Month: August 2016

Criterion Close-Up 48: Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman

Mark and Aaron are joined by Dave Eves to evaluate the massive Zatoichi serial starring Shintaro Katsu. We explore the character of Zatoichi, and how he’s an unusual type of superhero. We also share tips on the best way to watch the series, whether a little bit at a time or to go on a binge-watch. We evaluate the series as both a piece of art and as pop culture, observing the high and low points.

Episode Links & Notes

Special Guest: Dave Eves from Cinema Versus. You can follow him on Twitter.

0:00 – Intro and Welcome Dave!

2:10 – Dave’s Criterion Connection Redux

5:00 – Short Takes (Love on the Run, The Cook the Thief his Wife and Her Lover, Cléo From 5 to 7)

17:35 – Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman

Episode Credits

Next time on the podcast: Appreciation of a Boutique Label

The Magic Lantern: Episode 028 – Van Diemen’s Land

The first time I saw Jonathan auf der Heide’s Van Diemen’s Land (2009), it knocked me back in my seat. My head was already swirling that day seven years ago from everything else that Fantastic Fest had jammed into it. When you are trying to take in all that one of the premiere genre festivals in the world has to offer, you can easily be overwhelmed. That was certainly how I felt after closing out that fateful evening with auf der Heide’s debut feature. Was it the stunning achievement it seemed like or was I just running on festival fumes? Sometimes it’s hard to tell, sometimes films lose their luster in the cold light of day. Not so in this case. It grew and grew in my imagination until it was monumental. These characters, real men whose tale was among Australia’s earliest and most notorious exploits, haunted me like ghosts. The forbidding Tasmanian wilderness loomed in my mind and I could practically feel their teeth scraping on my bones. I waited what seemed like forever for an opportunity to see it again, but it was hard to come by in the U.S. I finally had to resort to buying a multiregion DVD player just to revisit it. It was the best money I ever spent. Seven years later, I was finally able to confirm that it wasn’t just a dream glimpsed in a festival fever. This is the real thing, one of my top ten films of the 21st century. It is a staggering achievement for any filmmaker, much less for someone making their first full length feature. Do what you must to see it, just don’t watch it while you eat.

What you’ll find in this episode: questions about Australia’s origins and national identity, cannibal nutrition, lateral movement onscreen and what it indicates, nature’s indifference to man, and Ericca’s foolproof method for making jerky.

– Cole

Links and Recommendations:
Check out Van Diemen’s Land on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of Wake in Fright.
Cole’s further viewing pick of The Square.
A brief overview of the Tasmanian Gothic genre.
More information about the background, reception, and restoration of Wake in Fright.
A fine article mapping the cinematic journey of Alexander Pearce.

GTGM Episode 34: Xanadu (1980) with Barrett Klausman

After receiving some advise from a ‘muse’, Jamie and Doug drop out of art school and open a roller skate repair shop across the street from the new club, Xanadu. Unsurprisingly, Xanadu closes its doors three months after opening and having no business experience at all, Doug and Jamie both return to art school where they hope a large format printer is never invented so their dreams of working as album cover enlargers can be fulfilled. Follow Good Times Great Movies Twitter: @GTGMcast Facebook: Subscribe to Good Times Great Movies iTunes:!/id997035817?mt=2 Google Play: Stitcher:

GTGM Episode 17: A Very Brady Christmas (1988) with Patrick Hartz

Here’s the story,
of a girl named Jamie,
who packed up and moved from LA to Nashville.
She lives with her two dogs,
and her husband,
and a last line that ends with ‘ille’.

Here’s the story,
of a guy named Doug/Paul,
who was bringing up three very lovely girls.
All of then had hair of brown,
like their mother,
the middle one has some curls.

Follow Good Times Great Movies on Facebook & Twitter and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.

Criterion Close-Up 47: Downhill Racer & the Olympics

Mark and Aaron celebrate the Summer Olympics by exploring Downhill Racer, an independent film about the Winter Olympics. We draw parallels to what is portrayed in the Michael Ritchie with the actual sporting events that take place today, including the thrills of victory and the agony of defeat. We discuss the groundbreaking cinematography, the nature of winning in an individual sport and the the enduring legacy of Sundance that began with this film.

Episode Links & Notes

0:00 – Intro and Welcome

1:30 – Short Takes (The Secret in Their Eyes, Everybody Wants Some, Ride with the Devil, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives)

17:25 – Downhill Racer

Episode Credits

Next time on the podcast: Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman

The Magic Lantern: Episode 027 – Waiting for Guffman

Ding dong!

In 1996, a very special gift arrived for this theatre nerd. Waiting for Guffman (Guest, 1996) ticked many of my boxes: it was hilarious, well-acted, a musical, outrageously quotable, took place in a familiar milieu, and begged for repeated viewings. I was the loudest, most obnoxious moviegoer that day. I’m still the loudest, and its biggest booster.

