FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #177 – “Come Away” (dir. Brenda Chapman), “Possessor Uncut” (dir. Brandon Cronenberg)

This week, Glenn and Daniel return to a W.B. Yeats poem with Come Away, a hybrid fairytale from Brave director Brenda Chapman featuring Peter Pan and Alice (in Wonderland) as childhood siblings in London, then venture into the twisted (and uncut) sophomore feature from Brandon Cronenberg, Possessor, a sci-fi horror film that’ll make you never trust anyone again (59:29).

Still from "Possessor"

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Come Away): 6 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Possessor Uncut): 8/10 (Glenn), 5/10 (Daniel)

Show notes:

  • [02:13] Review: Come Away
  • [17:47] Review: Possessor Uncut
  • [34:48] Spoilers: Possessor Uncut
  • During a brief aside on the limitations of artificially intelligent machine vision as depicted in Possessor, we mentioned AI researcher Janelle Shane‘s reporting on the phenomenon of “giraffing” (a term originally coined by Melissa Elliott)- she discusses it in an interview here, and you can check out her excellent blog and book here.

Listen above, or download: Come Away, Possessor (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #58 – “Birdman” (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

Poster for

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel tackle Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s welcome and unexpected triumph of dark comedy, Birdman. Explore a creative, single-shot world in which art imitates life imitating art, we slightly overuse the word “outstanding,” and a tour de force cast and cinematographer deliver one solid performance and well-staged scene after another (39:15).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 9 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode includes The Animals’ classic, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”. A cover of this song performed by Brent Smith appears in the film’s excellent trailer, but that version is unfortunately unavailable.
  • Raymond Carver‘s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is indeed a real short-story, published in 1981.
  • We referred to a recent episode of the Cracked Podcast – check it out here, and David Wong‘s vaguely self-helpy article that preceded it.
  • In case my non sequitur about Ed Norton’s bird-hair didn’t make sense, here’s a rundown of the random place my mind went.
  • In the final act of Ratatouille, the late, great Peter O’Toole delivers a monologue as the surly food critic Anton Ego. The speech – made of equal parts truth and self-indulgence – is almost an inverted “The Reason You Suck” speech, and goes as follows:

    “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.”

Listen above, or download: Birdman (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)