2 Episode results for "queens Live Aid"

Bohemian Rhapsody

Based On a True Story

43:51 min | 1 year ago

Bohemian Rhapsody

"Yeah. Today's episode of based on a true story. We're going to compare history with the two thousand eighteen film bohemian rhapsody written by darkest hours writer, Anthony mccartan and directed by Valkyries director, Bryan singer bohemian rhapsody was mired in controversy before it was even released at the end of last year. But not for the reason, you might think it started in December of two thousand seventeen while the film had only three weeks of filming left. That's when reports arose from set that the movie's director Bryan singer was feuding with other members of the crew and would regularly disappear from the production for days on end. He was fired by Twentieth Century, Fox, the same months the report came out. But not for the reason, you might think three days after it was out that singer was fired by FOX a man named Cesar Sanchez. Guzman came forward with Alec. Nations that singer had raped him back in two thousand three when Sanchez. Guzman was just seventeen years old the next day deadline Hollywood released an interview with singers boyfriend Brett Tyler SCO pack in the interview SCO pick explained what it was like to come to Hollywood at eighteen years old hook up with singer by chance and begin a life with the popular director to sum it up. It was plenty of sex drugs and more drugs and sex alcohol, and as the article explains, quote an ever revolving cast of multiple participants and quote. With the light cast on singer Twentieth Century, Fox claimed they didn't know any of this. They had after all fired him before any of it was reported. So maybe it was for the reasons that we think multiple sources at FOX claimed they didn't know anything about the allegations that they had simply fired him for the feuding and disappearing from set interestingly, it was in two thousand ten when Sasha baron Cohen was one of the few different actors in talks to play the lead role in bohemian rhapsody. But then amid a flurry of reports about creative differences, some believe the reason he wasn't attached to the film had to do with it not being realistic enough for him that was dispelled after bohemian rhapsody is released by the movie producer. But it still didn't stop the rumors in one interview Cohen said about Freddie, mercury's story that quote, the guy was wild. There are stories of little people with plates of cocaine on their heads walking around a party and quote. But you'll see none of that in bohemian rhapsody and in the end Ramey. Malik was cast in a lead role. That was a decision that obviously turned out well for the film itself, but it didn't change what many reviewers believed to be feel good film that stays very surface level when it comes to historical accuracy. I'm Dan lab. And this is based on a true story. Before starting our story today. There's two things we need to do first. Let's set up our game to Trues ally. If you're new to the show, here's how it works. I'm about to say three things two of them are true. Which means one of them is a lie. Are you ready? Okay. Here. They are number one, Freddie. Mercury was not his birth name number two, Freddie. Mercury. Never married. Mary. Austin number three queens Live Aid, performance was Freddie's. I after being diagnosed with aids got him. Okay. Now as you're listening to our story today, you'll find the two facts scattered throughout the episode and then by a simple process of elimination. You'll be able to find out which one is lot. And of course, we'll do a recap at the end of the episode to see how will you did the last thing to do before getting to the meat of our story today is to find out what will be covering next week over on the producers feed, and let me look at my calendar here it looks like on Monday the age. Eighteenth. We'll be covering Kong skull island. That'll be fun to learn more about some of the nuggets of truth that helped make that fictional story. Like king hongs seem just a little bit more real. So you'll get that on the producers feet next week. If you aren't on the producers feed, you can get access to that by supporting the show over at based on a true story podcast dot com slash support. Once again, that's based on a true story podcast dot com slash support. For today, though. Let's learn about the story of Freddie, Mercury that we saw in bohemian rhapsody. Movies begin with a bit of an opener. That's not key to the story quite yet. And today story is one of those for a brief moment, we see Remy mallets version of Freddie, Mercury as he's preparing for the Live Aid concert in the year nineteen eighty five, but this is a brief glimpse into what's to come. So the movie doesn't give us much here. And since we'll chat more about this later on when the movie gives us more detail, we won't dwell on the Live Aid show too much other than to mention that as you can probably guess it did happen, and it took place on July thirteenth nineteen eighty-five. After this back in the movie were sent to the year, nineteen seventy we see Malik version of Freddie as he's working as a baggage handler at an airport. One of the handlers tries to be degrading to him when he calls, Freddie, a quote Paki, and quote, but Freddie's quick to point out that he's not Pakistani then we cut back to Freddie's house where we see his mom dad and sister, although we also. Out that Freddie's not his real name. It's for Ruch. And even though we don't learn this until a couple minutes later in the movie, we also find out that his family's last name isn't mercury but Bill Sahra. These are all true. There's a lot more to the story here that the movie doesn't mention for ball sorrow was born on September fifth nineteen forty six in a place called stone town, that's the capital of Zanzibar. You're not sure where that is. That's a little island off the east coast of Tanzania in Africa. That's technically part of Tanzania, but it's also somewhat autonomous at the time. When for Ruch was born there Zanzibar was a protectorate of the British empire that ended when the sultanate did in nineteen sixty four but more on that in a bit although left Zanzibar for time before that while his family remained. He was sent to Bombay to go to boarding school. That was in nineteen fifty four one Faruk was eight years old there were two schools. He went to Bombay one called Saint Peter's and another called Saint Mary's. These were very formative years for for Ruch being a British influence school. Some of the other students had trouble pronouncing his name. So that's why he started going by the dick name, Freddie. Eventually, of course, it would become more than just a nickname. He also started listening to a lot of western pop music and even formed a band at the school by the time nineteen sixty three rolled around. Freddie had finished school in return to his parents home in of our. But then there was a massive revolution to overthrow the Sultan of Zanzibar. It was a fight that saw thousands of civilians caught in the bloodshed between the revolutionaries in the sultan's troops fearing for their lives. The ball Sarah family managed to escape scenes of our and moved to the city of Feltham in Middlesex England, once they're FREDDY went back to school, not a boarding school this time, but to ISO worth poly Technic in west London, where he studied art after that he went to a further education institute called healing art college. That's also in London while he was there. He continued studying graphic design and art he gr-. Graduated from ailing nineteen sixty nine. So it was after all of this at the movie never shows where we're finally caught back up with the movies timeline. That's because soon after graduating ailing, Freddie, did the same thing a lot of recent graduates. Do he found whatever job he could? Well, he tried to find something a little more in line with his artistic skills and that job he found was as the movie shows as a baggage handler at London's Heathrow airport. No, that's not quite the first job that he found after college. But we'll get a little more to that later. In fact, as a fun little side note, it was on September fifth two thousand eighteen that British Airways put on a tribute to the one time. Baggage handler turned superstar a bunch of the baggage handlers, they're teamed up to perform Queen songs in the hallways of the airport on what would have been Freddie's seventy second birthday on include some links to where you can see videos of that online in the show notes or you can just do a search for Heathrow airport in Freddie, Mercury to find him. Let's head back to the movie now because after seeing a glimpse of Freddie before his time in a band. We see remix version of Freddie, Mercury heading to a bar when evening to find a band playing called smile. He's intrigued and after the show he meets up with the band by their van out behind the building to give them a song that he wrote. He just thought it was a bit of fun. But the other band members, Brian May and Roger Taylor shrug it off. Brian May is played by grim Lee. And. Roger Taylor's portrayed onscreen by Ben hardy, by the way, they tell him. He's about five minutes too late the lead singer just quit then FREDDY says well, what about me? Now, Brian in Roger laugh, not what those teeth mate, you can tell from rainy Malik subtle acting that that was a low blow. He seems conscientious about them. But he overcomes that quickly and explains he was born with four extra incisors, then after a brief moment where he almost walks away. Freddie comes back to sing a bit of a song into mazing. The band is blown away. That's not how it happened at all. In fact, it was quite different than that. You see even though the movie makes it seem like, Freddie was a baggage handler who just happened upon the band smile at just exactly the right moment when their lead singer quit the truth. Is that Freddie knew the members of smile long before he joined the band, not only that. But even though Freddie did get a job as a baggage handler soon after he graduated from college he also joined the band that band was called evicts, but soon they renamed themselves to wreckage as you can probably tell they didn't go very far. So he formed a new band with some different members this time their name was sour milk sea. And sent you probably haven't heard of that band. You can guess they didn't go anywhere either. Even though the movie doesn't really meant. In his name, the lead singer for the band smile was a man by the name of Tim Staffel. He's played by Jack. Roth and in the movie, he's the one that we find out quit the band, just five minutes or so before Freddie walks up to the rest of the man in truth. Tim, Freddie, both went to healing college where they studied graphic design