November 6, 2009

Anachronistic suck-up movie trailer.

Last night at the movies — we were seeing the fabulous movie "A Serious Man" — they showed a trailer for "Pirate Radio," which was seemingly tailor-made for 60s freaks like me. See if you notice what is crashingly anachronistic:

ADDED: If you watch this featurette about the movie, with some of the same material from the trailer, the difference should pop out.

AND: "A Serious Man" also has a big anachronism problem:
Although the film is plainly set in the summertime, the only reference to the year in which the film is set is a scene in which a calendar can be seen -- it shows the months of June and July 1967. One of the sub-plots in the film involves a representative from the Columbia Record Club calling Gopnik at his office regarding non-payment for record albums that were sent to him. The record club representative attempts to explain to Gopnik how the club works and goes on to mention that the club's current monthly selections are Santana's Abraxas and Cosmo's Factory by Creedence Clearwater Revival. These albums were released, respectively, in September and July 1970.
Link to Wikipedia, which you shouldn't read if you haven't seen the movie. It's full of spoilers.


PatHMV said...

Is this something where you have to have been a teenager or an adult in the 1960s to spot?

Candle said...

I'm pretty positive that this movie is going to finally take the British Imperialist so-called "country" down for good.

TMink said...

Remember when people listened to music OUTLOUD! No headphones, no solipsism, no Ipods. Aptly named machine that Ipod, as it is about ME and MY listening.

Trey - who loves his iPod nonetheless but generally plays it over speakers

prairie wind said...

My guess: "Rock on!"

Triangle Man said...

"Won't Get Fooled Again" was not released until 1971. Something else?

Adrian said...

Man, life before the 60s must have really sucked, being so square and repressed and all. Since the 60s, society has become so much better, especially in England! Glad to see a brave movie like this coming out to celebrate free love and premarital sex and drugs and youth and to really stick it to the man, way to go Hollywood!

Sarcasm off, so how many of the people involved in this film rallied to the defense of the child rapist?

Robert G. said...

Is it that Who song which is from the early 70s, right?

Bissage said...

I can’t watch the videos right now but I assume the anachronism is not the song “Capital Radio” by The Clash.

There’s a tower in the heart of London
With a radio station right at the top.
But they don’t make the city beat.
They’re making all the action stop.

A long time ago there were pirates
Beaming waves from the sea.
But now all the stations are silent
'Cos they ain't got a government license.

That’s from 1977 or thereabouts.

I somehow doubt that The Clash thought of themselves as hippies, though.

Scott said...

I have no idea what you were angling for (I was born in 65), but the government boats (rigid inflatable boat aka RIB) chasing them down did not exist in 1964 when this supposedly took place.

Chip Ahoy said...

I have no idea.

reader_iam said...

No way was that Pirate Radio playing "Rock is Dead-Long Live Rock" in 1967, unless I'm very much mistaken (didn't watch the featurette yet), if that what that choice of song is supposed to be implying.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Well, it's not in the trailer, but if the movie contains female full frontal nudity, I'd be willing to bet that it also contains anachronistic grooming habits.

Popville said...

Weird, in the UK they called this movie "The Boat That Rocked" - a much better title. Some of my UK music friends liked it, tho one who had listened to Radio Caroline in its day complained that: "the pirate radio setting was almost incidental, other than providing an excuse for a groovy soundtrack album and giggly dolly birds by the truckload. It also wasted some great actors and dragged on interminably."

I'll still go see it and no doubt complain about it later :)

Btw, a boatload of Radio Caroline news clips, jingles & sound checks are up on YouTube.

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Duncan said...

I was tempted to see the film since there is absolutely nothing else out there (Saw VI is probably derivative) but reading the summary suggests that it is a "Modern" film with an incoherent narrative structure.

Can't anyone tell a straight story any more?

careen said...

I liked Hoffman in "Charlie Wilson's War."

Titus said...

I'll pass.

Love Hoffman though.

Capote was on IFC last night and he is so good.

My favorite part of the movie is when he walks into the small town Kansas police department and points to his scarf and says "Burberry, do you like it".

Capote is a fucking amazing movie and not because he was a fag but because he was such an interesting and manipulative man. Poor Harper having to deal with Cap.

And whats not to love about Breakfast At Tiffanys-tour de force all around. OKKKKK?

Titus said...

I loved Hoffman in Boogie Nights too. His half shirts with his stomach hanging out were incred.

Joe said...
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blake said...


Compare and contrast Hoffman's Capote with Toby Jones' from Infamous the same year.

I actually saw both, in the theater, and it was quite a deja vu experience, and interesting for what each film thought was important to relate. I think Infamous had it that Capote actually had sexual contact with one of the killers.

blake said...

Deliberate anachronism: The buses in A Serious Man are the wrong color. The Coens apparently felt that using non-orange buses would seem too alien to modern viewers.

Joe said...

RE: Pirate Radio

The film design seemed to be about 1969, not 1966 (this is something I've long noticed; pushing the stereotypical sights and sounds of 1969-1972 earlier and earlier.)

Someone on IMDB notes that while the minister complaining is portrayed as a right winger, "...the responsible minister was Tony Benn, then the Labour government Postmaster General... who is known as one of the most left-wing and socialist senior politicians ever."

blake said...

It's fun seeing these previews with The Boy, for whom this '60s stuff is as relevant as Rudy Vallee and those scandalous flappers were to me.

I suspect it's a so-so movie with some funny moments. Probably overlong and pretentious.

