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The Next Picture Show Profile

The Next Picture Show

English, TV & Video, 1 season, 440 episodes, 5 days, 7 hours, 51 minutes
About
A biweekly roundtable by the former editorial team of The Dissolve examining how classic films inspire and inform modern movies. Episodes take a deep dive into a classic film and its legacy in the first half, then compare and contrast that film with a modern successor in the second. Hosted and produced by Genevieve Koski, Keith Phipps, Tasha Robinson and Scott Tobias. Part of the Filmspotting family of podcasts.
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#434: Full House, Pt. 2 — Janet Planet

Pulitzer-winning playwright Annie Baker’s filmmaking debut JANET PLANET is sort of a dual coming-of-age story, centering a young girl’s fascination with her single mother who is still figuring out her own place in the world. But it also resists broad statements and neat conclusions, giving us space to unpack our own interpretations of the emotional depths that lie beneath the film’s quiet exterior. Then we bring Lukas Moodysson’s TOGETHER back into the discussion to compare its non-judgmental eye toward low-impact parenting, especially in the face of adult drama, and greater interest in the human drive for connection to those of JANET PLANET. And in Your Next Picture Show we share our runner-up contender for this week’s pairing.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about TOGETHER, JANET PLANET,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Oz Perkins’ LONGLEGS and Jonathan Demme’s SILENCE OF THE LAMBS Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/16/20241 hour, 52 seconds
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#433: Full House, Pt. 1 — Together (2000)

The new JANET PLANET follows a young girl who comes to see the world differently thanks to a succession of people her hippyish single mother brings into their lives, and more specifically into the home they share. Its sense of the fraught sense of intimacy that accompanies cohabitation by family members and lovers brought to mind Lukas Moodysson’s TOGETHER, another film that’s interested in how its characters’ progressive politics overlap and even interfere with their family dynamics. This week we talk through how TOGETHER shows affection for the residents of its titular commune in spite of, or perhaps because of, their foibles, what the film’s unresolved ending leaves up to interpretation, and how a parent’s journey of self-realization can really do a number on their parenting instincts. And in Feedback, a very thoughtful letter about the underappreciated value of Disney Princess culture leads to an unexpected conclusion.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about TOGETHER, JANET PLANET,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/9/202459 minutes, 20 seconds
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#432: Pixar's Girl Story, Pt. 2 — Inside Out 2

When thinking of a film to pair with INSIDE OUT 2, we purposefully avoided the new Pixar sequel’s 2015 original because the two are so of a piece, delving into the contrasts between them seemed too much like nitpicking. Still, we attempt to make fruitful discussion out of those nitpicks in this week’s conversation about the new film, and perhaps even change one panelist’s opinion of it in the process. Then we bring in the film we actually chose for this pairing, 2012’s BRAVE, which we all agree isn’t as much of a Pixar all-timer as the original INSIDE OUT, but provides some thought-provoking echoes and contrasts with its sequel in terms of adolescent emotions and the outward embodiments thereof, journeys of self discovery — for a teenage protagonist as well as the nurturing presence who cares for them — and the symbolic potential of pretty glowing things. Then we make a hard pivot for Your Next Picture Show to discuss the appeal of Richard Linklater’s new HIT MAN and how it translates between the big and small screens. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BRAVE, INSIDE OUT 2,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Annie Baker’s JANET PLANET and Lukas Moodysson’s TOGETHER Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/2/20241 hour, 18 minutes, 56 seconds
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#431: Pixar's Girl Story, Pt. 1 — Brave

INSIDE OUT 2 is quite literally built around the emotional experience of being a young girl, but it wasn’t too long ago that this was uncharted territory for Pixar. That’s why rather than comparing the animation studio’s latest sequel to the original, we’re reaching a little further back in the filmography to revisit its first attempt to tell a story about a teenager trying to define her own identity: 2012's BRAVE. Representing some big firsts for Pixar, BRAVE had a fair amount of baggage and expectations when it hit theaters, all of which still linger in our conversation about a film we enjoy, with no shortage of qualities to recommend it, that nonetheless still feels like it’s struggling to reach its full potential.   Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BRAVE, INSIDE OUT 2, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/25/20241 hour, 12 minutes, 34 seconds
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#430: Road Warriors, Pt. 2: Furiosa

The new FURIOSA functions as both a prequel and a sequel within the larger mythology of the MAD MAX franchise, and we’re looking at it from both of those angles this week. First, we talk over why George Miller’s latest might have flopped at the box office (prequel fatigue) and why it feels poised to overcome that reputation in due time (it is the rare good prequel). Then we zoom out to bring 1979’s original MAX MAX back into the picture and consider this franchise’s ongoing interest in themes of hope, despair, grief, and revenge, and how those themes shift when presented through a feminine perspective versus a masculine one. And in Your Next Picture Show, we use this opportunity to sing the praises of a lesser-known Miller work with much less vehicular mayhem and a much more overt presentation of hope in the face of despair. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about MAD MAX, FURIOSA,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Pixar’s INSIDE OUT 2 and BRAVE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/18/20241 hour, 4 minutes, 11 seconds
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#429: Road Warriors, Pt. 1: Mad Max (1979)

There’s a lot of narrative road between 1979’s MAD MAX and the new FURIOSA, but in pursuing George Miller’s decades-spanning franchise back to its starting line, we uncover a lot about what fuels this saga beyond the big, loud cars. For example, there are also big, loud motorcycles. But more importantly, there’s a healthy skepticism toward revenge as motivation, an interest in messianic leaders and hyper-verbal antagonists, and an efficient approach to world-building that prizes the visceral feel of a crumbling society over the logistical details thereof. All of that, plus the symbolic richness of this bleak motorized world, come up as we look under the hood of a film that’s quite different from what the MAD MAX saga is today, but no less driven by Miller’s singular vision. And in Feedback, we respond to a much-appreciated listener correction about THE FALL GUY and a similarly appreciated response to a prompt from our DONNIE DARKO episode.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about MAD MAX, FURIOSA,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/11/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 39 seconds
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#428: Teenage Dreams, Pt. 2 — I Saw the TV Glow

Jane Schoenburn’s I SAW THE TV GLOW is a film whose cultural reference points tend to take the form of vibes more than direct nods. But the writer-director's stated inspiration point in DONNIE DARKO can be seen on both the surface — the  recent-past suburban setting, the teenage outcasts struggling to relate to the world around them — and on a deeper level in the protagonists’ slippery grips on reality and their own identity. In the case of I SAW THE TV GLOW, that takes the shape of a trans narrative, the apparentness and relatability of which we discuss with the help of our special guest Emily St. James, before putting these two films side by side to consider their respective takes on teenage alienation, TV as a drug, and secondary realities that no one else can see. And in Your Next Picture Show we recommend a book trilogy that offers a different but complementary spin on media obsession. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about DONNIE DARKO, I SAW THE TV GLOW,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: George Miller’s FURIOSA and MAD MAX Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/4/20241 hour, 11 minutes, 22 seconds
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#427: Teenage Dreams, Pt. 1 — Donnie Darko

The horror-inflected suburban setting of the new I SAW THE TV GLOW — not to mention writer-director Jane Schoenbrun’s own comments on their inspiration — put us in mind of Richard Kelly’s 2001 cult classic DONNIE DARKO, which also follows a teen protagonist struggling to maintain their grip on reality. We’re joined once again by writer, critic, and friend of the show Emily St. James to discuss how our relationships to both that teen protagonist and the movie named for him have shifted over the years, the film’s prescient religious and political undertones and the intentionality thereof, and why so many of its mysteries remain more compelling without clear answers. And in Feedback, we travel back a few episodes to revisit both a scene from Alex Garland’s CIVIL WAR and the discourse it provoked.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about DONNIE DARKO, I SAW THE TV GLOW,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/28/20241 hour, 19 minutes, 16 seconds
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#426: Playing the Hits, Pt. 2 — The Fall Guy

Like the first film in this pairing, Richard Rush’s 1980 oddity THE STUNT MAN, David Leitch’s new THE FALL GUY utilizes the chaos of a film set as the cover for a crime, not to mention the inspiration for both romance and comedy. THE FALL GUY is a bit more straightforward in its crowd-pleasing intentions, though, to both its benefit and detriment, which we talk through in sharing our reactions to the new film. Then we bring THE STUNT MAN back in to compare its overlapping but distinct ideas about stunt performers who inspire their directors, get romantically involved with their co-workers, and confront their own deaths as a matter of course. And in Your Next Picture Show we offer another pairing of films that have nothing to do with this week’s movies, but which we are nonetheless excited to recommend.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE STUNT MAN, THE FALL GUY,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Jane Schoenbrunn’s I SAW THE TV GLOW and Richard Kelly’s DONNIE DARKO Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/21/20241 hour, 14 minutes, 27 seconds
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#425: Playing the Hits, Pt. 1 — The Stunt Man

While there are countless movies featuring the work of stunt performers, movies that center the experiences of those performers are much more rare, which is part of what motivated former stunt performer David Leitch to make the new THE FALL GUY. One of the standouts on that short list is Richard Rush’s 1980 genre oddity THE STUNT MAN, which uses the experience of its accidental-stuntie protagonist to blur the lines between post-Vietnam reality and moviemaking fantasy in fascinating, sometimes confounding ways. We talk through our interpretations of what it means and whether it works, and come to the conclusion that even when it doesn’t, Peter O’Toole’s performance as a diabolical director manages to hold it all together. Then in Feedback, our recent CHALLENGERS episode inspires a couple of listeners to share their alternate pairing ideas. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE STUNT MAN, THE FALL GUY,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/14/20241 hour, 9 minutes, 50 seconds
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#424: Mixed Doubles, Pt. 2 — Challengers

Justin Kuritzkes, who wrote the screenplay for Luca Guadagnino’s new CHALLENGERS, cites Alfonso Cuarón's coming-of-age classic Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN as a longtime favorite, so it’s unsurprising to see that film’s DNA in this one. CHALLENGERS is far from a remake, though, operating in a very different milieu with very different narrative priorities, both which we discuss along with our generally-positive-to-rapturous reactions to it. Then in Connections we press these two movies’ faces together and make them kiss for our own gratification, and come away from the experience surprised by just how much they share without being much alike at all. And in Your Next Picture Show we consider another, more recent Cuarón film in the context of Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN, CHALLENGERS,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: David Leitch’s THE FALL GUY and Richard Rush’s THE STUNT MAN Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/7/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 17 seconds
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#423: Mixed Doubles, Pt. 1 — Y Tu Mamá También

The new CHALLENGERS is a sports drama the same way Alfonso Cuarón’s Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN is a road movie: secondarily, as both films tend to be associated first with their respective sexy love triangles, each with a woman at its center. That shared character dynamic results in a lot of connections between the two films, which we’ll cover in the next episode, but this week we’re focusing on all the other elements that distinguish Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN, from the way its narration forces us to consider the bigger picture that’s ignored by our young protagonists, to an ending revelation that recontextualizes (or, for one of our panelists, undermines) everything that comes before. And in Feedback, we take up a spoiler-filled question about the ending and viewer reception of CIVIL WAR. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN, CHALLENGERS,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/30/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 7 seconds
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#422: Alex Garland's Catastrophic Visions, Pt. 2 — Civil War

The strain of cynicism that characterizes so much of Alex Garland’s filmography is at its most pronounced in his latest, CIVIL WAR. But paired with Garland’s 2002 debut as a screenwriter, Danny Boyle’s 28 DAYS LATER, an interesting counterpoint emerges in their shared acknowledgement, even hope, that humanity could perhaps find a path forward through catastrophe. So after spending some time wallowing in the muck of CIVIL WAR’s muddy politics and unsettling violence, we examine that mutual glimmer of hope in Connections, as well as the similar back-and-forth rhythms and character parallels of these two road movies. And in Your Next Picture Show we recommend the sequel that provides a different filmmaker’s answer to that question of where humanity goes next, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s 28 WEEKS LATER. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about 28 DAYS LATER, CIVIL WAR,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Luca Guadagnino’s CHALLENGERS and Alfonso Cuarón’s Y TU MAMA TAMBIÉN Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/23/20241 hour, 4 minutes, 7 seconds
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#421: Alex Garland's Catastrophic Visions, Pt. 1 — 28 Days Later

The new CIVIL WAR is the latest in a line of speculative scenarios that Alex Garland has pondered over the course of his career as a novelist-turned-filmmaker, but its journey through a country transformed by violent catastrophe is most reminiscent of his first project as a screenwriter, Danny Boyle’s zombie-adjacent horror film 28 DAYS LATER. So before digging into Garland’s vision of an apocalyptic near-future United States, we’re revisiting his vision of the apocalyptic England of 2002 to consider the challenges of carving an ending (happy or otherwise) out of such a grim “what if,” and how our collective understanding of zombies (fast or otherwise) is both reflected in and shaped by 28 DAYS LATER’s infected. And in Feedback, we reckon with another speculative scenario, one in which our recent episode on Radu Jude’s latest was part of a different pairing.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about 28 DAYS LATER, CIVIL WAR,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/16/202454 minutes, 34 seconds
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#420: Final Cuts, Pt. 2 — Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World

What does a powerless gofer in 2020s Romania have in common with a powerful studio executive in 1990s Hollywood? Radu Jude’s new DO NOT EXPECT TO MUCH FROM THE END OF THE WORLD may concern a very different type of moviemaking than that in Robert Altman’s satire THE PLAYER, but it takes a similarly cynical — and humorous — stance on the compromises involved in commercialized art. That’s the main connection that inspired returning guest Katie Rife to suggest this pairing to us, but there’s much more about Jude’s film to get into first, from its focus on quotidian details to its various nods to Romanian art and culture. After that, we dive into these two films’ complementary takes on capitalism, commodification, and cameos, and in Your Next Picture show offer a trio of otherwise-unrelated films with ties to this pairing.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE PLAYER, DO NOT EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM THE END OF THE WORLD,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Alex Garland’s CIVIL WAR and Danny Boyle’s 28 DAYS LATER Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/9/20241 hour, 17 minutes, 14 seconds
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#419: Final Cuts, Pt. 1 — The Player

Romanian director Radu Jude’s new DO NOT EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM THE END OF THE WORLD is set in Bucharest, not Hollywood, but its cynicism about the act of capturing something on film nonetheless put us in mind of Robert Altman’s 1992 industry satire THE PLAYER. We’re joined by returning guest Katie Rife to discuss these two very different yet complementary movies about moviemaking, beginning with THE PLAYER’s caustically meta take on the Hollywood grind during a transitional moment for studio filmmaking. And we stay on theme moving into Feedback, bringing the film’s cynical outlook on Hollywood to a listener's question about the very existence of movie remakes. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE PLAYER, DO NOT EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM THE END OF THE WORLD,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/2/20241 hour, 7 minutes, 55 seconds
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#418: Crimes of Passion, Pt. 2 — Love Lies Bleeding

Like the Wachowskis’ BOUND before it, Rose Glass’ new lesbian crime thriller LOVE LIES BLEEDING is playing with the tropes of noir and pulp, but it is also very much a love story between women who are trapped by their pasts and see in each other a way out. This week we’re joined once again by writer and friend of the show Emily St. James to talk through the unique, memorable way in which LOVE LIES BLEEDING balances those elements and tones, before bringing BOUND back into the discussion to consider the parallels between these two narratives’ respective interest in bodies and gender performance, trust and transactional sex, and finding escape in another person. And in Your Next Picture Show we enthusiastically recommend Glass’ debut feature SAINT MAUD as the bellwether of a filmmaker who’s proven herself one to watch.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BOUND, LOVE LIES BLEEDING,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Radu Jude’s DO NOT EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM THE END OF THE WORLD and Robert Altman’s THE PLAYER. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/26/20241 hour, 48 seconds
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#417: Crimes of Passion, Pt. 1 — Bound

Rose Glass’ new lesbian crime thriller LOVE LIES BLEEDING takes the neo-noir in a bold and unexpected direction, one that the Wachowskis first pointed the genre toward in 1996 with BOUND. While the sisters’ stylish debut first premiered amid a wave of “sexy thrillers,” it exists today in a significantly different context. We get into that shift this week with the help of returning guest Emily St. James, to discuss how BOUND subverts, even transcends, viewer expectations of noir, gender roles, and hot lesbian sex. And then we take a break from Feedback to continue the conversation about revisiting classics in a contemporary context, in a talk with Emily about her upcoming book, LOST: BACK TO THE ISLAND. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BOUND, LOVE LIES BLEEDING, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email or voice memo to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/19/202458 minutes, 23 seconds
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#416: Ethan Coen Co-Capers, Pt. 2 — Drive-Away Dolls

Is box-office disappointment DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS destined for the sort of belated appreciation eventually received by the Coen Brothers’ sophomore feature, 1987’s RAISING ARIZONA? That’s up for debate in our discussion of Ethan Coen’s latest comedy collaboration, this time with his wife Tricia Cooke, a crime caper in theory that acts more like a sex romp in practice. Nonetheless, we consider how certain Coen crime signatures — ill-considered schemes executed by duos who are the opposite of pros, one of whom is comedically verbose — play out in both films, as well as how the films’ respective MacGuffins function as comedic objects. And in Your Next Picture Show we offer an alternate-universe version of this pairing built around the recent French release THE TASTE OF THINGS. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about RAISING ARIZONA, DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Rose Glass’ LOVE LIES BLEEDING and The Wachowskis’ BOUND Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/12/202451 minutes, 42 seconds
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#415: Ethan Coen Co-Capers, Pt. 1 — Raising Arizona

While DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS is technically the first narrative feature for which Ethan Coen has taken a solo directing credit, in practice the new comedy is as much a collaboration, here with his wife and co-screenwriter Tricia Cooke, as the films he made with brother Joel before their current hiatus. So in honor of Coen’s commitment to collaborative comedy, we’re revisiting 1987’s RAISING ARIZONA, the film that established the brothers’ comedic voice following their neo-noir debut BLOOD SIMPLE, and whose madcap escapades and MacGuffin-chasing foreshadow Coen’s latest cinematic caper. And in feedback, a returning favorite offers up a connection we missed in our recent pairing of THE LAST DETAIL and THE HOLDOVERS. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about RAISING ARIZONA, DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/5/202446 minutes, 6 seconds
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#414: Beach Bummers, Pt. 2 — How to Have Sex

Molly Manning Walker’s debut feature HOW TO HAVE SEX takes place more than six decades after 1960’s WHERE THE BOYS ARE, but as our discussion of the two films illuminates, frustratingly little has changed in that time when it comes to the blurred lines around consent, particularly in situations involving teenagers, alcohol, and social pressure around sex. We’re joined once again by Marya E. Gates to discuss HOW TO HAVE SEX’s deft navigation of that context before bringing WHERE THE BOYS ARE back in to discuss what has and hasn’t changed about the desires and dangers of being a student on unchaperoned holiday. And in Your Next Picture Show, we offer up a film that could form a triple feature with this week’s pairing, Céline Sciama’s GIRLHOOD. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WHERE THE BOYS ARE, HOW TO HAVE SEX,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Ethan Coen’s DRIVE-AWAY DOLLS and the Coen Brothers’ RAISING ARIZONA Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/27/20241 hour, 12 minutes, 35 seconds
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#413: Beach Bummers, Pt. 1 — Where the Boys Are (1960)

The new British coming-of-age film HOW TO HAVE SEX follows a group of girlfriends on a post-exam holiday into an environment where peer pressure, alcohol, and coercion can erode the boundaries of consent. But these problems aren’t unique to the film’s contemporary setting, as we’ll see in this week’s companion film, the seemingly frivolous 1960 spring break romp WHERE THE BOYS ARE. Special guest Marya Gates brings us some historical context about the film’s place in the continuum of “beach party” movies, and the degree to which audiences still a few years out from the sexual revolution would be receptive to the film’s relative frankness about sex. And in Feedback we continue the debate about the usefulness of film ratings, and respond to the charge that a recent pairing was our worst-ever choice of new film. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WHERE THE BOYS ARE, HOW TO HAVE SEX,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/20/20241 hour, 5 minutes, 7 seconds
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#412: Road Trip Trios, Pt. 1 — The Holdovers

A road trip through a chilly New England winter represents only one section of Alexander Payne’s THE HOLDOVERS, but the film’s overlap with Hal Ashby’s THE LAST DETAIL goes beyond that narrative echo. As in Ashby’s 1973 film, one of the examples of 1970s cinema Payne drew on for the look and feel of THE HOLDOVERS, a central triumvirate of two adults and their younger charge have a funny but imperfect bonding experience that avoids simplistic found-family conclusions. We talk through the ways THE HOLDOVERS finds nuance in its different permutations of that trio before turning back to THE LAST DETAIL to compare these films’ versions of “showing the kid a good time” in spite of bitter cold and absent parents. And in Your Next Picture Show we stick up for LAST FLAG FLYING, Richard Linklater’s little-loved “spiritual sequel” to THE LAST DETAIL. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LAST DETAIL, THE HOLDOVERS,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Molly Manning Walker’s HOW TO HAVE SEX and Henry Levin’s WHERE THE BOYS ARE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/13/20241 hour, 8 minutes, 49 seconds
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#411: Road Trip Trios, Pt. 1 — The Last Detail

Alexander Payne has cited Hal Ashby’s THE LAST DETAIL as one of several 1970s movies informing the look and feel of THE HOLDOVERS, but there’s narrative resonance there as well, particularly in the films’ central threesomes: two disaffected older adults and their troubled teenage charge, each navigating a chilly East Coast winter, a road trip, and a series of disappointments and discoveries. We begin this week by focusing on THE LAST DETAIL’s trio of military-prison-bound sailors: what defines and distinguishes each of them, how their relationships change over the course of the movie, and whether the lack of resolution the film provides them is a feature or a bug. And in Feedback we respond to some alternate readings of a couple of our other favorite films of last year, BARBIE and MAY DECEMBER. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LAST DETAIL, THE HOLDOVERS,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/6/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 6 seconds
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#410: Hunting Games, Pt. 2 — Self Reliance

We return to the arena of comedic deathsport via Jake Johnson’s new debut as a writer-director, SELF RELIANCE. Despite a high-concept premise, it’s a film that seems most comfortable in the realm of hangout-slash-romantic comedy, but is that a satisfying approach when dealing with an ostensible story of life and death? That’s up for debate in our discussion of the film, which extends into Connections when we bring Elio Petri’s 1965 cult oddity THE 10TH VICTIM back into the conversation to compare these two films’ bloodless approach to gamified murder. And in Your Next Picture Show we offer up a recommendation for a real-life televised murder game in which no blood gets spilled and Alan Cumming is having the time of his life. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE 10TH VICTIM, SELF RELIANCE,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Alexander Payne’s THE HOLDOVERS and Hal Ashby’s THE LAST DETAIL.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/30/20241 hour, 4 minutes, 6 seconds
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#409: Hunting Games, Pt. 1 — The 10th Victim

Jake Johnson’s new directorial debut SELF RELIANCE draws from a deep well of “Most Dangerous Game” storytelling, but its interest in murder-for-sport as televised entertainment combined with its rom-com underpinnings put us most in mind of 1965 cult oddity THE 10TH VICTIM. Elio Petri’s film functions as a piece of pop art first, a satire second, and a romance a distant third, and this week we’re attempting to parse it on all three levels, when we’re not getting sidetracked by the many incidental details comprising this inconsistent, perhaps incoherent, but always interesting film. And in Feedback, a listener prompt about whether movie ratings are a net negative for film culture inspires us to do a little self-reflection, and institute a new (temporary) NPS ratings system.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE 10TH VICTIM, SELF RELIANCE,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/23/202459 minutes, 20 seconds
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#408: Succession, Pt. 2 — The Iron Claw

THE IRON CLAW is about a wrestling dynasty, not an organized-crime one, but Sean Durkin’s new biopic makes the family business seem just as dangerous as the one at the heart of Francis Ford Coppola’s THE GODFATHER. We’re joined once again by guest and wrestling aficionado Siddhant Adlakha to talk through THE IRON CLAW’s approach to said family business and the trauma it inflicts on both its characters and viewers. Then we bring THE GODFATHER back into the conversation to compare how these two family businesses and their respective succession drama are shaped by the American Dream, toxic masculinity, and the women on the sidelines. And then we keep it in the ring with some Your Next Picture Show suggestions for some complementary IRON CLAW viewing.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE GODFATHER, THE IRON CLAW, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Elio Petri’s THE 10TH VICTIM and Jake Johnson’s SELF RELIANCE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/16/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 28 seconds
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#407: Succession, Pt. 1 — The Godfather

A dangerous family business, an imposing, aging patriarch, and a group of brothers with varying aptitudes vying to succeed him: Sean Durkin’s wrestling-family biopic THE IRON CLAW and Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 mafia epic THE GODFATHER chart a very similar narrative within two very different worlds. Will THE IRON CLAW also shape how we talk and think about other wrestling films for decades to come? That remains to be seen, but this week we’re joined by freelance film critic Siddhant Adlakha to mull THE GODFATHER’s impact on the gangster movie as we know it, consider which set pieces and characters take on new shading in repeat viewings, and unpack the Corleone family dynamics that lie at the heart of this pairing. Plus, we’re keeping the 2023 film conversation going with a listener recommendation for an underseen favorite from last year. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE GODFATHER, THE IRON CLAW,  or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/9/202457 minutes, 3 seconds
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#406: Our Top 10 Films of 2023

2023 was an idiosyncratic yet satisfying year for movies and the audiences who watch them, as reflected in the combination of across-the-board crowd-pleasers and one-off favorites comprising our Top 10 lists of the year’s best films. As per tradition, Tasha, Scott, and Keith convened to compare their respective lists and examine the points where they converge and diverge, and celebrate the high points of another year that supports the idea that every year is a good one for movies.   Please share your thoughts about and own picks for the best movies of 2023, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next pairing: Sean Durkin’s THE IRON CLAW and Francis Ford Coppola’s THE GODFATHER Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/2/20241 hour, 7 minutes, 5 seconds
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#405: She's Alive! Pt. 2 — Poor Things

Yorgos Lanthimos’ POOR THINGS is many things, among them a whimsical retelling of the story of Frankenstein’s monster as codified in James Whale’s iconic 1930s classics FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. But there’s a lot of other stuff animating POOR THINGS’ surface pleasures and just-below-the-surface ideas, which we parse before moving into Connections to compare these three films’ depictions of playing God and twisted parent-child relationships; mad science and the mad scientists who practice it; and stylized, unnatural versions of reality as perceived by stylized, unnatural creatures. And in Your Next Picture Show we give a brief nod to two other POOR THINGS pairing possibilities, Francois Truffaut’s THE WILD CHILD and Werner Herzog’s THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about FRANKENSTEIN, BRIDE OF, POOR THINGS or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/27/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 19 seconds
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#403: She's Alive! Pt. 1 — Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Yorgos Lanthimos’s POOR THINGS is so open in its allusions to Frankenstein — both scientist and monster — that it inspired us to stitch together our first dual pairing, of James Whale’s 1931 classic, which established the on-screen language of Mary Shelley’s monster, and his 1935 follow-up THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, which set up nearly a century of expectations for sequels in Hollywood. But despite many commonalities, chief among them a literally iconic Boris Karloff performance, these films are two distinct creatures, so we’re dissecting them both to talk through their different tones, relationships to their source material, and legacies.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about FRANKENSTEIN, BRIDE OF, POOR THINGS or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/19/202358 minutes, 7 seconds
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#403: Miyazaki in Wonderland, Pt. 2 — The Boy and the Heron

Like Chihiro in SPIRITED AWAY, the protagonist of Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film, THE BOY AND THE HERON, is drawn into a fantastical world populated by strange creatures that help usher him through a coming-of-age journey — but Mahito is a very different protagonist, and his journey unfolds in a very different way. We’re joined once again by Vulture editor and animation expert Eric Vilas-Boas to unpack the imagery and ideas populating Miyazaki’s latest wonderland, and debate the animation auteur’s feelings about birds, before bringing SPIRITED AWAY back in to compare these films’ depictions of children and parents, villains and allies, and “weird little guys.” And in Your Next Picture Show, Eric offers a recommendation for another film that joins BOY AND THE HERON on his list of the year’s best animation for Vulture. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SPIRITED AWAY, THE BOY AND THE HERON, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Yorgos Lanthimos’s POOR THINGS and James Whale’s FRANKENSTEIN & BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/12/20231 hour, 8 minutes, 58 seconds
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#402: Miyazaki in Wonderland, Pt. 1 — Spirited Away

Studio Ghibli's latest, THE BOY AND THE HERON, is unmistakably a Hayao Miyazaki creation, drawing multiple specific elements from the animator’s life and past work — most conspicuously 2001’s SPIRITED AWAY, another film in which a sad young person is whisked away to a wondrous-slash-terrifying realm filled with memorable creatures and its own dream logic. Before we venture into Miyazaki’s latest idiosyncratic, shifting world, we’re joined by Vulture editor and animation reporter Eric Vilas-Boas for a look back at what makes Miyazaki’s earlier adventures in the spirit realm simultaneously sticky and slippery, and what primed SPIRITED AWAY for crossover success. And in Feedback, we continue the discussion of how we’re meant to read KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON’s ambiguous ending.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SPIRITED AWAY, THE BOY AND THE HERON, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/5/202359 minutes, 49 seconds
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#401: Coppola's Queens, Pt. 2 — Priscilla

As biopics go, the new PRISCILLA is decidedly less rambunctious than the 2006 provocation MARIE ANTOINETTE, but each of these intimate, sympathetic portraits of a woman who lived in a man’s shadow and under his control are unmistakable as the work of Sofia Coppola. This week we get into how our reactions to PRISCILLA — both positive and negative — were affected, even shaped, by its place in Coppola’s filmography, and whether the film’s compressed third act is a feature or a bug. Then we head into Connections, which is stacked with comparison points between the two films’ ideas about power and identity as expressed through fashion, sex, physical vulnerability, and inappropriate puppies. And in Your Next Picture Show, we give the spotlight to another film that’s currently in theaters and was in contention for this week’s pairing: Alexander Payne’s THE HOLDOVERS. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about MARIE ANTOINETTE, PRISCILLA, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/21/20231 hour, 21 minutes, 33 seconds
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#400: Coppola's Queens, Pt. 1 — Marie Antoinette

Might the response that greeted MARIE ANTOINETTE in 2006 have been warmer if audiences at the time had the context of Sofia Coppola’s latest, PRISCILLA, which takes a similarly unconventional narrative and musical approach to a famous marriage? Both films are biopic-shaped containers for Coppola’s now-well-established thematic obsessions, with little interest in the details of history that fall outside that purview, making for one of the more direct one-to-one pairings we’ve done in some time. We kick it off this week with a discussion of the ways time has been kind to MARIE ANTOINETTE’s elision of history and narrowness of focus, how the anachronistic music and performances express the film’s rebellious spirit, and what exactly we’re meant to make of these bumbling teen royals. And in Feedback, a reader broaches another recent film for inclusion on our informal list of the best science-fiction of the 21st century, and in the process reopens our discussion of the many thematic nuances in AFTER YANG. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about MARIE ANTOINETTE, PRISCILLA, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/15/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 52 seconds
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#399: True West, Pt. 2 — Killers of the Flower Moon

Martin Scorsese’s new KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON and the 1950 Delmar Daves Western BROKEN ARROW are both films made by non-Native filmmakers seeking to confront stereotypes about Native Americans, but they are reflective of two distinct cultural moments separated by decades of change when it comes to representation in Hollywood storytelling. This week we spend some time wrestling with the characters, contradictions, and compartmentalization in FLOWER MOON before bringing BROKEN ARROW back in to see how attitudes have progressed when it comes to correcting the historical record and shaking viewers out of their assumptions, how the two films intersect and diverge in their depictions of white outsiders and cross-cultural marriages, and to what degree each embodies the limitations of Indigenous stories told from a non-Indigenous perspective. And for Your Next Picture Show we take a brief look at Michael Apted’s 1992 Sundance sensation INCIDENT AT OGLALA, another film we considered for this pairing that takes a documentary approach to a different true-life story of crime and culture clash on a Native American reservation.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BROKEN ARROW, KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Sophia Coppola’s PRISCILLA and MARIE ANTOINETTE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/7/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 10 seconds
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#398: True West, Pt. 1 — Broken Arrow

Martin Scorsese’s new Killers of the Flower Moon, based on David Grann’s horrifying non-fiction true-crime book, tracks systematic murder in a 1920s Osage tribe by a group of white men looking to secure the tribe’s profitable oil rights. Among the players are a couple, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone, who appear to truly love each other while not entirely realizing they’re also in a predator-prey relationship. The interracial romance, racial tension, and struggle for survival pairs well with the 1950 Western Broken Arrow, also based on real historical events and real figures, and centering on a different interracial couple — Jimmy Stewart as a weary fortysomething veteran who begins brokering a peace between Arizona settlers and an Apache tribe, and Debra Paget in redface as a member of that tribe. This week we start our Western wandering with a look at Broken Arrow’s spot in history, as a first step toward Hollywood depicting Native Americans as multifaceted people instead of stock Western villains. We sort through the film’s pros and cons, including the specter of clumsy, careful message movies trying to counteract decades of stereotypes. And we discuss how stiff execution and the 25-year age difference between Stewart and Paget hinders what’s supposed to be a romance for the ages. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about Broken Arrow, Killers of the Flower Moon, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/31/202355 minutes, 11 seconds
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#397: Outback Outsiders, Pt. 2 — Royal Hotel