together. So Freddie enjoyed his friend Tim's band and through going to quite a few of their performances was introduced to the rest of the band members from their mutual acquaintance. Tim Staffel that was before the movie's timeline though, because smile was formed in nineteen sixty eight and for a while after graduating as we learned, Freddie, tried a few of his own bands. That didn't really go anywhere then as nineteen seventy rolled around. Tim decided to leave smile to pursue a different style of music. He was more interested in jazz, blues and other types of music allowed for a bit more improv up on stage and since Freddie's latest project. Sour milk sea, wasn't working out team invited Freddie to replace him in the band the. Band members Brian May and Roger Taylor agreed to the swap and in April of nineteen seventy the band smile had a new lead singer. Oh, and s for the mention in the movie about four additional incisors, though that is right, Freddie. Mercury did actually have for extra incisors as you can probably imagine for a teenager during his days at the boarding schools in India. We can only assume there was plenty of mocking that occurred because of this affair over bite the extra teeth caused so in his early years, Freddie, than so going by the name for Ruch was very self conscious about his teeth and not to get to far ahead of our story. But even after Freddie became a worldwide superstar that self consciousness about his teeth was still there. But even with plenty of money to do something about it, Freddie, refuse to get any work done because he was afraid if you did that the process might mess up voice. Back in the movie, we see some taxed on screen telling us that it's one year later, so sometime in nineteen seventy one if you're like me, it was around this point in the film that you really start to realize the movie is moving really fast. And that what I mean is that it shows a lot of different things happening. But it doesn't go into much death into any of them almost as if it's trying to do a montage that lasts for most of the movie we see the band sell their van to record an album, then in the next scene. We see Freddie, lying on a bed with Mary Austin. We'll have to assume this is Freddie department or maybe Mary's or is it both of theirs. Who knows but we can see in a notebook next to Freddie, there's a logo for Queen Mary mentioned something about how the ban has changed its name to Queen to which Freddie replies. With a smile as in her Royal majesty then without any further explanation. The movie speeds, right along to what could be a major plot point in any other movie to find out that Freddie has changed his surname from ball Sarra to mercury. Even that as mentioned very casually during the conversation between Freddie and his father. Well, all those things are true. The quick pace of the movie. Here keeps us from learning that there's more to the story on almost every one of those pop points. Of course, we don't have nearly the amount of time that the movie did either. So it's not like we're going to be able to get into too much depth ourselves. But if you ever want to go into so much more depth than we ever could here on the podcast, go check out the two thousand twelve biography called mercury an intimate biography of Freddie, by Leslie, Ann Jones with that said, let's start with Mary Austin, who's played by Lucy Boynton in the film who was married, and what sort of relationship was the movie implying by showing her with, Freddie, in other words, whose apartment was it. Well, for lack of a better way to put it Mary and FREDDY were best friends they were more than that though. They were lovers. They were for all intents and purposes everything but legally married, in fact in Leslie, Ann Jones, great biography. There's a quote from Freddie, where he explains the relationship as he put it quote, all my lovers. Asked me why they couldn't replace Mary. But it's simply impossible, the only friend. I've got is Mary, and I don't want anybody else to me. She was my common law wife to me. It was a marriage and quote. Mary Austin met, Freddie in the year before the movies time line begins in nineteen sixty nine. At the time. He was twenty four while she was nineteen. If you recall, this was before, Freddie took over as the lead singer for smile. It's also before he worked at Heathrow as a baggage handler, that's when sandwiched just after graduating from college and before working at Heathrow that Ferdie worked at a small close shop in Kensington Mary on the other hand worked at a nearby much higher end clothing store in London. Even though Freddie wasn't in the band with Brian May yet if you recall, he knew them before the movie's timeline of nineteen seventy so it was in nineteen sixty nine that, Freddie, and Brian would wander down to the high end clothing store will Mary worked to check out the pretty girls who work there as the months passed, Freddie, took a liking to Mary and before long he asked her out. They quickly grew from acquaintances to friends to dating two best friends to lovers living together, although not necessarily in that order. And so when the movie shows, Freddie, lying on the bed with Mary right there. What it's showing is the time that Freddie, and Mary live together in a small apartment. Although it's worth pointing out that the movies timeline is a bit off here when it comes to Freddie, proposing to Mary, we see this happen when Freddie gives Mary a box. She's a bit confused and inside she finds a ring. What hand should I put it on Mary asks your left, Freddie replies? I'm asking you to marry me. Well, it is true. That Mary was surprised by Freddie's proposal like this. It happened years after the movie makes it seem granted the movie doesn't show us. What year this is? But we are just finding out about the band changing its name to Queen in truth. Freddie proposed to marry on Christmas day of nineteen Seventy-three. And speaking of the band name that leads us to the next point the movie, very briefly mentions, we see lying next to Freddie on the bed is a notebook with the word Queen on it. That's when we hear Mary ask if they've changed the name. The band. We don't really know exact dates, but it was soon after joining smile as the new lead singer that Freddie came up with a new band name. We also really don't know the specifics behind how he came up with the name or why he came up with it or all of those other sort of questions that never really get documented in history. What we do know though, is something Freddie, himself said about the inception of the name quote years ago. I thought up the name Queen. It's just a name, but it's very regal, obviously. And it sounds splendid. It's a strong name very universal in immediate. It had a lot of visual potential was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it. And quote. It sounds like Freddie's artistic background may have played a big part in the name a name that sounds majestic and is open to plenty of artistic freedom at the same time. And then there's the point in the film about Freddie's changing his last name to mercury the movie makes it really a quick mention of this. But in all fairness, perhaps one reason why it glosses over this is because we just don't know a lot about Freddie's reasons for wanting to change his last name, but that hasn't stopped plenty of Freddie's fans from speculating on the reasons over the years, probably the simplest idea is that Freddie thought that like changing his name from for Ruch to Freddie that both Sarah would be a tough last name for an English audience. Another hypothesis is that perhaps it had more to do with the band's name you see as an artist. It was Freddie himself who designed the Queen logo. If you've seen it. You'll know it looks a lot like a coat of arms while that's not by accident. Also contains the zodiac signs for each. Each band member on either side of a stylized Q. There are two lions for the zodiac sign Leo, which represents drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John deacon then on top of the queue. There's a crab which is zodiac sign for cancer for Brian May last, but certainly not least there are two fairies sitting beneath a lions on either side of the queue those represent Virgo for Freddie, Mercury himself. So with all of that in mind, there are plenty of Queen fans who believe Freddie's last name was to stay in line with zodiac theme. But then others disagree with that pointing out that mercury isn't as odious sign. It's a planet. Granted there's a lot of overlap with the planets and zodiac. But there in lies the debate another potential hypothesis for where Freddie came up with the name comes from a song. He wrote called my fairy king that's one of the songs from queens debut album. And in the out tra- of the song there's lyric that says oh mother mercury. Look. Look at what they've done to me years later. Queen's guitarist, Brian May suggested that Freddie claim this line was about his mother so fans have guessed that this was part of why Freddie changed his last name to mercury and it makes sense. But in the end, we just don't know for sure where Freddie came up with his new surname, but we do know that by the time nineteen seventy-one rolled around the band's name had changed from smile to Queen Freddie's. Name had changed from ball Sarah to mercury and Queen ended a new member basis. John deacon to round out the group. He's played by Joe Mozelle in the movie speaking of which let's head back to the movies time line. Now, the next major plot point happens when we see Queen start to record an album for the first time, according to the movie, they don't have the money to pay for studio time, though. And at Freddie suggestion. The band sells their touring van to pay for it. That's not really what happened the movie here. Is really just trying to get across the point that when they first started out the band members were broke, and that part of it is true for the first few years Queen was doing a lot of touring as they tried to make a living as a band anyone who has tried to do that knows how difficult it is. And in that way, it was no different for Queen in the early seventies. So while there's nothing I could find that says they sold their van to pay for studio time life on the road was tough. But they were grinding it out trying to make a name for themselves in nineteen seventy Queen played their first twelve live gigs. Although for some of them, they probably still use the name smile as they were making the transition then in nineteen seventy one they recorded their first demo it included four songs liar. Keep yourself alive. The night comes down and Jesus but things didn't hit it off. Like the movie makes it seem the record companies weren't interested in their demo. So. So the grind