Sunday, April 5, 2015

Episode #57 - Kiva Reardon (Leave Her To Heaven)

"Watching movies for me is not a passive experience. It's an active one."

Kiva Reardon isn't one to completely define what her work is, but for the past two years, her new journal cléo has broadened the conversation around cinema and feminism in a unique and exciting way. In this second Toronto-based episode, Kiva talks to Peter about growing up with classic movies, trying to deconstruct pop culture items (including but not limited to: Drake), and the gestural bodily cinema of Claire Denis. They then move onto forming cleo, and why its diversity in terms of both content and form has been one of the key aspects to its success. Finally, Kiva brings in the 1945 Technicolor noir Leave Her To Heaven with Gene Tierney, and the two discuss it as a template for a more recent murderous melodrama: David Fincher's Gone Girl.

0:00-2:00 Opening
3:05-11:44 Establishing Shots - Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-Hsien / Donations
12:28-48:35  Deep Focus - Kiva Reardon
49:47-51:27 Mubi Sponsorship - Jean Rollin and Tilda Swinton
53:00 -1:11:26 Double Exposure - Leave Her To Heaven (John M. Stahl)
1:11:30-1:13:34 Close  / Outtakes
Read Kiva Reardon on cléo, Cinema-Scope, The AV Club, and Keyframe Daily. Check out her personal website to follow all her writing. Follow her on Twitter.
Leave Her To Heaven is out on a very nice Blu-Ray via Twilight Time.

Subscription Options

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Episode #56 - Calum Marsh (The Last Days of Disco)

"The question of prose is the central question of my life, my writing, and my work."

What is the "work" of film criticism? That question takes center stage in a lively new episode of the podcast, in which Peter travels to Toronto, Canada to talk movies with critic and writer Calum Marsh. Calum traces his cinephilia to his VHS and DVD days in suburban England, eventually developing via the influence of rigorous Jonathan Rosenbaum, and then swinging to an attempt to understand how film criticism can work more similarly to the great literary critics. They talk the beauty of Blackhat and the Kim's Video generation, but most of all they discuss prose and its function in describing a visual medium. They then top it off with a look at Whit Stillman's wondrous nostalgia critique, The Last Days of Disco, using Stillman's own novelization of his work as an examination of the different worlds of cinema and literature.

0:00-1:53 Opening
2:37-9:38 Establishing Shots - Gems from UCLA's Festival of Preservation
10:23-59:27  Deep Focus - Calum Marsh
1:00:04-1:02:16 Mubi Sponsorship - Travel Plans and Broken Specs
1:03:43 -1:26:57 Double Exposure - The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman)
1:27:01-1:28:58 Close  / Outtake
Calum Marsh's writing can be found at The Guardian, Hazlitt, Maxim, The Village Voice, and Keyframe Daily. Follow him on Twitter.
The Last Days of Disco is available for streaming on YouTube and iTunes. The novelization is available on Amazon
Subscription Options

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Episode #55 - Jan-Christopher Horak (Her Sister's Secret)

"Our philosophy here is to try to re-create the original look of the film."

Film, both the art and the physical medium, will only survive as long as there are those willing to protect and restore it. This is the job of Dr. Jan-Christopher Horak, a film scholar and head of the archive at the University of California, Los Angeles, which hosts its 16th Festival of Preservation this month. Dr. Horak discusses his route into the archive, from his graduate work uncovering the genre of German exile filmmakers, to his other historical work on the early American avant-garde and recently on Saul Bass. The discussion then goes into the heart of the archive—its history as an institution, its practices (both film and digital), and most importantly, its exhibition to audiences. Finally, the two look at Edgar Ulmer's Her Sister's Secret, a family melodrama that might not contain the usual German expressionism of the director, but subtly breaks patterns of morality against the conventions of Hollywood.

0:00-2:52 Opening
4:18-11:16 Establishing Shots - Abel Ferrara's Pasolini
12:00-1:00:07 Deep Focus - Jan-Christopher Horak
1:03:22-1:14:12  Double Exposure - Her Sister's Secret (Edgar G. Ulmer)
1:14:15-1:15:56 Close 
The UCLA Festival of Preservation Runs March 5th-March 31st at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood, Los Angeles. More information here.
Check out Dr. Horak's books The Lovers of Cinema: The First American Avant-Garde 1919-1945 and Saul Bass: Anatomy of Film Design. More information on him can be found at his UCLA home page.
Follow the UCLA Film Archive and Dr. Horak on Twitter.
Her Sister's Sister will play at the Billy Wilder Theater March 14th at 3pm on 35mm. It is also available on Amazon Prime
Subscription Options

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Episode #54 - Kristopher Tapley (JFK)

"You gotta look at it like a snapshot. There's one judge of true greatness, and that's time." 

