Author Topic: God Help The Girl  (Read 2976 times)

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2014, 12:28:10 PM »
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 perv.

Exactly! You'd think that someone with such a gift for vivid, evocative storytelling would be capable of writing an interesting screenplay. Yet it seems you would be wrong to think that.

CaledonianGonzo

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2014, 12:42:18 PM »
I'll add Stay Loose to the list of DCW belters.

And Wrapped Up In Books.

Och - it's great.  So much better than the three - three! - albums that preceded it.

What's the deal with Step Into My office, Baby?  Did Stevie write the whole thing or is it a co-write with him doing the music and Stuart doing lyrics?

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2014, 12:51:59 PM »
I'll add Stay Loose to the list of DCW belters.

And Wrapped Up In Books.

Och - it's great.  So much better than the three - three! - albums that preceded it.

What's the deal with Step Into My office, Baby?  Did Stevie write the whole thing or is it a co-write with him doing the music and Stuart doing lyrics?

Speaking from a position of unimpeachable authority, I can report that it's largely a Stevie creation, albeit with some lyrical input from Stuart.

And you're damn right about the poptabulous charms of Stay Loose and Wrapped Up in Books. Song for song, DCW is one of their strongest albums.

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2014, 12:55:13 PM »
I suppose you're right, thinking of each of them seperately there's an outrageous amount of bangers on that album. So why does it just seem more tired to me than their previous efforts? Gotta think about that.

Also, Your Cover's Blown was released around the time of DCW, right? That is a fucking funk journey to the center of my soul. What a song.

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2014, 12:57:53 PM »
Redolent with the influence of Emotional Rescue-era Rolling Stones to boot.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2014, 01:04:51 PM »
I suppose you're right, thinking of each of them seperately there's an outrageous amount of bangers on that album. So why does it just seem more tired to me than their previous efforts? Gotta think about that.

Maybe you've just listened to it too much? It can happen.

Also, Your Cover's Blown was released around the time of DCW, right? That is a fucking funk journey to the center of my soul. What a song.

It's incredible. As CG says, one suspects the Stones-loving hand of Stevie Jackson is all over that one.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2014, 01:13:03 PM »
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….
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….

Not all Kickstarter campaigns are designed to fully fund a project and the target amount for this one was pretty low. One reason crowdfunding is attractive to filmmakers is that they can obtain seed money and then pitch the project to an established studio, citing the crowdfunder as evidence for the market and with the added bonus of datamining contributors – this is particularly useful for genre works, where there’s a core market that’s relatively niche. Slight tangent, but I remember talking to a musician friend about the Artic Monkeys’ success through MySpace and he commented that a lot of A&R people he knew were telling promising bands – come back when you’ve established a decent social networking profile, have followers etc. Rather bands using new platforms to circumvent big business, big business had incorporated these platforms and crowdfunding is going to be the same.

With regards to this film, about $120K was raised via Kickstarter, which would account for the £76K that’s being bandied about – however, the amount is a fair bit lower as Kickstarter takes its cut and there are payment processing fees. Also, there are the cost of rewards, not all of which would be related to a copy of the film. In any case, it’s fair way short of the reported £1.1 million budget.

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2014, 10:55:48 PM »
thirded (or whatever we're on) with Dear Castrophe Waitress being brilliant. I even like step into my office, baby.[nb]this possibly invalidates my opinion.[/nb]

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2014, 12:12:37 AM »
What's wrong with Step Into My Office? I think it's funny and hip!

I like that album too, in fact I have a huge poster of it hanging behind me right now, but it's definitely far behind their earlier stuff. You know that line "I'd rather be in Tokyo / and watch the Sunday gangs in Harajuku"? I never understood what that line was, I never knew what Harajuku was. And then almost ten years later, when I was living in Harajuku, I listened to that album for the first time in years, and I suddenly understood it. I was so happy.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 12:29:28 AM by popcorn »

