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The Canon

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Film critics Devin Faraci (Badass Digest) and Amy Nicholson (LA Weekly) have a weekly conversation about a movie-- is it "canon" or not? They will put it up to fan vote at the end of the show and then the legacy of each film will be officially decided forevermore.




120 Last Tango in Paris (w/ Alison Willmore)

This week, BuzzFeed film critic Alison Willmore joins Amy to bring the 1972 erotic drama "Last Tango in Paris" to the table - and to make her case as to why it shouldn't enter The Canon. They discuss how the film pushed the boundaries of mainstream eroticism, the fallout faced by director Bernardo Bertolucci for certain controversial scenes, and the most authentic of Marlon Brando's rambling monologues. Plus, they question the lasting profoundness of the film and its long-term effects on...

Duration: 01:21:39

119 Friday (w/ Ben Westhoff)

Former LA Weekly music editor Ben Westhoff joins Amy this week to discuss the 1995 Ice Cube film "Friday" They talk about the movie’s cultural timing, how it subverts audience expectations, and the power in writing characters that aren’t cool. Plus, they note the change in weed culture since the 90s and try to answer the question: How did Ice Cube get dumber? Does “Friday” merit a spot in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!This episode is sponsored by the Harold Ramis Film...

Duration: 01:07:59

118 Real Life (w/ Jason Zinoman)

Critic Jason Zinoman joins Amy this week to discuss Albert Brooks' 1979 directorial debut, "Real Life." Jason gives a brief history of the film's comedic context before they dive into what "Real Life" predicted about reality TV, how it reflects Albert Brooks' place in Hollywood, and what it got right about social satire. Does "Real Life" belong in The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums to cast your vote!This episode is brought to you by Paramount Pictures' "Mother!," Casper Mattresses...

Duration: 01:20:06

117 Top Gun vs. Minority Report (w/ Tom Reimann and Abe Epperson)

This week, Amy is joined by Tom Reimann and Abe Epperson of the podcast Cracked Movie Club to pit two Tom Cruise films against one another: "Top Gun" and "Minority Report." They discuss the usage of "Top Gun" as a military recruitment tool, as well as the film's unapologetic hyper-masculinity. Then, they discuss the theme of privacy and the use of CGI in "Minority Report" before giving their final arguments. Which Cruise flick will find its way into The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums...

Duration: 01:33:09

116 Seconds (w/ Matt Zoller Seitz)

Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz joins Amy this week to discuss the 1966 Rock Hudson feature "Seconds." They discuss the horrific aspects of the film's opening, director John Frankenheimer's technical inventiveness, and the theme of suburban disaffection. Plus, Matt does his best Burt Lancaster impression before they assess the mythological overtones of "Seconds." Should "Seconds" be reborn into The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote! This episode is sponsored by Casper...

Duration: 01:11:15

115 The Stepford Wives (w/ Carina Chocano)

Writer Carina Chocano joins Amy this week to discuss the original 1975 horror/thriller "The Stepford Wives." First, Carina tells Amy about her new book You Play The Girl, and then they get into "The Stepford Wives," noting how the film plays to director Bryan Forbes' strengths and what it says about the power of perspective. They pick apart the use of sound design in the film, how it deals with themes of cultural abuse, and its lasting impact. Does "The Stepford Wives" belong in The Canon?...

Duration: 01:24:50

114 9 to 5 vs. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (w/ Alan Scherstuhl)

Film editor Alan Scherstuhl of Village Voice/LA Weekly joins Amy this week for a Dolly Parton double-hitter! They pit Dolly's 1980 landmark comedy "9 to 5" against the classic 1982 film "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." Amy and Alan assess Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds as the epitome of the ultra-feminine and ultra-masculine, the historical significance of each film, and Dolly's unique comedic chemistry with her co-stars in both pictures. Plus, we hear about how "The Best Little...

Duration: 01:16:19

113 Putney Swope (w/ Seth Stevenson)

This week, Slate contributor Seth Stevenson joins Amy to discuss Robert Downey Sr.’s 1969 film “Putney Swope.” Seth and Amy note the film’s focus on the blurred line between art and commerce, the significance of Putney’s voice-dub, and what the conflation of “obscenity and originality” reveals about the advertising world. Then, they share how “Putney Swope” has reshaped their perspectives on modern advertisements. Does “Putney Swope” belong in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf...

Duration: 01:11:14

112 Footlight Parade (w/ Bryan Cogman)

Writer and producer Bryan Cogman returns to The Canon this week to discuss Busby Berkeley's 1933 musical film, "Footlight Parade." Amy and Bryan explore everything from finding humanity in the choreography to the death of the theatrical experience, noting the risks the film took as a result of being made pre-Code and its early Hollywood innovation. Plus, they take a look at some of the film's more unsavory historical elements. Should "Footlight Parade" enter The Canon? Head to the Earwolf...

