The Cinephiliacs (general)

Godfrey Chesire has seen it all. From his early experiences with the Westerns of John Ford, to his experience of the 1970s films while abroad in Europe, to the discovery of Chinese and Iranian cinema in the 1990s, Cheshire has remained an essential voice about how to talk and think about cinema in an honest and humanizing way. So Peter is quite excited to take him back through a whirlwind tour of his career, from the alt-weeky The Spectator to the heyday of the New York Press, and through his experiences with Edward Yang and writing about the emergence of digital cinema. The two also discuss his documentary Moving Midway, a film that battles his own personal history and cultural history of the plantation, and end their discussion with Abbas Kiarostami's all-too-fascinating text Close-Up, which they easily declare the Citizen Kane of Iranian film.

0:00-1:27 Opening
1:27-4:47 Establishing Shots - Portrait of Jason Kickstarter
5:02-1:01:57 Deep Focus - Godfrey Cheshire
1:03:08-1:30:09 Double Exposure - Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami)
1:30:11-1:31:50 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_9_-_Godfrey_Cheshire_Close-Up.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

Peter remembers seeing Matt Singer during news and festival bits on the IFC channel back in the day, so he was quite excited to bring it the man to sit down to talk about his work on Criticwire and elsewhere. Matt discusses the winding path he took to entering film criticism, his genuine interest in working in various types of media, and of course his fascination of superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger. The two also explore his explanation for watching "bad" movies, the wonderful world of Internet commenters, and the ever notorious Kevin Smith. Finally, Matt brings in a strange pick for 'Double Exposure' - A TV documentary called The Buried Secret of M Night Shaymalan, that is truly one of the most maddening films ever produced, provoking a discussion that proves to be just as bonkers.

0:00-4:43 Opening / Establishing Shots - "To The Film Industry in Crisis"

4:57-58:25 Deep Focus - Matt Singer

59:21-1:20:30 Double Exposure - The Buried Secret Of M. Night Shaymalan

1:20:33-1:22:22 Close / Outtake


Peter takes cinema very seriously, but sometimes we all need a good laugh, and no one makes Peter howl in laughter than reading the work of Ali Arikan. So laughs are abound when Ali comes in from Turkey to join him on The Cinephiliacs. Ali discusses his early forays into movies while in his home country (as well the troubles with viewing films there) and the journey he took to becoming an established critic working for English language sites like The House Next Door, Press Play, and as a member of Roger Ebert's Far Flung Correspondents. From there, the two dive into the problem of nostalgia in film, a bonafide love for Steven Spielberg, and a defense of one of the most derided films in the last twenty years. Finally, Peter challenges Ali to make him lov;Withnail and I, a cult comedy from Bruce Robinson that might be more tragic than even its alcoholic protagonists realize.

0:00-0:56 Opening

1:43-4:40 Establishing Shots - Pierre Étaix and Le Grand Amour

4:56-1:01:56 Deep Focus - Ali Arikan

1:03:09-1:24:19 Double Exposure - Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson)

1:24:20-1:26:10 Close / Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_7_-_Ali_Arikan_Withnail_and_I.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

After three weeks of new movies, The Cinephiliacs returns by going to old school filmmaking as Peter sits down with Farran Smith Nehme, aka the Self-Styled Siren, blogger extraordinaire when it comes to classic Hollywood movies. The two discuss how she first fell in love with the movies of Hollywood's golden age, approaching classic cinema beyond the expected titles and myths, and living the dream by appearing on Turner Classic Movies. They close out the show by examining Three Strangers, a film noir by Jean Negulesco and co-written by John Huston that might not be the best film ever made, but damn if it doesn't have some out of this world sequences and killer performances by Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Peter Lorre as a romantic lead, of all things!

0:00-1:13 Opening

1:14-4:58 Establishing Shots - Kant and Criticism

5:12-45:15 Deep Focus - Farran Smith Nehme

46:30-1:05:38 Double Exposure - Three Strangers (Jean Negulesco)

1:05:39-1:07:32 Close / Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_6_-_Farran_Smith_Nehme_Three_Strangers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26am EDT

If there is one thing that has defined the New York Film Festival since its first year in 1963, the festival has always aligned itself with the most essential names in world cinema (the first film to play NYFF? Buñuel's Exterminating Angel). So as Peter closes out his coverage of the festival's 50th iteration, he brings on world cinema aficionado David Ehrlich from the Criterion Corner to discuss the biggest auteurs and their new ambitious movies. Included in this final dispatch are a story of love from Michael Haneke, a celebration of movement from Leos Carax, a cynical autobiography from Olivier Assayss, and a Tokyo-set puzzler from Abbas Kiarostami.

0:00-1:37 Opening

2:00-8:54 Amour (Michael Haneke)

9:01-15:33 Spoiler Discussion of Amour

16:08-26:59 Holy Motors (Leos Carax)

27:54-37:46 Something in the Air (Olivier Assayas)

38:01-52:45 Like Someone In Love (Abbas Kiarsotami)

52:46-54:46 Close/Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_-_NYFF50_3_David_Ehrlich.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm EDT

Many of the films at this year's New York Film Festivals are filled with various cinematic references that can go over Peter's head without him ever realizing, so he brings Slant Magazine contributor Jaime Christley to help him parse through some of this week's fascinating films. The two dig into the big Hollywood opener Life of Pi from Ang Lee, as well as the extreme art house pleasures of new films from directors like Raoul Ruiz,  Pedro Gomez, and the Taviani Brothers.  Plus, documentaries on conspiracy theorists deconstructing Kubrick's The Shining, and another one about fishing in the Atlantic, but from the perspective from the fish.

