Tag Archives: thriller

55 – Unsane

A low-budget psychological thriller, Unsane is a less involving film than its subject matter and star deserve. Claire Foy is extraordinarily powerful as a paranoid prisoner of mental trauma inflicted on her by a stalker and bureaucratic malfeasance, distressed, knowing, sarcastic, resistant. The film fails her in other areas but is an intriguing experiment nonetheless, and we find much to discuss, including its cinematography, relationship to termite art, and potential audiences.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

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

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51 – You Were Never Really Here

Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here tells a story of vigilante justice with a tapestry of elliptical editing and interwoven flashbacks. We consider its themes, the deliberate way it depicts or conceals violence, the effect of trauma on its protagonist and his need for human connection. It’s a complex, almost ergodic film, that requires attention, rewards visual literacy, and yields great pleasures. We love it.

We also praise Amazon Studios for respecting the theatrical release window, and round off by discussing the recent Oscars.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

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

42 – The Commuter

Mike doesn’t believe that Liam Neeson is a normal person with real problems, and wants him to do proper acting again. Jose admires the film’s social conscience and visual flair. It’s The Commuter, a film that exceeds the low expectations set by its dull title. We discuss its portrayal of society through the characters on the train, how much we like its premise, and where it stands in the cheapish high-concept B-movie canon.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

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

37 – The Post

Spielberg. Streep. Hanks. Nixon. A political thriller that adopts some clichés and slightly sidesteps some expectations, The Post is a historical drama that follows the internal conflict at the Washington Post during the Pentagon Papers scandal. We find plenty to talk about in its parallels with the Trump White House and the current President’s attacks on the news media; its careful but stilted style; its relationship to the 70s cinema it evokes; its central figure of a woman out of place in a world of men; and the balance between its nationalistic boosterism of the US Constitution and American exceptionalism on the one hand, and on the other, its surprisingly direct denunciation of the powers that be in Washington. You can literally hear Mike learning about the Nixon era, live!

Also discussed: Mike loves Bridge of Spies, Jose doesn’t love Bridge of Spies, Mike thinks Spotlight is uniquely brilliant, Jose espouses his theory on Meryl Streep’s stardom, and old people are pricks.

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.

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 Jose 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.