Shut Up and Watch This
#78: Mona Lisa (1986)

#78: Mona Lisa (1986)

September 18, 2021

This week we travel to gritty 80’s London via Neil Jordan’s MONA LISA. Our hero is the elegant and inscrutable Simone (Cathy Tyson), a high end call girl who has gained a degree of independence in her work. Our narrator is her driver/bodyguard George (Bob Hoskins), recently released from prison, who is looking to reconnect with his estranged daughter. George wears his heart on his sleeve, and Simone never shows her hand, but they are (maybe) able to find some degree of connection in spite of complicated circumstances.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#77: Mildred Pierce (1945)

#77: Mildred Pierce (1945)

August 25, 2021

Is it noir? Is it a woman’s picture? Why not both? On this week's episode we talk MILDRED PIERCE. Joan Crawford is the hardest working woman in the greater Los Angeles area, at least. She cooks, she cleans, she founds a successful chain of mid-range restaurants through a series of increasingly strange real estate maneuvers, all while raising two daughters and fielding advances from various contemptible men. Maybe you can have it all! Actually, maybe not.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#76: The Conformist (1970)

#76: The Conformist (1970)

July 7, 2021

In the words of noted 90s philosopher, Jack Handey, “If you ever discover that what you're seeing is a play within a play, just slow down, take a deep breath, and hold on for the ride of your life.” Bertolucci’s 1970 classic THE CONFORMIST is similarly layered; a flashback within a fantasy within a frame story. Beyond the complex structure, this film is also rife with striking imagery, symbolism and camera movement. Dave and Ashley discuss how The Conformist has influenced generations of filmmakers from Coppola to Gerwig, plus how Freud ruins everything.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#75: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

#75: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

June 18, 2021

Perhaps HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY is an odd choice considering our general weariness with sequels and franchises and Dave’s aversion to superhero films. But this is a different kind of sequel and Hellboy is a different kind of hero, and it doesn’t hurt to have Guillermo del Toro directing, too. Del Toro is clearly having a great time bringing all kinds of interesting and creepy creatures to life. This film is a whole lot of fun, proving that there is an exception to every rule even among the seemingly endless superhero movies.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#74: Ruthless People (1986)

#74: Ruthless People (1986)

May 27, 2021

This week’s pick is about some ruthless people and some not so ruthless people acting in some very ruthless ways, but also some not very ruthless ways. Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Judge Reinhold and Supergirl star in RUTHLESS PEOPLE, a 1986 revenge comedy with a whole lot going on. We’ve got attempted murder, kidnapping, failed blackmail plots, a history of stereo retail sales practices, and an amazing house which is either a tribute to the Memphis style or a ruthless takedown of it.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#73: Tank Girl (1995)

#73: Tank Girl (1995)

May 5, 2021

Film and other art forms are in near constant dialogue, influencing each other. This is particularly true in genre films, where quotations of influential works are used to draw viewers in. And so this week we have a film about a female tank driver in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that is controlled by one man who has all the water, and all the power. But this is not Mad Max: Fury Road, it is TANK GIRL (1995), an adaptation of an underground, post-punk comic, which was in turn almost certainly inspired by the original Mad Max series. A financial failure at the time, this film is not perfect, but it’s a whole lot of fun, and surprisingly progressive, too.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#72: Stolen Kisses (1968)

#72: Stolen Kisses (1968)

April 15, 2021

This week we have a little truffle of a Truffaut film, romantic comedy-drama STOLEN KISSES. Third in Truffaut’s series of films about Antoine Doinel, this film concerns the misadventures of Antoine in his early 20s as he tries to figure out work and love, largely failing at both. With a cast of delightful side characters and involving the strange goings-on at a Paris detective agency, Stolen Kisses feels like something of a mix between Peter Seller’s Pink Panther films and The Graduate. A perfect cinematic treat to go with the beautiful spring weather we’re having in Texas.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#71: SXSW 2021 - Inbetween Girl / Islands / The Fallout

#71: SXSW 2021 - Inbetween Girl / Islands / The Fallout

March 24, 2021

It’s Springtime in Austin, which means bluebonnets, beautiful weather and South by Southwest Music, Film, everything Festival. SXSW 2021, like many festivals during the pandemic, was held entirely online and we were there on our couch watching it all (or some of it). Listen as we share our reviews of INBETWEEN GIRL, ISLANDS, THE FALLOUT, and INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR, plus a few other favorite narrative films, documentaries, and shorts from the festival. We hope to pique your interest and nudge you to seek out and support these great films and their talented filmmakers.

02:26 - Inbetween Girl

09:28 - Islands

17:09 - The Fallout

29:30 - Introducing, Selma Blair

42:10 - The End of Us

44:41 - Women is Losers

49:02 - Our Father

52:16 - Potato Dreams of America

55:35 - Kid Candidate

1:00:25 - Are You Still There? (Short)

1:01:31 - Soak (Short)

1:02:08 - Summer Animals (Short)

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#70: Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)

#70: Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)

March 17, 2021

Why don’t we have a word for a breakup comedy? Anti-romantic comedy doesn’t quite get the idea across in the right way. Maybe it's because breakups aren’t funny in the conventional sense. Maybe there just aren’t enough of them, but there should be more films like Ashley’s pick, CELESTE & JESSE FOREVER. Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg play a couple having the best breakup ever until complications come along. Like the best relationships this film is funny, sad and maybe we even learn a little something from it.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

#69: A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

#69: A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

March 3, 2021

What do you get when you mix horror, comedy, and romance with martial arts, stop motion, and a ghost story. Something that feels a little like Evil Dead, a little like Princess Bride, and a whole lot like a kung fu Ray Harryhausen film. Dave’s pick this week is A CHINESE GHOST STORY, a Hong Kong cinema gem that never saw a wide release in the U.S, but has since become a cult film. This film is jam-packed with action, plot, and imagery. It’s all a little too much in a really good way.

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© 2021 Ashley Carr & Dave Wilson

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