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Every month we discuss a current film and a connecting retrospective film. We look at technical aspects in each film, how they exemplify their genre/director/subject matter and then how each film fits into the wider cinema landscape. Enjoy!

Every month we discuss a current film and a connecting retrospective film. We look at technical aspects in each film, how they exemplify their genre/director/subject matter and then how each film fits into the wider cinema landscape. Enjoy!
More Information

Location:

New Zealand

Description:

Every month we discuss a current film and a connecting retrospective film. We look at technical aspects in each film, how they exemplify their genre/director/subject matter and then how each film fits into the wider cinema landscape. Enjoy!

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 31: A Star Is Born and Cabaret

10/21/2018
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Diegetic musicals. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss A Star Is Born and Cabaret. We begin by discussing the prowess of both Lady Gaga and Liza Minelli in the opening of each film. We unpack the narrative structure of A Star Is Born, looking at the first and second half, and stylistic throw-backs to other directors, which include Richard Linklater and David O. Russell. We talk about the heightened nature of Cabaret, particularly the sharp cuts that add to the irony in the...

Duration:00:43:53

Episode 30: Crazy Rich Asians and My Big Fat Greek Wedding

9/22/2018
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Culture clash wedding films. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Crazy Rich Asians and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, two romantic comedies that have broken Box Office records. Our discussion begins with acknowledging that My Big Fat Greek Wedding has not aged very well, so we try and find redeemable qualities in the film. We burst out in outrage at the poor Health and Safety protocols of John Corbett's teacher character. As teachers, we were not amused. The film is not pretty...

Duration:00:45:59

Episode 29: Mission Impossible Fallout and Top Gun

8/26/2018
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Tom Cruise action films. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Mission: Impossible - Fallout and Top Gun. We jump straight into a discussion about the Mission: Impossible films, highlighting the strength of the director talent for each of the films, comparing it to the James Bond and Harry Potter films. Our chat then moves to Top Gun and how out of date the film feels in retrospect. Gender representation, hard-body masculinity and homoerotica is talked about in regards to Top...

Duration:00:46:05

Episode 28: Skyscraper and Die Hard

7/29/2018
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Action films in a building. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Die Hard and Skyscraper. We begin by comparing Skyscraper to other films, like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Galaxy Quest, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, MacGyver, and even the musical Annie. Dwayne Johnson does a great job as the "every man" action hero and Neve Campbell does a great job as his calm and collected wife. We then discuss whether Skyscraper was taking itself seriously or self-aware silly....

Duration:00:42:37

Episode 27: Ocean's Eight and Ocean's Eleven

6/22/2018
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Ocean's Eleven franchise films. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Ocean's Eight and Ocean's Eleven, starting with acknowledging that the two films are very similar. We talk about the strength of the cast in Ocean's Eight, especially with the film's focus on character. We talk about the cinematography in both films, with the strength of cinematography in Ocean's Eleven and the straightforward, functional camerawork in Ocean's Eight. We talk about the possible "coming out" of...

Duration:00:42:34

Episode 26: Isle of Dogs and Battle Royale

5/28/2018
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Social satire set in Japan. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Isle of Dogs and Battle Royale. Discussion starts by comparing Battle Royale to our teaching experience, to The Hunger Games and to the current popularity of Battle Royale genre computer games, like Fortnite. We shift discussion to Isle of Dogs and commend the beautiful imagery, the tonal darkness of the story and how that relates to our world, and the joy of some of the gags in the film. Both films introduce...

Duration:00:45:17

Episode 25: A Quiet Place and Signs

4/25/2018
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Science Fiction thrillers. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss A Quiet Place and Signs, two films with a lot of similarities, with the most obvious connections being that they are about small families surviving in the midst of an invasion by hostile creatures. We start by discussing the merits of A Quiet Place and the dated qualities of Signs. We discuss the history of cinema around the release of Signs and where M. Night Shyamalan's career headed. Discussion then moves into...

Duration:00:45:45

Episode 24: Black Panther and every other superhero film *SPOILERS*

3/23/2018
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Super hero films. *SPOILER ALERT FOR MANY SUPERHERO FILMS* Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss Black Panther and any of the superhero films made in cinema history. We jump right into the discussion around black representation in Black Panther and if it does enough for representation. We compare representation of race with similar representation in Wonder Woman and District 9. We then talk about the cast in Black Panther, the strength of the talent on screen and the complexity...

Duration:00:42:31

Episode 23: Oscar Special 2018

2/23/2018
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Oscar Special 2018. Sarah Watt, Max Tarrant, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the films nominated for Academy Awards this year. Here are our picks: - Best Picture: Dunkirk - Actor in a Leading Role: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour - Actress in a Leading Role: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri - Actor in a Supporting Role: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri - Actress in a Supporting Role: Allison Janney, I, Tonya - Animated Feature Film: Coco (2...

