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The Day Shall Come

Started by AzureSky, December 16, 2018, 08:18:05 PM

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Shaky

So many of the lines fail to land - there's a very awkward mix of American style humour and the odd Morris-ism. I had to rewind a few times to fully catch the interplay during the FBI scenes, and not in a "Oh, that was great let's listen to that again," way. It's just a directionless jumble.

Davis really is great, though. Without him, there isn't much film. The whole thing easily would've worked if it just centred on his character and the farm instead cutting back to the awkward, laboured FBI segments.

Ian Benson

I'm super drunk.

I understood the motivation of the farm folk. They needed money to fund their harmless madness.

I had no idea what the fbi folk were up to. Is there a budget that they have to justify? Do their jobs cease to exist if they don't have threats, such that they have to create their own threats? A scene explaining either of these things or some other thing that justifies their actions would have been ace. I didn't really get what they were plotting or why they were having to plot it.

Interviews with Morris have explained it better than the film does, but I'm still kind of confused as to why everything in the film had to happen.

I don't mind working with a film, but with this it felt like I was doing the bulk of the heavy-lifting.

Hymenoptera

Quote from: Ian Benson on September 29, 2019, 01:22:30 AM
I'm super drunk.

I had no idea what the fbi folk were up to. Is there a budget that they have to justify? Do their jobs cease to exist if they don't have threats, such that they have to create their own threats? A scene explaining either of these things or some other thing that justifies their actions would have been ace. I didn't really get what they were plotting or why they were having to plot it.

Interviews with Morris have explained it better than the film does, but I'm still kind of confused as to why everything in the film had to happen.

I don't mind working with a film, but with this it felt like I was doing the bulk of the heavy-lifting.

I'm also drunk so let me weigh right the fuck in with a glass of bathtub wine at hand.

I went into the film blind as I could, and I took the FBI's position to be the result of post 9/11 USA - counter-terrorism is just the consistant pursuit of promotions in "security" fields and mantaining a new status quo where POCs are suspicious at best and terrorists at worst. I guess keeping vaguely on top of current goings-on in America, like the police brutality against brown and black people, fed my understanding of the FBI's motives too: "Well, if dipshit cops are slaughtering teenagers in the streets and getting commendations and fuck all more than wrist-slaps, why wouldn't higher divisions be doing it with no repurcussions for personal gain?"

kaprisky

Film4 have scheduled a repeat screening of Four Lions on Mon 7th October at 22:50. A couple of hours before that though is a 10 minute interview segment for The Day Shall Come.

muddybug

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/magazine/culture/satirist-chris-morris-on-the-day-shall-come-his-new-film-targeting-the-fbi-s0vxsk6tv

QuoteSatirist Chris Morris on The Day Shall Come, his new film targeting the FBI
After homegrown jihadis in Four Lions, Chris Morris headed to the US for his new movie. There he learnt about bizarre 'terror plots' prompted by an overzealous FBI
The Sunday Times, September 29 2019
BY CHRIS MORRIS

In 2006, the FBI stopped an army in Miami from launching a full-scale ground war against America. It was the lead story on British TV, and I watched transfixed. Four years later, a trial witness told me this terrifying coup had involved seven construction workers planning to take over Chicago by riding in on horses. They claimed they could knock over the Sears Tower and swamp the city in a tidal wave. They had no money, no explosives and no horses. It was a fantasy spun to hustle money from an FBI informant. Six of the "Liberty City Seven" were jailed as al-Qaeda terrorists, even though five of them were Haitian Catholics.

This turned out to be one of hundreds of cases in which the FBI fabricates a terrorist plot, recruits people to get involved, then arrests them for it. It sounds ridiculous, but prosecutions have a 99% conviction rate. The Day Shall Come would be a film — a work of comic fiction based on this farcical truth. But before Jesse Armstrong and I could write a word, we needed to understand the people involved — who drives these stings, what sort of person falls into the trap and who does the dirty work in between? There would be a lot of meetings...

Irvine, Orange County, California
A large and very wide man sits across a mock antique table he could sneeze into matchwood. "At the gym I can tell who's on steroids," he says, "because their neck is thicker than their head." His neck is thicker than his head. The man is a meat wardrobe. His name is Craig, and he is an FBI informant.