Where does this film stand in the Christopher Guest canon for you? Do you find it an excellent satire or cruel and sad? Do you relate to the characters and their dreams or find them frustratingly delusional? Christopher Guest himself maintains that his intention is not to mock anyone, but to explore insular, perhaps obscure, communities through his method of filmmaking. Personally, I’m rooting for each of these characters and I would love to be a part of the show. But I missed the audition and, as Corky pointed out, that’s show biz.

What you’ll find in this episode: lots of theatre memories, a synopsis of a longstanding Lockhart barbecue family feud, and a discussion of why everyone doesn’t love what we love in the exact way we love it.

– Ericca

Links and Recommendations:
Check out Waiting for Guffman on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of The Impostors.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Drop Dead Gorgeous.
An overview of Lockhart, Texas barbecue plus more on the end of the feud!
If you’re in Baltimore, Maryland, check out the wonderful Everyman Theatre, and if you’re in Roanoke, Virginia, be sure to visit Mill Mountain Theatre.
Meryl Streep was recently on Fresh Air discussing delusion and the power of art, among other fascinating topics.

Criterion Close-Up 46: First Anniversary Show

Mark and Aaron podcast live and in person for the first time ever. During Aaron’s vacation up north, he visited “Casa Hurne” up in beautiful Vermont. While we weren’t drinking beer and eating delicious food, we decided to podcast a little about the experience we’ve had with Criterion Close-Up. Aaron also talks about his journey through Canada and the film connections he made along the way.

Episode Links & Notes

0:00 – Intro & Welcome

2:10 – Aaron’s Canada Trip & Martin Kessler

7:30 – Short Takes (Eat that Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words, The Witness, Green Room)

20:00 – Dinner at The 400 Blows

22:25 – Christopher Faulkner

30:15 – Reflecting on Criterion Close-Up

Episode Credits


Next time on the podcast: Downhill Racer

GTGM Episode 33: Do The Right Thing (1989) with Thom Maurer

Sal’s dishwasher, Doug and weekend waitress, Jamie show up to work on Saturday morning to find the charred remains of the business and Sal sitting on the front stoop. When they ask what happened, instead of answering, Sal begins balling up hundred dollar bills and throwing them at his two employees. After a while he silently sits down. Confused, Jamie and Doug pick up the money and go home because…$500 is $500.

Follow Good Times Great Movies

Twitter: @GTGMcast


Subscribe to Good Times Great Movies


Google Play:


Criterion Completion: Hour 3



And after Hour 2, here comes Hour 3!

This turned out to be a pretty special episode. Join me as I do a bit of Internet Over-Sharing and give you some personal insight into what collecting and Criterion have meant to me over a 21st century that started out in a fair amount of turmoil and has come today to be a wonderful life filled with love and Criterion! After that, a wonderful conversation with Doug McCambridge that still has me smiling.  I’m still amazed that we didn’t plan our topics ahead of time.

In between, some close-to-home clips from High Fidelity, a slew of screaming from Belial Bradley, and a warning from Wang Chung about staying in the 80s.

  • Hour 3 is here!
  • keeproductions presents Criterion Comfort| 6m 24s
  • A conversation with Doug McCambridge | 19m 05s

Doug McCambridge


Keith Enright

keith (at)



The post Hour 3 appeared first on The Criterion Completion.

The Magic Lantern: Episode 026 – Cloak & Dagger

Very high stakes, an intelligent but troubled preteen, a plucky sidekick, an imaginary super spy friend, and Atari–put them all together and you’ve got Richard Franklin’s Cloak & Dagger (1984). As a nine year-old, I was thrilled by the twisting plot, effective performances and very real danger at the core of this film. I dreamed of solving mysteries and dodging bad guys. Decades later, I was thrilled again to discover that the special place I’d reserved in my heart for this film was not misplaced. Cloak & Dagger holds up very well because it’s simply well-made. I can truly appreciate just how well-made it is even more so now, while still connecting to how terrifying and exciting it was to me as a child.

We are also celebrating a milestone! This episode marks our one year anniversary of doing the show and we thought it appropriate to do something special to commemorate that. We were delighted to welcome Bryan and Selah Douglas, our first guests ever, of Pathway Comics! We had a great time having them on the show, discussing this film, family entertainment, comics, navigating the pitfalls of growing up, and publishing their own title, an exciting new comic for young and old alike, The Dimensionals!

What you’ll find in this episode: an exploration of the significance of color palette in costume design, kids in jeopardy as a genre, junior Hitchcock techniques used in the film, Uno for one, why this stands apart in “kid” entertainment, and an alternate theory of the ending.

– Ericca

Links and Recommendations:
Check out Cloak & Dagger on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of Young Sherlock Holmes.
Cole’s further viewing pick of The Window.
Bryan’s further viewing pick of Steven Universe.
Selah’s further viewing pick of Fresh.
Check out Pathway Comics and their new title, The Dimensionals!