Book of Life

August 18, 2017

A little-seen animated film from 2014, produced by Guillermo del Toro, directed by Jorge Gutierrez, the man behind the award-winning show El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera. This is a celebration of mexican culture, centred around the Day of the Dead, and the Lands of the Remembered and the Forgotten, as much about life as it is about death, and dealing with ancient gods making wagers with one another over the actions of humans. 

Masquerading as a cute, colourful, hyperactive, kid's movie, this in fact has more in common with the work of LAIKA, and slowly, over time, introduces more and more texture and personal touches from its creators who strove to make the art match their beautiful concept work. 

A commission by Abel Savard, who encouraged us with his supporting of this episode to dig deeper and find something really rather wonderful. 

Next week; The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. 

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Donnie Darko

August 11, 2017

Prepare for a twisting, mind-bending journey into a tangent universe and back again as we tackle one of the most head-scratchy of cult films of the 2000s. Directed by Richard Kelly when he was only 26 years old and accompanied by an extensive website filled with extra reading to help you understand what goes on in the movie, this is still pretty difficulty to completely grasp, even if you've seen it. So we spend the first half of this show examining those explanations and the second half delving into the stronger, clearer elements like character, music and script. 

This was a commissioned show by Jesse Ferguson, who wanted to like this movie, despite itself, and decided to have us make a case for it.

Next week; Book of Life.

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To the Moon

August 4, 2017

A five hour, retro RPG with a story that will stay with you. We recommend everyone play the game before listening. 

It's kind of like a fun Inception.

Laura Kate Dale joins us for a very textured, emotional and personal discussion about this extraordinary experience. 

This show was commissioned by Emanuel Matius, Sean Lyons Burke and Nick Grugin. Patreon supporters at the five dollar level can enjoy a bonus re-release of the episode of Do try This At Home that Sharon recorded in 2013, on this same game. 

Next week; Donnie Darko.

Guest:

Laura Kate Dale of Let's Play Video Games

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Stranger Things [Season 1, Part 2]

July 28, 2017

This is our second of two episodes on Season 1 of Stranger Things. 

We lost Alasdair Stuart for this one, but we gained a recomended friend of his, Guy Adams, author of Notes from the Upside Down - Inside the World of Stranger Things: An Unofficial Handbook to the Hit TV Series, now available in Hardcover and Kindle format and coming soon in Paperback.

The wonderful Laura Kate Dale of Let's Play Video Games and Podquisition guests again, along with Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours, accompanied now by her husband Kaoru Negisa. 

For this second part we covered the following episodes.

4. The Body

5. The Flea and the Acrobat

6. The Monster

7. The Bathtub

8. The Upside Down

We'll be back with Laura next week with a show all about a video game you guys all need to mplay. You will require ten dollars and five hours, along with a Steam account. It is called To the Moon. 

And finally my new website has launched and you can check it out at www.newcenturymultiverse.com whether you know nothing about the books or podcast and would like to, or if you're a fan looking to dig deeper, come along and don't forget to sign up for the mailing list. 

 

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Stranger Things [Season 1, Part 1]

July 21, 2017

This is our first of two episodes on Season 1 of Stranger Things. 

One of our most requested topics, which ironically makes for a daunting prospect, because we have to cover something that means so much for so many people? We eventually relented when this was commissioned by Stephen Maxwell Lowe, Toby Jungius, Nick Grugin and Joel Robinson. 

For this first part we cover the following episodes.

1. The Vanishing of Will Byers

2. The Weirdo on Maple Street

3. Holly Jolly

Our guests include Laura Kate Dale of Lets Play Video Games and Podquisition, Alasdair Stuart of Escape Artists and Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours. 

We'll be back next week for the remaining five episodes. 

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Gargoyles

July 14, 2017

This week, on commission from Nicholas Kosky and Joel Robinson, we cover the first season of the celebrated mid-90s animated series. 

Released in 1994, just a little after we were getting into sit-coms like Friends and Frasier, this show somehow attained a cult following AND a 52-episode second season. Those two things don't happen together very often. 

With us is longtime Gargoys aficionado Greg Bishansky to keep us in the know on all the background detail of the production. 

Next week: Stranger Things

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Analogue: A Hate Story

July 7, 2017

A commissioned show from Mark Lucksch. First thing I said when I saw the art was "No anime." Mark assured me that with its writer based in the west and Korean rather than Japanese artwork, as well as lack of animation that this text-adventure available on Steam was not, in fact, anime. 

After many hours of playing through this tale of an intelligent, female consciousness inside a computer on a spaceship, with its themes of oppressive, patriarchal tradition, and a woman's prerogative, we both had a rather... strong reaction.

Enjoy?

Next week: Gargoyles

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What’s Up With Alex - July 2017

July 1, 2017

An update on how I'm doing and where the shows are right now.

(TLDR)

· My health is up the creek again, but I’m hoping to get better. 

· New Century is on hold for a few weeks while I catch up.

· School of Movies should carry on as usual

· Lots of Digital Cowboys now on the separate School of Everything Else Archive (find it on iTunes)

· And finally write in with your weird cinema experiences for the first mailbag: gonzoplanet@gmail.com

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Watership Down

June 30, 2017

Truly a work of classic British animation, less know outside this island, but a tale of rabbit society in Rural England, just waiting to be discovered.

OR

A horribly misjudged, mercilessly brutal, relentless, casually sadistic massacre of rabbit-kind, made by aloof Brits who don't understand story structure from a source novel thrown together by a man who hates the idea of anyone finding allegory in his work. And a film responsible for irresponsibly traumatising a generation.

You decide... with our help.

A commissioned show sponsored by Jamas Enright.

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L.A. Confidential

June 23, 2017

A commissioned show, but for a film we adore. The only reason it's taken us this long is that L.A. Confidential is as rich and complex and powerful as a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle's Buffalo Trace Bourbon, and frankly... it was intimidating. 

It's a beautifully crafted film noir from 1997 which pretty much sets the bar for the genre from this point on, blending the best elements of the classics with contemporary filmmaking sensibilities, focusing on defying character expectations and showcasing physically expressive acting. 

Featuring career high performances from Russel Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, James Cromwell and David Strathairn, a darkly crooning score by Jerry Goldsmith, and an endlessly quotable script from Brian Helgeland, adapted from the novel by James Elroy.

It's the finest film Curtis Hanson ever made and the fact that Titanic gobbled up all the Oscars for that year is nothing short of a travesty (and I REALLY like Titanic!). 

Enjoy, and especially enjoy the toe-tapping jazz soundtrack. 

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