In this episode of the podcast we talk about a great American film, Charles Burnett's debut feature Killer of Sheep (1977)
2:07 Killer of Sheep
9:27 The Gradual Reveal / Kids and Adults
12:19 Improvised Games
14:55 Continuing a Tradition
16:48 Stan's Malaise
18:31 Bittersweet Humor / Sisyphean Struggle
22:53 Clip: Stan's Wife Dispatches Unsavory Characters
24:00 Pulling Stan Out
25:35 Captured Moments, Real Settings
27:12 Issues of Class
28:37 Low Placement of the Camera
32:11 Long Shot to Close-Up
33:30 Burnett's Other Films
39:08 This Bitter Earth
40:45 David Gordon Green on Killer of Sheep
On this episode of the podcast, we speed through brief reviews of 18 summer movies, including the new film by M. Night Shyamalan called The Happening.
Like the wheels of a big rig, each of these films has a different size, shape, color, and decibel level. Some are clearly overinflated, some might benefit from an injection of air, and some have nails driven into them by rivals who are sick and tired of a driver who lets his speed fluctuate so wildly. Some are shaded by mud flaps with shapely women silhouetted in chrome, others by Yosemite Sam who urges you and yours to call an 800 number if you see the driver texting from the wheel, immediately, using your mobile carefully as you try to draft off of this erratic mofo. Some, frankly, have been reduced to flayed strips of rubber and stirred with unlucky, misshapen armadillos on the shoulder, but not by the likes of us.
Eighteen wheels from a thirty-ought-six, comin' straight at ya. Eighteen full and considered film reviews, conceived not at all hastily but presented as though they were, an illusion accomplished not with mirrors but by speaking at double the accepted conversational rate. Consider yourself forewarned.
Subscribe in iTunes and you'll get a program with the following chapter stops built-in for easy jumping, complete with links to the appropriate trailers:
1:35 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Spielberg)
10:07 The Happening (Shyamalan)
15:09 Kung Fu Panda (Foshko)
17:01 My Winnipeg (Maddin)
20:06 Mongol (Bodrov)
22:54 War, Inc. (Seftel)
24:49 Roman de gare (Lelouch)
28:37 Speed Racer (Wachowski & Wachowski)
31:03 Iron Man (Favreau)
35:21 Redbelt (Mamet)
38:24 Shotgun Stories (Nichols)
41:34 Son of Rambow (Jennings)
43:50 Reprise (Trier)
46:08 Three Films by Rivette, Breillat, and Assayas
49:47 Young@Heart (Walker)
55:18 Stuck (Gordon)
57:20 "The end is important in all things"
On this episode of the podcast, J. Robert Parks talks with filmmaker Errol Morris about his new film, Standard Operating Procedure, then we reconsider the film to see if our comments from Episode 16 hold up in light of the interview, a second viewing, and Morris's writings and public statements.
3:52 Interview: Errol Morris
20:13 Interview (continued): "I like trouble"
27:24 Interview (continued): "A problem with my art"
32:42 Rob's Second Viewing
38:12 Depicting Atrocities: Resnais, Lanzmann, Farocki
43:32 External Ideas: The Drop of Blood
44:58 Ambiguous Stance: Morris's Voice
48:36 The Title: Threading the Needle
49:54 Cynical View vs. Benefit of the Doubt
52:14 Give Me Thoughts, Let Me Think
57:01 The Distracting Beauty of Images
On this episode of the podcast, we're talking about three movies that are currently playing in theaters around the country: The Visitor, Stop-Loss, and Errol Morris's Standard Operating Procedure, and we'll also hear a brief interview with the writer and director of The Visitor, Thomas McCarthy.
2:12 The Visitor (McCarthy)
9:31 Film Critic as Consumer Guide
12:37 Interview: Thomas McCarthy
20:59 Stop-Loss (Peirce)
27:32 Standard Operating Procedure (Morris)
45:40 Outro and Photo Caption Contest Winners
As usual, our takes on these movies should be considered definitive and absolute. Except, well, next time, we'll see if more recent events — J. Robert's interview with Morris in Chicago, Rob's re-viewing of the film in San Francisco, and Morris's essays and comments on the film — have changed our view of Standard Operating Procedure.
