Michael Glass

A Conversation with Adam Carver on 120 BPM

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I’ve been obsessing over 120 Beats Per Minute since I first saw it and have been wanting to talk about it with anyone willing. I did a recent podcast with Michael Glass on the film as part of the Eavesdropping at the Movies podcast. And this is one of what I hope will be at least several conversations on the film. If the first podcast was in conjunction with a young heterosexual critic, this one is with a young queer arts producer/ art maker: Adam Carver is a designer, theatre-maker and creative producer for SHOUT, the Festival of Queer Arts and Culture in Birmingham. I wanted to talk to him because almost all of my conversations on the film had been with people more or less my age, people who’d come out in the 80s, lived some of the experiences represented in the film first-hand, and with whom I more or less shared all the responses the film elicited. I wanted to talk to Adam not only because of his interests in queer arts and culture but also because he’s much younger, several generations younger, and would bring a different and, to me, much needed perspective on the experience of watching the film. I hope some of you at least will find the conversation interesting and useful.

 

José Arroyo

 

48 – I, Tonyah (Craig Gillespie, USA, 2017)

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The story of Tonya Harding raises all manner of issues for us to delve into. I, Tonya is a film about class, domestic abuse, celebrity, opportunity, achievement. We examine its visual design and use of competing aspect ratios, its use of direct address to camera, and the conceptualisation of the working class characters and mother-daughter relationship. Mike believes it insists upon Tonya Harding’s fame too heavily, not aware of how she’s only really remembered in the USA. Jose finds its portrayal of working class people uncomfortable. An energetic discussion.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

We appreciate your feedback so do keep on sending it.

José Arroyo and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

Eavesdropping at the Movies 46 –The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro, USA, 2017)

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A discussion of the great Guillermo del Toro’s Shape of Water, a film full of what he’d describe as eye protein. It’s beautiful to look at and that visual beauty is shaped for meaning and feeling. We discuss how the opening shot evokes Sirk in Written on the Wind, Sally Hawkins’ performance; we have problems with the conceptualisaton of the Richard Jenkins character; note how the film, though it’s set in the Kennedy, era feels 30s. We discuss why all the musical clips are from Fox musicals of the classic era. In short, we discuss its characterisation, its performances, its cinematography, its relationship with the classic cinema and fairytales from which it builds. We use the word “beautiful” about two hundred times. Michael Shannon retains my vote for best actor of his generation in spite of playing a one-dimensional type rather than a fully rounded character. He conveys more with the planes of his face than other actors do with soliloquies. A fascinating but not perfect film.

 

 

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

We appreciate your feedback so do keep on sending it.

José Arroyo and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

Eavesdropping at the Movies 28 – The Greatest Showman

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I go on in an ornery mood finding fault with every aspect of the film. Kind Mike largely agrees but finds room for praise. He also turns the film’s faults into such good jokes that it lifted me out of the dark cloud the film had put me into. One of those instances where the conversation after a film was better than the film itself. A heavily edited version can be heard here:

 

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link

A fine article on the surprising success of the film can be read here

José Arroyo and  Michael Glass of Writing About Film

27 – Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi – Second Screening

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Mike and I return to a galaxy far, far away, in search of new perspectives and thoughts on The Last Jedi. Mike in particular has been itching to talk more about it since he feels he was unfairly lukewarm the first time. We ruminate on what makes Star Wars feel different to other sci-fi; how films may feel tighter and shorter on second viewing (this one does); Han’s dice; confusion on the resistance cruiser;  we give proper due to the character and performance of Rosie; talk about the great uses of sound in the film; we compare seeing the film in 3D-IMAX and 2-D; whether a Jedi can survive in space; and the differences between the First Order and the Empire, and Hux’s construction as a figure of fun. We still disagree about Mark Hamill’s performance and end the podcast by talking about love.

 

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

 

José Arroyo and  Michael Glass of Writing About Film

Flatliners – Eavesdropping at the Movies – Ep 9 – 7th October 2017

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With a weary sigh, we get to Flatliners. Ellen Page, James Norton, Diego Luna and Kiersey Clemons expand their minds and run around shitting themselves in fear. Questions abound: Why did they call this Flatliners when the obviously correct title is Hot Doctors? Was Kiefer Sutherland wasted? Is it wise to be wasted while appearing in a film? In precisely how many millions of ways is the film inconsistent? Just how stupid and blind is its attitude towards the very real problems it presents? Does it make sense as a horror flick? Just how obsessed are Mike and Jose with the cast’s attractiveness? Who’s hotter, the ginger guy or the hot girl? All this and Catholic guilt too.

José Arroyo and Michael Glass of Writing About Film

IT – Eavesdropping at the Movies – Ep 6 – 22nd September 2017

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What is IT? Is IT any good? Is IT scary? How much of IT did Mike watch through his fingers? Why would he agree to see IT in LieMAX? Was he right about the bit with the sink? (Spoiler: He has googled it and discovered that he was wrong.)

Recorded on 17th September 2017.

José Arroyo and Michael Glass of Writing About Film

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Eavesdropping at the Movies – Ep 2 – 23rd August 2017

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The second instalment of the Eavesdropping at the Movies podcast with Michael Glass of Writing About Film,  where we hope to offer the experience of eavesdropping on friends chatting informally about a movie after just watching it.

This week the focus is on The Hitman’s Bodyguard and the topics under discussion include: Can an action film that goes through Coventry be any good? Is it important that action scenes are funny? Is Gary Oldman a whore? All valuable questions. All answered in our chat about The Hitman’s Bodyguard. I think.

José Arroyo and Michael Glass.

Eavesdropping at the Movies — The Dark Tower

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The second instalment of the ‘Eavesdropping on Mike and José after a movie’ podcast with Michael Glass of Writing About Film,  where we hope to offer the experience of eavesdropping on friends chatting informally about a movie after just watching it. The focus this week is on The Dark Tower and topics under discussion this week include whether Idris Elba has it in him to be a film star, the excellence of Matthew McConaughey’s performance, the value of watching a film in 3-4DX, and whether Mike has better eyebrows than Carla Delevingne.

José Arroyo

Eavesdropping on Mike and José After a Movie

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This is a trial episode of a possible podcast that Michael Glass of ‘Writing About Film’ and I are posting primarily to get feedback. It’s done as an mp4 so you can play it on your computer’s usual player, like a video. I have this romantic idea of the movies as a conjunction of place, people and experiences, all different for each of us, a context in which individual and separate beings try to commune, where the individual experience overlaps with the communal and where that overlapping is demarcated by how we measure the differing responses between ourselves and the rest of the audience: do they laugh when we don’t (and what does that mean?); are they moved when we feel like laughing (and what does that say about me or the others) etc. The idea behind this podcast is to satiate the urge I sometimes have when I see a movie alone – but that I also hope is shared by at least some of you — to eavesdrop on what others say. What do they think? How does their experience compare to mine? Snippets are overhead as one leaves the cinema and are often food for thought. A longer snippet of such an experience is what this podcast hopes to provide: it’s two friends chatting immediately after a movie. It’s unrehearsed, meandering, slightly convoluted, certainly enthusiastic, and well informed, if not necessarily on all aspects a particular work gives rise to, certainly in terms of knowledge of cinema in general and considerable experience of watching different types of movies and watching movies in different types of ways. It’s not a review. It’s a conversation. One roughly transmuted into another format so that you may overhear. We know the design of the image is lousy; and that the transitions between snippets are roughly cut. But what do you think of the idea, the title, the format?  Feedback and suggestions most gratefully received.

 

José Arroyo

(also on behalf of Michael Glass)

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