In the first of their weekly retrospective podcasts discussing select films from 2000, Alex and Nick take a look at Steven Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning “Traffic.”
Nick and Alex discuss the evolution of the Summer Blockbuster, some notable titles, the effects of solid marketing campaigns, and the Summer Blockbuster’s current status during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As this year’s Cannes Film Festival has been canceled due to the Coronavirus, Nick and Alex decide to take a stroll down memory lane and discuss the last time it was canceled, during the summer of ’68. Hear them discuss the historical and social context behind the May 68 Movement, films that were scheduled to screen that year, plus more.
On May 21, 1980, the eagerly awaited follow-up to the smash hit phenomenon, “Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” premiered nationwide across America. 40 years later, Nick and Alex look into one of the all-time greatest sequels and discuss why it holds up for so many.
History is often complicated by nostalgia. The prevalence of meme culture within online discourse accentuates the inextricable relationship between the two, particularly when enough time has passed for a media text to resurge in popularity. Take, as two examples, a double bill of films released at the dawn of the millennium: The Emperor’s New Groove and The Road to El Dorado. Celebrating their twentieth anniversaries, these films from Disney and DreamWorks, respectively, emerged in a landscape where mainstream American animated films faced a crisis of identity following the end of the Disney Renaissance era. Informed by South and Latin American aesthetics, both films heralded the future more clearly than their box office performances might indicate by capturing a past rooted less in Mesoamerican or Incan mythology than the comedy of Looney Tunes and the Hope/Crosby Road To… movies. Indeed, it is the eschewing of both cultural and historical verisimilitude which makes the transfiguration of these films into reaction gifs seem like a foregone conclusion.