The final installment in the French Extreme + Exploitation journey. Also, what has been going on with Double Feature?
Video game otherworlds in Silent Hill and Super Mario Bros. The Morton Jankel cut!
Considering ethics in Anatomy of Murder and The Act of Killing.
Actors doing their thing to comedic ends in The Impostors + Withnail and I.
Swimming Pool (2003) + The Vanishing (1988)
Daughter of the Sun + Sheitan
Snowpiercer + The Favourite
The Grand Budapest Hotel + The Fall
Ringu films 1-4. What films are even in the Ring franchise?
It’s time for a saucy double feature.
Two films lost to time – one that’s probably in the back of everyone’s DVD box collection somewhere, and another that is just now being released in the United States (40 years later!) Plus: Eric talks about getting into analogue filmmaking in 2022. One Hour Photo is so much different now that everyone is the main character from One Hour Photo. Arrebato (also called Rapture) and the Janus films and that subtle but not subtle gag.
A tour through exploitation and the new french extremity lands on a definitive world episode. Mondo Cane turns out to be more of the exploitation landscape than many realize. Twentynine Palms is THE film to coin the term New French Extremity – or the movie being talked about, anyways. First up – all around the world, there’s free footage! Take a gander and royalty free documentary clips unlikely to be seen anywhere else! Cutting room floor material too hot for no one! Twentynine Palms brings the new french extremity to America. Everyone talks about the ending of Twentynine Palms, but what actually happens in the runtime of this film? Michael presents his most dubious theory of man. How Twentynine Palms earned the name New French Extremity. Where does the new french extreme go from here? Continue reading
Deepcuts for giallo-lovers. All the Colors of the Dark, a giallo favorite. Dream-giallo. Everything you can do when you’re not worrying about story. The great Edwige Fenech, cult sensation and absolute icon. The makeup! Two covers that did the job. Messiah of Evil as a hypothetical American giallo-adjacent horror film out of California. After the psychological but before the franchises, there was 1970s horror. Wandering through California grocery stores at 3am. Continue reading
Physical media day. A very modern look at Empire Records and High Fidelity. Empire Records, the underdog hero (or at least before the collective delusion that the underdog hero is Blockbuster Video or Tower Records). Found family vs the dicey proposition of working somewhere that asks you to “just think of us like family.” Tower Records as a destination venue. Where were you on Rex Manning day? When the independent record store was too much of a raging success that it just couldn’t stay open. High Fidelity brings everyone to Chicago. The top five listicles that signposted the coming of the end time. Movies about terrible people and the terrible people who misunderstand these movies. Feeling like getting back in touch with music? Explore the music map. Continue reading
The not-so-creature-feature. Park Chan-wook, all time genius pervert. Thirst, which is kind of a funny name, really. Here to talk about one thing, and that’s the sensuality of Thirst. How does Thirst make its sex feel more…well, sexy? Subs, dubs, and regional cuts for miles. Hunt down the proper version of Brotherhood of the Wolf and strap in. Continue reading
Why can’t men just talk about their feelings? Two movies look at wonderful and terrible consequences of the unspoken. First up, everyone’s favorite Brokeback Mountain was a landmark film for American cinema. The lesser cited parts of Brokeback Mountain that fucking rock. What reads differently in this movie today. Brokeback Mountain as an example of real positive change in the fight for equality. Some men can discuss their feelings, but only if they’re also having sex sex. And now, for something different. A controversial film explains a very real criminal act. The Death of Dick Long is a story from another planet, but it really did happen here. At the heart of the conflict? Still some men not talking about what’s going on. Some taboos should never be eradicated – but should they remain taboos? A light film about a heavy story about a light headline. Or maybe it’s all dark. Why does this happen in small towns? Continue reading
Absurd beliefs disrupt society. Bill Paxton’s Frailty as a truly bizarre piece of 20001 filmmaking. What sets Frailty apart from everything that was coming out at the time. Religion obviously hurt Michael as a child. Who’s perspective is it, and does the film believe what its saying? The era of the twist further frays the possible reads of the plot. True Detective head cannon. Werner Herzog brings the strange docufeature Where the Green Ants Dream. Fake story, real activism. Or real story, fake actors? Fake acting, real activists? A more curious take on the previously discussed corporate destruction template. Continue reading
