I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: You’ve always been the Petula Clark

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.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy: on Friday, Alan took us back to the Overlook Hotel, to talk about Shelley Duvall’s performance in Stanley’s Kubrick seminal Stephen King adaptation The Shining.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: And now for some animated conversation

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.

Does Death only play chess? Or could he also be talked into a different challenge, say, Mario Cart or Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64? Then again, if you’re a Swedish knight returning home from the Crusades, it’s probably the Game of Kings that lends itself to the situation. So yes, you’ve probably guessed correctly: The Seventh Seal was the most recent stop on Matt’s travels with Ingmar. Hey, it doesn’t get much more iconic than that!

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Tell me who you are, so I can tell you who you are: Alias Grace and Ex Machina

Over the last couple of weeks, we watched the 2017 Netflix series Alias Grace. It is a smart, stylish adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel, with strong writing by Sarah Polley and direction by Mary Harron (of American Psycho fame), and the acting is impeccable, especially when it comes to Sarah Gadon as the Irish maid Grace Marks who may or may not have helped murder her employer and his housekeeper. The series handles tone and genre well, navigating between historical drama, dry black comedy, true crime, gothic horror and deft commentary on gender, class truth and fiction.

And about halfway through the final episode I thought that Alias Grace isn’t all that different from that film with the robot.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: In Cold Blood, in more ways than one

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.

This has been a relatively quiet week at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture, but we did have a tribute to the wonderful Toby Jones in Friday’s instalment of Six Damn Fine Degrees. Jones lost the Battle of the Capotes in the mid-Noughties, and his Infamous was pretty much overshadowed by Capote, which came out the year before, but that’s all the more reason to give Jones his due here.

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I don’t know if I like it, but it sure sounds dramatic: music and The Crown

C’est le ton qui fait la musique.
— French saying

For the longest time, I avoided Netflix’s The Crown, even though I’d mostly heard good things. I knew that they had a strong cast and that the creative team had been involved in films and series I’d liked (though not exclusively – I enjoyed Peter Morgan’s work on, say, The Damned United, but I was decidedly less keen on Bohemian Rhapsody, even if he was responsible for the story rather than the script). My main problem was this: my interest in the Royal Family is, let’s say, minuscule, and I’m no big fan of the British monarchy and the culture it’s a part of. There’s simply not much appeal there for me, especially if part of the attraction seems to lie in enjoying the aesthetics and the iconography, the sheer nobility of it all.

Then this little pandemic happened, my wife and me started spending much more time at home, and there are only so many good HBO series to enjoy, so I guess we started watching The Crown. Personally, I blame Olivia Colman. How could I not be more interested, knowing that she’d be in it before long?

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Check, mates

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.

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The Corona Diaries: lock ’em up – but give them a camera first!

During the weeks and months of quasi-lockdown and working from home, one of the things that I’ve very much enjoyed (and I’m aware of how privileged I am in that regard) is lunch breaks with my wife, where we sit down, have a bite and watch something short. For a while, we mainly watched the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, as its 20-minute episodes were perfect for a quick break before we’d go back to our computers and resume work.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: The haunting, haunted kind

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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Lost in Winden: Dark (2017 – 2020)

I don’t like being a snob about pop culture. I don’t like pooh-poohing films or TV series, books, comics or video games, that others seem to love. I generally try to find things to appreciate in most media I consume, and if others like them but I don’t, I try to put that down to personal taste. Sometimes, however, I look at what others say about a piece of pop culture and I simply don’t get it. I cannot reconcile what they say about it with the thing itself. It’s almost as if they watched, read or played something entirely different from me.

Dark isn’t entirely like this for me. There are things I genuinely appreciated in the German mystery series. I recognise some of my own reactions in those of others, but the longer Dark went on, the less I felt I could appreciate the things it was good at or ignore what I thought was decidedly less good. Undoubtedly, the makers of Dark are skilled stylists and the series excels at mood and atmosphere, especially in its first season – but then I read articles that call Dark smart, by people who pat themselves on the shoulder for enjoying such a smart, smart series, and my eyes roll in their sockets so much that all I see is blotchy, shapeless darkness.

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