Author Topic: God Help The Girl  (Read 2977 times)

Jim_MacLaine

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God Help The Girl
« on: July 22, 2014, 10:56:33 AM »
As I have enjoyed Murdoch's work in Belle and Sebastian I want to like this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jc2gHpNbyc

Oh dear.

Bill Forsythe made this sort of thing seem effortless. Stuart Murdoch is no Bill Forsythe.

So are you looking forward to this or are you apprehensive? Explain in the space provided below.

If you want. 

weekender

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 06:47:06 PM »
I am not looking forward to it because I think it looks shit.

Also, I hate fucking teenagers.

Does this help?

For context, I really like Belle and Sebastian but never really got into 'God Help The Girl'.  Should I give the album another go?

Jim_MacLaine

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 06:54:45 PM »
I think the GHtG album received a collective meh on here but I like it.

Murdoch is obviously another fan of Wes Anderson so has decided to make a Wes Anderson film. That's not a good start.

Queneau

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 06:57:50 PM »
Also, I hate fucking teenagers.

No you don't.

weekender

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 08:00:10 PM »
No you don't.

What an odd comment.

I don't know how to process that.

Wait now, yes I do - fuck off I'm going to listen to Midlake.


CaledonianGonzo

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 08:00:36 PM »
I like the album and I chipped in on Kickstarter to fund this, so this is all my fault.

Reviews from the festival circuit have been largely positive. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

weekender

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2014, 08:07:06 PM »
I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

LIKE THE PEOPLE OF GERMANY DID IN THE 1930s???

Mark Steels Stockbroker

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2014, 08:09:02 PM »
Well that looks ok to me. I'd rather watch that than sit through an episode of The Inbetweeners.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2014, 10:24:02 PM »
I can't help but smile at how this looks exactly as you'd imagine a film written and directed by Stuart Murdoch to look.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2014, 10:47:26 PM »
I'd go and see this if someone could ensure that there would be no Belle and Sebastian fans in the cinema whilst I watched it. It's showing in Manchester followed by live coverage of their Edinburgh concert and I was kind of tempted but will probably err on the side of caution and stay the fuck away, particularly as Murdoch, the damn fool, is now saying he's going to vote to leave us to the tories.

I think the album was utterly putrid and that cover of either Cuckoo or Frog was almost as bad as B&S's version of Crash. Also, I'm so heartily sick of SM slobbering over young women. He's 45 yet he's still asking for pretty little indie girls (he might have stated male or female in the ad (I can't remember) but it will definitely be a girl) to audition to appear on the cover of the next B&S LP. It's fucking creepy and pretty much against what I thought Belle and Sebastian stood for. I have such a love hate relationship with this band...

EDIT: Just seen that clip. FUCK OFF!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 11:19:23 PM by holyzombiejesus »

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2014, 11:17:58 PM »
Ooooh Emily Browning. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Moribunderast

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2014, 12:22:47 AM »
I think the most important thing to note is that Emily Browning appears to have become Shannen Doherty at some point while filming this movie:


thenoise

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2014, 12:39:21 AM »
I hope we get to see her tits, arse or, ideally, minge in this.  But I have a feeling that we won't.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2014, 12:49:25 AM »
Huge B&S fan, but early stuff only. Been waiting for this film for ages. Didn't Kickstart it because I think Kickstarter's for wankers. Film looks dreadful, morbid curiosity is engorged, cinema tickets booked for next month.

The reviews aren't as positive as the poster above implies - it's been a mixed bag, lots of 3/5s.

I find it annoying and disappointing how the film actually doesn't look like the Belle and Sebastian album covers. Those all look lovely to me, and all the beauties depicted thereon look effortless and graceful and cool. This looks more like a pastiche, and the kids don't look cool, they look like wankers. It looks like Skins, and not just because Cassie's in it. Belle and Sebastian album covers don't look like Skins.

I hope we get to see her tits, arse or, ideally, minge in this.  But I have a feeling that we won't.

