The Cinephiliacs
TC #88 - Jake Mulligan (Hail The Conquering Hero)

Boston-bred and born guest Jake Mulligan has always been something of a kindred spirit with Peter. Not just in terms of their approach to aesthetics, but also how and what they see the goal of film criticism can be. So it was perhaps inevitable that they would turn their interview into something of a state of the union in how and what writers should be doing when it comes to analyzing films and film culture. Jake recalls his entry into cinema through the bro film canon and how his path toward journalism has shaped his role in deciding what (and more importantly how) visual media should be worth covering. They then discuss how streaming and digital has affected the role that critics play, and perhaps shed some light on other alternative approaches of what is an increasingly robotic profession. But after letting out some steam, they get to the bread and butter by going deep into the political aesthetics of Preston Sturges's war time comedy, Hail The Conquering Hero, asking the very difficult question of what exactly is direction when it comes to Classical Hollywood screwball comedy.

0:00-2:37 Opening
3:15-10:14 Establishing Shots — Charles Cohen Preview
10:59-1:16:58 Deep Focus — Jake Mulligan
1:18:00-1:46:49 Double Exposure — Hail The Conquering Hero (Preston Sturges)
1:46:53-1:49:05 Close / Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_88_-_Jake_Mulligan_Hail_The_Conquering_Hero.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC - 2016 Favorites With Keith Uhlich (Part 2)

Often, we ask questions about what can cinema do. Perhaps the more important question, however, is to ask what should cinema do. As Keith Uhlich and Peter Labuza countdown their favorite media objects of 2016, this question plays out in a myriad of discussion. From the trascendence of genre to the nature of longform, to the act of describing to the disection of popular entertainment. And finally, the two enter a long debate about the nature of non-fiction and reality, as well as the very act of seeing death in cinema. What function should the camera perform, not just for us but the people who hold it? And is there something unique about art and its function in the surrounding world? Plus, former guests of the show call in with their favorite films of the year.

0:00-2:57 Opening
2:57-27:45 Picks for #5
29:06-49:34 Picks for #4
49:34-1:08:04 Picks for #3
1:09:47-1:12:29 Sponsorship Section
1:13-40-1:39:20 Picks for #2
1:40:40-2:11:53 Picks for #1
2:11:53-2:13:37 Closing Thoughts
2:13:47-2:15:27 Close / Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_-_2016_Favorites_With_Keith_Uhlich_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC - 2016 Favorites With Keith Uhlich (Part 1)

In times of crisis, sometimes the easy answer is to escape to the cinema. But the movies of 2016 did not necessarily bring escape, whether it was the mortgage crisis in Texas, homophobia in Miami, or misogyny in Montana. But in these cinematic works of art, some relief or euphoria can transform real life into something more bareable (or if you're Rob Zombie, even more screwed up). Keith Uhlich joins the podcast for his 5th time to countdown the favorites of 2016. Discussions range from the nature of experimental cinema, to the nature of historical fact, to what it means to go past idenity and into specificity. Plus, Peter and Keith list their favorites repertory discoveries of the year.

0:00-3:20 Opening
3:20-22:39 Picks for #10
22:39-39:42 Picks for #9
39:42-1:13:06 Picks for #8
1:13:53-1:16:12 Sponsorship Section
1:17-00-1:36:26 Picks for #7
1:36:26-1:57:00 Picks for #6
1:57:00-2:10:33 Favorite Repertory Picks of 2016
2:10:51-2:12:46 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_-_2016_Favorites_With_Keith_Uhlich_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

TC #87 - Fredrik Gustafsson (Great Expectations)

You've probably seen Citizen Kane, but have you seen its Swedish lesbian equivilant made in the 1950s? Chances are you haven't even heard of it, nor the filmmaker behind it—Hasse Ekman. But for cinephile Fredrik Gustafsson, Ekamn's ingenious and playful films represent some of the best of cinema, and he made it his mission to make them known through his new book, The Man from the Third Row. Hasse Ekman, Swedish Cinema and the Long Shadow of Ingmar Bergman. In the first episode of The Cinephiliacs Global Initiative, Fredrik joins the podcast from Stockholm to discuss his discovery of cinematic loves, his work and research as the Swedish Film Institute, and the many twisting and interesting narratives surrounding Ekman's varied career. Finally, the two look at a much too often negelted period of cinema—Britain in the postwar years—and examine the many cinematic devices David Lean uses to turn his Dickens adaptation of Great Expectations into a blissfully quixotic work of art.

