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A biweekly roundtable by the former editorial team of The Dissolve examining how classic films inspire and inform modern movies. Episodes take a deep dive into a classic film and its legacy in the first half, then compare and contrast that film with a modern successor in the second. Hosted and produced by Genevieve Koski, Keith Phipps, Tasha Robinson and Scott Tobias. Part of the Filmspotting family of podcasts.
 
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show series
 
The new Australian film THE DRY is an adaptation of a hit novel, set in Victoria, that considers a remote community beset by grief over a mysterious loss, all of which reminded us of Peter Weir’s Australian New Wave classic PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK; but despite those similarities in general shape, the specific contours of the two films are vastly dif…
 
The new thriller THE DRY makes a central character of its setting, a rural Australian town plagued by a drought that’s turned it into a (literal) tinderbox, and haunted by a tragedy that threatens to send it into (metaphorical) flames. That heavily symbolic use of the Australian landscape, combined with its focus on a community in the aftermath of …
 
THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW hangs a lantern on its obvious homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW, but how does Joe Wright’s latest fare when placed into conversation with such a vaunted comparison point? We’re joined again this week by freelance critic Roxana Hadadi to determine just that — the answer probably will not surprise you — as well as the …
 
Joe Wright’s new adaptation of the bestselling novel THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is hardly the first film to tip its hat to Alfred Hitchcock in general and 1954’s REAR WINDOW in particular, in no small part because Hitchcock’s film is in many ways a movie about the act of watching movies. But it can also be processed as a film about storytelling in gen…
 
The new MORTAL KOMBAT, directed by Simon McQuoid, drops a new, nobody protagonist, Cole Young, into the videogame world’s established mythology, positioning him as an outsider within a generations-spanning supernatural battle. That conceit is a big part of why we chose to pair the film with John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, but does it …
 
The newest film iteration of MORTAL KOMBAT is a fighting fantasy with roots in the tradition of Asian martial arts movies, but with a pronounced supernatural component that pushes it deeper into the realm of the uncanny. That particular combination, along with the film’s outsider protagonist, put us in mind of John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE…
 
The second half of our pairing looking at young women publicly testing the goodwill of their loved ones drops in on another awkward community function in the form of SHIVA BABY’s titular gathering. We’re joined again by film writer Jordan Hoffman to talk about Emma Seligman’s extraordinary debut feature and how it connects to Jonathan Demme’s RACHE…
 
The new indie comedy SHIVA BABY’s focus on a young woman attending an obligatory family event and finding herself the center of attention reminded us of a similar cinematic predicament set at a very different sort of major life event: Jonathan Demme’s 2008 drama RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. Revisiting the film for this week’s pairing, along with our spe…
 
The new Bob Odenkirk-starring revenge thriller NOBODY could be read as commentary on the revenge thriller form, but that may be an overly generous reading — or it may just be because we’ve paired it this week with Steven Soderbergh’s THE LIMEY, which is much more overtly reflective about its fantasies of violence and retribution. After working thro…
 
The new NOBODY, starring Bob Odenkirk as an unlikely action star, is drawing on a long tradition of revenge movies, which means we had our pick of comparison points this week, but Steven Soderbergh’s 1999 film THE LIMEY struck us as particularly apt not just for the commentary it provides on the revenge narrative, but also for its focus on its prot…
 
The new HBO documentary TINA touches briefly but memorably on the release of 1992’s WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, but it’s much more focused on providing a bird’s-eye view of Tina Turner’s entire career, beyond the years she spent in a creatively fruitful but abusive partnership with Ike Turner. Watching the two films together, as we did for this …
 
It’s rare that one of the films in a Next Picture Show pairing is directly addressed in the other film, but that’s the case with WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT and the new documentary TINA, two films with distinctly different approaches tackling a common subject: the life of soul music legend Tina Turner. This week we zoom in on Tina through the len…
 
