The Cinephiliacs (general)

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

If you've taken a film studies course in the last couple decades, you likely came across Film Art on the required book purchases. Chances are you first learned how to investigate the structure of a film (narrative, editing, mise-en-scene, sound, etc) before learning how to recognize ideology, or apply psychoanalytic theories. Wherever one's interest lie in looking at cinema, the work by film scholar Kristin Thompson over the last four decades has provided intensive groundwork into looking at Hollywood cinema's most intuitive principles and beyond. Kristin sits down to traces her entrance into academic film studies and developing a method for understanding form as adapted from Russian theories, the history of classical structure as developed by Hollywood and its legacy both abroad in the silent era and continuing into even today's so-called "VFX-driven" movies, and her work on The Lord of the Rings franchise and its game-changing success in the new century. Finally, the two sit down to look at John Ford's How Green Was My Valley, which employs unique methods of narrative strategy and compositional staging to create a poetic "three-hankie picture" (and well deserving of its 1941 Oscar).

0:00-3:03 Opening
4:21-11:36 Establishing Shots - Manhunter
12:21-58:18 Deep Focus - Kristin Thompson
59:27-1:02:07 Mubi Sponsorship
1:03:49-1:22:27 Double Exposure - How Green Was My Valley (John Ford)
1:22:31-1:24:09 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_71_-_Kristin_Thompson_How_Green_Was_My_Valley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC #70 - Jonathan Rosenbaum (Out 1)

Dedicated listeners of The Cinephiliacs may be familiar with the phrase, "And then I discovered Jonathan Rosenbaum's writing," as countless cinephiles have been inspired by his many words in the Chicago Reader and beyond. Thus, this latest episode of the podcast interviews the man who championed films beyond the canon, exploring cinema through an essayistic, often deeply personal love for the movies. Jonathan discusses his upbringing in Alabama, seeing the French New Wave from the front lines, a short dip into academia, and his role in looking at the strange world of taste culture and its ties to the Hollywood industry. Then, the two dive into the recently restored mammoth of a film that has been waiting to enter the canon: Jacques Rivette's 13 hour Out 1. They discuss this work of connections in post-May '68 Paris that may or may not be a secret Balzac-influenced conspiracy, engaging the viewer to find the fiction in the documentary and the documentary in the fiction.

0:00-2:48 Opening
3:20-11:31 Establishing Shots - Reviews from AFI Fest
12:17-1:02:55 Deep Focus - Jonathan Rosenbaum
1:03:48-1:05:28 Mubi Sponsorship
1:06:32-1:31:10 Double Exposure - Out 1 (Jacques Rivette)
1:31:14-1:33:59 Close / Outtakes

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_70_-_Jonathan_Rosenbaum_Out_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

Some film festivals have an easy time when their mission is set on any and all new movies with premieres from around the world. But how do you program for a niche? Glenn Heath Jr. works as the Managing Director for the Pacific Arts Movement, which is returning with another iteration of the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Some of the names will be familiar to cinephiles: Johnnie To, Sion Sono, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. But what about the big blockbusters that never come to American shores, or the Asian American filmmakers waiting to be discovered? Glenn talks about the delights and challenges of working on such a festival, as well as his work in film criticism in writing about lost and forgotten films while never throwing down the gauntlet. Finally, the two wrap up their conversation by turning to Jim Jarmusch's 1995 acid western Dead Man, and explore why the film's poetic tone and awkward humor allow it to transcend beyond a "revisionist western." Plus, excerpts from an interview with acclaimed Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien, who has returned to screens with his contemplative wuxia epic The Assassin.

0:00-3:35 Opening
4:30-12:42 Establishing Shots - Hou Hsiao-Hsien discusses The Assassin
13:27-1:12:03 Deep Focus - Glenn Heath Jr.
1:12:42-1:15:15 Mubi Sponsorship
1:16:20-1:46:09 Double Exposure - Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch)
1:46:13-1:47:51 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_69_-_Glenn_Heath_Jr._Dead_Man.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

She was born to Holocaust survivors and grew up poor in Belgium. She made her first film at 18. She came to New York with barely an understanding of English at the age of 21, where entering the world of avant-garde cinema. At 24, she made what is considered one of the greatest film's of all time, a break through for both minimalist cinema and feminist cinema. Her next feature ranks among the greatest documentaries ever made. Her career lasted almost 50 years, until last week, when Chantal Akerman died at the age of 65, leaving an array of masterpieces: Jeanne Dielman, News From Home, Rendezvous With Anna, Golden Eighties, and Almayer's Folly (among many more waiting to be discovered). In this special bonus issue, Peter Skypes (No Home Movie-style) with Montreal based critic Justine Smith on the legacy and impact of one of cinema's most essential heroes.

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