Criterion Corner: Blow-Up (#865)

I admit: sometimes I find them intimidating. The classics, the cinema icons, the films that everyone says you should watch because they are just that good and the directors who made those films. What if I watch one of those films and I don’t like them – or, worse, they don’t do anything for me and barely evince any reaction whatsoever? (Somehow it’s easier to dislike an iconic film than to be indifferent to a supposed masterpiece of the art form.) Which may go some way towards explaining the big pile of Criterion films I’ve bought but haven’t watched yet. Of course I want to watch them, I will watch them – but not just yet. I’ll get around to them. Eventually. Perhaps there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to watch them so much as it wants to have watched them.

Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up was one of those films for a long time – but then my kindly co-baristas here at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture went and did a podcast episode about seeing our cities, the places we live (or have lived) in, on film, and Alan chose to talk about the London of Blow-Up. And at that point I couldn’t really not watch it, could I? (Mind you, it still took me more than seven months, but I think that this year has given me enough of an excuse for that sort of delay.)

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Going Places

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

While some of us at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture are sci-fi fans, others are a bit more ambivalent about the genre. Yes, Mege, we’re looking at you. Though even then, there are cracks in his sci-fi sceptical shell: and one of these, surprisingly, is the 2000 Don Bluth animation Titan A.E. Remember that one?

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #54: Movie Geography – Our Home Towns on Film

Ever watch a film made in a place you know very well, only to find that the movie’s geography doesn’t make any sense: that street does not lead to that bridge, and how would you get from this church to that square – which isn’t even in the same city? Join Sam, Julie and Alan as they discuss three films – Dick Maas’ serial killer schlockfest Amsterdamned (1988), Michelangelo Antonioni’s London-based mystery thriller Blowup (1966) and the Bern-based scenes in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), the sixth Bond adventure – that were filmed in their metaphorical back yards. What kind of expectations, experiences and disappointments come with seeing your home town on the big screen? And what’s the relationship between real geography and movie geography?

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