Sunday, June 26, 2016

Episode #81 - Emily Carman (The Misfits)

"It's important to be reflexive about the archives and materials you have to work with when writing film history."

If you know a bit about Classical Hollywood, you probably know that as much as the stars of the 1930s showed glitz and glamour on screen, they were often slaves to the whims of the studios that owned them. Or did they? Emily Carman of Chapman University joins Peter to discuss her book, Independent Stardom: Freelance Women in the Hollywood Studio System, which explores the legal contracts behind stars like Carole Lombard and Irene Dunne, who were able to find control over the films and public image they made in an unprecedented matter decades before the independent takeover. Emily also discusses the importance of thinking about archives in film research, the tactile nature of film studies, and rethinking how to approach a feminist film history. Finally, Emily brings her knowledge of the city of Reno to a discussion of John Huston's The Misfits, a film with stars morbidly moving through a dying space that Peter declares it "the death of classical cinema."

0:00-3:53 Opening
4:42-10:54 Establishing Shots — Tsai Ming-Liang's Goodbye Dragon Inn
11:40-1:14:57 Deep Focus — Emily Carman
1:15:46-1:20:30 Sponsorship Section
1:21:45-1:43:15 Double Exposure — The Misfits (John Huston)
1:43:20-1:45:15 Close // Outtake
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Sunday, June 12, 2016

San Francisco Silent Festival 2016

"When I go to see silent films, I'm constantly struck how everything that was done in the sound era was done by a silent film artist...the silent era is complete."


Amazing on location photography in harsh environments...progressive films about controversial political women...groundbreaking special effects that dazzle with a flurry of colors. These films might sound like what showed up at the Oscars last year, but they were all made during the silent era. In his second trip to San Francisco's epic weekend of gems of the first decades of cinema, Peter once again finds himself in awe of the talent on display: whether it be the work of the archivists in discovering and restoring these prints, the cornucopia of musicians providing unique accompaniment, or the grand scale of the Castro Theatre itself. Silent Film devotee Victor Morton once again joins Peter as they tackle films from five countries with hobos, pie fights, cross-dressing, and split screens (take that, Brian De Palma!)

0:00-2:25 Opening
2:25-15:40 Varieté (E.A. Dupont, Germany, 1925)
16:14-25:38 Beggars of Life (William Wellman, USA, 1927)
26:05-37:20 The Battle of the Century (Clyde Brukman, USA, 1927)
38:06-41:42 Sponsorship Section
42:50-52:15 Restoring Napoleón with the Cinémathèque Française
53:17-1:03:42 I Don't Want To Be A Man (Ernst Lubitsch, Germnay, 1928)
1:05:06-1:15:43 The Strongest (Axel Lindblom and Alf Sjöberg, Sweeden, 1929)
1:16:19-1:28:36 Two Timid Souls (René Clair, France, 1928)
1:28:41-1:30:19 Close
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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Episode #80 - Kalyane Lévy (Going Places)

"The main thing about the movies I show is that I'm enthusiastic about them, and that's how I'm going to present them."

In an age where cinephiles are now open to experiences from every little corner of the globe, something about French cinema will always remain a cornerstone of fascination. At the vibrant Cinefamily repertory house near Hollywood, Kalyane Lévy brings audiences into the illusions of the French going experience with her monthly program La Collectionneuse. Kalyane sat down with Peter to discusses her childhood filled with art in France and her migration to Los Angeles. She opens up about the challenges of a programmer of international cinema as well as the rewards of audiences excited about works of esoteric love (as well as the unique atmosphere of the screenings). Finally, the two dissect a very off beat film, Going Places by Bertrand Blier starring Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere as a couple of horrifying horndogs terrifying the women of France...or perhaps they are actually opening up their desires? 

0:00-2:33 Opening
3:53-8:57 Establishing Shots — De Palma
9:42-32:31 Deep Focus — Kalyane Lévy
33:47-35:24 Sponsorship Section
36:24-57:37 Double Exposure — Going Places (Bertrand Blier)
57:42-59:40 Close / Outtake
Learn more about La Collectionneuse and The Cinefamily.
Follow Kalyane on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Watch Going Places via Fandor.
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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Episode #79 - Thomas Doherty (Out of the Past)

"Never be superior to the text. You just know some stuff because you were born later."


History is a malleable object, and how we understand the past begins with important events, speeches, documents, and objects, and then the connections we make between them. But movies can tell us just as much about the past, and for Professor Thomas Doherty, the story of Hollywood is very much the story of American culture. Doherty sat down with Peter during the annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference to discuss how he found his way into the emerging field of film history, and his interest in everything from teenage exploitation films to "the most important man in Hollywood" who had his hands of every studio film. They explore the morality of history, and how one examines "characters" of the past and understanding their perspective (especially when it's their relationship with the Third Reich). Finally, the two look at the ultimate film noir, Out of the Past, and question how and why this seemingly frivolous B-movie has risen to an all time canonical classic.