The Oscars aren't exactly Peter's favorite film event of any given year, but he does find the world they inhabit fascinating: how and why Hollywood presents itself to the rest of the world as it does? And if you are going to follow that universe, the collected journalistic sensibilities of Kristopher Tapley of In Contention is the right place to be. Peter talks to Kris about his start in filmmaking school before transitioning into writing, and uses his time to dispel the common myths many use to dismiss the Oscars. They also talk about his work highlighting the work of the technical support workers and memorable shots, before discussing a film that truly shows the work of below the line people: Oliver Stone's JFK. However, that certainly doesn't stop them from debating  the conspiracy itself.

0:00-1:50 Opening
2:54-9:14 Establishing Shots - Mizoguchi's The 47 Ronin
10:00-47:38 Deep Focus - Kristopher Tapley
48:55-1:05:05  Double Exposure - JFK (Oliver Stone)
1:05:09-1:06:49 Close 
Read Kris at In Contention and follow him on Twitter.
Subscription Options

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Episode #53 - Doug Dillaman (My Neighbor Totoro)

"Editing is about rhythm and about emphasis. You're telling the viewer what's important."

Near the great down under, ex-pat Doug Dillaman has crafted his own cinephile life in New Zealand. Whether it's writing about movies, practicing the craft of editing for national television, or making his own movie, Jake, Doug has continually engaged in movies in a place often not thought about for its cinephile culture. So in this sit down with Peter, Doug talks about his origins of cinephila in Michigan and Texas, the idea of "leaning in" as a way to understand how an editor can tell a story, and how he crafted a supremely dark comedy about a man replaced in his own life. Finally, the two talk about My Neighbor Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki's impressionist vision of childhood magic, which leads Peter to reflect on how we discuss the feeling of delight in cinema.

0:00-2:30 Opening
3:22-8:54 Establishing Shots - On Charles Bronson
9:38-1:18:36 Deep Focus - Doug Dillaman
1:19:19-1:39:06  Double Exposure - My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki)
1:39:10-1:40:48 Close 
Visit the Website for Jake. Doug's (occasionally) updated blog can be found here, his contributions to Lumiere Reader here, and his Letterboxd here.
Subscription Options

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Episode #52 - Matías Piñeiro (Duelle)

"It's all these things of when you are trying to dialogue with the reality of the shooting. Everything gets mixed into the shot that it is."

When cinephiles think of international cinema today, there's a good chance they conjur up images of peasants walking through nature for an uninterrupted 10 (or 20!) minutes while trees rustle in the wind. The films of Argentinian director Matías Piñeiro couldn't be further from that image, and are also an absolute delight: beautiful young adults mixed in love triangles through Buenos Aires, reciting history and Shakespeare all while constantly changing their identities (and all under 75 minutes!). His films—The Stolen Man, They All Life, Rosalinda, Viola, and now The Princess of France—represent some of the most exciting and unique contemporary filmmaking today. So Peter sat Matías down to investigate his upbringing in Bueno Aires, his adaptation process when working with great texts of literature, and how he integrates realism into his work to find fantastical elements. Finally, they discuss Jacques Rivette's B-movie homage, Duelle, a masterclass of documentary and the magical, and a film with a surprising connection to Argentina's cinematic history.

0:00-2:49 Opening
4:02-9:34 Establishing Shots - Michael Mann's Blackhat
10:18-1:13:23 Deep Focus - Matías Piñeiro
1:14:25-1:15:48 Mubi Sponsorship - Over A Small Mountain
1:16:58-1:36:32 Double Exposure - Duelle (Jacques Rivette)
1:36:35-1:38:27 Close  / Outtakes
The Stolen Man is currently on YouTube. Viola is available for streaming on iTunes and YouTube, as well as Blu-Ray via Cinema Guild. They All Lie and Rosalinda are currently unavailable in the United States. The Princess of France will be released by Cinema Guild later this year.
Duelle is currently unavailable for purchase in the United States. There is a French DVD with its companion film, Noroit
Subscription Options