Qt3 Movie Podcast: 3x3: parades, marches, and group protests

After a brief discussion of Edge of Seventeen, Horror Show, and Annihilation, we roll out this month’s 3×3 on parades, marches, and group demonstrations.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2018/02/26/qt3-movie-podcast-3x3-parades-marches-group-protests/

Man, having these less frequently is not helping me with forgetting to send my list in.

3 The Nice Guys - The “he’s dead asshole” scene.
2 The Bourne Supremacy - The protest Bourne uses as cover when he grabs Nicky. Some solid tradecraft and awareness of his surroundings there – as I recall it’s only established in a little throwaway shot of an all-German poster.
1 Bloody Sunday - Kinda cheating, because the movie is all about a protest, but the way Greengrass handles the crowd scenes throughout, and especially when shit hits the fan, is just masterful.


Dingus, you made me want to skip work today to sit at home and watch Seinfeld episodes.

Also, you are correct about the voting.


I really liked Vandermeer’s trilogy. Agreed 95% with Tom on Annihilation. (My point of disagreement is I thought Portman was good but Leigh was atrocious. You can’t really blame the actresses though; the script was awful.) I’m really not sure where the good reviews are coming from. What I couldn’t believe was that the whole Southern Reach trilogy plays with the idea of unreliable narration in ways that are unusual for novels (where it can be difficult to establish a consistent narrative voice through prose that signals its own unreliability), but happen all the time in film. But this film does none of that. There’s no attempt to examine whether the characters’ perceptions are reliable, and even though the events are ostensible related by the biologist after-the-fact, we get no sense (mostly) that she might be lying or misremembering or whatever. Communication–and the ways it breaks down or doesn’t convey a real sense of experience–is vital to the novels, but completely unexplored by the film. I was really looking forward to a visual realization of the novel’s conflation of “tower” and “tunnel”, which I thought was awesome, like you can’t tell the difference on a contour map. But they just stuck a tunnel (not filled with journals) at the bottom of the lighthouse. Ugh.

But even divorced from the novels and considered on its own as a film, it just doesn’t work at all. Like Tom, I thought the bear sequence was great, and the shaky-cam sequence with Oscar Isaac’s expedition in the swimming pool was pretty freaky, but those sequences were kind of part of a gallimoufry of scenes, mashed together with no attempt at tonal consistency. The score was good, but the movie was bad. Was anyone else reminded of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (better score, better story, better visuals), particularly during the self-immolation scene? What is it about aliens trying to communicate that makes people want to set themselves on fire?

The Q23 Word of the Day


My son and I just watched “The Movie” (the episode with Pat Buckles) last week, so I was primed to make that reference. He loved the way the characters described each other to the ticket taker and the usher.

BTW, Chris…could you do me a personal favor, and if I’m out of line, please let me know. Could I keep my trench-coat in your closet for a few months? My closet is packed to the gills. I’m afraid to open the door. Just for a few months. It’ll make all the difference in the world.


-What is that stain?
-It’s yellow mustard.


Exactly. It’s just an example of how Alex Garland wasn’t at all interested in the book. The hypnosis stuff is a major part of the character interaction, and the sense of betrayal and control, and it’s nowhere to be found in the movie. Also, no Crawler. What kind of Annihilation adaptation doesn’t include the Crawler? One that has no interest in the book.

I guess there is that one cut from them entering the area and losing track of time. That was in the books, but after the initial use in the movie, there was none of that sense of being lost in time and space.

Yes, so glad you mentioned the score! The music was fantastic, and it did a lot of the heavy lifting for making the mutated world feel weird and disturbing. I loved that music. That was the one part that lived up to Under the Skin.

I’m now intrigued by your Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture comparison. I petered out after discovering it was just another walking simulator with ghost cutscenes. I wonder if I should just suck it up and power through that?

How I have gone through fifty years of life and never encountered this wonderful word?


The Q23 Word of the Day

I’m more positive about Annihilation, but maybe that comes with not having read the book. Based on Kellywand talking about how good the prose was, I bought a Kindle bundle of all three books. So if I don’t like it, I’m blaming Kelly.

I definitely agree that Tuva Novotny needed more screen time.