Craig dressed as an Arab and infiltrated a mosque in Orange County. He did it badly. He might as well have arrived on a camel. He would whisper that he had visited "the sheikh" or suddenly murmur "jihaaaaaaaad" in a voice like a furtive sheep. He was so inflammatory, the imam reported him to the FBI, who had sent him there in the first place. Craig had to go. "I did good work," he protests. "I drew a huge map and detailed the private lives of over 200 Muslims so the FBI could blackmail them into spying on each other."

El Paso, Texas
Craig failed only because he was overcranked. His blackmail surveillance was by the book. Informants are the sharp end of sting operations. They convince the FBI a target is dangerous, and they persuade the target to break the law. Often they are working off criminal charges. A convicted paedophile was allowed to continue sexting minors while he worked a case. Their personality is an essential element of the sting.

Which is why I am now in El Paso having breakfast with a maniac who recently drove his car into his wife. He is unshaven and swarthy, with roaring eyes. This is Elie Assad, the lead informant in the Liberty City case. The waiter apologises — they stopped pancakes at 10am. It is 10.30am, and Assad is having none of it. He frogmarches the startled man behind the counter and unleashes a barrage of ominous body language. The waiter blanches and disappears. Assad brushes imaginary dirt from his hands and announces: "I am king here."

As the pancakes arrive, he grins, then suddenly thrusts his hand a foot from my face. "Stop! We leave now." He hurries me to the car, insisting we affect nonchalance to blend in. "FBI tradecraft — we are invisible," he boasts. We're scuttling across an open lot like exposed crabs. "Those guys in the window are assassins." He's pointing at three students eating waffles. "They were about to kill me."

This whirlwind of paranoia and coercion was employed by the FBI as their "closer". The Miami builders were bankrupt, and he had $50,000...

Liberty City, Miami, Florida
I flinch, but the gunshot doesn't ruffle the flow. I'm in T's tattoo parlour on the upper floor of a horseshoe apartment block bordering Liberty Square in Miami. T enjoys my alarm. Single shot, he says. It's fine. His client tells me she gets a tat every time something bad happens. She's all ink.

Liberty Square was an apartheid project built to house the African-Americans who served in the white art deco elegance of South Beach. After decades of neglect, locals complain that the only time an outsider sees the place is on reality cop shows. In the surrounding streets there are more missions than shops. Preachers read Bibles aloud in the parks on Sunday. Folks turn up to listen. A few listened to Narseal Batiste. He preached that Solomon was a mafia don.

A former Guardian Angel from Chicago, Batiste approached dealers on the corner and told them there was another way. Sometimes he carried a staff. He channelled every transformative belief he could think of and arranged meetings in an empty retail space he called "the Embassy". It was also his "temple" and his family home. He seemed to see beyond the picket-fence prison of Liberty City. Crucially, his construction firm offered employment too, even if he paid months in arrears. His flock of six Haitian builders would become known as the Liberty City Seven.

Little Haiti, Miami, Florida
On the grainy high-angle surveillance video, Elie Assad leads six black men through an "al-Qaeda oath". He conducts them a line at a time. They answer in unison like schoolchildren. The words are incriminating gobbledegook, and the "soldiers" sound passionless and robotic, like hostages reciting a forced confession. I am watching this with the family of the one known as "brother Sunny". Assad made him change the spelling to "Sunni" to "impress the sheikh". Assad also told Batiste to call his temple a "mosque".

Sunny's aunt explains the brothers had doubts about the oath, but Batiste told them it was just for money. They weren't sure about knocking over the Sears Tower either, and started to drift away. Watching the non-existent plot unravel, the FBI decided on emergency arrest. The suspects laughed as they were apprehended. We're terrorists? You're kidding! The arresting agents laughed too. We're not kidding, and you're going to jail — ha-ha! It took three trials, but they had the last laugh.

