VFXShow 273: Barbenheimer

This week we tackle the pop culture event of the decade: Barbenheimer.

Note: we have more on the VFX involved in the films coming here on fxguide very soon.

Pushing the boundaries and expanding the universe this week are:

  • Matt ‘Ken‘ Wallin *     @mattwallin               www.mattwallin.com.
  • Jason ‘Allan‘ Diamond  @jasondiamond           www.thediamondbros.com
  • Mike ‘Death’ Seymour   @mikeseymour.               www.fxguide.com. + @mikeseymour
  • *Special thanks to Matt Wallin with help from Jim Shen for editing the show.

1 thought on “VFXShow 273: Barbenheimer”

  1. The VFXShow Podcasts have always been informative, insightful, sometimes spirited and entertaining for me but something happen in Show #273. The differing opinions that usually form a foundation of good listening seemed to have been weakened by strong personal opinion and prejudice. It felt like a deeper discussion, which we usually get, was held back because of this.

    Every filmmaker, regardless if they succeeded or failed according to one’s standards, deserves to be critiqued in a fair manner with valid examples cited to support the critique. “Oppenheimer” was a film based on an over 700-page biography. It’s a film about a person and the people around him living through two momentous periods of American (and world) history; the creation of the atomic bomb and the Red Scare. The assembled cast and script were tasked with elevating potentially dry, laborious material into entertainment to be enjoyed by a (hopefully) mass audience. Given all that, I am amazed it is being seen by as many people as it is. Plus, it’s being discussed. I would guess those admissions (except for the fewer-numbered IMAX screens) are not repeat viewings, so it’s probably a very impressive, non-repeat number. This does not seem to be a viral turnout because it keeps on performing and attendees don’t seem to be wearing fedoras and dangling a pipe. I believe people would agree there is high, multiple-level filmmaking going on here. Regardless of stylistic approach and sound mix preferences, in this day and age can the filmmaker be given a pat on the back for all this?

    A filmmaker should be critiqued on the task at hand, not for what story should have been told. The late 80s film, “Fat Man and Little Boy” was referenced as a “better” film than “Oppenheimer.” It’s a different film. It delves deeper into things “Oppenheimer” briefly touched upon, such as the effects of radioactive poisoning. Plus, the portrayal of the A bomb test was, for me, more visually satisfying — a reflection of a rising, massive cloud seen reflected on Oppie’s blast goggles while the skin on his face is pushed back by waves of sound and wind. It’s also a film that doesn’t succeed as well as “Oppenheimer,” mainly due to the casting and the script (I think). It wasn’t one of Paul Newman’s better performances and it’s certainly not in the league of the superb, “The Killing Fields.” The public response at the time was also low.

    May I suggest another double bill: “Oppenheimer” and “Hiroshima, Mon Amour.”

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