In this episode, Ben and I continue our series reviewing the films from Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list. In this edition, we cover Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru, and Agnes Varda’s Cléo from 5 to 7.
This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 113 – OV B-Roll – “Ben v Fireworks” – The Twilight Zone, Oscar Nominee Predictions, and Streaming Service Hypothetical – Feb 23, 2021
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
Premise: Bill O’Neal infiltrates the Black Panther Party per FBI Agent Mitchell and J. Edgar Hoover. As Party Chairman Fred Hampton ascends, falling for a fellow revolutionary en route, a battle wages for O’Neal’s soul
I couldn’t help but think of Kurt Vonnegut’s famous quote from his 1962 novel “Mother Night” while watching Judas and the Black Messiah: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” Vonnegut’s protagonist secretly worked to undermine the Nazis while still wearing the uniform, but was publicly and privately chastised for the rest of his life because of it. The novel, along with director Shaka King’s newest film Judas and the Black Messiah, brings to light an interesting moral conundrum: will we ultimately be remembered for our contributions to a cause, or our best intentions that we keep under the surface?
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (2021)
Premise: Two teens who live the same day repeatedly, enabling them to create the titular map.
Filmmakers tend to take on projects in familiar genres for one of two reasons: One could be to explore a previously untapped or underutilized element of the genre. The other could be to put their own personal spin on the material. Martin Scorcese explored the long-lasting effects of the typically short-lived life of crime in The Irishman. Ryan Coogler imprinted the Black experience on Black Panther. Even last year, the time-loop genre went through a reinvention of sorts with Palm Springs. I’m not saying that the release of The Map of Tiny Perfect Things is hindered by its proximity to Palm Springs; rather, it’s that it has hardly anything new to say, in a genre with fairly limited breathing room to begin with.
In this episode, Ben and I share our thoughts on the 2021 Golden Globe nominations and chat with Dean Kapsalis, whose cerebral character-driven psychological thriller The Swerve is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
This week’s stinger comes from our Patreon-exclusive recording: 109 – OV B-Roll – “Teasing Out the Taffy” – Top 5 Favorite Songs, Motion City Soundtrack, Blink 182, The Wallflowers, Band of Horses, Barenaked Ladies, Eagle-Eye Cherry, and Fastball – Jan 28, 2021
Posted in Ben Sears, Dean Kapsalis, Interview Episode, Movie Episode, Recurring Co-Hosts, The Obsessive Viewer Podcast
Tagged Ben Sears, Dean Kapsalis, Movie Episode, Podcast, recurring cohost, The Obsessive Viewer, The Swerve
Premise: An ex-convict strikes up a friendship with a boy from a troubled home.
Many elements of AppleTV+’s Palmer will probably seem familiar to many of its viewers, but the film still does offer some redeeming qualities. Fortunately, director Fisher Stevens imbues the film with enough heart, and fills the cast with capable actors from top to bottom, to get past any glaring issues. Stevens, primarily a documentarian behind the lens, makes the film feel like a real place, populated with real people, rather than mouthpieces trying to get an agenda across. Too often we take for granted that aspect of movie-making, and here it’s one more feather in Palmer‘s cap.