Ribbon of Memes

It's been over a century and a quarter since the first moving picture was committed to celluloid - the "ribbon of dreams", as Orson Welles mellifluously intoned.

And so, welcome, one and all, to Ribbon of Memes, a new podcast in which Roger Bell_West and Nick Marsh supply grateful listeners hot takes about films considered masterpieces by critics or filmgoers in general.

The rules: we choose one "masterpiece" from every year from the earliest days of cinema to our dreadful modern dystopia. Do we agree these films are classics? Are we entertained? Did we even understand what the film was trying to say? The questions are endless!*

We start in 1973 (for reasons explained in the first podcast) and progress vaguely chronologically (unless we think of another film that makes an interesting comparison to the one we have just seen, or are otherwise distracted by shiny new things).

Yes, that's right, we decided that what the world really needed was two more uninformed middle-aged white guys telling the world about media largely produced by similar people. Find out whether we were right or not herein!

*Actually, no, that's most of them.

We're also on iTunes, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 09 October 2021

Roger and Nick discuss Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Tags: action

  1. Posted by Robert at 01:12pm on 10 October 2021

    One of the asides was about the transition of treasure hunting and modern archaeology in Egypt. I can recommend Toby Wilkinson’s A World Beneath the Sands as a quite readable and accessible book on this topic.

  2. Posted by Robert at 02:21pm on 10 October 2021

    And after the Bogart run earlier, line on the map was in the opening to Casablanca. I kind of figured that was the nod there. Rick and Indy are pretty similar USA guy archetypes.

  3. Posted by RogerBW at 05:47pm on 10 October 2021

    As a Yog-Sothothian of long standing I also have Helen MacLean's The Archaeologist's Handbook which deals with this from a roleplaying perspective.

    Man, too long since I've seen Casablanca; I'd entirely forgotten that intro. Definitely Indy's the "working stiff" who is also able to play the intellectual game, though (in part because it's an action film) we rarely see him being intellectual.

  4. Posted by J Michael Cule at 02:05pm on 17 October 2021

    "Divine Justice is all about whether you can see it or not."

    I think the point is that the condemned are looking where they should not, seeking to find out Things Man Was Not Meant to know.

    I wasn't a child when it came out but TEMPLE OF DOOM was not a hit with me. The female sidekick (what's her name, the singer) is just useless, the kid is first patronised and then abused, the 'natives' are fanatical, murderous and cyphers and the plot... There's a plot? The opening sequence in Shanghai (was it Shanghai?) was fun but a bit too long for a pre-title schtick. No connection with the main part of the film except to get the three of them together.

    THE LAST CRUSADE on the other hand is nigh perfect.

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 04:05pm on 17 October 2021

    Willie Scott (played of course by Kate Capshaw, whom Spielberg met on the set and later married). One of the seven playable characters in the Indiana Jones RPG (there are no character generation rules).

    I don't remember Last Crusade being all that much better than Temple of Doom, but I don't remember it well at all. And I haven't even bothered to see #4.

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