11 January, 2016 / saxon / Comments Off on Schizopolitan: Episode 22 – Wars of the Stars (The Force Awakens Megachat)
SCHIZOPOLITAN! IT CALLS TO YOU! JUST LET IT IN!! The podcast of genial nerdy chat returns, as Saxon and Jehan finally take on the film that everybody can’t stop talking about. Yes, it’s the momentous arrival of Star Wars – The Force Awakens, and it’s time to finally talk about what this film is. How do new arrivals like Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron match up to old hands like Han Solo? Is the film a worthy continuation of the saga? What’s with all this ‘Mary-Sue’ business? Why exactly was Saxon reminded of Prometheus on his first viewing? And does JJ Abrams actually understand how big space is? ALL THESE QUESTIONS, AND MORE!!!
(Also, as fully explained on the episode, this is going to be the last podcast for quite a while. Schizopolitan is going into stasis, but will hopefully returning in the not-too-distant future…)
16 November, 2015 / saxon / Comments Off on Schizopolitan: Episode 21 – Spectre of an Alien Doctor (The Alien Franchise, Doctor Who S9, James Bond and Spectre)
SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED! The Schizopolitan podcast roars back into view in its vintage Aston Marton DB5 to bring you another grab-bag of discussion, nerd chat, fierce opinions and big-time spoilers! First up, there’s a quick discussion of Ridley Scott’s recent (and rather odd) comments about the future of the Alien franchise, and whether or not there’s any chance of salvaging it after the good-looking mess that was Prometheus. Then, Saxon indulges in a quick burst of Who-related chat, as he examines the first half of Doctor Who S9, where the unexpected creative renaissance continues and Peter Capaldi remains scarily awesome. And after that, Jehan takes us through his full and spoilerific opinions on the latest James Bond film, Spectre! Is it a decent follow-up to Skyfall? Has it resurrected a classic Bond villain in a fitting manner? Is it just a very silly Bond film that’s attempting to play things seriously by having lots of people glowering? Are the answers to the previous questions “No,” “No,” and “Yes”? ONLY TIME WILL TELL!
28 October, 2015 / saxon / Comments Off on Schizopolitan – The Podcast: Episode 20 – The Trailer Awakens (Star Wars: Episode VII and the Mystery of Hype)
THERE HAS BEEN AN AWAKENING! Unbroken and undefeated by various technical snafus, Saxon and Jehan are back to discuss the heck out of the biggest movie trailer in a long time. The final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has arrived – and what’s the reaction? How much is this film going to emotionally destroy Saxon? Are we possibly seeing too little of what the film is actually going to be? And can JJ Abrams deliver a Star Wars movie to truly be reckoned with? EXPLOSIONS! CONTROVERSY! MYSTERIOUS BLUE DEATH-STAR TYPE THINGS! IT’S ALL HERE!!!
14 September, 2015 / saxon / Comments Off on Schizopolitan – The Podcast: Episode 19 – What if Feelings had Feelings? (A Look at Pixar and Inside Out)
DELAYED BUT NOT DESTROYED! The most significant cultural milestone the world has ever seen (*citation needed*) returns with another episode of podcast goodness, as Saxon and Jehan brace themselves to discuss the charm, the colour and the emotional devastation of Pixar’s latest CG animated movie, Inside Out! How much of a return to form is this for Pixar? How well have they taken on the tricky subject of psychology? And exactly how much will this film make you cry? ALL THE ANSWERS LIE WITHIN!
13 June, 2015 / Jehan / Comments Off on Movie Analysis: The Politics of Tomorrowland or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying If Brad Bird is an Objectivist
WARNING – some spoilers for Tomorrowland contained within.
Politics can be a divisive business, and it’s no surprise that a lot of people simply hate talking about it, especially when it comes to appreciating and enjoying art and media. But it’s equally true that it’s frequently a topic that can’t really be avoided, especially since so much of art, culture and human expression is inherently political, whether it means to be or not. When you’re a fan of the filmmaker Brad Bird – whose new film Tomorrowland is now playing in cinemas – avoiding politics is nigh-on impossible, and the resulting discussion can often be fractious and tricky to navigate.
Bird is, after all, an extremely political filmmaker, and one whose specific ideology has proven tough for many people to get to grips with, given its unexpected and unconventional nature. He’s primarily known as a purveyor of family entertainments – from his background as a Disney animator to his tenures on The Simpsons and at Pixar – and we’re used to mainstream family entertainments being relatively unchallenging in their political character, usually settling for broadly universal self-empowerment themes, with a dash of left-leaning acceptance and diversity messaging. That’s not really Bird’s style, though – he’s a much more overtly didactic filmmaker, and deviates from the standard script often enough that his philosophy has become distinctive, recognisable and – to a certain degree – controversial. With Tomorrowland, he’s released his most message-driven movie to date, which makes this a good time to have a look at what makes this supremely talented yet oddly divisive filmmaker tick.