German bleakhause. A taste of German nuwave and cultural revolution. After a year chasing films like Possession and the Luca Guadagnino Suspiria, Double Feature goes on a quest to uncover the real German deep cuts. The low key insanity of The American Friend. Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz is enough, but it’s really only beginning. Who doesn’t love a West German Contax Zeiss prime? As long as it’s an MMG, we don’t need any ninja star bokeh over here. Sorry, forgot what this show was about for a second. Everything is terrible all the time and it’s not even World War 1 yet. How telling you exactly what to get from the film makes it even more puzzling. Is Michael Haneke a pain in the ass? Finally, someone sees this cold dark place for what it really is. When mastery allows you to fuck about in a way people wouldn’t accept otherwise. Continue reading
Spooky threads and haunted people. Sophisticated looks at various points in the fashion industry – first up, it’s high fashion houses and haute couture in Phantom Thread. The deviant lifestyle of Paul Thomas Anderson’s characters. Craftsmanship, the crunch, and doing literally anything for a break. What is Phantom Thread really about? What a time for strange and complicated fetishes. The work of Peter Strickland, a name that should be in everyone’s rolodex. The straight premise of In Fabric and the various themes discovered as it’s exercised. Various reads on dry britishisms. Continue reading
Exploitation meets the New French Extremity. Surprisingly little skin will be eaten in this not-exactly-cannible double feature. Is it Man from Deep River, The Man from Deep River, Sacrifice!, Il paese del sesso selvaggio, or The Land of Wild Sex? Why not all? In My Skin, a beautiful and weird film by writer / director / actress Marina de Van. See the Sea gets another namecheck, people really need to find See the Sea. For fans of Lucky Mckee’s May, In My Skin (or Dans Ma Peau in French) talks about some weird stuff. Continue reading
An unfamiliar New York. Navigating the dangerous waters of Once Upon a Time in America. Sergio Leone’s gory fairytales. The fear of a film swinging immoral. The impossibility of Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. Paul Reubens performs the magic trick. Is Pee-wee reading weirder or are we? Lost to time: 42nd start and geographic places that no longer exist on this earth. Continue reading
Fraternal revenge! Decidedly foreign takes of crime genres typically reserved for American cinema! Pairing up a listener pick! Release the bats is a real song and it’s actually good? The Birthday Party is not The Birthday Massacre. Also, El-P has a really good album called I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead. Anyways, who are the characters in The Proposition and what do they tell us about the themes of the film? DVDs: you wouldn’t steal car, would you? The brutality of the western and why American westerns never showcased it. From Michael Koester’s extensive Clive Owen collection comes I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. An alternate angle to cover the rape revenge film from. Continue reading
Rediscovering cult movies. A tiny bit of genre, because who can help themselves. Michael is tricked into Vampire’s Kiss with the word vampire. Of every frame that is shocking in Vampire’s Kiss, which is the most shocking? What that accent actually does accomplish. Eric tries not to get fired while delivering some Nicolas Cage insight. The Cage performance is crazy, but it does make sense once you get it. Vampire’s Kiss as the story of a how a person becomes one of those New Yorkers who screams random things on the street. Repo Man is as a very out there film that stays very out there. Repossession is very cool, depending on whether or not you are presently employed as a repo man. The low-fi punk-a-fuck. Things you see, in a graveyard. Assassin murder monster! Enough time has passed that we can safely allow two cult Repo films to exist. Continue reading
V/H/S films 1-4. Breaking down every single segment of every single VHS movie in under an hour! The names behind each and every VHS film. Bonus Adam Wingard announcement – Eric Xandra Thirteen’s new documentary on the look of The Guest called Light and Fog. Creativity birthed through the fear of comparison. One word loglines for each V/H/S short. The alternative, darkwave, goth, post-punk & emo kids of Adam Wingard films. VHS segments, one by one. The VHS spin-off called Siren. The lost VHS segment. When the cheap look of an era moves from worst to chique. Repeat producer Roxanne Benjamin! Which is the lightest VHS segment? Which is the heaviest VHS segment? Michael makes a call for techno-horror. What ultimately makes V/H/S work. Continue reading
