On this week's episode Paul Markoff and I venture into ANNIHILATION. It didn't occur to me until I was writing this that the film's metaphorical zone, The Shimmer, could be thought of as cinema itself, although I don't think that's what writer-director Alex Garland was necessarily trying to say. Still, art can refract how we understand ourselves and our surroundings. This reading could put a more pointed or amusing spin on the climax as it regards the interaction between the observed and observer. I really need to have this kind of revelation prior to or during the podcast recording and not days after the fact, though.
The recommendations segment on this episode is expanded a bit because I wanted to spread the word about the Wexner Center for the Arts' Cinema Revival: A Festival of Film Restoration. The event is a fantastic way to see a bunch of old films that look and sound perhaps as good as they ever have. The educational components, such as an enlightening session on the art of subtitling, are well worth attending too. A pass costs less than the manufacturer's suggested retail price of a Criterion Collection Blu-ray, so you get great value for all the films you can see at this easy-to-attend festival. Aside from the presenting guests, I suspect it draws few out-of-towners, but if you live within a reasonable drive or somewhere unlikely to get most of what is shown, it's worth your time and money to make a weekend of it. Screenings are spread over six days, but the bulk of the festival takes place Friday through Sunday.
We also spent more time than usual talking about Paul's recommendation of writer-director Cory Finley's debut THOROUGHBREDS. The drama with dark comedic elements was on my shortlist of potential recommendations for this month's recording session as well. If it hadn't been a film I was unaware of until it showed up in theaters, we might have given it the featured slot on an episode.
This is the first of two new episodes this week in an attempt to put out future episodes about three weeks from their films' release dates. You'll also notice below that we have scheduled our first episode featuring a film not in current release. I don't know how often we'll dig into the past for an in-depth film discussion, but it's something we'd like to do from time to time.
-March 23: GAME NIGHT and a discussion about the ideal theatrical experience
-March 28: RED SPARROW and our recommendations segment
-April 4: A WRINKLE IN TIME and a discussion about films from the last twenty years that were critically or commercially unsuccessful when released but may come to be considered classics
-April 11: MINORITY REPORT and our recommendations segment