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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Transmetropolitan

May 12, 2017

This is a Vertigo comics series which ran for 60 issues from 1997 to 2002, written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Darick Robertson. 

It is set in a non-specified future where cities stretch out across the planet, filled with bored tech-fetishists all looking for the next distraction. Spider Jerusalem is an infamous gonzo journalist who returns to the otherwise unnamed "The City" to write some books and newspaper columns after years of hiding in a log cabin up a mountain.

This is a book that was hugely influential on me, and while the retro-future it predicted was off the mark in many cases, some of it is so sharp that it's going to hurt to listen. There's blasphemous and depraved content within so you have been warned.

Alasdair Stuart of The Escape Artists joins us to talk about all things Spider in this commissioned show courtesy of Ciaran Dachtler. 

NEXT WEEK: Pick up and watch The Grand Budapest Hotel before listening to our show. It's a rich, visually detailed film and you will enjoy it so much more not knowing what's going to happen, and enjoy our show so much more having seen the film. 

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The Thief and the Cobbler

April 14, 2017

This one is pretty special. You will laugh, you will facepalm, your jaw will hit the floor. 

The Thief and the Cobbler, or Arabian Knight, or The Princess and the Cobbler, or Once, OR The Amazing Nasrudin is, to date, the animated movie with the longest production run in history. It was begun in 1964 and released (after a fashion) in 1993... and then again in 1995. 

A cautionary tale for studios and a treasure trove of interest to animation experts, the story within the film itself pales in comparison, in terms of fascination, to its dreadfully staggered road of creation. 

This is the story of one unusual man who dreamed of making the finest animated film the world has ever seen, and what happened when that dream came up against reality.

If you would like to see more about this film (once you've seen the film, because I'm betting you hadn't even heard of it until today) you might want to catch this in-depth documentary *Persistence of Vision*, which features an array of animators and others involved with the making, and in which they are far more complimentary of the film than we are.

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Ms. Marvel

March 24, 2017

In 2013 a brand new Marvel character was introduced to the world, one who is very reminiscent of classic Peter Parker, a goofy, hapless, sweet-natured teenager who just wants to help people. She's also the world's premier, headlining Muslim superhero, and very much due a movie or TV series to bring her to mass popularity like those who came before her.

In tonight's episode we are joined by Alasdair Stuart, owner of Escape Artists and longtime comic-book expert, to enthusiastically discuss why the younger generations are already loving Kamala Khan, and why she's so important in the grand scheme.

You don't have to have read any of her comics, but by the end of this you will want to. 

This was a commissioned show, and we kick off with some important (and good news) about future commissions. 

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Hamilton

February 17, 2017

This is yet another very special episode.

We get swept up in the Broadway musical phenomenon about one of America's relatively unsung founding fathers, presented to modern audiences as a hip-hopera.

It was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the songwriter for Moana. It is amazing. It is available to hear all over YouTube and the soundtrack (which will almost certainly end up on repeat in your house) will be one of the most valued things you buy all year.

If you've never heard of it, or you've only heard some talk and a few songs, you should listen to the first two hours of this show as we set the scene for you and explore the characters. Then go listen or even go see it and come back for the last hour which is all spoilerific endgame material.

Joining Sharon and I are Harrison Brockwell, Kaoru Negisa, Jesse Ferguson and Andy Rodriguez.

While there are clips and snippets of the 46 songs throughout the show, the following 12 are played in their entirety in this order.

1.   Yorktown
2.   Alexander Hamilton
3.   Aaron Burr, Sir
4.   My Shot
5.   You’ll Be Back
6.   The Schuyler Sisters
7.   Satisfied
8.   Cabinet Battle #1
9.   History Has Its Eyes On You
10.   Say No to This
11.   Burn
12.   One Last Time

Arlington on Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LZVX4S6/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=WJEMN41ACEYCS843MBTM

Arlington on Bandcamp: https://newcentury.bandcamp.com/album/new-century-arlington

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