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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2019) #2!

It’s time for the latest Scannain podcast!

This week, I join Ronan Doyle and Jay Coyle to discuss the week in film news. But first, we talk about the films that we’ve watched this week, and what a bumper selection that runs the gamut from Wim Wenders’ Trick of the Light to films like Gotti and United Passions. There’s also an extended chat about the impact and legacy of Cloud Atlas, and the work of the Wachowski Sisters in general.

It’s also a bumper week for film news, with the looming Oscar nominations, the Screen Ireland 2019 production slate, the American release of Maze, the South by Southwest premiere of Extra Ordinary, the announcement of Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters sequel, and the Dublin International Film Festival Fantastic Flix lineup.

The top ten:

  1. Creed II
  2. Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet
  3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody
  5. Aquaman
  6. Bumblebee
  7. The Upside
  8. The Favourite
  9. Stan and Ollie
  10. Mary Poppins Returns

New releases:

You can download the episode here, or listen to it below.

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Maniac (Review)

Maniac is Inception meets Cloud Atlas, filtered through a prism of eighties retrofuturism.

That is to say that Maniac will not be for everybody. Indeed, there will be very many people for whom Maniac will simply not work, seeming too weird, too strange and too esoteric. Indeed, it often seems like Maniac is being weird for the sake of being weird, often populating even fairly standard character- or dialogue- driven scenes with small uncanny elements like a foul-mouthed purple robotic koala or a mostly-unseen alien ambassador with a “beautiful blue exoskeleton.” These elements often exist for their own sake. Even when they serve as symbolism, they are often deliberately obtuse.

No Stone unturned.

However, the surreal and contradictory imagery that populates Maniac is a large part of what makes the series so interesting. The bizarre dream-like imagery is very much at the core of Maniac, a bizarre fantasia where everything might possibly be a stand-in for something else or might simply have been plucked half-formed from the imagination with no deeper meaning. Maybe the beautiful alluring alien represents the hawk that a young boy took into his room; maybe the alien represents the predator brother that a young man wants to protect. Maybe sometimes a beautiful blue alien is just a beautiful blue alien.

Maniac is sure to be a polarising experience. Marmite for the television era. Indeed, based on early reviews, it already is. However, it is also a brilliant piece of work; inventive, demented, committed, affecting. This kooky cocktail won’t click with every viewer, but it’ll resonate deeply with those drawn in.

Taking the matter in hand.

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Boy, Is My Face Yellow: The Cloud Atlas Yellow-Face Non-Issue

Damn you, international release schedule! I really wanted to to weigh in on the whole Cloud Atlas “yellow face” controversy that was raging at the end of 2012, but thought it best to wait until I had actually seen the film to offer comment. That just seems like common sense, even if Spike Lee clearly doesn’t agree. Of course, by the time that Cloud Atlas was released in the UK and Ireland, the storm in a teacup had passed, but I still think it’s worth commenting upon.

cloudatlas4

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Non-Review Review: Cloud Atlas

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

Cloud Atlas is a bold, imaginative, creative, frustrating, original, inventive, exhausting and ambitious piece of work. It’s a film that really forces the audience to collaborate, to try to force the pieces of story on the screen to fit together into a structure that is both rewarding and unique. Coming out of the film – which has been dubbed “the most expensive indie movie of all time” – I was left with the impression that Cloud Atlas is a film where everybody is going to hold a slightly different perception of what the film is, and what it’s about. I can very honestly say that Cloud Atlas is quite unlike any other film I have ever seen, and that sense of experimentation and the sheer skill to force the narrative into a shape that makes some sort of sense, unique to almost each viewer, is one massive accomplishment.

Sweet music...

Sweet music…

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Five Minute Cloud Atlas International Trailer

This is really something. The five-minute look at Cloud Atlas, which certainly looks to be one of the most ambitious movies of the year, is here. It looks wonderfully impressive – with an epic scope that seems to span all of time and space, stories interlocked and connected. Directed by Tom Tykwer, and the Wachowski siblings, it looks like a visual feast. I have to say, this just got bumped up the must-see list. Check out the international trailer, below.