Spices will flow in the last double feature of Year 14. A discussion of two thought-provoking tales of political intrigue, Dune and Spice World. The recently released Dune: One More Time With Feeling is a science fiction epic that explores themes of politics, religion, and environmentalism through use of a sprawling intergalactic society. Spice World, released in 1997, follows the fictionalize pop group the Spice Girls as they navigate the challenges of fame and friendship while preparing for their first live television special. Double Feature analyzes the cultural significance and lasting impact of both films, drawing connections between their respective genres and the broader context of their respective time periods. They also discuss the enduring appeal of each film and the ways in which they have influenced popular culture. Or with Dune, future-appeal anyways.
The final installment in the French Extreme + Exploitation journey. Also, what has been going on with Double Feature? In this episode, the films Battle Beyond the Stars and Them are analyzed for their underlying themes. Battle Beyond the Stars is a science fiction film that explores the concept of individualism versus collectivism, as the main character must rely on the help of a diverse group of mercenaries in order to defeat a tyrannical ruler. Them, on the other hand, delves into the theme of fear and the power dynamics that can arise when a group is placed in a threatening situation. The film follows a family as they are terrorized by an unseen entity, and the characters’ relationships and sense of security are tested as they fight for survival. Both films ultimately address the ways in which individuals and society as a whole can confront and overcome challenges.
Video game otherworlds in Silent Hill and Super Mario Bros. The Morton Jankel cut! focuses on the films Silent Hill and Super Mario Bros. and their themes of alternate realities and the blurred lines between good and evil. In Silent Hill, the protagonist discovers a mysterious town that appears to exist in a parallel universe, where the line between good and evil becomes increasingly unclear as she uncovers the town’s dark past. Similarly, in Super Mario Bros., the titular characters are tasked with rescuing Princess Peach from the evil Bowser, but as they journey through the Mushroom Kingdom, they encounter creatures that challenge their beliefs about what is truly good and evil. Both films explore the idea that there are often multiple perspectives and grey areas in moral dilemmas, and that these can be challenging to navigate. Continue reading →
Considering ethics in Anatomy of Murder and The Act of Killing. The podcast episode on the themes of Anatomy of Murder and The Act of Killing explores the disturbing and complex nature of violence and its consequences. The first film, Anatomy of Murder, is a classic crime drama that delves into the motivations and aftermath of a murder, as a defense lawyer tries to prove the innocence of his client. The second film, The Act of Killing, is a documentary that confronts the perpetrators of the Indonesian genocide, as they reenact their crimes for the camera. Through these two films, Double Feature examines how violence can be justified and how it can leave a lasting impact on those involved and society as a whole. The episode also touches on themes of justice, morality, and the power dynamics at play in both films.
Actors doing their thing to comedic ends in The Impostors + Withnail and I. The podcast discusses the themes of The Impostors and “Withnail and I”, both of which explore the concept of identity and the performative nature of self. The Impostors, a comedy film about two struggling actors who accidentally become involved in a wealthy socialite’s disappearance, delves into the characters’ desire to escape their mundane lives and fulfill their dreams of fame. Withnail and I, a British black comedy about two unemployed actors living in London, delves into the characters’ struggles with their own sense of self-worth and the influence of societal expectations on their identity. Both films offer a humorous and satirical look at the struggles of trying to navigate the complexities of one’s own identity in the face of societal pressures and expectations.
Swimming Pool, directed by François Ozon, and The Vanishing, directed by George Sluizer, both explore the concept of identity and the lengths to which individuals will go to uncover the truth. In Swimming Pool, author Sarah Morton travels to her publisher’s house in the South of France to finish her latest novel, but becomes embroiled in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Julie, the publisher’s daughter. As Sarah delves deeper into the investigation, she begins to question her own identity and whether she is capable of committing a crime. The Vanishing follows the story of Rex, a man whose girlfriend disappears while on vacation at a gas station. As he searches for answers, he becomes increasingly obsessed with uncovering the truth and is ultimately faced with the disturbing realization that he may never know what happened to his loved one. Both films examine the complex relationship between perception and reality and the destructive power of obsession.
Identity and reality. Open Your Eyes, a Spanish film recognizable for one weird reason, follows the story of a wealthy young man named César who suffers from a disfiguring accident and begins to question the veracity of his surroundings. The film delves into the concept of identity and the ways in which it can be altered or manipulated. On the other hand, Never Let Me Go, directed by Mark Romanek and based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, explores the theme of reality through the lens of a dystopian society in which human clones are raised for the sole purpose of organ donation. The film delves into the ethical implications of such a society and raises questions about the value of human life. Both films ultimately challenge the viewer to consider the concept of self and the role it plays in shaping our perception of the world.
Playing with self-image. To Be or Not to Be is a black comedy about a troupe of actors in Nazi-occupied Poland who use their skills of deception to fool the invading forces and save their country. The film delves into the idea of role-playing and how we present ourselves to the world, as well as the blurred lines between what is real and what is performance. Rango, on the other hand, is an animated film about a chameleon who must confront his own lack of identity and discover his true self in order to save his town. Both films explore the importance of self-discovery and the power of finding one’s place in the world.
A podcast episode on the films Daughter of the Sun and Sheitan would explore the themes of identity, transformation, and the blurred lines between good and evil. In Daughter of the Sun, the main character embarks on a journey of self-discovery, learning about their true identity and the power they possess. Sheitan delves into the darker side of human nature, as a group of friends are confronted with the disturbing behavior of their host and must confront the evil within themselves in order to survive. Both films explore the complexities of the human experience and the ways in which our actions can shape our identity.
Manipulation on a scale from least to most delicious. The podcast episode discusses the themes present in the films Snowpiercer and The Favourite. Snowpiercer follows the story of a rebellion on a train carrying the last remnants of humanity after a failed experiment to stop global warming results in a new ice age. The film explores themes of class struggle and the consequences of greed and power. The Favourite, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, is a historical drama set in early 18th century England that follows the tumultuous relationship between two cousins, Sarah Churchill and Abigail Masham, as they compete for the favor of Queen Anne. The film delves into themes of manipulation, power dynamics, and the corruption of personal relationships. Both films examine the destructive nature of societal hierarchies and the lengths individuals will go to in order to attain and maintain power.