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The Pestle: In-depth Movie Talk, No Fluff | Film Review | Spoilers

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The Pestle: In-depth Movie Talk, No Fluff | Film Review | Spoilers

Wes Evans: Actor, Filmmaker, Director, Writer; Todd Sapio: Actor, Producer, Musician, Athlete

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Cinema lovers unite! Two actors and filmmakers decided to cut through all the fluff and start a movie podcast where they actually discuss the film and not a million other things you don’t care about. Covering the obvious (did you like the movie?) while diving a little deeper (what is Interstellar really about? is there a bootstrap paradox?) we are having an in-depth conversation about movies and see if they hold up to scrutiny, and maybe even inform us about life or moviemaking itself. Becau ...
 
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We have all we need to get through “CODA” and discuss: “big dog little dog” exercise; simple exposition; strong characters; changing perspectives; and other such stuff and things and stuff. Watch us on YouTube! The post Ep 175: “CODA” (Patreon Bonus archive) appeared first on The Pestle.By Wes Evans: Actor, Filmmaker, Director, Writer; Todd Sapio: Actor, Producer, Musician, Athlete
 
We crawl up the water spout to compare and contrast “Underwater” vs “Sunshine” and discuss: best viewing order for this double-feature; the difference between the crews of Icarus II and the Roebuck; Danny Boyle vs William Eubank; giving hope and taking it away, letting moments breathe; and other such stuff and things and stuff. Notes & References: …
 
We take a break from our normal format to interview Kevin M. Faulkner about his new novel, “The Sixth Traveler” and discuss: what does the process of working with an editor look like, how do you handle feedback and decide what to use and what to ignore, what good feedback looks like, writing habits, how do you define a draft, character naming conve…
 
We break into Gareth Evans’ “The Raid: Redemption” and discuss: Cinematography, camerawork; Fight choreography, fast & fluid fighting; Story & writing, simple storytelling, kick the dog, and establishing the big bad; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “I found there are a lot of advantages to being on a small budget and having a small crew.…
 
We witness George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” and discuss: Cinematography, blue night, speed ramps, and packing the frame; Story & writing, fatal moments, henchmen fodder; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “If you’re not a race driver, stay the hell home. Don’t come here and grumble about going too fast. Get the hell out of the race car …
 
We follow the white rabbit through The Wachowskis’ “The Matrix” and discuss: Cinematography, slomo, cheap b-roll, fight choreography; Story & writing, world-building cool sh*t through story structure; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “I think that technologies are morally neutral until we apply them. It’s only when we use them for good or…
 
We time travel to Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight” and discuss: Story & writing, how the conversations have shifted; Production differences from previous Before films, having kids on set; is it okay to use people in your life for writing material?; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship t…
 
We show up to Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunset” and discuss: Cinematography, framing; Wardrobe, creating fresh looks without switching outfits; Directing, changing energy for contrast, blocking; Story & Writing, topics of conversation, good excuses to do things; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “Did you know that the human voice is the …
 
We talk through Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” and discuss: Cinematography & directing, benefit of long takes for actors; Story & writing, 3-dimensional characters, keeping the conversation fresh; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “Travel is rich with learning opportunities, and the ultimate souvenir is a broader perspective.“ – Rick…
 
We secretly inspect Hwang Dong-hyuk’s “Squid Game” and discuss: Iconography of Squid Game; Netflix business model, pros and cons; Odds ‘n ends of the story & writing, ATM PIN significance, is there capitalism commentary, the value of a human life; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “If you owe your bank a hundred pounds, you have a problem.…
 
We run a lap around season 2 of Jason Sudeikis’ “Ted Lasso” and discuss: Highlights & lowlights from season 2; Missed opportunities; Nicely written characters, complex characters and relationships; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “The spirit of envy can destroy; it can never build.“ – Margaret Thatcher Notes & References: Referee murdere…
 
We take all the time in the world with Daniel Craig’s “No Time To Die” and discuss the: Resourcefulness of Bond; Summoning characters & red herrings; Future of Bond; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “History is moving pretty quickly these days, and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.” – Ian Fleming Notes & References: Why is R…
 
We sandwalk through Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” and discuss: Cinematography, day-for-night scenes; Writing & directing, the voice, visions; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “You philosophers are lucky men. You write on paper and paper is patient. Unfortunate Empress that I am, I write on the susceptible skins of living beings.” – Catherine …
 
