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Episode 222: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

12 Jan

In this episode, Tyler discusses Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and F.W. Murnau’s The Last Laugh.

Tyler’s Top Ten of the 2010s

2 Jan

10. The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

A film that manages to be both straightforward yet oddly dreamlike, this film by Derek Cianfrance stars Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, along with a stable of great character actors. The lives of a novice bank robber and an ambitious cop crash violently into each other, with ramifications that echo into the next generation. An engrossing meditation on the ghosts of the past and our decision to let them dictate our actions in the present, The Place Beyond the Pines is an intimate film of epic proportions.

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Episode 221: Uncut Gems

28 Dec

In this episode, Tyler discusses the Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems and John Cassavetes’ The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.

No Risk, No Reward, by Tyler Smith

18 Dec

At this point in the Star Wars franchise, what started in 2015 as intense eagerness amongst the moviegoing public has slowly turned into a mild curiosity at best and a resentful obligation at worst. So many people, whether they enjoyed The Last Jedi or not, view the final film in the latest trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker, with exhausted trepidation; a weary desire to get some kind of closure. And it appears that director J.J. Abrams sensed this – not that it was particularly subtle – and has obliged by creating a film that is so focused on tying up loose ends that it often feels perfunctory. Through rushed scenes, last minute developments, and astonishingly-clumsy exposition, Abrams attempts to undo the perceived damage done to the mythology by the previous film while also giving every character as satisfying an arc as he can, all while trying to keep the events exciting and fresh. This many spinning plates would be difficult for even the best directors; Abrams, a reliable journeyman but hardly an engaging auteur, does his best, but mostly loses control of the juggernaut that The Rise of Skywalker was always destined to be. 

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Episode 220: A Hidden Life

10 Dec

In this episode, Tyler discusses Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life and Fred Zinnemann’s A Man For All Seasons.

Episode 219: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

26 Nov

In this episode, Tyler discusses Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky.

On the Agenda, by Tyler Smith

10 Nov

Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell will be released in December and many people are questioning the timing, not only of its release, but of its general making. The story – about an ordinary man railroaded by the press into becoming a national joke – doesn’t exactly portray the mainstream media in the best light. With President Trump, and Republicans in general, regularly condemning the media as biased and craven, some have criticized Eastwood’s decision to make a film that would appear to give credence to that claim. They accuse the conservative Eastwood of making and releasing this film with a political agenda. 

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The Nightmare

30 Oct

In this 2015 episode, Tyler and Reed discuss Rodney Ascher’s The Nightmare.

Annihilation

29 Oct

In this 2018 episode, Tyler and Reed discuss Alex Garland’s Annihilation.

Abundance, by Tyler Smith

21 Oct

The best movies are those that would seem to somehow change a little bit with each viewing. Of course, we know that the films themselves haven’t changed at all. It’s the viewer. It’s us. We change over time, through new experiences, fresh insights, and engaging relationships, until the person watching a film for the fifth or sixth time could almost be considered completely different from the one that watched it the first.

At this point in my life, I’ve probably watched Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane around twenty times. It was hovering around ten, but then I became a film teacher, and the number skyrocketed. And the number will continue growing with each passing semester. My first time watching the film was as a teenager. I’d heard the film was great, but that didn’t begin to prepare me for the moral and artistic complexities contained in Welles’ masterpiece. After all these years of not merely watching the film, but studying both it and its creator, you’d think that the film had finally taught me everything that it was going to. 

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