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We all look for magic in the world around us, and when we do the world routinely lets us down. Jiro Dreams of Sushi Year: Director: David Gelb Language: Japanese Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about one of the greatest masters of the culinary world, one whom casual foodies have never even heard of. Devoid of the typical familial jealousy you may expect, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is instead a beautifully filmed documentary about a father and his sons who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of the perfect piece of sushi.
It hurts like real life, yet leaves you enraptured by its power. And within those opening minutes, Zucchini has every reason to cling to a small gift from his mom: The boy, completely by accident, kills her. Nowadays, this is just how Oscar nominated kids movies do.
After winning the begrudging respect of Simon Paulin Jaccoud , the self-appointed leader of the small group of castaways, Zucchini learns of the plights of his fellow children: abuse, pedophilia, severe mental illness, alcoholism—all of this Simon relates with little understanding, besides that for each child an unthinkable tragedy means there is no one left to love them, and thus they end up there, bound by their foster-less-ness.
Still, if all Barras is trying to say is that human beings are essentially good —contrary to popular opinion at the moment—then that should be enough. Fire at Sea Year: DIrector: Gianfranco Rosi Language: Italian Fire at Sea is an imagistic grasp at a few months on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, miles south of Sicily and the first glimpse of land for hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing Africa and the Middle East. With no voiceover and little context, Italian director Gianfranco Rosi juxtaposes the lives of men, women and children barely sustaining themselves on the fringes of society, of humanity, with the everyday, mundane existences of the denizens of the island—both those who devote their lives to helping the refugees and those who work or play or eat big mounds of spaghetti without one thought for the deluge of sad souls passing over their home turf.
In long takes and cinematography that aches with the need to push beyond the boundaries of the screen, Rosi indulges in the rhythm of that juxtaposition, daring us to move on from one atrocity after another in order to understand what moving on takes: a lot of boring afternoons and silent plates of spaghetti. Lau Kar-leung features 18 different weapons in total, many during the epic final scene where the hero and villain cycle through all of the legendary weapons as they probe the strengths and weaknesses of each bit of armament. Think of April and the Extraordinary World as an intense workout for your brain, during which the film shapes a surrogate Earth in the span of mere minutes and fires off salvos of detail, visual and aural alike, in the pursuit of recalibrating the past.
The inattentive and unimaginative need not apply. Good news for diligent viewing types, though: April and the Extraordinary World is pretty great, a compact exercise in world building without handholding that rewards a patient, observant audience. April and the Extraordinary World reminds us of the aesthetic value of traditional animation and the necessity of human ingenuity, all without treating its audience like idiots. Fans of the series passionately criticized the film for relieving Lupin of his anarchic predilections and instead casting him in the mold of a true gentleman thief, stealing only when his nebulous sense of honor permits it.
A flawed Miyazaki film is a triumph all the same. Three Year: Director: Johnnie To Language: Cantonese Can you imagine a worse place for cops and robbers to play a game of cat and mouse than a bustling, overstuffed hospital? Three is both a sort-of chamber piece and a lesson in escalating tension.
In it, To, per usual, packages stellar filmmaking with a deceptively simple premise. This time around, Dr. Tong Wei Zhao , a neurosurgeon whose ambition is her greatest vice, is on duty when Inspector Chen Louis Koo and his team bring in a wounded suspect Wallace Chung for treatment.
Just before he goes under the knife, the suspect refuses medical care and begins an elaborate minute battle of wits with his arrester and his provider. In his towering body of work, Three is a satisfyingly minor entry, but minor To is better than major films by most any other contemporary filmmaker you can imagine.
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Then stabs a shard of cow femur through it. Come for the violence, The Night Comes for Us bids you—and, also, stay for the violence. Finally, leave because of the violence. Other scenes are expansive in their controlled chaos and cartoonish blood-letting, like Streets of Rage levels, come to all-too-vivid life: the butcher shop level, the car garage level and a really cool later level where you play as a dope alternate character and take on a deadly sub-boss duo who have specialized weapons and styles and—no, seriously, this movie is a videogame. Here's how to make a Chicago-style hot dog.
A quick primer on archetypes. Next week, we're talking about MacRieve with the magnificent Sierra Simone. Sarah's newest book, Brazen and the Beast , comes out in July and you should pre-order it now! Show Notes Learn about tone-policing so you won't make Jen mad. Maybe we haven't recommended audiobook narrator Robert Petkoff to you enough. Love Between the Covers is an amazing documentary about romance, and you might be able to find it on Netflix.
