Episode 033 – The Magic Jack O’Lantern 2016

Episode 033 – The Magic Jack O’Lantern 2016

In this episode, The Magic Jack O’Lantern 2016, we bring you our list of viewing tricks and treats to celebrate the season. We watched one Halloween inspired title every day in October and now pass the list and our impressions on to you in hopes that you might find some…

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Episode 032 – Halloween

Episode 032 – Halloween

I was eight years old when I saw the first television commercial for John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) and it was galvanizing. At that age, my horror cinema experience centered mainly around the cadre of Universal monsters, and I loved them, but this was a shot across my bow that I…

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Episode 031 – Black Christmas

Episode 031 – Black Christmas

I resisted the pull of Black Christmas (Clark, 1974) for a very long time. Too long. I thought it was going to be too scary (it is), or too violent (it’s not), or too gory (not really). When I finally watched it several years ago, I was delighted that it…

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Episode 030 – The Exiles

Episode 030 – The Exiles

Kent Mackenzie’s The Exiles (1961) was one of the first films to portray Native Americans as actual flesh and blood human beings with dreams, hopes, and flaws. For decades, Hollywood had perpetuated an array of stereotypes–the stoic noble savage, the princess and the squaw, and the bloodthirsty warrior among them–but…

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Episode 029 – Top Hat

Episode 029 – Top Hat

Top Hat (Sandrich, 1935), and by extension Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, breezed into my life and introduced me to a dreamy world of class, romance, and farce wrapped in a froth of Art Deco detail and the most beautiful dancing I’d yet seen. Even though I’ve enjoyed Astaire’s pairings…

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Episode 028 – Van Diemen’s Land

Episode 028 – Van Diemen’s Land

The first time I saw Jonathan auf der Heide’s Van Diemen’s Land (2009), it knocked me back in my seat. My head was already swirling that day seven years ago from everything else that Fantastic Fest had jammed into it. When you are trying to take in all that one…

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Episode 027 – Waiting for Guffman

Episode 027 – Waiting for Guffman

Ding dong! In 1996, a very special gift arrived for this theatre nerd. Waiting for Guffman (Guest, 1996) ticked many of my boxes: it was hilarious, well-acted, a musical, outrageously quotable, took place in a familiar milieu, and begged for repeated viewings. I was the loudest, most obnoxious moviegoer that…

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Episode 026 – Cloak & Dagger

Episode 026 – Cloak & Dagger

Very high stakes, an intelligent but troubled preteen, a plucky sidekick, an imaginary super spy friend, and Atari–put them all together and you’ve got Richard Franklin’s Cloak & Dagger (1984). As a nine year-old, I was thrilled by the twisting plot, effective performances and very real danger at the core…

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Episode 025 – La Ciénaga

Episode 025 – La Ciénaga

I first saw Lucrecia Martel’s debut feature, La Ciénaga (2001), in late 2008 and I have been thinking about it ever since. I was so thoroughly impressed with the clarity and completeness of her vision and her obvious self-possession that the images and, crucially, the sounds are never that far…

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