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2014, 12:35:48 PM »
Off-topic from the film, but it amused me to discover after reading the earlier part of this thread that the US amazon 'look inside' for Paul Whitelaw's B+S book has that book's cover but the text of 'Fashionable Nonsense', Alan Sokal's exposé of pretentious humanities-scholarship.  [amazonsearch]http://www.amazon.com/Belle-Sebastian-Just-Modern-Story/dp/0312341377/ref=cm_cr_pr_pdt_img_top?ie=UTF8[/amazonsearch] .  I wonder if the switch was made by disgruntled cellist Isobel Campbell.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2014, 12:48:24 PM »
You got me all excited there! Imagine my disappointment, then, when I had a look and it still seems to contain my original doggerel prose. Or maybe I can no longer detect the difference between the two, I dunno.[nb]Incidentally, it always bugged me slightly that some people thought I was unfairly harsh on Isobel in the book. That certainly wasn't my intention, but I think it probably was my fault for leaving some of her former colleagues' more disgruntled quotes unchallenged on the page. But seeing as Isobel was given plenty of room to present her side of the story, I thought I'd leave it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions. I certainly didn't feel it was my role to offer any unqualified supposition of my own. Anyway, sorry. This is a seriously self-indulgent thread derailment on my part.[/nb]

CaledonianGonzo

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2014, 01:52:20 PM »
What's wrong with Step Into My Office? I think it's funny and hip!

I like the intro and the chorus, but can't stick the bit that goes

I’m a slave to work
I’m only living when I walk amongst the office staff
And catch up with the office "wag"


Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2014, 02:23:17 PM »
You got me all excited there! Imagine my disappointment, then, when I had a look and it still seems to contain my original doggerel prose. Or maybe I can no longer detect the difference between the two, I dunno.[nb]Incidentally, it always bugged me slightly that some people thought I was unfairly harsh on Isobel in the book. That certainly wasn't my intention, but I think it probably was my fault for leaving some of her former colleagues' more disgruntled quotes unchallenged on the page. But seeing as Isobel was given plenty of room to present her side of the story, I thought I'd leave it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions. I certainly didn't feel it was my role to offer any unqualified supposition of my own. Anyway, sorry. This is a seriously self-indulgent thread derailment on my part.[/nb]

'scuse me Mister. Did you specify that the edges of the pages should be all rough? (Not a criticism...)

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2014, 03:37:22 PM »
Not my idea, I must confess, but I thought it was a rather nice touch.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2014, 08:34:25 PM »
weird, the amazon linking format-option in my post seems to have directed it to a non-Sokal version.  But if you google ' https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=amazon.com+paul+whitelaw+belle+and+sebastian&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 ' and click on the top link to the hardback version of the book, that still shows up as Sokal for me... (a lot of work, perhaps, for a small chuckle).

And if that doesn't work, I'll concede that I probably keep hallucinating it.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #45 on: September 03, 2014, 12:35:59 PM »
A very belated thank you and well done for that book. I enjoyed it greatly, and I've had half a mind to re-read it recently. I seem to vaguely remember that you got a bit of a hard time on the Bowlie forum. I think that happens whenever a book a written about a band.

(Anyone know if there is an active on line forum for B&S these days? I sometimes look for one but haven't found one. Am I missing something obvious?)


You got me all excited there! Imagine my disappointment, then, when I had a look and it still seems to contain my original doggerel prose. Or maybe I can no longer detect the difference between the two, I dunno.[nb]Incidentally, it always bugged me slightly that some people thought I was unfairly harsh on Isobel in the book. That certainly wasn't my intention, but I think it probably was my fault for leaving some of her former colleagues' more disgruntled quotes unchallenged on the page. But seeing as Isobel was given plenty of room to present her side of the story, I thought I'd leave it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions. I certainly didn't feel it was my role to offer any unqualified supposition of my own. Anyway, sorry. This is a seriously self-indulgent thread derailment on my part.[/nb]

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #46 on: September 03, 2014, 12:51:26 PM »
(Anyone know if there is an active on line forum for B&S these days? I sometimes look for one but haven't found one. Am I missing something obvious?)

I don't think there is anymore. People discuss them on the TFC and Anorak forums but the likes of Sinister are long gone.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #47 on: September 03, 2014, 01:00:49 PM »
I thought as much. Ah well, you've given me a couple of places to look for discussion.

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #48 on: September 03, 2014, 02:36:35 PM »
A very belated thank you and well done for that book. I enjoyed it greatly.

I'd like to second this. I was also very excited when it came out because it quotes in full[nb]including my name, so I could prove it when trying to impress fellow fans[/nb] a letter Stuart Murdoch wrote to me when I enquired about Tigermilk.

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2014, 04:03:34 PM »
If like me you couldn't face paying to see this but are still curious it's now showing up on the d/l[nb]or whatever the kids are saying these days[/nb].