Everyone knows the difference between hardback and paperback books, but learn the difference between mass-market and trade paperbacks. During the Lothaire bus tour, Kresley wrote her fans this Facebook letter about the experience. Paul Marron is a very handsome man. The morality chain trope. Italy discovers what happens when everyone is raising a mammone. Lothaire breaks his life up into tasks, sort of like Hugh Grant in About a Boy. When Robert Downey Jr.
On Twitter, Melanie did a very thorough count of all the times Lothaire punched a wall. Lothaire is very funny. Andie Christopher, friend of the pod, is very pro his cock slapping gnomes joke. Get M. Malone's Bad Blood for the April 15th Read! MacRieve will be next, and Sierra Simone will be joining us! Lost Limb Count Arms and Hands 7 Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in. Lothaire Chest and Torso 7 Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight.
Lothaire Horns 2 Cadeon cuts off his own horns to prove to Holly that he is worthy of being her mate. Lothaire In the fight with Ruelle, MacRieve and Munro's mother is beheaded by a envenomed vampire boy. Their father then beheads the vampire. Ruelle is also killed. MacRieve Maybe? The twitter thread where Mary Lynn Nielsen perfectly described the fake engagement trope.
In historicals, the trope is usually called marriage of convenience. Chelsea M. Cameron vs. Chelsea Cameron. Garrets are empirically great romance heroes. Kate Clayborn joined us for our Best Friend's Sibling episode. We wish them many years of happiness. New adult is a genre descriptor that not everyone loves, but there are lots of wonderful NA romances.
Lothaire is next. We can't even. There's not much better than a snowed-in romance. Or maybe marriage in trouble is more your speed. Smith and the single sexiest hate fuck ever filmed. Villains as heroes : hard to write, delicious to read. Sarah Silverman interviewed a woman who escaped from the cult of The Westboro Church. Revenge is a good plot. Talia Hibbert had to quit this one. The Lord of the Rings Ring is super fancy. And super creepy. Of course he does. Presumably he'll get a redemption arc, but the jury is out on whether he deserves it. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a good book and a great movie.
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Don't at Sarah MacLean. The Morality Chain trope , and some romance examples. White Satin by Iris Johansen. Lothaire is coming, and just clear your whole day for what will likely be a three hour podcast. Also, maybe you want to brush up on The Odyssey free for Kindle. Lost Limb Count Arms and Hands 6 Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in.
Demon from the Dark Chest and Torso 5 Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight. Dreams of a Dark Warrior Declan's skin is peeled off by the Neoptera as a child. Dreams of a Dark Warrior Horns 2 Cadeon cuts off his own horns to prove to Holly that he is worthy of being her mate. Dreams of a Dark Warrior Maybe? Pleasure of a Dark Prince. It's a little soft for us.
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We prefer this additional list of love languages , from McSweeney's. Adriana talked about her grandmother bringing a pot of Sancocho from the DR to family in New York, and here's a twitter thread where Adriana makes a pot with a friend. American Dreamer came out at the beginning of the month, and the sequel American Fairytale comes out in April. The dull thuds you're hearing in this episode are Sarah's phone falling off her desk.
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She is convinced her phone is defective because it falls off flat surfaces every day. She has fantasies of finding Jony Ive 's phone number and texting him lists of everything it falls off every day. Next time you're in Brooklyn, you should visit the Smorgasburg. Find a Michelin star restaurant to try if you're so inclined. Just kidding about the Soylent Green thing. Jen interviewed Mia Hopkins last year when Thirsty came out. The song Jude was singing was Latinoamerica by Calle You, too, can find great music on NPR.
Don't at us. An interesting think piece from The Common Reader about how we view competence in men and women. Show Notes In the movie Rocky, one of the things he consumes during training in a glassful of raw eggs. Jen loves books about nuclear weapons and nuclear disasters , and the mindset of the Order is very much that of mutually assured destruction during the Cold War. In Buffy , it was called the Initiative. Angel , Riley , and Spike were her boyfriends on the show, but in the comic there are other lovers.
Your brain isn't fully cooked until you're 25! Duolingo helps you learn languages, but if you're in a hurry just drink down somebody's blood. Sarah's friend Natalie Parker's book is called Seafire and it has the most gorgeous cover. Book Riot makes the case for a Romantic Horror subgenre , and Victoria Helen Stone wrote about the relationship between romance and suspense. Some information from Pew about rural vs urban living in America. You can tell a lot about a culture by its parenting. Pygmalion and Encino Man.
