School of Movies
The Others

The Others

April 9, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

An elegant, haunting Spanish-style ghost story of obsession and loss. This Gothic chiller materialised in 2001, from director Alejandro Amenabar (who also composed the score, which flits from comforting flute and harp to clangourous and menacing cacophony).

This was a commissioned show from Nicole-Kidman-appreciator Colin L. Dysart, and he picked one of our favourite performances of hers. This was the one that made us think she would be an ideal Marisa Coulter in His Dark Materials. She plays the whole thing with a brittle, fierce tenacity, clinging to what she believes is true, as her world unravels in this shadowy Jersey stately home.

It's also got some terrific child-actor performances, as the two endangered kids start to cotton onto the possibility that there may be more going on with the intruders to their home. It is a ghost story where light is so much more threatening than darkness.

Super Friends (2021)

Super Friends (2021)

April 2, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

A long time ago, a visionary director named Jack Spider was gifted the keys to the kingdom of Super Friends. And he made two and a half movies which brought much joy to the people, expressed mainly in angry shouting.

Returning to his kingdom after many years away, Jack Spider has finally delivered his thesis on gods among men, in the completed third film he is now able to gift to the world. 

Return to OZ

Return to OZ

March 26, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

The Commissions Season continues with a show sponsored by Maya Santandrea. Much like last year's Labyrinth show, this is also a story about a girl who travels inward on her fantasy adventures and winds up uncovering certain key things about herself.

It is based on two of the L. Frank Baum OZ novels, from which The Wonderful Wizard of OZ was also adapted in 1939. There have been other adaptations before and since, including Wicked and OZ: The Great and Powerful.

This one, however, released by Disney in 1985 to critical derision and scared, offput audiences who seemed to want a bouncy musical rather than a dark fairytale, eventually became an obscure cult classic. Those who love it do so with a passion, and we are here to talk about why that may be. It should be available to view on Disney+.

Guests:

Hollywoo Actress  Maya Santandrea @Mayasantandrea

Jason "Chewie" Slate @TheManaPool 

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300

WandaVision

WandaVision

March 19, 2021

[School of Everything Else 2021]

This one gets HEAVY. But what did you expect from a podcast which has examined every one of the MCU movies and found the hurt and pain at the core of the characters, being presented with a show that is absolutely about that principle?

Now all the rampant speculation has passed, we can sweep aside our assumptions regarding what this *might* have been about and focus on the melancholy story of its lonely antagonist.

One of the core themes explored is that everyone's line for forgiveness falls in a different place. We hope that two hours of delving into how it handles grief, bringing along some deeply personal accounts of loss, might lend some perspective on the MTVU's first big show.

Guests:

Victoria Luna B. Grieve: @VixenVVitch 

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300

Taylor Nova of GameBurst @TaylorNova6 

Mike Hearn @MikePHearn 

Hades

Hades

March 12, 2021

[School of Everything Else 2021]

An absolutely phenomenal game which took 2020 by storm. We talk about, among other things, why being trapped inside for month after month just made a game where you're trying to escape the Underworld weirdly more resonant.

There's an astonishing amount of story in there, astonishing art design and aesthetic, some of the most engrossing, multi-layered and sexy characters to ever grace a video game and action that's smoother than the downy fur on Cerberus' belly. 

This was also a special session because we recorded with everyone on-camera and since Sharon has played ten times the amount I have, she hosts. 

This was a commissioned episode from Nicholas Jaragosky, Jesse Ferguson, Chris Finik, Toby Jungius, Mackenzie Eastram, Maya Santandrea and Laureta Sela.

And our guests are Victoria Luna B. Grieve, Laureta Sela, Maya Santandrea, Matt Wardle, Greg Downing and Toby Jungius.

 

Next week... WandaVision

Kung Fu Hustle

Kung Fu Hustle

March 5, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

This is a commissioned show by Alex Vargas and Joe G. Stephen Chow's cartoonishly absurd, occasionally brutal, breathtakingly elegant and frequently side-splitting opera of kung fu. 

Back in the 1940s Shanghai The Axe Gang rule the streets, massacring those who stand in their way (with axes). One day a pair of inept conmen come calling at Pigsty Alley and try to grift slim pickings from the locals, only to find, (along with the Axe Gang) that they are guarded by martial arts masters.

