Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Episode #124 - Brian L. Frye (The Hart of London)

"I'm perhaps not the most typical law professor..."

To suggest that Brian L. Frye has lived an eclectic life would be an understatement. A former experimental filmmaker, a collector of home movies, and a legal scholar of intellectual property among other strange, often quizzical projects at the University of Kentucky. After having Peter on his own podcast, Brian sat down tor return the favor. We discuss his oddball way into filmmaking (including his notorious film, Brian Frye Fails to Masturbate), his collaboration on the most curious documentary about home movies perhaps ever made—Our Nixon—and then look at much of his legal scholarship and the various avenues of exploration that has led him down (including how the defendant of one of the most important cases every 1L learns may have been lying the entire time). The discussion remains quite strange: from the Supreme Court nominee who was squashed by Flaming Creatures to the intellectual property history of the Zapruder film, to why you should plagiarize. Finally, the two discuss The Hart of London, Jack Chambers's amazing experimental film and the failure of words to possibly describe this monumental work.

0:00–5:57 Opening
6:43–1:21:44 Deep Focus — Brian L. Frye
1:22:21–1:27:24 MUBI Sponsorship Section
1:28:34–1:40:16 Double Exposure — The Hart of London (Jack Chambers)
1:40:22–1:41:59 Close 


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Live Sports! A Chat on Recent Non-Fiction

Desperate for bodies in motion, five quarantined cinephiles joined Peter and a number of podcast listeners on Zoom to talk about the recent non-fiction films they've been devouring on the world of athletics. Some shows favor the classic narratives; others a different approach. All made for a great happy hour. Join Peter alongside Carman Tse, Nate Fisher, Eric Marsh, Jake Mulligan, and Matt Ellis for a talk about ESPN and the NBA's ten hour "examination" into Michael Jordan and the 1998 Chicago Bulls with The Last Dance, Jon Bois and Alex Rubenstein's expose into the history of baseball's oddest team with The History of the Seattle Mariners, and Theo Anthony's 30 for 30 special on tennis replay, Subject to Review, which might not actually be about tennis but all society. Plus, they remember some guys. Man, remember those guys? Whatever happened to those guys????

0:00–5:16 Opening
6:07-51:41 The Last Dance (Jason Hehir [or Michael Jordan and the NBA])
52:29–56:23 Sponsorship Section
57:25–1:40:10 The History of the Seattle Mariners (Jon Bois and Alex Rubenstein)
1:41:18–2:03:48 Subject to Review (Theo Anthony)
2:04:05–1:56:51 Close 


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Episode #123 - James Leo Cahill (Pom Poko)

"If we’re to think of film philosophy or critic theory, cinema does in fact have a role in the upheaval of thought in the way the medium itself can do a kind of radical critique of presuppositions.”

As a constant Instagram user, I find it hard not to love the numerous videos of mammals and other species in behavior whose response always comes down to "they're just like us!" But what about that history of cinema that shows us how animals are not like us, and perhaps encourages us to think outside our own worldview. In Zoological Surrealism, University of Toronto professor James Leo Cahill explores the wondrously strange history of filmmaker Jean Painlevé, best known for his documentary The Seahorse, and explores the numerous scientific films and how he and his collaborators essentially embraced a different worldview by merging art and science. In this long ranging history, James takes us through his first fascinations with cinema and animals as well as through the numerous unique theories he develops through tracing a transhistorical understanding of Painlevé. Finally, the two embrace every emotion through examining Pom Poko, a curious anime from Studio Ghibli that traces the last years of a dying species and celebrates the way we feel loss....a film quite appropriate for our current moment.

0:00–7:10 Opening
7:54-13:05 MUBI Sponsorship
13:50–1:32:30 Deep Focus — James Leo Cahill
1:34:35–1:37:35 OVID.TV Sponsorship Section
1:38:21–1:54:08 Double Exposure — Pom Poko (Isao Takahata)
1:54:56–1:56:51 Close 


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Episode #122 - Marie-Louise Khondji (Birth)

"Films deserve to be bought, but they also deserve to be seen.”

Nothing is more frustrating in our streaming era than turning on any specific app and suddenly staring hundreds of movie posters with only an algorithm trying to decide what you might like (especially if such product is actually made by the company to help its margins). But what if there was a streaming site that only offered a single movie a week, and maybe not even a feature but a short or medium-length feature? And what if it had circulated ultra-rare films by Claire Denis, Hong Sang-Soo, Matias Piñeiro, Jonas Mekas, and fascinating filmmakers you had never heard of? That's the promise Marie-Louise Khondji has brought to her site Le Cinéma Club. Marie sits down to talk about growing up with her father (the cinematographer Darius) and how she moved into management through distribution and production before starting a site to help filmmakers showcase work that needed an outlet and created to be accessible for all. Finally, the two talk about the wonderful Jonathan Glazer film Birth, and how it seems to capture a certain timeless stasis of its upper elite New York culture.