We bathe in Robert Eggers’ “The VVitch” and discuss: Killing children in movies; Cinematography, natural lighting, setting up a new location; Story & writing, sitting on a moment, and other such stuff and things and stuff. “Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.“ – Arthur Miller Notes & References: Shot in Kiosk, Ontario (wiki) Oregon Trail (video…
 
We take a bite of Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” remake and discuss: Austin City Limits recap from 1:04 – 17:33; Entertainment value, iconic moments; Cinematography and editing, little details; Story & writing, iconic moments, smooth exposition; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “A zombie film is not fun without a bunch of stupid people …
 
We open the door to “Let the Right One In” and discuss: Cinematography, hiding adults in the frame; Story & writing, classic vampire rules, using failure to propel the story; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream be…
 
We virtually experience Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” and discuss: cinematography, packing the frame, and cheating for the camera; story & writing; special guest Ricky Holm, founder of immersive technology creative agency Chocolate Milk & Donuts; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is fo…
 
We set our sights on Denis Villeneuve “Sicario” and discuss: cinematography and pacing; what the walls in Sicario can tell us about the story; writing & story, the rule of repeats, and complex perspectives in Sicario; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the g…
 
We interlink with Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049” and discuss: Building on the original’s visuals, ideas, et al; Story and writing, Joi as exposition and expansion of what it means to be human; Special guests Christopher Menges and Cassandra Lopez who work at Weta Workshop and worked on the miniatures of Blade Runner 2049; and other such stu…
 
We test Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” and discuss: Styling the Future, the visuals and world-building of Blade Runner; Story & writing, the pacing, and meaning of the story; And other such stuff and things and stuff. “Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable, one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it.“ – Philip K. Dick …
 
We try our hardest with “Rudy” and discuss: turning a small story into a big story; dramatizing real life, how movie lies can communicate the truth to the viewer; And other such stuff and things and stuff. “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.“ – Horace, the Roman poet Notes & Re…
 
Yes, we linger on “Meet Joe Black” and discuss: Establishing characters; Pacing and how it can reveal character; Cinematography, the shadow of death, Bill’s one-candle wish; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.“ – Benjamin Franklin Notes & References: The Numbers –…
 
We paddle through Eugene & Dan Levy’s “Schitt’s Creek” and discuss: Cinematography: sitcom lighting; Story & writing: the setup, the situation and why it works, characters and performances, deep dive into the arc of Alexis; the Overton window, expanding cultural acceptance of once-provocative ideas; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “In th…
 
We whisper about Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” and discuss: cinematography, recreating childhood, symbolism of shadows; grace vs nature; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.“ – Carl Sagan Watch us on YouTube! This Week’s Recommendations: Todd recommends…
 
We sneak through John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place Part II” and discuss: Cinematography, framing horror for a PG-13 movie; Story & writing, differences between part 1 and 2; Why sequels are hard; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the hear…
 
We gotta see about Gus Van Sant’s “Good Will Hunting” and discuss: story & writing, Boston as a character, character driven vs plot driven, the climax & ending; mood, and music; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” – Robin Williams Notes & References: “The Problem with Mary’s…
 
We summon Disney’s “Aladdin” and discuss: Story & writing, pushing the story forward, theme; Notes from the screenwriters; Wes reveals the first movie he ever saw in theaters; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “I think 2-D animation disappeared from Disney because they made so many uninteresting films. They became very conservative in the …
 
We seize Robin Williams’ “Dead Poets Society” and discuss: cinematography, spinning cameras; story and writing, what’s in a name?; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;”…
 
We knock down David O. Russell’s “The Fighter” and discuss: cinematography, 360 lighting, natural lighting vs available lighting; story; at the end of the episode we’ll talk about why we got vaccinated; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “Everyone has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.“ – Mike Tyson Notes & References: Natural Light…
 
We step into the ring with Ryan Coogler’s “Creed” and discuss: cinematography, boxing as a camera language; writing & Story, scene pacing, reaction shots, Donnie’s motivation as the ultimate plot device; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.“ – Muhammad Ali Notes &…
 
We swing at Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky” and discuss: Cinematography; Writing & story, defying genre, story breakdown; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up.“ – Sylvester Stallone Notes & References: Mama bear crossing the road with 4 cubs Sylvester Stallone describes the inception o…
 
We take the scenic route through Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” and discuss: cinematography, filming in widescreen; story, what’s the deal with Fern?; performance, some things that Frances McDormand does to create Fern; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The wo…
 
