We continue to think aloud about Pedró Almodovar, this time focussing on Matador. Richard is ill so I am joined by Harry Russell to discuss the film. Some of the topics touched upon are the themes of sex and death, Spanish-ness and bullfighting, camp, masculinity, the classical structuring of the plot, the glossy production values, and why — whilst it is hugely entertaining — it might yet not be up to the heights of Almodóvar’s other work.
When Joe Dante was convinced by Warner Bros. to make Gremlins 2, it was due to the fact he was promised he could do anything he wanted. Dante took this and ran with it, creating a sequel that challenged the very worth and necessity of sequels. This video essay seeks to explore some of the ways in which the film does this, through its relationship with the original Gremlins, as well as its relationship to sequels as they’re commonly understood. Utilising the writing of Stuart Henderson and Thomas Schatz it first explores the forms that sequels take, followed by the industry incentives behind them, then going on to approach how Gremlins 2 interacts with both these facets of the sequel. I implicitly engage with the fan culture around Gremlins 2 through the conscious choice to include modern day artefacts about it, both by fans in the case of the Chapo Trap House interview as well as wider cultural perception as seen in the Key & Peele sketch. Gremlins 2 is a sequel about the nature of sequels, how they are produced, how they can stifle creativity, and whether or not they are even necessary in the first place. Dante was fortunate to have complete control over his project, and he used that ability to the fullest to produce the opposite of what any studio executive wanted to see from a Gremlins sequel.