294: Retrospectating 1999 - AMERICAN BEAUTY

 
 

It’s a complicated movie with a complicated legacy. These are complicated times.
So it’s going to take a complex conversation to properly excavate the Best Picture winner from 1999 on the week of its 20th anniversary. Join us as we celebrate and ruminate [on] American Beauty, a film that–for better or for worse–defined the end of a decade and a bygone era of incorrigible ennui.
Listen closer. This is a complicated one.

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292: Oeuvre - The 1st Age of JOHN MCTIERNAN - 1986-1990

 
 

A new Oeuvre journey begins this week as we inaugurate our excavation into the career of one, John McTiernan. His incredible run from 1986 to 1990 represents a singular rise from relative obscurity to industry relevance, prominence, and pertinence. Join us as we set the table for his unique career path, attempt to divine meaning from his bizarre debut, and deep-dive into three of his most beloved masterworks. Vive l'oeuvre!

-NOMADS (1986)
-PREDATOR (1987)
-DIE HARD (1988)
-THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (1990)

(special thanks to Mr. Beau Marks — a longtime collaborator of John McTiernan — for consulting on this series)

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291: Retrospectating 1999 - BOWFINGER

 
 

If you’ve ever considered joining Mindhead, were always intrigued by the premise of “Chubby Rain,” or get nervous when someone asks you if you’re willing to cut your hair, then you’re probably going to get a lot out of this week’s episode. We’re revisiting the forgotten comedic gem Bowfinger, a film that got lost in the late summer of 1999 amid the feeding frenzy for repeated viewings of the The Sixth Sense. But there’s many things to glean from Steven Martin and Frank Oz’s sweet little 97 minute Hollywood satire (one of Eddie Murphy’s favorite of his own films) including some thematic and cultural cues that would signpost a comedic pivot that took place at the turn of the century. We hope that you’ll join us on this journey, and never forget- “Cash, every movie costs 2,184 dollars!”

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290: Retrospectating 1999 - THE SIXTH SENSE

 
 

In the tenth installment in our ongoing series about 1999 we revisit M. Night Shyamalan’s zeitgeist-rattling supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense; a film we had previously covered in our AFI Top 100 series and had been disproportionately hard on. This time around we look at the film with fresh eyes, examine its relationship to the horror movies that bookended it on the calendar (The Blair Witch Project and Stir of Echoes respectively), and even find time to throw some love toward under-appreciated gems Arlington Road and Deep Blue Sea- both of which also turned twenty last month to zero fanfare. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy M. Night.

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289: AFI #63 - CABARET

 
 

“The continent of Europe is so wide, mein herr.
Not only up and down, but side to side, mein herr.
I couldn't ever cross it if I tried, mein herr.
But I do…
What I can…
Inch by inch…
Step by step…
Mile by mile…
Man-by-man.”

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287: Retrospectating 1999 - EYES WIDE SHUT

 
 

We’re a week late for our 20th anniversary celebration of Stanley Kubrick’s provocative final masterpiece, Eyes Wide Shut. But the added buffer gave us more time to stew and reflect upon the truly bizarre cultural real estate that the film occupies in the the filmmaker’s career, in Cruise and Kidman’s respective filmographies, and within the weird and wonderful contextual sphere of the summer of 1999.

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283: Retrospectating 1999 - RUN LOLA RUN (U.S. Release)

 
 

On this week’s edition of our ongoing series “Retrospectating 1999” we revisit the forgotten German crime caper Run Lola Run.
Now, this film is technically attributed to 1998, which is when it premiered in Germany, Venice, and Toronto. But it first screened in the U.S. during the Sundance and Seattle Film Festivals (where it racked up multiple awards) respectively before finally getting a stateside release on June 18th, 1999.

It’s a miraculous movie that rarely gets talked up and we’re here to remedy that with a spirited discussion about fate, determinism, the metaphysical properties of electronic music, and the unexpected benefits of risking your last five euros on a make or break spin of the roulette wheel.

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279: Retrospectating 1999 - STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE

 
The-Phantom-Menace-star-wars-the-phantom-menace-29451700-642-437.jpg
 

On the third Wednesday of May in the year 1999, an unprecedented cinematic event took place in movie theaters around the world. Twenty years later, we’re still trying to answer two questions about the most anticipated / most disappointing film of the 20th Century:
“What the hell happened?”
and
“What does it all mean?”
Join us for another edition of our ongoing series “Retrospectating 1999” in which we masochistically revisit THE PHANTOM MENACE in an effort to uncover the truth behind the infamous fiasco at the center of a legitimate cultural phenomenon.

