The Next Picture Show

The Next Picture Show

A biweekly roundtable by the former editorial team of The Dissolve examining how classic films inspire and inform modern movies. Episodes take a deep dive into a classic film and its legacy in the first half, then compare and contrast that film with a modern successor in the second. Hosted and produced by Genevieve Koski, Keith Phipps, Tasha Robinson and Scott Tobias. Part of the Filmspotting family of podcasts.

Episodes

July 20, 2021 69 min
Our look at the musical happenings of the summer of 1969 shifts from upstate New York to uptown New York City to experience the Harlem Cultural Festival, rescued from historical obscurity by Amir “Questlove” Thompson in his new documentary SUMMER OF SOUL (...OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED). We’re joined once again by music critic Steven Hyden to consider how SUMMER OF SOUL works as a music documentary both in its ow...
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The summer of 1969 saw several large-scale music festivals, but few have crossed into the realm of myth as definitively as Woodstock, thanks in no small part to Michael Wadleigh’s landmark 1970 documentary, released less than a year after its titular event. Questlove’s new film SUMMER OF SOUL seeks to add another, less-discussed concert to the musical narrative of that summer, which we will bring into the discussion next week, but ...
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When it comes to streaming services, we’re leaving the Wild West era and entering a new one where multiple corporations with slightly varying distribution models are jockeying for dominance in an increasingly crowded landscape. Where does this leave the new films landing on these services, the audiences who want to watch them, and the fate of the theatrical model as we emerge from the past pandemic year? In this episode, originally...
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Like last week’s film, WEST SIDE STORY, Jon M. Chu’s new big-screen adaptation of IN THE HEIGHTS is about the American Dream, but it acknowledges that the dream isn’t one-size-fits-all—only, you know, in song! In this half of our pairing we debate how that mission squares with IN THE HEIGHTS’ fundamentally optimistic outlook, before bringing the two films together to compare how they work as movie musicals, as stories about immigra...
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The new IN THE HEIGHTS is a film derived from a Broadway hit that challenged mainstream notions about musical theater, which in addition to being a love story examines the immigrant experience through the framing of a specific Manhattan neighborhood — all of which can also be said about Ray Wise’s 1961 Oscar behemoth WEST SIDE STORY. And so while we recognize that WEST SIDE STORY will be receiving the modern-update treatment later ...
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The new Australian film THE DRY is an adaptation of a hit novel, set in Victoria, that considers a remote community beset by grief over a mysterious loss, all of which reminded us of Peter Weir’s Australian New Wave classic PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK; but despite those similarities in general shape, the specific contours of the two films are vastly different, particularly in their respective approaches to mystery and resolution. But th...
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The new thriller THE DRY makes a central character of its setting, a rural Australian town plagued by a drought that’s turned it into a (literal) tinderbox, and haunted by a tragedy that threatens to send it into (metaphorical) flames. That heavily symbolic use of the Australian landscape, combined with its focus on a community in the aftermath of tragedy, struck us as an opportunity to revisit 1975’s PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, Peter ...
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THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW hangs a lantern on its obvious homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW, but how does Joe Wright’s latest fare when placed into conversation with such a vaunted comparison point? We’re joined again this week by freelance critic Roxana Hadadi to determine just that — the answer probably will not surprise you — as well as the two films’ use of voyeurism as compulsion vs. plot device, their respective “secret p...
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Joe Wright’s new adaptation of the bestselling novel THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is hardly the first film to tip its hat to Alfred Hitchcock in general and 1954’s REAR WINDOW in particular, in no small part because Hitchcock’s film is in many ways a movie about the act of watching movies. But it can also be processed as a film about storytelling in general, or the journalistic impulse in particular, both readings of the film that we ge...
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The new MORTAL KOMBAT, directed by Simon McQuoid, drops a new, nobody protagonist, Cole Young, into the videogame world’s established mythology, positioning him as an outsider within a generations-spanning supernatural battle. That conceit is a big part of why we chose to pair the film with John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, but does it make for a compelling movie narrative? No, it doesn’t, and we discuss why in our debr...