Watch Sleeping Beauty, you'll get all three.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 01:37:27 AM by popcorn »

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2014, 01:37:12 AM »
I watched a screener of the movie and it's ghastly. The low point being when a depressed girl(Murdoch romanticises mental illness here, to some extent) is taken for a walk by her pseudo-misanthropic quasi-love interest. They pass the Glasgow Students Union and hear noise inside. They go in and it's some kind of dance for the elderly, with their twee mates supplying live music. They start enjoying themselves and decide that their dull, wealthy friend would like it. So they find her dog hanging around at reception and tie a note to it's collar. It scampers across the West End to find her and, once she reads the message, she hops on a vintage bicycle. Once she arrives, they all have a blast and a bunch of cunts sing a song about her dancing like a kangaroo.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2014, 11:19:55 AM »
Cor, it sounds dreadful. Yes, I'm fully expecting some crass romanticising of mental illness already.

It's so weird how this stuff works in Murdoch's lyrics but not the film.

Nobody Soup

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2014, 01:55:49 PM »
He's 45 yet he's still asking for pretty little indie girls (he might have stated male or female in the ad (I can't remember) but it will definitely be a girl) to audition to appear on the cover of the next B&S LP. It's fucking creepy and pretty much against what I thought Belle and Sebastian stood for.

I dunno, I wouldn't say it wasn't what they stood for, belle and sebastian are probably one of the perviest bands in britain, all their songs are about illicit sex, prostituting oneself, wanking, dildos, cross dressers. I wouldn't say I approve of always sticking teenage girls on their albums but murdoch is unashamedly obsessed with muff and fumblings.

I am finding it hard to articulate my thoughts on this thread because I want to stick up for B&S, their music is brilliant, you know, maybe sometimes I hark for them to rock it up a little but some of the melodies and hooks they come up with are gold, and personally, I like bands that sing about pervy subject matter too and murdoch a really good lyricist (I was at the kelvingrove bandstand thing they did 2 nights ago and it was one of the best gigs I've seen in ages).

this film however looks fucking awful. checking the budget it looks like it cost less than £1m, surely even a TV company would have had  that money to spend, especially on a well known artist, had the script looked anything less than chronically shit. it looks terrible, I will probably watch it in 18 months time at 11:30pm on channel 4 though.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2014, 10:14:51 AM »
I dunno, I wouldn't say it wasn't what they stood for, belle and sebastian are probably one of the perviest bands in britain, all their songs are about illicit sex, prostituting oneself, wanking, dildos, cross dressers. I wouldn't say I approve of always sticking teenage girls on their albums but murdoch is unashamedly obsessed with muff and fumblings.


Yeah, I'm aware of that but there's an interest in (for want of a better word) kinky shit and then there's sticking photos of girls (always girls) dressed as schoolgirls or wearing their PE kits on your records. Anyway, not really for this thread...

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2014, 11:44:54 PM »
This was shown at various cinemas around the country tonight, followed by a livestream of a B&S gig in Edinburgh. I imagine a few other peeps here may have seen it. I had low expectations (see my earlier posts), and, uh... they weren't met. The film fails on several major counts, including some I hadn't expected. (Forgive any misquoted dialogue, I'm going on memory here.)

The script is dreadful. Surprisingly so, considering the pedigree of its author, whose songs display a knack for character and narrative. It's bad on the micro level: "There hasn't been so much emotional repression since Stalinist Russia!". Or: "I feel like Tom Sawyer when he's drunk!" It's bad on the macro level too: I didn't understand any of the characters' motivations, there was no growth or plot. The three main characters could have swapped lines and not change anything.

It's badly edited. In one scene, Ollie knocks on the bathroom door. Cut to Eve inside in an overflowing bathtub; Ollie complains that water is seeping from under the door; cut to shot of water seeping under the door. Why show us the water after we've seen where it's coming from? It's like showing us the T-Rex before we see the tremor. Reverse that order and you have a sensible progression.

There are several sequences where I just had no idea what was going on. Scarecrow described the bit with the dog; I didn't notice any note being tied to its collar, so it runs to Cassie (she has the same name as her Skins character, distractingly) and she drops her ice cream in amazement. Why? They put band ad posters up around town; people chase them down the street. Why? Were they angry with them, or did they want to join the band? Why were they angry with them? If they wanted to join the band, why were the band running from them? Why did they want to join the band?

A lot of the scenes feel like Stuart Murdoch thought: "Right, in this scene I need the girls to tell the boy XYZ. How shall I do it?" Then he's looked at the location and thought: ah, there's a bin there, I can make one of them pop out of the bin with a banana peel on her head, that'll make the scene sufficiently adorable and hip, even though it's completely fucking baffling, job's a goodun.

