Film critics Devin Faraci (BIRTH. MOVIES. DEATH.) and Amy Nicholson (MTV News) have a weekly conversation about if a film is worthy to enter the Canon. They will put it up to fan vote at the end of the show, and the legacy of each movie will be officially decided forevermore. [This show is currently on hiatus]. Looking for the archives? All episodes older than 6 months can be found exclusively on Howl.FM, ad-free. Use promo code ‘Earwolf’ for a 30-day free trial.
Amy announces the winner of the final Canon call-in showdown, before presenting an episode of Unspooled, all about 1998's Titanic. Don't forget to subscribe to Unspooled on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts!
We asked, and you nominated! For the final episode of the season, Amy and Engineer Sam take listener calls to hear arguments as to which of these films should enter The Canon: David Fincher’s 2007 thriller “Zodiac;” the first film in the Cornetto trilogy, 2004’s “Shaun of the Dead;” or the 1999 Paul Thomas Anderson drama “Magnolia.” Which film will round out this edition of The Canon? Head over to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote!
Arts editor at Guardian US Benjamin Lee joins Amy for the penultimate episode of the season to discuss the 1996 Wes Craven slasher “Scream.” They break down the movie’s deceptive callousness, how it makes even popcorn seem stressful, and the go-for-broke score. Plus, they get into how “Scream” satirized and revitalized a whole genre with its “judo intelligence.” Should “Scream” enter The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote!
Vox film critic Alissa Wilkinson joins Amy this week to discuss the 1975 documentary “Grey Gardens.” They break down the film’s more difficult moments, examining the relationship between Big Edie and Little Edie as well as the undercurrent of latent sadness. Plus, they consider the direction and vision of Albert and David Maysles, themes of capitalism and decay, and how “Grey Gardens” encapsulates the central question of documentary. Should “Grey Gardens” enter The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
Film critic David Fear joins Amy this week to discuss the 1975 rock musical “Tommy.” They’ll trace the roots of rock star celebrity hysteria plus The Who’s many contributions to the art form before getting into the film’s uninhibited tone, its contrast of trauma with excess, and the cultural flowing of “sick humor.” Plus, we’ll hear about Ann-Margret’s power performance and how “Tommy” finds heart within a loud premise. Should “Tommy” be inducted into The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
Alex Schmidt of The Cracked Podcast joins Amy to discuss the 1980 comedy film “Caddyshack.” They’ll discuss Danny Noonan’s character arc, the pedigree of Chevy Chase, and how the film forged the foundations of modern American comedy. Plus, we’ll hear about old money versus new money, the sadness of Rodney Dangerfield, and the backstory behind the Bill Murray-Chevy Chase feud. Should “Caddyshack” enter The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!This episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon (www.mackweldon.com code: CANON).
This week, writer Tom Bissell (The Disaster Artist) joins Amy to discuss the 1999 film “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Tom discusses his personal connection to the film as the ostensible inspiration for Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” before they dive into a conversation about its focus on male friendship and attraction, issues of class, and the layered performance of a young Matt Damon. Should “The Talented Mr. Ripley” take a place amongst the greats in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
Filmmaker Adam Egypt Mortimer joins Amy to pit the 1978 musical “Grease” against the 1988 musical “Hairspray.” They’ll get into the focus on changing identity in “Grease” and question why anyone would be into Danny Zuko. Then they’ll dive into a discussion on “Hairspray,” noting its commitment to camp and the aesthetic of director John Waters. Which movie musical deserves a spot in The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote!
Writer Kendra James (Shondaland) joins Amy to discuss the 1994 film “Legends of the Fall.” Amy and Kendra talk about the depiction of World War I in film, Anthony Hopkins’ performance, and the stigma of being a “girl movie.” Plus, we’ll hear about Brad Pitt’s rise to stardom and which baby name spiked in popularity after the movie’s release before they make their final arguments. Should “Legends of the Fall” enter The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
Screenwriter Larry Karaszewski joins Amy to discuss the 1949 film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s book, “The Fountainhead.” They consider Ayn Rand’s creative control and her anti-communist history, the casting of Gary Cooper as Howard Roark, and the coalescing of character archetypes with Rand’s ambitious ideas before making their final cases. Should “The Fountainhead” make its way into The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forum now!
