Pretty Much Pop #147: Nostalgic Mysteries (Knives Out, Poker Face) from Rian Johnson

Mark, Lawrence, Sarahlyn, and Al talk about Rian Johnson’s new show Poker Face as basically a Columbo reboot (a “howcatchem” instead of a “whodunnit”), plus his recent films Knives Out and Glass Onion that modernize and subvert Agatha Christie.

We talk about Johnson’s storytelling techniques of telling the story out of sequence, keeping the detective character out of the first part of the story, and developing even the silliest characters. How does Johnson use genre conventions and our nostalgia for having seen things in the genre to create something appealing? Does bringing back laborious ’70s pacing help tell these stories?

We also talk about comedy in mysteries and touch on Johnson’s other movies including The Last Jedi, Brick, Looper, and The Brothers Bloom.

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