Barry Jenkins has the only correct answer to the FilmStruck news.
- Bailing on the '90s
- Producer's Postscript: "Hold The Dark"
- The director that changed how Josh watched movies
- RIP FilmStruck
- New poll: Following up a Best Picture win
- Next on The Next Picture Show
At the top of last week's second segment, Adam and Josh spent a good five minutes talking through plans for this week's show. It was definitely gonna be a review of Jonah Hill's '90s-set directing debut, along with some related Top 5, maybe '90s Scenes or '90s Movie Cliches or 2018 Skateboard Movies (ok, not that one, because there's only one you really really really need to see.)
Well, now none of that is going to happen.
The day after recording, a Chicago screening of the new Suspiria was added that both Adam and Josh could make, so instead we'll have a review coming Friday of Luca Guadanino's remake of the Dario Argento cult classic and the Top 5 Uses of Color in Movies. (Since podcasting isn't the most visual of mediums, see some examples above of where our heads are at.)
I loved last week's "Hold The Dark" review. And really it was less review than it was Adam and Josh spending close to thirty minutes trying to figure out what the hell the movie was all about. Josh's take, in particular, is really out there.
Personally, I'm just glad it got discussed on the show. Even though it's not my favorite film of 2018, it has been one of my favorites to think about and discuss. Like most of the reviews I've read, my initial response to the film was that it was a triumph of style and mood, but lacking in substance. I thought maybe it was a failure of the script (which was not by Saulnier, but by his frequent collaborator Macon Blair), so I picked up the 2014 novel by William Giraldi that the film is based on. The book is written in a high, poetic style which takes some getting used to, but the plot hews very close to the film. And while the book is for the most part just as enigmatic as the film, it also provides a bit more context for the themes that Saulnier and Blair went on to explore. And in the end, the two work as really nice companion pieces that reward contemplation.
So what is "Hold The Dark" about?
I still can't say for sure, but I do think that setting the story in one of the most remote outposts of civilization allows Giraldi, Saulnier and Blair to evoke the most ancient of stories, Greek myth and oral tradition: stories of men and women coming to terms with the mythic power of nature, where the line between man and beast/nature and civilization starts to get erased.
So the movie was enough to hook me. Giraldi's book confirmed that the movie was really onto something. And then with Adam and Josh's review, the picture started to get even clearer. After listening to their conversation, I weighed in with some of my thoughts in this mid-week Filmspotting Slack exchange:
SPOILERS BELOW IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE
LAST WEEK, LOOKING AHEAD
Also on last week's show, a review of Tamara Jenkins' Private Life which proved that Josh and I share a taste for movies that play real-world anxiety for laughs, and also that we're on the same page when it comes to 2018's best performance by an actress.
Plus, recommendations for Marielle Heller's "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" and Frederick Wiseman's "Monrovia, Indiana." And Josh's disappointment with Nicole Holofcener's "The Land of Steady Habits." (For what it's worth, I really liked it.)
Listen to last week's show here. Partial transcript here.
Friday 11/9: Still up in the air. If we review something new, it will likely be the new Freddie Mercury biopic. Reviews so far have been... discouraging. So we're exploring other options. Got a suggestion? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE FILMSPOTTING Q&A: JOSH
Every week, a member of the Filmspotting family answers listener questions. This week, it's Josh's turn.
Jeff Milo (@milo_jeff)
Which filmmaker challenged you as a viewer, but also as a reviewer/analyst? Someone that expanded your perspective or just gave you new ways at looking at film? Not a favorite per se.
Hands down Andrei Tarkovsky. His work has taught me to do as much "interpreting" as I can of an incredibly dense and esoteric movie, but also be willing at some point to just throw up my hands and appreciate the experience. I guess I've learned from him that sometimes it's OK to be lost at the movies. Not bewildered, necessarily, but maybe mystified.
Listening to: The Suspiria score by Goblin, alongside Alexandre Desplat's Moonrise Kingdom score. The latter immediately came to mind as soon as those bells and whispers started during Suspiria. It's kind of fun to listen to them back to back.
Watching: Nailed It! My family has been laughing way too hard at the disastrous cakes made by the in-over-their-heads bakers of the Netflix reality show. I don't feel too bad, because the series has a carefree vibe that lets them in on the joke.
Reading: Faith Across the Multiverse: Parables from Modern Science, by Andy Walsh. This one's for the day job, a look at Christian theology through the lenses of mathematics, physics, biology, and computer science. Most of it is way over my head, but Walsh has a breezy teaching style that's kept me engaged, and his frequent use of sci-fi/fantasy analogies is right up my alley.
Have you got a question for Adam, Josh or Sam? Send it to email@example.com and we may use it for a future installment of the Q&A. Next week, I'll answer this question from listener Jeff Hodges:
How much editing/post \-production time goes into an average show?