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Coming up:

The January Marquee: Silent Westerns

January kicks off a five episode series that will be focused on the evolution of the Western genre. This month we’ll be looking at some of the earliest Western films…

Previous episodes:

Ep 148. WESTERNS 101: The Silent Era

To kick off a new series of episodes that will give an overview of the history of the western genre, Alex and Jonathan start off by talking about three early western films from the pre-sound era: The Testing Block (1920), Sky High (1922), and The Iron Horse (1924). We discuss the development of both the…

Episode 147. The Icepod Cometh

For the winter wrap-up episode to close out the year, Alex and Jonathan talk about four films that focus on the ways that people have to survive in freezing and desperate situations: Touching the Void (2003), The Grey (2011), Everest (2015), and Arctic (2018). We discuss ways to tell a true story through documentary and…

Episode 146. The Equestrisode

From the very first photographs of motion, horses have been integrated with the cinema, so today Alex and Jonathan talk about different ways horses can be used to drive a story in The Black Stallion (1979), Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), Seabiscuit (2003), and War Horse (2011). We discuss horses as both thematic metaphors…

Special Episode: The Fellowship of the Ring Scene-by-Scene

To fill some time while Alex and Jonathan are on break, we’re releasing a commentary track for Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) which was recorded in 2018. Going scene-by-scene through the extended edition of the film allows us to break down some of the details and nuances of the filmmaking techniques, as…

Episode 145. History According to Harryhausen

Taking a step behind the curtain of classic movie magic, today Alex and Jonathan discuss the techniques and creatures brought to the screen by VFX pioneer Ray Harryhausen in Mighty Joe Young (1949), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and Clash of the Titans (1981). We discuss the evolution of…

Episode 144. A Podcast’s Guide to Time Travel

We are all interested in the future, which is why in this episode Alex and Jonathan take a look at some prominent entries into the time travel sub-genre of science fiction, specifically: Time After Time (1979), Back to the Future (1985), Groundhog Day (1993), and Tenet (2020). We discuss the various mechanisms for implementing time…

Episode 143. Pugnacious Preminger

Another legend of Hollywood’s Golden Age is the spotlight for this episode as Alex and Jonathan talk about some of the classic works of Otto Preminger: Laura (1944), Bonjour Tristesse (1958), Anatomy of a Murder (1959), and Bunny Lake is Missing (1965). We discuss how Preminger builds character driven narrative through visuals, his real and…

Episode 142. Kiarostami’s Koker

Sit back and enjoy the ride as Alex and Jonathan talk through the road-trip style films of Abbas Kiarostami in Where Is the Friend’s House? (1987), And Life Goes On (1992), Through the Olive Trees (1994), and Taste of Cherry (1997). We discuss the way Kiarostami blends truth and fiction, how he uses long takes…

Episode 141. How to Train Your Podcast

This month Alex and Jonathan fly to a mythical Nordic world and discuss the recent animated trilogy How to Train Your Dragon (2010), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019). We discuss a brief history of dragons, ways to incorporate high stakes and family into…

Episode 140. One and Only Olivier

When it comes to acting, few names loom as large in the recent history of stage or screen as that of Laurence Olivier. Alex and Jonathan discuss his contributions to the film medium through his roles in Wuthering Heights (1939), Rebecca (1940), Richard III (1955), and Marathon Man (1976). We talk about his growth as…

Episode 139. The Dove Says Woo

The epic drama and action of director John Woo carries us away this month as Alex and Jonathan talk about The Killer (1989), Hard Boiled (1992), Face/Off (1997), and Red Cliff (2008). We talk about his pioneering of the “Honorable Bloodshed” genre, his distinct stylistic and thematic trademarks, and his continuing legacy on many modern…

Episode 138. Wise Guy Gangsters

Watch your back because in this episode Alex and Jonathan, talk about the history of American gangster films through four classic and contemporary tales within the genre: Scarface (1932), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), Scarface (1983), and Goodfellas (1990). We discuss the origins of gangster stories being pulled from the contemporary headlines, how the genre…

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