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High and Low (Brow) – Episode 2.9 – Dopplegangers

Posted on Feb 11, 2011 by | 7 comments

And we’re back! As promised James and I had a much quicker turn around for the latest episode of the High and Low (Brow) podcast, which means more work for us and hopefully less enjoyment for you. Wait, what?

For this episode we watched a pair of films that fell under the theme of Dopplegangers, meaning that one of the actors/actresses in the movie played a duel role. Thus, to fill these needed slots we found the 1973 Brian de Palma helmed Sisters (with Margot Kidder tackling the duel role), and the 90’s neo-noir Man with a Gun (in which Jennifer Tilly plays twin sisters), directed by someone I don’t know and have no intention of Googling. Will James and I take part in yet another episode of a mutual admiration society, or will we finally, finally, engage in a little controversy?

It should be noted that the theme was supplied to us by one of our loyal listeners (He Who Must Not Be Named), which is a great segue into stating that if you have any recommendations for films we could watch for the podcast, or want to suggest a potential theme for us to use, or simply want to tell James how awesome he is, feel free to email us and tell us your ideas. If you enjoy the show make sure to subscribe through iTunes or our RSS feed so you can catch every new episode. Also, please friend James on Facebook. Because it will frighten and confuse him. And while you’re there be sure to join our relatively new Facebook group devoted to Where the Long Tail Ends.

One more thing, if you enjoy the show feel free to donate to it through PayPal in either a single installment or as a recurring donor. We’d love to upgrade some of our equipment and anything you donate will go directly towards us getting some decent mics and perhaps even pop screens that aren’t made out of cotton balls.

As always, thanks for listening!

Opening Theme – Adonai by Ennio Morricone
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Matt Gamble
I review movies. I run a movie theatre. I annoy people. I let my dogs lick my face whenever they want. Sometimes I'm even a halfway decent human.
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  1. Pffft .. Which idiot suggested this!!??!!

    I’ll listen to it … But under protest ….

  2. Enjoyed the show.

    Even though Matt didn’t like it, I still think Sisters sounds like the way more interesting film. As train wreck or over the top thriller, it doesn’t sound boring in the least.

    I’m looking forward to the controversial films podcast. Song of the South is a real interesting choice simply because of how many angles you can approach it from. And it’s offense seems to be in the subtext and the things it omits, rather than what it actually shows. And there’s probably the idea that presenting these American folk stories in animated form is a good thing. Until Disney’s branding of romanticized Americana collided with reality and contemporary attitudes about dialect that may have been accurate but had been misused too often in the intervening century.

    • Without a doubt Sisters is more interesting. I may have my issues with it, but at least I was engaged with it throughout its running time. Man with a Gun never really grabbed my interest.

      And I think the next episode could be pretty interesting. Sure we missed out on having an epic double bill of Triumph of the Will and Song of the South but I think we’ll have plenty of things to talk about regardless. Hopefully we can get another quick turn around on that show as well while our jobs are still slow.

  3. Brilliant stuff guys … As usual.

    I nearly cried laughing at the fist 15 mins … Especially James’ near panic-attack at Matt’s reading of my post. I’m also about as Welsh as Matt is.

    Pity you didn’t like the films tho, but here’s hoping next show provides you with a lil’ more enjoyment. I look forward to it as always … I’m gunna dig out the films myself ….

    I’ve seen Triumph of the Will btw … Obviously its utterly deplorable and Leni Riefenstahl alleged niavety only helps add more colours to the mix … But its a interesting if uncomfortable watch.



    I’m now banned arent I?

  4. Not while I’ve got anything to say about it, Mahoney!

    … which I probably don’t.

  5. Matt,

    I found myself bewildered by your dismissing of DePalma. I’ve always dug his stuff, even when it’s ludicrous and painfully flawed. I feel like he has a control over the medium that very few directors have, especially when it comes to cinematography. BODY DOUBLE , DRESSED TO KILL, OBSESSION…. all versions of better films from the past to be certain. I guess it’s about appreciating the homage he’s paying in the same way that PT Anderson paid homage to Scorsese with the opening shot of BOOGIE NIGHTS. I’m not offended by these choices; as a film freak, I find them endearing even when they’re obvious. Sure, DePalma was consistently aping Hitchcock to the point of parody in some cases, but I’d much rather watch a guy like DePalma direct indulgent steadicam shots and split screens over some of the mediocre hack-jobs that are out there. Also, I can’t see how you could completely write off stuff like CASUALTIES OF WAR or THE UNTOUCHABLES – films in which he broke away from being visually flashy. Even shots from THE UNTOUCHABLES are clearly lifts, but they service the story, even when the story is weak at times. I can’t necessarily separate every facet of a film to where if one of the facets completely blows, that I’d overlook the stuff that’s good. The best thing I love about movies, is the number of ways I can be amazed by a movie. With DePalma, it’s usually about the placement of the camera or playing off familiar archetypes that guys like Hitchcock established. In contrast, If you look at a piece of dog shit like EYE OF THE BEHOLDER w/Ashley Judd, it’s much more entertaining to watch DePalma’s version of “Style over substance” or his 6th version of VERTIGO, rather than some of the more tediously constructed Skinamax-esque murder-mysteries out there.

    I didn’t hear your thoughts on BLOW-OUT, which I consider to be his best work. It was like watching Hitchcock direct THE CONVERSATION (which is in my personal top ten favorite flicks). I’m not defending some of DePalma’s latter work like BLACK DAHLIA or FEMME FATALE, but I’ve geninuely enjoyed his over-the-top approach to filmmaking especially when it comes to dream sequences, split screens, psychological mind fucks (even when they require huge leaps of logic). I think you’re definitely a fan of a film having a really strong consistent story/narrative – more from a writer perspective? If so, then DePalma may not be the director for you. I remember when I first saw Sam Raimi’s stuff, and for the most part, I think something like QUICK AND THE DEAD is a hackjob screenplay, but Raimi’s confidence behind the camera always makes for a fun watch. I definitely can’t argue your perception of his work. It’s totally valid to proclaim DePalma as masturbation, while Hitchcock is the sex. But the guy’s films always got me off, visually at the very least. This would include SISTERS, which is a preposterous movie at times with some laugh-out-moments of illogical lunacy, but I always enjoy seeing what tricks the guy has up his sleeve. With all that said, this was a fucking awesome episode, and dude, you probably have the best podcast laugh I’ve heard since Ricky Gervais. Good times, guys.


    PS An honest mistake on James’ part, but I don’t have any friends named Pete. The co-host of the Director’s Club is my friend, Patrick. Thanks either way for the very kind words. Can’t wait to hear the controversial next episode.

  6. Wow, Matt and I agree on something? I too like House/1000 way more than DRejects. I love the bat shit insane stuff at the end. Can’t think of too many horror movies that go in the direction House did.

    Oh and can’t wait to try some Llewelyn Loaf.

    PS – Also not a fan of DePalma (with a couple of exceptions).

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