Duration: 01:12:22

111 Lost in Translation vs. Marie Antoinette (w/ Stephanie Zacharek)

This week, Time film critic Stephanie Zacharek joins Amy for a Sofia Coppola-directed head-to-head between 2003's "Lost in Translation" and 2006's "Marie Antoinette." They discuss what "Lost in Translation" has to offer up in the way of Coppola's unorthodox techniques with the cast and its themes of taking seriously the problems of the privileged. Then, they get into how "Marie Antoinette" tells story through its costumes, explores perceptions of class, and what it reveals about the nature...

Duration: 01:16:29

110 Z (w/ Richard Lawson)

This week, Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson joins Amy to discuss the Academy Award-winning Algerian-French film “Z.” They discuss the film’s strong stance on Greek politics, the concept of film as activism, and the vilification of pacifism. Plus, we hear why “Z” reminds Amy and Richard of all the lost great works of the world and why the movie is essential viewing for young Americans. Does “Z” belong in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!

Duration: 01:13:40

109 Raising Arizona (w/ Ira Madison III)

Entertainment reporter for The Daily Beast Ira Madison III joins Amy this week to discuss the 1987 Coen Brothers film “Raising Arizona.” They each make their case for why “Raising Arizona” should or shouldn’t enter The Canon, noting what the film says about people born “on the wrong foot,” how the Coen Brothers deliberately lean into cartoonishness, and the impressive structuring of dialogue. Does “Raising Arizona” deserve a place in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!

Duration: 01:00:32

108 The Driver (w/ Edgar Wright)

Director Edgar Wright joins Amy this week to discuss the 1978 crime thriller "The Driver." Edgar explains why it's the perfect 90-minute movie and how it influenced his new film "Baby Driver," as well as the trickiest part of directing a car chase. They pick apart the root of actor Ryan O'Neal's stoicism, praise the power of Walter Hill's script work, and finally they cast their votes on whether "The Driver" should be let into The Canon. Will it? You decide! Head to the Earwolf forums now...

Duration: 01:20:17

107 Black Orpheus vs. City of God (w/ Justin Chang)


Duration: 01:27:21

106 Fatal Attraction (w/ Heather Matarazzo)

Actress Heather Matarazzo joins Amy this week to discuss the 1987 thriller "Fatal Attraction." They break down Michael Douglas's tough shell and take familial lessons from the film, focusing especially on director Adrian Lyne's in-your-face imagery. Then, they examine "Fatal Attraction" from a modern female perspective, noting how drastically the conversation has changed since its release. Finally, Amy and Heather dissect the incredibly complex performance by Glenn Close. Will "Fatal...

Duration: 01:20:10

105 Eraserhead vs. Blue Velvet (w/ Michael Nordine)

Michael Nordine of IndieWire joins Amy this week to honor the Twin Peaks revival with a special David Lynch head-to-head! They pit the enigmatic director's 1977 horror film "Eraserhead" against the 1986 neo-noir "Blue Velvet," touching on the foreshadowing of body horror trends, male postpartum depression, Jack Nance's captivating face, why Kyle MacLachlan screams leading man, and Isabella Rossellini's portrayal of the ultimate femme fatale. Which Lynch film will take the honor of being...

Duration: 01:17:08

104 Female Trouble (w/ Jake Fogelnest)

Writer Jake Fogelnest returns to The Canon this week along with his pick, the 1974 dark comedy "Female Trouble." Jake explains how seeing the film at a young age shaped his perspective on life and led to a penpalship with director John Waters. Then, he and Amy discuss what makes the film so inclusive, the discrepancies of an NC-17 rating, and the difference between "good" bad taste and "bad" bad taste. Should "Female Trouble" be entered into The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums...

Duration: 01:10:54

103 Where the Sidewalk Ends (w/ Pat Healy)

Actor Pat Healy joins Amy to make the case for the classic 1950 noir "Where the Sidewalk Ends." They discuss the moral complexity of its characters and the troubled history of the production. We hear about Dana Andrews' haunted presence, what film noir tropes work for the film, and the richness of writer Ben Hecht's female characters before Amy and Pat make their closing arguments. Will "Where the Sidewalk Ends" end up in The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums to vote!

Duration: 01:00:41

102 The Fellowship of the Ring vs. The Return of the King (w/ Joanna Robinson & David Chen)

Joanna Robinson (Vanity Fair) and David Chen (/Film) join Amy this week to pit the bookends of The Lord of the Rings trilogy against one another in the ultimate battle for Middle-Earth canonization. They discuss and debate the relative technological strides each film achieved, the narrative significance of central character arcs, and Peter Jackson's masterful (and sometimes questionable) retooling of key scenes from the books. Is FOTR or ROTK the one film to rule The Canon? Head to the...

Duration: 01:08:24

101 Shakespeare in Love (w/ David Ehrlich)

Indiewire's Senior Film Critic David Ehrlich joins Amy this week to discuss the 1998 Best Picture winner, "Shakespeare in Love." David points to the film's ability to straddle the line between fantasy and reality, the nuanced appearances by Colin Firth and Ben Affleck, and the expressed theme of "performative love." Then, Amy and David figure out what Shakespeare and BuzzFeed have in common. Is "Shakespeare in Love" to be, or not to be in The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums to vote now!

Duration: 01:11:02

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