Unlike the last unicorn in the eponymous 1982 animated film by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., this week’s last-of-her-kind fantasy creature knows what happened to the rest of her kind, setting the new Disney Animation feature RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON off on a quest narrative that takes a much different shape than THE LAST UNICORN. We’re joined o…
 
While the new RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON shares far more with its Disney Animation brethren than anything made by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, those filmmakers’ 1982 animated adaptation of Peter S. Beagle’s THE LAST UNICORN shares RAYA’s interest in telling a story about humanity via the plight of a fantasy creature believed to be the last of it…
 
Yes, Lee Isaac Chung’s new feature MINARI is a story that involves family farming and scarcity of water, but its connections to Claude Berri’s 1986 tragedy JEAN DE FLORETTE go beyond plot similarities and into deeper explorations of community and outsiders. After discussing our initial reactions to MINARI we dig into those connections, as well as h…
 
Lee Isaac Chung’s new MINARI centers on a family starting over in the country, a theme that got us thinking about French director Claude Berri’s 1986 film JEAN DE FLORETTE, and how its concerns of agrarian hardship in general and water scarcity in particular echo those in Chung’s film. In this half of the pairing we get into JEAN DE FLORETTE’s unsp…
 
In Chloe Zhao’s new NOMADLAND, Frances McDormand’s Fern “drops out of society” not by choice, unlike the yuppie couple at the center of Albert Brooks’ 1985 comedy LOST IN AMERICA, but she proves much more adept than they at surviving (perhaps even thriving?) outside the mainstream. This week we bring NOMADLAND’s view of life on the road into conver…
 
Chloe Zhao’s new feature NOMADLAND presents a “houseless” life on the road as a choice born half out of desperation and half out of curiosity about life outside the American mainstream, which called to mind the yuppie adventurers looking to “drop out of society” in Albert Brooks’ 1985 comedy LOST IN AMERICA. This week, Brooks’ film serves as the ca…
 
Though Emerald Fennell has cited Mary Harron’s AMERICAN PSYCHO as one of the inspiration points for her buzzy debut feature PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, there’s not a whole lot obviously linking the films in terms of protagonist, narrative, or even their respective satirical targets. But as we discuss in this week’s comparison, both woman-directed films …
 
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN writer-director Emerald Fennell has cited AMERICAN PSYCHO as one of her cinematic reference points when creating her first debut feature, which was enough reason for us to revisit Mary Harron’s 2000 cult classic ‘80s satire to see if there’s more to that comparison than the films’ shared taste for dark, dark humor. First up th…
 
With the new ANOTHER ROUND, Thomas Vinterberg saw Alexander Payne’s 2004 middle-aged-men-drink-and-have-feelings comedy SIDEWAYS and said “Hold my Akvavit.” After swooning for a while over Vinterberg’s film — in particular its spectacular closing scene — we bring it into conversation with Payne’s to consider what the two films are each driving at w…
 
Among other accomplishments, Thomas Vinterberg’s new ANOTHER ROUND has unseated Alexander Payne’s SIDEWAYS as the ne plus ultra of funny films about sad men drinking their way through midlife crises. In celebration of that feat, this week we’re looking back at what made SIDEWAYS so intoxicating back in 2004, discussing the film’s many small moments…
 
Both Pixar’s new feature SOUL and Powell and Pressburger’s 1946 fantasy-romance A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH center on a soul gone missing from heaven’s ledger because he’s anxious to get back to his life on earth, but the journeys each of them takes to get there end up drawing different conclusions about the meaning of life. This week we’re joined a…
 
With the image early in SOUL of a conveyor belt ferrying new souls into the afterlife, the new Pixar film makes clear the thematic debt it owes to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1946 fantasy-romance A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH. But there’s much more to the Powell and Pressburger film than that indelible image; in this week’s half of our pai…
 
As we say goodbye to a moviegoing year like none other, we go off-format this week for a year-end discussion about what it meant to go to the movies — or not, as the case may be — in a pandemic year that’s still in the midst of upending the theatrical experience as we’ve known it. We also share our hopes for our filmgoing futures; look for some gli…
 
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