On this day, 40 years ago, George Lucas’s $11M investment on a ‘Kurosawa Chanbara film meets Dambusters’ sci-fi adventure with laser swords, moon-sized battle stations, aerial dogfights in space, kooky pseudo-religions, charming droids, smugglers, Wookies, and hairbun-and-gun-toting princesses, changed the way films were made, marketed, merchandised, and well you know the rest. On an admissions basis, Star Wars is the second all time highest film (behind Gone With The Wind), but its cultural legacy (still going strong) seems to transcend age, culture, and era, and continues to churn out Billion dollar franchise entries, while kindling the imaginations of children (and endless think-pieces, nostalgic reveries and commentary from movie-nerd adults.)
Building on comments in episode 463 (“Uber Iger”), we have another look at the political landscape that Disney is influencing, with an eye on the long game re: representation, diversity, and globalization. Is a billionaire vs. billionaire rumble coming? Plus, many special guest stars!
America is dying a very specific “Germany in the mid-1930s” sort of death, and even if we don’t know the outcome, we’re beginning to identify the collaborators. Not so Mamo-related when it’s a taxi company, but what about when it’s the chairman of Disney? What are our responsibilities to this “popular culture” we’ve been gabbing about for 12 years? Before you say “stay in your lane,” sorry friends, this shit is our lane.
POWER!! Who has it? Who needs it? Who wants it? Who lost it? Team Mamo recaps the year 2016 in movers and shakers as the pop cultural landscape is wracked by celebrity deaths, digital doubles and orange-faced idiots. Hey 2016: don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. And for sure don’t fall down that flight of stairs, accidentally set yourself on fire and throw yourself off a bridge.
The galaxy mourns as it’s beloved princess became one with The Force on Tuesday morning at the age of 60; succumbing to complications following a cardiac arrest suffered last Friday while aboard an airline flight en route to Los Angeles.
Family spokesman read a statement from Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, confirming the sad news. “It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” reads the statement. “She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly,” says Lourd, 24. “Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
Fisher was obviously best known for her iconic hair buns and sass-talking to the Evil Galactic Empire as the charismatic, Princess Leia in 1977’s Star Wars. At just 19 years of age it launched her acting career at full throttle and solidified her as a household name. She went on to star in other films such as The Blues Brothers, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Cinecast’s darling The ‘burbs and one of my personal favorites from my youth, Under the Rainbow.
Fisher herself would be the first to admit she had some flaws and weaknesses. Over time, she overcame many of those weaknesses and became a soldier for good as a spokesperson and promoter of mental health awareness and drug rehabilitation. In short, besides her snappy sense of humor, wonderful writing abilities (cleaning up a lot of screenplays in her day) and natural good looks, she was a good and generous person with a purpose that gave a lot to the people on this planet.
Luminous beings are we; not this crude matter.”
Everyone has been bashing 2016 since about mid-August for all of the precious lives departing this Earth this year. But for me, this one stings the most. A lifelong passion, friend and damn near religion, The Star Wars saga has always been for me. And Carrie Fisher is no small part of that kinship. Not too many people sass off and down right defy Vader as her character does and live to talk about it. Fewer still look good doing it. And don’t even get me started on the funny feeling my eight year-old self got on Jabba’s sail barge. I can’t imagine that character being played by anyone else.
In December of 2015 I teared up a little bit at the site of a hunk of metal zooming over a desert surface. In 2017, with Episode VIII in the Star Wars Saga releasing close to Christmas, the tears will be a bit more Organa-ic and unfortunately not out of joy, but out of sadness and loss. Fair warning to whoever sits next to me; it’ll happen.
We’ll miss you Carrie. May the force be with you.
Mamo and Cinecast unite to form the Super Ticket! We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us. We are one with the force, the force is with us.
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and may the force be with you!
In advance of tomorrow night’s Superticket, the Mamo twosome gather to come down against ROGUE ONE – and the discrepancy between the movie Disney marketed and the movie we actually got.
As if you need further proof that the rebooted Star Trek universe is flash-in-the-pan pop cultural action-blockbuster-mush instead of boldly attempting any kind of science fiction or social ideas — something more or less ended with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country — here is Rihanna fiddling while Rome burns.
While the nerd collective throws an over-the-top hissy fit about the all-Female Ghostbusters, I continue to quietly lament the Star-Wars-Too-Fast-Too-Furious-ification of this third go-around on Trek in the multiplex.
(Also, on a serious, perhaps inappropriate note, at least a more morbid one, this is twice now that Justin Lin inherits a big budget franchise, one of the leads dies tragically via car. Two data points doesn’t make a trend, but I wonder if Star Trek Beyond will have a Yelchin-bump in terms of audience interest in the same way the Furious Franchise did with Paul Walker.)
Prolific video essayist, The Nerd Writer, tackles the subject of not just Intertextuality, but emotional responses in the age of sequels, reboots, remakes, and shared universe mega-franchises. Or as he puts it, “Weaponized Intertextuality.”
The rapturous arrival of the ROGUE ONE trailer gives us an opportunity to circle back on BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, and tie together all our thoughts on what audiences actually want from these stories, and why we respond to aspirational heroes. Listen in!
Was it the weather or is it the
shitty inconvenient way films are released in theaters these days? Or does it depend on your geography or disposition? Or a little bit of everything? In short, we didn’t get to the “main releases” (of boats in storms or feminist westerns) this week and instead opted for some VOD experimentation with Vincent Cassell in Partisan. A solid film with problems is the verdict. The Watch List is fairly eclectic this week but a whole lotta witchin’ going on. From Winona Ryder to Vin Diesel, we cover the gamut. Andrew and Kurt also spend some time in the kitchen cooking up some spaghetti westerns before heading to Southeast Asia for a thriller and some kung-fu. Like a snake in the eagle’s shadow, there is no escape for the good the bad or the ugly; there most certainly will be blood inside Llewyn Davis.
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!