Episode #37: Salmonberries
Listen to Episode 37 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - In Salmonberries, a librarian in the small Alaskan town of Kotzebue is confronted by a woman, who is also named Kotzebue, demanding help in finding her birth parents. Over time, the two form a relationship and try to work together to get answers to the questions about their past.
Screenplay by Percy Adlon; Directed by Percy Adlon, and released in Germany on October 31, 1991.
It doesn't take long before the movie decides to tell us that we're in for an art house style of production. Once you start to see these books flying in slow motion, it's clear what you're in for.
It's not the only time the movie uses slow motion for little effect. There's also a scene later on, when they travel to Germany that makes a big deal out of ultimately nothing.
Something the movie does extremely well is flooding the screen with colors.
When the landscape is almost exclusively white from the Alaskan snow, the saturation of color is welcome and effective.
The lighting, even when dealing with the white, is also well thought out.
Of course we talk a little about the titular salmonberries as a food
We question the dream sequence as it relates to the rest of the movie, since it ultimately feels so out of place.
We also discuss the performances and relationship between the two leads (k.d. lang in her debut and Rosel Zech) in depth as that is a good portion of the movie.
Some of the character motivations were very confusing and seemed to lack real motivation.
The Berlin Wall came down very shortly before this movie started production, and so it was interesting to see how that factored into the story and we wonder if some of the impact is lost on us 30 years later.
And we discussed the way the ending was handled with the regular fade outs/ins that were really just distracting.
And we pause on the credits to talk about the life and career of Chuck Connors.
Awards Talk: At the Bavarian Film Awards Rosel Zech won Best Actress and the movie won Best Production. At the Montreal World Film Festival it won the Grand Prix des Ameriques
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week we don't have any true crime segment to talk about so we jump right into television.
Here's what was on TV on October 31, 1991
You can find the full episode of The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror II on Disney+ but here is the opening showing how Marge used to warn the audience of the scary nature of this "kids" show.
It might be impossible to talk about this movie without talking about the main song running throughout the feature. While "Barefoot" is a very haunting romantic song, we still wanted a little variety, even if it would have come from k.d.'s back catalog. Since it was essentially the only song in the picture, it lost a bit of luster by the end.
We also took a look at some of the key October album releases
Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend - released October 22, 1991 - Here's the relatively famous video.
Black Sheep - A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing - released October 22, 1991 - Flavor of the Month was the first single, but The Choice Is Yours was the bigger hit.
Big Daddy Kane - Prince of Darkness - released October 29, 1991 - This didn't produce his biggest songs, but still managed a couple of high charting singles
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 2 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 1 1/2 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - Neither of us are interested in revisiting this, but would consider watching Percy Adlon's most famous movie "Baghdad Cafe" to see if it is a bit more palatable.
If you want to watch Salmonberries, as of this recording in October 2021, it’s available on Prime, Tubi, Shout Factory TV, Digital Rental, DVD. Check your local listings.
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