0:00-2:59 Opening
3:50-10:56 Establishing Shots — Terence Davies's Sunset Song
11:41-1:00:55 Deep Focus — Thomas Doherty
1:02:11-1:04:58 Sponsorship Section
1:05:52-1:22:22 Double Exposure — Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur)
1:22:26-1:24:04 Close
Learn more about Thomas Doherty, and read his books: Teenage & Teenpics, Pre-Code Hollywood, Hollywood's Censor, and Hollywood and Hitler. A list of his Cineaste reviews can be found in the index here.
Follow him on Twitter.
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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Episode #78 - Eric Allen Hatch (Possession)

"Baltimore appreciates things that are abnormal and don't necessarily cohere to mainstream values, and our audiences are excited to see that exists in film too."

Baltimore rarely gets a mention on the list of great film cities, but in the 1970s, six different theatres all played Robert Downey's Putney Swope. That's just some of the historical digging Eric Allen Hatch has done, who now continues the legacy by programming the Maryland Film Festival, which has quickly risen the ranks to become one of the most essential micro-film festivals in the nation. In his talk with Peter, Eric discusses his initial entry into classical Hollywood and art cinema, and his desire to keep Baltimore as a place for off-beat culture that appeals across spectrums, as well as his strange obsession with photoshopping Paul Blart into canonical classics. Afterwards, the two talk about the Isabelle Adjani-starrer Possession, perhaps the psychological horror film. Who knew that a film that features a bloody space monster could speak so well to their romantic relationships?

0:00-3:47 Opening
4:44-11: 35 Establishing Shots — Eddie Bracken and Grace Moore
12:19-40:45 Deep Focus — Eric Allen Hatch
41:21-43:39 Sponsorship Section
45:31-1:02:56 Double Exposure — Possession (Andrzej Zulawski)
1:03:01-1:04:39 Close
Learn more about this year's upcoming Maryland Film Festival, and see the announced line-up of films.
To purchase the 129-minute director's cut of Possession, click here.
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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Episode #77 - Eric Hynes (Quick Change)


"Documentaries are where the most exciting stuff in film is happening. Inevitably that's what I'm going to write about and push for."

Eric Hynes may not want to be boxed in for his work on documentaries, but it seems more and more to be where his interests as a writer for Reverse Shot and Film Comment alongside programming duties at the Museum of the Moving Image have taken him. But Eric is so much more, and has become one of the most valued writers of criticism and beyond—someone who shows passion and acute judgement within his sentences without ever condescending nor falling into cliché. In his interview with Peter, Eric traces his way into writing through music criticism and books, his decade-long tenure at one of the most important institutions in online film writing, and a continuing love of Star Wars. Then, the two turn to a truly forgotten gem of 90s cinema: Bill Murray and Howard Franklin's Quick Change, perhaps the last film to show New York City when it was truly the worst, in the best way possible.

0:00-3:37 Opening
4:22-54:46 Deep Focus — Eric Hynes
55:52-1:00:23 Sponsorship Section
1:02:08-1:21:46 Double Exposure — Quick Change (Billy Murray and Howard Franklin)
1:21:51-1:23:30 Close
Read Eric Hynes at Film Comment, Reverse Shot, Rolling Stone, Slate, and Cinema-Scope. Read his 2013 Neither/Noir monograph for True/False, and follow him on Twitter.
Check out Quick Change here.
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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Episode #76 - David Wilson (Gummo)

"That's the heart of independent film...
Figuring out your limitations and then turning them into strengths."

David Wilson had a vision for his dream film festival—and now he has it. The co-founder of Columbia, Missouri's RagTag cinema and now one of the creative heads behind the True/False Film Festival, David has succeeded in transforming the way people can think, imagine, and design a film festival without the prohibitive nature of bending to the economic whims of Hollywood, while also engaging with the most aesthetically groundbreaking cinema without alienating audiences. Peter was lucky to catch David right in the middle of the flurry, and talk to him about his interest in coming back to the Midwest, his own documentary work, and why True/False captures the heart of so many filmgoers, whether they would call themselves cinephiles or not. Finally, the two discuss Harmony Korine's Gummo, a film that David hated so much because of its fictional representation, until it began to appear more and more like a documentary.

0:00-3:10 Opening
4:03-10:30 Establishing Shots — Desperately Seeking Susan and Lá-Bas
11:15-39:50 Deep Focus — David Wilson
40:37-44:10 Sponsorship Section
45:38-1:01:54 Double Exposure — Gummo (Harmony Korine)
1:01:57-1:03:35 Close
Read more about True/False at their website, learn about Ragtag Cinema here, and follow David Wilson on Twitter.
Check out We Always Lie to Strangers here and Big Birding Day here.
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