Filipino cinema is in a state of emergency. It is grappling with an artistic gridlock that confines new films to a limited spectrum between rom-coms and slapstick. Amidst this cinematic stagnation, the cinema-goers gravitate towards Hollywood blockbusters, meanwhile relegating the rich Filipino cinematic heritage to neglect. However, a resurgence is underway as initiatives emerge to salvage and revive the remnants of this cinematic legacy. The Flick Lab takes on the responsibility of honoring Filipino cinema by shedding light on its critically acclaimed gems.

In this episode of the podcast, Karri and Henrik deep-dive into Manila in the Claws of Light, hailed as one of the Philippines’ cinematic masterpieces. Despite severe degradation of the film’s negatives, recent restoration efforts have breathed new life into this Lino Brocka creation. In a tapestry of realism, melodrama and noir, the audience is taken on a journey with a young fisherman who moves to Manila to locate his girlfriend, of whom he has not heard since she ventured into the bustling capital. The film deals with themes of hope, perseverance, desperation, love, and hate, echoing a howl and cry for something better. Based on and filmed in the 1970’s, the film illustrates the daily struggles during these times; monetary hardship, class struggle and rampant corruption.

Films covered in this episode:
Manila in the Claws of Light (1975)

Hosted by Karri Ojala and Henrik Telkki. Edited by Karri Ojala. The Flick Lab theme tune written and performed by Nick Grivell.

In this episode of the podcast, Karri and Henrik delve into the origins of ‘Friday the 13th,’ exploring the first three films that birthed the iconic Jason Voorhees phenomenon. While the hockey mask-wearing serial killer has become a cultural staple, the question arises: do the initial entries in this enduring franchise truly merit their place in cinematic history? They also examine the enduring power of nostalgia in shaping the series’ cultural significance compared to the movies themselves. The discussion covers a wide array of discussion points, including character development, storytelling, thematic elements, ethical considerations in Hollywood, legacy, and other topics.

Films covered in this episode:
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Hosted by Karri Ojala and Henrik Telkki. Edited by Karri Ojala. The Flick Lab theme tune written and performed by Nick Grivell.

American writer-director-editor Nick Vaky and Taiwanese photographer-cinematographer Luke Liu form a filmmaking and production company/art collective. Nick and Luke’s serendipitous meeting took place in Taiwan. They quickly discovered they have an abundance of chemistry between them and forged a lasting creative partnership, resulting in a prolific body of work encompassing short films, photo shoots, and diverse projects. Their collaborative endeavors extend to the YouTube channel Mint Volcano, dedicated to sharing their passion for Asian and Taiwanese Cinema through film analyses and reviews.

How did Nick’s journey lead him to Taiwan? What cultural hurdles did he encounter when acclimating to his new environment? What distinctive artistic styles define Nick and Luke’s body of work? And what does the future hold for this talented duo?

Mint Volcano’s Youtube channel is here: https://www.youtube.com/@MintVolcano
Nick Vaky’s portfolio and details can be found at his home page https://nickvaky.com/
Luke Liu’s body of work can be located at his home page https://jungfengliu.com/

Hosted by Karri Ojala and Henrik Telkki. Guests Nick Vaky and Luke Liu aka Jung-Feng Liu. Edited by Karri Ojala. The Flick Lab theme tune written and performed by Nick Grivell.

The Flick Lab turns half a decade old. Hosts Karri and Henrik are interviewed about the podcast experience by Aku, Karri’s astute sibling of the male kind. The situation quickly escalates into two hours of alleged hilarity. What have been the shining moments and the darkest hours of podcasting? Would Karri and Henrik recommend podcasting to anybody? Given the opportunity to turn back the clock, would the architects of The Flick Lab embark on this odyssey once more? Karri comes clean with his current views on the future of the podcast. Henrik reveals his driving motives. Does celluloid art need to possess meaning? Are there some films that should never be discussed?

Podcast seized, supervised and overseen by Aku Mäkelä. Featuring dethroned coffee brewers Karri Ojala and Henrik Telkki. Episode chopped by Karri Ojala. The Flick Lab theme tune penned and conducted by Nick Grivell.

In this episode of the podcast, the Lab has a discussion on “All Quiet on the Western Front,” the story of timeless impact; a renowned German novel that has inspired three film adaptations. There is the Academy Awards-winning 1930 film, celebrated as a monumental incarnation of the story; the praised 1979 TV movie, which garnered accolades like the Golden Globe and Emmy; and the 2022 Netflix adaptation, with four Academy Awards to its credit. Karri and Henrik debate and decide which adaptation truly deserves the highest praise, exploring the essence and artistry behind each portrayal.

