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About tkilian

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  1. tkilian

    Episode 121 - The Matrix (w/ Cameron Esposito)

    Yes. It's an undeniably significant in film history. Like STAR WARS, you don't have to like it to recognize its influence. THE MATRIX has a teenage or juvenile sensibility, and that makes it a huge pain in the ass... but that's also the reason it was so influential. Parts of it are really heavy-handed and embarrassing in retrospect, but when something speaks that powerfully to a lot of young people, there's usually something there (even if it is the fact that teenagers are absolutely primed to hear "the feelings of vague resentment towards authority that you feel are totally justified, nobody else gets it, and you are uniquely gifted and special," for better and for worse). I also think there's something going on with Neo falling in love with someone who he initially mistakes for a man and who ends up being deliberately costumed to end up looking like a female version of himself... especially one who begins the film as a complete and comfortable person. In the Matrix they've got similar haircuts, the same sunglasses, and have a big fight scene where they move as synchronous mirrors of each other. On the ship they're both in these baggy, gender-neutral clothes. It's like he needs to fall in love this female self-image in order to become a self-actualized person.
  2. tkilian

    Episode #91: LABYRINTH

    Speaking as an illustrator, Labyrinth's influence is all over the illustration scene. And while a lot of that comes down to Brian Froud, there's a lot to be said about a young artist seeing something like Labyrinth come to life onscreen. It's a soft yes from me, but I think Labyrinth's thematics and few key dramatic scenes elevate it above something like Dark Crystal, which is near unwatchable as anything other than a visual exercise. I also see the handcrafted feel of this movie coming out in the small stop motion boom we seem to be having. In response to Devin's reaction to the deep silliness of a lot of the goblin designs, I actually find that one of the film's strengths. In terms of monster psychological niches, goblins represent monstrous childhood. They're silly, and they can be cute in the same ugly way that a pug is cute, but they're also cruel in the thoughtless way that a child can be cruel. Before a certain age, children are functional sociopaths. It's not an intentional or mature sort of malice - goblins are cruel because they're bored or they think it's funny or out of a careless lack of empathy (Bowie tossing baby Toby up in the air in "Dance Magic Dance" and appearing to simply forget about the kid and step away while he's in mid-air is a perfect example). They've got to be threatening, funny, and pathetic all at the same time, and that's a fine line to tread.. Again this is more to do with the movie's themes as opposed to its execution, but that monstrous childhood makes the goblins perfect villains for this film about accepting maturity.
  3. tkilian


    Solid yes. Miyazaki is a cultural touchstone and I'd argue that majority of his films are canon-worthy, and that definitely includes Kiki's Delivery Service. Given how both of our hosts have taken guys to task for disparaging "girl media," I was surprised that nobody picked up on the throughline of all of the episodes: Kiki is a girl trying to grow up and make her way in the world. She meets a variety of women who all demonstrate different ways of being and living. Having learned about all these different ways of being a woman, Kiki overcomes her anxiety and self-doubt as she figures out the kind of woman she wants to be. And while I've never been an adolescent girl, I know Kiki's Delivery Service was my fiancee's favorite film as a kid. Aside from the beautiful scenery and the cat, she loved it for being both relatable and aspirational - she spent a lot of time putting together business ventures as a child. On another note, the entire What Is Anime? debate was senseless wheel-spinning. Yes, Studio Ghibli is anime. It's animation that comes from Japan. Japanese animation is both a medium and a genre in much the same way that Western Animation is. Saying that you have a problem with Ghibli films because you don't like other anime or the (genuinely upsetting) behavior of certain anime fans is like saying that Disney or Pixar films are somehow lessened by the existence of The Squidbillies or Brony conventions. As a final aside: absolutely, most anime is garbage. It's a pulp medium, most pulp of any kind is garbage. The majority of anime TV shows are produced cheaply and with limited oversight. Much as with, say, exploitation films, so long as genre expectations are adhered to the creators can largely do as they please. Most of the results are of course disposable junk, but a very small number of people will elevate the medium. Now I don't blame anybody for not wanting to wade through the junk sifting for the diamonds in the rough (I'm not in high school anymore, I don't have the patience for it either), we're watching Reanimator next week for goodness sake - H.P. Lovecraft is practically the poster child for a creator working within a pulpy medium to produce groundbreaking material.