What Is the Soul of Soul?
Season 1, Ep. 82
Pixar's Soul is the story of a jazz musician named Joe (Jamie Foxx) who is on the brink of achieving his dreams... when he falls in a manhole and dies. From there, he meets 22 (Tina Fey) an entitled being who doesn't want to be alive. We start off rooting for Joe as he desperately clings to life. But then we're supposed to root for 22. And then their interests come into conflict.Where should our loyalties lie?
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and the Fight to Own Music
Season 1, Ep. 87
On the lastLow Keypodcast of the year, Keith Dennie, Aaron Lanton and Tim Molloy talk about thedeceptively straightforward Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by George C. Wolfe and based on the play by August Wilson.Wetalk about what we thought of ChadwickBoseman's final performance, what thefilm says about religion, and if there's a Marxistargument at work in the story of arguing musicians one hot day in 1927. Like every episode of the Low Key podcast, this one is good.
The Sound of Metal Is Low-Key Horrifying
Season 1, Ep. 86
In The Sound of Metal, Riz Ahmed plays a heavy metal drummer who suddenly loses his hearing. You share his nightmarish sense of his entire life disappearing, along with his sense of sound. Director Darius Marder teaches us how to watch and listen to the film, with completely immersive and innovative use of sound. But it's also a spectacularly well-crafted script, and beautifully-acted film. We liked it! Keith and Aaron discuss the film, but missing co-host Tim agrees with everything they said.
Season 1, Ep. 85
Lovers Rock, the magnificent second film in Steve McQueen's Small Axe series, takes viewers inside a 1980 house party filled with young British and Caribbean people, looking for love. As the party unfolds, we realize this small get-together, DJ'd by the immaculate Mercury Sound System, is fraught with politics: Why don't these Black young people feel welcome at clubs? Why can't they wander too far from the house without being accosted by local hoodlums? And what are the sexual and class dynamics at play?This makes it sound like Lovers Rock is a heavy-handed message movie — and it's the opposite. Steve McQueen has the lightest, deftest touch, and lets the story flow so freely you barely detect the film's arc until it's swept over you. Lover's Rock is a seductive mix of emotions as smoothly delivered as the songs the Mercury crew spins all night.
Keith Makes a Movie
Season 1, Ep. 84
If you've thought about making a movie, but really don't know where to start, start here.Every week on Low Key, we talk about TV shows and movies other people made. Except this week! Keith Dennie, one of your co-hosts, wrote a script in quarantine, got a crew and actors together, and finished principle photography. His film, The Moment, is about a young woman named Logan (Randell Robertson) whose humdrum relationship is threatened by an intriguing new man (Tony Williams).Keith talks about how COVID-19 motivated him to make the film, and how he handled every aspect of it, from the dialogue to finding actors to talking them through scenes and editing. He also talks about how doing people favors will come around, giving special thanks to producer Charles W. Bush of Appointed Productions, first AD Sheran Keaton, and DP Michael Bradley.We're also sending out love to the Lanton family, and look forward to Aaron Lanton's return!
The Queen's Gambit and What It Means to Be a Prodigy
Season 1, Ep. 83
The Queen's Gambit stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon, an orphan who becomes a 1960s chess prodigy — and addict. In this episode we talk about whether child prodigies are real or an exaggerated phenomenon, nature v. nurture, and the Netflix series' approach to gender and race. Also we try to imagine a world without Street Fighter.
His House, an Immigration Horror Story
Season 1, Ep. 82
His Houseis a haunted house story where the characters have a good reason for not leaving the house: If they do, they'll be returned to the horrors of tribal violence in their native South Sudan.Set in the United Kingdom,His Housefollows the story of Rial and Bol Majur (played byWunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù), a married couple seeking asylum to escape the horrors of tribal violence.The debut feature from Remi Weekes is scary, unexpectedly funny, and provocative — it inspires a talk among Keith, Aaron and Tim about our own immigration policy, and the ways people dehumanize each other.If you like this episode, check out Tim interview with Remi Weeks at the MovieMaker Interviews podcast.
Season 1, Ep. 81
Horror. Science fiction. Non-fiction. Fantasy. Adventure. Coming of age. War. A lot of shows have a hard time executing any sole genre.Lovecraft Country, which just wrapped its first season on HBO, blends all of these together at once and still sticks the landing more often than not.On this week's episode of the Low Key podcast, wediscuss all things Lovecraft Country, including the very mixed legacy of H.P. Lovecraft, whether contemporary music works for shows set in the past, and how unfinished character arcs kept this season from being an all-timer.
Hosts, a Hammer, and Maybe Some Bible Stuff
Season 1, Ep. 80
The new British horror filmHostsseems designed to provoke people, with a mix of long, slow buildups and sudden, ghastly unpleasantness. This is never better exemplified than in a dinner scene that replaces Chekhov's gun with a hammer, very unsubtly.Hostsfeatures a classic setup: a family invites a neighborhood couple over for Christmas dinner. But an unknown entity has taken over the neighbors' bodies and forces them to act out murderous violence.Hostsweaves together elements of several horror sub-genres, including home invasion, possession, familial violence, and supernatural mystery.Does it work? We discuss.Hosts is directed by Adam Leader and Richard Oakes and stars Neal Ward, Nadia Lamin, Frank Jakeman, Samantha Loxley, and Lee Hunter.