March 19, 2020
2012 was one hell of a time. Not only did we think the world wouldn't get much worse after the global economic crisis and the rise of international terrorism - but we also allowed ourselves to get excited about a beloved franchise being purchased by a huge corporation.
But, here we are - five movies in, a few TV shows (including a live action one) and a whole lot of fan chatter.
We wanted to allow the dust to settle after the release of 'The Rise of Skywalker' - so this isn't a review of that picture - but more of a discussion over a cold coffee about how we feel about creative filmmaking in the streaming age.
As always, let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, leave us a review on iTunes, follow us on Spotify, and check us out on Instagram and eBay.
March 6, 2020
Comedy's Aidan McCaffery is an apostate. He has renounced his longtime comic congregation, the London Metropolitan Elite Church of the Woke & Vegan Reading Room, and walks now the path of the born-again Leondensian. With his microphone a shepherd's crook, he will tend to a new flock among the earthy ribaldry and casual xenophobia of the working men's clubs of the North. His cancel culture card has itself been cancelled, cut into pieces and pressed upon the clacking tongues of the devoted, to be swallowed as sacrament. In its place, a membership with Cooplands Rewards and a set of vouchers to be enjoyed between 5 pm and 7 pm at any of Leeds City Centre's 12 Wetherspoons locations.
In advance of Aidan's exodus, Fletcher Walton secured his presence at O.S.S. Ealing one last time to discuss the biggest cinema releases of 2020 - but naturally not before an opening 45 minutes of acerbic, insightful, culturally necessary blah blah blah. Enjoy, and ee bah gum!
December 24, 2019
In Issue 28 of The Evening Glass, Luke and Fletcher reflect on their favourite festive films - from Dianne Jackson's The Snowman to Barry Levinson's Diner - before looking closely at one of the finest of them all, John Landis' Trading Places.
Let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, leave us a review on iTunes, follow us on Spotify, and check us out on Instagram and eBay.
Sherry Christmas, Frohe Weinachten, Anís Navidad, and see you all in 2020!
November 22, 2019
Do the Right Thing is a film about conflict and conversation. With preternatural vision and skill, director Spike Lee creates urban America in microcosm across a handful of larger-than-life Bed-Stuy blocks sweltering in the summer sun, and on those sidewalks and shopfronts presents a procession of discussions – between black and white, male and female, young and old, past and present, boyfriend and girlfriend, brother and sister, brother and brother, father and son, native and immigrant, have and have-not. Lee encourages us to follow each dialogue and recognise both sides. Then, in act of marvelous courage by the filmmakers, the viewer is given licence not to decide or conclude or offer a verdict, but to witness, consider and reflect. Spike expects us to think.
In this issue of The Electronic Labyrinth, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of perhaps the greatest Hollywood film in our lifetimes, Luke Littleboy and Fletcher Walton have a go at understanding how Spike and his team marshal the instruments of cinema to articulate these arguments within the community they've so vividly realised, as over the course of the hottest day of the year limitations in understanding threaten alliances and push us to crisis.
November 1, 2019
In the thirty-some years Luke, James and Fletcher have shared the planet, Hollywood has released no film better than Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. One Sensational Shot honours the 30th anniversary of that release with two new issues.
Later in the month on The Electronic Labyrinth, Luke and Fletcher go scene-by-scene to explore and understand Do the Right Thing's marvelous riches as an incredible work of cinema.
Here, in Episode 27 of The Evening Glass, Fletcher discusses the film, its themes, and, as usual, every bloody other thing else as well, with Spike Lee novice Aidan McCaffery..
In this issue, we've sought to reflect the maturity, the honesty, the dexterity and the precision of this challenging work. If we've done our job, we hope it's on that level which you'll engage and enjoy.
October 17, 2019
A lot can happen in 20 years. Some of us of a certain age look back on the 90s with a hazy sense of nostalgia. So it's almost reassuring to remember that something as simple as a space movie could still split a fanbase clean in two, just like today.
In contrast to the other prequels, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was written by George Lucas over the period of a few years, carefully crafting the script alongside the art department. As the pre-production crew grew, an entire world teeming with life and distinct cultures grew to populate the movie.
Still, after the audience sobered up after opening weekend, people started to murmur... 'Is it any good?'.
Like we said, a lot can happen in 20 years. The prequel generation is now grown up and the franchise isn't even owned by its creator any more.
Luke, James and Fletcher get together to ask how the film holds up after 20 years, where it sits within Lucas' career, and 'Is it any good?'.
Let us know what you think – get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes.
October 7, 2019
Returning from another of our now customary three-month hiatuses (look, man, the sun was out, you dig?), Episode 26 of The Evening Glass finds Fletcher and special guest Aidan McCaffery fresh from an opening weekend screening of Todd Phillips' Joker and ready to rock and roll (part 2) with an hour of reaction, commendation, dissension and debate.
Bust a move to the flicks, load this sucker up on the next day's morning commute, then come back at us with yer own opinions on the most stimulating comic book adaptation of the year.
June 27, 2019
In Issue 25 of The Evening Glass, we discuss a divergent brace of cult sci-fi visions. The kitsch embrace of a shag carpet zero-G space pad hosts Luke as his DVD A to Z continues with Roger Vadim's camp classic Barbarella, while it's from the altogether less salubrious environs of a Soho all-nighter that Fletcher files fevered dispatches on Panos Cosmatos' hypnagogic Beyond the Black Rainbow.
We also touch on Cosmatos' drug-drenched sophomore feature, Mandy, present our pick of July's cinema releases - so get yer diaries out - and, digressive as ever, there's time as well for quick forays into football fandom, Stranger Things, and to what extent every person younger than us has without doubt been irrevocably traumatised by science phones. Technology, kids - just say no!
June 13, 2019
James Cameron and Christopher Nolan are two of our favourite Hollywood directors.
In his singular, unfashionable dedications to practical effects, specificity of medium, cinematic exhibition and sophistication in plotting and presentation, over two decades Kit Nolan has emerged as an antidote to the contemporary blockbuster, the last best hope that blockbuster cinema can enthral audiences while advancing the form.
Jim Cameron, the biggest director of the '90s, has been largely absent from cinemas for 20 years. Cameron's cinematic style is less adventurous than Nolan's, but his colossal innovation in special effects and his preternatural synthesis of story, character and spectacle are without parallel - and his accidental heroes remain among the most beloved characters in popular culture.
In an issue of The Evening Glass thankfully nowhere near as austere as its introductory paragraphs, Fletcher is joined by comedy's Aidan McCaffery for a customarily lengthy chat on these two maestros - and one which made abundantly clear that we need to retrospective these two brilliant filmographies in their entirety, the sooner the better!
June 7, 2019
In reference, and deference, to the 1994 triple-whammy that turned Jim Carrey into an overnight sensation (ten years in the making), this month's Electronic Labyrinth sees Luke and Fletcher race through Ace Ventura, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, The Cable Guy, The Truman Show and Man on the Moon; explain what comedy meant to the box office in the '80s and '90s; and plot the contemporary elimination of the blockbuster comedy.