their last real hit song (not counting club hits), although it seems like they have finally cracked the American market. Also it’s a pretty cool song. Same goes for the album, which is a little bit overhyped, but a seriously cool listen. Leave it to two French robots to bring Funk, Soul and Disco back. Although to be honest, I can understand the people who hate it, because it’s not a pure dance album. Still, get over it and enjoy it for what it is.

  93. And Vern, I wonder if you plan to review or watch (if you haven’t) the works of Quentin Dupieux, another French electronic guy (some people may know him as Mr Oizo), who decided few years ago to make seriously weird movies.

  94. CJ – I’ve read several articles arguing for why that song was big as it was, but people are overthinking it. Its simply a terrific throw-back song that is obviously a modern production, but the beast of the melody still would’ve been a hit 30-35 years ago.

    The only other song example immediately off the top of my head like that is probably Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” a 50s rocker recorded in 1979. It also was a #1 hit.

  95. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. It’s a catchy song that is seriously well produced. I’m sure by the end of the summer we will all be sick of it, but around 2017 we will hear it on the radio again one day and remember how much we enjoyed it when it came out.

  96. So far I am really loving the new Daft Punk (thinking there might be real potential for it to replace Discovery as their masterpiece), but Get Lucky is maybe my least favorite song on there. I have a serious aversion to Pharrell as a singer; I just can’t stand his 4-note range falsetto most of the time and wish he would stick to producing.

  97. Mostly i listen american singer but once time i listen french collection of daft punk who sung by Peter hurteau and Michael Reich . Both had worn leather jacket in Daft punk‘s Electroma. In Fashionable world you can’t afford expensive jackets so UltiomoFashions dot com launched replica jackets to complete your wish.

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