Episode Collection: Year 14

Ready or Not + Would You Rather

Ready or Not + Would You Rather

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

Cockfighter + A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Cockfighter + A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

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

Tie Me Up Tie Me Down + The Witch Who Came From the Sea

Tie Me Up Tie Me Down + The Witch Who Came From the Sea

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?

Marihuana + Criminal Lovers

Marihuana + Criminal Lovers

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

Jupiter Ascending + Alita Battle Angel

Jupiter Ascending + Alita Battle Angel

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