continued Queen play twenty gigs in nineteen seventy one and only five in nineteen seventy two including one at Bedford College London on January twenty eighth that only had six people in attendance. Of course, you're probably wondering why they only played five shows all year nineteen seventy-two. That's because it wasn't nineteen seventy two when Queen got their first record deal they signed with Trident studios, and as a part of their deal there were given the chance to use some world class recording facilities just in the off hours. So during the day, the likes of the Beatles and Elton John might be recording in the studio and then at night Queen would have their chance to use the space the recording process lasted from June until November of nineteen seventy two and the resulting album was released on July thirteenth nineteen Seventy-three simply called Queen the album consisted of ten tracks after its release the album didn't do very well. In fact, it wasn't until Queen released their second album the next year and after even more fierce touring that their first album made it to number thirty two on the UK charts in nineteen seventy four even then the numbers for queens. Early albums were disappointing. A big reason why their early albums didn't do too. Well, right away was well, no one knew who Queen was yet. But that's something they intended to and would change back in the movie, we see Queen recording another album this time, they're in what looks like a farmhouse or a born of some sort. It's here that we see them. Recording to epic song that the movie is named after bohemian rhapsody. Then back at the record label. Mike Meyers character Ray foster says, there's no way the song will be a hit or as he says in the film. I'm not arguing the musicianship. But there's no way the station will play a six minute quasi operatic. Dirge comprised of nonsense words, that's not really what happened for one. The farmhouse. We see in the movie is known as rock field studios. That's where the song bohemian rhapsody was recorded. And while it is true that it was a former farmhouse converted to a recording studio at the time. It was and still is to this day considered a high end recording studio as for the EMI record chief that we see Mike Myers playing in the film. He's a completely fictional character. Of course, EMI really was the name of queen's record label, but Ray foster wasn't real. Instead the person he's probably most based on would be the real EMI chief, ROY Featherstone. And even though ROY was skeptical of bohemian rhapsodies length after all not many radio. Friendly songs are six minutes. Long, but ROY was a huge fan of Queen Anne, obviously despite its length bohemian rhapsody did turn out to be pretty popular after all how to keep up with time line. This would have been in nineteen seventy five bohemian rhapsody was a track on queens album a night at the opera which was recorded between June and November of nineteen seventy five and released on November twenty first of that same year, the movie makes it seem like, Freddie just comes up with that name for the album while in ROY Foster's office. But in truth the name was from film by the Marx brothers. The band watched it at one point while they were recording the album like the name and the rest is history back in the movie. Thanks in no, small part to night at the opera Queen is starting to establish themselves. Superstars, we see names of cities. They're touring London. New York City Perth Santa Monica Rio at one point while they're out in the road. Freddie calls Mary. They have a short conversation. And Freddie asks Mary to put one of his cats on the phone. So he can tell them how much he misses them. After this Mary asks, do you miss me too? Of course, I do comes the reply. It's not so convincing. Mary says I love you a brief pause then good night. That's a fictional conversation. But it does point out a few real facts for one. It is true that Freddie would call home while he was on or just to talk to his cats. He loved cats in the next scene in the movie, though, Freddie's back home with Mary, you can tell something's up. It's time for a tough conversation. Finally, Freddie admits to Mary, I think I'm bisexual Mary replies. Freddie. You're gay. There are tears and Mary starts to take her ring off, Freddie stops her though, keep it. He says we still believe in each other. Even though the phone conversation was a fictional one. To make a point this conversation was a lot more real perhaps not word for word. But that's to be expected in any movie still it's pretty close. If you remember Freddie proposed to marry back in nineteen seventy three. But then as queens fame began to grow the topic of marriage became less and less common over time. One thing started to. Become painfully obvious to her or maybe always was and they simply chose to ignore it because of her love for Freddie and vice versa. But it wasn't all in a single conversation. Like, the movie shows at one point Mary decided to have a heart to heart with, Freddie, she recalled in an interview with ok magazine that she felt quote, something is going on and quote, and she felt the need to give him some space despite phrase insistence that everything was the same as it had always been Mary notice that Freddie started distancing himself from her. After that for months on end. Mary thought Freddie was having an affair. He was out late nights and wasn't interested in her anymore. Then it was in nineteen seventy six when the conversation. We saw the movie took place Mary Austin explained what happened in a different interview with the Daily Mail saying, quote, I'm never forget that moment then she admitted quote being a bit naive. It had taken me a while to realize the truth. Afterwards. He felt good about finally having told me he was by sexual. Although I do remember saying to him at the time. No, freddie. I don't think you are by sexual. I think you're gay and quote. After this conversation is went just like the movie shows Mary moved out. She didn't move far though. The movie is correct. And showing that Mary's apartment was still close by to phrase place. Despite no longer being in a physical relationship, Mary and FREDDY were still very close. Back in the movie, we see Freddie, throwing a big party the band is there at first and for a while we see the milling around feel closely you'll find a couple glasses of hard liquor among party goers. But for the most part seems like champagne is the drink of choice before long, though, the band gets fed up with Freddie's behavior, and they leave then as Ramey Malik version of, Freddie. Mercury exclaims to the crowd. It's time to get good faced in the introduction to this episode. We learn what Sasha baron Cohen said about how crazy Freddie's parties were and how they were rumors. He turned down the road because the movie glossed over that a lot even though the film's producer Graham, king explained that Cohen wasn't ever attached to the lead role. They're still the aspects of the parties and in that regard. It is true. That Freddie, Mercury had some wild ones, sir. Elton John something's up once by commenting, quote, Freddie. Mercury could out party me, which is saying something and quote. But even though Freddie Mercury may have been heavily involved in the party's. He wasn't alone. He see the entire band also seemed to like the rock and roll lifestyle parties. So they probably wouldn't have been so quick to leave the party like the movie shows and truth Queen was known throughout the music industry for throwing some of the most outrageous events, for example, on Freddie's forty first birthday, he celebrated with over three hundred and fifty bottles of champagne for his seven hundred party guests and firework display that people reportedly saw over a hundred miles away. That's roughly a hundred sixty kilometers, by the way. Probably the most outrageous of those parties took place at the Fairmont hotel in New Orleans in nineteen seventy eight that's the one actor Sasha baron. Cohen was referring to in the quote, we mentioned in the intro to this episode as the story goes that party included, naked waiters and waitresses nude models. Wrestling in bath little people walking around with trays of cocaine strapped to their heads. And even an entertainer biting off the heads of live chickens. So I think it's safe to say that Queen lived the rock and roll lifestyle, you know, the whole sex drugs and rock and roll bid. Back in the movie, the next major plot point happens when we find out Freddie's been offered a contract for two solo albums from CBS records the deal is for four million dollars. When he breaks the news to the band. They don't take it. Well, in particular, it's Roger who reminds Freddie that he was working at Heathrow when they let him join the band, Freddie. Fires back by reminding him that they'd be nowhere without him. Just as Freddie leaves the room Roger tells him you just killed Queen. That's not really true. In fact, not only is it inaccurate. But it also changes the way the movie ends you see in the movie, there's this part here. Where Freddie seems to have signed the deal for a solo career out of spite for the rest of the band. That's what causes the band to break up. Then later on we see, Freddie. Mercury begging to join the band again. None of that happened. Well, that's unin tireless true, Freddie, Mercury did have a solo album, but that didn't cause Queen to break up. In fact, there's never been any evidence to suggest that Queen ever broke up. Not only that in the movie, we see Roger Taylor being the one who seems to have the biggest issue with Freddie solo act and reality though, Roger was the first member of Queen to have a solo album. In fact, Rogers first album was released in nineteen Eighty-one, even before, Freddie. Mercury sign his own solo deal. So if the band members pursuing solo albums wasn't because of an argument, why was it? Well, when Queen released hot space in March of nineteen eighty two they performed seventy concerts that year to support the album, but it's still didn't do too. Well, they were understandably exhausted. And coupled with the poor performance of the album, they collectively decided to take a break to pursue other types of music freddy's debut solo album was Mr. bad guy, which was released in nineteen eighty-five. But because the band didn't break up there wasn't any need for Freddie to come crawling back to the band. In fact, there's been a lot of reviews for the film that criticized this depiction of, Freddie, however that mention of hot space leads us into the next part of the film and the movie we don't really hear the name of the album, but it has a part to play this happens when we find that Freddie's manager Paul printer hasn't been forthcoming. We didn't really