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The newest film iteration of MORTAL KOMBAT is a fighting fantasy with roots in the tradition of Asian martial arts movies, but with a pronounced supernatural component that pushes it deeper into the realm of the uncanny. That particular combination, along with the film’s outsider protagonist, put us in mind of John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, a 1986 action-comedy that plops a mostly hapless Kurt Russell in the middle o...
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The second half of our pairing looking at young women publicly testing the goodwill of their loved ones drops in on another awkward community function in the form of SHIVA BABY’s titular gathering. We’re joined again by film writer Jordan Hoffman to talk about Emma Seligman’s extraordinary debut feature and how it connects to Jonathan Demme’s RACHEL GETTING MARRIED in its view of familial and social expectations, filmmaking that re...
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The new indie comedy SHIVA BABY’s focus on a young woman attending an obligatory family event and finding herself the center of attention reminded us of a similar cinematic predicament set at a very different sort of major life event: Jonathan Demme’s 2008 drama RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. Revisiting the film for this week’s pairing, along with our special guest, film writer Jordan Hoffman, was a potent reminder of the late Demme’s tal...
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The new Bob Odenkirk-starring revenge thriller NOBODY could be read as commentary on the revenge thriller form, but that may be an overly generous reading — or it may just be because we’ve paired it this week with Steven Soderbergh’s THE LIMEY, which is much more overtly reflective about its fantasies of violence and retribution. After working through what did and didn’t work for us about NOBODY, we put it into conversation with TH...
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The new NOBODY, starring Bob Odenkirk as an unlikely action star, is drawing on a long tradition of revenge movies, which means we had our pick of comparison points this week, but Steven Soderbergh’s 1999 film THE LIMEY struck us as particularly apt not just for the commentary it provides on the revenge narrative, but also for its focus on its protagonist’s relationship to his past. In this first half we dig into THE LIMEY, a film ...
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April 6, 2021 85 min
The new HBO documentary TINA touches briefly but memorably on the release of 1992’s WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, but it’s much more focused on providing a bird’s-eye view of Tina Turner’s entire career, beyond the years she spent in a creatively fruitful but abusive partnership with Ike Turner. Watching the two films together, as we did for this week’s pairing, reveals how the films’ respective documentary and narrative approache...
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It’s rare that one of the films in a Next Picture Show pairing is directly addressed in the other film, but that’s the case with WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT and the new documentary TINA, two films with distinctly different approaches tackling a common subject: the life of soul music legend Tina Turner. This week we zoom in on Tina through the lens of Brian Gibson’s 1993 biopic, a film that treats the abuse Tina received at the ha...
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Unlike the last unicorn in the eponymous 1982 animated film by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., this week’s last-of-her-kind fantasy creature knows what happened to the rest of her kind, setting the new Disney Animation feature RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON off on a quest narrative that takes a much different shape than THE LAST UNICORN. We’re joined once again this week by John Maher to discuss RAYA’s shiny, roller-coaster-like thrill...
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While the new RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON shares far more with its Disney Animation brethren than anything made by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, those filmmakers’ 1982 animated adaptation of Peter S. Beagle’s THE LAST UNICORN shares RAYA’s interest in telling a story about humanity via the plight of a fantasy creature believed to be the last of its kind — it just goes about it in a much more idiosyncratic, often flat-out weird way...
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March 9, 2021 62 min
Yes, Lee Isaac Chung’s new feature MINARI is a story that involves family farming and scarcity of water, but its connections to Claude Berri’s 1986 tragedy JEAN DE FLORETTE go beyond plot similarities and into deeper explorations of community and outsiders. After discussing our initial reactions to MINARI we dig into those connections, as well as how the specifics of each film’s setting — rural Arkansas and Provence, France — shape...
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