Adolescents faces the threat of imminent demise. Childhood games go very, very wrong. Summer of 84 taps into the ongoing 80s-kids-on-bikes genre. The overwhelming sense of dread. When the twist is simply delivering on the promise. Adults, and how they basically fuck everything up for everyone. The oppression of daily life before legal coming-of-age. Films getting the hooks in. Takashi Miike plays a dangerous squid-less game with As the Gods Will. Earth’s new obsession with bottle films revives this prior unsceen WTF film. Soviet Montage Theory inspires Japanese CGI theory. Asian cinema – is it weird, or is it cultural ignorance? Even on the podcast, two Americans can’t put together enough collective knowledge of childhood games to make sense of it all. Continue reading
Mysterious crimes and the people who are obsessed with them. Also, mandatory darkwave jokes. People are sucking for The Cure Ending Explained. Agreeing on a premise for Cure. The so-called killer – what he does and how the role is played. Trying to work backwards from the concept of the sleeper cell. Checking in to see how science-based skeptic and resident critical-thinker Michael feels about hypnosis. The mind virus comes for us all. Sound design in Cure and the impact on the audience’s feeling. The most and least supernatural interpretations of Cure. Many audience wanted the film Zodiac to solve the Zodiac Murders. The built-in problem with all true crime, be it documentary or fiction. Zodiac as a precursor to David Fincher’s Mindhunter. Continue reading
The Halloween punchline no one asked for. Creating a synopsis for the indescribal Death Becomes Her. Special guest Zemeckis expert Michael Koester. Uncovering one of the truly great Bruce Willis performances that allowed him to then phone it in several times a year until the end of time. Who is truly the star of Death Becomes Her? So I Married an Axe Murderer as an early Mike Myers work. What makes Axe Murderer unique against the other Myers films. Keeping the audience guessing, even when they don’t know they’re doing it. A complete retrospective on the career of a unique breed. The death of celebrity. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue comes to its final resting place. But for how long? Continue reading
Wrestling with the history of exploitation film. Film is wonderful worker exploitation is bad, and adding race makes everything more complicated. Can we still celebrate the art of those who were exploited? Film as historical documents. The additional context provided by Horror Noir. French Extreme was not a planned movement! How the New French Extremity came to be by accident. French extreme films still call for directors to make work that is very much their own. New French Extremity became horror because horror directors starting making New French Extremity. Cinéma du look and what France considers an “over-stylized film.” Leos Carax is Mr. X. Introducing real sex: unstimulated sex in French brings on a wave of actual sex acts captured between actors on film. Finally, the bleak truth of human existence is confronted in one of Eric’s favorite all-time scenes. Continue reading
Something borrowed. A remake of a remake, sort of. In House of Wax (1953), Vincent Price pitches a wax venture. Maintaining purity in artistic intentions. Later, a person who may or may not be Vincent Price’s character shows up to propagate all the ideas he doesn’t stand for. 3D and other cinematic gimmicks throughout the ages. Which gimmicks stick and which send audiences fleeing the theater. The 2005 House of Wax remake borrows even less from House of Wax 1953 than that version borrows from previous source material. The bizarre reaction to Paris Hilton’s appearance in this very of-the-time horror film. Continue reading
Celebrating October with something new. Leigh Whannell and James Wan are back, back to back. Michael divides modern horror intro three groups. Creating a “wow moment.” Continue reading
Celebrating October with something old. Two films about people outcasted from society and the roles the are relegated to play. The invention of cinema in Paris. Or Europe. Or, you know, New York. Film was born wherever you want to say it was born. The era of the movie palace. Keeping Americans from watching foreign films. A period within a period within The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Getting to the bottom of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. The often cited rise of television pushed film exhibition along – but, in often overlooked ways, film exhibition caused television to innovate as well. It’s the birth of repertory! (or: the re-run) Continue reading
The acid western. Jim Jarmusch’s black and white rock western…noir? Cinematographer Rober Müller. The central figure of the western. Tiny Johnny Depp. William Blake has a full time job – as an accountant. As an accountant. Entering the spiritual world. The original midnight movie. The man in black, El Topo, has to kill a bunch of people so that the woman he took advantage of will fall in love with him. Having exclusively covered the old gentle Jodorowsky, it’s time Double Feature talks discusses Jodorowsky the provocateur. Did Alejandro Jodorowsky actually rape his co-star on camera as he said he did? New York #cancels. El Topo as a Jodorowsky myth. Continue reading
