In this episode, Tyler and David discuss some of their favorite individual artistic achievements of 2013.
There are some that might be inclined to say that art and science are polar opposites. It’s easy to see why. One is based entirely on subjective interpretation of the world, while the other strives to discover objective fact. What Mark Levinson’s fascinating documentary Particle Fever suggests is that, though different in practice, art and science originate from the same place within humanity. Each fulfills a longing to have a deeper understanding of the world around us. And while science may be seen to be a dry, dispassionate pursuit, Levinson’s film invites us into the world of scientific discovery, and all of the excitement that it can contain.
Eugenio Mira’s Grand Piano, an unexpected delight that played Fantastic Fest last year, doesn’t waste any time getting things moving. We get a brief and ominous scene of the titular instrument being removed from storage in a stately mansion and put on a truck and then we are almost immediately in the back of a limousine with Elijah Wood’s famed pianist, Tom Selznick, headed into downtown Chicago for what will be the concert of his life in more ways than he knows.
The Face of Love sets itself up for an uphill climb from the start. Within the first five minutes, through the use of foggy flashbacks, our main character has already become an emotionally shattered (one could say “mopey”) shell, aimlessly shuffling around an immaculately decorated house. We are so quickly introduced to Nikki and Garrett before his death that there isn’t much sense of their life together and how the loss would truly affect her — of course, losing one’s husband would be completely devastating, but The Face of Love doesn’t do anything to build a strong foundation in its story. Luckily, though, we have Annette Bening and Ed Harris, who can bring plenty of gravitas with little effort.
In this episode, Rudie and West continue their series on Edgar Wright with a discussion about The World’s End.
In this episode, Kyle and Lincoln are joined by David Bax to discuss The Reflecting Skin.
Because of the nature of their making, movies are somewhat more unwieldy than music or painting in capturing the actual act of creation. However, the ability the have the course of the pursuit changed on a dime, to completely upend established mood, rhythm, tone, and aesthetic, does make cinema a perfect medium to reflect upon this act, especially when you have someone at the helm who has almost certainly hit the walls inherent to it many times. Alain Robbe-Grillet, best known for upending the structure of both the novel (with works such as Jealousy) and the film (with Last Year at Marienbad), uses Trans-Europ-Express to both parody the movements that allowed him to flourish, and to question the value of the works resulting from such madness, all the while celebrating the very act of doing so.
Awful Nice is a comedy about two brothers who are suddenly brought back into each other’s lives when their father passes away. It isn’t a new concept; the “dysfunctional family brought together in a major life moment” is, by this point, a cliché. Even the story this time around isn’t particularly engaging. Yet somehow, director Todd Sklar (no relation to friends of BP Jason and Randy Sklar) creates a surprisingly watchable film, with a weird energy that makes it unpredictable and exciting. For a typical family-issues comedy, it’s pleasantly atypical.
In this episode, Tyler is joined by Jason Eaken and Kyle Anderson to discuss the 86th Academy Awards ceremony.