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Earwolf

Comedian Paul Scheer is known for taking apart bad movies in clinical detail on his podcast How Did This Get Made? But on Unspooled, his new team-up with film critic Amy Nicholson, he’s turning his focus to good movies - specifically, the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest movies of all time. What made these movies so special in the first place? How do they hold up in 2018? Paul & Amy will dissect iconic scenes, talk to artists & filmmakers about the influence of these films, and give listeners a free education in classic cinema.

Comedian Paul Scheer is known for taking apart bad movies in clinical detail on his podcast How Did This Get Made? But on Unspooled, his new team-up with film critic Amy Nicholson, he’s turning his focus to good movies - specifically, the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest movies of all time. What made these movies so special in the first place? How do they hold up in 2018? Paul & Amy will dissect iconic scenes, talk to artists & filmmakers about the influence of these films, and give listeners a free education in classic cinema.
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Location:

United States

Networks:

Earwolf

Description:

Comedian Paul Scheer is known for taking apart bad movies in clinical detail on his podcast How Did This Get Made? But on Unspooled, his new team-up with film critic Amy Nicholson, he’s turning his focus to good movies - specifically, the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest movies of all time. What made these movies so special in the first place? How do they hold up in 2018? Paul & Amy will dissect iconic scenes, talk to artists & filmmakers about the influence of these films, and give listeners a free education in classic cinema.

Language:

English


Episodes

Schindler’s List

12/13/2018
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This week Paul & Amy take a close look at Steven Spielberg's unflinching Holocaust drama "Schindler's List." They discuss the filmmaking instincts Spielberg brings to difficult material, praise Ralph Fiennes' terrifying performance, and discover the crucial role Adam Sandler played in keeping Spielberg's mood up. Plus: Embeth Davidtz (who plays Helen Hirsch) calls in to talk about the unlikely family formed on set. Next week, call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your...

Duration:01:34:05

Rocky

12/6/2018
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Paul & Amy go the distance for Sylvester Stallone's 1976 pugilistic parable Rocky! They play a stunning clip of Stallone talking to himself, posit that the film's true villain is Rocky's self-doubt, and question whether the average person is actually more like Paulie. Plus: Boxer and coach Freddie Roach calls in with his thoughts on Rocky and the time he made Mickey Rourke cry. Next week we're talking about Schindler's list, and we want to know what you think of modern black and white...

Duration:01:32:51

A Clockwork Orange

11/29/2018
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Amy & Paul undergo the Ludovico technique to watch Stanley Kubrick's dark dystopia A Clockwork Orange! They explain the history of the famous "Singin In The Rain" scene, compare the complicated adaptation to Anthony Burgess' original novel, and question why Kubrick should be considered a moral authority on anything. Plus: Paul weighs in on the online discussion about the AFI list and "incels." CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains frank discussion of rape and rape scenes. For Rocky week,...

Duration:01:07:27

Sophie’s Choice

11/22/2018
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This week Paul & Amy travel back to 1982's love triangle / Holocaust drama Sophie's Choice! They ask whether Stingo is supposed to be an actual good writer, marvel at the energy of a young Kevin Kline, and break down what makes Meryl Streep's work in this film so legendary. Plus: dialect coach Samara Bay (Loving, Wonder Woman) talks to Paul about the intricacies of nailing an accent-based performance. Help us introduce next week's episode on A Clockwork Orange in your own Nadsat-style...

Duration:01:25:21

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

11/15/2018
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Amy and Paul filibuster through Frank Capra's 1939 political fable Mr. Smith Goes To Washington! They learn about Jean Arthur's initial impressions of Jimmy Stewart, compare Capra's visual style to Michael Bay, and explore the film's pop culture legacy in depth. Plus: Jon Lovett of "Pod Save America" and "Lovett Or Leave It" weighs in on the lessons this film can offer today's politicians. Next week is Sophie's Choice and we're asking you to make a terrible choice; would you cut Spielberg...

Duration:01:24:28

Listener Questions Special

11/8/2018
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In this week's special episode, Paul & Amy are answering all of your questions, submitted by Unspooled's Facebook group! They reminisce about the origin story of the podcast, explain which documentaries they would add to the AFI 100, and tell each other their favorite movie snacks. Finally, they celebrate the first 25 episodes by unveiling their official ranking of every movie covered on Unspooled so far. Next week's movie is "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington," so call the Unspooled voicemail...

Duration:00:59:14

Duck Soup

11/1/2018
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This week Amy & Paul hail the Marx Brothers' 1933 madcap comedy Duck Soup! They ask whether this is the first great comedy of the talkie era, parse the different comedic styles of the brothers, and praise Margaret Dumont as the perfect foil. Plus: Conan O’Brien joins the show to talk about why he loves the Marx Bros! Don't forget to tune in to next week's special episode, where we answer all our listeners' burning questions and officially rank the first 25 films. Follow us on Twitter...

Duration:01:20:19

The African Queen

10/25/2018
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Paul & Amy set sail through 1951’s Katharine Hepburn & Humphrey Bogart adventure The African Queen! They ask whether the central romance is convincing, discuss John Huston’s groundbreaking and arduous location shoot, and reminisce about the Disneyland ride inspired by the film. Plus: Suzanne Holmquist tells about running the actual African Queen as a modern day tourist attraction. For Duck Soup week, call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 to sing part of the Freedonia national...