0:00–6:27 Opening
7:40-11:32 OVID.TV Sponsorship
12:17–45:51 Deep Focus — Marie-Louise Khondji
46:40–51:15 MUBI Sponsorship Section
52:31–1:03:47 Double Exposure — Birth (Jonathan Glazer)
1:04:12–1:06:42 Close 


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

121 - Jon Dieringer (Made in Hollywood)

"I just hope there's always going to be a healthy alternative."

The podcast returns in our perilous times with a profile of the website all about what's playing in repertory and experimental cinemas across New York. And though the balconies remained closed and the popcorn machines without an ounce, there are plenty of reason to subscribe to Screen Slate and listen to this conversation with Jon Dieringer. Jon takes us to his early programming days and work on a few Hollywood movies before diving into the complex work preserving the history of experimental video at Electronic Arts Intermix. He then talks about the origins of Screen Slate (including its infamous and now defunct competitor) and how it continues to push the boundaries of what curious cinephiles can and should watch. Finally, the two dive into the absolute oddity that is Made in Hollywood, a proto-Lynch take on the industry from Bruce and Norman Yonemoto with Patricia Arquette that is both highly artificial and highly bizarre

0:00–6:18 Opening
7:27-10:43 OVID.TV Sponsorship
11:28–1:20:21 Deep Focus — Jon Dieringer
1:21:32–1:24:57 MUBI Sponsorship Section
1:25:37–1:40:32 Double Exposure — Made in Hollywood (Bruce and Norman Yonemoto)
1:40:36–1:42:33 Close // Outtake

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Episode #120 - Alison Kozberg (Nowhere)

"I think it’s important to remember that the majority of art house cinemas in this country are not in Los Angeles or New York, but are in cities and towns of all sizes where it is incredibly valuable for people to have the opportunity to come together and watch media." 

If cinema enters what might be its 100th identity crisis since its birth, there is at least a more appropriate question to ask: where will cinema take place? As the first guest of 2020, Peter brings in Art House Convergence director Alison Kozberg to tackle how the art house scene has changed less in Los Angeles and New York but instead transformed cities like Tuscon and Charleston. Alison charts her life as a repertory-goer in the 1990s to learning the tricks of programming for both classic Hollywood and experimental works in places like Minneapolis, Boston, and South Carolina. She then looks at the new challenges—but more so, opportunities—for art houses to engage and create new community spaces. Finally, the two dive back into her teen years to examine Gregg Araki's apocalyptic teenage satire Nowhere, which Alison argues as a rare breakthrough film of the time to openly accept queer identities as normative.

0:00–5:06 Opening
5:52–51:11 Deep Focus — Alison Kozberg
52:28–57:34 Sponsorship Section
58:57–1:17:03 Double Exposure — Nowhere (Gregg Araki)
1:17:28–1:19:21 Close

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Episode #119 - Racquel Gates (White Chicks)

"The images, lines, and things that people quote are never the ones that get written about...It seems to me the way people engage these movies is much more complex."

In some regards, cinephilia often defines itself in knowing what is good from what is bad, highlighting the rarity of intention and execution in a select few texts from the rest of the trash. But what about those supposedly bad films? Do they not offer insight into our culture as well? In Double Negative, Associate Professor Racquel Gates explores the supposed bad mirror image of black cinema and television from the 1980s and beyond. Looking at a set of nearly forgotten works, Gates examines how these texts reveal insights into black popular culture often ignored by the mainstream. As Peter and Racquel discuss, these texts often aim to show a slice of American life what is usually acceptable in white popular culture—if only simply showing suburban middle-class life. In their final segment, they dissect the topic of whiteness with the 2004 Wayans Brother flick White Chicks, a very silly film with a very insightful dissection of privilege and femininity, as well as absolute sheer gross-out humor. 

0:00–3:03 Opening
3:41–11:37 Establishing Shots — At the Mill Valley Film Festival
12:23–49:33 Deep Focus — Racquel Gates
50:52–54:23 Sponsorship Section
55:33–1:06:04 Double Exposure — White Chicks (Keenen Ivory Wayans)
1:06:25–1:08:17 Close / Outtake