School of Movies
Frozen

Frozen

November 28, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]  

The Disney series continues, and in fact this run of four episodes (including the re-release of the 2016 show on Zootopia) marks our project finally coming up to date, since we began this way back around the time Frozen was being released. We will of course return in years to come with another stretch of episodes on Ralph Breaks the Internet, Frozen II, Raya and the Last Dragon and whatever comes next. But for now this gets us to a place we want to be. 

I think people forget, because of all the airplay that one song got, because of all the merchandising and ubiquity of these characters within Disney's self-identifying brand just how GOOD this movie actually is. When you watch it again the script is really strong, it's progressive in a way that challenges their somewhat dated fairy tale elements in a positive way. And not just that one song but ALL of the musical numbers are fantastic (except one and we'll go into that). It's beautiful and thought-provoking and soulful and sometimes a little more sharp than we might expect. 

If Disney was going to make a billion dollars and decide that the way forward was to replicate that success, I'm glad it was this one.

Guests

Daniel Floyd of New Frame Plus

Spencer Leeb of The New Century Multiverse 

Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep

November 22, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

The saga of The Shining continues with a new generation being hounded by the very eldest.

This is one of those movies that nobody really expected. The original decades-old novel and film are at war with one another, and this drastically belated sequel is the battle-ground. Yet what transpires harmonises both in a supremely confident fashion. 

And hardly anybody saw it. So it's our job now to explore the shadowy, steamy depths of Doctor Sleep, establish what Stephen King was saying with his books and how director Mike Flanagan (fast becoming an understated mainstay in the horror milieu) reinterprets the best of multiple mediums... in every possible sense of the word.

This is one of our very favourite films of 2019. You can listen if you haven't seen it, most people haven't. The plot developments and character movements we discuss won't spoil the film, they will improve it.

The Shining

The Shining

November 15, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

The Kubrick season concludes with arguably his most celebrated film (the only other contender being Space Odyssey).

This is the one we set out to talk about, but we had to try our level best to understand the men behind it as we did so. Making this a continuation of our Stephen King adaptations series where we compare the book and film (including IT, Pet Sematary and at some point in the future Stand by Me, Misery, The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption).

So we watched and talked about everything Kubrick made since 1968, and we read through King's books of The Shining and Doctor Sleep. This really was a grand project and took a lot out of us, but crucially we tried to have fun along the way so it would feel worth it.

The end result is a pair of immensely detailed shows, including Doctor Sleep next week, wherein we discuss how these two creators' different outlooks permeate the cinematic story of Daniel Torrance over 39 years.  

Full Metal Jacket / Eyes Wide Shut

Full Metal Jacket / Eyes Wide Shut

November 8, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

The Kubrick season continues with his creations from the 80s and 90s. 

First, a harsh, black vision of the experiences of United States Marines in the Vietnam War. Beginning with their training at the hands and barking yell of the apparently lone  Gunnery Sargent Hartman. Then a confused meander through various areas of the war-torn country, searching for meaning that does not reveal itself.

After that Tom Cruise finds out that Nicole Kidman once thought briefly about having an affair and journeys out into the New York Night for a sexual odyssey that was deliberately designed to be seedy, uncomfortable and weirdly puritanical. 

2001: A Space Odyssey / A Clockwork Orange

2001: A Space Odyssey / A Clockwork Orange

November 1, 2019

[School of Movies 2019]

Stanley Kubrick Season: Part 1 of 3

Last year we covered the work of Guillermo del Toro, this year we were only going to do The Shining after being asked to do Kubrick many times. But the raft of research and hard work that went into simply covering the context for that movie led to us talking about not one but six of his films. What unfolded as we recorded these sessions out of order was a veritable Stanley Kubrick Season.

So this first part we will cover 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971) and -briefly- Barry Lyndon (1975). Next week we have Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Finally, the third week will be all about The Shining (1980), and we will be closely comparing it with Stephen King's book.

We are going to be critical of Kubrick. This is a risky prospect for us as we are talking about a revered artist in our chosen field of study. But only one of these films that we talk about in depth do we actually genuinely dislike. The rest are very much a mixed bag of elements that appeal and those that do not. We trust you all to take this as a very personal response to a striking filmography. 

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