New Podcast: MOTION PICTURES – ‘The Cinematic Story of 2020’

Brand new podcast appearance.

In the latest episode of Motion Pictures, myself and my co-host Carl Sweeney discuss talk through the craziest year for cinema yet – the rollercoaster that was 2020.

What was cinema like before March? Did Disney+ signal the beginning of a new era for distribution? How did Tenet fare? And how does the Warner Bros decision effect 2021 and the unpredictable year to come? We ask these questions and many more.

Plus! We count down our five favourite films we did manage to see from 2020.
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New Podcast: MOTION PICTURES – ‘Fincher, Welles and the Auteur’ (Mank)

Brand new podcast appearance.

In the latest episode of Motion Pictures, A. J. Black and co-host Carl Sweeney this week celebrate the release of David Fincher’s chronicle of 1930s Hollywood, Mank, by discussing the cinematic auteur, in a special crossover episode with The Movie Palace Podcast.

What is auteur theory? How does it relate to Fincher and Orson Welles, who directed the key film central to Mank, Citizen Kane? And who else can be classified under this unique moniker?
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Film, Writing

Bill, Ted & the Dark Fate of the Legacyquel

With the arrival of Bill & Ted Face the Music, we find ourselves facing down the latest example of what has become known as the ‘legacyquel’.
First coined in late 2015 by Matt Singer in a piece for ScreenCrush, in advance of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the legacyquel operates from different principles than a traditional, standard follow up. The standard sequel continues the established story introduced in the original narrative – The Godfather Part II, for example. A legacyquel revives a property and the characters we came to know, years after the fact, often once they have been immortalised in popular culture – The Godfather Part III, for example, which gave us the final part of Michael Corleone’s tragic story sixteen years after we last saw him. Such immense gaps of time are common in sequels which are expressly designed to recapture, in the audience, a sense of reconnection with worlds and characters, and indeed the actors who play them, who mean a great deal to us.

This is certainly the case with Bill & Ted Face the Music, which expressly delivers another key aspect of the legacyquel – familiarity. Most legacyquels do not rock the creative boat and if they do, it is for a specific reason; a good example that bucks the trend is Star Trek 2009, which J. J. Abrams uses as both a legacyquel (allowing us to reconnect with Leonard Nimoy) and canonical reboot in which we rediscover Kirk & Spock while experiencing their origin stories. Star Trek in that sense is an aberration, with most legacyquels operating to the Bill & Ted principle: more of the same, with a much longer gap. This is the appeal of the legacyquel. Reboots offer nostalgia while exploring new ideas. Sequels or continuing franchises build on what has come before. Legacyquels are all about bringing you ‘home’ again.
This was, in many respects, the intention behind Terminator: Dark Fate. What saddens me is that it didn’t really work.
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