Phoenix, Arizona
What sort of people run a case like that? What is it like to be an FBI "special agent"? "About half the time it's about Nerf guns." Ryan works in a terrorism task force. In his open-plan office, the ceiling is low. "If you want to ping someone in the Shia file, you have to get the trajectory just right or you hit the styrofoam panels." Ryan always wants to hit people in the Shia file because he's in the Sunni file, and of course they are at war. Ryan's point is that agents project a grown-up image to strangers, but behind closed doors they mess about like everyone else.

Baltimore, Maryland
FBI offices are government buildings and agents are government workers. You wear a suit and tie, the lighting is ugly and nothing in the bullpen looks cool. But you are an elite. You're not meant to say it, but you think it. "We do not think we're the best," says Steve. "That's a common misconception in movies." A minute later, he is explaining that when he joined the bureau from the police, it took him three years' training to bridge the gap in professional standards. Ryan is more intentionally revealing. "Most cases are snafus. People forget that means situation normal all f***** up... "Normality," he says, "is stuff going wrong and us running round like idiots."

A case is a high-stakes game. You're nudging your target through a scripted programme of self-incrimination, and it's tense. You high-five your co-agents each time the target breaks the law. You're the good guys. If you can turn this guy into a terrorist, they should go to jail, right? Why would you even question that?

Bethesda, Maryland
"...Because almost anyone could become a terrorist. The question the FBI ignores is whether they are one." Daryl Johnson has been a terror analyst for more than 20 years and thinks the FBI's "bait bomb" method stinks. Agents convince targets to dial a number to detonate a bomb they think is real. One guy said he wanted to blow it up only at night, "so that no one gets hurt", but he got 25 years anyway.

Johnson's staccato laugh ricochets down the vast empty hall of the hotel where he asked us to meet. He knows the biggest threat in the US comes not from militant Islam but from white extremists. In 2009 he wrote a Homeland Security report detailing the problem. He was so viciously shredded by Fox News that his bosses withdrew the report and threw him under the bus. Fixing the problem is not a matter of changing the law but of addressing the inherent racism that underpins the FBI's contrived and farcical targeting of black and brown outsiders.

There would be more trips and many more meetings — in Detroit, Portland, Chicago, the Bronx — so many that Jesse would call the project "the unfillable jug". But from these encounters came ideas. What if a target refused to dial a truck bomb... because he was scared of fives... and the phone number was nearly all fives? "Did we know he was a pentaphobe?" says a panicking agent... We were starting to believe this was possible.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Quote from: Ian Benson on September 29, 2019, 01:22:30 AM
I had no idea what the fbi folk were up to. Is there a budget that they have to justify? Do their jobs cease to exist if they don't have threats, such that they have to create their own threats? A scene explaining either of these things or some other thing that justifies their actions would have been ace. I didn't really get what they were plotting or why they were having to plot it.

Interviews with Morris have explained it better than the film does, but I'm still kind of confused as to why everything in the film had to happen.

I don't mind working with a film, but with this it felt like I was doing the bulk of the heavy-lifting.

Yes, that's exactly what the FBI are up to in the film. Morris didn't need to over-explain their self-serving motives, as they're as plain as day. The fact that you did actually get what they were doing confirms that?

Anyway, I didn't particularly care for the film. It's not bad by any means, I actually found myself becoming emotionally invested in the hopeless plight of Moses and his farm community, and the ending packs a punch, but as others have said the humour is terribly laboured and uneven for the most part. Wise-ass Veep-esque banter doesn't mesh comfortably with typical Morris absurdity, it just never settles into a consistent tone. A frustrating film.   

muddybug


EBGB

Interview on R4's Today at 8:47 (2 h 47 in), significantly better than the 8:10 with the PM.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0008y3w

Malcy


Thomas

I'm looking forward to the film, but I find myself even more excited by the rush of interviews and appearances. Unavoidably in a Guardian interview in 2019, here we see Morris at perhaps his most directly political:

Quote"Oh God, white liberals are terrible! They're awful! There's a sort of feeling that they've done the due diligence on their own conscience and if somebody comes in and says something else bad about them, that person must be wrong. Of course, I'm talking about my friends here. It's a sort of privileged position whereby your conscience is allowed to operate in a particular way, without fracturing your worldview. Then they go and have a bracing latte."