talk about this before. But we did see FREDDY in Paul kissing earlier in the movie, and there's a heavy implication that the relationship has continued. Although not monogamously. This all comes to a climax when we see Mary show up at FREDDY store, it's raining inside the house. We can see the aftermath of what must have been multiple parties. There's drinks littering the room leftover food and mysterious white powder on the table top. When Mary asks, Freddie, why he won't talk to queen's manager Jim beach about live eight he's oblivious. What's live eight? He asks clearly when we saw earlier in the movie that Paul said he'd pass the message along about the show. He didn't Freddie tries to get married to stay. But she ends up leaving in the pouring rain. She tells him that she's pregnant Freddie is taken aback then he says he's happy for her. Then he continues. It's just I'm frightened. She comforts him. You don't have to be no matter what you are loved Brian deacon. Roger your family your loved. It's enough. Then referring to the string of men we saw Paul printer. Bring into the house a moment to go. She continues. These people don't care about you. Paul doesn't care about you, the taxi drives off, and we see Paul in the doorway a ways behind, Freddie. This is when Freddie fires Paul. I love the line that Ramey. Malik version of Freddie, hasn't a movie when he says. You know, when you've gone rotten, really rotten. Fruit dirty? Little fruit flies, crate metaphor. Paul printer is played by Alan Leach in the movie won that particular scene is made up. The basic gist is getting across the point that Paul betrayed, Freddie. And there's a lot of Queen fans who would agree with that statement. We haven't talked a lot about him. But Paul printer was Freddie's manager from nineteen seventy seven until nineteen eighty two. He and FREDDY were also lovers, although I couldn't find anything to suggest that it was ongoing for all that time or not remember moment to go. When I mentioned that the album hot space had a part to play in this. Well, it seems that Paul helped influence some of the musical style of the album something that both Brian May. And Roger Taylor criticised when the album was released after it was released Q magazine featured the album in the list of top fifteen albums for rock musicians who have lost their touch not a list. You wanna be a part of then there's the media in the movie we see Paul being interviewed on TV. But in truth. It was a story Paul sold to the sun. On newspaper that detailed, Freddie, mercury's personal life. He claimed that Freddie had slept with hundreds of men two of which had died from aids. He also talked about how Freddie was afraid of being alone. How he'd go to bed by six or seven in the morning, but rarely alone. And it was a different man every night. These were the sort of things Paul printers interview in the sun revealed to the world, everyone knew that Queen lived a rock and roll lifestyle perhaps. But this was beyond lavish parties from time to time. Back in the movie things come to a close when the band is getting ready for live eight after Freddie joins back up with the band for their break-up. We see Freddie at home in his bedroom on TV. We hear a news report saying that every day to more men here. The grim news that they have aids worst yet. There is no cure. In the next shot. Freddie is at the hospital. It's a very empty hospital. He's in a hat and song Lassus in the doctor's office. The doctor says do you understand the way we go from here is that treatments are available, but they're not very effective, Freddie. After this while the band is practicing for their big Live Aid performance. I voice is straining the band decides to take a break and go grab a drink. Freddie, interrupts them before you leave. I have a second. It's at this moment that Freddie tells the band he has aids, but he insists that the band shouldn't feel sorry for him. I don't have time to be there victim or their aides poster boy or cautionary tale. I'm going to be what I was born to be he says. That's not how it happened. It is true that Freddie Mercury had aids. And while he would have gone to a doctor to get diagnosed in truth. He wasn't diagnosed until nineteen eighty seven that's two full years after the Live Aid concert. Although it is worth pointing out that Freddie, didn't let his aids diagnosis slow him down. Remember that party? I mentioned with seven hundred guests three hundred fifty bottles of champagne and fireworks that you could see from one hundred miles away that took place just a few months after he was diagnosed with aids that in the movie, we see a masterful recreation of queen's performance during live eight the filmmakers did a great job recreating this. And even though there's not a lot to compare with history here, which is kind of enjoy the music. I did wanna point out that they even got the settlers, correct? The set list for queen's performance at Live Aid was just like the movie shows the first half of bohemian rhapsody started followed by radio Gaga, then there was the. A O improv bit. Yup. That happened. Next was hammered to fall after that was crazy little thing called love. Then they played the first verse and chorus of we will rock you. And finally, we are the champions at the very end of the show. We don't really see this in the movie, but Brian Mae, and Freddie Taylor came out on stage to do an acoustic version of is this the world we created. All in all queens performance, stole the show. You can find versions of the show on YouTube just a search for Queen Live Aid. And of course out at a link to that in the show notes over at based on a true story podcast dot com. At the very end of the movie, there's some taxed on screen to wrap up the story after Live Aid. So let's do a quick fact check on these it starts by saying that, Freddie. Mercury died of aids related new ammonia on the twenty fourth of November nineteen Ninety-one. That's true. Freddie. Mercury. Was diagnosed with aids in April of nineteen eighty seven according to an interview on the Sacramento bee newspaper with Brian May nineteen ninety three the band was informed of Freddie's diagnosis just a short time before he died, so years later, Freddie, was like the movie shows only forty five years old when he passed the next bit of text explains that Freddie, and Jim enjoyed a loving relationship for the rest of his life while he and Mary Austin remained lifelong friends, that's true too. We haven't talked too much about Jim Hutton. But he and Freddie became an item in one thousand nine hundred five they remained together until Freddie passed in ninety one as for Mary, she in, Freddie, always. Loved each other. I don't think anyone could deny that. They just missed identified. What that love meant during the early part of their relationship once they separated there was still a bond there that never really faltered. They were good friends for life. The next piece of taxed says that Freddie was cremated in the tradition of his family's Zoroastrian faith. Again. That's true. Thirty passed away is home on November twenty fourth nineteen Ninety-one three days later as rusty in priest conducted the funeral service at the west London crematorium. It was a closed service that only included thirty five of his close friends one of which was Elton John his family and the other band members. The next bit of text says that two weeks after Freddie died. He mean rhapsody was re released and reached number one. Again, a full sixteen years after its initial release. That's mostly true. Although according to my research, I can only find that the song made it as high as number two on the billboard music charts. And also wasn't two weeks to months still impressive. But he Mun rhapsody was first released in nineteen seventy five on the album a night at the opera, then in January of nineteen ninety two. It was re released along with the song. The show must go on in honor of Freddie, all the proceeds for that released. Single went to the Magic Johnson foundation for aids research, the final bit of text says that in nineteen Ninety-two Queen and Jim beach established the mercury Phoenix trust in Freddie's honor dedicated to fighting age worldwide. That's true too. According to the mercury Phoenix trust website since its inception. The trust has given away over fifteen. Million dollars in Freddie's name to over seven hundred projects in ongoing battle to fight aids. And HIV. End it is ongoing. The trust is still very active today. And while I'm not associated with trust at all. In the research. I've done for this episode. It does seem like they're doing some great work. You can learn more about their mission and help them fight aids. In honor of Freddie, mercury's memory over at mercury Phoenix. Trust dot com. This episode of based on a true story was written and produced by me, Dan lab, there's so much more to Freddie, mercury's life that we couldn't hope to cover. We didn't talk a lot about Jim Hutton or some of freddy's other relationships at the movie never even mentioned while Valentin or Winfried Kirsch burger to learn more about Freddie, mercury's life. I'd recommend starting with the biography called mercury an intimate biography of Freddie, Mercury by Leslie Ann Jones, including linked to that book more books and plenty of resources for you to dive even deeper into the life of Freddie, Mercury over at based on a true story podcast dot com. Okay. Now, it's time for the answer to our two truths and a lie game from the beginning of the episode as a refresher here are the two truth and one light number one, Freddie. Mercury was not as birthing number two, Freddie. Mercury. Never married Mary Austin, number three queens Live Aid, performance was Freddie's. I after being diagnosed with aids. Did you find out which one is the lie, Freddie, mercury's birth? Name was for Rick bowl, Sarah. So that means number one is true. And even though he proposed to Marian was quoted as considering her like his common law wife, the two were never officially married. So that means the lie is number three as we learned Freddie, wasn't diagnosed with aids until two years after the Live Aid performance. So that would be in nineteen eighty seven with the performance in nineteen eighty five. That brings this to an end of this episode if you're based on true story producer. I look forward to chatting with you again next Monday, when we'll learn about some of the history behind the monster movie, cong- skull island. Don't forget you can find all the links for this episode how to contact the show. Request a future episode over at based on a true story podcast dot com. So I hope to chat with you again next Monday over on the producers feed until then thanks so much for listening, and I'll chat with you again, really soon.

