Flickchart Road Trip: Kentucky

Derek Armstrong

Derek is a film critic, currently writing for the Australian film website ReelGood as well as his personal blog, The Audient.

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4 Responses

  1. You should have held off one more week. The Kentucky Derby Festival begins two weeks before the Derby, with Thunder Over Louisville. That’s an all-day affair on the Ohio River with an air show by the Blue Angels and other events, culminating in one of the most elaborate fireworks shows in the world. I can sometimes hear parts of it at home – and I live in an adjacent county.

    I’d have encouraged you to have some Jim Beam black label (the color of the label is quite important here), which is a very fine substitute for Knob Creek but noticeably less pricey – important when your Monopoly money is limited. 007 refers to it as “sour mash” at one point. Sour mash is the name of the distilling process, not a flavor. It’s not a particularly helpful means of distinguishing one bourbon from another, so that’s an instance of Bond trying to be showy about his knowledge and instead looking like a guy name-dropping a term he doesn’t really know how to use properly (kind of like his bluff about Operation: Grand Slam).

    I saw the film before I read Ian Fleming’s original novel. I was very excited because when I opened my paperback, there’s a crude road map of the area showing the way to Fort Knox. “Dude! That’s Dixie Highway! Like, the exact same stretch I’ve actually been on countless times!” It was a thrill to have my neck of the woods appear in Fleming’s series, in part because I’m such a fan but also because Fleming focused exclusively on locations that interested him. Fleming’s stories are like a Zagat rating for where to have sex with beautiful women, imbibe only the finest spirits and brutally murder bad guys.

    On 3 August 2007, the Alamo Drafthouse brought their Rolling Roadshow Tour to Fort Knox and hosted a once-in-a-lifetime screening of the film on site. There was an inflatable screen set up at a park literally across the street from the gold depository building. It was completely surreal to look to my right and see the movie, then look to my left and see the actual building. I didn’t even have to turn my head.

    (Why haven’t I just written a “Movie to See Before You Die” piece on Goldfinger?)

    As for the other films you’ve cited, I’ve actually only seen one: The Insider. It was an interesting enough dramatization of the real-life 60 Minutes expose that was quashed, but what excited me the most was that I recognized the locations where they filmed.

    At the time I saw the movie, I was working on my associate’s degree at Jefferson Community College. You can prominently see the tallest building on that small campus outside Pacino’s window at the Seelbach Hotel, though you’d have to know what you’re looking for to recognize it. A five minute Google search yielded no online screen caps, so you’ll just have to take my word on this.

    Lastly, I haven’t seen Elizabethtown, but I did see its trailer and I love it if for no other reason than the discussion about how to properly pronounce “Louisville”. “Loo-uh-vull” is correct. “Lewie-vill” is not. Much like seeing that handdrawn road map in the beginning of Goldfinger, it was a personal victory to have the pronunciation of Louisville addressed so prominently not just in a movie, but in a movie trailer seen by audiences who may never see the movie itself.

    • Derek Armstrong says:

      Thanks for the comment, Travis!

      I do admit that I say “Lewie-vill,” even though I know it’s wrong. I think it’s one of those cases where the mispronunciation is so prevalent that you almost sound like you’re putting on airs if you go out of your way to pronounce it correctly. As far as the Slugger goes, it’s almost like that has become a separate brand with the pronunciation of “Lewie-vill.” Or perhaps it’s just years of ignorance being passed on to new generations.

      That would have been a terrific viewing environment for Goldfinger. Would like to have been there for that one.

      I wonder if the Blue Angels will still be performing this year. I’d heard there have been cutbacks on air shows in light of the sequester, since that’s basically the definition of unnecessary government spending. (Though I guess I don’t know if the Blue Angels get government funding or are privately funded.)