Films covered in this episode:

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
All Quiet on the Western Front (1979)
All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

Hosted by Karri Ojala and Henrik Telkki. Edited by Karri Ojala. The Flick Lab theme tune written and performed by Nick Grivell.

In this episode of the podcast, Karri and Henrik investigate the highly successful Chinese action movies Wolf Warrior 1 and 2, which perhaps ironically, rely heavily on Hollywood’s cinematic language while looking at the world through Chinese patriotically tinted glasses. But instead of nationalistic fervor, do the movies accidentally end up communicating more about Chinese political frustrations, weaknesses, or perhaps even revealing a Chinese state-level inferiority complex?

Films covered in this episode:

Wolf Warrior (2015) (战狼)
Wolf Warrior 2 (2017) (战狼2)

Hosted by Karri Ojala and Henrik Telkki. Edited by Karri Ojala. The Flick Lab theme tune written and performed by Nick Grivell.

In this episode of the podcast, two Westerners analyse two Chinese war “propaganda” movies, The Battle at Lake Changjin I & II (Water Gate Bridge), offering their candid feedback. These are among the most successful Chinese ‘blockbusters’ of all time, the first part being the biggest hit in China’s history, grossing at least $913 million after its 2021 release. The topic of these action-heavy war movies is China’s role in the Korean War, with a particular focus on the showdown in Changjin, part two concentrating on the battle at its reservoir, which was a turning point for the war. Is the Chinese propaganda there as claimed? Is it over the top or warranted? How does it compare to American war movies and their messaging? Karri and Henrik also discuss the American acting, whether the UN troops retreated from Changjin, the shortcomings in storytelling and CGI, Hollywoodization of Chinese cinema, and other topics.

Films covered in this episode:
The Battle at Lake Changjin (长津湖, 2021)
The Battle at Lake Changjin II (Water Gate Bridge) (長津湖之水門橋, 2022)

Hosted by Karri Ojala and Henrik Telkki. Edited by Karri Ojala. The Flick Lab theme tune written and performed by Nick Grivell.

In this episode of the podcast, Karri and Henrik discuss Die Hard, but what’s left to say about it? The duo believes there’s still room to discuss some of the less frequently tooted perspectives out there. Yet even The Flick Lab has to ask THE most frequent Die Hard question and answer it, so on behalf of all humanity, we can put the subject to bed once and for all and media doesn’t have bring it up ever again.

Films covered in this episode:
Die Hard (1988)

Hosted by Karri Ojala and Henrik Telkki. Edited by Karri Ojala. The Flick Lab theme tune written and performed by Nick Grivell.

Photo of Nak… Fox Plaza by Tom Bernard (Public domain).

Sisu

In this episode of the podcast, Karri and Henrik embark on an exploration of Sisu, the Finnish nazi butchering hit action movie that has been making waves around the world. As devoted advocates of Finnish culture, Karri and Henrik seize this opportunity to critically examine the cultural export of “sisu” and delve into its potential complexities. With a discerning lens, the hosts analyze whether the cinematic style of “Sisu” the movie is a captivating breath of fresh air or a potentially tiresome, or even a desperate encounter.

Films covered in this episode:
Sisu (2022)

Hosted by Karri Ojala and Henrik Telkki. Edited by Karri Ojala. The Flick Lab theme tune written and performed by Nick Grivell.

Filmdoo

In this episode of the podcast, Karri and Henrik continue scouring Filmdoo.com, an international film streaming website, to discover its best free short films available. The duo sifts through a total of 33 random selections, unearthing hidden gems from around the world. This episode is not sponsored by Filmdoo. Part 2 of 2.

Films covered in this episode:
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/love-bakery
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/the-prisoner-short
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/man-under
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/last-train
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/staff-riding
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/train-surfers
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/a-mongolian-couch
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/down-the-stream
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/vienna-waits-for-you
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/flow
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/broken-short
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/transmormon
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/tomgirl
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/drag-king
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/draft-day
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/masa
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/televisnu
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/altered-focus-burma
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/a-doctors-job
https://www.filmdoo.com/films/rice

Hosted by Karri Ojala and Henrik Telkki. Edited by Karri Ojala. The Flick Lab theme tune written and performed by Nick Grivell.