0:00-6:07 Opening / The Cinephiliacs Global Intiative
7:22-13:10 Establishing Shots — 20th Century Women and Julieta
13:55-1:03:46 Deep Focus — Fredrik Gustafsson
1:04:33-1:06:59 Sponsorship Section
1:08:21-1:27:17 Double Exposure — Great Expectations (David Lean)
1:27:22-1:29:00 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_87_-_Fredrik_Gustafsson_Great_Expectations.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

In a podcast first, the podcast...repeats itself. But in a thematic way! To celebrate the end of Shocktober alongside Halloween, Peter returns to five different conversations exploring the horror genre in some way. First, Michael Koresky talks about the fear-inducing but plainly stylized The Seventh Victim, which turns classical continuity into a source of horror. Then, Kim Morgan explores trauma in the highly underrated rape drama Something Wild with Carroll Baker. Then it's back to Classical Hollywood with Farran Nehme-Smith's choice of Three Strangers, a supernatural film noir where a promise from a Chinese goddess only leads to doom for Geraldine Fitzgerald, Sydney Greetstreet, and poor Peter Lorre. Then the line between horror, comedy, documentary, and general "WTF" is truly bent with Matt Singer's choice of The Buried Secret of M. Night Shaymalan, which (inadvertently?) explores the limits and literalism of auteurism. Finally, we go to the purest horror film of all time with Angela Catalano's choice of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a film that knows no boundaries when it comes to showing unadulterated malice. It's time to revisit our most frightening conversations!

0:00-3:52 Opening
5:16-19:03 The Seventh Victim with Michael Koresky
20:45-34:50 Something Wild with Kim Morgan
36:48-55:08 Three Strangers with Farran Nehme-Smith
56:11-59:13 Sponsorship Section
1:00:59-1:20:45 The Buried Secret of M. Night Shaymalan with Matt Singer
1:21:52-1:38:48 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre with Angela Catalano
1:38:53-1:40:48 Close

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

If cinema can achieve more than simply be art but a form of action, how does one negotiate the role that the camera plays in reality. Celebrating its 50th Year, Kartemquin Films has used cinema as a tool for addressing social, political, and economic inequality through the documentary from, spearheaded by its co-founder Gordon Quinn. In this wide-ranging interview, Gordon reflects on the early days of the collective—from films about retirement homes and the general state of happiness to more direct political engagement through filming labor strikes. He talks with Peter about negotiating the role of the subject, the role of his own identity in filming the stories of others, the importance of character, and the fickle nature between making a statement and making a dollar. Finally, the two discuss a film that shows all of the work in action: Sara Gomez's landmark documentary One Way Or Another, which stages fabricated drama in the midst of real turmoil in 1970s Cuba to a powerful effect.

0:00-3:29 Opening
4:19-10:04 Establishing Shots — Kelly Reichardt's Certain Women
10:49-1:20:13 Deep Focus — Gordon Quinn
1:20:56-51:51 Sponsorship Section
1:24:33-1:42:01 Double Exposure — One Way or Another (Sara Gomez)
1:42:05-1:43:44 Close

Direct download: The_CInephiliacs_86_-_Gordon_Quinn_One_Way_Or_Another.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC #85 - Jeff Lambert (Stranger Than Paradise)

In our growing and expanding media moment, cinephiles are recognizing more and more that only watching theatrically released feature films limits one's cinematic worldview. Whether it be amateur home movies, the avant-garde, or even instructional demonstrations, these films can both inspire a new way to look at art and history. One organization has helped spearhead this movement: The National Film Preservation Foundation, now led by its Executive Director Jeff Lambert. Jeff joins the show to discuss his first wave of cinephilia at the video store to his eventual job at the NFPF, explaining the various tasks to distribute funding to archives to keep our national history alive. Plus, the two examine the film-digital divide from the archival perspective, the building of an avant-garde canon, and Jeff's predilection for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Finally, the two dive into Stranger Than Paradise, Jim Jarmusch's 1984 film and discuss how the film that birthed hundreds of hipster indies still remains unique to this day.

