Slate Money Goes to The Movies: The Harder They Come

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S1: Hello and welcome to the How Do They Come episode of Slate Money Goes to the Movies. I’m Felix Salmon of Axios. I’m here with Emily Peck, also of Axios. Hi. Hi, I’m Lee and we’re also here with Vipal Monga of the Wall Street Journal. Hi Vevo. Hi Vipal You have picked a 50 year old low budget movie from Jamaica for us to watch this week. What is it and why did you pick it?

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S2: The movie’s called The Harder They Come. It’s the first feature film to come out of Jamaica, and I picked it because I think it has a lot to say about the music business today, even though was made 50 years ago.

S1: We are going to talk about whether or not there are parallels to today’s music industry. We’re going to talk about the themes of the movie, the quality of the movie, the vibe of the movie. It’s all coming up on Slate. Money goes to the movies. To rewind a little bit. We’re watching this this movie that was made in, what, 1972, somewhere around there in Jamaica. And Jimmy Cliff plays a guy who’s impecunious, let’s say, and a little bit violent, but he eventually manages to make a record and eventually the record becomes popular. And the way it becomes popular is he does the 1972 Jamaican thing of like blowing up on Tik-Tok, which is apparently killing a bunch of policemen.

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S2: Becoming an outlaw, outlaw hero, just like Django. I mean, there’s a clip from Django in the movie and that’s what gets him up the charts. I mean, it’s his when he comes from the village to the city to Kingston, he wants to be famous, he wants to be rich. And the only way he can get notoriety is by going outside the law. Because if you watch the arc of the movie, being inside the system crushes him. He can’t make it inside.

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S3: Yeah, there’s really no I mean, it seems like the Jamaican economy is just there’s no real work to be done. He kind of he tries his best to find work. It’s really hungry. I like the scene where he tries to steal. I think it’s a mango or banana or something. And like, some woman’s got a knife, like, right on his wrist as he’s trying to take the piece of fruit. Then he tries to he he works for, like, a preacher for a while. Preacher is the guy’s name.

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S1: Like, they’re they’re really, really inventive when it comes to naming.

S3: He likes the guy, his daughter. So that’s like a whole a whole tension that doesn’t work out. Yeah, it is a very rough looking film filmed in Kingston in the 1970s. There’s this a knife. Is it okay if we spoil? I feel like it’s.

S1: We can we can 100%. This is this is a show that is all spoilers.

S3: It’s all there is. I don’t know. Yeah.

S1: It’s all spoil all the time and they all spoil.

S3: There’s this one scene where, you know, he the preacher kicks him out because he recorded his he was practicing his reggae music in the church, which is like a no no or whatever for the usual kinds of reasons. And he goes back to the preacher’s yard, which is like kind of a mess. And there’s lots going on there. A lot of work is going on. He’s made a bicycle in the yard and he goes to get his bicycle, which is very valuable to him. And there’s like a knife fight. And our hero I then that’s when we first get a sense of like this kid is violent. Like he he just starts slashing the face of the guy he’s having the the fight with and with very real blood.

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S1: Yeah.

S3: They are made of juicers. I still couldn’t. I still had to look away. That’s how like weak willed I am. I was like, Oh, no. Even though it was obviously comically fake blood.

S1: This is not a high budget movie. We can definitely say that.

S2: It’s also the movie that is widely credited for popularizing reggae across the world. So that’s important too.

S3: Yeah, I didn’t realize Bob Marley came sort of second and Jimmy Cliff was first, basically, thanks to this. Yeah.

S2: I mean, by then, reggae had had some foothold in London. Desmond Dekker, the great Desmond Dekker already had already had a number one hit in the UK with Israelites by then. So the ground was there, but really it was that movie. And then Bob Marley that made reggae into a worldwide phenomenon.

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S3: And some of the things about the music industry that the the film brings up have changed. Like the the big the big bad in the music industry in the film is, oh, it’s he’s this record industry guy and everyone kind of waits outside the gate and he drives him with a big Mercedes and they ask if they can record a song in his studio. And then when I then Jimmy Cliff records a song that’s obviously good, he’ll only offer $20 for the song. And the only way the song becomes can become a hit on the radio is if this guy. Allows it to be played on the radio. Right.

S1: There’s all of all of the power is is in the hands of the record label, which was definitely the case in the 1970s and seems to definitely not be the case anymore.

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S2: Why would you say it’s not the case now? I actually think it’s kind of still the case.

