BFG Podcast #118

‘The Wheel of Time’ Season 2, ‘Oldboy’ restoration, and a visit to the Venice Film Festival

This week’s BFG podcast has a strong international flavor. For some chichetti, how about a visit to the Venice Film Festival? Kaveh Jalinous made his annual pilgrimage to the Lido and is here to talk to Neal Pollack about what he saw. In particular, he saw ‘Poor Things’ from Yorgos Lanthimos, which he describes as the pinnacle of Emma Stone’s career. That’s saying a lot. On the negative side of the ledger, Kaveh warns us away from the new Harmony Korine and Roman Polanski films. We’re listening. The festival was more crowded than ever, but because of the Hollywood strikes, it lacked star power. If the strikes are still going on at this time next year, we’ve got bigger problems than actors not watching their premieres in Venice.

We go into the film archives for our next segment. Kenji Fujishima stops by to discuss a restored ‘Oldboy,’ Park Chan=Wook’s masterpiece, as well as Park’s entire Vengeance trilogy. Neal saw Oldboy for the first time recently, and it blew him away. The depth of emotion, the intensity of the violence, the stunning reveal toward the end: It’s essential world cinema, and Neal and Kenji encourage you to see the restored Oldboy if it’s available to you.

In the “less required viewing” category, we have season 2 of The Wheel of Time, now airing on Amazon Prime. Critic Paula Shaffer calls it “not completely terrible.” She and Neal have some good sport with Rosamund Pike’s stiff delivery and ren-faire cosplay costumes. Still, Paula says, “I’m watching it,” and what else do you want if you make a TV show. They are, after all, meant to be watched.

Enjoy the podcast!

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