Sunday, September 27, 2015

Episode #67 - Adam Kempenaar (The World According To Garp)

"Why we choose our favorites isn't because they're just good movies, but because they speak to something within us."

About 10 years ago, the word podcast would have often been lead by blank stares. Adam 
Kempenaar saw an article, and then got on the ground floor to begin Filmspotting, which has become the leading film discussion podcasts for the past decade (not to mention very influential in Peter's film upbringing). Peter sits down with Adam at Navy Pier to discuss his journey from Iowa to Chicago, and his motivation to talk films through that led to the creation of the podcast with Sam Van Hallgren. They discuss the necessity of structure and chemistry in creating a conversation, the show's exploration into classic films and blindspots, and Adam's obsession with the "Ecstatic Truth" in the collision of truth and fiction. Finally, the two visit an oddball—George Roy Hill's The World Acording to Garp with Robin Williams—and discuss how the film examines the creation of art in relation to life, and the necessity to flow between both.

0:00-2:14 Opening
3:07-9:02  Establishing Shots - Hasse Ekman at MoMA
9:47-1:22:42 Deep Focus - Adam Kempenaar
1:23:35-1:26:05 Mubi Sponsorship
1:27:17-1:51:54 Double Exposure - The World According to Garp (George Roy Hill)
1:51:58-1:54:17 Close / Outtakes
Listen to Adam on Filmspotting, and follow him on Twitter.
Subscription Options

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Episode #66 - Matthew Dessem (The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford)

"I find these moments fascinating where a film might have been made but wasn't. I'm more interested in failure than success."

Matthew Dessem spent years observing the behind-the-scenes reality of Hollywood, so it's only natural that his book, The Gag Man, would take us behind the scenes of an essential collaborator to silent and sound comedians who all but disappeared behind the name of the stars. In this latest episode of the podcast, Dessem traces his movie upbringing to his eventual project searching through every piece of the Criterion canon, and eventually to his interest in exploring the legends of Hollywood that never made it, whether a screenplay or a collaboration. The two then go in depth on his new biography of Clyde Bruckman, a man with legendary credits but no legend until now. Finally, the two switch to a different legend, Brad Pitt's turn as the notorious outlaw and Casey Affleck as the man who shot him in The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, which both embraces the mythology of the classic American genre, while also exposing it at its most ugly.

0:00-2:24 Opening
3:24-9:51  Establishing Shots - Mistress America
10:36-47:26 Deep Focus - Matthew Dessem
48:35-50:48 Mubi Sponsorship
51:42-1:08:37 Double Exposure - The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominick)
1:08:40-1:10:40 Close / Outtake 
Purchase The Gag Man through The Critical Press or Amazon. Check out Matthew's blog here, as well as his work for Slate and The Dissolve.
Subscription Options

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Episode #65 - Jim Healy (The Mind Reader)

"I've been able to find audiences that want enriching films whether they're old or new."

What would you show to the public if you had access to one of the largest film archives in the world? For 9 years, Jim Healy had to figure that out as he served as the programmer at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, and now serves as the programmer for the UW Cinematheque in Madison. Jim traces his early years going to the movies with his brother Pat and his lucky break into programming at the Chicago International Film Festival. The two discuss the work he did at the archive and now serving the University as well as the public, the challenges of digital and 35mm, and how international audiences react to the work of John Cassavetes. Finally, Jim digs up an old treasure waiting for rediscover: The Mind Reader, a Warner Brothers Pre-Code classic with Warren William conning his way from circuses to Park Avenue. 

0:00-2:11 Opening
3:18-8:04  Establishing Shots - The Mend
8:50-1:02:01 Deep Focus - Jim Healy
1:02:52-1:05:08 Mubi Sponsorship
1:06:15-1:22:37 Double Exposure - The Mind Reader (Roy Del Ruth)
1:22:42-1:25:27 Close 
Jim Healy's web page, and the website for the UW Cinematheque Program.
The Mind Reader is streaming on YouTube and available as part of WB's "Forbidden Hollywood." 
Subscription Options

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Episode #64 - Brandon Colvin (Hail Mary)

"I always think about filmmaking as trying to get it down to the most 
essential thing that has to be there."

What exactly is acting, and how can we pull apart its elements for our analysis? Madison-based cinephile Brandon Colvin has been trying to figure that out, whether through his academic studies, his programming, and most importantly, his own filmmaking. Colvin is the filmmaker behind two of the smallest but most unique films this side of American independent cinema, Frames and Sabbatical, and in this interview with Peter, discusses how he merged his own filmmaking interests with his academic interests, creating and exploring the relationship between directors and performers in the current landscape of today's films. Later, they dive into one of Jean-Luc Godard's most spiritual features, the aptly named Hail Mary, and talk through why this may be the most emotional film the French legend ever made.