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #50 on: August 08, 2019, 10:48:29 PM »
I know I'm five years late to the party but I quite liked this. I can understand why it got the kicking it did, but I really liked the songs, and though bits of it are truly daft and some of the dialogue is on the nose I still found myself liking it. I took it that the lead guy was supposed to be a bit of a twat though and that you weren't supposed to hope he would end up with Emily Browning, but then that might just be me being very sympathetic to the film's potential failings.

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #51 on: August 09, 2019, 04:31:56 AM »
I was disappointed the first time I saw it, though probably had high expectations as a B&S fan and having enjoyed the original soundtrack.

In places it was quite jarring, with weird exposition scenes inserted breaking up the flow. The dialogue was mostly awful, quite unlike that which Stuart puts in his regular songs.

After watching it a few times less critically, I found it easier to appreciate some of the more endearing scenes. However I never found myself in any way invested in the fate of any of the lead characters.

I thought the parts that actually sync'd well to the music were the best - principally the Act Of The Apostle journey at the start, and the musical scenes at the end. The latter had a certain charm, as the location reminded me of the scruffy northern social clubs and bingo halls of my youth.

I wonder if it could have turned out better if Stuart Murdoch had collaborated with a more experienced scriptwriter, then turned the direction and cinematography over to professionals - using early B&S videos, record sleeves and the inspiration he took from Linder Sterling's work, to create the right visual aesthetic.

I don't really know why he felt so obliged to tell such a straightforward narrative story, with such clichéd characters? I think I'd have preferred something more leftfield, that didn't necessarily make sense, but looked really pretty.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #52 on: August 09, 2019, 06:56:49 AM »
Fucking hell, this film! God Help Us All!

It's been a few years and I think I can look back on it as my most hated film of all time. A perfect storm of incompetence, pseudoscience, romanticising of mental illness and twee bullshit. Awful awful awful. I don't think I've ever had so much contempt for a film.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 08:09:13 AM by popcorn »

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2019, 11:07:52 AM »
I was disappointed the first time I saw it, though probably had high expectations as a B&S fan and having enjoyed the original soundtrack.

In places it was quite jarring, with weird exposition scenes inserted breaking up the flow. The dialogue was mostly awful, quite unlike that which Stuart puts in his regular songs.

After watching it a few times less critically, I found it easier to appreciate some of the more endearing scenes. However I never found myself in any way invested in the fate of any of the lead characters.

I thought the parts that actually sync'd well to the music were the best - principally the Act Of The Apostle journey at the start, and the musical scenes at the end. The latter had a certain charm, as the location reminded me of the scruffy northern social clubs and bingo halls of my youth.

I wonder if it could have turned out better if Stuart Murdoch had collaborated with a more experienced scriptwriter, then turned the direction and cinematography over to professionals - using early B&S videos, record sleeves and the inspiration he took from Linder Sterling's work, to create the right visual aesthetic.

I don't really know why he felt so obliged to tell such a straightforward narrative story, with such clichéd characters? I think I'd have preferred something more leftfield, that didn't necessarily make sense, but looked really pretty.

I thought the bloke was a reasonably weak character, and definitely precocious and pretentious, but I'm still not convinced that that wasn't intentional, though if I'm wrong that is a huge flaw in the film. And though Cassie wasn't really fleshed out either, I have to say I really did like the way they portrayed Eve.

And yeah, some of the dialogue was poor, but I don't know, the songs just won me over to the extent that I was willing to forgive the dodgier elements.

Fucking hell, this film! God Help Us All!

It's been a few years and I think I can look back on it as my most hated film of all time. A perfect storm of incompetence, pseudoscience, romanticising of mental illness and twee bullshit. Awful awful awful. I don't think I've ever had so much contempt for a film.

I've read a few reviews which say the same thing, but why do you think it romanticised mental illness, out of interest? I think one of the reasons I was so fond of Emily Browning's character was because I thought it was a fairly accurate representation of anorexia - I know this is purely anecdotal, but I was in a mental hospital when I was 13/14 and good friends with two severely anorexic girls and their experience was quite similar to that of Eve's.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2019, 08:20:40 PM »
I've read a few reviews which say the same thing, but why do you think it romanticised mental illness, out of interest? I think one of the reasons I was so fond of Emily Browning's character was because I thought it was a fairly accurate representation of anorexia - I know this is purely anecdotal, but I was in a mental hospital when I was 13/14 and good friends with two severely anorexic girls and their experience was quite similar to that of Eve's.

Ack it was five years ago and I'm fucked if I'm watching it again so I can't back up any of my bellyaching with proper examples and arguments. But I seem to recall her being generally portrayed as a bit quirky and special and creative and lovely and her being anorexic was all part of her quirky special loveliness.