0:00-3:23 Opening
4:12-9:13 Establishing Shots — Jet Pilot
9:59-48:39 Deep Focus — Jeff Lambert
49:24-51:51 Sponsorship Section
53:32-1:09:21 Double Exposure — Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch)
1:09:25-1:11:04 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_85_-_Jeff_Lambert_Stranger_Than_Paradise.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

Criticism is often described as an act of interpretation—explaining how or why a film works. But the act of cinema at its most basic level is an experience of image, sound, bodies, gestures, materiality, and everything in between. Stanford Professor Scott Bukatman has explored that experiential level of art in all of its forms from high to low. Scott and Peter cross boundaries of genre and time to discuss post-modern science fiction and its most abstract moments, performative bodies that explained our new technological moment, and even gravitational expectations in the new digital landscape. They also discuss cinema's closest (and often problematic) cousin, the comic book, alongside Scott's new exploration of Hellboy and how the act of reading itself can (and should) be reconsidered in the act of discussing a text. Finally, the two dive deep on Vincent Minnelli's Some Came Running, and truly ask what is it that makes a performance, especially in a melodrama in which the art of acting is key to everything.

0:00-4:10 Opening
5:13-11:16 Establishing Shots — Digital Restorations at The Academy
12:00-1:06:48 Deep Focus — Scott Bukatman
1:07:21-1:11:32 Sponsorship Section
1:10:59-1:32:14 Double Exposure — Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli)
1:32:18-1:33:56 Close / Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_84_-_Scott_Bukatman_Some_Came_Running.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC #83 - Snowden Becker (Police Body Cameras and Evidentiary Videos)

While this show has often staked its interest in the kinds of audiovisual materials we come to praise as art, there are many different types of moving image materials out there. None feels more pertinent to our moment today than the discussions around the introduction of police body-worn cameras alongside the amateur videos that display evidence of police brutality toward members of the African American community. To address these topics is often to approach them from one of politics, but a surrounding series of questions deals with many of the same questions that cinema-minded people might find familiar: what can we learn from analyzing how they were made? What elements are manipulation are present? How will these videos be stored? What access should the public have? What is the emotional affect of viewing them?


Today's guest, Snowden Becker, has worked as a program manager for UCLA's Moving Image Archive program and the co-founder of Home Movie Day. She's also spent over a decade researching the judicial system's management of audiovisual material, and is the co-manager of this week's National Forum, "On The Record, All The Time: Setting An Agenda for Audiovisual Management," which will bring together legal scholars, social justice activists, camera manufacturers, and the LAPD among others to workshop these issues. In this episode of the podcast, Snowden discusses many of the issues that come out of a cinephile interest when it comes to thinking about these types of videos, as well as what it means to be a public citizen engaging in this emerging genre.

0:00-4:10 Opening

5:13-11:16 Establishing Shots — O.J.: Made in America

12:00-1:06:48 Deep Focus — Snowden Becker

1:07:21-1:11:32 Sponsorship Section

1:10:59-1:32:14 Double Exposure — Police Body Cameras and Evidentiary Videos

1:32:18-1:33:56 Close 


TC #82 - James Schamus (The Tall T)

How does one reconcile the ideas of artistry in cinema, the kind of magic of cinephilia that we see each time we look up at the screen, with the business practices that often painted as limiting it? James Schamus has somehow made a career of toeing this (likely constructed) dichotomy, helping produce some of the early independent films of the 1990s before becoming the co-founder of Focus Features, which made films like The Pianist, Atonement, Brokeback Mountain, and Moonrise Kingdom, as well as a collaborator of Ang Lee, writing the screenplays for The Ice Storm, Ride With The Devil, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. James discusses this work between the politics of making art for specialty audiences, as well as his interest in the very nature of art through his work as a theorist and professor at Columbia University. They then turn to his directorial debut, an adaptation of Philip Roth's Indignation, and what it means to modulate performance. Finally, the two discuss Budd Boetticher's 1957 hostage western The Tall T, and what a specialty art house producer can learn from watching Randolph Scott contemplate existence in this low budget western.

0:00-3:57 Opening
5:08-17:11 Establishing Shots — 4 Years of The Cinephiliacs
17:56-1:06:20 Deep Focus — James Schamus
1:07:21-1:11:32 Sponsorship Section
1:12:33-1:22:44 Double Exposure — The Tall T (Budd Boetticher)
1:22:50-1:27:00 Close // Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_82_-_James_Schamus_The_Tall_T.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am EDT