Sordid Cinema Podcast
Sordid Cinema Podcast #540: ‘Witness’ is Masterful, Plain, Old-Fashioned Filmmaking

Sordid Cinema Podcast #540: ‘Witness’ is Masterful, Plain, Old-Fashioned Filmmaking

February 23, 2020

Witness 1985 Podcast Review

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, Rick and Patrick get their city hands dirty with 1985’s Witness, directed by Peter Weir. The story of a little Amish boy who watches a grisly murder take place in a train station bathroom manages to combine a subdued-but-tense police thriller with an exceptionally grounded love story between detective John Book (Harrison Fords, in his only Oscar-nominated role) and the boy’s mother, Rachel (played by Kelly McGillis), along with a theme contrasting pacifism and the use of deadly force. The guys discuss how Weir expertly maintains restraint, often opting for subtle facial expressions over dialogue, and plenty of quiet moments abound. The director also once again makes the presence of the land deeply felt, creating an absorbing environment complemented by an otherworldly score by Maurice Jarre.

With so many great scenes, how can we choose the best? What might Rick and Patrick change about this nearly flawless film? Along the way in answering these questions and more, the guys dive into the production history, as well as talk about how this film fits in with Peter Weir’s filmography. Have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #539: ‘Color Out of Space’ Combines Lovecraft With Nicolas Cage

Sordid Cinema Podcast #539: ‘Color Out of Space’ Combines Lovecraft With Nicolas Cage

February 17, 2020

Color Out of Space Podcast Review

This week Rick and Patrick are joined by Goomba Stomp writer and H.P. Lovecraft fan Thomas O’Connor to discuss Richard Stanley’s directorial return to the big screen with Color Out of Space. This story of a rural Massachusetts family who starts a descent into madness after a meteorite plummets onto their property stars Nicolas Cage, who gives another wacky performance that helps sell the sci-fi craziness. Though there is some agreement as to the film’s flaws, the guys talk about the difficulty in adapting Lovecraft, as well as how much Stanley and Cage get right in the attempt. And no, we don’t forget the llamas.

So what scenes really stand out for us? What would we change? Will Color Out of Space stand the test of time, or will its colorful dread fade away? For all this and more, have a listen!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast #538: ‘His Girl Friday’ Still Easily Passes the Howard Hawks Test

Sordid Cinema Podcast #538: ‘His Girl Friday’ Still Easily Passes the Howard Hawks Test

February 3, 2020

This week the Sordid Cinema Podcast takes a short break from all the blood and guts to look back at Howard Hawks’ 1940 screwball comedy masterpiece, His Girl Friday. This adapted story of a newspaper writer (Rosalind Russell) trying to break free from the journalist lifestyle only to be lured back in by an incredibly big story — as well as her boss/ex-husband(!), played by Cary Grant — features cascades of whip-smart wit, an abundance of double crosses and double entendres, and fantastic direction from one of old Hollywood’s finest filmmakers.

Rick and Patrick are joined by writer/film critic Mariko McDonald to discuss the impact of Hawks swapping out the original male lead for a female lead, reveal tidbits about the production and how they managed to fit a 191-page screenplay into 92 minutes, pick our favorite scenes as well as elements we might change, and much more! For an in-depth dive into this wonderful classic, have a listen!

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