Aug 17, 2020
On the podcast this week, Steven and Sean are loving our future and past selves—literally and simultaneously—in the trippy, thrilling Spierig Brothers film, Predestination.
Get ready to have your freaking mind twisted and blown with this one because it’s got a doozy of a twist. A twist that’s crazy for two reasons: it’s just bananas and somehow it actually works! We’ll warn you now, as we discuss at the beginning of this episode, you’re brain’s probably going to be scrambled like a bunch of eggs.
We’ve got Ethan Hawke. We’ve got Sarah Snook. We’ve got a terrorist named “The Fizzle Bomber.” It’s the future, but it’s also the past. Who knows when really because everyone’s living in different times… all at the same time! Have no idea what any of that means? That’s probably because it would be impossible to describe the plot of this film without these show notes turning into either a house-sized flowchart or an epic-sized novel.
To be honest, though, we don’t really want to spoil anything about this film in these here show notes. Part of the magic and appeal of this film is the enthralling story it tells and the twisting turns of the plot. You never quite know what’s going to happen until it happens and then you’re left wondering what the hell you just witnessed.
We will say that we loved the use of old technology in a film that features such an advanced thing as time travel. More often than not, we see the characters using things like tape recorders and violin cases to do their work. You’re not going to see crazy huge machines with lasers or anything like that. We think the film is way better for not using any of those clichéd devices.
Steven appreciated the powerful simplicity of this film’s sound design. It’s especially powerful whenever any of the characters travel through time. That universe-sucking sound is unlike anything we’ve heard in movies and works so dang well at suggesting real-time travel. No beeps. No boops. Nothing overtly science fiction-ey. Just something that feels real. That’s some great sound design work.
Sean really enjoyed Ben Nott’s cinematography throughout the whole film. This was a movie that could have veered wildly into fantastical imagery, but it stayed grounded in the reality it created, a more recognizable reality. Watching this film, you may start to think that the technology displayed throughout it could actually exist. It feels visceral and real. Does he still have the chance to stretch out and try inventive looks in some pretty amazing locations? Oh heck yes, and they’re thrilling to see.
We loved this one and have been thinking about it ever since watching it. It sticks with you and will keep you puzzling over it for a long time. Give it a watch!
And a special thanks to one of our favorite teachers, Scott Essman, for introducing this amazing film to us.
(Recorded on June 11, 2020)
Links to Stuff We Mentioned:
Did you know this commercial was directed by Michael Bay? Yes, THE Michael Bay of exploding things in movies fame! Crazy.
Sean was mostly correct about what a hysterectomy is, but he did add the removal of the ovaries which isn’t actually correct. Sometimes the ovaries may need to be removed, but that’s a separate thing called an oophorectomy.