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Chapter 67: '71
Today is the historic day. The first chapter of our monthly movie club which we have dubbed… umm… Movie Club! I wanted this to be a selection of movies that are good, fun, and have been influential or impactful to me, either on a specific story or how I approach storytelling in general. I wanted to start off with a movie I love, that maybe isn’t obvious from my work, and that perhaps some of you haven’t seen before. And I got a great one.
‘71 is streaming on HOME BOX OFFICE MAX. But if you aren’t a subscriber to HBOMAX it is available to rent from AMAZON, APPLE TV, REDBOX, YOUTUBE, GOOGLE PLAY, VUDU, etc. For those outside the U.S. I have no idea how you can watch it. It’s probably on some streaming service called like Frimple or Stuffi or Zazzen. I trust you can figure it out.
We will be starting the movie promptly at 5pm EST (just over half an hour from now). I’d suggest starting a few minutes early and pausing when the opening title cards start because you never know when they’ll make you watch a bunch of trailers for Minions or health insurance or something.
In order to participate in the chat you don’t have to do anything other than hit play on the movie and join me and anyone else in the comments below.
Will this work? Will anyone show up? Will it be chaotic? Will it be an awful way to watch a great movie? I have no idea, but let’s find out!
‘71 is a harrowing thriller about a British soldier separated from his unit for a night in Belfast during the height of The Troubles. Besides sharp writing, beautiful direction, and great performances, for me the film does quite a few things brilliantly. The sense of tension is truly remarkable and never feels forced or artificial. The humanization of the characters and the way it navigates a very complex conflict and time is really well done, at least from my very outside perspective. (I would be curious to hear from Irish and British viewers how they feel it is handled though.) And I think the film handles scale well. I won’t get too much into that here, but I think it is a good example of how bigger stakes doesn’t always make for bigger drama if we care about the characters. This is a small story in a lot of ways but feels truly all encompassing while you watch it
‘71 was written by Scottish playwright Gregory Burke and is the feature film directorial debut of French-Algerian director Yann Demange, who would go on to direct the film WHITE BOY RICK and run the HBO show LOVECRAFT COUNTRY. It stars Jack O'Connell, Sean Harris, David Wilmot, Richard Dormer, Paul Anderson, and a young Barry Keoghan in one of his first roles. I will pretty much watch Barry Keoghan in anything as he is always brilliant, and this is no different.
If you’re still on the fence you can watch the trailer here. But remember, trailers are for cowards and it’s always more fun to go in knowing less.
Oh, it’s rated R. So I’m probably supposed to say if you’re a kid get your parents permission to watch the movie, but c’mon. I was watching ANDY WARHOL’S FRANKENSTEIN when I was 11 and I turned out okay… Okayish?
My only other advice is to get some good snacks. Normally I’m a popcorn guy, but I have to be typing while I watch and so the greasy fingers, or “binger fingers” as my family calls them, is not going to work. So today I am going with Twizzlers and an Egg Cream to drink, but I leave it up to you to fend for yourself. I always support eating and drinking “movie theater appropriate snacks” during a movie at home to heighten the experience but if you want to be the weirdo who gets sushi and an old fashioned, I can’t stop you.
One last thing. We’re doing another livestream here on Wednesday. This one will be with the brilliant Tini Howard (CATWOMAN / EXCALIBUR / ASSASSINISTAS) at 5pm EST on Wednesday. We’re going to be talking about all kinds of stuff, including her new creator owned book PHENOMENOCITY which you should be reading on her Substack!
And, like last time, we will be taking questions from all of you! So you can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you ask our favorite question of the show you will win a prize from our wonderful sponsors THIRD EYE COMICS!
You can check out our previous livestream with the wonderful Ryan Stegman on our new Youtube channel. And while you’re there hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss any of the fun stuff we’re going to be adding.
Stay safe. Take care of each other. Shhh!