Hey, didn't you love the lack of a relevant '60s soundtrack in A Serious Man? Except for the spare use of the Airplane, it was pretty K-Tel free.

blake said...


Yeah! Funny that!

But note the relevant line--I've seen this preview way too much already--"That's the whole point of being the government. If you don't like something, you can make it illegal."

Somehow that generation went from:

Government control of music = bad


Government control of healthcare = good

(Though, lets be honest: As Tipper demonstrated, there's a lot of love on the left for government control of music, too.)

Titus said...

Blake I saw Infamous as well and liked it very much.

I also read the biography on Capote and well as the biography on Harper "Mockingbird".

I love the story of a gay sophisticate from NYC who is incredibly fem going into a small town and in Kansas and ingratiating himself with the locals-not all of course. It is just so interesting.

Ann Althouse said...

""Won't Get Fooled Again" was not released until 1971. Something else?"

Yes, that's it. In the featurette, the Turtles song "Elinore" is playing, and they obviously wanted to punch up the energy. But post-"Tommy" Who in 1967? (or was it 1966/68)? I hate that especially, because I love pre-"Tommy" Who. If you wanted Who from the right period, you had "Substitute," "My Generation," "Can't Explain," etc. etc. etc.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is this something where you have to have been a teenager or an adult in the 1960s to spot?"

I don't know. Does "Tommy" draw line for you?

Ann Althouse said...

Your humble blogger Althouse was a member of the Who fan club before their first album was released in the United States, when I was *reading* about the song "My Generation" but could not yet hear it. I think all I had to go on was "Can't Explain" and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere." None of you can match my love for early Who.

prairie wind said...

Okay, so I was wrong. But did young people really say "Rock on!" in 1960-whatever? I know I didn't.

We were watching Gary Sinese in Truman last night and someone says something like "I don't want to be a slacker." Is "slacker" a word that has been used since WWI in the way we use it now? I think it was an anacronism.

XWL said...

"Well, it's not in the trailer, but if the movie contains female full frontal nudity, I'd be willing to bet that it also contains anachronistic grooming habits."

Ignorance is Bliss quoted from above in this thread.

No worries on that end, that's what CGI is for (at least that's how they handled the situation for Sienna Millers' appearance in the upcoming Hippie Hippie Shake)

Ann Althouse said...

"But did young people really say "Rock on!" in 1960-whatever? I know I didn't."

I don't remember that. Might have been different in Britain. But it has a real 70s ring to me.

"We were watching Gary Sinese in Truman last night and someone says something like "I don't want to be a slacker." Is "slacker" a word that has been used since WWI in the way we use it now? I think it was an anacronism."

I remember the principle calling McFly a slacker in the 50s in "Back to the Future."

Hazy Dave said...

All Music Guide has this to say about my primary introduction to that (early) era of the Who (besides the occasional song on the AM radio - they never really had a Smash Hit in the US until Tommy, I think):

Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy has the distinction of being the first in a long line of Who compilations. It also has the distinction of being the best. Part of the reason why it is so successful is that it has an actual purpose. Meaty was designed as a collection of the group's singles, many of which never appeared on albums. The Who recorded their share of great albums during the '60s (Oh, really?), but condensing their highlights to just the singles is an electrifying experience. "The Kids Are Alright" follows "I Can't Explain," "I Can See for Miles" bleeds into "Pictures of Lily" and "My Generation," "Magic Bus" gives way to "Substitute" and "I'm a Boy" — it's an extraordinary lineup, and each song builds on its predecessor's power. Since it was released prior to Who's Next, it contains none of the group's album rock hits, but that's for the best — their '60s singles have a kinetic, frenzied power that the louder, harder AOR cuts simply couldn't touch. ... Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is musically unified and incredibly powerful. This is what the Who sounded like when they were a great band.

It contains only "Pinball Wizard" from Tommy, too.

I found an mp3 rip of the US "Substitute" single (on Atco) earlier this year, too. Way different mix than the MBB&B version, and about 50 seconds shorter, too.


PatHMV said...

I was born in Sept. of 1967, so that time period is a line for me. I had a feeling the anachronism had to do with the precise release date of songs, but all of it is sorted, in the timeline in my mind, as "came out during dad's youth."

Youngblood said...

"Is 'slacker' a word that has been used since WWI in the way we use it now? I think it was an anacronism."

The word "slacker" has been in use for over a century and was most in fairly common use during World War I, when it referred primarily to those who could perform war-related work or duty but chose not to. (For a representative example, see the item 'Few British Slackers' in The New York Times. It's the second article down in the left column.)

Althouse was right, though. It was reintroduced into common usage by the Back to the Future series, where it was put into the mouth of a character who would have been of just the right vintage to pick it up during the World War I era.

Youngblood said...

Ahem. Please ignore the superfluous 'most'.

David said...

Did he say "Dudes?"

I was a teenage in the 60's but I was anachronistic even then.

Clueless then. Clueless now.

Marcia said...


I was going to suggest that middle aged British men in the 1960s would not sport a Hitler mustache like they have Branaugh wearing in this one.

prairie wind said...

Thanks for filling in the blanks for me, Youngblood.

TMink said...

Althouse, you must get the re-releases of the Who's first albums. The songs are punchier from a remastering, and there are LOADS of extras!

You can also get some of them in high definition audio and the are great.

Finally, the Smithereens did a nice high definition version of Tommy that is much better than I thought could be done.