Friday, 13 November 2015

Impress Me: Episode 2

This week I was lucky enough to rope good guys Josh and Drew into being contestants on the second episode of my experimental new game show podcast, Impress Me! It's a show filled with challenges that they couldn't have possibly been prepared for, but under the circumstances I think they both did an excellent job! Only one contestant can ever truly impress me though, and you'll have to listen to the episode to discover who that was.

One of the segments in this episode involved Josh and Drew drawing some sketches. Here are those drawings:

Drew's "coward lion"
Josh's "melancholy earwitness"

Monday, 9 November 2015

The Primary Instinct (Review)

As a long-time fan of prolific podcaster David Chen, I was rather excited to watch his debut film carefully titled The Primary Instinct. The movie is essentially a filmic adaptation of Chen's successful The Tobolowsky Files podcast, in which actor Stephen Tobolowsky shares stories from his life with lightning sharp insights into the human experience. The Primary Instinct doesn't take this premise much further, and is essentially a concert film. Stephen Tobolowsky tells poignant stories as he would on the podcast, but the difference here is that we get to see him do it. The question, therefore, is does this simple visual addition to the format warrant the huge jump from podcast to film? That's question I will answer in the next paragraph because this one's reached a decent length.

Yes. I do think that The Primary Instinct is a success. Stephen Tobolowsky is an actor through and through, so he can't help but be an interesting visual presence. In this film we get to see him prance about the stage as he imitates characters, and crumple to his knees breathlessly with the hilarious crux of a story. The most powerful visual is found when Stephen is in the middle of recalling events from long ago, and he grows still, and through close-ups we can see Stephen's eyes visualising what he describes. The content Stephen shares in both this film and his podcast is incredibly personal. But what makes his works transcend simple storytelling is that at the centre of these tales he always discovers great truths that we can all relate to. I can't believe how much Stephen has managed to do this over the past few years - he harvests his own life for so many incredible stories. I used to think, "surely he'll run out soon? There'll be nothing left to tell?" But now I think that will never happen. A life is filled with enough stories for a lifetime.

Funny, charming, heartbreaking... The Primary Instinct is a simple story-telling concert film in construction, but is filled to the brim with fascinating pontifications. I'd recommend The Tobolowsky Files podcast and The Primary Instinct film to anyone without thinking. I can't wait to see what Chen and Tobolowsky produce next.