School of Movies
The Orphanage

The Orphanage

August 3, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

To close out our triumphant Guillermo del Toro season we give you our deep exploration of the 2007 ghost story he produced, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona; The Orphanage.

Exquisitely, meticulously constructed as a mystery, this is one of the finest of its kind. Threaded through with intrigue, riven with suspense, punctuated with trauma with a heartbreaking yet uplifting conclusion you will never forget. 

Next week: Wrestlemania 30 (Yes, you read that correctly. Track it down and watch it on blu ray with friends, *especially* if you don't like wrestling.)

My Audio Drama: Let Them Go

Guest:

Lorin Grieve

The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water

July 27, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

This turned out to be the surprise favourite del Toro of the season for one of our number. It's no mean feat to be able to produce work of the peerless quality of Pan's Labyrinth and still produce films that become the favourites of your audience. 

The year is 1962, a creature has been found in a black lagoon and currently resides in a government facility where he will meet a mute janitor and form a powerful bond.

A fairy tale for troubled times, this story has a sweetness woven through GDTs beloved backdrops of social oppression, twisted human monsters and deliberately ambiguous endings. And it won him and the crew 13 Oscar nominations,  four of which it won, including Best Picture and Best Director. 

My Audio Drama: Let Them Go

Guest:

Lorin Grieve

Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak

July 20, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

This one turned out to be my surprise favourite of the season. It's a Gothic romance which utilises the aesthetics of horror to tell a story of love, obsession and murder. 

But it was released at a time when audiences were guzzling down clamorous ghost house jump scare fare and the general consensus was that it was a disappointment that refused to behave the way that people wanted.

When you revisit you will find the most sumptuous supernatural story ever made, with stunning achievements in set design, costume, lighting and sound, all intertwined with three amazing and melodramatic central performances.

It's a masterpiece. 

My Audio Drama: Let Them Go

Guest:

Lorin Grieve

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim

July 19, 2018

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

This episode was previously published as the final instalment of Digital Gonzo #161, a month before we came back as Digital Drift with Sharon as the co-host. 

Passed off as simply enjoyable dumb fun, and about nothing beyond enormous robots hitting big monsters, this movie proved to be absolutely perfect for our style of analysis, being in fact deeply textured, nuanced and detailed. We hope we can redress the balance on this and get my favourite film of 2013 recognized by a few more people as a modern masterpiece in visual storytelling. 

My Audio Drama: The New Century Multiverse

Guests:

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Neil Taylor of TheKidDogg

Alasdair Stuart of Escape Artists

 

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

July 13, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

The second film is even better than the first. This time del Toro draws Hellboy deeper into his own world and away from the Mignola comics. And what we get is rich and nourishing, painted in beautiful red, black and gold.

I begin with a hopefully compelling positioning of Hellboy II as being more like movies from Marvel's Phase 3 than the movies of Phase 1 were. 

We go on to discuss every aspect of this underseen dark fantasy classic, most likely the last time we will see Perlman as Big Red with GDT in the chair, but it grows more special every year as a result. 

My Audio Drama: Let Them Go

Guest:

Lorin Grieve

Pan’s Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth

July 6, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

At the close of the Spanish civil war a girl beginning to comprehend the horrors going on around her encounters a fairy world that reflects that violence and grotesquery.

Welcome to one of the best podcasts we've ever made. We go straight in with analysis of detail and breaking down this dense yet elegant dark fantasy into its meaningful parts. 

Arguably del Toro's finest film in terms of craftsmanship, this one takes up residence in your heart and stays forever, to the point where just hearing the lullaby will instil a powerful sense of melancholy.

Guest:

Lorin Grieve

Hellboy

Hellboy

June 29, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

Del Toro's fifth film was a passion project for him which he still managed to position as a studio picture supernatural superhero sci-fi that ended up with middling success. 

The Hellboy comic by Mike Mignola blends Lovecraftian horror, mythology and folklore with a no-nonsense, gruff mechanic's approach to the paranormal. It's a deeply appealing combination hearkening to Ghostbusters. Of the two GDT HBs this one sticks closer to the comic roots whilst being somewhat mired in the weaknesses of early 2000s blockbusters.

We adore the film and extol its strengths, including splendid practical effects, incredible detail, stirring music, fascinating lighting, delicate turns from Selma Blair and John Hurt and an iconic central performance from the man who will remain as forever linked with the character for me as Reeve's Superman and Evans' Captain America; Ron Perlman. When I read the comics, his is the voice I hear in my head. And the second film is even better. 

Hellboy books to read: Seed of Destruction/The Right Hand of Doom

My Audio Drama: Let Them Go

Guest:

Lorin Grieve

Blade Trilogy

Blade Trilogy

June 22, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

This is about all three of the half-human, half-immortal vampire slayer's films to date. I don't even know how that works, since him being aparently half-immortal grants him all of their strengths and none of their weaknesses it's more like he's double-immortal, a little bit human (the bit that occasionally smiles).

1998 Blade: Maybe the best translation from comics to screen of the 90s, this is a serious, pumping, dark action thriller. 

2002 Blade II: Guillermo del Toro's play to get the studios to allow him to produce Hellboy for them, by delivering a blackly humorous over-the-top action horror with many of the trappings of his later movies. 

2004 Blade Trinity: Forgoing a third director, New Line let David Goyer, the writer of all three take a shot at making a film, with disastrous results.

Guests:

Kaoru Negisa and

Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours  

Lorin Grieve 

The Devil’s Backbone

The Devil’s Backbone

June 15, 2018

[School of Movies 2018]

After many months of promising, and many weeks of recording sessions which you are going to love hearing, the Guillermo del Toro season is finally here.

Our guest for the duration is Lorin Grieve and we go deep into the texture and detail of these movies together, drawing parallels, exploring symbolism and discussing the greater themes and the making of each.

We begin with The Devil's Backbone, a captivating ghost story set in an orphanage, during the Spanish Civil War. It is a tale of fear and greed, anger and compassion, and it's one of his best. 

These are essential viewing so track down the following on blu ray: Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy 1 & 2, Crimson Peak and The Shape of Water. Next week we cover the Blade Trilogy, of which GDT directed the second.

Guest:

Lorin Grieve