Kitty Green’s new ROYAL HOTEL takes the rural Australian bar-culture setting of 1971’s WAKE IN FRIGHT and explores how placing two young women in the role of outsider changes the threat level. We start this week by parsing the film’s micro- and mega-aggressions, and whether those inflicting them are capital-B Bad men, or just regular men wrapped up in bad power dynamics. Then we bring WAKE IN FRIGHT back in to consider how both films are on some level about the intertwined desires for identity and acceptance, as well as alcohol’s deleterious effect on both. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WAKE IN FRIGHT, ROYAL HOTEL, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Martin Scorsese’s KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON and Delmer Daves’ BROKEN ARROW Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/24/202358 minutes, 31 seconds
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#396: Outback Outsiders, Pt. 1 — Wake In Fright

Kitty Green’s new THE ROYAL HOTEL follows two women stranded amid the oppressive masculinity of a rough-and-tumble Australian mining town, a purposeful gender subversion of Ted Kotcheff’s 1971 Australian cult classic WAKE IN FRIGHT. We begin our two-week journey through the fringes of civilization with a trip to WAKE IN FRIGHT’s “the Yabba” to discuss how the film’s more harrowing elements, including its infamous kangaroo hunt, play in a context of sheer lawlessness, debate whether it feels like a representative Australian film, and try to decipher the strange allure of “two up.” And in Feedback, we consider a couple of listener-submitted contenders for our informal and always-expanding list of the greatest sci-fi of the 21st century. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WAKE IN FRIGHT, THE ROYAL HOTEL, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/17/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 16 seconds
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#395: Alien Nation Pt. 2 — No One Will Save You

It’s perhaps a bit unfair to compare the new NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU to UNDER THE SKIN, a film widely considered (by us) to be one of the best science-fiction films of the last 20 years, but at least one of our co-hosts was taken by Brian Duffield’s virtually dialogue-free story of a solitary woman fending off extraterrestrials. In the first half of this week’s episode, they get into it with the rest of our panel — joined once again by comedian Joe Kwaczala (“Funny Songs and Sketches”) — over the film and whether its divisive ending is a subversively dark conclusion or an arbitrary attempt to be shocking. Then we bring UNDER THE SKIN back in to compare how these two films fill the space between their minimal dialogue and the degree to which they let us into the headspace of two alienated women with opposing yet complementary motivations. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about UNDER THE SKIN, NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Kitty Green’s ROYAL HOTEL and Ted Kotcheff’s WAKE IN FRIGHT Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/10/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 58 seconds
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#394: Alien Nation, Pt. 1 — Under the Skin

The new NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU follows a lonely, socially isolated woman through an alien invasion, a narrative it shares with UNDER THE SKIN, though in Jonathan Glazer’s 2013 instant classic, said woman also happens to be the invading alien. Both protagonists are enigmatic in their own way, and the films around them follow suit, with heightened tones and minimal dialogue providing two distinct takes on human nature through alien eyes. This week we plunge into the eerie depths of UNDER THE SKIN with the help of comedian and film fan Joe Kwaczala (@joekjoek), to talk through the dynamic of of Scarlett Johansson’s central performance against the array of non-actors embodying her victims, the subtle shifts in power that take place between them, and the enduring horror of that beach sequence. And in lieu of Feedback this week, we consider some of the other films that join UNDER THE SKIN in contention for the title of greatest science-fiction film of the 21st century. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about UNDER THE SKIN, NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/3/20231 hour, 8 minutes, 6 seconds
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#393: Larrain's Pinochet Pt. 2 — El Conde

Pablo Larraín has approached the legacy of Augusto Pinochet from several angles over the course of his filmography, but never quite as directly as in his latest, EL CONDE. And yet even when casting the Chilean dictator as his protagonist, Larraín seems less interested in the real man — who, as far as we know, is not an undying vampire — than what he represents about power, manipulation, and history’s ongoing cycle thereof. We talk through our thoughts about how that plays out in EL CONDE, before bringing back Larraín’s NO, a film that approaches Pinochet with more historical fidelity and less overt cynicism, but a similar interest in political deceit, compromised resistances, and what it takes to strike back at a dictator. And in Your Next Picture Show we recommend a couple of new releases with ties to this week’s pairing: the Chilean documentary THE ETERNAL MEMORY and the Gael Garcia Bernal biopic CASSANDRO. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about NO, EL CONDE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Brian Duffield’s NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU and Jonathan Glazer’s UNDER THE SKIN Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/26/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 19 seconds
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#392: Larraín's Pinochet Pt. 1 — No (2012)

Augusto Pinochet ruled Chile as a dictator for nearly 20 years and left behind a complicated legacy, one Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín has approached sideways in various ways over the course of his career. His new EL CONDE, which renders Pinochet a literal vampire, is a more fantastical expression of that approach than 2012’s NO, a behind-the-scenes dramatization of the marketing campaign that helped end Pinochet’s rule, but both films are rich with complications of trust, hope, and public opinion. We unpack some of those complications in this week’s dive into NO, as well as how the film’s 1980s-broadcast-news visual aesthetic and thinly characterized protagonist work for and against its primary focus, and where it ultimately falls on the cynicism-to-optimism spectrum. And in Feedback, a listener attempts to make sense of the MCU’s vision of the afterlife, only to leave us even more confused.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about NO, EL CONDE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/19/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 41 seconds
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#391: Clique, Clique, Boom Pt. 2 — Bottoms

HEATHERS is just one of many reference points at work in Emma Seligman’s new BOTTOMS, but the two films taken together illustrate just how differently the “dark comedy” designation can be applied to high-school movies. So after searching for meaning in BOTTOMS, and coming to terms with the idea that meaninglessness may actually be its point, we compare how these two expressions of high-school hierarchies under attack function as dark comedy, how they put familiar tropes about cliques and clueless adults to different ends, and how one of them defuses a bomb the other is willing to set off. And in Your Next Picture Show, we add a third explosive high-school rebellion to the mix, with a recommendation for 1979’s ROCK ’N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about HEATHERS, BOTTOMS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing (dropping 9/19/23 and 9/26/23) Pablo Larraín’s EL CONDE and NO Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/5/20231 hour, 52 seconds
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#390: Clique, Clique, Boom Pt. 1 — Heathers

Almost immediately after BOTTOMS premiered at this year’s SXSW, the heightened mix of satire and violence in Emma Seligman’s new film drew comparisons to Michael Lehmann’s HEATHERS, which in 1989 set a new high-water mark for upending the high-school movie tropes of the day through a darkly comedic lens. How does a movie that turns teenage suicide (don’t do it) into a punchline fare by today’s standards? That’s up for discussion in this half of our pairing, along with how HEATHERS executes its tricky tonal balance, its characterization of the high school experience and the parents and teachers who just don’t understand, and an ending that’s either a cop-out or the complete opposite, depending on who you ask and when. And in a Feedback letter inspired by our recent episode on ENCHANTED, a listener challenges us to name some recent films that could become “flawed pioneers,” without the benefit of hindsight. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about HEATHERS, BOTTOMS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/29/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 2 seconds
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#389: Throupling, Pt. 2 — Passages

Ira Sachs’ new PASSAGES centers on a relationship broadly similar to the one at the center of SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY, but approaches it with a different level of intimacy and intensity (one that earned it an NC-17 rating before the filmmakers opted to release it unrated). We’re joined once again by freelance critic and friend of the show Noel Murray to talk through the different points of characterization and performance on PASSAGES’ love triangle, before looking at how the two films compare and contrast in their critiques of hetero-monogamous normativity, their ideas about suppressed jealousy and art, and their frank, arguably “graphic” depictions of homosexual desire. And in Your Next Picture Show, we offer a mini-revisitation of another John Schlesinger film that is impossible to avoid when considering this pairing.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY, PASSAGES, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Emma Seligman’s BOTTOMS and Michael Lehmann’s HEATHERS Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/22/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 52 seconds
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#388: Throupling, Pt. 1 — Sunday Bloody Sunday

Ira Sachs’ new PASSAGES is treading ground that was broken in part by John Schlesinger’s 1971 British drama SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY, which also concerns the tortured intimacies of an MMF love triangle, albeit with a bit more reserve. We’re joined by freelance critic and friend of the show Noel Murray to talk over our responses to that reserved approach in relation to SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY as a product of its era and as a counterpoint to Schlesinger’s previous film, MIDNIGHT COWBOY; how this portrayal of a love triangle balances desperation and dignity; and whether this movie actively hates kids, or if the Hodson children serve a greater thematic purpose. Then we reopen the BARBIE discussion with the help of a couple of listener comments in Feedback. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY, PASSAGES, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/15/20231 hour, 1 minute, 40 seconds
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#387: Fantasy Women, Pt. 2 — Barbie

Did ENCHANTED walk so that BARBIE could fly? Or is Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster, which has us wondering if it might actually change the world, operating on a satiric level the 2007 Disney-princess pastiche could only dream of? Our panel, joined once again by Vulture/New York Magazine critic Jen Chaney, is divided on that point, but in agreement that BARBIE gives us much more to discuss in its nuanced, subversive gender critique. After talking through our responses to the world and worldviews of Barbie, Ken, and most importantly Allan, we bring ENCHANTED back into the discussion to see how it stacks up to its successor in its big musical production numbers, fish-out-of-water comedy, and ability to create an “authentically artificial” world. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ENCHANTED, BARBIE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Ira Sachs’ PASSAGES with John Schlesinger’s SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/8/20231 hour, 23 minutes, 11 seconds
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#386: Fantasy Women, Pt. 1 — Enchanted

Greta Gerwig’s mega-hit BARBIE is both a satirical sendup of and a loving tribute to the titular fashion doll, which is a not-unheard-of storytelling approach, though few stories attempting to strike the balance have done so with such direct involvement of the corporate entity responsible for their existence. That element of Mattel’s BARBIE is what led us to Disney’s ENCHANTED, Kevin Lima’s 2007 live-action fractured fairy tale that prods at Disney Princess tropes without quite upending them. This week we’re joined by Vulture critic Jen Chaney to consider what’s made the comparatively slight ENCHANTED such a touchstone for some viewers, the areas where its gentle subversion works and where it falters, whether there’s anything redeeming in the film’s messy final act, and, naturally, what Abel Ferrara’s ENCHANTED might look like. And we continue the trope talk in Feedback, inspired by a listener’s response to a certain GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 gag. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ENCHANTED, BARBIE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/1/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 32 seconds
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#385: Play Time, Pt. 2 — Theater Camp

Like its obvious predecessor WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, the new THEATER CAMP is an improv-heavy mockumentary about a cash-strapped theatrical operation — but in this case at least there’s real talent in the mix, thanks to the many gifted child actors populating the AdirondACTS summer program for aspiring young performers. This leaves THEATER CAMP’s adult cast, some of them former child actors themselves, free to lean into self-satirizing buffoonery while maintaining a degree of sincere admiration for theatrical weirdos everywhere. We dig into the ups and downs of that tonal balance in THEATER CAMP before comparing it to GUFFMAN’s own blend of affection and condescension toward amateur theater, the people who make it, and the audiences who respond to it, as well as how the mockumentary style has evolved in the years separating the two films. And in Your Next Picture Show, we use the presence of Molly Gordon and Ayo Edebiri in THEATER CAMP as an excuse for a mini bonus episode on a recent season of TV that also features both: THE BEAR.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, THEATER CAMP, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Greta Gerwig’s BARBIE with Kevin Lima’s ENCHANTED Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/25/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 1 second
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#384: Play Time, Pt. 1 — Waiting For Guffman

The new Sundance favorite THEATER CAMP, which uses the mockumentary format to lovingly skewer amateurs pursuing their theatrical dreams, is clear in its homage to WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, a comedy whose own skewering of wannabe actor types is somewhat less loving. Our revisitation of Christopher Guest’s 1996 film considers GUFFMAN’s tricky tonal balance of satire and sincerity, along with the benefits and limitations of both its mockumentary format and improvisation-based filming style, and whether we should read condescension or admiration into Guest’s portrayal of Corky St. Clair and the small town that adores him. And in Feedback we tackle a reading of ASTEROID CITY that we hadn’t considered, courtesy of an astute listener.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, THEATER CAMP, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/18/202352 minutes, 46 seconds
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#383: Separate Ways, Pt. 2 — Past Lives

Celine Song’s new slow-burn drama PAST LIVES is an unrequited-love story in the same way John Carney’s slow-burn musical drama ONCE is — that is, just on the surface. But each film’s central would-be romance is a delivery device for deeper ideas about the weight of carrying nostalgia for past relationships and always wondering “what if?”. We’re joined once again by David Chen of DecodingEverthing.com to talk through PAST LIVES and how it functions as a different kind of immigration narrative, and the way it connects to ONCE in its depiction of sublimated longing, creative pursuits, and the language barriers that both unite and divide. And in Your Next Picture Show we take a brief look back through the many, many unrequited-love stories we’ve covered on this podcast over the years.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ONCE, PAST LIVES, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman’s THEATER CAMP and Christopher Guest’s WAITING FOR GUFFMAN.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/11/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 3 seconds
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#382: Separate Ways, Pt. 1: Once

Celine Song’s feature directorial debut PAST LIVES follows two not-quite lovers through different points in their lives as they figure out how to move past the possibility of romance, a story of low-key longing and bad timing that reminded us of the serendipitous musical relationship at the heart of John Carney’s 2007 arthouse hit ONCE. So before taking up the multiple timelines of PAST LIVES, we’re joined this week by David Chen of Decoding Everything to dig into ONCE’s single, transient moment of musical and romantic connection, characters who express themselves best (and maybe only) through music, and how the film’s DIY, of-the-moment style reflects both its demo-tape narrative and a singular transitional moment in digital filmmaking. Plus, a Feedback letter asking us to go deeper into Wes Anderson’s ASTEROID CITY sends us down a rabbit hole.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ONCE, PAST LIVES, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/4/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 22 seconds
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#381: Heavy Meta, Pt. 2 — Asteroid City

As filmmakers, Wes Anderson and Charlie Kaufman have distinct styles without a lot of obvious overlap, but Anderson’s new ASTEROID CITY and Kaufman’s 2008 directorial debut SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK share a central concern — the struggle to create art — that invites a degree of self-awareness and metatextuality that plays well with both of those distinct styles. So after attempting to pull apart the layers of ASTEROID CITY’s play-within-a-play-within-a-TV-production-within-a-movie, we return to SYNECDOCHE to compare the different ends to which these filmmakers apply their respective meta moves, the ways they deploy their sprawling ideas and even more sprawling casts, and how each navigates the overlapping worlds of theater and film. Then in Your Next Picture Show, we share a few thoughts on another film we considered for this week’s pairing. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK, ASTEROID CITY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: John Carney’s ONCE and Celine Song’s PAST LIVES Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/27/202358 minutes, 30 seconds
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#380: Heavy Meta, Pt. 1 — Synecdoche, New York

Wes Anderson’s new ASTEROID CITY is a self-aware film about making art from a director of exacting control, which put us in mind of Charlie Kaufman’s 2008 directorial debut, SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK, a self-aware film about making art from a director of exacting chaos. Kaufman is one of our most-discussed filmmakers on this podcast, as both a writer and a director, but that doesn’t make parsing the immersive, shapeless, bleak SYNECDOCHE any easier. But we do our best to track Kaufman’s various obsessions through the film’s unconventional structure, and even attempt to unearth some moments of (arguable) levity along the way. Then the meta hijinks continue in Feedback, when a special guest calls in to put our hosts on the spot when it comes to their position on Charlie Kaufman, director. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK, ASTEROID CITY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/20/202359 minutes, 26 seconds
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#379: Film Criticism, Pt. 2 — You Hurt My Feelings

Nicole Holofcener’s new YOU HURT MY FEELINGS finds its characters grappling with many of the same issues as those in 2001’s LOVELY & AMAZING, but with a couple more decades of personal growth informing how they let outside criticism inform their own self-worth. It’s a more mature, less prickly film, and whether that’s an asset or a liability is up for debate in our discussion of YOU HURT MY FEELINGS, along with how acceptable it is to share an ice cream cone with your significant other in public. Then we look at the two films side by side to see what’s changed and what’s stayed the same when it comes to Holofcener’s ideas about soliciting and rejecting criticism, professional flailing, and the intersection of validation and vanity. And in Your Next Picture Show, we offer up another recent Holofcener to keep the conversation going. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about LOVELY & AMAZING, YOU HURT MY FEELINGS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Charlie Kaufman’s SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK and Wes Anderson’s ASTEROID CITY  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/13/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 9 seconds
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#378: Film Criticism, Pt. 1 — Lovely & Amazing

Indie writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s observational comedies eschew high-concept hooks in favor of burrowing deeply into a theme from many different angles. Her new YOU HURT MY FEELINGS spells out its intersecting thematic interests right there in the title — criticism, insecurity, and the need for validation — and reminded us of the multigenerational study in low self-esteem that is LOVELY & AMAZING. So we’re revisiting Holofcener’s prickly 2001 film to consider the many ways in which the Marks women, played by Brenda Blethyn, Catherine Keener, Emily Mortimer, and Raven Goodwin, reinforce each other’s insecurities, and how Holofcener coaxes such light comedy out of such weighty themes. And in Feedback, a listener brings up a missing piece from our recent discussion of ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about LOVELY & AMAZING, YOU HURT MY FEELINGS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/6/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 34 seconds
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#377: Rocket Manimal, Pt. 2 — Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 director James Gunn has been open about the various reference points dotting his final entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but none are as extended or explicit as the one informing the film’s primary antagonist and his history with Bradley Cooper’s Rocket, which draws directly from H.G. Wells’ deranged scientist Dr. Moreau and by extension 1932’s ISLAND OF LOST SOULS. Rocket’s backstory forms the spine of GUARDIANS 3, but as this is an ensemble story with plenty of established lore and character relationships, we spend some time unpacking our reactions to the non-Rocket parts of the film, including the Guardians’ current dynamic, that hallway fight, and a closing dance sequence that managed to breach our long-held defenses against closing dance sequences. Then we dig into how it converges with, and diverges from, ISLAND’s ideas about cruelty to animals, charismatic madmen with selfish goals and noble pretensions, and the scientific search for perfection. Then in Your Next Picture Show, we highlight another of GUARDIANS’ obvious reference points, this one inside the pages of a comic that has nothing to do with the MCU and everything to do with cute animals strapped with big ol’ guns.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Nicole Holofcener’s LOVELY & AMAZING and YOU HURT MY FEELINGS Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/30/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 44 seconds
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#376: Rocket Manimal, Pt. 1 — Island of Lost Souls (1932)

James Gunn’s new closing entry in his GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY trilogy for Marvel revolves around a tragic backstory for Rocket-don’t-say-Racoon that draws from a history of creation-vs.-creator narratives that stretches back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. But Gunn himself has cited the cruel experimentations of H.G. Wells’ Doctor Moreau, and specifically the 1932 film adaptation ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, as the reference point for Rocket’s journey. So we traveled through the fog of time to explore Erle C. Kenton’s depiction of Moreau’s island, where the animal-man makeup effects and Charles Laughton’s unique take on the mad scientist take center stage. Plus, a listener request for commentary track recommendations invites a slew of suggestions from our resident enthusiast.   Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 3, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/23/20231 hour, 30 seconds
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#375: Pre-Teen Sensations, Pt. 2—Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Kelly Fremon Craig’s winning new adaptation of Judy Blume’s ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET is as gentle and good-natured as the other film in this pairing, Todd Solondz’s WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, is acerbic and off-putting. But both films are frank in their own way about a stage of life that cinema often ignores, so after talking through MARGARET’s warm and welcoming 1970s vision of suburban New Jersey adolescence, we bring DOLLHOUSE’s grim and grungy 1990s depiction into the discussion to compare the films’ respective takes on puberty, peer pressure, crushes, and bullying.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Erle C. Kenton’s ISLAND OF LOST SOULS and James Gunn’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/16/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 46 seconds
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#374: Pre-Teen Sensations, Pt. 1 — Welcome to the Dollhouse

Inspired by the new adaptation of Judy Blume’s classic coming-of-age novel ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET, we’re beginning this pairing by looking back at another rocky journey through adolescence in the New Jersey suburbs — though Dawn Wiener’s journey in Tom Solondz’s 1995 indie WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE is considerably rockier. Where MARGARET is gentle and warm, DOLLHOUSE is as prickly as its protagonist, and unsparing in the way it mines dark comedy by stacking the decks against her at every turn. Whether that comedy is worth the accompanying discomfort is a topic of discussion this week, along with the film’s left-field ending move and Solondz’s continuing adventures in the cinematic Wienerverse. Plus, a listener letter about BEFORE SUNRISE raises a question for discussion: Has any genre of movie benefitted from the addition of cell phones? Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/9/20231 hour, 1 minute, 39 seconds
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#373: Our Favorite Films of 2023 (So Far)

The first few months of the year have a reputation — arguably an unfair one — as a dumping ground for films unlikely to draw blockbuster crowds or notice from awards-giving bodies. Here at The Next Picture Show, we don’t subscribe to the idea that no movies of value come out during these months, but we will acknowledge how rarely one of these films makes it onto our final Best of the Year lists. So before summer movie season commences and wipes our collective cultural consciousness of what preceded it, Scott and Keith got together for a special one-off episode focused on ten such films. Whether they end up being the best of the year, or just the best of the first third of the year, they’re worth a closer look. Please share your picks on the year’s best so far, along with any other comments, thoughts, or questions, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Todd Solondz’s WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and Kelly Fremon Craig’s ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/2/202347 minutes, 51 seconds
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#372: Shoe Me the Money, Pt. 2 — Air

Like Cameron Crowe’s JERRY MAGUIRE, Ben Affleck’s new AIR takes place in the world of sports but is more concerned with matters off the playing field. In the case of AIR, those matters ultimately come down to a triumph of capitalism and marketing, leaving us all a little confused about the film’s rooting interests, but nonetheless entertained by its confident showmanship. But is that enough for the film to hold its own against JERRY MAGUIRE? We hash it out in Connections by tracing the two films’ character analogues and respective ideas about showing us the money.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about JERRY MAGUIRE, AIR, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/25/202356 minutes, 16 seconds
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#371: Shoe Me the Money, Pt. 1 — Jerry Maguire

Ben Affleck’s new AIR is a feel-good capitalist tale about a guy-behind-the-guy who bets it all on a single sports star, a.k.a “pulling a Jerry Maguire,” but that premise really only represents one half of Cameron Crowe’s 1996 crowd-pleaser. Much like its protagonist, JERRY MAGUIRE splits its attention between sports and romance, and how successfully the film marries the two is a topic of some debate in this week’s discussion, along with the general efficacy of Tom Cruise, romantic lead.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about JERRY MAGUIRE, AIR, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/18/202356 minutes, 13 seconds
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#370: Stranger Flings, Pt. 2 — Rye Lane

While the new RYE LANE shares a basic premise with 1995’s BEFORE SUNRISE — two strangers meet by chance and spend the day exploring a city and getting to know each other — Raine Allen-Miller’s film operates as a romcom first and foremost. Whether that’s to the film’s benefit or detriment is at the heart of our discussion of the new film, and RYE LANE’s romcom nature proves a frequent point of contrast when placed alongside BEFORE SUNRISE in Connections. It also inspires this week’s Your Next Picture Show challenge, to provide an on-the-fly recommendation of a great 21st-century romcom.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BEFORE SUNRISE, RYE LANE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Cameron Crowe’s JERRY MAGUIRE and Ben Affleck’s AIR Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/11/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 28 seconds
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#369: Stranger Flings, Pt. 1 — Before Sunrise

The new Sundance hit RYE LANE is broadly speaking a romantic comedy, but it is more specifically a walk-and-talk romance, focused on two attractive young strangers who share a moment that turns into a day spent traveling around a city while getting to know each other. That naturally pointed us in the direction of Richard Linklater’s BEFORE SUNRISE, in which strangers on a train make a momentary connection that they decide to extend through the night — and, eventually, through two more films in the resulting trilogy. It’s hard not to discuss those subsequent films in this week’s revisitation of BEFORE SUNRISE, and we don’t entirely succeed, but we do our best to remain in the moment of Jesse and Céline’s first date as we discuss the film’s interest in transitory moments, cynicism in the face of romance, and all the varied ways in which humans communicate.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BEFORE SUNRISE, RYE LANE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/4/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 43 seconds
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#368: Revenge Tour, Pt. 2 — John Wick Chapter 4

The John Wick series originated as the straightforward story of a skilled killer on a mission of revenge, but since then its mythology has expanded to encompass four films spanning multiple countries, an ever-mounting body count, and increasingly opaque motivations for Keanu Reeves’ titular revenger. We’re joined once again by Vulture critic and friend of the show Alison Willmore to discuss the newest entry in the Wickiverse, whether its extreme closing speed offsets a baggy middle section, and how the film’s illusion of closure is undercut by an array of spinoff-ready characters. Then we return to the origin of this pairing by bringing POINT BLANK back into the discussion to talk codes of honor and disposable underlings as they pertain to men on a mission of revenge. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about POINT BLANK, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Next Pairing: Richard Linklater’s BEFORE SUNRISE and Raine Allen-Miller’s RYE LANE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/28/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 26 seconds
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#367: Revenge Tour, Pt. 1 — Point Blank (1967)

The revenge narrative has proven fertile ground for film in general (indeed, this is not our first pairing inspired by the subject) and the John Wick franchise specifically, which has just spawned its fourth chapter tracing a one-man killing machine’s path of righteous destruction across the globe. It’s also provided us with a fine excuse to revisit 1967’s POINT BLANK, the John Boorman cult classic that follows Lee Marvin on a more localized but no less brutal revenge tour of his own. So in preparation for John Wick’s globe-trotting mayhem, this week we’re joined by Vulture film critic and returning guest Alison Willmore to talk over POINT BLANK’s alternately dreamlike and bleak portrait of a man who’s lost his humanity — symbolically or literally, depending on your read — plunging violently back into the human world. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about POINT BLANK, JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/21/202352 minutes, 30 seconds
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#366: Round Three, Pt. 2 — Creed III

Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed begins the new CREED III in a similar position to that of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in ROCKY III, as a highly regarded, highly comfortable champion who must return to his roots in order to triumph in the ring. But CREED III’s antagonist figure, Johnathan Majors’ Damian Anderson, comes with a more interesting set of motivations and resentments, which we talk over with returning guest Matt Singer in our discussion of the new film. Then we get into the echoes between these two related points on the extended Rocky timeline, from their deployment of narratively convenient character deaths and training montages, to their respective ideas about underdog narratives and what one generation owes the next one.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ROCKY III, CREED III, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/14/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 14 seconds
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#365: Round Three, Pt. 1 — Rocky III

Originating as a late-stage ROCKY sequel, CREED has since evolved into its own multi-sequel franchise, with the new third entry bringing star Michael B. Jordan back into the ring as well as the director’s chair. That’s the same dual role Sylvester Stallone had for 1982’s ROCKY III, which similarly finds its star prizefighter far from his scrappy beginnings, and needing to humble himself in order to find glory again. There’s a lot connecting these two films, but only one of them can boast the involvement of Hulk Hogan, so we’re joined by critic, friend of the show, and ROCKY III advocate Matt Singer to discuss what issues Stallone and the franchise were working through with this underestimated second sequel. Plus, our extended discussion of extended sequences continues in Feedback as we consider some less-loved examples of the long take. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ROCKY III, CREED III, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/7/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 31 seconds
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#364: Dance With the One That Bought You, Pt. 2 — Magic Mike's Last Dance

Steven Soderbergh’s MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE ends the Channing Tatum male-stripper trilogy in a much different place than it began, centered on the unlikely romance between Tatum’s Mike and a wealthy woman, played by Salma Hayek, who’s interested in nurturing his talents. And while we’re all in agreement that’s to the detriment of the movie, it does make for a useful comparison point with 1951’s AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. After working through our frustrations with LAST DANCE with the help once again of Chicago critic Deirdre Crimmins, we compare them to our frustrations with AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, as well as the nuances of each film’s unbalanced power dynamics and extended climactic dance sequences.  Note: due to a technical failure during recording, some of the audio on this week’s episode is suboptimal. We apologize for the aural inconvenience. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Works Cited: Channing Tatum takes an alternate-reality approach to his stripping past in ‘Magic Mike’, by Genevieve Koski (avclub.com) “Female pleasure looks mighty odd in ‘Magic Mike XXL,’” by Tasha Robinson (thedissolve.com) “How It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Pulled Off Mac’s Jaw-dropping Dance,” by Maria Elena Fernandez (vulture.com) Outro music: “Pony” by Ginuwine Next Pairing: Sylvester Stallone’s ROCKY III and Micheal B. Jordan’s CREED III Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/28/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 22 seconds
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#363: Dance With the One That Bought You, Pt. 1 — An American In Paris

While both of the films in this week’s paring center on American men living and dancing abroad, the main thing linking the new MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE to 1951’s AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is the relationships those men have with wealthy women who wish to be their patrons, and perhaps a bit more. Each relationship and the problems that come with them are distinct to the social customs of the time in which the film was made, a fact that’s difficult to ignore when viewing AN AMERICAN IN PARIS today. But for every clunky regressive beat in this Gershwin trunk musical, there’s another that rings true, so we’re joined this week by Chicago film critic Deirdre Crimmins to consider the limits of Gene Kelly’s charm, and the limits of our tolerance for 17-minute dream ballets. Plus, our recent discussion of the long takes in CHILDREN OF MEN prompts an appropriately extended conversation on the subject in Feedback. Note: due to a technical failure during recording, some of the audio on this week’s episode is suboptimal. We apologize for the aural inconvenience. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “An American in Paris” by George Gershwin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/21/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 34 seconds
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#362: A New Hope, Pt. 2 — The Last of Us

It’s difficult to watch HBO’s new hit dystopian drama THE LAST OF US without being reminded over and over again of Alfonso Cúaron’s CHILDREN OF MEN, and for good reason: the video game on which the series is based was openly inspired by Cúaron’s 2006 film. That’s most explicit in the series’ central relationship between a hardened, cynical survivor (Pedro Pascal’s Joel) and a young woman who holds the key to reversing humanity’s misfortune (Bella Ramsey’s Ellie), but Cúaron’s film echoes through the series in other ways both broad (depictions of a totalitarian government and violent resistance) and specific (unexpectedly early character exits). We dig into several of those links after a discussion of how THE LAST OF US’s first five entries — in particular its dazzling third episode — distinguish this series from its most explicit reference point and the many other post-apocalyptic narratives that came before. And if that’s not enough well-wrought intergenerational dystopian drama for you, Genevieve has a suggestion for another recent series to check out in Your Next Picture Show.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CHILDREN OF MEN, THE LAST OF US, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Never Let Me Down Again” by Depeche Mode Next Pairing: Vincente Minelli’s AN AMERICAN IN PARIS and Steven Soderbergh’s MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/14/20231 hour, 8 minutes, 30 seconds
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#361: A New Hope, Pt. 1 — Children of Men

HBO’s new dystopian TV series THE LAST OF US is an adaptation of a dystopian video game that was inspired in part by Alfonso Cuarón’s dystopian film CHILDREN OF MEN, a strikingly timely 2006 thriller whose consideration of cynicism and hope at the world’s end has only grown more timely in the intervening years. So we’re returning to the source of this cross-medium journey through apocalyptic hellscapes, in a conversation about how and why Cuarón’s film continues to resonate, from its efficient worldbuilding and nuanced politics to its well-wrought humor and visceral filmmaking style. Plus, an alternate pairing suggestion in Feedback inspires some live brainstorming of a hypothetical COCAINE BEAR episode. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CHILDREN OF MEN, THE LAST OF US, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Bless the Beasts and Children” by the Carpenters  Works Cited • “Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men Is a Dystopian Masterpiece,” by Abraham Josephine Riesman (vulture.com) • “Scenic Routes: Children of Men,” by Mike D’Angelo (avclub.com) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/7/20231 hour, 16 seconds
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#360: A Crime to Remember, Pt. 2 — Saint Omer

The question of “Why?” hovers over Alice Diop’s new SAINT OMER, as well as the 2016 French crime that inspired it, in the same way it hovers over 1967’s IN COLD BLOOD, Richard Brooks’ film adaptation of the Truman Capote “non-fiction novel” that helped establish the true crime genre as we understand it today. We bring that understanding of true crime to our discussion of SAINT OMER on its own terms— in particular how its removed observational style intersects with its complex emotional center — as well as in conversation with IN COLD BLOOD’s own mythologizing of madness. Plus, Scott reviews some 2022 highlights from one of our favorite film distributors in Your Next Picture Show. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about IN COLD BLOOD, SAINT OMER, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Outro music: “Little Girl Blue” by Nina Simone Next pairing: Alfonso Cuarón’s CHILDREN OF MEN and HBO’s THE LAST OF US Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/31/202356 minutes, 34 seconds
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#359: A Crime to Remember, Pt. 1 — In Cold Blood (1967)

The new French film SAINT OMER fictionalizes the true story of an inexplicable crime, giving the perpetrator’s story a full airing in a way that recalls Truman Capote’s formative non-fiction novel IN COLD BLOOD, and by extension director Richard Brooks’ near-contemporaneous film of the same name. So this week we’re looking back at how IN COLD BLOOD shaped the true-crime genre for better and worse, how Brooks and cinematographer Conrad Hall used expressive yet revealing black-and-white photography to create the cinematic equivalent of the non-fiction novel, and how the film’s unusual structure affects the impact of seeing its central crime play out. Plus, we respond to some feedback inspired by our recent episodes on CHILD’S PLAY and GLASS ONION. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about IN COLD BLOOD, SAINT OMER, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Kansas (Remembers Me Now)” by Orville Peck Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/24/202355 minutes, 15 seconds
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#358: Friends 'Til the End, Pt. 2 — M3GAN