S1: I think it’s still the case.

S2: Right. So who has a power in the streaming world? It’s not Spotify. I mean, they think they have the power. I mean, but if you look at their margins, the economic power is still with the rights holders and the labels because they get the bulk of the money. I was looking at Spotify as earnings. Their revenue numbers in euros were something like 2.3 billion for the quarter, but they only had. Their margin was at 26%. So much of that money went to the royalty holders, which increasingly are the label holders. I mean, as we know, Universal just by Bob Dylan’s entire catalog. So they own that. They get the bulk of the money. So I don’t think that’s changed very much.

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S1: Well, I mean, I think I think I think that’s I’m going to push back. Is that like number one, like obviously Bob Dylan owned his publishing rights until he sold them. He could sell them to anyone who didn’t need to sell it to Universal. Most of these big publishing deals are actually going to like hedge funds, private investors. That’s like a PE backed shop, which is buying up all of these things all over the place. It’s a very like owning publishing rights and like, you know, cashing those checks, which everyone expects to continue to flow into perpetuity, is a very different business from being a record label. The thing that the record labels always used to have was the ability to, like, make an artist, to break an artist. They had these air people who could, you know, be like, We’re going to make you a star. And the way that stars emerge now from social media or from SoundCloud or from wherever it is that does emerge from like you often find acts which have been at the top of the charts for some time before they get their first record deal, which is, you know, they have the power they get, you know, Migos or someone comes out and they get to choose which record label they want to represent them. They have all of the negotiating leverage, and I think that’s new and that’s the opposite of what we saw in this movie.

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S2: I think for a certain subset of the musicians, that is true, but I don’t think things are that different. You know, to prepare for this, I went back and looked at what things were like in the fifties, back in the time of the payola scandals, Alan Freed and Dick Clarke and all those folks.

S3: Yeah. What does payola mean? I like threw the word out earlier, but and then I realize, oh, I can’t explain it. I have no. So payola.

S1: Like, is one of my most fascinating things. And it was a big scandal. And, you know, and I still kind of go back and forth on like, you know, how shocking was it? But like, it’s literally pay to play. It is literally the record labels will pay the radio station to play their singles rather than the other guy’s singles, which is, you know, again, like something which, you know, you don’t have any record labels paying ticktock to use, you know, to blow up their songs and make them go viral.

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S2: You don’t. And in the fifties, it was people like Alan Freed. The other guy popularized the Cleveland deejay who popularized the term rock and roll. He often owned publishing rights of the company, of the bands that he would promote on his station. Dick Clark did that to, you know, American Bandstand. He owned publishing rights and would often be the conduit that allowed these artists to get to the label. So they became the key cog in that whole machine, and they would tilt things in a direction that favored them economically. I mean, the whole royalty structure now is so opaque, it’s really impossible to tell who’s getting the money when the streamers, you know, send their money to debt down the line. But I would not be surprised because maybe because I’m cynical that the bulk of the money or the the bulk of the streams that are recommended to you are influenced by people who will own the rights to the song.

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S1: So although the one thing that you have to mention we ought to mention here is the I mean, again, it’s very opaque. No one really understands it. And there’s a lot of secrecy around around it. But one.

S2: Broad.

S1: One like stylized fact, let’s say, about about the money that flows from Spotify and other streamers to artists, is that if I call up Spotify on my phone and I’m like, Pay Play Good For You by Olivia Rodrigo and I specify a particular song and that song comes on and she will get a certain amount of royalty for that stream that I listen to versus if I’m just play a radio station of stuff that I like and a bunch of songs Come On and Good for You is one of those songs, the amount of money she will get for that, like, algorithmically chosen stream is significantly lower.

S3: Hmm. Well, anyway, I think we can all agree that things have improved for artists since 1972 in Kingston, Jamaica, for our protagonist Ivan, who has to settle for $20 from this awful record producer who then says to his his worker person, like, Don’t send this to the radio station, let’s just bury it. It’s good. But this guy’s a terrible trouble maker.

S2: I don’t think they have not improved for the artist. I would I disagree with that.

S3: I think if it was 20, 22, Ivan could be like, you know what? And he could put out some tik tok or something and it could be like the next Lil Nas X with his snazzy vests.

S2: Well, he kind of did that. His Tik Tok was shooting, getting on the radio as a criminal.

