Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Episode 13 - How to Read a Story

Dr. Suess says you can read with your eyes shut, but we're not so sure. This episode we take a reader's viewpoint to discover what it takes to fully engage a story. Along the way, Tim shows off his film school terminology, Nick pulls out his "I've read Russian novels" card, and we attempt a defense of much-maligned movies.

Also, Brian Scherschel joins us again to introduce us to director John Ford and his western The Searchers. So, come on, give us a chance. Maybe you'll give that crazy foreign film a second look as well.


Show Notes

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  1. Okay, this is the first one I've listened to. Great job, guys. I really want to watch The Searchers now.

    I appreciate how you talked about how we need to approach a work of fiction with its culture and background in mind, and how the more you known about where it comes from and what it grows out of, the more you can appreciate and understand it. Princess Mononoke is probably my favorite Miyazaki film, and it's hard for me to define why, but part of it is understanding Miyazaki's concern for nature, coupled with his concern for humanity as a whole, especially women. That film as a whole is a beautiful look at the balancing act that is necessary for humans to live in the world, using but not destroying it. It's not a perspective you see a lot--either you see greenies being diehard about protecting the earth at the expense of humans, or folks who go the other way, exploiting the earth because that's what it's there for. I love that Miyazaki offers a different perspective in a subtle and beautiful way, and his is one I can agree with. The forest is important, but so are the people of Iron Town, and they all deserve protection and respect.

    It's also just really, really cool.

  2. I agree about Princess Mononoke. First time I saw it, I caught none of the balancing act. I was just confused. But after acclimating myself to his style and ideas, I came back and was impressed with how multi-faceted his approach to nature and humanity was.

    Also, go watch The Searchers. It's great!

  3. I'm a fan of Shyamalan myself. My favorites by him are "Unbreakable" and "Signs." I do think he deserves more respect than he gets.

    On a side note: There was an episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" where the show's cast of narcistic idiots tries to get into a Shyamalan movie. Two of them write him a script and are obsessed with adding a "Shyamalan twist." It's been an inside joke with me and several friends.

  4. As I get older, I find that I disgaree more and more with the critical consensus of movies. For instance, I liked "Cars 2" while critics trashed it.

    I have, on the other hand, had similar experiences like what you two talked about when I initially watched or read a story. The best example I can think of is the new "Star Trek." Despite being a hardcore Trekker since childhood, I didn't like teh movie the first time I saw it. I thought it was going to be a true prequel. It wasn't. If it had been a straight reboot, I'd have been happy. But it was a weird mix of both. That annoyed me. I had to watch again to appreciate it for what it was.

  5. Jeffrey Hunter was also Capt. Christopher Pike in teh original pilot for the original "Star Trek" TV series, which never aired (unless you count when some of the footage was used ina later episode). It was called "The Cage."

  6. Nathan - I haven't seen Cars 2, so I can't say whether I agree with the critics, but it does seem that many people judge movies based on their preconceptions and not what the movie is actually trying to be. (Well, we all do.) I think that is partly what causes viewers to reconsider their ideas of a movie on a second watch.

  7. I have to admit, it's been long enough since we did this episode I had to really think back on who Jeffrey Hunter was and how he related to the podcast. That is interesting to think about John Wayne's sidekick from The Searchers almost becoming the main captain in Star Trek.