"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)
"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
"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.
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)
"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
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.
3:18-10:15 Establishing Shots - 3 Years of The Cinephiliacs 11:00-1:06:41 Deep Focus - James Gray
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.
"This idea that has always stayed with me is that movies are an art form for everyone."
After first watching Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing, Peter went through a phase of going through the albums of Public Enemy. They were loud, rambunctious, and meant something in the same way the films he watched. But what happened to them after the summer of 1989? Tim Grierson's new biography of the group examines that question of perhaps the most important hip hop artists of all time, tracking both their meteoric rise and through their much-more-interesting-than-you've-been-told years that followed. Since Tim also works as a film critic, he sits down to trace his origins as a Midwestern boy coming to Los Angeles, his mindset for writing, and of course his book (along with his struggle with understanding a group so different from his own identity). The two then close out the conversation with another music-movie: Joanthan Demme's concert movie of the Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense, a film of ebullient surprise and joy, while also one of the most meticulously constructed documentaries ever put on screen.
3:02-10:03 Establishing Shots - Results and Pitch Perfect 2 10:48-1:30:04 Deep Focus - Tim Grierson
1:30:55-1:32:55 Mubi Sponsorship 1:33:50-1:58:10 Double Exposure - Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme)
"If it had been seen, we would all know this film backwards and forwards."
Peter may not have been able to attend the Cannes Film Festival this year, but a five hour drive to San Francisco resulted in discovering some of the most amazing and groundbreaking works of cinema...all made 80 years ago, and in a few cases, over a 100! Former podcast guest Victor Morton joins the podcast to discuss the 20th Annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival, a five day event at the Castro Theatre, premiering new restorations and discoveries from an era of movies in which new artifacts are constantly being found and challenging the history of moving image aesthetics as we know it. From a silent version of a sound classic, to the Rube Goldberg of silent comedy, to gangs of women and quarreling children—Victor and Peter stand in awe of the work of filmmakers they had never even heard of before, and go in depth to films that with some time and effort could become part of the new canon of silent cinema.
0:00-13:37 Opening / All Quiet on The Western Front (1930)
13:54-23:39 A Trip Down Market Street (1906) 23:55-37:33 Visages D'Enfants (1925)