What follows is a war between plucky heroes and rotten villains, and some of the most stunning and hilarious fights you will ever see.

Guest:

Victoria Luna B. Grieve: @VixenVVitch 

Grease

Grease

February 26, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

The Commissions Season continues with this classic, sponsored by Matthew A Seibert. It's a film made in 1978, set in 1958 meant for adults who were teens in that time period, now being watched more than 40 years later in 2021 by the children of those adults who grew up watching it and are now themselves adults. So this is going to be a kaleidoscope of shifting perspectives. 

The premise is simple, a sweet-natured Australian girl meets a sweet guy at the beach in Chicago. Then when she later turns up in his high school he acts like a different person in front of his male buddies. The girl throws her lot in with an indimidating gaggle of punky ladies, and the two groups sniff around one another, preparing for the horrors of real life after they graduate. 

It's a world where adults barely feature and teenagers clash, excitably, make fun of one another, and are sexually interested. This was made at a time when that sort of alchemy was new and thrilling, rather than a dead cert. Amid the peer pressure and societal expectations heaped upon these panicking hormonal kids (all played convincingly by adults) there's also a bunch of incredibly memorable and abiding songs.

Guests:

From Sequentially Yours  Kaoru Negisa  @Moonpanther22

and Debbie Morse  @bastet8300

-Ali-

-Ali-

February 19, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

This is our 700th Podcast. I began in April of 2007, and through four generations of my show, myself and then Sharon have covered a hell of a lot of media. Fittingly, this episode is one of the very greatest. 

On the twentieth anniversary of the 2001 Michael-Mann-directed biopic of maybe the greatest sportsman who ever lived, we finally go up against Ali in the ring. It's not just a fantastic film, this account of the real life events that took place between his fight with Sonny Liston in 1964 spanning all the way to the Rumble in the Jungle with Foreman in Zaire, '74 changed the way I saw the world.

It did so, decades ago, drawing my attention sharply to the African-American experience, and the injustices it exposes in the heart of America. This informed upon the way I think, the way I speak, and it has definitely informed on how I write. It's also the performance of Will Smith's life (in case you needed any more excuses to track it down). Sharon and I move through the events, people and decisions that effected this flawed, infuriating, dazzling, inspiring man, and how he reacted to them, in a manner that transcended the limitations heaped upon him. 

The two accompanying films we also suggest as further viewing afterwards are 'The Greatest' (1977) and 'When We Were Kings' (1996).

The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert

The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert

February 12, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

This is a commissioned show by Kevin Veighy, who specifically wanted to make a kind gesture towards his friends and all of our listeners in the LGBTQ community. And what began as a desire to extend a sympathetic hand turned into something rather special, and a landmark episode.

I haven't been entirely sure about this movie for several years. I know I loved it when I saw it in the 90s (make sure you listen to the end for my story on that), but I also know that there are troublesome elements that are less cool by the standards of the 2020s.

Fortunately, we had the extremely enthusiastic Victoria Grieve, who always makes our show better, and provided a hell of a lot of perspective on the trans narrative.

I am not the least bit sorry for all of my attempts at the Australian accent! I regret nothing!

Stonespring Maidens is now available to buy from Amazon in paperback.

Guest:

Victoria Luna B. Grieve: @VixenVVitch 

Bill & Ted Face the Music

Bill & Ted Face the Music

February 5, 2021

[School of Movies 2021]

The trilogy of Time, Space and The Afterlife culminates in the best one yet. And while we've had loads of folks express delight with the first two episodes as they grew in complexity, this one is really special.

There's a sizzling energy to our discussions as things get very meta and concerned with generational responsibility, and the music that flows throughout is some of my favourite editing in a long career of talking about movies, games, books and TV.

I would say you must see this film to avoid us spoiling it, but it can't be spoiled. I would then say you must see this movie, because you should.   

Tweet us @SchoolofMovies

Guests:

Rachel Schenk @IAMRachelQuirky from Screen Snark and

Scott Thomas @OGScottieT from And the Winner Is

BOTH also from The Infinity Podcast

Jesse Ferguson @TheDapperDM

from the Recorded Tomorrow Podcast

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