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298. The Sound of Music (#243)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, this time with special guest Síomha McQuinn, The 250 is a weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released Saturdays at 6pm GMT.

This week, Robert Wise’s The Sound of Music.

Maria is a young woman lacking purpose and direction in her life. Exiled from a convent, Maria is assigned to work as governess for the von Trapp family, caring for seven children who recently lost their mother and are struggling to connect with their emotionally distant father. Maria strikes up an unlikely connection with Captain von Trapp, but the family soon finds their idyllic existence threatened as historical realities come to bear on Austria.

At time of recording, it was ranked 243rd on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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Thoughts on Meaning…

So what does this cartoon mean?

It shows how the depletion of our natural resources has pitted our small farmers against each other.

Yes, and birds go tweet, what else?

– College lecturer and student dissect Itchy & Scratchy, “Little Girl in the Big Ten”, The Simpsons

I had the pleasure of moving in with my better half last week, and we grew quite fond of listening to her “best of REM” CD – the excellent In Time. “Orange Crush” happened to play, and my significant other happened to remark that she greatly enjoyed the song. As we nodded in time to the music, I pondered aloud if she was familiar with the meaning of the song – she had been unaware of the origins of the Boomtown Rats’ “I Don’t Like Mondays”, for instance, or “What’s the Frequency Kenneth?” on the same CD. She admitted that she was not, so I offered her a brief synopsis over the discussion as to the “meaning” and “roots” of the song:

Orange Crush was an orange flavored soft drink. In this case, though, it was meant to refer to Agent Orange, a chemical used by the US to defoliate the Vietnamese jungle during the Vietnam War. US military personnel exposed to it developed cancer years later and some of their children had birth defects.

This was met with observations that I tend to “ruin” songs be talking about such things, implying that once you know something like that about a song it becomes a lot more difficult to nod your head along and join in on the chorus. Part of me wonders if the same is a little true of movies, in a manner of speaking – does over analysing and disecting them ultimately lead us to somewhat devalue them as entertainment?

It's actually about nuclear proliferation...

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