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Cinema in Context
59 minutes | Jun 28, 2022
Episode 75: Top Gun: Maverick & TRON: Legacy
80s films return! Directed by Joseph Kosinski. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Top Gun: Maverick (2022) and TRON: Legacy (2010). We begin by welcoming Sarah back to the podcast, hearing about two films she saw on her travels: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022) and The Glance of Music AKA Ennio (2021). We begin our discussion by reflecting on our experience watching TRON: Legacy, especially considering the cinema we saw it in, 3D cinema technology and the original TRON (1982). We discuss the incredible score by Daft Punk, comparing it to Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Inside Out (2015) and Blade Runner (1982), and the impressive production design and visual effects in the film. We then move the conversation to our experiences watching Top Gun: Maverick. We discuss the strengths of Top Gun: Maverick, particularly the strength in storytelling, the cast of characters, the emotional core of the film and the average character played by the brilliant Jennifer Connelly. We highlight the charisma of Tom Cruise, Miles Teller and Joh Hamm, as well as the careful inclusion of Van Kilmer. We focus on the religious imagery in both films, especially messiah figures. We also talk about the de-ageing in TRON: Legacy and how it holds up to other films with similar effects.
53 minutes | May 25, 2022
Episode 74: Everything Everywhere All at Once & Doctor Strange 2 (featuring Billy Revell-Siō)
Multiverse motherhood films. Jeremy Downing and William Chen are joined by Billy Revell-Siō to discuss Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022). We begin by discussing the horror genre elements of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, particularly harking back to the previous films of Sam Raimi: Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. We talk about the film in context of other Marvel content, particularly Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), Doctor Strange (2016), Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), WandaVision (2021), and Captain America: Civil War (2016). We move our discussion to Everything Everywhere All At Once, starting by considering the film alongside Daniels', the directors, previous film: Swiss Army Man (2016). We explore the pertinence of this film, especially in how it speaks to the tensions of today and connected to each hosts' emotions during and after the film. We praise the cast, especially Michelle Yeoh. We talk about the film in connection to Tenet (2020), In the Mood for Love (2001), and Turning Red (2022). The discussion focuses on the gender and queer representation in the film, particularly in relation to parental figures. We return to Doctor Strange 2 and discuss it in comparison to the Spider-Man films, X-Men series, and the range of other properties cameo'd in the film. We discuss the need for a story, connected it to Jurassic World: Dominion (2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), and What If...? (2021). We finish with final thoughts and William lists off the various influences he spotted in Everything Everywhere All at Once: The Matrix (1999), Terry Gilliam, Jackie Chan, Stephen Chow, Michel Gondry, Satoshi Kon, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.
49 minutes | Apr 29, 2022
Episode 73: Turning Red and Brave (featuring Phoebe Shum)
Female-led Pixar films. Jeremy Downing and William Chen are joined by Phoebe Shum to discuss Brave (2012) and Turning Red (2022). We begin by discussing Turning Red, especially the strengths of its themes and confidence in setting. We turn to Brave and consider the strength in the visuals and animation, discuss the connections to Tangled (2010) and Frozen (2013), the structure and storytelling in the film, and the history of the film's production. We talk about the history of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, and the distinctions between the two studios. We return to Turning Red and consider it in regards to connections with films like Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022), Asian stories and storytelling on screen, and the television series Russian Doll (2019-). We talk about the representation in Turning Red, especially in the animation style representing real people and how they capture a specific age group authentically.
49 minutes | Mar 25, 2022
Episode 72: Flee and Persepolis
Animated refugee biographies. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Flee (2021) and Persepolis (2007). We begin by discussing Persepolis and our experiences of seeing the film, rewatching it recently and reading the comic. We discuss both films and their presentation of the refugee story and the cost of freedom, especially with both films' protagonists being separated from their families. We discuss the lesson learned from both films and how we can apply provocations to our own contexts, especially the internal struggles of the central character Amin in Flee and his journey with a key lie that keeps him alive. We talk about the pop cultural connections in the films, from Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Lee, Iron Maidan, Aha's "Take on Me", Blood Sport and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. We then discuss the sexuality presented in both films, with female sexuality in Persepolis and homosexuality in Flee. This moves into a discussion of how these films are accepted or rejected in different parts of the world and sometimes in surprising ways. We close our discussion with a conversation about the stylistic flourishes of both films, particularly their animation styles.