Duration:00:48:07

Episode 22: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri & Fargo

1/27/2018
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Frances McDormand. Sarah Watt, Max Tarrant, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the films Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Fargo. We begin by praising Fargo, particularly the performances of the actors and the balancing of tones in the film. We then compare the merits, similarities and differences between the two McDormand characters. The discussion then moves onto the merits and weaknesses of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, touching particularly on the messy race...

Duration:00:43:29

Episode 21: Top Films of 2017

12/11/2017
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Top films of 2017. Max Tarrant, Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss each of their top three films of the year. Max’s top three: 1. The Square 2. The Killing Of A Sacred Deer 3. Get Out Sarah’s top three: 1. Manchester by the Sea 2. The Killing of a Sacred Deer 3. Baby Driver Jeremy’s top three: 1. Alien: Covenant 2. Blade Runner: 2049 3. War for the Planet of the Apes William’s top three: 1. Dunkirk 2. The LEGO Batman Movie 3. War for the Planet of the Apes (4. LOGAN) Cinema...

Duration:00:42:59

Episode 20: Thor: Ragnarok & Hunt For The Wilderpeople

11/17/2017
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Taika Waititi films. Sarah Watt, Max Tarrant, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the films Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016). The discussion starts by talking about the wonderful pace and opening of Hunt For The Wilderpeople and Waititi’s knack for pathos. All of his films balance both sadness and joy extremely well. We talk about Taika Waititi’s status as an auteur and his strength as a visual storyteller. The cast in Thor: Ragnarok is very strong, with...

Duration:00:43:22

Episode 19: Blade Runner & Blade Runner 2049 (SPOILERS)

10/14/2017
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Two Blade Runners. Sarah Watt, Max Tarrant, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049. Our discussion starts by discussing the bold visual choices in both films, particularly the mastery present in the lighting, as well as the complimenting iconic music. We talk about some of the story elements, particularly the opening, and the keeping of Hampton Fancher as the writer from the original film to the sequel. We then delve into the box office returns...

Duration:00:43:06

Episode 18: mother! & Mother

9/29/2017
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Mother times two. Sarah Watt, Max Tarrant, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the films mother! (2017) and Madeo, or Mother (2009). The discussion starts around mother! (2017) and unpacks its more horrific elements. We then have a back and forth discussion around the merits of Jennifer Lawrence’s character and the strength of her performance. We then jump into the allegory of the film, wondering whether it is a commentary on the experience of women, a commentary on Darron Arronofsky’s...

Duration:00:40:54

Episode 17: Valerian & The Fifth Element

8/25/2017
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Luc Besson Space Operas. Sarah Watt, Max Tarrant, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the films Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) and The Fifth Element (1997). The discussion touches on gender politics and romance stories in both films. We talk about the connections to other films, like Blade Runner, Stars Wars, Avatar, Indiana Jones and Singin’ in the Rain. Luc Besson clearly loves the story he is telling in both films. We discuss other visual directors, like Peter...

Duration:00:44:06

Episode 16: Baby Driver & Reservoir Dogs

7/29/2017
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Heist films with music. Max Tarrant, William Chen and Jeremy Downing discuss the films Baby Driver (2017) and Reservoir Dogs (1992). The discussion begins by talking about the tightly woven nature of both films and a clear confidence in each. We focus initially on Reservoir Dogs, talking about the strength of the characters and relationships, particularly the work of Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Steve Buscemi. We then talk about how the narrative is constructed, with the large...

Duration:00:42:33

Minisode: Best and Worst Cinema Experiences

7/16/2017
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William, Jeremy, Max and Sarah discuss their best and worst cinema experiences.

Duration:00:12:39

Episode 15: Wonder Woman & Barbarella

6/26/2017
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Comic book action heroines. Sarah Watt, Max Tarrant, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the films Wonder Woman (2017) and Barbarella (1968). The discussion touches on the fun to be had in both films, as well as its exploration of female empowerment, sexual politics and the qualities of both title characters. Sex plays a prominent role in the cult classic sexploitation Barbarella, while careful discussion of sex is explored in the mainstream Wonder Woman. The production design in...

Duration:00:43:31

Episode 14: Get Out & Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

5/23/2017
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Bringing racial tension home. Sarah Watt, Max Tarrant, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the films Get Out (2017) and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967). The discussion touches on: uncovering racial prejudices in society that both films investigate; how the films shift social perceptions on issues like interracial marriage, and both the problematic and successful aspects of that; the gap between generations, when social expectation ideals are different between parent and child; the...

Duration:00:41:40

Minisode: Alien: Covenant (2017) (SPOILER WARNING)

5/20/2017
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William, Jeremy and Max discuss Alien: Covenant (2017). Warning: Spoilers!

Duration:00:20:42