The dynamic and relatable nature of family relationships has been used in many films as a narrative conceit setting up character development, and a way to create some memorable confrontations. The films we discuss in this episode place emphasis on the rivalries faced by siblings as they try to co-exist with their brother or sister.
Film, like any art form has varying degrees of complexity and purpose. From the lavish block-buster saturated with special effects to the ‘little’ movies done on a small budget, it is a diverse medium and there is something to cater for almost any taste. In this episode we look at the work of Shane Carruth a mathematician turned writer/director/producer who makes film definitely on the ‘smaller’ scale compared to the big guns of Hollywood.
We are discussing Shane’s first film Primer from 2004 and his most recent Upstream Color from 2013. Each of the films has a unique style which is refreshing and interesting to watch, but each (seemingly) has been designed to require multiple viewings and encourage discussion about the films purpose.
Terrible movies get made, its a fact, not every movie can be considered a critical or commercial success. Sure some movies get it wrong and they disappear into a sea of other mediocre movies, however there are a few which are so ‘bad’ that they garner a new audience. An audience which finds the lack of polish, story, acting, effects somewhat infectious and charming which elevates these films to be enjoyable based on the fact they are so ‘bad’.
The idea of a film that is ‘Awfully Good’ is not a new one, hell the guys over at JoBlo have been doing it for years, but in this episode (the first Volume of Awfully Good Series which we will do from time to time) we take a closer look at two of these films. First up Troll 2 from 1990 which has arguably been labelled the ‘Best Worst Movie’ and we see just how true this is, and finally we look at Sharks in Venice from 2008 a more recent film which focuses on the mystery as to what is swimming around in the Venice canals, my guess is its not Great Whites from stock footage as the movie implies.
After the previous two episodes keeping us locked to black and white films we are finally back with a full colour palette. We look at a sub genre of film born in the 80s but still present today where two (or more) characters with differing races are combined to form an interracial buddy cop team.
With this sub genre we see as a further diversion to the usual odd couple formula, throw in the fact they are police officers and you have the ingredients for a comedy action film that ‘should’ work well. Money Train from 1995 takes this idea and gives us a cop trio with some identifiable tropes but ends up going against the norm in the final act. Out to prove that their can be a fresh take on this type of film Christian selects The Guard from 2011 an Irish independent filmmakers interpretation on the interracial buddy cop which has traditionally been the domain of the United States.
Take Two visit the land of the rising sun to sample some of their finest samurai classics, a film genre that I seem to have missed out on.
Keeping in line with our almost subliminal obsession with Black and White film, we follow the ronin Sanjuro in Yojimbo from 1961, by director Akira Kurosawa (who apparently is kind of a big deal) and are exposed to some brutal suspense in 1962’s Harakiri by Masaki Kobayaski.
With Christian as my guide (hey he knows more then me) we discuss how and why these movies were made and how they still have certain links to some very popular tropes found in western action movies to this day.
Bucking convention we choose to talk about monsters in January, Halloween is over-rated anyways, monsters all year round I say. We decide to take a look at monster movies of the universal variety as Christian recently came across an awesome box set of Universal Classic Monsters.
We get our creep on first with the anti-super hero antics of The Invisible Man from 1933. After we recovered from some horrendously transparent acting we realize we can see Lon Chaney Jnr, in the distance, looking at us through a telescope, that’s right, ye old english voyeurism at its best in The Wolf Man from 1941.
Christian and I are by no means Bond fanatics (I probably am more then Christian), however we cannot ignore the impact of the series which has been running for half a century. To coincide with the latest 007 outing Skyfall we choose to look back at the 50 year old franchise and discuss two Bond movies; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Goldeneye.
Bond’s from different decades are analysed to see how the approach to the character and the films have changed and more importantly if they stand the test of time.
Come with us on a journey, we look at two movies where the audience is transported to a fantasy world through the eyes of a young girl. Based on the huge success of the original Wizard of Oz from 1939 movies have taken the girl in a fantasy world formula and explored it in various ways also with varying success.
Return to Oz from 1985 is a film which went through production hell and in the end was a mash up of ideas which failed to capture the magic of the original, although it is still unclear if that was the intention. Coraline from 2009 on the other hand takes the concept in a slightly different way and allows our heroine to switch between fantasy and real world throughout the film with unique results.
On this, the third episode of the Take Two Podcast we look into a couple of modern films which have been produced in black and white as an artistic decision by the movie makers.
The Elephant Man by director David Lynch portrays story which is as relevant now as ever, and Woody Allen’s Zelig where he plays a man who is a human chameleon seamlessly changing his appearance and personality to suit his environment. From the onset both movies seem very different however as the discussion flows it becomes apparent that they share common themes and even similar messages.
We are back again with episode 2 of the Take Two Podcast and after the animal theme of the first episode, we now transcend into an environment theme and take two movies which are filmed predominantly within a confined space.
In this episode we look at the sci-fi cult classic Cube from 1997 and the restrained zombie outbreak movie Pontypool from 2008. In both of these movies the director utilizes a claustrophobic environment differently but both end up with the same effect in creating a tense, rigid scene which by the end of the movie is very familiar to the viewer. Also we do discuss various important plot points of two movies, so SPOILER ALERT, you have been warned.