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S3: But in 2022, more brands would have pursued him for influencer deals and he would have had maybe alternative revenue streams instead of having to get involved in the marijuana trade, which we haven’t even gone into his his involvement in the marijuana trade.

S1: Like who like who has the power these days to say, oh, yeah, don’t promote this person. He’s a troublemaker. Like, even the record labels don’t have that power anymore.

S2: Well, I think that in theory, superficially, it seems like individual artist has more power to to influence the trajectory of their career if they get viral. But who controls the algorithm that allows someone to get viral?

S1: Well, it’s not the record label, Bytedance. You know, like.

S2: Right, right, right. There’s. It’s definitely at the top. The corporate structure is much more bifurcated than it was back when there were, like three record labels that ran the entire music business. That’s true. I don’t think the powers, man. Right. But I still disagree that the powers in the hand of the musician, the individual creative artist.

S1: I would say that the power is in the hand of the public. The the the public is really choosing who they want to listen to. And whoever the public wants to listen to is who winds up doing the best. It’s actually much more Democratic now than it’s ever been.

S2: Right. And that in a way, you could argue that that’s what happened to Ivan. I mean, it was when the public was clamoring for his music that it rose up the charts. And it took a concerted effort by you at some point to police ban his music from the radio because, you know, he’s a criminal and they want to stop him sort so take the takes that shut him down. But until then, he was, you know, number one with the bullet literally. But I honestly don’t think things have changed. I know a bunch of musicians. And, you know, before this, I talked to them a little bit about it. And some of them quite successful in streaming isn’t really a lot of money for them. It isn’t coming through the streaming venues. If they start to play live, you still have to constantly go out there and, you know, work to the venues to make for some a living wage. And for others it’s not enough at all. I mean, even making the the stallion selling hot sauce, you know?

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S1: Yeah. I’m not going to I’m not going to come out and make the claim that musician incomes from streaming have gone up relative to like the CD era. And we actually spoke about this on on Slate Money that the CD, the CD era really kind of focused the cash flows on the people who were like selling music today rather than on the people that keep on rather than on the artists that people are listening to. If you listen to some CD that you owned for 25 years, no one got paid for that. Listen. Whereas now if you listen to a piece of music from 25 years ago, it’s that, you know, so so the stream is a much more backwards focused in terms of time than the CD market was. And so, yeah, I’m not saying for a minute that like life is easy for contemporary artists, contemporary recording artists. I’m not saying that they’re making a lot of money from Spotify, definitely not saying that. What I am saying is the gatekeepers are kind of not even there anymore. It’s hard to identify who they might. B And it’s not the record labels. The record labels might be doing quite well financially because they have all of those back catalogs and they have all of those, you know, all of that IP and whoever owns the IP gets the money. But I don’t see them as really having nearly as much influence over the charts, not only as they did in the seventies, but even as much as they did in like the 2000. I think it’s changed a lot.

S2: I don’t think they care about the charts anymore. Really.

S1: Right. Because because they because they have the back catalog, they don’t need to write exactly.

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S2: Which, again, if you’re an up and coming musician, it makes it even more difficult than it used to be to get that foothold in order to make a living doing the thing that you love, which is making music as opposed to maybe selling hot sauce. So I agree with you. It’s harder to identify the gatekeepers, which is fine if you’re the man because you’re still going to make the money, even if you if you don’t control, you know, what people are listening to. But it’s not so great if you’re trying to make it in the business because you don’t really know how to do it or it’s it’s a lot more difficult than it might have been before. I also think the other thing that was interesting about this movie was he goes and you’ve mentioned this, Emily just now is the you try to make it as a musician cat and then goes into the drug business and finds a similar dynamic there, which is that, you know that before poor Ivan gets his cut, all of the money has been taken away. And he’s only getting a pittance of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in this case from the drug trade. And he just can’t handle it. He really incensed by it because he realizes how unfair it is and tries to at one point say to his friend Jose that they should just go into business on their own. And that’s when the system really comes down on him and crushes them.

S3: Right could maybe you guys can explain this to me. So, like, so the the guy running the marijuana trade that Ivan is working for basically has a deal worked out with the police. And so he’s able to conduct his business under with their tacit approval. And then when Ivan tries to, like, do it differently, the police turns on him. And that’s kind of where all the trouble starts. But then because Ivan becomes this outlaw, then the police shut down marijuana, the marijuana business completely in Kingston. And like everyone is hungry, basically, without that trade.

