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3.26 - DRIVE and Tension

The next in our NWR mini-season is his 2011 film DRIVE. One of us has radically changed his stance on the film (spoiler alert: Rob won’t be tearing down his poster)—after a few minutes of reviews, we get stuck into psychopathy on screen, subverting type, and just why this film is s tense. Next Week Our NWR mini-season concludes with his most recent feature, 2016’s THE NEON DEMON (available here: This Week’s Media LADY...


3.25 - VALHALLA RISING and Answers

(Quick apology for some of the audio this week, between missing microphones and babies, it has some issues, bear with us, it will get better...) This week’s film — and the next in our Nicolas Winding Refn mini-season — is one close to Rob’s heart: VALHALLA RISING (2009). We get the inside scoop on some of the decisions made by the director, as well as considering some of the mythical/religious ideas behind the film — and if this is a film about giving or withholding answers. Next...


3.24 - PUSHER and Consumerism

The next director at whose oeuvre we take a look is Nicolas Winding Refn, and we start with his 1996 feature-film debut PUSHER. After similar reviews of the film, we talk about what Refn might have been trying to do with this film, the division between narrative and aesthetics, and the ways in which this shines a light on consumerist attitudes of the time. Next Week Our Nicolas Winding Refn mini-season continues with his 2010 film VALHALLA RISING:...


3.23 - CHI-RAQ and Violence

Our final Spike Lee joint is 2015’s CHI-RAQ: based on an Ancient Greek play, and set in modern-day gangland Chicago, this is both very different from and yet — at least in terms of its racial politics — remarkably similar to last week’s film. We have contrasting reviews of the film, but go on to talk about the contemporary resonances of the movie, what it tries but fails to do with some of its characters, and how watching Spike Lee’s genius over this past month has been eye-opening for...


3.22 - BAMBOOZLED and Satire

After a significant disclaimer this week, we launch — somewhat trepidatiously — into our next Spike Lee joint: BAMBOOZLED (2000). We talk about how this film didn’t get the critical love it deserved, the camera shots that make it, and the sad deficiencies of contemporary African-American on-screen representation. Next Week We conclude our Spike Lee month with his most recent film, 2015’s CHI-RAQ: This Week’s...


3.21 - DO THE RIGHT THING and Morality

Spike Lee Month continues with his 1989 classic DO THE RIGHT THING. We’re both (spoiler alert) very positive about the film, before getting into discussions of right and wrong, racial tension, and police brutality (keeping it light!), as well as EMPIRE RECORDS, DIE HARD 3, and the very sad continued relevance of Lee’s film. Next Week Next in the Spike Lee mini-series is 2000’s BAMBOOZLED, available on DVD here: This...


3.20 - SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT and Choice

Our next director is a Goliath of American film: Spike Lee. We start with his 1986 ‘joint’ SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT: reviews, tentative thoughts on African-American cinema, and why this film was ahead of its time. Next Week Our next Spike Lee joint is possibly his most famous movie, DO THE RIGHT THING (1989), which is available on YouTube: This Week’s Media ALL TOGETHER NOW (2018): Rob Beckett, Geri Horner, James Fox NOW YOU SEE ME...


3.19 - BIRDMAN and Renown

Our last Iñárritu film is 2014’s BIRDMAN, OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) (don’t worry: that’s the last time we’ll use the subtitle). We offer fairly similar reviews, before talking about style over substance and the director’s views on the superhero genre — and we end with some concluding thoughts on Iñárritu’s oeuvre. Next Week Our next mini-season is all about Spike Lee — we start with his 1986 breakout SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, available here:...


3.18 - BABEL and (Mis-)Communication

The next Ińárritu offering — and the last in a ‘trilogy’ that began with AMORES PERROS — is the 2006 film BABEL. We have fairly similar takes on the movie, and this is followed by broader discussions about language, Westernisation, and the purpose of the film. Next Week Our final Ińárritu film is 2014’s BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VALUE OF IGNORANCE), available on...


3.17 - 21 GRAMS, Change, and Grief

Our next Iñárritu film sees him move from Spanish to English (although the change of language doesn’t indicate a change in mood!) with 21 GRAMS (2003). We talk about screen presentations of grief and the way that the impact of cinema changes over time — and one of us changes his mind a little about the movie... Next Week Iñárritu stays in English for the last in his ‘Death Trilogy’: BABEL (also available on Amazon at...