The new tech-horror movie M3GAN achieved viral status before it even hit theaters, but its subsequent box-office performance suggests there’s more to this film’s success than just dance memes. Part of it can be chalked up to the degree to which it is a perfect January movie, but there’s also its well-balanced combination of self-aware humor, capitalist critique, and parental anxiety, all of which it shares with its most direct cinematic antecedent, 1988’s franchise-starter CHILD’S PLAY. After talking out our reactions to M3GAN’s use of magic-adjacent “emergent technology” to stoke very real human fears, we draw some connections to CHILD’S PLAY’s weaponization of the uncanny valley, skepticism about marketing to children, and understanding of childhood trauma. Plus, our resident Chucky expert Scott offers his suggestions for how to navigate the rest of the franchise. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CHILD’S PLAY, M3GAN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Outro music: “Titanium” by Anthony Willis & Jenna Davis (M3GAN OST) Next pairing: Richard Brooks’ IN COLD BLOOD and Alice Diop’s SAINT OMER Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/17/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 26 seconds
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#357: Friends 'Til the End, Pt. 1: Child's Play

The new horror-comedy M3GAN is full of conscious, obvious throwbacks to other movies, but none as foundational as 1988’s CHILD’S PLAY. Director Tom Holland and writer Don Mancini’s now-iconic villain Chucky was not horror’s first killer doll, nor its last, and his legacy has evolved along with the franchise, but his origins as a dark, opportunistic satire of ’80s consumerism links him directly to the ideas animating M3GAN. So we begin our killer-doll double feature by revisiting those original animating ideas in CHILD’S PLAY, to consider what motivates Chucky in both human and doll form, the contemporaneous culture that shaped him, and whether it all adds up to an experience that’s scary and/or funny today. Plus, we take on an alternate pairing for TÁR and an alternate reading of KNIVES OUT in Feedback. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CHILD’S PLAY, M3GAN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Get Back Home,” by The Cabbage Patch Kids Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/10/20231 hour, 1 minute, 6 seconds
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#356: Top 10 Films of 2022

Once again, we’re kicking off the new year with a look back at the film year that was, with Keith, Scott, and Tasha sharing their respective lists of the Top 10 Films of 2022. There’s a lot of overlap this year, both among our respective lists and between the films on these lists and those we covered on the show, but there are also some discussion-generating outliers sprinkled throughout. Be sure to check out Keith and Scott’s full lists at thereveal.substack.com, and Tasha’s over at Polygon. If you have thoughts you’d like to share on our picks, your picks, or anything else about the past year in film, you can send an email to [email protected] or leave a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR  Next Pairing: Tom Holland’s CHILD’S PLAY and Gerard Johnstone’s M3GAN Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/4/20231 hour, 18 minutes, 11 seconds
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#355: With Friends Like These, Pt. 2 — Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Rian Johnson’s new GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY is openly indebted to the 1973 Herbert Ross whodunnit THE LAST OF SHEILA (and has the Stephen Sondheim cameo to prove it), but perhaps even more so to the 2019 Rian Johnson whodunnit referenced in its subtitle. So our spoiler-laden discussion of GLASS ONION begins by wrestling with the inevitable comparisons to its predecessor film before diving deeper into what distinguishes this more playful, “extremely online” Benoit Blanc romp. Then we bring THE LAST OF SHEILA back into the discussion to see how Johnson’s new film lines up with his stated inspiration point, comparing the two films’ respective deployment of manipulative game-play, their satire of/contempt for the wealthy and well-connected, and their gleeful upending of conventional whodunnit structure. Plus, ahead of next week’s best of 2022 episode, we offer up some last-minute recommendations for December viewing in Your Next Picture Show.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LAST OF SHEILA, GLASS ONION, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Outro music: “Mona Lisa” by Nat King Cole Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/27/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 10 seconds
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#354: With Friends Like These, Pt. 1 — The Last of Sheila

While in the midst of filming the new GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY, Rian Johnson expressed open admiration for one of the film's inspiration points, Herbert Ross’ 1973 whodunnit THE LAST OF SHEILA, a film which in turn displays open contempt for its characters and the contemporary Hollywood scene they embody. This week we set sail with THE LAST OF SHEILA’S noxious friend group and observe the games they are compelled to play, to deduce what co-writers Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins were attempting to unearth with this Hollywood satire-by-way-of-murder-mystery. Plus, our recent BADLANDS episode prompts a listener question about movies we hate by filmmakers we love, in Feedback. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LAST OF SHEILA, GLASS ONION, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Company,” Original Broadway Cast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/20/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 1 second
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#353: Love Kills, Pt. 2 — Bones and All

Luca Guadagnino’s new BONES AND ALL follows a pair of young people on a killing spree across America, which put us in mind of lovers-on-the-lam movies generally and Terrence Malick’s debut feature BADLANDS specifically. But Guadagnino’s film resists such easy classification, from its questionable status as a cannibal romance to its malleable central metaphor. So this week we gnaw on BONES AND ALL’s blood-soaked nuance, before pairing it with BADLANDS to consider how the two films deploy their voiceover narration, charismatic killers, and rationalizations for violence. And in Your Next Picture Show, we offer up a buffet of other cannibalism stories from across pop culture that have stuck with us. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BADLANDS, BONES AND ALL, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Outro music: “Lick It Up” by Kiss Next pairing: Herbert Ross’s THE LAST OF SHEILA and Rian Johnson’s GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/13/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 3 seconds
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#352: Love Kills, Pt. 1 — Badlands

Luca Guadagnino’s new BONES AND ALL slots nicely into the tradition of films about outlaw lovers on the lam, but also bucks the tropes of that tradition in a manner reminiscent of Terrence Malick’s mold-breaking BADLANDS. This week we’re looking back at Malick’s 1973 feature debut to pinpoint what differentiates it from other young-outlaw tales and what distinguishes it as an early Malick film, in particular its voiceover narration and fascination with the natural world. Plus, two of the year’s most talked-about films, TÁR and THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, get talked about some more via listener feedback. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BADLANDS, BONES AND ALL, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Love Is Strange” by Mickey & Sylvia Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/6/202259 minutes, 46 seconds
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BONUS: Let's Talk About Video Stores and the VHS Era

In a bonus episode originally recorded for our Patreon, Keith, Scott, and Tasha got together to talk through their recollections, fond and otherwise, of VHS and the video-store era, from misleading box art and unrated oddities to tracking knobs and rewinder machines. The cassettes and stores themselves may be gone (mostly — shout out to Madison’s Four Star Video Rental!), but the memories live on, though they may have gotten a little fuzzy from too many pauses and rewinds.  Enjoy the hit of nostalgia, and come back next week for our next proper pairing: Terrence Malick’s BADLANDS and Luca Guadagnino’s BONES AND ALL. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/29/202251 minutes, 15 seconds
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#351: McDonagh's Discontented Duos Pt. 2 — The Banshees of Inisherin

14 years after Martin McDonagh’s feature film directorial debut IN BRUGES, he has reunited with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson for THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, a quieter and arguably much darker film about a different splintered friendship, with similar ideas about morality, mortality, and guilt. We’re joined once again by critic Siddhant Adlakha to talk over some of those ideas as they play out in BANSHEES, how they color where our sympathies lie in the civil war between the film’s protagonists, and how much any of that matters when considering this story as a metaphor. Then we bring IN BRUGES into the discussion to consider how both films tap into McDonagh’s particular cinematic and comedic rhythms, use their female characters as a corrective to impulsive and irrational male behavior, and conclude with a choose-your-ending ambiguity. And in Your Next Picture Show, we talk over a different pairing we considered for this week and our reactions to the film that inspired it: WEIRD: THE AL YANKOVIC STORY Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about IN BRUGES, BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Outro music: “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” by The Killers Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/22/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 5 seconds
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#350: McDonagh's Discontented Duos Pt. 1 — In Bruges

Martin McDonagh’s THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN reunites the writer-director with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, stars of his debut film IN BRUGES, for another tale of a platonic breakup between wordy Irishmen, in a very different but equally picturesque setting. This week we’re joined by critic Siddhant Adlakha to head back to Belgium circa 2008 and examine how IN BRUGES engages with its titular city on a dramatic, comedic, and thematic level, how McDonagh blends theatrical and cinematic languages, and what gets revealed and obscured in the film’s many meandering, profane exchanges. Plus, with various interpretations of TÁR rolling in since our last episode, we take up one listener’s reading of what the film shows us, and what it leaves out. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about IN BRUGES, BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “On Raglan Road,” by The Dubliners Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/15/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 41 seconds
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#349: Conduct Unbecoming, Pt. 2 — TÁR

The contemporary setting of Todd Field’s new TÁR has inspired some to label it a movie about the modern idea of “cancel culture,” but the film’s baseline ideas about sex and power are more timeless, and its story of a woman using her social influence to manipulate others, and her attendant downfall, links it specifically to 1988’s DANGEROUS LIAISONS. While we could have easily spent this entire episode and then some dissecting and debating the many small, nuanced details that bring TÁR to life, we do eventually bring our discussion around to the other film in this pairing to consider what it shares with DANGEROUS LIAISONS in its depiction of feminine power in a patriarchal society, sexual gamesmanship, and public humiliation as comeuppance. Plus, we use Your Next Picture Show to consider the other highlights of Todd Field’s small but mighty directorial filmography. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about DANGEROUS LIAISONS, TÁR, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Outro music: Mahler Symphony No. 5 Next Pairing: Martin McDonagh’s IN BRUGES and THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/8/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 57 seconds
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#348: Conduct Unbecoming, Pt. 1 — Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

The abuse of power and resulting fall from grace in Todd Field’s new TAR put us in mind of another cautionary tale of entitlement and bad behavior, in the form of 1988’s DANGEROUS LIAISONS. So this week we’re revisiting Stephen Frears’ lush, lavish depiction of not-so-secret affairs among the French aristocracy to consider what keeps this 17th-century period piece from feeling stodgy, the cruel intentions at work in its many romantic pairings, and what distinguishes its final shot as one of the all-time greats. Plus, listeners bring some of their own interpretation and insight to our recent pairing of BRIEF ENCOUNTER and DECISION TO LEAVE. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about DANGEROUS LIAISONS, TAR, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Beyond My Control” by George Fenton Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/1/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 31 seconds
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#347: Internal Affairs, Pt. 2 — Decision to Leave

Park Chan-wook’s new DECISION TO LEAVE openly takes inspiration from David Lean’s 1945 classic BRIEF ENCOUNTER (along with VERTIGO, which we also considered for this pairing), but the extramarital affair at the center of Park’s film is much more complicated than that of its inspiration — a murder mystery will do that, after all. We do our best to unpack the pileup of telling details informing Park’s slow-burn romance, before bringing Lean’s film back into the discussion to explore how these two stories connect in their respective studies of forbidden love and judgmental societies, the romanticism of stolen moments, and the metaphorical power of fog. Plus, we nod to an episode that almost was in Your Next Picture Show, sharing our brief reactions to Ruben Östlund’s TRIANGLE OF SADNESS and some of the films we considered pairing it with. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BRIEF ENCOUNTER, DECISION TO LEAVE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Works cited: “‘Decision to Leave’ brings back dark obsessions for ‘Oldboy’ director Park Chan-work,” by Tasha Robinson (polygon.com) Outro music: Jung Hoon Hee w/ Song Chang-sik, “Mist” Next Pairing: Stephen Frears’ DANGEROUS LIAISONS and Todd Field’s TAR Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/25/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 42 seconds
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#346: Internal Affairs, Pt. 1 — Brief Encounter

Park Chan-wook’s quiet thriller DECISION TO LEAVE is about an affair of the heart between two people who have to hide what they’re feeling from the world, a dynamic drawn directly from David Lean’s 1945 melodrama BRIEF ENCOUNTER, which Park cites as one of his inspirations for the new film. So this week we’re returning to the station and rekindling our affair with BRIEF ENCOUNTER, to discuss what makes this intimate Noël Coward adaptation such an enduring cinematic reference point, and how its unbalanced point of view colors our perception of and reaction to the story’s central love affair. Plus, some late-breaking feedback on NOPE prompts us to consider our own personal limits of implausibility in film. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BRIEF ENCOUNTER, DECISION TO LEAVE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Lover Please” by Clyde McPhatter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/18/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 15 seconds
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#345: The Unvarnished Sleuth Pt. 2: Confess, Fletch

Greg Mottola’s new CONFESS, FLETCH has so far flown under the radar in a modern-day moviegoing landscape to which it is not particularly suited, but we were won over by Jon Hamm’s take on the character first portrayed by Chevy Chase, who here takes on a slacker-detective persona more reminiscent of the protagonist of Robert Altman’s THE LONG GOODBYE. We’re joined once again by longtime friend of the show and longer-time FLETCH quoter Noel Murray to dissect what makes this new iteration tick, before bringing Altman’s film back into the picture to consider what these protagonists share, and what distinguishes them, in their ability to enter spaces uninvited, their propensity for comedic asides meant for an audience of themselves, and the supporting cast of quirky characters who surround them. Plus, Keith offers some follow-up viewing with his Your Next Picture Show pick, Robert Benton’s THE LATE SHOW. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LONG GOODBYE, CONFESS, FLETCH, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Outro music: Hank Mobley, “This I Dig of You” Next Pairing: David Lean’s BRIEF ENCOUNTER and Park Chan-wook’s DECISION TO LEAVE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/11/202251 minutes, 1 second
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#344: The Unvarnished Sleuth Pt. 1: The Long Goodbye

Greg Motolla’s new CONFESS FLETCH revives the character of Irwin Fletcher, popularized by Chevy Chase in the mid-‘80s, but its low-key, shaggy-dog quality is less reminiscent of those films than Robert Altman’s 1973 comic neo-noir THE LONG GOODBYE. So we brought longtime friend of the show and Altman aficionado Noel Murray in to join us in revisiting the director’s hazy, distinctly ’70s Los Angeles take on Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould), a chain-smoking detective who’s like a magnet for trouble — but that’s okay with him. Plus, we address an oversight from our recent discussion of THE THIEF OF BAGDAD. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LONG GOODBYE, CONFESS FLETCH, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “The Long Goodbye,” by John Williams, performed by Jack Sheldon Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/4/202255 minutes, 38 seconds
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#343: Talkin' Tolkien, Pt. 2: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Adapting the appendices of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth saga for a streaming series slated to run for 40 episodes is a much different exercise than paring down the writer’s most celebrated work to feature-length, which is one reason, among many, that Prime Video’s new THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER feels like a different beast than director Peter Jackson’s celebrated film trilogy that kicked off with 2001’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. But the two projects are naturally in conversation with each other by virtue of their source material and the expectations that come with it, which we attempt to parse as we share our early reactions to RINGS OF POWER’s first three episodes with help from our returning special guest, Vulture critic Roxana Hadadi. Then we bring FELLOWSHIP back into the equation to consider how the two tales converge and diverge around Tolkien’s mythology, how each handles this saga’s big themes of good vs. evil, friendship, and cooperation, and how well their respective large-scale fantasy worlds function on both a narrative and visual level. Plus, Keith and Roxana dig briefly into the extended cuts of Jackson’s films for Your Next Picture Show. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, RINGS OF POWER, or anything else in the world of Tolkien, film, or Tolkien on film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Works cited: • “The Rings of Power Looks on the Bright Side” by Roxana Hadadi (vulture.com) • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episodic recaps by Keith Phipps (vulture.com) Outro music: My Chemical Romance, “Kiss the Ring” Next Pairing: Robert Altman’s THE LONG GOODBYE and Greg Mottola’s CONFESS, FLETCH Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/27/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 36 seconds
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#342: Talkin' Tolkien, Pt. 1: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The new streaming series THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER is not technically a prequel to Peter Jackson’s early-aughts film trilogy, nor is Jackson involved with the series, but it’s hard to imagine it existing in a world where Jackson’s films hadn’t already provided a best-case scenario for large-scale screen adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth saga. So before delving into the crown jewel of Prime Video’s streaming lineup, we’re revisiting 2001’s THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, with some help from special guest Roxana Hadadi, to see what it taught us about Tolkien on screen, and how it helped shape a generation of fantasy filmmaking. Plus, we begin digging into the mountain of feedback we received regarding Jordan Peele’s NOPE and our discussion thereof. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, THE RINGS OF POWER, or anything else in the world of film and/or Tolkien, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Frodo, Don’t Wear the Ring” by Flight of the Conchords Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/20/202256 minutes, 50 seconds
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#341: Djinn Expression, Pt. 2 — Three Thousand Years of Longing

George Miller’s new fantasy-romance THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING may not have made a splash in theaters, but your Next Picture Show cohort agrees it’s the sort of odd-duck movie that tends to age well, in part because it fits nicely into the sturdy category of “stories about storytelling.” Even more so than its central djinn character, that interest in storytelling is what links this film to 1940’s THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, and so after unpacking our reactions to Miller’s film, we bring THIEF back into the discussion to compare two fantastical tales, one sincere and one self-aware, about how desire and love can shape the nature of beings both mythic and mortal. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Works cited: • “Every George Miller Movie is a Mad Max movie,” by Joshua Rivera (polygon.com) Outro music: Sophie B. Hawkins, “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” Next Pairing: LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING and LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/13/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 25 seconds
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#340: Djinn Expression, Pt. 1 — The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

George Miller’s new 3000 YEARS OF LONGING is a story about storytelling that’s full of color and pageantry, which makes it a nice match for producer Alexander Korda’s 1940 fantasy THE THIEF OF BAGDAD — and that’s before the films’ respective djinns even enter the equation. One of the most technically ambitious films ever made, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD’s influence is all over cinema, but this week we’re imagining what it would have been like to experience it in 1940, before considering how its effects, acting styles, fairy-tale love story, and Western-centric understanding of the East holds up to modern standards. Plus, we respond to some feedback on our interpretation of perhaps the pivotal scene in Werner Herzog’s GRIZZLY MAN. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, 3000 YEARS OF LONGING, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “The Gin Song,” The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/6/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 23 seconds
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NPS: The Return (Our Next Pairing)

Tasha announces plans for the next pairing: 'Three Thousand Years Of Longing" and 1940's "Thief of Bagdad." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/30/20221 minute, 48 seconds
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#339: Close Encounters, Pt. 2 — Nope

In terms of narrative, there’s not that much connecting NOPE’s flying-saucer story with that of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, but Jordan Peele’s latest is as likely to someday serve as a document of this particular moment as its 1953 predecessor. A thematically dense and bracingly cinematic film, NOPE is uninterested in providing its viewers with neat answers, but we do our best to (begin to) untangle Peele’s web of ideas before bringing his film into conversation with THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, to consider the alien motivations and human responses that connect these two invasions across the decades. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WAR OF THE WORLDS, NOPE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Outro music: Michael Wincott, “Flying Purple People Eater” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/2/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 27 seconds
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#338: Close Encounters, Pt. 1 — The War of the Worlds (1953)

Jordan Peele’s latest film, NOPE, tells a flying saucer story decades removed from the Atomic Age concerns of Byron Haskin’s 1953 adaptation of H.G. Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS, but both operate from a similar understanding that an encounter with hostile aliens is never just an encounter with hostile aliens. There are other forces at work in both films, and this week we’re digging into WAR and its effects on science-fiction stories to come, from its reflection of contemporary anxieties to the unexpected bleakness of its supposed happy ending. Plus, a bevy of new feedback prompts some lightning-round responses about IP hypocrisy, alternate Baz Luhrmann timelines, and candid vs. scripted monologues.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WAR OF THE WORLDS, NOPE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Two Little Men In a Flying Saucer” by Ella Fitzgerald Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/26/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 48 seconds
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#337: Human/Nature, Pt. 2 — Fire of Love

Sara Dosa’s new documentary FIRE OF LOVE is more stylized than Werner Herzog’s GRIZZLY MAN, but it’s a remarkably close companion piece, with its interest in themes of obsession and fatalism, and in people who felt the most important thing in the world was bringing their passion to others, even if they had to die doing it — and in both cases, did. We talk over what we got from FIRE OF LOVE, and what was denied to us by the filmmaker’s choices, before bringing GRIZZLY MAN back in to compare the quixotic quest of “freelance” volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft to that of amateur naturalist Timothy Treadwell.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about GRIZZLY MAN, FIRE OF LOVE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Outro music: The B-52’s, “Lava” Next Pairing: Byron Haskin’s THE WAR OF THE WORLDS and Jordan Peele’s NOPE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/19/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 17 seconds
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#336: Human/Nature, Pt. 1 — Grizzly Man

The festival hit FIRE OF LOVE follows a pair of volcanologists who yearned to get up close and personal with nature at its most dangerous, eventually paying for their obsession with their lives, a tragic arc that naturally calls to mind Timothy Treadwell, whose doomed self-directed study of wild bears was immortalized in Werner Herzog’s GRIZZLY MAN. The 2005 film is a fascinating artifact and one of the most perfect matings of documentarian and subject imaginable, revealing almost as much about Herzog as a filmmaker as it does Treadwell as a self-proclaimed protector of the grizzlies. This week we dig into some of the philosophical contradictions between subject and documentarian, as well as how the film toes the line between humor and condescension.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about GRIZZLY MAN, FIRE OF LOVE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” by Elvis Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/12/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 8 seconds
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#335: In Baz Taste, Pt. 2 — Elvis

In covering the entire scope of Elvis Presley’s career, ELVIS defies certain biopic conventions while embracing others, but it’s as distinctively a film by Baz Lurhmann as MOULIN ROUGE. Like that 2001 musical, ELVIS expands the frame of history in an attempt to recreate the earth-shattering effects of a moment in culture, while also poking at some of the uncomfortable questions raised by Presley’s popularity. It offers much to discuss, which we do before bringing MOULIN ROUGE into the conversation to compare the two films’ shared interest in the tension between art and commerce, to what effect anachronisms are used in each, and how each attempts to toe the line between appropriation and homage. Plus, some recommendations from Keith for supplementary Elvis viewing and reading.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about MOULIN ROUGE, ELVIS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], leaving a short voicemail at 773-234-9730, or commenting on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Show Notes Works cited:  • “Can Elvis Rise Again” by David Browne (rollingstone.com) • “Nobody Cares About Elvis Anymore” by Will Leitch (williamflietch.medium.com) Outro music: Elvis Presley, “Unchained Melody” Next Pairing: Werner Herzog’s GRIZZLY MAN and Sara Dosa’s FIRE OF LOVE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/5/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 34 seconds
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#334: In Baz Taste, Pt. 1 — Moulin Rouge!

Would the feverishly stylized, irreverently ahistorical spectacle of Baz Luhrmann’s MOULIN ROUGE! resonate with audiences today the way it did in 2001? We may be about to find out with the director’s latest, ELVIS, which takes a very similar approach to a very different story. Before getting into the parallels between the two musicals next week, we’re revisiting a movie that was either an “apocalyptic moment” for film or a canny predictor of the next two decades of pop culture — or maybe both? — to consider what it gains and loses in its expansive, fluid relationship to music, history, and musical history. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about MOULIN ROUGE, ELVIS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/28/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 43 seconds
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#333: Life Finds a Way, Pt. 2 — Jurassic World Dominion

The new JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION is in constant, open communication with 1993’s JURASSIC PARK, from its nostalgic casting to its egregious callbacks. But there’s more going on in Colin Trevorrow’s second sequel to JURASSIC WORLD — perhaps too much, thanks in part to the layers of new mythology that the 2015 film added to the original JURASSIC PARK formula. Is this merging of the two JURASSIC eras to be derided or commended for its ambition in stretching beyond the “dinosaurs on an island” conceit? We argue it out in our discussion of DOMINION, before placing it side-by-side with its source material to consider how the franchise has evolved, and not, in its anthropomorphizing of dinosaurs, its thematic interest in parenthood and reproduction, and its attitudes toward science, heroism, and corporate evil. Plus, the return of Your Next Picture Show, with a recommendation from Keith of Phil Tippett’s MAD GOD. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about JURASSIC PARK, JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION , or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes and more.  Show Notes Works cited:  • “The ‘Jurassic World’ Movies Were Only About Chris Pratt Holding Out His Arms” by Miles Klee (melmagazine.com) • “Star Wars effects legend Phil Tippett explains his 30-year nightmare project Mad God” by Tasha Robinson (polygon.com) Outro music: George Clinton & the Goombas, ‘Walk the Dinosaur’ Next Pairing: Baz Luhrmann’s MOULIN ROUGE and ELVIS Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/21/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 38 seconds
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#332: Life Finds a Way, Pt. 1 — Jurassic Park

Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, we were so preoccupied with whether we could do a JURASSIC PARK pairing, we didn’t stop to think if we should. But if not on the occasion of JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION, the new sixth film in the two-trilogy series kicked off by Steven Spielberg in 1994, then when? So we’re traveling back to where it began to examine what made JURASSIC PARK a high-water mark for both the franchise and ’90s blockbuster filmmaking, whether its cutting-edge blend of practical and CG effects holds up to modern-day scrutiny, and how it balances theme-park spectacle with big ideas about scientific progress and the philosophical quandaries surrounding it. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about JURASSIC PARK, its JURASSIC successors, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Works Cited: • “‘Everything new will kill you’ is the worst trope in horror” by Tasha Robinson (polygon.com) Outro music: Jurassic Park Theme Song (Melodica Cover) by Patrick T. Lo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/14/20221 hour, 18 seconds
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#331: Once Upon a Toon In Hollywood, Pt. 2 – Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers

Despite its box-office success in 1988, Robert Zemeckis’ WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT never received a direct sequel, but the new CHIP ’N’ DALE: RESCUE RANGERS works as a spiritual sequel in more ways than one. Recognizing that this direct-to-streaming feature based on a short-lived Disney cartoon from the ‘90s has some extremely large, squeaky shoes to fill when compared to its groundbreaking predecessor, we unpack the two films’ shared cartoon DNA through their villains, their human allies, and their common Hollywood setting, and try to parse some of the specifics of how toons in this shared universe function in both the entertainment industry and society at large. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, CHIP ’N’ DALE: RESCUE RANGERS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, recommendations, and more.  Next Pairing: Steven Spielberg’s JURASSIC PARK and Colin Trevorrow’s JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/7/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 16 seconds
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#330: Once Upon a Toon in Hollywood Pt. 1 — Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

From its Hollywood setting to its central missing-toons mystery, the new Disney+ streaming exclusive CHIP ’N’ DALE: RESCUE RANGERS is openly and carefully patterned after 1988’s WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. Robert Zemeckis’ groundbreaking hit set a high bar for cameo-packed, self-aware stories that try to redefine the relationships between animated characters and the physical world, packing in layers of setup and reference and payoff that continue to reveal themselves on rewatch after rewatch. We attempt to unpack some of those layers in our revisit of this group favorite, as well as how it uses our familiarity with noir and cartoons alike to its narrative advantage. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, CHIP ’N’ DALE: RESCUE RANGERS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, recommendations, and more.  Works Cited: “Book Vs. Film: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” by Tasha Robinson (avclub.com) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/31/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 32 seconds
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#329: Into the Raimiverse, Pt. 2: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS carries its director’s fingerprints more clearly than most films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but is it ultimately more of a Sam Raimi movie or an MCU installment? We hash out that question this week with the continued assistance of our friend Matt Singer, before bringing back in what is unquestionably a Sam Raimi film, 1993’s ARMY OF DARKNESS, to compare how the two movies operate as vehicles for the director’s filmmaking sensibility, as sequels, and as Bruce Campbell showcases. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ARMY OF DARKNESS, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, recommendations, and more.  Outro music: The Lovin Spoonful, “Do You Believe In Magic?” Next pairing: Robert Zemeckis’ WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT and Akiva Schaffer’s CHIP ’N’ DALE: RESCUE RANGERS A CHIARA opens exclusively in theaters Friday, May 27. More info at CinemaMadeinItaly.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/24/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 26 seconds
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#328: Into the Raimiverse, Pt. 1: Army of Darkness

Unlike so much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the newest Doctor Strange entry carries the unmistakable stamp of its director, Sam Raimi, so we’re preparing to enter the Multiverse of Madness next week with a film that’s an undiluted hit of Raimi: the third entry in the Evil Dead trilogy, 1993’s ARMY OF DARKNESS. We’re joined by our longtime friend and colleague Matt Singer to revisit a film he calls the “pure essence” of Raimi, which makes up for its lack of deeper themes and nuanced character work with a commitment to fun, cartoonish excess that could be looked at as a deconstruction of heroism — or perhaps fun, cartoonish excess for its own sake is the point.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ARMY OF DARKNESS, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, recommendations, and more.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “Every Sam Raimi Movie, Ranked From Worst To Best” by Matt Singer (screencrush.com) • “Stop Telling Me to Turn My Brain Off During Movies” by Matt Singer (screencrush.com) Outro music: Sufjan Stevens, “Sugar” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/17/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 15 seconds
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Bonus: Our Favorite Films of 2022 (So Far)

Due to some unavoidable scheduling conflicts, your regularly scheduled Next Picture Show pairing is delayed a week, but in its place, Genevieve, Keith, and Tasha are sharing some of their favorite films of the year so far. Some of these got an in-depth discussion on the regular podcast, some showed up as subjects of a bonus episode on our Patreon, and some are completely new to the podcast, but all of them have stuck with us. Will these films make it to our final lists of 2022’s best films? It’s too soon to say for certain, but at the moment, the odds look good.  Please share your own standouts from this year, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, recommendations, and more.  Next pairing (revised): Sam Raimi’s ARMY OF DARKNESS and DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/10/202244 minutes, 2 seconds
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#327: Cage Match, Pt. 2 — The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The new THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT contains a lot of the same DNA as ADAPTATION, but instead of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, the film’s meta energy is focused on star Nicolas Cage, once again playing two competing sides of the same tortured talent. This week we get into how the confluence of actor, persona, and screenplay works differently in each film, but first we process UNBEARABLE WEIGHT’s lighthearted excavation of its central talent, and consider whether we may have already moved past the stage of Cage’s career that the film is commenting on. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ADAPTATION, THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT, Nicolas Cage, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, recommendations, and more.  Outro music: Kesha, “Nicolas Cage” Next pairing: Sam Raimi’s DARKMAN and DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/3/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 45 seconds
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#326: Cage Match, Pt. 1 — Adaptation

We’re offering four Nicolas Cages for the price of two with this week’s pairing, inspired by Cage’s latest, THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT, which finds the actor playing two connected versions of himself. But before entering that hall of mirrors, we’re heading back to 2002’s ADAPTATION for a different strain of meta exercise centered on another set of Nicolas Cages, this one playing the film’s screenwriter, Charlie Kaufman, as well as his twin brother/personification of his own self-loathing, Donald. The exact nature of Donald’s character and how it shapes the film’s third act is a big point of discussion this week, as is how literally we are meant to take the film’s title when it comes to its literary source material. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ADAPTATION, THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, recommendations, and more.  Outro music: The Turtles, “Happy Together” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/26/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 23 seconds
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#325: Multiple Choice, Pt. 2 — Everything Everywhere All At Once

Despite its clear thematic and philosophical connections to the other film in this pairing, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s BLIND CHANCE, Daniel Schienert and Daniel Kwan’s new EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE is a unique experience, a bold, humanistic film full of big messages and also butt jokes. It’s a film that’s built to surprise and delight on first viewing, but what does it offer in terms of rewatch value? That’s one of the things we debate in our discussion of the Daniels’ film, before bringing Kieślowski’s back into the picture to talk through some of those thematic and philosophical connections. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BLIND CHANCE, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, recommendations, and more.  Show Notes Works Cited: • Everything Everywhere All at Once review by Walter Chaw (filmfreakcentral.net) • Blind Chance: The Conditional Mood, by Dennis Lim (criterion.com) Outro music: Son Lux w/ Randy Newman, “Now We’re Cookin’" Next pairing: Spike Jonze’s ADAPTATION and Tom Gormican’s THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/19/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 20 seconds
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#324: Multiple Choice, Pt. 1 — Blind Chance

In addition to being an examination of how much chance determines the person we become, as well as something of a Rosetta Stone for the work of Krzysztof Kieslowski, BLIND CHANCE also plays like the 1980s version of a multiverse story, making it a clear precursor to Daniels Kwan and Scheinert’s new EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE. But Kieslowski’s film has different ideas about fate, determination, and the invisible forces that shape our lives as much as the choices we make, all of which we attempt to unpack in our conversation, along with what connects BLIND CHANCE's three timelines, what about the politically minded film invited resistance upon its release, and the significance of that opening scream. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BLIND CHANCE, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Outro music: Talking Heads, “Once In a Lifetime” The Tale of King Crab opens April 15th at New York City's Film at Lincoln Center before expanding to cities across the country. Find theater, tickets, and more at kingcrab.oscilloscope.net Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/12/202257 minutes, 18 seconds
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#323: Tex-Mess, Pt. 2 — X (2022)