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S1: Like, I know they’re like, you have to trade on marijuana because that’s how we get money to feed ourselves. And the police is like, I don’t go if you starve, I’m not going to let you sell your marijuana until we capture Ivan.

S3: Yeah. Yeah, it was really sad. It was. It was sad.

S1: Well, the one thing that was abundantly clear is that for all of his outlaw status and the fact that he was being financially shafted not only by the music industry, but also by the marijuana industry. Motherfucker had an amazing clothes budget.

S3: Dude, what’s going on with the clothes? Get so many good outfits there.

S1: His clothes were like, just, you know, it’s like, wow.

S2: Right.

S3: Well, is Jimmy Cliff? Yeah.

S2: He’s got a pretty great the Kangol hats and everything all came from that. I mean, that is so influential. There’s also that great line, which is, I think the theme of the film where, you know, great when I’m in country bumpkin shows up in Kingston and he meets a guy who steals all his stuff. And the guy says to him, The line is, I wrote it down. Here is if you have money, you can go anywhere. But if you don’t have money, you’re fucked. And that’s like the theme of the movie that was like right at the beginning of the movie. And in the song that plays over and over again, which is you can make it if you really want, which starts off as a great like. Sort of like aspirational song. By the end of the movie is a horribly tragic and ironic lyric. So I thought that was really interesting to see. I mean, obviously playing by the director. But yeah, it was a sad, sad ending.

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S3: Because Ivan really wanted to make it. No doubt.

S2: He did. Yeah.

S3: And he was so delighted.

S2: He made it. But he had to pay for it with his life.

S1: And by killing a few policemen.

S2: Along the way, he killed.

S3: Your cops. And that poor woman, he shot that woman.

S1: He slept with, ironically. Shot her.

S2: He shot? Yeah.

S3: It was awful. I really hated all of that. All the women stuff, like. And all the boobs. Like what? It wasn’t for me. It wasn’t for me. I think it kind of reminded me of Do the Right Thing. There’s, like that beginning scene with Rosie Perez. Some of the the shots with women kind of reminded me of that. But that was intentional on Spike Lee’s part here.

S2: I don’t know if they would reference if he reference that film in particular, but it definitely permeated a lot of cinema afterwards. I mean, the black exploitation stuff has similar themes, but, you know, it’s it’s sort of that thing where he is the outlaw. He yeah. The he is the outlaw hero. But he’s he’s completely isolated. And because of that, you know, there’s that at the end when he is facing the cops in the final showdown, he comes out with his two pistols and he says that line like basically challenges the cops who are man to man showdown, which shows how naive and like ridiculous he was. He thought that the cops would come out and fight them like man to man, 1 to 1, whereas they’ve got this whole, like, army in this array of like weaponry and they use it to just mom down. And I thought that was like really telling that this he so believe that he could do it on his own. He can make it by himself, isolated, alone, weak. Meanwhile, the entire corporate apparatus in the music thing and in the cannabis business just take him down. I mean, you can’t fight against that. I thought that was really like a sad commentary on Ivan and what he believed.

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S3: The hearing was like a super seventies jam riot. I mean, I feel like the seventies is all about it. Winds up that the rebel whoever Bonnie and Clyde whatever at the end they the man comes for them. And if the movie this movie was remade and came out now like it would not. Movies don’t end like that anymore, you know?

S2: Yeah, but I mean, that I think that’s more realistic in a lot of ways.

S3: Oh, yeah, 100%. Yeah, right.

S1: Yeah. This was like, yeah, I mean, it was very seven. It was very kind of easy rider, you know, that.

S2: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, same thing.

S3: Everyone died at the end of movies in the seventies. What was going on?

S2: Right.

S1: The big difference between this movie and the blaxploitation movies, which it’s worth just bringing up, I don’t know if you have anything to say about it, is that this was a white director.

S2: Mm hmm. Right. Right. I mean, he’s in Jamaica, so very much steeped in the culture. But, yeah, he was a great director. But I think, you know, very sympathetic and understood sort of understood the culture that he was trying to to talk about it. The character of Ivan is based on a real life Jamaican outlaw island. He was called in in the forties, was, you know, really famous for shooting a bunch of cops and sort of not going into hiding, but no one could catch him for a long time. So that became the model for it. So I think until the director was really trying to bring that out. I listen to a really interesting interview with Jimmy Cliff and Jimmy Cliff argued that Ivan shouldn’t die at the end of the film.