UPDATE (1 June 2008): Episode 17 features a followup discussion of Standard Operating Procedure, including an interview with the director.
On this episode of the podcast, we're talking about the films of Michael Haneke. He sometimes seems to be making the same film over and over with intriguing variations. His latest, Funny Games — the story of a family that is tormented for a few hours by a couple of white-gloved hooligans — has even fewer of those variations than usual, but the obvious repetition certainly fits among his usual obsessions.
2:58 Clip: Funny Games (2007)
3:47 Funny Games Remade
9:07 Caché (2005), Serge Daney on Perspective
17:37 Benny's Video (1992)
19:35 The Seventh Continent (1998)
21:03 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994)
23:18 Time of the Wolf (2003)
32:30 Time of the Wolf and Funny Games
36:16 Funny Games as a Loop
39:41 Examples of Rigor
44:05 A Different Kind of Watching
49:47 The Piano Teacher (2001)
50:17 Code Unknown (2000)
52:58 Places to Start
54:06 Revisiting Funny Games
56:52 Misremembering Movies
58:37 Revisiting Benny's Video
1:02:38 Absorbing Violence
1:06:13 Cleaning Up
1:08:42 What are we really like?
Coming Up: A discussion of Errol Morris's new film, Standard Operating Procedure and an interview with the filmmaker.
On this episode of the podcast, I talk with filmmaker David Gordon Green (George Washington, Undertow) about his fourth film, Snow Angels, which stars an ensemble cast led by Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell. Snow Angels is the first of three surprises that Green has in store for us this year. Green talks about resisting the pigeonhole, about adding humor to dark stories, and about finding moments in editing that you didn't plan.
1:40 Situating Snow Angels
7:07 Interview: David Gordon Green
Coming Up: the films of Michael Haneke
On this edition of the podcast, we talk about our favorite films of 2007. Finally.— Favorites of 2007, Serpentine —
2:41 Number 5
4:48 Number 4
7:04 Number 3
10:41 Number 2
12:08 Numbers 6-10
24:49 Honorable Mentions
30:12 Number 1
34:04 Favorite Screenings of Older Films
43:11 Favorite Unreleased Films
46:05 Old Filmmakers, New Filmmakers
47:51 Omissions and Irritations
On this edition of the podcast, we talk with two filmmakers who've spent most of their careers as writers but have now directed their first films: Marjane Satrapi, the writer-director of the Oscar-nominated film Persepolis, and Mike White, the writer-director of one of my favorites of 2007, Year of the Dog.
Coming Up: Our 2007 year-in-review.
On this edition of the podcast, we catch up with twelve films that are in theaters now or will be on DVD soon.
3:29 The Savages (Jenkins)
12:26 I'm Not There (Haynes)
24:25 My Kid Could Paint That (Bar-Lev)
38:19 The Red Balloon (Lamorisse)
41:06 White Mane (Lamorisse)
44:50 Lions for Lambs (Redford)
47:53 Rendition (Hood)
51:45 Juno (Reitman)
55:45 There Will Be Blood (Anderson)
58:28 Youth Without Youth (Coppola)
62:09 Redacted (De Palma)
63:36 Margot at the Wedding (Baumbach)
66:43 Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (Lumet)
Coming Up: Our 2007 year-in-review, to be issued before the end of 2008, which makes it timely.
On this edition of the podcast, we report on the Sundance Film Festival that wrapped last weekend, from two different perspectives.
