Sunday, April 21, 2013

Episode #16 - Miriam Bale (Johnny Guitar)

Photo credit: Stephen Yang
"Film culture is at its best when it's in conversation."

Miriam Bale is interested in cinema, but she's almost more interested in the conversations that develop out of cinema. So naturally, Peter thought it would be a great idea to bring the programmer and critic to discuss how she found her way to the movies. Miriam discusses how music taught her how to curate cinema, her love of repertory cinema, and the love of minor literary genres from actress autobiographies to cookbooks. The two also talk about her feminist film criticism and the journal Joan's Digest she started, as well the La Di Da Film Festival and the ways to build a new type of "community" film festival. Finally, they dig into Johnny Guitar, Nicholas Ray's intoxicating western starring Joan Crawford, which Miriam sees as a way to truly build surreal space and time.

0:00-1:05 Opening 
1:45 -6:15 Establishing Shots - Michael Mann's Miami Vice / Trivia Round
6:57-1:06:07 Deep Focus - Miriam Bale
1:07:00-1:26:27 Double Exposure - Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray)
1:26:29-1:28:12 Close
Notes and Links from the Conversation
-This conversation was recorded before the passing of both Roger Ebert and Les Blank, and especially given Miriam's relationship with the latter, it was something we certainly would have addressed.


  1. You said "Wong Kar Wai's muse Gong Li" at 3:00. I think you meant "Zhang Yimou's muse Gong Li". Wong's muse would be Maggie Cheung. Johnny Guitar is great.

  2. Thanks, are right that Zhang has used Li much more than Wong, though I think at the time I was thinking of 2046, which I see very much as some sort of a spiritual precedent (along with a lot of WKW's films to MIAMI VICE). But certainly Li is better known for her films with Zhang.