Queen Freddie Freddie Mercury Freddie Mercury Saint Mary queens Mary Austin Ramey Malik Roger Taylor Brian May Freddie Taylor Queen FREDDY Sarah family London Elton John Ruch producer Twentieth Century queens Live Aid
Oscars 2019: The Moments And Movies That Made The Year On The Silver Screen

On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts

48:30 min | 1 year ago

Oscars 2019: The Moments And Movies That Made The Year On The Silver Screen

"This message comes from on points sponsor, indeed, if you're hiring with indeed you can post a job in minutes, set up screener questions then zero in on your shortlist of qualified candidates using an online dashboard get started at indeed dot com slash NPR podcast. From WB or Boston and NPR. I'm David Folkenflik. And this is on point the Academy Awards will take place Sunday night at adobe theater in Los Angeles of funds o Korans Roman evening with ten nominations, including best picture, we've been listening to tape from ATT. Oh, the first song on that film. Soundtrack a story of Mexico City and social and political upheaval in nineteen seventy is joined by seven other films about such topics as a black police officers efforts against the clan of ice presidents unlikely backstory the intrigue surrounding impulsive British Queen an unexpected rockstar a black superhero, a remake of an archetypical Hollywood tale about fame for more than ninety years Oskar night is defined cinematic achievement. It is an occasion marinated in the manufacturer of tradition, but it risks running aground now host to make viewers laugh into puncture the self-importance no guarantee traditional studio will take on the big awards as Netflixing Roma is the talk of Tinseltown. For the next hour. We'll talk about the year's best movies and performances and the forces that got them to the screen this hour on point everything you need to know about Hollywood's biggest night and later this hour, jussie smollet and the credibility of hate crime victims, I the Oscars which of this year's top films are performances captured you and why join us anytime it on point radio dot org or on Twitter and Facebook ad on point radio with me right here. New York City is Scott. He's chief film critic for the New York Times. Tony welcome back on point great to be here and from Kansas City, Missouri. Shaun Edwards joins us. Film critic for FOX four news there in Kansas City, co-founder the African American film critics association. Sean, welcome back to on point. Thanks a lot for having me. So let's get to it briefly. And let's talk first about the show itself. There's been a lot of controversy. I want to get to the films for the the the core of this show. But for a couple of minutes, Sean, tell us a little bit about the controversies about the show, and whether if you were even gonna care, well, I mean. Viewers always care because people love movies, but the show itself and the people who are producing the show it's been a mess since this summer they've had one misstep after another. I mean, it I started earlier in in the summer back in two thousand eighteen with announcement of a best popular movie category, which was completely ridiculous and had no business even being thought up in the first place, and then recently there've been announcements like they weren't gonna award all of the categories during the telecast, which was another huge mistake. I in just a disservice to all the people that work on the films and all the people that were nominated. I mean, you have to show all the categories during the show. I don't care how the show runs you have to do that. Then there was another announcement that only two of the five people that were nominated for best song actually perform during the show when not all five which was another huge mistake. And then the fact that you have the controversy over the host. So have been so many problems with the way this show has been produced and some of the things they've done to tinker with trying to either, you know, retain audience, they have or increase the audience that they want without even understanding that the way that people watch television has completely changed from the way it was five ten fifteen twenty years ago. You're not going to have those huge numbers, though, aren't groups of people their families sitting around one television in one room in one house anymore. They're different ways that we want our content or different ways that we watch TV now. So you're never going to have those huge numbers. So they're basically like a dog chasing its tail. They just produce a great show talk about the great, cinematic achievements. That have been rewarded and give the nominees their full respect during the telecast. Tony Scott at there. It seems to me almost every year after year there's some criticism of the way in which the academy handles the Oscars. Right. What is this controversy? Tell us about. I don't know the state of Hollywood's in the movie. What does it tell us about ourselves? Well, I mean, I think Sean is right. It tells us something about the state of television, first of all because I mean ABC has invested an enormous amount of money and gives an enormous amount of money pays the academy huge sums of money for the broadcast rights to the show. And I believe they're they're they're paid in through two thousand twenty eight and you know, so they wanna show that as many people in the world, we'll sit down and watch. But the thing is that the whole ecology of popular culture and media has really changed. So as John it's true that people don't sit around and watch a real time network broadcast in the same way that that that that they used to, you know, back even even fifteen or twenty years ago, the highest rated Oscars, I think were nine hundred ninety eight when when Titanic one and Billy crystal was host and fifty seven million people watched last year's, I think we're the the lowest rated with with Jimmy Kimmel hosting and I can't even remember what one. Shape of water. But so the the movie audience is also kind of fragmenting in a way there are big blockbuster movies like like Black Panther and the Star Wars and marvel franchises which go out all over the world and are seen all over the world. But they're also a lot of interesting ambitious smaller movies that reached smaller audiences that the the the academy has also been rewarding. And there's a tension there because there's often a worry that if the movies aren't popular enough if not enough of the of the of the big blockbuster movies get paraded out there on night, then the audiences are are are going to go away. But I think it's it's just the sort of the state we're in there. There are a lot of interesting movies. There are a lot of different kinds of movies are different ways to watch movies. So let me illustrate the tension that you're talking about let's start with two clips of two of the movies under consideration for best film Black Panther. Here's a pivotal scene. From the marvel, you know franchise starter, perhaps the young. King of the fictional African nation. What Kanda is to Challah? He's played by Chadwick bozeman to his cousin played by Michael Jordan is arguing with him in this scene. Over who gets to lead the nation. Also up here comb. Must feel good. It's about two billion people all over the world. It looks like us, but their lives are lot harder. What kind of has the tools to liberate them all and taught us off? By brand new. No weapons weapons will not be used to wage war on the way out. It is not how to be judge jury executioner for people who are not on latching wrong. But then life start right here in this continent. Swaying all people you'll people I am not king of all people. I am king of wauconda. A blockbuster movie made about seventy four gazillion dollars. They're the about what Kanda and now a scene about a movie about a very different monarch the favourite about the British monarch Queen Anne, a much smaller film, and this film and has played by Olivia Colman. The Queen is imperious anxious self doubting and in thrall to her companion and confidante Sarah Churchill portrayed by Rachel vice Churchill gives her the Queen council on matters, both public and private the first voice. You hear belongs to the Queen and ready for the Russian ambassador. Who did you make up? We went something dramatic Gillette. Like abacha? Are you going to cry? Really? Well, what do you think that back? Do you really think you can meet the Russian delegation looking like that? I will manage it. Good bet showrooms. Twenty. I got to tell you. This is makes me laugh. So how do you evaluate to films, such, you know, both involving monarchs apparently, why different senses of tone in school against one uneasy as the head that wears the crown we're the badger, or or I mean, I think that that to me that the coexistence of these two movies in in in theaters in the academy's field of nominees is is a wonderful thing. You know, it it it testifies to the to to the diversity of of movies of the different kinds of movies that are out there. And, you know, not every movie is is is to every taste or for every audience. But, but I do think that there's that there's a lot of craft and ingenuity and talent involved in both of these movies. I mean, I think they're they're two of the best production design and costume designed movies of the and they kind of show. Case, you know, all all of the different aspects of film creativity. That that that they kademi is really dedicated to celebrating the Oscars are supposed to be all about. Shaun edwards. Tell me what film grabbed you. Well, the film that Grammy the most in two thousand eighteen was Black Panther because it was such a cultural phenomena. I mean, you don't understand this. Yes, it is a comic with movies produced by marvel, and you know, we've seen eighteen other marvel movies before, but there was something different about this movie. Did move a certain demographic in a way that I've never seen a movie do. So I mean, this is one of those moments in cinematic history that a lot of people will be talking about for the rest of their lives and was just the way that Black Panther as a whole sort of li- sort of washed way that total negative stigma that the continent of Africa have been facing in Tallahassee of cinematic history. I gave a lot of people with sense of pride it made a lot of people feel good. It was a character doing things that people had never seen before. And it had people doing things that I never imagined. People would do you know, it had African Americans dressing up to actually attend a movie. I'd. Never seen that before. At least not in mass. I mean, you kids all over dressing up like their their favorite characters for for Halloween. You literally have people crying. And I knew this movie was a big deal. When my mom wanted to go see that she doesn't know the difference between Black Panthers, superman and wonder woman, she had never seen a comic book movie in her life. And she loved the movie, and she was also wanted to see it again. I mean, I'm the amateur and discussion, but it seemed to me like it was just a really well made movie. In addition, the combination of the phenomenon and the movie making, and it you talk about a certain demographic and the pride and appealed it that African Americans took in this. But it also seemed to me to speak