Sunday, 17 October 2021



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Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)The second documentary in the pairing resulted in as wide a split amongst the hosts as any film reviewed thus far! Thierry Guetta moved from France to the United States in the early 1980s. He believed that every moment should be recorded because we just don't know when moments will stop being made by certain people, so he began filming everything in his life, to the point where he was never seen without a camera. Thanks to a relative, he began filming the world of street art, and slowly became known to the community. But it was a chance meeting with the famous artist Banksy that changed his life, although some would say not for the better. Initially, Guetta was the filmmaker the Banksy the subject, but partway through the story, they exchange roles, with Banksy documenting the rise of Guetta's art-making alter-ego, "Mr. Brainwash." A documentary unlike any other made, at least when this came out, and to this day no one really knows if it's a legitimate documentary or another of Banksy's statements on the hypocrisy of the world! And the trio reveal which amazing (and still alive) character actor they're dedicating their next pairing to!

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This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)

This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)It is to documentaries that we go for this pairing, starting with a favorite of all three hosts! Kirby Dick, two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature, turned to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the organization that provides the ratings for all films released in the United States, at least those that want to be shown in established theater chains. He attempted to discover how the ratings system works, but found out so much more! He discovered that the MPAA is, essentially, a private clandestine organization whose membership is kept a closely-guarded secret, and that there is no one on the ratings board, or the ratings appeals board, who has any education in film! In fact, all but one person on the ratings board is in violation of even the MPAA's own rules on who can be a rater! But to find all of this out, he turned to a private investigator in Los Angeles who helped him discover who the secret raters actually are, and revealed the one-sided application of Christian dogma to the ratings board as well! The film includes interviews with many famous directors, including John Waters, Kevin Smith, Kimberly Peirce, Darren Aronofsky, Atom Egoyan, Wayne Kramer, and Matt Stone! If you're a fan of films, this is a must-see!

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Superman (1978)

Superman (1978)Our second film in our pairing honoring the late Ned Beatty couldn't be more different from the first. From backwoods horror, we turn to the father of all modern superhero films, the first theatrical outing for a comic book character to present its story seriously for adult audiences! Richard Donner, who also recently passed away on July 5th, 2021, led an all-star cast including Margo Kidder, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Valerie Perrine, and Marlon Brando to create the film that made audiences believe a man could fly. But it was newcomer, Juilliard-trained actor, Christopher Reeve, who brought both Clark Kent and Superman to the screen in a way no actor will ever surpass, in 1978's "Superman: The Movie!" From Hackman's suave and insidious Lex Luthor, to Kidder's gumption-filled Lois Lane, to Reeve's dual identity, this film is replete with performances that were Oscar-worthy, regardless of whether the Academy recognized them as such or not (hint: they didn't). And when you add in special effect never seen before, and John William's amazing, soul-inspiring score, you have the quintessential superhero film for the ages! Plus, the trio reveal which two documentaries made the list for their 2nd trip through that genre!

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Deliverance (1972)

Deliverance (1972)For this pairing, we are honoring actor Ned Beatty, who passed away on June 13th, 2021. To do so, however, we're pairing what are arguably his two most noteworthy films, but two films that absolutely do not go together well, so this becomes our most unusual pairing yet! The first film in the pairing is also Ned Beatty's first theatrical film, and one that got him noticed by Hollywood. Alongside Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, and fellow first-timer Ronny Cox, and directed by John Boorman, this film follows four friends from Atlanta who choose to go out into the wilds and travel down the Cahulawassee River in Georgia, before a nearby dam is finished that will destroy the river and the surrounding land, burying it under a man-made lake. Unfortunately, the world the four enter is one where unforgiving nature will have its way, and the Mountain folk they encounter act as its footservants. Between the locals, and the perils of the river itself, the adventure turns quickly into a horror that only some of them will survive!

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Logan's Run (1976)

Logan's Run (1976)The second film in the pairing Jeff calls "The Myth of the Post-Apocalyptic Recovery" is "Logan's Run," a film that moves ahead in real time six years to 1976. Based on a 1967 novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johns, and directed by Michael Anderson, this film introduces viewers to a seeming utopia within a domed city. Run by computer, each person born has a crystal embedded in the palm of their left hand, which changes color as they age. When the crystal quickly blinks red and black, they are expected to report to the arena-like "Carousel" where they will attempt to gain renewal and be born again. Those who run from this responsibility are known, fittingly enough, as runners, and it is the job of the Sandmen to hunt them down and kill them. The story follows Logan 5 (Michael York) and Francis 7 (Richard Jordan), two Sandmen who revel in their work. But when a chance encounter with an ankh ensnares Logan in the master computer's quest to find a place called "Sanctuary," his lifeclock is sped up and he becomes a runner himself. Helped by Jessica (Jenny Agutter), a woman who has connections in the underground, Logan must outwit Francis and escape the dome. But when he does, what he finds is not at all what he expects! The proto-typical science fiction film about the truth of utopias and the necessity of freedom, this is a seminal work in the genre, even if the special effects haven't aged particularly well. And the trio explain why they've bumped back their list in order to pay tribute to a famous character actor who recently passed away!

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