The Uncut Gems Podcast – Episode 27 (The Others)

In this episode of the show we discussed Alejandro Amenábar’s The Others, a supernatural horror film that came as part of the post-Shyamalan wave and eventually disappeared from the zeitgeist to become a pub quiz question or an entry in a listicle about films with cool twist endings.

Continue reading

Can OLD Be Weaponized by Vaccine Refuseniks?

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for M. Night Shyamalan’s Old

It took me longer than I would like to admit to come up with a title to this text that wouldn’t immediately ruin the film for anyone who has not seen Old yet. And although I think did a good enough job in remaining slightly vague while still making sure the title corresponds to what I wanted to touch on, something tells me (based on the dwindling conversation surrounding the film and the negative word-of-mouth extinguishing the film’s presence in the zeitgeist) that there aren’t many people left in the world who would care that much anyway.

Continue reading

Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)

New Line Cinema/Bron Studios/WB

Over the course of his as-of-yet short but nonetheless intense filmmaking career, Taylor Sheridan has quickly risen through the ranks to become one of the screenwriters to watch out for. In all fairness, thanks to his work on Sicario and Hell or High Water he has generated enough clout around himself to become more than just ‘a guy who wrote XYZ’, which is harder than it may look like to some because the world of cinema has consistently been revolving around actors and directors. Nobody ever remembers screenwriters unless they’re Aaron Sorkin or David Mamet. And at least as far as the online film-loving community is concerned, Taylor Sheridan has joined this prestigious club.  

Continue reading

The Shyamalan Cameo and Authorial Control

Film directors have inserted themselves into their work ever since they figured out that somebody else was able to keep the camera rolling. In fact, quite a few have become known for doing so (you can find a more or less comprehensive Wikipedia list here). While most of these instances of director cameos are barely noticeable and can be easily filed as interesting curiosities to bring up during a podcast recording, some filmmakers have become well-known for sliding themselves into the frame. Naturally, the go-to example is Alfred Hitchcock who did this in the vast majority of his features (again, a comprehensive Wikipedia list is a great resource), but even the most vaguely informed movie-goer would be able to name Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner or Martin Scorsese as filmmakers known to have appeared in front of the camera in their own movies for a brief moment in time.

Continue reading

Old (2021)

M. Night Shyamalan can be accused of many things: that his ego sometimes ruins an otherwise great story, that he’s a bit too precious about his writing, that some of his stories work in service of the twist and not the other way around… that he doesn’t let actors fully inhabit his characters. That his style may be a tad overbearing. But! Look over this paragraph and you’ll find the most important thing. It’s his style. His characters. His stories. His ego. One thing nobody could ever disagree with is that his movies are decidedly, unabashedly, unapologetically his.  

Continue reading

The Uncut Gems Podcast – Episode 26 (The Village)

I don’t think we often tie in the topics of what we cover on the show to a theatrical release. The closest we have ever come to acknowledging the outside world (though I might be wrong) was when we talked about Solo – A Star Wars Story around May the 4th and Alien 3 around April the 26th. But that’s about it. This time we made a conscious choice to tether ourselves to the discourse surrounding the release of Old (brief as it may be in the grand scheme of things) and decided to have a conversation about M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village.

Continue reading

The Uncut Gems Podcast – Episode 25 (Joy Ride and Unhinged)

If you’ve ever bothered to listen to the show, you will know that we clearly don’t set any time constraints, unlike the absolute vast majority of podcasts out there. I know there’s a bajillion think pieces about making a successful show, just as there’s an even larger amount of ‘great advice’ aimed at creating a stunning blog and attracting traffic of comparable volume to the M25 on a Friday afternoon before a Bank Holiday weekend.

Continue reading

Film Festivals in the Post-COVID world

There’s no debate: the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the world. It almost feels like an eternity ago when we didn’t have to worry about maintaining personal space, wearing face coverings, self-isolating and everything else that has since become a staple of our existence. I think it is undeniable that we are living through a paradigm-shifting event of gargantuan proportions and imposing momentum that we have no frame of reference for. And as we are slowly getting used to the new reality, we have to understand that some of the things that used to be the norm are gone forever.

Continue reading