to folks up beyond that commute. No, no, it's a mainstream hidden a move. He's not gonna make one point three billion dollars in not appeal universal. And that was that was the beautiful thing about this movie. Is it had universal appeal? But for that core demo it just it did so many things that I've never seen a movie too closely. Thing in my lifetime that I've ever seen would be like when roots the miniseries hit television back in the late seventies. But this right. This is a different thing. This is a different ballgame. I've never really seen a movie move and work in sort of an we're guys we're going to Black Panther did. And we're gonna pick all that up. You're hearing from the film critic Shaun Edwards, and Tony Scott, we're discussing the Oscars and the biggest films and performances the past year. We're going out with all the stars perform a Kendrick Lamar and Ciza from Black Panther the album released last year just ones up for best original song. I'm David Folkenflik. This is on point. God. God. This message comes from an points sponsor, indeed when it comes to hiring. You don't have time to waste you need help getting to your shortlist of qualified candidates fast with indeed post a job in minutes, set up screener questions then zero in on qualified candidates. And when you need to hire fast, accelerate your results with sponsored jobs. New users can try for free when you sign up at indeed dot com slash NPR, podcast, terms, conditions, and quality standards apply. It's Oscar season. And we don't want you to show up on the red carpet. Unprepared. That's why pop culture. Happy hour is here to help you sort through the nominees and separate the best from the rest. Listen now, and we might even help you dominate your Oscars pool. May be more of those things that. Oh, wait ting in the place. The lost thing. Schoo- memories you've shit. This is on point. I'm David Folkenflik. That was a bit of the place where lost things go sung by Emily blunt. Who plays Mary Poppins in the film? Mary Poppins returns. It's nominated for best original song. You can join our conversation. We're talking about the Oscars which airs this Sunday, which performances stand up to you follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook at on point radio. The magic of Hollywood and a win tour is assistant in the devil. Wears Prada becomes the singing Mary Poppins with me today. Tony Scott, she from critic for the New York Times. Shaun Edwards noted film critic for fucks for news in Kansas City. I wanna take a couple of calls now about your inclinations would appeal to you. I like to go to Lexington Kentucky. Ashley, go right ahead. Yeah. So I actually really appreciated. How Roma's showed this beautiful yet kind of mundane depiction of everyday life of a family and different culture in. How really in retrospect, it really wasn't that different from my own quote, unquote, American life, and I feel like that was. For the time of. Okay. I'm losing a little bit. Ashley one vote for Roma. Thank you for your call. I wanna take a call from Newton Massachusetts as well. Karen, go right ahead. Hi, another vote for Roma. Just going to say is in this anxious age of Trump. I'm more likely to want to see Mary Poppins Roma was about another nanny. And it was a a love letter to an indigenous woman who probably the first time a person of her class has been portrayed in that way. As being the protagonist of the movie, and I'm very glad that I took Tiber 's by he's our local Boston film critic to see it in the movies because it you couldn't really appreciate the cinematography and the scope of this drama on the television. I don't think unless you have any dorm TV and could dark in the the room, but and the big screen the cinematography was so powerful the story was so powerful. And it was, you know, really, touch, the heart and the soul. Thank you for that. Karen? I gotta say I saw the movie at home on my TV during the daytime. And I was absolutely emotionally moved by it. It was just extraordinary film. I think we have a clip of it right here. What at Duke at the? Gnome of us have left. Is starring more. Who sit up with Janas? No historian. Clubmen? So that's a scene between the maid who works for middle class family in Mexico City, the years one thousand nine hundred seventy she the maid Cleo is incredibly involved in invested in the lives of the young children of the family. She's portrayed by nominee Yuliya operates. Yo who's not only just a first time nominee, but a first time actor, Tony Scott. What did you make a phone? I think Romo is is a lovely movie for for the reasons that that that the caller Karen, very, very, I think eloquently stated it it takes you in into the life of this of this family, and to this this character clo- in a very sensitive, and empathetic and wise way. I mean, the I think the the little boy the scene up there on the roof, you have to kind of believe that that little boy who's who's one of the younger of the of the four children in this family might be a stand in for all funds of Koran the. Rector who based it on his own life and on the woman who who who worked for his family in this Roma neighborhood in Mexico City in the nineteen seventy. So it's it's I think part of the reason that it works. So well as a film about its place and time, and it's characters is because it's a very personal film that you can really feel not only Korans amazing artistry as a cinematographer as a writer as director of actors as as a as an as an imagination, but also his own personal and emotion investment in the story, which gives it its warmth. I think you've seen it seems to me in recent years some criticism of the genre of relationships between domestic workers, and and families that work with them. She clearly is as you say emotionally bound up in there. And yet you you do see issues of of race and class very much explored there. I believe that a close as well hocken an indigenous you. See even in this black and white film. Very I think tangibly vote the distinctions between those who clearly delineate themselves as sort of Spanish Mexicans and those who are indigenous peoples there, you know, it it makes these strong points. Clearly, but subtly I think yeah. I mean, it doesn't sugar. I mean, it doesn't I think sugar coat or sentimentalize the relationships of servants in their in their employer's. And I think it's it's it's very in a way candidate on. Also, very nuanced about the politics within the family and also the politics of race and class within the nation that that that are involved with have which haven't gone away. There's been some backlash against this movie in Mexico, and in particular against you, Lisa up rita's nomination for this Oscar, which is not really an after she's not really an actress, she's an amateur. She's just the most telling criticism has been she's only she's just playing herself, which is just. Kind of I think racist on its face in a way that that that an indigenous person, of course, is playing a servant because that's that's what she essentially would have to be. And I think that that's exposed the persistence of of those those attitudes and those divisions within Mexico today. Just as we still, you know have them here, Shaun Edwards. You know, the a lot of the industry has gone Gaga for Roma and at the same time there, those don't like it. You are on record. You've felt it didn't really speak to you told me about your reaction to the film as if you're and as a critic. Well, I mean, you know, I I can combine the two of you. In critic, I mean, Afonso Corona's, a brilliant filmmaker. And from a filmmaking standpoint Romo is flawless. I just found it incredibly boring, and it didn't move me the way it's moved other people. I I just thought it was dull, I I didn't get it. I I didn't buy into it. I wasn't one memorable scene that stuff. With me I've seen a movie three times. So I went back to see if I was missing something. And then went back again and all three of the times that I've screened movie have been in a movie theater. I just don't feel it the way other people. Do I thought it was flat. I mean, Korans movies tend to be doll. I mean, gravity was a technical marvel. But the story was completely flat. And I sort of feel the same with Roma. It just didn't move the needle for me to wear those other people gravity was slow. What do you think? Tony. Yeah. I guess I don't know. I find I find his movies, very, very absorbing and and exciting, and I mean, gravity and away. From me was the the thinnest I felt that you know, Roma. It took a while. And I think one thing about the fact that a lot of people are watching it on their TV's streaming through Netflix, which is something maybe we should talk about this this the Roma is unprecedented in a couple of ways if it wins. It would be the first foreign language film to win best picture, and it's also the first net flicks movie to be in serious contention for us cars, which is in a way a potential earthquake in in in Hollywood. But but I would say that that not you're saying by which you mean, hey, this isn't playing down at. My old movies did was bought out by six different chains in downtown. But unless you bought out by some chain or something you're seeing on your screens, basic and you're not seeing. About the model? It's about the battle. Because it's not only that it's that this would be the first best picture winner. If it were to win about which no box office information is known that is it's always been one of the the measurements. In Hollywood of of success is how many people went and bought tickets. Netflix does not release its it's streaming numbers and has not released its box office numbers either. So in a way that there's this big question Mark about what the public has been for this movie. What the what the audience is it exists as a, you know, something that's available on this subscription service. That was that was put into theaters, partly as a way to get awards recognition and publicity bump and a lot of reviews, but no no movie that has that has gone this far in any awards race has ever been released in this way. So let's talk about a different distinction between the academy and the public. Among the people recognized as among the most innovative and original voices as directors. Go Spike, Lee and spike Lee's films have not won a best picture. Although he's, you know, people have thought that they should've qualified a number of times if you think of black klansman released last year dramatization of re-live events. It follows the story of Ron stallworth. The first African American detective serve the Colorado Springs. Colorado police department stallworth is played by John David Washington that last name should be familiar Denzel son stallworth plans to go undercover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, but in so doing makes a critical error. What can you meet Friday night after I get off work? That's a deal, buddy. Boy, we'll get right back to you. With the details. Take care now. God bless white America. I just hear you use your real name that last voice belonging to another police officer played by Adam driver. Sean Edwards talk to me about black klansman is it one of Lee's better films. It is one of his top two films. But before I started on that. I just think it's criminal that spike had never been nominated for