55 minutes | Feb 12, 2022
Episode 71: Scream and Scream (featuring Doug Dillaman)
Meta slasher films. Sarah Watt and Jeremy Downing, with special guest Doug Dillaman, discuss Scream (1996) and Scream (2022). We begin by discussing the self-referential and meta qualities of the Scream series, including Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000) and Scream 4 (2011). We link and talk about the films in regards to Drew Barrymore, Scooby Doo and Psycho (1960), Hereditary (2018), The Babadook (2014) and Midsommar (2019). We then move into a discussion of the lore of the films, going through each movie and our connection to them. This then progresses to a discussion around the visceral violence of the films, and how that emphasises and subvert horror movie tropes. We talk about the depiction of mental illness, homosexuality and transsexuality in horror films, especially as a motivator for committing atrocities. This brings us to reference Heavenly Creatures (1994), Rope (1948) and Yellowjackets (2021). We move to discuss the perspective of each film and the filmmakers confidence in filmmaking, linking to "requels" like Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). We talk about the cast, including Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Mikey Madison, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Marley Shelton. We then discuss the realities of filming in Covid-19 affected times, linking to Moonfall (2022), Reacher (2022) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021). We finish by discussing the elements of the series that are unrealistic, especially the wounds that many characters shouldn't survive from. Our final thoughts touch on the idea of elevated horror and how might that sub-genre of horror finds its way more tonally in the Scream franchise.
89 minutes | Jan 25, 2022
Episode 70: Seven Films From Summer
Seven films from the summer for our 70th episode. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the following 2021 films: Don't Look Up, Encanto, The French Dispatch, House of Gucci, The Matrix: Resurrections, The Power of the Dog and West Side Story. Don't Look Up: We begin with review by song, highlighting how much the satire was or wasn't on the nose - especially pushing a particular agenda. We celebrate the cast, especially Melanie Lynskey. We reference Heavenly Creatures (1994) and Mother! (2017). Our collective rating adds up to: 2 thumbs up and 2 thumbs down Encanto: We discuss the messages and themes of the film, especially how dark gets and how subtle it explores those ideas. We also talk about the Disney influence on the film, particularly around character and toy design. Our collective rating adds up to: 6 thumbs up The French Dispatch: Wes Anderson's latest film, with a plethora of brilliant actors. We discuss the balance of humour, pretentiousness and how Wes Anderson this new Wes Anderson film is. We compare the film to Midnight in Paris (2011), Last Night in Soho (2021), The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014). Our collective rating adds up to: 6 thumbs up House of Gucci: We start by discussing the accents everyone is putting on and whether their performances are over-the-top or not. We talk mostly about the performances of Jared Leto, Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. We reference Ridley Scott's previous film The Last Duel (2021) and its similarities. Our collective rating adds up to: 2 thumbs up and 1 thumb down The Matrix: Resurrections: We discuss our general enjoyment of the film, with each of us falling in different points of the spectrum. This is in reference to the Wachowskis' works, like The Matrix Reloaded (2003), The Matrix Revolutions (2003), Speed Racer (2008), Cloud Atlas (2012), Jupiter Ascending (2015) and Sense8 (2015-18). Our collective rating adds up to: 2 thumbs up and 2 thumbs down The Power of the Dog: Jane Campion's return to the big screen, after two seasons of Top of the Lake (2013-2017), her last film being the fantastic Bright Star (2009). We discuss the fantastic cast, including Kodi Smit-McPhee, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons. We discuss the tension in the film, in connection to Quentin Tarantino and Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood (2019). Our collective rating adds up to: 6 thumbs up West Side Story: We discuss Steven Spielberg's career-long desire to make a musical, especially remaking West Side Story (1961), referencing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and In the Heights (2021). We talk about the specifics of the show and the changes made in the new film, especially highlighting the songs "Somewhere", "I Feel Pretty" and "Cool". We talk about the casting, including Bernardo played by David Alverez, Chino played by Josh Andrés Rivera, Riff played by Mike Faist, Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort playing Maria and Tony, respectively, and Valentina played by Rita Moreno. Our collective rating adds up to: 4 thumbs up We also mention Nightmare Alley (2021), The Green Knight (2021), Scream (2022), and The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021).
