Episode 9: A Hard Day’s Night

The Beatles perform in A Hard Day's Night

Nate and Ryan welcome Evan Mather back to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of A Hard Day’s Night, starring The Beatles and directed by Richard Lester. Along with their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, A Hard Day’s Night was America’s first introduction to The Beatles.  What was originally conceived as a money-making venture to capitalize on the popularity of The Beatles, turned out to be a smart, funny, subversive take on fame and the entertainment industry, all while successfully making a ton of money.

Nate, Ryan, and Evan discuss the movie’s enduring commentary on fame and popularity, authority and freedom, and the quality of popular art.  They also discuss whether being a Beatles fan has a bearing on your enjoyment of A Hard Day’s Night. So even if you aren’t a fan of the Fab Four, find a copy of the newly released Criterion Collection version of the film.  BONUS: Giggle along with the boys as they discuss which Beatle is their favorite.

Find out more information about the Criterion version and watch some of the special features here.

Ryan mentions that the folks over at The Dissolve made A Hard Day’s Night their Movie of the Week earlier this year.  Read Keith Phipps’ keynote on the film, as well as their forum discussion.

Also, check out Colin Fleming’s great article about the deep art of A Hard Day’s Night.

As always, let us know your thoughts in our comment section!  Are you more of a Paul or a John?  You’re not a Ringo are you?

Episode 8: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the release of Pulp Fiction, Nate and Ryan invite their good friend Tim Yoder in to point guns at one another while screaming about the polarizing figure that is writer/director Quentin Tarantino.  Pulp Fiction is a brilliant film that marked a change in American film, especially American independent film.  Spawning several imitators and even more debates, Pulp Fiction solidified Quentin Tarantino as an important filmmaker. It also left many questioning whether he was a genius or just a provocateur.

Nate, Ryan, and Tim discuss Tarantino’s full catalogue as a way of better understanding who he is and how we might receive his work.  If you haven’t seen all his movies, or haven’t seen them in a while, we suggest watching and re-watching them.  It’s an interesting exercise and you’ll probably find that the films aren’t quite what you remember, for good and bad.  However, we’d suggest spacing your viewings out a bit.  Too much Quentin Tarantino can be quite Tarantiring.

In the episode, Tim mentions a video by Tony Zhou that analyzes the visual comedy of Edgar Wright, but also mentions Tarantino and is a fantastic, interesting video nonetheless.  Zhou does an amazing job explaining quickly and simply why Edgar Wright is on another level when it comes to comedy film-making.  A must see for fans of Edgar Wright.  And if you aren’t a fan of Edgar Wright, what is wrong with you?

Episode 7: Gremlins

gremlinsAs a way of ringing in summer blockbuster season and celebrating the 30th anniversary of a great year in movies (see our list of 5 great ones from 1984), Nate and Ryan watched Gremlins, a film that, for some reason, neither of them had seen.  Though this episode didn’t start out as a traditional “Nate vs. Ryan” episode, they couldn’t help but draw battle lines and square off about the value of Gremlins.

After listening, tell us your thoughts on movies from 1984, blockbusters, movies that are “so bad, they’re good,” and movies that maybe shouldn’t have been marketed towards kids.

While you’re at it, read this great piece on Gremlins (by the great Noel Murray) from The Dissolve, one of our favorite film websites.

If you like what we do, leave us a rating on iTunes, send us an email at feedback@canwestillbefriends.net, follow us on Twitter, and by all means, tell your friends! We are very grateful to everyone who is listening and letting us know what they think.

Also, if you leave us a voice mail at 847-306-9532, there’s a good chance you’ll hear yourself on the podcast.

Episode 6: Pinocchio

n8v2ugyc3DPYiU68d0XqNKWNQIvEvan Mather joins us once again to discuss Pinocchio, the 1940 Disney Classic that was recently named by Time Out New York as the best animated movie ever made.  Since we hadn’t seen Pinocchio in a long time, we rewatched it to see if we agree with the experts who compiled the list.  We also discuss some of our favorite animated movies.

What do you think should have made the list that didn’t?  What was unjustly ranked too high or too low?  What would you put at number one?

 

Episode 5: The Sandlot

The-SandlotWith summer just around the corner, we discuss a movie from our childhood that makes us long for the days of no school and no responsibilities.  The Sandlot enjoys a place of unalterable honor in many people’s minds, Nate’s included.  Ryan doesn’t hold it in such high esteem.   In this episode, we discuss nostalgia, memory, and how much personal history plays a part in how we watch movies.

Listen, then tell us your thoughts.  Is there a movie from your childhood that you’ll defend till you die?  What sets The Sandlot apart from all the other sports/kids movies in people’s minds?