I thought parts of the soundtrack sounded a bit similar to Ex Machina and sure enough, the same two guys did the soundtrack for both movies and I hope they do more soundtracks. I really liked the opening of that Crosby, Stills, and Nash song. I found the song online and was dismayed when I listened to it and found that the only non-vocal part of the song is right at the beginning. That opening also reminded me of the first minute of Everloving by Moby.

That made me chuckle. Well done.

Edit: I think I mixed up the CSN song with some of the soundtrack music. Darn it!


Lemme know what you think. The movie sounds so far removed from everything that makes the books great that they may as well be unrelated. That author’s a genius; I liked Veniss Underground a lot.

General consensus is that the third book is a shark jump but I emerged mostly satisfied. It helps if you stack it alongside the Lost finale and measure from the base. Of the lighthouse.


This is a Yelp review of many of my dates.



I’d never heard of the Annihilation books before I heard about the movie. I was intrigued by the movie for the first 10-20 minutes, but once we got to the alligator attack I realized what I was watching and mostly lost interest. I don’t read science fiction, but in younger years I reluctantly pushed through some Crichton and this felt like it was in that blockbuster vein.

Waiting for a Dingus series of It Gets Better videos so I can take notes.

Welcome to the club, @ChristienMurawski! About time.



Er, um, concerning the 3x3:

Parade scene:

Protest march:

Group protest:


My favorite protest was in “The Square” a documentary about Egypt’s recent revolution in 2011, as part of the Arab Spring. We get to know a small group of protesters and follow along over the course of a year or so as they protest and as events change around them. I guess choosing a documentary is cheating though.


It’s one of my favorite games. I like the visuals and gorgeous sense of atmosphere, the detail invested in the narration of the inner lives of the various (ghostly) characters, the philosophical questions it considers, the frailty of the relationships in it, and–above all–the score, which is hands-down the best videogame score of all time. I mean, yeah, the game is kind of like a guided headphone tour through a museum exhibit, but the narrative, characters, and sense of location are strong enough to offset the lack of interactivity. And it–like Annhiliation–juxtaposes our inability to understand the motivations of an alien visitor with our sometimes inability to communicate with each other, to reach the people we love–what intimacy and communication mean.

All that said, my taste is a bit idiosyncratic (e.g. The Hudsucker Proxy is one of my favorite films), so ymmv.


Thank you for welcoming me to the club.

One of my favorite moments that I forgot to bring up is when he asks if she bought a donut–“Did you get a donut from these people?”–and then puts a buck in the tip jar before they leave. I love movies that bother with little touches like that.


-“What the…why is there a baby in your house?”
-“Oh shit! How’d the hell’d that thing get in here?”


Sooo it’s been forever since I commented, but since you mentioned Annihilation…I have not yet seen the Netflix movie (uh, it’s on Netflix here, I mean), but instead decided to grab the first book. It arrived today and I pretty much blew through it in one sitting and ordered the other two. According to Tom, the trilogy is not as great as I was led to believe, but I can’t wait to find out myself. And then watch the movie and probably laugh!

(I might end up commenting on a few older podcasts, since I’ve been catching up with movies recently)


Weird… Blow Out suddenly came on TV last weekend and I ended up seeing the parade scene, which was quite insane (Liberty Day?!). I came upon it during the long, awkward Dennis Fraz scene, which felt like a play and I thought it was a scene within a scene, but it was real?

It was really odd how Lithgow was able to hold a neutral expression when making his crazy phone calls. Definitely during the scene Tom mentioned, the shot is mostly of the back of his head and then pans around to his dead-pan. He does similar thing later, though, when he taps a phone line, and it kind of looked like they may have dubbed it?


I guess I should include a favorite parade, so I’ll choose the end of Jingle All The Way, when Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonates Turbo Man during a Christmas parade and saves young Darth Vader from Sinbad in front of a blue screen.





Yeah, that Blow Out chase started really weird. Travolta’s character is a sound guy, so it could be easily explained that he noticed that the voice of a fake reporter was slightly different. Instead they made him extremely paranoid, so he gets out of the car only when he heard that the girl and the reporter were being followed.