The movie's only about two characters, so why is Cassie in it? What is she for? What does she do? Why does she live in such an amazing house? Why does she sing like a deaf person?

Considering the film was made by people who know exactly what writing songs and being in a band is like, God Help the Girl has no sense of what being in a band is like. This is a major pet peeve of mine - stories ostensibly about musicians with no fucking musicianship in them. (See my gushing over Linda Linda Linda in the Asian movies thread for an example of a movie that gets this right.) The three decide to form a band and then almost immediately switch to what seems like a rehearsal but is actually more like a full-blown performance backed by Belle and Sebastian. This isn't a complaint about realism: these talentless stuck-up kids didn't earn this.

I was bothered to see Murdoch's Christianity seeping into the film too. I don't have a problem with it in his songs and personal writing, because he's writing from the heart. But in Gold Help the Girl it's downright fishy. At one point one of the characters decides to go back to church because he's feeling a bit lost, and later on, [Spoiler]Eve is miraculously (literally) healed by a "Christian healer" who wraps her in a blanket and waves her hands about.[/Spoiler]

As a musical it fails, because there's no spectacle. All musicals have a tension between the "normal" (characters appearing to act and think more or less like realistic human beings) and the spectacular (fireworks, backing singers, streetsweepers dancing in co-ordination etc), and God Help the Girl gets it wrong. It works early on, when the songs feel like they're just Eve's imagination, but when the others get involved, it's weird. A lot of the musical scenes just involve two or three people doing very vague dances in living rooms or whatever, very little choreography going on, no fireworks or streetsweepers. It's underhwelming. The sound mixing is shite too; it never feels like the music is coming from within the film. When we listen to the trio having a boring fucking conversation on a kayak, the mixing makes it sound like a shit director's commentary.

I saw God Help the Girl with two work friends, neither of whom are major B&S fans. We were all equally furious, and I sensed the audience wasn't buying it either. People kind of half-heartedly chuckled at the lines that felt like they were meant to be jokes, out of politeness. I saw a lot of people checking their phones. More than anything the film is incredibly boring.

The livestream afterwards was a bit weird, because Stuart joked about overhearing people mutter about how the film was no good, except I suspect a lot of people in the audience were actually thinking that. They got the cast of the film on stage, but Emily Browning had left early for reason, perhaps to call her agent. They also had the original God Help the Girl singers on stage, and when Catherine Ireton sang, it only reminded you how much better she was at singing these songs in the first place, and how much better the album is than the film.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 01:07:23 AM by popcorn »

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2014, 12:28:41 AM »
Emily Browning "achieves" anorexia in one scene by sucking in her chest a lot.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2014, 05:50:28 PM »
Has anyone else seen this yet? Popcorn's detailed review absolutely nails what's wrong with the film, it's an absolute stinker. While he's clearly an exceptionally talented songwriter, Murdoch just doesn't have a clue when it comes to film-making. There's no way something this inept would receive funding were it not for the cache of its writer/director.

He's basically made a film that, far more than the actual records themselves, confirms every ill-informed prejudice people might have against Belle & Sebastian. It's twee, saccharine, vacuous, precious, ramshackle and charmless. I honestly never thought him capable of coming up with something as bad as this.

Oh well. There's a new B&S album out in early 2015, which will hopefully wash away the stench of this rather embarrassing misfire.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2014, 11:10:29 PM »
Murdoch just doesn't have a clue when it comes to film-making. There's no way something this inept would receive funding were it not for the cache of its writer/director.

But remember, it didn't receive funding. He had to get his fans to pay for it via Kickstarter, an enterprise I am more sceptical about with every celebrity indulgence like this. I imagine the studio system didn't want to pay for the movie because they saw the script was shit and had no evidence that Murdoch knew how to point a camera.

Even though I live and breathe creative arts, I'm weirdly rightwing about the financial side of things, because I feel like people go "oh, capitalism stifles art and creativity", except movies like this demonstrate the horror of giving money to unqualified people with a "dream". I hope those backers liked the film they got! sheesh.

Quote
He's basically made a film that, far more than the actual records themselves, confirms every ill-informed prejudice people might have against Belle & Sebastian. It's twee, saccharine, vacuous, precious, ramshackle and charmless.