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S3: Yeah.

S2: And he’s like, why does he have to die? Shouldn’t I should just get to Cuba, you know, socialist paradise. But paranoid kept saying crime doesn’t pay. Crime doesn’t pay. But really, in the rest of the movie, crime does pay. If you’re the man, then crime totally pays. Just depends on which side of it you’re on. So I thought that was deeply ironic.

S1: So you’re saying that the director was the director was coming in like the Chinese censors and making sure that, like the baddies always get their come up and.

S2: Right. Right. He was. He was. They were very much. And you’re referring to the fight club?

S3: Yeah. Break that down, Felix, because that is super interesting if you can.

S1: So, yeah, we know that like I mean, this is this is a known fact that if you want a release, if you want your movie to be released in China, you need to recut it to the satisfaction of the Chinese censors. And the one thing that the Chinese censors will always insist on is that the baddies will get. Caught and put away or die. And the good is always like a victorious at the end. Which way? What was the upshot of this in terms of like the ending of Fight Club?

S3: So at the end of Fight Club, Ed Norton’s character holds hands with Helena Bonham Carter’s character, and they look out the window of this like high rise and watch all these, like, banks explode.

S1: Right. The legendary final scene of Fight Club with the entire city just exploding. Yeah.

S3: Right. But that’s not what happens in the Chinese version.

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S2: They cut to an inter title and they basically say that at the last minute the cops came in and arrested everyone and stop this horrible plot, and everyone was like, put in jail.

S3: The banks.

S2: I would love to see that. A fan cut of that. Like someone making an actual ending that resemble that.

S3: That’s a really good ending, by the way, in terms of like outlaws not have not having to die. And I applaud the nineties for that.

S1: In terms of this movie. It came out. It was not a box office hit so much as a cult classic. People watched it in like midnight showings for years to come. I’m sure they were, you know, smoking a lot while they were. It became this kind of cool, underground way to show the you a, you know, tribal allegiance, I guess was B, to sort of, you know, to go see this movie. Which underground movies like they they always have the ability to be like not very good on the sort of technical level that you can be like low budget, you can be a bit campy and people are okay with that. Was that always the best that this could have hoped for? Because it really was like ultra low budget. I mean, the acting is terrible. The screenwriting is terrible, the line delivery is terrible. There’s not a lot of there’s not a lot of like great craft in this movie.

S2: No, I mean, and he used a lot of people, locals from Kingston, to fill out the cast. So you see that? I thought Jimmy Cliff was great here. He’s got a real charisma about him. I think that comes through really well. And the drug dealer played Jose was great. I wish I had swagger like that guy. It’s pretty impressive. But even the record producer, Mr. Hilton, was just, you know, civilian wasn’t an actor. And I thought he had great presence and seemed like a professional actor. But yeah, for the most part, they were not actors. He used three different cinematographers. So the shooting style varies and you can tell. Which different cinematographer there is just based on the shot selection. It’s really weirdly, roughly edited, but I still think above and beyond all the technical deficiencies. There’s an amazing like life to the movie that comes across. It still reads for me. I mean, maybe I’m biased. I’ve kind of always loved the movie, and my doorway into the movie was through the music, which was fantastic. But I think it’s just that there’s real like, it’s alive.

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S1: Yeah. The thing to like about the movie is the music, which is still fresh and great and the color. I feel like there’s, you know, the reds and the yellows and the just the sort of. Yeah, that the the life of the color palette is fantastic.

S2: And I think the plot was pretty good. There’s no there’s not a lot of wasted time in that film. And weirdly, I was watching it again.

S1: And it’s like there was wasted time in that.

S3: Film.

S1: Like the I was like, on one time.

S3: Yeah, certain things take forever. And then other things, I’m like, Did they have a child? What is.

S2: Happening?

S3: Like a shooting occurs but the the camera so jostled it’s it’s totally unclear until someone literally says you shot three police youth shot three cops. And I was like, oh, that’s what happened. Like, I had a little bit of, but I think it was a really interesting to just see Kingston and the 1970s like that was just super interesting. It was like beautiful and just everything about it was cool to look at.

S2: See, I also like the fact that it was in parts really quiet as a film. I like those moments of like where it seems like nothing’s happening or it’s just like really silent. I thought that just added a lot to it, but I tend to prefer that. And I think for a movie that’s so driven by the music, the fact that there are moments like that just adds a lot and helps some music really pop, which is again, like if you any listeners haven’t picked up, the soundtrack episode is like hit after hit. It’s like an amazing document of early reggae.

