Listen to the Gobbledygeek Season 11 Finale – “Geek Challenge: Thunderheart vs. Dead Man”

Top: Graham Greene and Val Kilmer in Thunderheart (1992), directed by Michael Apted / Bottom: Johnny Depp and Gary Farmer in Dead Man (1995), directed by Jim Jarmusch

Gobbledygeek episode 423, “Geek Challenge: Thunderheart vs. Dead Man,” is available for listening or download right here and on Apple Podcasts here.

Because our mascot is a turkey, and because we generally frown upon genocide, Paul and Arlo are spending Thanksgiving weekend discussing films with ties to Native American culture. For this Geek Challenge, Paul urges Arlo to watch Michael Apted’s 1992 conspiracy thriller Thunderheart, starring Val Kilmer as an FBI agent who grows to embrace his Sioux heritage. In turn, Arlo makes Paul watch Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 psychedelic Western Dead Man, wherein Johnny Depp’s iteration of William Blake takes an offbeat journey to the next life. The boys address the major caveat of both films starring white men, as well as their own lily whiteness; determine that Graham Greene and Gary Farmer walk away with their respective movies; and discuss how both films explore spiritual death and rebirth. With a bonus discussion of Apted’s documentary Incident at Oglala!

NEXT: Arlo’s having a baby. We’re going on hiatus with hopes of returning in mid-to-late January. We wish everyone a happy and, more importantly, safe holiday season. We love you.

BREAKDOWN

  • 00:01:00  –  Intro / Guest
  • 00:07:15  –  Thunderheart
  • 01:08:16  –  Dead Man
  • 02:09:36  –  Outro / Next

LINKS

MUSIC

  • “Grafitti Man” by John Trudell, A.K.A. Grafitti Man (1986)
  • “NDN Kars” by Keith Secola, Circle (1992)

GOBBLEDYCARES

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2014

The new year is less than two days old, so once again, it’s time to look back to our favorites of last year. As always, lists are imperfect, incomplete, and totally subject to change upon reflection and the passage of time.

We’ll start with Paul; he remains skeptical of this whole top 10 business, so this year, his contributions to our lists (including comics, albums, and TV shows) will be presented without comment.

(Mine, of course, will probably say too much.)

~ AJ

PAUL’S FAVORITE (NOT BEST) FILMS OF 2014
10. Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater)
9. Interstellar (dir. Christopher Nolan)
8. Maleficent (dir. Robert Stromberg)
7. Only Lovers Left Alive (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
6. The LEGO Movie (dirs. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
5. Guardians of the Galaxy (dir. James Gunn)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (dirs. Joe & Anthony Russo)
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (dir. Matt Reeves)
2. Big Hero 6 (dirs. Don Hall & Chris Williams)
1. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (dir. Dean DeBlois)

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Snowpiercer (dir. Bong Joon-ho)
Edge of Tomorrow (dir. Doug Liman)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (dir. Francis Lawrence)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir. Bryan Singer)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dir. Marc Webb)

DIDN’T SEE
Birdman (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Force Majeure (dir. Ruben Ostlund)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (dir. Peter Jackson)

AJ’S TOP 10 FILMS OF 2014

10. BIRDMAN (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

Film Review Birdman

“A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing,” reads the quote (sometimes attributed to Susan Sontag) stuck to Riggan Thomson’s mirror. One imagines the former superhero actor, played by a back-and-swinging-for-the-fences Michael Keaton, clings to that mantra as he negotiates a shot at artistic integrity with his paranoid need to be loved. It also serves as a warning to anyone trying to dissect the film or Iñárritu’s intentions. After making a career out of overwhelmingly somber dramas, Iñárritu has made a frenzied comedy propelled by a furious drum score from Antonio Sanchez. He also peppers the film with flights of insanity, in which Riggan has telekinetic powers or takes to the skies just like his old alter ego. How much of this is real? What does the film’s beautiful final shot mean? There’s a lot to be said, but you can also take Birdman for the absurd, chaotic, hilarious thing it is.

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