QuoteTalk turns inevitably to Brexit and Boris Johnson, on whom Morris is reluctant to pass judgment because – ever the scientist – he hasn't observed him up close. Still, he does suspect that today's leaders are "giving signals that allow people to walk out into the street and shout their worst thoughts. When, actually, you should have just kept it to yourself, mate."

And, just in case any of those white liberals happen to be reading: this means you. "You have very, very bien pensant liberals who are just bloody racist about Muslims. People saying: 'Well, I think they should dress more carefully, because otherwise they'll make you feel awkward on the tube and you don't know what's under those garments and they're weird anyway.'" The table gets a final smack. "Come on, guys! We can do better than that."

I also like what he has to say about the lame observation that reality has become too maaad for comedy and satire to handle:

QuoteI think anyone who says that is talking b*****ks.

It's like when Tom Lehrer said satire was dead because Henry Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize. I mean it's sort of a tedious cliche. I can't believe that people even bother to surrender to it. What it normally means is that your own imagination has failed.

Let's be honest. When are times not ridiculous? Just because the way in which people are behaving ridiculously has changed, and perhaps the old system whereby a certain amount of respect was given to people in an authoritative layer of society is now not given, that doesn't mean that you abandon your comedic work. If you literally can't look outside what's ridiculous then you've got a problem. It's like confessing to incompetence.

A few other comedic talents I can think of - and whom seem to feel they have far more to say and broadcast and tweet about - just flounder intellectually next to these rare flashes of opinion.

Famous Mortimer

I'd look at it slightly differently. So much satire seems like a pressure valve to allow those liberals he's talking about to avoid having to do anything. Like, laughing at some awful impression of Trump is enough, when making the world better really requires us to go out and do more.

Take the "Rally to Restore Sanity", organised by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. What an awful waste of time that was! This endless pretense by wealthy liberals that there are all these nice conservatives and we can work together in a friendly way. Stewart went off and made a movie about evil Iranians that no-one saw, and Colbert is now happy to be the liberal establishment lapdog (although with his armed forces-worship, he was probably always thus and just had good writers back in the Comedy Central days). Meanwhile, the person they spent years mocking is President, and their mockery is shown to be toothless.

So, I agree with Morris, I suppose? But I wish political satire actually achieved something other than making people feel good about their own choices.

EBGB

Quote from: Famous Mortimer on October 01, 2019, 02:28:43 PM
So, I agree with Morris, I suppose? But I wish political satire actually achieved something other than making people feel good about their own choices.
This interview with Morris from around 'Four Lions' is lodged in my brain, & you definitely agree with him.  http://damonwise.blogspot.com/2011/02/interview-with-chris-morris-director-of.html
Got to love a man who says, "I hate comedy, I hate satire", despite officially working in both.

Thomas

Yes - I can't find the article now but he's spoken disparagingly about HIGNFY's gentle establishment teasing, and all that chummy tummy-tickling.

EBGB

Extended version of today's Today interview - 10 mins long rather than 6.  No idea how long the Beeb leave things on Soundcloud.

https://soundcloud.com/user-892230522/chris-morris-the-day-shall-come

sponk

Quote from: Thomas on October 01, 2019, 02:45:04 PM
Yes - I can't find the article now but he's spoken disparagingly about HIGNFY's gentle establishment teasing, and all that chummy tummy-tickling.

This?

http://www.angelfire.com/id/bjsg/GDNarticle.html


Thomas

#286
Nice! His first UK TV interview, I think?

Quote from: sponk on October 01, 2019, 07:05:34 PM
This?

http://www.angelfire.com/id/bjsg/GDNarticle.html

Yep, that's the one:

QuoteAnd Have I Got News For You?

`It's the biggest warm handshake, glass of sherry, pat on the back, pair of fluffy slippers to the establishment you could possibly dream up. It becomes mere court jester tittle-tattle which has no bite whatsoever. And that's what the BBC are flagging as `the bad boys are back."'

I've watched the Jon Snowterview now. I'd be very interested to hear an FBI recording of any conversation between Morris and Iannucci that might have taken place when the notorious OBE was doled out.

