Can a comedic film set during the Holocaust work? Does Benigni pull off the hat trick everyone thought he did back in 1998? Why is it hard to make a film that’s a fable? Tune in to this week’s show to get answers to these questions and more!

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Living in exile and still hoping to return to Tibet one day, the Dalai Lama’s life story was one of interest to screenwriter Melissa Mathison who asked him if she could write about him. This eventually led to the biopic Kundun. Join us as we wrap up our Melissa Mathison series with Martin Scorsese’s 1997 film Kundun.

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Hayao Miyazaki has always had a strong relationship with nature that he’s portrayed in a number of his films, but nowhere has it grown as dark as it did in his 1997 film Princess Mononoke. While an animated film, the level of violence is very high and the themes are much more adult than his previous films and while he hasn’t returned to such dark films since, it’s clear that this was an important step in his storytelling and how his films look at the relationship between man and nature.

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Lee Tamahori’s first foray in Hollywood, ‘Mulholland Falls,’ didn’t fare all that well. Luckily, his follow-up with 1997’s ‘The Edge’ made money and allowed him to keep working in the business. (Though if you look at his foray in the Bond franchise, ‘Die Another Day,’ maybe it’s not so lucky after all.) But does the movie feel like something from a David Mamet script? Or does it fall into formulaic Hollywood junk? Join us—Pete Wright and Andy Nelson—as we wrap up our ‘David Mamet as a screenwriter’ series with ‘The Edge.’

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Happy New Year! Goodbye 2015, hello 2016. And what better way to kick off the new year of shows than with Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 epic glimpse into the golden age of porn. With an epic New Year’s party that transitions the story from the halcyon days of porn in the 70s to its characters’ declines in the 80s, “Boogie Nights” is a great way to celebrate the previous year and welcome the new one. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we discuss Paul Thomas Anderson’s second film, “Boogie Nights.”

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1997 was a big year for movies, and perhaps that’s because one of the biggest box office sensations — James Cameron’s Titanic — was released that year. And while it went on to make a gajillion dollars (okay, just $2.2 billion worldwide), many argue that it’s not actually the best movie of the year, but instead give that title to Curtis Hanson’s crime thriller L.A. Confidential. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Guess the Connection series with this fantastic film.

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We end our Original Science Fiction series with Andrew Niccol’s visionary 1997 film set not too far in the future, Gattaca. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we delve into not just what makes this film great and unique, but also what ties the four films from this series — Dark City, Sunshine, Moon, and Gattaca — together.

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There’s something about the wacky sci-fi fantasy eye-gasm The Fifth Element that is very divisive. On one side, it’s a bizarre, nonsensical, mess that hardly has a story worth talking about. On the other, it’s groundbreaking in its visual effects, inventive in its production and costume design, and a romping, mind-numbing good time. While the characters who aren’t weird muppet-y aliens would be better served by actually being cartoons, they’re played by big-name actors who all get into their roles with undeniable fervor and relish. It’s amazing how much of a mess the film is, yet a lot of people really dig it.

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It’s the end of our conversation about the Alien anthology, ladies and gentlemen, and this week, we discuss Alien: Resurrection, a tough film to watch and an unfortunate end to the anthology (that took a further unfortunate turn by leading the franchise into the Alien Vs. Predator films).

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This week, we continue our Fincher Fest with a discussion about “The Game,” a dark and twisting tale that Pete finds he doesn’t really like anymore while Andy still connects with.

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