Tag Archives: film

33 – Z

We visit Z, a French-Algerian political thriller from 1969. It also happens to be a bona fide classic that won a ton of awards, enjoyed great popularity, and even succeeded in markets where it was subtitled or dubbed. Neither of us has seen it before; both of us are glad our first encounter with it is on a cinema screen.

We discuss its relevance to society today – the reason the mac is screening it, no doubt – the precision and economy of its editing and storytelling, its control of information, its title, its geographical setting, its surprising sense of humour, and indeed something we both found left rather a bad taste in the mouth. We also run down the eleven films from 1969 that outperformed it at the US box office, and José learns about The Stewardesses.

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

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

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32 – Mountains May Depart

Mike’s brother corrects our pronunciation of director Jia Zhangke’s name, helping us settle into a discussion of his ambitious, deeply moving tale of friendship and loss that spans two and a half decades. We talk about motifs of keys and coats, themes of capitalism and home, the changing aspect ratios and clarity of the image, the documentary feel to its portrayal of Fenyang and the way of life there, and much more besides. We admire almost everything and still can’t get Go West out of our heads.

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

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

31 – Human Flow

Ai Weiwei brings displaced peoples from across the world together in his documentary on the global refugee crisis. We discuss their plight, the film’s use of poetry, Weiwei’s imagery, and the countless ways in which he humanises people who are insulted, ignored, used as bargaining chips, and condemned to lives of confinement with no end in sight.

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

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

30 – Happy End

Michael Haneke’s precise, layered Happy End takes on – what else? – the bourgeoisie, and sees Eavesdropping welcome 2018 and iTunes availability at last! Opening with praise for the extraordinary image quality provided by the mac’s 4K projector, we consider the film’s surprising comic sensibility, its observation of different social strata, how our expectations shaped our experiences of what we saw (or didn’t see), Haneke’s careful craft and subtle subversions of cinematic conventions, and his continued exploration of violence as a central theme.

And, finally, in a revelation to rival Psycho and The Sixth Sense, we nervously admit that we enjoyed the film as one might enjoy a Hollywood comedy or a trip to the zoo. Even now it’s tough to come to terms with that. Perhaps that is Haneke’s greatest achievement and truest subversion. We never before knew that he wanted us to have a good time.

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

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

29 – Molly’s Game

Eavesdropping celebrates the New Year with a snappy, sharp crime flick about the world of underground, high-stakes poker. We discuss the material’s weakness, our different takes on Molly’s character, the film’s descent into schmaltz, daddy issues, Sorkin’s directorial mediocrity, the audience’s response to his dialogue, and the way Star Wars is dominating every bloody screen in every bloody cinema. At the end José makes Mike choke on his own laughter.

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

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

28 – The Greatest Showman

José likes Zac Efron for once, but little else. Mike is an ITV snob and just wants the film to be more Communist. Listen in to find out how The Greatest Showman rounded out our 2017.

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

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

27 – Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi – Second Screening

Mike and José return to a galaxy far, far away, in search of new perspectives and thoughts on The Last Jedi. Mike in particular has been itching to talk more about it since he feels he was unfairly lukewarm the first time. We ruminate on what makes Star Wars feel different to other sci-fi; how films feel tighter and shorter on second viewing; Han’s dice; confusion on the resistance cruiser; why we still disagree about Mark Hamill’s performance; whether a Jedi can survive in space; and the differences between the First Order and the Empire, and Hux’s construction as a figure of fun.

And in a shocking climax, José claims that Mike doesn’t know anything about love.

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

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.