0:00-2:01 Introduction

2:36-13:04Life of Pi (Ang Lee)

13:04-21:37Caesar Must Die (The Taviani Brothers)

21:37-29:30Night Across The Street (Raúl Ruiz)

30:07-43:31Room 237 (Rodney Ascher)

43:32-46:42Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel)

47:25-57:04 Tabu(Miguel Gomes)

57:04-58:22 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_-_NYFF50_2_Jaime_Christley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11pm EDT

In this special edition of The Cinephiliacs, Peter averts from the regular format for the next three weeks to report back from his annual visit to the New York Film Festival, a favorite cinephile event of his. To help him break down the first week of films, freelancer extraordinaire Simon Abrams joins him to discuss a cornucopia of films that explore cinema, religion, history, and the imaginative process. They dive into the bold use of digital imagery in Brian De Palma's Passion, clash on the complex morality in Christian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills, and elate over the joy of Alain Renais's You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet. Also included in this episode are thoughts on Christian Petzold's Barbara, Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, Valeria Sarmiento's Lines of Wellington, and Peter Strikland's Berberian Sound Studio.

0:00-2:11 Introduction

2:54-11:31 Passion (Brian De Palma)

11:31-21:26 Barbara (Christian Petzold)

21:26-23:49 Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)

24:30-35:36 Beyond the Hills (Christian Mungiu)

35:36-43:53 You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet! (Alain Renias)

43:53-46:49 Lines of Wellington (Valeria Sarmiento)

47:16-53:27 Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strikland)

53:29-54:45 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_-_NYFF50_1_Simon_Abrams.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49pm EDT

The Cinephiliacs #5 - Bilge Ebiri (Barry Lyndon)

New York Magazine film critic Bilge Ebiri loves films that he can constantly revisit and pry deeper and deeper, so Peter has no problem prying into Bilge’s own head for his conversation on The Cinephiliacs. Bilge talks about his early exposure to the Hollywood New Wave in Turkey as a young boy, and then traces his cinephilia through his desires to trying to become a filmmaker (including working on a film by Nikita Mikhalkov) before finding his voice as a critic. The two then discuss his love of films that indulge their wildest pleasures, some of his favorite auteurs (a list that includes Terrence Malick and Christopher Nolan side by side), and his own feature film, New Guy. Finally, the two dive into the truly daunting task of investigating Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece Barry Lyndonand try and make sense of a film that asks us to identify with "The Past" yet always undercuts and manifests itself as something even more audacious.

0:00-4:48 Opening / Establishing Shots – Film Vs. Digital

5:04-1:14:17 Deep Focus – Bilge Ebiri

1:15:13-1:45:31 Double Exposure – Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick)

1:45:32-1:47:58 Close / Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_5_-_Bilge_Ebiri_Barry_Lyndon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

For a film critic who has to keep his reviews under 250 words, Time Out New York staff writer Keith Uhlich has quite a lot to say as he joins Peter for the podcast. Keith explains how he originally got the cinephile bug watching films like Popeye and Spaceballs, as well as his frustrations in making his own films at NYU. They then dive in deep to Keith's unique writing process and spar a bit over some of his more oddball opinions (a love of The Black Dahlia, anger toward Steven Soderbergh). Keith also explains his frustrations over the current state of independent LBGTQ cinema (never have the words “Fuck you, Tom Ford” been spoken with such force). Finally, the two discuss Jonathan Demme’s The Truth About Charlie, an often maligned remake of Charade that inspires both of them for its visual appreciation of Paris and its overlooked humanism.


0:00-4:50 - Opening/Act One: Establishing Shots - Remembering Tony Scott

5:05-1:40:50 - Act Two: Deep Focus - Keith Uhlich

1:41:40-2:06:18 - Act Three: Double Exposure - The Truth About Charlie (Jonathan Demme)

2:06:20-2:08:00 - Close/Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinepheliacs_4_-_Keith_Uhlich_The_Truth_About_Charlie.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Kenji Fujishima might not have the wisdom that comes from age of Peter's previous guests, but the two have an excellent time talking about how he became a hardcore cinephile and writing for The House Next Door. Kenji discusses reading Pauline Kael at an early age, choosing to forgo his mother’s wishes to go into accounting, and becoming a consumer of arts beyond cinema. The two also chat about his blog My Life, 24 Frames Per Seconds, balancing emotion and formalism in writing, and the beauty of “cinematic recklessness.” Finally, they explore the dark beauty of Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels, which Kenji posits as the filmmaker’s most reflexive commentary on his own feelings to transition toward a new style.


0:00-5:00 - Act One: Establishing Shots - Sight & Sound Poll

5:16-52:13 - Act Two: Deep Focus - Kenji Fujishima

53:07-1:18:12 - Act Three: Double Exposure - Fallen Angels (Wong Kar-Wai)

1:18:13-1:19:50 - Close/Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinepheliacs_3_-_Kenji_Fujishima_Fallen_Angels.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:19am EDT