Monster worlds on sound stages! A young man must stop the Lord of Darkness from both destroying daylight and marrying the woman he loves. A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a festive demon to his family home.
Presidents and propaganda gets an epilogue! Discovers from looking at fictional adaptations of presidents’ lives and documentaries that are implied to carry the truth. People around the president. Finding more truth in fictional accountings. The desire of fictional narratives to find what feels like “the Truth.” Closer study reveals just how large gaps in knowledge are. Just what is propaganda? Judging an entire person’s life based on one thing they did decades ago. The power of filmmaking. Demanding moral choices from artists. Art that is clear on moral grounds vs art that is a valid use of time and resources. Film as the least rewarding bang-for-buck on the question of resources.
Double Feature goes behind the movies! A look at the making, production, and intention of two movies with the name Michael Koester somewhere buried in the credits. Spot the hosts of this podcast within the background of these two movies. Eric Thirteen, executive producer of Director’s Cut, talks about a bunch of work other people did on Director’s Cut. After years of waiting for Penn Jillette and Adam Rifkin’s film, countless behind the scenes streams and footage, a multitude of festivals and various interviews, what’s still left uncovered? Results of the Director’s Cut experiment that you would never know by simply watching the film. Interesting artistic results discovered in editing. Michael explains what it’s like to be hired on as an extra for a movie. Petty film set issues that make it not that much different from your own job. The parts of film making that are truly magic, and how working a 16 hour day threatens to destroy them.
Two Al Pacino films that tell us about humanity. Scent of a Woman as a film that was definitely of the time. Taking a stop down for the question of “how did this get made?” A prep school student needing money agrees to “babysit” a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated. That’s right, Scent of a Woman is just The House of the Devil. In Simone, styled as S1M0NE – a producer’s film is endangered when his star walks off, so he decides to digitally create an actress to substitute for the star, becoming an overnight sensation that everyone thinks is a real person. How Simone predicts the 45th presidency and, perhaps more usefully, its supporters.
Films about brotherhood from notorious 42nd street directors. What is (or was) 42nd street? The revival theater. Audience consent and the church of unacceptable behavior. A young man carrying a big basket that contains his extremely deformed Siamese-twin brother seeks vengeance on the doctors who separated them against their will. New York City, the 1930s. A powerful crime family is caught in a lethal crossfire between union organizers and brutal corporate bosses. Against this turbulent backdrop, the family’s three street-hardened brothers and the women they love are about to be plunged into a deadly confrontation with their enemies, with each other, and with their own dark heritage of violence, madness and murder.
Rooting for bad people. How human conflict helps audiences enjoy the bad acts of bad people. Charley Varrick is a self interested man who doesn’t seem too bothered by everyone around him being shot, tortured, or meeting an otherwise terrible fate. When a small immoral act turns out to have been a big one, how does the responsibility of having committed it respond? Shane Black’s history of pulp’d fiction. The little American Pulp novel and the little Italian yellow novel. People love conflict! Successful conflict and its relationship to the fuck-you-ending. Rolling the bolder up Franz Kafka Hill.
Yesterday’s movies with today’s progressive ideas. Two films that may have found an exploitation hook and used it for something socially positive. Edward D. Wood Jr.’s Glen or Glenda. LGBTQ politics from the 50s, as viewed today. An anthology film with several extra narrative devices and no short-form content. Repetitious stock footage and repetitious stock footage. Idea that think they’re clever and repetitious stock footage. The infectious enthusiasm and inspirations of a series of public failures. Who’s Afraid of a Black Hat? Not the Sundance film festival. Fear of a Black Hat and Public Enemies’ Fear of a Black Planet. The accidental dog whistle that keeps white folks dancing. Criticism that’s kept in-house. The case of public face and private face strikes again. How far can and should metaphor go?
Problematic sex gets more problematic. First up is Pedro Almodovar’s film Matador! An ex-bullfighter who gets turned on by killing, a lady lawyer with the same fetish and a young man driven insane by his religious upbringing – these are the main characters in this stylish black comedy about dark sides of human nature. Second up, Billy Wilder’s movie The Apartment. The heat is turned up on office politics when a man allows his boss to use his apartment for romantic encounters. Sex ones. An apartment to have sex in.
Exploring two very different aspects of social media in modern society. Tragedy Girls as a commentary on branding. Set up a humorous device, overcome audience expectations. The narcissism potentially illuminated by social media as told through absurd extremes. Best of friends, stick together! Be your best self, even if that means stabbing your peers to death. Ok, maybe don’t do that. Ingrid Goes West, audience is hash-tag-blessed. The annoying sounds of Instagram. The evolution of the word “stalker.” Exposing the somewhat creepy Hollywood networking strategies no one is supposed to talk about. Begging to be literally followed. Society needs a stop-down two think deeper on wanted attention vs unwanted attention.
Return of the Living Dead films 1-5. What separates Return of the Living Dead from Night of the Living Dead. Glory be to Dan O’Bannon, legal action be to John A. Russo! Return of the Living Dead II as a redux. Look who’s talking too. Return of the Living Dead III as a meditation on self-harm as a coping mechanism. Expanding on the need for brains. Brian Yuzna lives deliciously. Midnight movies need not be devoid of intellectual content. Return of the Living Dead IV: Necropolis as a tax haven. The killapalooza phenomena of European back to back filming. Return of the Living Dead V: Rave to the Grave as a swell party. A film that definitely takes place in America which no one is questioning.