3.16 - AMORES PERROS and Violence

The first in our season of films by Alejandro González Iñárritu (the accents are getting a workout this month!) is his 2000 breakout feature film, AMORES PERROS. We talk about differing reactions to the movie (two of them from one person, over 15 years!), the way that its violent themes often inform the way that it’s put together, and the essentially very optimistic ending. Next Week The next Iñárritu film is the 2003 follow-up, 21 GRAMS (available on Amazon video:...


3.15 - REVIEW OF 2017

In this week’s episode we reveal our Top 5s. Will there be any overlaps, or is there some characteristic Prestige disagreement? Happy 2018, everyone.


3.14 - LOVE ACTUALLY (2003) and Romance

The band’s back together! Sam’s back from new-baby intensiveness, just in time for a festive episode for the end of the year — and it’s a film which may or may not (don’t mention that Bruce Willis film) be a Christmas movie: LOVE ACTUALLY. Rob was expecting more negativity from Sam — maybe fatherhood has mellowed him — but we’re both broadly positive about the film; notwithstanding its faults, which we discuss towards the end of the episode, along racial and gender lines. Next Week If...


3.13 - HOOK and Childhood

Rob and his 1st guest host, Anna, relive their respective childhoods, get lost in Hook's luxurious facial hair and fawn over RU-FI-OOOOOOOOOOOOOO (Look folks, Sam does the show notes and he's great at it. I'm really not, so they are going to be a bit shorter for the next month. Bare with me!)


3.12 VERONICA GUERIN (2003) and Fear

Our Schumacher mini-season concludes with the 2003 biopic VERONICA GUERIN. For a second week running (savour it), we’re largely in agreement with our reviews of the film, and then we talk about how these events passed us by, the difficulties in bringing a real life to screen, and the parallels between the protagonist and a quite surprising tortured genius. Next Week’s Film Sam’s off on parental duty, so the next month sees Rob — with a number of guest hosts — get stuck into the oeuvre...


3.11 - 8MM (1999) and Voyeurism

Our next Schumacher offering is 1999’s 8MM. We have fairly similar reviews of the film, before embarking on a discussion of what makes human do what they do, the voyeurism inherent in modern life, and why Keanu Reeves wouldn’t have been able to save this movie. Next Week’s Film VERONICA GUERIN (2003): pending certain events in Sam’s house, we’ll be concluding our Schumacher season. This Week’s Media THE WISE MAN’S FEAR (2011): Patrick Rothfuss HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE...


3.10 — FALLING DOWN (1993) and America

The Joel Schumacher season continues with the 112-minute cry of rage and frustration that is FALLING DOWN. We talk about the film’s presentation of different sides of modernity in America, its use of borders and locations, and various takes on its ideas of diversity and alienation: basically, we get stuck in to a good old-fashioned discussion! Next Week’s Film 8MM (1999): another popular (thus easily available) one for our third Schumacher film This Week’s Media W1A (2014—): John...


3.09 — THE LOST BOYS (1987) and Subcultures

We kick off our Joel Schumacher mini-season with a look at his 1980s ‘classic’ (Sam’s inverted commas) THE LOST BOYS. There are…conflicting initial reviews, but we unite in discussions of being out of time, vampirism, and puberty. Next Week’s Film FALLING DOWN (1993): Schumacher month continues with possibly his most commercially available film (good for watching purposes). This Week’s Media COMING TO AMERICA (1988): John Landis, Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall JACK WHITEHALL: TRAVELS...


3.08 — DODES’KA-DEN (1970) and Dreams

Our final Kurosawa offering is one of Rob’s favourites: 1970’s DODES’KA’DEN. Sam liked it, too (though with some caveats), and we go on to discuss the director’s use of colour, sound, and film in general — with a look back at his oeuvre, as explored over the past month. Next Week’s Film THE LOST BOYS (1987): we kick off a look at Joel Schumacher with his 1987 comedy; it’s generally pretty available, whether streamed or on DVD. This Week’s Media KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017):...


3.07 — SEVEN SAMURAI and Class

The next Akira Kurosawa film is probably his best-known — and certainly most-imitated — film: SEVEN SAMURAI (1954). We both really enjoyed this (one more predictably so than the other); after some general discussions of community feeling and individuality, we get more specific about the social hierarchies of the film, dive into Kurosawa’s cinematography once more, and end with a good, old-fashioned nerd-off. Next Week’s Film DODES’KA-DEN (1970): Kurosawa’s first film in colour. Get the...


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