Here’s a preview of Unspooled, a new podcast where Amy teams up with Paul Scheer to watch the all time great films on AFI’s top 100 list. Episode 1: Citizen Kane is out right now.Check out Unspooled in Apple Podcasts: www.applepodcasts.com/unspooled
Andrew Ti (Yo, Is This Racist?) joins Amy this week to pit the 2002 Hong Kong crime-thriller “Infernal Affairs” against it’s Scorsese-directed 2006 remake “The Departed.” They discuss the Hong Kong identity, the operatic inspiration of “Infernal Affairs,” and both films’ hidden symbolism. Plus, they compare the films’ respective criminals before making their final cases as to which film should enter The Canon. Should “Infernal Affairs” or “The Departed” go down as one of the all-time greats? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
Renowned filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman (Troma Entertainment) joins Amy to discuss the 1971 comedy “Cry Uncle!” Lloyd talks about his work as a production manager on the film as well as the auteur style of director John G. Avildsen. Plus, we hear about the film's brand of modern feminism, Lloyd’s cameo in “Rocky,” and the puritanism of American cinema. Does "Cry Uncle!" belong in The Canon? Go to the Earwolf forums to cast your vote now!
This week, film critic Christy Lemire joins Amy to discuss the 1985 John Hughes film “The Breakfast Club.” They’ll touch on the film’s nostalgia appeal, its interesting individual character arcs, and the parental issues of the main characters. Plus, they find out where the cast is now and examine the dynamic between Emilio Estevez’s Andy and Molly Ringwald’s Claire. Does “The Breakfast Club” deserve a spot in The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote!This episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon (www.mackweldon.com code: CANON).
Actor and filmmaker Thomas Lennon joins Amy live from Overlook Film Festival to pit the 1973 horror film “The Exorcist” against its 1990 sequel “The Exorcist III.” They discuss how the films use sound design to scare, the true story behind the exorcism, and why “The Exorcist III” is the best threequel of all time. Plus, we get insights about both films from the audience before Amy and Thomas make their final cases for which film should enter The Canon. Should “The Exorcist” or “The Exorcist III” go down as one of the all-time horror greats? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
Screenwriter Jenelle Riley joins Amy to discuss the 2012 superhero movie “The Avengers.” They touch on the strengths of the main cast, the evolution of Marvel’s characters and storylines, and the prominent female stars. Plus, they dissect the film’s humorous beats and the small human moments among the spectacle. Should “The Avengers” be inducted into The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!This episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon (www.mackweldon.com code: CANON).
Writer and co-host of Fatman on Batman Marc Bernardin joins Amy to discuss the 1992 Eddie Murphy film "Boomerang." They discuss the importance of the all-black cast, the powerful female characters, and the evolution of the Eddie Murphy identity. Plus, we’ll hear about Robin Givens’ strong performance and how “Boomerang” challenges the audience’s empathy. Does “Boomerang” deserve a spot in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums.
Writer Andrew Barker of Variety joins Amy to discuss the 1991 action thriller “Point Break.” They examine the film as an entrance to the 90s, the complex dynamic between Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, and the greatness of character names like Johnny Utah before before getting into director Kathryn Bigelow’s strong understanding of male relationships. Does “Point Break” deserve a spot in The Canon? Head over to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote!
LA Times writer Jen Yamato joins Amy this week to discuss the 1964 French-German romantic musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” They talk about the background of director Jacques Demy, the film’s focus on youthful romantic optimism, and how “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” went against the tone of French cinema on its release. Plus, we’ll hear about the film’s use of color to reflect emotion and feeling as well as how it frames the ultimate tragedy of dreams that are destined to die. Should “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” enter The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote!
This episode is sponsored by FilmStruck.
This week, film critic and host of the podcast Night Call Emily Yoshida joins Amy to discuss the 2002 Paul Thomas Anderson film “Punch-Drunk Love.” They talk about the film’s stylized rage, the strange charm of Adam Sandler, the clever camerawork and costuming and the relationship between the two lead characters. Does “Punch-Drunk Love” belong in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
This episode is sponsored by Filmstruck and Audible.
