Lucas Black is not from Arkansas.
The roar of the crowd. The thrill of the cliché and the agony of defeat. These are just a few things I’ve typed into this episode’s show notes. This isn’t the first sports movie I’ve done but it is the first (American) football movie and the first one based on a true story (I think) (I think it’s the first movie on the show based on a true story because I haven’t bothered to check but I know that this movie is based on a true story) and it’s the 1990 book’s 2004 film adaptation: Friday Night Lights. None if the preceding had much to do with the movie except for the title of the movie.
There are definitely some hanging chads in this episode that likely came from the temporal disparity of how it was created. Initially I stated that “I don’t wahnt yer laf” was the thesis of Friday Night Lights but I don’t know that it was so much accurate as it was convenient for the Varsity Blues tie-in. I think that some, probably many, of the children in Friday Night Lights do, in fact, “wahnt [this] laf”. To be a football player is the greatest achievement that many of them know and probably the greatest achievement that they’ve been presented with. There are also lines in the trailer that don’t even sound like actors in the movie–I think those might have been soundalikes by the trailer house because I don’t actually remember some of those lines in the movie. By some I mean like one or two. I also don’t know what song that is in the trailer.
Lucas Black is from Alabama. Not Arkansas. I don’t know where I got Arkansas from. Maybe I was thinking about Billy Bob Thornton and just got confused. It was 2AM. The relatively coherent intro, however, was recorded the day after watching the movie and at noon. A reasonable hour.
If you’re thinking about the dangling concept from the intro regarding who would set that straight you might have made the connection about me not talking about the half-time speech at the championship games that Coach Gaines makes. That’s basically it. That’s who does it and that’s where he does it. And it is probably the actual thesis of the movie. That and the curses speech are the two most important pieces of dialogue. I didn’t talk about the half-time speech because I’d love for you to watch it–if not in the context of the movie then look it up on YouTube because I’m fairly certain it’s available.
Allan Graff is an accomplished second unit/AD director and stunt coordinator. He also worked on the football sequences for Any Given Sunday and that was readily apparent to me when watching the movie. I didn’t actually look that up to confirm it until now which is why I didn’t pop off like i told you i was right im always riiight aaaaghghahgahaghah. That’s typically not a good look. But it feels great. I’m not always right, though.
Thinking back what’s up with the part they gave Connie Britton? She did 100 episodes on Spin City and she ends up with 5 or 6 lines? Then goes on to do 76 episodes of Friday Night Lights because c’mon team. Then goes on to do 98 episodes of Nashville. Let’s put some respect on her name.
There’s an embed on the page for the Patrick (H) Willems video “A Complete Guide to Pop Music Needle Drops in Movies” below. If you can see it you do have enough information to search for it on YouTube.
The photos below are my copy of Explosions In The Sky’s pressing of “The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place”. It did have that inscription on the back of the second disc and it’s really something beautiful and unexpected. I don’t know that my second disc has ever seen the turntable but I did take these photos at 3AM and it really did resonate with me. I thought the watermark would be an interesting way to get some search traffic but ultimately it looks terrible and I apologize. On another day I’ll probably update the images with something less hideous.
I really am a sucker for good packaging on a record. If you don’t believe me check out the episode of Mark’s Music Collection on Foxhole’s album “We The Wintering Tree”. And when I said “The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place” was featured in its entirety I actually meant “every song shows up”. And when i said “repro”, like reproduciton, I meant “reprint”. The music used in the recording is from a sound library–it isn’t an Explosions In the Sky song. The entire album doesn’t play but every song makes an appearance. It is an album of love songs, according to the band, and I would go out on a limb and say it’s love that’s maybe been lost. And that’s difficult. But the earth is not a cold dead place. In a way these kids in this movie lost the loves of their short and brilliant little lives–football. Youth. It’s leaving them at every minute and they just don’t know it yet–and least not until the end of the movie. And it’s on them to accept that and move on but they are still listening. They are still breathing.
As always you can find me on twitter @coolmarkd and on Letterboxd @MarkD20