Ti West’s new X is very much inspired by Tobe Hooper’s 1974 shocker THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (and to an extent, Hooper’s lesser-known EATEN ALIVE), following another bunch of ill-fated van passengers, this one a group filming a low-budget porno, who wind up on the wrong side of the owners of a remote Texas farmhouse. The film’s late-’70s setting invites all sorts of analysis and interpretation about sex, death, and their intersection with cultural and religious conservatism at the dawn of the 1980s, which we dig into, once again with the help of film writer and horror aficionado Katie Rife, before turning our focus to some of the specific echoes between X and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, X, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Outro music: Blue Oyster Cult, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” Next pairing: The Daniels’ EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE and Krzysztof Kieslowski’s BLIND CHANCE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/5/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 34 seconds
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#322: Tex-Mess, Pt. 1 — The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Ti West’s new horror film X is very openly inspired by THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, carrying through the spirit of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 shocker more capably than most of the subsequent films in what would become a nine-film franchise (in particular this year’s dreadful remake). Before getting into how it does that next week, this week we’re revisiting Hooper’s film with the help of film critic and series expert Katie Rife, to consider what made this film hit the way it did at the time, why it so often gets lumped in with the slasher genre it preceded, and whether it's a film that gets more brutal — or, perhaps, more comforting — with time. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, X, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Works Cited  • “For nearly 50 years, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies have made a meal out of raw panic,” by Katie Rife (avclub.com) • “Every Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie psychoanalyzes the original,” by Daniel Dockery (polygon.com) Outro music: Kesha, “Cannibal” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/29/20221 hour, 30 seconds
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#321: Bye, Robot Pt. 2 — After Yang

Kogonada’s new AFTER YANG plays in many ways like a mirror to Steven Spielberg’s misunderstood android epic A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE as it explores ideas about human nature through the experiences of an artificial being. It’s also an unusually warm, thematically rich science-fiction film that opens up countless avenues of discussion, a few of which we travel down before bringing AFTER YANG into conversation with Spielberg’s earlier model to consider these stories’ shared features: a disrupted family unit, a journey of discovery, adoption ethics, and rumination on what it means to be human. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AFTER YANG, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Works Cited: • ”What the Year’s Best Sci-Fi Movie Has to Say About Asian Identity and Adoption” by Sam Adams (slate.com) • “After Yang intentionally subverts sci-fi’s fetishistic ‘hollow Asian’ trope” by Leo Kim (polygon.com) • “After Yang Is a Gorgeous Movie About the Life and Death of a Robot” by Alison Willmore (vulture.com) Outro music: Mitski, “Glide” Next pairing: Tobe Hooper’s THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and Ti West’s X Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/22/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 13 seconds
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#320: Bye, Robot Pt. 1 — A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Kogonada’s new science-fiction film AFTER YANG wrestles with the humanity of artificial beings, and their relationship to humanity, in a way that feels distinctly reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s 2001 feature A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. Both films are highly sympathetic toward the android companions on which they center, but Spielberg’s film, which began life as a Stanley Kubrick endeavor, has a more sour view of humanity… or does it? That’s one of the main questions up for discussion this week as we delve into the complexities and contradictions of A.I., a film with no shortage of discussion points, many of which coalesce around the film’s still-divisive ending.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about A.I., AFTER YANG, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Outro music: Cliff Edwards and Dickie Jones, “Give a Little Whistle”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/15/20221 hour, 11 minutes, 11 seconds
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#319: No Time to Dye, Pt. 2 — Kimi

Steven Soderbergh’s new thriller KIMI is as brisk, stylish, and sure-footed in its approach as Tom Tykwer’s 1998 arthouse hit RUN LOLA RUN, but with a much different set of cinematic goals and references in play. Does KIMI’s spare, simple, stylish approach alchemize into what one of our panelists calls “pure entertainment” that’s “easy as breathing,” or does it leave too many unfilled spaces and narrative holes to trip over? We hash it out before bringing LOLA in to compare the two films’ commitment to brevity and adrenalized filmmaking, how that commitment plays out via their respective soundtracks, and the ways in which each tackles conflict and codependency in relationships.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about KIMI, RUN LOLA RUN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Outro music: Elastica, “Connection” Thanks Raycon!. For a limited time, go To buyraycon.com/NEXTPICTURE for 15% off your entire Raycon order.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/8/20221 hour, 21 minutes, 9 seconds
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#318: No Time to Dye, Pt. 1 — Run Lola Run

Steven Soderbergh’s new straight-to-streaming movie KIMI wears its many influences on its sleeve, but we saw our inspiration for this week’s pairing in its protagonist’s colorful dyed hair, reminiscent of one of the many eye-popping elements of Tom Tykwer’s 1998 international breakout RUN LOLA RUN. But what really links the two films is the breakneck pace they share as they chase after women trying to achieve an urgent goal on a short deadline. This week we home in on RUN LOLA RUN to parse its interplay of style and substance, and debate how and to what extent this fleet film stumbles over its weighty themes of time, choice, and fate.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about RUN LOLA RUN, KIMI, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Outro music: Franka Potente, “Believe” (Run Lola Run) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/1/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 21 seconds
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#317: Star Crossed Pt. 2 — Marry Me

Kat Coiro’s new MARRY ME is a rarity in 2022: a major-studio romcom released to theaters (okay, and Peacock), that features recognizable stars and tries to honor the genre without apologies or winky self-awareness. It’s a modern yet old-fashioned romcom that relies on audiences’ affection for its genre, and in particular its incandescent star, Jennifer Lopez, to smooth over its rough patches, which we poke at — affectionately — in the second half of our star-crossed romcom pairing. We’re joined once again by special guest Scott Meslow, author of the new book FROM HOLLYWOOD WITH LOVE, to discuss how MARRY ME works through the romcom formula, and where it stumbles, before bringing Roger Michell's NOTTING HILL back in to consider how both films fit their respective ideas about celebrity, infidelity, and humility into the genre’s well-established storytelling structure. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about NOTTING HILL, MARRY ME, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Next pairing: RUN LOLA RUN and KIMI Outro Music: “On My Way (Marry Me)” by Jennifer Lopez Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/22/20221 hour, 8 minutes
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#316: Star Crossed, Pt. 1 — Notting Hill

Despite a very 2022 premise, the new MARRY ME acts in many ways like a romantic comedy from the genre’s late-20th-century heyday, from its star-driven nature to its central fantasy of a romance between a world-famous celebrity and an everyday schlub. That particular combination pointed us in the direction of one of the era’s romcom highlights, 1999’s NOTTING HILL, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant as characters with deep ties to their actors’ respective personas. This week we look back at the film that cemented Richard Curtis as a romcom auteur, with an assist from someone who literally wrote the book on the genre — Scott Meslow, author of the new “From Hollywood with Love: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of the Romantic Comedy” — to consider how NOTTING HILL figures into the careers of both its screenwriter and its stars, what director Roger Michell brings to the equation, and the film’s mixed-blessing view of stardom. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about NOTTING HILL, MARRY ME, or anything else in the world of film, romcom or otherwise, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/15/202258 minutes, 39 seconds
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#315: Toil and Trouble Pt. 2 — The Tragedy of Macbeth (2022)

Is Joel Coen’s new THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH the most by-the-letter, scrupulous adaptation of Shakespeare’s play ever put to screen, or a series of subtle but surprising decisions applied to an extremely familiar text? We’re a little divided on that question this week, as we’re joined once again by David Chen, host of the Culturally Relevant podcast (among many other projects), to parse what distinguishes this approach to The Scottish Play, how it plays within the Coen filmography, and whether every other Coen film is also, in fact, Macbeth. Then we bring Akira Kurosawa’s THRONE OF BLOOD back into the conversation to compare the two films’ chicken-or-the-egg prophecies, their minimalist/maximalist styles, and the shared motivation to adapt this story in the first place. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THRONE OF BLOOD, THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Works Cited: • “In the Coen brothers’ punishing world, morals are everything,” by Tasha Robinson (thedissolve.com) • “The Tragedy of Macbeth Is Pretty Much Just One Phenomenal Denzel Washington Performance,” by Alison Willmore (vulture.com) • “Dialogue: Macbeth and the Movies,” by Scott Tobias and Keith Phipps (thereveal.substack.com) Next pairing: NOTTING HILL and MARRY ME Outro Music: “Fair Is Foul & Foul Is Fair” by Babes In Toyland Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/8/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 37 seconds
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#314: Toil and Trouble Pt. 1 — Throne of Blood

There are no shortage of adaptations we could pair with Joel Coen’s new THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH, but for our purposes the choice was always clear: Akira Kurosawa’s 1957 classic THRONE OF BLOOD is an ideal Next Picture Show companion piece for the way in which it takes what it needs from the original Shakespeare while changing the language, setting, and performance style, and cherry-picking elements of the plot. We’re joined this week by super-podcaster and super-fan David Chen to talk through some of those elements, including a Lady Macbeth who is both more and less passive than her play counterpart, as well as the film’s unexpected jolts of humor, and a deliberate sense of pacing that toes the line between building tension and repetition.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THRONE OF BLOOD, THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected]. We may respond to it on our Patreon (patreon.com/NextPictureShow), where you can also find bonus episodes, a weekly newsletter, recommendations, and more.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/1/202258 minutes, 39 seconds
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#313: Tales as Old as Time, Pt. 2 — Belle (2021)

Mamoru Hosoda’s new anime feature BELLE moves the classic fable of Beauty and the Beast into a futuristic VR world, but that’s not the film’s only major departure from its original source material. Although it contains some direct visual references and corollary characters to Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, it’s ultimately concerned with different, more unruly emotions, which drives the story in unexpected directions. This week we hash out our responses to BELLE and debate how much worldbuilding is necessary and/or desired in Hosada’s approach, before bringing in its Disney counterpart to consider side-by-side our isolated protagonists, childlike beasts, and backgrounded fathers, as well as how the two films function differently as musicals.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, BELLE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/25/20221 hour, 19 minutes, 40 seconds
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#312: Tales as Old as Time, Pt. 1 — Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Mamoru Hosada’s new anime BELLE is the latest take on a certain tale as old as time, one that was previously enshrined in the animated feature canon with 1991’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, one of the touchstones of Disney’s storied late-20th-century renaissance. This week we crack open the clamshell VHS case on Disney’s version, in particular its labored-even-by-Disney-standards development process, its unforgettable Ashman/Menken music, what made it stand out in the animation landscape back then, and how those same elements look compared to the film’s modern-day successors.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about either version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, BELLE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/18/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 36 seconds
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#311: Our 2021 Top 10s, Part 2

Our look back at 2021 in film concludes with Tasha, Keith, and Scott’s picks for films number five through one on their respective top 10 lists—or at least their top 10s as they stood at the tail end of December. All three acknowledge that the year offered several quality releases that on any other given day might have made their way onto one of these lists, but for the overlapping factors of time, availability, and the inherently mercurial nature of annual list-making. And so they also dig into the films they weren’t able to see in time for this episode, as well as the honorable mentions that just missed the cut. If you have thoughts you’d like to share on our picks, your picks, or anything else about the past year in film, you can send an email to [email protected] or leave a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/11/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 24 seconds
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#310: Our 2021 Top 10s, Part 1

We’re kicking off 2022 by setting aside our usual format for a look back at 2021 in film, via that tried and true structure, the Top 10 list. Keith, Scott, and Tasha have each come to this two-part episode bearing their individual top 10 lists, as well as broader thoughts on a year in which established moviegoing models seem to be shifting more rapidly than ever. This week covers the films at the 10 through 6 slots on their lists, as well as an abbreviated discussion of the film that’s number one on the list of films we wish we could have covered on the main show. If you have thoughts you’d like to share on our picks, your picks, or anything else about the past year in film, you can send an email to [email protected] or leave a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/4/202258 minutes, 10 seconds
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#309: Carnival Games, Pt. 2 — Nightmare Alley (2021)

Guillermo del Toro’s new NIGHTMARE ALLEY is a first for the director, a film with no supernatural or fantasy elements at all, and yet it is still arguably more recognizable as a del Toro film than as a remake of the 1947 Edmund Goulding noir of the same name. Why this project, for this director, and with these actors? We’re joined once again by our friend and critic Noel Murray to hash out our varied reactions to del Toro’s project, before bringing Goulding’s version of NIGHTMARE ALLEY back into the discussion to examine what makes each version of this story distinct. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent viewing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about either version of NIGHTMARE ALLEY, both versions, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “The Theme That Ties All of Guillermo del Toro’s Movies Together” by Tasha Robinson (gizmodo.com/io9) Your Next Picture Show: • Noel: VOIR on Netflix • Tasha: Jasmila Žbanić’s QUO VADIS, AIDA? • Scott: Maggie Gyllenhaal’s THE LOST DAUGHTER Outro Music: “Spookshow Baby” by Rob Zombie Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/28/20211 hour, 24 minutes, 36 seconds
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#308: Carnival Games, Pt. 1 — Nightmare Alley (1947)

Guillermo del Toro has emphasized that his new NIGHTMARE ALLEY is not a remake of Edmund Goulding’s 1947 noir of the same name, but rather an attempt to more faithfully adapt the 1946 novel by author William Lindsay Gresham, about a carnival con artist who expands his hustle into spiritualism and subsequently opens himself up to disaster. Nonetheless, this week in preparation of our discussion of del Toro’s NIGHTMARE we’re taking a deeper look at Goulding’s, with an assist from our friend and critic Noel Murray, to see how it follows and diverts from the noir tradition, particularly in its trio of distinctive female characters and performances, and how the morality of its tacked-on ending undercuts its deeper themes. Plus, our recent episode on THE POWER OF THE DOG has inspired a lot of feedback, which we begin digging into with some thoughts on its Hitchcockian and literary connections. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about either version of NIGHTMARE ALLEY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Carnival Games” by Nelly Furtado Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/21/20211 hour, 1 minute, 1 second
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#307: Model Males, Pt. 2 — The Power of the Dog

With less of a narrative focus on survival than DELIVERANCE, Jane Campion’s new POWER OF THE DOG takes a comparatively subtle approach to unpacking the nuances of toxic masculinity and the myriad ways in which it can poison relationships — but there’s nothing subtle about that ending and the way it makes everything leading up to it click into place. We dig into the power of POWER’s storytelling, performances, and late-Western vibe before bringing it into conversation with DELIVERANCE as complementary studies in performative masculinity and its relationship to the natural world, encroaching civilization, and sexual threat. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent viewing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about DELIVERANCE, THE POWER OF THE DOG, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: • Genevieve: STATION ELEVEN on HBO Max • Keith: The Hughes Brothers’ MENACE II SOCIETY • Scott: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY and DRIVE MY CAR Outro music: “Ugly Duet” from POWER OF THE DOG Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/14/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 8 seconds
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#306: Model Males, Pt. 1 — Deliverance

Jane Campion’s new POWER OF THE DOG includes a tense passage involving a banjo that plays as a nod to the 1972 John Boorman classic DELIVERANCE, but the two films’ shared thematic concerns go much deeper than banjo duels. Chief among those is the theme of toxic masculinity and its myriad manifestations, which we explore this week via DELIVERANCE’s four male archetypes and their misbegotten river adventure. Plus, we’re still getting feedback about LAST NIGHT IN SOHO, which means we’re still talking about that third-act twist. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about DELIVERANCE, POWER OF THE DOG, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Dueling Banjos” performed by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandel Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/7/20211 hour, 1 minute, 56 seconds
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#305: White Lies, Pt. 2 — Passing

Rebecca Hall’s new PASSING takes a more restrained, internal approach to its story about racial identity and the rejection thereof than Douglas Sirk’s 1959 classic IMITATION OF LIFE, but the two films share an awareness of how style and subject matter can work hand in hand. We’re joined again this week by critic Odie Henderson to discuss how each film balances its messaging, storytelling, and style, after digging into PASSING’s black-and-white cinematography, literary source material, and ambiguous ending. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent viewing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about IMITATION OF LIFE, PASSING, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes: Works Cited: • “One Last Bit of Black History” by Odie Henderson (Big Media Vandalism) • “Angels of Death: A Prairie Home Companion and All That Jazz” by Odie Henderson (Slant Magazine) Your Next Picture Show: • Odie: Douglas Sirk’s LURED; Lewis Seiler’s WOMEN’S PRISON; Mamoru Hosada’s BELLE • Tasha: Hayao Miyazaki’s FUTURE BOY CONAN • Genevieve: Penny Lane’s LISTENING TO KENNY G • Keith: Todd Haynes’ FAR FROM HEAVEN; Mike Mills’ C’MON C’MON Outro music: “Irene and Claire” by Devonté Hynes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/30/20211 hour, 25 minutes, 27 seconds
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#304: White Lies, Pt. 1 — Imitation of Life

Rebecca Hall’s new film PASSING centers on a complicated female friendship defined in part by semi-porous racial boundaries, a thematic throughline that pointed us directly to Douglas Sirk’s IMITATION OF LIFE — with an assist from RogerEbert.com critic Odie Henderson, who in his recent review of Hall’s film invoked Sirk’s 1959 melodrama, citing it as his #3 film of all time. We’re joined this week by Henderson to discuss how IMITATION OF LIFE's wrenching storyline about a Black woman’s ongoing rejection by her white-passing daughter operates within the whole of a film that has several other plot concerns, primarily those of a white woman played by the film’s lone movie star, and how the film’s performances and overall heightened style mesh with its messaging about race and class. Plus, we respond to some feedback regarding one of our major problems with LAST NIGHT IN SOHO, and how it plays across the pond. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about IMITATION OF LIFE, PASSING, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Trouble of the World” by Mahalia Jackson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/23/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 54 seconds
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#303: Dual Duels Pt. 2 — Last Night In Soho

LAST NIGHT IN SOHO director and co-writer Edgar Wright is never shy about sharing and celebrating his influences for each new project, which in this case includes the other film in this pairing, Ingmar Bergman’s famously inscrutable PERSONA. We get into the connections between those two, including their portrayals of relationships between two women and their allusive tendencies, after digging into what makes Wright’s newest film so intoxicating… for its first half, at least. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent viewing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about PERSONA, LAST NIGHT IN SOHO, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes: Works Cited: • “Last Night in Soho’s Edgar Wright doesn’t want to give you homework… but he will” by Tasha Robinson (Polygon.com) • “Inside Last Night in Soho’s breathtaking trick dance with Matt Smith and Edgar Wright” by Tasha Robinson (Polygn.com) • Edgar Wright Breaks Down 25 Films from the 1960s That Inspired ‘Last Night in Soho’” by Zack Sharf (indiewire.com) • Edgar Wright’s Adventures in Moviegoing (criterionchannel.org) Your Next Picture Show: Keith: Mario Bava’s BLOOD AND BLACK LACE Genevieve: SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (2021) on HBO Scott: Pablo Larrain’s SPENCER Tasha: Philip Gelatt and Morgan Galen King’s THE SPINE OF NIGHT Outro music: “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” by Sandie Shaw Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/16/20211 hour, 20 minutes, 46 seconds
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#302: Dual Duels Pt. 1 — Persona

In familiar Edgar Wright fashion, the director’s new LAST NIGHT IN SOHO is brimming with cinematic allusion, but that self-reflexivity combined with a focus on a pair of similar-looking women whose identities begin to merge in uncanny ways brought us immediately to one of film’s most mysterious and scrutinized movies: Ingmar Bergman’s PERSONA. Broadly concerned with two women’s power struggle and eventual convergence, Bergman’s film is open to countless, sometimes overlapping interpretations, many of them concerning the nature of cinema itself, leading to its reputation as the “Mount Everest of cinematic analysis.” We consider that reputation, and what about the film invites it, in part one of this double double-feature. Plus, we respond to a multi-part question about DUNE that we only mostly disagree with. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about PERSONA, LAST NIGHT IN SOHO, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Personality Crisis” by New York Dolls Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/9/20211 hour, 29 seconds
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#301: Just Deserts Pt. 2 — Dune (2021)

Denis Villeneuve’s new DUNE (or, more accurately, DUNE PART ONE) begins the process of adapting Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name, which itself drew from the biography of T.E. Lawrence, the inspiration for another film concerned with “desert power” and messiah mythmaking: 1962’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. While the two films each slot into different genres — science-fiction and historical war story, respectively — their narratives are remarkably similar, particularly when it comes to the white-savior overtones of their protagonists and their reverence for the desert as a visual and symbolic force. They also stand as complementary representatives of large-scale filmmaking produced some six decades apart, which we dig into in our comparison of the two films, as well as our reactions to DUNE PART ONE, and how they’re informed by our knowledge that this is only half the story. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent viewing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, DUNE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Genevieve: RESERVATION DOGS on FX on Hulu Tasha: MAYA AND THE THREE on Netflix Scott: Mia Hansen-Løve’s BERGMAN ISLAND Keith: Scott Z. Burns’ THE REPORT Outro music: “Weapon of Choice” by Fatboy Slim ft. Bootsy Collins Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/2/20211 hour, 31 minutes, 7 seconds
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#300: Just Deserts Pt. 1 — Lawrence of Arabia

The 1965 Frank Herbert novel that gave rise to Denis Villenueve’s new adaptation DUNE drew direct inspiration from the life of T.E. Lawrence, the subject of one of cinema’s towering classics: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. David Lean’s 1965 film is a celebrated, Oscar-winning classic that’s become shorthand for “big screen epic,” but for every major set piece where Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence seems to consider himself immortal, there’s an accompanying intimate moment where he gives in to his self-doubt. It’s a complexity we see again in DUNE, and which we dig into this week in a conversation about LAWRENCE’s rich and complicated legacy. Plus, our recent episode on REMINISCENCE prompts a listener question about other, better uses of water as a symbolic force. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, DUNE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Desert Song” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/26/20211 hour, 17 minutes, 29 seconds
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#299: Family History, Pt. 2 – The Many Saints of Newark

When it comes to the cultural obsession with origin stories that’s led to the underwhelming Sopranos prequel film THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK, how much credit/blame should be placed at the feet of THE GODFATHER PART II as an originator of this storytelling fixation? That’s among the questions we consider as we parse our mixed-to-negative reactions to the newer film, and bring it into conversation with Francis Ford Coppola’s classic to compare the films’ respective entwining of crime, American history, and father-son dynamics. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE GODFATHER PART II, THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK , or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Jason: “Prime Time Panic” Fun City Edition box set (featuring FREEDOM, DREAMS DON’T DIE, and DEATH RIDE TO OSAKA) Keith: Barry Shear’s ACROSS 110TH STREET Scott: Florian Zeller’s THE FATHER Outro music: “Core ’ngrato” performed by Dominic Chianese Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/19/20211 hour, 3 minutes
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#298: Family History, Pt. 1 – The Godfather, Part II

The new Sopranos-inspired film THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK is both a prequel and a follow-up to one of the most acclaimed and influential mafia stories ever told, a description that also applies to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 film THE GODFATHER: PART II. Coppola’s follow-up to his 1972 smash has a prequel embedded within its flashback structure, but its dual narrative makes it much more than just an origin story — it’s a very different film than its predecessor, but does that make it, as the conventional wisdom goes, the superior GODFATHER? We’re joined this week by special guest and New York City cinema expert Jason Bailey to parse that argument, as well as what distinguishes PART II  within both the larger GODFATHER story and the work of Coppola during that period. Plus, we respond to some feedback inspired by our recent episode on STRANGE DAYS and other unavailable movies.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE GODFATHER: PART II, THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Family Reunion” by The O’Jays Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/12/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 54 seconds
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#297: Bet Your Life Pt. 2: The Card Counter

Like HARD EIGHT, the new Paul Schrader film THE CARD COUNTER puts a professional gambler on the road to redemption via his relationship with a confused and volatile young man, in the latest iteration of Schrader’s “God’s Lonely Man” character. We unpack that character, along with CARD COUNTER’s view of him and his sins, with the help once again of critic and Schrader expert Vikram Murthi, before putting these two films side by side to discuss their respective approach to father-son relationships, casinos and gambling, and lives lived in limbo. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about HARD EIGHT, THE CARD COUNTER, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “Every Paul Schrader Movie, Ranked” by Vikram Murthi (vulture.com) • “Cogs in the Machine: American Despair in Paul Schrader’s ‘Blue Collar’” by Vikram Murthi (musings.oscilloscope.net) • “’The Card Counter’ Is a Tense Second Act to Paul Schrader’s Doomsday Period” by Charles Bramesco (insidehook.com) Your Next Picture Show: Vikram: James Foley’s AFTER DARK, MY SWEET Scott: Michael Mohan’s THE VOYEURS Keith: Jean-Pierre Melville’s BOB LE FLAMBEUR Tasha: James Wan’s MALIGNANT Outro music: “Rambling Gambling Willie” by Bob Dylan Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/5/20211 hour, 24 minutes, 55 seconds
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#296: Bet Your Life Pt. 1: Hard Eight

The uneasy pact between a professional gambler and a young man from his past in Paul Schrader’s THE CARD COUNTER recalls the surrogate father and son at the center of Paul Thomas Anderson’s debut feature HARD EIGHT. Both films follow solitary men into dark casino halls, but on very different paths to redemption. For this week’s focus on HARD EIGHT, we’re joined by freelance critic and longtime friend of the pod Vikram Murthi to debate Anderson’s approach to withholding and revealing character motivation, which of the standout performances stands out the most, and PTA’s enduring wish that the film be called by his preferred title, “Sydney.” Plus, we respond to a listener prompt about minor characters we can’t get out of our heads. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about HARD EIGHT, THE CARD COUNTER, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Go Down Gamblin’” by Blood, Sweat & Tears Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/28/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 40 seconds
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#295: Missing Movies + Strange Days (1995)

Our recent pairing of Michel Gondry’s ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MINDS with Lisa Joy’s REMINISCENCE was actually a second-choice selection forced by the ongoing unavailability of the film we initially thought of as a slam-dunk companion to Joy’s new film: Kathryn Bigelow’s 1995 thriller STRANGE DAYS, another noir-inflected science-fiction story concerned with the intersection of technology and memory. But that film is nearly impossible to find these days (at least through official channels), which prompted this off-format discussion in which we spend some time digging into why STRANGE DAYS feels like a “missing piece” in our modern-day discussion of both Bigelow’s career and cinema overall, particularly its daring racial and sexual politics and visceral violence. Then we widen the lens a bit to consider the overall phenomenon of impossible-to-find movies in the streaming era, and what it says about our past and present attitudes toward film preservation. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about disappearing movies, STRANGE DAYS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works cited: • “The convenience trap: What the changes at Netflix reveal about an insidious trend,” by Sam Adams (avclub.com) • “Film preservation 2.0,” by Matthew Dessem (thedissolve.com) • “Song of the South: the difficult legacy of Disney’s most shocking movie,” by Scott Tobias (theguardian.com) Outro music: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/21/20211 hour, 24 minutes, 52 seconds
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#294: Memory Machines Pt. 2 — Reminiscence

Where Michel Gondry’s ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND used the conceit of a memory machine in service of a science-fiction romance, Lisa Joy’s new feature debut REMINISCENCE uses a similar device in service of a science-fiction noir, but despite their different genre footholds, both are naturally fixated on the idea of revisiting memories and what they can tell us about ourselves. Despite a high-style approach reminiscent of Joy’s work on WESTWORLD, her REMINISCENCE hasn’t been particularly well-received, and we talk a bit about why in this week’s half of the pairing, before bringing it into conversation with SUNSHINE to discuss where these films align and where they diverge when it comes to memory and subjectivity, asynchronistic storytelling, and the intersection of style and substance. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, REMINISCENCE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Tasha: Alain Bidard’s BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE Scott: Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger’s RESTREPO Keith: Hsiao-Hsien Hou’s FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI Outro music: “Memory Machine,” by Dismemberment Plan Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/14/20211 hour, 18 minutes, 17 seconds
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#293: Memory Machines Pt. 1 — Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Lisa Joy’s new REMINISCENCE turns on a techno-magical procedure that blurs the distinction between memories and reality, a conceit that immediately reminded us of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. Michel Gondry’s 2004 film was one of our collective favorites back when it premiered, but do our memories of it hold up to the reality of a present-day rewatch? This week we re-examine our relationship to ETERNAL SUNSHINE’s unlikable protagonists and the decisions they make, and to writer Charlie Kaufman’s broader filmography. Plus, we respond to some listener feedback about recent episodes on ANNETTE and THE GREEN KNIGHT. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, REMINISCENCE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Forget You” by Cee-lo Green Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/7/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 57 seconds
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#292: Musical Variations, Pt. 2 — Annette

Like Francis Ford Coppola’s 1982 musical folly ONE FROM THE HEART, Leos Carax’s new rock opera ANNETTE is not interested in playing it safe, whether that means, like Coppola's film, enlisting idiosyncratic musicians for songs that challenge movie-musical convention, or enlisting a puppet to play the titular role. We’re joined again this week by our friend Joshua Rothkopf to unpack which of ANNETTE’s provocations work and which don’t, before placing it alongside ONE FROM THE HEART to discuss the two films’ use of high artifice, the troubled relationships and troubling men at their centers, and how their respective engagement with sex and nudity reflects the times in which they were made. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ONE FROM THE HEART, ANNETTE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Josh: Julia Ducournau’s TITANE Genevieve: Richard Linklater’s SCHOOL OF ROCK Keith: David Bruckner’s THE NIGHT HOUSE Tasha: Bill Benz’s THE NOWHERE INN Outro music: “So May We Start” by Sparks et al.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/31/20211 hour, 30 minutes, 27 seconds
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#291: Musical Variations, Pt. 1 — One From The Heart

As a self-consciously artificial musical about a troubled couple (among other things), Leos Carax’s new ANNETTE put us in mind of another original movie musical with little use for convention: Francis Ford Coppola’s 1982 folly ONE FROM THE HEART, a famous flop that also represents a singular artistic achievement. We’re joined this week by critic and old friend Joshua Rothkopf to consider how this tarnished labor of love stands the test of time, whether the film’s surplus of style is enough to offset its narrative and character deficiencies, and whether it represents Coppola’s “midlife crisis film.” Plus, we respond to some listener questions about music that takes us out of a movie, and “green” movies that draw us in. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ONE FROM THE HEART, ANNETTE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Is There Any Way Out of This Dream” by Crystal Gayle and Tom Waits Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/24/20211 hour, 22 minutes, 16 seconds
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#290: Knight Visions, Pt. 2 — The Green Knight

We just can’t resist discussing a new David Lowery film here at the Next Picture Show, and his latest, THE GREEN KNIGHT, gives us plenty to chew on, taking an alternately minimalist and maximalist approach to a story about honor, myth, and magic that takes place on the edges of King Arthur’s legend. Its bordering-on-abstract narrative stands in high contrast to the more expository approach seen in John Boorman’s EXCALIBUR last week, but the two films’ shared source legend provides a wealth of connections between them, including their respective examinations of honor and chivalry, of nature as magic, and of the symbolic and literal power wielded by women. We get into all of that, plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about EXCALIBUR, THE GREEN KNIGHT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works Cited:  • “The Green Knight is glorious and a little baffling. Let’s untangle it.” By Alissa Wilkinson (Vox.com) • “Ralph Ineson spills the secrets of playing the Green Knight” By Tasha Robinson (Polygon.com) Your Next Picture Show: Genevieve: Janicza Bravo’s ZOLA Scott: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s THE VIEWING BOOTH Tasha: Edson Oda’s NINE DAYS Keith: Kon Ichikawa’s TOKYO OLYMPIAD Outro music: “Lose Your Head” by London Grammar Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/17/20211 hour, 34 minutes, 44 seconds
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#289: Knight Visions, Pt. 1 — Excalibur

The new low-key fantasy fable THE GREEN KNIGHT plays with favorite David Lowery themes like time and death and memory, cross-pollinated with familiar Arthurian themes like chivalry and honor, and one era giving way to another. That combination reminded us of a similarly personal vision of Arthurian legend, albeit one working in a decidedly different tonal register: John Boorman’s 1981 fantasy epic EXCALIBUR. In this first half of the pairing, we consider the unwieldy storytelling, unpredictable performances, and unruly style of Boorman’s Arthurian passion project, and how well its big, messy approach reflects an era of big, messy change. Plus, we respond to some listener feedback that critiques some of our recent critiques.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about EXCALIBUR, THE GREEN KNIGHT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “O Fortuna (Apocalypse Chorus Mix)” by Apotheosis Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/10/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 30 seconds
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#288: Interior Angles, Pt. 2 – Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

**This episode contains discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, free help is available 24/7 by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or texting the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).** Continuing our pairing of documentaries about the interior life of dark-minded artists who became celebrities without expecting it, we take up Morgan Neville’s new Anthony Bourdain exploration ROADRUNNER, which in crafting its narrative about the late chef-turned-author-turned-TV personality makes some filmmaking choices that have prompted criticism and conversation about the distinctions between documentary and journalism. Those conversations feel like echoes of some of the ones that took place around the classic film in this pairing, Terry Zwigoff’s CRUMB, back in 1995, only in a much different cultural context. We unpack what has and hasn’t changed about biographical documentary in the space between these two films, plus their respective approaches to mental illness and celebrity, and the notable voices left out of the telling of each man’s story. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CRUMB, ROADRUNNER, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes: Works Cited: “The Anthony Bourdain Documentary Faked His Voice. Would Other Filmmakers Do the Same?” By Sam Adams (Slate.com) Your Next Picture Show: Genevieve: TASTE THE NATION WITH PADMA LAKSHMI on Hulu Noel: THE PURSUIT OF LOVE on Prime Video Scott: E.L. Katz’s CHEAP THRILLS Keith: Terry Zwigoff’s LOUIE BLUIE Outro music: "Anemone" by Brian Jonestown Massacre Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/3/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 15 seconds
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#287: Interior Angles, Pt. 1 – Crumb

The new ROADRUNNER plumbs some of the darker emotional depths of the late Anthony Bourdain, and has come in for scrutiny about some of its methods for doing so. That combination reminded us of another documentary about a similarly unlikely public figure: CRUMB, Terry Zwigoff’s 1995 examination of his old friend and underground comics legend Robert Crumb, alongside some other more troubled members of his deeply troubled family. We’re joined this week by an old friend of our own, freelance critic Noel Murray, to discuss how CRUMB navigates its subject’s fraught upbringing and the often controversial ways it was manifested into art. Plus, a call from a listener prompts us to share some of our favorite “overlooked masterpieces” that due to timing or context haven’t received their proper due. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CRUMB, ROADRUNNER, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Fine Artiste Blues,” by R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/27/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 9 seconds
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#286: The Summer of '69, Pt. 2: Summer of Soul