Duration:01:11:17

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

10/18/2018
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This week Amy and Paul uncover 1981's rollicking Indiana Jones adventure Raiders Of The Lost Ark! They ask if Indy is actually a good archeologist, find out whether Belloq really ate a fly, and discuss what makes the film's action sequences so irresistible to kids. Plus: Indiana Jones superfan Guy Klender shares his wealth of Indy knowledge, and talks about his work on the Raiders fan remake. What do you think the film The African Queen is about? If you haven't seen it, call the Unspooled...

Duration:01:26:59

Psycho

10/11/2018
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Paul & Amy pull off the highway for a short stay at 1960's proto-slasher masterwork Psycho. They dissect Alfred Hitchcock's artful use of misdirection, listen to Anthony Perkins' pre-Psycho pop single, and ask if there was any value in Gun Van Sant's controversial remake. Plus: Alexandre O. Philippe, the director of "78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene," discusses one of cinema's most infamous moments in detail. What do you think is in the warehouse at the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark? Call...

Duration:01:21:01

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

10/4/2018
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Amy & Paul embark on an epic quest through Peter Jackson's 2001 fantasy adaptation The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring! They praise Elijah Wood's stellar silent acting, learn which modern dictator hates being compared to Gollum, and debate which if any Harry Potter film could make the list. Plus: Motion capture specialist Brett Ineson talks about making Gollum come to life in Return Of The King. For Psycho week, what would you write in your positive Yelp review of the Bates...

Duration:01:24:24

Apocalypse Now

9/27/2018
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Paul & Amy plunge into the heart of darkness to cover 1979's Vietnam War fever dream Apocalypse Now. They discover which famous film character screenwriter John Milius inspired, dig into the meaning of the USO show sequence, and are ultimately amazed this film ever came together in the first place. Plus: All of your amazing/terrible Marlon Brando impressions! What character would you be in The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring? Call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824...

Duration:01:27:34

High Noon

9/20/2018
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Amy & Paul saddle up and ride through 1952’s archetypal Western, High Noon! They celebrate Katy Jurado’s fierce performance, learn about the ill-advised High Noon sequel, and discover how the film works as an allegory for HUAC-era America. Plus: Henry C. Parke of True West Magazine tells us what makes High Noon stand out in the Western pantheon. For Apocalypse Now week, call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 and give us a pearl of wisdom using your best Colonel Kurtz impression!...

Duration:01:15:58

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

9/13/2018
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Paul & Amy beam up to Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming alien feature, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial! They learn E.T.’s real name, marvel at Spielberg’s uncanny ease directing children, and wonder how well the film holds up with kids today. Plus: Seth Shostak, an astronomer from the SETI Institute, tells us how likely we are to find actual E.T.s on Earth. Next week: the western showdown classic, High Noon. If you've never seen it, or can't quite remember it, give us your guess about the plot,...

Duration:01:37:18

Taxi Driver

9/6/2018
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This week Paul & Amy cruise through 1976's terrifying character study Taxi Driver. They ask whether the film is anti-misogynist or simply misogynist, debate whether the ending is real or fake, and discover a surprising source of inspiration for another film on the AFI 100. Plus: actor and writer Curt Neill tells us about his experiences driving for Uber, and how it helped him empathize with Travis Bickle. If E.T. didn't stand for extra-terrestrial...what would it stand for? Next week is...

Duration:01:31:19

The Sixth Sense

8/30/2018
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Paul and Amy see dead people in 1999's supernatural drama The Sixth Sense! They debate how Haley Joel Osment's performance compares to modern child actors, explain how the famous twist is accomplished through misdirection, and dive deep into the career of Tommy Tammasimo, Plus: Actor and magician Rob Zabrecky explains what it's like to perform a seance. For Taxi Driver week, call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 and tell us what you think Travis Bickle's taxicab smells like!...

Duration:01:25:53

Singin' In The Rain

8/23/2018
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Amy & Paul tap, swing and two-step through 1952's meta-musical Singin' In The Rain! They are dazzled by the film's stylized color, dive into its perspective on honesty in Hollywood, and hear Lena Lamont's real voice. Plus: dancer & choreographer Sarah Reich drops by the show to talk about the art of tap! For Sixth Sense week, call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 and tell us which dead actor from an Unspooled film you'd want to talk to! Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, and don’t...

Duration:01:20:30

Double Indemnity

8/16/2018
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Paul & Amy investigate 1944's murderous noir Double Indemnity! They talk about what lines snuck past the censors, learn about the true story that inspired the film, and ask whether Barbara Stanwyck's femme fatale is actually telling the truth in her final scenes. Plus: comic & crime fiction writer Ed Brubaker stops by to talk about the contentious relationship between Billy Wilder & Raymond Chandler. Who would you boink, marry or kill from the cast of Singing In The Rain? Call the Unspooled...

Duration:01:15:08

All About Eve

8/9/2018
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Fasten your seatbelts - this week Paul & Amy take on 1950's showbiz satire All About Eve! They marvel at how well Joseph Mankiewicz understands his female characters, dish on which actors secretly hated each other, and furiously debate whether the title character is actually all that bad. Plus: film critic and historian Karina Longworth (You Must Remember This) talks about Bette Davis and her place in Hollywood history. In honor of Double Indemnity week, call the Unspooled voicemail line at...

Duration:01:26:18

King Kong

8/2/2018
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This week Amy & Paul unveil 1933's seminal monster movie King Kong! They ask if this was the first true blockbuster film, discover how the distinctive animal sounds were made, and wonder what Ann sees in Jack Driscoll. Plus: primatologist Kate Gilmore stops by to explain King Kong is not a gorilla! What do you think All About Eve is all about? If you haven't seen it, call the Unspooled voicemail line at 747-666-5824 with your best guesses. Follow us on Twitter @Unspooled, and don’t forget...

Duration:01:11:33