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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 40: Toy Story 4 (with special guests)

7/20/2019
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Toy Story 4. Jeremy Downing and William Chen have separate conversations in different parts of the world. The first is with Georgie Swan and the second is with Jon Portinga. The first conversation is lead by Jeremy, talking with Georgie Swan, during a conference focused on Indigenous Education, hosted in Auckland, New Zealand. The discussion begins about the first three Toy Story films and what they mean to both Georgie and Jeremy, specially around the social conscience of Pixar films. They...

Duration:00:42:28

Episode 39: Dark Phoenix and X-Men (featuring Adam Spedding and Sinead Fitzgerald)

6/28/2019
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The X-Men universe. Special guests Sinead Fitzgerald and Adam Spedding join Jeremy Downing and William Chen to discuss X-Men, Dark Phoenix and all the X-Men films in between. Discussion starts with ripping into Dark Phoenix and discussing how the original X-Men film established the world. We then work our way through the other X-Men films, starting with X-Men: Days of Future Past and the moving through X-Men: First Class, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine, Logan, X-Men: Apocalypse, X2,...

Duration:00:42:43

Episode 38: Game of Thrones (with special guests)

5/26/2019
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A Song of Ice and Fire. Special guests Sarah Cullen, Jeremy Foster, Katy Roose, Phoebe Shum and Rewa Worley join Jeremy Downing and William Chen to discuss the HBO television series Game of Thrones. We start by focusing on whether people were satisfied or dissatisfied by the series finale and unpacking why. We then move into discussing specific character arcs, starting with a general discussion of Daenerys Targaryen and whether the creators succeeded with her arc or it was a fail. We then...

Duration:00:43:28

Episode 37: The Lego Movie 2 and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (featuring Katy Roose)

4/26/2019
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Phil Lord and Christopher Miller films. Special Guest Katy Roose joins Jeremy Downing and William Chen to discuss two films produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Discussion starts with looking into Lord and Miller's work being focused on what things aren't, and subverting expectations. We jump into a chat about Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, specifically focusing on the character of Sam Sparks. This leads...

Duration:00:41:58

Episode 36: Oscar Debrief 2019 (featuring Phoebe Shum)

3/26/2019
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Post Oscars discussion. Special Guest Phoebe Shum joins Jeremy Downing and William Chen to discuss the 2019 Academy Awards. Our discussion touches on the selected films this year in contrast to previous years. We mention The Shape of Water, Moonlight and La La Land. We talk about the lead up to the ceremony, with the suggestions around the "Popular Oscar" category and shifting certain awards to the ad breaks, and the outcome of not having a dedicated host. We unpack the Best Picture winner...

Duration:00:44:54

Episode 35: Alita Battle Angel and Avatar (featuring Sinead Fitzgerald)

2/24/2019
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James Cameron Science Fiction. Special Guest Sinead Fitzgerald joins Jeremy Downing and William Chen to discuss two films written by James Cameron: his 2009 Box Office breaking Avatar and his most recent script Alita: Battle Angel. Discussion starts with looking into Cameron's career, including his multiple cinematic hits and even his work in theme park rides. We then get into talking about Avatar, the world building, the special effects and the soundtrack. The use of 3D in films comes into...

Duration:00:45:31

Episode 34: Glass and The Happening

1/30/2019
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M. Night Shyamalan films. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing, Doug Dillaman and William Chen discuss two M. Night Shyamalan films: his 2008 clunker The Happening and his most recent film Glass. Discussion starts with a discussion about Glass and looking at its connections to Unbreakable and Split. The chat then moves onto The Happening and covers some of the many pitfalls of the film. The conversation then explores the history of Shyamalan's career and the placement of his films in the wider cinema...

Duration:00:44:25

Episode 33: Best of 2018

12/18/2018
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Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss their top films of the year. This year, they have split their top films into five categories: Biggest Surprise, Biggest Disappointment, Most Anticipated (still come to come out, at the time of recording), Wildcard, and Film of the Year. Biggest Surprise: William: Annihilation Sarah: Filmworker Jeremy: Avengers: Infinity War Biggest Disappointment: Sarah: BlacKkKlansman William: Hereditary Jeremy: Incredibles 2 Most Anticipated (still to...

Duration:00:48:03

Episode 32: Fantastic Beasts 2 and Harry Potter 3

11/28/2018
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Wizarding World sequels. Sarah Watt, Jeremy Downing and William Chen discuss the second Fantastic Beasts film, The Crimes of Grindelwald, and the third Harry Potter film, subtitles The Prisoner of Azkaban. Our discussion begins by discussing the Wizarding World logo and the franchise quality of these films, and then quickly develops into how the two stories are structured. We compare the casts in both films, and praise the commitment and calibre of the performances. The world-building is...

Duration:00:45:53

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 to...

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