IT: Chapter 1

September 22, 2017

[School of Movies 2017]

The follow-up to our extensive discussion on the source novel and the 1990 miniseries, this is the show all about the 2017 movie. 

One of the most immediately and wildly successful horror films of all time, this has been one of the standout experiences of 2017. In the show we discuss why some people declassify it as horror, the many levels of applicability within the text to all kinds of social problems and just exactly why clowns scare the shit out of most people.  

And we will be back in Derry as soon as the next movie (in what's likely to be an unexpectedly broad franchise) drops. 

Guests:

Brendan Agnew of Cinapse

Kaoru Negisa and Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours

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The Room

September 15, 2017

[School of Movies 2017]

At long last, after years of preparation, we bring you a truly epic three hour show all about one of the worst movies ever made.

It's an exercise in absurdity, as unprepared actors are thrown in front of a camera and made to chew out abysmal dialogue, wrestle with characters that make no sense, get stuck in loops of expressing the same, contrary thoughts out loud, and all to please the ringmaster, Mr Tommy Wiseau, an extraordinary man, and by all accounts a nightmare to work with. 

There are the most appallingly awkward pauses, inexplicable games of football, and expressions that sound like they never came out of a human being before or since (or during). It's also compulsively quotable as a result. 

It is operatic in its farcical mishandling of every aspect of filmmaking, and we are going to take you through each second of this feast of silliness, just in time for The Disaster Artist, a film about its troubled construction, starring James Franco and based on the hugely entertaining book by the long suffering Greg Sestero who plays Mark. 

With us, we have Jason "Chewie" Slate, Aaron LaCluyze and Bill Bloodworth of Monday Night Magic and Random Discard.

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Bojack Horseman [Season 1]

September 8, 2017

[School of Everything Else 2017]

This is the first of several episodes on the fantastic Netflix animated show Bojack Horseman. Next week will be an episode on seasons 2 & 3 and at some point we will probably do season 4.

It starts off as a black adult comedy about show business and Hollywood and you could be forgiven for lumping it in with Family Guy, however, it quickly establishes itself as a drama about various deeply flawed, human characters.

Unlike Rick and Morty, though, the core of the existential dread isn't the bleakness of everything, but our desperation to be better, worthwhile people, even as we fail over and over.

It is so worth your time.

Joining us are our good friends Kaoru Negisa and Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours, and genuine stunt actress Maya Santandrea, who brings her insight as to what the business of filming is frequently like. 

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

September 1, 2017
[School of Movies 2017]
 For our 200th movie episode we celebrate the occasion by taking on another immensely challenging film, not because it's a mixed bag that's hard to place, but because it's pretty much perfectly crafted, very personal to us, dauntingly important and critically acclaimed. So we had to somehow shed new light on a masterpiece. This is why we put things like this off.
Paschal Dooley commissioned this one to match his prior request of Hero, and it forms another part in the trilogy of epic, Chinese wuxia ("wushu") period piece films featuring the amazingly beautiful Zhang Ziyi.
 
This time, Ang Lee takes what he learned from the interpersonal drama of The Ice Storm and the Jane Austen propriety of Sense and Sensibility to convey a drama surrounding two couples. One middle-aged and regretful of time misspent and one young and fearful of lives that almost certainly will not bring them what they want. And then there's fighting, glorious martial arts with weightless wire-work, choreographed by the master himself, Yuen Woo-ping. 
 
Next week; Bojack Horseman. We recommend at least watching Season 1 on Netflix. 
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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

August 25, 2017
[School of Movies 2017]
This was a commission from Chris Finik and turned out to be one of our most challenging shows. I was ill and having to energise myself on sugar, caffeine and enthusiasm while painkillers did their work, but more specifically we were dealing with a movie that is on the surface a silly mess, unlovable and mostly forgotten. We had to find the elements of quality in a mismanaged, overambitious yet underachieving project which ended the careers of a promising director (Stephen Norrington, the man behind Blade and little else) and a legendary actor, Shaun Connery. 

Also we haven't seen most of the rest of the cast in the interim years either, but that's what happens when you throw 22% of your budget ($17 million) at one actor and find yourself short on what is obviously an ensemble film. This also serves as a weirdly specific prototype for Marvel's Avengers movie which came out nine years later in 2012. 

So join us for ourr 199th movie covered as we go on a voyage with these men who aren't very extraoriary, certainly not gentle and the best of their number is a woman (notably the only person in the film without a Y-chromasome.) 

Next week, something far, far more accomplished; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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Book of Life

August 18, 2017
[School of Movies 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

[School of Movies 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

[School of Everything Else 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

[School of Everything Else 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

[School of Everything Else 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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