Sunday, May 19, 2013

Episode #18 - Ben Model (Modern Times)

"Silent film is an experience, and it deserves to have live music."

Silent films were never truly silent: vaudeville acts, narrators, and of course, musical accompanists filled the air with sounds. Ben Model continues that tradition by performing musical accompaniments to both canonical and rare silent films throughout the nation, as well as curating and preserving films himself. Ben takes Peter through his strange path to the unique position, including his "Three Godfathers" who influenced him, and then explains the nuts and bolts of how to actually create music for a film with none at all. They discuss his techniques he learned from improvisation, the task of collecting and searching out rare and missing works, and the pains and pleasures of the analog to digital switch. Finally, Ben explains to Peter some of the hidden secrets behind Charlie Chaplin's masterwork Modern Times, including how under-cranking the film is the trick to star's balletic work.

0:00-1:02 Opening 
2:07 -6:56 Establishing Shots - Delmer Daves / Trivia Round / Donations
7:44-1:08:45 Deep Focus - Ben Model
1:09:54-1:30:33 Double Exposure - Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin)
1:30:35-1:32:34 Close / Outtake
Visit Ben's website, his YouTube page, and his blog. Subscribe to his podcast here.
Follow Ben on Twitter.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Episode #17 - Vadim Rizov (Le Cercle Rouge)

"When people are not sympathetic to a filmmaker, they will fall into a stance...I don't want to act like I'm saying things that are obvious to me and therefore they should be obvious to everyone else."

Strongly opinionated but never dogmatically so, the prolific Vadim Rizov ranks among the best of the new generation of cinephiles in Peter's opnion. So the young writer joins him to discuss his unique voice in the critical community. Vadim discusses his early forays into cinema at a young age, and how his frustrations with Austin's film scene led him to New York (only to more frustrations at NYU). The two then get into his fascinating writing style and how it stands against the majority of contemporary film writing, his interest in the evolving contemporary cinema, and why he goes back again and again to the True/False Film Festival. The two then dive into Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Cercle Rouge, a type of closed circuit movie that might be out of style with many cinephiles today, but is full of wondrous pleasures for those that pry its pieces apart.

0:00-1:05 Opening 
1:55 -5:50 Establishing Shots - Roberto Rossellini's Voyage to Italy / Trivia Round
6:34-56:56 Deep Focus - Vadim Rizov
57:49-1:20:04 Double Exposure - Le Cercle Rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville)
1:20:06-1:22:22 Close
Follow Vadim on Twitter.