Ferris

Quote from: Famous Mortimer on October 01, 2019, 02:28:43 PM
I'd look at it slightly differently. So much satire seems like a pressure valve to allow those liberals he's talking about to avoid having to do anything. Like, laughing at some awful impression of Trump is enough, when making the world better really requires us to go out and do more.

Take the "Rally to Restore Sanity", organised by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. What an awful waste of time that was! This endless pretense by wealthy liberals that there are all these nice conservatives and we can work together in a friendly way. Stewart went off and made a movie about evil Iranians that no-one saw, and Colbert is now happy to be the liberal establishment lapdog (although with his armed forces-worship, he was probably always thus and just had good writers back in the Comedy Central days). Meanwhile, the person they spent years mocking is President, and their mockery is shown to be toothless.

So, I agree with Morris, I suppose? But I wish political satire actually achieved something other than making people feel good about their own choices.

This is very well put.

Glebe


chveik

the fbi scenes were mediocre, the farm ones a bit better, but it certainly wasn't funny enough and the pathos wasn't handled that well.  good intentions don't necessarily make good art. I reckon it could've made an interesting article. in any case there's a world of difference between this and his previous works. 3 bags of fake uranium.

Shaky

I feel much the same as you but definitely got Four Lions vibes in some scenes (not least because the basic premise is very similar, we see four "terrorists" training etc). Also, strangely, I got a whiff of Nathan Barley in the FBI scenes. Something in the delivery of certain lines.

Technique

well it seems the film is now there to stream on such websites as afdah.info or putlocker

Thought it might be a dodgy recording made by a mobile or be filled with Korean subtitles or voiceovers but no. Seems it's the actual film, and a pretty good quality of video.

I know what I'll be doing tomorrow after work now. But if I enjoy it, I will go to cinema to watch it as well. Remember kids - pirating kills film making (apparently). And yet the Marvel and Star Wars type films are pirated more than any - yet they keep making the fuckers.


EBGB

This pair of interviews is interesting if you have the time (neither is fully about TDSC, but both mostly are):

https://youtu.be/l3zyS5nXl5c (Marchant Davis)
https://youtu.be/dfiR_3ap5F8 (Anna Kendrick & Danielle Brooks)

I'll be curious to see if there's any cast interviews in the UK which are similarly in-depth.  Blessed bonus of US coverage: less obsession with CM's 90s career.  And this woman does actually seem to have some interest in what she's talking about.

Thomas

Quote from: EBGB on October 04, 2019, 10:34:45 AM
Blessed bonus of US coverage: less obsession with CM's 90s career.

'Of course, the last thing you did before this film was The Day Today in 1994. What inspired you to not still be doing that, and would you mind writing "Peter, you've lost the news" on this post-it note for our office?'



muddybug

Quote from: EBGB on October 07, 2019, 09:37:15 PM
Film4 official interview thingy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqUsiV8LPkM

"Once you've got the story right, you can change the meaning of it by just placing pennies on the balancing system. But it does take time, at least for me. Probably because I was born with the wrong software. If I had a better operating system, I could do one of these every year."

Huh.

rasta-spouse

Quote from: muddybug on October 08, 2019, 12:38:44 AM
"Once you've got the story right, you can change the meaning of it by just placing pennies on the balancing system. But it does take time, at least for me. Probably because I was born with the wrong software. If I had a better operating system, I could do one of these every year."


As usual from Morris, a bit on the cryptic side, but you can see that at his core he's massively self-aware and knows his shortcomings.

From what I remember a lot of the PR he did for 4Lions he was about 33% abstruse and 67% signal, but from what's been linked to TDSC's publicity he's kind of 99% straight-talking now. Still has that loveable eccentric edge tho.

kaprisky

Time Out interview with Jesse Armstrong, and The Day Shall Come review.

Watched the repeat of Four Lions last night and was reminded of some funny lines: "I'll just finish this and then we're all going to heaven, lads", "It is a small room, not a cupboard", etc.

BritishHobo

Odeon Limitless screening tonight. Not sure how many people will go as they've made an absolute fucking hash of their new booking system for the members-only screenings, supposed to make it easier and more accessible to book on the app. For whatever reason, they knackered it, and no fucker's been able to book anywhere.

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