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Singular Cinematic Visions – The Darkness of Polanski vs The Light of Spielberg – Episode 94

In this episode Dara shares his thoughts and responses after a movie mini-binge. He is struck by the hackneyed plotline of CODA (2021) but thinks the film is saved by the acting and warmth of the main cast. He compares it to a couple of other movies that didn’t take flight, including the risible Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), and the glorified Apple commercial that was Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013).

Bouncing to the other end of the artistic spectrum, Dara discusses the two other films he watched – Roman Polanski’s nightmarish English-language debut Repulsion (1965) and Steven Spielberg’s somewhat rose-tinted The Fabelmans (2022), which is a thinly disguised depiction of life growing up in the Spielberg family in the 50s and 60s. He argues that each director’s worldview is the opposite of the other’s. Polanski’s informed by a horrific Holocaust-scarred childhood, Spielberg’s by being allowed to document his childhood on camera. An admirer of both, Dara recalls highlights from their filmographies that have stayed with him and point up their differing perspectives of the human condition.

Time is also found to wrap up thoughts on Dara’s recent return to the stage, a bad reaction to bad dog behaviour, a chilly spring, phoney Apple advertising, and a tentative writing project.

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