Sound and Fury, by Reed Lackey

10 Jan

For a film to effectively evoke 19th century gothic, literary horror, it must be unified visually and tonally. The Sonata, the debut feature film by director Andrew Desmond, also manages to evoke the narrative sensibilities and structure as well.

Rose Fisher, a prodigy violinist, successful but unfulfilled, inherits the estate of her late father, who was also a world-renowned musician. Her relation to the legendary composer had been intentionally kept a secret, even from her displaced and curious agent, until his passing prompts a reclusive retreat for her to spend time figuring out what she wants from her future. What she doesn’t know (at least at first) is that her father killed himself rather violently and that he left behind a strange sonata, which would surely ignite the composing world but may also bring about the literal antichrist.

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Reed’s Top Ten of the 2010s

7 Jan

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Building a top ten list encompassing an entire decade in film (particularly one as dynamic as the 2010s) is remarkably daunting. My approach to this list abandoned considerations of objective quality, or even of personal favoritism.

I wanted to assess the films that have come to affect me the most, either personally or creatively: the films which have most frequently populated my conversations and arrested my imagination. So, in that spirit, ranked by degree of impact, here are the ten most important films of the decade to me, and why they matter to me…

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The Fear of God: Star Wars

7 Jan

In this bonus episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Star Wars.

Saving the Universe, by Bob Connally

6 Jan

Three episodes into the new Disney+ series The Mandalorian, I wrote, “Given how divisive the films have become, Star Wars needs something that unites the fans in a positive way. Right now it looks like The Mandalorian could end up being just that.” Now that the first season of the series is complete and The Rise of Skywalker has been released, it appears that The Mandalorian is indeed the thing that has united the Star Wars fanbase more than anything else in this Disney era. There have been a few bumps here and there, but overall series creator Jon Favreau’s dive into the seedy underbelly of the Star Wars universe has focused on character while telling relatively small scale stories well. Compare that to the noisy, busy, and unfocused The Rise of Skywalker and it’s practically night and day. As much as J.J. Abrams’ film is an attempt to appeal to fans of the original trilogy, it’s Favreau who has made something that actually feels like those films in the ways that truly matter, which is in regards to character development, tone, and pacing.

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The Fear of God: It: Chapter Two

5 Jan

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss It: Chapter Two.

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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Salty Cinema: Spencer T. Folmar

1 Jan

In this episode, Jacob talks with Spencer T. Folmar about his latest film Shooting Heroin.

Good Choices, by Bob Connally

29 Dec

Twenty years ago, Adam Sandler was famous for playing a variation on the same character in virtually every movie he was in. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Waterboy all existed as vehicles for Sandler to play a man who never matured past the age of 8 and who could be given to sudden bouts of unbridled rage. Even in movies such as The Wedding Singer or Big Daddy, the characters he played never strayed far from his comfort zone and the writers and directors who tailored those films to his style never challenged him. Enter Paul Thomas Anderson in 2002, coming off of his 3 hour, 8 minute operatic ensemble drama Magnolia

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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.

Some Fine Fellas, by Bob Connally

27 Dec

Family and the holiday season inherently go together. Whether it’s time we spend with our families or the desire to be with them if life and circumstances do not allow for it. There are also the memories of the times we spent with those who are no longer with us. But beyond memories there are things that can still make us feel connected to those who have left us behind.

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