FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #201 – “Avatar: The Way of Water” (dir. James Cameron), “Triangle of Sadness” (dir. Ruben Östlund), “Tár” (dir. Todd Field)

Poster for "Avatar: The Way of Water"

This week on the FilmWonk Podcast, Glenn and Daniel venture back to into the vast natural and technological ecosystem that is James Cameron‘s imagination, with Avatar: The Way of Water, a film we could hardly believe we were watching until the first frame actually appeared. Glenn also shares his spoiler-free thoughts on the myriad delights of Todd Field‘s Tár, a film which only feels impenetrable from the outside, and by design. And then we return to Force Majeure director Ruben Östlund‘s satirical Triangle of Sadness, which perhaps sails slightly off course but largely maintains its focus on razor-sharp satire of the privileged few (01:38:22).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating (Triangle of Sadness): 7 out of 10
FilmWonk rating (Avatar: The Way of Water): 8 out of 10

Still from "Triangle of Sadness"

Show notes:

Listen above, or download: Tár, Triangle of Sadness, Avatar: The Way of Water (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play)

FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #60 – “Force Majeure” (dir. Ruben Östlund)

Poster for "Force Majeure"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel tackle a wondrous dilemma of heroism, masculinity, and unexpectedly hilarious drone flying in Force Majeure, a Swedish family dramedy set in a ski resort in the French Alps. Note that our review contains spoilers for Julia Loktev‘s 2012 film, The Loneliest Planet, for reasons that should quickly become clear (45:00).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 8 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is Antonio Vivaldi‘s “Summer” (from “The Four Seasons”), as performed live by Norwegian soloist Mari Silje Samuelsen.
  • Check out the film’s excellent trailer here:
  • The MS Estonia is indeed a well-known maritime disaster in Sweden. This large ferry boat was crossing the Baltic Sea from Talinn, Estonia to Stockholm in 1994, and capsized and ultimately sank in a storm. Of the 900+ passengers aboard, only 138 survived, most of whom were young, strong males. About 650 of the passengers were estimated to have been trapped in the ship when it sank.
  • On the subject of Tomas bringing along his iPhone when he runs away, a story from Seattle comes to mind, wherein an armed robber points a gun into the face of a bus passenger who is staring at his phone. In an instant, the passenger shoves the gun away, then springs out of his seat to shove the robber away down the aisle. As he gets up to shove with one hand, he can clearly be seen to put his phone away in his pocket with the other. This is a perfect example of someone “acting on instinct” – an instinct that, in this moment, included the familiar muscle memory of holstering his phone. You can see the entire incident on video here.

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