Our look at the musical happenings of the summer of 1969 shifts from upstate New York to uptown New York City to experience the Harlem Cultural Festival, rescued from historical obscurity by Amir “Questlove” Thompson in his new documentary SUMMER OF SOUL (...OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED). We’re joined once again by music critic Steven Hyden to consider how SUMMER OF SOUL works as a music documentary both in its own right and as an “answer film” of sorts to Woodstock, the subject of the other half of this pairing. Then we bring the two films together to discuss their respective approaches to the concert film as a social document, and how the filmmakers behind them chose to depict the performers onstage as well as the audiences watching them. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WOODSTOCK, SUMMER OF SOUL, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes: Works Cited: “By the time we got to Woodstock 99” by Steven Hyden (avclub.com) Your Next Picture Show: Tasha: The Maysles’ GIMME SHELTER Scott: John Badham’s SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (director’s cut) Keith: Michael Sarnoski’s PIG Steve: Garret Price’s WOODSTOCK 99: PEACE LOVE AND RAGE Get your new wireless plan for just $15 a month. Mintmobile.com/NPS Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/20/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 15 seconds
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#285: The Summer of '69, Pt. 1: Woodstock (1970)

The summer of 1969 saw several large-scale music festivals, but few have crossed into the realm of myth as definitively as Woodstock, thanks in no small part to Michael Wadleigh’s landmark 1970 documentary, released less than a year after its titular event. Questlove’s new film SUMMER OF SOUL seeks to add another, less-discussed concert to the musical narrative of that summer, which we will bring into the discussion next week, but in this WOODSTOCK-focused half of our pairing we’re joined by music critic Steven Hyden to debate whether it’s possible to separate Wadleigh’s film from the broader cultural understanding of, and nostalgia for, the festival, and how the movie’s hyper-verité style meshes with its generally sunny view of an event that had an oft-overlooked dark side. Plus, we’re still getting feedback about the Scott-provoked Shrek-toversy, which means we’re continuing our ongoing discussion about criticism, fandom, and the uncomfortable relationship between them.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WOODSTOCK, SUMMER OF SOUL, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “Woodstock” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/13/20211 hour, 24 minutes, 10 seconds
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Bonus Episode: The State of Streaming Movies

When it comes to streaming services, we’re leaving the Wild West era and entering a new one where multiple corporations with slightly varying distribution models are jockeying for dominance in an increasingly crowded landscape. Where does this leave the new films landing on these services, the audiences who want to watch them, and the fate of the theatrical model as we emerge from the past pandemic year? In this episode, originally recorded for our Patreon subscribers, Scott, Tasha, Keith, and Genevieve got together to discuss those questions as they apply to some of the major streaming services — specifically, those that are acting as distributors of new films, rather than library-focused services. But, due to the multifaceted nature of these services, both library titles and television make their way into the discussion as well because, as Next Picture Show listeners know, no movie exists in a vacuum. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/6/202146 minutes, 42 seconds
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#284: Immigrant Songs, Pt. 2 — In the Heights

Like last week’s film, WEST SIDE STORY, Jon M. Chu’s new big-screen adaptation of IN THE HEIGHTS is about the American Dream, but it acknowledges that the dream isn’t one-size-fits-all—only, you know, in song! In this half of our pairing we debate how that mission squares with IN THE HEIGHTS’ fundamentally optimistic outlook, before bringing the two films together to compare how they work as movie musicals, as stories about immigration, and, in different but related ways, as subjects of controversy. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WEST SIDE STORY, IN THE HEIGHTS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Keith: Francis Ford Coppola’s RUMBLE FISH Tasha: Norman Jewison’s FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Scott: Scott Frank’s A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES Genevieve: Bo Burnham’s INSIDE Outro music: “Piragua” by Lin Manuel Miranda Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/29/20211 hour, 29 minutes, 46 seconds
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#283: Immigrant Songs, Pt. 1 — West Side Story (1961)

The new IN THE HEIGHTS is a film derived from a Broadway hit that challenged mainstream notions about musical theater, which in addition to being a love story examines the immigrant experience through the framing of a specific Manhattan neighborhood — all of which can also be said about Ray Wise’s 1961 Oscar behemoth WEST SIDE STORY. And so while we recognize that WEST SIDE STORY will be receiving the modern-update treatment later this year, we’re instead taking this earlier opportunity to compare two very different, yet unmistakably related, musical visions of the American Dream. This week we dig into what holds up about WEST SIDE STORY, and debate whether the film’s central love story is a limitation — and if it is, how willing we are to overlook it in favor of the production’s other charms. Plus, we respond to some feedback inspired by our recent REAR WINDOW episode, as well as a query inspired by Scott’s recent SHREK-inspired controversy. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WEST SIDE STORY, IN THE HEIGHTS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: “America” from West Side Story Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/22/20211 hour, 24 minutes, 34 seconds
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#282: Survivors Down Under Pt. 2 — The Dry

The new Australian film THE DRY is an adaptation of a hit novel, set in Victoria, that considers a remote community beset by grief over a mysterious loss, all of which reminded us of Peter Weir’s Australian New Wave classic PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK; but despite those similarities in general shape, the specific contours of the two films are vastly different, particularly in their respective approaches to mystery and resolution. But there’s lots of interest to examine in that contrast, which we do in this half of the pairing focused on THE DRY and how it connects to and departs from the storytelling approach in PICNIC. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, THE DRY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Keith: Thomas Bezucha’s LET HIM GO Genevieve: Eric Roman Waugh’s GREENLAND Scott: Walter Hill’s STREETS OF FIRE Outro music: “Under the Milky Way” by The Church, as performed by BeBe Bettencourt Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/15/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 58 seconds
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#281: Survivors Down Under Pt. 1 — Picnic at Hanging Rock

The new thriller THE DRY makes a central character of its setting, a rural Australian town plagued by a drought that’s turned it into a (literal) tinderbox, and haunted by a tragedy that threatens to send it into (metaphorical) flames. That heavily symbolic use of the Australian landscape, combined with its focus on a community in the aftermath of tragedy, struck us as an opportunity to revisit 1975’s PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, Peter Weir’s Australian New Wave classic about the disappearance of three schoolgirls and a teacher in rural Victoria, which is loaded with symbols and suggestion, but short on straightforward answers. That last part is a major point of contrast with THE DRY, which we’ll get into next week, but this week we’re basking in PICNIC’s luminous ambiguity. Plus, we respond to a listener's question about the home video format’s modern-day relevance in the culture generally, and our lives specifically.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, THE DRY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: Kate Bush, “Running Up That Hill” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/8/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 15 seconds
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#280: Window Watchers Pt. 2 — The Woman in the Window

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW hangs a lantern on its obvious homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW, but how does Joe Wright’s latest fare when placed into conversation with such a vaunted comparison point? We’re joined again this week by freelance critic Roxana Hadadi to determine just that — the answer probably will not surprise you — as well as the two films’ use of voyeurism as compulsion vs. plot device, their respective “secret protagonists” that prove more compelling and complex than the main characters, and how WOMAN IN THE WINDOW ascribes to the Gilligan’s Island Theory of the “second coconut bonk” (trust us, it makes sense when Tasha explains it). Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about REAR WINDOW, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Scott: Joyce Chopra’s SMOOTH TALK Tasha: Otto Preminger’s BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING and Marilyn Agrelo’s STREET GANG Keith: Basil Dearden’s THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF Roxana: Haifaa Al-Mansour’s THE PERFECT CANDIDATE Outro music: “I’ve Been Seeing Things” by They Might Be Giants Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/1/20211 hour, 17 minutes, 4 seconds
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#279: Window Watchers, Pt. 1: Rear Window

Joe Wright’s new adaptation of the bestselling novel THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is hardly the first film to tip its hat to Alfred Hitchcock in general and 1954’s REAR WINDOW in particular, in no small part because Hitchcock’s film is in many ways a movie about the act of watching movies. But it can also be processed as a film about storytelling in general, or the journalistic impulse in particular, both readings of the film that we get into this week with our special guest, freelance critic Roxana Hadadi, who joins us to discuss REAR WINDOW’s tricky psychological themes and even trickier characterization. Plus, a piece of feedback about our recent episode on BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA prompts a discussion that ranges from how we process movie stereotypes to what’s good in Iranian cinema.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about REAR WINDOW, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: Tegan and Sara, “Living Room” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/25/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 43 seconds
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#278: Fighting Spirits, Pt. 2: Mortal Kombat (2021)

The new MORTAL KOMBAT, directed by Simon McQuoid, drops a new, nobody protagonist, Cole Young, into the videogame world’s established mythology, positioning him as an outsider within a generations-spanning supernatural battle. That conceit is a big part of why we chose to pair the film with John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, but does it make for a compelling movie narrative? No, it doesn’t, and we discuss why in our debriefing on MORTAL KOMBAT, before bringing it into conversation with BIG TROUBLE to compare the two films’ respective approaches to violence and the supernatural, how they each work (or don’t) in the East-meets-West tradition of Hollywood martial arts films, and how each deploys the figure of the motormouthed antihero to very different effect. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, MORTAL KOMBAT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Genevieve: “Interior Chinatown” by Charles You Scott: Blake Edwards’ A SHOT IN THE DARK Tasha: Amp Wong and Zhao Ji’s WHITE SNAKE Keith: Frank Borzage’s HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT Outro music: “Mortal Kombat Anthem (Club Mix)” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/18/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 22 seconds
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#277: Fighting Spirits, Pt. 1: Big Trouble In Little China

The newest film iteration of MORTAL KOMBAT is a fighting fantasy with roots in the tradition of Asian martial arts movies, but with a pronounced supernatural component that pushes it deeper into the realm of the uncanny. That particular combination, along with the film’s outsider protagonist, put us in mind of John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, a 1986 action-comedy that plops a mostly hapless Kurt Russell in the middle of a chaotic conflict that moves from the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown to an underground kingdom presided over by a malevolent spirit and supernatural warriors. This week we get into BIG TROUBLE to discuss its sloppy charm and Western tropes, and how well it handles the cultural stereotypes baked into its premise. Plus, we respond to some “anything else in the world of film” feedback inspired by our recent episodes on RACHEL GETTING MARRIED and SHIVA BABY.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, MORTAL KOMBAT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: John Carpenter’s Coup de Ville, “Big Trouble In Little China” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/11/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 28 seconds
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#276: One Wedding and a Funeral, Pt. 2 — Shiva Baby

The second half of our pairing looking at young women publicly testing the goodwill of their loved ones drops in on another awkward community function in the form of SHIVA BABY’s titular gathering. We’re joined again by film writer Jordan Hoffman to talk about Emma Seligman’s extraordinary debut feature and how it connects to Jonathan Demme’s RACHEL GETTING MARRIED in its view of familial and social expectations, filmmaking that reflects its protagonist’s anxious state, and character details that hint at even deeper dysfunction. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, SHIVA BABY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Work Cited: “Celebrate Passover With the Very Jewish Angst of Shiva Baby,” by Jordan Hoffman (vanityfair.com) Your Next Picture Show: Keith: Monte Hellman’s THE SHOOTING and Richard Rush’s THE STUNT MAN Jordan: The Coens’ A SERIOUS MAN, Paul Mazursky’s ENEMIES, A LOVE STORY, and Barry Levinson’s AVALON Scott: Joan Micklin Silver’s CROSSING DELANCEY Genevieve: Christopher Landon’s FREAKY Outro music: Neil Diamond, “If You Know What I Mean” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/4/20211 hour, 23 minutes, 24 seconds
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#275: One Wedding and a Funeral, Pt. 1 — Rachel Getting Married

The new indie comedy SHIVA BABY’s focus on a young woman attending an obligatory family event and finding herself the center of attention reminded us of a similar cinematic predicament set at a very different sort of major life event: Jonathan Demme’s 2008 drama RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. Revisiting the film for this week’s pairing, along with our special guest, film writer Jordan Hoffman, was a potent reminder of the late Demme’s talent for capturing humanity and optimism onscreen, not to mention vibrant and celebratory musical performance. So this week we dig into what makes RACHEL GETTING MARRIED what one of our panelists deems “the most Demme movie of all,” where it stands in the pantheon of onscreen weddings, and whether to categorize the cultural mishmash of Rachel's wedding as a “melting pot” or “cultural appropriation.” Plus, in place of feedback this week we talk about some of those other onscreen weddings, and which ones we’d most like to attend (or claim for ourselves). Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, SHIVA BABY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: Neil’s Young’s “Unknown Legend” as performed by Tunde Adebimpe Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/27/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 35 seconds
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#274: Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Twice, Pt. 2 — Nobody

The new Bob Odenkirk-starring revenge thriller NOBODY could be read as commentary on the revenge thriller form, but that may be an overly generous reading — or it may just be because we’ve paired it this week with Steven Soderbergh’s THE LIMEY, which is much more overtly reflective about its fantasies of violence and retribution. After working through what did and didn’t work for us about NOBODY, we put it into conversation with THE LIMEY — and by extension the long cinematic tradition of the revenge movie — to discuss the films’ respective approaches to violence, motivation, and middle age, and how they use music and location work to different effect. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LIMEY, NOBODY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Scott: Michael Verhoeven’s THE NASTY GIRL Keith: Richard C. Sarafian’s VANISHING POINT Tasha: George Romero’s THE CRAZIES Outro music: Steve Lawrence, ‘I Gotta Be Me’ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/20/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 50 seconds
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#273: Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Twice, Pt. 1 — The Limey

The new NOBODY, starring Bob Odenkirk as an unlikely action star, is drawing on a long tradition of revenge movies, which means we had our pick of comparison points this week, but Steven Soderbergh’s 1999 film THE LIMEY struck us as particularly apt not just for the commentary it provides on the revenge narrative, but also for its focus on its protagonist’s relationship to his past. In this first half we dig into THE LIMEY, a film one of our panelists considers top-three Soderbergh and another considers a pale imitation of the filmmaker's better work, to debate how its fluid, almost dreamlike non-linear structure impacts the viewing experience, if its casting choices are considered “metatextual” or “extratextual,” and whether the film’s style overshadows its story. Plus, we respond to a listener question about movies that shifted our worldview, and some thoughts about kids’ capacity for cinematic weirdness inspired by our recent episode on THE LAST UNICORN. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LIMEY, NOBODY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: The Byrds, “It Happens Each Day” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/13/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 55 seconds
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#272: A Tina Twofer, Pt. 2 — Tina

The new HBO documentary TINA touches briefly but memorably on the release of 1992’s WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, but it’s much more focused on providing a bird’s-eye view of Tina Turner’s entire career, beyond the years she spent in a creatively fruitful but abusive partnership with Ike Turner. Watching the two films together, as we did for this week’s pairing, reveals how the films’ respective documentary and narrative approaches both support and push against each other when it comes to portraying the breadth and depth of one woman’s experience. We’re joined again this week by Vulture critic Jen Chaney to discuss what makes TINA stand out among similarly structured music documentaries, before tackling how these two distinct but inherently linked films each approach the portrayal of abuse and trauma, the scope of Tina’s career, and the extraordinary onstage charisma that made her a star. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, TINA, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Tasha: Martin Scorsese’s SHINE A LIGHT Genevieve: Josh Greenbaum’s BARB AND STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR Jen: John Hyams' ALL SQUARE Scott: HBO’s TIGER Outro music: Tina Turner, "I Can't Stand the Rain (Live)" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/6/20211 hour, 25 minutes, 5 seconds
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#271: A Tina Twofer, Pt. 1 — What's Love Got to Do With It

It’s rare that one of the films in a Next Picture Show pairing is directly addressed in the other film, but that’s the case with WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT and the new documentary TINA, two films with distinctly different approaches tackling a common subject: the life of soul music legend Tina Turner. This week we zoom in on Tina through the lens of Brian Gibson’s 1993 biopic, a film that treats the abuse Tina received at the hands of her husband/tormenter Ike Turner as its narrative North Star. We’re joined by critic Jen Chaney to debate how well that choice works, celebrate the transformative performances by Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, and discuss which of the many liberties the film takes with the historical record actually matter in the broader context. Plus, we respond to some feedback about our recent discussions of two films now vying against each other in multiple Oscar categories, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN and NOMADLAND. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, TINA, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: Ike and Tina Turner, “Fool In Love” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/30/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 18 seconds
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#270: Famous Last Worlds, Pt. 2: Raya and the Last Dragon

Unlike the last unicorn in the eponymous 1982 animated film by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., this week’s last-of-her-kind fantasy creature knows what happened to the rest of her kind, setting the new Disney Animation feature RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON off on a quest narrative that takes a much different shape than THE LAST UNICORN. We’re joined once again this week by John Maher to discuss RAYA’s shiny, roller-coaster-like thrills, and then compare the two films’ respective journeys, the mythical beasts at their centers, and the paired dynamic of parent villains and children who switch sides. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LAST UNICORN, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Genevieve: Moribi Murano’s UNICO IN THE ISLAND OF MAGIC John: Isao Takahata’s THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA Tasha: “The unsung genius of Studio Ghibli’s risk-taking realist, Isao Takahata (by John Maher, polygon.com), and Gore Verbinski’s THE RING Keith: Rob Savage’s HOST Outro music: Jhené Aiko, “Lead the Way” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/23/20211 hour, 27 minutes, 29 seconds
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#269: Famous Last Worlds, Pt. 1: The Last Unicorn

While the new RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON shares far more with its Disney Animation brethren than anything made by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, those filmmakers’ 1982 animated adaptation of Peter S. Beagle’s THE LAST UNICORN shares RAYA’s interest in telling a story about humanity via the plight of a fantasy creature believed to be the last of its kind — it just goes about it in a much more idiosyncratic, often flat-out weird way. To dig into all the ways THE LAST UNICORN defies convention and expectation, we’ve brought in cultural writer and animation expert John Maher to help discuss some of the big literary themes crammed into this small and not very literary movie, the film’s penchants for both poetry and anachronism, and what to make of that Rankin/Bass animation style. Plus, we respond to some feedback about our recent discussion of JEAN DE FLORETTE, and where we personally draw the line between film and television. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE LAST UNICORN, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: America, ‘In the Sea’ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/16/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 3 seconds
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#268: Hard Water Pt. 2 — Minari

Yes, Lee Isaac Chung’s new feature MINARI is a story that involves family farming and scarcity of water, but its connections to Claude Berri’s 1986 tragedy JEAN DE FLORETTE go beyond plot similarities and into deeper explorations of community and outsiders. After discussing our initial reactions to MINARI we dig into those connections, as well as how the specifics of each film’s setting — rural Arkansas and Provence, France — shape those communities. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about JEAN DE FLORETTE, MINARI, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Scott: Paul Mazursky’s ALEX IN WONDERLAND Keith: John Farrow’s WHERE DANGER LIVES Tasha: Philippe Lacôte’s NIGHT OF THE KINGS Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/9/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 17 seconds
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#267: Hard Water Pt. 1 — Jean de Florette

Lee Isaac Chung’s new MINARI centers on a family starting over in the country, a theme that got us thinking about French director Claude Berri’s 1986 film JEAN DE FLORETTE, and how its concerns of agrarian hardship in general and water scarcity in particular echo those in Chung’s film. In this half of the pairing we get into JEAN DE FLORETTE’s unsparing view of an oft-idealized provincial setting, its showy yet subtle performances, and what it reveals about French filmmaking in the 1980s. Plus, we respond to some of our favorite kind of feedback — voicemail feedback! Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about JEAN DE FLORETTE, MINARI, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: The Temptations, “I Wish It Would Rain” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/2/202156 minutes, 43 seconds
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#266: Uneasy Riders Pt. 2 — Nomadland

In Chloe Zhao’s new NOMADLAND, Frances McDormand’s Fern “drops out of society” not by choice, unlike the yuppie couple at the center of Albert Brooks’ 1985 comedy LOST IN AMERICA, but she proves much more adept than they at surviving (perhaps even thriving?) outside the mainstream. This week we bring NOMADLAND’s view of life on the road into conversation with LOST IN AMERICA’s satirization of the impulse to pursue that lifestyle, to consider their respective approaches to dropping out of society and living without a safety net. Plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about LOST IN AMERICA, NOMADLAND, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Tasha: David Lynch’s THE STRAIGHT STORY Keith: Agnès Varda’s DAGUERREOTYPES Genevieve: The New York Times Presents FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS Scott: Sarah Polley’s STORIES WE TELL Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/23/20211 hour, 17 minutes, 57 seconds
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#265: Uneasy Riders Pt. 1 — Lost In America

Chloe Zhao’s new feature NOMADLAND presents a “houseless” life on the road as a choice born half out of desperation and half out of curiosity about life outside the American mainstream, which called to mind the yuppie adventurers looking to “drop out of society” in Albert Brooks’ 1985 comedy LOST IN AMERICA. This week, Brooks’ film serves as the catalyst for another Scott-Tasha showdown, as we dig into the nuances of both Brooks’ comedic style and the satirical premise he sets up in LOST IN AMERICA. Plus, we respond to some feedback on our recent episodes on AMERICAN PSYCHO and PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about LOST IN AMERICA, NOMADLAND, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: Johnny Cash, “I’m an Easy Rider” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/16/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 21 seconds
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#264: Lady Killers, Pt. 2 — Promising Young Woman

Though Emerald Fennell has cited Mary Harron’s AMERICAN PSYCHO as one of the inspiration points for her buzzy debut feature PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, there’s not a whole lot obviously linking the films in terms of protagonist, narrative, or even their respective satirical targets. But as we discuss in this week’s comparison, both woman-directed films are deeply concerned with ideas of male privilege and toxic masculinity, make ample use of high-pop needledrops, and engage with violence in a heightened and stylized manner that underlines their thematic concerns. We get into all that, plus Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about AMERICAN PSYCHO, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Scott: Abel Ferrara’s MS. 45 Keith: Mary Harron/Guinevere Turner’s THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE and CHARLIE SAYS Tasha: “Emerald Fennel Explains Herself” by Angelica Jade Bastién (Vulture.com) Genevieve: Eugene Ashe’s SYLVIE’S LOVE Outro Music: Juice Newton, “Angel of the Morning” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/9/20211 hour, 27 minutes, 23 seconds
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#263: Lady Killers, Pt. 1 — American Psycho

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN writer-director Emerald Fennell has cited AMERICAN PSYCHO as one of her cinematic reference points when creating her first debut feature, which was enough reason for us to revisit Mary Harron’s 2000 cult classic ‘80s satire to see if there’s more to that comparison than the films’ shared taste for dark, dark humor. First up this week, we dig into AMERICAN PSYCHO’s inscrutable protagonist and even more inscrutable ending, its approach to adapting what many considered an unadaptable Bret Easton Ellis novel, and whether the characters in this film who are not named Patrick Batemen have any lasting resonance. Plus, we respond to some feedback regarding our recent episode on Pixar’s SOUL, and another about the pandemic’s effects on our home-viewing habits. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about AMERICAN PSYCHO, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Works Cited: • “The Frustrating Tradition Behind Soul’s Great Flaw,” by Robert Daniels (polygon.com) • “Stop Telling Me To Turn My Brain Off At Movies,” by Matt Singer (screencrush.com) • “Pixar’s Troubled ‘Soul’” by Namwali Serpell (newyorker.com) Outro Music: Huey Lewis and the News, “Hip to Be Square” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/2/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 23 seconds
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#262: Drinking Buddies, Pt. 2 — Another Round

With the new ANOTHER ROUND, Thomas Vinterberg saw Alexander Payne’s 2004 middle-aged-men-drink-and-have-feelings comedy SIDEWAYS and said “Hold my Akvavit.” After swooning for a while over Vinterberg’s film — in particular its spectacular closing scene — we bring it into conversation with Payne’s to consider what the two films are each driving at when it comes to their ideas about middle age, lost youth, and drinking culture, and tackle the inevitable (but perhaps uninteresting) question of “is this alcoholism?” Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SIDEWAYS, ANOTHER ROUND, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Tasha: Blake Edwards’ DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES Genevieve: Steven Soderbergh’s LET THEM ALL TALK Keith: Joko Anwar’s IMPETIGORE Scott: Sergio Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST Outro Music: Scarlet Pleasure, “What a Life” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/26/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 52 seconds
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#261: Drinking Buddies, Pt. 1 — Sideways

Among other accomplishments, Thomas Vinterberg’s new ANOTHER ROUND has unseated Alexander Payne’s SIDEWAYS as the ne plus ultra of funny films about sad men drinking their way through midlife crises. In celebration of that feat, this week we’re looking back at what made SIDEWAYS so intoxicating back in 2004, discussing the film’s many small moments that carry a wealth of character, what to make of the connection between Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Maya (Virginia Madsen), and whether we feel comfortable characterizing oenophile Miles as a snob. Plus, we respond to some feedback taking us to task for our comparison of MANK and CITIZEN KANE, and inquiring about our favorite examples of a timely movie trope. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SIDEWAYS, ANOTHER ROUND, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: Neil Diamond, “Red Red Wine” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/19/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 29 seconds
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#260: Stairways to Heaven, Pt. 2 — Soul

Both Pixar’s new feature SOUL and Powell and Pressburger’s 1946 fantasy-romance A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH center on a soul gone missing from heaven’s ledger because he’s anxious to get back to his life on earth, but the journeys each of them takes to get there end up drawing different conclusions about the meaning of life. This week we’re joined again by critic and 812FilmReviews founder Robert Daniels to dig into SOUL and debate whether it manages to strike the delicate tonal balance it’s reaching for, how it carries its status as the first Pixar film with a Black protagonist, and how it fits into director Pete Doctor’s filmography, before bringing MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH into the discussion to compare the two films’ depictions of afterlife bureaucracy. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, SOUL, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Tasha: Hirokazu Koreeda’s AFTER LIFE  and Goran Dukic’s WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY Robert: Regina King’s ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI Keith: Alexander Hall’s HERE COMES MR. JORDAN Scott: Benjamin Ree’s THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF Outro Music: Jon Batiste, “Collard Greens and Cornbread Strut” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/12/20211 hour, 26 minutes, 35 seconds
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#259: Stairways to Heaven, Pt. 1 — A Matter of Life and Death

With the image early in SOUL of a conveyor belt ferrying new souls into the afterlife, the new Pixar film makes clear the thematic debt it owes to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1946 fantasy-romance A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH. But there’s much more to the Powell and Pressburger film than that indelible image; in this week’s half of our pairing we dig into what lies beyond the stairway to heaven with an assist from critic and 812FilmReviews founder Robert Daniels, with whom we discuss MATTER’s central romantic relationship, its varied approach to tone, and its relationship to the afterlife, both stylistically and narratively. Plus, we respond to some feedback on our recent WOLFWALKERS episode that wonders if the film is "actually AVATAR for kids," as well as a letter seeking clarification on our collective aversion to the term “dated.” Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, SOUL, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: Dolly Parton, “Stairway to Heaven”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/5/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 18 seconds
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#258: At Home At The Movies: Our Top 5 Films of 2020

As we say goodbye to a moviegoing year like none other, we go off-format this week for a year-end discussion about what it meant to go to the movies — or not, as the case may be — in a pandemic year that’s still in the midst of upending the theatrical experience as we’ve known it. We also share our hopes for our filmgoing futures; look for some glimpses of a silver lining amid the havoc 2020 has wreaked on the industry; and welcome some special guests to share their under-the-radar favorites of the year. Then, we collectively grit our teeth and present our individual Top 5 films of the year lists, despite everyone but Scott’s reluctance to commit to a ranked list in a year when there was so much we missed… and yet we still manage to find some consensus picks for the best of this remarkable year for movies. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about this year, or any year, in film by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: New Pornographers, “Twin Cinema” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/29/20201 hour, 41 minutes, 1 second
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#257: The Shape of Nature, Pt. 2 — Wolfwalkers

WOLFWALKERS’s consideration of the connections between humans and nature via the history and fables of Ireland is in keeping with previous films from Irish animation house Cartoon Saloon, but we’re reaching back a little further, and into a different filmmaking medium, to connect the new animated film to John Sayles’s 1994 magical realist fable THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH. After gushing a bit over WOLKWALKERS’s visual and emotional punch, we look at both films within the traditions of shapeshifting and animal myths, as well as their shared interest in broken families, controlling father figures, and the specter of British colonialism. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH, WOLFWALKERS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Genevieve: Darius Marder’s SOUND OF METAL Scott: Alexander Nanau’s COLLECTIVE Keith: Natalie Erika James’s RELIC Tasha: Mike Newell’s INTO THE WEST Outro Music: Aurora, “Running With the Wolves” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/22/20201 hour, 14 minutes, 27 seconds
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#256: The Shape of Nature, Pt. 1 — The Secret of Roan Inish

Like Irish animator Tom Moore’s previous films, the new WOLFWALKERS has a strong base in Irish legend and Celtic design, which, along with the film’s story about a young girl striking out on her own in a world of shapechangers and mythology, put us in mind of American filmmaker John Sayles’ 1994 venture into Irish legend, THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH. In this half of the pairing we consider whether ROAN INISH falls under the heading of children’s movie or arthouse film, how it fits into Sayles’ filmography, and how to contextualize, and even appreciate, its traditionalist messaging. Plus, we set the stage for next week’s WOLFWALKERS episode with a discussion of some of the non-traditional animated films that have surprised, delighted, and confounded us. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH, WOLFWALKERS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: Mason Daring, “Return to Roan Inish” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/15/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 28 seconds
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#255: The Manking of Kane, Pt. 2 — Mank

Though David Fincher’s new MANK certainly makes the case for giving Herman Mankiwiecz more of the credit for CITIZEN KANE than he’s often received, it’s more interested in peeling back the layers of a complex character and exploring the many personal and cultural themes that found their way into KANE. That makes it all but impossible not to discuss the film in relation to the Orson Welles classic, which is exactly what we do this week, comparing how the two films function as biography, how they each tackle politics and cronyism, and how they use non-chronological storytelling to different effect (and success). Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CITIZEN KANE, MANK, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Tasha: Aaron Sorkin’s THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7  Keith: Sofia Coppola’s ON THE ROCKS and Steve McQueen’s SMALL AXE Genevieve: Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson’s SAVE YOURSELVES! Outro Music: “Teamwork” by Bing Crosby & Bob Hope Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/8/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 34 seconds
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#254: The Manking of Kane, Pt. 1—Citizen Kane

It’s rare that a new film suggests a historical comparison point as strongly as David Fincher’s new MANK does, so we’re taking the bait and putting it in conversation with the film that is its raison d’etre: Orson Welles’ towering 1941 directorial debut, CITIZEN KANE. Is there anything new to say about a film frequently hailed as the form’s crowning achievement? Perhaps not, so in this half of the conversation we dig into KANE’s legacy as much as the film itself, to consider how the film plays in the context of everything it inspired, whether it’s a useful dividing point in film history, and the ways it still manages to surprise us after all this time. Plus, Scott Tobias presents an abbreviated 2020 edition of his annual “Movies to See” checklist, covering all the films you need to see to be conversant in this past year in film. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CITIZEN KANE, MANK, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: The White Stripes, “The Union Forever” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/1/20201 hour, 18 minutes, 23 seconds
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#253: Family Feuds, Pt. 2 — The Nest

Writer-director Sean Durkin’s long-awaited followup to MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, the new THE NEST casts Jude Law and Carrie Coon as an unhappily married couple in the 1980s who relocate their family to an isolated British country estate, a move that hastens the seemingly inevitable collapse of their family unit. Though the film is separated from the setting of Ang Lee’s 1970s-set THE ICE STORM by a decade and an ocean, the two films express a similar merging of period values and family values, and build to nearly identical dark-night-of-the-soul climaxes. We get into that and more as we bring THE NEST into conversation with THE ICE STORM. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE ICE STORM, THE NEST, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Keith: George Romero’s SEASON OF THE WITCH Tasha: Christopher Caldwell and Zeek Earl’s PROSPECT Scott: Michael Cimino’s HEAVEN’S GATE (Director’s Cut) Outro Music: “No Place Called Home,” by The June Brides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/24/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 33 seconds
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#252: Family Feuds, Pt. 1 — The Ice Storm

THE NEST, Sean Durkin’s chilly new drama about a marriage on the brink, weaves together its very 1980s setting and the issues afflicting its central family in a manner we found reminiscent of Ang Lee’s 1997 feature THE ICE STORM, which examines a similar sort of familial dysfunction through the lens of 1970s libertine values. In this half, we debate how well THE ICE STORM holds up another two decades removed from the time period it depicts, what stands out about its approach to that time period, and what it has to say as a film about parenthood. Plus, in place of our usual Feedback, we take some time to survey the career of Ang Lee via a discussion of his films that have most stuck with us. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE ICE STORM, THE NEST, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: Melanie, “Brand New Key” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/17/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 24 seconds
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#251: Byrne-ing Down the House, Pt. 2 — David Byrne's American Utopia

DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA is a fairly traditional concert film — at least as traditional as a collaboration between David Byrne and Spike Lee can be — which differentiates it from Byrne’s vignette-based 1986 ramble TRUE STORIES, but both projects are indelibly marked by the musician’s mindset, clearly the products of someone who works intuitively and metaphorically. This week we attempt to parse how the “David Byrne” character has evolved over the decades separating the two films, and how TRUE STORIES and AMERICAN UTOPIA echo each other’s interests in American stories, collective celebration through music, and how technology can foster human connection. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about TRUE STORIES, AMERICAN UTOPIA, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Genevieve: Marielle Heller’s WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME Keith: Costa Gavras’ Z Tasha: Michael O’Shea’s THE TRANSFIGURATION Scott: John Huston’s FAT CITY Outro Music: “Burning Down the House” from DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/10/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 28 seconds
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#250: Byrne-ing Down the House, Pt. 1 — True Stories

