drama

Eavesdropping at the Movies – The Florida Project

Sean Baker’s The Florida Project incites ruminations on the representation of underclasses in cinema; the emergence of a new American neorealism; clichés of slice-of-life and childhood films; what audiences owe to films that are truly reaching, even beyond their grasp; why a man who can cry at Toy Story can’t open himself up to stories of genuine human pain; and how revolting the colour lilac is.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions.

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Eavesdropping at the Movies – Blade Runner 2049 – Second Screening

We couldn’t stay away. And with a second viewing, time to percolate, and responses from friends informing us, Eavesdropping once again delves into Blade Runner 2049.

What to make of the film’s representation of women? How does the film use names? Why did Mike have a little weep at the end this time? Do gay women have cottages? Does the film function as a story about slavery? What about criticisms of its lack of diversity in casting?

Why do people think this film is dull? Is it the film’s fault? Television’s? Humanity’s? Why don’t we care to engage visually any more?

Most importantly, what do the bees mean?

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions.

Eavesdropping at the Movies – Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is something else. You simply must see it on the biggest screen you can find. Do not listen to us if you care about the film because we go heavy on the spoilers. (We always go heavy on the spoilers, but this film is good so it actually matters.)

I’m not very good in this one but Jose more than makes up for me so it’s okay.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions.

Eavesdropping at the Movies – Borg McEnroe

The story of the rivalry between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe at the 1980 Wimbledon Championships, discussed by Jose Arroyo and Michael Glass. One a hotheaded youngster, fuelled by anger and unable to keep his temper in check. The other an elder statesman, cool and calm, analytical and detached. And then there’s Borg and McEnroe.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions.

Eavesdropping at the Movies – mother!

What is Darren Aronofsky’s latest fever dream all about? Is the negative audience response fair? How good is Jennifer Lawrence, seriously you guys?

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions.

Inside Out

Inside Out Group

Released 2015. Directed by Pete Docter. Screenplay by Meg LeFauve & Josh Cooley and Pete Docter. Starring Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Lewis Black, Kaitlyn Dias.

Significant spoilers follow, including many of the best jokes and the ending, so if you wish to avoid anger I recommend you see Inside Out before reading on. (I also talk about the end of Toy Story 3, but if you haven’t seen that then I assume you have never seen a film in your life.)

As a child, my favourite comic strip was The Numskulls. The idea that tiny maniacal homunculi populated and drove human bodies was captivating and wild, tweaked my interest in science, and made for thousands of great jokes. Now Pixar, the undisputed master of family-friendly cinema, has turned its attention to the same idea. Colour me excited.

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Boyhood

Boyhood 1

Released 2014. Written and directed by Richard Linklater. Starring Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke.

If you know anything about Boyhood before going in, you’ll know that it’s a hugely ambitious project that follows a boy, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), as he ages from six to eighteen years old, along with his mother, Olivia (Patricia Arquette), sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), and occasionally-present father, Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke). It doesn’t switch out actors to depict the children ageing. Richard Linklater has been following them for twelve years, semi-improvising a narrative along the way. It’s a small, intimate film with little drive yet it requires three hours to tell its story. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and you absolutely need to see it.

Actually, you need to see it twice.

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Locke

Released 2014. Written and directed by Steven Knight. Starring Tom Hardy.

There are plot spoilers here, although they are locked behind the first paragraph. Get it? Locked. Locke-d. Locke is the name of the film. Forget it.

There’s a breed of film that likes to restrict itself. It uses a single very concise location, or one main one with very few excursions elsewhere; it tells its story in real time, or near-real time; it features very few actors (often only one), who appear throughout. Of this breed, there are two flavours. There are the interesting ones, such as Buried and Rope; then there are the extraordinarily silly ones, such as Phone Booth and Devil. (Sometimes, I admit, you will come across a film that straddles this distinction, and that film is Carnage.) No matter what their variations on the theme, these films all have one thing in common, which is that I love them unconditionally. Imposing limits on oneself is a reliable recipe for something fun or intriguing – these films are laboratory experiments designed to discover what is possible to achieve despite confinement, and they’re always playful. Locke, set entirely within a car driven by Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) from Birmingham to London, is a member of the interesting group: it’s slow, careful, visually rich and utterly engrossing.

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