For Oscars week, we bring you our annual review of this year’s excellent slate of nominated short film selections, as well as our Oscar predictions. Unlike many pundits, we would never tell you to follow our lead, but maybe us talking through our picks will help you find some clarity.
For our fourth and final week of Makoto Shinkai Director Month, we discuss his 2007 episodic film about longing for love across the years. As we note, it’s a beautiful bridge between earlier Shinkai works and his eventual feature film “Your name.” and (in what should be no surprise) another powerful emotional viewing experience.
Kicking off a new special series that will run throughout Black History Month 2020, four Critics of Color sit down to discuss their love for movies, how they got into film criticism, and what to expect in future episodes, in addition to sharing some thoughts on the upcoming 2020 Academy Awards. This special series highlights perspectives in film criticism that are vital to the culture because they are for the culture.
In week three of Makoto Shinkai Director Month, we dig into his 45-minute short film from 2013 about a young student and a mysterious woman who meet under the rains of Tokyo in a beautiful garden gazebo. It’s a lovely, slice-of-life tale with Shinkai’s signature striking weather animation and incredible sound design that helps pull you in emotionally. We also reveal the 2020 Feeler’s Choice Award nominations and tell you how you can participate in voting on this year’s awards!
The Garden of Words Review– 0:01:18
The Connecting Point – 0:36:38
2020 Feeler’s Choice Award Nominations Reveal – 0:49:06
For our January Donor Pick, the Patrons chose Bong Joon-Ho’s international sensation for us to discuss. There’s no doubt that this film has taken the world by storm, and for very good reason, as it is a masterclass in filmmaking with layers upon layers to peel back all while enjoying and entertaining domestic thriller. We chat about the biggest takeaways we had from the film, though we likely don’t cover everything possible as this one will be mined for new details for years to come.
It’s week two of Makoto Shinkai Director Month and we are stepping forward in the filmography to cover his newest film, which centers around the bond between a teenage runaway and a teenage orphan, set against the backdrop of climate change-induced crazy weather. As always there is a lot to emotionally unpack, and maybe a statement about humanity’s effect on the planet as well.
This week, in a special episode of FF+, we bring to you an interview with 2D Sequence Director and Voice Actor for “SGT Stubby: An American Hero” Jordan Beck. Jordan is also the Chief Operations Officer for Fun Academy Media Group. We talk about their excellent latest animated film, its educational and historical value, and the kind of engaging learning through entertainment that the studio seeks to bring to cinemas everywhere.
This week’s episode covers Sam Mendes’ new war film that is famously made with the illusion of taking place as one continuous shot. The technical mastery in filmmaking craft is evident throughout, but does this immersive and intense rush through the battlegrounds of WW I affect us emotionally? That’s always our question, and we have a good conversation expressing why it was successful in that regard.
We kick-off our fourth annual Director Month with the first feature-length film from one of our favorite animation directors, Makoto Shinkai. Much like Christopher Nolan, Shinkai has a keen sense for modern science fiction, but he also weaves romance, coming of age stories, and history into his films. This one is no different, as it features elements of all those things, and is a fascinating, beautiful place to start our discussion/celebration of his phenomenal filmography.
The Place Promised in Our Early Days Review– 0:02:51
We close the book on 2019’s year in film with our annual end of year special, where we cover a multitude of topics and share highlights (and lowlights) from the year. We also spend the opening portion of this episode recapping the 2020 Golden Globe Awards.