Month: July 2018

Just the Discs – Episode 65 – Dark Classics

On this episode, Brian dips into the darkness of Film Noir and Noir adjacent films with RAW DEAL (ClassicFlix), HE WALKED BY NIGHT (ClassicFlix), BOOMERANG (Kino Lorber), HANGOVER SQUARE (Kino Lorber) and THE LODGER (Kino Lorber).

The Magic Lantern: Episode 082 – Zama

This episode celebrates the return of one of my favorite filmmakers, Lucrecia Martel. It’s been ten years since her last feature film and two years since we last discussed one of her films on the show. With the arrival of her new film, Zama (2017), the wait is over and the result is more than worth it. All of Martel’s usual preoccupations – class divisions, physical, spiritual and emotional decay, inertia – are present and as well-considered as ever, but this also feels like something new. It feels almost like an evolutionary step, like going from Academy ratio to Cinerama. Moving beyond her normal domestic framework, these themes take on a new depth and breadth when viewed against the backdrop of history, colonialism, and politics. I hesitate to use the word dense to describe it, because I don’t want the negative connotations of the word to discourage people from seeing it, but there is so much in every scene to consider. Perhaps rich is more appropriate. Quiet, still conversations in sweltering rooms have repercussions that echo over decades. Surreal details that you can only catch out of the corner of your eye gnaw gently but constantly at your understanding of how the world operates. Stultifying bureaucracy is embroidered with darkly comic absurdities. I can’t recommend it highly enough and I can’t wait to re-watch it.

What you’ll find in this episode: the never ending cycle of resentment between conquered and conquerer, the hypnotic pull of the Shepard Tone, rumors, ghosts, cholera, and fighting while naked.

– Cole

Links and Recommendations:
Check out Zama on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Aguirre, the Wrath of God.
The New Yorker reviews Antonio Di Benedetto’s source novel.
A brief history of the colonial period of Paraguay.
A short roster of outlaws whose exploits bordered on the mythic.

GTGM Episode 83: Back to the Beach (1987)

While sales at The Big Kahuna’s Auto Sales in Ohio have been on the rise, sales people Jamie and Doug are a little concerned that the owner hasn’t returned from his trip to Hawaii in over eight months. With no contingency plan in place they decide to abandon the dealership and look for other work…perhaps as Skippy peanut better spokespeople as Annette has also disappeared.

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Criterion Now – Episode 61 – Bergman Box, October 2018 Announcements, The Confession

Doug and Josh join to discuss what turned out to be a HUGE week. We begin with the Ingmar Bergman centennial boxset and the October 2018 announcements, but there was plenty more to talk about. The Confession disc going out of print was a surprise, and hopefully an isolated issue. We talk about other films that appear to be coming to Criterion such as Some Like it Hot, Death in Venice, Eyes of Orson Welles, Detour. We speculate what other director could get a big box set treatment, and we chime in on the concept of haul photos and how they can be loved or hated.

Episode Links

Episode Credits


Music for the show is from Fatboy Roberts’ Geek Remixed project.

Just the Discs – Episode 64 – CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE

On this episode, Brian is joined by writer Kalyn Corrigan (Birth Movies Death, Bloody Disgusting & more) to talk about Val Lewton and the new Scream Factory Blu-ray of his film CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE.

Just the Discs – Episode 63 – FEMALE TROUBLE with XTRO

On this episode, JTD regular Stephanie Crawford is back to talk about one of her favorite people – John Waters – and his film FEMALE TROUBLE (now out from Criterion). Brian and Stephanie also examine the amazing craziness of the film XTRO, which is like E.T., but really not like E.T. at all (new on Blu-ray from Second Sight in the UK).

The Magic Lantern: Episode 081 – They Live

For some reason, whenever I think of They Live (Carpenter, 1988), I remember it as a rip-roaring, good-time kind of movie. Something perfect for summer, perfect for a late night. I probably have that idea because when I first saw it in my teens, I was enthralled by the famous wrestling star I knew, Roddy Piper, that famous catchphrase he improvised, the fight, and the creepy aliens.

When I watch it now, it does not strike me that way at all. The subtext that I did not connect to as a teen, like Reaganomics, yuppies, or the savings and loan crisis, mean so much more to me now. The film continues to speak volumes, and now, as I watch, it is the paranoia and dread that resonate with me. I know the end is coming, and I have to sit with it. These days, it is watching the collaborators explain themselves that cuts through the humor and action like a knife.

I did not realize until doing research for the episode that the film has been co-opted by all sorts of far-right groups to underscore their own brand of hateful paranoia. John Carpenter cut through that garbage simply: “’They Live is about yuppies and unrestrained capitalism…’” He went on to confirm it has nothing to do with a specific group, especially those that become the target of hate, taking over the world. “[That] is slander and a lie.”

We are now covering our third John Carpenter film, which is a total accident. But it is no accident that we have chosen a director who challenges us and our notions of political and moral issues, and when it is right to be paranoid.

What you’ll find in this episode: Cole’s celebrity beef #3567, my celebrity beef on Facebook, and a game of guess the fake wrestling move.

– Ericca

Links and Recommendations:
Check out They Live on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of The Quiet Man.
Cole’s further viewing pick of The Informer.
You know it’s a party if Billy Squier, Danny DeVito, and Roddy Piper are there.
Swoon with Keith David’s tribute to Nat King Cole.
More insights both now and then on the film, the fight, and Roddy Piper.

Criterion Now – Episode 60 – Underappreciated Criterions, Columbus, John Wayne, UHD

Jon Laubinger and Trevor Berrett join to talk about recent Criterion news. It is worth mentioning that this episode was recorded BEFORE the big Bergman bombshell this week. Our next episode will cover that in more detail. In this episode we talk about under appreciated Criterion releases, kogonada’s Columbus, the business prospects of Barnes and Noble, the state of UHD and 4K Blu-Rays and the potential of them coming to boutique labels, and we do get into Bergman at around the 47 minute and 1:12 minute marks, and our comments are interesting in hindsight.

Episode Links

Episode Credits


Music for the show is from Fatboy Roberts’ Geek Remixed project.

Film Baby Film: FBF 20 – Winter Light/First Reformed

Becky D’Anna comes on the podcast to discuss First Reformed and the parallels with Winter Light. This episode is perfectly timed for Bergman 100 and the announcement for the new Ingmar Bergman Collector’s Set, being released by Criterion Collection. Listening to Becky discuss Bergman is the perfect way to celebrate Bergman 100.