We choose the skuxx life in Taika Waititi’s “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and discuss: deadpan humor; using perspective to tell a story; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.“ – Walt Whitman Watch us on YouTube! This Week’s Recommendations: The post Ep 143: “Hunt for the W…
 
We grin through Jason Sudeikis’ “Ted Lasso” and discuss: cinematography, blurring the line between comedy and drama; writing & story, why we trust Ted Lasso; speculation on season 2; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “You should never be defined by what you do, by the things you have; you’ve got to define yourself by who you are and who yo…
 
We probe “Fire in the Sky” and discuss: cinematography, timing your titles, how lens compression can create danger; inserting doubt; Aliens! Are they out there, are they among us?; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “Where is everybody? Humans could theoretically colonize the galaxy in a million years or so, and if they could, astronauts fr…
 
We drill into William Eubank’s “Underwater” and discuss: cinematography, the effects of handheld; story & writing, Norah the action hero, creating tension; how Kristen Stewart could save us from a robot uprising; what the monster could be and why it’s not what everyone thinks it is; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “If we were logical, th…
 
We sweat through Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” and discuss: cinematography, how the infamous title sequence sets the style for the movie; writing & story, rich characters and complex relationships; bring in special guest Kei, screenwriter, podcaster, New Yorker; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “I like friends who have independent mind…
 
We enter the blue door in “Notting Hill” and discuss: cinematography, how you can see this is a drama and not a comedy; acting, Julia Roberts’ performance; writing & Story, the genius of exposition as a game, the Baader–Meinhof phenomenon; music, and how they nearly ruined the ending and why I wish I could edit this movie; and other such stuff and …
 
We rain on Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Magnolia” and discuss: cinematography, long takes, transitions, anamorphic framing; ensemble writing; music; magnolia flower facts; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country.“ – Exodus 8:2 Notes & References: Tom Cruise learned to …
 
We search Pixar’s “Soul” and discuss: death; side missions, making it all add up to something; the zone; we have a surprise guest appearance; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “Art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time.“ – Jean-Michel Basquiat Notes & References: Hidden details in Soul More easter eggs in Soul Singer in t…
 
We take a shot at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” and discuss: live performances on stage vs film; wardrobe, set design; musical songwriting vs albums; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “No punishment, in my opinion, is too great, for the man who can build his greatness upon his country’s ruin.“ – George Washington Notes & References: Thom…
 
We pull a bonus episode out of our Patreon archive and discuss: the casting process, going through hundreds of submissions, what Wes looks for in an audition; how Todd did in all three rounds of his auditions; what makes for a good or bad monologue; and other such stuff and things and stuff. Notes & References: Meisner Technique Practical Aesthetic…
 
We put the lasso of truth on Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman 1984” and discuss: themes, and conversational subtext in Wonder Woman; Chekhov’s Gun, wasted story elements; using a temp track for editing purposes (and how “Sunshine” was ripped off once again); and other such stuff and things and stuff. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burde…
 
We prance through F. Murray Abraham’s “Amadeus” and discuss: cinematography; story & writing, engaging the audience; living in the shadow of Mozart; special guest Scott Garrett Graham joins us; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “I have never thought of writing for reputation and honor. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the rea…
 
We put a match to the Korean film “Burning” and discuss: cinematography, natural lighting vs available lighting; editing, how long takes and rhythm of edits affects the experience; story, what is this movie about?; special guest Dave Jasmon; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “She was bored. She loved, had capacity to love, for love, to giv…
 
We back our way through Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” and discuss: cinematography, setting the tone for a mechanically complex film; writing & story, why this film would not work if told with a traditional structure; comparing Memento to Following, what does an extra $9 million budget get you?; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “I don’t un…
 
We break into Christopher Nolan’s “Following” and discuss: cinematography, shooting on 16mm film; writing & editing, adding intrigue to a simple story; locations on a small budget; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “One of the worst things you can do is have a limited budget and try to do some big looking film. That’s when you end up with …
 
We busk through John Carney’s “Once” and discuss: cinematography; rules of a musical; story, movie trailer moments; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “If you look at my career… I couldn’t possibly have chosen those subjects if I was thinking, ‘That’s a great commercial idea.’ I’m not aware of a great musical where someone has done that.“ –…
 
We leap into Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” and discuss: cinematography, lighting, and communicating a feeling; writing & story, efficiency with locations; and other such stuff and things and stuff. “I wish people could achieve what they think would bring them happiness in order for them to realize that that’s not really what happiness is.“ – Alanis Mo…
 
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