Episode 137 – Welcome to the Dollhouse

Episode 137 – Welcome to the Dollhouse

It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty-five years since Todd Solondz blessed us with the hero we didn’t know we needed in Dawn Wiener as we meet her in Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995). Simply put, this changed what I thought was possible with movies about being a kid. I…

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Episode 136 – Boyhood

Episode 136 – Boyhood

Watching Boyhood (Linklater, 2014) in the theater was an ineffably special experience. The film itself is an astounding accomplishment, following the life of not just a boy, but also that of his mother, father, and sister. Time unfolds before us. It meanders like a river that we and the characters…

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Episode 135 – Tetsuo: The Iron Man

Episode 135 – Tetsuo: The Iron Man

There have been very few films that blindsided me the way that Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Tsukamoto, 1989) did. I was just beginning to grasp how much there was out there to explore that fell outside the realm of multiplexes and the mainstream. Then this desperate missive from the fringes…

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Episode 133 – Rolling Thunder

Episode 133 – Rolling Thunder

There’s a strange alchemy at work in Rolling Thunder (Flynn, 1977). We start with two subgenres that really flourished in the seventies – the Vietnam homecoming and the revenge mission. William Devane turns up that tension by giving as tightly controlled a performance as we’ve seen from him. Tommy Lee…

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Episode 132 – Raising Arizona

Episode 132 – Raising Arizona

What a treat it is to come back again and again to Raising Arizona (Coen, 1987). I have seen the film at least 20 times, and I laugh just as hard at each viewing. The Coen Brothers (Joel as director, along with Ethan as co-writer) have crafted a surreal, insane,…

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Episode 128 – Cléo from 5 to 7

Episode 128 –  Cléo from 5 to 7

There is a question I pose during the episode: if anyone who disparaged the French New Wave started with Cléo from 5 to 7 (Varda, 1962), might they feel differently about the movement? I think so. If you are looking for a place to begin pretty much any film journey,…

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