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183 minutes | 3 days ago
Episode 054: Invasion of the Body Snatchers & Beetlejuice
MG features a father-daughter team-up today as we are joined by Erick's daughter (and contributing website artist) Olivia Schieile! Together they've cooked up a double feature that covers a huge range of spooky flavors! First up: ghosts, saber-toothed sandworms, and demonic possession all come together hilariously in Beetlejuice - the movie that introduced the world to the now-universally recognized stripes-and-nightmares style of Tim Burton, followed by Don Siegel's hugely unsettling black-and-white classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers from 1956 - a film that we feel is all-too relevant to today's politics!
178 minutes | 17 days ago
Episode 053: The Keep & Legend
Directors Michael Mann and Ridley Scott have each developed a strong brand for themselves, so when you see their name on the marquee, you feel you know what to expect. But early in their careers, they both decided to take on a decidedly different kind of movie - the fairy tale - and while the results are a bit mixed, they are still fascinating, and MG argues that many of their directorial signatures were born in these offbeat films. Join us as we check out the full-on pixies-and-unicorns adventure of Scott's Legend, and the World War II mythic horror of Mann's The Keep!
188 minutes | a month ago
Episode 052: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Join MG for a Halloween treat as we take on our first Twitch-based episode! Classic films always set a standard, but few movies are so groundbreaking that they create an entirely new genre, and Tobe Hooper's terrifying The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the biggest game-changers in cinema history. Mixing a low-fi, almost documentary flavor with high-concept horror and a touch of political allegory, this panic-attack of a movie was a massive hit for its tiny budget, and it set the stage for a dozen horror franchises to come with its transgressive chills!
162 minutes | a month ago
Episode 051: Akira & The Promised Neverland
Chris' daughter Lily is with us tonight to talk about the current state of anime! The iconic Japanese style of animation and storytelling began its slow crossover to American theaters in the late 80's, but for a long time it was seen here only as a sort of niche, art-house novelty. No one could have predicted how big it would get, though - today, young people around the world have embraced it as their generation's defining form of art! Join us as we compare the old and the new with our double-feature of 1988's classic Akira and Netflix's The Promised Neverland!
167 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 050: Masculin Féminin & Hairspray
At first glance, Chris' pairing of Godard's New Wave groundbreaker Masculin Féminin with John Water's mainstream crossover Hairspray might seem a little bizarre. In fact, they couldn't be further apart on the stylistic spectrum: the former is a wildly experimental art piece that captures Paris' pop culture with an almost documentary tone, and the latter is a seemingly-fluffy 60's satire shot in vivid color with cartoonish characters. But in watching them back-to back, it became clear that the political themes behind both could not be more relevant to today!
184 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 049: The Diving Bell and The Butterfly
When Julian Schnabel decided to make a film out of of Jean-Dominique Bauby's autobiography The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, he was taking on a radical film making challenge that was both technically difficult and emotionally challenging: the story follows Bauby himself as he writes the book - even though he had been completely paralyzed by a massive stroke in the prime of his life. Join us as we look at the unusual visual and storytelling techniques employed to put the viewer inside Bauby's first-person experience - and how watching this film played very differently for us in the time of COVID-19!
217 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 048: I Shot Jesse James & The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
MG takes on a double dose of Jesse James! First up: Samuel Fuller's I Shot Jesse James from 1949, a film that many regard as the most studio-esque of the great directors' work - but MG believes there is a brilliantly subversive message motivating this western classic. Next: Australian auteur Andrew Dominik takes major inspiration from Fuller's work with his heartbreaking elegy The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck - which we argue is the most under seen, underrated movie of the past twenty years!
160 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 047: Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Seymour: an Introduction
Steven Spielberg's masterpiece Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a deeply personal film - it's one of the few screenplays he wrote himself, and debuts what would become his signature - broken families coming face-to-face with magical wonders. But when James Lipton asked how Spielberg's parents' jobs (a computer technician and a piano teacher) influenced the writing of the script… the director was dumbstruck - this obvious relationship had never occurred to him. How much of our work as artists is this unconscious? Join us as we look at this and more through the lens of another brilliant film: Ethan Hawke's brilliant art documentary, Seymour: an Introduction!
177 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 046: Time Travel Part 2
We dive into our second Time Travel episode with a double-dose of 50's nostalgia: Frances Ford Coppola's Peggy Sue Got Married, and Gary Ross' Pleasantville. Now if you only watched the trailers, these movies might seem like polar opposites, with Peggy Sue seemingly wanting to glorify the past as Pleasantville sets out to mock it. But MG argues that both films wildly subvert these expectations, and each features far deeper character stories than almost any other entry in the genre. So buckle yourself into the way-back machine and get ready for some social commentary, poodle skirts, and a breakout performance from a very young (and very weird) Nicholas Cage!
172 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 045: Brainstorm
Douglas Trumbull is a legend in the world of VFX; the iconic imagery and techniques he developed for such classics as Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey are landmarks in the history of the industry. But few know that he's also a director. His first picture was1972's cli-fi masterpiece Silent Running, and he had big ideas for his follow-up project - both conceptually and technologically. But this time the studios pushed back hard. Why did they try to kill this dream project before it could be released? Find out as MG dives into Brainstorm!
