It’s Popzara’s Movie Time! Podcast!, where our own movie nerds Ethan Brehm and Nate Evans take you on an unscripted journey yakking and chatting about some of their favorite movie moments and cinematic scenes, from past and present, presented without snark and snobbery for your listening pleasure.
On tap for this episode are two very different films offering two very different versions of what a hypothetical alien “invasion” would look like from very different eras.
The first is 1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, Robert Wise’s (The Sound of Music, Star Trek: The Motion Picture) contemplative Cold War allegory that helped set the stage for a generations of innovative cinematic science fiction. Packed with great performances, stunning cinematography, quotable lines (Klaatu Barada Nikto), and plenty of healthy 1950s smoking you’ll definitely want to spend some quality time with Gort and company.
The second is The Vast of Night, the debut feature from writer/director Andrew Patterson that owes as much to Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone as it does to Orson Welles (often at the same time!). It’s a super low-budget, super high-concept invasion feature that proves you don’t need explosions and preening celebrities when you have a killer story and fantastic performances.
Our hosts examine how one film helped define the sci-fi genre and the other is helping redefine it. Also discussed are why classic post-war science-fiction movies being “products of their time” is a compliment, Bernard Herrmann’s iconic theremin-infused score, how rubber suits and radio broadcasts can be more thrilling than fancy CGI, and even a (very) brief look at the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2008 remake starring Keanu Reeves.