Yeah, and yet I keep hearing people (including critics) saying "If you're a B&S fan, you'll like this."  But I am and I despised it! It bears no resemblance to the Belle and Sebastian I know. It misses the point completely.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2014, 10:04:18 AM »
But remember, it didn't receive funding. He had to get his fans to pay for it via Kickstarter, an enterprise I am more sceptical about with every celebrity indulgence like this. I imagine the studio system didn't want to pay for the movie because they saw the script was shit and had no evidence that Murdoch knew how to point a camera.

He got the ball rolling with Kickstarter, but Creative Scotland and some other misguided funders then got in on the act. I agree, though, that he was obviously turned down beforehand because the screenplay was so awful.

Yeah, and yet I keep hearing people (including critics) saying "If you're a B&S fan, you'll like this."  But I am and I despised it! It bears no resemblance to the Belle and Sebastian I know. It misses the point completely.

It really does. Murdoch's lyrics are funny, sharp and subversive. God Help the Girl is none of those things.

DrunkCountry

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2014, 12:32:42 PM »
I honestly never thought him capable of coming up with something as bad as this.


Really? IMO B&S releases have been a rapid succession of diminishing returns since 2000. Had no hopes for this film & it seems to have been proven as much of a dog as I suspected it would be.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2014, 12:44:47 PM »
Dear Catastrophe Waitress is one of their best albums, though admittedly that was released 11 years ago. The Life Pursuit from 2006 has its moments, too. However, the last album, Write About Love, was largely forgettable, suggesting as it did that Murdoch had finally run out of tunes. Mind you, I thought he was in danger of drying up around the time of Fold Your Hands, but Dear Catastrophe Waitress proved me wrong.[nb]I know that album contains a couple of older songs, but it was largely built around new material.[/nb]

So, anyway, yes. My hopes for this film weren't high either, as I was never particularly taken with the God Help the Girl album in the first place. Nevertheless, I didn't think he'd come up with something as poor as this. But as I say, a new Belle & Sebastian album is always a welcome proposition, so I hope the next one is a return to form.

DrunkCountry

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2014, 12:56:47 PM »
Dear Catastrophe Waitress is one of their worst releases for me.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2014, 01:01:37 PM »
Really? Why? It's full of great songs: If She Wants Me, I'm a Cuckoo, Piazza, New York Catcher, If You Find Yourself Caught in Love and Lord Anthony are all A-grade B&S. Step Into My Office, Baby has always been galumphing shite, mind.

DrunkCountry

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2014, 01:05:36 PM »
I just don't hear 'great songs' when I listen to this album. I hear a lot of try-hard &, at the same time, lazy writing (musically). Just my ears, obviously, but I don't rate the album at all.

Fry

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2014, 12:05:48 PM »
Really? Why? It's full of great songs: If She Wants Me, I'm a Cuckoo, Piazza, New York Catcher, If You Find Yourself Caught in Love and Lord Anthony are all A-grade B&S. Step Into My Office, Baby has always been galumphing shite, mind.

Yeah, it was the first B&S album I really loved I think - probably the first album full stop[nb]Wait, no, at the age of 11 I was obsessed with Big Boi and Andre Present... Outkast. But that's basically a collection of singles so that doesn't really count.[/nb]. Hitting me at the age of 15, it spoke to the sentimental, overly romantic, somewhat sappy aspect of my angsty teenage self in the same way that Pavement spoke to my rebellious, grungy, everything is bullshit self. But I just can't listen to DCW now in the same way I can listen to Tigermilk, Fold Your Arms, If You're Feeling Sinister or (to a lesser extent) TBWTAS forever and ever on a loop.

Didn't someone here write that B&S book? I really liked that, I read it about a thousand times and then lent it to a friend, we went to different Unis and I never got it back :(. The same happened to my Fan's Only DVD too, only I lent that to someone at Uni then lost it when we went our separate ways.

But yeah, listening to Tigermilk now, The State I Am In, I mean, man, what a song. I would watch a movie about a priest who writes books from people's confessions, why didn't you just do that one Murdoch? You tiny little perve[nb]It's been touched on already, but I agree, if Stuart Murdoch wasn't so slight and fey he would come across as the biggest creep ever.[/nb].

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2014, 12:25:30 PM »
Didn't someone here write that B&S book?

That was me. I'm glad you liked it!