Rundown: On this week’s show we’re talking about Kathryn Bigelow’s new movie, Detroit about the riots, the Algiers Hotel incident. It’s a searing, adult drama about race, police, the changes in American society of the 1960s, and one that has an all-too timely feel today. Wonder Why. We also use this as a jumping off point to talk about dramas for adults and wonder if they’re still a thing. We then talk about a provocative piece in The Guardian by Danny Leigh which asks the question is Hollywood in desperate need of a Bonnie and Clyde moment… more on that in segment two. It’s a good discussion. We then wrap up with our old pal Peter Brown, the Associate Editor of Assignment X, as we do one of our Status Check segments on, what else, Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5, Eastwatch.
Topic 1: Review of Detroit and the state of Movie Dramas
Is there a movie more timely playing in theaters right now than “Detroit?” Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and written by Mark Boal, who previously worked together on “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Detroit” tells the true story of the Algiers Motel incident, which happened during the 12th Street riot in 1967 Detroit. The police raided the Algiers Motel believing there was a sniper, and proceeded to beat and torture 9 people, 7 African American men and 2 white women, most of them teenagers. Three African American teenagers were killed by police officers. The film stars Algee Smith, John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jason Mitchell and Anthony Mackie.
The movie about race and police brutality, and after everything that happened this weekend in Charlottesville, and the acquittal after acquittal of police officers in the murder of black men, this movie is set in 1967, but it could be set right now.
Topic 2: Does Hollywood need a shake-up?
For the past few years now, film lovers and movie critics have commented on the rise of the genre film, how wanna-be blockbusters have broken out of summer and seemingly eaten up every month of the movie calendar, and how movies don’t seem to get any love anymore unless there’s some comic book connection. Movies have become very predictable and stale, and have more or less lost their preeminence as the most valuable real estate in pop culture storytelling.
To quote a Battlestar: Galactica, this has all happened before and will happen again. 50 years ago, the old studio system was dying. Big movie after big movies were bombing. But back then those movies weren’t wanna-be blockbusters but bible movies, musicals and westerns… essentially the comic book movie fads of their day.
Then along came a little movie called Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, and that movie started a revolution in 1960s filmmaking leading to the golden age of director centered movies in the 1970s, including The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Jaws, Star Wars and on and on. Essentially, Bonnie and Clyde blew up the status quo and made way for a new Hollywood era. Is Hollywood ripe for new Bonnie and Clyde? If so, what would that look like today?
That’s the provocative question we’re going to talk about, with a nod towards Danny Leigh’s article in the Guardian this weeks which asked this same question, and got us thinking.
Status Check: Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 5 "Eastwatch"
From the Game of Thrones Wiki:
Daenerys demands loyalty from the surviving Lannister soldiers. Jon heeds Bran's warning about White Walkers on the move. Cersei vows to vanquish anyone or anything that stands in her way.
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