Feminist Frequency presents Cinemaball! What’s the shortest distance between two movies? Carolyn Petit and Ebony Aster are determined to find out! In Feminist Frequency’s new weekly, limited run* podcast, your intrepid hosts will compete to form a chain of ostensibly-unrelated films, in an attempt to discover just how many movies they have to watch to connect one terrible movie to another. What exactly links one movie to another? Criteria can be a shared actor, director, plot, or even a similar title -- but each host has to agree on the connection before the game of CinemaBall can continue!
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Cinemaball 01: Highlander (1985)
On this, our inaugural episode of Cinemaball, Carolyn and Ebony dive deep into the 1985 cult classic Highlander! This quintessential 80s film gives us no shortage of topics to discuss, from French actor Christopher Lambert’s performance as a Scottish nobleman to Scottish actor Sean Connery’s performance as a Spanish (or perhaps Egyptian?!) immortal. We delve into the rich contrast between Lambert’s introspective hero, Connor MacLeod, and Clancy Brown’s scenery-chewing villain, The Kurgan; share who we would cast in our own personal Highlander remakes; and rate the film on Ebony’s brother’s patented 100-star scale. Finally, Carolyn kicks the cinemaball over to their next film.
Cinemaball 02: Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018)
On this episode of Cinemaball, Ebony and Carolyn find themselves embroiled in the deadly underground Thai kickboxing scene of Kickboxer Retaliation! Join us as we go toe-to-toe with the film’s fight choreography, its representations of masculinity, and Mike Tyson’s acting skills.
Cinemaball 03: It Follows (2014)
Don’t look behind you, but on this episode of Cinemaball, Ebony and Carolyn talk about the terrifying horror film It Follows. (Caro is still recovering from her viewing experience.) We discuss the ways in which the film taps into some of our deepest fears around sex and death, the power of the various forms “it” takes, how the film uses its Detroit setting to great effect, and the small details that make its world feel just slightly displaced from our own. We end by each rating the film and Carolyn announces what we’ll be watching on next week’s show!
Cinemaball 04: Louder Than Bombs (2015)
On this week’s Cinemaball, Ebony and Carolyn discuss the complex family drama Louder Than Bombs, which stars the captivating actor Gabriel Byrne as Gene, a man still trying to fully process the death of his wife, war photographer Isabelle. His sons, high-schooler Conrad and professor Jonah (played by Jesse Eisenberg) each have their own struggles, and over the course of the film we gain insight into the different meaning that Isabelle had for each of them.
Our conversation touches on what makes Gabriel Byrne such a fascinating actor, the use of video games as an easy shorthand for “this kid is troubled,” the prioritization of the inner lives of white men over just about anyone else as a pattern in cinema, and the ways in which photography works as a metaphor in the context of the film’s narrative. In the end, Ebony announces our next film, and the selection makes Carolyn very, very happy.
View the basic rules of Cinemaball and a history of all episodes at goo.gl/ePDPuQ
Cinemaball 05: L.A. Confidential (1997)
This week, Cinemaball goes all stylish and dark as Carolyn and Ebony dissect the 1997 neo-noir classic, L.A. Confidential. Our hosts wax rhapsodic about the film's masterful evocation of a peculiarly Hollywood glamour; the seedy underbelly of the LAPD; and the dangerous allure of power.
Cinemaball 06: Romancing the Stone (1984)
Adventure! Romance! Racism! On the latest Cinemaball, Ebony and Carolyn swing into the 1984 swashbuckler Romancing the Stone, starring Kathleen Turner, Michael Douglas and a very funny Danny DeVito. Our conversation covers the interesting way in which the film depicts a scene from a romance novel, what was happening in actual romance novels at the time this film was released, the deeply racist depiction of Colombia and its people, the gleeful absurdity of the film’s plot, and much more.
The Best Movie Podcast I’ve Encountered?
Carolyn Petit and Ebony might just have the best movie criticism podcast I’ve ever encountered. Their chemistry is great and the podcast strikes a great balance between personal take and humor as well critical examination with good examples of why they each feel the way they do about the movies. Things move along fluidly, the pace is great and I’m always entertained, never bored.
I’m a white guy (cisgender) so it’s great to see which parts of movies translate in a more universal way and yet also get some really different perspectives on gender and race in the movies reviewed. It comes across organically and authentically, never pretentiously. Even when they were finding flaws with one of my favorite movies, I wasn’t at all offended because they presented their perspectives in ways that completely made sense and were well supported.
If you want a movie podcast that genuinely makes you both laugh and think, that’s willing to both appreciate sentimentality and artistry while also exploring flaws and problematic elements, then this is the podcast for you. I love it and hope you do too.
Weird But Fun Film Podcast
Though my tastes don’t always align with theirs, I love listening to Carolyn and Ebony dive into different films that they pick. I also like the game/point aspect. I hope this podcast comes back soon!
It’s okay i kinda like feminist frequency but this is them at their best but just saying I think it would be really fun if they had a podcast with a racist, a feminist and someone in between.