Month: January 2016

GTGM Episode 19: The Last Unicorn (1982)

Jamie and Doug are tasked with hiring a new magician for their local King. They’re about to make a final decision when an elderly magician arrives for an interview. His magic is quite good but it’s not until he presents a glowing letter of recommendation from his former employer, Prince Lir, that Doug and Jamie know they’ve found the best man for the job.

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CCU25: Dont Look Back (1967)

Mark, Aaron and Keith Enright give a look at D.A. Pennabaker’s documentary portrait of Bob Dylan in Dont Look Back (the no apostrophe is intentional). This was a pivotal period in the artist’s career, and both the film and the music were influential. We dig deep as to what type of persona Dylan revealed, the cinéma vérité filmmaking style that captured him in his element, and also his attitude towards the press and others who wanted to label him.

Special Guest: Keith Enright from Criterion Completion. You can find him on Twitter.

Show notes:

Outline:

0:00 – Intro & Welcome Keith 3:30 – Caitlin Kuhwald Aftermath 9:40 – Schedule Update 11:10 – Aaron’s Blog Announcement 14:35 – Arik’s Criterion Presentation 18:15 – Short Takes (The Apu Trilogy, My Golden Years, Hollis Frampton Odyssey, La Ronde, Labyrinth, Revanche) 33:00 – The Newsstand 34:45 – Dont Look Back 

Dont Look Back

FB Photo Album

Mark’s Birthday – Amazon Wish List.

Where to Find Us:

Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email

The Magic Lantern: Episode 013 – The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

Eleven years ago, I was lured into the world of German Expressionism via the hypnotic gaze peering out at me from the cover of Fritz Lang’s The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933). It sat on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, beckoning me. Little did I know that my consumption of film would be forever altered by that afternoon’s shopping trip. Not only did it encourage my further exploration of early German masterworks, but it also marked my first proper introduction to the films in The Criterion Collection. As my collection and my film education has grown, I owe the fine folks at Criterion an awful lot for making some of the world’s greatest films available in editions that are packed with extras. They are truly a cinephile’s dream. I often think of that day in January of 2005 when I first took the shrinkwrap off this DVD and the thrill of that discovery. The film itself burrowed into my brain with its eerie imagery, disquieting sound design and one of cinema’s first criminal masterminds aiming for nothing less than the end of civilization. I was hooked and one of these days may have to add another wing to the house to hold the film library. It’s a great problem to have.

What you’ll find in this episode: Fritz Lang’s tall tales, criminal supermen, how I was bitten by the Criterion collecting bug and a rousing game of Ja Oder Nein.

– Cole

Links and Recommendations:
Check out The Testament of Dr. Mabuse on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of The Third Man.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Les Vampires.
The home of The Criterion Collection.
A great list of some of the finest films that German Expressionism has to offer.

CCU24 – A Conversation with Caitlin Kuhwald

Illustrator extraordinaire Caitlin Kuhwald joins us to talk about her artwork and the Criterion Collection. She is a professional artist and has worked extensively with many clients, including The Criterion Collection. She has created original artwork for Amarcord, To Be or Not to Be, The Organizer, and many others. She talks about her film tastes including an updated Criterion Top Ten, talks about how Criterion champions illustration, and weighs in on recent covers.

Show notes:

Special Guest: Caitlin Kuhwald from Caitlin Kuhwald Illustration. You can find her on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Caitlin Kuhwald’s Criterion Top 10

Erik Skillman blog about Amarcord    

Where to Find Us:

Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email

GTGM Episode 18: Breakin’ (1984)

Jamie and Doug realize their dream of opening a hillbilly-themed restaurant in southern California when within the first week, their outdoor seating area is destroyed by inner city youth. The insurance will cover the damages but they both agree that this isn’t a good sign.

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CCU23.5: Star Wars The Force Awakens

This is our first bonus episode and we look at the behemoth of the moment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This is a fun little detour from our usual serious, arthouse type of podcast. We tried to approach the movie as both fans and discerning cinephiles and I think we gave it an honest look.

Show notes: Special Guest: David Blakeslee from Criterion Reflections, CriterionCast, and The Eclipse Viewer. You can find him on Twitter.

Where to Find Us:

Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email

CCU23 – Breaker Morant and Mr Johnson

This is the first Criterion Close-Up double feature. Mark and Aaron take a close look at two films from Bruce Beresford, released theatrically a decade apart and just recently as part of The Criterion Collection. We look at Breaker Morant and how it reconciled British Colonialism on both its subjects and enemies, and how it dispensed justice. We then look at Mister Johnson, which deals with colonial issues such as commerce and civilization. 

Outline:

0:00 – Intro 2:55 – Criterion Connection 5:00 – Overview of Show for CriterionCast Listeners 8:50 – Schedule Changes 10:15 – Changes to News 12:20 – What Have We Seen Lately? aka Short Takes 22:00 – Breaker Morant 1:15:15 – Mister Johnson

Podcast Schedule

CriterionCast Newsstand Episode

Breaker Morant

 Facebook Photo Album

Where to Find Us:

Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email

The Magic Lantern: Episode 012 – The Thin Man

With three bodies, a missing inventor, a host of suspects and hundreds of martinis, The Thin Man (1934) sparkled into life from the page to the screen. Much later, watching as a young kid, Nick and Nora Charles swanned away with my heart. The thorny mystery at the center of this film may be difficult to unravel, but the charms of William Powell and Myrna Loy are still as immediate and potent as they were over 80 years ago. There have been few comedic partners so well-matched, and who were so generous as to bring out the best in each other. Like the characters they played, Powell and Loy had genuine affection for each other, and it’s this sense of real warmth that helps set The Thin Man apart. The stellar production team provided them with many opportunities to display their wit, intelligence, and physical comedy gifts, and together they made a frothy delight that has remained fresh and sharp.

What you’ll find in this episode: a killer buche de noel burn, a guide to urbanity, whether this film qualifies as pre-code, how Christmas decorations have changed through the ages, and why Powell and Loy are such a durable comedic team.

– Ericca

Links and Recommendations:
Check out The Thin Man on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of The Awful Truth.
Cole’s further viewing pick of The Mask of Fu Manchu.
The Lux Radio Theater broadcast of The Thin Man.
A guide to Dashiell Hammett’s San Francisco and its particular brand of noir.

CCU22: A Room with a View (1986)

Mark and Aaron start the New Year as members of CriterionCast, and jump into the world of Merchant Ivory. With such a lavish, large production with quite an ensemble of characters, there is a lot to say. We discuss the social constraints placed upon the characters, and how some groups have opposing world views that resemble traditional versus modernity, while also touching on the nature of wealth, class, and even gender. We also enjoy discussing how the film surprisingly works as a dry comedy, and we are pleased to have Merchant & Ivory back in print in the Criterion Collection.

Show notes:

Outline:

0:00 – Intro, Criterion Cast Announcement 7:00 – New Year’s Discussion 13:30 – Ghost of Trevor 14:55 – CriterionCast Blu-Ray discussion 19:35 – New Week’s Guest 21:15 – Not Really Any News 23:55 – A Room with a View

CriterionCast Announcement

CriterionCast Master Feed

CriterionCast Blu-Ray Wish list episode

CriterionCast Favorites of 2015

CriterionCast Wacky New Year’s Drawing

A Room With a View

Trevor’s A Room with a View review

Criterion | IMDB

Cohen Media Group Acquires Merchant Ivory Titles

Where to Find Us:

Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email