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S3: What does this movie tell us about money? Since it is sleep money to the movie.

S2: The man always wins and always.

S3: Wins. The man always wins.

S2: The man always gets the money. Yeah, that’s I think the, the main point of this theme of the film.

S3: Yeah. And the women always lose Jesus. I think Elsa says towards the end, she’s like, every game I play, I lose. And I was like, It’s true, Elsa. All the women are losing in this movie. The poor mother. At the beginning, she didn’t even get a mango from country. That was awful.

S2: That was his mom, you know? And the reason.

S1: The grandmother starts off dead, like.

S3: And that other woman gets shot for no reason.

S1: Yeah, he just shoots. He just shoots this woman for, like, literally no reason. I mean, like, I mean, people, you know, this movie, I, I have to admit, there were points where I was getting a little bit confused. Was there a reason for him to shoot her?

S2: Well, because she was sleeping with Jose.

S1: Because she was Jose’s girlfriend, right?

S2: Yeah, they but she slept with him just a few scenes prior to that. So he felt a little betrayed. And then she said to him, he said, I think you the line is, have you seen Jose? I have something for him. And she said, Give it to me. And he goes, You want it? Okay, I’ll give it to you. And then he shoots her. But if we’re looking for a theme, let’s say money theme, I think it’s in the movie. It’s that line I just quoted. Like, if you’ve got your money, you can go anywhere. If you don’t have money, you’re fucked. I think that’s the told. That’s a theme. Yeah.

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S1: I mean, you can go anywhere if you have like someone who can start the car for you but you. Because my favorite scene in the whole movie is where, like, he manages to escape from the police. And then there’s this empty, like jeep that the police came in. And so instead of, like, jumping in the jeep and driving away, he shoots the wheels of the jeep and then tries to ride away on his bicycle.

S2: Right. Right.

S1: Because because he can drive a car, but he can’t start a car. He hasn’t quite worked out the whole, like, turn the key thing.

S2: Well, he’s still a country bumpkin. I mean, it’s still that’s the story of Ivan. I mean, he’s in a way, like really sympathetic, even though by the end of it, he’s a horrible murderer. And but, you know, he’s still like still that little country kid who doesn’t get the ways of the other big city. And that’s, you know, what does it mean in the end, if you just played along a little bit, he could have risen up the ranks, made more money. That’s another story you see, like become the Scarface character. But even Scarface.

S1: Dies in a hail of bullets. Yeah.

S2: Yeah.

S1: He could have become Jimmy Cliff. He could have become like. Well, sir.

S2: If if you’ve been getting 20 bucks or something that he thought was worth $200, which is kind of a great scene when he stands up for himself and tells Mr. Elton, because I don’t think that’s right. $20. And then when Hilton says how much you think this song is worth, he says, 200. Even the musicians behind him start laughing and like how naive this guy is.

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S3: That was very relatable to me as someone who’s reported on salary negotiation, because honestly, that’s still a tactic used by recruiters. Like they will be like, Oh, that’s a crazy number. Like, no one’s ever set a number that high. And you’re like, Oh, really? Oh.

S1: But the the mood, the music movie, the music producer guy was great. He’s like, okay, you don’t want the 20 bucks. Here’s an actual printed vinyl copy of your record. You go ahead and you own this and you own the IP and go ahead and make it on your own if you want. Of course, it turns out that he can’t. But like that was that wasn’t very generous, if you ask me. He didn’t need to pay for the studio. Studio time.

S2: I guess so. But he closed off all the venues for the guy to get the music out. You know, was that line. He said that it’s show business, baby, if you don’t have a business, there’s no show. He said that line, too, which I thought was great. But yeah, a payola. He can’t pay anyone, so they’re not going to play his music so he can’t make money to pay them.

S1: There was no live reggae in this movie, in this movie. There’s live music in the church that people perform, but like there’s no reggae concerts. Like the only reggae performing that we see is in the studio. And it really gives the impression and I have no idea if this is true or not. The reggae was a recorded music phenomenon rather than being something that grew out of like performance.