Spike Lee’s new feature-length document of David Byrne’s stage show AMERICAN UTOPIA seemed like a prime opportunity to look back on the the iconoclastic alt-rocker’s own 1986 directorial effort TRUE STORIES, which also uses the framework of Talking Heads songs to muse about the state of America and how humans seek and find connections in the modern world. In the first half of our Byrne double feature, we consider TRUE STORIES’ vignette-based journey through the fictional Virgil, Texas, through the overlapping lenses of comedy, music, and Byrne himself. Plus, we respond to some feedback regarding our recent episode on DOGTOOTH. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about TRUE STORIES, AMERICAN UTOPIA, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Works Cited: • “David Byrne’s American Triptych” by Keith Phipps (Slate.com) Outro Music: Talking Heads ft. Annie McEnroe, “Dream Operator” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/3/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 57 seconds
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#249: Bonus - The Fall (with Elliott Kalan from "The Flop House")

Longtime listeners of The Next Picture Show likely have at least passing familiarity with THE FALL via the many, many mentions it’s received over the years from co-host Tasha Robinson, one of the foremost advocates of Tarsem Singh’s hard-to-find, cultishly adored 2008 film. Joining her in that small but mighty fandom is Elliott Kalan, Emmy-winning comedy writer and co-host of THE FLOP HOUSE podcast, where he has shared Tasha’s experience of singing THE FALL’s praises to his bemused co-hosts. So in honor of… well, nothing, really, other than a shared appreciation of an obscure and highly discussable film, Keith Phipps convened Elliott and Tasha to discuss this extremely weird masterpiece, how its highly unusual filming circumstances resulted in a singular film, and why it’s ultimately a movie that’s “more felt than thought.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/27/202054 minutes, 1 second
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#248: Parent Traps, Pt. 2 — Kajillioniare

If you’ve ever wondered, “What if Miranda July made her own version of DOGTOOTH?”, her new film KAJILLIONAIRE would be a pretty good answer. In this half of our pairing of darkly comic films centered on cloistered, dysfunctional families, we parse our reactions to KAJILLIONAIRE before bringing in DOGTOOTH to consider the two films’ respective handling of parenting with an agenda, isolation and the threats of the outside world, and sexuality and romance. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about DOGTOOTH, KAJILLIONAIRE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: • Tasha: Dave McCary’s BRIGSBY BEAR • Genevieve: Todd Haynes’ MILDRED PIERCE and BIG MOUTH season 4 • Scott: Bob Bowen’s PHINEAS AND FERB THE MOVIE: CANDACE AGAINST THE UNIVERSE • Keith: Matt Spicer’s INGRID GOES WEST and Alan Metter’s GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN Outro Music: Eurythmics, ‘Would I Lie to You’ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/20/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 21 seconds
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#247: Parent Traps, Pt. 1 — Dogtooth

The cloistered familial bubble at the center of Miranda July’s new KAJILLIONAIRE felt reminiscent of the one in Yorgos Lanthimos’ 2009 breakthrough DOGTOOTH, and that was before the film’s introduction of an outsider who contaminates said bubble, a complication carried out to slightly more disturbing ends in DOGTOOTH. In this half of our pairing we dig into the nature of DOGTOOTH’s sadistic parental experiment, whether the film’s highly symbolic premise overwhelms its story, and our respective interpretations of the film’s ambiguous ending. Plus, we respond to some recent listener feedback about parental viewing suggestions and podcast pairing regrets. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about DOGTOOTH, KAJILLIONAIRE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Works Cited: • The Movies’ 50 Greatest Pop Music Moments, thedissolve.com Outro Music: Irene Cara, “What a Feeling” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/13/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 47 seconds
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#246: True/False, Pt. 2 — Dick Johnson is Dead

Kirsten Johnson’s new DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD is a rumination on memory, death, and movie illusion, one that brings the veteran “cameraperson” in front of the lens, alongside her titular father. In that, it’s reminiscent of an earlier essay film with a strongly autobiographical bent, and a similar fixation on what remains after we’re gone: Orson Welles’ F FOR FAKE. In this half of our pairing of the two films, we debate how — or whether — Johnson’s film successfully skirts exploitation of its central subject, before diving into how these two films each tackle matters of authenticity, illusion, and making art in the face of death. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about F FOR FAKE, DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  **Show Notes** Works Cited: •”’We Think the Audience is Smarter Than Us’: Kirsten Johnson on Making Another Personal and Original Film With ‘Dick Johnson Is Dead,’ by Matt Prigge (filmmakermagazine.com) • “Documentarian Kirsten Johnson on Fake-Killing Her Own Dad (Over and Over) in Dick Johnson Is Dead,” by Rachel Handler (vulture.com) Your Next Picture Show: • Genevieve: Banksy’s EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP • Scott: Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats, and Jacques Perrin’s WINGED MIGRATION • Keith: The Tobolowsky Files podcast • Tasha: Walt Dohrn’s TROLLS WORLD TOUR Outro Music: Oingo Boing, “Dead Man’s Party” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/6/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 9 seconds
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#245: True/False, Pt. 1 — F For Fake

Kirsten Johnson’s new film DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD is an unconventional documentary perhaps more at home under the nebulous subgenre known as the personal essay film, a form that was, if not popularized, then at least institutionalized by Orson Welles with 1973’s F FOR FAKE. In preparation for discussing Johnson’s film next week, we spend this week working through how Welles made a highly personal film using someone else’s cinematic scraps, and whether watching the final product is, as one of us puts it, “like picking up a handful of water,” or, as another calls it, simply “miraculous.” Maybe it’s both. Plus, we respond to some recent listener feedback inspired by our episodes on BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about F FOR FAKE, DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: Belle and Sebastian, “A Century of Fakers” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/29/202058 minutes, 52 seconds
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#244: Bonus - Mulan (2020)

Dear NPS listeners — we’ve been forced to make some changes to our schedule, which means our previously announced pairing of DOGTOOTH and KAJILLIONAIRE has been postponed a few weeks, and we’ll be back next week with the first part of our pairing of DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD and F IS FOR FAKE. In the meantime, though, we’re offering you a sneak peek behind the Patreon paywall, a bonus episode of our quick-reaction post-viewing series The Lobby, wherein noted Disney live-action skeptics Genevieve Koski and Scott Tobias talk over Disney’s new take on MULAN. Enjoy, and if you like what you hear, consider becoming a $5-a-month Patreon supporter, which will net you regular access to all of our bonus episodes, at patreon.com/NextPictureShow. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/22/202026 minutes, 33 seconds
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#243: The Mind of Charlie Kaufman Pt. 2 — I'm Thinking of Ending Things

I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS plays into some of Charlie Kaufman’s favorite preoccupations — surrealism, questions of identity and self, quietly desperate men, and the breakdown of order — which makes it not only an ideal pairing with Kaufman’s film screenwriting debut BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, but also an illustration of how those preoccupations have deepened in the years since Kaufman's breakout. It works better for some than others on our panel — which this week once again includes Screencrush editor and Filmspotting Family member Matt Singer — and we get into precisely why before bringing in MALKOVICH to discuss Kaufman’s history of sad, delusional men, his fixation on interiority and the life of the mind, and how it all plays into a broader interest in identity and how it shifts. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: • Tasha: Charlie Kaufman’s SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK • Scott: Martin Ritt’s HUD • Matt: Dean Parisot’s BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC Outro Music: Jesse Plemons, “Lonely Room”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/15/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 20 seconds
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#242: The Mind of Charlie Kaufman Pt. 1 — Being John Malkovich

With 1999’s BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman kicked off a two-decade run of dizzying audiences by playing around with identity and surrealism, and channeling and expressing anxiety, a mode he’s continued right on through to his latest, I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS, which he also directs. Before we dig into his latest next week, we’re going back to the beginning to examine the mind of Charlie Kaufman via his “big swing debut” BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, with some help from Matt Singer, our former compatriot at The Dissolve, now editor and critic for Screencrush, and late of Filmspotting: SVU. Plus, we respond to some recent listener feedback inspired by our recent episodes on LORD OF THE FLIES and EUROVISION SONG CONTEST. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: They Might Be Giants, “Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/8/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 47 seconds
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#241: Boys Will Be Boys, Pt. 2 — Boys State

The school-age boys at the center of Amanda McMaine and Jesse Moss’s new documentary BOYS STATE may not be facing the sort of life-and-death circumstances that frame Peter Brook’s film of LORD OF THE FLIES, but the two films undoubtedly echo each other in their portrayal of humanity’s tribalist instinct run amok. After discussing BOYS STATE and whether the kids are indeed all right, we look for connections between the two films and find many, not just in the aforementioned portrayal of tribalism, but also the films’ respective depictions of self-governance, maturity vs. immaturity, and the “adults in the room.” Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about LORD OF THE FLIES, BOYS STATE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: • Tasha: Masaaki Yuasa’s LU OVER THE WALL and Jesse Moss and Tony Gerber’s FULL BATTLE RATTLE • Scott: Michael Ritchie’s THE CANDIDATE • Keith: Agnès Varda’s LE BONHEUR, part of Criterion’s Varda box set • Genevieve: Kris Rey’s I USED TO GO HERE Outro Music: Chicago, “Vote For Me” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/25/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 21 seconds
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#240: Boys Will Be Boys, Pt. 1 — Lord of the Flies (1963)

The engrossing new documentary BOYS STATE, about a group of young men attempting to build a functional democracy and all of the ways it can go awry, naturally invites comparisons to William Golding’s LORD OF THE FLIES, but as we discover in our revisitation of the latter in the form of Peter Brook’s 1963 adaptation, the allegorical nature of Golding’s story doesn’t shift so easily from page to screen. This week we dig into the unusual production circumstances of Brook’s film and how they both detract from and amplify the film’s visceral power, in addition to some “freshman English” analysis of Golding’s tale. Plus, we respond to some listener feedback on our recent episodes on Kelly Reichardt’s MEEK’S CUTOFF and FIRST COW. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about LORD OF THE FLIES, BOYS STATE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: Mr. Mister, “Kyrie” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/18/20201 hour, 35 seconds
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#239: The Reichardt Way, Pt. 2 — First Cow

After slogging across the Oregon Trail with Kelly Reichardt’s MEEK’S CUTOFF last week, this week we’re going even further back in the 19th century for Reichardt’s new FIRST COW. We’re joined once again by Vox film critic Alissa Wilkinson to discuss FIRST COW’s offbeat humor and quiet reverence for the artistry of cooking, on the way to discussing what it shares with MEEK’S CUTOFF in terms of the portrayal of masculinity and vulnerability, the films’ respective approaches to history, and the handmade aesthetic that links them as Reichardt films. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about MEEK’S CUTOFF, FIRST COW, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: • Tasha: Rebecca Stern’s WELL GROOMED • Scott: Atom Egoyan’s SPEAKING PARTS • Keith: Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer’s PLUS ONE and HBO Max’s LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS • Alissa: Kevin Rafferty and James Ridgeway’s FEED, and Jan de Bont’s SPEED Outro Music: Doja Cat, “Mooo!” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/11/20201 hour, 25 minutes, 57 seconds
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#238: The Reichardt Way, Pt. 1 — Meek's Cutoff

Kelly Reichardt’s latest, FIRST COW, finds the veteran indie filmmaker returning to territory she’s visited before — specifically 19th-century Oregon Territory, a historical terrain Reichardt first explored in her 2010 anti-Western MEEK’S CUTOFF. This week we’re joined by Vox Culture critic Alissa Wilkinson as we hitch our proverbial wagons to MEEK’S CUTOFF to discuss how it fits into Reichardt’s tradition of road movies that don’t go anywhere, and our respective reactions to its deliberately slow pace and frustrating ending. Plus, we respond to some listener feedback on our recent episodes on GROUNDHOG DAY and EUROVISION. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about MEEK’S CUTOFF, FIRST COW, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: Talking Heads, “Road to Nowhere” MASTERCLASS.com/pictureshow for 15% off Annual All-Access MasterClassPass  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/4/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 14 seconds
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#237: In the Loop, Pt 2 — Palm Springs

The new Hulu comedy PALM SPRINGS wouldn’t exist without the broad comedy and sentimental romance of GROUNDHOG DAY, but there are some key differences in its depiction of life and love inside a time loop — chief among them the decision to give Andy Samberg’s character a partner in looping, played by Cristin Milioti — that make it a very different sort of circular journey. We’re joined once again by Vox critic at large Emily Vanderwerff to discuss the efficacy of that decision, as well as how the two films function as romances, as parables, and, most importantly, as comedies. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your radar Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about Groundhog Day, PALM SPRINGS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “Cristin Milioti Explains the Time-Loop Science Behind Palm Springs,” by Rachel Handler (vulture.com) • “Torn apart in production, The Emperor’s New Groove came out at exactly the wrong time,” by Petrana Radulovic (polygon.com) Your Next Picture Show: • Genevieve: Leslye Headland and Natasha Lyonne’s RUSSIAN DOLL • Emily: Michaela Coel’s I MAY DESTROY YOU • Scott: Hlynur Palmason’s A WHITE, WHITE DAY • Tasha: John-Paul Davidson and Trudie Styler’s THE SWEATBOX Outro Music: Hall & Oates, “When the Morning Comes” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/28/20201 hour, 15 minutes, 14 seconds
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#236: In the Loop, Pt. 1 — Groundhog Day

GROUNDHOG DAY didn’t invent the time-loop genre, but it’s safe to say that without Harold Ramis’ beloved 1993 Bill Murray-starring comedy, we wouldn’t have nearly as many film and television series about people stuck in a period of time that keeps resetting and endlessly repeating — including the new Hulu comedy PALM SPRINGS, the subject of next week’s discussion. We’re joined this week by our friend and former colleague Emily Vanderwerff, Vox’s critic at large, to dissect how our feelings about and memories of GROUNDHOG DAY have evolved over the years, and discuss how the film functions as both a religious and moral parable, as well as an exemplar of that endangered cinematic species, the American small town movie. Plus, we tackle some listener feedback about representation in film and critics’ responsibility in discussing it.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about GROUNDHOG DAY, PALM SPRINGS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: Frank Yankovic, “Pennsylvania Polka” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/21/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 48 seconds
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#235: Mirth, Wind & Fire, Pt. 2: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

The new EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA concerns a different genre and different part of the world than Christopher Guest’s folk-music-focused A MIGHTY WIND, but the comedies share an irreverently reverent approach to parodying their chosen music scene. In this half of our pairing of the two films, we debate whether that approach is helped or hindered in EUROVISION by the presence of Will Ferrell, along with the function of the film’s centerpiece “Song-Along.” Then we bring EUROVISION into conversation with A MIGHTY WIND to compare how the two films each tackle music, comedy, and the intersection thereof. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about A MIGHTY WIND, EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “Eurovision Director David Dobkin Never Wanted to Make Fun of Anyone,” by Chris Lee (vulture.com) Your Next Picture Show: • Genevieve: Las Culturistas podcast, “Family Style (w/Will Ferrell)"; “Love Me Like You Should: The Brave and Bold Sylvester”; Sam Feder’s DISCLOSURE • Tasha: Gina Prince-Bythewood’s THE OLD GUARD • Keith: Byron Haskin’s THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953) • Scott: Tobe Hooper’s THE FUNHOUSE Outro Music: Fire Saga, “Ja Ja Ding Dong” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/14/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 56 seconds
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#234: Mirth, Wind & Fire, Pt. 1: A Mighty Wind

The new Netflix comedy EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA sneaks moments of real pathos into its parodic look at a highly specific music scene, a sly approach it shares with another classic of the musical-spoof form: 2003’s A MIGHTY WIND, the third in a series of improv-heavy comedies directed by Christopher Guest and starring a cast of ensemble players. In this unfortunately “Ja Ja Ding Dong”-free half of our pairing, we dive into A MIGHTY WIND to examine the source and efficacy of said pathos, and how it aligns with Guest and co’s approach to both folk music and improv comedy. Plus, feedback on our recent Studio Ghibli bonus episode prompts further discussion of the oft-ignored Isao Takahata and the sub-vs.-dub debate. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about A MIGHTY WIND, EUROVISION SONG CONTEST, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: “A Mighty Wind” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/7/202059 minutes, 15 seconds
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#233: The Price of Gold, Pt. 2 — Da 5 Bloods

Spike Lee’s ambitious new war epic for Netflix, DA 5 BLOODS, is brimming with cultural and historical reference points — including an extended homage to the other film in this pairing, John Huston’s THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE — but it’s also full of Lee signatures, in both its story and its style. We break down some of them in our consideration of DA 5 BLOODS, before connecting Lee’s doomed treasure hunt to Huston’s by way of their respective depictions of paranoia and madness, their ideas about foreign interlopers and native populations, and their grimly ironic endings. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, DA 5 BLOODS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods Misses the Mark—and Does a Disservice to Its Women,” by Cassie Da Costa (thedailybeast.com) • “21 essential films about Black lives, in every major genre,” by Adam Davie as told to Tasha Robinson (polygon.com) • “Black Life on Film” by Adam Davie (letterboxd.com) Your Next Picture Show: Genevieve: Spike Lee’s PASS OVER Tasha: Ousmane Sembene’s BLACK GIRL Scott: DA Pennebaker’s ORIGINAL CAST ALBUM: COMPANY Keith: John Patrick Shanley’s JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO Outro music: Marvin Gaye, ‘What’s Going On’ (Lead Vocals Only) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/30/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 27 seconds
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#232: The Price of Gold, Pt. 1 — The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Spike Lee’s new DA 5 BLOODS has no shortage of cinematic and historical touchpoints, but its focus on the literal and metaphorical weight of gold — not to mention that whole “stinking badges” thing — is a direct nod to the 1948 John Huston classic THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. In this half of our pairing we assess what’s made TREASURE endure, from the knotty moral complexity of its central trio to its utilization of real locations, and go beyond the most quotable moments to explore some of the film’s less-discussed standout scenes. Plus, some feedback on our recent episode on THE HAUNTING prompts some discussion of non-auteurs and the lost art of the commentary track. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, DA 5 BLOODS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “The subversive masculinity of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” by Tasha Robinson (thedissolve.com) • “Forum: Treasure of the Sierra Madre” by Genevieve Koski and Keith Phipps (thedissolve.com)   Outro Music: Stone Roses, “Fool’s Gold” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/23/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds
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#231: Studio Ghibli Special — Castle In the Sky

2020 is the year that Japan’s beloved Studio Ghibli fully enters the streaming age, rolling out its films for Netflix viewers around the world, and for HBO Max subscribers in the U.S. This marks a major shift from recent decades, when Ghibli’s films were mostly relegated to boutique DVD releases and special theatrical events. So in celebration of Ghibli’s films being readily available to a wide audience for the first time, we’re departing from format a bit for an in-depth look at the studio’s very first film, CASTLE IN THE SKY, which is packed with early signifiers of director Hayao Miyazaki’s authorial stamp, from his fascination with flight and reverence for the natural world, to his distrust of the military and cynicism about humanity. Then, we each offer our respective starting points for the Ghibli catalogue, as part of a larger discussion about how one’s first encounter with Ghibli can shape the experience of all future viewings.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “Welcome to Studio Ghibli Week,” by Tasha Robinson (Polygon.com) • “Studio Ghibli’s first film, Castle in the Sky, is like no Hayao Miyazaki film that followed,” by Tasha Robinson (Polygon.com) • “The gross fluids and clean fluidity of Spirited Away,” by Tasha Robinson (TheDissolve.com) Outro Song: Azumi Inoue, “Kimi wo Nosete/Carrying You” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/16/20201 hour, 37 minutes, 33 seconds
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Introducing: Truth vs Hollywood

Introducing the newest Audioboom original podcast, Truth vs Hollywood. Join Film lovers David Chen and Joanna Robinson as they do a deep dive into well known films and discuss how similar they are to the actual story.  Truth vs Hollywood premieres 6/12. Subscribe to Truth vs Hollywood on Apple Podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/12/202013 minutes, 56 seconds
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#230: The House That Shirley Built, Pt. 2 — Shirley

Josephine Decker’s new SHIRLEY uses the home of a fictionalized Shirley Jackson to tell a different sort of haunted house tale, one that shares some thematic links with one of the best-known Jackson adaptations, 1963’s THE HAUNTING, if not necessarily strong narrative ones. This week we’re joined once again by Alison Willmore of Vulture to discuss SHIRLEY’s expressive style and dissolute ending, then dig into how it connects to THE HAUNTING in its depiction of madness, divided personas, and sexuality. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE HAUNTING, SHIRLEY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Alison: Andrew Patterson’s THE VAST OF NIGHT Keith: Christopher Guest’s BEST IN SHOW and A MIGHTY WIND Scott: Dan Sallitt’s FOURTEEN Outro music: Diana Ross, “It’s My House” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/9/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 49 seconds
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#229: The House That Shirley Built, Pt. 1 — The Haunting (1963)

Josephine Decker’s new SHIRLEY attempts to invoke the spirit of Shirley Jackson in suitably discomfiting fashion, which makes Robert Wise’s 1963 Jackson adaptation THE HAUNTING something of a prerequisite for the new film. How does THE HAUNTING stack up against its reputation as one of the scariest films of all time, and what makes it both a paragon and an anomaly of the haunted house genre? Joined by special guest Alison Willmore, we dig into those questions, plus the film’s distinctive visuals, its melange of performance styles, and its place in the broader scheme of Jackson adaptations. Plus, we share some feedback on episodes of the recent and not-so-recent past. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE HAUNTING, SHIRLEY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.    Outro Music: Gerard Way, “Baby You’re a Haunted House” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/2/202049 minutes, 37 seconds
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#228: I'm With The Band, Pt. 2. - How To Build A Girl

Coky Giedroyc’s HOW TO BUILD A GIRL, based on British humorist Caitlin Moran’s own life as a teenage music writer in the British Midlands, plays in many ways like Cameron Crowe’s mostly autobiographical ALMOST FAMOUS, translated to a new time and place. But it’s also a different sort of coming-of-age story about a very different sort of protagonist, based on the life of a very different sort of writer, all of which we get into by way of the two films’ respective approaches to writing and journalism, to family and origin stories, and to their respective love interests. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ALMOST FAMOUS, HOW TO BUILD A GIRL, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Genevieve: Tayarisha Poe’s SELAH AND THE SPADES Scott: Todd Berger’s IT’S A DISASTER Keith: Todd Haynes’ DARK WATERS and Jane Campion’s IN THE CUT Tasha: “A Boy’s Life (In Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll)” by Anthony Bozza (rollingstone.com) and Caitlin Moran’s MORANIFESTO and HOW TO BE A WOMAN Outro music: Lily Allen: “Alfie” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/26/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 59 seconds
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#227: I'm With The Band, Pt. 1 — Almost Famous

The new HOW TO BUILD A GIRL is a heavily autobiographical film about a teenage music journalist, which means it inevitably gets mentioned in the same breath as Cameron Crowe’s ALMOST FAMOUS, a heavily autobiographical 2000 film about a teenage music journalist, this one inspired by Crowe’s own past as Rolling Stone magazine’s youngest-ever correspondent. In this first half of our pairing looking at young, uncool kids chasing their own ideals of cool, we dig into ALMOST FAMOUS—in particular the much longer, and superior UNTITLED cut thereof—to see how it weaves its undeniable spell, how it occasionally drops the ball (particularly when it comes to Kate Hudson’s Penny Lane), and how our own experiences as entertainment journalists color the film’s message that “these are not your friends.” Plus, we tackle a couple of the numerous responses we got to our recent, contentious discussion on THE ASSISTANT. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ALMOST FAMOUS, HOW TO BUILD A GIRL, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.    Outro Music: Elton John, “Tiny Dancer” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/19/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 47 seconds
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#226: Career Women, Pt. 2 — The Assistant

Kitty Green’s recent day-in-the-life drama THE ASSISTANT, starring Julia Garner as a new assistant to a Weinstein-like executive, is nowhere near the crowd-pleaser Mike Nichols’ 1988 corporate Cinderella story WORKING GIRL was, and its scenario places the film squarely within a very current cultural conversation; but taken together the two films provide an apt illustration of what has and hasn’t changed for women in the workplace in the last three decades. After digging into our surprisingly divided opinions on THE ASSISTANT and its would-be sympathetic protagonist, we look at these two films together to consider what they tell us about the evolution of women’s role in the workplace, the importance of office allies, and what the characters’ working wardrobes say about their respective ambitions. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WORKING GIRL, THE ASSISTANT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: Keith: Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz’s MESSIAH OF EVIL Genevieve: FX on Hulu’s MRS. AMERICA Scott: Chantel Akerman’s JEANNE DIELMAN, 23 QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES Tasha: Mike Nichols’ CLOSER Outro music: TLC, “His Story” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/12/20201 hour, 24 minutes, 43 seconds
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#225: Career Women, Pt. 1 — Working Girl

Mike Nichols’ 1988 hit workplace comedy WORKING GIRL is set in a very different era than Kitty Green’s new, more somber THE ASSISTANT, but taken in tandem, the two films reveal how certain gendered power dynamics haven’t changed much in the 32 years separating them. This week we look at WORKING GIRL in the context of a string of 1980s workplace-empowerment movies and Nichols’ career alike, and try to parse its broader points about women in the workplace, and how they function within what is in many ways a traditional Cinderella story. Plus, we respond to some recent criticism regarding “protagonist bias” in our episode on BAD EDUCATION. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WORKING GIRL, THE ASSISTANT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.   Outro Music: Carly Simon, “Let the River Run” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/5/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 33 seconds
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#224: High School Confidential, Pt. 2 — Bad Education

In its adaptation of a true story of malfeasance and misappropriation in a Long Island high school, Cory Finley’s new HBO film BAD EDUCATION sets up a clash between shady educator and meddlesome student that put us in mind of Alexander Payne’s 1999 political satire ELECTION. In this half of our pairing, we debate the level of sympathy we’re able to extend to Hugh Jackman’s corrupt superintendent in BAD EDUCATION, before putting the two films in conversation to see what they have to say about the fraught interplay between student and faculty, precocious young women, and the corruptibility of adulthood. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ELECTION, BAD EDUCATION, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show: • Tasha: Richard Kwietniowski’s OWNING MAHOWNY and Seven Soderbergh’s THE INFORMANT! • Keith: Eugene Mirman’s IT STARTED AS A JOKE • Scott: Yorgos Lanthimos’ THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER Outro music: The Who, “Did You Steal My Money?” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/28/20201 hour, 2 minutes
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#223: High School Confidential, Pt. 1 — Election

Cory Finley’s new BAD EDUCATION is based on a real-life incident, whereas Alexander Payne’s 1999 high school satire ELECTION is based on a Tom Perrotta novel (itself inspired by the 1992 presidential election), but they both use their high school settings to make their way toward similar conclusions about the corruptibility of adulthood. In this half of our pairing looking at morality, ethics, and the educators who unwittingly illustrate the difference to their students, we dig into ELECTION’s satirical aims and accomplishments, debate the merits of Tracy Flick’s campaign for student body president, and consider what, if any, conclusions the film draws about elections and democracy. Plus, some feedback on recent episodes inspires a brief convening of the Next Picture Show Book Club. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about ELECTION, BAD EDUCATION, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.   Show Notes Works Cited: • “Election: That’s Why It’s Destiny,” by Dana Stevens (criterion.com) Outro Music: Ennio Morricone, “Navajo Joe” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/21/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 24 seconds
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#222: Home Sickness, Pt. 2 — Swallow

Where the unsettling illness metaphor at the center of Todd Haynes’ 1995 film SAFE tendrils out in a manner that defies easy resolution, Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ newly released debut SWALLOW tracks a similarly metaphorical affliction toward a more finite ending point. But within those two very different arcs, the two films explore complementary ideas about isolation, gender roles and archetypes, and societal expectations about sickness and recovery, all of which we get into following an in-depth discussion of SWALLOW’s successes and failures as both film and metaphor. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SAFE, SWALLOW, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “Op-ed: Ban the backstory!” by Noel Murray (thedissolve.com) • “Safe: Nowhere to Hide,” by Dennis Lim (criterion.com)  Your Next Picture Show: • Genevieve: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s FREE SOLO • Scott: Crystal Moselle’s SKATE KITCHEN • Keith: John Sayles’ EIGHT MEN OUT • Tasha: Bernard Rose’s CANDYMAN Outro music: The Wailin’ Jennys, “Swallow” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/14/20201 hour, 24 minutes, 11 seconds
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#221: Home Sickness, Pt. 1 — Safe (1995)

We continue our shelter-in-place film series with a pair of films featuring magazine-perfect housewife archetypes struck by mysterious illnesses that are inextricably linked to their oppressive environments: Todd Haynes’ 1995 feature SAFE and Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ debut film SWALLOW. In this half we dig into the many shifting metaphors at play in SAFE, how they reflect both the film’s era and our current moment, and how they’re all held together by Julianne Moore’s remarkable central performance. And what to make of that ending? Is there any sense of optimism or closure to be drawn from Haynes’ film? All that, plus some feedback that uses specific movies as jumping-off points for some big, sprawling questions about film. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SAFE, SWALLOW, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Show Notes Works Cited: • “Todd Haynes on the unsafe world of Safe,” by Scott Tobias (thedissolve.com) • “Safe: Nowhere to Hide,” by Dennis Lim (criterion.com) Outro Music: Tom Lehrer, “Pollution” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/7/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 18 seconds
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#220: Infection Point Pt. 2 - Contagion

Steven Soderbergh’s viral thriller CONTAGION may have come out in 2011, but it’s never felt more timely than in the midst of the world’s current coronavirus crisis, which makes it a natural stand-in for the “current film” half of our pairing with Elia Kazan’s 1950 plague noir PANIC IN THE STREETS. Watched today, Soderbergh’s film, a kaleidoscopic treatment of an illness called MEV-1 with a startling 25 percent mortality rate, is both alarming in its prescience and comforting in its diversions from our current reality, a dichotomy we dig into on the way to debating whether it holds together as a film vs. as a scare tactic. Then we bring in PANIC IN THE STREETS to compare the two films’ depictions of the media, their use of time to foster a sense of urgency, and the untold stories playing out in the backgrounds of their high-stakes narratives. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about PANIC IN THE STREETS, CONTAGION, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show • Tasha: Andrea Arnold’s AMERICAN HONEY • Keith: Takashi Nomura’s A COLT IS MY PASSPORT • Scott: Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy’s BLOW THE MAN DOWN • Genevieve: Autumn DeWilde’s EMMA and Amy Heckerling’s CLUELESS Outro music: The Police, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/31/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 8 seconds
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#219: Infection Point Pt. 1 - Panic In the Streets

The 2020 coronavirus outbreak has affected virtually everything about our modern world, including the movies we watch, how we watch them, and how we podcast about them. It’s a sobering but fascinating lens through which to view past films that have wrestled with outbreaks, from Elia Kazan’s 1950 noir PANIC IN THE STREETS up through Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 pandemic procedural CONTAGION. We tackle the first half of that double-feature this week, unpacking the central metaphor — or lack thereof — in Kazan’s crime drama, along with its attitudes toward government and police, its subtle and canny use of locations, and the standout performances from Richard Widmark and a young Jack Palance. Plus, we use our usual feedback segment to check in with each from afar, and see how your Next Picture Podsters are navigating this strange new reality. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about PANIC IN THE STREETS, CONTAGION, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.   Outro Music: Warren Zevon, “Don’t Let Us Get Sick” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/24/20201 hour, 1 minute, 10 seconds
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#218: Believe It Or Not, Pt. 2 - The Invisible Man (2020)

Leigh Whannell’s new take on H.G. Wells’ 1897 novel THE INVISIBLE MAN is a Blumhouse film, so of course there has to be a twist — and in this case, it’s one that makes this version of INVISIBLE MAN less like the many adaptations that preceded it, and more like George Cukor’s 1944 film GASLIGHT, which is similarly focused on a man’s malicious manipulation of a woman at the expense of her own credibility. In this half of our gaslighting double feature, we talk over what makes this new INVISIBLE MAN work as well as it does — primarily Elisabeth Moss’s stellar central performance — before diving into what the two films share in their portrayals of manipulation, madness, and trauma, and how each uses atmosphere and physical space to to amplify their sense of unease and terror. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about GASLIGHT, THE INVISIBLE MAN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show • Scott: Jonathan Demme’s RACHEL GETTING MARRIED • Tasha: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s THE PLATFORM • Keith: William Asher’s NIGHT WARNING, aka BUTCHER, BAKER, NIGHTMARE MAKER Outro music: They Might Be Giants, “I Am Invisible” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/17/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 31 seconds
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#217: Believe It Or Not, Pt. 1 - Gaslight (1944)

