The Cinephiliacs (general)

Eric Hynes may not want to be boxed in for his work on documentaries, but it seems more and more to be where his interests as a writer for Reverse Shot and Film Comment alongside programming duties at the Museum of the Moving Image have taken him. But Eric is so much more, and has become one of the most valued writers of criticism and beyond—someone who shows passion and acute judgement within his sentences without ever condescending nor falling into cliché. In his interview with Peter, Eric traces his way into writing through music criticism and books, his decade-long tenure at one of the most important institutions in online film writing, and a continuing love of Star Wars. Then, the two turn to a truly forgotten gem of 90s cinema: Bill Murray and Howard Franklin's Quick Change, perhaps the last film to show New York City when it was truly the worst, in the best way possible.

0:00-3:37 Opening
4:22-54:46 Deep Focus — Eric Hynes
55:52-1:00:23 Sponsorship Section
1:02:08-1:21:46 Double Exposure — Quick Change (Billy Murray and Howard Franklin)
1:21:51-1:23:30 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_77_-_Eric_Hynes_Quick_Change.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC #76 - David Wilson (Gummo)

David Wilson had a vision for his dream film festival—and now he has it. The co-founder of Columbia, Missouri's RagTag cinema and now one of the creative heads behind the True/False Film Festival, David has succeeded in transforming the way people can think, imagine, and design a film festival without the prohibitive nature of bending to the economic whims of Hollywood, while also engaging with the most aesthetically groundbreaking cinema without alienating audiences. Peter was lucky to catch David right in the middle of the flurry, and talk to him about his interest in coming back to the Midwest, his own documentary work, and why True/False captures the heart of so many filmgoers, whether they would call themselves cinephiles or not. Finally, the two discuss Harmony Korine's Gummo, a film that David hated so much because of its fictional representation, until it began to appear more and more like a documentary.

0:00-3:10 Opening
4:03-10:30 Establishing Shots — Desperately Seeking Susan and Lá-Bas
11:15-39:50 Deep Focus — David Wilson
40:37-44:10 Sponsorship Section
45:38-1:01:54 Double Exposure — Gummo (Harmony Korine)
1:01:57-1:03:35 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_76_-_David_Wilson_Gummo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

True/False 2016

One might not expect much from a film festival right in the dead center of America's Heartland, but for thirteen years, True/False has been changing the way to think about the micro-film festival as well as the form of cinema in major ways. In this dispatch from Columbia, Missouri, Peter sits with critics Sam Adams, Tim Grierson, and (eventually) Scott Tobias to look at how the documentary-oriented festival puts aesthetics into the conversation while remaining politically engaged. While the subjects can be galvanizing—the US prison system, delinquent teenage girls in Tehran, Chinese miners, the fall of Iraq—the films continually break the mold for how one thinks about the format by exploring the relationship between the filmmaker and their subject. Plus, a discussion about Concerned Student 1950, a student-made documentary addressing the issues of the University of Missouri protests in 2015, and what its premiere could mean for the future of the festival.

0:00-2:50 Opening
2:50-8:00 Concerned Student 1950
8:00-49:35 True/False Favorites
50:47-54:16 Sponsorship Section
55:05-1:19:05 True/False Favorite Scenes
1:19:08-1:20:47 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_-_True_False_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC #75 - Blake Williams (INLAND EMPIRE)

What does it mean to view a stereoscopic image, to see films in a way that's at once closer to our daily life perception while also expanding it beyond anything we could ever see? Blake Williams is one of many filmmakers working in the avant-garde who has been exploring this question—through filmmaking, criticism, and historical research. Williams joins the podcast to trace his lineage as both a critic and a filmmaker, and the very nature of 3D images that has made this such an exploratory visual medium to work in, using it to explore heady concepts in both literal and theoretical terms. Peter and Blake then turn to a narrative filmmaker who created his own long experimental: David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE. The two debate the use of narrative in the film while also examining the nature of its low-grade digital imagery, which can be sublime or absolutely terrifying.

0:00-3:02 Opening
3:40-11:14 Establishing Shots — The Mermaid and Mountains May Depart
11:59-1:10:24 Deep Focus — Blake Williams
1:11:26-1:15:24 Sponsorship Section
1:16:39-1:39:33 Double Exposure — INLAND EMPIRE (David Lynch)
1:39:36-1:41:14 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_75_-_Blake_Williams_INLAND_EMPIRE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

The names of the French New Wave have become staples for both French Cinema and beyond. The critics of Cahiers Du Cinema like Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, and Eric Rohmer all turned to filmmaking to put into practice the meanings they had pulled from their valorization of Hollywood Cinema. But the most passionaite of those critics, and perhaps the most creative of those filmmakers was Jacques Rivette, who passed away on January 29th at the age of 87. In this new podcast, former guests of the show (Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Miriam Bale, and Matt Prigge) join in a roundtable discussion of the critic and filmmaker. They analyze his films, his writings, and his attention to collaboration, all of which made him a wholly unique individual in the history of cinema. Torn between his obsessions with realism and fantasy, Rivette captured the essence of the medium's paradoxical specificity.

0:00-3:33 Opening
3:33-28:18 Rivette Discussion Part 1
29:00-33:09 Sponsorship Section
33:47-1:02:30 Rivette Discussion Part 2
1:02:34-1:05:07 Close / Outtakes

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_-_Let_Us_Now_Praise_Jacques_Rivette.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC #74 - Ryland Walker Knight (The Awful Truth)

Can movies think? Or how could we think through the movies? Highly influenced by the work of Stanley Cavell, Ryland Walker Knight has explored the possibilities of thinking and language in cinema, whether it be a work from a beloved art house master or a brash and loud Hollywood blockbuster. Ryland discusses his childhood raised on double features, his critical work, his recent short film, Inside Voices, and his latest project, a video essay series exploring some of the imagery and hidden narratives in the work of Michael Mann (with a little help from Beach House). Finally, the two turn to The Awful Truth, and discuss how Le McCarey's attention to how voices sound and bodies move create some of its most indelible humor, and intelligent insights.