132 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 044: Grizzly Man
For nearly sixty years, Werner Herzog has been a force in world cinema, serving as an inspiration to both mainstream and independent filmmakers alike with his strange combination of radical daring and gentle humanism - especially in the world of documentary film, where he made a mark with experimental work like Lessons in Darkness and Fata Morgana, and upset his contemporaries with his 'Minnesota Declaration' against Cinema Verite which argued for blurring the lines between fact and fiction in the service of truth. But MG argues that he topped himself with his 2005 masterpiece - the bittersweet, funny, and inspiring Grizzly Man!
165 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 043: Godzilla vs Runaway Train
Tonight MG offers a strange double feature as we take a look at two very different films. First up: the little-remembered American prison-escape melodrama Runaway Train, starring Academy Award winner Jon Voight in his most colorful performance outside of Anaconda; followed by an even bigger character - Toho Studios original kaiju in his building-stomping debut: 1954's horror masterpiece, Gojira - renamed (and recut) in the United States as 'Godzilla, King of the Monsters!' What could these movies have in common? Akira Kurosawa, of course! Join us as we dig deep into how both countries faced their postwar anxieties through pop art!
178 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 042: The Death of Stalin
Over the past decade, Armando Iannucci has delivered some of the sharpest, most bitter political comedy we've ever seen - and from his teardown of the Blair government in The Thick of It, to his Oscar nominated script for In the Loop, to HBO's Julia Louis Dreyfuss vehicle Veep, his writing has always been topical and on-point. But ironically, his most relevant work yet takes place in 1953, with the grim-larious historical satire The Death of Stalin, which follows the panicked backstabbing of Stalin's idiotic inner circle as they all jockey for position in a government on the verge of collapse. Sound familiar? MG agrees!
169 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 041: Early Woody Allen
Woody Allen has averaged a production rate of a movie a year since 1966: in just over five decades, he's made over fifty films. Luckily for us, it's easy to pick out samples, because more than any other popular director, his career is divided into clear tonal sections - so tonight start with the fun stuff: three classics from his slapstick comedies - including What's Up, Tiger Lily, a re-dub of a Japanese B-movie, Bananas, where Woody becomes the leader of a fictional South American country, and his sci-fi comedy masterpiece Sleeper, where he and Diane Keaton join forces to defeat the Orwellian government of 2173!
195 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 040: Wes Anderson Films
Few filmmakers have realized their personal style so thoroughly as Wes Anderson, whose movies have only become more stunningly art directed with each new entry; but have his micro-managed visuals started to distance him from his characters? MG tracks the ratio of production-design to story-satisfaction over the course of three fan favorites with Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, and we look at how things have changed as he goes from dogged, low-budget indie darling to a New-Yorker-approved-artiste, complete with pre-approved Criterion releases and the power to resurrect Bill Murray's career!
234 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 039: A Clockwork Orange
MG puts Chris through the Ludovico treatment! Yep, the rumors are true: even though Stanley Kubrick's bizarre, ultraviolent masterpiece A Clockwork Orange came out the same year that Chris was born, in all that time, our MG co-host has never actually seen it! He certainly knows its controversial history however: a movie so shocking, that on its initial release, many people blamed it for inspiring the kinds of criminals it was supposedly lampooning. Has it lost its edge in the years since? Or is it just as upsetting as it was in the early seventies? Join MG for his first impressions on this landmark dark comedy!
196 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 038: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Most fans think of Ferris Bueller's Day Off as more or less The Rosetta Stone of 80's film, as it is both a perfect cross-section of that decade's style and humor, as well as being one of the most important comedies of all time: its fourth-wall-breaking, snappy-ironic attitude has influenced everything from Friends to Deadpool. But amazingly, Erick has never seen it! Join MG as we get his first impressions on John Hughes' masterpiece; discussing its philosophy, politics, and artistry - and how it all plays in today's context. Are its message and characters just as relatable and inspiring today as they were in 1986?
128 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 037: The Wrong Guy and Run Ronnie Run
MG knows that, like everyone else in our socially-distanced world, you've probably reached the end of Netflix by now - so this week we dug deep to find you some truly obscure comedy gems: David Foley's wierdo-Hitchcockian The Wrong Guy and David Cross' COPS-inspired Run Ronnie Run - both only available on YouTube. As we all hunt for more content, have forgotten greats like these found their moment? And if COVID-19 has changed everything about how we watch movies, how deep will the impact be for the people that make them? MG discusses the future of film in the post-coronavirus world… and thinks maybe there's a happy ending.
176 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 036: Marriage Story
MG takes on Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story in an episode that is a bit of a time capsule - it was recorded a few months ago, before we had seen the Oscars, and - more importantly - before the coronavirus drove us all into Netflix isolation. In fact, nowadays we sort of long for the kind of frivolity that Chris and Dan accuse Baumbach's script of having. That's right, the Giant is split on this one, and we're taking it to court! So join us as we turn back the clock to 2019, when all we worried about was why the hell Laura Dern was nominated for this movie instead of Little Women, directed by Baumbach's own spouse!
191 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 035: Shampoo
Hal Ashby made some of the greatest movies of the 1970's, from The Last Detail, to Coming Home, to Harold and Maud - so why have so few people heard of him? Is it because his work is so hard to describe? Possibly - take tonight's film for instance - a tragicomedy about...*checks notes*...a Hollywood hairstylist trying to keep up with multiple girlfriends' needs on the night before Nixon is elected? Yeah, we know, not exactly a great elevator pitch. But trust us, there's more to this strange sex comedy than meets the eye. Join MG as we break down the sad delights of 'Shampoo,' starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie!
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