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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Attack the Block (2011) 14 January 2023

Roger and Nick discuss Attack the Block (2011).


  1. Posted by Shim at 07:35pm on 10 February 2023

    You wondered about the evolutionary likelihood of the aliens having fluorescent teeth, which is metabolically costly. It's a long time since I watched the film, but I agree they seem to mostly rely on scent and sound. However, we're mostly seeing the males on screen (assuming that theory is correct at all).

    The species shows a strong phenotype distinction - small, hairless female vs. large, furry males with glowing teeth. So, let me crack open my UG dissertation... ah, here we go, Zahavi.

    One possible explanation is that the females do have vision, or have better vision than the males. The glowing teeth could then function as a costly fitness signalling trait - "I am a strong healthy individual with good genes, because I can afford the metabolic overhead of these pointlessly-flashy teeth and still survive". This is called the Handicap Principle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handicap_principle

    The aliens don't have visible eyes (even the hairless female), but perhaps they detect the teeth by another sensory mechanism. The visible-IR glow could be a side-effect of their primary mechanism. The bioluminescent process might give the teeth a specific temperature they can sense with viper-style pits, or give off a specific odour.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 01:17pm on 11 February 2023

    I see the argument and agree with your reasoning.

    I still suspect that "because it looks awesome cool" was the actual reason.

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