206 episodes

This is the collected archive of in-depth movie podcasts produced and hosted by Alex Shaw since 2010, joined by Sharon Shaw in 2014. For brand new episodes subscribe to the School of Movies podcast as well.

These are spread across three volumes:
Digital Gonzo (2010-2014)
Digital Drift (2014-2015) and
School of Movies (2015-Present)

Coming soon: The School of Everything Else Archive.

The School of Movies Archive Alex Shaw

    • TV & Film

This is the collected archive of in-depth movie podcasts produced and hosted by Alex Shaw since 2010, joined by Sharon Shaw in 2014. For brand new episodes subscribe to the School of Movies podcast as well.

These are spread across three volumes:
Digital Gonzo (2010-2014)
Digital Drift (2014-2015) and
School of Movies (2015-Present)

Coming soon: The School of Everything Else Archive.

    Zootopia

    Zootopia

    [School of Movies 2016]
    We're back talking about Disney and we've jumped from their 21st animated classic all the way to the 55th.
    Dan was not available this time round but when we reach this movie in our list of films we're going through naturally anyway we can get his take on it for an epilogue. 
     
    This was a movie that kind of came out of nowhere and delighted pretty much everyone by having a lot more going on below the surface than your average animated animal adventure. At the very least it's a major new find for the furry community as our guests Lorin Grieve from A Year of Steam and Matt Wardle and Laureta Sela of New Century can attest. As well as this there is a multi-layered and infinitely applicable series of social commentaries on everyday prejudices. This downright demanded discussion so we pulled out all the stops to deliver you a packed two hour show. 
     
    Folks on the patreon at the $5 per month support level can, this week, get their paws on an additional 90 minutes of rambling tangents which also took place during recording and while fascinating in places, strayed far from the movie itself. If you love these shows there are far worse things you could do with five bucks every thirty days which DON'T get you access to exclusive content. 
     
    Guests: 
     
    Doctor Lorin Grieve from Year of Steam
     
    Laureta Sela of New Century
     
    Matt Wardle of New Century

    • 1 hr 55 min
    Logan

    Logan

    [School of Movies 2017]
    This one took a lot out of us. 
    The tenth X-Men-related movie, and just like the other two really great instalments in this series (First Class and Deadpool) most of its strengths are augmented by only having tenuous ties to what came before. 
    Both a sobering goodbye to two of our established heroes and the actors inhabiting the roles, and an introduction to a little acting tornado who pulled off the performance of a lifetime right out of the gate, this film stands as testament to what a steady hand and a focus on character can achieve in a marketplace stuffed with citywide destruction and CGI final bosses without any personality… in fact it used the latter to make a statement on its central protagonist. 
    Logan is impressive, sparing, powerful and heartbreaking, and more than worthy in all kinds of nominations among the best of 2017.

    • 1 hr 38 min
    Coraline

    Coraline

    [School of Movies 2017]
    A commissioned show from Joel Robinson, this is the first of the LAIKA studio movies. 
    Written by Neil Gaiman of Sandman fame, Coraline is the story of a girl dissatisfied with her boring parents and finding her way into a strange pocket universe, and a mirror of her new house, itself containing a woman who claims to be her "Other Mother".
    This film has, what I like to call a "Twisted sumptuousness", and Sharon and I delve into the many details hidden throughout.

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

    [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. 

    • 1 hr 16 min
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

    [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.) 

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Book of Life

    Book of Life

    [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. 

    • 1 hr 45 min

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