0:00-2:22 Opening
2:56-12:16 Establishing Shots - A War and 13 Hours
13:02-50:52 Deep Focus - Ryland Walker Knight
51:10-53:21 Sponsorship Section
54:04-1:04:18 Double Exposure - The Awful Truth (Leo McCarey)
1:04:22-1:06:00 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_74_-_Ryland_Walker_Knight_The_Awful_Truth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

If one were to imagine the cinema of the 1940s, the likely images would be of lonely streets, men in trenchcoats, and slender blondes lighting cigarettes while drenched in shadow. The French coined a term for it: film noir, and since then it has been a gateway drug for many cinephiles interested in classical Hollywood's most lurid pictures. Eddie Muller has been called the Czar of Noir, and he deserves the title: he heads programming for Noir City, a San Francisco-based film festival that presents the city with the best of noir movies, and then heads the Film Noir Foundation to discover those lost works that no one even knows. Eddie talks about his entrance into the world of film in SF's many rep screenings and his tutelage under avant-garde artists George Kuchar, before turning to writing about the world of grindhouse movies and this lost genre. Finally, Peter and Eddie look at one of the canonical films of this era, Gun Crazy, and explore the strange production story behind one of the most violent-obsessed movies ever made.

0:00-2:36 Opening
3:52-10:40 Establishing Shots - Lewis Klahr's Sixty Six / Garrel Giveaway Winners
11:25-55:06 Deep Focus - Eddie Muller
55:35-59:24 Sponsorship Section
1:00:27-1:22:36 Double Exposure - Gun Crazy (Joseph H Lewis)
1:22:41-1:24:36 Close / Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_73_-_Eddie_Muller_Gun_Crazy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC - 2015 Favorites With Keith Uhlich (Part 2)

If you took cinema at its essence, it's simply recorded bits of the present. This includes bits of physical reality, personal psychology, formal techniques through technologies, and projections of possibility. And thus by putting a capstone on the year with this countdwon, Peter and guest Keith Uhlich hope to investigate just a bit of those bits that become the history of film, as well as history itself. Their final picks travel from New York City to 9th Century China to Southern Plantations and the Planet of Arkanar. They emphasize stories of small people in the large waves around them—each one trying to craft their own little spot within their universe. And whether the world goes into the digital ad infinitum or will become covered in shit, it is the human at the center of these films: the joys, the sorrows, all wrapped in one. These are our favorite works of 2015.

0:00-2:32 Opening
3:56-26:41 Choices for #5
28:07-42:29 Choices for #4
44:33-1:04:56 Choices for #3
1:05:46-1:09:21 Mubi Sponsorship and Garrel Giveaway
1:10:28-1:30:18 Choices for #2
1:30:18-1:52:18 Choices for #1
1:52:18-1:55:16 Closing Thoughts / Credits / Outtakes

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_-_2015_Favorites_With_Keith_Uhlich_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC - 2015 Favorites With Keith Uhlich (Part 1)

Another year of movies, another countdown. In this 2015 iteration of The Cinephiliacs countdown, Keith Uhlich once again joins Peter on a cinematic odyssey from big screens and small ones, as well as streaming services beyond the States. A diverse group of films define this year's crop: things that push the boundaries of digital cinema to the absolute mainstream of Hollywood, new spins on old hat genres, and new tales from around the world finally given voices. But as it turns out, whatever the story, it's the technique that centers these films: shot-reverse shot, breathtaking long takes, smartly composed compositions, and a deep commitment to humanity. Part II will be up Friday, January 8th.

0:00-7:20 Opening
7:20-33:15 Choices for #10
33:15-47:40 Choices for #9
47:40-1:05:25 Choices for #8
1:067:14-1:09:36 Mubi Sponsorship and Garrel Giveaway
1:10:14-1:29:54 Choices for #7
1:29:54-1:43:40 Choices for #6
1:52:52-2:08:32 Favorite Discoveries of the Year
2:08:35-2:09:56 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_-_2015_Favorites_With_Keith_Uhlich_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

Truffaut remarked there was cinema before Godard and cinema after Godard. The academic discipline of Film Studies could be said to have its own Godard in David Bordwell, the author of some of the most influential books in understanding the history of film style. In this sprawling conversation, David discusses his upbringing that led him to movies and his first steps in helping spearhead the neo-formalist movement of film criticism. He looks back at the formation of poetics, his role in thinking about the conventions that tell us a film story, the role of auteurism as problem-solvers, and how popular film criticism has influenced in his more recent work. They swing through conversations on art history, Jean-Luc Godard, new media, Hong Kong filmmaking, and Robin Wood. Finally, David and Peter discuss Daisy Kenyon, a 1947 Joan Crawford-Dana Andrews-Henry Fonda melodrama from Otto Preminger with so many radical choices in its delivery of narrative one might mistake it for being a subversive text, even if it's all convention.

0:00-2:40 Opening
3:27-10:22 Establishing Shots - Texture and Claire Denis
11:07-1:27:05 Deep Focus - David Bordwell
1:28:10-1:30:37 Mubi Sponsorship
1:32:20-1:52:00 Double Exposure - Daisy Kenyon (Otto Preminger)
1:52:02-1:56:23 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_72_-_David_Bordwell_Daisy_Kenyon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT