Six Damn Fine Degrees #69: You’re not on Tatooine anymore!

Welcome to Six Damn Fine Degrees. These instalments will be inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation in the loosest sense. The only rule: it connects – in some way – to the previous instalment. So come join us on our weekly foray into interconnectedness!

Coffeebreak for Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the Tunisian desert? They are certainly not on Tatooine anymore!

I must admit I get the trouble with sci-fi Mege so pointedly discussed in last week’s post: I was also never quite an ardent fan of the genre as such, finding some of the choices made for supposedly far away worlds oddly quaint and cheap and some of the rubbery prosthetic creatures designed so unbelievably comical that I was not at all convinced any future or outer world would ever look like that. Of course there were great exceptions along the way: the creatures in Alien are suitably scary and beautiful and its realist spaceship and crew utterly believable, Star Wars is identifiably a fairy tale in space rather than science-fiction, and Star Trek’s universally humanist message sugarcoated all the tech talk I didn’t quite understand.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Sugar and spice and all things nice

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.

Over the last two years time has felt like it’s broken, or at least its batteries are way down. Nonetheless, it’s December, the holidays aren’t all that far away, and the twelfth of our monthly podcasts has gone up. (More on that later.) The pandemic is still going on, affecting our lives and our cultural habits, but that’s not going to keep us from making sure our cups are filled with damn great culture – such as Mike Leigh’s Naked, which Julie wrote about in this week’s Six Damn Fine Degrees.

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #51: Denis Villeneuve’s Dune

A Damn Fine Cup of Culture couldn’t let the year end without celebrating one of the most anticipated films of the year, nay, the pandemic: Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune. For this, Julie and Alan are joined by Daniel Thron of Martini Giant, who had previously come by for a damn fine cup to discuss Stephen Soderbergh with us. Did our intrepid cultural baristas enjoy Villeneuve’s take on Herbert’s seminal novel? Did Hollywood do justice, in terms of storytelling and aesthetics, to a novel that many others – including David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky – failed to successfully bring to the screen? So, face your fear, permit it to pass over you and through you, and spend an hour in the desert landscape of Arrakis with Dan, Alan and Julie!

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Spice in the desert, blood on the dashboard

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.

Are we post-wave, pre-wave or both? Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine a future without the pandemic, and everything – including the culture we watch, read, listen to and play – is tinted, not to say tainted, by COVID-19. On Thursday, Matt tried to put his thoughts on the whole Groundhog Day-ness of it all into words. And mention Dune yet again. Obviously

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The Corona Diaries: The beginning is the end is the beginning

For a while it looked like we were over the worst. Well, when I say “we”… Let’s put it like this: in many places, numbers were going down, cinemas were opening up, people were wondering if we were returning to something akin to normalcy. I mean, I’ve been back to the Best Little Cinema in the World often since it opened its doors again in May. Work colleagues are going abroad on vacation. Isn’t this what normal looks like?

Remember when Mege posted this photo in his Corona Diaries entry in May 2020?

Or is this just what it looks like when people decide, as the finishing line comes into view, that they’ve had enough, and it’s the last bit that sucks the most, so why don’t we skip it?

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #46: Post-pandemic cinema

It is July – and in many countries, cinemas are open again, albeit with some restrictions. Have our intrepid cultural baristas already been back to movie theatres – and if so, what has it been like to be back after several months? How have they coped with half a year without cinemas? How has COVID-19 affected movie theatres and cinema goers alike? And how will the cinema landscape change after the pandemic? Even if we’re looking at a summer and autumn with open movie theatres (fingers crossed!) and upcoming blockbusters like the new James Bond and Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited, often-postponed Dune, will cinema be the same? Join Alan, Julie and Matt as they discuss these and other issues concerning post-pandemic cinema!

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Apples from Greece, hate from Paris, music from nomads

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest installment 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.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: It don’t like sand. It gets everywhere.

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest installment 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.

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