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278: Present Tense - Podcasters Assemble for an Epic AVENGERS: ENDGAME Roundtable

 
 

Marvel superfans and friends of the podcast, Anders Dahl and Ryan Julio join us this week as we lightning-round the 21 previous installments in the MCU’s Infinity Saga before digging deep into the franchise’s victory lap- the three hour emotional rollercoaster known as AVENGERS: ENGAME. A lot of personal growth, unexpected revelations, and soul-searching goes on in this episode so be forewarned- there will be SPOILERS not just about the film in question but also about your hosts. We could do this all day…

Skål Beer Hall (Anders’ Norwegian gastropub)
The Greyhound Bar and Grill (Ryan’s sports bar)
ETA (Ryan’s cocktail bar)

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277: Oeuvre - Wrapping and Ranking the Films of STEVEN SPIELBERG - 1971 - 2018

 
 

What a long, strange trip it’s been. We began our journey through Steven Spielberg’s 32-film oeuvre in August of 2017.
20 months later we’ve finally arrived at our 8th and final podcast in the series- a thorough and passionate reflection and ranking episode.
Join us as we curate our personal hierarchies of the man’s filmography, break down his budgets and box office receipts, rank performances, scores, scenes, shots, and finally reveal which director will be covered in our next Oeuvre series (premiering May 14th)!
Thanks for following us on this epic campaign through Steven Spielberg’s 47-year feature filmmaking odyssey. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster and now it’s time for a new mission.
Viva la Oeuvre!

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276: Oeuvre - The 7th Age of STEVEN SPIELBERG - 2015 - 2018

 
 

This installment is affectionately titled "Playing with House Money” and covers one film per year over four years, spanning 2015-2018:

-Bridge of Spies (2015)
-The BFG (2016)
-The Post (2017)
-Ready Player One (2018)

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275: Retrospectating 1999 - GO / ELECTION

 
 

Twenty years ago today a film was released that caught director Doug Liman, writer John August, and a cast of hot young upstarts at a moment of perfect aesthetic and artistic unanimity. Go wasn’t a big hit at the time and was even dismissed by Leonard Maltin as a “junior Pulp Fiction.” But the film has aged in a lot of fascinating ways over the last two decades and on this week’s episode we engage in a rare disagreement about many of them.
We also dig deep into an analysis of Alexander Payne’s second (and best?) film Election and its significance in the context of Reese Witherspoon’s unique oeuvre.
Viva la ‘99!

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273: Retrospectating 1999 - THE MATRIX

 
 

Twenty years ago this week a film came along that not only changed the way that we looked at science fiction, visual effects, and Keanu Reeve’s capacity for star power. It also legitimatized the fetishization of mirrored sunglasses, duster jackets, and leather pants. So pop your red pill, crank up the Rammstein, and dog-ear your copy of “Simulacra and Simulation.” We’re heading down the rabbit hole and back to March of 1999 for our definitive reevaluation of The Matrix. Never forget, there is no spoon!

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269: Retrospectating 1999 - OFFICE SPACE

 
 

20 years ago today, a 10 million dollar workplace comedy directed by the 37 year old creator of Beavis and Butthead was released by a major Hollywood studio and audiences ignored it EN MASSE. Today it occupies rarefied air as one of the most beloved cult texts of the 1990s. On the occasion of Office Space‘s 20th anniversary we travel back to 1999 to talk Liquid Television, Cornholio, Generation X, and the enduring legacy of Gary Cole’s matching tie and suspender set. If you don’t listen to this episode expect a strongly-worded memo about TPS reports to land on your desk first thing tomorrow morning.

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268: Retrospectating 1999 - VARSITY BLUES / SHE'S ALL THAT

 
 

In honor of the 20th anniversary of one of the all time great movie years, we’re debuting a new feature in which we deep-dive into the most important films of the last year of the 20th century: “Retrospectating 1999!”
Join us for our inaugural episode in which we excavate the “year of the teenager” phenomenon when films like Varsity Blues and She’s All That inadvertently emerged as flagship texts for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it paradigmatic shift.
For a moment in 1999, everyone wanted to be 16. Luckily, your devoted podcast hosts actually were that age at the time. Finally it pays off!

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