The Cinephiliacs

Amazing on location photography in harsh environments...progressive films about controversial political women...groundbreaking special effects that dazzle with a flurry of colors. These films might sound like what showed up at the Oscars last year, but they were all made during the silent era. In his second trip to San Francisco's epic weekend of gems of the first decades of cinema, Peter once again finds himself in awe of the talent on display: whether it be the work of the archivists in discovering and restoring these prints, the cornucopia of musicians providing unique accompaniment, or the grand scale of the Castro Theatre itself. Silent Film devotee Victor Morton once again joins Peter as they tackle films from five countries with hobos, pie fights, cross-dressing, and split screens (take that, Brian De Palma!)

0:00-2:25 Opening
2:25-15:40 Varieté (E.A. Dupont, Germany, 1925)
16:14-25:38 Beggars of Life (William Wellman, USA, 1927)
26:05-37:20 The Battle of the Century (Clyde Brukman, USA, 1927)
38:06-41:42 Sponsorship Section
42:50-52:15 Restoring Napoleón with the Cinémathèque Française
53:17-1:03:42 I Don't Want To Be A Man (Ernst Lubitsch, Germnay, 1928)
1:05:06-1:15:43 The Strongest (Axel Lindblom and Alf Sjöberg, Sweeden, 1929)
1:16:19-1:28:36 Two Timid Souls (René Clair, France, 1928)
1:28:41-1:30:19 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_-_SF_Silent_Fest_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

TC #80 - Kalyane Lévy (Going Places)

In an age where cinephiles are now open to experiences from every little corner of the globe, something about French cinema will always remain a cornerstone of fascination. At the vibrant Cinefamily repertory house near Hollywood, Kalyane Lévy brings audiences into the illusions of the French going experience with her monthly program La Collectionneuse. Kalyane sat down with Peter to discusses her childhood filled with art in France and her migration to Los Angeles. She opens up about the challenges of a programmer of international cinema as well as the rewards of audiences excited about works of esoteric love (as well as the unique atmosphere of the screenings). Finally, the two dissect a very off beat film, Going Places by Bertrand Blier starring Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere as a couple of horrifying horndogs terrifying the women of France...or perhaps they are actually opening up their desires?

0:00-2:33 Opening
3:53-8:57 Establishing Shots — De Palma
9:42-32:31 Deep Focus — Kalyane Lévy
33:47-35:24 Sponsorship Section
36:24-57:37 Double Exposure — Going Places (Bertrand Blier)
57:42-59:40 Close / Outtake

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_80_-_Kalyane_Levy_Going_Places.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

History is a malleable object, and how we understand the past begins with important events, speeches, documents, and objects, and then the connections we make between them. But movies can tell us just as much about the past, and for Professor Thomas Doherty, the story of Hollywood is very much the story of American culture. Doherty sat down with Peter during the annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference to discuss how he found his way into the emerging field of film history, and his interest in everything from teenage exploitation films to "the most important man in Hollywood" who had his hands of every studio film. They explore the morality of history, and how one examines "characters" of the past and understanding their perspective (especially when it's their relationship with the Third Reich). Finally, the two look at the ultimate film noir, Out of the Past, and question how and why this seemingly frivolous B-movie has risen to an all time canonical classic.

0:00-2:59 Opening
3:50-10:56 Establishing Shots — Terence Davies's Sunset Song
11:41-1:00:55 Deep Focus — Thomas Doherty
1:02:11-1:04:58 Sponsorship Section
1:05:52-1:22:22 Double Exposure — Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur)
1:22:26-1:24:04 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_79_-_Thomas_Doherty_Out_of_the_Past.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

Baltimore rarely gets a mention on the list of great film cities, but in the 1970s, six different theatres all played Robert Downey's Putney Swope. That's just some of the historical digging Eric Allen Hatch has done, who now continues the legacy by programming the Maryland Film Festival, which has quickly risen the ranks to become one of the most essential micro-film festivals in the nation. In his talk with Peter, Eric discusses his initial entry into classical Hollywood and art cinema, and his desire to keep Baltimore as a place for off-beat culture that appeals across spectrums, as well as his strange obsession with photoshopping Paul Blart into canonical classics. Afterwards, the two talk about the Isabelle Adjani-starrer Possession, perhaps the psychological horror film. Who knew that a film that features a bloody space monster could speak so well to their romantic relationships?

0:00-3:47 Opening
4:44-11: 35 Establishing Shots — Eddie Bracken and Grace Moore
12:19-40:45 Deep Focus — Eric Allen Hatch
41:21-43:39 Sponsorship Section
45:31-1:02:56 Double Exposure — Possession (Andrzej Zulawski)
1:03:01-1:04:39 Close

Direct download: The_Cinephiliacs_78_-_Eric_Allen_Hatch_Possession.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am EDT

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