0:00-2:20 Opening
3:10-7:54  Establishing Shots - Hill of Freedom
8:38-58:48 Deep Focus - Brandon Colvin
59:55-1:02:32 Mubi Sponsorship
1:03:41-1:21:42 Double Exposure - Hail Mary (Jean-Luc Godard)
1:21:48-1:24:37 Close 
Watch Sabbatical and Frames on Vimeo.
Check out the site for Brandon's production company, Moss Garden Films.
Follow Brandon on Twitter.
Hail Mary is available on Google Play, iTunes, and Blu-Ray
Subscription Options

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Episode #63 - Lea Jacobs (Only Angels Have Wings)

"These delicate tolerances, which are what produce a good pace for a film, are something that all film creators live with."

So often we spend our time thinking about what we see in movies, that it can be easy to forget that cinema is experienced through time, and that experience depends on a tempo. Professor Lea Jacobs at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has been curious about how rhythm creates film, and her new book, Film Rhythm After Sound, attempts to answer what it meant for movies to not just take on sound in the 1930s, but work through new types of interactions between shots, gestures, edits, sounds, speeds, and more. Jacobs also discusses her work on theatrical stage acting in the 1910s, understanding the Production Code as an industry as opposed to just a censor board, and the importance of historical research as part of Madison's legendary film department. Finally, the two dive into Howard Hawks's masterpiece, Only Angels Have Wings, and  theorize a relationship between the film's rhythmic patterns and its unique relationship to sentiment. 

0:00-2:19 Opening
2:58-8:31  Establishing Shots - Bojack Horseman, Season 2
9:16-1:02:36 Deep Focus - Lea Jacobs
1:03:16-1:05:31 Mubi Sponsorship
1:06:45-1:20:14 Double Exposure - Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks)
1:20:19-1:21:57 Close 
Subscription Options

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Episode #62 - Adrian Martin (Gloria)

"The idea is not knowing what you're going to write, and to be open to your unconscious. If you're having a free association, it's because it's actually meaningful."

In an age in with the image friendly world of Twitter and Tumblr has made it all to easy to isolate our favorite shots in cinema, Adrian Martin wants to return us to movement. His new book,  Mise en Scène And Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art examines the historical and contemporary uses of the French term to describe how frames can turn in style, tone, and intensity, all without an edit. In this trans-Atlantic recorded interview, Adrian discusses his origins as a cinephile in Australia, how the Internet both gave him a voice and provided new challenges, and his continual search to allow films to speak to him in new ways. Finally, they discuss Gloria, a forgotten work by the legendary John Cassavetes, which takes the filmmakers intensely rhythmic style on to the streets of New York for a gangster thriller with Gena Rowlands.

0:00-2:21 Opening
3:45-8:06  Establishing Shots - Hype Williams's Belly
8:50-1:09:39 Deep Focus - Adrian Martin
1:10:33-1:12:44 Mubi Sponsorship
1:13:31-1:32:00 Double Exposure - Gloria (John Cassavetes)
1:32:05-1:33:45 Close 
Subscription Options

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Episode #61 - James Gray (Nights of Cabiria)

"I believe in story. I think we need it."

Cinephilia begins with one thing: the love of a gesture, a line of dialogue, the way a camera moves. In the contemporary landscape of filmmaking, whose work better inspires cinephilia that of James Gray? The filmmaker of Little Odessa, The Yards, We Own The Night, Two Lovers, and The Immigrant joins Peter on the podcast to discuss his meteoric rise in the world of filmmaking, his attention to detail in trying to build each of his characters, the production process behind some of his most breathtaking shots, and the importance of story in cinema. Finally the two turn to Federico Fellini's 1957 masterpiece Nights of Cabiria, examining how the film conveys the most important aspect that art can do: the fundamental human decency of any person.

0:00-2:29 Opening
3:18-10:15  Establishing Shots - 3 Years of The Cinephiliacs
11:00-1:06:41 Deep Focus - James Gray
1:07:21-1:09:12 Mubi Sponsorship
1:10:10-1:22:01 Double Exposure - Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini)
1:22:04-1:25:45 Close / Outtakes
James Gray's films can be viewed on Google Play or purchase on DVD and/or Blu-Ray from most retailers. We recommend purchasing the 2005 DVD of The Yards, which is the only version of it that retains the film's original 2.35 aspect ratio.
Nights of Cabiria is available via The Criterion Collection.
Subscription Options