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2019, 08:47:02 PM »
Ack it was five years ago and I'm fucked if I'm watching it again so I can't back up any of my bellyaching with proper examples and arguments. But I seem to recall her being generally portrayed as a bit quirky and special and creative and lovely and her being anorexic was all part of her quirky special loveliness.

She definitely was portrayed as all of those things but I thought the anorexia was completely separate to it, and not anything to do with why she was so quirky, etc. A lot of people agree with you though so I could well be wrong.

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2019, 10:30:21 PM »
She definitely was portrayed as all of those things but I thought the anorexia was completely separate to it, and not anything to do with why she was so quirky, etc. A lot of people agree with you though so I could well be wrong.

I agree that the anorexia was quite separate - it was rather clumsily tacked on to her character to add some complexity, and seemed to have no real bearing on any of her obvious character traits.

Whilst I guess you could say she was a bit quirky, I didn't see anything special, creative or lovely about her. I guess you could say she was pretty and apparently vulnerable, but even then she was hardly endearing - if anything she seemed happy to exploit to suit where needed.

Maybe that's a bit harsh. But it doesn't change the fact that I didn't give a toss about her fate after her introduction, and nothing had changed by the end of the film.

My favourite character was Captain the dog.

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #57 on: August 11, 2019, 12:19:05 PM »
I agree that the anorexia was quite separate - it was rather clumsily tacked on to her character to add some complexity, and seemed to have no real bearing on any of her obvious character traits.

Whilst I guess you could say she was a bit quirky, I didn't see anything special, creative or lovely about her. I guess you could say she was pretty and apparently vulnerable, but even then she was hardly endearing - if anything she seemed happy to exploit to suit where needed.

Maybe that's a bit harsh. But it doesn't change the fact that I didn't give a toss about her fate after her introduction, and nothing had changed by the end of the film.

My favourite character was Captain the dog.

I can't argue with any of that (the exploiting people thing especially) but I did find myself caring about her character still. But then I am a sucker for musicals, and the whole thing made me feel oddly nostalgic for when I was younger even though I never was in a band.

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Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #58 on: August 11, 2019, 02:54:59 PM »
I can't argue with any of that (the exploiting people thing especially) but I did find myself caring about her character still. But then I am a sucker for musicals, and the whole thing made me feel oddly nostalgic for when I was younger even though I never was in a band.

I was in bands as a youngster. There was nothing in this movie that reminded me of the many interesting and exhilarating experiences I had.

I thought most effective nostalgia came from the unglamorous performance spaces, which immediately reminded me of cheap beer, stained carpets, tacky and dated decor, overflowing ashtrays, and all the other hallmarks of northern social clubs and similar places from my misspent youth.

In terms of the plot, the whole notion of the band in the film seemed merely like a framing device to eventually integrate the protagonists with the score. There seemed to be no deeper exploration of the culture and experience involved in bands starting out and so forth.

There were some attempts at memorable dialogue concerning the band - I thought the whole "band name concept" conversation raised some interesting issues, but just like the attempted smart line about "no one ever shed a tear to a Bowie record" it all fell flat through a combination of unconvincing delivery and very clumsy writing of the dialogue itself.

I'm quite the sucker for musicals too, but they need to be done well. It's a complex and difficult genre to master, whether producing for stage, screen or whatever medium.

Stuart Murdoch was clearly not skilled enough to pull off a slick musical film. I doubt many first-time directors are. I still think he could have better realised his own vision for the movie, if he'd handed off important tasks (eg cinematography, editing) to more experienced folks who know what they're doing in this genre,

The only high quality musical I can think of that was done to perfection by a novice in the genre, was the Buffy episode Once More With Feeling. What is even more remarkable about that was Joss Whedon's lack of experience writing music in any professional capacity.

Re: God Help The Girl
« Reply #59 on: August 11, 2019, 03:53:35 PM »
I was in bands as a youngster. There was nothing in this movie that reminded me of the many interesting and exhilarating experiences I had.

...

In terms of the plot, the whole notion of the band in the film seemed merely like a framing device to eventually integrate the protagonists with the score. There seemed to be no deeper exploration of the culture and experience involved in bands starting out and so forth.

That's one of the many things that maddened me, from memory. There's no sense of the band earning their stripes. They barely seem like a band at all. Very odd considering who wrote it.

I always recommend Linda Linda Linda for an honest and sympathetic portrait of a crap amateur band getting their shit together.