1:35 Sundance Film Festival '08
2:09 Sugar (Boden/Fleck)
6:29 The Visitor (McCarthy)
8:05 Momma's Man (Jacobs)
10:15 Ballast (Hammer)
12:21 Mumblecore, Baghead (Duplass/Duplass)
14:28 Documentaries, Man On Wire (Marsh)
18:38 Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (Zenovich)
21:16 Awards, Frozen River (Hunt)
22:50 King of Ping Pong (Jonsson)
23:47 Documentary Award Winners
24:34 Good Dick (Palka)
25:36 Pretty Bird (Schneider)
27:23 People, Parties, Products
32:22 The New American Realism
34:45 Checking in with Brian Darr
36:45 Sundance Collection: Edward II (Jarman)
37:57 Derek (Julien)
40:43 Ballast, take 2 (Hammer)
42:04 Eat, For This is My Body (Quay)
48:57 Brian's Sundance Recap
Coming Up: (yes, still) A year-end speed round, with reviews of I'm Not There, The Savages, My Kid Could Paint That, and quick reviews of nearly a dozen other new films that are in theaters now or will be on DVD soon, plus our 2007 year-in-review, all properly aged like fine but stinky cheese.
On this edition of the podcast, we report on the recent New York Film Festival.
0:00 Intro: Correction and Preview of the Speed Round
4:22 New York Film Festival '07
5:02 - Silent Light (Reygadas)
9:06 - Paranoid Park (Van Sant)
15:08 - The Man From London (Tarr)
18:42 - Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou)
25.18 - Go Go Tales (Ferrara)
28:19 - In the City of Sylvia (Guerín)
33:47 - avant-garde, celebs, and recap
36:17 DVD Pick
Next Time: A year-end speed round, with reviews of I'm Not There, The Savages, My Kid Could Paint That, and quick reviews of nearly a dozen other new films that are in theaters now or will be soon.
On this edition of the podcast, we talk about the latest films from the Coen brothers and Wes Anderson.
0:00 Intro and Answer to the Puzzler
2:20 No Country for Old Men
4:41 No Country for Old Men (bis)
13:44 The Darjeeling Limited
19:08 Darjeeling vs. No Country
21:19 Outro: Revisiting Movies
23:25 Spoiler Warning
24:23 In Depth: No Country for Old Men
34:07 - The Principled Man
38:30 - The Good Guy
42.34 - The Voice of Reason / The Hand of God
46:43 - The Soul Adrift
49:19 - Interplay with the Audience
52:38 - A Troubling Disparity
59:55 Outro: Listener Feedback, Next Time
Next Time: Highlights from the New York Film Festival
Coming Soon: A year-end speed round, plus year-end interviews
On this edition of the podcast, J. Robert Parks and I talk about one of my favorite movies from last year, Three Times by the great Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien. I like the film a lot more than Parks, and here I present a rambling defense. Stand clear.
We also spend a fair bit of time talking also about one of his earlier films, Good Men, Good Women, which was on the 2004 edition of my all-time faves list, and I wager that it'll still be up there on the next version of that list.
0:00 Intro and Corrections
3:30 "Put that into context..."
7:37 Good Men, Good Women
14:01 Generation vs Generation?
16:27 Millennium Mambo
18:36 Breaking the Rules
26:20 Deceptive Simplicity?
30:35 Revisiting vs Rehashing
34:59 Personal Experimentation
41:20 Outro and Next Time
Next Time: We'll talk about new films from the Coen brothers and Wes Anderson.
On today's podcast we talk with Craig Gillespie, the director of a new film called Lars and the Real Girl starring Ryan Gosling. Despite the silly premise — a lonely, delusional man carries on a relationship with a life-size doll, much to the dismay of his relatives — this film caught my eye because of Gosling's involvement, and fans of Six Feet Under will recognize the name of the screenwriter, Nancy Oliver. Gosling, of course, was one of the people who made last year's Half Nelson such a great film, one of my faves.
Lars and the Real Girl isn't in the same league, but it's not just the throwaway comedy that I thought it might be. While others have aptly compared the film to Frank Capra's Harvey, starring Jimmy Stewart, on our podcast, J. Robert Parks talks with Gillespie about the character's similarity to Don Quixote.
On today's podcast we offer empirical evidence to answer a long-burning question about whether podcasts can be produced without sleep, listlessly. Conclusion: a hearty somewhat!
Also, we talk about the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, paying special attention to world cinema. Reporting from Toronto is our own J. Robert Parks. This discussion also functions as a preview for people who are attending the New York Film Festival in October since many of these films play at both events, and it also functions as a preview of what may appear in art houses around the U.S. in the next 12 months.