best director until this year. That's his he's not only one of the most influential black filmmakers of our generation. He's one of the most influential filmmakers of our generation period in for him to have never been nominated almost made me sick to my stomach. So congratulations for finally getting a nomination. And I definitely believe he deserves the wind this year. But no, this is one of his better films, and it's out of the eight movies nominated for best pitcher, this is the one film that is directed by Spike, Lee, and only Spike Lee could have directed this movie. The other seven movies could have possibly been directed by other directors, but not black klansman. Tony Scott ICU not in your head. Well, absolutely. I mean, I think you know, going going all the way back to to to. She's gotta have it and do the right thing. It. It'd be hard to think of a of a director in American director with a more interesting and provocative and accomplished slate of films fictional documentary. All different genres, who who has has been, you know, he he got the the a lifetime achievement, you know, honorary Oskar, but he's, but he's never gotten the real the real statue. So he's overdue. But that apart this movie, I think Sean is absolutely right. It's I think it's one of his best. And I think only he could have taken this material and done it in in a way that this movie is funny. It's surprising. It's suspenseful. It's shocking. It's horrifying it ends with just a kind of devastating punch to the gut. It it it kind of does all of these things with tone in the story and the characters and the subject matter that I know other filmmaker could could could. Pull that off in in in that way. And I and I think you know, I would I would love to see it. I would love to see Spike Lee on that stage with with, you know, with a statue in his hand giving the world a piece of his mind now credible. Go ahead and go even the flaws in this movie because has certain flaws when he directs even the flaws are are well executed and enjoyable. That's what makes him such a great director is it sometimes he can make your skin crawl and make your eyes roll. And you still like, well, let's Spike Lee. So it's cool. Does it matter Shaun Edwards that people say look this film was sold with a little bit of sleight of hand. It's not as though the black police officer is going undercover. Does it matter that it seems as some African American critics have said, you know, there's been some relicensing taken with the factual material that is that that it appears as though Ron stallworth may have been involved much more in infiltrating certain kinds of black power. Hoops, then he wasn't infiltrating the Klan. But that's not the story is being told with this film. I I don't really like going down that road where we start like over fact checking movies that are clearly not documentaries. Like if it's a documentary, that's one thing. But this is a work of fiction, and it's it's done. So that did cinematic experience can be enjoyed from a certain perspective that spiked delivers as the director of the movie. So no, I I don't I don't have any qualms with the way it was delivered. And I love the way it was set up in a love the way that it was executed, and it's it's not a documentary. It's it's a work of fiction, it's based on real life events. But not you know, it doesn't say that. This is a blow by blow actual true story. It's based on the events. So you have some cinematic liberties and licenses and you can take Tony Scott, there certain performances that you really liked a lot that weren't in a film that was gonna be under consideration for best picture and you particularly like the film the two performances leading Kenya. Ever. Forgive me. What what spoke to you about those? Well, this is a movie about it's a movie about New York in the early nineties based on a true story about a a writer played by Melissa McCarthy. Who's who's kind of her her career has has hit the skids? And so she starts forging letters by different literary and Hollywood celebrities, and Melissa this is a very well written very well, directed very smart movie that I mean, it's kind of a small scale story. It's a it's a it's a character study. It's very true to its place in its moment. But Melissa McCarthy is so good in it doing not not enough showing. What a what a terrific actress. She is broadcom. Yeah. I mean, she's very funny. But it's also a very kind of very sad and very honest performance. And she's her her kind of her sidekick in this movie is is is the amazing Richard E grant and the two of them as these kind of. Improbable, you know, group of pair of con artists in in, you know, terrorizing the bookstores of of of the Upper West side and other parts of of Manhattan are just for me such a pleasure to to just to watch them that that I mean, I I hope I would love to see either one or both of them get get recognized. I'm seeing one Twitter listener saying totally pulling for Richard E grant a great performance from the guy who anchored the iconic with nail. And I let me briefly ask you, Shaun Edwards at twenty seconds performance, not recognized in one of the best picture nominees that that you particularly want to highlight. Yeah. I do. I want to highlight Amanda list and Berg who was the lead in the hate you give which I thought was an incredible movie in a fantastic performance. Because she carried that entire movie in did things that none of the five women nominated for best. Actress did I mean, it was just it's the one of the most overlooked perform. Differences in the longtime. We're counting down to the Oscars. We're here with in studio have twenty Scott. We also have Shaun Edwards in studio in Kansas City. Glad to have them both want to have your conversation. What need you care about this year's crop films to close out this segment? I'm leaving you with L fight from the documentary Rb, g repeater Ginsburg, the Grammy winner, Jennifer Hudson performed his track nominee for best original song at the Oscars. I'm David Folkenflik. This is on point. And the pain. How will be the one? Still. We often forum assumptions about people, we don't even know. No, one would assume that I spent half decade training the books. I recently learnt to ski and I really love skiing, and those assumptions are very often wrong. And I'll tell you what people don't expect to see on ski slopes is a black Muslim woman ideas on the hidden bias sees that shape. Our world on the Ted radio hour from NPR. I'm NPR media. Correspondent David Folkenflik. This is on point. That is not my voice. But that of lady Gaga seeing shallow nominated for best song. And is from the movie a star is born. We're talking about the Academy Awards past present and future. You can join our conversation. What burning questions do you have for critics were at one eight hundred four three eight two five five that's eight hundred fourteen three talk. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook it on point radio here with us today, Shaun Edwards. The noted film critic for FOX for news Kansas City, and Tony Scott that sheet from critic at the New York Times I wanna play for you cuts of a couple of the other movies up for contention for best picture. I the film vice when George W Bush as portrayed by Sam Rockwell offer Dick Cheney the chance to be his running mate. He seemed to hit an impasse Cheney as played by Christian bale under a lot of padding was seeking a lot more power than most vice-presidents. VP? Use Lucien of a problem. CEO of the large company. I have been secretary of defense. I have been chief of staff the vice presidency is mostly a symbolic job. Right. Right. I can see how that would mean. Enticing. However, and in that, however history was made turned into green book another movie based on a true story set this one set in nineteen sixty to Vigo Mortenson plays a white nightclub. Bouncer named twenty lip who's hired to drive a black concert pianist named Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali onto her in the south in this scene. Tony lip introduces Don Shirley to fried chicken. Just seems. So on unsanitary sh- will accent. Enjoy it. Follow used to say. Whatever you do do it on a percent when you work quick when you laugh laugh when you eat it like as you less meat you want? Another piece have a breast delicious. Sean Edwards seems to me as viewer that the folks making green book knew they were playing with an incredibly incendiary stereotype and trying to send it up trying to send it up. Did it work for you? It was okay. It was cute total Oscar bait movie. I mean, it was a fairly interesting story. But the way that the movie with execute. It was like completely conventional in almost something that could have been made for television for me. It's sort of it seemed as though in some ways it was like a reverse driving miss daisy. According to a lot of folks. And it I got to say, you know, watching some of it felt as though it was trying to make us feel good about ourselves a little bit on both sides. Right. What it did pull that off? I mean, it totally. That's that's what it's most effective at doing. It's not it's not a bad movie. It's not a great movie. And I did enjoy watching it. I just don't think it's an Oscar worthy type movie. Tony Scott, you wrote a bit about your discomfort with that. I mean, I just I felt like it was you know. A very sort of sentimental and comforting and soothing look at at at racism and at the Jim crow south and a kind of a Hollywood approach to that sort of material that suggests that well the problem solved. And if we could just, you know, all just just be friends, and and I guess, you know, sit down and eat fried chicken together, you know, all all all of the all of the the problems that have that have plagued this country for for years would go away. I mean, it's interesting to think that it and that green book and black klansman are nominated in the same year. Got it say, you know, very strange, right? It's it's very strange. And I think that the thing that would set off the hot takes that would break the internet would be if green book where to win best picture and spike lead were to win best director. I just think that that you know, we have a very interesting conversation on Monday rain book to me Green Bay to me. It's what I call a cough drop movie like when you're totally ill, and you have to flu and you try to take a cough drop to soothe the pain. And that's exactly what this movie is the cough drop movie. Yeah. And I think black klansman is a sort of rip off the band aid. Where it's not, you know. Yes. Yes. You know, twenty Scott your colleague, Brooke Barnes, not so many days ago had a piece about who might win Beck's picture picture and talk to twenty Oscar insiders about this one of the things that this story did and it's not the first time. But it did it rather pungency. I thought was talked about the extent to which a lot of these votes are political votes. A lot of these votes. Are I want to affirm in motion a lot of these votes are cat people acknowledged they hadn't seen the films. They wanted to vote for people say, well, I can't vote for Romo because a net flicks. I can't I don't want to do something for Black Panther. Because it's Disney like this seemed to me like as as as cynical as we all think things are this seemed to me to say, yeah. No, it's