89 minutes | Dec 21, 2021
Episode 69: Highlights of 2021
Highs and lows of the year. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss their highlight films of 2021, including their biggest surprises, disappointments, wildcards, recommendations, runner-ups for the best film/television of the year and then each person's top pick. Here are the films discussed: • Biggest surprise: Werewolves Within [William]; Annette [Sarah]; and WandaVision [Jeremy] • Disappointment: Titane [Sarah & William]; Ted Lasso - Season 2 [William]; and No Time To Die [Jeremy] • Wildcard: Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar [Jeremy]; Slamilton [William]; and Class Action Park [Sarah]. • Recommendations: Reservation Dogs [William]; The Leftovers (2014-2017) & The White Lotus [Jeremy]; and Lapsis (2020) [Sarah]. • Runner-up films for the top spot: F9: The Fast Saga, Last Night In Soho, The Green Knight, VHS: 1994, The Suicide Squad & Pig [William]; Collective & Coming Home In the Dark [Sarah]; and In the Heights [Jeremy]. • Film/television series of the year: The Father [Sarah]; Arcane [William]; and Dune [Jeremy]. We had not consensus around our picks this year, so there is no overall Cinema in Context film of the year. We also talked about and mentioned these films throughout the episode: The Thing (1986), Hateful Eight (2015), Clue (1985), Raw (2016), Donnie Darko (2001), Southland Tales (2006), Drive (2011), Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Game of Thrones (2011-2019), Rick and Morty (2013-), Casablanca (1942), A Clockwork Orange (1971), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962), Space Jam (1996), 21 Jump Street (2012), 22 Jump Street (2014), Men In Black (1997), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Peacemaker (1997), The Last Duel (2021), The French Dispatch (2021), The Little Mermaid (1989), Toy Story (1995), Paperman (2012), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), Resident Evil (2002), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Apocalypse Now (1979), House of Gucci (2021), All The Money In The World (2017), Hannibal (2001), The Matrix: Resurrections (2021), The Batman (2022), The Power of Dog (2021), Encanto (2021), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), West Side Story (2021), The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021) and Othello (1951).
56 minutes | Nov 28, 2021
Episode 68: Shang-Chi & In The Mood for Love
Tony Leung films. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) and In the Mood for Love (2000). We begin by discussing Tony Leung's work in Shang-Chi and how much charisma he brings to the film, which weaves into a critique of the villains in Marvel films. We talk about the special effects of the film and the final set piece, especially the quality of the Computer Generated Imagery and the over-the-top nature of the climax. We talk about the roles of Meng'er Zhang as Shang-Chi's sister Xialing, Michelle Yeoh, and Ben Kingsley. We then move to discussing In The Mood for Love and whether it is a funny film or not. We connect the films to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Hero (2002), and Brief Encounter (1945), especially how romance is explored through reserved storytelling. We discuss Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton's earlier film Short Term 12 (2008 & 2013) and Chloé Zhao's Eternals (2021). We then praise the work of leads Simu Liu and Awkafina, and connecting to their other work Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) and Kim's Convenience (2016-2021). We then further discuss Hero, especially the action work, colours and other stylistic and story elements, including Rashomon (1960), Jackie Brown (1997), The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), Speed (1994), Skyfall (2012), Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) and A View to a Kill (1985).
51 minutes | Oct 17, 2021
Episode 67: Free Guy and The Matrix
Virtual reality worlds. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Free Guy (2021) and The Matrix (1999). We begin by praising The Matrix, directed by Lilly and Lana Wachowski aka "The Wachowskis". We talk about various memorable shots and sequences, and drawing connections to manga, anime, Hong Kong cinema, Shrek (2001), Swordfish (2001), Jet Li's The One (2001), the work of John Woo, and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003). We reflect upon the lobby shoot-out scene and the state of gun violence in the United States of America, particularly the Columbine High School massacre that would occur three weeks after the release of The Matrix. We look at the year 1999 and how it was a turning point year, as the film suggests, with the 9/11 attacks just around the corner, Y2K bug - with a shout out to the podcast You're Wrong About - and the rise of the internet. We make further connections to the work of Robert Rodriguez, the sequels Matrix: Reloaded and Matrix: Revolutions, and a range of work that came before and a multitude of influences moving forward. We shift our praise of The Matrix to its story, including high stakes your care about, the Eastern philosophy, the critique of the status quo of inequity and control in the role, trans-ness and the transitioning allegory, and the core love story. However, there are also some disturbing influences of the story, like the rise of trench coat-wearing terrorists and red-pilling. We then consider films that connect The Matrix to Free Guy, including John Carpenter's They Live (1988), The Lego Movie (2014), Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), and with a quote from BoJack Horseman (2014-20). Our conversation then moves to focus on Free Guy, highlighting it's homage and hat-tipping to other films, like Star Wars (1977) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We highlight the strengths of the film, especially the storyline focused on Jodie Comer and Joe Keery, which explore feminine and masculine gaming sensibilities. We decry the performance of Taika Waititi in the film, as well as Shawn Levy's direction of his improvisation, comparing it to the Ocean's Eleven sequels and Judd Apatow films. We continue to connect the film to Dark City (1998), The Truman Show (1998), Inception (2010), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), the work of John Hughes, Her (2013), and Alien: Resurrection (1997).