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S2: That’s really interesting. Felix I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I think you’re right. I mean, so much of reggae was. Dean of the sound systems at the Jazz would carry around with them like King Tubby or whatnot, and play at parties. And you play records, you would play the desks. I don’t think it was a live music as much as recorded. And then it evolved eventually into like dub music, which is all like engineering and reverb and heavy studio effects to make the music. There is a movie that was made in the late seventies, which is like a great bookend to this one called Rockers. Have you guys heard of this great reggae classic, which has which has some like performances in it, which I would recommend you seeing if you’re into reggae music or want more similar.

S1: Emily is like, nope.

S2: It’s full of misogyny. Why didn’t you like this movie? I’m like, What else did you not like about it?

S3: I don’t. I don’t feel comfortable saying I didn’t like it. I just feel like.

S1: Don’t pull punches, Emily, at punches.

S3: I didn’t like it. I’m sorry. I like maybe I’m a simple commercial woman who likes her Marvel films like The Big Short. Do I just. I need more. I, I don’t mind Hollywood’s narratives and I don’t mind a little help in the exposition sometimes. Or don’t shake up the camera during the shoot the shooting scene, because I don’t know who’s gotten shot like come on.

S2: You’re talking about the shot where we first shoot about. Yeah. What is going on of our cycle turning around.

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S3: It looks like there was like an altercation with the lucky person.

S2: What he does is he flips a point of view to the policeman and the police lines on the motorbike, which is why I cheeky. And then that’s because that’s where you see Ivan and Ivan. And then that’s a point of view, the policeman as he falls off the bike because he’s been shot. So that’s why he gets all saying, I.

S3: Don’t do that. I’ve never tried. I didn’t care for that.

S1: So, Emily, you’re you’re giving this a low grade, this movie overall.

S3: Yeah. I’ll give it. I’ll give it a six because the music was good. How’s that?

S1: That’s. That was generous of you.

S3: Well, what was the made in Manhattan Scale from last season? What did you give made and.

S1: What did you give Made in Manhattan? Is this better or worse than Made in Manhattan?

S3: I guess it’s better because it’s like more interesting. You know, there’s like more to discuss. There’s more subject matter there. There’s more texture to get into. So I’ll say it’s better than Made in Manhattan. But I know Taffy would like if she were listening, she would write in immediately and argue with me about it. But it is better than made in Manhattan. It’s way more interesting and the themes are interesting and the music is good, fine, and it’s in a unique location and it’s stood the test of time. So fine. Six.

S1: I will I will say, you know, it’s a good movie to see if you want to sit in the back of a movie theater and smoke a blunt and, like, make out with someone and not really pay any attention to the plot because the plot doesn’t matter. And it’s just good movies like good music and good colors. And it’s it’s a vibe, man. And I’m okay with movies just being a vibe, man. I think that’s like it. It works on that level. If you ask me to grade it, it’s like a work of art. Maybe not so much.

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S2: Right?

S1: But people you get to that. You get to. Finish your survey. What’s the how would you rate rank this movie?

S2: Well, if we’re going to use a scale, I think I’d give it an eight. I think I agree with you. It is a vibe. I think the themes are strong and timeless and a lot of ways. I love the music and the the technical parts of it. I actually find kind of appealing. It’s kind of like, I don’t want to be condescending, but you.

S1: Want to know where they found that fake blood, don’t you?

S2: 9 to 5. That’s pretty impressive, too. Neon blood everywhere. But there’s I mean, there are some powerful scenes like that scene where he gets caned in the.

S3: Oh, yeah, we didn’t talk about that, but it was brutal.

S2: Yeah.

S1: He completely, like, slices up this guy’s face, scars him for life and almost, like, leaves him for dead. And then the judge is like, Yeah, but you’re a good lad. I won’t throw you in prison, and I’ll just, like, cane you. So if you don’t go to prison for that, what do you go to prison for?

S2: Right. So, yeah, I would give it an eight. I do think, like I said, the technical limitations, which I agree with, there’s a lot of them don’t bother me and they just they add to the life of the film. I think you would have lost a lot of its power if had been to to smooth.

S1: And it’s like, all right, we are we are going to be talking about Jackie Brown later in this season. So maybe Jackie Brown is the smooth, high budget version.

S2: Yeah, that’s excellent.

S3: We have themes going. Look at that, Felix.

S1: All right. So I hope you guys stick around for Jackie Brown. We have Ben Horowitz talking about Jackie Brown. That’s going to be a vibe. So stick around for that for the meantime. Vipal, thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s been awesome having a.

S2: Great I’ve had a great time. Thanks so much.

S1: And yeah, we’ll be back on Saturday with a regular sleep money.