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Official Direct Thread: Hot Fuzz
Hot Fuzz is the next movie we'll be covering on Direct. What are your favorite moments? Fan theories? References? Lines? Characters?
Bad boys for life!
I was initially disappointed in Hot Fuzz, but after a few watches a grew to love it. Last year on my Cornetto marathon, I came away thinking Hot Fuzz was right on Par with Shaun Of Dead.
I've seen it so many times that I think, for this watch, I'm going to turn on the commentary track with Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino as recommended by
on a different thread. There is yet another tie-in to Tarantino.
I've only just started the Shaun podcast, so I'm not sure if Eric and Levi have talked about it yet or not, but one of Wright's go-to editing techniques is doing quick cuts on very mundane tasks. In Shaun it's making breakfast. In Hot Fuzz it's police paperwork. I think they said at some point that they were inspired by Tony Scott with that kind of editing, but thought it would be interesting to do it with very uninteresting things.
There are so many great jokes throughout, and I catch new stuff ever time I watch it, but one of my favorite jokes in the film is the "You mothers!" moment from Nicholas Angel.
here's a link
from the film school rejects website with a list of insights gleaned from one of the commentary tracks in case anyone's interested.
"The Greater Good"
There are so many great moments to talk about, including some classic Edgar Wright "callback" or "continuing joke" moments. One of the best instances in this movie is when Sgt Angel and Butterman are visiting the farmer who had cut down someone's hedges, and discussing the shotgun in his hands - I loved how they couldn't understand what he was saying, and had to bring in the K9 officer, who Angel STILL couldn't understand. "What'd he say? Ah. What'd HE say?"
I also like the various action/cop movie references, it's really a love letter to the genre.
Two of the best quick jokes are the appearance of the swan during the car chase, and the priest screaming "JESUS CHRIST!" when he gets shot. I don't know why, but I laugh really hard every time I see that scene, even though I know it's coming.
edited January 2016
I think for me it's that Hot Fuzz follows in the tradition of The Wicker Man or Straw Dogs. Indeed the latter is set not too far from the world of Hot Fuzz. I'm not suggesting they're thematically alike, but rather that both of those predecessors mine the fecund creepiness of rural England: a place of chocolate-box streets nestling beneath mediaeval cathedrals and villages dotted across picturesque landscapes.
I agree with Alvy Singer: the country makes me nervous. Just what goes on in those small towns where only relations and daytrippers visit? Why is it so trivially easy to imagine that, behind the door of the Womens' Institute, it's not just cakes that are being baked and strawberries that wait on the chopping block? I've always felt the most terrifying part of An American Werewolf in London was not the werewolf itself but rather that scene in which they visit the isolated pub and meet the distrusting and genuinely creepy locals.
The writer Robert McFarlane refers to "the skull beneath the skin of the English countryside" and I think I understand what he means. The English eerie looms large in the psychogeography of many of my favourite writers. I'm thinking here of Alan Moore's Northampton, or Warren Ellis alone under the enormous gun metal skies of his bit of Essex by the Thames Estuary (or as he has it, the Thames Delta), or Philip Larkin's poem
("where silence stands like heat") and I regard it all as part of a hauntological continuum that stretches way back throughout English history. It's a continuum that includes Arthur Machen and M.R. James (his pastoral horror A View From A Hill is also located, like Straw Dogs and Hot Fuzz, in South West England) and continues right up to modern short films like the genuinely disconcerting
and the remarkable (and equally discomfiting) PS4 game Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, which is set in a deserted village in rural England.