Sunday, March 30, 2014

Episode #35 - Mark Harris (The Best Years of Our Lives)

"I was interested in the story of these five men who were in Hollywood and established directors, then left, and then came back."

During World War II, five of Hollywood's star directors, whose names had been behind some of the biggest box office hits and Oscar winners, dropped their entire careers to go to war. Their goal was not to fight, but to document. Besides being the only Oscar columnist worth reading, Mark Harris is now the author or Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War. In this podcast, Mark and Peter sit down to discuss this essential read, examining the relationship between Hollywood and the government, the problem of realism and re-creations, and the pains felt by men who returned to a system that seemed to have forgotten them. Finally, the two discuss William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives, a universal drama that has numerous touches of the director's own war experience.

0:00-1:35 Opening 
2:33-8:06 Establishing Shots - William Freidkin's Sorcerer
8:50-1:26:40 Deep Focus - Mark Harris
1:27:53-1:46:58 Double Exposure - The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler)
1:47:02-1:48:41 Close
Read Mark Harris on Grantland, New York Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly; purchase Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back.
Follow Mark on Twitter.
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Episode #34 - Dana Stevens (Letter From An Unknown Woman)

"In some ways, I just think of myself as a writer. If I could never write about movies again, I'd be terribly sad, but I would continue to write."

As one of the film criticism's public figures, Dana Stevens has carved out a niche for herself with a thoughtful and intelligent approach to contemporary film reviewing. So she joins Peter in the studio for a brief chat about her days as a Comparative Lit. PhD, the 6 hour writing process, and the joy of the occasional Slate-style pitch. Then the two dive into Max Ophüls's opulent drama Letter From An Unknown Woman, which Dana finds majesty in the film's tragic metaphor for love while Peter explores the film's unique texture between the artificial and the authentic. Plus, Peter remembers Alain Resnais by revisiting two of his classics.

0:00-1:20 Opening 
2:01-8:20 Establishing Shots - RIP Alain Resnais / Donations
9:05-36:38 Deep Focus - Dana Stevens
38:34-1:01:32 Double Exposure - Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls)
1:01:34-1:03:16 Close / Outtake
Read Dana Stevens at Slate and listen to the Slate Culture Gabfest.
Follow Dana on Twitter.
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