101 Films Special #07: Christmas 2012

Lewis and Ian have decked the halls of 101 Towers with boughs (boughs?) of holly, put the turkey in the oven to roast and are avoiding standing under the mistletoe. Yep, it’s CHRISTMASSSSSSS! That means of course its time for the 101 Films Christmas Special. Last year we looked at films that are about Christmas, this year we look at films that are set at Christmas but not really about the season. Merry Christmas Listeners/Readers!

101 Films Special 06 – Christmas Special 2012

I’ve got a great idea for a movie…

The greatest Blockbuster of all? Maybe.

The summer is here! Well, was here as it’s now nearly over! And if you live in the UK then it was sort of here for a week-and-a-half back in June and since then it’s just been raining. Woooh, summer! To celebrate, 101 Films is wheeling out a Special all about that institution of cinema, the Summer Blockbuster.

Until the 1970s the summer was traditionally a dead time for cinema, with studio heads believing people would be too busy enjoying the sunshine, having picnics, playing on beaches, having summer romances, going on holiday, drinking cocktails while watching the sunset, wearing handkerchiefs on their heads, wearing shorts and eating ice creams to bother going to see films. Then Jaws came along and Spielberg proved that all people want to do on those long summer days is sit in darkened rooms and watch a film. But not just any film, people want a particular type of movie. Something exciting, heart warming and full of spectacle. Something featuring the most charismatic and attractive actors of the day. Something that, if nothing else, had a big old explosion in it. That something was the Summer Blockbuster.

Since Jaws, studios have increasingly focused their resources on Summer Blockbusters. If they get it right then they can spend the rest of the year swimming in a giant chamber of money, just like Scrooge McDuck used to do (or still does, I presume he’s still with us?). Get it wrong and it can massively damage everyone involved. Remember Pearl Harbor? *shudder*

In this podcast Lewis and I offer the studios our own guide to creating a great Summer Blockbuster. We try to define exactly what makes a good Blockbuster good.

Khhhhaaaaaaaannnn!

Of course defining what makes a good film is a bit of a fool’s errand. One person’s thrilling rollercoaster ride of a film is another’s loud, incoherent nonsense. Can any film ever truly be defined as ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Film is art and doesn’t the very subjective nature of art make all criticism essentially pointless? Is 101 Films a massive waste of time?

Probably. But then again what else are Lewis and I going to do on a wet Tuesday afternoon?

Anyway, without further ado, let us present this week’s feature presentation:

Click here to download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Special 05: How To Make A Summer Blockbuster

OR subscribe on iTunes by clicking on the link below:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog. Feel free to also to say nice things about us on iTunes!

Want a good film? Get a dinosaur in!

101 Films Special #5: How To Make A Summer Blockbuster

Much like a studio which has lost all faith in it’s mediocre ‘blockbuster’, 101 Films has waited right to the end of the summer to release their latest Special: How To Make A Summer Blockbuster. Enjoy!

101 Films Special 05: How To Make A Summer Blockbuster

Oh, well, don’t get technical at a time like this…

His Girl Friday, the subject of this week’s 101 Films Podcast, is famous for many things: the fast-paced dialogue, the way Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell bounce off each other, the streak of jet-black humour that runs throughout the film. For Lewis and I though, the film’s greatest achievement is to introduce the concept of overlapping dialogue, of characters talking over each other. Any listener to 101 Films will be able to tell you how heavily that’s influenced the podcasts…

Directed by Howard Hughes, His Girl Friday stars Rosalind Russell as sexy-gives-as-good-as-she-gets Hildy Johnson, ex-reporter and ex-wife of Cary Grant’s Walter Burns. Hildy spends the film trying to resist the allure of going back to Walter and the life of a reporter.  Now when you consider that this is the young, charming, on-top-form Cary Grant we’re talking about here, as well as it being the romantic, all typewriters and fedora hats period of journalism, then I think you can appreciate what a tough job that is!

The fact that you sympathise with Hildy’s dilemma is why His Girl Friday is such a great film. Despite Walter and newspaper journalism being both depicted as essentially heartless and amoral you can totally understand why Hildy would want to stay. Even when Walter and the newspapers are at their worst, they are still exciting, funny, charming and, well, romantic. Who wouldn’t want to spend their days chasing the latest scoop while bantering with Cary Grant?

We do our best in this week’s podcast to match the pace and humour of our subject film. Of course we fail, but dammit, at least we tried! Other than His Girl Friday we also have a quick discussion about Batman (as per usual), introduce a new feature and try out our best Cary Grant impersonations.

Anyway, without further ado, let us present this week’s feature presentation:

Click here to download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Podcast 033: His Girl Friday

OR subscribe on iTunes by clicking on the link below:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog. Feel free to also to say nice things about us on iTunes!

Director: Howard Hawks Year of release: 1940 Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures Country: USA