Two films I am highly recommending this week are Netflix’s The Dig and Mubi’s Beginning. Both movies are explorations into the depths of humanity, and on the latest Find Your Film podcast co-hosts Bruce Purkey and Eric Holmes offer up their take on these just released narratives. Also covered are Psycho Goreman and Promsing Young Woman. Show breakdown and audio is below!
Our main feature this week (the movie that all three of us checked out) is The Dig. Based on the true story of 1938’s Sutton Hoo excavation, Carey Mulligan is Edith Pretty, a wealthy widow who hires amateur archaelogist Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) to excavate the burial mounds on her estate.
Upon making the discovery, Brown and Pretty are subjected to higher powers that want to take over the excavation and claim credit for their own (thus putting Brown in the background). Directed by Simon Stone, The Dig features subtle yet substantive performances from Mulligan and Fiennes. The feature, when faced with the possibility of being overwrought and saccharine, strikes a much more realistic and resonant tone with its storytelling.
Find Your Film co-host Bruce Purkey did his share of reasearch of the Sutton Hoo discovery after watching The Dig. After being vastly impressed with The Dig, I have made a concerted effort to watch more of Mulligan’s work (I’ll be starting it off this weekend by watching Wildlife, which is currently streaming on Netflix).
The Dig is not Eric Holmes’ cup of tea cinema wise, but he does recommend the movie to lovers of period dramas. Overall, a strong recommendation from me and my betters also enjoyed The Dig in their own manner.
The Dig, co-starring Lily James and Johnny Flynn, is now streaming on Netflix.
The Georgian feature Beginning has been receiving a slew of critical acclaim, and my one bit of warning is to prepare for a challenge. Filmmaker Dea Kulumbegashvili keeps her camera locked, so any kind of fluidity comes from the people who movie in and out of the frame. Pivotal moments in the narrative has the camera in a fixed, observational distance, and if you embrace this aesthetic then a sublime experience awaits.
Yana (Ia Sukhitashvii) is the wife of a Jehovah’s Witness missionary, and after their place of worship is burned, her world is understandably shattered. After nightmarish encounters with the police, a non-supportive husband, and questions of her own place in the world, Yana feels like she’s swimming against the current.
Eric Holmes did appreciate the artistry behind Beginning, but he found the experience akin to “watching paint dry.” I joked that watching paint dry can be fun, and the methodical and restrained approach to Beginning left me mesmerized throughout the entire story. The final moments, as we reach a bit of closure to Yana’s journey, shocked me to the core, and Beginning continues to resonate days after my initial viewing. Again, this is an acquired taste type of viewing (there are sequences in this film that are unforgettable), but thanks to directors such as Dea Klumbegashvili, our cinematic boundaries continue to widen.
Now streaming on MUBI, Beginning won the Golden Shell For Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
Take a listen to this week’s episode of Find Your Film via the Libsyn media player below, as well as the Spotify player and Apple Podcasts link. We are available on various other podcatchers as well (Stitcher, Amazon Music, Deezer, Google Podcasts)!!
Find Your Film podcast Show Breakdown:
0:44 – It was a productive movie watching week for Bruce Purkey!
1:24 – Eric Holmes has not seen a bad movie this week which bodes well for the podcast! Also, first French Fries reference on Find Your Film (apropos of nothing!).
2:18 – Bruce Purkey teases next week’s director’s spotlight on Jacques Tourneur (Out of the Past, Curse of the Demon/Night of the Demon). Purkey is a fan of Tourneur’s Cat People.
3:36 – I mistakenly thought Val Lewton directed Cat People.
5:02 – Bruce Purkey recommends Night of the Demon, which is the 96-minute cut of the film.
6:01 – Bruce discusses who The Rocky Horror Picture Show ties into Curse of the Demon/Night of the Demon.
6:43 – From Tourneur’s work, I recommend the movie Nightfall, and I have a random Aldo Ray reference!
8:17 – We review the new Netflix feature The Dig.
11:18 – “It’s a good story well told” – Bruce Purkey on The Dig.
12:40 – Even though this movie is not for Eric Holmes he did (pun intended) “dig” the movie.
18:50 – Eric Holmes and I review Beginning. I really enjoyed the film – Eric not so much (even though he did respect the film’s aesthetics).
19:39 – Eric was nervous that Beginning was going to be a vampire/monster film (as the opening reminded him of his own script). Thankfully, there are no vampires in the feature!
23:05 – Eric Holmes does his take on a scene from Beginning.
24:18 – Holmes also said Beginning is like watching paint dry, but guess what, I love watching paint dry!!!
28:18 – I offer up my take on Beginning, a movie I recommend if you are into broadening your cinematic palette (I describe it, in a fashion, as interpretive cinema).
31:39 – Beginning is executive produced by Carlos Reygadas, the director of the feature Post Tenebras Lux.
34:18 – We need to do an episode that solely focuses on Post Tenebras Lux!
35:00 – Bruce Purkey and Eric Holmes review Psycho Goreman.
44:46 – There will be action figures coming out for Psycho Goreman.
45:43 – Bruce and Eric absolutely love the Song credits at the end.
48:22 – “This is the movie to beat so far” – Holmes on Psycho Goreman.
48:50 – I review the awesome Western Savage State.
53:28 – Eric Holmes recommends One Night in Miami which he says is “F**king fantastic.”
56:00 – Eli Goree makes the best Ali says Holmes.
60:00 – Bruce recommends The Wolf House which he calls a “monumental feat of animation” and “mind blowing.”
63:18 – Eric gives his take on The Wolf House.
67:13 – Final recommendation for Eric is Promising Young Woman which co-stars The Dig actress Carey Mulligan.
71:49 – For the What’s In The Box segment, Bruce reviews A Ghost Story.
80:56 – For his next What’s In The Box, Bruce will watch The Brood. Thanks to Andrew Martin for the pick!!