Some directions for any tailsman -making endeavors. Lore parenting tips aside, Jen wrote once about how human parents can talk to their kids about sex.
Chest and Torso (7)
Jen loves it when heroes grovel. Demon Love! Demon from the Dark Chest and Torso 2 Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight. Pleasure of a Dark Prince Horns 2 Cadeon cuts off his own horns to prove to Holly that he is worthy of being her mate. He promises to "give her their throats" and beheads two vampires. Malkolm beheads men that attacked Carrow in Oblvion, and he throws them to prove he's a worthy mate.
Demon from the Dark Maybe? Derek Craven is our favorite and since it's our podcast, we don't have to listen to anyone talk about St. A librarian who excels at reader's advisory is a wonderful thing to have in your life. Check out Jen's website for targeted romance recommendations. John Warner is the biblioracle , and he's an amazing advocate for educators and the teaching of writing. He's also one of the key players in The Morning News Tournament of Books , which is literary blood sport par excellence.
An explainer about American-style universtiy course numbering. Jaime Green is the New York Times romance reviewer and we love her. One of the most hilarious twitter accounts is all about the smells of romance. The Georgette Heyer chronotope and its limits explained. If you are interested in knowing the "beat for beat" way a romance is built, you should check out this book by Gwen Hayes. The ton , the modiste , and Bond Street. Everyone loves a read-alike , but the problem is finding them. The Governess and rake tropes are beloved by romance readers, and Tessa Dare's The Governess Game is an excellent example of the trope in action.
Lol, you can't fool Jen. She is absolutely not googling "sex swing. Sarah isn't the only one who learned about history from romance novels. Jen described her angst vs. Alexander Chee is a delight, but Jen hated A Little Life more than any other book she's ever read, so just enjoy this Nicole Cliffe thread where a million people dunk on it. The Sex House for sale in PA was the best story. Don't believe us? Read this interview with the realtor. Edited by Sarah to add: Epistolary novels are the tits and anyone who says otherwise is F- wrong.
The bass line in question. Jen and Sarah really hate cliffhangers. Andrew and Illona Gordon are a husband and wife writing team and Jen would probably read anything they wrote as long as there were no cliffhangers. Show Notes This article explains "the heir and a spare" and also has a lot of Prince Harry.
It's an astronomy heavy show, so learn all about The Big Bang. Ah, the double entendre. All about how goals are scored in rugby. Turns out there are lots of myths about gods and cannibalism.
Chastity is one of the seven virtues , but the seven deadly sins sound a lot more fun. Is it really necessary to link to Fifty Shades of Grey? The " he-cession" recession. Women and the second shift. Macy, obviously.
Robert H. Macy isn't even a thing. The Amazon rainforest is truly amazing, but Brazil's new president Jair Bolsonaro is removing legal protections from the rainforest. A man who tried to contact a legally protected island tribe died in the South Pacific last year. Indiana Jones and lots and lots of snakes. El Dorado myths and details. The Wonder Woman "Godkiller" is a sword , not an arrow. Welcome Summer Ash!
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Please check out her blog Startorialist , which brings science and fashion together. So cool! No, you can't blow up the moon. What If! Jen really loves books about nuclear disasters. Light pollution is the worst. Check out the Sky Guide app. More about Haley's Comet and the Bayeux Tapestry. Astronomy on Tap is worth checking out. The moon is amazing. Look up! Lost Limb Count Arms and Hands 5 Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in.
The Heaving Bosoms podcast is pretty great, and although this episode about Mastered by Her Mates by Grace Goodwin is not set during Highlander Times, it's profoundly hilarious. Some brief explainers about why old paperbacks have dyed edges, but according to Sarah's research, the more popular an author, the more likely it was the pages would be dyed. All about kilts. Also, it's never too late for a calendar of men it kilts.
Dirks and broadswords , oh my! Here's a google folder with screenshots of the entries for cunt, cunny, pussy, quim, shit, and fuck from the Oxford English Dictionary. Jen mentioned a book called Cunt: A Declaration of Independence , but it's kind of Terf -y, so she does not recommend it. Sarah does talk about the etymology of swear words a lot on Twitter, becuase fuck just isn't a new word. Don't us. A thread about vaginas by friend of the pod S.
You definitely want to see the flying fuck image and read Jen's column called Who Did it Better on a Horse. Lyrics to a song from that uses some very choice dirty words.
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