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Film School for Dad
56 minutes | Mar 7, 2021
FSFD013 – Magnolia: Sophisticated Work of Art or Unstructured Writer’s Fart?
Magnolia is a 1999 film starring Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, William H Macy and an amazing ensemble cast that all deserve to get mentioned on that same level, but at 3 hours running time, we just don’t have time for that! An epic and formative film when Harv first saw it, the question remains: will it remain as effective and awe-inspiring to Dad, more than a generation on? Was Magnolia just a product of its time and Harv’s impressionable age, or does it hold up as a universal observation of the tragedy and beauty of the human condition? In this episode, we find out!
49 minutes | Jun 20, 2020
FSFD012 – Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Fascinating and Profound, or Too Much Monkeying Around?
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a 2011 film starring James Franco, Frieda Pinto and a monkey named Ceasar played (virtually) by Andy Serkis. Notable for being one of the earliest films to portray human-like CGI protagonists convincingly, Rise of the Planet of the Apes surprised many film-goers with it’s thoughtful story and emphasis on a non-human main character. But does it survive the uncanny valley nearly 10 years later? And will Dad suspend disbelief long enough to get caught up in the spectacle? Let’s find out!
38 minutes | May 26, 2020
FSFD011 – Unforgiven: Thoughtful Rumination, or More Violence Glorification?
Unforgiven is a 1992 film starring Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman. It was written by David Web Peoples, but it’s very much a “Clint Eastwood film”. Sometimes described as the film that “broke the Western genre”, it is Clint Eastwood’s swan song to the genre that made him famous. Will Dad enjoy witnessing the death of the Western genre? Let’s find out!
49 minutes | Feb 15, 2020
FSFD010 – The Truman Show: Profound Allegory or Pointless Silly Story?
Peter Weir’s Jim Carrey vehicle “The Truman Show” came just as reality TV was overtaking the airwaves and invading our living rooms — and as such was almost prescient in its depiction of a man forced to live his life for the entertainment of others. Over the years it took it’s place alongside films like The Matrix as a symbol of humanity trapped in a manipulated reality from which we must escape — to conspiracy theorists, spiritual seekers and a whole generation frustrated with the limitations of their own material reality. Oh yeah, and Flat Earthers. Does it resonate across generations, or was it just a moment in time? Harv forces Dad to watch “The Truman Show” so we can answer that very question!
42 minutes | Jan 24, 2020
FSFD009 – Does Pi (1998) Pack a Punch for Pops or is it a Piss-Poor Piece of Poop?
PI is a 1998 indie film starring Sean Gillette, Mark Margolis and Ben Shenkman, and directed by Darren Aronofsky. Made for a mere $30,000 5 years after Aronofsky graduated film school, it unexpectedly explored ideas of mathematics, philosophy, religion and the meaning of life itself. It instantly became one of Harv’s top 10 films when he saw it in his early 20’s, but will it have the same affect on Dad, 22 years later and viewed through a more experienced lens? Let’s find out! Video on AlphaGo, mentioned in the podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=innFvO_1OrA
45 minutes | Dec 3, 2019
FSFD008 – The Matrix: Allegorical Warning or I Can Hear Dad Snoring?
The Matrix is about as genre defining as film gets. It broke box office records, captured a generation and became a symbol for awakening to spiritual gurus and conspiracy theorists alike. But do the allegorical musings hold up across a generation? I force Dad to watch it to find out!
43 minutes | Aug 31, 2019
FSFD007 – Coco: Nonsense for Toddlers or Serious Noggin Fodder?
Welcome to our special Father’s Day episode of Film School for Dad! Coco is a 2017 Disney Pixar film starring Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Alana Ubach and a whole bunch of other people with difficult-to-pronounce names voicing a cast of animated characters. Dealing with themes of death, legacy and family through the lens of Mexican culture, Coco is considered one of Pixar’s best films in a long stream blockbuster hits, starting with Toy Story back in 1995. But will it delight Dad in the same way it did Harv a couple of years prior? And will its themes of family and responsibility turn the discussion personal between father and son? Only one way to find out…
47 minutes | Aug 4, 2019
FSFD006 – 8 Mile: Cultural Edification or Rap Crap Irritation?
8 Mile is a 2002 musical drama directed by Curtis Hanson and starring Marshal Mathers (Eminem), Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer and Britanny Murphy (RIP). While telling the story of a character that closely parallels Eminem’s real life, it depicts mid-90’s Detroit and the hip-hop culture it imbued in such an evocative way that it has the potential to break down a lot of the standard prejudices that many people apply to rap artists. Will 8 Mile give Dad insight into, and appreciation of, the roots of hip-hop music and culture, or will it reinforce his generation’s dismissive stance on “rap crap” and the artists who create it? We’re breaking down barriers peeps… maybe… !?
43 minutes | Jun 22, 2019
FSFD005 – Jerry Maguire: bound to inspire, or corny dumpster fire?
Jerry Maguire was a 1996 Cameron Crowe film starring Tom Cruise, Renée Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr. When it was released, it received critical attention for showing a different side of Tom Cruise and featuring the break-out performance of Cube Gooding Jr. as Rod Tidwell. Nearly a quarter of a century since it’s release, Jerry Maguire is viewed as a cultural classic in its own right, spawning countless parodies and pervasive catch-phrases like “Show Me The Money” and “You Complete Me”. It’s another of Harv’s favourite films, but will it be too corny, too Tom-Cruisey or, even worse, “too American” for Dad?
41 minutes | Apr 19, 2019
FSFD004 – Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind: Spot-on, son, or Eternal Mindf**k?
Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind is a 2004 romantic comedy collaboration between director Michel Gondry and writer Charlie Kaufman, starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. It caught the attention of critics with it’s out-of-the-box story and unique visuals, while showcasing Jim Carrey for the first time as a serious dramatic actor. A little “out there” to dominate at the box office, Eternal Sunshine has since earned it’s place as a cult favourite among closet romantics across the globe. It’s one of Harv’s favourite films of all time, but will Dad find it equally impressive?
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