Lost in the Movies: August 2016

Allan Fish (1973 - 2016), the lights dim over Wonders in the Dark

Before you read my own tribute, please read Sam Juliano's obituary at Wonders in the Dark - and the comments below are as much a testament to Allan's importance as anything else

No person has had a greater impact on me or my online work than Allan Fish. There are others who have had a more concentrated impact on certain areas, and some - like Allan's erstwhile partner at Wonders in the Dark, Sam Juliano - who have had a strong galvanizing/organizational effect, introducing me to others, starting discussions, getting me involved with endeavors elsewhere. But Allan's influence was based purely on his own work, and it directly shaped my own content. To this day, he's the only writer about film who has his own tag on my site: Allan's countdowns were so important to me that I wrote about them with a kind of breathless excitement on quite a few occasions.

Voyage to Twin Peaks: an interview w/ filmmaker Scott Ryan

Last month I spoke with Scott Ryan, a man of many talents: founder/host of the Red Room Podcast (among others), author of many books (including Scott Luck Stories and an upcoming study of thirtysomething featuring interviews with the entire cast and crew), and finally, the director of the short documentary Voyage to Twin Peaks, which you can rent or buy on Amazon (online previews are here and here). Voyage to Twin Peaks begins by quickly recounting Scott's long history as a superfan before chronicling his first-ever visit to the Twin Peaks Festival in Snoqualmie, Washington (where the TV pilot & feature film were shot). The film is a charming valentine to the festival, the Twin Peaks fan community, and to the world of the show itself (including a poignant farewell to Catherine Coulson, the Log Lady, who appears onscreen here for the last time...well, except for her announced role in Twin Peaks, which may have been shot soon after). Scott and I discussed his new movie, but also much, much more about the show, the film, David Lynch, and Scott's other work and interests.

Sci Fi Countdown - The End of Evangelion (CinemaVille discussion w/ Bob Clark for Wonders in the Dark)

This morning, I posted my only official entry in the Wonders in the Dark Sci-Fi countdown: an audio discussion with Bob Clark on the film The End of Evangelion, which ranked near the very top of my own ballot.
“The End of Evangelion” is an unusual spin-off of a TV series (only “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” might be more unusual). It both concludes and subverts the series, veering way into experimental territory while still wrapping up the narrative which the show “Neon Genesis Evangelion” began. I’ve covered the film in almost every form imaginable – reviews, written conversations, visual tributes, and video essays – so I decided to take a new appraoch this time. With Bob Clark’s permission, I stepped in as a guest host on the CinemaVille podcast and together we analyze the film, exploring its connections not just to the series but to the Czech play R.U.R., and Dante’s Divine Comedy. There’s a lot to dig into here, some grab some popcorn and get ready to start tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down…

Last week, I appeared on Bob's podcast Cinemaville to discuss the series Neon Genesis Evangelion (from which the film is spun off); this time, I took over as guest host to introduce, conduct, and edit the conversation myself. Thanks to Bob for allowing me to step into his shoes for an episode, and I hope listeners enjoy the experience.

Here is the podcast itself:

I've also participated in many other Wonders in the Dark genre countdowns over the years. Here are the previous films I've covered: Marty (both versions) and a video essay on Lady and the Tramp for the Romance Countdown; Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid for the Western Countdown (make sure to check out the comments, where the scholar who edited the 2005 version responded to my review and the controversy surrounding his cut); a video essay on Modern Times for the Comedy Countdown; An American in Paris, 42nd Street (including a video essay), and a visual tribute (using Arlene Croce's prose) to The Gay Divorcee for the Musical Countdown.

Obviously, this is not my first rodeo with The End of Evangelion (nor is it Wonders in the Dark's - Allan Fish wrote about it back in 2011). I've created a "3 1/2 Minute Review" video essay; a video essay comparison of Twin Peaks and Neon Genesis Evangelion (including the film); a lengthy prose essay; a two-part printed conversation with Bob Clark about the film's story and style and its characters; an entry in my Favorites capsule series; and screen-cap visual tributes to a battle sequence and the climactic apocalypse. I even devoted an entire week of blog posts to the subject last year.

Sci Fi Countdown - discussing Neon Genesis Evangelion on Bob Clark's new podcast, "CinemaVille"

This is officially Bob Clark's entry in the Sci-Fi Countdown, going on right now on Wonders in the Dark. But since we'd discussed this series Neon Genesis Evangelion so often in the past, he invited me as his guest his brand new podcast "CinemaVille". Both endeavors are worth checking out beyond just this entry, and you can read more about Evangelion over on Wonders:

Here is the podcast itself:

And that's not it for my involvement with the countdown, the podcast, or Evangelion. On Tuesday, I will be contributing my own entry to the show, taking over Bob's show for an episode as a guest host (with me questioning him this time) to discuss...well, we'll leave that as surprise! See you then.

Meanwhile, make sure to check out Bob Clark's impressive essays on the first six episodes of the series, the film Evangelion 2.0, and the proper way to screen Evangelion films, as well as Wonders guru Allan Fish's own take on the series and film The End of Evangelion, and of course my own episode guide, accompanied by extended chats with Bob for each episode.

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