Sunday, April 30, 2017

Episode #92 - Catherine Grant (The Headless Woman)

"If you dive in with an idea of sketchiness, 'I can see something here but I'm not quite sure,' and then go for it, you constitute things. I think it's what we always hope to do with our scholarship."

While Peter sometimes has questioned what digital cameras have wrought, there is no question that the digital revolution has changed the ways we can relate to our cinematic experiences (Exhibit A: this podcast). UK film scholar Catherine Grant has always seemed to be on the precipice of these changes. Her blog, Film Studies for Free, brought the idea of Open Access within the field to a whole array of scholars, and her pioneering work in video essays transformed the way that film scholarship can come closer to their objects of study than ever before. In this interview conducted in the heart of the annual SCMS conference, Catherine discusses her discovery of art cinema, her research on world cinema and auteurism in the digital age, and the role that these new visual tools have changed the way she approaches cinema. They top off their conversation by turning to The Headless Woman and how Argentine director Lucrecia Martel creates a hyper-attentive spectator in the most breathtaking drama of recent memory. 

0:00-3:26 Opening 
4:25-9:14 Establishing Shots — Preview of "This American Life — Jonathan Demme"
9:59-1:00:05 Deep Focus — Catherine Grant
1:00:55-1:03:11 Sponsorship Section
1:04:09-1:1:39 Double Exposure — The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel)
1:19:43-1:22:02 Close / Outtake
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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Episode #91 - Marsha Gordon (The Steel Helmet)

"I've always felt the superior methodology [of media studies] draws on what is relevant and material and explores all these dimensions."

You can learn a lot about the person behind a camera by watching what he saw in front. But you can learn so much more when you explore the short stories he wrote, the ideas he scribbled down, the cartoon drawings he made, the FBI memos investigating him, and the amateur footage of death he shot while serving in World War II. Film scholar Marsha Gordon has done exactly that in her extraordinary new work, Film is Like A Battleground: Sam Fuller's War Movies. In this podcast, Marsha discusses her impulses to explore both the center of Hollywood and the very margins of filmmaking practices with her research on orphan films. They dissect the role that these seemingly forgotten films have shown a diversity of cultural practices throughout the 20th century. And then they dive head onto the cigar-chomping auteur, examining what it meant to be a political filmmaker as opposed to making films that feature politics statements. They end their conversation by looking at Fuller's The Steel Helmet, a complex Korean war portrayal of men not as heroes but as flawed individuals, fighting for dignity in a situation that provides none.

0:00-3:39 Opening 
3:44-14:50 Establishing Shots — Old Guests, New Material (Mark Harris's Five Came Back; James Gray's The Lost City of Z)
15:35-57:29 Deep Focus — Marsha Gordon
58:33-1:00:30 Sponsorship Section
1:01:39-1:18:03 Double Exposure — The Steel Helmet (Sam Fuller)
1:18:09-1:19:46 Close
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