Differing poverties. Turns out, this is not a cheeky Double Feature. A fresh breath of filmmaking in Pather Panchali, a movie many people are still discovering for the first time. The way current films address diversity is still condescending. The problem of getting audience to accept leaving their confort zone. New countries make movies – seeing the democratization of film making again and again as each country gets its own new wave. The punctuation of Pather Panchali’s impulsive nature & mood inserts. Give due respect to Miranda July. Kajillionaire’s surreal look at the modern day struggle with crony-capitalism. In addition to society, Kajillionaire takes on con artists, parenting, arrested development, isolation, existentialism, second changes, self-love, and so much more. Continue reading
Two intense films on opposite sides of the coin. Angst is a truly underground film, even today. Double Feature settles where in the the world these films actually come from. The internet hasn’t yet recognized the banned film Angst, and it’s about time someone gives it a minute. Home invasion from an outrageous new perspective. A movie that appears to be about and also made by mad men. Psychopathic camera. The Guilty – and not the Netflix made for TV movie. Trying to deconstructive the elusive recipe of The Guilty. How does a movie paint so many vivid scenes without ever showing them to the audience? All the amazing places you go in The Guilty without leaving the room. What makes The Guilty unlike any other bottle movie that’s ever appeared on Double Feature. Continue reading
A deep dive into Technicolor. The experiment inspired by The Love Witch – what can be learned about technicolor by watch back to back? Plus, how Technicolor became a powerful influence on the style of the 1950s and how it’s remembered today. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a 1953 movie filmed on three strip technicolor film and processed using Technicolor’s dye imbibition development process. The Love Witch, a 2016 movie painstakingly recreating the feeling of 1950s cinema, using many of the same techniques of the 1950s, and shot on 35mm film – but importantly, without the ability to utility long-obsolete technicolor film or processing. Bonus theme for people who don’t care about any of this nonsense: decade separate contrasts on feminism! First up, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes provides an amazing example of spectacle technicolor Continue reading
The second chapter of the Exploitation + New French Extremity journey. This times, files that can be viewed around the world! Fortune smiles upon Double Feature as a theme of freedom and rebellion ties the parallel film movements together. The Wild Angels as a biker exploitation arthouse film. Roger Corman was a filmmaker’s producer…kind of! The many notable directors and writers that came from the Corman camp. Baise-moi as a misunderstood entry in what would later become known as The New French Extreme. The developing trend in French extremity toward unstimulated sex. What is Baise-moi actually about? Continue reading
Artful witches have an odd way. A coven helps break down the mise-en-scène with Suspiria (2018). The feeling of European arthouse films may have been buried in the 80s but it was resurrected by Suspiria in 2018. Mise-en-scène is a french term from the Cahiers du Cinéma world of criticism, but at least one pretentious fuck uses it in practice and they also host a podcast called Double Feature. If Mise-en-scène can be used to craft an immersive film, it can be used to reverse engineer one. Belladonna of Sadness is an honest and moving story about the stages a rape survivor goes through. It’s also a psychedelic slide show with a bunch of silly dicks. At the same goddamn time. Continue reading
A walk through youthful breezy films with a robust set of interpretive tools. Looking at Kiki’s Delivery Service after everything learned on the grand Ghibli journey. One tiny witch, one big village. Independence, it’s everything you ever wanted and nothing you were prepared for! Eli? Roth? The House with a Clock in Its Walls as an Amblin film. The real secret to immersive filmmaking doesn’t rely on the picture – and actually, it’s not just the sound either! So what is it? It’s inside this podcast, so stop reading this lengthy description and listen to the episode. You’ll have a good time. Really, you will. And you deserve it, don’t you? Don’t you? Continue reading
