#62: Harmontown


How do we know when we are finished?  When it comes to Dan Harmon, we never are! Timmie and Ryan examine Neil Berkley’s Harmontown (2014) and try to answer the question: Is this film universal?  Tune in to find out, and emerge from the journey…having changed.

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I. Intro 

A. Sorry We Keep Lying About Our Organized Crime Ep.

B.  Going Back to Talking About 1 Movie Eps.

C.  Every Season Is Doc Season

  • For Timmie and Ryan
    • Lot of PBS and HBO

D.  Harmontown on Netflix

II. Harmontown (2014) The Doc & Our Experience [00:07:25]

A. Fans Know We Have A “History” with Dan Harmon

  • Story Structure Eps
  • Community
  • Harmontown Podcast

B.  So What’s the Hullabaloo All About?

  • Directed by Neil Berkley
    • Beauty Is Embarrassing (2012)

III. Are We Reliable Critics/Audience Members? [00:16:56]

A. Who’s Watching?

  • Mixed Reviews Are In…
    • Premiered at SXSW in March 2014
    • Played limited release around the country in October 2014

B. Harmontown Now on Streaming

  • Available to everyone
    • Doing really well on Netflix

C. Fandom Can Schew Objectivity

D. At the End of the Day, Art Is Meant to Be Discussed

  • A lesson we learned from Roger Ebert

IV. Structure & Execution [00:29:45]

A.  Who’s Our Protagonist/Main Character…Having Changed?

B. What Other Genres Does It Play Into?

  • The “Road” movie
  • “Concert” or “Comedy Tour”
  • The Biopic

C.  What’s the Train?

  • We keep talking about this, but what is it?
    • Paraphrased from Sheila Curran Bernard’s Documentary Storytelling, (pp. 47-48)
      • Films move forward in time, taking audiences with them. You want the storytelling to move forward, too, and to motivate the presentation of exposition.A Train (also referred to as the narrative spine) is the present-day story driving your film forward from beginning to the end.  (Even if the story happened in the past). Get a good train going, and you can make detours as needed for exposition, complex theory, additional characters—whatever you need.
  • Our Train is: THE TOUR
  • In Beauty Is Embarrassing it’s Wayne White’s presentations

D. What Makes It Unique?

E.  Putting On Our Critic Hats

V. Verdict [00:57:35]

A. Is Harmontown Niche or Solid Filmmaking?

  • Ryan
  • Timmie

B. Is It Okay to Create Something for a Limited Audience?

VI. Mini Segments [01:01:35]

A. NJAM Sees It: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him (2014), The Babadook (2014), Life Itself (2014), Other Space (2015)

VII. Conclusions [01:07:51]

A. Related Links

Original Music

The music found in this episode was written and performed by the talented Jesse James.

Audio Editing

This show was edited by Ryan Jacobi.

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