All in Historical Period Drama
This week, we watch the last epic made by the man who is widely regarded as one of the best directors of all time. With thousands of extras, hundreds of horses, full scale battles, and castles built on the side of Mount Fuji, Kurosawa takes his time and lets each shot linger, recreating the paintings he made that were used as storyboards. Ran (1985), directed by Akira Kurosawa.
This week, we abandon the list to watch one of the best movies of last year, and a Best Picture Academy Award nominee. Combining the comedy of a buddy-cop film with the heavy drama of real historical and present day events revolving around racism in the United States, this film packs an enormous emotional punch, and successfully provokes conversations about the state of this country that we should all be having. BlacKkKlansman (2018), directed by Spike Lee.
This week, we watch the spiritual sequel to Goodfellas, when De Niro and Pesci move from New York to Vegas. Based on the true life story of Frank Rosenthal (who still claims no knowledge of the events depicted in this film), this movie is probably the most historically accurate film we have watched so far. Casino (1995), directed by Martin Scorsese.
This week, we watch the story of the man who suffered from an extremely unfortunate disease that made his appearance monstrous. This film focuses on the time during his life where he met Doctor Treves, played by Hannibal Lecter himself, Sir Anthony Hopkins. The Elephant Man (1980), directed by David Lynch.
This week, we watch the modified story of actual trials that took place in Nuremberg, Germany, after the end of World War II. This film brings up the topic of where to place the guilt for war crimes, and how far down the blame should. Spencer Tracy comes up with some ideas. Judgement at Nuremberg (1961), directed by Stanley Kramer.
This week, we watch The Message(1976), directed by Moustapha Akkad.
This week, we watch the American epic about Daniel Plainview, an oil man who wants no one else to succeed. We believe this masterpiece will be watched for decades, and we dive deep, making this the longest episode yet. Guest hosted by Matt Hathaway. There Will Be Blood (2007), directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
This week, we watch the film that portrays the historical events of the Rwandan Genocide through the story of a hotel manager who protected over 1,000 refugees in the midst of the massacre. Don Cheadle portrays Paul Rusesabagina, a man who risked his family members lives, as well as his own, to save innocent lives in a performance that will most likely continue to define his career. Hotel Rwanda (2004), directed by Terry George.
Written and directed by a Vietnam veteran, this film chronicles the horrifying violence Oliver Stone witnessed during his time in the jungle. A script so anti-war, Hollywood refused to make it, and then awarded it with an Oscar for Best Picture (among others). Makes sense. Platoon (1986), directed by Oliver Stone.
This week, we watch the best picture winning film that aims and succeeds to tell the true story of the hard working Boston Globe reporter/editor/writer team that broke the story on pedophile priests in Boston, and the systematic coverup that the Catholic Church provides for those who get caught. A very special guest co-hosts this episode - Kevin Slane, who is an entertainment writer (among other things) at the Boston Globe. Spotlight, directed by Tom McCarthy.
This week, we watch the wonderful story of a young French boy and his downward spiral. This timeless and magical film was one of the first of the French New Wave, and the one that brought international attention to the movement. This film hasn't aged a day. The relatable story is as relevant as ever, the acting from a cast of mostly children is incredible, and it looks and sounds amazing. The historical importance of this film can not be overstated. The 400 Blows (1959), directed by Francois Truffaut.
This week, we watch the story of the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven, a group of young men and woman who were wrongly accused and imprisoned for the terrorist bombing of a pub. The true story turns into a backdrop for the relationship between one of the four (Daniel Day Lewis) and his father (Pete Postlethwaite), and their time spent together in prison. In the Name of the Father, directed by Jim Sheridan.
This week, we watch the best picture winner about the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York who gets abducted and sold into slavery. This movie is brutal and important, and should be on the short list of films that everyone from this country must see. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'O, and Michael Fassbender all put in career best performances. 12 Years a Slave (2013), directed by Steve McQueen.
This week, we watch the epic tale of Judah Ben-Hur, a man who lived at the time of Jesus. Based on the outstandingly popular novel from 1880, and a remake of the 1925 film, this iteration of the tale is distinguished by winning the most Academy Awards in history, and has a number of other records held as well (largest set ever built, etc). Come for the chariot race, and stay for the mind blowing scale. Ben-Hur (1959), directed by William Wyler.
This week, we watch the landmark picture that depicts the hardships of the dust bowl survivors that journey to California to find a new life. Adapted from the pages of John Steinbeck's classic novel that was released only a year earlier, these two pieces of art were among the most controversial of the time. The Grapes of Wrath (1940), directed by John Ford.
This week, we watch the the movie that captured a slot in Quentin Tarantino's list of the 20 best films since 1992 - a murder mystery that combines horror and comedy in a way that that leaves you not only guessing at who the killer is, but what tone the movie will take with the next scene. Also, the best jump-kicks in movie history. Memories of Murder (2003), directed by Bong Joon Ho.
This week, we watch the winner of 8 Oscars, including Best Director, Best actor (Ben Kingsley), and Best Picture, which it thoroughly deserved. This is one of the most epic films in history, and stands up strongly to the test of time. Gandhi (1982), directed by Richard Attenborough.
This week, we watch the Best Picture nominated film that gave Leonardo DiCaprio his much sought after Best Actor Oscar, as he suffers violently and horribly through some of the most gorgeously shot landscapes in movie history. The Revenant (2015), directed by Alejandro Inarritu.