Leigh Whannell’s new take on THE INVISIBLE MAN comes with a modern twist, one based in a dynamic — a husband pushing his wife toward mental illness for personal gain — that was entrenched in the pop-cultural lexicon thanks in large part to George Cukor’s 1944 film GASLIGHT, starring Ingrid Bergman as a woman whose husband mounts a disinformation campaign against her for insidious purposes. In this half of our gaslighting double feature, we dig into how the film’s direction, design, and fine-tuned performances open up what could have been a very set-bound adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play, and how Cukor’s reputation as a “woman’s director” connects an otherwise varied filmography. Plus, Tasha responds to some pushback against her critiques of PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE in Feedback. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about GASLIGHT, THE INVISIBLE MAN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro Music: Dixie Chicks, “Gaslighter” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/10/20201 hour, 15 seconds
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#216: Bad Girls Club, Pt. 2 - Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Like the landmark 1991 film THELMA & LOUISE, the latest DC comics movie entry, BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN) uses a recognizable form to take its female protagonists to some unfamiliar places. The newer film hasn’t received that same sort of critical acclaim as its predecessor, but some on our panel — which this week once again includes Angelica Jade Bastién of Vulture.com — argue why perhaps it should have, on the way to discussing what the two films share in their attitudes about female emancipation in a man’s world, and in their refreshing depictions of women misbehaving without remorse. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THELMA & LOUISE, BIRDS OF PREY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes: Works Cited • “It Doesn’t Take Much to Be Seen As an Unruly Woman,” by Angelica Jade Bastién (Vulture.com) Your Next Picture Show • Genevieve: Hulu’s HIGH FIDELITY • Angelica: Paul Mazursky’s AN UNMARRIED WOMAN • Scott: Kitty Green’s THE ASSISTANT • Keith: Hong-jin Na’s THE WAILING Outro music: June Smollett-Bell, “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/3/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 41 seconds
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#215: Bad Girls Club, Pt. 1 - Thelma & Louise

The new BIRDS OF PREY: AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN is part of an inconsistent and fitfully realized tradition of female-empowerment stories told within a high-gloss genre framework, a tradition that reached one of its too-rare high points with THELMA & LOUISE, a Ridley Scott-directed, Callie Khourie-scripted take on a buddy road movie/chase film that ruffled plenty of feathers when it became a sleeper hit in 1991. This week we’re joined by Vulture.com critic and friend of the podcast Angelica Jade Bastién to consider how the conversations THELMA & LOUISE inspired in 1991 would — or wouldn’t — be different today, how the film’s structure and performances subtly underline its feminist themes, and whether complaints about the film’s “cartoonish” male characters hold any water. Plus, we answer some feedback on our recent pairing of THE PIANO and PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE.  Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THELMA & LOUISE, BIRDS OF PREY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Show Notes Works Cited: • “Every Brad Pitt Movie Performance, Ranked,” by Angelica Jade Bastién (Vulture.com) • “The Third Woman of ‘Thelma and Louise,” by Larry Rohter (The New York Times, June 5 1991) Outro Music: Charlie XCX, “Vroom Vroom” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/25/202056 minutes, 18 seconds
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#214: Fantasy Islands, Pt. 2 - Portrait of a Lady on Fire

With PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, Céline Sciamma became the first woman director to win the Queer Palm at Cannes, an embarrassingly belated milestone reminiscent of Jane Campion becoming the first woman director to win the Palme d’Or in 1993 with THE PIANO. And while these two films have much more in common than their directors’ gender, as we discover when we put them in conversation this week, both Sciamma and Campion bring a distinct point of view to their respective stories of repressed desire in repressed times that feels inextricably tied to ideas about womanhood and an oppressive patriarchy. We get into how that point of view colors the two films in their expression of desire and consent, the artistic gaze, and the function of myth and legend. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE PIANO, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes: Works Cited • “French filmmaker Céline Sciamma on looking, longing and falling in love in Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” CBC Radio • “Portrait of a Director on a Hot Streak,” by Scott Tobias (theringer.com) Your Next Picture Show • Genevieve: Céline Sciamma’s GIRLHOOD • Scott: Jane Campion’s IN THE CUT • Keith: David Lynch’s WHAT DID JACK DO? • Tasha: Christopher Landon’s HAPPY DEATH DAY and HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U Outro music: Vivaldi’s Concerto No. 2 in G Minor (The Four Seasons, “Summer”) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/18/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 13 seconds
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#213: Fantasy Islands, Pt. 1 - The Piano

Céline Sciamma’s 2019 Cannes sensation PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE is a lush, romantic film set on an isolated island and concerned with irrepressible desires in deeply repressive times, a description that neatly applies to another Cannes breakout from 1993: Jane Campion’s THE PIANO. But the love affair at the heart of Campion’s film plays with a much trickier power imbalance, which we get into as we process THE PIANO’s complicated relationships, its most essential performances, and the conversation around it both now and then. Plus, we tackle some feedback from a couple of recent episodes regarding some details we got wrong, and some we got right. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE PIANO, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Works Cited: • “Sexism and Misogyny: Who Takes the Rap? Misogyny, gangsta rap, and The Piano” by bell hooks (1994) Outro music: Judy Garland, “I Love a Piano” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/11/20201 hour, 35 seconds
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#212: Men of War, Pt. 2 - 1917

We return to the trenches of the first World War to consider Sam Mendes’ 1917 within the greater history of World War I films generally, and as a companion to Peter Weir’s GALLIPOLI specifically. Following some debate over whether 1917’s continuous shot gimmick makes it more or less emotionally affecting, and an attempt to parse the film’s attitudes about war, we look at these two films in tandem to consider what they have to say about the failures of leadership in wartime, their respective depictions of young male friendship and communication, and to what extent each registers as an anti-war film. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about GALLIPOLI, 1917, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Works Cited • “‘Full Metal Jacket’ Seduced My Generation and Sent Us to War,” by Anthony Swofford (The New York Times Magazine) • “Before 1917: Revisiting the greatest first world war movies,” by Scott Tobias (theguardian.com)  • “The 50 Greatest War Movies Ever Made,’ by Keith Phipps (vulture.com) Your Next Picture Show • Scott: King Vidor’s THE BIG PARADE and Lewis Milestone’s ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT • Genevieve: John Chester’s THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM • Tasha: Sergio G. Sanchez’s MARROWBONE, Sebastian Schipper’s VICTORIA, and Makoto Shinkai’s WEATHERING WITH YOU • Keith: Francis Ford Coppola’s THE COTTON CLUB Outro music: “Wayfaring Stranger,” performed by John Stirratt  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/4/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 14 seconds
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#211: Men of War, Pt. 1 — Gallipoli (1981)

Inspired by this year’s surprise Oscar favorite 1917, we’re digging down into the trenches and slogging through the mud and blood of World War I, with two films centering on young soldiers delivering crucial messages that decide the fates of thousands of other young men. First up this week is Peter Weir’s 1981 film GALLIPOLI, which stars a shockingly young Mel Gibson as one half of a pair of Australian mates who join the war effort out of a mixture of patriotism, pride, and recklessness; we dig into the emotional effects of film’s unusual structure, which saves the wartime action for its final moments, how its Australian provenance makes it stand out among other WWI films, and how it indulges Weir’s affinity for wide open spaces and historical authenticity. Plus, we tackle a listener question about ideal movie-watching conditions whose response may prove the undoing of Scott and Keith’s long and amicable relationship. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about GALLIPOLI, 1917, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Show Notes Works Cited: • “Before 1917: revisiting the greatest first world war movies,” by Scott Tobias (theguardian.com) • “The 50 Greatest War Movies Ever Made,” by Keith Phipps (vulture.com) • Strange Stars: How Science Fiction and Fantasy Transformed Popular Music, by Jason Heller Outro music: “Adagio in G Minor” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/28/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 42 seconds
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#210: March Madness, Pt. 2 - Little Women (2019)

We return to Orchard House and Concord via Greta Gerwig’s new LITTLE WOMEN, which takes a much less traditional approach to Louisa May Alcott’s famed novel than Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 version, while still hitting on enough nostalgic touchpoints to feel like a faithful adaptation. In this second half of our March family double feature, we dig into how we processed Gerwig’s approach as an intellectual experience versus an emotional one, and how the film’s bold ending works in the context of the familiar story as well as Gerwig’s career. Then we dive into how Gerwig’s film aligns with and diverges from Armstrong’s version in its depiction of love and marriage, talent and ambition, and charity and virtue. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about any and all versions of LITTLE WOMEN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Works Cited: • “Little Women and the Marmee Problem,” by Sarah Blackwood (newyorker.com) Your Next Picture Show:  • Genevieve: DICKINSON on Apple TV+ • Scott: James Cameron’s THE ABYSS • Keith: Wim Wenders’ UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD • Tasha: James Ivory’s HOWARDS END and Paul Downs Colaizzo’s BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/21/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 14 seconds
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#209: March Madness, Pt. 1 - Little Women (1994)

In the first half of the 20th century, a steady stream of adaptations made it seem like every generation would have a version of Louisa May Alcott’s novel LITTLE WOMEN to call their own. Then the film adaptations just… stopped, until 1994’s Gillian Armstrong-directed version starring Winona Ryder as Jo became a hit, and set the stage for the latest cinematic iteration of the March sisters, courtesy of Greta Gerwig. In this first half of our LITTLE WOMEN double feature, we dig into the cozy confines of Armstrong’s version to discuss what makes it a quintessentially ‘90s version of the tale, the efficacy of Claire Danes’ iconic cry face, and whether the choice to double-cast Amy at two different ages helps or hinders the film’s navigation of its trickiest romantic relationship. Plus, we tackle some long-tail feedback letters on the respective roles of commercialization and violence in film, inspired by past episodes. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about any and all LITTLE WOMEN, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “Sisters,” from WHITE CHRISTMAS Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/14/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 15 seconds
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#208: Betting Men. Pt. 2 - Uncut Gems

Though Josh and Benny Safdie are avowed admirers of John Cassavetes, the aggressive intensity of their new gambling drama UNCUT GEMS stands in stark contrast to Cassavetes’ more enigmatic, melancholic take on a similar sort of degenerate in 1976’s THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE. Nonetheless, the two films do share a lot beyond protagonists trying to rebound from some bad bets with bad people. After sharing our (sometimes visceral) reactions to the relentless tension of UNCUT GEMS, we get into some of those commonalities, including how both films approach gambling, death, and the intersection thereof, and their use of female characters as accessories to their male-centric worlds. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE, UNCUT GEMS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Works Cited: • "The Safdie Brothers' Full-Immersion Filmmaking," by Kelefa Sanneh (The New Yorker) Your Next Picture Show:  • Keith: Robert Wise’s RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP • Scott: Todd Haynes’ DARK WATERS • Genevieve: MIKE BIRBIGLIA: THE NEW ONE Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/7/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 41 seconds
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#207: Betting Men, Pt. 1 - The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Inspired by the Safdie brothers’ new thriller UNCUT GEMS, we’re traveling back to 1976, and the other side of the country, to look at another film about a gambling man at the end of his rope, made by one of the Safdies’ favorite filmmakers: John Cassavetes’ idiosyncratic take on the gangster genre, THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE. In this half of our pairing about bad bets with bad people, we dig into CHINESE BOOKIE’s seeming delight in setting up expectations it has no intention of satisfying, how we’re meant to process our protagonist’s aspirations and art on their own and in relation to Cassavetes himself, and how the film invites different, even opposing, readings of its main character and his motivations. Plus, our discussion of MARRIAGE STORY continues to generate some very strong, and very long, feedback. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE KILLING OF A CHINESE BOOKIE, UNCUT GEMS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “What’s Yr Take on Cassavetes?” by Le Tigre Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/31/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 18 seconds
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#206: Rian Johnson's Mystery Master, Pt. 2 - Knives Out

Rian Johnson’s new KNIVES OUT is much broader and goofier than the writer-director’s first foray into a murder-mystery genre, 2005’s BRICK, but as with his feature debut, Johnson acknowledges the audience’s expectations for the genre and then subverts them in order to create an outsized world for his characters to play in. After digging into why that approach works to such crowd-pleasing effect in KNIVES OUT, we bring in BRICK to talk about what the two films share, and where they diverge, in their respective deconstructions of murder-mystery tropes and archetypes. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BRICK, KNIVES OUT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show: • Genevieve: Sergio Pablos and Carlos Martinez Lopez’s KLAUS • Scott: Scott Z. Burns’ THE REPORT • Tasha: Tom Harper’s THE AERONAUTS • Keith: Stuart Cooper’s OVERLORD Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/24/20191 hour, 17 minutes, 9 seconds
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#205: Rian Johnson's Mystery Mastery, Pt. 1 - Brick

Rian Johnson’s new KNIVES OUT is much more of a romp than 2005’s BRICK, but it hearkens back to Johnson’s debut feature in the way it upends the conventions of mystery stories and gives the audience much more up-front information about the plot-inducing murder than is typical for the genre. In this half of our Johnson mystery pairing we go back to the beginning to consider what BRICK looks like from the other side of the writer-director’s genre-hopping career, how the film navigates its transposing of noir and high-school movie conventions, and which elements make it stand out as a distinctly Rian Johnson endeavor. Plus, we take on some follow-up feedback, and put out an open call for your comments about “anything else in the world of film.” Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BRICK, KNIVES OUT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “A Show of Hands” by Nathan Johnson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/17/20191 hour, 5 minutes, 16 seconds
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#204: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Pt. 2 - Marriage Story

Released 40 years after Robert Benton’s Best Picture-winning KRAMER VS. KRAMER, Noah Baumbach’s latest, MARRIAGE STORY, depicts a process that hasn’t grown any easier in the intervening time, but has certainly become less novel. After discussing whether Baumbach’s portrayal of modern divorce might actually be a stealth feel-good movie, and which three of its many great scenes make the film, we get into the shared nuances that connect these two films across the decades, from their portrayal of the legal mechanism of divorce to how gender roles play into their respective depictions of day-to-day parenting and the trials of shared custody. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about KRAMER VS. KRAMER, MARRIAGE STORY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show: • Tasha: Alma Har’el’s HONEY BOY • Keith: John Badham’s DRACULA • Scott: Mads Brügger’s COLD CASE HAMMARSKJÖLD Outro music: Rilo Kiley, “Breakin Up” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/10/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 52 seconds
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#203: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Pt. 1 - Kramer vs Kramer

Noah Baumbach’s acclaimed new family drama MARRIAGE STORY has invited comparisons to Robert Benton’s acclaimed 1979 family drama KRAMER VS. KRAMER over the films’ shared preoccupation with the end of love and the challenges of finding happiness while also doing right by the next generation. We’ll dig into the nuances of that comparison via this pairing, beginning with a discussion of how KRAMER VS. KRAMER balances, or doesn’t, its portrayal of divided parenting, why its ending feels like a cop-out, how the film’s style and performances contribute to a sense of intimacy, and how our knowledge of what went into those performances behind the scenes shifts that effect. Plus, we tackle a listener’s big, two-part question about metaphors and second viewings. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about KRAMER VS. KRAMER, MARRIAGE STORY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” by Tammy Wynette Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/3/201958 minutes, 51 seconds
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#202: Hitler Heil-arity, Pt. 2: Jojo Rabbit

Our brief, incomplete history of cinema’s attempts to make comedy out of Adolf Hitler brings us to the present day and writer-director Taika Waititi’s discussion-generating “anti-hate satire” JOJO RABBIT, which doesn’t share much in the way of thematic material with our last film, Mel Brooks’ THE PRODUCERS, but does exhibit a similar eagerness to paint the führer as an object of ridicule. We discuss whether JOJO succeeds in walking the tricky tonal tightrope it sets itself on, and try to locate the precise nature of the controversy the film has invited, on our way to discussing what it shares with THE PRODUCERS not just in its depiction of Hitler, but also how both films present insecure and anxious figures under the sway of terrible mentors, and how both engage, to different extremes, with the idea of women as playthings. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE PRODUCERS, JOJO RABBIT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show:  • Genevieve: Taika Waititi’s BOY • Scott: Disney’s PERRI (1957) • Genevieve: Jérémy Clapin’s I LOST MY BODY Outro Music: The Beatles, “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand” **Thanks Skillshare. Get 2 months of unlimited access at Skillshare.com/nextpicture.** Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/26/20191 hour, 13 minutes, 47 seconds
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#201: Hitler Heil-arity, Pt 1 - The Producers (1967)

Take Waititi’s new “anti-hate satire” JOJO RABBIT extends a cinematic tradition of casting Adolf Hitler as a buffoon that goes back to Charlie Chaplin, though Mel Brooks’ 1967 debut feature THE PRODUCERS is ultimately more concerned with the question of how to contextualize the very idea of laughing at Hitler. In this half of our pairing, we debate the extent to which Brooks’ rock-solid premise — in which a producer and an accountant bank on audiences being turned off by a musical called “Springtime For Hitler,” only to discover they find it hilarious — and the presence of Gene Wilder makes up for the bumpy ride that is the rest of THE PRODUCERS, and what it’s ultimately saying about how we as audience members are able to view Hitler. Plus, we tackle some feedback about the state of the movie trailer in 2019. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE PRODUCERS, JOJO RABBIT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Show Notes Works Cited: • “Screen: ‘The Producers’ at Fine Arts,” review by Renata Adler, The New York Times archive, 3/19/1968 • “Terminator 2 and the world’s biggest spoiler,” by Tasha Robinson (thedissolve.com) Outro music: “Springtime For Hitler” by Mel Brooks Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/19/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 7 seconds
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#200: Family Matters, Pt. 2 - Parasite

Bong Joon-ho’s new PARASITE feels weirdly similar to his 2006 film THE HOST, even though there’s no monster in sight — unless you count entitlement, inequality, and greed as monsters, which given how they shape PARASITE’s story, maybe you should. But it also features the return of Song Kang-ho as a father figure, albeit a more capable and traditional one, and a story shaped by Bong’s obsessions with family bonds and duty. In this half of our Bong pairing, we look at all the other things these two films share, from their thematic and visual fixation on high and low spaces, to how they utilize humor ranging from the slapstick to the ultra-dark. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE HOST, PARASITE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “Bong Joon-ho on Weaving His Personal Memories Into Parasite,” by Karen Han (polygon.com) Your Next Picture Show:  • Scott: Pedro Almodóvar’s PAIN & GLORY • Keith: Craig Brewer’s DOLEMITE IS MY NAME • Tasha: Nick Tomnay’s THE PERFECT HOST • Genevieve: Dexter Fletcher’s ROCKETMAN Outro Music: Ray Charles, “Them That Got” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/12/20191 hour, 16 minutes, 31 seconds
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#199: Family Matters, Pt. 1 - The Host (2006)

Korean director Bong Joon-ho has a long-running interest in films about family, one that’s mirrored in two of his best-known films: His international breakout THE HOST and his new film PARASITE, both of which star Song Kang-ho as a father trying to keep things together on his kids’ behalf, and both of which are about the sense of duty among protagonists who have to improv their way through unexpected situations. In this half of our pairing, we revisit Bong’s monster movie THE HOST with a focus on its human cast and their family dynamic, and consider how the film’s political and emotional elements square with Bong’s insistence that there is “realism” at the heart of this movie about a rampaging fish-monster. Plus, we continue to wade through the sea of feedback we’ve received on our episodes on THE DARK KNIGHT and JOKER. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE HOST, PARASITE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.   Show Notes: Works Cited: “Bong Joon-ho’s Dystopia Is Already Here,” by E. Alex Jung (vulture.com) Outro music: Kacey Musgraves, “Family Is Family” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/5/201959 minutes, 30 seconds
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#198: Watching Watchmen

Inspired by our recent pairing of THE DARK KNIGHT and JOKER, we’re diverging from our usual format this week to look at a new TV show that stems from the same era of comic-book history as those films: HBO’s new Damon Lindelof-helmed “remix” of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal superhero deconstruction WATCHMEN. In this one-off episode, we dive into the series to discuss the promise it holds, as well as its potential to run screaming off the rails, based on the first two episodes that have aired so far. Plus, we dip into the deep well of JOKER feedback we’ve already received to discuss how the film and its reception represents the “festival effect” in action. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WATCHMEN, or anything else in the world of film (or television, or comics), by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/29/201958 minutes, 44 seconds
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#197: The Man Who Laughs, Pt. 2 - Joker

Todd Phillips’ new JOKER gives a concrete origin story to a character who, in Christoper Nolan’s 2008 film THE DARK KNIGHT, willfully obfuscates what turned him into Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime. In this second half of our look at two grim-and-gritty takes on the character, we examine JOKER, and some of the discourse around it, in an attempt to pinpoint meaning within an audacious and violent film, and consider how it fits into Phillips’ filmography of put-upon males processing rejection; then we dive into how it connects to DARK KNIGHT, not just in its treatment of the Joker, but also its depiction of Gotham, and its considerations of class and morality. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE DARK KNIGHT, JOKER, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Show Notes Works Cited: • “Todd Phillips Was Destined to Make a Movie Like ‘Joker,’” by Keith Phipps (theringer.com) Your Next Picture Show:  • Tasha: Robert Eggers’ THE LIGHTHOUSE • Keith: “The Booj” episode of the TWENTY THOUSAND HERTZ podcast; 1964’s MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA, 1964’s GHIDORAH, THE THREE HEADED MONSTER, and 1965’s INVASION OF THE ASTRO MONSTER • Scott: Noah Baumbach’s MR. JEALOUSY Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/22/20191 hour, 13 minutes, 59 seconds
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#196: The Man Who Laughs, Pt. 1 - The Dark Knight

The narrative and tone of Todd Phillips’ latest is heavily inspired by TAXI DRIVER and KING OF COMEDY, but given the attention paid to the work of Martin Scorsese on this podcast of late, we decided to look at Phillips’ new JOKER in tandem with a more literal cinematic predecessor: Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT, featuring Heath Ledger’s posthumous Oscar-winning performance as the Clown Prince of Crime himself. In this half we consider Ledger’s Joker in the context of a film that took a radically different approach to the comic-book movie and its villains, debate some confounding plot specifics—and whether they ultimately matter that much to one’s enjoyment of the film—and try to remember what it was like experiencing DARK KNIGHT independent of the subsequnt superhero movie deluge it helped spawn. Plus, we respond to some feedback on our recent episodes looking at CASINO and HUSTLERS. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE DARK KNIGHT, JOKER, or anything else film-related, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: Hans Zimmer, “Why So Serious?” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/15/20191 hour, 9 minutes, 29 seconds
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#195: Vice Principles, Pt. 2 - Hustlers

Lorene Scafaria portrays the criminal scam at the heart of HUSTLERS with a sort of cinematic brio that has earned the film comparisons to the work of Martin Scorsese, in particular the similarly flashy Vegas epic CASINO — and not just because both prominently feature chinchilla fur coats. In this half of our vice-ridden pairing, we talk over what works and what doesn’t about HUSTLERS before diving into the two films’ shared preoccupations with destructive trust and capitalist systems and compare the filmmaking flourishes Scafaria and Scorsese use to draw viewers into their seductive worlds. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CASINO, HUSTLERS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Show Notes Works Cited: • “The Hustlers at Scores,” by Jessica Pressler (thecut.com) Your Next Picture Show:  • Tasha: Takashi Miike’s FIRST LOVE • Scott: Jim Jarmusch’s THE DEAD DON’T DIE • Genevieve: Anthony and Joe Russo’s AVENGERS: ENDGAME Outro music: Britney Spears, “Gimme More” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/1/201959 minutes, 56 seconds
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#194: Vice Principles, Pt. 1 - Casino

The big question at the heart of Lorene Scafaria’s new HUSTLERS — one about the corrupting force of American capitalism and who is allowed to rip off whom — is the same one that drive’s Martin Scorsese’s 1995 Vegas gangster epic CASINO, a question both films address with no small amount of verve and flash. In this half of our vice-ridden pairing, we dig into CASINO’s reputation as a GOODFELLAS retread and how its characters conform, or don’t, to our expectations about Scorsese characters. Plus, a couple of otherwise unrelated feedback letters get us talking about the expectations we bring to films and how they can shift the viewing experience. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CASINO, HUSTLERS, or anything else film-related, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: Devo, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/24/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 3 seconds
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#193: Most Dangerous Games, Pt. 2 - Ready or Not

It’s too early to know whether Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s horror-comedy READY OR NOT will eventually become a cult hit in the manner of 1985’s CLUE, but the two films share a foundation in dangerous games and the even more dangerous people who play them. After parsing how READY OR NOT works as both horror and comedy, and inducting star Samara Weaving into the scream queen hall of fame, we dig into the two films’ crucial central performances, how both incorporate elements of class satire and farce, and the extent to which each is indebted to actual game mechanics. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CLUE, READY OR NOT, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show:  • Scott: Ognjen Glavonic’s THE LOAD • Keith: Netflix’s THE DARK CRYSTAL: THE AGE OF RESISTANCE, Criterion’s The Koker Trilogy Box Set, Olive Films’ BUCKET OF BLOOD Blu-ray release • Tasha: “The Crazy Story of How ‘Clue’ Went From Forgotten Flop To Cult Triumph” by Adam B. Vary at Buzzfeed.com Outro music: “The Hide and Seek Song” from READY OR NOT Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/17/201958 minutes, 24 seconds
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#192: Most Dangerous Games, Pt. 1 - Clue

The gamified murder and mayhem of the recent horror-comedy READY OR NOT put us in mind of a similarly scrappy, low-budget affair with board games in its DNA: John Landis and Jonathan Lynn’s flop-turned-cult-classic CLUE. In this CLUE-centric half of our deadly games pairing, we get into how much both sides of that flop/cult reputation are earned, how much of the film’s genesis in a board game comes across on screen, and how much those additional endings add to the film. Plus, we respond to some feedback taking us to task for one of the many controversial elements of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD that we left out of our discussion of the film. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CLUE, READY OR NOT, or anything else film-related, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Works Cited:• “The Crazy Story Of How ‘Clue’ Want From Forgotten Flop To Cult Triumph” by Adam B. Vary (Buzzfeed.com) • “Why Are You Laughing At Bruce Lee?” By Walter Chaw (Vulture.com) • “Bruce Lee’s Daughter Says Quentin Tarantino ‘Could Shut Up’ About Her Father’s Portrayal” by Audrey Cleo Yap (Variety.com) Outro music: Bill Haley and the Comets, “Shake, Rattle and Roll” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/10/201957 minutes, 48 seconds
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#191: Which Side Are You On? Pt. 2 - American Factory

A few decades and a whole industry removed from Barbara Kopple’s HARLAN COUNTY, USA, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s AMERICAN FACTORY is an entertaining yet dispiriting illustration of how much working conditions, labor relations, and blue-collar work have changed — and, in some ways, haven’t. After wrestling with AMERICAN FACTORY’s sometimes-funny, sometimes-demoralizing portrayal of the current state of American industry, unions, and national identity, we dive what unites and separates these films’ approach to depicting the struggles and setbacks of the working American. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about HARLAN COUNTY USA, AMERICAN FACTORY, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show:  • Keith: INFINITY TRAIN on Cartoon Network • Genevieve: Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck’s SHUT UP AND SING • Scott: Barbara Kopple’s AMERICAN DREAM • Tasha: Richard Linklater’s WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE? Outro music: Bruce Springsteen, “Factory” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
9/3/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 49 seconds
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#190: Which Side Are You On? Pt. 1 - Harlan County, USA

The new Netflix documentary AMERICAN FACTORY is funnier than Barbara Kopple’s 1976 Oscar-winning documentary HARLAN COUNTY USA, and not nearly as fraught with violence, but it pivots on many of the same core tensions between workers and corporate bosses. In this half of our pairing of labor struggles past and present, we look back at HARLAN COUNTY to see how the time Kopple’s team spent embedded in Harlan County shaped the film, as well as the 1973 miners strike it depicts; how the film’s style reflects Kopple’s involvement with the Maysles brothers and direct cinema; and which of Harlan County’s colorful residents leave the biggest mark on the film. Plus, we respond to some feedback on recent episodes and go over some of the dozens of suggestions we got for 2019 pairings we received when we recently put the call out on Twitter. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about HARLAN COUNTY USA, AMERICAN FACTORY, or anything else film-related, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: Hazel Dickens, “They’ll Never Keep Us Down” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/27/201957 minutes, 1 second
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#189: Hollywood Endings, Pt. 2 - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD looks back at 1969 Hollywood from a 2019 vantage point, where Hal Ashby’s 1975 satire SHAMPOO examines that same era from a much closer distance, but the two films share a funny but bittersweet outlook on what would turn out to be a turning point in history. In this half of our pairing of 1969-set “Hollywood endings,” we share our responses to Tarantino’s newest film, and to some of the discussion surrounding it, before diving into what links these two films, including their shared focus on a single event as a historical turning point, and their respective engagement, or lack thereof, with the counterculture. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SHAMPOO, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show:  • Scott: Alan Elliott and Sydney Pollack’s AMAZING GRACE • Keith: Jacques Demy’s MODEL SHOP • Genevieve: Lulu Wang’s THE FAREWELL Outro music: The Mamas & The Papas, “Dedicated To The One I Love” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/20/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 46 seconds
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#188: Hollywood Endings, Pt. 1 - Shampoo

Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD filters its wistful look at the end of an era through the lens of a real historical event (albeit one altered for the film), an approach that mirrors the one taken by director Hal Ashby and star/co-writer Warren Beatty in 1975’s SHAMPOO, which situates its late-1960s Hollywood satire within the broader sociopolitical context of the Nixon presidential election. Both films concern characters looking out at an uncertain future and fearing what unhappy endings might await them, and both function as after-the-fact reflections on a turning point in Hollywood, and American, history. In this half of our pairing we dive into SHAMPOO to consider how well it’s aged, whether it feels prophetic about our current reality, and to what extent we’re meant to sympathize with/pity its lothario protagonist. Plus, we respond to two listeners who wrote in with the same observation regarding our recent episode on THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SHAMPOO, ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD, or anything else film-related, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: The Beach Boys, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/13/201944 minutes, 7 seconds
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#187: Man Up, Pt. 2 - The Art of Self-Defense

Riley Stearns’ new dark comedy THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE centers on an underground scene of fighters who engage in their own version of the transgressive tactics Tyler Durden plays with in 1999’s FIGHT CLUB, but both films are ultimately about the catharsis of violence. After digging into how ART OF SELF-DEFENSE spins the “fight club” premise to its own ends, we pit these two films against each other to see which reigns supreme!…Or, to determine what each movie has to say about their shared interests in misogyny, toxic masculinity, and the dehumanization of life in corporate America. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about FIGHT CLUB, THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show:  • Keith: Alfred E. Green’s BABY FACE • Tasha: Tom Harper’s WILD ROSE • Scott: Avi Belkin’s MIKE WALLACE IS HERE Outro music: AC/DC “Spoilin’ For A Fight” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
8/6/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 39 seconds
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#186: Man Up, Pt. 1 - Fight Club

We’re looking at two films featuring underground fight clubs, secret identities, and male protagonists trying to reclaim their self-worth through violence, beginning with David Fincher’s FIGHT CLUB, which traffics in many of the same themes as Riley Stearns’ new THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE, albeit with decidedly more stylistic flourish. In this half of our toxic masculinity double feature, we dig into what made FIGHT CLUB so divisive in 1999, and what makes it seem so prescient today. Plus, some feedback asking about our podcast hometown of Chicago and its many cinephiliac offerings. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about FIGHT CLUB, THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE, or anything else film-related, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: Dust Brothers, “Psycho Boy Jack” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/31/201959 minutes, 22 seconds
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#185: Print the Legend, Pt. 2 - Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story

Our look at musical films that willfully straddle the line between fact and fiction brings in Martin Scorsese’s newest effort for Netflix, ROLLING THUNDER REVUE: A BOB DYLAN STORY, to see how it applies that MO to a documentary format, where Todd Haynes’ VELVET GOLDMINE applied it to a narrative one. After debating to what extent ROLLING THUNDER REVUE tells us anything about its slippery subject, we bring these two films together to see how they each play with ideas about alter-egos and disposable identities, what they have to say about art and commerce, and how each reflect their 1970s setting. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about VELVET GOLDMINE, ROLLING THUNDER REVUE, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. SHOW NOTES Works Cited: • “Truth and Legends: The Extraordinary Documentaries of Martin Scorsese,” by Scott Tobias (theringer.com) Your Next Picture Show:  • Keith: Larry Charles’ MASKED AND ANONYMOUS • Scott: Martin Scorsese’s GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD • Genevieve: John Cameron Mitchell’s HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH Outro music: Bob Dylan, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall [Live]” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/16/201955 minutes, 48 seconds
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#184: Print the Legend, Pt. 1 - Velvet Goldmine

Martin Scorsese’s new ROLLING THUNDER REVUE takes a documentary-esque approach to Bob Dylan’s titular 1970s tour-slash-roadshow, blending fact and fiction in a manner reminiscent of Todd Haynes’ 1998 cult favorite VELVET GOLDMINE, which creates a similar sort of parallel fiction around an extraordinary moment in music history. In this half of our pairing looking at “print the legend” musical histories, we focus on VELVET GOLDMINE and its dense, post-modern approach to crafting an ersatz Bowie biopic, debating the advantages and disadvantage of doing a fictionalized history of a real movement, and whether it matters that Bowie himself did not approve. Plus, still more GODZILLA feedback and a theory inspired by our recent BIG episode. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about VELVET GOLDMINE, ROLLING THUNDER REVUE, or anything else film-related, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro music: Shudder to Think, “Hot One” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/9/201953 minutes, 18 seconds
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#183: Galaxy Defenders, Pt. 2 - Men in Black: International