Independent, and maybe Independent As Fuck. One of the all-time greatest comic book adaptations, Ghost World. It seems illegal to watch these actors in this film. A debate on whether or not every single person in Ghost World is fucking boring. An extended exercise in writing a logline and what it can tell us about about films that refuse to be put in a box. Todd Solondz’s film Wiener Dog as a collection of stories connected to the presence of the eponymous doggo who goes from owner to owner. Eric refuses to speak french, even for Bresson. The impossibility of Dawn Wiener and the Todd Solondz multiverse. A case for every Solondz film’s gallery-quality. A whimsical anthology gets two wieners out of a possible five. In conversation: a twenty-first century meditation on dick jokes contained within podcast descriptions. In a special bonus chapter, a human continues writing lengthy descriptions for the purposes of robot organization based on outdated assumptions about search engines. Continue reading
Enter the world of Wong Kar-wai with Chungking Express and the spiritual successor Fallen Angels. A day and night Hong Kong pair from a director who should have been on Double Feature a long time ago. Continue reading
Bottle films where mad men (of various numbers) make one or more participants play a deadly children’s game. Bonus points: films that are very aesthetically of their moment (or maybe even more specifically, a moment that summarizes the most popular color grades of the prior decade). Ready or Not, a film that gets away with it by surpassing expectations. How the arc, character dynamics and overall writing make Ready or Not stand out from the usual suspects. Samara Weaving is out here winning hearts and minds and everyone knows it. Looking at Would You Rather as a midnight film, which is probably the best way to watch it today. The crushed contrast of the 2000’s hate-film. Torture, abuse, and other fun things we did in the cinemas for some reason. The particular challenges of this kind of high-concept film (and how each movie attempts to overcome them or even use them to their advantage). Continue reading
The rough and tumble birds of existential cinema. Cockfighter as the rare Corman underdog. The drifter and the road film. Holding strong onto the extended bird metaphor. Don’t call Pigeons sky-rats. The composition of A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. An easy look at obtuse arthouse that you can try at home. Using a logline to figure out what a film is about (when the film itself isn’t a lot of help). What it’s like to see The Pigeon with people and the strange ambivalence to cruelty when watching in isolation. On the ground reporting: New York City has something hopeful to offer. Continue reading
Find two movies fucked up enough for each other. An interdisciplinary approach to subverting the issues of equality? Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! or Pedro Almodóvar’s ¡Átame! Representing the world as it is vs as we wish it was. Almodóvar’s observations on the nature of machismo. The storyteller’s lack of moral obligation in observing the world as it is. A mental patient representing himself as pretty normal but also sometimes having a fake mustache. A conversation about the importance of tone vs narrative via The Witch Who Came From the Sea. A cursed film. The very strange ways people come to the film and the eerie sense of mystery it ads. What (still) lurks on channel X? Lowercase double features have returned to the physical world! What difference does watching a beaten 35mm print actually make on the viewing experience?
American Exploitation and The New French Extremity. Want a better understanding of these movements? Start here! Take a deep dive on the entirety of two misunderstood subgeners in this multi-part series, beginning now with Marihuana and Criminal Lovers. The complete who, what, where, when, why of exploitation. Feigned outrage as a cover to enjoy smut. Exploitation films seek to ride a wavelength of some conversation already in the public. They’re looking to hitch themselves to the zeitgeist. Whether they deliver or not, they will become a mile marker on the evolutionary path of various tropes and stories. Future writers will see them in their younger influential years or even just walk by the posters and they’ll become part of the mixture that makes up mainstream tellings of similar stories. Also by being an early form of independent cinema Continue reading
Failure to launch. Welcome to Double Feature! Giving love to two battle-weathered films with epic ambitions. What is a logline? How can you use loglines to get more out of films you loved? And actually, films you really didn’t? Jupiter Ascending as an underground misfit of multimillion dollar proportions. Chicago gets a moment in the sun. Lazy jokes about cleaning toilets. The (not so) hidden trans themes in Alita: Battle Angel. The possibly unintentional themes of Robert Rodriguez films. Engineering and world building. Why anime so often dabbles in trans motifs where other YA material does not. Continue reading