Films marked "NYFF" in the rundown below apply both to TIFF and NYFF. Films marked "vom" feature vomiting. Films marked "whirled cinema" may induce vomiting. Films marked "calming" neither feature nor induce vomiting despite appearances to the contrary. Except in the case of "NYFF," these various designations have not been applied consistently due to shortage of time and spotty research. Caveat lector.
0:00 Intro: Tip for Parents, Toronto, New York, Program Notes
3:55 Toronto 2007, Part 1
4:16 You, the Living (Andersson)
6:53 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (Mungiu) [NYFF]
9:21 Just Like Home (Scherfig)
9:45 Useless (Jia)
12:22 Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou) [NYFF]
16:40 Jellyfish (Geffen/Keret)
17:17 Happiness (Hur)
18:25 What's Coming Up? Reygadas, Van Sant, Sokurov
19:54 Banishment (Zvyogintsev)
21:04 What Else is Coming Up? De Heer
23:12 Toronto 2007, Part 2
25:11 Silent Light (Reygadas) [NYFF]
29:54 Paranoid Park (Van Sant) [NYFF]
33:20 Encounters at the End of the World (Herzog)
37:19 Secret Sunshine (Lee) [NYFF]
41.54 The Pope's Toilet and debut films
46:38 The Sun Also Rises (Jiang)
51:16 Alexandra (Sokurov) [NYFF]
53:06 My Winnipeg (Maddin)
56:22 Second-hand reactions: In the City of Sylvia, etc [NYFF]
59:53 Toronto 2007 Summary
On this edition of the podcast, J. Robert Parks and I talk about Abbas Kiarostami's Homework, an Iranian film made in 1989. The film has played recently in Toronto, New York, and San Francisco as part of an extensive Kiarostami retrospective, but it's playing in a severely edited version that's quite different from Kiarostami's original. How different? Well, that takes some explaining.
But, otherwise, the retrospective has been a rare opportunity to see some great movies, and the Pacific Film Archive has gone to great lengths to show all of Kiarostami's films, including early shorts and features that aren't subtitled and therefore require a makeshift solution for displaying English translations. I've caught up with some features that I'd only seen on video and some others that I'd never seen at all.
My favorite of the shorts is Orderly or Disorderly?, a film that begins like a children's instructional message seeking to demonstrate proper, and improper, behavior in various situations: getting a drink from the fountain, boarding the school bus, exiting a building via the stairway. But eventually the orderly structure of the film completely breaks down. "This isn't orderly," says Kiarostami's voice behind the camera, perched over a chaotic traffic intersection.
The third episode of the Errata podcast features a chat with Werner Herzog about Rescue Dawn, Grizzly Man, The White Diamond, and other films.
A choice quote:
Sometimes I do discover footage that is amazing and nobody sees the deep poetry in it, and you can somehow make it emerge together in context with other images, texts, acting, and music.
Another choice quote:
Contrary to the belief that I am a daredevil and I'm taking impossible risks — not so. I'm the most cautious about risks. No actor ever got injured in any of my films. And I'm very good when it comes to assessment of risks.
Some people construct an annual top ten list in the final hours of December, with an eye on the clock, but others diligently begin the list at the start of the year and let it take shape over the course of twelve months. I love to read the evolving lists — Christmas all year long — but I have to admit that I more often belong in the former group, myself.
However, I've been so quiet on the blog this year that I thought it would be a good idea to fill the second episode of the Errata podcast with a recap of some faves of the year as we pass the mid-point. It's not a top ten in the making, just a few good films that came up in conversation.
And joining me, with some favorites of his own, is J. Robert Parks who also spends a few minutes talking with me about the Toronto International Film Festival.
Welcome to the very first episode of the Errata podcast, an audio program of movie chit-chat. This first episode features a conversation with filmmaker Guy Maddin about his new silent film, Brand Upon the Brain!, which is being presented in various cities this summer as a live extravaganza, with an orchestra, foley artists, a soloing castrato, and a different celebrity interlocutor at each stop.