49 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
Episode 66: The White Lotus
The White Lotus. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the latest HBO limited series The White Lotus, created, written and directed by Mike White. We begin by sharing our initial thoughts, which are varied between the three of us. In our discussion, we work our way through each of the characters and the actors playing them, unpacking how each of their stories land. You can read Sarah's blog post response and review to The White Lotus here: https://bit.ly/3tPDBce
52 minutes | Aug 22, 2021
Episode 65: Pirates of the Caribbean & Jungle Cruise
Disney theme park films. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Jungle Cruise (2021) and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), two action adventure films based on Disney theme park rides of the same names. We begin the discussion by focusing on Jungle Cruise, reflecting upon the circumstances of how we each saw the film, and then very quickly comparing it to Pirates of the Caribbean. We hark back to the heyday of DVDs, when Pirates of the Caribbean had just been released, alongside films like Transformers (2007) and The Incredibles (2003), and discuss the film in both context of its time and how it has aged over time. Our discussion then focuses on specific elements of Pirates of the Caribbean, including the direction of Gore Verbinski, the score headed up by Hans Zimmer, the on-the-fly writing of Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, including connections and comparisons to Ennio Morricone and Sergio Leone, and the LucasArts Monkey Island game series. We then discuss the writing and cast of Jungle Cruise, including connections to The African Queen, and Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, and the great work of Emily Blunt, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jessie Plemons and Jack Whitehall. Our conversation then focuses on Jack Whitehall's gay character, with his coming out in the world of the film and the allegiance of Emily Blunt's character, and a discussion around the representation of a gay character played by a straight actor. We reflect upon other Disney gay characters, including the live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, with LeFou, and Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker, with two unnamed background characters, and then consider Jungle Cruise and how they present a gay character in Jack Whitehall. We then talk to the chemistry between the characters in Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean. Our chat then compares Jungle Cruise to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), The Mummy (1999), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Romancing the Stone (1984) and Apocalypse Now (1979). Our discussion then moves into a conversation about the music of Jungle Cruise, including Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters". We then consider the scariness of both films, including Edgar Ramírez' character and the skeletons of Pirates of the Caribbean. We then look back at Gore Verbinski's films, including The Lone Ranger (2013), The Ring (2002), The Cure for Wellness (2016), Rango (2011) and Mousehunt (1997),and also looking back at Jaume Collet-Serra's films The Shallows (2016), The Commuter (2018), Orphan (2009) and House of Wax (2005).
49 minutes | Jul 25, 2021
Episode 64: The Fast and the Furious & F9: The Fast Saga
The Fast & Furious saga. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss F9: The Fast Saga (2021) and The Fast and the Furious (2001), the latest and initial films in the Fast and the Furious saga. We begin by discussing Jeremy's lack of exposure to the films, with Sarah and William filling in the blanks. We talk to the legacy of the series, including its representation of people of colour, masculinity, femininity and family. We then return to joyfully recounting our favourite parts of the series. We compare the original to a range of films of the same time, including Charlie's Angels, The Matrix and Ocean's Eleven. We then talk about... magnets! And all the fun of magnets in the chase sequences in Edinburgh in F9. Our discussion then moves into a comparison and consideration of the series to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other franchise series. We then talk about the real-world crossovers of the films, with in-fighting and familial connections.
49 minutes | Jun 28, 2021
Episode 63: In The Heights & Fiddler on the Roof
Cultural change musicals. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss In The Heights (2021) and Fiddler on the Roof (1971), two musical films exploring the upholding of culture amidst social change. We begin by discuss the similarities of both films. We then talk to Fiddler on the Roof and its timelessness and its sense of reality. We then discuss the ideas presented in In The Heights, including celebrating community, the journey of being otherised and the stories of undocumented young people in the United States of America. We then discuss the dream sequences in both films, the character development, and the interchange between the dialogue and music.
49 minutes | May 30, 2021
Episode 62: The Mitchells vs the Machines & Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Robot uprising films. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), two films detailing the robot apocalypse and dysfunctional families finding their way in the skirmish. We begin by talking about The Mitchells vs the Machines, comparing it to Phil Lord and Chris Miller's other works, notably Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. We applaud the visual style of the film, but critique how all the pieces fit together. We further compare the film to WALL-E, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, specifically how animation is used in conjunction with real-world elements - further comparing styles to The Mandalorian, The Congress, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Da 5 Bloods and The Irishman. We then move into a discussion of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, specifically how the special and practical effects hold up. We talk about the film in connection to Jurassic Park, Shocker, Aliens, Titanic and Breaking Bad. Our conversation then moves into how the story is established and paid off throughout the film, connecting to the Greek prophetess Sibyl, 12 Monkeys, The Matrix, A Glitch in the Matrix, I, Robot, Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and Avatar.