it's that cynical. I mean, it's Hollywood Jake. And but it's a reminder that the academy is not a group of movie fans or even movie critics, it's it's an independent body. And it's people who have an investment in the industry, and in an idea of what they wanna represent and what they wanna show about the industry and also have friends. And enemies involved in all of the films that are that are that are under consideration. And so are voting based on their personal connections based on their on their biases on their prejudices, and notoriously don't always watch all of the movies, or even the entire movie that they that they that they you know, put in on the finalists even among the finalists. And this is something to that that I think, you know, Sean, and I and and people in our profession, we take we take offense of this. Because it's, you know, our job is to watch the whole movie, and to only judge movies that we've actually seen and you know, when when it turns out that the the the the high ranking professionals in the industry aren't doing even that much due diligence. Yes, it is perhaps caused for a little since. All right. We got we got to wrap up Shaun Edwards. I want you almost a yes. No. Last question is vice on there because the academy wants to take a slap at the Bush years and Republican party or is it not going to win because they? That the movie was sour, and they didn't like it. It's not going to win because it was too SNL like. It's like a two hour SNL skit. Well, let's say the sharpest thing about it. Struck me was the one point that was most like an SNL skip. But the main reason for that you've been listening to Shaun Edwards. Chrome critic and co founder of the African American film critics association. Thanks so much, Sean. Thank you very much. And Tony Scott chief film critic of the New York Times pleasure to have you back. My pleasure as we're going to go out with a little ditty here, you might recognize him by Diddy. I mean rock anthem it's the Oscar nominated best picture bohemian rhapsody, featuring previously unreleased audio recording from queens Live Aid performance in nineteen eighty five in a moment. We'll take a look at the scandal that has engulfed jussie smollet a star of the hit TV show empire. This is on point. Yesterday morning Chicago police chief Eddie Johnson revealed the conclusion to a case that is commanded national headlines. Jussie smollet took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. I'm left hanging. My head and asking why? Why would anyone especially an African American man? Use the symbolism of noose to make false accusations. The TV star faces a felony charge for falsely claiming that two minute attacked him last month near his Chicago apartment in a hate crime targeting his race and sexual orientation smell at a stands accused of paying two brothers to carry out the seemingly vicious assault to raise his profile through his attorneys smell. It continues to deny having played a role in his attack. Fox has dropped the actor from the final two episodes of empire. Joining me from New York City is clay Cain, host of Sirius XM's the Klay Cain show. His piece for the Washington Post yesterday had the headline jussie smollet isn't the reason black LGBT hate crime victims aren't believed clay, welcome non-point. Thank you. I wanted to ask you when you've written about the intersection -ality of your identity of that of others, which is to say of being both African American and gay when you first. Heard about this attack. What it inspire in you? Well, naturally had compassion. You know, had compassionate had empathy because I know so many people who have been assaulted who've been killed, and nobody spoke their names, and there were no hashtags. Nobody really cared so I- compassionate. I had empathy. And I think I heard my colleague here. Siriusxm say this. So we're gonna Maxwell that should be the default to have compassion to have empathy. So that's what I did. That's what so many other people did because I think it's important to realize these things do happen. And if we don't have compassion than people are just going to be ignored, and they're gonna feel isolated and I also realize that with just the he is he is a celebrity. So folks that I knew when I was doing growing up they didn't have that access to that kind of platform. So my initial reaction was compassion. So what do you make now that we're at a very different point, which is to say that, you know, their charges against smell at for having in the eyes of law enforcement fabricated this and the police chief didn't seem at all antipathetic to concerns about people being attacked on racial grounds or on grounds of sexual orientation, but said this would undermine the ability of law enforcement to get people to take this as seriously as it should be taken. I think you argue against that wise that the case that was so outrageous when I heard the police chief say that and I really have to push back against us idea. It'll be harder for victims of hate crimes to be believed. It already is hard for us to be believed. If you believe victims of hate crimes before Jesse you will keep believing them if you didn't believe it comes of crimes before Jesse and you and you won't believe them after that has nothing to do with him. So the idea the cog PD and to be quite Frank with you. The the it's just very rich for them to say that considering that we have we have black children being shot and killed on their watch. And investigations that have that have not been as thorough in swift. As just he's was and is that's just not true. And as a black gay, ma'am, I could tell you we aren't believed. And so in order for him to say that it it. He would have to believe that there was some type of that. There was all this faith in us before. And there isn't I had friends who've been beaten into the pavement. I've friends who've been shot and killed I friends who've who've been been murdered, and it's so hard to charge a hate crime. So I just felt like that is not true. And if you are law enforcement, you should be emotionally intelligent enough and well trained enough to be able to take a hate crime accusation seriously, and I lay out example after example before before Jesse of victims of hate crimes being ignored. So that's just it's just wrong. It's not true. And. I was really offended by that. And we'll make sure to have a link to to Klay canes article from the Washington Post about this very topic on our website on radio. Go ahead. Please really important, David. Why doesn't happen? The other way around as I lay it on my Washington Post article. There is a long tragic history of white people falsely accusing black people of crimes Carolyn Bryant's Susan Smith. Most recently creek, Kristen rhymes in South Carolina. Why isn't the credibility of white people damaged? Why isn't it harder to believe white people? Why isn't it harder to take white people seriously? And the reason why the reason why it doesn't work the other way around is. Because the chew reason why people don't believe black LGBT victims of hate crimes is because of white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia. So let's call thing thing if it doesn't work the other way around for for white people, then let's call it. What it really is. It's white supremacy. It's not because of one black gay person in history who may have allegedly falsified police report one considering the long epoch history. And we're talking about this during black. History month when you look at Carolyn Bryant who was eighty five years old who accused Emmett till of touching her a weaking at her or something, and she is still living her life in Mississippi as for governor Phil Bryant as I'm sorry. Her nephew, Phil, Brian is the governor of Mississippi. I think McClay I wanna on that one. I I wanna step in my understanding and some some journalists and others have looked at this is that there has been no link proven between the accuser of Emmett till and and the governor even though there was some thought of some shared surnames there. But, but regardless of that, regardless I think the larger point you're trying to make those the question of a default, and the idea of a default being that white people will be believed, and the default people that that being that you think people color African Americans that gay people may not themselves be believed if they're saying that they have been targeted for attack, particularly by virtue of their identity. Absolutely. It should work both ways, but it doesn't because the white supremacy, and that's an important point. You know in Chicago, one of the things I saw laid out by journalist columnist for the Chicago Tribune was the record of Chicago police not only in the question of people being shot. But but the question of homicides being resolved there that is solved there that charges being pressed against perpetrators this homicides, particularly in African Americans. I think the Washington posted its own survey that going back to twenty eleven something like only twenty five percent of homicides had had charges brought against them that is they were solved by but by police at least in their own judgment. How does this comport with the way in which you find law enforcement to to deal with with accusations or concerns about crimes against African Americans? You know, it's so interesting that you say that David because when Scotto police their press conference. The way they were talking about jussie smollet. I almost thought that he confessed. That's oh gosh. Because he was speaking in such absolutes, and I respect law enforcement, I respect police, but I will tell you that I have seen people who have shot unarmed black children on camera and get more of a presumption of imminent innocence than jussie smollet as getting and I just hope that people are able to give him the same grace that the person who shot lukewarm McDonald's sixteen times and fourteen seconds in Chicago, the rates to exactly Jason Van Dyke who was found guilty, but it's five four five years to get to that the same grace to the to the police officer who shot to me rice in Ohio who is still a police officer. So it's just fascinating to me that that you know, he didn't commit a violent crime. If you did commit prime and yet in the in the very brief time we. Before we go. Can you understand why some people would say, you know, this guy is exploiting his prominence, but also his identity to get attention try to further his career. Isn't there something warped about that? Absolutely. If it's true though, David if it's true. And I think that we, you know, you know, in the beginning, we all jumped a lot of folks jumped on it. And you know, automatically condemned this incident, and I write like we're going on the other side of it. We're we're going to have to stop right there. Clay Cain, host of Sirius XM's Klay Cain show. Thank you for sharing. Your insight today with a great day. You can continue conversation. Get the on point podcasts or website on point radio dot org. On point is produced by NFL Brian hard since Lena modest cuts Sonus Ellison police chains Ross Alex Schroeder and album Waller with help from hoist a seal key and Alex Pena or executive producer. Karen Shiffman me, I'm David Folkenflik in. This is on point.

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