The Silver Emulsion Podcast: Ep. 86 – A Fistful of Dollars

This week on the Silver Emulsion Podcast, I introduce Stephen to the Spaghetti Western genre with Sergio Leone’s seminal 1964 classic, A Fistful of Dollars! Listen and enjoy! 🙂

Also: the show is on iTunes! So if you feel like subscribing there, or rating/reviewing the show, feel free to share your thoughts!

Music Notes

Intro:

  • Delia Gartrell – Fight Fire, With Fire
    • See What You Done, Done (Hymn #9) / Fight Fire, With Fire 45 RPM Single (Discogs, Amazon)
    • I Must Be Doing Something Right ​/ Fight Fire With Fire Reissue 45 RPM Single/Digital (Bandcamp, iTunes)

Outro:

  • Ananda Shankar – Streets of Calcutta

If you’ve got feedback, throw it into the comments below or email it to me via the contact page! We’ll include it in a future show!

The podcast is embedded directly below this, or you can go directly to Podbean (or use their app) to listen. If you want to subscribe, paste http://silveremulsion.podbean.com/feed/ into whatever reader you’re using.

Mini-Review: Hereafter (2010)

Starring Matt Damon, Cécile de France, Frankie McLaren, George McLaren, Lyndsey Marshal, Thierry Neuvic, Bryce Dallas Howard, Mylène Jampanoï, Jay Mohr

Directed by Clint Eastwood

Expectations: High, but somewhat tempered because I know a lot of people had lukewarm reactions to it.


I genuinely have nothing bad to say about this movie. Sure, it is slow-moving, but it is perfectly paced for the story it tells. Matt Damon is superb in his role as a tortured psychic that can legitimately contact people’s recently deceased loved ones. Cécile de France and Frankie & George McLaren hold down their equal share of the film as well, turning in strong, touching performances. These individual stories are each given time to develop naturally, with each character having a unique point-of-view. It is not a Matt Damon vehicle, it is a film that Matt Damon is but a component of. I think therein lies a lot of what the mainstream audience that hated Hereafter didn’t like about the movie.

If I was having a bad experience with the film (as most seem to have had), I may have balked at some of the occurrences in the last half hour. Instead I enjoyed them and while their believability is somewhat in question, the events leading up to them are all logical enough and make sense for each character, so I can easily put to rest any misgivings or calls of Deus ex Machina. At the end of the day, I just want to have a good time at the movies, and the ending offered up here gave me what I wanted.

I also greatly enjoyed that the film never crosses into the religious fantasy afterlife that so many films tend to, and actually presents a few differing viewpoints on the subject. It is unfair to go into the film looking for answers, though, as it will provide none. It is fiction and should be taken merely as a jumping-off point for fun, intellectual discussions with your friends or family (or online acquaintances). It should be noted, though, that the mere existence of the film and the character’s brushes with an afterlife suggests the filmmakers believe in some sort of life after death, but what is truly intriguing about the film’s portrayal is the lack of religion in the discussion. I found that to be a stroke of brilliance.

Hereafter is easily one of my favorite films from last year and was much more deserving of a Best Picture nomination than some of the more lackluster nominees. It is definitely not a film for everyone, but those willing to give Eastwood some time to develop the characters will be rewarded with a moving film.

Invictus (2009)

Starring Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng, Matt Stern

Directed by Clint Eastwood

Expectations: Low.


Another one I had been avoiding. I love Clint Eastwood, but I usually find his directorial efforts to be fairly slow and plodding. There are exceptions, but as a rule, his films are understated and meditative. This is fine, I’m just rarely in that kind of a mood so I tend to avoid his films unless I have a great interest in the subject matter. This was the case with Invictus, but I’m glad I dived in because this is a really good film.

Morgan Freeman is the definite star of the show, inhabiting the role of Nelson Mandela with ease. Freeman is recognizable as both himself and Mandela in the role, skillfully blending the two personas into a memorable screen performance that never feels like one. He gives a powerful speech early in the film on why the team name should remain the Springboks, proving why Freeman received an Oscar nomination for the role. Matt Damon is also great in his scenes, but he tends to fade into the background as a lot of his scenes are without dialogue on the Rugby field. When Damon is on-screen, his subtle performance feels natural and believable. The film is essentially broken into two halves with Freeman leading the charge in the first half of the film, and Damon taking over once the World Cup action begins.

Continue reading Invictus (2009) →

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