Producer Dallas Sonnier joins Amy this week to discuss the 1987 Joel Schumacher film “The Lost Boys.” Amy and Dallas talk about the otherworldly portrayal of California, the look and fashion of the film, and the acting contributions of Jason Patric and Dianne Wiest. Plus, they note how attention to tiny details and the unusual structure of the film work in its favor. Should “The Lost Boys” find a place in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
This epispode is sponsored by FilmStruck.
Ruben Östlund, director of Best Foreign Language Film nominee “The Square” joins Amy this week to discuss the 2001 French drama “Fat Girl.” They talk about the controversy surrounding the film’s title and its sexual themes, the relationship between the characters of Anais and Elena, and shocking ending before making their final cases. Does “Fat Girl” belong in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
Amy and Russ close out Oscar Movie Month this week with the 2001 Best Picture winner and nominee respectively, Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” vs. Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” They break down the spectacle of “Gladiator,” noting the formula that brought it the Best Picture award plus Joaquin Phoenix’s stellar performance. Then, they discuss the game-changing action sequences of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” as well as its main character’s imperfections and how it brought Chinese cinema to the world stage. Which film will enter The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
This episode is sponsored by MUBI.
Filmmaker Adam Egypt Mortimer joins Amy to continue Horror Movie Month with one of Adam’s all-time picks, the French 2008 film “Martyrs.” They discuss the New French Extremity movement, the film’s unorthodox exploration of trauma, and how it puts the horrifying back into the horror genre. Plus, Amy and Adam break torture porn down to its basics before making their cases as to whether “Martyrs” should enter The Canon. Cast your vote now on the Earwolf forums!
This episode is sponsored by Mubi.
Film critic and co-host of the podcast Cancelled Too Soon Witney Seibold joins Amy to kick off Horror Movie Month with William Castle's 1959 film "The Tingler." They talk about Castle's use of the "Percepto!" gimmick, the interactivity and creativity of the film's scares, and why it was made for film lovers especially. Plus, they discuss the role LSD plays in the movie. Does "The Tingler" belong in The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote!
This episode is sponsored by Casper Mattresses (www.casper.com/canon code: CANON).
Game of Thrones producer Bryan Cogman joins Devin and Amy to discuss The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). They talk about the film’s inspiration on future pop culture, which character the movie is really about and the actors getting shot with arrows. Cast your vote in the Earwolf forums if The Adventures of Robin Hood should be in The Canon.
Hollywood's own Jake Fogelnest (writer for Hulu's Difficult People, Billy on the Street) joins Devin & Amy this week to discuss Fast Times at Ridgemont High: one of the definitive teen movies of the 80s. From the real uncomfortable way sex is portrayed to Sean Penn's portrayal of Jeff Spicoli to the terrific 80s soundtrack, this movie has it all. Tune in as Devin, Amy, and Jake talk about a movie that presents teenagers as they really are -- and head to the forums on Wolfpop to cast the deciding vote!
It’s snobs vs. slobs as Devin & Amy put two college comedies against each other: National Lampoon’s Animal House vs. Revenge of the Nerds. Would there be a Revenge of the Nerds without Animal House? Does Poindexter give Bluto a run for his money in the physical comedy department? Do the bad guys in both films deserve what they get in the end? Tune in to hear which movie will stand the test of time as being the better frat comedy -- and head to the forums on Wolfpop to cast the deciding vote!
James Bond expert and I Was There Too host Matt Gourley joins Devin & Amy this week to nominate his pick for the only Bond film in the canon: 2006’s Casino Royale. Is Daniel Craig a better Bond than Sean Connery? Is Vesper the ultimate Bond girl? Should there be more nifty 007 gadgets? Tune in for the discussion on this post Bourne-era Bond film -- and head to the forums on Wolfpop to cast the deciding vote!
Devin & Amy clash lightsabers in the first ever versus episode where they will decide which Star Wars movie belongs in the canon. The prequels don't even deserve to be in the running. Instead they will only focus on the original trilogy. Is Han & Leia's banter romantic or annoying? Is C-3PO more lovable by being a dick? Can Empire's bleakness balance out its lack of plot? Tune in for the death match -- and head to the forums on Wolfpop to cast the deciding vote!