A discussion of cult films by two guys located in a basement somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Matt holds a B.S. and M.S. in physics, and works as an aerospace engineer. Mark holds a B.S. in biochemistry and works as a research technician... both are graduates of Snohomish High School Class of 91/92 respectiviely, none of which qualifies them to discuss film in any meaningful way... so... "caveat emptor" and all that.
This week Matt and Mark discuss the indifference of survival and nature's cruelty when we discuss both United Airlines contract of carriage and the definitive Herzong documentary Grizzly Man. Tim Treadwell created an anthropamorphized fantasy world in the Alaskan Tundra where he spent 13 summers with Earth's most fearsome carnivores, the North American Grizzly. Passions exceeded pragmatism and in the end, Tim paid the price inhabiting his self-created world. An interesting character sketch the likes of which we rarely see on film.
Matt and Mark continue to review documentaries this week with the 2008 Lebanon War animated film Waltz with Bashir. Not so much a reconstruction of events leading up to the infamous Sabra and Shatila Massacre, as it is the personal exploration of an Israeli soldier who 20 years on finally comes to terms with his complicity in the atrocity. Such horror is endemic to human history it seems, and in away, no human being is truly innocent of crimes done in their name, despite the paper thin facade of nationalism. An amazing movie and one of kind, Waltz with Bashir is an important film.
Time to Ahneld it up once again with the movie that made Schwarzenegger Schwarzenegger, the semi-scripted documentary Pumping Iron. Despite its contrived situations and its cursory treatment of the body building's "Je Ne sais quoi", it does give us insight into Mr. Schwarzenegger's persona and his charisma. Besides the subject matter, the film unknowingly gave birth to the the ripped bodies of the modern action stars. Prior to Arnold, a trim Sean Connery circa Dr. No used to be cinematic gold, but now we require comic book hero caliber physiques. A boon to Hollywood dietitians and trainers, no doubt.
"I'll be back (again)..." This week we review the classic Schwarzenegger mid-80's camp action film The Running Man. A movie that works on many levels, its shining stars are a supporting cast who manage to play themselves spectacularly, including game show host Killian played by a venerable Dawson and the retired stalker/wrestler Captain Freedom played by the one and only Jesse Ventura. While attempting to predict 2017, this 1987 film gets many things right, including the nefarious ubiquity of staged reality television and the conmen/entertainers who profit from their fake narratives.