The real-time, film commentary podcast about films (or film aspects) that may have been overlooked. This podcast is intended to be played alongside the film in question, as you watch.
Last Year at Marienbad (1961)
Film commentary track for Last Year at Marienbad (1961).
The Hill (1965)
David: When a military prison devoted to regimentation, correction and the rebuilding of wayward units fails to manage its own, the hierarchy of power turns upon itself. As those who covet power scramble to avoid responsibility, repercussions twist and twist again into a Rubic’s cube of blame and counter blame. We salute the departing Sean Connery with this not-quite-obscure-but-lesser-known anti-Bond vehicle directed by Sydney Lumet.
Jules: A rare pleasure for those interested in well-constructed plots and characters who are just complex enough to support the dramatic conceit. Adroit and affecting work from all, especially Connery.
Jules: Is it possible to make a film about vampires that is not a vampire film? The genre is perennial, with familiar tropes that filmmakers endlessly adjust to achieve varied ends. Power, class struggle, sex, death, eternal life and eternal damnation; each theme intersects vividly across the genre. Neil Jordan seeks transcendence for his antiheronies, from their plight, and their genre within film, with some success.
David: At the heart of many a vampire story sits the dramatic tension between desire or love and the hunger to devour, and next to that the ultimate existential question - would immortality be a prize or a curse? Neil Jordan’s third foray into romantic horror and his second vampire-duo story (after Interview With The Vampire - 1994) this time with a gender flip, wanders among some interesting themes, though perhaps with more convolution and less art than it could have done.
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)
David: A black satire perhaps running overlong with other ideas. It presages a spate of dark, disillusioned and memorably bleak films from the following year 1969. What does this say about the realities of 1968? The swinging 60s was as dead as the Summer of Love and the young boomers came out of it a cynical lot. This telling of the famous doomed British cavalry charge overviews the production of cannon fodder, from street urchins to gold-buttoned mounties of imperial glory and, with one blunder from overconfident under-experienced aristocrats of bought rank, into the valley of death. A reminder that war is most famous for its disasters. A stellar 60s British cast is present, featuring what must be Trevor Howard’s greatest role.
Jules: Is warfare a matter of duty, ambition, or efficient management? Tonal confusion meets tragicomedy in this anti-war epic.
Spirits of the Dead - Toby Dammit
Jules & David commenteer on Frederico Fellini's contribution to the three-part Edgar Allen Poe adaptation from 1968.
Spirits of the Dead - William Wilson (1968)
Part Two of the Vadim-Malle-Fellini moral ménage à trois.
David: Does the shadow have its own shadow? Does a remorseless psychopath have a suppressed or intermittent conscience, or none at all? What if they were one day confronted by one?
Jules: One is accustomed to thinking of oneself as having a dark side; implying that one is essentially good. But what if one discovers that one is the shadow, repeatedly assailed by the light?