Whit Stillman’s influence on Noah Baumbach is well documented, and from there it’s a short jump to influence on Baumbach’s friend Wes Anderson. But one thing watching Metropolitan really made me think about was Stillman’s influence on Kids in the Hall, particularly the similarities between the male leads here and almost any character played by Bruce McCulloch. Maybe that’s just me. Anyway, we continue what seems to be a series on the follies of the upper class. It also feels a bit like a more grounded rich people version of Slacker, though Linklater makes it a bit more clear which of his characters’ philosophical ramblings are meant to be laughed at.
Based on Janet Frame's trio of autobiographies (and taking its name from the middle one), Jane Campion's An Angel at My Table from 1990 is a lovingly crafted look at the life of the Kiwi author. Frame was lucky to escape the hand she'd been dealt as a woman who did not fit the mold many men in her life expected her to, particularly the moment she was scheduled for a lobotomy by winning a national book prize. Horrific. And utterly normal, it turns out.
This week's episode is a long one solely for the plethora and variety of material we're tasked with talking about. Stan Brahkage was an experimental filmmaker and a long-time film professor at the University of Colorado, who principally focused on non-narrative film. By Brakhage covers work from six decades of his career. With over four hours of material in 26 pieces ranging from 9 seconds to 74 minutes long, there's a lot to digest: a lot to love and some, well, not to.
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We kicked things off about a year ago with a special non-Criterion Christmas-themed episode, so we thought we'd celebrate our anniversary with a sequel and friends. And what friends! Long time contributors Donovan Hill and Stephen Goldmeier in their first episode together, as well as Stephen's partner from Enchantment Under the Sea Andrew Tobias and filmmaker Wrion Bowling (whose award-winning Shelter is really something you should see). We love guests. You should join us sometime.
This year's Christmas movie is a direct sequel to last year's: Renny Harlin's 1990 "Die Hard in a _____" (airport this time) Die Hard 2: Die Harder. It's got everything the first one had to offer but with even more civilian casualties and even more journalists who aren't really that good of people if you think about it. Merry Christmas or whatever winter holiday you celebrate! They're all great, why don't you try to hit all of them?
It's been a good year, folks. We've had fun and seen some great movies (except Salo). We've got like 23 more to go before we're through everything. But we watched Salo. We can do anything. Wish us luck?