#295: Missing Movies + Strange Days (1995)


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Our recent pairing of Michel Gondry’s ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MINDS with Lisa Joy’s REMINISCENCE was actually a second-choice selection forced by the ongoing unavailability of the film we initially thought of as a slam-dunk companion to Joy’s new film: Kathryn Bigelow’s 1995 thriller STRANGE DAYS, another noir-inflected science-fiction story concerned with the intersection of technology and memory. But that film is nearly impossible to find these days (at least through official channels), which prompted this off-format discussion in which we spend some time digging into why STRANGE DAYS feels like a “missing piece” in our modern-day discussion of both Bigelow’s career and cinema overall, particularly its daring racial and sexual politics and visceral violence. Then we widen the lens a bit to consider the overall phenomenon of impossible-to-find movies in the streaming era, and what it says about our past and present attitudes toward film preservation.

Please share your comments, thoughts, and questions about disappearing movies, STRANGE DAYS, or anything else in the world of film, by sending an email to comments@nextpictureshow.net, or leaving a short voicemail at (773) 234-9730.

Show Notes

Works cited:

• “The convenience trap: What the changes at Netflix reveal about an insidious trend,” by Sam Adams (avclub.com)

• “Film preservation 2.0,” by Matthew Dessem (thedissolve.com)

• “Song of the South: the difficult legacy of Disney’s most shocking movie,” by Scott Tobias (theguardian.com)

Outro music: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2

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