49 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
Episode 61: Godzilla vs. Kong & Kramer vs. Kramer
Versus films. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), two films at the ends of the 'versus films' spectrum. We jump into Godzilla vs. Kong, unpacking the plot details, and connecting and comparing it to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), The Guest (2014), Transformers (2007), Alien vs. Predator (2004), Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Eagle vs Shark (2007), Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Opera (1987), Suspiria (1977), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), and American Crime Story (2016-), including the O.J. Simpson season, the Versace season and the upcoming Monica Lewinsky season. We then move our conversation onto Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), unpacking the details of the story, and connecting and comparing it to Marriage Story (2019), Before Midnight (2013), Before Sunset (2004) and the series of 'Before' films as a whole. We wrap up our conversation by highlighting last thoughts and final 'versus films' connections, including Shin Godzilla (2016), Ford v Ferrari (2019), Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2019), The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), and Allen v. Farrow (2021).
13 minutes | Apr 11, 2021
Minisode: Oscars 2021
Academy Awards 2021. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the Oscar nominations for 2021 a few weeks before the awards ceremony.
50 minutes | Mar 28, 2021
Episode 60: Nomadland and Into The Wild
Houseless on the road. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Nomadland (2020) and Into The Wild (2007), two films with protagonists who are houseless and on the road. We begin by discussing the real world connections inherent in both films, including the non-actors (but highlighting the skills and strengths of Frances McDormand), elements based on true stories and the production styles of both films. We unpack the narrative in Nomadland and how the manages genre, and what it is saying about capitalism, choice and survival. Our discussion then moves to Into The Wild, sharing our general criticism of the film, including the ethos of the main character, the photography, editing and direction. Our conversation then moves into the dystopian qualities of Nomadland, particularly the factory scenes set in Amazon, the central character Fern working at the Sugar-beet Plant and the open desert spaces, and highlights the commentary on modern day slavery. We praise the strength of Chloe Zhao's direction and criticise some of Sean Penn's direction. We talk about the past of Emile Hirsch and Sean Penn, touching on allegations of them being violent, Speed Racer (2008), and other connections to events and films of the time Into The Wild came out.
52 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
Episode 59: Promising Young Woman and Thelma & Louise (featuring Julia Craig)
#MeToo revenge and road trips. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen are joined by Julia Craig to discuss Promising Young Woman (2021) and Thelma & Louise (1991), two films dealing with sexual assault, female revenge and the unpicking of society's complicity and encouragement of toxic, dangerous and misogynist behaviours. We begin by sharing our experiences watching Thelma & Louise and our reactions to Promising Young Woman. We then focus on the characters in both films, the lead roles and the various side characters. Our conversation moves into how each film deals with systemic issues of brining up sexual assault, complicity and overstepping of consent. Music becomes our next focus topic, especially the needle drops in Promising Young Woman.
48 minutes | Jan 30, 2021
Episode 58: Mank and Citizen Kane
Exploring the "greatest film of all time". Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Mank (2020) and Citizen Kane (1941). We start by comparing Mank to Joker and Alien3, and then jumping into a discussion of Citizen Kane, as the subjective greatest film of all time. We discuss the impressive cinematography and the strength of the cast, linking the strength of the ensemble to the films of Christopher Guest. We unpack the shots and cinema work of both Citizen Kane and Mank, praising the work of Kane and questioning some of the techniques used in Mank. We compare Mank to Roma and Ed Wood, for their use of cinema techniques. Our discussion moves to the various motivations behind the making of Mank and how they either work or don't work. We talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the cast of Mank, including Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Charles Dance, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Burke and Lilly Collins. Our conversation touches on the Netflix deal David Fincher has made, comparing the potential compromise to the work of Francis Ford Coppola, Terry Gilliam and Quentin Tarantino. We finish our chat with a focus on Citizen Kane and Mank's storytelling, politics, and intentions around social and political commentary.
59 minutes | Dec 22, 2020
Episode 57: Highlights From 2020
Memorable film and television from an unpredictable year. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss their highlights from 2020, but because of the unsettled nature of 2020, we talk about both film and TV we watched this year, regardless of when they were released. We talk about and mention the films Babyteeth, One Cut of the Dead, Cats, Corpus Christi, Queen & Slim, The Surrogate, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Hamilton and The Invisible Man. We also mention and discuss multiple television series, including Green Eggs and Ham, Watchmen (2019), Ted Lasso, Schitt's Creek, The Midnight Gospel and BoJack Horseman.
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