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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2018) #38!

It’s time for the latest Scannain podcast! A somewhat bumper edition this time.

This week, I join Jason Coyle, Grace Duffy and Luke Dunne from Film in Dublin to discuss the week in film. As usual, we talk about the top ten and the new releases, as well as what we’ve watched this week. In this episode, Grace discusses her love of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and encourages a Bruce Springsteen singalong, Jason blazes through a twelve-film week and contemplates the seventies fetishism of A Star is Born, and Luke discusses Maniac and the strange intoxicating allure of Venom. Complete with mumbly Tom Hardy impressions.

The top ten:

  1. Crazy Rich Asians
  2. Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation
  3. A Simple Favour
  4. Aida at Met Opera 2018
  5. Black ’47
  6. The House With A Clock In Its Walls
  7. Night School
  8. Johnny English Strikes Again
  9. A Star is Born
  10. Venom

New releases:

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

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New Podcast! Scannain Podcast (2018) #35!

It’s time for the latest Scannain podcast!

This week, I join Jason Coyle and Ronan Doyle to discuss the week in film. As usual, we talk about the top ten and the new releases, as well as what we’ve watched this week. In this episode, the celebration of Agnès Varda continues, dovetailing into the release of her new film Faces Places. We also discuss the Toronto International Film Festival, the masculinity of Clint Eastwood, the strange reception of A Wrinkle in Time and the appeal of the classic Disney animated canon.

We also mark the passing of Irish film critic Stephen Coffey (who wrote under the name of Gar Cremona). Details of the memorial service can be found here, and his books are available for sale here.

The top ten:

  1. King of Thieves
  2. Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation
  3. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
  4. Christopher Robin
  5. BlacKkKlansman
  6. The House With A Clock In Its Walls
  7. The Predator
  8. Crazy Rich Asians
  9. The Nun
  10. Black ’47

New releases:

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

 

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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