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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Prey, Backflipping Pigeons, and Coastline-Ravaging Giant Rodents

August 23rd, 2022 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

Recommended

Clytaemnestra (Film, South Korea, 2021) Young actor (Haru Kim) in Athens to rehearse a production of the Oresteia becomes the scapegoat of its bullying director (Jongman Kim.) Intimate realist drama paints a pointillistic portrait of—classicists, you’re ahead of me on this one—simmering female rage.—RDL

Pigeon Kings (Film, US, Milena Pastreich, 2020) Duo of South Central L.A. residents vies for honors in the heartbreaking sport of Birmingham roller racing, in which a flock of pigeons is released and must stay airborne for twenty minutes while performing a maximum number of the backwards flips their inbred genetic defect predisposes them to. Documentary attentively captures small human moments as well as the existential questions raised by an activity that encourages obsessive efforts to exert control over a highly variable, entirely random event.—RDL

Prey (Film, US, Dan Trachtenberg, 2022) A young Comanche woman’s (Amber Midthunder) eagerness to prove herself as a hunter faces the ultimate test in the form of an alien equipped with a deadly array of super-technological devices. Brilliantly conceived, leanly executed Predator prequel anchored by what one hopes is a starmaking lead performance.—RDL

Puzzle for Players (Fiction, Patrick Quentin, 1938) Recovering alcoholic Broadway producer Peter Duluth finds himself with a haunted theater, burgeoning romance, neurotic actors, an odious photographer, and suspicious cops – plus murder – endangering his comeback production. Extraordinary combination of bitterness and creepiness sets the tone for this remarkable mystery, in which the actual detecting gets done by a psychiatrist and the success of the play grips the reader as much as the solution to the crime. –KH

Rodents of Unusual Size (Film, US, Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler & Jeff Springer, 2017) Documentary follows the campaign to control Louisiana’s population of nutria, coastline-ravaging, bridge-undermining imported giant rodents. With a affectionate eye toward people and their lives, the filmmakers look at the paradoxes of an environmental catastrophe stemming from a series of human decisions—the final straw being the victories of the anti-fur movement.—RDL

Good

Double Wedding (Film, US, Richard Thorpe, 1937) Uptight fashion tycoon (Myrna Loy) attempts to break her malleable sister’s infatuation with a free-spirited artist (William Powell), only to fall for him herself. Thoroughly Americanized adaptation of a Molnar play suffers from overegged direction but is redeemed by the classic chemistry of its leads.—RDL

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