What went wrong with F. Gary Gray’s attempt to revive a franchise with MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL? There are many answers to that question, which we dig into this week, but a lot of the DOA sequel’s problems can be traced directly back to the successes of 1997’s MEN IN BLACK. We look at the newest MEN IN BLACK alongside its much funnier, more sprightly forebear to see how the two films’ respective use of humor, movie stars, and setting contribute to their success, or lack thereof. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about any and all MENS IN BLACK, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. SHOW NOTES Works Cited: • “Rewrites, Infighting and No ‘Urgency’: Behind Sony’s Lackluster ‘Men in Black’ Relaunch,” by Borys Kit (The Hollywood Reporter) • “‘Men In Black: International’ and the Zombie Franchises That Won’t Die,” by Tim Grierson Your Next Picture Show:  • Tasha: John Dahl’s THE LAST SEDUCTION • Keith: Steven Knight’s SERENITY • Genevieve: HOMECOMING: A FILM BY BEYONCÉ • Scott: The CHILD’S PLAY franchise, particularly BRIDE OF CHUCKY and SEED OF CHUCKY Outro music: Danny Elfman & Chris Bacon, “Red Button” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
7/2/20191 hour, 8 minutes, 42 seconds
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#182: Galaxy Defenders, Pt. 1 – Men In Black (1997)

The lackluster new MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL has failed to rekindle much interest in the action-comedy franchise — more on that in the next episode — which makes the 1997 blockbuster from which it stems seem like even more of a miracle in hindsight. Having seen how the franchise’s formula can fail, we’re going back to the source to see how director Barry Sonnenfeld, with no small assist from stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and effects master Rick Baker, achieved that rarest of cinematic feats: a weird blockbuster. This week we dig into the strange performances, mindful effects, and sharp political allegory that enliven this lean, mean galaxy-defending machine. Plus, some feedback on our recent GODZILLA episodes, and a thought experiment inspired by CHINATOWN. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about any and all MEN IN BLACK movies, or anything else film-related, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Works Cited: • “An Oral History of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Perfect Men in Black ‘Sugar Water’ Scene,” by Rachel Handler (vulture.com) Outro music: Will Smith, “Men In Black” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/25/201957 minutes, 4 seconds
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#181: King of Monster Movies, Pt. 2 - Godzilla: King of the Monsters

The new GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS looks and acts a lot more like one of the other recent entries in Warner Bros’ “Monsterverse” than it does the classic creature features inspired by the original GODZILLA, but it also consciously echoes Ishiro Honda’s 1954 film in some key ways. After airing our grievances with the frustratingly incoherent KING OF THE MONSTERS, we dig into what links this newest film to its very different predecessor, from its city-flattening monster effects to its shaky attempts to inject human drama amid the kaiju destruction. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about any and all GODZILLAs and/or monsters, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show:  • Scott: Kirill Serebrennikov’s LETO • Tasha: Olivia Wilde’s BOOKSMART • Keith: William Gibson’s ALIEN III (an Audible Original Drama) Outro music: The Flaming Lips, “Godzilla Flick” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/18/20191 hour, 7 minutes, 29 seconds
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#180: King of Monster Movies, Pt, 1 - Godzilla (1954)

The new CGI spectacle GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS further extends the longest running film franchise in history, but it’s a far cry (roar?) from the 1954 film that first set this fire-breathing, city-flattening phenomenon in motion. So this week we’re looking back at Ishiro Honda’s originating film to speculate how and why its central nuclear metaphor shifted over the decades, to discuss how the film and its effects—don’t call them dated or Keith will be sad!—benefit from Godzilla’s literal and figurative weight, and debate what, if anything, the central love triangle adds to this story. Plus, some feedback taking us to task for some things we overlooked in our recent discussions of THE WARRIORS and JOHN WICK 3. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about any and all GODZILLA movies, or anything else film-related, by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: Kesha, “Godzilla” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/11/201958 minutes, 29 seconds
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#179: Escapes From New York, Pt. 2 - John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

We return again to the deadly streets of the Big Apple at night to discuss Chad Stahelski’s latest entry in the JOHN WICK franchise, CHAPTER 3—PARABELLUM, and its place in the action pantheon alongside Walter Hill’s 1979 cult classic THE WARRIORS. After talking over our reactions to the latest JOHN WICK, and the series as a whole, we bring in THE WARRIORS to compare how these two films’ respective styles approach the streets of New York and action choreography, how they both embrace the trope of “honor among thieves,” and how their respective portrayals of masculinity play on the juxtaposition of vulnerability and indomitability. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE WARRIORS, JOHN WICK or anything else in the world of film by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. **Show Notes** Your Next Picture Show: • Keith: Stanley Kramer’s ON THE BEACH • Scott: Sebastian Lelio’s GLORIA BELL • Tasha: Marti Noxon’s TO THE BONE Works Cited: •”Horror Sequels Are The Exact Opposite of Horror” by Tasha Robinson (thedissolve.com) • The Big Picture Podcast, “Making John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum With Chad Stahelski, and Watching It With Shea Serrano” (theringer.com) Outro music: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, “Angry Mad” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
6/4/201958 minutes, 39 seconds
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#178: Escapes From New York, Pt. 1 - The Warriors

The latest chapter in the JOHN WICK saga, the new PARABELLUM, follows its assassin hero on a long perilous journey through hostile territory, a setup that brought to mind Walter Hill’s controversial hit turned cult classic THE WARRIORS. In this half of our pairing of violent journeys through the night, we examine Hill’s film in the context of the director’s late-’70s/early-’80s hot streak, to discuss how its rain-slicked streets and stylized version of New York gang culture came to typify a certain strain of ’80s action filmmaking, and debate whether its portrayals of masculinity and romance work in the context of Hill’s bare-bones approach to storytelling. Plus, the UNDER THE SILVER LAKE feedback keeps rolling in. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE WARRIORS, JOHN WICK 3, or anything else film-related by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Works Cited: • Primer: Walter Hill, by Scott Tobias (avclub.com) Outro music: Pop Will Eat Itself, “Can U Dig It?” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/28/201954 minutes, 30 seconds
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#177: Political Affairs, Pt. 2 - Long Shot

It’s rare for a rom-com to situate itself firmly in the realm of contemporary American politics, which makes Jonathan Levin’s new Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen-starring LONG SHOT feel in many ways like a spiritual sequel to 1995’s THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, right down to both films’ exploration of moral compromise through a big environmental initiative. But LONG SHOT takes a distinctly different comedic approach to its material, which we dig into before bringing these two political romances together to talk about the role dignity, or lack thereof, plays in selling their respective fantasies, how they function as both a romance and a comedy, and how each pulls off its respective grand gesture. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, LONG SHOT, or anything else in the world of film by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show:  • Tasha: Jason Reitman’s YOUNG ADULT • Scott: James L. Brooks’ HOW DO YOU KNOW? • Keith: Yimou Zhang’s SHADOW • Genevieve: Andrew Rossi’s THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY Outro Music: Boyz II Men, “Motownphilly” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/21/20191 hour, 15 minutes, 49 seconds
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#176: Political Affairs, Pt. 1 - The American President

The new Charlize Theron/Seth Rogan rom-com LONG SHOT looks for comedy at the intersection of love and the highest tier of American politics, an unusual combination that positions it as a spiritual successor to an earlier, much more earnest portrayal of a similarly unlikely romance — that of Rob Reiner’s 1995 Aaron Sorkin-penned crowd-pleaser THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT. In this half of our pairing of the two films, we look back at THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT to consider how its Clinton-era populism scans in today’s much different political atmosphere, how it functions as both a political film and a rom-com, and how it handles the extreme power differential at the core of its central romance. Plus, some feedback inspired by our recent episode on UNDER THE SILVER LAKE. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, LONG SHOT, or anything else film-related by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: Kylie Minogue, “Mr. President” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/14/201958 minutes, 19 seconds
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#175: Twisty Mysteries, Pt. 2 - Under the Silver Lake

David Robert Mitchell’s wandering, shaggy, endlessly referential UNDER THE SILVER LAKE isn’t nearly as tightly plotted as Roman Polanski’s CHINATOWN, one of its many cinematic reference points, but it’s just as stark and cynical about both human nature and its Los Angeles setting. In this half of our pairing of twisty, paranoid LA mysteries, we dig into whether UNDER THE SILVER LAKE is a movie that can be solved, or a movie that mocks attempts to solve it, before bringing in CHINATOWN to see how these two films approach conspiracies and paranoia, L.A. as a setting and symbol, and women and their would-be saviors. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CHINATOWN, UNDER THE SILVER LAKE, or anything else in the world of film by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show:  • Genevieve: Joe Cornish’s THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING • Tasha: Julia Hart’s FAST COLOR • Scott: Alex Ross Perry’s HER SMELL Outro Music: R.E.M. “Strange Currencies” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
5/7/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 47 seconds
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#174: Twisty Mysteries, Pt. 1 - Chinatown

In David Robert Mitchell’s new UNDER THE SILVER LAKE, every clue leads deeper down a rabbit hole toward an endpoint that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the beginning point. In a film as referential as Mitchell’s, that structure seems purposefully lifted from Roman Polanski’s 1974 classic CHINATOWN, another sunlit noir about a private investigator who starts with a simple philandering case and winds up peeking into a secret battle for control of the city. In this half of our pairing of the two films, we dig into CHINATOWN’s legacy and how to reconcile it with the Polanski Problem, examine how its story and performances diverge from the noir tradition, and consider whether its twisty mystery ultimately lands in a satisfying place. Plus, some feedback inspired by our recent episodes on US and VELVET BUZZSAW. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about CHINATOWN, UNDER THE SILVER LAKE, or anything else film-related by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: Destroyer, “Chinatown” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/30/201959 minutes, 18 seconds
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#173: Big Little Guys, Pt. 2 - Shazam!

The new superhero movie SHAZAM owes such a debt to Penny Marshall’s weird and whimsical 1988 comedy BIG that it includes a giant piano as an homage, but the connections between these two wish-fulfillment fantasies go beyond their shared premises. After discussing how SHAZAM distinguishes itself from other superhero films, and what it might say about the future of the DCEU, we bring in BIG to see how these two films echo and refract each other in their ideas about what maturity looks like to kids, in their depictions of home and family, and in their use of toys as signifiers of childhood. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BIG, SHAZAM, or anything else in the world of film by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show:  • Tasha: Wim Wenders’ WINGS OF DESIRE (via The Criterion Channel) • Genevieve: Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek’s THE BREAKER UPPERERS • Keith: Joseph H. Lewis’ MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS (via The Criterion Channel’s ‘Columbia Noir’ Collection) • Scott: Don Siegel’s THE LINEUP (via The Criterion Channel’s ‘Columbia Noir’ Collection) Outro Music: Queen, “Don’t Stop Me Now” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/23/201958 minutes, 41 seconds
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#172: Big Little Guys, Pt. 1 - Big (1988)

The new SHAZAM, about a 14-year-old kid granted the power of becoming a grown-up superhero, openly acknowledges the debt it owes to Penny Marshall’s 1988 breakthrough BIG, which made a potent comic fantasy out of what adolescents imagine adulthood to be. In this first half of our pairing of the two films, we wrestle with BIG's age-shifted central relationship and marvel over how stars Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Perkins manage to find some real sweetness within an uncomfortable romantic scenario, which leads us to consider how the horrors lurking beneath the comedic premise reveal themselves with age, and whether the film works despite that. Plus, some feedback inspired by our recent episodes on INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and US, and a response to some criticism of our recent string of superhero pairings. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BIG, SHAZAM, or anything else film-related by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Works Cited: • ’Big’ Is Secretly a Horror Movie, by Shea Serrano (TheRinger.com) • ‘Big’ Review, by Keith Phipps (TheDissolve.com) • Robert De Niro and the origin of “The Face,” by Scott Tobias (TheDissolve.com) Outro music: Nelly, “Country Grammar” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/16/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 33 seconds
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#171: Double Troubles, Pt. 2 - Us

Our pairing of devious doppelgängers arrives at Jordan Peele’s new US, which brings into 2019 some of the same themes of paranoia and dread seen in one of its many predecessors, Philip Kaufman’s INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. After comparing our reactions to US’s “messy by design” narrative and the conversations that have sprung up around it, we bring these two films together to compare how they reflect their respective eras, how each works as horror, and the weird character relationships that underscore the human drama behind the allegory. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, US, or anything else in the world of film by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. *Show Notes* Works cited: • Unpacking Reddit’s Wildest Theory About US, by Rebecca Alter (Vulture.com) • What Was Hands Across America, and What Does It Have to Do With US?, by Keith Phipps (Slate.com) Your Next Picture Show:  • Scott: Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s AMERICAN FACTORY, Rachel Leads’ KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE, and Hassan Fazili’s MIDNIGHT TRAVELER • Tasha: The IMMUNITIES podcast, and Terry Gilliam’s THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE • Keith: Steve Mitchell’s KING COHEN, and Larry Cohen’s THE STUFF and GOD TOLD ME TO Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/9/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 51 seconds
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#170: Double Troubles, Pt. 1 - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Jordan Peele’s new US extends a long history of horror stories that use doppelgängers to explore identity, one that includes as a cornerstone Philip Kaufman’s 1978 adaptation of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. This episode we delve into the film’s eerie version of San Francisco to talk about how its atmosphere of dread and late-‘70s malaise distinguishes it from other versions of this story, and amplifies the human drama within this classic alien-invasion narrative. Plus, some feedback inspired by our recent TOTAL RECALL episode and a broader question on the state of film criticism. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, US, or anything else film-related by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: Imogen Heap, “Bad Body Double” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
4/2/201958 minutes, 20 seconds
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#169: Muscled Memories, Pt. 2 - Captain Marvel

Our pairing of sci-fi action films with a side of meditation on memory and identity brings in the new CAPTAIN MARVEL to see how Carol Danvers’ journey of lost and reclaimed memories looks next to the very different (and much bloodier) journey taken by Douglas Quaid in Paul Verhoeven’s TOTAL RECALL. We share our reactions to CAPTAIN MARVEL and its choice to center its narrative on an amnesiac hero, then bring in TOTAL RECALL to compare the two films’ approaches to their central ideas about memory, how they function as science-fiction stories, how they treat their female characters, and more. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about TOTAL RECALL, CAPTAIN MARVEL, or anything else in the world of film by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  *Show Notes* Works cited:• Captain Marvel’s Cat Wrangler Explains How Goose Became a Flerken Hero on Set, by April Wolfe (Vulture.com) Your Next Picture Show:  • Scott: Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra’s BIRDS OF PASSAGE, and Movie Premieres Unlimited (@NightOpening) • Keith: Robert Aldrich’s VERA CRUZ • Genevieve: Robbie Thompson and Niko Henrichon’s MEET THE SKRULLS comic, and FX’s WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS Outro Music: Smashing Pumpkins, “Today” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/26/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 26 seconds
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#168: Muscled Memories, Pt. 1 - Total Recall (1990)

The newest MCU entry CAPTAIN MARVEL is, among other things, an action-packed science-fiction film that’s also interested in the question of how memory relates to identity. That, plus the film’s 1990s setting, put us in mind of another cosmic blockbuster from that era with similar ideas crackling beneath its action-movie surface: Paul Verhoeven’s TOTAL RECALL. In this half of our pairing of brawny-yet-brainy blockbusters, we debate how much TOTAL RECALL is asking us to interrogate the bloody action in which it revels, whether casting Arnold Schwarzenegger as a would-be ordinary Joe contributes to or detracts from the film’s self-awareness, and if there’s any validity to the reading that Quaid’s memory trip is all just a dream. Plus, some feedback inspired by our recent pairings, and pairings that could have been. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about TOTAL RECALL, CAPTAIN MARVEL, or anything else film-related by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro music: Jerry Goldsmith, "The Big Jump" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/19/201948 minutes, 9 seconds
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#167: The Hustle Play, Pt, 2 - High Flying Bird

Like WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP, Steven Soderbergh’s new Netflix digital experiment HIGH FLYING BIRD looks at what it takes for talented basketball players to survive outside of the professional leagues, with a high-stakes corporate heist in place of that film’s street-level hustle. This week, we talk over our reactions to HIGH FLYING BIRD’s story, dialogue, and in particular its iPhone cinematography, before bringing these two films together to look at how they each depict baller life outside the NBA, and how their respective cinematic styles buck sports-movie conventions. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP, HIGH-FLYING BIRD, or anything else in the world of film by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show:  • Keith: Dean DeBlois’ HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD • Genevieve: Spike Lee’s PASSING STRANGE • Scott: Christian Petzold’s TRANSIT • Tasha: Christopher Caldwell and Zeke Earl’s PROSPECT and Lee Cronin’s THE HOLE IN THE GROUND Outro Music: Lupe Fiasco & Evidence, “Catch Me I’m Ballin’” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/12/20191 hour, 8 minutes, 56 seconds
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#166: The Hustle Play, Pt. 1 - White Men Can't Jump

Steven Soderbergh’s new quick-and-dirty Netflix film HIGH FLYING BIRD follows a basketball agent’s bold attempt to work outside the dictates of a professional league, a hustle that calls to mind the Venice Beach street-ball scene of Ron Shelton’s 1992 comedy WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP. In this half of our look at freelance ballers and the games they play on and off the court, we talk about what WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP has to say about the game, friendship, race, and how they intersect, and dig into how and why Shelton has so reliably put his own unique spin on the sports movie. Plus, some feedback inspired by our VELVET BUZZSAW episode and the Academy’s newly crowned Best Picture. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP, HIGH FLYING BIRD, or anything else film-related by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
3/5/20191 hour, 1 minute, 53 seconds
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#165: The Bloody Act of Creation, Pt. 2 - Velvet Buzzsaw

Like Roger Corman’s A BUCKET OF BLOOD, the new Netflix release VELVET BUZZSAW, director Dan Gilroy’s follow-up to NIGHTCRAWLER, presents as an art-world satire wrapped around the bones of a horror movie, though it doesn’t deliver on the horror element until pretty deep into the film. We talk over whether that approach is a benefit or detriment to both sides of the horror-satire equation, and about whether Netflix’s current content model is a natural evolution of the “give ‘em what they want” strategy that guided Corman’s American International Pictures. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BUCKET OF BLOOD, VELVET BUZZSAW, or anything else in the world of film by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.. Your Next Picture Show: • Scott: Steven Soderbergh’s HIGH FLYING BIRD • Keith: Samuel Fuller’s 40 GUNS • Tasha: Chiwetel Ejiofor’s THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND, and “At Netflix Who Wins When It’s Hollywood Vs. The Algorithm?,” by Shalini Ramachandran and Joe Flint (wsj.com) Outro Music: Talking Heads, “Artists Only” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/26/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 24 seconds
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#164: The Bloody Act of Creation, Pt. 1 - A Bucket of Blood

Inspired by Dan Gilroy’s new VELVET BUZZSAW — and a listener suggestion — we’re looking back this week at another darkly humorous tweaking of the destructive world of high art and those who inhabit it: Roger Corman’s 1959 low-budget horror-comedy A BUCKET OF BLOOD. In this half of the pairing we talk about how Corman and screenwriter Charles B. Griffith balance the film’s tricky tone, how its obvious cheapness reflects Corman’s storied ability to work within restrictions, and what it’s like to watch iconic character actor Dick Miller in one of his rare starring turns. Plus, some feedback on our recent episodes on UNBREAKABLE and WIDOWS. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about A BUCKET OF BLOOD, VELVET BUZZSAW, or anything else film-related by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/19/201951 minutes, 7 seconds
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#163: Chris Smith's Charismatic Dreamers, Pt. 2 - American Movie

Chris Smith’s new Netflix doc FYRE tells the story of huckster Billy McFarland and his doomed Fyre Festival as a compelling piece of meat-and-potatoes journalism that’s far from the verité of Smith’s portrait of Mark Borchardt in 1999’s AMERICAN MOVIE. But for all their surface differences, at heart FYRE is another movie about a charismatic leader who overpromises and under-delivers. After dissecting what FYRE shows us — and doesn’t show us — about McFarland’s history of scammy endeavors, we dig into what connects and separates Smith’s two protagonists in terms of their ambitions, their approaches, and their intent. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about AMERICAN MOVIE, FYRE, or anything else in the world of film by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Show Notes / Works cited: • Fyre Fest Fiasco GoFundMe (gofundme.com/exuma-point-fyre-fest-debt) • Fyre Fight: The Inside Story of How We Got Two Warring Fyre Festival Documentaries in the Same Week, by Scott Tobias (TheRinger.com) • Amateurs, Con Artists, and Vanishing Movie Stars: Inside the World of Chris Smith’s Documentaries, by Scott Tobias (TheRinger.com) • The Best Movies That Lost Best Picture at the Oscars, by Keith Phipps (Vulture.com) Your Next Picture Show:  • Keith: George Hill’s THE BIG HOUSE • Scott: Talal Derki’s OF FATHERS AND SONS • Genevieve: Jason Reitman’s TULLY Outro Music: Beth Ditto, “Fire” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/12/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 14 seconds
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#162: Chris Smith's Charismatic Dreamers, Pt. 1 - American Movie

The new Netflix documentary FYRE: THE GREATEST PARTY THAT NEVER HAPPENEDfinds director Chris Smith returning to a character type that defined his 1999 Sundance breakout AMERICAN MOVIE: the charismatic dreamer who overpromises and under-delivers. In AMERICAN MOVIE, that dreamer is one Mark Borchardt, an independent filmmaker from Milwaukee whose moviemaking dreams are continually stymied by circumstance, both external and of his own making. In this half of our Smith pairing, we revisit AMERICAN MOVIE and Borchardt to see how our perceptions of both have been changed by time and distance, debate what we’re to make of the film’s curious relationships, and analyze how Smith constructs a compelling story around an ambitious eccentric. Plus, some feedback on recent episodes. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about AMERICAN MOVIE, FYRE, or anything else film-related by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.   Outro Music: The Kinks, “Groovy Movies” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2/5/201951 minutes, 33 seconds
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#161: Enter the Shyamalaniverse, Pt. 2 - Glass

The evolution of a divisive auteur. We return once more to the Shyamalaniverse to dig into the culmination of the so-called Eastrail 177 trilogy, the new GLASS, which purports to be the thrilling conclusion of a story that began with 2000’s UNBREAKABLE. Has divisive auteur M. Night Shyamalan discovered a new trick up his sleeve, or is GLASS and its climactic parking lot fight yet another example of the diminishing returns that have plagued his filmography? After breaking down our reactions to GLASS, we bring in UNBREAKABLE to talk over what the films reveal about Shyamalan’s evolution, or lack thereof, what they have to say about the idea of determination vs. free will, and whether Shyamalan’s female characters will ever catch a break. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about UNBREAKABLE, GLASS, or any other corner of the Shyamalaniverse by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Your Next Picture Show:  • Genevieve: Barry Jenkins’ IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK • Scott: Chris Smith’s COLLAPSE • Tasha: The Odd Splice podcast and Karyn Kusama’s DESTROYER and THE INVITATION Outro Music: Annie Lennox, “Walking on Broken Glass” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/29/20191 hour, 12 minutes, 20 seconds
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#160: Enter The Shyamalaniverse, Pt. 1 - Unbreakable

With M. Night Shyamalan’s new GLASS purporting to be the culmination of his so-called Eastrail 177 trilogy, we’re returning to the film that set it in motion, and that many rank among the divisive writer-director’s best: UNBREAKABLE. How does this brooding, stylistically bold superhero origin story look today, in a culture where both comics and their movie adaptations play a much more central role than they did in 2000? How do Shyamalan’s various auteur signatures, good and bad alike, play out in  this film and his filmography more generally? We get into all that and more, with some bonus disagreement on Shyamalan’s breakthrough, THE SIXTH SENSE, and some feedback on our recent episodes on THE FAVOURITE and INTO THE SPIDERVERSE. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about UNBREAKABLE, GLASS, or any other corner of the Shyamalaniverse by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/22/201957 minutes, 37 seconds
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#159: Great Power, Great Responsibility, Pt. 2 - Into the Spider-Verse

The remarkable new animated film SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE has us thwipping through the beloved web-slinger’s cinematic history to see how it culminated in a Miles Morales origin story that doubles as a giddy trip through Spidey-lore. After some collective swooning over SPIDERVERSE’s unique and eye-popping style and clever conceit, we put the new film in conversation with another top-tier Spider-man film, Sam Raimi’s 2004 sequel SPIDER-MAN 2, to see what the films share, and how they differ, in their respective handling of their various Spider-entities, their villains, and their setting. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about SPIDER-MAN 2, INTO THE SPIDERVERSE, or both by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. *Show Notes* Works Cited • “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse directors on the film’s gorgeous style,” by Devon Maloney (TheVerge.com) Your Next Picture Show: • Genevieve: Phil Johnson and Rich Moore’s RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET and Jacques Audiard’s THE SISTERS BROTHERS • Keith: Jon S. Baird’s STAN & OLLIE • Tasha: Hirokazu Koreeda’s SHOPLIFTERS • Scott: Travis Knight’s BUMBLEBEE, George Tillman Jr.’s THE HATE U GIVE, patreon.com/gemko Outro Music: Chris Pine, “Spidey-Bells” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
1/1/20191 hour, 8 minutes, 54 seconds
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#158: Great Power, Great Responsibility, Pt. 1 - Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man, the web-slinging comics creation of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, has made the leap to movie screens many times, but arguably never as successfully as in Sam Raimi’s 2004 sequel SPIDER-MAN 2 — or, perhaps, in the new animated entry INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. This week we’re putting two of Spidey’s cinematic high-water marks in conversation, beginning with a deep dive into why SPIDER-MAN 2 holds up so well, how its performances and action work together to honor its comic-book roots, and whether we prefer our web-shooters organic or engineered. Plus, some feedback on recent episodes and a reader question about whether different generations regard the film canon differently. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about any and all Spider-men (or Spider-women, or Spider-pigs) by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/25/201854 minutes, 52 seconds
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#157: Girl World, Pt. 2 - The Favourite

Our trip through Girl World makes its second stop with Yorgos Lanthimos’ new period piece THE FAVOURITE, to see how its portrayal of women battling for social advantage in Queen Anne’s court looks next to the more contemporary high-school machinations of 2004’s MEAN GIRLS. After sharing our reactions to THE FAVOURITE and pinpointing its most “Lanthimosian” characteristics, we pit these two films against each other to see which portrayal of the cruelty and backbiting of Girl World—and Guy World!—is ultimately more fetch. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about MEAN GIRLS, THE FAVOURITE, or both by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show: • Keith: Roy Del Ruth’s IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE • Tasha: John McPhail’s ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE  • Scott: Michael Dweck’s THE LAST RACE • Genevieve: Wash Westmoreland’s COLETTE Outro Music: New Kids on the Block, “Favorite Girl” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/18/20181 hour, 5 minutes, 31 seconds
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#156: Girl World, Pt. 1 - Mean Girls

Yorgos Lanthimos’ THE FAVOURITE is, in the words of star Rachel Weisz, a bit like a “high-stakes MEAN GIRLS”: It’s the story of a woman in power challenged by a fresh young outsider, only it plays out in the halls of court rather than the halls of a suburban high school. In this half of our pairing examining the power plays and back-biting of “Girl World,” we look back first at Mark Waters’s MEAN GIRLS to ask whether the much-quoted Tina Fey-penned comedy is still totally fetch, and which of its insights about teen girl-dom circa 2004 still resonate today. Plus, some feedback on recent episodes and a discussion of other pairings we considered for THE FAVOURITE. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about MEAN GIRLS, THE FAVOURITE, or both by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro Music: Boomkat, “Rip Her to Shreds” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/11/201852 minutes, 35 seconds
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#155: The Chicago Way, Pt. 2 - Steve McQueen's "Widows"

We return to the City of Big Shoulders circa the present day for a discussion of Steve McQueen's thrilling new WIDOWS, a Chicago-set heist movie that builds on a foundation of urban corruption in a manner reminiscent of Michael Mann's 1981 debut THIEF. After sharing our reactions to WIDOWS, we look at the two films in tandem to see how they portray their respective criminal leaders, how they incorporate the city's deeply entrenched corruption and cynicism, and how they each handle Scott's Beloved Violence (TM). Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THIEF, WIDOWS, or both by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show:  • Genevieve: Sara Colengelo's THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER • Scott: Lazarus Lake's THE BARKLEY MARATHONS: THE RACE THAT EATS ITS YOUNG • Tasha: The Coen Bros.' THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS Outro Music: Sade, "The Big Unknown" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/4/20181 hour, 10 minutes, 26 seconds
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#154: The Chicago Way, Pt. 1 - Michael Mann's "Thief"

Director Steve McQueen’s new thriller WIDOWS is a Chicago-set heist film that puts to good use the city’s notorious corruption, which puts it in the company of Michael Mann’s stylish 1981 feature debut THIEF. In this half of our Windy City-centric pairing, we dig into THIEF and its strangely compelling criminal protagonist Frank, played by James Caan, to see what the film says about the kind of city Chicago was (and is), and the kind of filmmaker Mann would become. Plus, still more feedback on Bradley Cooper's version of A STAR IS BORN. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THIEF, WIDOWS, or both by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro Music: Tangerine Dream, “Final Confrontation” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/27/201857 minutes, 51 seconds
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#153: Lost Films Found, Pt . 2 - Shirkers

A landmark first feature shot in the 90s but never seen until now. Where Orson Welles' THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND is the story of a movie finished years after its director let it go, Sandi Tan’s new SHIRKERS is the story of a film its director could never really let go. In this half of our discussion on lost films found, we share our reactions to Tan’s unusual film, before bringing in Welles' WIND to see what the two films share in their portraits of auteurism, their difficult production histories, and their respective movies-within-the-movie. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND, SHIRKERS, or both by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.. Your Next Picture Show:  • Scott: Frederick Wiseman’s MONROVIA, INDIANA • Keith: Luca Guadagnino’s SUSPIRIA • Tasha: Christopher Caldwell and Zeek Earl’s PROSPECT Outro Music: Weish’s “Tick Tick” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/20/201850 minutes, 57 seconds
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#152: Lost Films Found, Pt. 1 - The Other Side of the Wind

Orson Welles' final film is finally finished. We’re switching things up this week to look at a pair of new films that are also old films — sort of — which together show that while making movies is always hard, some are harder than others. Orson Welles shot THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND decades ago, but the previously unfinished film is only seeing the light of day now, alongside a documentary about another kind of lost film, Sandi Tan’s SHIRKERS. In this first half, we dig in to why WIND is the loudest of the many ghosts haunting Welles’ filmography, debating whether it feels like a finished film, or even a good film, and to what degree it needs to be either. Plus, some feedback on would-be pairings past and our recent query on what a ‘90s STAR IS BORN would look like. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND, SHIRKERS, or both by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Outro Music: Queen, “Ride The Wild Wind” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/13/201853 minutes, 38 seconds
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#151: A Star Is Born, Pt. 2 - Bradley Cooper (2018)

Bradley Cooper’s debut directorial feature A STAR IS BORN is the fourth film to bear that title, and the second to translate this Hollywood tale of rising and falling fame to the music industry. And much like George Cukor’s 1954 version starring Judy Garland, it’s a fantastic showcase for its leading lady, played this time around by Lady Gaga as an aspiring songwriter to Bradley Cooper’s fading rock god. In bringing this oft-told tale to the screen, Cooper’s version follows most of of the broad strokes of its predecessors — but does it do enough to distinguish itself among its lineage? We talk it over before getting into the connections between Cooper and Cukor’s STARS, from their respective approaches to musical performance to their messy gender dynamics. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about any and all versions of A STAR IS BORN by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  *Show Notes* Works Cited • “How the Media Would Have Covered the Events of A Star Is Born,” by Nate Jones (Vulture.com) • “A Star Is Born Makes a Romance of Rock’s Most Damaging Myths,” by Sam Adams (Slate.com) Your Next Picture Show:  • Genevieve: George Cukor’s WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD? • Keith: Elizabeth Chomko’s WHAT THEY HAD • Tasha: Joseph Kahn’s BODIED • Scott: Ol Parker’s MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN Outro Music: Lady Gaga, “La Vie En Rose” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/6/20181 hour, 22 minutes, 26 seconds
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#150: A Star Is Born, Pt. 1 - George Cukor (1954)

Bradley Cooper’s new A STAR IS BORN remake is a current-day spin on a Hollywood fable that’s been around since the 1930s, about a struggling male star and the young ingenue he pushes toward fame. But its music-industry setting makes it a particularly apt match for George Cukor’s 1954 musical spin on the tale, starring a career-redefining Judy Garland as the titular star to James Mason’s fading one. In this half of our two-part discussion of the films, we dig into the legend and legacy of Cukor’s STAR, piece together what the film lost and gained via studio meddling and reconstruction, and debate the nature of the story’s central tragedy. Plus, by listener request, we give some of our recommendations for first-time film festival-goers. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about any and all of Hollywood’s takes on A STAR IS BORN by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.  Outro Music: Judy Garland, “Born In A Trunk” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/30/20181 hour, 7 minutes, 7 seconds
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#149: Robert Redford, Pt. 2 - The Old Man and the Gun

Robert Redford says that his starring role in David Lowery’s new THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN will be his final film performance, and if that turns out to be the case, it is in many ways an ideal bookend to Redford’s breakout role in the classic 1969 Western BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. In this second half of our Redford pairing, we talk over the many echoes between OLD MAN and BUTCH CASSIDY, from their respective views on a life of crime and methods of robbery, to how each treats their central cad’s trusting love interest. Plus, Your Next Picture Show, where we share recent filmgoing experiences in hopes of putting something new on your cinematic radar. Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN, or both by sending an email to [email protected], or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730. Your Next Picture Show:  • Genevieve: Drew Goddard’s BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE • Scott: The Ringer’s HALLOWEEN UNMASKED podcast, Tamara Jenkins’ PRIVATE LIFE • Keith: Robert Siegel’s CRUISE and Phil Alden Robinson’s SNEAKERS Outro Music: Bonnie “Prince” Billy, “Easy Does It” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/23/201858 minutes, 22 seconds